I play alot of lowbie characters, which means I play alot of lowbie instances. Playing a lowbie instance pug is a very special thing. It's like russian roulette really. You can end up with a whole group of people who not only don't know anything about the game, but act like douches too. Love actually did SM GY with a player who thought he was extremely cool because he needed on everything. And sometimes you end up with people who not only try to do their best, but are really nice people at the same time! Happens rarely but it happens.
And that is one of the issues about pugging, some play by some rules and some play by others. Are there a set of rules that work better or seem more logical? This time I'd like to talk about lowbie gems such as Tigerseye, Malachite, Shadowgem, Lesser Moonstone and so on. All the gems that drop in vanilla instances. Because fact is that some people need on them and some people don't. And I don't mean need as in plain ninjaing, but for the excuse of being Jewelcrafters.
I did WC the other day and we had a player who needed on all the gems claiming this very thing - since he was an aspiring jewelcrafter (and he had even skilled some) he actually needed the gems. Some people in the group agreed with him and some people didn't. So I thought, was he right or wrong to need the gems for that reason?
These gems where around since before jewelcrafting came around as a profession. That means that in the old days, there was no actual profession to use gems much, and so people generally agreed that since no one really used them properly, or more than anyone else, no one should need on them. This has lived on until today, but now we have jewelcrafting, a profession Blizzard put in to make use of all those gems... right?
That was what I initially thought anyway. On later skill levels you don't do much else than cut gems as jewelcrafter, but is that really so on the low skill levels? Gems don't actually drop anymore at level 60+, so above that level this issue vanishes anyway. I started to investigate.
It turns out that when searching on what you can craft with lowbie gems, you won't get an overabundance of jewelcrafting crafts. You'll actually find about as many, and sometimes more, engineering and blacksmithing crafts (and some leatherworkers and tailorers too). Doesn't that mean that blacksmithers and engineers should need on those gems? Aren't we like back to square pre-jewelcrafting then?
By the glance of it I'd say yes, but when looking more closely, that doesn't really have to be so. The bs, lw, tailoring and engi crafts that need gems (of any level) are generally tiresome and worthless. They take way more time and money to do than they're good for. This is not the fact with JC, which actually can craft some really nice items with gems. This means that any other crafter could use, but wouldn't use gems to actually craft something. But the question is if that really matters? The other crafters -can- use the gems, just as much as JC's. So shouldn't they have equal right to need on the gems? And with that many needers, can't we all just greed on them like we've been doing all this time? And besides, JC's can get their resource just like any other crafter, by gathering. Mining and prospecting in their case.
One last aspect comes into this calculation - how much do the professions have to use the gems to skill? Because of the fact that you can only craft expensive and mostly worthless items with gems if you're a bs, lw, tailor or engi, they usually actually avoid these crafts when skilling. Is this true for JC's as well? Well actually, JC's use gems quite alot to skill, which yet again probably has to do with that they don't only craft shiny crap from the gems, like the other professions. Note that they don't have to use alot of gems to skill, but it definitely helps. And they craft such pretty things which they later on can overprize on the AH for you to be devastated about when trying to find a decent neck on your lowbie alt...
In any case, to wrap it up. Do I think that JC's should be able to need on the lowbie gems that drop? Yes, up to a certain level it's definitely ok. The low leveled gems such as Tigerseyes, Malachites and the like are worth so little money that leaving them to up and coming jewelcrafters isn't too much to ask for (and skilling JC is really quite expensive). Later on the gems will be so much worth (about 10g a piece for Jades and such) that I'm not so sure that I think it's ok anymore. Like I said they don't really need the gems to skill, not much anyway, and there is no way to control the fact that they actually use them and not only sell them on AH themselves. Not much of a conclusion perhaps, "it's ok a little but not too much". But that is still the answer I have to give. JC's use gems more than any other crafter, but not exclusively. Considering the fact that they can gather gems for themselves, just as any other crafter has to do, I don't really feel they deserve or need any special cosseting. I'll give them a little niceness, but not much more than that.