The crafting order system is one of the biggest changes they’ve made to the profession side in a long while, and it just got worse.
Public orders who?
Obviously public orders was a hard nut to crack. At launch the demand to complete orders was MUCH higher than the demand to send orders, due to players needing crafting orders to level professions and the profession order weeklies. Players also had a large amount of order completions ready. The end result was that there were basically never orders up, and any orders typically got sniped within seconds or minutes.
Eventually Blizzard nerfed the available orders, which really helped, and put it where there were typically some orders available for most professions.
Then 10.0.7 happened
In 10.0.7 Blizzard removed the requirement to include materials in public crafting orders. They did not say why they wanted to make this change, and it honestly does not make any sense to me. The end result of this is that there are tons of public orders out, where no materials are included and the crafting fee is 20 gold. The only people who will ever complete this order are newbies who don’t understand they are getting scammed.
Before 10.0.7 public orders were intermittently useful. I would snag some orders for primalist gems or treatises every week for a small amount of gold. With this change it is pretty much pointless to even open the public order window as a crafter. (You can get an addon that checks the orders for included materials, but the results will just make you sad or angry).
The purpose of public orders
The point of crafting orders seemed to me to be able to get an item as fast as possible. This means minimizing the work the crafter needs to put in so they can actually just craft the item and be done. The requirement to include all materials is great, it ensures the crafter can just look through orders, do whichever has the highest fees and be done.
Now obviously for a lot of items the quality mattered a lot, so sending a public order was not the best, but that’s not the purpose of public crafting orders. They are like the AH, the quick and dirty way to get the item. If you want a custom service or something rare, trade chat is where you have to go.
I don’t like crafting orders
I still don’t really like crafting orders a system for selling gear, but part of that is of course selfishness because I’ve made so much gold with gear crafting. Requiring you to sit in valdrakken and spam trade to generate deals is not exactly riveting, and is a step back in terms of effort. On the other side making the profit margin a specific field the buyer has to fill in has worked wonders in keeping margins much lower than in the past, which also leads to generally speaking cheaper items for players, so on that front the changes have succeeded. Outside of making them easier to interact with, and maybe finding ways to avoid the complete reliance on trade chat I think they’re here to stay. I also think Blizzard are likely fairly happy with how they worked out.