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Simply Enchanting - A guide to the most magical of arts
#1
Simply Enchanting
A guide to the most magical of arts


Enchanting is one of the most rewarding disciplines of crafting available to players. With it one can create powerful enchantments that increase the statistics of a character without sacrificing gear slots, gem sockets, or bag space. Because of its usefulness, enchanting is a profession chosen by many players in retail and on CotH across all classes and builds. But practicality isn't the only reason to choose enchanting. It is also one of the most wide-ranging, interesting, and useful professions Blizzard has made available to roleplayers. This guide is an attempt to reconcile the out of character and in character methods of enchanting and to inspire potential player enchanters to give this profession a chance.

How This Guide Works

Disclaimer: This guide is going to have a heavy dose of personal fanon and the opinions within are my own interpretation of Enchanting as an OOC profession and how it can fit into a roleplaying environment. I'll try my best to provide some evidence for why I have this perspective and how it relates to mechanics and lore, but for the many gaps and grey areas in described mechanics I can only add my speculation. This guide isn't made to tell you how to play an enchanter, but to give examples of how the profession and its effects can be used as a fun and valuable part of our roleplaying environment.

I feel I should also point out that the scope of the guide is limited to Arcane magic, since I'm only covering the Enchanting profession and its use both within and outside of the methods we see in the ingame mechanic.

That being said, the structure of this guide is as follows:

1. The Basics: A brief overview of Enchanting as an ingame and IC tool

2. Martial Enchantments: This section is devoted to the kind of enchanting we get to do ingame, represented by the Enchanting profession. This section and the other major section will offer various examples of play based on the ingame enchantments we can use in the Enchanting profession as-is. Subsections include Weapons and Armor.

3. Mundane Enchantment: This section is devoted to the kind of enchanting you might want to use more often as a player-character. This is a mix of canon and fanon, and will examine Blood Elf enchanting and others as a way of explaining what we know and can extrapolate about how people use enchanting in their daily lives.

Examples of Play: This is something that's often included in pen-and-paper RPGs to explain mechanics. I'm using sections like this to introduce different "flavor text" for enchantments as to how the items might be seen or wielded. This is intended to inspire people who aren't sure how an enchantment can be represented ingame. I won't go over every enchantment, but I'll try to get a few from every category. If you're a bit lost for ideas and have a request, feel free to ask in the thread below! I might not be able to give you my own interpretation, but I bet other people will have ideas as well.


The Basics

At its core, the discipline of enchanting involves imbuing an item with magical properties. In the method available through the game, sufficiently-trained enchanters can break open magical items to retrieve the succulent meat within- or something like that anyway. What is important about the method we use in-game is that it allows player-characters without magical talent to enchant items. While this is probably a matter of game mechanics, it comes packaged with nice explanations for why it could work in-character and how Enchanting can be RPed from both a magical and non-magical perspective.

The method of enchanting used ingame is relatively simple, though it is very destructive. An enchanted magical rod is used to pull the magical essence out of the material being disenchanted, destroying it utterly but creating either a powdered dust and a charged essence, or forming a shard or crystal. These reagents can be used with an enchanted rod and the appropriate rituals to imbue another item with an enchantment that the enchanter knows the ritual for. This can be done by anyone, even if they otherwise have no magical talent, however enchanting an item always takes more energy than you would get through disenchanting and destroying it. That makes this method a net loss despite its ease of use. Though it doesn't matter for tradesmen in enchanting guilds, who can simply purchase magical dust from the mages of Dalaran or their nation's capitol, the destructive nature of enchanting does pose a problem for adventurer-enchanters (like player-characters) who don't usually have the cash or connections to acquire materials and may not have the skill to conjure and refine the materials themselves. They will need to seek out magical items and recycle them in order to perform the craft, or find and befriend a mage willing to produce these items for them, both of which are very good sources of RP!

While enchanting ingame requires the destruction of existing items, it is also not a stretch to believe that magic users can draw power into an object in the same way that they draw power into their own spells. Even trafficking with unsavory entities such as demons could give a player the opportunity to acquire the magic or magical reagents for enchanting by proxy. In the same way, the kinds of items available for enchanting and the types of enchantments available can vary much more in a roleplaying environment.

The way I envision it, there are a few broadly-conceived methods that various types of casters can use in order to obtain their enchanting materials:

Channeling: The most direct method is to channel the arcane energies straight from the Twisting Nether or your magical source of choice and shape them into an item. That takes energy and a vast reserve of magic, which not all magic-users possess. It also means you need to complete the entire process at once, and have to know exactly what you want to create when you do it. This isn't necessarily useful for everyone. Mages and Warlocks (as well as their variants) are probably the most likely to use this method, especially on small trinkets and mundane objects they need right away.

This can be done in as many ways as you can think of to cast a spell, but in essence it is as simple as that. You are imbuing an item with a spell at the basic power of your character's spellcasts. Anything more and you risk your character's safety due to the vagaries of unrestrained magic.

Reagents: Creating the types of reagents used in "standard" Enchanting recipes is certainly another way to obtain the power required. Not only can a magic-user then spread out the stress of channeling across multiple days, but they can also accumulate a much greater wealth of magic power than they could channel on their own in a single session. By saving and refining these reagents, a very weak Mage could conceivably create the same type of item that even a powerful one could if he was skilled enough to channel and refine his reagents to a perfect quality over a long period of time. Again, Mages and Warlocks and their variants are likely to use this method in order to create materials. Even talented casters could use this method to create powerful items, though it would likely be used more by those with less magical talent, or variant classes who do not have much training with intense spellcasting.

I see this as the kind of method used by Arcane scientists. A Mage might sit in a lab channeling into a very complex focusing crystal which then focuses their powers into a vessel full of reactive solution that slowly grows a larger and larger crystal as more magic is put into it over time. Or perhaps a Warlock has written a special runic pattern that allows him to imbue plain chalk or sand with the eldritch power of the Twisting Nether, creating imbued dust. Again, the methods can easily be adapted to whatever type of character is using them.

By Proxy: Anything that can wield magic can create enchanted materials. Ergo anyone who can call on a being capable of wielding Arcane or Fel magic can have them perform the service (for a price). Though many classes can summon creatures, only Warlocks can summon beings with Arcane aptitude. The array of demons is quite broad, though spellcasting demons are few and powerful, making them a difficult prospect. Those demons with the aptitude to cast spells, such as Succubi, Eredar, Doomguards, Dreadlords, etc., will most likely demand a trade in return for their services. That's usually bad news for the Warlock in question. However, unwilling demons could be used as a source of magical reagents and magical energy even if they cannot cast spells. Every demon is rife with Fel magic, and some demons (notably Imps) are weak by themselves but can serve as massive vessels of eldritch energy for enterprising Warlocks. A Warlock who siphons uses the energy or blood of demons for their magic could certainly produce powerful items, but they will be necessarily tainted by the evil magics of their creation.

As an example, a Warlock could create a runic binding circle in order to trap an Eredar briefly and trade it souls, a favor, or some other sort of one-sided bargain in exchange for the enchantment of an item. A more powerful or foolhardy Warlock might imprison the same demon in a much more detailed ward, then siphon their blood or magic day by day until they had enough to enchant the item they wished. Doing so might be more cost-effective, but would almost certainly incur the wrath of said demon once released.

Bonus - Fel-Cursed Enchantments: Naturally, items enchanted with Fel magic will be tainted by the vile source of their power. That taint might come in a visually significant way (Fel Fire is green not orange) or some other significant indication of "wrongness," but it could also take the form of a curse caused by the evil magic seeping out into the world. A cursed sword that burns with Fel Fire might cause wounds that take longer to heal, but also be cursed to slowly burn the hand that wields it as well, preventing long battles. Fel-enchanted armor of strength might also cause the user to enter a berserk rage when wounded. If you want to add a curse to your item, flavor is key: try to envision something that would put your character in a negative situation that will also shift the narrative in an interesting way once it comes into effect.

Making a List

Enchanting is fueled by a few major types of materials, which are seen ingame as byproducts of the recycling of enchanted items or as extracts from specific elemental creatures:

Dusts
Spoiler:
Dusts are a kind of powdered magical essence commonly found alongside "Pure" Essences in Uncommon loot. The enchanting shop in Dalaran has a few piles of dust on display as can be seen Here (the example being a pile of Arcane Dust). This dust appears to be a somewhat plentiful, coarse powder that gives off a slight glow or haze of magic depending on their strength and origin (if the item icons are to be believed). Different types of dust appear to be more powerful than others, and based on that I would imagine that the most powerful types of dust are more refined and must be recycled from more powerful objects (or distilled from a greater quantity of inferior dust).

Pure Essences
Spoiler:
Exemplified by the low-level Greater Magic Essence, the type of enchanting material that I'll refer to as "Pure" Essences are essences of Arcane magic itself. Unlike the Elemental byproducts that are sometimes used in high-level enchantments (noted below), these come from enchanted goods rather than slain elementals. Whereas dusts are easy to describe visually, essences pose more of a challenge because their icons show them as somewhat incorporeal. I personally like the idea that they could be contained in glass vials or some other warded container, sort of like a magical gas. Another potential idea is holding them in a magic crystal or runed storage vessel that absorbs the essence until it's released again.

Crystals and Shards
Spoiler:
Crystallized magic comes in two types: the less-powerful Shards and the more-powerful Crystals. However, both can be considered crystalline objects and, even though the sources differ, both types of object can be obtained through disenchanting high-quality magical items. Shards seem to be a crystallized version of the same sort of Arcane magic that creates dust and essences. However, out of all the types of enchanting goods available, Crystals have the most diversity in their sources. From Maelstrom Crystals which may be from the crazed magics of the former Well of Eternity to Void Crystals which appear to come from the Twisting Nether itself, these items would seem to require the most intense efforts to acquire.

Because they're used in incredibly powerful enchantments and magical devices, the acquisition of a single Void Crystal could be an adventure in and of itself. To travel to Netherstorm in order to capture the unrestrained essence of the Twisting Nether is relatively safe in comparison with opening up a portal to space in your back yard, but still requires days of travel and could bring you into conflict with Ogres, Sunfury remnants, and the crazed elementals and demons that roam the ruined lands of Draenor. Any item crafted from these exotic components is surely worthy of its own story.

Elemental Essences
Spoiler:
Elemental Essences are perhaps the most difficult of the enchanting materials for an individual magic-user to acquire. Whereas most other items can be made using Arcane magic, Elemental Essences come from elementals and are thus a product of the natural world. That means that enchantments that might require an elemental component will take some effort for most Mages and Warlocks. Though Mages can summon water elementals, only a Shaman can commune with the other types via in-game abilities. I'm not entirely sure whether or not they would like to see a Mage suck the essence out of one of their spiritual companions though. That leaves the standard method of acquisition game-mechanics-wise as one of the easier ones, which is killing unbound and Twilight-summoned elementals to take their essence. That's something that you can easily base a short event or small-group RP out of and is obviously much more friendly to the planet.



Martial Enchantments


Weapons

"The bandits laughed when they saw one of our guards pull out a sword-hilt. There wasn't a blade at all, how did he expect to defend himself? Well, he spoke a few words in that Elven riddle-speak and a gout of flame shot out- the thing leapt up into the shape of a sword just like that! Those bandits were laughing right up until he stuck their buddy with it. Light a'mighty I'll sure think twice before I cross an Elf."

-Thomas Darrow, Merchant.


Weapon effects are those that are applied to a character's weapons and give some kind of benefit when the weapon is used. These tend to be on-hit effects, and most are connected to one of the schools of magic (Nature, Holy, Shadow, Fire, Frost, Arcane). Higher-level enchantments tend to have unique effects that apply on-hit but don't have elemental properties. We have things like Enchant Weapon: Crusader and http://www.wowhead.com/item=38838 that add a magical effect when the weapon strikes, as well as enchantments like http://www.wowhead.com/item=52774 that have effects based on magic being channeled through the weapon. In addition, there are enchantments with effects based on the creature being hit (such as http://www.wowhead.com/item=52755) and those that simply apply a passive stat increase.

In-character, weapon effects seem to be used very rarely. I'd imagine that's because most people are either tired of seeing Retail's fiery-crusader-mongoose-enchanted hellblades or don't know how to RP acquiring and using enchantments in a fair way and are afraid that it won't be accepted on the server if they mess up. I can really only address the second one. Firstly, it's not necessary to have enchanted items on a character, but it's important to recognize both the relative rarity and potential plot benefits of a magic weapon. Though enchanted or imbued weapons seem to be fairly rare among normal folks (outside of Dalaran and Silvermoon, of course) it is fairly likely that our characters will see magical weapons in the course of their adventures. Whether wielded by an adversary or commissioned for a large sum of gold, these weapons can add flavor to the character and plot by reflecting characteristics of their wielder. Enchanted weapons and even simple trinkets can also serve as potent mementos of our favorite plots. It's hard to overlook the influence that objects can have over people when they hold a memory within them.

As to the effects of a magic weapon, one way of creating an IC description for an item is to think about how that enchantment might work in a "real" setting. Enchantments with beneficial stats can be easy in that regard. By wielding a sword that grants Agility, or another stat modifier, the character may become suddenly more capable at combat or gain an acute sense of balance that they didn't possess before. These effects are subtle but noticeable, potentially transforming a hopelessly outmatched civilian into a passable combatant in the blink of an eye. In other cases, a weapon enchanted with "+ Agility" might simply be far lighter or supernaturally balanced in comparison with a mundane counterpart. No matter what, enchantments that confer a statistical benefit to a character must usually augment some aspect of the weapon or the wielder to do so. How it does that can be up to your imagination.

The more visible effects are those that have on-hits or special modifiers. These are also fairly easy to imagine from an IC perspective, with enchantments of Scourgebane searing the flesh of the undead with holy magic or a weapon enchanted with ice causing frostbite.

More challenging are weapon enchantments that provide a boost to magic or a unique chance-on-hit. Personally I think magical empowerment (like elemental or stat enhancements) should be RPed based on how you feel the enchantment applies to your character. One person's object with http://www.wowhead.com/item=38924 might be a necromantic artifact stolen from a Scourge mausoleum, while for another it could be a personal memento of the brush with death that caused them to become a Shadow Priest. Each one carries a different sort of IC empowerment despite providing the same type of benefit. Since different classes use magic differently, these will most likely depend wholly on individual characters' tastes and methods. As for the unique chance-on-hit items like Crusader, I don't really know how they could be RPed effectively in the environment we tend to have our fights in. One possible way to use them would be to provide a bonus flavor-effect when you crit in roll-combat. Ultimately, like any other roleplaying decision, the use of enchantments is up to the players and their preferences.

Weapons - Examples of Play

http://www.wowhead.com/item=38838
Spoiler:
Flashfire:

Outwardly appearing to be a normal steel rapier, a few quick words of Thalassian cause this sword's blade to burst into flame. Whether used as a flashy distraction or to cause a searing wound, this sword's enchantment can be very helpful to the aspiring duelist.

Brand:

Brand is a heavy Orcish mace with a head of cold-forged iron. When the metal touches the flesh of an enemy it becomes red hot, searing away flesh in a gruesome manner. This heat remains for an hour after it has last touched the flesh of someone who is not its wielder (and while it's hot it will burn them as well).

http://www.wowhead.com/item=38924
Spoiler:
Coldharbor Blades:

These sinister weapons are thought to originate from the Scourge harbors in Icecrown Glacier. Always forged in a paired set, these blades are generally made from the notched and cracked shortswords of fallen soldiers. Their blades are ritually broken and reforged with patches of Saronite before being enchanted with a vile hoarfrost that clings to the edges of the blades. This frost creates a razor-sharp edge that can cut flesh easily, and requires no sharpening. However, heat and blunt damage can shatter the ice, dulling the blades until the enchantment can recover its chill.

(As you might guess, this uses the look of the enchantment rather than the effect. I think looks and "feel" are more important than being true to the ingame mechanics in some cases, and enchanted items are a place where creative use of ingame looks and mechanics can make things much more interesting.)

http://www.wowhead.com/spell=74242
Spoiler:
Channeler's Needle:

This dagger has passed through many hands across many generations. It seems to be of ancient Night Elf design, with a slightly curved ritual blade and a moon motif where the blade meets the hilt. Over time, this dagger becomes charged by the Arcane energy channeled through it during spellcasts. When it accumulates enough of a charge it glows brightly with resonant magics, allowing the wielder to empower his magical spells for a brief moment of time.


Armor

Aidan stiffened, feeling the surge of runic magic that signaled the activation of one of his defensive runes. A stiff, hot wind blew past his cheek as the remnants of the fiery projectile dissipated out from where it had been absorbed. As he turned to engage this unknown foe, he let out a silent prayer to the Light that his enchantments had held.


Armor enchantments are something I use sometimes in RP, and I have at least two characters who have used them often in the past. I tend not to RP them in the ways that they're done ingame, but rather as a sense of flavor for fights. For example, Aidan has protective runes on his armor that absorb "blocked" spells during roll-fights. Since I don't feel like he's the sort who could swat a spell out of the sky or dodge lightly to the side, he avoids damage from them using a ward of absorption. It's a convenient way of catering to the flavor of his character whilst also not disrupting anyone else's RP. I feel that this is one of the best ways of using the beneficial qualities of enchanted armor without powergaming. After all, the kind of combat we do tends to make it seem like all our characters are equally badass in all areas and they aren't necessarily. What enchanted ability-boosting or defensive gear can do is fill in those gaps on a thematic level while also making sense with the lore of the world.

All that being said, I don't feel that enchanted armor is a necessity for everyone. In fact, just getting an enchanted weapon might be a struggle for adventurers of little means and even less formal training. Enchanting an entire suit of armor is the kind of undertaking that a veteran craftsman might balk at (before quoting you a princely sum). This could be used as a good explanation for why your warded plate chestguard sometimes doesn't protect you, if you'd like, or it could be a reason to cherish the set of Gauntlets of Ogre Strength you found in that tomb you robbed. Either way, these items (as well as other enchanted items) should represent something special that your character has something invested in either through its emotional value or through the time they spent painstakingly making or stealing it.

Armor - Examples of Play

It's more difficult to cater to a "style" with appropriate ingame enchantments because they don't have a visual indicator, but I'll give a few examples loosely based on the ingame enchantments just to give a feel for how they can be re-interpreted IC'ly in an interesting way. To a large degree how you use these enchantments is up to your style and imagination.

http://www.wowhead.com/spell=74254
Spoiler:
Gauntlets of Ogre Strength:

Enchanted en masse by Dalaran artificers during the Second War, these gauntlets were designed to enhance the strength of a Human soldier in order to make them capable of defending themselves against Orcs and their Ogre minions. The gauntlets come in a variety of styles, but all seem to enhance their wearers' strength beyond their normal capabilities. Sadly few of these marvelous items survive today, as Dalaran has since become neutral and most of the originals were lost in the Second and Third wars.

http://www.wowhead.com/spell=74252
Spoiler:
Springheeled Jackboots:

This recipe was invented by a spellsword with a sense of humor. Originally created as a prank on an obnoxious guardsman in Dalaran, this enchantment allows the wearer to leap higher and faster than they could normally, but only from a standstill. Acrobatic experience is a plus, if you want to stick the landing.

Ten-League Boots:

This recipe is a sort of knock-off of the legendary Thousand-League Boots. While they don't allow you to move a thousand leagues in a single step, they ease travel by speeding the wearer up measurably. Wearers of this pattern of enchantment will find themselves stepping lightly at all times, able to outrun even the most dogged pursuers eventually. Successfully running the advertised ten leagues might still be a bit of a stretch, however.

http://www.wowhead.com/spell=44591
Spoiler:
Thalassian Dueling Cloak:

Designed by the showy and magic-obsessed High Elves long ago, these cloaks grant the wearer an uncanny ability to dodge blows in combat. Rather than enhancing the wearer's agility, the cloak instead billows out around the duelist at opportune moments, distracting attackers and leaving them open to a counterattack. The cloaks can't be assured to work against multiple opponents, unfortunately.


Mundane Enchantments

"Yeah, I bet you're thinking 'oh, it makes infinite food out of the aether, he must have made a fortune!' Well, have you ever actually tasted conjured wheat? I'm just glad I made it out of the showroom alive."

-Loriandel Sunlight, inventor of the unsuccessful "Sunlight Breadmaker"


Mundane enchantments are something that I particularly enjoy. They're enchantments that usually aren't valuable in a combat situation, but offer an interesting spice of variety to the usual things that an adventurer tends to carry with him. These range from items simple enough to be purchased from an itinerant hedge wizard, such as a self-sharpening knife, to the kind of architectural enchanting that allows Silvermoon's fountains to flow infinitely with a clever use of portals. The game itself has a few examples of enchantment used purely for convenience that I would like to point out before I delve into things that I think would be reasonable.

The first is the http://www.wowhead.com/item=44982, which is a pet-version of the same kind of enchanted brooms that are found in Silvermoon City and other Blood Elven areas. These are an interesting enchantment in that they show that convenience-enchantments can be commonplace and that animating an item is easy enough that the Elves are willing to do it on a massive scale. Similarly we also see such things as floating, rotating bookcases and my second example: infinite fountains. You can see the water running into the portal at the bottom and out of the portal at the top. Obviously a frivolous use of portals, but a very strong indication that the Blood Elves, at least, turn to magic to solve pretty much every kind of mundane problem. While not all societies are likely to do that (especially not those who distrust magic or rely on technology more), it shows an availability of these types of everyday enchanted items in certain parts of the world.

Items that fall into this category are things that people could use in many situations, and that means I really don't want to put the effort into this to explain them all. I'll cover a few examples of potential items from my imagination, as well as a few potential IC explanations of magical trinkets that a character might possess.

Examples of Play

Mundane Items
Spoiler:
Self-Cleaning Clothing:

An ever-popular enchantment, these clothes clean themselves! No matter what style it is, or how it's enchanted, these clothes remain perfectly spotless regardless of the situation. Great for aspiring socialites who are still too much a part of the filthy proletariat to be able to afford servants.


Mug of Somewhat-Endless Ale:

This mug has been outlawed in every Dwarven province and the district of Hearthglen. It doesn't make endless ale, but it makes enough ale to get a single person absolutely hammered once per day. Unfortunately, after one person has taken a drink it will no longer dispense ale to any other thirsty mouths. Nobody knows the whereabouts of this item, as it disappeared after the last bearer was witnessed saying "don't worry guys, I can make this jump" before plunging headfirst off of the Stonewrought Dam. Nobody has been willing to risk the climb down to look for it, because by all accounts the ale was actually pretty awful.

http://www.wowhead.com/item=6948 and http://www.wowhead.com/item=44315
Spoiler:
Hearthstones and Scrolls of Recall:

Throughout the ages man has always wanted to get back to his couch faster than he normally can. Hearthstones (and hearthstone-like items) allow him to do just that! Hearthstones can be normal rocks inscribed with the runic characters for "portal" and "home," or some other thought-triggered teleportation incantation. I like to think that they take the user and any attached companions back to the place where the user last felt at home. That could be the inn, or it could be their family cottage in Ashenvale. This has good and bad points.

Scrolls of Recall are enchanted by a Scribe, and contain a runic pattern that does much the same thing. However, these scrolls draw their magic from themselves and are destroyed when the incantation is complete. Both items require a relatively complicated incantation as well as the user's concentration on the feeling of home. This means that they are hard to use in stressful situations.


Appendices


Appendix I - Enchanting Around the World

Since it came up in the comments, I'm going to try to address the place of professional enchanting in Azerothian society. While we don't get a whole lot stated outright, there are certainly enough hints given ingame to allow us to see just how most societies treat enchanters and other Arcane-users.

Humans: The "average" race of Warcraft. Humanity embraces all forms of magic in one way or another, and Arcane enchanting is no different. While Humans don't rely on magic items as much as the Blood Elves, they also seem the most likely to use enchantments when they seem to make things easier. We see the pinnacle of magic in Human society in Dalaran, where they reach Elven levels of magical decadence, and a reasonable application of that knowledge in Stormwind with the Mage's Quarter and the leeway given to its inhabitants. Variations on methods and views towards the craft are as wide-ranging as the human nations.

Dwarves: Dwarves are to some degree a magic-wielding race, and it shows in the way their home city views its enchanting. The enchanting shop in Ironforge sells both enchantments and inscriptions, which suggests to me that the professions are tied together very closely. Not to mention the fact that the Dwarves are some of the original Runemasters, who channeled the natural Arcane energy that their Titan masters left in Azeroth. It's also interesting to note that the enchanters and scribes are segregated racially - all the Dwarves in the shop are scribes and all the Gnomes are mages.

With the ancient history of the Dwarves and its ties to the runic mastery of the Titans, I would expect them to create artifacts of great quality using their runic magic. Because they take great pride in their crafting in every other way, it's no stretch to expect that many of these artifacts remain in Dwarven families as heirlooms or are buried with their honored dead (perhaps to be stolen later by an adventurer). It also may happen that a Dwarf recognizes the craftsmanship of their ancestors in the weapons or armor used by someone else, a signature mark or flourish, that might bring up interesting interactions between characters about how their items were acquired.

Gnomes: Gnomes are much more pretentious about their technology than Goblins, but are also a much more naturally magical race than the Goblins by far. Pioneers of technomancy on Azeroth, Goblins are, in my opinion, the most likely besides Blood Elves to have enchanted items. The difference would be that most of their items are likely enchanted specifically to function alongside technology. Imagine having a rock enchanted to always be hot so you can power a steam boiler without coal, or a gunsight that's enchanted to glow slightly in the dark to provide night vision. They might not have brooms sweeping the floor like the Elves or Humans, but their Broombot might shoot searing rays down onto the floor to scour away dirt (and small animals and toes).

Night Elves: To quote my earlier post:

Quote:For the Night Elves, I would say that enchanted items are probably somewhat prevalent but most of them are heirlooms and date back to before the explosion at the Well of Eternity. So someone from an old family might have a http://www.wowhead.com/item=64358 sitting in the back of their wardrobe that they got from their grandmother or something, and a few might still practice the craft, but I don't think it's a popular life choice outside of the Highborne (where it's probably incredibly popular).

To expand more on that, the Night Elves have had a serious problem with Arcane magic ever since the Well of Eternity imploded and broke the world in half. Their society is based on a rejection of ostentatious and frivolous things and looking back towards the beauty of nature and the simplicity of combat. While I imagine Enchanting is practiced because it's trained in Darnassus (and has been since vanilla), it's most likely treated as a trade and probably isn't a very popular or socially mobile one at that.

On the other hand the Highborne absolutely love magic. They're quite possibly more magically talented than the Blood Elves, at least considering the insane amount of time they've spent practicing it. The major difference is that, like Night Elves, they probably work on a different time scale to everyone else. A Highborne has had ten thousand years to live, which has probably led them to be perfectionist in their craft. I'd imagine they produce some of the finest enchanted craftsmanship but it takes them an incredibly long time to finish anything because they feel they have enough time to do it right. They may also potentially have artifacts from before the Sundering, since most of them are old enough to have been there when incredible magic was commonplace and they valued that enough to keep it (whereas some other Night Elves might have destroyed them in a massive bout of iconoclasm against magical items).

Draenei: The lords of technomagic, Draenei are absolutely the most likely to have enchanted items of all the Alliance races. But, like the Gnomes, that means something incredibly different from everyone else's use of magic. The Draenei use magic so inventive that it's practically scifi, and technology so advanced it might as well be magic, in order to create such things as dimension-traveling spaceships and handheld holoprojecting magical crystals. One only has to walk through the Exodar to see the ubiquitous and completely inscrutable nature of Draenei magitech. Of course much of that technology has been inherited from the Naaru, so while Draenei practice Arcane magic on par with their Eredar cousins, the technology aspect is something that most Draenei probably don't have experience with. That leaves magitech to the kinds of trained professionals and technicians that might use Enchanting or Inscription to roleplay their various talents.

Getting into specifics would take a very long time and involve a lot of fanon from my time playing Aun'la, but for a quick tl;dr: Draenei are incredibly in-tune with magic and technology but of a different kind than the Gnomes. Their technology relies much more heavily on magic, and it's more like an application of science to the practice of magic than it is applying magic to the practice of science.

Worgen: Though certainly Human enough, Worgen get a special category for two reasons: Harvest Witches, and their curse. I think it fits the tragic Victorian flavor of Worgen to use some cursed items. You don't have to, but it's kind of a neat extension of their already cursed existence and the dreary landscape of their homeland. On the other hand, Harvest Witches and natural magic make the Worgen more likely to use mundane enchanted items made by Hedge Wizards/Harvest Witches trying to help people in their communities. As well, runic magic might be more prevalent here than in other Human lands due to their focus on nature and natural magic.

Orcs: Interestingly enough, the enchanting supplier in Orgrimmar is called "Godan's Runeworks" and contains, among other things, a stack of runed stones that look like they were taken from the wilderness or an ancient Elven ruin. This seems to me to suggest that the Orcs view enchanting as a skilled trade in the same way that Inscription is, and have learned some Arcane patterns in the way that Runemasters do; copying the ley-line patterns of nature onto weapons and infusing them to do their enchanting. Equally important to this view of societal acceptance is that the Enchanting trainers aren't segregated in the Warlock cave with the rest of the Arcane users, but are on the Drag with the other tradesmen.

I'm led to believe that Orcs as a whole, though distrustful of magic, probaby have a respect for runic weapons due to the connection of runic magic with natural magic and its association with Shamanism, regardless of the actual source of power for their enchantments. I would also say that Orcs tend not to channel Arcane directly for their enchantments if they're the kind of professional tradesmen that work in the Drag. Most likely they get their supply of magical material from destroyed artifacts or other people handling magic.

Of course, considering the history of Warlocks in Orcish society, I'd say there are Orcs who do their own enchanting or even try to wrest that power from demons by proxy. If someone knew the Fel origin of an item like that it would probably be seen as cursed even if they weren't. I don't see that stopping anyone with the skill, however, especially if they're just going to keep it to themselves.

Trolls: Trolls are weird, and while I don't know a lot about them I do know that they have a mix of Witch-Doctors ranging from Mages and Warlocks to Priests and Druids. In their interaction with Loa spirits, it also really doesn't seem like they care where they get their power from so long as they get it. Trafficking with the Arcane or Demons or even just doing alchemy in a ritualized manner doesn't seem altogether to be that different from trafficking with Loa spirits like Hakkar except that Mages don't need to do blood sacrifice to maintain their powers (though I bet they'd do it anyway for tradition's sake).

I envision their method of enchanting as much more ritualized and complicated than any other race. Trolls have a long history of ritual and spirit-channeling that has always worked for them, and it seems like they'd try to apply the same strategies to every form of magic and stick with whatever worked, even if parts of it didn't actually influence the outcome. A Trollish enchanted item might be runed, or inlaid with teeth, or covered in feathers, or painted in elaborate colors, or drenched in the blood of a goat and washed clean. I'd expect them to use every broad type of enchanting I listed, and more, simply because of the breadth of rituals they've thought up to get it to work.

Tauren: Again I'm not too familiar with Tauren, but I'd like to think they look at enchanting in a similar way that the Orcs do. They've got plenty of Runemasters, and using enchanting in that way is probably very palatable to them because it's more natural. Their enchanter's shop in Thunder Bluff is also filled with runes. Tapestries, papers, maps with runes... I'd say they act much like the New Horde Orcs in the way that they use runes and reagent enchanting, mostly because they probably helped teach them those runes!

(If anyone knows more about Tauren and Trolls, feel free to correct me).

Forsaken The Forsaken are mostly like Humans in their magical practices, but are much more willing to accept corrupting and cursed magics into their lives due to their acceptance of undeath and the powers of Necromancy. Forsaken might not have many artifacts or enchanted items, but if they do have them they're more likely to be cursed or tainted by Ncromancy or Fel magic because the undead are cavalier about their safety and the safety of the world around them.

Blood Elves: I think it can be safely said that the Blood Elves have been covered well enough by this guide. Their society lives and breathes magic, and anything I've talked about is fair game for them. They're the most likely to possess enchanted goods of any race, and the most likely to practice the profession as a hobby or a trade.

Goblins: I almost forgot the Goblins, but then one of them shot my kneecaps. Goblins love technology, they absolutely breathe it. But Goblins also like to win, and they like getting an advantage over their adversaries. Goblin society could look pretty hypocritical when it comes to talking about magic, with some people jeering at enchanters as simpletons who can't use technology while at the same time paying a pretty penny to get magic-dampening runes inscribed on their Gabbersmacker M8 just in case. Ultimately it comes down to them wanting the best of the best, and if enchanting is a way to get an edge on somebody I can't see why they wouldn't take it.


Thanks for reading! I'd like to update this guide in the future with suggestions and my own experiences. If you have comments or suggestions please post below and I'll try to respond whenever. If I become less lazy with my storylines you can also look forward to further developments in enchanting and artifacts in the days to come!
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#2
As someone who plays an artificer, FEL YEAH! Nice work'n good writing all around, Kag. I hope to see fun things in-game in the future as regards Enchanting. Beyond the usual super-light greatswords and such.

I think the only way it could be elaborated on would be to add a section on technomagic, and blending enchanted parts/machines with engineering to create wondrous items such as Wormhole Generators(based off Portals), Lightning Generators(based off obvious lightning enchants) and Death Rays(perhaps based on the Necromantic Finger Of Death?), as well as Poultryizers(Polymorph) and Recombobulators(Healing spells).

EDIT: Can we get an Articles & Guides move?
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#3
Good guide Kag, never knew things like this would be possible with enchanting. Should make for a variety of interesting items to appear in the more.. mundane sense. Like a self-wrenching wrench.
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#4
(09-05-2014, 01:22 AM)flammos200 Wrote: As someone who plays an artificer, FEL YEAH! Nice work'n good writing all around, Kag. I hope to see fun things in-game in the future as regards Enchanting. Beyond the usual super-light greatswords and such.

I think the only way it could be elaborated on would be to add a section on technomagic, and blending enchanted parts/machines with engineering to create wondrous items such as Wormhole Generators(based off Portals), Lightning Generators(based off obvious lightning enchants) and Death Rays(perhaps based on the Necromantic Finger Of Death?), as well as Poultryizers(Polymorph) and Recombobulators(Healing spells).

Heh, yeah I think that could be interesting but maybe in another post. I tried to keep this as closely tied to the basic Enchanting profession as I could since I wanted to actually finish it. I'm mostly just happy that you're talking about that sort of thing, since this guide is here to get people thinking about creative uses for magic.
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#5
Hiya Kag!

This is a great guide - it takes a good look at Enchanting. I have a quick question, though.

How do you think enchanting could fit into particular cultures within WoW? Obviously within Quel'thalas, enchanting is a no-brainer. But is there a way a different kind of enchanting that pulls off similar feats could exist in a society like the Tauren or Night Elves? I know there's some funny thing with Highborne coming back to the fold with the Kaldorei, but how else could ((or could it not)) fit into cultures like those, that aren't really accepting of magic yet enchanting is sort of vaguely 'magic' but it doesn't necessarily mess with the twisting nether too much...

I hope my question made sense ._.
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#6
(09-06-2014, 01:41 PM)PixellyCocoa Wrote: Hiya Kag!

This is a great guide - it takes a good look at Enchanting. I have a quick question, though.

How do you think enchanting could fit into particular cultures within WoW? Obviously within Quel'thalas, enchanting is a no-brainer. But is there a way a different kind of enchanting that pulls off similar feats could exist in a society like the Tauren or Night Elves? I know there's some funny thing with Highborne coming back to the fold with the Kaldorei, but how else could ((or could it not)) fit into cultures like those, that aren't really accepting of magic yet enchanting is sort of vaguely 'magic' but it doesn't necessarily mess with the twisting nether too much...

I hope my question made sense ._.

I think that's a good question, and it's one that I wanted to answer in the guide but wasn't entirely sure of what the answer was.

For the Night Elves, I would say that enchanted items are probably somewhat prevalent but most of them are heirlooms and date back to before the explosion at the Well of Eternity. So someone from an old family might have a http://www.wowhead.com/item=64358 sitting in the back of their wardrobe that they got from their grandmother or something, and a few might still practice the craft, but I don't think it's a popular life choice outside of the Highborne (where it's probably incredibly popular).

I'm not sure about the "primal" races like Trolls, Tauren, and Orcs. Considering the Tauren can't play Arcane classes ingame I'd guess that they really don't care about that sort of thing. Orcs on the other hand have a love/hate relationship with magic. We've got all sorts of crazy Warlock occult items coming out of Orcish lands in the lore, and there are Mages in the Orcish ranks as of the current expansion but both groups are pretty well ostracized by the population as a whole. On Trolls... I don't know anything about Trolls.

Though I should probably ask around before I put any of that into the post.
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#7
Regarding trolls, i'm sure they perform SOME kind of enchanting using reagents.

My reasoning for this particularly harkens back to Warcraft 3, where the witch doctor units have sentry wards, stasis traps and healing totems. All of these are magical items of some kind...

I'm not familar with da voodoo mon, though, so it's just a guess.
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#8
I know this is still a work in progress, but the general usefulness of this Guide cannot be overlooked. :3

So, moved.
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#9
Updated the guide with an appendix on different races and how they might view enchanting. Not super comprehensive, but probably a good starting point for forming your own opinion. Again, if you have critiques or comments feel free to post and I'll try to get to editing eventually.


(09-06-2014, 03:32 PM)PixellyCocoa Wrote: Regarding trolls, i'm sure they perform SOME kind of enchanting using reagents.

My reasoning for this particularly harkens back to Warcraft 3, where the witch doctor units have sentry wards, stasis traps and healing totems. All of these are magical items of some kind...

I'm not familar with da voodoo mon, though, so it's just a guess.

As to this comment, I agree with you about Trolls and I added something about that into the Troll section. It seems to me like they don't really care where their power comes from but they certainly care about properly appeasing that power.
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#10
It sure is a nice read, nice formatting as well.

However, do you have a citation from all these or are these made up, perhaps inspired from somewhere? I'd like to know before refering others to this guide and/or using it in my RP.
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#11
When I'm talking about my opinion I try to preface it with "I think..." or "__ leads me to believe that..." That said, pretty much the entire guide is half fanon and half random interesting things I've seen in my years of playing WoW. For example enchanted broomsticks are real, and the Draenei have a quest (I think in Bloodmyst, but it's definitely in the starting zones at least) where one of them gives you a handheld holo-projector for a little while.

In the end it's really all about flavor and telling a good story, and if you have any qualms about what's in the guide flavor-wise then I'd prefer you did what you thought was best instead.

On that note I hope if there are any problems someone tells me so I can change things. Especially if a GM weighs in on something that impacts what I wrote.
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