Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Guide to Professions: Choosing Professions, 1-2 Characters

All Professions Lead to Profit


  Suppose you have one or more characters at level 80 or higher, and are interested in making more gold. You might wonder what the best professions to take are, and with what characters. I'll go through some options, starting with 1 character setups and building from there.

TL;DR
1 - BS/Ench
2 - Mining/JC, BS/Ench - or - Herb/Alch, Insc/Alch


1 Character


  With only one 80+ character, a player is limited to two primary professions. There are three basic options available at this point: Dual Gathering, Gathering/Crafting, and Dual Crafting.

  Dual Gathering is very popular for beginning gold makers, since it's only investment is the players time.

  The most common choice is Herbalism/Mining, since the two complement each other, as the player can gather both herbs and ore at the same time. It also supports multiple crafting professions, making it a great long-term choice if two or more alts will also be leveled.

  Skinning is a bit awkward paired with either, since skinning mobs and gathering herb/ore nodes don't synch up well, so it's not optimal as part of dual gathering. It's better paired with Leatherworking.

  Gathering/Crafting is also very popular. Being able to gather mats and craft with them makes a player more self sufficient. Be aware, though, that mats are not free, even when you gather them. They cost what you could have sold them for.

  Optimal choices are:
  • Tailoring/Enchanting
  • Skinning/Leatherworking
  • Mining/Blacksmithing
  • Mining/Engineering
  • Mining/Jewelcrafting
  • Herbalism/Alchemy
  • Herbalism/Inscription
  Tailoring is a special case, since Tailors can gather more cloth than non-Tailors after Northrend Scavenging (does not apply to BC or lower). Because of this, Tailoring sort of self-gathers. While Enchanting is often paired with Tailoring, as the two level well together, it isn't necessary, and may not be optimal with multiple characters. Both Tailoring and Enchanting are simply more "stand-alone" than the other crafting professions.

  Dual Crafting can access more than one market, but by relying on other gatherers. Crafting professions typically have much higher profits, though.

  The only professions that share mats are:
  • Blacksmithing/Engineering
  • Inscription/Alchemy
   Since Jewelcrafting uses ore to craft, it does not actually pair well with either Blacksmithing or Engineering, which use bars. It's doable, but not any more optimal than other options.

  Another option is to pair Enchanting with a profession that can craft items to disenchant. Options are:
  • Tailoring/Enchanting
  • Leatherworking/Enchanting
  • Blacksmithing/Enchanting
  • Jewelcrafting/Enchanting
  Because cloth and leather tend to cost more than ore, Tailoring and Leatherworking are not ideal sources for disenchanting current content. In Cataclysm, the most profitable choice was Jewelcrafting/Enchanting, because of the Ore Shuffle, but in Mists, it looks like it will be Blacksmithing that supplies the cheapest enchanting mats. This is very subject to change.

  Any other combination of crafting professions is less optimal in terms of crafting process, but the opportunity for profit is still there.

2 Characters


  Having two 80+ characters allows a player a multitude of profession opportunities, especially since a single profession can be taken twice. This allows for either more profession cooldowns, or another Alchemy specialization. Basic options can again be divided by how much gathering a player wants.

  Dual Gathering takes on more flexibility, allowing each gathering profession a higher profit outlet. A few options are:
  • Skinning/Leatherworking
  • Mining/Jewelcrafting 
  Or:
  • Herbalism/Mining
  • Alchemy/Blacksmithing
  Or:
  • Mining/Blacksmithing
  • Tailoring/Enchanting
  Skinning is best paired directly with Leatherworking, while Herbalism and Mining are still best together. The third option is able to craft more gear, since Tailoring is self-sufficient by nature, as well as having the new Bar Shuffle as an option.

  Single Gathering focuses on one market more fully.

  Mining options are:
  • Mining/Jewelcrafting
  • Blacksmithing/Engineering
  Or:
  • Mining/Jewelcrafting
  • Blacksmithing/Enchanting
  The first option fully exploits the ore market. The second option can instead focus on the new Bar Shuffle. Many players may already have a Jewelcrafter/Enchanter. In that case, Jewelcrafting is fairly interchangeable with Blacksmithing, enough so that it's not worth retraining and loosing a lot of learned recipes.

  Herbalism options are:
  • Herbalism/Alchemy
  • Inscription/Alchemy 
  Or:
  • Herbalism/Inscription
  • Alchemy/Inscription 
  Or:
  • Herbalism/Jewelcrafting
  • Alchemy/Inscription
  The first option takes either an additional Alchemy specialization or Transmute cooldown. The second option takes an additional Scroll of Wisdom cooldown. The third option has Jewelcrafting as a sort of odd one out, but it allows a player to take three of the highest profit professions.

   No Gathering allows a player to diversify crafting even more, but at the cost of self sufficiency, especially when it comes to ores and bars. However, the new Bar Shuffle may cause many ore gatherers to post their mats in bar form, bringing the cost of bars down closer to ore, mitigating this disadvantage.

  A couple of Bar Shuffle oriented options are:
  • Blacksmithing/Enchanting
  • Jewelcrafting/Alchemy 
  Or:
  • Blacksmithing/Enchanting
  • Jewelcrafting/Engineering
  Either option is profitable, depending on whether you want to do Living Steel transmutes or craft Engineering items.

  A couple of gear crafting options might be:
  • Tailoring/Leatherworking
  • Blacksmithing/Jewelcrafting
  Or:
  • Tailoring/Leatherworking
  • Blacksmithing/Enchanting
   These options are able to craft every armor type. The first can also craft rings and neck pieces. The second taps the Bar Shuffle instead. Skinning is still advised as a transition profession to level Leatherworking, even if temporarily. Tailoring is easier to level alone, and can replace Skinning.

  A few options focusing on extra cooldowns would be:
  • Jewelcrafting/Alchemy 
  • Inscription/Alchemy 
  Or:
  • Jewelcrafting/Inscription
  • Alchemy/Inscription
  Or:
  • Inscription/Alchemy 
  • Inscription/Alchemy
  The first option takes either an extra Alchemy specialization or an extra Transmute, and the second takes an extra Scroll of Wisdom. Both also take Jewelcrafting, combining three of the highest profit professions with an extra cooldown. The third option forgoes Jewelcrafting, may seem dull, and is perhaps a bit too specialized, but daily Transmutes tend to hold their value through an expansion, and Scrolls of Wisdom are likely to follow suit.


  In closing, I'd like to emphasize that not all possible options are described, just some that I think make sense and have potential for more profit. Any professions, if done correctly, can yield high profit.

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