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HomeGame Guides › Professions Guide for Free Players - World of Warcraft

Professions Guide for Free Players - World of Warcraft

Guide to the professions available for World of Warcraft free to play players.  Learn the pros and cons of the professions and which is the best fit for your character.

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Free to Play Professions - What They Are and Which Ones You Want

At level five, your WoW character earns the opportunity to begin studying professions. These professions are taught by a profession trainer in any major city. You can ask a city guard where to find a trainer for a specific profession that interests you, or you can track them yourself from your minimap. The starting zone you access at level five will also have profession trainers.

Once you've begun training for a profession, you can level up by completing tasks. Your professions can be accessed by hitting the "K" key. You may need to follow up with your trainer to purchase additional supplies for some professions.

Professions in World of Warcraft provide a way to earn money. In some cases, they also allow you to create things of value. There are 11 primary professions available to World of Warcraft Starter Edition players, and you can hold two primary professions at a time. Professions can generally be divided into "gathering" and "crafting" professions, where one gathers materials for the other. As such, they are often learned in pairs.

There is no limit to how many times you can abandon a profession to learn a new one, however, and many F2P players find it beneficial to cycle through every profession at one point or another. Just beware that, when you abandon a profession, you will lose the ability to use it; if you re-learn it later, you'll be forced to start from the beginning.

Gathering Professions

As a free player, you can buy up to three bag slots for your bank account. The best bags available at your level will have eight to 10 slots. This means that you will be able to store a maximum of 30 stacks of 20 items each in your bank in addition to however many items you can carry on your person.

You will be limited in your bag slots as a free player - Photo courtesy of WoW Wiki

Bear these figures in mind when deciding how much of an item you can gather and keep in anticipation of a future profession. In some cases, it might be much smarter to gather while leveling the associated profession; in others, it might be wise to gather materials and pursue the profession later. Some things to consider include bag space, the cost of other materials and your crafting priorities. See the "Jewelcrafting" section below for more information.

Herbalism

For standard account users, herbalism is one of the best ways to earn money in-game as herbs sell for a substantial sum in the auction house. This is not necessarily true of free accounts as herbs do not sell to NPC vendors for the same high prices. Herbalism is, however, a key aspect of both alchemy and inscription, so you will need to learn it if you plan to pursue those professions.

A Mageroyal herb node. Hebalists can gather herbs from nodes like these all over Azeroth. Photo courtesy of WoW Wiki

At level 100, you will be able to gather the following herbs: Silverleaf, Peacebloom, Earthroot, Mageroyal, Briarthorn and Stranglekelp. The first three of these will be plentiful in any starting zone. The rest can be found in The Barrens, Westfall, Redridge Mountains, Silverpine Forest or Wetlands. Herbs will be marked with a yellow dot on your mini-map, and you can simply move from one plant to the next to gather your materials.

Tip: Druids and shamans both have the ability to shapeshift into forms with speed buffs, and you can pick herbs in these travel forms. This makes these classes particularly well-suited to herbalism. They can also benefit greatly from most alchemy potions.

Herbalism comes with one extra skill, a spell called Lifeblood. This is a minor heal that also grants increased haste. Some players find this very useful in PvP.

Mining

Mining is necessary to gather the materials for blacksmithing and jewelcrafting. It can also make it easier to obtain some reagents for engineering. If you're not interested in any of those professions, mining is not a good choice as it will earn you little money and takes up a lot of bag space.

Learn mining at trainers like this one. Photo courtesy of WoW Wiki

If you do decide to pursue mining as a profession, you will be able to mine copper, tin and silver ores; at the maximum level of 100, you can mine iron ore. Copper can be found in all starting areas, and tin and silver can be located in Hillsbrad Foothills and Ashenvale. Iron is found in Feralas, Western Plaguelands and The Cape of Stranglethorn. Unfortunately, accessing these high-level ore veins is difficult for a level 20 as you will need to venture into dangerous areas of the map; if you don't have a high-level escort, high-level mining may not be possible.

Skinning

Skinning is an easy profession to level while questing as nearly every beast you kill can be skinned. If you are a leather-wearing class, learning skinning and leatherworking makes sense. Skinning also provides a character with a helpful passive bonus to critical strike rating, which makes it an especially valuable profession for rogues; druids, shamans and hunters will also benefit from this stat increase.

It's best to learn skinning as early as possible if you wish to level this profession. That will allow you to gather the most materials while questing and use them toward creating armor for yourself as you level your character.

Crafting Professions

Not every crafting profession relies on materials gained from gathering professions. Some gain materials through other sources. If you do wish to level up a profession that requires materials gathered through a different profession, it's smart to level up both simultaneously. Otherwise, you run the risk of running out of materials.

Alchemy

Alchemists can create potions and elixirs. At level 100, you can create 18 different elixirs. This makes alchemy an extremely valuable profession for PvP. All players can benefit from alchemy.

Alchemy Needs - (for all your alchemy needs). Photo courtesy of Wow Wiki

Despite its benefits, alchemy can be expensive, and it requires a lot of materials. To make the most of your alchemy, you may wish to wait until you've reached max level to begin leveling this profession; it's more useful in PvP than while questing. Just be sure to stockpile herbs in advance or spend some time gathering them as a level 20.

Blacksmithing

Blacksmiths can forge both weapons and metal armor; here is a list of the items you can craft with a skill level of 100. Note that some metal armor requires leather as well, so it may make sense to level up skinning first to obtain some of the materials. If not, you can buy them from a vendor.

Naro's Armory offers blacksmith training. Photo courtesy of WoW Wiki

In addition to the weapons and armor, you can also create sharpening stones that will increase your weapon's effectiveness. These stones will work even if you are no longer a blacksmith, and they can be very valuable for melee classes. If your class doesn't wear metal armor, there is little point in leveling blacksmithing; opt for leatherworking or tailoring instead.

Engineering

Engineering is one of the most fun crafting professions in paid WoW, but you won't get to enjoy all of its charms in Starter Edition. The most useful items you can create as a level 100 engineer are a few types of explosives, a gun and the Flying Tiger Goggles. Some twinks consider it worthwhile to level up engineering just for these goggles as they're the "best in slot" headgear for most classes at level 20. Just beware that you just be an engineer in order to wear them, so be sure to choose this profession after you've finished the others you wish to pursue.

Tip: Gnomes get +15 engineering skill, which makes them easier to level up in this profession.

Jewelcrafting

Vendors can be found at bazaars like this one to sell you crafting supplies. Photo courtesy of WoW Wiki

At low levels, jewelcrafting offers some of the best rings and necklaces. You can also create stone statues that can heal your character. This makes it a valuable profession for some twinks. You can gain materials for jewelcrafting by leveling up your mining skill. It may make sense to level up mining and blacksmithing first, then stockpile materials in the bank before learning jewelcrafting. You can also stockpile gems from boss drops and dungeons to ease your jewelcrafting.

Tip: Draenei get a +10 jewelcrafting bonus, which makes them an ideal choice for this profession.

Leatherworking

This profession is a natural choice for leather-wearers, and it goes well with skinning. At level 100, you can make 36 different items, including armor and a six-slot bag. The armor kit is also valuable as it can increase the armor level of the hands, feet, legs and chest armor worn by a character.

The gear you can make through leatherworking is often fairly high-quality, but it's easy to replace through quests and dungeons. In most cases, leatherworked items will not be the best-in-slot items for a level 20 character.

Enchanting

Enchanting is one of the most valuable professions for a F2P player. You gain materials for this profession by disenchanting green items, a process which destroys them and breaks them down into usable parts. There are 20 enchantments you can create with a skill level of 100. These enchantments are valuable when you reach level 20 as you can enchant most twink gear to get the most out of your available stats.

Enchanting shops provide for your enchanting needs. Photo courtesy of WoW Wiki

If you choose to learn enchanting, it might help to learn blacksmithing first in order to create a silver rod. This will enable you to enchant your own items. Additionally, you'll want to wait to learn enchanting until you've gathered a lot of green items that can be disenchanted for materials.

Tips: Blood elves earn +10 enchanting, which makes them a natural choice for this profession. If you wish to get a lot of materials, you can create a lot of green items through leatherworking or blacksmithing; you can then save these and disenchant them later for enchanting materials.

Tailoring

Tailoring uses cloth, which is dropped by humanoid enemies, to create items. It's a great profession for cloth-wearers like mages, priests and warlocks. Tailors can create cloth armor and bags, and tailoring is one of the best sources of bags for low-level players. Here are the items you can make at 100 skill points.

Tailoring does have a few drawbacks. It requires a substantial number of materials beyond cloth, so it can take up a lot of bag room. The cloth gear you can create as a tailor is also not as good as the items earned from questing at the same levels. Additionally, this profession eats up a lot of cloth that could otherwise be used to make bandages. Nevertheless, some people find that tailoring is a worthwhile profession for the bags alone.

Tip: Consider leveling up your tailoring and creating a complete set of eight-slot woolen bags first. Then unlearn the profession and pursue something else. The bags will give you plenty of storage space for other materials.

Inscription

Inscription is often overlooked as a F2P profession because glyphs cannot be used until level 25. It's still very valuable for twinks, though, because of the scrolls that inscriptionists can make. These scrolls can be stockpiled and used even after you drop inscription as a profession, and their effects count as battle elixirs.

Tip: Inscription doesn't require you to gather additional materials, which means it can easily be learned and leveled up the trainer just by buying parchment and ink. This means that you can spend a few hours creating scrolls as you level up, stockpile the scrolls, then abandon the profession in favor of something else.

Secondary Professions

In addition to your two primary professions, you can also learn the secondary professions of first aid, fishing and cooking. You can learn all three of them, and they have a few benefits:

  • Cooking enables you to make food that can heal you between fights and occasionally provide buffs. The campfire you build can also give you additional spirit. You gain materials for this profession by killing various beasts, gathering ingredients and learning recipes.
  • Fishing allow you to catch fish to cook. It also makes it possible to complete fishing quests, which grants you access to some excellent items, including The Lucky Fishing Hat. This popular headpiece for twinks is the second-best item for the slot after the engineering goggles.
  • First aid allows you to heal yourself when outside of combat by creating and applying bandages. This requires you to use cloth, so it can be inconvenient if you're also studying tailoring. It is, however, very useful for characters that cannot heal themselves.

You can fish just about anywhere

It's always a good idea to learn all three secondary professions and level them as high as you can. They will complement your other skills and provide you with something to do when you tire of fighting mobs of PvPing.


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