If you’re new to crafting in WoW, there are some basic rules that apply to all of the various crafts in the game. It’s probably a good idea to review this information so you’ll know what to expect if you are just starting out with crafting professions.
When you start in the newbie zone, you may or may not find a trainer for the particular skill you’re interested in learning. That’s ok, once you get up to about level 5 the quests will start to take you to new areas. Now is probably a good time for you to find your nearest city, visit the bank and find the various trainers you need. Any city guard can point you to a trainer and mark their location on your mini-map. So go ahead and take care of all your profession training needs while you’re in the city, then head back out for your next round of quests.
You may notice that a trainer will ask you if you’re sure you want to choose ‘XX’ as your profession. This is because you can only choose two Primary crafting skills in WoW. Once you fill both slots, you’ll be forced to ‘unlearn’ one if you try to learn a third. So be certain about your choices before you visit the trainers. The Primary professions are Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Enchanting, Engineering, Herbalism, Jewelcrafting, Leatherworking, Mining, Skinning and Tailoring.
With Secondary professions, you can learn as many as you like. These aren’t really money-making skills, so you’re free to do all of them. There are three: Cooking, First Aid and Fishing. It’s a good idea to go ahead and train all three since you may decide to pursue them later on. If you never use them you aren’t really out much anyway, just a few copper.
Once you begin crafting, you’ll notice the names of the recipes in your crafting window start to filter into various colors. These colors indicate the difficulty level of that particular item. Easier items stop granting you skill points eventually, so to advance your skill you’ll want to focus on making the more difficult items. Here’s a chart of the colors and their meaning:
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You may find after a day of adventuring that your bags are loaded with goodies that need to be crafted. Whether it’s a few stacks of ore or a load of fish, you have a lot of work to do. Within your crafting window, you have options for creating multiple items with one click. There is a “Create All” button that will manufacture as many items as you have the ingredients for within your bags. You can also use the “Create” button in combination with the number arrows to specify exactly how many of a particular item you want. This makes it easier to run through a large number of items and take a quick break for yourself at the same time.
Each profession has five stages of advancement. You’ll begin as an Apprentice, then move on to Journeyman, after that will be Expert, Artisan and finally Master. Each stage has a character level requirement in order to access the next level of training. You must be level 5 to train as an Apprentice, level 10 as a Journeyman, level 20 as an Expert, 35 for Artisan and 50 for Master. Once you are ready to move to the next level, your current trainer will usually tell you where to find a new trainer for the next stage of your development. At Master level all trainers are located in Outland, because players without the Burning Crusade expansion are not permitted to train beyond Artisan level skill.
Your trainer will teach you a certain number of recipes, but as you advance you’ll receive fewer and fewer new recipes this way. Once you go beyond 350 crafting skill you won’t be able to get any new recipes from the trainers. The other two ways to get recipes are as loot drops or from vendors. Loot drops can usually be purchased from the Auction House, or sometimes you’ll actually loot one appropriate for you.
For those willing to travel a bit, vendors are actually a good source of new recipes. Most zones have a Trade Goods vendor, and these guys tend to stock a few recipes in limited supply. So whenever you happen across a new Trade Vendor, check his inventory. Recipes can usually be found on the last page of items for sale. There are also some specialty vendors in certain locations (Booty Bay for example) that sell recipes related to their specialty. So a Cook might have cooking recipes, a Weapons Vendor can have weapon recipes, and so on. If you have a profession relating to one of these vendor types, be sure to add them to your list of NPCs to inspect.
In case you didn’t notice, all recipes have a color associated with them. The name of the recipe can be white, green or blue. Green and blue recipes are loot drops, but white recipes are bought from vendors or given as a quest reward. Any time you see a white recipe at the Auction House, there’s a good chance that another player has purchased that from a vendor and is selling it at a markup. Seriously consider finding this vendor yourself before you bid on those recipes. You’ll usually save 50% or more by visiting the vendor or doing the quest yourself.