My apologies for the length between posts, my new schedule has kind of thrown my in a tizzy and I’m still adjusting. Never fear, I’m still alive and kicking!
One of the largest problems with the shuffle is the huge difference in demand and price between the red gems and the lesser used colours like green and yellow. The biggest factor of this is the huge affect primary stats have on a player’s performance ingame, and how 3 of the 4 (Agility, Strength, and Intellect) are on red gems as of Cataclysm. When Blizzard removed some stats from the game such as Attack Power and Armour Penetration they also shifted Intellect from being a yellow gem, to a red gem. This was a huge mistake in my opinion, it shifted what little demand yellow gems had to the already in high demand red gems.
When Mist’s of Pandaria comes along Blizzard should distribute Strength, Agility, and Intellect across the three main colours, and put stamina with the weakest of the three (off the top of my head, my guess would be with agility). If you open up any guide for any class in any role, in their gem section they will tell you to gem for meta, and then stick red gems in everything. Primary stats right now are simply to powerful to place all onto one gem colour and not expect the markets to be wonky.
Unfortunately the huge dependency on red coloured gems comes not only on the raiding quality gems (rare and epic) but uncommon gems as well. Carnelians are not only used to transmute up to Inferno Rubies but are also one of the best sources for Greater Celestial Essence which is a highly used material for most enchants. Add to this the need to include them for meta gem transmutes, and you end up never having enough Carnelians to go around.
Blizzard should have seen this coming. Before Cataclysm, we already had a huge reliance on red gems, but mana users would but demand on the yellow gems as well for our Intellect. What did they think would happen when they switched intellect to the red gem? Yes I know they added Mastery to the yellow gems, but as we’ve seen the demand for yellow gems is one of the lowest of all gems. Why? Players simply don’t stack mastery because primary stats are too strong.
Now I can understand that Blizzard couldn’t change this mid-expansion, which is why 5.0 will be an excellent time to fix the arrangement of stats across the gem colours. When you have most colours going for over 10 times the cost of only one of the colours, you’ve got a seriously unbalanced system here, and unbalanced systems can only hurt the system.
I guess the biggest issue here is, does Blizzard really care about this? History tells us Blizzard really doesn’t care unless something is being exploited, so we will most likely see this imbalance continue throughout WoW. but a goblin can dream can’t he?