Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Importance of 2 Gathering Professions

Since gold is very important in my World of Warcraft career, I will always make sure that a new character does his/her part in earning as much as they possibly can while leveling. As a solo player I cannot rely on anyone (friend or guild) to help me with anything.

To this effect I will always start new characters with two gathering professions.

Many people are confused about the best combination between Mining, Skinning and Herbalism.
I generally go by the following rules when picking the two professions:

- if the character is the first one on a server (hence the main for that server) I will always pick Mining and Herbalism because I will need to make a lot of gold in order to afford all the good stuff. The problem with this combination is obviously that currently you have to switch between tracking for ore and herbs. Personally I don't mind too much. In fact I have this macroed to the ` (apostrophe) key such that whenever I press the key it cycles through the two tracking types. The macro I use is very simple:

/castsequence find herbs, find minerals

- if I already have a main on the current server, I will pick either Skinning/Mining or Skinning/Herbalism. That is because my main most likely already has Mining/Herbalism and with the new alt it would be nicer not to have to switch tracking all the time. Mining usually has precedence over Herbalism because I feel ore still has a bit of an edge over herbs due to the fact that ore nodes are scarcer.

With Wrath of the Lich King, gatherers have it even better: each of these skills gives a bonus to players depending on the level of the skill: skinning gives crit rating, mining gives extra health and herbalism gives an instant healing spell.

Think about the possibilities! These perks are very nice for any class combination, though some may find them more useful than others. In particular, gathering skills are very sought after by low level twinks due to the their bonuses. Some even go so far as to level the particular skill all the way to 450, with the help of high level characters, of course.

As an example, I picked mining and skinning for my rogue so he can crit more often and also get a health boost. My death knight also has skinning and that certainly helps his 30% crit at level 70 (which by the way I think is amazing considering he's wearing quest blues and greens).

There are some who shun professions while leveling, claiming that they would only slow down their leveling time. OK, fair enough, maybe these characters have higher level sugar daddies who can supply them with everything they need but consider the following. Unless your goal is to level 1-80 in a week or something crazy like that, having 2 gathering professions won't slow your leveling time considerably. Furthermore, any "wasted" time will be recuperated at higher levels when you will be able to afford swift ground and flying mounts.

Wait, are you asking me what to do with the gathered stuff? I know you are not, but just in case, here's the answer: send it all to the auction house! Unless you plan to grab a crafting skill at a higher level that is. In that case, google up a few profession leveling guides, figure out how many mats you need to level that profession and save as many stacks as you need, while selling the rest on the AH.

Just in case I wasn't obvious enough, NEVER sell gathered stuff to vendors. Post them on the AH because you will always get the best returns.

Newer players still make the mistake of picking a trade profession from the lowest levels and try to level that as they grow. Eventually some of them realize the truth: tradeskills are very expensive to level all the way. Furthermore, most low level recipes are not very useful and especially won't make you a lot of money on the auction house.

In the end, that's how we all learn. I also was excited to get blacksmithing and mining on my first character (a paladin). These 2 professions are perfectly matched, right? Right?? Then I got skinning/leatherworking, mining/engineering, enchanting/tailoring on other characters. I ended up abandoning all the tradeskills and getting good ol' gathering professions when I realized that I wasn't making any money and could barely afford even new skills.

In conclusion, it's all up to you how you choose your professions. But unless you have a sponsor or buy gold (which is the worst thing you can do in this game), you will find your pockets mostly empty while you level.

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