- The Casual Raider’s Handbook: Paying Market Value
- The Casual Raider’s Handbook: Gearing Strategies for All Play Schedules
- The Casual Raider’s Handbook: Planning, Scheduling, and Plotting (in-game and out)
- The Casual Raider’s Handbook: Don’t Procrastinate
- The Casual Raider’s Handbook: Working Stupid Hours
- The Casual Raider’s Handbook: Professions
- The Casual Raider’s Handbook: Night Before Raid Checklist
Today we’re going to talk about professions.
Now, I know that Elitist Jerks have very definite opinions about which professions will maximize your performance in raids. I’m talking today about practicality.
TL;DR – It’s Herbalism and Alchemy, hands down.
Let’s face it – if you want to raid, you will need flasks. Week in, week out. It’s unavoidable. No matter how good your gear gets, you will be flasking every raid. For me, that’s 6 hours a week, which (if I were not an alchemist) would mean 6 flasks a week.
If you’re an alchemist and herbalist, you will always have your flasks. And you won’t need as many flasks because they last twice as long.
It’s easy to level, especially now that there’s old world flying. The material costs aren’t insane. I was able to level it on-and-off in a matter of a week or two with very few auction house expenditures.
My second choices for the busy raider are enchanting and gemming, although they are a pain in the ass to level. Basically for the same reason as alchemy – that you will be using them on an ongoing basis as you raid. Every time you get a new piece of gear, it needs to be gemmed and enchanted.
And of course the “bleh” – Leatherworking, Tailoring, Blacksmithing, and Inscription.
Leatherworking, Tailoring, and Blacksmithing look really cool at first because you get GEAR. And whoa, you need gear! But after you get that initial gear, you find yourself replacing it almost immediately. And then what? Those skills just sit around gathering dust on an ongoing basis, except for the occasional pants enchant or belt buckle. Or making something for a guildie. But let’s be honest here, we’re talking about YOUR ability to raid with your limited time. Not your ability to outfit the guild or to have one-of-a-kind self-enchants for your bracers.
Plus, they’re a pain in the ASS to level. The material costs are just gross.
Same with inscription, really. Unless you want to make money, you’re not going to need glyphs on an ongoing basis. Once you get all of yours, that’s it. At least herbalism isn’t too painful.
Gathering Professions versus Crafting Professions
Now you might be tempted to take 2 crafting professions for the bonuses, which is fine if you have the money to spend on the auction house. Chances are, if you’re casual, you don’t have that much cash unless you’re playing the auction house on your phone or PC while you’re not in-game. Also, you’re at the mercy of what happens to be for sale at any given time unless, again, you’re playing the auction house from your phone.
I’m also assuming, maybe incorrectly, that if you’re that casual, you may not have time to level up a “support alt” to do your gathering for you.
In short: skipping the gathering profession is a luxury which you may or may not be able to afford, depending on your situation.
Partners in Crime
OK, I’m being Captain Obvious here, but if you’re leveling with a significant other or friend, coordinate! I cover flasks (which is a big job when covering them for 2 people) and ATT covers gems and enchants. So for day-to-day raiding needs, we’re pretty much set. When both of us were doing tailoring, it was just plain stupid as we had to share cloth resources (but, back in the day, there were a lot of very valuable BOP items that could be crafted, so it made sense).
I recently switched from tailoring to alchemy on my priest and never looked back. I would have done it on my druid for the ease of gathering in flight form – however, I remembered how much of a total pain in the ASS it was to level the leatherworking, and I just COULDN’T bring myself to drop it. Even though I hate leveling it the rest of the way.