Wednesday, October 8, 2008

[Druid] Feral druid profession choices

First off: the professions are almost certainly going to change. They're the least finished thing in the beta right now. Take this with some grains of salt.

WotLK is really nice so far though - almost all the professions have both equipment that can be used for a while and then ignored, and something that scales and gives a benefit for the rest of your career. Even the farming professions do this! It's really nice that it's no longer a gimpy thing to pick a profession until you get your Tier X item that replaces it, and then have to move on to something else.

The TLDR version: take leatherworking and a gathering profession. If you truly want to min-max, take leatherworking and enchanting or leatherworking and jewelcrafting, as leatherworking and blacksmithing don't work together.

Here's what the associative benefits are:


A really nice, static benefit. This is the best benefit for a feral tank, but doesn't have much synergy with other professions.


Crit strike benefits both cats and bears, but 25 critical strike rating compared to 500 HP? That's kinda sad - it's less than .6% critical strike at 80.

  • - use of fire leaf, which increases AP by 400 at the cost of all armor
  • - Lifeblood, an instant, free HoT that heals you for 2k and can be used in forms.

A quick heal isn't bad for tanking, and fire seed is pretty decent for DPS. This is probably the best one for hybrid players.

Alchemy: (ETA - thanks Karthis and Ray)
The 50% more stats from flasks is not too bad. Using a Flask of Stoneblood, you'll get another 325 health. A Flask of Endless rage will give you 90 AP. The former doesn't compare well with other tanking benefits, but the latter definitely compares well with other DPS. The 25% bonus to elixirs isn't nearly as sexy as that. The trinkets are okay, but they won't last more than Naxx-10 at best, and jewelcrafting gives better ones that will last longer thanks to their gem slots. The extra benefit from potions is okay but not stellar since chain-chugging pots is out anyway. This is a good one if you're wanting to save some money (one flask instead of two for every raid saves a ton) but it's not the best for tanking, not by a longshot. It's decent for DPS, comparing well with pretty much every other profession.


This apparently does stack with enchants on the bracer/gloves, which means this is two free, colorless gem slots. That's a total of 60 stam, 40 strength or 40 dodge as well as a lot of flexibility. However, none of the gear that BS makes is useful for druids, which limits its desirability. For min-maxers this is the second-best profession. Pity it doesn't stack with leatherworking.


This is a total of 48 stam or 64 AP that you would not get otherwise. Enchanting does not have any other direct benefits to a druid though, but this benefit by itself is pretty good.


Engineering has the weakest boosts for overall value, but damn if it's not fun. I haven't been able to test whether you can use the rocket gloves in forms. I desperately hope this is the case; I want to shoot a rocket out of my face. For min-maxing though, Engineering loses out. The goggles aren't even as good as T7-25 content, the trinket is marginal, and the haste glove enchant doesn't win against BS, much less anything else.


Inscribers can make a lot of off-hand items (including one with +armor, which is almost intriguing), but none are all that useful for a feral. 64 AP or 32 dodge is almost exactly the itemization benefit that enchanting gets. 32 dodge and 48 stam are worth the same, after all. So it somewhat comes down to whether you'd rather have one or the other and what profession you'd rather do. Not the best option, but those shoulders are expensive and it's nice to not be forced to grind even more rep.

A total of three dragon's eye gems of any type:

Jewelcrafting definitely gives the most variety of bonuses. The trinket is the best in slot other than armor trinkets thanks to the sockets for bears, and may end up being best in slot for a while. The gems are all prismatic, meaning they match any socket and any color. That's very nice for metagem requirements and socket requirements on some of our annoying gear sockets. Still, the overall bonuses aren't as good as other professions since you can only have 3 gems total. Either 33 stamina or 21 strength or 21 dodge. That's not so hot. Despite it being not perfect, I'd rank it about the same value as enchanting or inscription because of the flexibility and the trinkets.


I can't imagine the stamina fur lining will make it to live, but if it does it becomes the best by a longshot. The only drawback is that if you go engineering and blacksmithing you cannot have a socket and fur lining on bracers, nor can you have an enchant and fur lining. I don't know why either since the socket does stack with the enchant, but whatever. 78 stamina is by far the best improvement if you're looking for that. Right now there is no BoP leather gear at all; I expect this to change. Even without that, there should be a new version of drums, and that combined with this stamina boost make leatherworking the best profession in the game for bears. For cats, 40 strength potentially from blacksmithing is better, though 76 AP is nothing to sneer at.


  • - An AP proc for cloaks, which assuming it's up for 1 minute will give 75 AP per minute; this would beat out 16 agility or 23 haste rating from a cloak.

Tailoring is an odd choice, but the benefit looks ok - if it procs reasonably often. If it doesn't this is probably poor. For a bear it's of no use at all; you'd take defense or agility or even armor before this.


Andrew said...

Nice overview - thank you. I'm an herbalist/alchemist and probably not going to change - I'm not keen on leveling professions at all.

Are there no special alchemy perks this time around? (We had Mad Alchemists potions in TBC.... kinda quirky but sometimes useful).

Andrew said...

Bah - the above comment should have been from 'Karthis'.... stupid multiple blogger accounts!

Ray said...

Thanks a lot for this article!
I've been waiting for something like this for a while. I'm an herbs/alch also and I'd like to keep it that way if i'm good HP-wise in raiding I'd like the utility of stronger pots and the HoT.

You didn't talk about alch at all, I know there's gonna be some alchemist stones that might be worth looking into.

BTW big fan of both you guys blogs :P

Kalon said...

Andrew, Ray - thanks. I totally spaced on alchemy. The long and short is that the trinkets aren't bad but aren't great for tanking or DPS, but the mixology bonus is fairly good for DPS. There are crazy alchemist pots too, but those aren't really all that good.

For tanking I wouldn't recommend alchemy, but it won't be horrible. It just won't be stellar. It will save you a lot of money. :)

Anonymous said...

This is great - thank you for doing it. I'm gonna stick with herb & alch on the druid I think. I'm rather bored with theorycraft min/maxing since it doesnt actually affect the game too much - we'll still be wiping for reasons that have nothing to do with our ability to theorycraft. Maybe I should join some top end euro-guild where good theorycraft actually makes us better, since I do love messing with numbers too!

Did you see the flower growing animations that come with the herbalism buff? That alone is worth it, to pop one of those in the middle of tanking some crazy hard boss.

Merlot said...

I think I'lGood guide, thanks a lot. I think I'll be keeping leatherworking on my druid, but more for easy access to armor than anything unique about the profession.

I don't understand the tailoring embroideries. Why would they make melee enhancements BoP? Surely no melee would take tailoring over a more appropriate armor profession for one slot? Any chance these will become BoE in future? Or at least not cause the item to which they are applied become souldbound?

Kalon said...

merlot - thanks.

Tailoring on melee DPS is actually not as uncommon as you might think. There are a lot of tailor/enchanter melee dps out there who use it entirely to generate cheap enchanting mats. This gives those characters something as well. I agree that it's not the best thing ever, but at least it's something.

Anonymous said...

Engineered Rocket Launcher works in shapeshift form. Now if only we could throw bombs. :(

Anonymous said...

about the leatherworking stam to bracers - it's actually not 90 stam anymore it's 102 stamina