Thursday, January 29, 2009

Usefulness of professions

I've been pondering the professions of my three level 70 to 80 characters, and how useful these professions are for me. By far the biggest success in that respect is my warrior, who is herbalist and alchemist. Herbalism not only supplies me with the herbs I need, it also gives me a self-healing ability (Lifeblood). Alchemy gives me Endless Healing Potions (as well as regular ones), increased in effect by 40% through the alchemist's stone trinkets. It also gives Mixology, which increases the effect of flasks and elixirs by up to 50%, and doubles their duration. The combination of Lifeblood, Endless Healing Potion, and Enraged Regeneration means I can normally keep myself up to full life without using any consumables, which is quite nice. In addition to the use for himself, the alchemy also enables me to make flasks and elixirs for my other characters cheaper than as if I would buy them. And I'm making some money from the daily transmute, turning cheap eternals into expensive ones, sometimes getting several due to transmutation mastery. And of course herbalism would be a great money-maker, if I wanted to farm herbs.

My priest is doing mining and jewelcrafting. Mining gives me Toughness, increasing my stamina by 50, useful, but not the most important stat for a PvE healing priest. It is also a good farming skill. Jewelcrafting has probably the best daily quest in the game, as you can exchange the token you get for a Dragon's Eye. Those sold for up to 500 gold earlier, but dropped to about half that now. The other option is to make epic rings, which are also selling for much money, but slowly. The other option of course is to spend the tokens on jewelcrafting recipes, or use the Dragon's Eyes for yourself. That gives you the best gems in the game, although you are limited to 3 of those prismatic gems overall. Another nice bonus of jewelcrafting is the Sapphire Owl Figurine trinket, which not only boosts my stats, but also has a useable ability to restore mana. The only downside of jewelcrafting is that there isn't much of a market for gems. Patch 3.0.8. ruined the last of it with the introduction of a way to turn cheap uncommon gems into rare gems, and the prices for those are in free fall. It seems like a waste to spend 3 tokens on a jewelcrafting recipe for a worthless rare gem cut. Nevertheless it is nice to have jewelcrafting to supply oneself and all alts with gems, when needed.

The least happy crafter is my mage, who has tailoring and inscription. Tailoring is okay, I guess, providing both the mage and the priest with cloth armor, now that crafted epics aren't bind on pickup any more. The spellthreads are also useful, and the flying carpet is at least funny. I tried making money from tailoring by buying cheap spellweave, ebonweave, and moonshroud, and crafting epics from them. But that business is slow at the best of times, and recently I even lost money from it, when the AH price for a spellweave robe dropped from 1750 to 750 gold within a week, with plenty of competition and nobody buying. Inscription I'm not happy with at all. The self-only shoulder enchants aren't must-have. And learning all the glyph recipes takes a long time and much money for snowfall ink. I managed to break even by turning the ink of the sea you gain at the same time into armor vellums, and selling those. But the glyph market is incredibly slow and fragmented. On my faction and server there are two people selling basically all glyphs, and so low is the demand that they can supply the whole market demand. Prices are already low, and when I try to break into the market, prices drop into the loss zone. Milling herbs into pigments and inks is profitable, but the pigments and inks rarely sell, and so you need to turn them into other things, all of which sell slowly. And then there is the big lottery option: Transform huge amounts of snowfall ink and other ingredients into Greater Darkmoon Cards. If you get nobles cards, you make a nice profit. But if you get the other three types you barely break even, or lose money, especially on the chaos cards nobody wants. But the worst aspect of inscription is that you never make anything you need yourself. Like everyone else I set my glyphs once and then forgot about them. There is no good reason to change them, and unless there are some new uber-glyphs, I'll probably just stick to the ones I have until the next expansion, and maybe even beyond. So now I'm at a loss whether I should keep inscription, or drop it and learn something more useful. But what?

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