Beginners Guide to Professions

This article is a part of Khi’s idea for a blogging event centred around the Lunar Festival, to learn from your Elders. Feel free to pop over to Blog Azeroth to check out the topic and join in too!

One of the first questions I remember asking when I first started playing WoW is, “Wtf is a Herbalism?” Yes, on my first character, I stumbled upon profession trainers in utter confusion, clicked learn and stumbled off, later changing to something else, and even later changing back again.. eventually settling on Mining and Jewelcrafting, purely because I wanted a character with those professions (Jewelcrafting was new and shiny at this point). These days, you may (or may not) know me to have way too many alts, but each one has different professions which compliment each other and enable me to make a decent earning from them, which is the great thing about professions. However, that is beside the point of this post. The questions I really want to answer are: What are professions? How do I choose which ones are best for me? Where do I start? Should I bother with First Aid/Cooking/Fishing?

Professions are basically a way to craft and gather. There are 3 gathering professions: Mining, Herbalism, Skinning. These are probably the easiest to level because all they take is a bit of time and commitment. However, they are best suited when paired with one of the crafting professions: Jewelcrafting, Blacksmithing, Engineering, Alchemy, Inscription, Leatherworking. There are 2 crafting professions which are the exception to the rule and don’t benefit from being paired with a gathering profession: Enchanting, Tailoring. These do suit each other quite well, though Tailoring is definitely best fitted for caster classes.

There are also secondary professions, which you can pick up alongside 2 of the professions listed above. These secondary professions are: First Aid, Cooking, Fishing. You should pick up and level First Aid as you level, you’ll pick up the cloth needed from mobs and instances. Bandages are awesome, especially for classes without healing abilities, or those moments when you’re at low health with zero mana. The higher level your bandages are, the more they heal you, so it is important to keep levelling your First Aid as you level. Cooking and Fishing are great professions to level together, they’re very useful, but not a necessity. Cooking allows you to cook food at a high level which gives you a certain buff, whether it’s extra spell power, attack power, a feast for the entire raid, it is very useful for raiding. This food is BoE so you can buy it from the Auction House if you don’t want to level Cooking. Fishing allows you to fish the reagents needed to make the food. If you’re interesting in achievements, you will want to level both of these as they help you to get a range of achievements, which can give you a title (Salty for Fishing, Chef for Cooking).

The best way to choose which professions to take is to firstly decide how much gold you mind spending. I’ve recently levelled Enchanting and Blacksmithing on my Death Knight and that was quite expensive. If I’d levelled Blacksmithing and Mining, the ores I mined would have made levelling Blacksmithing a little bit cheaper. Secondly, to consider that at end game, each profession gives a certain buff, so you may want to think about taking a profession with a good buff to your class. For example, Jewelcrafting is good for all classes as it gives 3 Jewelcrafting only gems with that stats you choose specific to your class, significantly higher than they would be on a normal gem. On the other hand, Enchanting gives you the ability to enchant your rings, which you otherwise wouldn’t be able to do.

If you’re looking for the easiest and cheapest way to level your professions, using a guide, I suggest you check out WoW Professions. They have some excellent profession guides.

12 thoughts on “Beginners Guide to Professions”

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  2. One important question for choosing professions is how much you enjoy playing on the Auction House, finding cheap raw materials and crafting stuff that sells at a profit. If you like that and have some patience crafting can be profitable, but if you’d rather be out adventuring go for gathering professions and just sell the stuff on the AH.

    Also, if you level a character with no healing ability, herbalism is very nice for the healing spell you get. It reduces downtime quite a bit.

    1. That’s very true, I always forget to consider certain professions for being good whilst levelling. Tailoring was a great one in Vanilla and early Wrath for casters because there were one or two nice BoP items, which these days aren’t quite so important.

      Herbalism is definitely nice though, yes. Especially for non-healing classes like Warriors, I’d say.

    2. Herbalism is also quite useful for feral druids, since all the other healing spells shift you into caster form. As a bear/cat with herbalism, you just become a bear/cat with flowers growing around your feet. 🙂

      1. I always forget to use it on my druid! Never got around to testing it, too busy watching for procs of.. is it Imp Leader of the Pack?

        1. Yeah, ILOTP is awesome too. Difference is, I’ve had Lifeblood for quite a while – my herbalism is around 280 at level 48 – but have only had ILOTP for a few levels because you have to have 30 (?) points in the feral tree as well as 1 point in LOTP which is at the same level. So now I just don’t use Lifeblood as often. In fact, I think the last time I used it was when I soloed a couple of lvl 40-42 elite uniques. (Gorlash, Lord Azrethoc)

          Lifeblood is also a much bigger (one-time) heal than ILOTP. At my current herb level, it’s a 720 point heal, vs. ILOTP is around 100. However, ILOTP can proc as frequently as every 6 seconds if your crit rate is high enough, while Lifeblood has a 3-minute cooldown. So it probably all works out about the same.

        2. My druid is 68, with roughly about 310 herbalism.

          For me, it’s really just down to what I remember to use. Lifeblood is definitely awesome and I would recommend it for low levels looking for an extra heal. Problem is, I’m ditzy 😉

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  6. I think Profs and Raiding and the people are the reasons I still play the game. I love profs and have to max my profs out whenever I level an alt otherwise it drives me crazy.

    PS Love the layout! 🙂

    1. Yeah, it took me a while to level my DK’s profs (perhaps 7 or 8 months..) but I needed to, she feels more like a complete character now. If there were no people, the game would suck, definitely agree with you.

      Also, thank you! <3

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