In case you missed the announcement, SWTOR is going to move to the Free to Play model in November (Official F2P FAQ). It’s an… interesting way to go about the F2P model that will be very appealing to some and possibly rather alienating to others. While I know every SWTOR blogger out there is going to blog about this as well, the whole point of blogging is sharing information and opinions so I’m going to add mine to the mix regardless of the other posts out there.
Tag Archives: F2P
[Update 12/6/11: Two artifacts require level 85.]
[Update 12/6/11: A blue post by Blizzard has just junked most of my assumptions and changed some numbers.]
As I’m sure you’re aware by now, the new Darkmoon Faire is in town for the week.
The Darkmoon Faire offers all kinds of fun little games to play, achievements to…achieve, and quests to complete. And of course, it brings along the focus of this entire expansion – yet another grind.
This grind doesn’t get you any end game gear though. Instead it provides a nice collection of pets (6), mounts (2), toys, PvE heirlooms, and gear from the past for all your transmogrification needs. Basically, this is Cataclysm’s version of the Argent Tournament. The major difference is that the DMF is only around on the first week of every month, starting on the first Sunday of the month.
The purpose of this particular post is farming for those heirlooms. Why? Because heirlooms are kinda “my thang”. You feel me? You know what I’m sayin’? You smell what I’m stepping in? Alright, let’s get to it then.
At the end of the article I have a summary of how many tickets it’s possible for you to farm so that you know what kind of schedule you’re looking at regardless of what items you’re farming for.
I wanted to include this in the guide with the F2P community and the Gnome Clones in mind, though I’m sure some of you other players might like the heads up as well.
The regular daily quests are reportedly able to be done by a character of any level. I’ve heard people say you have to be level 10, other say there’s no level requirement.
I don’t know the actual answer just yet, but I will have it as soon as servers come back up today and I can test it (or rather, have it tested by my brother in law since I’m stuck at work). We have confirmed that you can start the DMF daily quests at level 1.
In order to do the professions quests, which can be done only once per Faire, you have to be the minimum level to have the profession (which is 1 for non-crafting professions, 5 for crafting). You also have to have a skill rank of 75 in order to open the quests.
For the Darkmoon Artifacts to drop for you in dungeons and battlegrounds you have to be at least level 15. Which bosses drop a particular artifact are tied to the bosses themselves and which artifact you’re looking for. I’m sure that sentence made almost no sense, so let me clarify. For example, bosses that are “monsters” like the Hydra in Zul’Farak can drop the Monstrous Egg artifact because that boss is a monster thus tying him to that artifact. Other artifacts are similarly tied to bosses that are related somehow to the concept of the artifact. Some you’ll see tied to noble or military leaders so when you see a boss whose name is General, Lord, Commander and so forth, they are the bosses that drop that type of artifact.
Battleground artifacts come from the corpses of your opponents, so make sure you’re looting those insignia. It doesn’t matter who killed them, you can run around just looting dead bodies and not participating at all in the PvP and you’ll get artifacts. No, I absolutely do not suggest you do that, I’m just letting you know there’s nothing required to get them other than looting enemy bodies.
Also, dungeon artifacts come up in the Need/Greed rolls while for battlegrounds to the looter go the spoils.
Archeology is the exception to the professions rule since it has a level requirement of 20. It also requires to you have a skill level of 75 and the quest itself requires you to have 15 Fossil Fragments to complete the quest. So not only do you have to have this profession, you also have to have spent the time leveling it and collecting specific fragments in order to do the quest.
So the absolute minimum level to do everything is 20. So the minimum level I would suggest for seriously farming the Prize Tickets is level 15 since you have access to almost everything. Level 20 opens up one more monthly professions quest (Archeology) and then you’ve got access to all but the two artifacts that require you to be level 85. However, you can start this farming at level 1, so there’s no reason to wait if you have a fresh toon and the faire is in progress.
[UPDATE: Two artifacts require level 85.
Through further research I have found that the A Treatise on Strategy artifact requires level 85 and so far all reports show that it drops only from level 85 Heroics, and typically from bosses whose names reveal them to be somehow related to a military calling such as Commander Ulthok, General Umbriss, and Admiral Ripsnarl.
Also, the artifact called Soothsayer's Runes requires level 85 as well and is confirmed to drop in Tier 11+ raids. This one is unique then in two ways. First, that it's the only one dropped in a raid rather than a dungeon. Second, that this one does not require a loot roll; instead, everyone in the raid who has a copy of the Darkmoon Adventurer's Guide in their inventory will receive it when it drops and is looted.]
Before we get into how you go about farming these things, it’s important to know how much farming you’ll have to do.
Of the 25 PvE heirlooms that you can get from the Darkmoon Faire, 19 of them (chests, shoulders, one-handed weapons) require 110 Prize Tickets, the two trinkets both require 130 Tickets, and the two-handed weapons require 160 Tickets.
You cannot get heirloom cloaks or helms from the Faire, and no new item slots were opened in this patch so legs and rings are still unavailable all together (save the ring from the Kalu’ak tournament).
The good news is, these prize tickets aren’t that hard to get your hands on. The bad news is, the event is only around for the first week of every month which means you have a set window in which to do all of your grinding and your grinding potential is limited by the small number of available quests.
Questing for Tickets
Daily Quests: 40 Tickets per Faire
Questing is your steady source of tickets. There are five daily quests that you can do, and each of those rewards a single ticket. You can do those daily quests eight times throughout the week, for a total weekly farm of 40 Prize Tickets. How do you do daily quests for eight days in a seven day week? You log on at 12 A.M. server time on Saturday night and do the dailies before 3 A.M. server time on Sunday morning when daily quests are reset. There’s your weekly exploit report, now back to our regularly scheduled farming guide. So 1 ticket per quest, 5 quests per day, 7(+1) days per week.
Blizzard quotes this as being available only seven times per week, but unless they put something in place to stop it, you can still farm an extra day’s worth of dailies during that three hour stretch each time it opens. This functionality has been around for years and I don’t see them fixing it now. They’re well aware of it and Bashiok even quoted someone who mentioned it on the boards and corrected his own total count to include it.
Each month, once per Faire, you can do a quest related to each of your professions and secondary skills as long as you have at least skill rank 75 in that profession. Each character can have a total of six of these (two professions, four secondary skills) at one time. Professions reward 4 Tickets each while Secondary Skills reward 3 Tickets each.
For most players that’s going to be the final count on this type of farming. However, if you’re all kinds of serious about farming these heirlooms you can actually (ab)use the system here by leveling your primary professions to 75, doing their quests, dropping the professions, picking up 2 new professions, leveling to 75, doing the quests, drop the professions, rinse and repeat for all eleven professions. So crazy people can get a total of 3 tickets per quest, for all 11 professions and all 4 secondary skills, for a total of 45 prize tickets per month.
Other monthly quests include the Test Your Strength quest which has you collect 250 Grisly Trophies from targets you kill, and quests that start from all of the Darkmoon Artifacts that you get from dungeon bosses and looting insignia from opposing forces in battlegrounds.
[Update: Blizzard has confirmed that all of these are repeatable each month.]
There are a total of nine Darkmoon Artifacts: five from dungeons (one of those 85 heroic-only), three from battlegrounds, and 1 from T11+ raids. Each of these artifacts starts a quest which is simply turning the item in at the Faire.
4 Dungeon Artifacts – 10 Tickets each (40)
1 Heroic Artifact – 15 Tickets
1 Raid Artifact – 10 Tickets
3 BG Artifacts – 5 Tickets each (15)
2 Primary Professions – 4 Tickets each (8*)
4 Secondary Professions – 3 Tickets each (12)
1 Test Your Strength – 10 Tickets
So the grand total for Monthly Quests (not counting the dailies) is: 110*
I’m awaiting confirmation on whether or not Blizzard has put a stop to the dropping/repicking professions thing I mentioned above. If it’s gone, then 110 Monthly is the limit, while if it’s not you can add another 36 to the total.
Total Farming Per Month
This is the part of the guide that’s applicable to everyone who wants to farm the prize tickets, even if you have no interest in heirlooms. These are your total farming caps per month for you to determine how long you’ll have to farm to get all the items you want.
Total Weekly Farming: 40 Tickets
Total Monthly Farming: 18-45 Tickets
Total Artifact Farming: 100 Tickets
So, you’re able to farm a maximum of 158 Tickets if you’re sane, or 185 Tickets if you’re no longer restricted to the realm of sanity.
That’s a lot of tickets. You can basically get a new heirloom every month, or two heirlooms every two months depending on how seriously you farm and which ones you’re going for since there is some variation in price.
[Update 09/17/13: Conversion rates between Honor and Justice Points has been increased from 375>250 to 500>250, causing a significant increase in the amount of farming required.]
With F2P Twinks on the rise right now I’ve been asked a lot about writing an heirloom guide just for them, and this is that guide. For those of you who are F2P players, realize that twinking is about optimization which means you’re aiming for the best, even if the best only comes after days or even weeks worth of farming for only a single piece of gear. That means I’m not only looking at the heirlooms that you purchase with honor points, I’m looking at all of them. I am suggesting PvP heirlooms, but they aren’t the sole focus of this guide.
If you only want to know which PvP heirlooms to get for your class then there’s really no reason for me to bother writing a guide because there’s almost no overlap at all withing the PvP heirloom sets. If you need shoulders, you pick the ones with the stats for your class and spec. If you need a weapon, you pick the one with the stats for your class and spec. It’s really that simple if you’re only going to look at PvP heirlooms.
If you’re serious about twinking, though, then this is the guide for you.
[EDIT: There seems to be some confusion as to whether or not you're forced into the exp-locked bracket when you hit level 20. Once we have a definitive answer on that I'll update the post to reflect it.]
[EDIT: Alright, we're fairly certain now that the 20's actually are in the real twink bracket which means that you're going to face off against other twinks up to level 24 who have access to better gear and better enchants that you. Do you have what it takes to face potentially superior opponents?]
[EDIT: Definitely twink bracket.]
The newest thing in low level Warcraft twinking right now is Trial Accounts. Meaning that you use a free account that is locked, by design, at level 20 in order to twink a character in the level 20-24 PvP bracket. These accounts have a great number of restrictions placed on them which makes it both harder and easier to gear your toon in the best gear available to them.
We’ll take a quick look at how the trial account works and then jump into professions.
There are a lot of restrictions on trial accounts that limit what you can do and how you can do it. Some of them work in our favor (like the cap of level 20) while others make twinking particularly hard (like limiting professions and trade restrictions). From the TwinkInfo Forums:
- A level cap of 20.
- A maximum of 10 gold.
- Trade skills are capped at 100 ranks.
- Unable to trade via the Auction House, mailbox, or player-to-player.
- In-game access to public chat channels unavailable. Players are limited to communicating using only say, party, or whisper.
- Characters will be unable to create or join guilds.
- Characters are not able to send whispers to other characters unless they have been added to the characters’ friends lists or have received a whisper from a character first.
- Characters will not be able to invite other players into a party.
- Characters will not be able to join parties with other characters above level 20.
- Voice chat disabled on Starter Edition accounts.
- Realms experiencing login queues will prioritize players who have full, paid accounts.
- Starter Edition accounts are not eligible for character transfers
- RealID features are disabled on all Starter Edition Accounts.
The ones that are especially important are the ones in bold.
The Level Cap is the most important here because it defines what you’re doing. You’re capped at level 20 which means you’ll never go over that bracket, which also means you don’t have to turn your experience off in-game which will allow you to twink in the non-locked brackets with non-twinks which removes the biggest penalty you would have otherwise faced as a level 20 twink.
Trade Skills is a big hit, especially when combined with No Trading, which means if you want to take advantage of enchants (and every twink does) then you’ll have to make those enchants yourself, and you’ll have to do it with a restricted professions list. That list of available recipes is what this post is really aimed at, which I’ll get into momentarily.
Being restricted to No Guilds can be kind of tough, but it’s only real drawback in relation to twinking is that you will not have access to the BoA helms and cloaks (not that you could buy them anyway with the 10g cap on money), and that you don’t get any other guild perks such as increased honor gains which would make farming your gear a bit faster.
If you’d like to learn more about the trial account twinking in general, I’ll point you to Cynwise’s guide: A Guide to Trial Account Twinking.
Most of the professions offer you at least something, including the secondary trade skills. What they offer, and how important those offerings are, is what you’ll need to look at in order to determine whether or not they would be at all worth while on your free-to-play (F2P) twink.
Remember that with a F2P account you can only increase your professions to rank 100. If you have a racial bonus, those will allow you to go beyond the cap just like they do in the live version which does open up a few other options in some cases. The F2P accounts allow Burning Crusade races (Blood Elf and Draenei), but not the Cataclysm races (Goblin and Worgen), so not all of the racial bonuses to professions are available to you.
Alchemy offers a decent list of elixirs to increase your stats. Alchemy can take up a large quantity of materials, so you would want to either build up a very strong stash or keep it as one of your professions throughout your twinking career so that you could replenish your supply as needed.
Goblins have a racial bonus to Alchemy, but Trial Accounts don’t allow Goblins so 100 is the highest possible rank.
Swim Speed Potion: +100% swim speed for 20 seconds
Holy Protection Potion: Absorbs 300-500 Holy damage for 2 minutes
Elixir of Wisdom: +6 Intellect for 1 hour (Battle)
Elixir of Giant Growth: +8 Strength for 1 hour (Battle)
Swiftness Potion: +50% speed for 15 seconds
Rage Potion: Generates 20-40 Rage
Lesser Healing Potion: restore 140-180 health
Elixir of Minor Fortitude: +27 max health for 1 hour (Guardian)
Elixir of Minor Agility: +4 Agility for 1 hour (Battle)
Minor Rejuvenation Potion: Restores 90-150 health and mana
Minor Mana Potion: Restores 140-180 mana
Weak Troll’s Blood Elixir: Regen 2 health every 5 seconds for 1 hour (Guardian)
Elixir of Minor Defense: +27 Armor for 1 hour (Guardian)
Elixir of Lion’s Strength: +4 Strength for 1 hour (Battle)
Above is a list of all of the potions and elixirs that I would consider stocking up on for my own twinks. I might not actually craft the Swim Speed Potion given that you’ll receive one for nearly every fishing daily you ever do, but if you’ve got extra mats on hand then you might as well make them since you can’t sell them on a trial account anyway. I also wouldn’t make more than a handful or so of the Holy Protection potions unless you see a lot of Priests and Paladins in your matches.
The Swiftness Potion is probably hands-down the single best potion you can get your hands on for a twink. Being able to outrun your opponents is a fantastic benefit. Lesser Healing Potions are decent for keeping you alive, but with so little health return you’re probably better off just trying to outrun them instead.
Blacksmithing doesn’t offer a whole lot to F2P twinks, which is nothing new really as it’s always sucked.
None of the races has a bonus to Blacksmithing, so 100 is the maximum skill rank.
Thick Bronze Darts: thrown weapon, +2 Strength
Silver Rod: needed by enchanters
Coarse Weightstone: +3 weapon damage to a blunt weapon for 1 hour
Coarse Sharpening Stone: +3 weapon damage to a bladed weapon for 1 hour
Rough Weightstone: +2 weapon damage to a blunt weapon for 1 hour
Rough Sharpening Stone: +2 weapon damage to a bladed weapon for 1 hour
I haven’t done the research yet to find what the BiS items are for all levl 20 twinks, so I’ve included the Thick Bronze Darts because they’re a solid twinking weapon in the 19 bracket which means they’re likely at least decent for a level 20.
The Silver Rod deserves mentioning if you’re going to be a an Enchanter in order to enhance your gear (since you can’t buy anyone else’s enchants). This rod is only important if the twink you’re playing is going to enchant their own gear, and only if that character is also a Blood Elf since they’re the only race who can get high enough to use it on a F2P account. Even then, there’s only one enchant that will use it, but if you want that enchant then you better get this rod first.
The stones are all buff items that will be good for any non-Rogue. The difference in the types is very minimal, so if you’re going to play a melee character I suggest you at least get into Blacksmithing long enough to make a stack or two of the Rough stones needed for your chosen weapon, and then you can drop the profession right after if you’re not going for the other items.
Enchanting is normally the bread and butter of twinking, in many cases being even more important than the individual pieces of gear. On the F2P twinks though, that’s not the case at all. Enchants will definitely make your toon better, but you’re not necessarily going to be screwed just because you don’t bother taking the time to enchant your gear with the dinky little enchants available with the 100 skill rank limitation.
Blood Elves gain a +10 bonus to Enchanting, giving them access to two more enchants than other races.
Shield – Minor Stamina: +1 Stamina [BLOOD ELF ONLY]
Minor Wizard Oil: +7 Intellect to a weapon for 1 hour
The majority of these enchants provide so little benefit that you could honestly skip the profession all together and never look back. A couple of them are worth considering though. Bracer – Deflection is a great option because not only is 2 Dodge actually decent a this level, it also requires only skill rank 1 to cast it, so you could buy the mats from an Enchanting Supplies Vendor, apply this enchant, and then drop the profession straight away.
The strongest enchant is the Minor Wizard Oil which is only a temporary enchant, but it only requires skill rank 45 to make it and you can create a big stash of it and then drop the profession and continue to use the oil.
If you do decide to use Enchanting and then drop it, I suggest you get 2-5 spare copies of each enchant to put onto Vellums just in case you happen to find other gear that you want to try out or you find upgrades that you weren’t planning on.
Engineering has always been a favored profession of twinks and PvP players in general. It’s not quite as cool as it would be without that 100 rank restriction, but it’s still a decent choice if you’re looking for a little more utility in the form of explosives. It also offers one of the easier-to-obtain head items that provides stats.
Gnomes receive a +15 racial bonus to Engineering, making a couple of good options available only to them.
Standard Scope: +2 weapon damage to a bow or gun [GNOME ONLY]
Large Copper Bomb: 43-57 Fire damage, 2 sec stun [GNOME ONLY]
Flying Tiger Goggles: cloth head armor, +4 Stamina, +4 Spirit
EZ-Thro Dynamite: 51-69 Fire damage…usually
Coarse Dynamite: 51-69 Fire damage
Crude Scope: +1 weapon damage to a bow or gun
Rough Copper Bomb: 22-28 Fire damage, 1 sec stun
Rough Dynamite: 26-34 Fire damage
The most important item here is the Flying Tiger Goggles which is your best head piece if you’re not going to fish and you MUST be an Engineer to use them. The scopes are good if you’re going to be a Hunter, but otherwise they probably aren’t worth being an Engineer for.
All of the explosives are good, or at least useful, but only the EZ-Thro can be used if you’re planning on dropping the profession. EZ-Thro can be used by non-engineers but it will occasionally blow up in your hand which deals a small amount of damage to you. If it does, then the cooldown is instantly reset and you can try throwing it again. Bombs are great for their stun effect, even if it is only a short one. Dynamite is good for the damage and that they can be used while moving, as well as finding pesky stealthers.
Herbalism’s only benefit is the Lifeblood spell that you get for leveling the profession. Lifeblood grants you 15 Haste for 20 seconds and also heals you over time.
Tauren receive a +15 bonus to Herbalism, but that bonus provides no benefit in this case. Tauren also pick herbs in 0.5 seconds instead of 1.5 seconds like every other race, so leveling the profession is quite a bit faster for them.
Inscription does provide at least a little benefit to this range of twinks in the form of Scrolls and an off-hand for casters.
No race receives a bonus to Inscription, so 100 is the cap.
Scroll of Agi/Int/Str/Spir: +3 to the ability for 30 minutes (Battle)
Scroll of Stamina: +3 Stamina for 30 minutes (Guardian)
Scroll of Agi/Int/Str/Spir II: +5 to the ability for 30 minutes (Battle)
Scroll of Stamina II: +5 Stamina for 30 minutes (Guardian)
Mystic Tome: off-hand, +7 Intellect
Jewelcrafting in and of itself doesn’t offer a whole lot as it’s perks are geared towards end game. There are a few items that can be very useful though, and some of the rings and necks could potentially be best in slot. Remember, you can’t buy/trade items from other players, so if JC items are best in slot for you then you’ll have to make them yourself. Again, I haven’t done the research for BiS gear for each class at 20 yet, so I can’t tell you if any of these are at this moment.
Draenei have a +10 racial bonus to JC, giving them access to a few items that are out of reach for other races.
Heavy Stone Statue: heals for 25 every 1 sec for 15 seconds (375 total healing) [DRAENEI ONLY]
Coarse Stone Statue: heals for 15 every 1 sec for 15 seconds (225 total healing)
Rough Stone Statue: heals for 8 every 1 second for 12 seconds (96 total healing)
These statues might not be the best source of healing in the game, but they are very useful when you need them and the channeled nature of the heal works similar to a HoT so you can drop it right before you take damage or just as it starts coming in to try to stay topped off. The great thing about these statues is that even though they require JC to make and they are soulbound, they do not require you to have the profession in order to use them.
So if you want to stock up on some good healing items, throw some stone into making these bad boys and then feel free to drop the profession to replace it with another without missing any of the benefits of this profession.
Leatherworking offers very little to F2P twinks because almost all of the gear that you can make within the 100 skill rank cap is for low-mid teens. Even the majority of the gear that Leatherworkers can make that are or are close to being BiS gear for 19 Twinks cannot be made with only 100 LW.
None of the races receives a bonus to Leatherworking, making the 100 cap the same for all races.
Additional Armor isn’t bad, it just isn’t great either. With the limited number of enchants available in to F2P twinks these armor kits are your only source of enchants for Legs, Hands, and Feet. You can probably get better enchants for your Chest slot from the actual Enchanting profession, but if you don’t feel like grinding the mats for it then LW is a decent second option.
Mining is a pretty common profession for normal twinks, but for F2P it’s pretty lackluster. As a gathering profession, Mining provides only this benefit.
None of the races in game right now have a bonus to Mining, leaving the cap at 100.
Toughness: +3 Stamina
I won’t really suggest Mining for a F2P twink. It’s not bad, we can always use another 30 health, but it’s also not great and doesn’t really measure up to some of the other professions. If your class gets no benefit from Haste, then I might consider Mining as one of them over Herbalism, but since Lifeblood also includes a heal effect I’d still prefer Herbalism myself.
Skinning has been one of my favorite twinking professions ever since they gave it the bonus to crit. Burst damage has always been a critical part of PvP performance, which is why that bonus to crit at a low level is such an important thing.
The only race that receives a bonus to Skinning is the Worgen which are not available to F2P accounts, making the cap 100 for all races.
Master of Anatomy: +3 critical strike rating
Once you’ve gotten all of the items you want from your professions, Skinning is one of the best options for you to switch to and use for the rest of your twinking career. Extra crit will help any class perform better at this low level in PvP.
Besides giving you a source of bag space that you don’t have to pay for, Tailoring is nearly a complete and total waste for F2P accounts. It can give you some decent gear to get started with if you’re a caster, but none of that gear is likely to be BiS once you reach 20.
None of the races get a bonus to Tailoring, making 100 the cap for all.
I would not suggest you take Tailoring on a F2P character at all. Do yourself a favor and save that cloth for First Aid and any other crafting professions that might use it (Engineering and Blacksmithing especially).
Archeology gives you no benefit at all for twinking F2P. I don’t think you can even get beyond collecting trash items with it with the 100 cap.
Dwarves can use Survey in 0.5 seconds instead of 1.5 seconds like all of the other races, but they receive no bonus to it. Not that it matters for F2P.
The only reason to consider using Archeology on a F2P account is to get the money you need to level your other professions. Since you can’t use the AH, Archeology is a decent way to gather gold. Unfortunately, the items you find are completely random and the time you put into it could likely be spent questing or farming mobs for drops that would result in more money in a shorter time span.
Cooking is something I normally don’t bother with at all on my twinks because the best buff food they can use is purchased rather than made. But for F2P twinks you don’t have that option because you can’t access the vendor and you can’t buy/trade it from other players. That means that cooking is now much more important as it will provide you with the best Stamina buffs available.
There’s also a spell you get just for having the Cooking profession, which is the Basic Campfire. Most people simply ignore the existence of this spell these days, but it does provide a buff that some twinks actually find useful (+4 Spirit for 1 minute).
No races receive a bonus, so the cap for Cooking is 100 for all.
Seasoned Wolf Kabob: +6 Stamina and Spirit for 15 minutes
Crispy Lizard Tail: +6 Stamina and Spirit for 15 minutes
Redridge Goulash: +6 Stamina and Spirit for 15 minutes
Captain Rumsey’s Lager: +10 Fishing for 3 minutes
Murloc Fin Soup: +6 Stamina and Spirit for 15 minutes
Smoked Sagefish: restores 4 Mana every 5 seconds for 15 minutes
Thistle Tea: Restores 100 Energy
I mention the Lager only as another way to buff your Fishing skill for when you’re trying to get your hands on the Lucky Fishing Hat.
Any of the recipes that give stamina and spirit here will work, just pick the one that has the easiest mats for you to farm.
Thistle Tea is a fantastic Rogue brew. I’m seeing mixed replies on Wowhead as to whether or not this recipe is still available. It will only show up for a Rogue as of several patches ago, but I’m sure either way if this is available still or not. If it is, it’s a good item to have for your Rogues.
First Aid has always been a twink essential, but like so many other things that’s not really the case with F2P. The great thing about bandages is that you can use high level versions than you can make, so a 19 Twink can use Heavy Runecloth Bandages even though they can’t make over regular Mageweave. For F2P though, you can’t make those higher versions to use, so you’re stuck with the small ones.
There are no bonuses to First Aid, leaving the cap at 100.
You definitely want to stock up on Wool Bandages. The healing value might suck, but it’s free healing that can save you in a pinch. They’re incredibly easy to make, so there’s no reason for you to skip them.
The Anti-Venom is something I almost never make or use on any of my toons at all. Being in the level 20-24 PvP bracket changes that up though, because now you’ve got some potentially serious poisons to worry about. In the 19 bracket the only poison is the Hunter’s Serpent Sting which really isn’t a threat unless you’re close to dying. In 20-24 though you have two Rogue poisons that might concern you.
A Rogue’s Crippling and Mind-Numbing Poisons can be a deciding factor in 20-24. If you’re a flag carrier (FC) or making a move to either assist your FC or bring down the Enemy FC (EFC) then that crippling poison might cost you the game. If you’re a caster, particularly a healer, then the Mind-Numbing can kill your ability to cast your spells. I’d rather you skip healing bandages than skip this anti-venom which could potentially decide your game.
Fishing’s primary purpose for F2P twinking is to get your hands on the Lucky Fishing Hat (+15 Stamina) which is your BiS helm no matter what your class is. You can also get the less interesting Weather-Beaten Fishing Hat (+3 Stamina, +3 Spirit, +5 Fishing, Free fishing lures) from the fishing daily quests.
Once you’ve got your Lucky Fishing Hat, you can forget about this profession. There’s no racial bonus to fishing, and no reason for one either, so it’s capped at 100 as well.
If you want to go all out, fully maximizing your F2P twink, then you’re going to have to dance around various professions to get all of the gear and buff items that you might need. That means you’re going to spend a lot of time gathering materials to level a profession only to turn right around and delete that profession to pick up yet another which you’ll also have to grind for.
[NOTE: This is by no means the only way to level your professions, this is simply my suggested path if you want to seriously min/max every profession out there.]
UPDATE: Unless you’re lucky enough to find Light Leather in chests or as drops, you’ll want to get Skinning long enough to get 6 Light Leather so that you can make your Engineer goggles, then drop it for Blacksmithing and carry on from Step 1 below..
Step 1: First Aid, Cooking, Fishing, Mining, Blacksmithing (Hunters can skip to Step 3a) [Mine/BS]
Step 2a: Blacksmiths make/stock Sharpening Stones and Weightstones as desired [Mine/BS]
Step 2b: If you’re a Blood Elf, be sure to make a Silver Rod before dropping Blacksmithing [Mine/BS]
Step 3a: Drop Blacksmithing, replace with Engineering [Mine/Eng]
Step 3b: Engineers stock bombs only if you’re staying Eng, otherwise get Googles and EZ-Thro [Mine/Eng]
Step 3c: Hunters stock Scopes as necessary for bow/gun upgrades [Mine/Eng]
Step 4: Drop Engineering, replace with Jewelcrafting [Mine/JC]
Step 5: Stock up on Statues, also craft any rings/necks that you need for BiS [Mine/JC]
Step 6: Drop Mining and Jewelcrafting, replace with Skinning and Enchanting [Skin/Ench]
Step 7: Use Enchanting on gear if you have BiS already, or on Vellums if you don’t [Skin/Ench]
Step 8: Drop Enchanting, replace with Leatherworking [Skin/LW]
Step 9: Stock up on Medium Armor Kits, Light will work if you don’t feel like grinding leather [Skin/LW]
Step 10: Drop Skinning and Leatherworking, replace with Herbalism and Inscription [Herb/Insc]
Step 11: Stock up on Scrolls (rank II) [Herb/Insc]
Step 12: Drop Inscription, replace with Alchemy [Herb/Alch]
Step 13: Stock up all potions/elixirs relative to your class. Stock Swiftness Potions. [Herb/Alch]
Step 14: Drop Alchemy, replace with Skinning [Herb/Skin]
Step 15: Profit.
I mentioned above that Hunters can skip Blacksmithing, that’s mostly because the stones/weights that BS can make apply only to melee weapons which you should almost never use. It doesn’t hurt for you to have them, but it’s kind of waste of time/mats for so very little return. Also note, that unless you’re going to use a gun or bow, there’s no reason to stock up Scopes.
UPDATE: Unless you’re lucky enough to find Light Leather in chests or as drops, you’ll want to get Skinning long enough to get 6 Light Leather so that you can make your Engineer goggles, then drop it for Engineering and carry on from Step 1 below..
Step 1: First Aid, Cooking, Fishing, Mining, Engineering [Mine/Eng]
Step 2: Engineers stock bombs only if you’re staying Eng, otherwise get Googles and EZ-Thro [Mine/Eng]
Step 3: Drop Engineering, replace with Jewelcrafting [Mine/JC]
Step 4: Stock up on Statues, also craft any rings/necks that you need for BiS [Mine/JC]
Step 5: Drop Mining and Jewelcrafting, replace with Skinning and Enchanting [Skin/Ench]
Step 6a: Use Enchanting on gear if you have BiS already, or on Vellums if you don’t [Skin/Ench]
Step 6b: Stock up on Minor Wizard Oil, one of the single best buffs available to you [Skin/Ench]
Step 7: Drop Enchanting, replace with Leatherworking [Skin/LW]
Step 8: Stock up on Medium Armor Kits, Light will work if you don’t feel like grinding leather [Skin/LW]
Step 9: Drop Skinning and Leatherworking, replace with Herbalism and Inscription [Herb/Insc]
Step 10: Stock up on Scrolls (rank II) [Herb/Insc]
Step 11: Drop Inscription, replace with Alchemy [Herb/Alch]
Step 12: Stock up all potions/elixirs relative to your class. Stock Swiftness Potions. [Herb/Alch]
Step 13: Drop Alchemy, replace with Skinning [Herb/Skin]
Step 14: Something, something.
Step 15: Profit.
Casters can skip Blacksmithing all together because the sharp/weightstones will be replaced with Wizard Oil and you have no need for the Silver Rod since the only enchant it gives access to is Agility which you won’t be using anyway. If you decide you would rather have the Agility enchant, just grab steps 1-3 from the non-caster list and then continue on in this list.
For those of you who don’t like using explosives and who do plan on using Fishing to get your hat, feel free to skip Engineering all together unless you’re a Hunter. Hunters will want those scopes to increase the damage of their primary weapon. I put Engineering early on for both progressions because it’s good to get those goggles in place early and wear them until they can be replaced with the fishing hat. I’ve been in that stupid fishing tourney dozens of times and I’ve never caught that stupid fish. Ever.
If you’re not good at remembering to use consumables in mid-combat, you probably want to skip Jewelcrafting unless you need some of the jewelry for your gear, as the only other benefit is the healing statues which will be most helpful during or right after combat when you might otherwise forget. You could macro your food and your statues to the same key if that would help you, though you might end up wasting a few statues if you forget. You could also macro it to other spells you might use in combat such as Herbalism’s Lifeblood spell or something like a Warlock’s Lifetap so that you have healing coming in. There are some ways to use it without focusing on it, but it can be a pain if you’re not used to such things.
If you’re not already aware, you want to pay special attention to the fact that Scrolls now count as Battle/Guardian Elixirs, meaning that you can’t stack them on top of potions. Some scrolls (like Stamina II) are stronger than potions, though so you’ll want to stock up on all the ones that you might need for your class/spec.
Maximizing Within Reason
If you don’t want to follow that crazy min/maxing plan from the previous section, here’s what you can do within reason to still get a lot of the buffs that professions allow without throwing away tons of time and gold that you spend leveling various professions.
If you’re going to dip into Blacksmithing, only make Rough Sharp/Weightstones unless you need that Silver Rod (Rogues and Hunters). Feel free to skip BS all together, regardless of your class.
If you’re going to dip into Engineering, the Flying Tiger Goggles are the most important item to get because of the random drop rate of the fish you need from the tournament for the Lucky Fishing Hat and the low(ish) chance of the Weather-Beaten Fishing Hat dropping from your sack of loot from the Fishing daily. If you’re a Hunter, the Scopes are a good investment since there are no other ranged enchants you can use, but 2 damage is only 2 damage so you can skip it as well. The EZ-Thro Dynamite is good, but the recipe is a drop so you might never be able to make them. Feel free to skip this profession all together as well.
Jewelcrafting is only a “must have” if you find that it’s the source for your BiS rings or necklace, otherwise it’s only good for the statues which are by no means critical. If you don’t have BiS gear to get from this, feel free to skip it.
Leatherworking only offers the armor kits, and they aren’t especially important for anyone either. You’re going to level Skinning anyway as it’s one of the best to end on, so I would suggest you at least get Skinning and LW together long enough to make a stack or so of the Light Armor Kits to put on your gear, and then feel free to drop it. If you want, you can skip it all together as you’re really not missing out on much even with Medium Armor Kits.
Enchanting is good, but even it isn’t critical as most of the options really kind of suck. It’s +1 of this or that and while those bonuses do add up over time, they’re not that big a deal either. The one exception I’d make to that is for casters. If you’re a caster, I would definitely take up Enchanting for the Minor Wizard Oil at the very least, and also the +3 Intellect enchant if your weapon is going to be a staff.
Inscription’s Scrolls and Alchemy’s Elixirs/Potions make them two of the strongest professions to dip your toes into. If you want to go with just one or the other, Alchemy is the definite winner. Inscription’s off-hand is great for casters, but if it’s not BiS for you then go ahead and skip Inscription.
Alchemy has just too many good buffs to too many different things to skip. If you don’t like buff potions or feel they’re wasted because the effects wear off on death, then just make restorative potions (health/mana) and Swiftness potions, and skip all the rest of it.
Mining isn’t bad, but it’s not great either.
Herbalism is one of the best professions you can pick for it’s healing and Haste buff, though not great if your class gets nothing from Haste.
Skinning is probably the most overall beneficial profession for every class as no matter what you’re doing you can benefit from increased Crit.
Cooking is great for it’s buff foods since other options are extremely difficult for you. I won’t suggest skipping this for F2P though I typically skip it for every other toon I roll.
First Aid is something I certainly suggest you take the time to level, for the Anti-Venom if nothing else. Yeah, the bandages do suck at this level, but you’re going to face a lot of Rogues in PvP and removing that crippling/mind-numbing poison can be a really big deal sometimes.
Fishing is the key to the best twink hat that money can’t buy. I urge any twink to try for this hat whenever you can, F2P or not. It might not have the best stats overall when compared to the BoA helms, but otherwise it’s the top dog and when it comes to F2P it’s definitely the best.
So to sum it all up, level those secondary skills and make sure you’re using professions that give you benefits that your class can use.