Pugnacious Priest has an interesting post up about Enchanters and DE (Dis-Enchanting) BoP drops from 5-man runs. The question is, should enchanters stop doing DE for free (or at all) in 5-man runs? The usual example given is that miners/herbalists/skinners don't share items they loot inside an instance run.
For the first 2-3 years my main has been my mage and one of his professions is Enchanting so this is an issue I can relate to from the enchanters' side. I remember how hard/costly it was to level my enchanting and how many disappointing PuGs I was in where I DE items and didn't even win the roll on the shards - as the person providing the ability to get the shards, this was annoying.
But I think the idea to stop doing a DE service in PuG runs is not the solution. To explain why, I will first quote a comment made on the above blog:
I don’t get this campaign. Based purely on probability, enchanters are going to get the same number of shards for themselves either way.
True. But if the "campaign" catches on, there will be less shards on the AH and more people needing to buy shards (since a lot more stuff that would have been sharded gets vendored). This will drive up the cost of shards on the AH.
On the one hand this will be good for enchanters who have enough shards that they are able to sell the surplus on the AH for a bigger profit.
But in my eyes most people, including many enchanters, will lose out from this when all is said and done. Taking a large number of possible shards out of the economy will make it harder to enchant yourself, your guild mates and your friends (with the exception of hard-core raiders and people adept at making gold). I just don't see this as a good thing. So really, stopping DE BoP blues in 5-man runs will help the "rich" and hurt the "poor" and this is true for both Enchanters and other people.
Enchanting is not a gathering profession and should not be compared to one. However it is also unique as a crafting profession - except tailoring which has the same problem - in that there is no gathering profession directly related to it. This is why enchanting and tailoring are so often taken together.
As for those claiming Enchanting is a money sink - this is also true for other crafting professions, although it depends on the amount of time and effort one is willing to put into it. I've heard of people making lots of money from enchants - but they spent a lot of time on trade channels for that. To some extent enchanting should be less of a money sink these days with scrolls available to recoup some of the cost from doing enchants just for leveling up.
One possible solution would be to make Enchanting more attractive by beefing up the benefits from being an enchanter. E.G. better self-enchants, or a skill so that enchants which enchanters do an enchant on their own (soulbound) gear have a lower cost of mats compared to enchant done on scroll or in trade window.
But I think a better solution would actually be to take a look at the sister profession I mentioned, tailoring. Tailors have no lack of mats since tailoring mats drop from all mobs and so are readily available for farming. Furthermore being a tailor gives you an edge when farming cloth in WotLK as you get more cloth drops.
So what I think is, enchanters should get en edge where if they farm mobs they get a higher chance at getting green items and the DE table for green items should be changed to allow a greater chance for dream shards and even higher-level shards. This would make leveling enchanting much easier, provide enchanters with the ability to farm their own mats and solve the original problem with DE BoP drops - since with these changes enchanters will no longer be as pressed for shards, at least not for themselves.