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Preparing for Wrath: Professions

November 10, 2008

Understanding the changing paradigm that Blizzard has implemented for all of the professions for Wrath of the Lick King can be challenging at first.  However, once you understand what direction Blizzard is aiming Professions at, you will start to realize the realities of crafting in a post 3.0 world.

Crafting Interface

The recent post by Verimonde that said (source):

All trade skills now provide some special benefit to the crafter that isn’t just a super item. In the case of blacksmithing it’s the ability to add sockets to your gear. Most of the profession perks are relatively equal in terms of what they provide, some are slightly better than others, but not enough so that you should feel ou are missing out by doing the profession you enjoy doing.

To put it simply, the developers wish to remove the ability to easily obtain armor or weapons equal to or better than higher end Arena and Raid gear.

Say goodbye to your Stunherald and your Frozen Shadowweave.

 

Professions Bonuses:

So what will professions give us in the expansion?  Item Enchantments.

Each profession has seen a minor overhall for the release of 3.0.3 with the professions all receiving some sort of buff or enhancement.  The paradigm shift from “best in slot” armor to an enchantment or enhancement system will no doubt be looked harshly upon by many people in the player base that leveled up say Blacksmithing for their Stormherald or those who were forced into Leatherworking simply because raids needed the constant stream of drum buffs.

The specific bonuses for each profession vary a bit, but for the most part Blizzard has gone out of their way to make them fairly “equal”.  In saying they are “equal” they reall are not.  Looking at them profession by profession you will see the bonuses do vary quite a bit from each other.

Gathering Professions:

The three gathering professions have all received slight bonuses.  While “equal” in power, each one serves a vastly different function for different classes.

Mining for example gives Toughness which at top rank gives 500 extra health.  Comparing this with the Skinning bonus Master of Anatomy, which gives 25 critical strike rating, you would not think they are equal.  Upon further comparison of the third and final gathering skill’s bonus, Herablism’s Lifeblood, and its 2000 health heal over time spell you would definately feel that all things are not equal.

Each fills a separate nitch for different classes and specs.  They are not meant to be game breakers or even something you would change your profession specifically for.  They were given to us as a reward for having a gathering profession and to even the playing field between professions a bit more.  No more will players need to be forced into dropping mining because enchanting gives them a huge boost in their health pool, when mining does the same.

Crafting Professions:

Each crafting profession’s bonuses are diverse and are in fact catered to the “normal” classes that use that profession.  The discussion on which is best for what class is highly debated.  In general, each one has an ability to give you more health or stamina by some means.  Either through some sort of enchantment, unique gem, an item enhancement, or through a trinket.  While a select few professions give “fun” things, such as parachute capes and binoculars, and even the fabled tailoring Flying Carpet.

The real difference between profession and profession is dependant on the class and and role you are choosing to play.  The specifics of the profession only rewards are below.

  • Jewelcrafting
    • BoP Epic Gems – Quested Materials and Recipes get you much more bang for your buck in a gem slot.
    • BoP Rare Trinkets – At 75 there is an assortment of trinkets for every class and spec.  These should be easily replaced once you start raiding. 
  • Blacksmithing
    • Gem Sockets – The ability to socket both your own bracers and gloves with a colorless socket.
    • Skeleton Keys – After a full expansion without keys, we see Titanium Skeleton Keys make a much needed return.
  • Leatherworking
    • Drums – Old drums are still there.  New drums have gone away.  While the fabled “Tinitis” debuff does not appear on Live currently, we are assured it will be there at 80. 
    • Bracer Enchants – Everything from a huge stamina boost, attack power, spell power to resist enchants of all flavors in a slot that you can not find normal resist enchants.
    • Leg Enchants – Cheaper self only Leg Enchants for both Stamina and Attack Power.
  • Alchemy
    • Mixology – Doubling the duration of all Flasks and Elixirs and increasing their effectiveness by a 25-50% boost.  The caveat?  You need to know how to make the consumable yourself.
    • Alchemist Stones – Wonderfully powerful trinkets.  While they will be replaced after entering Naxx, they give the added bonus to your one and only potion cooldown during combat.
    • Alchemist Only Potions – The new Crazy Alchemist Potions are added to the old Mad Alchemist Potions.  The new potions are meant to be a one stop shop for your potion cooldown.  Being either a dps boost, a health boost or a mana boost, depending on your current status.  While the old TBC Mad potions may have less instant effect, their elixir buffs are still valuable in WotLK.
  • Tailoring
    • Epic Flying Mounts – The Flying Carpet comes in multiple colors and flavors and like the old Engineering Helicopter, can only be used by a tailor.
    • Cape Enchants – Three separate Embroidery enchants that do everything from Mana Return, Holy Damage, or Attack Power.
    • Leg Enchants – Like the old Aldor/Scryer enchants comes new tailor only versions with slightly cheaper materials than the non tailor versions.  These are the same power as the BoE versions, just extremely cheaper to make for the tailor’s own use.
    • Crowd Control – The next gen net is the Frostweave Net.
  • Engineering
    • Goggles – Epic Headgear at 72!?  These are slightly better than the Sunwell recipes in most respects, but are not your father’s goggles.  These goggles will not last you long into Naxxramas before you want to replace them.
    • All in one toolsGnomish Army Knife is an all in one tool for all your gathering and professional needs.  Never be without any required tool.  While it can be used as a tool by anyone, the Jumper Cables can only be used by an engineer.
    • Item Enchantments – The old Rocket Boots Extreme are a thing of the past.  Now you get the Nitro Boots enchantment.  There are similar enchants for bracers, belt, cape equivalents to Parachute Capes, Binoculars and Rocket Launcher.
    • Mobile MailboxMOLL-E is a mobile mailbox only droppable by Engineers.  The beauty of this is that the 1 day cooldown is your cooldown, so you can easily pass one around a raid or group if you need another in an hour.
    • Trinkets – Both the attack power based Sonic Booster has stamina.  While the Spell Power based Noise Machine gives you a spell shield proc.  Both are very good trinkets, but once again they will be replaced once you enter any raid content.
    • Bombs/Grenades – Yes there are new bombs and grenades.
  • Inscription
    • Off Hand Items – The Faces of Doom and Iron-bound Tome are both decent offhand books for casters.
    • Shoulder Enchants – Cheaper and much more powerful versions of the WotLK shoulder inscriptions in the forms of Axe, Crag, Pinnacle, and Storm.
    • 15 Minute Hearthstone – The Scrolls of Recall give every scribe what all shaman have had for years.

 

Tank Specific Suggestions:

For tanking specific benefits take a look at the brief guide I wrote, Wrath Professions: An Overview over at Tankspot.com

My personal choices:

Personally, I changed my tanking professions once during the duration of The Burning Crusade and I am going to have a hard time changing them again.  I started out TBC with Blacksmithing and Mining and once I capped my BS, I swapped my mining out for the vastly superior at the time Enchant Ring – Stats.  Because of the change and the pure utility that Enchanting gives once capped, there is little chance of me dropping Enchanting.  With Blacksmithing’s new socketing ability this becomes a phenomenally flexible profession for any class and spec.

The paladin was rolled as an alt, and thus has the alt-like professions of Alchemy and Herbalism.  With the changes to both of these professions and the addition of the higher Alchemists Stones, this profession has been very good to me.   Lifeblood is a god send.  There is nothing more to say than that.  At 70, it is a 1200 HoT over 5 seconds.  Alchemy will provide potions and flasks for all my characters and for tanking the % increase to flasks and elixirs that I know how to create is just too powerful to give up for something else.

Other Profession Guides:

Bananashoulder’s JC Quickreference Sheet
Not so much as a guide as a sheet to help you figure out the colors and cuts of gems and meta gems.  Should help all you JC’s out there as well as everyone looking to figure out what new gems are out there and which of the old have been improved or in some cases changed.

MattDamonlol’s WotLK Blacksmithing Guide
A simple guide on which recipes to use to get your smithing skill from 360 to 450 in Wrath of the Lich King.

Wotlkwikia’s Inscription Leveling Guide
A sweet and to the point guide to leveling Inscription from 1-400.  There are 50 more points after that, I know, but we will see it expanded soon I hope.

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