Warning: QQing ahead!
So I was flying around doing the Oggle The Special Effects daily in Nagrand when I was reminded of one of the reasons Engineering sucks.
Oh, don't get me wrong; Engineering is great fun and very cool in places... it's just that it's also got a few pretty serious problems.
Back to the daily; you've got to equip those silly goggle thingamajigs (wow; the spell-checker didn't complain about that word... but is complaining about "didn't") before you can see the... um... things you have to take readings of. So you strap 'em on, find a wandering ball of fire, go to take the readings...
That item is not ready yet.
I'm sorry, but who in Blizzard thought it was a clever idea to put a 30 second cooldown on a freakin' quest item? I mean, what's the point? All it does is make us stand there stupidly for 30 seconds, re-organising our bags. I know the whole point of WoW is to waste time, but this is just a little blatant.
But it's like this with any equippable item that has a "Use" effect. You equip it, and it gets a 30 second cooldown triggered on it. Now the reason it does this is to stop people from chaining trinkets endlessly. Except, oh wait, you can't swap trinkets in combat anyway.
It's annoying when you're doing the Nagrand SSO daily, but it's downright infuriating if you're an Engineer. Most of the actually useful things Engineers can make are trinkets or bits of gear with a Use effect. The thing is that part of Engineering's charm is how specific some of these things are. For example:
Now who in their right mind is going to walk around with that equipped? No one! It's too situational; it's not until you're already in combat that you're likely to think "I really wish I had those equipped so I could get some range." And that's the problem right there. 90% of the Engineering gear is incredibly situational. There's no way you know you're going to need it ahead of time. It doesn't help that your regular gear for those slots are so much more generally useful that there's no good reason to even equip your Engineering toys.
One extreme example of this problem is my [Parachute Cloak]. I've had people rag at me before for having a cloak with such crappy stats on it before. But here's the thing: if you're flying around the BEM plateaus and Rivendark decides to start taking pot shots at you, there's no way you can equip and use this thing before you hit the ground. Frankly, I use it so often that every time I unequip it, I inevitably kill myself because I dismounted half a mile up and it didn't cool down before I hit the ground.
It's the same for a lot of my gadgets; I've built some trinkets and gear that I have never used despite carrying them around with me, simply because I had no idea when I was going to need to use them.
And Engineering is the only profession affected like this. Take Alchemy for example; imagine if you could only have one kind of potion, elixir or flask "ready" at any given time, and you had to wait 30 seconds to switch. And that's out of combat: you're not allowed to switch once you're in combat. Elune help you if you decided to ready your mana pots earlier and you suddenly need a health pot!
What Blizzard should have done was make it so that equipping any item with a "Use" effect activates a 30 second cooldown on being able to change the item in that slot, and something similar with the item's cooldown: you can't unequip it if it's cooling down. This would have just as effectively prevented chain-using trinkets, and allowed Engineers to actually make use of all their crazy toys. And while they're at it, allow gear-swapping during combat, but disallow unequipping. That prevents people from stripping their gear to avoid durability penalties, while letting me throw on my [Rocket Boots] at a moment's notice.