Professional Pain!


Call me the buzzkill…

I’m here to remind you that soon, Professions will have higher limits, and new recipes.

So, in honor of our upcoming grinds, I’d like to take this moment to look back on the profession fun of days gone by, and give everyone a chance to weigh in on what they consider to be the most painful profession to gain useful recipes for, once you’ve hit the max.

What, you thought I was gonna talk about painful professions to level? Oh c’mon, that’s so last year.

“But Bear, in my day we had to walk uphill to farm ore, in the snow of Icecrown, BOTH WAYS!”

Get over it. Shake it off, you ninny.

No, let’s have fun debating what the most painful profession to get all the useful recipes for is.

As a person with, count ’em, four max level Engineers, I’ll do my part and kick Engineering to the curb. It’s dead easy. There are only a couple recipes to grind for, hell maybe only the one, Jeeves, if you decide not to count the rep grind for the Engineering Chopper.

No, I’m thinking more along the lines of how you can whip up your Jewelcrafting to max in a few days of ore mining, and then be stuck for months as you do the daily Jewelcrafting Quest to get tokens to buy recipes. How many recipes do you need? The answer is, how many alts do you have?

Or how about Inscription, where you get to max and have fun making your Darkmoon Cards, only to realise you should’ve been doing not one but TWO daily researches, for both a Minor AND a Major. Have fun the next few months, and make sure you’ve got lots and lots of nice, tasty herbs to destroy. Oh, and don’t go on vacation, it’ll put you behind by a week.

Or how about everyone’s favorite, Enchanting. You grind and grind and grind your way up, and the higher your level, the more expensive every point is… and those Greens you used to sell for good coin get D/E’d straight down the drain to feed your voracious appetite for mats. And just when you’re nearing the end… they make your Disenchanting automatically shared among a group of four strangers. Ain’t those Blizzard cats some funny folks?

Every profession has it’s story, has it’s own hook for singing the leveling blues.

What I find curious is how some professions are damn expensive, but the only thing throttling your getting all the recipes is how deep your pockets go.

Enchanting? If you’ve got the money, honey, you can get the skills. Just dump all your cash into buying Greens, D/E, rinse and repeat ad infinitum.

Leatherworking? Technically, if you feel like buying enough leather to trade into Artic Furs, well, go for it. It’s silly, but not TOO bad. Well, okay, it’s bad. Just not as bad as it used to be. Now, it’s more like a sharp whack in the forehead with a rubber mallet rather than a swing in the nuts from a sledgehammer. It feels good, but only by comparison.

How about Inscription? That must not be too bad, right? Nope, if you want all the Glyph recipes, buckle up buttercup, you’re in for a bumpy ride. Every day, two new recipes, one Minor, one Major. That’s it, thanks for playing. Try our home game!

Jewelcrafting isn’t far off, either. Your Epic Gem recipes do indeed come from the daily JC quest, but Blizzard was almost fiendishly cruel in the upgrade patch. Now they dangle the possibility of leveling faster in front of you… if you, oh I dunno… just farm enough Titanium Ore to prospect. It leaves you feeling that you’re somehow being lazy if you DON’T turn thousands of gold worth of raw ore into dust.

Letting Alchemists transmute the Titanium BARS is almost grinding salt into a JCs wounds, isn’t it?

Oh, and I’m sure as bad as Blacksmithing is to level, there’s no crying at the end game leveling now that Miners can smelt Titansteel endlessly without regard for cooldown sillyness. Why, take an Alchemist making Titanium Bars, and an Engineering Miner farming the Primals and smelting Titansteel, and you’ve got a great combination to feed a leveling Blacksmith.

Not that any of us are so far advanced in the game that we’ve got multiple, or even ALL, max level Professions scattered amongst our characters. Oh, heavens no.

So, what’s your take? What do you personally feel is the most painful Profession to level once you finally hit those last few points and want to get cracking on making something useful?

Notice I don’t even mention the confusing hell that is Tailoring and cloth specialising and variations at end game, or the fun of tokens that is Cooking. 🙂

Gotta give Cooking a big thumbs up, simply from having so many easy to get to daily quests.

As you think about it… of all the many and varied systems Blizzard has implemented in professions to learn new recipes and advance them… which do you like the best? And why?

No really, why? If your answer is you like the hardest because you’re into pain, well, that might be fun to know. 🙂

And of course, that leaves us wondering… will any of the professions SWAP recipe leveling methods once Cataclysm comes to town? Will Blizzard decide they like one more than the rest, and just use that copy/paste?

Oooh, that fun and easy Engineering might turn into the white whale! Ahoy there, Ahab!

23 thoughts on “Professional Pain!

  1. I think there was a bit of info in one of the previews that hinted at all of the professions getting dailies along the lines of jewelcrafting in Cataclysm. Might’ve been wrong though.


  2. Inscription. At least with jewelcrafting you can choose which cuts you want first. Don’t get the glyph you need from researching? Too bad, better luck tomorrow! You can also read the books to learn new glyphs, but you can not learn the ones that you learn through research this way and they can be hard to come by.


  3. Inscription on a alt is pretty easy. No pressure to level I had both majors and minors done by the time I was 74. Mostly I used the research to level inscription, one point a day.
    JC was not to bad for me personally, in fact i was in the positive when i hit max level @ 70, mainly because I stockpiled scraps of gems and jc mats for a year. In wotlk again the advantage of a alt, i dinged him to 71, running around av, DId JC dailys for a year then realized well its 74 from jc and cooking dailies about time to level it to 80.
    Alchemy? lol-easy, My 3rd alchemist is 445 or so as of yesterday.
    Enchanting? Despite the many complaints its not that bad in Wotlk, vellums is the main difference, 1-150ish? enchant your own gear over and over. Nobody wants +3 to x for 10 silver when they can buy+7 to x from the AH for a gold. 150ish to 330ish. As long as your server has a reasonable twink/leveling population their is allways something you can vellum for a point and sell if you want long enough for a small +/-. 330-350. Horrid. Lots of mats to make enchants that have a wotlk version that is cheaper to make. Cheapest enchant 20g, resale value perhaps 1g. 350+? easy again. your in wotlk and everybody wants sp to bracers, sp to gloves etc. I just got a 2nd enchanter to 450 and virtually every enchant I made past 400 was for myself.
    Engineeering is moderately hard on a non gnome. The cost of mats is not that high but you tend to end up with things that have no vendor or disenchant value and only another engineer would want.
    Leatherworking,tailoring and especially blacksmithing? Hard. Blizzard designed the professions so people leveling would be a source of cheap gear.

    Cooking? I not to bad. I fish for feasts, I fish for a non-existent turtle, I get scrap fish I feed to alts and they cook and use. End result? 3 450 cooks, 2 more @ 425 for feast dropping and the rest at least 39x getting points from greens before I push them to the hump @ 400.

    Best benefits, JC, BS but Engineering is very useful and fun as heck on a non-raider. Inscription worst benefits.bleh for tanks. average for many.
    Most gold? JC, Alt transmute bots are easy money. worst? I would go with Inscription. 5-10 People at most per server make good money, Everybody else? Its too much hard work.


  4. I tend to agree with HerrDrache. Blacksmithing was a pain levelling and it seems that there aren’t any benefits for max level. All the recipes that are helpful to your toon or profitable are ungainable unless you seriously raid.

    Compare that to:
    Alchemy: Gem transmutes = Azeroth mint
    JC = Who needs that cut? Why that’ll be $$$$ more than you have
    Inscription = Easy to level and learn new glyphs from a random drop from any where
    Leatherworking = Arctic fur and multiple customer classes so yummy
    Engineering = so so – but such a personal cool factor
    Tailoring is the only one I have no personal experience in – so an “incomplete”


  5. I have a maxed inscription and the only thing that helps is the shoulder enchant. The Dark Moon cards are a laugh. Only few decks are any good, why didnt they make a different deck that would benifit each damage/heal type. Also I with the help of a friend that had herbalism and lots of time try to make some decks. I must have Inscribed 300 cards we only got one deck and the other 3 we had to buy cards to finish them on AH. I think skiining for its Crit buff and mining for its stamina buff are probably the best gathering professions, I am going to get my warlock leatherworking for the bracer enchant.
    Not all professions are equal.


  6. I have all the professions covered, except LW. Blacksmithing is annoying pre-max level because of the huge amounts of Mithril/Thorium needed. At max level I was a little upset because if you weren’t raiding Ulduar/TOC-25 or heroic, you were out of luck to get profitable designs. Still holds true for ICC for most crafters to an extent – in the beginning you HAD to be raiding 25 man to get Primordial Saronite to buy the designs with. Blizzards way of saying “screw you, measly 10-man normal raider. Go make money and spend a ton, or wait until it’s old content”. Still better than Uld/ToC with the random drops…

    At max level, I wasn’t happy with Inscription – all the books I had to buy/beg/hope for. They just didn’t seem to drop at all – and then it was some useless glyph that nobody wanted 😦

    JC wasn’t too bad – but I started pretty early on – had a max lvl JC at the beginning of Wrath. And I tried to NOT get every design, but only the ones that people wanted – there are too many useless designs that might come in handy ONCE…

    Overall, though, having nearly all professions at max level does save me a ton of money – and makes me some money as well. At some point I’ll forget the quests and mountains of ore I had to burn through… at some point… perhaps… 🙂


  7. Alchemy is the best, but I haven’t seen my favorite reason for alchemy being the best listed here.

    As someone who raids constantly it is so nice that my flasks last twice as long. I hate when I’m on my mage facing a 6 hour long ICC run and having to get 6 sometimes 7 flasks for it. It piles up quick. Whereas my druid with alchemy not only pops two or three flasks but with flask mastery sometimes gets “free” flasks. I once made 10 frost wyrm flasks on one combine.

    When you raid as much as I do, thats worth more than selling gems, which you also get to do. 🙂


  8. Inscription you get recipes from 4 sources… Trainer, Minor research, Major Research, and book of glyph mastery. None of these share a pattern and all must be learned individually. My inscription was my second maxed profession in wotlk… I still don’t have all the patterns mostly because I’m too lazy to do the research myself… heck I don’t even make my own glyphs anymore unless they are over 60gold in the AH I just buy them.

    JC don’t forget to get all the recipes, you need to rep grind with all the major wotlk factions for their recipes as well as get the drops from all the heroics. Granted these are all blue gems so no one cares anymore… but at the time that was quite annoying. Not to mention some are flat out world drops in wotlk.

    Enchanting also has a few of those for cloak resistance drops.


  9. Cooking is the best balanced I think. There are a lot of recipes and most of them are 3 tokens each, so it takes you a while to earn them all. Even when you’re done earning them, you can still save for the chef’s hat so there’s a reason to keep up the daily once your recipes are all finished. Plus, you get recipes fast enough that you don’t feel like there’s no damn point in doing the daily regularly. I like the possibility of getting extra tokens in your bag or from the fishing daily. Fishing and cooking have a nice interplay all the way up through the levels and I like that it continues at max level with the waterlogged recipe.

    JC attempts the same thing with their token system, but the tokens are just painful to get. The damaged necklace sells for HUNDREDS of gold on my server… and it’s only worth one token! And it requires you to add your own gems to complete the quest. Why is it so much more expensive than the waterlogged recipe which grants five cooking tokens? That thing needs to drop more! Prospecting titanium needs to yield worthwhile gems more often, as well as more dust, then I might do it. I’ve turned in titanium dust exactly once, and I had to prospect *five* stacks of titanium to get 10 dusts. That’s worth about 1500g for one token. And I barely got any useful gems in the process (ugh, ANOTHER Sky Sapphire?! /facepalm). JC has a TON of recipes, there’s no reason that getting them should be quite this painful.


  10. I just wrote a 1700 word reply that I don’t think anyone would care to read.

    So I’ll just summarize:

    – Alchemy and Inscription have the best “learn new recipe” functions. Research is nice because you KNOW you will be getting a new recipe every XX days, and ultimately you will get every recipe available. The “Glyph Mastery” books added later are a mixed bag for me. At first the books were way too expensive (I spent around 3k gold on books in the first few weeks and ended up with a series of mostly useless glyphs).
    – Tailoring has a unique way of learning two recipes – via Achievements. Blizzard should do more of this, but they need to better inform the player about these recipes. Who would have thought that completing “Loremaster of Northrend” and “Dungeonmaster of Northrend” would earn tailoring patterns?
    – The Token system used by Cooking and Jewelcrafting never bothered me. However, I think Jewelcrafting had too many recipes with a low-rate of income on its Tokens. Cooking always provided 1 or 2 tokens a day, with a chance of another token from the bag.
    – The Materials Trade system used by Enchanting is very nice. In the first days of WotLK a player had to invest serious money to get the best recipes. But since not everyone would do that, it meant that those who invested in these recipes had a strong chance of earning more gold. As the expansion has gotten older, though, the value of Dream Shards have dropped so much that anyone could easily get all recipes available. I like this as the value of the recipes directly reflects the amount of income you might expect from those recipes.
    – The weird one is Skinning / Leatherworking. Here we have recipes available for Leatherworking that require the materials provided by a different tradeskill. Since I never participated in this particular setup (I don’t have LW or Skinning on any of my char) I don’t know how successful this was.

    Overall I like Research the best because I like knowing that my goal is attainable.


  11. I’m actually looking forward to Inscription and hoping that they continue the researches in Cataclysm (compared to patterns that drop)…precisely BECAUSE of the random Minor/Major glyph research. Being the first one to research “Glyph of Prot Pally Pwnies” or “Mage’s Minor Glyph of Cute Kittens” can fund the entirety of your habits pretty much all by itself.

    There’s the flip-side of that coin…where your research is piled into the useless junk that has only a single redeeming quality: You’ll never research it again…so it can only get better tomorrow, right?

    Now on my Main, I’m a Skinning/Leatherworker. I caught the Poke’mon syndrome and have gone waaaaay out of my way to collect every pattern I can find. I spent the downtime between Burning Crusade and Wrath zipping around collecting patterns wherever they were to be had. Even after hitting 80, I went back to Silithus to finish grinding out the Cenarion rep just for the patterns…the Cenarion-related title was just icing.

    I’m far too invested in my Leatherworking to ever change that profession, and I’m not about to switch from Skinning til I’ve hit max level in my crafting side of the profession. It’s by no means my breadwinner though. That’s the Inscription alt. Inscription is the ONLY reason my Main isn’t dancing on mailboxes to put her Leatherworking through school. It’s not exactly the most in-demand crafting profession, and there will inevitably be an item that drops off a boss somewhere that makes even the most powerful pattern obsolete…but there’s no turning back for me.


  12. I’m going to say Enchanting and/or Blacksmithing.

    I have a miner/engineer. Even at the 2 Saronite ore -> 1 Saronite bar, followed by 8 saronite bar -> 1 titanium bar, and then 3 titanium bar -> one titansteel bar conversion: I still can’t get enough Eternals. Particularly fire and sometimes shadow.

    With enchanting, it’s not as bad as it was now that dream shards and abyss crystals are a bit easier to come by, but when I leveled it, the mat requirements were pretty steep. (I think they also eased up on some of the mat requirements for enchants, particularly the dust).


  13. I personally have at minimum one of each profession at max level, except gathering professions. I would certainly qualify myself as a Goblin, although not necessarily the Greedy type, just Needy.
    With that out of the way, this is what I think of the professions:
    Most annoying? Inscription.
    Most annoying post 3.3? Enchanting. The only profession I’ve ever considered dropping but absolutely will not due to the 5 figures I’ve spent on recipes. You can thank Resto Druids not being able to roll on cloth with no cloth wearer present for that.
    Most expensive? Jewelcrafting.
    Worth the expense? Jewelcrafting.
    Not worth the expense? Engineering.
    Easiest to level? Leatherworking.
    Most profitable while leveling? Enchanting, combined with Inscription.

    Best overall: Alchemy. Why alchemy? Simple. No other profession can literally PRINT money once a day. One King’s Amber transmute per day over my four Transmute spec Alchemists will yield on average 32¾ King’s Amber per week. Twenty eight transmutes in a week plus 17% average proc rate.

    Honorable mentions:
    Annoying: Jewelcrafting
    Expensive: Tailoring (at some points in the leveling process anyway)
    Profitable: Blacksmithing (at some points)


  14. In order to do my part to try and always provide that “value added” blog post experience, I’d like to add this;

    If you’re the kind of person that does love to fully complete your recipe list, I personally use the addon “Ackis Recipe List”, which can be found on Curse.

    Ackis Recipe List adds a “Scan” button to your Profession interface, and when you use it it checks your current known recipes against what is possible, displays your current percentage of known recipes out of the max at the bottom, and also shows you every recipe that you’re missing… in a format that also lets you expand the list to see where they drop FROM.

    Think you’ve got all the Mining recipes? Mining is simple, after all, right? Well, if you came to WoW late, you might find yourself shocked to discover you didn’t learn to smelt Dark Iron Ore from BRD, or (far more common) you never got the Smelt Elementium recipe from the drop in Blackwing Lair. I think it’s Elementium, I’m going off of memory here.

    It’s thanks to Ackis Recipe List that I found out my Druid’s Inscription was missing a recipe drop from Grizzly Hills that let’s you learn how to make an off hand Tome, the “Rituals of the New Moon”. This fun Tome off hand, on use, transforms you into a wolf. And which color wolf you turn into varies by Tome. There are black, white, and red that I can think of, might be gray as well. I went out, got the drop and then made the books as gifts for friends on Horde side. I can’t recommend the addon enough for completists.


  15. Honestly the only Profession that gets done on all my characters is skinning. Free buff. Other than that, I have LW that I maxxed on a hunter just because I wanted to make my own armor. Now that I’m infatuated with druids, this is only a good thing, as skinning makes most of the grind mats for the LW.


  16. I have Alchemy/Herb, Engineering/Mining, Blacksmithing/Mining, Enchanting/Tailoring and Skinning/Leatherworking

    Enchanting is the biggest pain in the bootie of all the professions I have done. From looking at it and talking to friends that have it, I’d vote #2 for Jewelcrafting, which is why my alt that has a meager 165 in it will most likely never max it. Screw 25 years of dailies to get all the recipes just in time for the next expansion that makes them all useless.

    Alchemy, BS and Engineering were actually fairly easy. Alchemy was the easiest other than needing a ton of Frost Lotus at the end. Doing the gem transmutes for the last few points turned out to be the best way to get maxed. For a nice cash cow – Gogo Transmute Mastery!


  17. I don’t have true experience with anything except Skinning, Leatherworking, Jewelcrafting, and the secondary professions.

    IMO, it is absolutely, 100% insanely ridiculous that, unless you are willing to spend a ridiculous amount of time and/or money buying/farming/prospecting titanium into powder (or buying the powder outright), it will literally take you over half a year to get all the epic jewelcrafting recipes – and that’s assuming you don’t spend any of your tokens on Dragon’s Eyes, which is a big bonus to being a jewelcrafter in the first place. *facepalm*


  18. I’ve got tailoring, enchanting, JC, mining, alchemy, herbalism, cooking, fishing, first aid and engineering at 450 – with inscription on 430-something as I do a research a day for the last points.

    When it comes to difficulty of getting recipes – my vote goes to JC. If you started Wrath as a JC character and started doing dailies straight away, then you would have picked up the blue gem recipes well before they introduced the epic gem recipes – but for me starting late to the party – it sucks big time. Sure I’ve got the key recipes that I need for my raiding main as well as a smattering of others for current top level alts – but I want all of them! I hate that feeling of incompleteness – the recipes are all there, but I need those dastardly tokens to buy them and I can only gain 1 token per day (4 tokens / recipe). Ugh!!

    Inscription is better as I can go out and get a stock of herbs and just make sure to do research once a day and each day I gain 1 more recipe PLUS I could buy Books of Glyph Mastery as well if I wanted to speed things up.


  19. You’re right that enchanting is still expensive to level, but you can sell almost everything you make on the way for a profit, sometimes quite a decent profit too, and you can keep on making things that are grey to you to earn money to buy more expensive mats to make the high level stuff. And those pesky rods you need, they suck up the money too…

    The auto-disenchant option (well, that combined with the huge increase of people running heroics after the LFD changes too) has definitely lowered the price of enchanting mats, but that has just made cheaper to level via buying them, and blowing 10 dream shards on a high-end recipe is no longer such a huge deal.

    Of course it means the basic D/E & sell mats trick is no longer a viable way make money either, and everyone will have all the obviously useful level 80 formulas, so you have to get a bit creative. The thing about enchanting though is that loads of stuff from vanilla & Outland can still be crazy profitable to sell as scrolls, especially anything that can be applied to an heirloom weapon.

    Which makes it the “the most painful profession to get all the *useful* recipes for” in my opinion, ’cause you won’t be buying any of that stuff with shards.

    All of the following can sell for a huge mark-up, but you’ll be doing a ton of AH-stalking, rep grinds and old-world dungeon & raid soloing to have a chance at getting them.

    +15agi, +25agi(2H), +22int, crusader, lifestealing, +30 spellpower & Mongoose, which is still best in slot even at level 80 for certain classes.

    +4 stats. Exactly 1 higher than the easily available +3 stats, but see just how much more people will pay for that 1 measly stat point on their shiny BoA chest! Totally un-farmable though, will just have to hope it drops somewhere in outland when grinding for other stuff (hint: it probably won’t)

    Cats swiftness. Best in slot for hunters (possibly all physical DPS classes if not an engineer) and will proabably requires many, many killings of Kael’thas in Magisters Terrace to get. Still, there are far worse things than repeatedly killing loads of blood elves;)

    Oh, and there’s blood draining & blade ward which are random Ulduar drops, and also horribly hard to get hold of now for someone who missed out when Ulduar was current content.


  20. Blacksmithing, oh God, blacksmithing.

    But the funny thing is, it’s not the last few points that are a stretch for me. It’s the mithril and thorium. I spent around 4,000 gold power leveling my blacksmith and around 2,500 of that was for mithril and thorium. I had the same hurdle when leveling jewelcrafting. I’ll likely never do either of them again if I can avoid it.

    Ironically, I had zero trouble on both of my engineers, and only one is a miner. I probably just got lucky with my yellow and green creations, in hindsight, but it was mostly painless.


  21. I don’t really know which is the toughest, but I know that blacksmithing scares me more than anything. I’ve leveled skinning, mining, jewelcrafting, leatherworking, enchanting, tailoring, first aid, cooking and fishing to max level, some multiple times. I’ve got herbalism and alchemy to an appropriate level (near 300) on my current alt (level 55). I’m way over level with inscription (215ish) on a low-level alt (24 paladin). I see no use in leveling engineering with the relatively poor bonuses available for the investment (as far as I know, there aren’t any bosses in ToC dropping seriously in-demand schematics). I got about halfway there during BC for the goggles, but gave up and don’t think I’ll try again.

    But blacksmithing…terrifying. Since my first foray into professions, poorly chosen for my hunter about 5 years ago (Really? Mail is made out of leather and not metal?), it’s intimidated me. I feel like my little pally may be the best chance to go for it, but it just scares me, and I don’t think there’s a good reason.


  22. Of course, Fang… Engineers get to use Zapthrottle’s Mote Extractor in Sholazar to get tons of Fire and some Water, there are air clouds in Dragonblight (and some water), there are clouds in icecrown… if you’re an Engineer/Miner, than faminr in Sholozar with clouds mixed into your route gets you ore, plus Fire, water, a touch of air, shadow and earth. Not too tacky.


  23. BBB, is there an advantage to having an engineer miner for farming primals? I ask because I am leveling mining on a new 80 and was thinking of going with alchemy for the second slot. This would be my second alchemist but I’ll happily take a second engineer if it helps mining!

    To keep this reply on topic, the daily jc grind is annoying because it forces you to do it everyday or fall way behind. Alchemy was the most fun to level with useful stuff coming from all the last points. Enchanting was actually easy for me as I was able to sell the enchants by making scrolls.

    Tailoring is annoying past 445 🙂


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