Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Boosting For Professions

With the preorder for warlords coming up soon and the free level 90 that comes attached with it a lot of people need to think about what character they want to boost.  There will also be an additional service that would allow people to purchases 90s as well.  There is no reason for us to debate if the selling of 90s is good or bad for the game, we have no say in the matter.  It is happening and it is the way of life now in the game, like it or not.

So when we accept that people will all be getting free 90s and can purchase additional ones it is time to move on.  Most people are debating about which class or race or faction they will go with but while it would be nice to get a specific class up I am looking at it completely different.  The reason for that is if the character you are boosting, free or paid, is level 60 or above you will also get both of your primary professions boosted with them.  Yes, all the way to skill level 600.

While I have said here before I do not think I would buy a free 90 I did say I would buy a free 90 with professions boosted.  To me the professions are more worth a boost than the leveling is.  So the question for myself, and many like me, is what professions to boost?

Word of advice to those looking at the free 90 and only the free 90.  Level it to 60 first so you get the profession boost as well.  It is too good of a deal to not take advantage of it.

Which professions would you power level with this system?

It depends on what type of player you are.  If you are like me on my main server where I have at least one of each profession maxed, therefore I am completely able to take advantage of all the benefits of making everything for myself and save gold, the idea of another profession being leveled is actually kind of easy.

What do you take when you have everything already?

A transmutation alchemist.  That is not a suggestion, it is a great option, that is the flat out truth.  If you do not need a particular profession the best profession to level for free is alchemy.  You will need to do the transmutation quest once you do get your instant 90 but it is worth it.

Why do I rank that as the highest value for the person that has everything?

It is simple.  It can be used to maximum effect to create required materials that are always needed throughout the entirety of the expansion.  The materials alchemy produces are not bound unlike leather workers and their bound leather, tailors and their bound cloth, blacksmiths and their bound ingots, etc.

Why is not being bound so important?  Lets say you want to make something that is added that requires 20 of "something".  If it requires a bound item it will take your 20 days to make it if you can only make one per day.  But if it is not a bound item then you can make it as fast as you are cable of making, or buying, 20 of those items.  This means with 2 alchemists you could make it in 10 days, with 4 you can make it in 5 days, and being it is a transmute master if you get lucky and get a proc you can make it even faster.   

Not only can you make it faster, you can make more to sell them so other people that want that gear faster can make it and they always sell for a much higher price whenever something new comes out that requires them because many people are willing to pay as much as is required to get something faster.

A transmute master can proc 2 or 3 or 4 or even 5 of the item you are using the materials to make one of.  This means you can make what you want to make for yourself faster.  You can make extras to sell when everyone else needs it faster.  You will occasionally get 5 items for the materials used to make one.  It makes sense to make them all the time.  As long as the materials to make one are less, or even equal, to the cost of one of those items, even buying them off the auction house to make one per day is worth it.  Each time you proc it is money in the bank.

If you have never felt the joy of having a give proc on something that sells for 1000 gold and only cost you 50 gold to make you do not know what you are missing.  5000 gold effectively from 50 gold.  Yes, that is a huge reason having additional transmutation alchemists is a good idea.

So now that we know what is the ideal profession to boost for the person that has everything, what is the second profession for them.

This answer is not as clear cut but can be broken down into one of three categories.  What are your intentions for that character will decide that.

If you plan to actively play that character:

Choose enchanting as your second profession.  With the personal loot system being all the rage and most likely being added to more things as it is being added to actual raiding and might end up being added to dungeons as well, it has almost made enchanting a required profession of any active player.

Why do I say this?  Because if things go directly into your bag and you are not an enchanter, you can not get those wonderful free enchanting materials.  When you do a scenario and get something in your baggie, it becomes vendor trash.  When you win something in LFR that you do not need, it becomes vendor trash.  Now, with the roll system, when something drops and everyone can roll on it then usually you can snag a few enchanting materials here and there which are helpful.  But once those items do not pop up for roll there will never be an option to disenchant it again.  So if you want to disenchant it you need to be an enchanter yourself.

I specially switched the professions on two of my characters I like to rare hunt with for fun and baggies to enchanting.  If I am going to be killing all those rare, might as well get some enchanting materials out of it.  With the personal loot system being an enchanter will be even more important for the flow of materials.

If you plan to occasional play that character:

If part of your occasional play is going to be dungeons and raids and such then enchanting remains a good idea.  If it is just going to be a character you do stuff with but nothing serious you could consider a gathering profession.  However, if they keep the design they added in mists, picking mining or herbalism is a complete waste being you can level them from 1 to max in the current top area but skinning is without a doubt a good idea.  At least until blizzard gets off their ass and fixes it like they did for mining and herbalism.

For the occasionally played character, that already has alchemy of course, there really is not a bright and shining example of what you should take.  However, even if mining is easy to level now, it still goes nicely with a transmute master as odd as that combination might sound.  But this only works if the way you occasionally play that character is to be outside doing things.  Being a gatherer when you do not go out to gather is a wasted profession slot.

Otherwise, consider a tailor, more bags and bags are always good.  Even more so if they make bound cloth again so instead of making one bag every 12 days you could make two.  And once you get yourself all decked out in the newest bags they will always sell.

If the character will only be a profession mule:

Well it already has alchemy the ultimate mule profession and exactly the reason I wrote this post to suggest adding it, the second profession really depends on you.  When it comes to mules you do not want anything that is a gathering profession, it will not be going anywhere.

For a character that is a mule it makes the most sense to have it making some other daily cooldown.  This means the three main crafting professions are the perfect match for a mule.  I suggest leather working over tailoring and blacksmith however.  Why?  Have you tried leveling a leather worker?  'nuff said.

Now, for the person without the support staff like I have on my main server where I can make everything on my own.  I too have a few of those characters so I can speak from experience there as well.  I have a level 90 hunter that I leveled with herbalism and skinning.  While it was great for leveling up and I made a fair deal of gold in the process at max level it really does not cut it when herbs and skins rarely go for over 40 gold a stack after the beginning of an expansion.  Sure they can be huge money makers at the get go, but late in the expansion they are near useless from a old making perspective.

When you have a character without a support staff the most important thing is building one.  No matter what the intention of your second character is.  When I go out on my hunter on the rare occasion I log into it and do some LFRs or what have you I dread getting a new piece of gear some times.  If you have a good day and win a few pieces getting all those gems and enchants can be quite pricy.

With that said, for support, the best professions to have are an enchanter and a jewel crafter.  This way you can take care of yourself which will save a fair deal of gold over the course of an expansion.  When you think that it could cost up to thousands of gold to fix your gems and enchants and you do not have a huge collection of characters to draw from and are not extremely active on that character so making gold does not really happen all that often being able to take care of yourself matters.  It matters a lot.

So while the conversation about the boost will continue, I look at it as boosting from 60 to 90, not from 1 to 90.  1 to 90 means nothing to me but 60 to 90 means professions to me and professions are important.  Even with the changes coming where there will be fewer gem slots and fewer enchants and maybe even removing the profession bonuses to raiding completely.  All that remains to be seen.

In the end however, there is one profession worth having multiples of and on that boosted character if you have everything already that is a transmute master.  And there is one profession that is always worth having no matter what, enchanting.

Maybe you could use your boost on an alchemist and enchanter.  If you ask me, there are worse ways to go.  So get leveling, stop at 60, and use your free boost on a profession enhanced character instead of just using it from level 1 to 90.  That would seem like such a waste when you can get some nice professions to go with it.


  1. as usual you make good sense.

    Do you get the idea than maybe soon WOW will be free to play with all the crap needed to rip off folks who want the über gear? And possible still have a sub where those folks are in the "elite" player group and can buy things at a discount or can level, I think sort of like the star wars online?

    I still want an MMO like WOW but set in a western setting. I wonder how many different ways one can spell Daniel Boone, lol.

    My one herb/alchemist is a tranmute god. can turn ghost iron into Trillium and then that into Living Steel. Worth it for that alone.

    But I don't knkow what you are chatting about able to sell for 5000g from 50g. I haven't found anything like that on my server. And to add a fly in the butter, Misha is one of the joined servers. That server is huge! they command the AH with folks who under cut 30% to 50%. Oh well.

    Just having 1 alchemist is worth his weight in gold.

    As is 2 enchanters, 2 skinners, 1 LW, 1 Engineer, and 2 miners, 1 JC, 1 tailor/blacksmith, those others (forgot who they are). They are all important.

    today is a huge patch Tuesday, I wonder whats going on?

    1. Wow is still a long way from free to play but it is going to be free to play, yes, absolutely. No matter what they say actions speak louder than words and their actions say they are slowly building the system and putting it in place to become free to play, otherwise know as pay to win.

      You might like wasteland. Not sure when the MMO part comes into play, never made it that far, but it is post apocalyptic, however it plays as if you are futuristic cowboys. At least that is how I always felt about it.

      When the expansion first started you could sell living steel for 1000 gold, even more, but you could easily farm up the materials to make it in less than an hour, or even buy them cheap. If you got a 5 proc while making a living steel and sold them all for 1000 you are making 5000. That is what I meant.

  2. As you say, there are a bunch of different criteria.

    For someone who wants to avoid leveling the two most difficult professions to level, I think it's pretty simple... Ench/Eng.

    I'm totally on board with "can't have too many xmute alchs", though, so including that is a no-brainer even though leveling it is relatively simple and inexpensive. I often wish I could go dual-alch on a toon for double cooldowns.

    Side note, that has me a bit scared... other profs have shone for short periods but alch has been the most consistent from a profitability and usefulness standpoint (double duration flasks! awesome early leveling trinkets!) for so long (since Wrath, at least) that I worry it might finally get hit. I'd have a hard time arguing against it but it would leave me with a lot of extra alchs if that happened. :)

    Missing profs should be the first priority for anyone, prioritizing Ench and Eng respectively just due to the avoided hassle, after that it's more or less agnostic. Avoid gathering professions, those are pretty easily leveled while leveling anyway (and for two, give XP), save those for non-instant toons.

    @Roo - Yep, as GE says, for a while in the early expansion it was possible to make a ton of profit with a 5-proc... although I never made as much as he did, my base cost at the time was more like 300g, not 50g... but making 1000-5000g from 300g is still a nice deal, especially considering it's a daily profit, per toon that has xmute alch...

    Even now it's generally possible on my servers to make 100-200g/day on a Living Steel xmute, the ore is down to about 2g/ea which translates to a cost of 154g* per LS bar (math below)... and most days they sell in the 300-350g range. I'm not making 4K profit on any of the 553 crafted gear at this point and it sells a lot slower than LS does.

    * MATH!
    ... and the art of AH equivalencies

    Assuming 2g/GIore:

    2g/GIore = 4g/GIbar
    4g/GIbar = 40g/Tbar - 20% proc = 32g/Tbar
    32g/Tbar = 192g/LSbar - 20% proc = 154g/LSbar

    This also means that if GIbars are < 2x GIore or Tbars are < 8x GIbars or 16x GIore or Tore < 2x GIbars or 4x GIore, just buy out whichever mat is cheapest based on that conversion and use that instead of going from GIore (also saves some time if your alch isn't your smelter). Lately I'm often seeing Tore for less than 4x GIore so that's the way I'm typically going these days when I don't need the Tore for prospecting for gems.

    1. @you two

      ok, ok. I just never had any luck with the AH - GE yaks about his non-luck with gear drops, mine is no ability to make money in the AH. Sad, but true. So, I stack up ore, metals, tailor cloth, BS metals, engineering whatever that special power source is called (I am at 90 on that one, after making 1 golem and the two pets), living steel is at 50, etc, etc, etc. I just horde (sorry for the pun) everything.

      But its good. :D

      Not sure if I will get Wabbits of Death. I will probably stay at mists then drop.

      Waste Land II is cowboys and I keep forgetting about that one. But still, the wild west instead of fantasy would be nice - or a fantasy wild west -. I wished someone would come out with an MMO that one could pick which server they would be one, such as a western server, a dragon killing fantasy one, a sci-fi one, etc. Same game system, just a different (oh damn, whats teh word I am looking for) cover, nah, thats not it - but it's going to have to work - the wire frame scenery could be painted different. hmmm, not making sense. ok, scratch that.

      ok, later. I think I am going home.

    2. Math and economics, it's how some of us without 15-year old reflexes (my reflexes could have kids that age!) manage to stay relevant. :)

      I always have a bit of a laugh when someone complains about high AH prices. "So, uh, go ahead and make one cheaper yourself, then."

      As for WoD, if you're having enough fun now, you probably will in WoD as well... if not, that probably won't change. Let that be your guide.

    3. I would say leather working and engineering for the two most difficult. But that is from my experiences. Enchanting has a bump in the road or two but nothing like leather working or engineering.

      Alch has never had its moment in the sun but you are right, it has always been a solid profession. It flies under the radar because it is not super over powered. But remember in cataclysm it was broken the entire expansion. We never got our bonus stats, only double duration.

    4. really, you had problems in LW and Engineering? Those two, well everything except JC was easy. I hated JC becsaue of having to buy patterns in Cata - the way you had to buy them. But tailoring, Black Smithing, Scribe, Enchanting, Herbs, Alchemy - just pretty easy to me. But you see, thats the wonder of how our brains (and lack of) work - R and you can do the math and work wonders in teh AH, while I have no problems with leveling up a profession. :D

      WasteLand II - are you in teh beta? I did not make it. I know you can't talk about, but how does it feel if you are in it?

    5. Yeap, I have the beta. Only played the opening part but I loved it a lot. I will surely be buying it the second it comes out and if they do manage to make it an MMO (not sure how they would) like they said they intend to I could see myself quitting warcraft for it.

    6. @GE - Hm, I don't recall the stat issue, I do recall that they didn't show up in the tooltip for the flask but you did actually get the stat in the character sheet. Been a while, though, so no promises on that.

      @Roo - I'm okay leveling professions too but those are the two that I find the most painful to do, ench because it requires a lot of mats that can often be difficult to get hold of if you aren't also leveling a crafting profession or 4 at the same time. Engineering is just a pain in the ass, too many items require 3 or 4 mats, some of which you craft and get skill ups on if you do them in the right order, and the right order is rarely obvious when the default UI doesn't show you when recipes will go yellow/green/grey, you either have to follow a guide or ballpark it and deal with being significantly sub-optimal in a way that other professions don't have to deal with (with alch, for instance, the toughest decision to make is whether to craft green recipes using cheap herbs vs yellow/orange recipes using an expensive mat like Goldthorn... that's trivial vs engineering).

      The one thing I will say on behalf of engineering, though, is that I occasionally came across a recipe that actually made me some gold while leveling... something like ench basically creates useless items that nobody wants so it's entirely a sunk cost while leveling. Eng at least had some potential to defray its own costs a bit.

      I used to hate JC but the one I leveled recently didn't seem as bad, I'm not sure if they improved the process a bit or if I'm just becoming immune to that type of pain. As for the Cat purchased recipes... eh, I just skipped 'em. What's the point now?

      (and I found one leveling recipe for LW that I'm *still* making good gold off, I've probably made enough to recover the entire LW leveling cost at this point)

    7. :-D dont give away your secret!

    8. I'm being very careful not to. :)

      As a bit of a follow-up to that I checked yesterday and since leveling my new LW (who's still discovering recipes from the daily craft, so within the past couple of months) I've sold over 15K worth of that LW item and they're mostly profit, I've probably netted 12K... comfortably above what it cost me to level LW in the first place. Nice, unexpected bonus.

    9. at ilvl 476 - 80 recipes and at 458 there are 82 recipes. sucks how random they are. I got them all listed on my blog. Now it is making harden leather so I can make 2 full sets of the 553 (I think that 's it) belt and pants. 1 mail and 1 leather. 28 Harden Leather for the pants and 21 Harden leather for the belts. Oh well. the daily grind goes on. :)

  3. I found JC to be a pain last time I leveled it a few months ago, but maybe that was just my dead server at the time. Enchanting is mostly sunk cost but if it's in an armor class you don't have at least currently it's lots of free crystals when you do max it. I think most professions are sunk costs while leveling but I haven't looked into it much. The one exception I've really noticed was engineering pets.

    I will be using my boost on a tailoring engineering alliance warlock for the sole reason of mount counts... I have every profession, most multiples, so having both of those professions on a warlock or paladin will give me a few extra mounts towards the total count.

  4. Off-topic.

    Grumpy, you said you were going to PVP this season. How is it going? Just wondering.