On Selecting a Tradeskill

As the next expansion approaches, I find myself thinking more and more about the crafting choices I’ve made and the new profession we’ll be gaining with Wrath of the Lich King. Obviously as a commentator, I’m obligated to try Inscription and post my findings, that’s a given. However, I currently have 4 level 70 characters and they are spread pretty thin (Skinning/LW) (Engie/Chanter) (Smith/Herber) (JC/Miner). I also have a 62 who’s my Alchemist and could potentially be a Tailor if I decide to actually play him.

Aside from the issue of covering all the bases on my toons, there’s also the dilemma of which one should take up which craft. I find myself quite annoyed with Leatherworking at the moment because once you’ve cleared Karazhan, there’s no reason to keep making yourself BoP items as a Resto druid. They did just add some new patterns to the Sunwell, but most of us will never see that so I have a hard time counting it as a legitimate gear upgrade path. As it stands, my Leatherworking is predominantly providing cheap leg armor to my other toons. Kaliope actually makes better money from fishing than she does from Leatherworking, a pretty sad state of affairs to my mind.

While I have serious doubts about the benefits Kaliope gets from Leatherworking, you could argue that my rogue would benefit more from all the crafted DPS gear. I know there are other folks who will actually level a tradeskill from scratch just to get BoP crafted items such as the Primal Mooncloth set for healers or the Weaponsmith epics for melee classes. How many of you choose your profession based on the BoP epics? I know right now I have a hard time dropping professions because most of mine have been in place since 1.x and I don’t want to spend a mountain of gold to retrain into something else and lose all the recipes I currently have. In some ways I’m rather hemmed in by the choices I made 1-2 years ago when none of the current end-game options existed. In other ways it has been very handy to have older recipes so I can share crafted items with others who need them for leveling.

Another consideration for what craft to take is the end-game itself. If some of your toons will never see Karazhan or SSC or the other high-end instances, you can’t select a craft that depends on those BoP and/or faction recipes no matter how nifty the item might be for that toon. I know I feel like I need to keep my rogue a Jewelcrafter because she’s actually geared enough to take on raids. In this way my druid is once again wasted, because her leatherworking doesn’t gain her much in the recipe acquisition department. Overall, it’s getting quite complicated to choose the optimal profession for each toon. So how do you guys make a decision on what tradeskills to take and how often do you switch if you change your mind? I’m curious what process other players use to make such an expensive decision.


17 Responses to “On Selecting a Tradeskill”

  1. Barona Says:

    Easy answer…. Do Inscriptions on your Death Knight! ;-)

    But to answer your other question:
    I generally pick tradeskills on what ancillary benefits they bring, not on the BoP Gear. My druid is herb/alc because I don’t like spending money on pots. My Shadow Priest is an enchanter/herb because at the time we needed someone to melt drops and I like herbing money. My Warrior was Mining/Blacksmith for the gear, but i didn’t like it, so dropped it for Engineering for the Mote Farming.

  2. Telrunya & Sanders Says:

    I went with LW/Skinning on my main(hunter). I finally hit 375 and it really does nothing for me. I can make a small profit on the leg armor kits but I really had no clue that all the epics were BOP’s. :P I chose element for my resto druid and he can’t even benefit from it…lol My issue is I put a lot of time into getting to the 375 and switching professions is making me cringe. My druid is alch/herbs with my rogue in mining and DE. I am at a complete loss as to what to do about my druids gear now. That wildhawk set was calling him. :( Sorry didn’t mean to write a novel but your post made me realize I have some decisions to make.

  3. Wara Says:

    As a balance druid, I took up leatherworking/skinning after hitting 70 so I could make the Windhawk Set. I had been herb/alchemist until then but found the Windhawk armor too good to pass up. Now that I’ve made that, it’s a little bit of a lost profession, but clearly can’t give it up right now.

    In a nod to my egocentrism, though, I have to admit that I really like the “Made by” tags on my stuff. Especially if I make a present for someone else. :-)

  4. Lady Jess Says:

    I chose mine on my priest(tailor/enchanter) and druid(leather/alch) based mainly on the crafted Bops, and my need for consumables. Granted thats much easier as a tailor, in that itbdoesn’t require a gathering skill. My hunter is skinning/herb to support my druid. After my druid has her windhawk set made, used, and upgraded, I may use her to try out inscription, depending on the crafts dependancies.

  5. xcal Says:

    my Belf Priest took up JC (because of the race bonus) and mining to support JC. I maxed mining a couple of weeks before I hit LVL 70. Then my guild eventually convinced me to take up tailoring for the healing BoPs. I then dumped mining in the first of Jan this year (about 3 weeks after I hit 70). I got my tailoring to lvl 360 within 2 weeks of bargain hunting on AH. The progression thereafter depended on the amount of Primal Mooncloth that was able to make. I’m now have the full PM set, do not regret droping mining, but still cringe when I see Large Adamantite ores lying for the picking:-( LOL, i even kept my pick-axe for about a month!

    I’m turning quite a profit from buying/prospecting stacks of fell iron ore (10g a stack on lightbringer EU) and selling the rare gems, then using teh ‘trash gems’ to make the glass thingy…then selling the gem from the glass;-)

  6. Beom Says:

    I went skin/LW on my Resto Druid for the gear. Now that we’re just starting into the T6 content I’m still wearing the Windhawk Chest with +18heal gems in all sockets…I’ve been unlucky with drops of it would have been replaced by now. But I won’t even think a/b dropping LW for two reason 1) I still need to farm and I don’t have anything better for that than the windhawk set. 2) Drums of battle for raiding. No other proffession gives a benefit like that to an entire group.

  7. Aurik Says:

    Ahhh this has totally been hurting my brain for the last few weeks – I’m dithering back and forward between whether I should pick up mining on my druid so I can drop it on my rogue and get LW-ing (which is more useful for him than my druid…) or whether I should wait for WotLK to see what inscription is like or… or.. ack.

    I never really use the BoP items as a reason for choosing my professions – I take those which will benefit me above and beyond equipment as I’m likely going to be able to replace most of my items through raiding. I like being able to craft my own jewels, make my own pots and enchants / enchanting mats, armor patches etc.

    I have switched professions a few times on my rogue. LW-ing > Engineering > JC-ing but I didn’t have any rare recipes so that wasn’t an issue. I now don’t think I’d give up JC-ing (despite it not really being that good atm for rogues unless you’re in the Sunwell…) because I’m one of only two JC-ers in my guild who can cut almost all the epic gems. Also, looking forward to WotLK, I wonder which professions will come out on top – will there be better BoP leatherworking items for feral druids? Will there be another epic neck or trinket BoP for JC-ers? Will they learn from the deficiencies of the current gear sets and balance them?

    Hrm :s It’s all enough to make a dedicated crafter go mad!

  8. Terroxian Says:

    As a casual gamer, I do not raid and I just found out about the windhawk set last week. So, I’m dropping herb off my herb/alch boomkin so that I can pick up LW. I’ve been buying leather off the AH the last week to get ready for the change over. I’ll miss the herb for sure as he is my main but I have a lvl 62 hunter that also has herb that I can use for support. As far as epics go for a non-raider, its my only hope to get some nice purple gear and I’m looking forward to it!
    PS…I thoroughly enjoy your site and all the reader’s posts. Thx!

  9. Brakki Says:

    It’s a hard thing to change your tradeskills. The grass may look greener, but it isn’t always. Especially consider with the new expansion coming out….will you wanna switch back because they finally make something cool you can use in it? You never know, it’s risky. Maybe they will finally get it together and make some better craftable gear that doesn’t require end game bop drops and such. At least we can hope.

  10. Sorrow Says:

    As far as I can tell, you should NEVER have a gathering skill, only crafting skills. Anything you need to gather can be found in the AH. If you’re worried about the expense, DE greens from the AH and sell the dusts. It takes some time sitting around at the AH rather than questing, but I’ve tried it on 4 different servers and can consistently make about 1000 gold a month once I get enchanting to 225 (so I can DE 51-60s into illusion dust). That’s spending about 30 minutes a day.
    BTW, my 70 Druid is Alch/Ench.

  11. DaddyGamer Says:

    I do hope Inscription will be better for the leveling char. Most trade skills do need too much grinding while leveling to be any good until the rare recepies at level cap.

  12. Taizzaa Says:

    I have 4 70s, all with tradeskills. My rogue 375 bs/mining I went with for the bop swords. Only now the bs is pretty useless for her. Shaman 375 alchemy/herbalist, my only herbalist. Paladin 375 eng/mining and lock 375 tailor/370 enchanter. Plus I have 2 hunters in the 50s one with jc 375 and the other lw 365. So…obviously I am very into tradeskills. For the expansion I am thinking of dropping one or more mining and switching to inscription. I think though that being conservative and waiting will be the best tactic. At the moment I’m torn between either my rogue or pally dropping mining and going inscription. I could also switch the hunter with jc from mining to inscription if shes 70 by then. But for now I’ll just watch and wait. Im also not buying recipes now because they’ll be useless when the next xpac comes and gold is always good.

  13. kaliope Says:

    Taizzaa: I had a similar dilemma with Mining to make room for a 70 herbalist in my line-up, my miners were a rogue and a hunter. Ultimately I kept mining on the rogue because she has stealth. Between a stealth and non-stealth class, some ore nodes are just easier to get when you don’t have to kill every mob in the cave. There’s also stealth mining in instances when you don’t want to deal with the rest of the server taking all the nodes. Just my 2cp ;)

  14. DaddyGamer Says:

    About gearing up for the new tradeskill race. Anyone seen anything that reveals what kind of ore we will see in Nortrend? Will fel iron and admantium be as rare and pricey as Thorium?

    Any educated guesses about skilling up to 375? The 350-375 step is expensive right now. Will that get facilitated as the pre BC steps was with BC?

  15. Athenea Says:

    My main is a rogue and I put LW/Skin on her. Her gear is past the point where LW provides any current benefit to her, though she does make armor kits for guildies. After grinding the rep for patterns I am seriously thinking of dumping skinning for another crafting profession on her- probably alchy. But first I need to level my hunter, who will prolly never see the inside of anything bigger than a 5-man so that I have a farmer for both herbs and skins. I think with faction patterns having 2 crafts on one guy is probably the best plan just so I dont have to rep grind every single toon I have. I might roll a second farmer to be a miner/engineer since engineering has very little need for faction rep and the mote farming would provide other toons with the resources they need at higher levels. As someone pointed out with the stealth being nice maybe a feral druid with flight form would be ideal for that one.

    On my second highest, a priest, I just hit level 50 and headed to the outlands for professions training. She has Enchanting (not leveling very well) and Tailoring (zooming to 375). The tailoring has gone well since I planned her and rolled her out long before I started actaully playing her. My main just saved up all the cloth she didn’t need and sent it her way. I hit a point where there was better leveling and money to be made by making things for the AH rather than to DE which is why the enchanting isnt keeping up.

    I think ultimately there will always be a reason why I should have put this trade or that on some other toon. In some ways I wish that trade-made armors would rival the highest level gear to reward all the hard work we put into trades and on the other hand I’m glad that no matter what profession choices got made your toon can still get the uber armor for thier class if they so choose.

  16. Mardina Says:

    The problem I see right now is all of the cool epic BoP gear is going to hit the vendor the day WotLK comes out. I have mining to make money and did go BS to get the epic swords. Now they have been replaced by the “assisted gearing” PvP epics so that is trash. I am trying to decide between going JC, going Eng, or going LW to make money.

  17. ClemSnide Says:

    In all of the MMORPGs I’ve experienced, I’ve been heavily into the crafts. World of Warcraft has a rewarding tradeskill system; frustrating at times, but way better than the boring EQOA crafts.

    When I first started, I knew nothing of BoP, and so pretty much distributed the skills at random. My Paladin was a Leatherworker, my Hunter a Tailor… About the only ones I got right were the Warrior (Armorsmith/Miner) and the Gnome Mage (initially Engineer/Miner, later Engineer/Tailor). But one way or another I got all the gathering and production skills covered, though it took several tries to get all the charas to where they had useful skills.

    I would disagree on the utility of gathering skills; for one thing, those expensive materials in the AH had to come from somewhere, and you can make a decent living with a dual gatherer. I would not pay the prices on the AH for materials just to level up– think of how bad it would be if your first chara was a Blackamith, and had to supply Galvan with all that Mithril that was purchased instead of being mined for free!

    (As an aside, if I was doing it all over, I wouldn’t make my Human a producer/gatherer but a dual producer, possibly Armorsmith/Enchanter. That way you get the humans’reputation bonus applied to two fields instead of one. Similarly, if I was running a dual gatherer, it would be a waste to make him or her a human.)

    I now have two Miners and Skinners, and one Herbalist, which seems about right. The charas break down like so:
    * Human Warrior: Armorsmith/Miner
    * Night Elf Hunter: Dragonscale Leatherworker/Skinner
    * Night Elf Druid: Alchemist/Herbalist
    * Gnome Mage: Engineer/Tailor
    * Gnome Rogue: Enchanter/Elemental Leatherworker
    * Draenei Priest: Jewelcrafter/Miner
    * Dwarf Paladin: Skinner/half-hearted Blacksmith

    The last will most likely morph into an Inscriber when WotLK comes out. He switched late in the game and I just haven’t played him, or levelled his Blacksmithing, much at all. He’d be a Hammersmith if he got high enough to choose a specialty.

    Apart from the Paladin, everyone’s at 300 at least in their fields, and I’m pushing for the Mage to get to level 60 so he can get that last Cenarion Circle recipe, and also the Druid to get to 50 so she can advance in Alchemy and be able to transmute Primal Might. I am not going to pay 120g apiece for those on the AH! But I do like how the trades ineract; Enchanters make materials for Blacksmiths and Tailors, Alchemists for Engineers; etc. It gives me an incentive to level up some of my leser-played charas, rather than just doing the (lucrative) daily quests wiht my main.

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