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Professions Leveling: Mining 1-525

Well folks, it’s time for another gathering post in the series of Leveling Professions. This time we’re going to take a look at Mining, one of the most profitable gathering professions in the game, both directly and indirectly.

Mining is the primary gathering profession of Blacksmithing, Engineering, and Jewelcrafting, and it provides mats which are often used in Alchemy as well.

As I’ve said before, gathering professions are where I tend to venture away from the guides at WoW-Professions.com, because I have my own paths I like to travel to get specific items that I know sell for more or are used for more items that what the guide tells you. You can click on this link to find their Mining Leveling Guide, and this one if you’d like to level 1-375 with their Smelting Guide.

I’m going to go through the leveling guide and give you the information that you don’t find at WoW-Professions. I’ll go over how/where I personally go about leveling them (where I deviate from their guides), and some things I like or dislike about the profession. I’ll also give a few tips on how I make gold with the profession, or ways that I might put it to use that aren’t apparent to everyone.

Getting Started: Materials
As a gathering profession, Mining doesn’t need anything in the way of actual mats of course. However, it does require you to devote one item in your bags to an item that works as a Mining Pick. You can get the actual Mining Pick or any number of weapons that count as one. You can also use a Gnomish Army Knife which I have about a dozen of to pass around to my toons so they always have the basic tools for any profession. You can buy a pick from almost any trade goods vendor in the game as well as Blacksmithing Supplies and Mining Supplies vendors.

Special Note: One good thing about Mining is that even when nodes are green to you they still have a very high chance of awarding a skill point because of how few nodes there are. Herbalism has a lot of nodes, so the chance of getting skills on green nodes is fairly low, Skinning has even more “nodes” so skill points on green skins are rare, but Mining has the fewest nodes of all gathering professions so it has a high skill up chance on greens to make up for that fact.

There are a few items and enchants that give you a bonus to your Mining skill that can help you move forward to new types of ore a bit faster.
Enchant Gloves – Mining: Use: Teaches you how to permanently enchant gloves to increase mining skill by 2.
Enchant Gloves – Advanced Mining: Use: Teaches you how to permanently enchant gloves to increase mining skill by 5.
Goblin Mining Helmet: Equip: Mining +5.
Enchant Gloves – Gathering: Permanently enchant gloves to increase Herbalism, Mining, and Skinning by 5. Requires a level 60 or higher item.

I keep a pair of white-quality Cloth gloves that have the enchant for each of the gathering professions (the individual enchants for each, not Gatherer) on them to pass around to toons while leveling. I almost always level miners with a pair of enchanted gloves to help them gather, mostly for when you start getting towards the end of vanilla content and beyond where you’ll find “rich” nodes in the same zones as regular nodes.

I wouldn’t bother with the +2 Mining enchant unless that’s really all you can find, and even then I’d probably skip it. Advanced Mining and Gathering are both decent enchants to use, but like I said I don’t often use Gathering because I like to be able to use these kinds of items on low level toons and Gatherer requires high level items to use it.

The Goblin Mining Helmet isn’t bad, but it has some requirements that make it hard for a lot of toons to use it. First off it requires you to be able to equip Mail armor so half of the classes can never use it. Second, it requires an Engineering skill of 205 which means you have to have Engineering as your 2nd profession to use it, and you have to be at least level 20 you get your skill level high enough. But if you’re questing in a zone that has mining nodes more than 5 levels above your current skill level then you’re probably better off going back to a lower level zone to level up anyway.

Trouble Areas
Luckily, recent patches and expansions have done a world of good in smoothing out the bottlenecks of leveling the Mining profession. The number of nodes have been drastically increased, placement around the world has been improved so that you find ores you need in more zones and across more evenly spread level ranges, and minimum requirements to use the profession in each expansion’s content have been lowered.

If you’re just leveling Mining itself, then you don’t have to worry about bottlenecks very much at all now. The one slight exception is 375+ where you can no longer smelt your ore for additional skill points. However, spending about an hour in any of the top 3 zones in Northrend should yield enough Saronite nodes to push you easily to the minimum requirements for Cataclysm nodes (425).

If you’re leveling Mining to fuel a crafting profession though, then of course you’re going to need massive amounts of certain ores/bars to craft all of the items that you need. And that’s where the following information can help.

The following are Ores that are required in a significantly higher amount that other ores in relation to certain crafting professions. Also note that the numbers given are for the amount of Ore required to make the number of Bars required to level the respective crafting professions.

Mithril Ore: [BS 320, Eng 161, JC 140]
This is your first big stumbling block as a Blacksmith. Up to this point Iron has been your biggest time sink and you need less than 200 of that. You’ll need 320 Mithril Ore to level a Blacksmith and that’s a lot of ore. Engineers and Jewelcrafters need a fair amount of Mithril as well, but not nearly as much as Blacksmiths.

My favorite place to farm Mithril is Badlands. It doesn’t have the highest number of nodes in it (Thousand Needles does), but one big benefit it has over all of the other zones that do have higher node-counts is that it’s mostly flat ground (so easy to farm without a flying mount) and the nodes are very close together and spread out perfectly along the edge of the zone. Just while leveling there for a short time on my Shadow Priest recently I got over half of what you would need as a Blacksmith in this zone alone, and as much again in Burning Steppes.

Thorium Ore: [BS 420, Eng 189, JC 50]
Thorium is next up on the list, and if you’re a Blacksmith then this is the second worst grind you’re going to face for a single type of ore. Thorium is easier to come by than it used to be, but it can still be a pain, especially if you need a lot of it. With a 420 Ore requirement for Blacksmithing you can get an idea of why so many people hate leveling BS and consider it a massive time/gold/material sink – because that’s what it is. Engineers need a fair amount of Thorium as well, but again less than half of what a BS does. Jewelcrafting might only use 50 Thorium Bars in their leveling, but a lot of the gems that need to finish off vanilla patterns are found from Thorium Ore making that number of 50 somewhat incorrect. You only need 50 bars, but if you can’t get your hands on the gems themselves then you’ll need much more than that in raw ore for Prospecting.

My preference for farming Thorium Ore is Un’Goro Crater. Just like my Mithril spot above, it doesn’t have the highest number of ore nodes (Winterspring does), but it does have a more farmer-friendly layout. The zone is relatively flat, though there are some times you’ll need to go up into the mountains around the edge of the zone to find your nodes. The best trait of the zone is that it’s almost perfectly round and most of the nodes are found around the outside ring, making farming there very simple and easy to do.

Cobalt Ore: [BS 320, Eng 324, JC -]
Cobalt Ore is the next bottleneck, the first ore of Nothrend. Blacksmiths need 320 Ore, but they’re outmatched this time by the Engineers who need 324. Jewelcrafters don’t need this ore in particular because we’ve now stepped away from Jewelry as the primary product of JC and now we’re looking more at Gems and what Jewelry we do have is mostly made with Eternals instead of smelted bars. That said though, you don’t really need all that much ore to level through Northrend content as a JC.

I hate farming Cobalt Ore; Of all the ores that WoW has to offer, Cobalt sucks the most. Well, not counting the uncommon nodes, of course. There are five primary zones that you can farm Cobalt, and while all of them offer a decent number of node locations, none of them are really set up for easy farming. The highest concentration of nodes is in Zul’drak, but I really don’t like the layout of the zone and the placement of the ore nodes there, so I usually avoid the place. Instead I prefer to farm in Howling Fjord because it has the simplest farming paths and many of the nodes can be farmed at-level without much risk of pulling nearby mobs because it has a large concentration of non-aggressive beasts and many nodes don’t have any mobs around them at all.

Elementium Ore: [BS 708, Eng 224, JC -]
Last up on our bottleneck list is Elementium, the highest common ore of the Cataclysm expansion. Blacksmiths will prepare for their worse ore farming spree yet with 708 Ore (354 Bars) needed to level their profession. Engineers don’t even come close with their 224 Ore (112 Bars) needed, and Jewelcrafters don’t necessarily need any of it at all.

While Deepholm supposedly has the highest number of Elementium nodes available, it’s also one of the most frequently farmed locations for it. Twilight Highlands is listed as having the second highest Elementium population, and Uldum the third. I’ve farmed in all three of these locations, and while Deepholm used to have Elementium everywhere you looked it’s now almost barren. Twilight Highlands is sort of the premium farming spot for almost everything so finding ore there sucks as well. So Uldum is my choice for farming Elementium even though the layout of the zone sucks compared to Deepholm’s circular setup.

For this bottleneck I’m going to have to say that you’re better off finding your own favorite spot on your server. Since this is new content these nodes will be targeted more than all of the others above, and each server has its own economy that will determine where you should farm or if you should even bother farming at all. It could be that your server is so full of farmers that your only real option is to farm the Auction House instead.

Psynister Preferences
I don’t really follow the WoW-Professions guide much at all when I’m farming ore. I have followed their smelting guide, but generally I don’t power level Mining for the sake of having Mining, I do it to fuel a crafting profession. Because of that I don’t want to just reach the next level for the newest types of ore, I need to find good places to farm for certain types of ore and gather until I have enough for what I’m going to make.

As I mentioned before though, I also enjoy PvP twinking and like to keep a store of mats for power leveling my twinks’ professions, so I always farm more than I need so that I can keep my twink guild bank stored with whatever mats I need.

If you’re farming ore so that you can sell the ore/bars raw on the Auction House, it’s always good to know where the market stands on each type of ore, and what else you might be able to do with that ore by using any crafting professions you have access to that use it.

Before you sell your ore, always check the value of the bars you can make with it first. You might think that you’re making a kill selling a stack of ore for 90g, but you might be ripping yourself off if you could have smelted that ore and sold the stack of bars for 140g. It’s more common in bars that require 2 of their respective ores to craft instead of only 1, but I’ve turned even stacks of Copper Ore into Bars and sold them for 4x the profit before.

While it can be a hassle if you’re not used to it, it’s also a good idea to get to know your crafting professions well so that you know what you can craft with which type of mats. If you have a Blacksmith then you might want to consider not selling your Mithril/Thorium (the same for Fel Iron/Adamantite, Cobalt/Saronite, and Obsidium/Elementium) until you check the prices for Plate Tanking gear that you can make with that ore to see if it’s more valuable. When you’re dealing in Northrend and Cataclysm mats you may also want to check the prices on Plate DPS gear, especially those pieces that have Resilience and are good for PvP as they often sell well (server depending, of course).

If you have a Jewelcrafter then you might want to keep yourself familiar with the value of gems that you can prospect as well. You’ll rarely get more money prospecting Outlands ore than you would for selling the ore itself, and for the most part the same is true for Northrend. But for some vanilla gems and even some Cataclysm gems, sometimes you can get more money from prospecting than you can from the ore.

Your other option is to craft things with a BS/Eng/JC and then disenchant them with an Enchanter to then sell the enchanting mats or enchanting scrolls on the Auction House. You can search for details on this type of thing at various websites by searching for “Saronite Shuffle” or “Obsidium Shuffle” which can give you the basics. Some of it applies to just those particular ores, but you can apply the concept even to vanilla and Outlands ores as well.

Power Leveling List

From WoW-Professions.com:

1 – 60 Durotar, Dun Morogh
60 – 110 Barrens, Loch Modan
110 – 185 Ashenvale, Wetlands
185 – 205 Dustwallow Marsh, Hinterlands
205 – 265 Thousand Needles
265 – 300 Un’Goro Crater
300-360 Hellfire Peninsula, Nagrand
360-450 Borean Tundra, Sholazar Basin
450-525 Mount Hyjal

Guide Sections:
1 – 65 – Copper Ore
65 – 125 – Tin Ore
125 – 175 – Iron Ore
175 – 230 – Mithril Ore
230 – 300 – Thorium Ore
300 – 325 – Fel Iron Ore
325 – 350 – Adamantite Ore
350 – 400 – Cobalt Ore
400 – 425 – Saronite Ore
425 – 475 – Obsidium Ore
475 – 525 – Elementium Ore

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2011 in Guide, Leveling, Professions

 

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Professions Leveling: Jewelcrafting 1-525

Continuing on with the series on Leveling Professions. This time we’re going to look at one of the hottest professions the game has to offer – Jewelcrafting.

Jewelcrafting (or JC) is a somewhat odd profession because it completely changes what it does once you get halfway through with leveling it. Up to skill level 300 the profession crafts rings and necklaces, an occasional trinkets. Once you hit level 300 it switches your focus almost entirely over to gems with a few bits of jewelry left over. That trend continues on throughout the remaining expansions, though jewelry does crop up a bit more in Wrath and Cataclysm.

The purpose of these guides isn’t to actually tell you what to make, because you can already find that at the same source I go to when it’s time to level professions: WoW-Professions.com. You can click on this link to find their Jewelcrafting Leveling Guide.

Instead, I’m going to go through the leveling guide and give you the information that you don’t find at WoW-Professions. Things such as bottlenecks in crafting or materials, how I personally go about leveling them (where I deviate from their guides), and some things I like or dislike about the profession. I’ll also give a few tips on how I make gold with the profession, or ways that I might put it to use that aren’t apparent to everyone.

Getting Started: Materials
The first thing you need to know about Jewelcrafting is what type of materials you need to craft. Mining is your primary source. If you want to level a Jewelcrafter then you need to either make their other profession Mining so that they can provide their own mats, have another toon with Mining to feed them mats, or be prepared to spend thousands of gold on the auction house purchasing the ore or raw gems that you need.

There are two items that you’ll need to have with you in order to perform your Jewelcrafting services. First up is the Jeweler’s Kit which you need for basically everything you do with the profession, and second is the Simple Grinder which you’ll need once you reach skill level 300 and start cutting the gems.

Once you reach the Northrend level of Jewelcrafting you’ll also find that Alchemy can be a great benefit for leveling up your Jewelcrafting by being able to transmute certain gems for you. You don’t have to have an Alchemist, but it can be very useful. If you’re looking to do JC for the sake of profit and not simply providing gear and gems for your character then you may really want to consider leveling an Alchemist for the ability to transmute lower quality gems into higher quality.

If you’re looking to power-level the profession you can scroll down to the bottom of this post to find a list of items you want to gather beforehand. Be aware though that there are some portions of power leveling it where there are more than one option for what items to craft and there may be a cheaper option available to you. I suggest you follow the guide as needed rather than stocking up on all the mats before hand so that you don’t end up spending thousands of gold on a certain material when you could have spent just a couple hundred on another option.

Jeweler’s Special
There are a couple of things that are special to the Jewelcrafting profession as well, which most other professions do not have. These are Prospecting and Daily Quests.

Prospecting is a Jewelcrafter-only spell that you can train at skill level 20. It allows you to turn 5 of a single kind of Ore (Copper, Fel Iron, Cobalt, etc) into gems instead. The 5 Ore are destroyed in the process and replaced by the gems. Each type of ore has it’s own set of gems that it can turn into, and knowing which ore turns into which gems is the key to making gold as well as the key to leveling up “on the cheap” if you would rather farm your own ore than buy certain gems on the auction house or even worse, farm them from ore node procs alone.

Refer to the following table to find out which kinds of gems you can get from each type of ore.

Ore Type Primary Prospect Secondary Prospect Additional Prospects
Copper Ore Malachite 50% Tigerseye 50% Shadowgem 10%
Tin Ore 1-2 Lesser Moonstone 38%
1-2 Shadowgem 38%
1-2 Moss Agate 37% Aquamarine 3%
Citrine 3%
Jade 3%
Silver Ore Cannot be prospected.
Iron Ore 1-2 Citrine 36% 1-2 Jade 35%
1-2 Lesser Moonstone 35%
Aquamarine 5%
Star Ruby 5%
Cannot be prospected.
Mithril Ore 1-2 Star Ruby 36% Aquamarine 35%
1-2 Citrine 35%
Large Opal 3%
Azerothian Diamond 2%
Blue Sapphire 2%
Huge Emerald 2%
Truesilver Ore Cannot be prospected.
Dark Iron Ore Cannot be prospected.
Thorium Ore 1-2 Azerothian Diamond 31%
1-2 Blue Sapphire 31%
1-2 Huge Emerald 31%
1-2 Large Opal 31%
1-2 Star Ruby N/A
Fel Iron Ore 1-2 Uncommon Gems 17-19% Rare Gems 1.1-1.3% N/A
Eternium Ore Cannot be prospected.
Adamantite Ore Adamantite Powder 100% 1-2 Uncommon Gems 17-19% Rare Gems 4%
Khorium Ore Cannot be prospected.
Cobalt Ore 1-2 Uncommon Gems 23-24% Rare Gems 1.1-1.5% N/A
Saronite Ore 1-2 Uncommon Gems 18-19% 1-2 Rare Gems 4-5% N/A
Titanium Ore 1-2 Uncommon Gems 23-24% 1-2 Epic Gems 4-5% 1-2 Rare Gems 4%
Obsidium Ore 1-2 Uncommon Gems 23-24% Rare Gems 1.2-1.3% NA
Elementium Ore 1-2 Uncommon Gems 18% 1-2 Rare Gems 4-5% NA
Pyrite Ore 1-3 Volatile Earth 100% Uncommon Gems 16-17% Rare Gems 7-8%

There are a couple of other types of Ore that you can get from mining in particular zones that are used strictly for quests that I didn’t bother linking above. If there’s another type of ore you’ve found that isn’t on this list you can safely assume that it has no prospecting value.

Trouble Areas
Almost every profession has some sort of bottleneck, or trouble area where the mats are either hard to find or all of the recipes you have access to are either green or yellow and so only have a chance to skill you up. I’ve had yellow recipes that took up to nine attempts before it gave me a single point, and yet I’ve had green recipes that gave me a point every single time I made them. Random numbers suck, but that’s all we’ve got.

One of the early bottlenecks you might find is pretty early on. If you can’t find 20 Small Lustrous Pearls or 40 Shadowgems (or if they’re overpriced) then you might want to take a look at the price of Silver Ore or Silver Bars instead since they can level you through the same range. I find I rarely use Silver in other professions so I end up having a couple of stacks worth sitting in my bank. You’ll see that yourself while you’re leveling through WoW-Profession’s guide, but it’s one you should be aware of for sure since the price of Shadowgems in particular can range anywhere from a few silver to several gold each.

Now, on to some more literal bottlenecks. Large Opal is the first one that comes to mind. While you may find a few while leveling up a Miner, they aren’t all that common overall. The best way to get them is by actually prospecting Thorium Ore, which people don’t really do all that often in general. You might be able to find them on your AH if people have been prospecting ore or leveling toons with Mining, but you might find them way more expensive than you’d like to pay. If you aren’t going to spend time mining Thorium for extended periods of time then you may want to check the prices for Thorium Ore on the AH to see if it’s cheaper. You can get some of them from prospecting Mithril Ore as well, but the chance is much lower.

You can also find Azerothian Diamonds with the same method which can ease up the cost of mats for leveling Jewelcrafting. Some of the other recipes in this level range also require other gems that can be found from prospecting Thorium. Those in particular are a bit easier to find because they also have a higher chance of being mined from the actual Thorium nodes, but it’s good to know where they come from.

If you find that prices for the gems in this particular level range, which is 225-300 or so, then be sure to check the price of Thorium Ore to see if you might be better of buying it than the gems themselves, or give some thought into farming Thorium Ore yourself if you have a Miner who can do so easily.

The next potential bottleneck is Outlands level gems. Typically you can find these for pretty cheap prices on the Auction House, usually less than 1g each or even just 4-5g for a stack of them. You need about 55 of them or so, and it doesn’t matter which type they are. However, you’re going to need to prospect 200 Adamantite Ore to get your hands on the 40 Adamantite Powder you need to finish leveling through Outlands content anyway, so before you purchase those gems you might want to prospect all of your Adamantite Ore and use the gems you get from it first. You do have to have a Jewelcrafting skill of 325 before you can prospect Adamantite Ore, so you may need to buy some raw gems to get you up to that point. The blue-quality rare gems from Outlands sell for 3g each to a vendor, and that’s about all they’re good for too.

The only other bottleneck I wanted to bring up here is going to come at the very end of your JC leveling, which is the new uncommon gem, Nightstone. You need 40 of them to powerlevel, but they’re also one of the gems required for the JC daily quests so they’re often more expensive than the other gems. You can either purchase the gems themselves, or you can buy/farm the Cataclysm ores to prospect for a chance to get them. I had 24 stacks of Obsidium Ore last night and prospecting them all yielded exactly 20 of these. While prospecting is completely random in what it gives you, you can see the percentage chance of getting one is fairly low at a bit less than 1 per stack of ore in this particular example.

Notable Special Recipes
There are only a couple of recipes that you need to keep an eye out for when you’re leveling your Jewelcrafting. There are other options for things you can craft to get past their levels, but you’ll really spend a lot of mats using them instead.

Both of these “special” recipes are for fairly low level crafting, and you really only need to get one or the other unless you can’t find enough of their mats to get through the level range, then it’s beneficial for you to go ahead and get both. The first one is Design: Pendant of the Agate Shield which can be purchased from Neal Allen (Alliance) in Wetlands or Jandia (Horde) in Thousand Needles.

The second recipe is the Design: Amulet of the Moon which is purchased from Arred (Alliance) in Exodar or Mythrin’dir (Alliance) in Darnassus, or from Daniel Bartlett (Horde) in Undercity or Gelanthis (Horde) in Silvermoon City.

While there are a lot of recipes (usually called “cuts” or “designs”) for other types of gem cuts, the way that gemming works basically nullifies all of the old cuts when new expansions are released. The only exception is twinks, but I haven’t even bothered looking into the twink gem market to be able to tell you how profitable that may or may not be.

Specializations
Jewelcrafting is one of the few crafting professions that does not, and has not (that I’m aware of), had any form of specializations attached to it. Basically, all JC’s are created equal.

However, the high level gem cuts are purchased by tokens that are rewarded for completing daily quests that are only available to high level JC’s. Because of that the patterns for specific gems take time to acquire and not all JC’s will have the same patterns at the same time. Generally you’ll find that casters will start with caster cuts, melee the melee cuts, tanks the survival cuts, and so on. The exception to that, at least early on in an expansion like we are now, is when members of a guild team up in their pattern purchases so that nobody is overlapping and each JC can get a different pattern so that all of the guild’s needs can be met by at least someone, and after those needs are met then they will start to get the patterns they prefer for their own characters or that sell the best on the AH depending on what their motivations are.

So if you’re looking for Strength gems you generally have a better shot finding the cuts you need from Jewelcrafters who are similar classes that also need those same cuts. So Strength-based Plate Tank/DPS will usually have Strength gems, Leather/Mail DPS classes will usually have Agility, DPS/Healing casters will tend towards Intellect, and so on. Like I said, it doesn’t always work that way, but in general that’s what you’ll find early on in an expansion.

Psynister Preferences
Jewelcrafting is one of those professions that I pretty well stick to the guides on. I do break away a few times, particularly when it comes to snatching some cheap skill ups at the beginning of each material bracket up to skill level 300.

The item I’m talking about are the Stone Statues which each require 8 of the different types of Stone found in Azeroth mining nodes, from Rough up through Dense. The stones summon a little statue that sends out a channeled heal that targets you for a few seconds and then dies. The Rough, Coarse, and Heavy versions each take 8 of their respective stones to make and the Solid and Dense versions each take 10 of their stones. They aren’t all that useful, but they do come in handy when they’re needed and they’re fairly cheap to make as well.

If you have a stockpile of these from leveling Mining on one of your toons then you might consider dumping them into these statues for some cheap skill levels since the stone usually sells for crap on the AH. If you don’t have your own, go ahead and check their price on the AH, and if they’re cheap go ahead and get a few stacks if you can skill up on them, but if they’re expensive then just ignore it since they’re not really needed. Making the statues does take a lot of stone, and the statues themselves only stack up to 5 so you’ll fill up your bags pretty quick, but it’s another option that can potentially save you more expensive mats.

There are also two suggestions I’m going to make in particular regarding making gold with this profession. First off, buy every green-quality Northrend gem you find on the AH for 50 silver or less. You can cut all of the Northrend uncommon gems and vendor them for 50 silver if they’re regular cuts or 1g if they proc as a perfect cut. If they’re over 50s each then I don’t suggest you buy them, but if they’re at 50s you’ll at least break even and under 50s you’ve got guaranteed profit. The same concept applies to Cataclysm gems, except that the vendor value for them is 9g each. So if you see any at under 9g then snatch them up, cut them, and then vendor them.

Another item you can make early on that can bring in some decent gold is the Thick Bronze Necklace. It requires level 17 to wear, provides +3 Stamina, and has a fairly low material cost of 2 Bronze Bars, 1 Shadowgem, and 1 Delicate Copper Wire. This necklace is the default choice for all level 19 twinks. Every now and then the market gets flooded with these and they aren’t worth the mats it takes to make them, but if you get your hands on some cheap mats or already have some collecting dust in your bank then it’s a good option for turning it into cash.

Power Leveling Materials List
The following list is taken from the WoW-Professions website. To find a list of what to make with these items you’ll need to refer to their Jewelcrafting Leveling Guide.

Approximate Materials Required for 1-525:

IMPORTANT! DO NOT BUY ALL OF THE MATERIALS AT ONCE! Jewelcrafting is really expensive to level, and on most servers AH is screwed up because of the insanely high prices of low level Gems, Orbs and Bars. I usually have a few tips and alternatives so you can save some gold.

100 Copper Bar
20 Tigerseye or 20 Malachite
120 Bronze Bar = 60 Copper Bar, 60 Tin Bar
60 Shadowgem OR 20 Shadowgem and 20 Small Lustrous Pearl
80 Heavy Stone
30 Moss Agate / 60 Lesser Moonstone for Horde
140 Mithril Bar
80 Solid Stone
25 Citrine
15 Truesilver Bar
5 Aquamarine
50 Thorium Bar
10 Star Ruby
20 Large Opal
10 Powerful Mojo or 10 Blue Sapphire
10 Essence of Earth or 10 Essence of Undeath
20 Huge Emerald
55 green gems OR 40 and 15 Black Diamond – You can find a list of green gems here. Don’t buy all of them from one kind, because there might be some recipes where you don’t have the reputation to buy it, so you will have to choose other green gems. Just buy them when you get to that part of the Jewelcrafting guide.
40 Adamantite Powder (200 Adamantite Ore)
10 Primal Earth
10 Adamantite Bar
Buy around 70 from any of the following gems: Bloodstone, Chalcedony, Dark Jade, Huge Citrine, Shadow Crystal, Sun Crystal. Make sure to buy at least 5 Bloodstone, 1 Chalcedony, 1 Shadow Crystal and 1 Dark Jade, because you will need the Bloodstones when you reach 395 and the other gems when you reach 440.
46 Eternal Earth OR 23 Eternal Earth and 23 Eternal Shadow
5 Forest Emerald
5 Titanium Bar
5 Dream Shard
Buy 45 from any of the following gems: Carnelian, Alicite, Jasper, Zephyrite. I did not include Hessinote and Nightstone in the list, because you will use them later on.
16 Hessinote
40 Nightstone
Note: 495-525 material list is not included, because you shouldn’t buy all of them at once, but you will need around 30 Shadowspirit Diamonds and a lot more Uncommon Gems for the Fire Prism transmutes.

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2011 in Guide, Leveling, Professions

 

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Leveling Professions

The one thing that I may enjoy more about this game than leveling toons is leveling professions. While I don’t often powerlevel my toons, I most definitely powerlevel my professions. When my characters reach a level that their professions can be trained to the next level I typically power the profession to the new maximum before I reach the next character level.

My many acquaintances on Twitter are familiar with my habits of deleting max level toons, and have decided that since there are a few others who do the same that there needed to be a name for it. Thus, Psynister Psyndrome was created to describe those who delete and reroll their high level toons. But that’s not the only thing I’m known for deleting at high level. I’m also well known for dropping maxed professions to pick up another, max it, drop it, max another, drop it, and so on.

So, mini-rambling aside, I’m no stranger to leveling professions. For the most part I farm all of my mats myself, though I’ll definitely dip into the AH to fill in any mats that I’ve missed (so long as the price isn’t ridiculous). The purpose of this post isn’t to guide you through leveling certain professions, but rather a general look them and the benefits of leveling them, as well as tips for how to make leveling them easier.

Why Level (With) Professions?
Leveling your professions is something you should do on every toon. If nothing else, you should have dual gathering professions simply for the additional experience and the additional income of selling what you find on the auction house.

Some of the benefits of leveling your professions along with your toon rather than waiting for higher levels include cost savings (from farming mats instead of buying them), increased speed or power while leveling, easy access to gear upgrades, and increased leveling speed in the case of Mining and Herbalism (and Archeology, though I’m not counting that here).

If you’re playing a caster for instance, Engineering provides excellent goggles for increasing Intellect and Spirit. Enchanting and Alchemy can provide a wide variety of buffs for every class. Inscription gives you buffs similar to Alchemy through scrolls, but also gives access to additional “hearthstone” via Scrolls of Recall as well as access to excellent off-hand items for casters. Jewelcrafting is excellent for filling out your ring, neck, and trinket slots at early levels where gear for those slots is often hard to find.

Leatherworking is the single-best resource for Agility gear for any leveling toon as well as a very strong source of caster leather. Tailoring provides great caster gear while leveling. Blacksmithing…well, blacksmithing sucks for the most part, but you do get access to keys that can be used to open locked chests or doors, shield spikes to make your tanks more deadly, and spurs that increase your mounted speed.

There are also three gathering professions that can help you out. Herbalism is the most beneficial as it provides an instant heal that also grants Haste when used, not to mention is the most abundant of the gathering professions which means you can get a significant amount of experience from farming herbs. Mining is next on this list as it provides a decent amount of survivability by increasing your stamina, and also grants gather experience. Skinning is for those of you who like to deal damage as it gives you a boost to your Crit, and while it does not grant gather experience it is incredibly easy to level it.

Resources for Leveling
When it comes to leveling your professions, the single-best resource I’ve found online is by far WoW-Professions. The site has a list of all of the mats you’ll need to level each profession from 1-525, a list of which items to make, when to make them, and how many to make.

I never follow any of the guides 100% because I’m a natural farmer and always end up with additional mats, so I don’t mind making items even when they go green when I’ve still got the mats to make 60 more of them. But, you can follow the guide almost to the letter and get exactly where you want to go with the profession.

The site also lists specific recipes that you’ll want to look for that can be found only from vendors or mob drops that can make leveling significantly easier or more cost effective if you can find them, and gives a link back to Wowhead so that you can easily find where to get the recipes.

Another good resource I’ve found is BankAlt.com. It hasn’t been updated for Cataclysm yet, and I’m waiting to hear back from the author, Darth Solo of WoW Alone, about whether or not he plans to update it. But, even if it’s not updated it’s an excellent resource for crafting everything up through the Wrath expansion. It doesn’t tell you what to make or how to make it, but instead it shows you everything you need to make a specific item, broken down into its rawest form.

So if you’re looking to make some specific items to help you while leveling, and you know it takes crafted mats but aren’t good at remembering or calculating the amount of base mats, then this site is golden. For instance, look at the Frostweave Bag. If you’re not a long-time bag maker, do you know right off the top of your head how much cloth and dust each of those bags takes?

If you go to the site and click on the Tailoring link at the top you’ll be able to type “Frostweave Bag” into the search window to have the item pop up. You can then see the item’s actual mats which are 2 Eternium Threads and 6 Bolts of Imbued Frostweave, just like you’ll see it in your professions window. But, you can click on the Expand button right next to the mats and it will break those mats down to their basic form, showing you what you actually need to get in order to make one: 2 Eternium Thread, 6 Bolts of Imbued Frostweave (12 Infinite Dust, 12 Bolts of Frostweave [60 Frostweave Cloth]).

General Profession Leveling Tips
There are a lot of small things you can find or do to help level your professions. You can find them in the form of in-game addons, online guides, and sites such as Wowhead that offer a searchable database.

In the case of gathering professions there are several different addons that you can get to help you locate nodes. The one I prefer is called Gatherer, though I have several friends and guildmates who prefer GatherMate.

As far as things you can actively do to help level your professions, the first is to be sure you’re throwing mats away. If you know you’re going to level a profession, don’t sell the mats that you find or farm for that profession. For example, if you’re about to roll a Druid with Herbalism and Alchemy, don’t get rid of herbs that you find on your other toons.

If you’re leveling a character with dual gathering professions and have any intention of leveling professions that use those mats on another toon(s), consider establishing a bank alt and sending all of those gathered mats to the bank alt to be stored in their guild bank.

When I’m ready to start leveling a crafting profession on one of my toons I like to send all of the mats over from my bank alt and then use the mailbox as storage. When sending the mail over I like to have each type of mat in their own “envelope” or grouped with other mats of the same level. Doing this allows me to easily withdraw the mats that I need while leaving the mats that I’m not ready for stored in the mailbox, and by doing so it’s completely organized and easy for me to find any item that I might need. Being rather anal when it comes to organization, I also send them in reverse order of when they’re needed so that the earliest mats used show up first in the mailbox, but I’m crazy like that.

Sometimes I like to level a toon with dual gathering professions with the intent of dropping one of them for a crafting profession that matches the one I’m going to keep once I reach a higher level. For example, I might level a toon with Herbalism and Mining, but drop the Herbalism once I’m nearing the end of Outlands (mid-high 60′s) and replace it with a crafting profession like Blacksmithing or Jewelcrafting. While the JC profession can give you rings, necks, and trinkets that are good for leveling, the real draw of the profession is the gems and gems serve no purpose prior to Outlands and Northrend, so I almost never level as a JC. Blacksmithing similarly provides very little benefit to a character while they’re leveling and most of the items that are significant enough to really look into making them don’t show up until Outlands or Northrend levels.

If you’re leveling Gathering professions, be sure to gather as much as you need in your current leveling zones to open up gathering in the zone you intend to move to. A good way to judge those levels is by looking at the WoW-Professions site for your gathering profession to see what skill level it tells you to build up to before moving on to a new zone. If you’re still questing in an area when your gathering skills are high enough to move on, don’t stop gathering but because you’ve reached the necessary level, just don’t stick around farming needlessly either.

Specific Tips: Gathering Professions
For Mining the general rule of thumb is that every range of new mining nodes covers 40-60 skill levels. So if you just learned how to smelt a new type of ore then you know you have about 50′ish skill levels that you need to gain before you can start mining/smelting the next type of ore. Also remember that you can smelt your ore to help increase your skill if you find yourself leveling out of the zones you’re trying to farm in and end up in zones where your skill isn’t high enough to mine.

Smelting turns grey before gathering. If you’re trying to speed your mining skill by smelting, remember to smelt early if you’re farming nodes of the same type. Also remember that you have a small chance of gaining a skill level if the smelting is “green”, but you still have a high chance of gaining a skill point from actually mining a node when it’s “green”. Because mining nodes are in fairly low supply, the chance of skilling up from the nodes is higher than other gathering nodes.

Also keep in mind that while Blacksmithing and Engineering rely primarily on ore being smelted into bars, Jewelcrafting most often uses the raw ore. Smelting requires 1-2 of the ore in question while Jewelcrafting always requires ore to be in stacks of 5 for Prospecting.

Herbalism is similar, but the sheer number of herb types means that you’ll find a smaller number of skill levels between different types of herb nodes, but you’ll find higher level herbs that are 60+ skill levels higher than other herbs in the very same zone. There are many more herb nodes than mining nodes, due in part to the fact that gathering those nodes is the only way to level Herbalism where Mining can be leveled by both gathering and smelting.

There are two crafting professions that specifically rely on herbs, Alchemy and Inscription. With Alchemy you’ll always use your herbs in lots of 1 or 2, so if you’re looking for a specific number to stop gathering at, try to get multiples of 10 of each herb. For Inscription you’re always going to use exactly 5 herbs of the same type for every use of milling. So if you’re about to leave a zone that offers a specific type of herb and the zones you’re moving to do not contain that herb, then farming until you reach a multiple of 5 or 10 is optimal.

For Skinning the best tool is mathematics. The thing to remember about Skinning is that the skill level required is based on the level of the beast. Beast Level x 5 = Required Skinning Level. That restriction doesn’t apply on beasts up to around level 10 or 15, because you don’t generally get the profession until you’re already level 5 or higher and mobs in the starting zones can’t be skinned anyway, so they give you a little room to catch up at the earliest stages. Skinning is similar to Herbalism in that there is no alternative way to level it, you have to actually gather. However, Skinning is also the only gathering profession that does not reward gather experience.

If you’re about to move into a new zone, take a look at the level of the beasts that appear there. If your skill level isn’t five times as high as the beasts then you’re not going to be able to use your profession. Beasts can be found in nearly every zone in the game, so as long as you’re skinning whenever you have the chance you should theoretically never fall behind. Just don’t be in too much of a rush to move forward unless you’re willing to go back to catch up.

While many of the crafting professions make use of leather here and there, Leatherworking is of course the primary one. The LW profession typically uses forms of “leather” in multiples of 2-4, and “hides” in multiples of 1-3. The great thing about LW is that you can combine multiple lower-level leathers to make the higher level leathers. So while your Skinning will typically far outlevel your LW while you level your character, you can always turn the excess leather from lower levels into the higher level versions if you have enough of it.

If you’re not especially good when it comes to math, here’s a quick reference for you to judge how close you are for the zone. If the mobs are between these levels then you know you need somewhere between the two skill levels. Similarly, if you know that your skill level is almost 200 but you’re still in a level 20 zone, then you know that your skill is high enough to cover the entire zone since you can skin mobs that are level 40. And the reverse is true as well, if you find yourself in a level 40 zone but your skill is only 150 then you probably aren’t going to be able to skin a single mob in the entire zone.

Mob Levels Req. Skinning Skill
10 50
15 75
20 100
25 125
30 150
35 175
40 200
45 225
50 250
55 275
60 300
65 325
70 350
75 375
80 425
85 ???

[Update: Cataclysm mobs level 80 require 425 minimum to skin, level 81 mobs require 440.]

General Tips: Crafting Professions
When it comes to crafting professions you need to keep two things in mind. First, can you do anything at all with the items you’re crafting besides vendor them. Second, are you wasting mats by making items that aren’t “orange” or are you saving mats?

[UPDATE: And as Khraden pointed out in the comments, save yourself some bagspace and buy a Gnomish Army Knife (or 10), or have them crafted by an Engineer that you know. They count as every form of “tool” that’s used in crafting with your professions, saving all the space that those items would normally take up in your bags. If you’re not a Blacksmith, Engineer, Jewelcrafter, Miner, or Skinner, then you can skip it.]

Alchemy is a good example of that first question; can you do anything at all with the items besides vendor them? There are a lot of things you’ll make with Alchemy that are great for leveling the skill but that aren’t really all that useful or valuable. You’ll find yourself making all sorts of potions and elixers, and while some of them are really good, others just kind of…well, suck. If you can make items that are useful to at least one of your toons, then it’s not a waste. If you know that certain players would make a lot of use out of your potions, such as twinks or people who like utility potions like Water Walking for fishing and such, then making those types of items can net you a lot of gold on the Auction House. But every now and then you’re going to find yourself making random crap that nobody’s going to want and your only option is to either vendor it or use it yourself.

Blacksmithing is the spaghetti and meatballs of crafting professions. Most of the items you can make are just filler, they’re the noodles and if that’s all you got then it would really suck. Then you have some items that are pretty cool and can help you while you level, such as gear for your class and items such as spurs or shield spikes; these are your sauce that make the meal worth eating. And then you have the fantastic items, the meatballs, that are the whole reason you chose the profession in the first place. These are items such as epic gear, the ability to socket your own gear, or items that sell really well on the auction house because they’re useful for other professions (i.e. Enchanting).

Blacksmithing takes a ton of mats to level up, and in my opinion it’s the second most underwhelming profession in the game. However, there are some really great items you can make with it, and it’s an excellent source of gold if you craft the right items and list them on the auction house. It’s one of the best sources of gear to be disenchanted, and an excellent source of gear for Plate wearers and Melee DPS classes with some good caster weapons thrown in here and there as well. It’s also the only source for Rods which Enchanters require to level and make use of their profession.

A lot of items you make with BS, particularly pre-Burning Crusade, are going to suck to the point that vendoring them or having them disenchanted is about the only thing they’re good for. Once you’ve reached BC level crafting, and especially Wrath and Cataclysm level crafting, there are two primary markets to keep in mind when crafting gear that you’re not going to use yourself. First, Weapons disenchant into more valuable items than Armor. Second, gear for Tanks sells better on the AH (generally) than gear for any other class or role.

Enchanting is a profession that many people hate to level, and it’s my favorite profession. The easiest way to level Enchanting is to pair it up with a crafting profession so that you can easily disenchant the gear that you make to get the mats for Enchanting. Another great way to get mats is to make frequent use of the LFG feature and disenchant everything that drops in dungeons that isn’t of immediate use to you. When you’re questing and it’s time to choose your rewards, take a close look at the items rewarded. If none of the items are a great upgrade to you then choose weapons over armor and disenchant them.

A tip for farming Enchanting mats once you’ve reached a high enough level that you can solo lower level dungeons is to have one of your friends log into one of their alts and form a party with you, and then log out and go back to playing on whatever toon they feel like playing on. By being in a group, any items that drop which can be disenchanted will pop up the loot menu that will allow you to auto-disenchant anything you don’t want to keep and roll greed/need on anything you do want.

If you have a crafting profession on another character and none of the items you make sell on the AH after a round or two, send them to your enchanter to be disenchanted instead. Unless you need the gold for vendoring the item, it’s better to get enchanting mats that are more widely demanded than to sell an item that’s useful to only a few people.

The other tip I want to mention about Enchanting is that if you aren’t enchanting your own gear or those of your friends, don’t waste enchants on crap you’re going to just get rid of. Put them on Enchanting Vellums which you can now purchase from every Enchanting Vendor in the game. Try to sell the enchanted scrolls on the AH and if they don’t sell you can either ship them to a bank alt to then be distributed to other toons you level to help them along, or to be saved for other gear at a later date.

An excellent example of a profession that benefits greatly from making green-level items is Engineering. The most cost-effect method of leveling Engineering through pre-BC content is to rely heavily on explosives. Explosives come from Blasting Powders, which come from the “stone” that you get while mining. Stone is very easy to come by and often very cheap on the Auction House because of it. Making blasting powers is the typically cheapest way to level by making them until they go grey. Once they’re grey you make the cheapest (mats-wise) explosive you can that uses the blasting powder along with some cloth until it too goes either green or grey. You’re not going to be able to level 1-525 on powders and explosives alone, or even 1-300 for that matter, but you can cover a lot of skill levels by doing this.

Inscription is an excellent, though…interesting, profession. You can either make a ton of gold with it, or you can make almost nothing with it, depending on how and when you use it. Inscription got a big change in the 4.0 patch that tripled the mats required to make all of our glyphs. As part of that, we also had the vast majority of our items grant multiple skill-ups if you craft them while the recipe is “orange”. Other professions got this as well, but it’s more apparent in Inscription than any other that I’ve seen.

The big thing to remember about leveling Inscription, because of this, is that the ones that offer multiple skills when orange generally only do so until the next multiple of 5, so it’s best to craft them when your skill level is at a 4. For example, if you are at skill level 150 have an item that gives you 3 or 5 skill points when you make it, you get the most out of your mats if you can get your skill up to 154 before you make the item that gives you the 3-5 points, because in almost every case as soon as your skill reaches 155 the item that gives you 3-5 points before then will then turn “yellow” and only grant you 0-1 skill points when you make it instead. By crafting it at 154 you’re able to jump to 152 or 154 which will likely give you yet another recipe that grants 3-5 points when you make it; effectively giving you a chance to leap frog your way through the leveling profess to the point that tripling our material cost becomes a benefit rather than a big nerf.

The next thing to remember about Inscription is that there are five sources of getting new glyphs. The first is to simple level up your skill as new patterns will open up the further you go. The second is your Minor Inscription Research when you can do once per day (resets at midnight server time). Next you have the Northrend Inscription research which can also be done once per day and resets at midnight-server. Then, there are the Books of Glyph Mastery which drop in Northrend. All of these glyph sources are independent of one another, meaning that none of the recipes discovered from one of them is available from any of the others. If you want to be able to make all of the glyphs then you have to make use of every source. Finally, there are a few recipes that you can learn by purchasing the recipe from an Inscription Supplies Vendor. If memory servers, there are only two of these now.

Jewelcrafting is one of the “most important” professions in the game as end game raiders require the best gems the can find. The kind of Gems I’m referring to don’t really exist until you reach BC content, and they’re not really essential until you reach end game, though they are definitely useful from the time they become available. Most of what you make from pre-BC patterns will be pretty useless save for a few upgrades to your rings and neck slots, and an occasional trinket. Some of the items will sell well on the AH, and others are better disenchanted.

When leveling JC, especially in pre-BC, you’ll need to decide for yourself whether you’re better of prospecting your ore for gems or selling your ore on the AH and instead buying the raw gems for cheaper prices to level instead. Once you get to Northrend especially, you’ll often find that the best source of income for JC is a combination of cutting gems and making jewelry to be disenchanted. Some Wrath gems are still being used today, but that’s quickly dying down as Cataclysm gems drop in price and increase in supply from people leveling their alts or spending time gathering in their spare time between queues and raids.

Leatherworking is the one profession I have never gotten to max level, or even to Burning Crusade level content. I have no idea what the secret is to leveling LW, because I just can’t bring myself to do it. Every toon I’ve tried to level it on has been deleted. What I do know about LW is that it’s a great source of leveling gear for classes that like Agility. It’s also decent for leather-wearing caster classes and Druid tanks, though to a somewhat lesser degree.

The only tip I have for leveling LW is one that I already mentioned in the previous section when I mentioned Skinning, which is to remember that you can turn your lower level leathers into higher level ones. The more skinning you do, the better off you’re going to be, and unlike other gather-craft combinations your low level mats still have at least some value to you even after you’ve increased to higher skill levels. The major obstacle I ran into while leveling LW on my own toons was Hides. Hides cannot be made from lower versions, they can only be skinned off of mobs of the appropriate level.

Another thing to mention in relation to that tip though is that while low level leathers can become higher level leathers, it’s usually faster and easier to just go farm the leather you need off of the appropriate level mobs. If you’re leveling the two professions together while you’re leveling your toon, pay attention to the types of leathers that your “orange” recipes use. If you see that there’s a new type of leather being called for that you’ve never seen before, then you may need to farm in a different location to find the right level of mobs. I often run into the problem where I’m making things with Medium Leather for instance, and I find new patterns calling out for Heavy Leather, yet the mobs I’ve killing at the moment are dropping Thick Leather which is actually above Heavy. Somewhere in my general questing paths I end up skipping the mobs that drop most of the Heavy Leather and I get bottlenecked there because of it.

So if you ever find your Skinning skill jumping ahead of your LW skill as far as what mats you’re receiving, do yourself a favor and go back to farm the lower level mobs that drop what you need. Because while you have that nifty feature of turning lower leathers into higher, there’s nothing you can do to turn higher level leathers into lowers.

Tailoring is the a lot like Blacksmithing except that our spaghetti is now more like lasagna. You start off with some fairly crappy items, then you get some good items, then some great items, then another layer of bland filler, then some more decent stuff, then some more great, then it sucks again and so on. You can get a lot of great cloth gear for your casters, and you can get a lot of random junk that isn’t really good for anything or the mats are insane compared to the little return you get on the item and how quickly you’ll outgrow it in today’s leveling environment.

Leveling Tailoring is all about resources. If you have a character that can easily farm all the cloth you need to level it, then you’re golden. If you don’t, then it’s probably going to suck. Also, once you move into Northrend you’re going to need access to Enchanting mats to level your skill, specifically Infinite Dust. Luckily, with Cataclysm recipes available you now only need a single stack of Infinite Dust on your way to 525 Tailoring. Unfortunately, the fastest and most mats-effective way to level your Tailoring to 525 also requires a bit over 90 stacks of Embersilk Cloth, so I hope you like farming or have the gold to throw away to get it.

While you’re leveling Tailoring, don’t bother making the items that require a ton of obscure mats, especially from pre-BC and BC patterns. Even if they’re upgrades, they most likely won’t be for long and are not worth the cost in mats. Keep it simple. Once you’ve out leveled a certain type of cloth you’re pretty much done with it. The best way to farm your cloth is through dungeon runs, though the I’ll get into that more when I write the specific to Tailoring. And remember, humanoid mobs are where you find the cloth.

Specific Tips: Crafting Professions
Crafting professions are far too broad for me to throw specific details about them into this particular post. Instead I’ll take a look at each one individually in posts to come and talk about specific tips for leveling them, farming mats, and where to find recipes that you’ll be particularly interested in picking up to make the process smoother.

Shall I Continue?
If you’d like me to go on and talk about each of the professions in a more detail, please let me know in the comments as having direction from my readers can really help a lot in deciding what topics to blog about and in what order.

Also, if you have any tips you would like to share about leveling your professions, or resources that you like to refer to when doing it yourself, please share those with us as well.

Shame: I Have None
To finish it off here I’m going to drop a plug here in a fashion lacking in shame. One of the projects I’ve started up this year includes a podcast called The OverLores.

We’re taking five Worgen through their entire storyline, delving into the lore of the race and the events surrounding their reintroduction to the world now that the Greymane wall has been breached and the forces of Undercity seek to wipe them from the face of Azeroth.

As everyone rushes to reach the level cap once again, start up new Recruit A Friend accounts to powerlevel new races and classes to add to their collection of raiders and end game farmers, we’re dedicating this podcast and this project to finding all the lore that people miss while doing so.

Deathwing has emerged.

The great dragon has sundered the world of Azeroth.

Our land has been shaken, burned, and torn open in ways unthinkable.

Five Worgen have left their home of Gilneas to venture out into the world, to learn, to explore, to gain a kingly knowledge of all that has transpired.

Will you join us?

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2011 in Guide, Leveling, Professions

 

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Overlooked Features: Professions Window

With so much being thrown at us at once it’s no wonder that some changes have gone unnoticed. I already mentioned a few of those changes last week a few weeks ago, but today we’re going to take a close look at one overlooked feature in particular – the Professions Window.

I don’t remember what all was said in the patch notes and such regarding the professions window, but I’m pretty sure that out of all of the changes this one most likely wasn’t at the top of your list for things to pay attention to. If you’ve done anything with your professions (and you don’t use an addon to replace the built in window) then you know just from looking at it that there are some new features there.

I’m going to mention a couple of them here, and if you’ve noticed any other new features your self feel free to share them with us in the comments.

Commonly Known Features
The most commonly known and recognized features of the new professions window are the two new buttons up at the top right corner.

The first (top) of those new buttons allows you to link your profession to any channel that you’re currently a part of, including ones like Party and Raid chat, and it also allows you to put in a few words of text either before or after the link in case you’re advertising for business in Trade chat or the like. I’ve used macros for this for a long time so this particular feature didn’t really give me anything new, but it did allow me to delete those macros to make more room for others.

The second button in that corner is the filter button. It allows you to filter your recipes to show only the ones that meet the criteria that you specify. You can have it show only the ones that you’re carrying the mats for right now or you can have it show you only the ones that have a chance to give you a skill point when you make it. You can also sort by equipment slots, item types, and so on depending on which profession you’re looking at.

I really like the filter feature because I’m a pretty serious professions power leveler; As soon as my toons reach the right character level to train the next skill level of their professions I learn it and then power level the profession back to the top again. This feature allows me to skip over all of the useless recipes that I can’t skill up on and only look at what’s available. It also helps me find gear upgrades for specific slots in Leatherworking and Blacksmithing where before my best filters were strictly armor type (cloth, leather, mail, plate) where I needed more specific (plate chest, mail legs, etc).

Overlooked Features
There’s also another component of the new professions window that’s overlooked, or perhaps misunderstood, and that’s the search window. At the very top of the professions window, spreading across the center, is a search box that you can type in to narrow down a search. That’s easy enough to understand, and something you’ve likely already had access to if you’ve used professions addons before.

But that’s not the only thing that search window can do. The addon that I used before 4.0 had a search feature, but it only looked at the names. It saved me a lot of time, especially with Enchanting which was such a beast to sort through otherwise, but names don’t always cut it. This new search window doesn’t just look at the name, it looks at everything. By “everything” I mean it looks at the name, the mats, and the stats or abilities.

Search Window: Stats
Take a look at Enchanting. What if someone asks you, “What enchants do you have that give Agility?” Can you answer that one? Do you know which enchants they are and which equipment slots they go to? Do you know the names of all of them? Enchanting doesn’t hold a strict naming convention, nor does it hold to equipment slots; heck, enchanting doesn’t even stay consistent in which enchants progress across level ranges and which do not. Not every enchant that grants Agility actually has the word Agility in their name. Some have words you could associate with it, like Stealth, but others don’t and might not catch your eye if you’re just scrolling through looking for a specific stat. Mongoose gives Agility, Crusader gives Strength, Ice Walker gives Crit, but the names themselves don’t tell you that if you’re not familiar with the profession.

How about if you’re looking for crafted gear for your freshly dinged level 85 tank. It’s a lot easier to find gear you need if you put Dodge or Parry into the search box. For a Healer, you might want to search for Spirit, Intellect, or Spell Power instead. Caster DPS might be more interested in Critical Strike Rating, or perhaps they’re short on Hit or looking for Haste. Melee DPS might need more Expertise. If you’re getting ready for some PvP it might be a good idea to hit up the local crafters and search for Resilience, or “speed” if you’re looking for new enchants with a speed bonus but don’t know the names for all of the new ones.

The search feature is fantastic for finding specific stats on gear, enchants, and gems because it looks at more than just the name.

Search Window: Materials
If you have a lot of mats sitting around in your bank or spread across your alts, it helps to know what you can do with them. One of your options is to use the built in filter to show only the recipes you have the mats for. While that feature is handy it’s not entirely accurate for getting rid of mats if you don’t have all of the mats on hand, for instance there may be a vendor item you don’t have on hand, or maybe it requires you to craft one other item that you have mats for but haven’t made yet (the wires and settings and such for JC is a good example).

If you use the search feature instead though, then you can see every recipe that uses that particular material. You can also use both a search and a filter at the same time to find an even more focused result, but again the filters like “have mats” or “gives skill ups” will remove recipes that do not fit those categories.

Using the search for a mat allows you to go down your list and see what other mats you might be missing to get rid of some of your stock so that you can either craft items to put on the AH, give/sell to other players, craft to disenchant, or whatever else it is you feel like making. It can also help you decide to get rid of the mats themselves if you see that it only goes into recipes you’re never going to use or ones that are great for leveling and could bring in a lot of profit if you sold the mats raw instead of trying to craft with them. It might also open your eyes to the fact that you don’t even have the recipe that the mat is used for.

If someone in your guild sends a message out to gchat saying, “Hey, can anybody do anything with [random mat]?” You can shift-click that while you have your professions window open to see what all you can make with it and then link the items back if they want something made for them, or if they’re just looking to give it to someone that can do something with it then you’ll know whether or not you can. Remember, mats are rarely restricted to being used in only a single profession, so doing a quick search might even reveal a mat that you didn’t realize (or forgot) that you could use.

Drawbacks
There’s only one drawback I’ve seen to new professions windows so far and it’s really just a minor hassle that’s easy to get around. The problem with it is that it takes priority of your shift-clicks. So if you have the window open at your bank and you want to break one of your stacks of mats in the bank because you know you only need 2-3 of them to craft something and you go to shift-click the stack to take a smaller portion it’s always going to assume you really meant to use the search feature with that shift-click instead. So you can’t break stacks into smaller stacks while you have the professions window open, but all you have to do is close it and then break your stacks as you please, then open it again when you’re ready to craft.

That’s really the only drawback I’ve seen with the new windows. I have experienced a few glitches when using filters where the filter gets applied, then I make something, and then the filter glitches or something and several other recipes pop up in the window (sometimes all of them) even though it shows the filter still in place. But that’s not a drawback so much as it’s just a bug in the system thanks to the expansion.

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2010 in Guide, Patch Notes, Professions

 

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