The Profession Discussion

**note** I apologize for the lateness of posting this…my blog was infected by parasitic nanotechnology for the better part of the morning. Well, that or WordPress was just not working properly…**

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So yesterday I suggested on a new server I would roll Enchanting and Skinning and very few people agreed with me.  Rest assured that’s quite alright, but allow me to elaborate a bit first.  I’ve happily recommended the big two gathering professions in the past.  Herbalism and Mining are exactly what I would take if my focus was on levelling or making as much money as possible.  Yesterday, however, I was approaching my thought process from the idea of kind of a “jack of all trades” approach.  It was what brought the most balance to everything instead of focusing just on one thing in particular (sounds like a certain author I know…).   The suggestion of a Death Knight is a good one as well, but I know many people who either don’t like the class or are sick of rolling one.  What I disagree with, is the suggestion that the gathering professions are easier to level and create more profit than others, namely Enchanting.

Before I get to that, I want to touch on Skinning.  The reason I suggested it was because I had planned on a dps class for the character and the boost from Skinning is a handy bonus for the role.  Also, most servers are low on skinners.  Reason being?  Everyone else takes mining and herbalism.  Is it harder to “farm” leather?  Absolutely.  But at no point did I say anything about farming it.  I’ve found with my two skinners, questing in places like Stranglethorn Vale, Winterspring, and Sholozar Basin while I level is more than ample for most of my skinning needs as I’m killing mobs anyway.  If you get to a point (with any profession actually) where you’re a bit stuck then just be sure to hit up the Darkmoon Faire for the 5 point boost (there’s a glove Enchant as well that could net you another +5). Sorry, got a little carried away defending Skinning, but I do honestly believe it’s not as “groan” worthy as the general stereotype makes it out to be.

As I was saying, my other argument is regarding the perception on money making and why the gathering profs are better.  Don’t get me wrong, I will not dispute that herbs and minerals sell.  In fact, I push mining more than herbalism because miners can also smelt and often there are bars worth more than their ore equivalent.  But Enchanting seems to have a misconception, one that I think is due to approach.

Getting to 85 and then dropping something for Enchanting is to me, a waste of time.  I can say honestly I spend less time dedicated to my Enchanting points as I go along versus trying it at end game.  As someone pointed out, the mats are scarce and expensive because Enchanters get them and use them.  One of the key reasons?  People wait until 85 to level and thus have more money and will spend it on the materials, thus driving up the cost.  So why would you want to spend more money at 85?  I certainly wouldn’t, and thus in that scenario as a less seasoned auctioneer would  go out and farm the mats myself.

You would’ve done that as your character levelled though.  BoP gear, some of which isn’t worth a lick to a vendor, would’ve gotten you the mats you needed.  So I really don’t see how farming for herbs and minerals to 85 and then farming for Enchant mats is all that efficient.

I will pause to fully agree that most times making scrolls is a gold loss.  There are very few that sell well enough as you go along, and that’s why I don’t bother.  Am I basically throwing mats away by Enchanting my own stuff over and over?  Yes.  But I make enough money off of the profession that I come out miles ahead.  Since it was suggested Enchanting usually operates at a loss early on, people are probably shaking their head at me.

It’s true, the Essences and Dusts are quite often ridiculously expensive on the Auction House.  Doesn’t matter the server.  Doesn’t matter the faction.  You know what often isn’t?  Gear.  All it takes is a little addon (and there are several with said feature) that tells you what an item is worth Disenchanted, and knowing on your own which ones have the higher odds of reaching that value (Notched Cobalt War Axes were a prime example of this in Wrath).  I’m amazed at how many greens between levels 3 and 25 I pull off the Auction House for dirt cheap (by that I mean less than 70 silver) and then sell the Strange Dust back on the Auction House at their market value (which is about 700% return on that investment I made buying the gear).  It’s one of those things where it just pays to watch the AH and do it when it works.  But as you are able to DE higher and higher level weapons and gear you’ll easily make more than enough money to cover your materials to level, including the ever expensive rods if you don’t know a blacksmith, and still have plenty leftover for mounts and other shiny stuff.

I could discuss the other professions as well, but these are the ones that were the main part of yesterday’s talk and I wanted to elaborate on things and counter some of the main points against what I chose.  The thing to remember is each person’s approach  is going to be different and part of that is going to be what they plan to do.  If you want to make gold, you might take a gathering profession and it’s beneficiary in the crafting department, or maybe you figure you’ll just focus on making the money at max level and take Enchanting/Jewelcrafting (I’ve done that ONCE as a combo and probably never again).

What I was trying to do in my suggestion yesterday was put together the most generalized option that gave you the most benefit across the board.  Money.  Relative Class Ease.  Time Saver.  As someone else said, if you don’t like a Mage and would rather play something such as a Hunter for ease of class, then there’s nothing wrong with that.  If you hate Skinning and would rather have Tailoring, then that’s fine too.  The thing is, as long as you learn how to maximize your professions to benefit you most, then any of them will work.

13 thoughts on “The Profession Discussion

  1. tomeoftheancient May 10, 2012 / 12:39 pm

    It doesn’t seem to matter what I make, I have a least one of every profession maxed except Engineering and the only thing that reliably sells on this server for me are mysterious fortune cards.

    I don’t know if my server is full of degenerate gamblers or what, lol. Oddly, now that I think of it, while I sold leather while leveling I never think to try it now. Maybe I’ll go farm some and give that a shot.

    • JD Kenada May 10, 2012 / 1:36 pm

      …so tempted. Another alt. Test project. So many projects already…

  2. khizzara May 10, 2012 / 2:23 pm

    You are right that eventually you can earn back the gold you lose with Enchanting. However, if you’re starting off on a brand new server your most immediate concern is usually gold. You need gold for training, gold for mounts, gold for flying, gold for repairs, etc etc. And if you want to gear up your toon at 85 you’re going to need gold for gems and enchants.

    I have a toon of the opposite faction on my home server, and even though I *could* send her money through the AH, I don’t want to pay the neutral AH fee, so she’s generally on her own. Where my main doesn’t bat an eye at paying 1000g for an enchantment, that represents a huge amount to my cross-faction alt. However, she has mining/herbalism, and in a couple hours I can easily make enough to cover her costs. Enchanting is more time consuming and resource intensive to get started up in, even if the earning potential is greater long term.

    I personally hate wasted effort, and leveling a profession only to drop it and pick something else at max level feel like wasted effort to me. So what I would recommend on a new server is having one toon that’s a farmer and then make the next toon a crafter. (Or have two toons with one gathering profession each.) Unless your goal at max level is raiding, because that opens a whole new kettle of fish about what professions will give you the best stat boost.

    Speaking of stat boosts, I’m skeptical that the crit bonus from skinning is better than the haste bonus from herbalism. (Crit is obviously better than Stam from mining for most classes.) Most of the toons I play rate Crit at the very bottom of the priority list. So I think you’d have to take class and spec into consideration when deciding which boost to go for.

    Ultimately though, I think people should play whatever they want to play. If someone’s dream is to have an alchemist/engineer then they shouldn’t force themselves to choose the “best” new-server professions.

    • JD Kenada May 10, 2012 / 4:30 pm

      Agree completely on what you want to play. 🙂

      For shame on me, as I didn’t even know about the haste boost…all I could think of is Lifeblood.

      As for the further profession debate, I think the success also depends on server perhaps. It’s also about time management and each person could yield different results.

      • khizzara May 10, 2012 / 5:10 pm

        Herbalism still gives Lifeblood, but the spell was changed for Cataclysm. It used to be just a small heal, but now it’s an even smaller heal combined with a pretty nice haste buff. I love Lifeblood! 😀

        And yeah, I was also thinking it depends on how much time you want to spend playing the toon on your new server. In my opinion, if it’s an alt that you only play sporadically better to have gathering professions. But if you’re completely starting over again one gathering + one crafting might be better.

        As an aside, when I first started playing I took herbalism + alchemy and totally loved it. I got all these health and mana potions, plus a bunch of stat boosting things! It felt really helpful, and I pretty much used everything I made. Of course, leveling is a lot easier now, so I’m not sure baby toons get as much use out of alchemy now as I once did.

  3. kamaliaetalia May 11, 2012 / 10:09 am

    Another thing to consider might be just how you are planning to level said alt. An alt who is leveling by questing is out in the world and can level two gathering professions easily. An alt who is leveling through LFD can’t sit in the city while they wait out their queue times if they want to keep up with their professions — they have to spend their queue times out gathering. My mage who leveled through LFD had long enough queue times to keep up with her Herbalism quite easily, but alts I am leveling through LFD as tanks or healers have to go grind their gathering professions periodically to get caught up. Enchanting/Tailoring might work better for an LFD alt than a questing alt because there are more possibilities to get cloth and stuff to DE, maybe?

    • khizzara May 11, 2012 / 12:16 pm

      That’s a really good point. Hmm, I wonder if Tailoring would be one of the easier professions to level through the dungeon finder, since I imagine you’d get a fair bit of cloth that way.

      • JD Kenada May 11, 2012 / 1:41 pm

        Yep, and cloth is also one of the most volatile markets. So if you catch it on the dirt cheap swing, you can level it easy enough when you need to buy a few points.

    • JD Kenada May 11, 2012 / 1:40 pm

      Also, an alt who’s farming rares will also outlevel professions incredibly quickly (as I’m starting to discover in Tirisfal)

      • khizzara May 11, 2012 / 2:15 pm

        Honestly, I don’t think it’s possible to NOT outlevel things too quickly these days. I started leveling Frank without heirlooms because I wanted to experience the story in the Forsaken starting area and quests were going grey for him before leaving the zones anyway. *sigh* So I figure I might as well throw the heirlooms on him and just stick around in the zones until I feel like leaving.

  4. Navimie May 13, 2012 / 3:32 am

    Sigh, multiple professions means multiple alts….
    /shakes fist

    • JD Kenada May 13, 2012 / 7:28 am

      Actually, I recently thought of having people on a server where each one had their crafting profession of choice and then there were two or so gatherers in the guild. A collective effort would be made to profit, including building and selling transmog sets on the side. Then I realized it would be the equivalent to a WoW department store and I doubted anyone else would want to be part of it.

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