Professions always play a vital role in World of Warcraft. But in TBC, the increased importance of crafting powerful gear amplifies their significance.
Throughout Classic, most crafting professions were used specifically to make consumables and Engineering was required by top guilds because of the explosives that engineers could use during raids to amplify DPS.
That changes in TBC, though. Other professions gain massive value because of the crafted gear they provide that’s exclusive to the profession.
Leatherworking will be necessary for all raids in TBC because of Drums of Battle, but some changes that Blizzard implemented will make it so that only a few players will need to be in the profession, as opposed to everyone.
All of the major crafting professions will provide value to at least one class or specialization. Here are some of the biggest reasons for using each profession.
Alchemy in TBC is a strong profession for making gold. Transmutes like Primal Might will hold a lot of value throughout the game, and early on, many players will be willing to spend large sums of gold to get them.
The profession gets added utility from the newly introduced Cauldrons that can provide full raids with important protection potions. And new Alchemist Stones can be used as trinkets that can be useful for healers situationally.
Most players that have an alchemist will only do so to make potions and transmutes. This isn’t necessarily a profession many players will want on the main character that they raid with.
The one-handed mace Dragonmaw is one of the most powerful crafted items in TBC. And because of that, most melee classes will use Blacksmithing as one of their professions.
The mace can be upgraded throughout TBC as well, making it so that Warriors and Shamans will keep the profession all expansion long.
Additionally, Blacksmiths can make gold from crafting various items like weapon stones, weapon chains, and temporary armor buffs for items.
This profession in TBC is highlighted by a ring enchantment that only the enchanter can benefit from. It’s only slightly better than what everyone can get, so it might not be a determining factor in whether you go for Enchanting.
The biggest reason to go Enchanting will be to make gold from enchanting other people’s gear or to help out your guild. Most guilds will want to have at least one guild enchanter that can soak up all the valuable enchanting recipes that drop in raids. This is no different in Classic.
Enchanting will also be a preferred profession by some people who run a lot of five-man dungeons and get loot drops that they don’t need. The gear that drops can be disenchanted and turned into more valuable materials used for enchanting gear.
Engineering loses some of its value in TBC. But just because it’s not mandatory doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have all the same explosive toys that it used to.
Dynamite, sapper, and grenade items will still be useful throughout TBC and PvP players will want to get their hands on the craftable engineering goggles that increase your stealth detection.
While those goggles won’t be available at the beginning of TBC, expect to see a lot of players re-roll to Engineering when they become available in a later patch so that they can catch pesky stealth classes in their arena matches.
Jewelcrafting is primarily a money-making class. There are specific gems in TBC that only jewelcrafters can use, but they’re only slightly better than what everyone else can use.
The profession also has appeal to PvPers because of the Shadowsong Panther trinket that both increases stealth detection and can be used to give a huge boost in attack power.
The trinket is considered to be one of the best available for Rogues, who are among the top classes in arenas.
Once believed to be a requirement for every raider in TBC, this profession was nerfed significantly by changes Blizzard made to Drums of Battle.
A few classes will still use this profession early for some crafted pieces and armor upgrades, but leatherworking is mostly used for Drums of Battle.
Despite being nerfed, raids will still want to have at least one leatherworker in each group of a raid. In total, that means you’ll want to have at least five raiders with leatherworking in your 25-man raids.
Tailoring will be the profession of choice for cloth-wearing classes like Warlock, which is the strongest DPS class in TBC.
The profession provides numerous powerful pre-raid pieces of gear and also gives Warlocks their best-in-slot two-piece Spellstrike set.
Meanwhile, there are three types of special cloth that tailors can create, similar to Classic’s Mooncloth, that can be used to craft various goodies and gear. Just like Mooncloth, all three types of cloth are on a multiple-day cooldown, so they’ll be highly sought after early in Phase One.