Friday, March 23, 2012

From the Vault: Which professions should you stack?

I received a comment on one of my videos and attempted to answer it via a Youtube comment but my explanation quickly grew too large for the comment box.  Well, let's get this sorted out right here right now!
Hi Faid, I am subscribed to ur channel and absolutely love watching ur vids. I am on a wow break because of school, but I am coming soon to the game and I have a question which I think u most qualified to answer. What profession(s), other than gathering and regardless of race/class/PvE/PvP, is most beneficial to have on multiple characters for profit? Also, it would be great if u refer me to 1 of ur videos that shows, explains or supports ur answer. Thanks in advance. -ralfzmina 
So the question is basically: If you're going to have multiples of the same profession, what profession is the best to do this with?

Well, there are several different options which will have varying degrees of importance for you and your gold making set up.  Here's the basic rundown of every profession, and how it may benefit from having multiples.

Most people will recommend Alchemists. I would be remiss if I did not mention that there was a great WoW Insider article by Euripides about Alchemists and their CDs, first off. I may repeat some of what he says, but I just want to cover all bases here, while giving credit where credit is due for a great post on the same subject.

  • Cooldowns - Alchemy has some of the strongest gold-making cooldowns.  They had epic gems in Wrath and many believe they will get Cataclysm epic gems in the future as well.  They currently are the only source in the game for Truegold on a one-day cooldown, and can also turn Life into any other volatile using their cooldown.  This creates a powerful gold making opportunity for any alchemist, and having multiple alchemists allows you to use more cooldowns per day for the same thing or multiple types of cooldowns. Pretty simple stuff.
  • Specializations - Most will tell you that the best bet for gold-making with Alchemy is transmute spec, and I don't disagree.  However, keep in mind that if you have multiple alchemists you can have multiple specializations.  You can get top dollar in potions, flasks, and proc off your daily CD on one of your alchemists! (The other alchemists still get their transmute cooldown, they just won't proc.) 

This profession, like many other crafting professions, used to have a specialization a la Armorsmith and the like. These specializations are now gone from the game and at the time of this posting there will be no direct gold-making benefit to having multiple Blacksmiths.

Like Blacksmithing, Enchanting lacks cooldowns and specializations and so there is no obviously beneficial factor to having multiple enchanters. However, Enchanting does pull ahead of Blacksmithing since, as you're leveling the character or running dungeons on it, assuming it is not just a profession mule, you can DE more items that would otherwise have been vendored, which could allow you to come ahead in profit. I know many players will level every character they have with Enchanting as one profession then drop it later, all so the quest rewards don't go to waste.

Engineering is an interesting situation.  Engineering was one of the few professions that did not have its specializations removed.  For a while in Cataclysm your specialization didn't matter from a gold making perspective, any engineer, after going through the proper channels, could make both of the new pets. That's been "fixed" however and you now must have either Gnomish or Goblin to craft their specialized pets.

There is likely some benefit to having an Engineer of each type if you are heavy into the pet market, however, this is a small factor for most gold-makers and I would not recommend multiple engineers from a gold-making perspective. 

Herbalism, to my knowledge, has never had any cooldown or specialization associated with it.  This can benefit in the same way Enchanting can, in that if you play the character a lot this would allow you to gather while you're on it which you otherwise would not be able to do, but beyond that it has no amazing gold-making factors associated with multiple herbalists.

This profession is another that can definitely benefit from multiple characters having it.
  • Cooldowns - The Jewelcrafting cooldown is in the form of Icy and Fiery Prisms and Brilliant Glass.  Icy Prism no longer has a cooldown associated with it.  Fiery Prism takes the now lesser-valued green quality Cataclysm gems and can turn them into rare quality gems, JC gems, and perhaps one day even epic gems.  This can be a very nice CD to use multiple times if that is your preference.
  • Dailies/Tokens - JC is interesting in that earning the cuts is a rather long, drawn out process.  For both Wrath epics and Cata blues you must do dailies and after a few days you get enough tokens to buy one cut; this greatly limits the amount of cuts any one person is able to get right off the bat.  However, if you have multiple Jewelcrafters you can buy more patterns more quickly, allowing you to meet demand when it's at it's peak.  When you've bought all the patterns you can also start turning your multiple tokens per day into Chimera's Eyes/Dragon's Eyes, giving you more income on the AH!

Like Blacksmithing, this profession once had specializations associated with it that are now removed form the game.  Lacking any daily, cooldown, or specialization I will say I don't see any strong benefit to having multiple Leatherworkers.

Mining has had an interesting history.  As far as I know it's the only gathering profession that once had a powerful gold-making cooldown associated with it in the form of Titansteel. However, the cooldown has been removed and it lacks specializations and quests as well; thus it is similar to Herbalism in that it will allow you to gather on more characters, but has no direct gold-making benefit.

Like the other crafting professions, Tailoring had a specialization in the bygone days that is not around anymore.  However, unlike the others, this profession still has a cooldown associated with it.  Each tailor can make a Dreamcloth per type of volatile once per week, so five Dreamcloth per week plus whatever they can gather in Chaos Orb form.

So if you want more Dreamcloth you can always get more tailors; the problem is that Dreamcloth is currently soulbound and cannot be traded around on your Tailors.  Thus, if you have two tailors, you can make 10 Dreamcloth a week, but you won't be churning items out any sooner. However, when you can make that item, you can instead make one for each tailor, so you won't make items faster but you can deal in larger quantities.

Like all the other gathering professions, skinning does not have any associated cooldown or specialization, and will only benefit you in that you can gather on more characters.

Inscription's benefits are very similar to JC, but without the longevity.  In Jewelcrafting, once you've covered all the gem patterns, you can start moving extra JC tokens into Chimera's Eyes to sell.  With Inscription, you can possibly learn all of the glyphs faster, but once you've learned them all you'll see no benefit to multiple Scribes.
  • Training - Scribes learn new glyphs mostly through research.  If you have multiple scribes you can do this research more per day. However, since you don't choose your pattern like JCs do, you have a chance of learning the same Glyph and effectively seeing no benefit. Also, as stated above, once your scribes know all the glyphs, there is no benefit to multiple scribes.

So what to pick?
With all of this in mind I usually will toss Alchemy into free profession slots.  My runners up for what I would choose if I couldn't choose alchemy would likely be Enchanting or Jewelcrafting.  However, keep in mind your own gold making situation.  Do you only have limited play time?  Then Alchemy's probably your best bet as you can see great results from just a few minutes of toon-hopping and transmuting while if you have lots of time you may get more benefit out of multiple Jewelcrafters and playing the cut gem market.


  1. I'm sure I'm not the only one wondering.. Why the heck do you have two 85 Warriors?

    1. Because warriors are fun! I also have three mages, two DKs, two paladins, and two druids. =D

    2. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks this way. I have multiple warriors also!

  2. You should level alchemy on that twink and use it for xmute essence of water to essence of air.

    1. I've had it on my to-do list for a while but I'm a bit burnt out of Alchemy leveling. =D She'll also eventually be an enchanter.

  3. I went the Alchemy root.. I have 3 Alchemists, 2 Engineers, 2 Tailors.. and then everything else available.. The engineers are more because I like collecting patterns.. might pay off in MOP with different pets... All 3 Alchemists cover each of the available specialties.