Tag Archives: tradeskills

Holy Paladins: Choosing Your Professions

So, trying to work out what professions to level with your Holy paladin? Here’s a quick rundown of professions that are useful, focusing on endgame play. You’ll note that unlike some classes, healadins have no “obvious” choices – if you’re a clothie, you’re crazy not to take tailoring, for instance, but there’s no similar gimme for pallies. So let’s take a look:

(I’ll be focusing on crafting rewards that require a specific profession. Anything BoE or usable by anyone can be acquired elsewhere: from alts, guildmates or the Auction House.)

Herb Gathering, Mining and Skinning
These are “wasted” on a main. I believe you’re far better off taking two ‘production’ professions on your main, where you’re likely to have access to more BoP recipes and rep gains (for factional recipes). Keep the gathering professions on an alt or buy your mats from the AH. (Caveat: there is one advantage of gathering on a main – an epic mount.)

Alchemy offers two alchemist-only rewards:

  • [Mad Alchemist’s Potion] is a nice Alchemist-only variant of the [Super Rejuvenation Potion], with cheaper mats and free random buff effects to boot. However, it’s not essential – most healadins are going to be sucking back [Super Mana Potion]s, which offer a greater mana return. All the Mad Alchemist’s Potion really gives you is a discount on mats.
  • [Alchemist’s Stone] is a nice little trinket that’s worth using for fights where you’re chain-chugging mana pots. (Watch for an upcoming post talking about the Alchemist’s Stone in more depth.) Definitely worth using for some fights, but not all – probably not a reason to take the profession by itself, but a definite attraction. Upgradeable in 2.4 to a trinket with the same potion-boosting effect and +115 heal on it, which is very solid, but no details on the source of the pattern. (Update:according to MMO-Champion, the pattern for the trinket update is at Shattered Sun Exalted.)

Verdict: not a bad profession for supplying your own consumables, but not compelling.

Blacksmithing is not worth it, in my opinion. There are a few Blacksmith-specific items, but not enough to be worth taking the whole profession:

  • The Khorium Ward is a decent blue BoE spelldamage plate set for the shockadin crowd; the items themselves don’t require Blacksmithing to equip, but the 3-piece set bonus (+55 Healing) does.
  • [Dawnsteel Shoulders] are BoP shoulders; the pattern drops in Black Temple. They’re a spellhaste alternative to Tier 6 shoulders – very tasty, but not really relevant to a healadin until you’re well into endgame content.
  • [Sunblessed Breastplate] is a BoP chest; the plans drop in Sunwell Plateau. Same situation as the shoulders – a great item, but you’re really not going to be picking a profession at or before 70 based on one or two items from Black Temple and Sunwell Plateau.

Verdict: it might be worth levelling once you’re already in BT or Sunwell Plateau, but until then, don’t bother.

There’s only one enchanter-only type of enchant: rings.

Verdict: +40 healing is a pretty nice boost from a single profession. Enchanting has tradtionally been the realm of clothies, but it’s actually not a bad healadin choice simply for the ring enchants.

Engineering is full of engineer-specific and crafter-only stuff, and a lot of it is fun and useful; I’m not going to cover all of that here. Looking at healadin-relevant options:

  • [Justicebringer 2000 Specs] – better than Tier 5, worse than Tier 6, these are a huge item for a healadin pally pre-Black Temple. They require a reasonable amount of farming, but nothing particularly hard-to-get. Very hard to go past.
  • [Justicebringer 3000 Specs] – the upgraded version, coming with patch 2.4. Even better than the previous helm, but the pattern doesn’t drop until Sunwell Plateau, so it’s not really a justification for decision-making. (Though the pattern may be BoE; if so, hello AH!)

Verdict: A very strong single item, plus a whole bunch of useful fun stuff. Definitely a solid choice.

Jewelcrafting has a few choices in the early-70 period, although its advantages drop off later:

  • [Kailee’s Rose] is a great healing gem, although you can only equip one at a time; it’s superior even to the BoE epic equivalent (Teardrop Crimson Spinel).
  • [Talasite Owl] is a good healer trinket for those who want mana regen. (Including the “use” effect, it’s roughly the equivalent of 29 mp5.)
  • The upgraded version, [Seaspray Albatross], has more costly mats but is significantly better – with a shorter cooldown, it’s 43 mp5 to the Owl’s 29. (I’ll definitely be making one as soon as I hit Revered with Shattered Sun, from whence cometh the pattern.)
  • [Amulet of Flowing Life] is a nice spell haste healing neckpiece, coming in Patch 2.4. The mats are reasonably accessible, but the pattern doesn’t drop until Sunwell Plateau. (However, it may be a BoE pattern; if so, you can AH it regardless of where you’re raiding.)

Verdict: No single big-ticket winner like Engineering or Enchanting, but a lot of moderate-sized advantages that add up.

Leatherworking’s only really of interest if you’re prepared to downgrade to mail or leather armor in a number of key slots. Some paladins do, some don’t. I’ll only look at mail here, since if you’re going lower than mail you may as well roll a druid or priest.

  • There’s a lot of nice spell DPS mail that would suit a shockadin nicely; I’m not going to link it all here, but it’s definitely a good option for someone making a serious go of shockadin.
  • [Living Earth Shoulders], some very nice healing mail shoulders. The pattern is a BoE drop from trash in Black Temple. However, they’re not significantly better than the plate equivalents from Blacksmithing, so if you’re taking a profession solely for this, you may as well go the Blacksmithing route and not sacrifice survivability for it.

Verdict: not worth it, unless you’re more interested in being a shockadin (which is not particularly viable against bosses thanks to a lack of spell hit and a huge lack of mana return).

I’m not going to advocate this; there are some very good tailor-only healing pieces (such as the Primal Mooncloth set), but the loss of survivability is just too great for my liking. Those who want to do this know the items they’re aiming for anyway.

The Verdict

Enchanting: one significant advantage and the utility value of self-enchanting and disenchanting. Definitely worth considering.
Engineering: one awesome item and a bunch of fun toys. A clear winner.
Jewelcrafting: one good trinket, one decent gem, and general crafting utility value. A viable option.

Alchemy: nice for the trinket, but it’s not compelling.
Blacksmithing: probably not worth it, given that the good BoP healadin items are deep into raiding territory, at which point you have other options.

Leatherworking: No unique advantage compared with Blacksmithing.
Tailoring: it’s cloth. C’mon, roll a priest.

By the numbers, I would say the pure best choices for a healadin would be Engineering plus either Jewelcrafting or Enchanting. Enchanting maintains its value throughout the endgame, while Engineering and Jewelcrafting wax and wane in utility depending on the level of other gear you have access to.

Speaking personally, I have Jewelcrafting and Alchemy – the Alchemy is just a legacy of the pre-TBC era, when my guild was very short on alchemists. I’m unlikely to change things at this late date (although I rather wish I’d made this analysis six months ago), but come Wrath of the Lich King, I’ll be investigating all the professions for their suitability.

Nethers as BoE Drops

Primal Nethers and Nether Vortexes are currently Bind on Equip on the PTR, instead of BoP (confirmation here), and this has sparked quite a lot of discussion; I just watched a debate scroll past in guildchat while in an instance.

To be honest, I like the change; it’s something I’ve been hoping for for a while. It puts the onus to get the nether on the person who wants something crafted. I realise it may affect people who’ve made a lot of money from crafting and charging a premium for their nethers, but there are other ways of making money.

Two things I’ve found problematic about nethers being BoP:

  1. guild crafters are expected to provide nethers for guildmembers who want things crafted, regardless of whether the nether (which has usually been ‘earnt’ on a guild run) is going to a cause that benefits the guild or not.
  2. it becomes hard to allocate BoP crafting patterns if they’re for recipes that require nethers; you have to try and assign the patterns to people who are reliably going to have access to nethers, without offending the crafters who don’t make the effort to do heroics.

This change cuts through all that: you provide the mats, the crafter makes it for you. If you don’t put the work in to get the nether, you don’t get the item made. The crafter is under no pressure to provide a nether, either. And, finally, if you want nether-requiring gear on your alts you can now go and instance for the nethers on your main, without having to take a badly-geared alt into a heroic and drag the group down.

Jewelcrafting Quick Reference Sheet: 2.4

An update for this post:

The Jewelcrafting Quick Reference Table has been updated to include the various new jewelcrafting patterns being implemented in patch 2.4.

This table includes all jewelcrafting gem cuts excluding BoP gems that are JC-only. It is current as of 5 March 08, Patch 2.4 PTR build.

Jewelcrafting Reference Table

If you prefer it in PDF form, you can download a copy here: jc24b.pdf.

Updated 5 March 08 with epic versions of the new blue gems.

Jewelcrafting Quick Reference Sheet

I’m the main jewelcrafter for my guild, thanks to an obsessive dedication to completionism – I have every non-epic pattern. (Sadly I can’t get the epic ones as they require one to be attuned to and/or raiding in Mt Hyjal, which is a rant for another day.)

People are always asking me “what’s a good gem for my gear?” and it’s hard to tell them to go look the gems up, as WoWhead’s database includes gems from all /kinds/ of different sources (and some of the data are inaccurate, as well). So a while ago I whipped up this handy table for my guildies, and I figured I should share it here, too.

This table includes all jewelcrafting gem cuts excluding BoP gems that are JC-only. It is current as of 01 February 08, Patch 2.3.3.

Jewelcrafting Reference Table

If you prefer it in PDF form, you can download a copy here: jc233.pdf.

[Edit: updated version of this is here.]

Feature Wishlist: Selective Tracking

Many professions and classes give some tracking ability: paladins can sense undead, warlocks can sense demons, hunters can track just about everything, miners can find ore nodes, and so on.

Unfortunately, it’s an all-or-nothing deal, and that’s never made sense to me – from a gameworld logic point of view, and from a usability point of view. If you can track big ogrey footprints and little goblin footprints with your ‘track humanoids’ ability, why can’t you choose to ignore the goblins and only locate the ogres?

And from a usability perspective, nothing’s more frustrating when you’re on a farming round than having your minimap cluttered with dots for things you don’t care about. Ask any herbalist how much fun it is(n’t), scouring Zangarmarsh for felweed only to be constantly stymied by little yellow dots for glowcap all over the place.