Just How Important Are Professions in Cataclysm?
Every old hand at World of Warcraft would tell you that professions are a really beneficial part of the game. They act as your bread and butter--do all the dailies you want, but if you really want to pull in the gold nothing works better than having a maxed out profession. Like in Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King and Vanilla before it, Cataclysm professions are more or less the same. I prepared this guide in the hopes that it will give you a few pointers.
Primary & Secondary Professions
In Cataclysm, professions are separated into two different kinds: primary and secondary.
There are 10 primary professions:
- Mining (Gathering): Using a pick, collect stones, ore and gems from nodes.
- Herbalism (Gathering): Pick flowers and herbs from nodes on the ground.
- Skinning (Gathering): Skin animals and various enemies for their pelts.
- Blacksmithing (Crafting): Using stones and ore craft various armor and weapons.
- Jewelcrafting (Crafting): With the use of gems, craft jewels that can be placed in armor for stat upgrades and special properties.
- Enchanting (Crafting): Put enchantments on weapons and armor that increase their stats.
- Tailoring (Crafting): Fashion armor out of pelts.
- Alchemy (Crafting): Make elixirs with various reagents, that give you stat boosts and other effects for a limited time.
- Engineering (Crafting): With materials like stones, ore and engineering reagents, make items with strange yet useful effects.
- Inscription (Crafting): Upgrade select abilities with glyphs.
...And 4 secondary professions:
- Fishing: Fish with a fishing rod--pretty straightforward. Fish can occasionally do pretty good on the auction house, and if you also skill up your cooking you can create some useful dishes that grant stat boosts for a limited time.
- First Aid: Weave bandages with cloth of enemy corpses. Loses much of it's usefulness at high levels for most classes, but with all the cloth you will find you may as well level it up; especially for rogues and warriors, who lack readily available healing abilities.
- Cooking: Create dishes using recipes, cooking supplies and different kinds of meat. As I mentioned already, recipes can give nice boosts to your stats. Be sure to skill the profession up whenever possible. If you decide to raid later in the game and you have a high cooking level with some good recipes, you will be your raid group's best friend.
- Archaeology: The newest cataclysm profession. Discover, piece together and appraise artifacts.
All secondary professions can be acquired, where as only two of all the primary professions can be learned. Primary professions are your moneymakers, while secondary professions are more of the practical variety. All of them are valuable assets, however.
Gathering & Crafting
Primary Cataclysm professions can be categorized into two types: gathering and crafting. The gathering professions consist of skinning, herbalism, archaeology and mining. A couple different crafting professions are blacksmithing and engineering. Speaking from experience, it is wise to have one crafting profession and a gathering one. Items you can find with the gathering professions find their uses amongst the different crafting ones. Although the thought of being able to both make your own armor and socket them with your own self-made gems is alluring, without a gathering profession you would have to buy all the necessary supplies from other people or the auction house, and most likely at extremely high prices as well. Not to mention, as a gatherer you can put your own materials on the auction house and make a profit off those too lazy to gather the supplies themselves.
The following are a few of the most useful cataclysm profession combinations (crafting/gathering):
A 525 skill level is the maximum all cataclysm professions can be leveled up to. For best results in your crafting professions, try and prioritize the crafting of items in this order: orange, yellow, green. Orange items take both more and rarer materials to craft, but always award you a skill point. Yellow recipes do come with the possible risk of no point coming out of it, but the odds aren't so bad. Green is more or less around 40/60. As expensive as they may be, you ought to make orange items whenever possible.
Above all else, building your professions takes a lot of effort and diligence. But as the old saying goes: 'you reap what you sow'; and a max profession is one of the most beneficial things you can have in World of Warcraft.