This is a Bearwall about professions. I don’t really know why, it just kept growing, so I guess why not. Let’s start the new year off with my first resolution… I’m just gonna roll with it.

As with most players, part of my enjoyment of the game post expansion has been in leveling professions on my main characters. As I’ve pursued profession upgrades, a few thoughts came to mind, and I’d like to share them with you, and also see if anyone would like to share their own impressions with me.

As with most players, I had a lot of characters entering Cataclysm that were level 80 with (previously) max level professions.

This is purely speculation, but I am guessing that one of the more common ways of handling professions across multiple characters, is to initially play your favorite character first, and along the way level that character’s professions as you go, as and how you happen to come across materials. You know, as an accompanyment to the natural playing thing.

Maybe you come across “Miracle Node Spawn Day”, that magic moment when it seems like every time you move an inch in the zone, you see another Ore node or Herb pop up, and you kind of mentally shrug your shoulders and figure Blizzard is trying to tell you something, and go farm while the nodes are a poppin’. But mostly, you’re questing and grabbing stuff as you come across it.

After a while, though, you get excited at leveling your profession, you’ve gathered a passel o’ mats, and you get to leveling… but you come across some mats you sure do wish you had more of. But wait! If my x leveled their profession up, they could make some/transmute some!

This brings in the alternate characters, where you decide to level them just enough to get their profession up to a useable state, and then abandon them again until you’re done having fun on your mains.

It’s just a guess. I know from seeing the first day announcements that lots of people felt it was awesome to powerlevel professions right from the beginning, before moving on to anything else. And I’ve seen lots of Assistant Professors out there, and even a few people advertising making Vial of the Sands on my server, which takes max Archeaology AND having found enough jars to get lucky on the recipe drop.

Amazing diligence in profession leveling.

Oh, and if you’re on Kael’thas-Alliance side, a character named Truth is the one advertising Vial of the Sands the most… for only 3,000 gold, plus you buy and provide the mats.

Maybe it’s just me, but 3k gold ain’t that bad a markup for such a unique item like the Vial of the Sands. Not when I’ve been selling the De-Weaponized Mechanical Companion for 1300 gold, and they sell as fast as I put them up on the AH. At least, they were… I ran out of things to spend gold on, so I stopped making them.

Regardless of how you’ve done it yourself, the fact remains I have a LOT of (previously) max level professions spread amongst my characters, and while playing and checking things out, I find myself thinking about the state of professions… and wondering why things seem so off balance.

There are three classes of professions – the Gathering professions, the Primary Crafting professions, and the Secondary professions.

The Gathering professions are all wonderfully straitforward. Or are they? You get to go out and gather raw materials, right?

The implementation, though, seems odd even here.

Herbalism… you harvest Herbs. Simple, right? The end result is an Herb, plus at max level a chance at Volatile Life. The Herbs are used as is, no further processing needed by the harvester; the end user has the ability to turn it into the form they need, Milling by Inscription and as is by Alchemists.

Mining, you harvest Ore, and a chance at some other Volatiles as well. Right away, it’s a different story than herbs. The end user might want the ore smelted into bars… or might not, if they are a Jewelcrafter looking to prospect for gems. As the Miner, do you put raw ore on the auction house, in case a Jewelcrafter needs it, or do you smelt it first? If you smelt it, then JCs can’t use it, but maybe people without a high enough Smelting skill trying to powerlevel Blacksmithing or Engineering will buy it up.

Skinning then goes the other way. The Skins you harvest from animals often come in the form of scraps… but the Skinner can’t convert them into the useable Leather, the end user with Leatherworking does. In the Wrath cycle, this meant that Skinners had to have a Leatherworker to take scraps and convert them so they could be sold at the Fur Trader in exchange for the most valuable pelts that sell great on the AH.

I mean, we’re not even at crafting professions, and it’s kinda all over the place, isn’t it?

What fascinates me is, Blizzard is helmed by some incredibly careful, thoughtful people. So, I don’t look at this and see it as an inconvenient mistake. I see it as an intentional variety by design… and I try and decipher the underlying intent.

Is it to keep things fresh and different? If so, that’s a good enough reason for me, but I do wonder. I’d love to know.

But about those crafting professions.

Let me give you a humorous example of thinking too damn hard when it comes to crafting.

One early Engineering item you can make, Electrostatic Condenser, is supposed to give your Engineer the chance to get some extra Volatile Air whenever they mine a node, skin a beastie or harvest an herb.

Volatile Air is a major choke point for leveling engineering. So, all excited, I make one and rush out to do a mining sweep.

In real life… not so much. Oh, I’m sure it’s fine for casual Engineering once you are at max level, and you are just gathering as you go, but when you actually want to level fast, the extra Air is just not nearly enough. I spent one afternoon mining for a few hours, slack time on the server getting lots of nodes in Deepholm, and I think I was seeing 2 Volatile Air for about every 15 nodes. You mix that into mining during peak times, and it’s a pretty rough drop rate.

Here’s the funny bit.

The thought occurs to me, “But wait! Maybe the drop rate is better on one of the other gathering professions!”

Ah yes, of such insidious thoughts are painful acts founded.

Immediately, I had to test this theory, which meant taking my Rogue, who, for reasons that seemed perfectly valid at the time, is a max level Engineering/Skinner, and level her to the point that I could skin enough in bulk to test the Volatile Air harvest rate.

About the time I was in Mount Hyjal and jousting against what looked like mounted buzzards, it occured to me that something is off when, in order to level a profession on the character I enjoy playing right now, I’m somehow playing on my Rogue instead in order to skin lots of Volatile Air. I need my head examined.

Cutting it short (ha!), I leveled my Rogues’ Engineering to the point that I could make the Volatile Air harvesting doohicky, and then went to what I found to be my personal favorite fast leather harvest point; Sethria’s Roost, which can be found in Mount Hyjal around coordinates 31/80. The dragonkin are skinnable, are on an INSANELY fast respawn timer, and most players coming through right now are in such a rush to level and blow past the content that they don’t bother hanging around to skin, even if they can.

I leveled my Skinning from nothing to damn near max in one go right there over the course of less than an hour, and what I discovered was, while it FELT like the Volatile Air dropped more in the strange bloated stomach, the truth is it only seemed that way because I skinned a lot more mobs in a short period of time than I was usually finding ore nodes. I was making it up in volume.

So, Volatile Air is a choke point.

So what do I do next? Cassie tells me her main character, an actual max level 525 Alchemist, can do element transmutes, and if she does it in Uldum, she can turn Volatile Life dropped from herbs into Volatile Air, on an almost 1 for 1 basis. Plus the chance to proc some extra random Volatiles!

So we do that for a few days, and she helps feed my Engineer.

But wait! I have a 450 Alchemist… my Enhancement Shaman.

Next thing I know, I’ve herbed enough on my Druid swimming around Vashj’ir that I can easily level my Alchemy on the Shaman to the point that I can park her out at Uldum to make me Air.

But then I look at my Shaman’s Alchemy at 510, and realise that in order to continue leveling Alchemy cheaply, I could do repeat transmutes of blue quality gems, so the next step is to mine ore on my Hunter to send to my Priest to prospect for gems to send to my Alchemist to transmute into blues… and the Dream Emeralds can then be sent to my Hunter to make Gnomish X-Ray Scopes.

Finally, I realize… this needs an intervention. OH MY GOD. Somebody, stop the insanity! All I wanna do is just play my Hunter, where the heck did the Priest come into the picture? What? ACK!

To bring my point around home, you look at how the different professions can feed each other, and it’s just amazing how deep you could get into this if you wanted to. The interconnectivity, the synergy between professions really impresses me even more with how canny Blizzard has been. And each profession works similarly to the others, but is still very different.

They’re not equal, mind you. Some professions, like Blacksmithing , Leatherworking, Enchanting and Tailoring once again have mile long recipe lists you can purchase for expensive mats. Engineering is, what you see is what you get. At least, so far. No surprise new recipes from end game vendors in Twilight Highlands for Engineering!

Then there are the poor Jewelcrafters, who once again end up having to buy their recipes using Tokens obtained from daily quests.. and not having access to that until Twilight Highlands is finally unlocked.

I’d be unhappy for my JC, except I was able to make a pair of some kickass fist weapons for my Enhancement Shaman to use almost right away, so hey, I’m good.

I wonder… why did Jewelcrafting get to be the bitch of the professions? Can anyone explain that one?

Inscription is just as bad at first if you didn’t have it to begin with, but they didn’t add any more Glyphs in Cataclysm. Glyphs don’t get superceded by new expansions. (Wait… an update. Yes, there are a small handful of new Glyphs since 3.0.3, a few through Books of Glyph Mastery, a few from minor research, a few from major. But there’s only, like, 6 or 7 spread across multiple methods of learning. Added for accuracy.) So Inscription is just fine now, making items and books and Darkmoon cards. And Origami Rocks. :) It’s turned into another “fun” profession.

With how SOME professions only really get started at max level, I think it explains a little bit more why Cataclysm (or the patch right before it) introduced such a massive change in leveling professions; the inclusion of special recipes that can grant MULTIPLE skill points with one crafting.

You know, like this;

I love this change. I really do. It adds so much to the overall strategy of leveling a profession.

Plus, it’s a brilliant move for the overall economy. The items that are linked to bonus skill points are generally very expensive in terms of mats.

In the old pre-Cataclysm days, when given a choice between a dirt cheap piece of vendor trash to level a profession off of, or an item that would be useful to others players but expensive to make in mat costs, most players would go with cheap, dirty and vendored stuff.

With the addition of multiple skill points per crafting on making the ‘good’ stuff, it encourages at least some players to think about leveling by making the good stuff, and then recoup their expenses by selling the crafted items on the Auction House… where other characters might finally see something at their level they’d like to have.

Very nice innovation to encourage a livelier Auction House at lower levels. Bravo! And of course, the need for better mats just encourages a more lively market for such things, right? 

There are problems, of course, it’s not perfect. I’m sure everyone has at least one little pet peeve with their favorite profession that they wish would get changed.

I know that for me, my pet peeve is the Goblin Barbecue.

I had imagined that the Goblin Barbecue was going to work like a reuseable hibachi or grill, on a cooldown. You make the item once, and then after that, you’ve got it, but you have to use it at the right time. Kinda like Jeeves.

Unfortunately, what we got was a pretty expensive to make single use food item, with the bonus that everyone in the party can use it, but the downside is that it’s not going to have as good a stat boost as the actual high level Cooking food. So, it’s not going to see much play in raids, and it’s kind of expensive to use in pugs, but just right for 5 man runs with friends. It’s not exactly a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, but I sure had higher hopes for a fun item.

Was a hibachi with a one hour cooldown really that overpowered? I’d be happy to have had a much higher initial materials cost up front for a food item for my group that wasn’t quite as good as a max level Cooking recipe, but that I could reuse once an hour. And it would have been just fine with me if, after making the Goblin Barbeque, each use of it required some form of high level meat. Much like the High powered Bolt Gun, in fact. 

Of course, the little voice in my head then goes on to say, if you have a barbecue, and you use a type of meat evey time you use it… can you set it up like a Paladin’s Seals and Judgments, so that each type of meat used does a different thing? I mean, something light like Grilled Talapia might give you a Haste buff because it doesn’t fill you up with a heavy feeling, some serious protein like Steak or Ribs could give you a Strength buff, grilled vegetables could give you Intellect or Hit Rating (improved eyesight, dontcha know), and of course…  Death Fire Habanero spice-rubbed pork loin stuffed with chiles would give you massive Spellpower boosts. From the flames smoking out your nostrils. :)

Tanking food? Why, grilling a flank of a big bear’s butt provides the tanking buff. What, you had to ask?

That idea makes me so excited… but what we got was a single use food item. The Goblin Barbecue uses metal bars each time, but is apparently so flimsy it’s disposable.

It makes me a sad Bear. My one pet peeve… I wanted to hold regular cookouts, damnit!

Now, the thought occurs to me that maybe they kinda toned it down so that a cooking item that awesome wouldn’t be given to Engineers only. Maybe there was a teeny bit of “Okay, it’s cute, but max level non-Engineer cooks shouldn’t have to look at Engineers with envy over cooking stuff.”

Well, fair enough, fair enough. My answer to that would have been, ”Why not make it like other Engineer and Alchemist items, or Enchanting items?”

Change it to an item that Engineers can make, but remove the Engineering skill level requirement? Just leave a 525 Cooking limitation. Then you could have your group food recipes require a Goblin Barbecue to make, with the addition of your own raw food materials per use. Then anyone could enjoy grilling for their friends, regardless of their crafting or gathering professions.

My one pet peeve aside, as I said… I’m very impressed with the state of professions. The improved multiple skill point system while leveling is, all by itself, a really fun advance. It adds a lot more depth to what used to be a grind. 

What are your thoughts? Are you having the same kinda fun… or are you feeling stressed out by something concerning professions?

29 Responses to “Impressively professional”
  1. Karot says:

    These profession changes have my head spinning. But that’s mainly due to Chaos Orbs. Basically, if I want to make the good stuff on my alts, I have to drag them through time-consuming headache-inducing Cataclysm heroics. I have my hunter (my new main, JC/Engineering) at 85, paladin at 83 (Enchanting/JC), shaman (Alchemy/Leatherworking) at 80, and death knight (Blacksmithing/Mining) at 80. Of my high level characters, I enjoy the death knight the least, and really only leveled it for easy access to 2 extra professions. In Cataclysm, however, it’s going to be much more inconvenient to get anything worthwhile on him. It’s the last character I want to level up, but I have to at least get it high enough to start Twilight Highlands for the Dragonmaw vendors. In all likelihood, I won’t be crafting the epic stuff, as I don’t have any desire to sit in heroic queues for 45 minutes, adding another half-hour to 2 hours depending on the skill of the group for the run itself, just for the chance that I might get a Chaos Orb at the end, which is only half to a third of how many I’d need for a particular plan….all on a character I don’t really care to play at all. So for my death knight, I’ll probably just stick to mining and smelting from time to time, and crafting Belt Buckles, Weapon Chains, Shield Spikes, and Enchanting Rods to sell on the AH. I’ve yet to figure out what’s worthwhile selling with the other professions, except Engineering. The price of things right now make crafting things to sell, an actual net loss. I suppose it’ll even out over time, but I guess my time spent right now is more on Research and Development anyway. ;)

  2. Baberth says:

    One of the things that got me was the new metas…
    It takes 4 tokens for a JC to buy a recipe, which they can learn at skill level 490. Fair enough.

    However, for an alchemist to transmute the gem, they need to have 525.
    It just doesn’t gel well, IMO.

    Sure, in the end it doesn’t make any difference, since they’ll be available anyway, and they’re not really of much concern until level 85… but do you get my point?

    A final annoyance is just how much metal is needed to level up BS. I’ve been feeding my BS main from my miner alt, and I’m still only at 510 skill – and I’ve ended up wasting gold buying from the AH too. Fortunately, I can grudgingly afford it

    • Thuenderman says:

      I have to agree with you there. Leveling BS has been a real grind. My mining alt has been feeding my DK main smelted bars and reached 525 long ago while BS is still around 513. Then there’s the Truegold issue. If I want to kit my DK in the good BS weapons and epic armor I need tons of the stuff (along with the orbs that were mentioned, but in my case I think the rate I’m getting those is reasonable for my own needs but would totally rule out making them for alts or friends). I feel your pain BBB about how insane the synergy between professions are. I have yet to see Truegold on the AH and only Alchemists can make it, but they need Pyrium Bars from mining and volatiles (which I have also been hitting a choke point at, 20g a piece is too much when that transmute costs 60 volatiles!!). So now I need to max my Alchemy, but that means my herber needs to be gathering too (my fault for splitting them up, I know…). Good thing I love professions ;)

  3. Thromean says:

    See.. I’m a bit disappointed with Engineering. What’s the point of having a helm that you can use supposedly use at level 81 if you cant get the BOP mats until you are already running heroics at 85. and i realize they made the tinkers stack with the enchants now, but so they wont be so overpowered they nerfed them and made them much more fallible. A run speed increase should go on the boots, not the belt. And dont get me started on the useless invisbility field.

    Grrrr…..

  4. xiani says:

    Another nice Bearwall!

    Sometimes I think trying to maximally optimise everything in gamehas to be balanced against the amount of time spent working it all out vs. how much I could make just mindlessly grinding & buying what I need, but then I remember which is fun! And also why I am engineer in real life, and not an accountant.

    Engineering as a profession is a bit crap at the moment though, at least for max level stats for a hunter/melee character. But that was the case at the start WoTLK too, and then they gave us all sorts of fun stuff after a patch or two, so I have faith! And Jeeves and the teleports & the mailbox are still useful, which is more than can be said for all the other profs, so it’s not so bad.

    I agree BoP orbs are horribly annoying – I have always used engi as a ‘get ahead of the game via money’ profession, and was very annoyed I couldn’t have those sweet goggles @81. Even had to dig up the ‘do not display helm’ option again (:

    Alchemy is pure money though – the elemental transmute from life->air is a free 450g+ for me, and that sets the price for the truegold transmute, and even on the non cooldown stuff (mostly gems) you can do pretty well, not to mention the fact that cata meta gems are way too expensive for most people, and not hugely better than LK ones, so there’s money there too. Just make sure you have transmute spec. And also be selling the ‘primal might’ to other alchemists who have realized they need to switch spec;)

    As to inscription…if you have a moral objection to selling the fortune cards (odds certainly favour the ‘house’), glyphs are still nuts. Plus the adventurer’s journal makes good profit too, and seems a more acceptable form of gambling.

    I have yet to get JC past 450, mostly ’cause the character with that skill is level 73, and i just can’t face any more Northrend levelling at the moment, but it’s worth knowing you can still prospect obsidium @450 skill.

    Finally…’Altoholic’. The add-on. I could not possibly run my one-man crafting empire without it! Even if you have the good sense to keep one bank alt with a well-organized personal guild bank, the ability to see how much of something you have on all your toons across a server just by mouse-ing over it is priceless.

  5. Shane says:

    I laughed about halfway though your post cause that was how I was thinking as well. My main… my druid :D… well I went crazy on the first night and ended up mining twilight highlands by myself for hours and I had to literally rip myself away from the computer to get sleep at something like 5am in the morning, and since IM oceanic that was 8 hours after it came out… anyways… first thing I did for engineering was make the condenser for the volatile air. I mined and got that to 525 very easily. Then I eventually did some archaeology to add to the mix and I was level 82 before I started questing in Deepholm (after exploring everywhere else first).

    Then I leveled herbology on the priest and got enough mats to get alchemy up to max level so i could start on the truegold transmutes. I made one transmute and got a proc of 2 and sold one on AH for ridiculous prices… lol

    Then I started leveling engineering.

    Then I feed some ore to my JC… who was only level 74. I had to level him to 75 for upgrade in JC.

    Then I leveled him to 475 JC so I could prosepct the horrendous amounts of ore being sent to him.

    During this time I was leveling my mages enchanting from all the greens being sent to him by druid while questing.

    Leveled JC some more. Convincing others in guild to help me get elemental goo since level 80s are pretty tough for a 75 to beat down and doing the JC dailies everyday.

    Now Im mining more obsidian ore for my hunter who is also miner/eng…

    I was going to head to deepholm with a potion from alchemist to kill stone bats for leather… but theyve nerfed that, and you have to be level 82 to use the potion… my only gripe about cata – you have to be at least 82 to visit deepholm.

    So in total leveled 4 profs to max… mine, herb, eng, alch… JC, more mining, leather, skinning and another eng to go plus another miner/BS on another server …. UGH!

  6. Eryius says:

    It’s good to read that people are enjoying professions :)

    With 6 chars at 80, I actually decided to level all of them at the same time. The main reason: profit from that synergy :) I have 2 herbalists and 2 miners and 1 skinner so they can pretty much feed my mains which have no gathering skills. But then the question is… Do I level my mains first? Kinda can’t do that, cause they wont have mats to level the professions right? So now I’m levelling my alts first to get the mats, followed by my mains :)

    I’m having loads of fun trying to get all those professions all up at the same time! (ofc Altoholic is a must ^^) Just trying to make sure that I max all of them quick-ish so I can benefit for a long time from the transmutes and buckles and gemcuts and whatnot :)

    Btw, I don’t get your remark about JC. I started levelling my JC at level 81 (somewhere in Hyjal) and got it to 475. Then I could do the dailies no problem. Never seen Twilight Highlands on any char yet…
    What I do not like about JC, is the way they did the dailies with blue/green gems… Prices for those are rediculous now which doesnt make a lot of sense imo. I’d go for 3 random color gem cuts in stead of only blue/green.

    All in all, I surely agree on your feelings about professions. I just encountered this already in Wrath, so I was prepared this time and started levelling all chars at the same time :D

    • Eryius says:

      Hehe, and my guild still seems to wonder why my main isn’t at 85 yet… They don’t seem to understand :)

      (maybe you need more than 3 alts to understand?)

    • sirfwalgman says:

      I would buy cheap ore and prospect it. Get your gems and make some extra profit and get some blue gems for more profitable cuts which up your skill.

  7. Tgauchsin says:

    Professions have been killing me this expansion. My main is my hunter which I agreed to level with my wifes main. I had off the week of cataclysm because I had to burn the rest of my vacation and she had none. So I leveled my pally and dk. Pally is skinning and bs, while dk is mining/ench. Now my hunter is lw/eng so I was feeding all the mats from my first two while leveling to my hunter who was sitting there with a ton of gold to level eng and lw. Eng is now max, and I made the goggles and the 346 gun(just last night on the gun). lw is at 516 and is taking forever as how much heavy savage leather it takes and dragonscales and all. My pally maxed skinning in no time on start day in vash’jir, much like the roost no one was skinning so I was running all over the place skinning like mad.

    now back to that condenser, yeah its great when you have no gathering profession on that toon :(

    But from leveling lw and bs I have had plenty of de mats for my enchanter and he is at 522, but let me tell you getting that 2h agility enchant at like 490 and it gives 5 skill ups, but you need the runed elementium rod, which you cannot get the recipe for till 515 >:(

    I keep switching toons and sending items back and forth to help level all of the professions, I need to start selling the eng pets though, I had not considered that

  8. sirfwalgman says:

    I have been taking it slow. Leveled my main but did not level his professions. I actually only power leveled my Alchemy because I thought True Gold would be a money maker. Not so much. Transmuting the Elemental Life seems so much more profitable.. and every 4th day I could make a True Gold for the cost of a couple of pyrite bars.

    My JC leveled a bit by buying Inferno Gems cheap and reselling for 30-50g profit. My Inscription leveling has been slower but Forged Documents are good. Also I offer people free Mysterious Fortune Cards if they give me a stack of herbs and let me keep the burning ember procs. Slow but free leveling.

    My main has no gathering skills which kinda makes it hard to level. I am not much of a gatherer anyways.. buying matts and reselling or using synergy between professions seems more profitable and fun. Thanks for the skinning tip! I have been skinning is Vash. I kinda liked it the first time through but now I kinda dislike Vash so I may move him to Hyjal.

    I love professions but I am not really power leveling any of them. If I see something that looks like it might be profitable I do it. If not I level them slowly and cheaply. I am mixed on Archeology. My main is my achievement whore so I need to max it there.. and obviously my Alchemist would be a good toon to max it on. Otherwise it is kind of a weird profession.

  9. Ben says:

    Pretty sure any character can click the leather scraps to make real leather… you could also click the scraps in Wrath. No LW needed!

    • Ben says:

      * addendum: Wrath and Cata scraps only. I think BC had knothide scraps that required a LW, and vanilla has scraps for light leather that also require a LW to convert.

      • bigbearbutt says:

        I’ll check again, but I am pretty sure I tested on my skinner and was unable to combine the Cata scraps. I will gladly check again and update the post if I’m wrong. Thank you for letting me know!

  10. Xew says:

    My main is herb/alc, and I got him to 525 the first day on both – no problem (thank you Twilight Highlands pre-node nerf!) My problem now is my engineer. He was eng/BS, but I couldn’t get metal to save my life… JCs wanted ore, everyone else wanted bars, and no one was willing to sell at even close to a halfway decent price… so I dropped BS (which was only at 400 anyway) to get mining. Leveled mining from 1 to 450 in two days (the choke point being Outlands… man, all these awesome changes everywhere but Outlands…) anyway – his mining is still kinda low – just hit 500 over teh weekend, because he’s such a minor character to me… I want his engineering up, but have no desire to play him.

    Same thing with my inscriptionist… he’s actually the guild inscriptionist – so I have incentive to get his profession up, and I’ve been sending mats to him – but I also need to be honored with the guild for any of his achievements to count… and I’ve done literally nothing to earn guild rep…

    Everything is far too intimately tied together, imo. Raising guild rep is key; raising professions is key; raising faction rep is key; ARGH!!! frustrating how I never have time to get everything done.

    My main is closing in on exalted with everyone except the TB rep… I do TB dailies when I get around to them, but I’m not consistent. I try to run a least one heroic a day… but even that’s not guaranteed with my guild. That leaves no time for leveling my alts – no time for exploring new content… etc. As soon as a guildy announces a heroic run, I’m off to TH to get twilight jasmine to make steelskin flasks… I never have enough jasmine… if we wipe, or someone ports to repair – I’m out hunting jasmine.

    Other than inscription, which everyone wants up, my other professions have to take a back seat… I think my plan will be to do dailies with my inscriptionist to get guild rep… once I’m honored, I’m gonna take a long long break.

    WoW – the best game you hate to Work.

  11. Herr Drache says:

    Aaaaaaaahh… the professions! And my chronic altitis!
    Between all my toons I have everything covered but leatherworking. I have a wife for that :)
    My main (tank) is BS/Enchanter. Enchanting not for the stats, but because I got sick and tired of NOT getting DE-ables during leveling and in instances…
    My main support/moneymaker is my rogue, who mines and JCs. Then there’s the druid herber/skinner. And the alchemist/tailor mage. I’m not even getting to my scribe/enchanter DK, but I’ll touch on my Engineer/Miner pally :)

    As insane as it sounds (well, probably not too insane to most of your readers): I think I leveled my rogue to 82 mostly by mining (with the glove enchant) Mt. Hyjal and Twilight Highlands. Yes, being 80 in Twilight Highlands can be an exercise in “is vanish off CD yet?”. Then the rogue ate all that ore to get JC up to 475 so I could do the daily JC quests for the tokens for the designs for the tank for the…. you got the idea.

    Now, of course the good stuff in blacksmithing requires this “truegold” stuff. OK, over to the druid and just graze weed(s) (Hyjal, Vashj’ir, Highlands). Luckily I didn’t wake up from the self-induced trance for a while, so that all supported my mage’s alchemy to 525 (OK, I did buy 2 stacks of whatevers that I was missing)

    Surely I’m done now, aren’t I? Oh, wait “truegold” also requires Volatile Air. Sure, let’s transmute that in Uldum. OH NO! Truegold and Volatile transmutes are on the same “midnight” CD. ^@&#^!!! Where do I get Air? Elementals? Naaah.

    Enter the paladin! Engineering gadget gogo! “Gathering” enchant – check. Mining +5 helmet (mail?!?! Whatever!) – check. Mt. Hyjal for a bit, then Twilight Hinterlands. Stripmine it ALL!!! (ooops, no vanish on the pally. That’ll hurt!).

    I can breathe again. Well, at least a little. My rogue when through a small freight-train of ore for JC, my Blacksmith ate a few truckloads delivered by the engineer, the Alchemist now has the Airs… If my wife wants to level LW, she needs to kill stuff so I can skin it (as I can’t kill the higher stuff…) we’re all set.

    And now people tell me about that AWESOME Vial of the Sands or whatever it’s called. My mage HAS to level Archeology! NAO!
    But my main needs to get raid ready.
    But….

    Well, at least I’m pretty self-sufficient with my “mall” of crafters and I don’t have to pay a ton for mats on the AH :) The only thing that I’m missing is that my crafting professions didn’t produce “silly” greens for me to disenchant – they seem to all have sold at reasonable prices!

    And why on earth is that Goblin Barbecue a currency for a cogwheel?

  12. Minos says:

    Before the hotfix, every day was “Miracle Node Spawn Day” in Deepholm. And here’s a PSA from your friendly neighborhood skinner: Please loot your corpses!

    My enchanting alt has stagnated because I want to make a bunch of 2H Weapon – Mighty Agility to stockpile for my druid and hunter. But, although the enchant is learned at 470, the rod it asks for requires 500 to use. And to make matters even worse, the pattern to create the (soulbound) rod requires 515! So I can’t make any of those enchants until a full 45 skillups after I learned it, and 15 skillups after it turns gray. I assume this wasn’t intended, and am leveling his enchanting only when it’s convenient to stall until a patch.

  13. Tsudrats says:

    It makes me think that the synergy is there to slow us down so that within weeks of release date we were not all going … right … been there … done that … what is next?

  14. Perdissa says:

    I have been leveling up my mage just so she can farm up ore for my main’s prospecting, my paladin so that she can do enchants beyond 475 (damn you, runed elementium rod!), and my little DK is parked in Uldum transmuting volatile life every day.

    Engineering needs more cool stuff, but I believe they’ll come through for us. Eventually.

    In the meantime, the Loot-a-rang is pretty damn cool, except for the 10s cd. By the way, keep your goblin barbeques for the cogwheels you can buy in Twilight Highlands.

    • bigbearbutt says:

      If you’re using the Loot A Rang, make sure you check out the comments for the item on Wowhead, there are a lot of great user macros listed there for getting more ‘one click’ functionality out of it, since the item as it currently stands requires you to target after using. Some of the macros are set up to target last mob targeted before using, the idea being that whatever you had just killed was what you wanted to loot, that kind of thing.

      I understand you can also use it to loot ore/herbs at a distance, haven’t tried that yet.

  15. Tesh says:

    From down here in the lower and middle levels (20 to 50 or so), the crafting professions are suffering a bit. The old recipes seem to be keyed around a lot of grinding (based on the old pace, perhaps), and the accelerated leveling pace means gatherers outlevel the areas they can gather level-relevant craftables. I’ve had a heck of a time collecting the stuff to level Leatherworking from scratch on my Tishtoshtesh druid. I’ve spent more money than I’d like on stuff that I’d outleveled. Even then, Medium Hides in particular and other Hides drop infrequently enough that I had to go tinker around in the Arathi Highlands as a level 43 Druid looking for the missing links in my crafting leveling curve.

    I dunno, maybe grinding is the point of crafting/gathering professions, but I can’t make myself like it.

    Tangentially, the LFD gear also far outstrips craftable gear of a comparable level. Crafted Best in Slot stuff and even most marginally useful stuff seems to be clustered in the endgame, but there, the crafted stuff is Bind on Pickup, so it’s not even helpful for the economy *or* guilds. There’s a sense that *someday* crafting will be useful, but only with a LOT of work and time. I’m not really convinced that it’s worth it. I’m considering dropping Leatherworking for Mining or Herbology just so it’s at least monetarily productive.

    I love the idea of self-sufficiency, especially across a stable of alts that I’ve carefully plotted out to get the most out of the whole matrix… but as much as I like the mental puzzle of making it all work and building a crafting empire, well, my efforts to dabble in such have been considerably frustrating.

    • Tesh says:

      Er, a clarification, I’m trying to level Skinning and Leatherworking as I level that Druid, not picking them up as a medium level character. I’m seeing if it makes sense to do a gathering/crafting pair as part of the character’s progression. So far, it doesn’t, as I’ve either needed to grind out leather or go back and muck around in lower level areas just for the materials. Bleh.

      • bigbearbutt says:

        I’ve always picked up gathering and crafting professions starting out, but I usually level the gathering one as I go, and feed the crafting one from one of my other maxed out alts. It’s been a long time since I tried to level honestly without the help of a bigger alt.

        When I started alts on a new server, I tried to play it straight… but the temptation of making a Death knight was too strong. :)

    • Tsudrats says:

      I agree, a lot of the crafting items are dubiously useful – why, for instance make more than one of the flying carpets in tailoring when only other tailors capable of making it are able to use it? I tend to use profs such as tailoring and leather work to feed my enchanter with de gear and focus my attention on either gathering professions or on alchemy, enchanting or to a lesser extent inscriptions where the crafted items are effectively consumables.

  16. Ngita says:

    I have been chipping away, My double gatherer hit 525 in both pretty easily just keeping my family of alts fed, One of my alchemists is 525 but whiptail is super annoying and oh so needed. I finallly dinged 525 on my main enchanter last night but could have pushed it a week ago. Blacksmithing on my main I have to say I am fairly disappointed. Useful things from actually leveling, comes down to Elementium rod.belt buckle and 3 epics, one for a slot which I picked up a rep epic 3-4 days after 85.

  17. Calli says:

    Don’t get me started about the professions. My main is unfortunate enough to be a tailor/enchanter. The cost of a single dust, not stack, just one dust, was around 70g when Cata went live. Stacks of cloth were fetching anything from 200g to 400g per stack. If you wanted to be able to make anything worth actually wearing while leveling and have it enchanted… Well, let me just say it cost me over 20,000g to level my professions to max. Of course I would have been better off selling my mats and levelling the professions later, or even levelling my alts first and farming mats for my main that way, but she’s my main for a reason.

    As for the multiple skill point levellups within professions, enchanters got completely hosed on that one, too. There certainly were recipes that we could use to get up to five skill points from. The major agility on a 2h weapon enchant leaps to mind, which I believe we could make from skill level 475. The fly in the ointment was that in order to be able to make these enchants we needed a runed elementium rod, a bop recipe we had to spend shards in order to buy, and which we couldn’t actually learn until skill level 515, at which point, you guessed it, the multi-skill enchants were grey and worthless. So. Hosed.

    • bigbearbutt says:

      I DO fel your pain Calli, because I’ve been playing my Shaman the last few days trying to level Enchanting, which was at 440 pre-Cataclysm.

      After completing 1/3rd of Vashj’ir and 100% of Hyjal, D/Eing every drop I couldn’t personally use including boe, I’m at… 474. The Agility enchant rod requirement pisses me off too, but more than that I’m irritated that I can’t D/E level 300+ gear until I hit 500 Enchanting. So much for d/eing Deepholme drops. I’m going to HAVE to complete Vashj’ir just to level Enchanting. Grrr. Ah well, it’s not like they’re making me do it, as you pointed out… I could wait.

  18. Intravax says:

    My one complaint on the professions is for my tailor who doesn’t really get any benefit from the cloth drops. As you know you have to get cloth to make into bolts and multiple bolts per item amounts to quite a bit of cloth. Add in some of the insame amount of “volatile ***” requirements on some of the items and the rarity of cloth drops makes it insanely slow to level. The only other use in most cases for cloth is for the bandages so why did they make tailors have only a 25% chance to get an extra 2-4 cloth from mobs? I’m glad its up to 50% with this next patch but with the rarity of cloth selling for literally hundreds of gold for a stack of 20 compared to a modest 10-20g for frostweave in Wrath and I think its a big difference in the way those raw materials become available.

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