Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I Owe My Soul to the Company Store: Tips for a Mining Beginner (and other professions)

Part 1

As may be obvious, I have tried to slant this blog towards folks that are fairly new to WoW. I spell out all acronyms I use (I try to, anyhow) and provide as much explanation as I can, given my own "newish" point of view with WoW. With that in mind, I want to explain a few things to those folks that don't have someone around to explain things.

The Basic Basics:

Can you make some good money off of mining and the other professions? Yes you can, but it can vary widely. "Gathering" professions (mining, herbalism, skinning, fishing, etc) are profitable right from the get-go. You collect your stuff, and sell the stacks in the auction house. No muss, no fuss. (well, other than the occasional flood/glut of raws - especially from the professional farmers that sell gold for dollars over the internet) One note: low level fishing won't pay much at low levels, and your best bet is probably to just sell it to vendors...

That leaves the "Craftsmen" professions (such as blacksmithing, engineering, leatherworking, alchemy, and MANY others) I have only direct experience with Leatherworking and Blacksmithing, but I've read a good bit on other blogs (Alterac Volley among others) that all seem to say the same thing: Craftsman professions CAN be profitable, but depending on the item you make and your server, it can be a challenge at best. I would also say that they are NOT profitable at lower levels (ie, skill level below 150)

Some more in reading from : LINK (note much of the information I cover here is present in some form at wowwiki, but is not always an easy read)

So Why Bother?

There are a few reasons to get into a profession. Some tangible, some not. The reasons would include:

  • Make some extra gold
  • Get "cheap" items that you can use
  • Add depth/playability to the game
  • Because every primary profession gets a special perk or ability.

The perks vary widely from profession to profession but they can be VERY useful:

  • Herbalism - "Life Blood" an ability to heal
  • Mining - "Thoughness" increased stamina
  • Skinning - "Master of Anatomy" an increased critical strike chance
  • Alchemy - "mixology" improved performance from all potions
  • Blacksmithing - Ability to add gem sockets as well as making Skeleton Keys (which open locked boxes)
  • Engineering - various goggles and other gadgets
  • Leatherworking - cheap leg & bracer enchants
  • Tailoring - some cheap enchants and flying carpet mounts
  • Jewelcrafting - epic gems and special trinkets
  • Enchanting - Ring enchants
  • Inscription - shoulder enchants and scroll of recall
The Not Quite so Basic Basics...

Professions are all "controlled" by your skill points in that profession. The more skill points you have, the more things you are capable of doing, and some things you simply can't do until you reach a certain skill level. With mining, when you first start, all you can mine is copper, and all you can smelt is copper. Later you can do tin, silver, iron, etc... At certain points, you will have to find a trainer before you can advance any more:

Zero - 50/75 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Apprentice
50/75 - 125/150 . . . . . . . . . Journeyman
125/150 - 200/225 . . . . . . .Expert
200/225 - 275/300 . . . . . . .Artisan
275/300 - 350/375 . . . . . . .Master
350/375 - 450 . . . . . . . . . . . Grand Master

(the range for the top & bottom of each level is because you can "level up" at the lower number, but aren't forced to. However, if you do not train at the top number, you will not advance any more without training)

There are also character level requirements that you must meet. For example to become a Journeyman Blacksmith, you must be at least level 10.

Also, every item you gather or make will have a relative difficulty based on the item and your current skill number:

Grey . . . . . . . . doesn't increase skill
Green . . . . . . . increases skill, but only a little (might need to make/gather 10-30 to get 1 skill point)
Yellow . . . . . . .moderate increase in skill: you get 1 skill point for every 1-5 items
Orange. . . . . . highest skill return. You get 1 skill point for each & every item you get/make
Red . . . . . . . . . you can't make/gather that yet

So, if you are trying to level your profession, it is much faster (per item made/gathered) if you work with orange/yellow items as much as possible.

Lastly, the color of the item/recipe has no bearing on the "color" of the final item. (ie, if an item is common, uncommon, rare, epic, etc)

More stuff from Beginner's Guide and Choosing a Profession.

Due to length, I'm going to pause here, and finish this up in Part 2

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