Profession Planning Pain


I know this is something we are all gonna be delving into hella deep if we haven’t already, and I look forward to reading a ton about it on blogs in the months ahead, but I wanted to touch base on where the BBB family was sitting with professions now, and what we are planning to do for the future. Just to kind of kick off the panic season. ๐Ÿ™‚

Before Burning Crusade, BBB had one max level character, a Druid. And said Druid had been a long time Enchanter/Tailor, maxed out.

For one reason or another, I have dropped professions left and right on Windshadow, maxing out a new one only to drop it for something else.

Likewise, when Windstar the Hunter was born after BC, she started as Mining/Engineering, and then saw professions get dropped and new ones started several times.

After a while, it gets old. And expensive.

At this point, I have three level 70s I enjoy, two of which actually see a lot of play time. I am leveling a Shaman for a healer, but who knows if I see 70 before WotLK.

And we know we have a new Profession, Inscription, coming in the expansion.

So far, there has been no sign that we will have a third profession slot opened to our characters. If we want Inscription, it SEEMS we will need to have it as one of our characters two choices.

Now, there are a few things I am considering when trying to decide what to do.

First, which characters are most likely to be seeing raids or instances enough to get the rare profession recipe drops?

Second, which characters would I most want to benefit from the Bind on Pickup properties of the professions?

Third, are there monetary reasons to keep professions on characters that are not synergistic with the playstyle?

I have three 70s and an up and coming lowbie;

  • Windshadow (Druid) – Engineering/Herbalist
  • Windburn (Shadow Priest) – Jewelcrafter/Tailor
  • Windstar (BM Hunter) – Enchanter/Miner
  • Windshear (Shaman lvl 20) – Leatherworker/Skinner

As you can see, it’s a mess, but there are reasons for it.

Windshadow has ended up an Herbalist because Cassieann the Rogue was leveling an Alchemist, and I could speed farm herbs to help her level. Likewise, Windstar had dropped Engineering to take Herbalism as a dual gatherer in order to help with the ‘level Cassie’s Alchemy’ activities. And, further, while she was leveling her Rogue, funneling her a constant stream of Herbs kept her in insane amounts of gold. So yeah, Windshadow went Herbalism to help Cassie make money.

Windshadow is STILL Herbalism, because the profession goes so incredibly well with Druid Swift Flight Form. I can fly at max speed around zones herbing without shifting forms or mounting/dismounting. It’s very nice. Plus, it goes VERY well with Engineering, which I also use as a Gathering profession.

What? It’s true. I have only kept Engineering because with it, I can gather Motes of Air, Mana, Shadow and Water.

I originally got Engineering on Windshadow for the BoP epic Tier 4 quality Helms for tanking and DPS.

Fast forward to today, I have my actual Tier 4 Helm and Gloves, so even though I still use my Engineering Helm for DPS (since I can gem it for pure DPS instead of a mix), I really should be using the Tier 4 set for the Energy returns.

BUT… if someone I know needs Primals, well… I had Falromord offer to craft Windstar an epic armor chestpiece last night. It’s a Dragonscale piece I am not too familiar with, but he told me he had the nether dragonscales and leather, I just need to come up with 20 Primal Earth, 8 Primal Air and 1 Primal Nether.

Well, from Mining on Windstar I already have 14 Primal Earth in my bank, and I had 1 Primal Air. 1 Hour of flying around Nagrand later on Windshadow, and I have 7.6 Primal Air. No killing, just Mote Extraction. So yes,ย I think of Engineering as one of my gathering professions.

The other reasons I love Engineering on my main? Gnomish gives me instant teleport to Gadgetzan, which I have used a LOT to get to Caverns of Time. Damn, I love that.ย Also, I can make guns and ammo for my hunter and hunter friends, and I have the rare scope recipe drop from Attumen. And mana and health potion injectors. So, useful. VERY uiseful. BUT, I fly with Swift Flight Form. I have a Dragon,ย AND aย flying helicopter, and I never use either because, hey… Swift Flight Form, baby.

Windburn is a Jewelcrafter and Tailor. I took Tailoring for the three piece BoP epics. Period. I still need to make the Primal Mooncloth set for a healing set, since you can switch from one spec to another fairly easily. But right now, I need it.

I don’t know if that will stay that way in the future. I don’t have any special recipe drops for Tailoring, so except for making bags for everyone that wants ’em, all I have it for is to be able to equip three epics.

If in WotLK, they no longer have a level 80 tier of ‘must have’ BoP epics for my Shadow Priest that require me to keep the profession to use, then I can easily see dropping it. But right now… no choice. Gotta have it.

Jewelcrafting, I’m stuck with. I have TONS of recipes, massive amounts of gold invested in it. For better or worse, I’m staying with it. I don’t actually use any BoP items, but I’m sure there will be some nice ones, and I have all those epic gem recipes they released. Yeah, I’ll be keeping that, it’s just too stupid a waste of resources to drop it now.

Windstar is Mining and Enchanting.

I took Mining to feed Windstar’s Engineering at the time, and when I dropped Engineering here for Herbalism, I kept Mining to funnel ore to Windshadow. I use Mining all the time, I get Primal Earth, Primal Fire and tons of ore for Windshadow to use in making ammo or potion injectors, and for Windburn to Prospect for gems. I don’t see dropping this highly useful profession, and since it doesn’t get affected by rare drops, it doesn’t matter that Windstar doesn’t raid.

Enchanting is a different proposition. I took it for two reasons.

One, neither Cassie nor I had anyone available to D/E our drops, except for our friend Daak. We were mailing him stuff in a never ending stream. We both felt bad, making him log in all the time just to D/E our crap. So having someone to D/E stuff, especially with the daily quests for SSO dropping a ton of greens, became very useful.

The second reason, was I wanted someone who could keep my Shadow Priest supplied with the Superior Wizard Oil I drink like a fish every time we raid.ย 

So Windstar got nominated as Enchant girl. Not raiding with her, so no access to the recipe drops that people actually WANT, but for D/E purposes of BoE items, and making Wizard Oil, it works okay.

But while I can see WHY I got where I am, it’s not very… smooth.

Cassie now has two characters, her Rogue Alchemy/Herbalist. I don’t see that changing. But she can, and has, been supplying herself with Herbs just fine on her own now.

She has her Paladin (which dinged 52 last night), who is a Miner and also JUST took Engineering last night and powerleveled it to 193, planning on going for her own epic BoP helms.

So… she will soon be able to farm Primals on her own. She will still find it helpful to have Ore, but she really doesn’t need an external Herb supplier.

So I could drop Herbalism on Windshadow… and soon, if she gets the recipes, I could drop Engineering, too.

Windburn is stuck. No possibility of change.

Windstar is good as a Miner… but Enchanting is wasted on her, because she can’t get drops, AND because she doesn’t raid or solo instances, and so cannot D/E BoP boss drops. Plus, let us not forget, we have friends who have the good recipes, who can also enchant our other stuff… Windstar cannot enchant Windshadows’ gear or my other alts.

So, looking ahead… it seems to me that I would like Inscription on Windshadow, because people with the profession will get one bonus Inscription slot they alone can equip, a ‘meta’ Inscription. Something I want on my main character. Hell yes. So figure Inscription replaces Engineering. Cassie’s Paladin will take over as our Engineer. All good.

I figure on keeping Herbalism on Windshadow for now, since Herbs go for Inscription leveling. That works out well. And I can keep sending stuff to Cassie.

And I have no idea what to do about Windstar. Keep Mining, sure, but do I keep Enchanting, even though I’ll never get recipe drops? I have tons of friends now that are Enchanters that could D/E or make Wizard Oil for me… do I take Engineering on Windstar again? So my Hunter can make her own ammo and guns, just like before? And let’s not forget that Engineers might be able to make thier own Motorcycles soon… god, don’t I want my Hunter with long rifle on a Motorcycle from Hell… my hunter was born to be in a raiding biker gang.

I think I answered my own question….

I don’t know what professions would be most useful for a healing shaman at 70, so Skinning and Leatherworking are fine for now, but Windstar needs to drop Enchanting for Engineering, and Windshadow will drop Engineering for Inscription when the expansion comes out.

What a long, convoluted mess.

So.. unleash the posts! I want to know why I’m wrong, and what YOU plan to do!

My friends, what plans are YOU making on Professions to ready yourself for WotLK?

Are you going to go Inscription? Are you farming and stockpiling thousands of low level herbs for powerleveling purposes well in advance? I know I will be, very very soon.

Do you think Windshadow should drop Herbalism in favor of Enchanting/Inscription, and make Windstar a dual gatherer for Herbs and Ore? I’ve heard that gathering professions will soon have passive buffs that may have serious benefits to raiding… will we need to have a specific gathering profession to maximize tanking?

Later today, I will post the next PBeM… Hulan, as you are my only reader of that, and I cherish you for that,ย I just wanted to let you know. ๐Ÿ™‚


15 thoughts on “Profession Planning Pain

  1. I turned my resto druid from herbal/alch to tailor/alch when she turned 70 as the quickest way to get her geared to go to Kara. I am basically a weekend only person so I felt this would be the quickest way for me to be of some help to my guild (I am a PVP dilettante so that would have taken me forever)

    After the wrath comes out it depends on what kind of tailoring recipes I see for level 80. If it looks like once again the quickest way to get her to raid ready status will be to tailor then I will keep tailoring. (I have another alt who herbs so I am good there) However if the tailoring stuff looks pretty useless for her at 80 or there will be stuff I can find in some other manor, like quest chains, then I will probably dump tailoring to get her inscriptions or herbal/mining for the cash.


  2. My druid is LW/Eng, my shaman Mining/JC and my hunter is Herb/Alch.

    I too am trying to figure out what, if anything, I’ll be dropping to pick up inscription. I would love it on my druid, since that extra slot will mean I can have my polar bear glyph(!!!) AND the “must have” glyphs for raiding.

    I’m in the same boat with my shaman and JC. Too much time and resources invested, and the epic level panther trinket is just so delicious for enhancement, as is the boar one.

    The hunter…well honestly, I love the alchemy. Transmute spec is nice, and as I’ve recently discovered x-mute water to shadow, it’s saving me tons of money. And multiple procs on primal mights are always nice.

    I don’t really want to drop anything rigth now, so I guess my plan is to wait it out and see what kind of special recipes come out with wrath. I might level up a paladin before wrath comes out as skinner/herber, and then drop herb to pick up inscription. I’ll still have my hunter that can herb for me, but that would end up causing me to concentrate on two alt-alts, instead of my main and my main-alt.

    And on an unrelated note, I can’t decide which I want as my main. My guild broke apart about a month ago and I’ve been kind of a ronin. I love my druid but enchance shammies rock. And with almost all of our party abilities going raid wide, being a killer enhancey could guarantee you that one raid slot for our slot. The guild I’m currently looking at joining has an abundance of feral druids, but I’ve been the only enchancey I’ve seen run anything with them.

    So much to think about. Hopefully, Blizzard will start implementing the upper level tradeskill stuff in beta soon. Still 3 months from release, but I’ve got RennFaire for 2.5 of those months and will have less time to think ๐Ÿ˜›


  3. One small point to consider is that enchanters are finally getting something about which I whined – a lot – when I was playing.

    They can make enchantment scrolls, and either sell their enchants on the AH (no more trade channel and hoping your customer was on and ready), or send it to their alts.

    And the paper to do this comes from the inscription crew.

    That means that except for BoP things you only need the one enchanter in your stable, just as you really only need one herbalist and one alchemist and …


  4. I’ve got a mess with 2 “mains” split across a PvE and PvP server, with some low-level alts doing vaguely useful things (i.e. level 35 Priest as a disenchanter.)

    And I’m trying hard to talk my wife into playing with the new Friends and Family program, so there might be 2 more characters arriving on some server. (PvE is probably a better idea, but I know more people on the PvP server and my Druid on there is far-and-away better geared.) And then if I play the “free” levels right, I could have another 1-2 characters at useful levels as well before Wrath gets here.

    So I have no idea what I’m doing for professions. ๐Ÿ™‚

    And don’t forget that we’ll be able to have level 55 Death Knights on every server. So they could be your Disenchanter or gatherer, even if you don’t intend to play them seriously. (Probably have to get to level 65 to disenchant things up to the maximum level if the existing pattern continues.)

    Personally, I’d level Windshadow to 80 as Engineering / Herbalist, sell or stockpile the herbs, and then decide what to do. If there’s great Engineering stuff (new Helms!) then you might want to go Engineering / Inscription. You’ll have the stockpile to level up Inscription, and then can get Cassie to send you herbs in the future. (After all, Engineering is mostly only useful to the character who has it, so it may be worth keeping.) Who knows, Leatherworking might become the Essential Druid Tanking profession or something, so why respec before things settle out?

    And then have one of you level up a Death Knight for your Disenchanter. (Maybe have them also do Herbalism, just to help feed the Inscription.)


  5. My current 70’s will probably be staying as-is, but I’m refusing to pick up any crafting professions on my new alts until I know what the next generation of BoP rewards will be. I’m really itching to pick up BS on my pally for the uber weapons, but considering she’ll probably hit 70 and then two weeks later Wrath will come out, there’s really not much point.

    Of course, I wouldn’t be totally against dropping LW on my druid or Tailoring on my priest if the BoP stuff isn’t worth it, and possibly replacing them with a gathering profession (I never did get to herb things with swift flight form) or Inscription, but I tend to think that they will be.


  6. I’m just hoping to get someone to 70 before the expansion and she’s staying dual gatherer until I figure it all out ๐Ÿ™‚

    Also, I read PBeM too! (And enjoying it very much, thanks!)


  7. I’ve got a hunter with Herb/Alch and a priest with Ench/Tailoring. I’m currently leveling a druid herb/skinner and a paladin mining/skinning; those two will become my farming characters, eventually, at which point I’ll drop herbalism on the hunter in favor of engineering… largely for the motorcycle. ๐Ÿ˜€ Eventually I plan to have all the professions covered with alts, but that’ll take a while…


  8. My druid currently is herb/skinning. There just isn’t a really compelling desire to take any crafting ability for now other than leatherworking for drums, and it’s crazy how much money can be made easily just by flying around and herbing. If I drop one, I will almost certainly drop skinning. It’s useful and can give a lot of money if I care to farm things, but it’s not a feeder like herbalism is.

    I’m not sold on inscription being the awesome new crafting thing for personal use. I suspect it’ll be hugely lucrative early on (similar to JC) but given what we’ve seen so far of inscriptions on people, I’m reluctant to call it a requirement that you have three awesome slots. Swipe hitting 4 people is a nice thing, mangle having a longer duration would be good, and rip taking longer would be good – but I don’t need all three.

    If they make engineering so it produces the best helm before T8 again, I’ll probably go with that assuming that best helm is at all useful for tanking. Plus engineering gives a motorcycle mount. Seriously. Tauren + motorcycle == crazy delicious.

    Also, keep in mind that each gathering profession is going to get some kind of permanent bonus to their stats based on it – mining gives +35 stam, for example.


  9. ok where is the pbem ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ive been waitng patiently and you said it was coming today… hope i can read it before i go home… ill jsut have to read it on monday ๐Ÿ™‚ oh well love the site BTW always nice to see how the fur covered ones do it.


  10. Hey! I’m reading your stories! It’s just taking me awhile because I like to have the time to fully devote all my attention to the complete absorption of your work ๐Ÿ™‚ Teehee.


  11. As far as passive abilities from professions — here are the links to the ones I could find on wowhead. I haven’t seen any others mentioned so far. I don’t know if that means they don’t exist, or just don’t exist *yet*.

    Alchemy – Mixology:
    You receive an increased effect when you drink any elixir or flask you are able to make.
    One of the comments said it doubled the duration of some potions.

    Inscription – Glyph Mastery:
    Unlocks an additional glyph.

    Skinning – Master of Anatomy:
    Skinning all those dead animals has broadened your anatomical knowledge, increasing your critical strike rating by 25.

    Mining – Toughness:
    All your hard work spent mining has made you exceptionally tough, increasing your Stamina by 35.


  12. My main is a holy priest with, currently, mining and enchanting. Mining for the money flow (less important now with dailies but still useful), enchanting for the ring enchants mainly although I have a few rarish enchants now.

    I’ll be dropping mining on her for inscription.

    My ranged DPS alt is a destrolock with alchemy and herbalism. She’s got all the flask / elixir recipes from BC, so I don’t really want to drop alchemy. Herbalism feeds inscription, so that’s also kinda necessary.

    My tank is a feral druid with engineering (which I’m keeping because goddamn it I like the idea of a druid of the ‘red in fang and claw’ school of thought who tinkers with hi-explosives) and leatherworking. I could drop leatherworking pretty easily, but I’m waiting to see what happens with the expansion. If there’s any decent crafted tanking gear, I’ll keep it. If not, I’ll relook at things and make the call to switch to something else or not.

    And finally, we have the alt I leveled specifically to take over the mining chores from my main come expansion. Enhance shaman with jewel crafting and mining. I’ll be keeping JCing on her, as you mentioned it’s just such a pain to level and such a good money maker when combined with mining that I’d be insane to change it, and mining is pretty much ‘the’ gathering skill if you want cash (although, with the recent jump in herb prices with the revelation that herbalism will be the feeder for inscription, that could change).

    TLDR; Switching main from mining to inscription, levelled an alt to take over the mining responsibilities so I still get cashflow.

    There is some evidence that I overplan the end-game >.>


  13. I’ll be ignoring the power-ups offered by opportunistic gathering as:
    – I can’t see them staying after death
    – low likelihood of instances having nodes throughout them
    – buff does not last long
    – switching professions is too damn expensive

    So I’ll stay with:
    – Warlock: max tailor/max enchanter
    – Pally: max engineer/max miner
    – Druid: skin/leatherworker in training

    However I plan to grab a Priest as a herbalist/alchemist on an Alt before the xpac, and also considering doing another alt Warrior as a blacksmith/jewelcrafter. My reason is that I want to have access to what these professions offer, and the time needed to get to lvl45=300 skill is not too bad.

    These alts having skill 375 is something I’ll evaluate later, and it also depends on the mechanical implementation of Inscription as to what value it presents as a profession an Alt has. Skill 425 had better offer some serious benefits, considering the time-sink. Manufacturing profs are for Alts, as long as a main can farm.


  14. It really depends on who you’re going to level first. I’m guessing for BBB it’ll be the druid, so you’ll want at least one gathering profession on that toon. Ideally you’d want it synchronized with your manufacturing profession, but if not at least you can funnel mats to your other toons while you level up.

    My main (dranei shaman) was full Miner/JC (and I feel your pain on how stupid expensive JCing is) but I switched to Herb/Alch for the epic trinket (its a must for chain mana-potting) and because my guild needs more flask makers. I’m not going to switch again. My first alt is a chanter/tailor gnome warlock. Tailoring looks blah for the Xpac, so who knows about that one. Alt #2 is a dwarf pally miner-smith (smithing is the worst to level – I musta been on something when I took it).

    Of course my new main will be a Nelf Deathknight anyway (stealthy 2H animating dead slayage ftw!). New class = new skill, so he’ll be my scriber / engineer and I’ll make sure to have all the mats (& gear) needed to funnel things to him up front to make his life ez-mode.


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