So, the question has been raised: What is the most efficient and profitable way to become self-sufficient in World of Warcraft crafting? (Self-sufficient, in this case, meaning having all professions maxed on one server.) This is a question to which there is no surefire answer, and one that will have many short, sometimes overly simplistic answers hurled at it that may or may not be true. Before I can go and answer this question for myself, I need to pick a point at which to begin. A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, as the phrase goes.
Common wisdom holds that players should load any WoW main up with two gathering professions to start, in order to build up a cash cushion (paying for those pesky big budget flying expenses) and later convert to one or two production professions. While this idea has merit, especially for the average player, it may hurt this effort in the long run. Having a large pile of gold available to help you buy materials will power you through the skill points when you switch to a production profession, but leveling a skill only to drop it and spend a lot of cash on leveling a different skill is neither efficient nor profitable.
If I make the assumption that I’ll be starting these characters on a server where I have no other characters (because that’s what I plan to do), this rules out the opposite approach of starting with two production professions. There will simply not be the captial available for that. The only possible exception to this is a Tailoring and Enchanting combination – but let me assure you, having done this from scratch on at least three different servers, that this is slow going. I may re-examine this idea later, but I’m going to table it as a first option for now.
That leaves me with the very typical gathering/production combo. But which combination? The gathering profession will logically be dictated by the production profession. If I leave Tailoring and Enchanting out of the equation, that leaves me with the choice between Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Engineering, Inscription, Jewelcrafting, and Leatherworking.
Since this will be the first profession I level on a given server, it will need to be one that I can skill up easily while leveling, and one that turns an early profit in order to help fund some of the more difficult professions later on. While Leatherworking certainly fits into the category of easy to skill up while leveling, (kill stuff, get xp and materials!) I’ve heard rumors that it’s not the most profitable thing in the world. My gut instinct says that Alchemy may be what I am looking for. Experience tells me that herb nodes are easy to find, and generally under less competition than mining nodes. Also, my perspective tells me that Alchemists are under-represented on most servers, leading to a smaller supply of their products and, in turn, a higher profit.
I’m not quite settled yet on Alchemy/Herbalism. To be honest, I personally dislike this profession. I couldn’t tell you why. But I’m going to investigate it to the best of my ability. You’ll see my findings in my next post, no later than Monday.