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    Tradeskilling the smart way

    By the time I hit 30 on my first character I had really started to enjoy the tradeskills in World of Warcraft. It was obvious though, that each tradeskill took a considerably amount of resources to gain access to higher level recipes. The big kicker though, is it didn’t require a lot of time, which is where this guide comes in.

    In World of Warcraft most tradeskills require two professions, one creates items, and the other is used to gather resources for the creation of those items. So lets list out the tradeskills that are used to gather resources for their complementary tradeskills:

    Herbalism (for Alchemy)
    Skinning (for Leathercrafting)
    Mining (for Blacksmithing & Engineering)

    The only two we’ve left out is Tailoring and Enchanting which do not need complementary skills, they work off drop rates and item collection. Looking at these, I came up with a plan of attack that will allow me to level all of the tradeskills at the same time and very quickly to boot.

    Our strategy revolves around selecting two resource-gathering tradeskills for each of your characters you play with. As those characters progress through the game collecting resources with their tradeskills, they send the resources to the appropriate mule. At the appropriate level, each toon will untrain one of their professions and train the trade skill that their gathering skill complements. This will allow extremely rapid development of trade skilling from the resources you’ve collected throughout all of your characters.

    Which Gathering Tradeskills to Train

    While you can choose between herbalism and skinning, you must have mining. The reason you have to choose mining is because you’ll need to supply two different characters with resources and with mining, it’s a pain already to get resources for mining, so you may as well make it easier on yourself and get as much of it as you possibly can on each character. Then choosing between skinning and herbalism depends on your preference. For less stress I’d say skinning because you don’t have to keep choosing between ‘find minerals’ and ‘find herbs’ as you go through your leveling process. You’ll want to have all your bases covered though, so make sure you have at least 1 or 2 characters gathering herbs.

    Now that you’ve planned your tradeskill selection you’ll need to create the characters you’ll be playing and start gathering resources.


    When to Untrain your Tradeskill

    It all depends on your patience and your pack space. Around level 25/30 you’ll start seeing problems with pack space on your mules and it may be a good indicator that you should untrain. Optimally, you shouldn’t untrain until level 60. Though I don’t have that kind of patience myself, but I wouldn’t respect until a minimal level 20 on my toons.

    The reason why you want to keep your two gathering skills as long as possible before untraining is simple, you want to gather as many resources as you possibly can before starting the complementary tradeskill. I can’t tell you how easy it is to level blacksmithing once you’ve obtained 500 copper ore and 300 tin ore. That’s 150 smithing in an hour. Not only that, but you didn’t waste any of your time gathering resources, since your alts did it while you leveled them. You didn’t have to grind for ore, or hang around a mountain to farm it just to level your smithing up a few more points. You simply gathered it when it was convenient to your progression through the game. It’s all based on efficiency and the value of your time.

    What Tradeskills are Important?

    I’m not going to get into the debate about which tradeskills are more useful, that is beyond the scope of this guide. However, I will tell you which tradeskills make this system work smoother, then you’ll be able to gauge what your next step will be.

    Tailoring: Tailoring is probably the most useful (and the most efficient to level) out of our tradeskill selection. The reason why it is so efficient to level is that every one of your characters can gather resources for this profession without a gathering skill. Not only that, but finding cloth is so common that people don’t have a problem parting with it for nothing. Around 150 Tailoring skill you’ll be able to create 10 slot bags, which should be dispatched to all of your mules who are missing bags. Oh and Alliance tailors have the Journeyman, Expert and Artisans located in Stormwind.

    Enchanting: I like Enchanting because it brings it all together. Enchanting makes sure that there will be no wasted items once you start grinding points on your other tradeskills. Any items you produce through your tradeskills will go directly to your Enchanter for disenchanting. Likewise, any items you may find along your journey that don’t sell at the Auction House should go to your Enchanter for disenchanting. While leveling multiple tradeskills at a time, you should be producing a great deal of green items which will all get recycled to boost your Enchanting skill.

    Blacksmithing: For the purpose of this guide, think of Blacksmithing as a way to unload pack space, because that ore really fills your inventory/bank up quickly. You’ll always end up untraining to Blacksmithing first just to alleviate all the pack space you’re gonna fill up with the ore you’ll collect from mining. I even went as far as making a second mule dedicated to smith stuff just to prolong my training of blacksmithing, but alas, it too filled up quickly. As you level up through the tiers of armor you’ll quickly pass your own level requirement, which means you’ll always have armor waiting when you level.


    Alchemy: Alchemy will supply your characters with quest items and health/mana potions as they progress through the game. Since Herbs don’t take up a great deal of pack space I usually just wait off when it comes to training Alchemy.

    Leathercrafting: Leathercrafting is another major pack space unloader. Seeing as though leathers only stack up to 10, and hides up to 5 (most of the time) it becomes rather pack space intensive after about 25 levels. Like Blacksmithing, Leathercrafters can also benefit your alts by giving out armor when it is useful.

    Engineering: Though I’d pickup Smithing long before engineering, it is a great pack space unloader as well as quest item supplier for certain quests (darkshire, badlands).

    So Why Do All This?

    Eliminate dependency, prepare for the updates and to help bridge the higher level tradeskills. If you have 250+ on all of the trade skills in the game, you are a one man green/blue item manufacturer. You will have an ease of item creation that no other player in the game can match. You see, when you hit the 250+ recipes a great deal of the recipes require resources from other professions. High level bag creation requires leathers from skinning, high level leathercrafting requires a Salt Shaker made by Engineers, Blacksmiths require Arcanite that is purified by an Alchemist. By eliminating the middle man you eliminate dependency on other people as well as a quicker means of obtaining the resources you need.

    Preparing for updates is just always a good rule of thumb in an mmorpg. Eventually they’ll add hero levels and new 300+ recipes that will allow you to obtain higher level items. You can bet that these new additions will have a lot of requirements from other trade skills but given Blizzard’s flare for non-cookie cutter gameplay, it may be hard to pinpoint exactly what will come. If you want to experience those new recipes and items first, I suggest you get your tradeskilling up to par and keep your ear to the ground as new updates arrive.



    >>Though I am a big fan of tradeskills, not everyone may share this flare. However, a lot of players enjoy creating alternate characters and leveling them up to 30 and starting over again. You might as well play it efficiently and quickly gain resources and tradeskilling points by refining your tradeskills and untraining at a later time. Remember, you only have to be level 35 to get to 300 points on any tradeskill. Though the 225-300 range may require you to kill level 50+ mobs, you can still achieve 300 through alternate means. Just gather those resources and when you’re ready to focus on your gameplay on a single character or many alternates, you’ll be amazed at how much smoother the game gets when you have the best armor every level from tradeskilling.
    Last edited by Matt; 06-19-2006 at 04:36 AM.

    Tradeskilling the smart way

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