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Workin’ Hard For the MoneyCataclysm Profession Analysis

With Cataclysm coming, many folks are preparing to level their existing professions (or perhaps a new profession). It is time to take a good look as to what the bonuses each profession will have…

I know many people believe in min/maxing (myself included) their character through their professions. There are also others who would rather not and just keep their professions as a “nice to have”. Regardless of which side of the argument you fall on, the Cataclysm bonuses are very similar to what we had in Wrath—- with a few added perks for some professions.

Since a number of the professions provide bonuses via cooldowns, to be fair it is probably best to look at the bonuses “equalized” and looking at the average static bonus that is provided. There is a fair amount of subjective analysis that needs to be done regarding some of the trinkets, and the availability of BOP items… so take those assumptions with a grain of Derevka Grade salt.

Mixology: This bonus still will provide an added kick to your Flasks giving an additional 80 intellect to a the Flask of the Draconic Mind and doubles the duration of the flask. (Provided the alchemist “knows” the recipe). Alchemists will also have access to the Lifebound Alchemist Stone, however since it really is Stamina laden, and provides Mastery… I’m not exceptionally excited about it even with the 50% bonus to mana potions.

Mysterious Potions: Alchemists will also be able to benefit from a better proc chance from these potions, as the amount restored will scale relative to their Alchemy skill. (source)

Socket Bracer and Socket Gloves: Smiths can add a socket to both their bracers and gloves allowing them to gem for an additional 80 Intellect– or perhaps Spirit or Haste if they really need it.

Rings: Enchanters will have the ability to enchant each of their rings with +40 Intellect, providing a total of another 80 Intellect.

One of the biggest, and most important aspects about Engineering is that engineering tinker/enchants are not mutually exclusive with the normal enchants for those items. What this means is: YES, you can have both. (eg. Nitro Boots, and a ‘regular’ boot enchant) This is currently in effect on live for the existing Engineering enchants. (went in effect a couple of patches ago). Engineering bonuses are a bit more difficult to evaluate as it isn’t quite a “you get a bonus of X”… it is more of a “You get fun useful toy X”.

Synapse Springs: While I always struggle as a healer when to use on-use Spellpower CD’s, these are a great addition to your gloves. I’ll probably macro it to a spell (eg. POM) With only a 1 minute cooldown, equalized, this tinker provides an additional 96 bonus Intellect.

Z50 Mana Gulper: This glove modification will give you more mana back from your potions than the average user. The Gulper provides 10730 to 12470 mana while an average Mythical Mana Potion provides 9250 to 10750 mana. This is a bonus of 1480 to 1720. Not much, but with mana being at a premium… every little bit helps! Since it is mutually exclusive with your Synapse Springs, you’ll need to decide– however the Springs, even on just a pure mana restore stand, seem to be the winner in fights that last longer than your mana restorative CDs. (Fiend, Arcane Torrent, etc…)

Nitro Boots: While they no longer have a bonus to crit, the movement bonus is really the main reason we wore these. (Defile anyone?) *Note they go on your BELT now… why, I have no idea*

Lightweight Bio-Optic Killshades: The Cataclysm version of these goggles are a great “starter” epic helm. After it is socketed, it will provide you with a helm that is pretty much on par with Non Heroic T11. On top of that they also have the Engi-Only “Cogwheels” sockets. Each Cogwheel (Unique Equipped) provides 208 of certain any yellow or blue stat (no stamina)– priests will want to do Sparkling Cogwheel and  Quick Cogwheel. (Note I skipped Mastery)

Lifeblood: What’s this?! Herbalists have a USEFUL profession bonus? Lifeblood’s on-use Haste bonus is great… possibly raid saving speed. At Rank 8, this will provide 480 Haste for 20 seconds on a 2 minute cooldown– equalized this is 80 Haste. Not a bad cooldown.

Shoulders: Scribes can enchant their shoulders with Felfire Inscription, which provides an additional 80 Intellect when compared to the Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone. (This also means Scribes will have the ‘best’ shoulder enchant without having to rep farm with the Therazane dailies). Scribes will also be able to craft BOP relics, which will be great for …. non priests. WANDS DAMMIT…. /grumble

Chimera Eyes: JC’s will have access to the Cata versions of Dragon’s Eyes, called Chimera Eyes. As usual, they will be Red, Blue, or Yellow. As a general rule, you’ll generally want to have all 3 of these be cut as Brilliant Chimera Eyes, unless you really are in need of the added Haste, or possibly Spirit (depending on your Int:Spirit ratios for regen). This will result in a bonus of 81 Intellect when compared to 3 Brilliant Inferno Rubies. Chimera Eyes will devalue as the expansion continues and Blizzard reintroduces Epic gems, since the gap between the Eyes and Epics will be less than 81. (unless they are buffed)

Trinkets: On top of Chymera eyes JC’s will also have access to JC-Only trinkets. The clear front runners will be Jeweled Serpent and Dream Owl. These will continue to be great options for us until we can get something better from a raid instance or the Darkmoon Deck that has priests everywhere salivating.

Being a leatherworker was very popular back in BC, even for cloth wearers, when you had raiding groups chaining Drums of Speed, but now the bonuses are still quite helpful– mainly because it allows you to ‘skip’ the alternative enchants.

Bracers: LW’s can enchant their wrists with Draconic Embossment which provides Intellect, instead of the alternative of Haste or Crit. (The value of Int or Haste will really depend on what you need more of at the time of enchantment– but as a general rule Intellect is king as it provides SP and mana). However, notice that the Embossment provides 130 Intellect which is notable greater than the static 80 that so many other bonuses provide. For DPS it should be easier to evaluate (since SP> Most other stats for all DPSers). Healing is a bit trickier, however in this case— the Intellect wins outright as it provides SP and Mana.

Toughness: Stamina is great; but for a healer it provides very little benefit. Lolstam

Master of Anatomy: I’ve yet to see a Priest with skinning, but if you happen to be: enjoy your Crit bonus… I guess.

Cloaks: Tailors will still be able to enchant their cloaks with a new rank of Lightweave Embroidery or Darkglow Embroidery. These Tailor-only enchants ares less exciting this go around since everybody will have a +50 Intellect option (or a +50 Crit), but it is notably more powerful.

Pants: Tailors will continue to be able to use Tailoring Only pant Spellthread, which provide a much cheaper alternative to the threads available to everyone else.

So… what’s best?

As I have stated many times before: it is always hard for Healers to figure out “what is mathematically best”– since you really can never know what you’re going to need mid fight. DPS has it a little easier (in a sense) since you can run models to figure out what mathematically will work out for the most DPS— healers are a bit more dynamic in what we need to evaluate. Because of that, we have to weigh in some “healing subjectivity” in our decisions. For healing Priests, I think the clear front-runner is Engineering– especially since you get to use both the Tinker enchants and regular enchants! The Synapse Springs provide a very substantial Spellpower Surge to use when we need it. In addition, and possibly more importantly, it allows increases our total mana which then in turn affects many mana restorative abilities (Hymn of Hope, Shadowfiend, Rapture, Replenishment…). On top of that with the (albeit minor) option to use the Guzzler, craftable T11 equivalent, and rocketboots — we have a winner! (Not to mention the fun other Engi Only toys, portals, and gizmos!)

After Engineering, Jewelcrafting (at the start of the expac) seems to be the most beneficial since it doesn’t require you to “choose” between an enchant that might be better or what your craft may provide- on top of that it does allow for some good flexibility should you decide to break an item’s socket color, or if you need a Spirit or Haste boost. Further, JCs get the ability to create some great entry level trinkets. (if you can farm the quest item that leads you to the recipe) Due to these 3 key points: The Bonus, Flexibility, and Trinkets — I’d say JC wins 2nd Prize, in my opinion. (With Leatherworking a close 3rd)

I lucked out this go around, I am a JC and an Engineer! No powerleveling needed from me!

What professions are you running into Cataclysm with?

Written By: on November 22, 2010
  1. I’m probably still going to stick with Alchemy/Herbalism. I realize it’s not terribly flashy and may not come with a lot of the bells and whistles, but I do feel having the means to make more pots or flasks or have them last longer is very beneficial to me.

    I also think that I do not have the mental strength to bear leveling different professions from scratch at this stage in the game.

    It’s nice to see Eng has made a bit of a comeback, but I do wonder how long the gravy train will last, sorta speak. You know how it goes, Blizzard giveth, Blizzard taketh away.

  2. Alchy/Herbalism is perfectly fine. At the end of the day, what does any profession really provide over the other… a fairly minor bonus. A Haste CD and more potent flasks? Nothing to scoff at.

  3. I’ve never been sad that I chose to level up Engi on my priest, and I’m happy that Cata won’t change my mood :) It’s also going to be just as powerful for shadow, but I still fell in love with the utility it provides. And I’m glad they haven’t made Nitro Boosts irrelevant!

    I’ve got Tailoring as my other prof and it was pretty solid throughout Wrath with the flexibility to switch between regen and throughput. I have so many recipes from back in the day that I’d be hard pressed to be rid of it, so at the least, I’m happy that its still competitive and offers some shortcuts on things like spellthreads. I’m tempted to grab another prof (I still don’t have a JC) but I’m too much of a completionist to jettison all those recipes I’ve accumulated :)

    @Oestrus: I’m pretty sure that Herb/Alch is one of the most appealing combos in Cata, and its definitely going to be my choice when I roll up my baby shaman and warlock. I’m happy that they’ve made a gathering prof bonus relevant, but I’d have expected them to do the same with Skinning at least at the same time (Mining I could see leaving, its a great bonus for tanks).

  4. I like it! I’ve been looking for a good reason to pick up engineering :) I’m currently running Enchanting/Tailoring but think I will drop Tailoring for Engineering and I’ll be set to go for Cata. Thanks for all the info!

  5. I’ve been Engineering / Mining since 2005, so I’ll keep it up at least until I max Engineering at 85. Then I’ll take a look at farming the mats to get JC to max as well.

  6. Leatherworking third… Oh I get it! :P

    Thanks for the writeup. I usually struggle to get myself to read up on the profession details. This helped!

    Engineer sounds good but I’m still inclined to favor it for Disc and less so for Holy. How valuable would you consider those speed boots for holy priests with a spam able body and soul?

    The glove enchant is sparkling though… Ideal for some of those cooldown regen combo’s OR throughput if you need it. That’s flexibility right in the palm of your hand.

    How easy is it to level those professions anyway? I usually struggle to level both already :D

    1. All the time. It’s notably faster— zzzzooooom!

      Engi is a bear to level. especially the last 10 points at the moment.

  7. Awesome write up Derevka.

    I have been Engineering/Jewelcrafting since the start of Wrath and havent regretted it since ! Those smexy Nitro Boots have saved my butt a few times lol….Defile or Kiting the Red add on Prof Putri.
    I have an Alt who has Herb/Alch so im thankfull I will at some point be able to make my own flaks/potions.

    Its nice to have most of the major professions covered by Alts. :) Gold is going to be precious and AH prices will rocket ! Above all im so looking forward to ‘the shattering’ tomorrow…Gnome anyone ?!?!

  8. Like Dharma I am a completionist and have almost every Tailoring and Alchemy Recipe since Vanilla. How terrible do you think my keeping those two professions would be for my Disc instead of swapping to engineering or one of the other min-maxing suggestions? I would hate to lose all the recipes.
    Did they take that alchemy dragon mount out of the game or is it still there?

    1. I don’t mean to imply that min/maxing professions is the end all be all of your character. Will some profession combos give you more than others? yes

      Is it enough to cause you/me to change professions? That is up to you as the player. If you are excited to have all the recipes on that prof— then keep them! The bonuses you get from those 2 profs are great! Its a bit of subjectivity.

      Yes the alchy mount is still in.

      1. I’m a tailor/Alchemist on my “main” priest as well. I found the combo to be fairly potent, especially for disc this expansion. I was tempted to drop alchemy for JC or engineering, but the combo gives me a lot of flexibility since I never know if I’ll be the holy priest or the disc priest. It seems that will persist.

        It may turn out again that alchemy is very beneficial in the beginning of raiding, but losses its oomph factor. In which case I’ll go JC

  9. I switched to Eng/Ench from Tail/Ench nearing the end of ICC and have never regretted it. I am very thankful that Eng looks to remain strong into Cata. Although our bear tank who was convinced to drop herbalism may be a bit unhappy although I still think Eng>Herb for tanking.

  10. Just thinking; at least in early tiers where mana is a big concern (unsure if it remains a BIG concern in say tier12, 13) it might actually be worth macroing synapse springs to Hymn of Hope/Arcane Torrent/Shadowfiend — this turns it more from a through put bonus to a longevity bonus. It would be interesting to see which fights which spell it bore better usage with ie which fights you find yourselves that much mroe mana starved in.

  11. I am wondering, is there no 85 version of the darkweave embroidery for tailors? I imagine the mana proc would be quite useful. If it isn’t around in cata I may just drop tailoring.

    1. No there is, I just omitted it since it isn’t exceptionally exciting. I’ll update to add it.

  12. I’ve had Alchemy and swapped out Herbalism for Enchanting near the end of BC and they’ve both worked out well through wrath. Alchemy was more useful at the beginning and still had some benefits with Mixology near the end.
    A small reason for not switching my professions is based of my guild’s needs. I have a nearly complete list of recipes and formulas (missing about 6 from each in total on current content) and having some older and obscure enchants can be useful.
    It did help for Anub’arak and our paladin’s block set that I already had patterns from Netherstorm, etc as well as resistance potions for certain fights.
    Like the post said where there isn’t a 100% optimal all the time providing for the team is one of my stronger points.

  13. I Curious Derevka, Some guilds actually have requirements on Professions; and to quote you “Min/Max” raid performance, for example they would never allow a raider to have herbalism for sure as it had previously had no statistical bounses, and Skinning & Mining had inferior bonuses for most classes. I’ve got Herb/Alch and have been thinking of dropping Herb… But now with the new ability (Haste) and it also appears that I might get experience for picking weeds in Cata (Leveling). I might just keep it now until much later on in content. What are your thoughts on this? also @ Oestrus, Yes /agree Engin. Nerf inc!!!?

    1. The XP you get from herbing isn’t all that much… its more of a token bonus than an actual leveling strategy. however, the Haste CD is handy…. not as great as Troll Beserking, but close!

  14. I run with engi/jc :)

  15. Great article Derevka.

    My professions on my priest are jewelcrafting and tailoring.
    Tailoring is like an old tradition I never really got rid of, and I’ve had that profession since I created my priest back in vanilla WoW, back then the whole idea behind having tailoring was that priests use cloth so it kind of felt obvious to pick tailoring.
    Later ofcourse I’ve been doubting it more and more, if it’s even worth it for a raiding holy priest, sure the personal cloack enchant is nice but I hope we’ll get some more with Cataclysm, else I might change it to like you suggested engineering or enchanting.
    Jewelcrafting was something I leveled in the end of TBC (I had herbalism before), and I must say that jewelcrafting have been one of the best professions I’ve ever had, not only does it give some really good benefits in gems, but the amount of gold you can earn with it is tremendous.

  16. Still going to keep going on with Herbalism and Alchemy here. Alchemy’s Mixology is, at the end of the day, the exact same benefit as JC’s gems, enchanters’ enchants, smiths’ sockets or leatherworkers’ enchants. Plus I only have to go through half as many flasks in a raid night. :P Herbalism is actually incredibly nice for those moments where you need to pump out those heals fast (and is amazing with Berserking/Bloodlust/Serendipity/Power Infusion/Borrowed Time all together at the same time). The only thing I wish they’d done was make separate alchemists stones – Int, Stam, Agi, Str for the different types of classes/specs and their main go-to stats, especially when looking at JC’s trinkets and the Int bonus.

    As you said, though, it’s difficult to min/max professions as a healer. Besides, it does partially come down to playstyle. I prefer the on-push or on-proc throughput rather than passive throughput as it makes it more of a challenge for me, personally (which, for me, is a good thing). All in all, though, I think that, regarding flat bonuses, alchemy, jewelcrafting, blacksmithing, leatherworking and enchanting are all supposed to be equal – and they do weigh out to be as such. I’m a little curious as to how the mysterious potions scale, though, that’ll definitely be an interesting thing in comparison to the Crazy Alchemist’s potions (at least, I hope it’ll be a worthwhile investment).

  17. I levelled my priest with Alchemy and herbalism, but switched herbalism for Blacksmithing – probably an odd choice for a clothy, but I lacked that skill in my bank of alts, so it sort of made sense to me – and the flexibility of being able to add two extra gems of my choice was also pretty appealing.

  18. @Derevka

    Just curious but how do you manage with two crafting professions? Are you relying on an alt to provide you with ore or do you buy everything you need through the Auction House?

    I’ve always been an alchemist but having not experienced the game at the level cap – I can’t imagine how I’d get my mats without the appropriate gathering profession. I’ve been meaning to try Tailoring / Jewelcrafting / Engineering for awhile but don’t know how you grizzled vets are juggling it up at the top. What’s your secret?

    1. I may not be Derevka, but I can answer this question (my other priest is alchemy/engineering). You can do either/or. Personally, I prefer having alts that can do all the gathering, but I also have visited the auction house rather frequently as well. Personally, I feel it’s easiest to have an alt for gathering, especially if you’re limited on gold. If you DO have the gold, though, dual crafting professions are very feasible as well.

      1. Thanks for the reply.

        It may be that I’m destined for one gathering / one crafting profession. I have a hard enough time as it is controlling my altitis – leveling another character up high enough to farm mats will only encourage me to pay less attention to my “main.”

        I may get to a point where I can drop the gathering profession and go dual crafting but for now – my main goal should probably be something like getting a character into Northrend ;P Thanks for the food for thought though!

  19. Cautiously, I will stay with Tailor/Ench until I get a chance to experience Cata raiding since I am a holy priest more often than disc. I had engineering in vanilla because of repair bots and very few engineers in my guild at that time. It became rather useless in BC compared to the leveling benefits of tailoring imho. JC looks quite tempting, though.

    Question for engies: Post-4.0.3 we’ve had several wipes/deaths to malfunctioning nitro boots (now on belt). H Halion 10man in particular, also while doing achieves in Ulduar. People aren’t sure what to make of it. Have other people noticed this?

    1. Unfortunately we have had this happen tons since 4.0.3a, of course having half the raid as engineers probably ups our chances of it :(

  20. I’m very surprised to read this post from a currently active engineer touting the benefits of this profession. Have you used any of your tinkers since 4.0.3a at all? Our rocket boosts, and all the new belt tinkers (belt absorption) now have a chance to fail, with something like a 15-20% chance. The forums are full of posts about it.

    I’m not sure the on-demand int tinker will tip it in favour of other professions for me. It’s a no-brainer for caster DPS, but for healing, I’m not sure if I’d rather have a straight stat boost. Do you feel like there are Cataclysm encounters where this sort of burst healing is needed, since we’re supposed to be moving away from that sort of model?

    1. I’m not a raiding engineer (my other priest is PvP, and my warrior I don’t play anymore), but there is one thing that the intellect boost on the belt could be massively good for – Hymn of Hope/Shadowfiend/Mana Tide – the latter due to regen scaling off of both intellect and spirit. To a lesser degree, also good for Archangel/Rapture.

    2. more than makes up for the lack of static stat bonus in my opinion.

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