One of the choices a new druid has to make is thinking about what profession to pick up. If this is your tenth character, then you probably already decided what your professions are, and this doesn’t matter for you.
However, if you are newer to the game, or don’t know that much about the profession system, then it can be hard to find the right professions for you.
First, everyone can pick up First Aid, Fishing, and Cooking. These are freebies, and don’t count towards your 2 professions. You can turn all the cloth you pick up into bandages to heal you up without using mana. Bandages even work in cat & bear form!
Second, to choose your professions, you need to think about what your goals are:
A) To make money?
B) To make gear for yourself as you level?
C) To have useful professions for end-game raiding?
When I was leveling my first character, I went with B (making stuff I could wear), and then I got frustrated with being poor all the time and went with an option from C that could both be useful for end-game and make money.
If you choose A (making money) above anything else, then go with 2 gathering professions:
- Mining (lots of professions use the metals you dig up),
- Herbalism (flower picking is pretty profitable), or
- Skinning (less useful, but you can’t track both herbs & ore on your map at the same time, and it feels more “druidy”).
- Selling the raw components that help other people level up their crafting professions is a pretty good way to fund what you need. Mining and herbalism (overall) usually make the most profit, but skinning also slows you down less in your leveling, since you have to kill animals to get the skins.
If you choose B (gear) above anything else, then you want a crafting profession that can make things you can use, and the gathering profession to supply it.
- The most obvious choice here would be leatherworking (paired with skinning). Druids can wear leather armor, so sometimes you would be able to make gear you can wear.
- One less obvious choice, that can still be useful, is: Jewelcrafting (paired with mining) – you can make trinkets, rings, & necklaces that may be hard to find other places, wheras leather gear is pretty abundant as you level.
If you chose C (useful once you hit end-game raiding) you want things that will give you extra stats, and/or things that will supply your consumable needs:
- Jewelcrafting paired with mining – You get better gems for yourself to increase your stats, you can cut gems that help your raid memebers, and you get trinkets that last for a while, depending on your spec.
- Alchemy paired with herbalism – Potions are always needed in any raiding guild. Flasks you use last longer, so you save a ton of gold from having to buy potions and flasks on your own.
- You could also go with enchanting (with any gathering profession), since everyone’s gear has to be enchanted as you pick up new stuff. You also get to enchant your rings, which is something only enchanters can do.
- Inscription paired with herbalism: Makes glyphs that everyone needs. You get an end-game shoulder enchant, which means you don’t have to work on getting Exalted with the Sons of Hodir rep at level 80. You can also sell herbs and/or use them to get potions made by one of your guild’s alchemists.
Other professions I didn’t discuss yet are:
- Engineering: I haven’t found this very useful for druids, however it has some fun PvP toys.
- Blacksmithing: Not useful for druids, since we don’t wear plate armor.
- Tailoring: Makes cloth armor and bags. Not really useful for a leather wearing class. You are better off using all your cloth to make bandages to skill up first-aid.
Any way you go, you want at least one gathering profession, and then either a second gathering profession or a crafting profession to actually make things out of what you gather.
For more information on professions, there is a lot of good information on WoWWiki’s professions page.
Edit: And Averna at Nerf this Druid seems to have beaten me to posting about professions (I didn’t see it until after I posted this, and I actually wrote & saved my post earlier in the weekend). Averna takes a look at things mostly from the persepctive of end-game resto druids.