Professions are fun for some and a necessary evil for others.
Some of us have farming professions. Some of us have crafting professions. Some of us have a little bit of everything! Professions are leveled because they fit our style of play, help us in raiding, allow us to outfit our alts, and make us money.
What professions do you have on your main? Do his/her professions fit their personality? Why did you choose them? If you chose professions based on your character and not on gaming needs, would that change some of their professions they use?
I am AWFUL about professions. I have 7 max level characters and three more characters in progress. Of those characters, only 3 of them have their professions maxed because I HATE leveling professions. I think maybe it’s because my bags are in a constant state of crisis with being full. Or I just find it tedious. In any case, professions are decidedly not my favorite part of the game. I do them anyway though because I like torturing myself. And because I occasionally need to craft myself things. Auction House guru I am not.
I’ve found that the professions I have the easiest time leveling are the ones that have some sort of in character justification.
Fayasha Tauren Druid
Fayasha started out as a skinner/LW because when I first started playing the game, I had no idea about how useful professions could be and crafting my own gear as I leveled sounded like a good thing. As it turns out, it wasn’t very useful. I managed to level skinning as I went along because that was easy enough and once I got to 80 in Wrath I leveled my leatherworking just high enough to get the bracer enchant then I gave up.
In Cataclysm, I decided to change change from skinning to herbalism because really. Tauren druid. How could I pass that up? Leatherworking was such a pain in the ass to level that I didn’t want to drop it, so I kept it despite it not really fitting her personality.
I love herbalism for her though. I can image her trudging through Azeroth hunting down different rare herbs and studying them, trying to understand how they fit into the pattern of life that she finds so interesting. I can see her finding the herbs of Icecrown and meditating over them so she can understand how life could flourish in such a place. I actually imagine her walking around with a battered journal with her notes in it, collecting little local bits of lore so that she can bring them back to Mulgore to share with her tribe.
I’ve actually kicked around the idea of making another blog about this with her musings about the herbs of Azeroth, but I’m not sure how many people would be interested in reading the lore that I’ve made up for things like sungrass.
Koralie Blood Elf Paladin
Koralie started out with mining/herbalism, then I switched her to mining/JC once she hit 80 in Wrath. I needed a JC so I could stop getting gouged by the AH prices for gems and I wasn’t saying no the the extra strength from the jewelcrafting only gems.
In character, I thought that this worked well for her. Despite the fact that Koralie has a rather rebelious personality (I call her my punk rock pally) her mother is quite refined. It wasn’t a far stretch to decide that her mother made jewelry and probably taught Koralie something of it as well. I like to imagine her going to visit her mother and helping her with cutting the gems.
Koralie is also an alchemist, and this was a profession that was rather fun to write about her picking up. I’ve always written her as not being particularly academic, but following some bad experiences at the start of Cataclysm, she found herself having trouble sleeping. Her friend made her dreamless sleep potions, and after that she decided she wanted to learn to make them herself. As it turns out, she took naturally to it, despite not thinking it was something she could actually do.
The transmute is awfully handy too.
Tenian Blood Elf Death Knight
Tenian is the victim of me dropping gathering professions on my two mains. He’s now my skinner/miner, two professions that are more or less awful for him. But he has quick flight and I don’t really raid on him, so it makes sense for him to have gathering professions.
I’ve always thought of Ten as being more of a blue collar blood elf anyway, having family in the builder’s guild and who worked on mining operations. Once I switched to mining on him, I decided he spent most of his life further south in the Eastern Kingdoms, mining rare ores and getting friendly with the dwarves. For this reason he has a fondness for their ale, and I always think of him speaking with an Irish accent (because clearly if you mix a blood elf accent with a Scottish accent, that’s the result). In Ten’s case, his professions influenced part of his backstory in a really fun way.
Kariki Goblin Priest
Kariki is an engineer and scribe because really. What else would a goblin priest be? She can blow shit up and then write people the bill for doing so. Goblin priests are the best priests. She looks cute as hell in her goggles too.
For all of my other toons, their profession choices were mostly made for gameplay reasons or because I didn’t have that particular profession yet, but I do like trying to come up with reasons for why my they might have them. They’re actually a pretty fun writing prompt in that way. I’ve actually found that choosing a characters professions for gameplay reasons then justifying them in character can give an unexpected depth to the character. The night elf rogue I’m leveling on a different server is a herbalist/scribe because that’s what my friends and I were missing on that server. I justified it by saying that he’s a master at forgery. From there I decided that he’s just a master of disguise who spends most of his time adopting different personas to get information. Once I actually start roleplaying on him, I think this will be a really fun part of his character.
So I have a love/hate relationship with professions. Eventually I do get them leveled, but it’s always a struggle for me to do so. As with most things in WoW, storytelling helps me do them despite the fact that they’re boring. Maybe one day I’ll come up with a story telling reason to stop sucking at the Auction House and I’ll be able to make some gold too.