World of Warcraft/Professions
Professions in World of Warcraft are divided into Primary and Secondary Professions. The primary professions are further divided into gathering and crafting professions. Gathering professions allow for the collection of raw materials, which are used by the crafting professions to create items. Each character is limited to learning two primary professions, but can learn all three secondary professions.
These professions are distinguished from other skills (such as utility abilities, combat skills, and spells) by their connection and contribution to the virtual economy of the game. They represent skills that provide goods and services to other players from players. There are ten primary professions from which a character can select. Every character is allowed to learn up to two of these main or primary professions and all of the three available secondary professions.
These professions can all be categorized into subsections of gathering, service, and crafting (Blizzard calls them production) professions. The gathering, primary professions are herbalism, mining, and skinning. Fishing is the only secondary gathering profession. The only service professions are enchanting and inscription. The crafting, primary professions are alchemy, blacksmithing, engineering, leatherworking, tailoring, jewelcrafting. Cooking and first aid are both crafting, secondary professions.
The proficiency in a profession is based on the number of points or skill levels in the profession. The first release (World of Warcraft) allowed ranges from 1 to 300, with the first expansion (The Burning Crusade) increasing the maximum to 375, and the second expansion (Wrath of the Lich King) further increasing the maximum to 450.
The amount of expertise is also divided into steps that limit the maximum skill you can gain before having to train again. They have the following titles: Apprentice (1 - 75), Journeyman (76 - 150), Expert (151 - 225), Artisan (226 - 300), Master (301 - 375), and Grand Master (376 - 450). Usually an appropriate trainer will allow you to increase your maximum before training again at 25 points before you hit your limit up to Expert (225 max). To go from Artisan to Master you need to be 300 and to go from Master to Grand Master you need to be 375.
The primary professions are:
- Mining - gathering
- Blacksmithing - crafting
- Engineering - crafting
- Skinning - gathering
- Leatherworking - crafting
- Herbalism - gathering
- Alchemy - crafting
- Tailoring - crafting
- Enchanting - service
- Jewelcrafting - crafting (set to be added in the Burning Crusade Expansion)
- Inscription - service
The secondary professions are:
A common tactic for most players (especially newer players) is to pick a crafting skill, and take the complementary gathering skill to support themselves. For example, a warrior might decide that he wants to forge his own armor and weapons, and so takes up blacksmithing. Instead of buying the metals required from the auction house, he decides to learn mining in order to support his blacksmithing.
While this is a proven and popular path, it is not the only one. Many players who choose professions in order to maximize income elect to learn two gathering professions. This allows the player to sell everything they collect on the Auction House making 100% profit instead of using the gathered items to make something else. In order to truly benefit from this strategy, skinning is usually chosen with either herbalism or mining. The reason mining and herbalism are not both chosen is that only one form of tracking can be active at a time.
Note: the tracking limit applies to all tracking, so a hunter cannot track beasts and herbs at the same time. This is not a disadvantage for the hunter compared to other classes, but does remove a tactical advantage in the form of being able to see enemy movements.
In the gathering professions, herbalism, mining, and skinning, a character collects raw materials either to sell, or to use for a complementary profession. The materials gathered to sell are generally sold at an auction house, a place where other players around the globe are able to bid on items in World of Warcraft’s virtual world. Players may also obtain a second profession that uses the raw materials in their craft.
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The crafting professions all require raw materials collected by the gathering professions in order to make their crafts. These craftsmen start out creating cheap items, but as they grow in skill they can create some of the best products available in the virtual world, short of slaying a ferocious dragon in a dungeon or by doing some other arduous task.