Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: Custom-Fit Professions

 Aka “I’m doing it wrong!” At least, by this topic’s premise. :)

This week’s Shared Topic at Blog Azeroth is from Effraeti, who asks:

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?

(This can include the secondary professions of archaeology, fishing, cooking, and first aid too!)

I have eight toons that are level 85. I won’t be talking about all of them, but several will come into the discussion, even though this BAST specifically asks for mains. Since I like to run my mouth (so to speak), I’ll take that liberty here – I just can’t help myself.

Mushan – hunter (main) – Leatherworking, Blacksmithing

Mushan is a max level LW/BS, and each secondary profession is also maxed with the exception of Archaeology, which I’ve only ever touched on my druid (who is max level in all of her profs).

The Blacksmithing portion of that line was something that came along later – in other words, he didn’t start off as a LW/BS. Rather, he was what I believe a hunter will generally be, and that is a Skinner and Leatherworker who is also skilled in Fishing (and should also be skilled in outdoor Cooking, although that distinction is not necessarily available to us in WoW).

After I had been 85 for a while, I leveled my mage, paladin, and then my warrior to 85. The warrior is a Blacksmith and Miner, and was my first toon to reach 525 with those professions. I tend to be someone who knows the merits of each profession for the most part, but I hadn’t necessarily made the jump to ‘min-maxing’ with professions on any one character before Cataclysm. While I certainly made sure the professions themselves were maxed on my most-played toons, and I applied their benefits properly (extra +Agi to wrists for LWs, for instance), every single character had a gathering profession, which made them all fairly self-reliant.

I made Mushan a LW, even though my druid is a LW as well, for a few reasons: 1) I’m one of the three people total who actually enjoy Leatherworking (which many people view as the worst prof); 2) I feel hunters naturally gravitate toward leatherworking as a skill that complements their main job (hunting and killing prey, and then putting every part of the animal to good use); and 3) I already understood the aforementioned benefits of being a LW from a +Agi perspective.

However, after I leveled Blacksmithing on Droignon, something happened that is completely typical of me: I fell in love with the extra sockets.


I’ve always loved sockets. So much fun to be able to add whatever you want to your gear! Of course, I’ve seen people do stupid stuff with their sockets (like the max-level hunter on my server who has had a Misty Chrysoprase (+5 Crit, +4 Spirit) in one of his/her yellow sockets since 4.1, at least). And of course, for min-max purposes, there are restrictions on what you should prioritize (like Agility for hunters). Still, there’s something about socketing a gem that pleases me a little too much.

Anyway, after re-awakening to the joy of even more sockets on my warrior, I decided that I needed those sockets on my hunter.


So my hunter is a Blacksmith now instead of a Skinner. And he has +100 Agility from that now, instead of the +80 Crit or whatever you get from Skinning. And I’m very, very happy with the way all those sockets look on his armory.

I know, crazy, right?

Silly, at least.

But it also means more DPS, and I love that. Even if the fact that my hunter is a Blacksmith doesn’t make as much sense as being a Skinner – although, to be fair, a smithing-hunter is not necessarily outside the realm of possibility, when one thinks about it.

Being a BS on my hunter is one of the few things that I don’t necessarily love about my hunter from a fantasy standpoint. But I do love those extra sockets, so I’m generally glad I changed it. I don’t know how I’ll feel about that when I have to level both crafting professions up to 600, without the benefits of self-gathering, but I suppose I’ll live – and I’ll like all the extra Agility in MoP!

Anacrusa – druid (main alt) – Leatherworking, Skinning

Anacrusa was my first 70, my first 80, my first 85. But she wasn’t my first 60. That was a hunter by the name of Bloodheim, which I abandoned before Wrath came out and deleted in 2009 at the tender age of 63. At this point, I generally sucked at everything in the game, and the hunter was no exception. I hated mana as a hunter resource, hated managing it, and just didn’t enjoy the toon after a while. I eventually got used to mana when I made Mushan, but I really enjoyed the switch to focus, and have never looked back.

Anyway, Bloodheim was a LW/SK. And when I gave him up for the druid back in mid-07, I chose to make Anacrusa a LW/SK also, since I could make some of my own gear, and since I enjoy LW, as I said before. But I don’t really feel that it fits best with my character from a fantasy or story standpoint.

If my druid fit my idea of what a druid is, she would be an Herbalist first. She would plant, nurse, and harvest herbs as part of the nature concept that is a large part of druidism. I wasn’t thinking about that when I made her, though, so now she’s a bloodthirsty killer who wields skinning knife with her bloody paw.

She would also be a healer (if I were actually good at that), and she would likely be…

I don’t know that I feel that Alchemy is necessarily a great fit for any class that isn’t a warlock, priest, mage or, maybe, death knight, but I can’t think of another profession that is really better. Maybe Inscription, which is tame – you write magical glyphs and tomes and so on. Eh. But yeah, while I think that Alchemy is a great fit story-wise for mages and warlocks in particular, it can be argued that it can be an acceptable fit for classes that can heal, so from that perspective, my druid – were I to make her again – might be an Alchemist/Herbalist. However, like I said, she is a bloodthirsty killer who uses her kills to make stuff out of.

Ah well. I enjoy it, and it’s made me a lot of gold. I enjoy skinning, too. It’s nice to be able to feel like I’m using everything I take off the beasts (and yetis) that I kill.

Droignon – warrior (alt) – Blacksmithing, Mining

Yeah. This one is – while not perfect – very nice both from the standpoint that he’s a tank (extra Stam, etc.) and because he can make his own gear and weapons and harvest his own materials. Additionally, he’s a big strong warrior, so he can carry all of those rocks around with him, no problem. Love it.

Theophilos – mage (alt) – Tailoring, Jewelcrafting

If I go with what I said earlier, I would say that Theophilos should be two of the following: Enchanter, Alchemist, Scribe, Jewelcrafter, Tailor, and maybe Herbalist – in order from most fitting to least.

In reality, he’s a JC because I wanted to have a JC among my stable of toons. He’s a Tailor because that’s an easy connection to make. But if I had to choose again, and didn’t need any professions for practical purposes, for story purposes I’d make him an Enchanter/Tailor, weaving spells into cloth and vellum to make magical items for himself and others.

But it’s not a toon I’m as dedicated to, in general, as I am to the first three on this list. So practical wins out.

Abenadari – paladin (alt) – Alchemy, Herbalism

So here we are, with my paladin, who I actually created before my druid, doing the jobs that I currently envision would be most appropriate for my druid. I wouldn’t think that a paladin, beacon of light that one is, would be getting all down with nature and chemicals. If I were to choose again, I would probably make her some kind of combination of Scribe, Blacksmith, Enchanter.

But she’s my max level Alchemist, and because of that she still exists. I don’t feel like leveling Alchemy again. If I do level another Alchemist, she may go, because I don’t love playing paladins, but I don’t anticipate that happening in the foreseeable future. Besides, I would have a tough time deleting her anyway, for Transmute cooldown reasons.


At any rate, that’s probably too much info about some of the characters I play the most, their professions, why I chose them, and how well I think their professions fit with the characters themselves.

Above all, I have professions because I use them, and sometimes they fit better with the toons than others. Between my eight 85s, I have every profession covered except for Engineering and Enchanting (and my girlfriend is an Enchanter, so that’s effectively covered, too). I’ll likely get to those eventually. I have some toons – like my other hunter Ghilleadh – who are simply gatherers, because that is easy and profitable, and I have less problems with resources than I used to simply because I play those toons and gather as I go.

The only toon where I have redundant crafting professions is Mushan – since I already have a LW and a BS, seperately – and that’s because he’s also the only toon that I’ve chosen professions for based primarily on min-maxing and DPS.

But yes, if I went into the game fresh, with the knowledge I have now, I might choose my profession-toon alignment differently, because I become immersed in my characters to varying levels, and professions are certainly a part of that.

Thanks for the great Shared Topic, Effraeti!

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Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. Comments are welcome!


Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: Starstruck by someone in the WoW community

I’ve been wanting to write about a Blog Azeroth Shared Topic for a long time – since the days when I used to blog about WoW on a different blog a few years ago, actually.  But, for various reasons, I never did.  However, this week’s Shared Topic is something I’m ready and willing to talk about, particularly as this particular topic both a) resonates with me pretty deeply, and b) comes from friend and fellow blogger, Dragonray at Azerothian Life.

Dragonray’s suggestion, from Blog Azeroth:

Are you starstruck by anyone? Does someone in the community respond to a post or a tweet and get you all speechless because they actually responded? Is there anyone you are waiting to have respond directly to you? Is there someone that you would like to chat to, but are too chicken? Am I the only one who puts other bloggers on a pedestal?

Like I said above, this topic hits home with me.  As a blogger, I have, at this point, a few years of experience with blogging itself, about both WoW and other topics.  However, I am still strictly an amateur blogger, in more than one sense.  Basically, I’m both a non-pro financially and a non-pro with regard to my skill and output.

So, with that being said, here are some things that make my mid-30s, hairy male semi-nerd heart flutter…

The meta-sites

I’ve been lucky in ways that I’ve never been lucky before – and by that, I mean with previous WoW- and non-WoW blogs – with Mushan, Etc.  I’m not entirely certain why, but I’ll attempt to map out my great fortune in a way that isn’t too ponderous to read.

For a few years now, I’ve followed the Warcraft Hunters Union and the Hunting Party Podcast pretty religiously.  Occasionally, I’ve commented on Frostheim’s blog as Mushan, and have made half-assed comments in the live chat during the HPP.  Nine of ten people in those chats probably don’t recognize me in there, or know that I have a blog, but Laeleiweyn of World of Lae and the Hunterstalker page (and a diehard WHU fan like myself) was someone who took an interest in my fledgling blog, and was an early follower of my Twitter account, which was totally awesome!  From there, I eventually began to be followed by Tabana at WoW Hunters Hall, and thanks to her links, I have gotten a ton of traffic that I would have never gotten. Seriously, Tabana is responsible for the largest percentage of my page views from one source – by a long shot – given that she has spotlighted several of my posts during the past two-plus months.

And… here’s where we get to the starstruck thing.  When Tabana first linked one of my posts on WHH, I figuratively “lost my shit.”  It was an afternoon, and I had come home from an errand or walk or something, and I saw the pingback, and I was like, “Omg. O. M. G!”

I texted my friend and raid leader, Squido, with something to the effect of, “Holy shit my post got linked on WoW Hunters Hall OMG OMG!!!”  And I watched throughout the day, as I got a nice jump on the hits to my site and to that particular post, and it was one of the most exciting things that had ever happened to me as a blogger.  Since then, I’ve been linked on the WHH several more times, and each time it happens I feel a very deep gratitude to Tabana for thinking that some of the things that I write are worth sharing.

This escalated back in May when, on the eve of Diablo’s release, I wrote a post about naming cookie cutter talent builds in MoP that was graciously shared by Tabana.  Within hours after her link, I logged in to Google Reader to see that my post had been mentioned by Hugh Hancock at MMO Melting Pot.  This is what I blurted out loud (in my home, by myself) when I saw that:


I promptly thanked him for the link in a comment on his post.  But it didn’t stop there.  The next day, the discussion was picked up by the amazing Anne Stickney of WoW Insider, and… well… folks… I just about had a heart attack.  Because seriously, what little WoW blogger like me doesn’t want to be linked by WoW Insider, and Anne Stickney in particular??

I know, right?

The text I sent to Squido that I mentioned in a previous paragraph? Well, I sent him something similar after this, maybe a bit amplified, on this occasion.

So yeah, on each occasion that I was linked by something that is generally considered a meta site or a portal, I had heart palpitations and so on.  My only multiple meta site link to this point has been WHH, but any time I get some exposure for my thoughts or ideas from a site like this, it’s a good thing.

The fellow bloggers

OK, seriously?  Fellow bloggers?

Here’s the straight deal: I’m as happy as can be whenever one of the following happens (and I’m talking about bloggers here when I say “Someone”:

1) Someone puts me on his or her blogroll;

2) Someone leaves a comment on one of my posts;

3) Someone interacts with me on Twitter;

4) Someone links one of my posts on their blog or on Twitter;

5) Someone responds to one of my comments on his/her own blog;

…in no particular order.

I mean… when Lae – someone whose blog I’ve followed for a while now –  first followed me on Twitter (as mentioned above), I thought to myself, “Shit, dude. You’re already doing better than you did in 15 months of WoW blogging back at the old blog.”  Because when I was essentially a druid blogger back then… I don’t know if I just didn’t say the correct things or what, but I rarely got attention from my blogging ‘heroes’ at the time, and when I did, it took me a while.  This may be because I’ve become involved with a different set of communities (the hunter community totally rules; plus, the ‘general WoW blogger community’ as a whole is seemingly more open nowadays) than I was back then.  But – and I don’t specifically know/remember how Lae found me – having her follow my Twitter/blog was so very reaffirming.  And things grew from there.

From that point, I’ve been fortunate to have great bloggers find me via various means – including Twitter friends / retweets, the WordPress Dashboard, through WHH and WoW Insider – and I cherish everyone who has come to consider my community input as something of an equal: Erinys, Dragonray, Lae, Spencer, Rioriel, Tabana, Tzufit, Jasyla, Lilpeanut, Justin, Cymre, Aralosseien, Alyzande, Garrosh, Zanbon, and anyone else that I can’t think of at the moment.  Each time one of these great people has friended me and/or supported me in one way or another, I’ve felt proud, privileged, and – quite frankly – awed.

The in-game friends

I only have a handful of people who follow me via the at-this-point-old-school method of ‘subscribing to a blog,’ but most of them are friends and/or guildies.  Three of them that come to mind are all close friends, and I am honored that each of them follows my blog.  It feels awesome to know that Squid, Ela and Jac are all following me and taking an interest in the things that I write about.  I talk with Jac a lot about hunters, Ela a lot about raiding and lore and other games (among other things), and Squido about hunters, raiding, other classes, blog posts and resources of interest, and just about anything else.  Each of these three have been friends of mine for years at this point, and the fact that, for instance, Jac found out about my blog because he saw me comment on a different blog that we mutually – but separately – followed was pretty amazing to me.  And each of these friends and fellow raid-mates have complimented me on the blog, and that means more than I can express.

The funny thing is, I have several other WoW friends who I play with (or have played with) that I still haven’t told about the blog.  When and if I do so, I’ll be happy as all get out when/if they take an interest in the things that I have to say here.

People that I haven’t really ‘met’ yet

If the following people would ever chance to read (and respond to) my blog, I would probably… well, I don’t know what the hell I’d do:

  • Frostheim, Darkbrew, and Euripides
  • Matthew Rossi
  • Big Red Kitty
  • Big Bear Butt
  • Cynwise
  • Quel
  • Michele Morrow
  • Fimlys and/or Hydra
  • there are probably others that I can’t think of at the moment.
Not too much to be said there!

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OK, this post is winding down.  I can’t imagine that I’ve covered everyone that has made me “starstruck” with regard to the WoW blogosphere and so on.  However, I’ve covered the major points in general, and this post is getting long, so I think I’ll close.

Thanks, again, to everyone who reads this blog and finds me interesting / informative / entertaining / whatever.  I am truly honored to have each and every reader, old and new – whether you’re a fellow blogger, friend, or just an interested reader.

And thanks to all of you for giving me that ‘starstruck’ feeling by interacting with me on the blog and/or online!  Seriously – you each made me feel so blessed when you came into my blog-world!!

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Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc.  Comments are welcome!