Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Random Ramblings: Guides Backburnered, Questing and Gathering

  I've been writing and re-writing my continuation on how to choose professions, but I think they're all due for a complete re-write. My original intent was to answer the question "What professions should I take?", but the 4 parts I've written so far (Choosing First Profs and Choosing Profs for 1-2 Characters published, parts 3,4 unpublished) are answering the more specific question "What professions pair well together?", which is a good question,  but narrow in focus. I'm going to start mostly from scratch, taking inspiration from one of my first blog posts: How To Choose Professions: Min/Maxing, Making Money, Self Sufficiency. Naturally, the information is out of date, and it's kind of brief, but it does address the three major motivations to choosing professions. 

  My proposed outline would then be:

HTCP: Min/Maxing - A short list showing compiled data from sources such as Elitist Jerks and other Class/Role specific websites, with links. Mostly written already, but lacking a few specifics.
HTCP: Best Professions for Leveling Players - I'll use the existing Choosing First Profs article, but with more content and more explicit focus on addressing new players.
HTCP: 1-2 Characters - The existing article proposes options with some commentary. I'll extend the commentary and rework the format to be less choppy. Dividing options between 2 Gathering, Gathering/Crafting, and 2 Crafting works well, but I need to address optimizing Spirit of Harmony.
HTCP: 3-5 Characters - It's already written in the format of the previous one, and has Spirit of Hamony optimization options listed, but I'm not satisfied with the choppy format. Dividing options based on varying amounts of Gathering professions taken becomes less relevant. Instead I'll see if I can divide options between focusing on specific markets, Spirit of Harmony optimization, and doubling up professions for extra cooldowns.
HTCP: 6+ Characters - With 12 profession slots, it's possible to take every profession, so streamlining options for efficiency (i.e. not logging in and out 20 times an hour) becomes important. It's not written yet, but I expect it to be similar to the previous one.

  For now, though, I've been questing and gathering, the two things I've always hated! I've completed the first two zones on my Rogue Herbalist, while gathering enough to get started on my 3 daily Inscription cooldowns and level my Horde Alchemy (not specced yet). I'll be leveling my Ally Alchemy next (transmute specced) just to get that cooldown started. I've also started questing/gathering on my DK Miner. Since he's Blood specced, mostly normal mode gear, and gemmed/enchanted/reforged to the hilt, I'm blowing through packs of mobs that my Rogue had to run from.

  But the questing really had me entranced! Normally I just do dungeons to level, but I'm really enjoying the questing experience so far. I'll probably start skipping ahead to Valley of the Four Winds eventually, just to get the farm going on crafting alts, but if the last zones all provide a good set of gear, that's how I'll prepare for heroics/raiding.

  Jade Forest did not feel like a chore to complete, but finding the occasional talking target was difficult and it was a bit buggy here and there. I flew though the map once on my ride to the top of Serpent's Heart. I think the conclusion of the zone was pretty epic.

  Valley of the Four Winds I was a little all over the place, kinda haphazardly going from place to place. A few of the quests confused me, one was bugged and couldn't be completed at first, and I fell through the map once. Now that I know what all the quests are, I'll be rolling through them faster on alts with less frustration. Paoquan Hollow and Nesingwary's Safari seemed a little disparate from the rest of the zone experience, but were fun in their own right.

  I'll probably start dungeons on my Hunter and Priest, skip ahead to Krasarang Wilds with my DK, and take my Rogue through Kun-Lai Summit.

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.

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

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Ding #6

  I've finally leveled my Rogue!

  My Female Dwarf Rogue, to be more specific. I started her along with my Shaman during the Cata pre-patch.  Two years later, my Shammy has enjoyed a bit of attention. A little PvP, a little LFR, but mostly just being my BS/Tailor. Two years later, my Rogue, neglected at level 50 for a loooong time, finally is a max level character.

  She's not one of the "legendary carrot effect" Rogues stomping around. If that were so, then my Priest would have the staff. She is, however, fully enjoying the full assortment of abilities, especially Crimson Tempest, a.k.a. BLOOD EVERYWHERE!!!

  I've been focusing on Assassin. It's a really slow rotation. I've always advised any player, in any role, to keep the GCD going. High activity is the best way to increase DPS, throughput for healers, or threat for tanks, (Also, tank DPS matters) but there's always been one exception in the back of my my mind, though, which I never bother to specify, since they know who they are.

  They're Rogues.

  I know I'm very new to the class, but I think a major way to improve it might be to remove the Energy cost of finishers. My impression so far of the Rogue rotations is: Build combo points>wait for energy>use finisher>wait for energy>repeat. If finishers only cost the combo points they use, then it would be: Build combo points>use finisher>build combo points>repeat. Assassin would still have the wait time between Mutilates, but it would be lessened by the extra Energy not spent on finishers.

  There would have to be a lot of re-balancing to adjust for the major increase in DPS this would cause, but it would decrease the time wasted between button presses waiting on Energy. This is mostly Assassin I'm looking at, but the Combat rotation outside of haste buffs has the same issue.

  For now, though, I'll just spec Combat (Dwarves use maces, see?) and gear up just a little bit, enough to get into LFR. I'm not going to spend any significant amount of time or gold on it, I just want to raid a little on my newest maxed alt. PvP can wait for next season.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Guide to Professions: Choosing your First Professions

  Since I've been playing a lot with all the professions,  I'll try my hand at guides to the professions. Any input is welcome, and I'll edit and update them as necessary.

   This first part of the guide assumes that you are choosing what professions to take on a brand new character with no high-level support, and that you don't have much experience with professions, if any. I organize the typical starting options into the Best Options, which are profitable for leveling players, Very Good Options, which are very profitable in the long run and fairly easy to level, and Good Options, which can be a short term time and gold cost, but are still good in the long run. I also list Other Options and why I don't recommend them.

  I use WoW-Professions as a general guide to leveling professions. I highly recommend using Auctionator to buy and sell on the Auction House and something like Postal for the mailbox, since the default user interface is just too slow and clumsy.

  The Best Options


  My highest recommendation for any player first starting off. Dual gathering goes along well with leveling, as it doesn't take time away from actually leveling.
  • It's bonuses are survival-oriented (Lifeblood from Herbalism as soon as you take the profession, Toughness from Mining at 75 points), and they scale as you level. 
  • They don't cost anything to level but a nominal fee for trainin.
  • Gathering herbs and ore grants a decent amount of experience.
  Gathering herbs requires no special equipment, but you will want a Mining Pick and an Herbalist's Spade, which is usually sold at a vendor right by the mining trainer. I suggest leaving them next to your hearthstone in your bags, so you never forget them.

  I recommend selling herbs and ore on the AH in stacks of 5, 10, or 20. This gives Inscribers and Jewelcrafters convenient stacks for milling and prospecting. Ore can also be sold in stacks of 1 or 2, for Miners to smelt.

  WoW-Profession's guides to Herbalism and Mining are intended to be as efficient as possible for a player at max level, so they may not be the best suited for a player while leveling. If either profession lags behind, though, following these is a great way to catch up.


  Inscription is uniquely profitable very early on (My low-level Inscription guide), and is great for any class just starting off. Be aware that the glyph market can be very competitive, but there's a lot of profit for the dedicated. Just resist the urge to camp, which is canceling and re-listing auctions that get undercut. That's a huge time sink.

  Very Good Options


  Any class can benefit from Jewelcrafting, and it has some nice bonuses while leveling, including Stone Statues that heal you, access to some nice rings and neckpieces very early on, and trinkets in the mid-levels and onward.

  Leveling Jewelcrafting along with Mining is, of course, the most economical method. Take this option of you are considering being a serious Gold Maker later on, as Jewelcrafting is a very profitable profession on it's own, as well as being the first half of the Ore Shuffle.


  Tailoring is a common choice for Priests, Warlocks, and Mages, so they can craft their own armor. There is certainly merit to this in the endgame, since being able to craft armor using your own material and professions can be a great money saver in the long run. While leveling up to 90, though, Tailoring does not actually provide much benefit at all. There are plenty enough great quest rewards and dungeon drops that most items you will be able to craft won't be an upgrade. Even in the few cases where there are upgrades, it's replaced within a few levels.

  Tailoring is classically paired with Enchanting, since crafted items from Tailoring can be used to level Enchanting. Enchanting also does not provide much benefit while leveling, since putting enchants on leveling gear is largely a waste of time and material. The major advantage to having Enchanting while leveling enables a player to always be able to disenchant gear drops in a dungeon and many quest rewards for more than they vendor for.

  Take this option if you think you want to be a Tailor and/or Enchanter when you get to max level. Enchanting is the second half of the Ore Shuffle, so it's also a great choice for anyone who is considering being a Gold Maker.

  Good Options


  This is a very popular choice for the Leather and Mail wearing classes. Leveling Leatherworking without having Skinning to support is is famously difficult and frustrating, and leveling Skinning without Leatherworking is just about useless, so the two are best leveled together.

  Much like Tailoring, Leatherworking also does not provide much benefit while leveling. Skinning does provide a small Crit bonus which scales as you level, but does not give an XP bonus, as Herbalism and Mining do.

  Take this option only if you are sure you want to be a Leatherworker at max level.


  Popular for Warriors, Paladins, and Death Knights, Blacksmithing also does not provide much benefit while leveling.

  Take this option if you are sure you want to be a Blacksmith at max level, but be aware that Blacksmithing will use up most of the ore you gather, which cuts into any profit you would make from Mining.


  While leveling, Alchemy yields mostly useless items. Typically, enough potions drop for players along the way that anything you can make is usually excess. Also, like Blacksmithing and Mining, Alchemy cuts into Herbalism's potential profits.

  Take this option if you are sure you want to be an Alchemist at max level. It's a very profitable profession at max level.


  Engineering is really fun, with lot's of cool toys. It's especially great for leveling in battlegrounds, where it pairs well with Mining's Toughness.

  At max level, most crafted Engineering items are only useful to the Engineer, but between guns, scopes, pets, and mounts, it has a few niche markets for the dedicated.

  Take this option only if you are dead set on being an Engineer. It's an expensive hassle to level, and not the most profitable in the long run, but it's fun!

Other Options

  Any combination of two crafting professions, i.e. Jewelcrafting/Blacksmithing, is not good for leveling characters who don't have thousands of gold to invest in these professions, as well as the time and patience to use the AH for materials.

  Skinning along with any profession other than Leatherworking is largely useless, unless you are planning on being a double farmer at max level. In that case, it's OK to pair with Herbalism or Mining.

   Enchanting paired with a crafting professions other than Tailoring suffers the disadvantage of being unable to gather materials for crafting.