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.
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.
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?