As any seasoned World of Warcraft player knows, professions are one of the most important aspects in 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. Just like in all the other expansions that came before it, Cataclysm professions are exactly the same. Here’s a guide I worked up that I hope will get you on the right track.
*Firstly, there are two different overall types of cataclysm professions: primary and secondary.
There are 10 primary professions:
-Mining (Gathering): Use a pick to gather ore, stones and gems from nodes.
-Herbalism (Gathering): Pick plants from nodes.
-Skinning (Gathering): Skin animals for their pelts.
-Blacksmithing (Crafting): Using ore, make armor and weapons.
-Jewelcrafting (Crafting): Using gems, make jewels with special properties that can be socketed into armor.
-Enchanting (Crafting): Put enchantments on weapons and armor that increase their stats.
-Tailoring (Crafting): Fashion armor out of pelts.
-Alchemy (Crafting): Using herbs and reagents, put together mixtures that grant stat boosts and other temporary effects.
-Engineering (Crafting): Using ore, stones, and engineering materials, craft unusual items with off-the-wall though interesting effects.
-Inscription (Crafting): Enhance spells and abilities using glyphs.
And 4 secondary professions:
-Fishing: Use your fishing rod to, of course, fish. Fish sometimes does well on the auction house, and if you couple this with cooking you can make some very nice recipes that will give you temporary stat boosts.
-First Aid: Collect cloth off corpses to make bandages. Not quite as important at higher levels, but I would suggest building it up because you’ll never know when a bandage might come in handy; especially for classes that lack a reliable healing ability, such as warriors.
-Cooking: Collect recipes and supplies (usually meat off animals). As I said earlier, cooking affords you some useful stat boosts. Level it up whenever you can. If you decide to raid later in the game and you have a high cooking level with some good recipes, you’ll be your raid group’s best friend.
-Archaeology: New cataclysm profession. Locate, put together and identify artifacts.
Each character can only learn two of the primary professions, but all of the secondary professions can be learned. Primary professions are your moneymakers, while secondary professions are more of the practical variety. They’re all helpful in their own way, though.
*Among the primary Cataclysm professions, there are two types: gathering and crafting. Gathering professions include mining, herbalism, archaeology and skinning. Crafting includes blacksmithing and jewel crafting, etc. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to couple a crafting profession with one of the gathering ones. Most of the items you will need to advance your crafting profession will come from all the gathering you do. It may seem tempting to be able to both craft your own armor and then enchant it all yourself, but unless you have connections you’ll have to buy all your materials off the auction house, most of the time at grossly inflated prices. 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.
Some of the best Cataclysm profession combinations are as followed (crafting/gathering):
*All Cataclysm professions can currently be skilled up to a 525 skill level. For best results in your crafting professions, try and prioritize the crafting of items in this order: orange, yellow, green. Items in orange take more materials to create, but guarantee a skill point. Yellows have a percentage chance on giving a skill point on item creation, but it’s usually fairly good. Green is more or less around 40/60. If you have the means to make an orange item, do it.
Most of all, profession-building requires patience and dedication. If you stick with it though, you’ll have mastered one of the most important aspects World of Warcraft has to offer.