I don't think that made professions all that useful. And it was a huge burden to the fun of getting new gear. I like that if I get a new piece of gear in a raid I can generally equip it right away. Couldn't do that when half the gear you get need enchants/gems/whatever. Why not just bring back re-forging then? Though I did like upgrading gear when that was a thing.
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-Gameplay- Gameplay has largely been stripped down to be a shell of its former self. This trimming has been going on for several expansions, but now it's even worse. Classes only have so many buttons which has resulted in very little skill involved in PvE (even PvP is a faceroll for most melee, lacking any sort of depth and decision-making as it's pretty clear what buttons to press in any given situation) and it's become more of a gear check. This expansion gave zero new abilities to classes, only took them away.
I think you have legitimate concerns, but to be fair the squish already happened, the numbers just haven't caught up yet. You can already craft current-expansion items starting at crafting level 1, and those crafts generally award 3-5 levels each. So squishing the ranks from 800 down to 100, doesn't functionally change anything, it just allows crafts to only award 1 skill point per use, instead of 5.

 Zandalari troll (8.1.5) - "The Zandalari are a proud people whose origins date back to the early days of Azeroth's history. Their fierce warriors ride dinosaurs into battle, and they possess one of the most formidable naval fleets in the known world. But enemy attacks on their borders—as well as unrest within the king's council—have threatened the kingdom's foundations. By returning stability to Zandalar, the heroes of the Horde can gain a powerful new ally.."
 Lightforged draenei - "For untold millennia, the Army of the Light waged war against the Burning Legion throughout the Twisting Nether. The draenei most committed to their long crusade would undergo a ritual to become Lightforged, infusing their bodies with the very essence of the Holy Light. After finally achieving victory on Argus, the Lightforged Draenei have undertaken a new mission: protecting Azeroth from rising threats and helping the Alliance push back against Horde aggression."
Set sail for the previously unmapped isles of Azeroth. Battle in groups of three as you race against cunning rival intruders—or enemy players—to collect the island’s resources. Constantly evolving challenges await as you traverse frozen landscapes near Northrend, open the gates of an abandoned Gilnean castle, navigate a war between elementals and more. Tides of Vengeance adds two new Island Expeditions to the mix and two new random events, as well as updated rewards.
A: Buying gold from third-party services negatively impacts the game experience for everyone. The overwhelming majority of the gold these services provide comes from stolen player accounts, halting the victims’ ability to play the game and contribute to their guilds. On top of this, gold selling companies often farm resources using hack programs, sell fake product codes as a scam, and spam entire realms with ads to buy gold, disrupting the game in very real ways.

This gold making advice is applicable to most players, except if you are an enchanter, in which case there is a very strong case to turn them into dust and essence for your profession needs. As an advanced tip, you can explore the use of mobile apps that let you post on the auction house at the right time because the price of greens tends to fluctuate rapidly, and could mean a large loss of potential gold income.
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Enchanting, Jewelcrafing and Alchemy are also good quality choices no matter what the expansion is because potions, elixirs, flasks they are always needed which made by Alchemists. Then we have enchanting pretty much the exact same thing with alchemy. There is no expansion where people would not need enchants. Then we have jewelcrafting once again same thing, stat gems which always go for a fair price in Auction House.  Also this profession synergizes with mining and making good profit by only purchase and prospecting ores.
Like I said, engineering is the best when you aren't worried about making gold. The Loot-a-rang is super useful, nitro-boosts are nice when they don't fail, and the glider cape enchant is nice too... you get wormholes to Pandaria, Draenor (make sure you have a glider), Legion, and Argus (as well as a couple old world teleport locations)...Jeeves (and to a lesser extent Reeves) and MOLL-E are also super useful (bank and mail access anywhere, repairs, etc.).
Sorry about the salt but jeez, stop listening to guides. Just check your AH, see what old mats are low in offer, and go get em. >FOR EXAMPLE<, ghost iron ore is a gold mine right now, cause nobody can sustain the demand, and prices are way up. Plus side being, old farms are optimized like hell. You can fly in the old world, mobs won't bother you, no one is there to take your nodes, and there are plenty of items to make the most out of it. Which means it's way easier and requires less effort than farming in BfA.
I would also like to point out, just because it gave me a giggle, that in one sentence you highlight that everyone is trying to make gold in BfA and then in another direct people back to the Engineering/JC mounts as a proposed solution. While I appreciate the suggestion, you seem smart enough to realize that those, too, are saturated markets. They have been for years now, so that's just moving from one camped market to another.
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If you're a new player and buying gold (for some startup money) isn't an option, there's nothing wrong with gathering (especially if you're getting BfA...it'll be good gold initially if you farm BfA mats and sell high). You can make pretty good money just flipping stuff...and because Legion items are super risky now, it's a good time to get spirits of harmony (just buy what you can and sell it in in bigger stacks at higher costs or turn it into ore/bars or lotus to sell when that is profitable). I'd avoid putting all of your gold there though. Sometimes a bot or just someone returning to the game will dump 10+ stacks of 200 spirits cheap and tanks the markets for a bit. Flipping (if you get good at it) will make you more gold in than long run than farming but if you don't have much gold either is a step forward from here. They key to making gold is having the flexibility to lock up most of your gold in items and wait patiently to sell them at a good price but you gotta start small (or cheat like me...when I came back in December I just spent $100 on tokens and haven't spent money on anything other than the Collector's edition since. It's a lot easier to make gold if you already have some.
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