Thursday, November 18, 2010

More Damage Via Tradeskills - Retribution Professions in Cataclysm

EDIT: Made a few updates based on corrected information. Doesn't change Profession priority.

EDIT2: Tentatively included the changes in 4.0.6 patch notes which would have an singificant effect on the value of the professions, namely changes to Bracer Enchants and the Synapse Springs Engineering Tinker.

Upon the Shattering you'll have the chance to roll a new character and experience a new adventure in Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms. Some few of you (very few I should think by now) will be levelling a brand new Paladin, and a sub-set of those will be Retribution and levelled to engage in end-game content. In this endeavour, it behoves you to choose your professions wisely and maximise your potential. To that end the following is a brief run-down of the options available to you and their relative value:

1) Leatherworking.

**** UPDATE: In 4.0.6 (build currently on the PTR servers as of 11/01) Bracer Enchants for +50 Intellect/Agility/Strength are being added to the game files. Leatherworking will be once more on a par with Blacksmithing, Inscription, Jewelcrafting, Enchanting and Alchemy. *****

Previously, Leatherworking is been somewhat overlooked by Retribution Paladins in search of more bang for their tradeskill buck. Not any more however as the profession gets four new wrist slot enhancements worth 130 of your Primary stat, with a Strength option for Plate DPS. Tanks have the option of a well-budgeted equivalent - 195 Stamina.

Budget-wise the profession isn't over-valued, it replaces level 85 Wrist Enchantments which are up to +65 in a Secondary stat. Par for other professions (which can utilise wrist enchantments) is +80 in a Primary stat, so you could even argue that it's under-budget. However given that in Ret's case Strength is worth ~100% more than Crit or Haste Rating (the best 65 Rating Enchantments) and 33% more than Hit Rating (50 Stat enchantment) Leatherworking is obviously slightly better. In fact, any class which values a Primary stat >33% more than Crit or Haste Rating will find that Leatherworking is the best profession for them.

2) Tailoring

Tailoring is at least the second best or perhaps even the best Profession to take if you're eager to maximise your DPS, it's all down to the as-yet unknown proc rate of Swordguard Embroidery Rank 2. Like Leatherworking it replaces a +65 Crit enchantment, though casters also have the option of a highly rated +50 Intellect enchantment to their cloak instead.

If this enhancement follows the mechanics of its' WotLK equivalent it will have an 45 second internal cooldown and very high proc rate, generally modelled as a 15 second up-time with 50 second cooldown. This averages to around 300AP, the equivalent of ~135 Strength, more if synchronised with cooldowns such as Avenging Wrath.

3) Blacksmithing, Enchanting, Inscription, Jewelcrafting, Alchemy.

Each of these Professions, in their own way, provide a bonus of exactly 80 Strength (or 80 of your primary stat if you're not Plate DPS). Blacksmithing allows you to add a socket to gloves and wrists for a total bonus of +40 Strength each. Enchanting has a +40 Strength Ring enchant. Inscription trades a +50 Str/+25 Crit shoulder enhancement for a +130 Str/+25 Crit one. Jewelcrafting has +67 Strength Epic gems available (the +67 is rounded up, three net you 200 Strength total). Alchemy's passive benefit of increased effectiveness for flasks grants you the extra 80 Strength when you imbibe a Flask of Titanic Strength.

Ancillary benefits, such as the ability to craft your own gear or generate gold, should therefore factor into your decision. Jewelcrafting and Inscription are without doubt the better gold generators and Inscription is just about the most interesting of the four in terms of 'other things' it can create. Enchanting doesn't really require a gathering profession to support it, making it ideal if you're rerolling fresh on a new realm. Blacksmithing in theory allows you to make what you craft, but raw materials are costly and crafted items can usually be bought from the AH anyway.

4) Engineering

*** Patch 4.0.6 features a change to the Synapse Springs tinker. It will increase your Primary Stat (Strength in Retribution's Case) by 480 for 10 Seconds (1 min cooldown) rather than Intellect, pushing Engineering from one of the worst professions for this spec to one of the best. The Engineering Tinker recipes are randomly discovered as you craft your way to 525 profession skill ***

It's not looking good for our old pal. A Primary stat boost on the order of +80 in the glove tinker slot would place it in the leagues of Leatherworking and Tailoring but only Intellect is represented. Melee DPS are lumbered with a rehash of the rocket-glove, the Tazik Shocker. Used on cooldown (every 2 minutes) it's pretty much a flat 40 DPS increase, modified slightly by Avenging Wrath. This activated ability could be boosted to a 45 second cooldown in the future to match that of the rocket-glove, so if you already have very high level Engineering (400+) it's probably worth holding out for a bit before jumping into a better profession.

There's no Nitro Boost boot tinker for Cataclysm, and using the current one has a high backfire rate outside of Raid zones. On the other hand unlike WotLK Nitro Boosts do stack with boot enchants, though they no longer have an additional 24 Crit Rating bonus.

I should probably also mention the new Engineering Goggles. This time around they're item level 359, the same as Tier 11, and have a stat budget commensurate with that. Retribution has access to the Reinforced Bio-Optic Killshades, a set of plate +Strength goggles with a Meta and two Cogwheel sockets. Cogwheels are an engineering-only gem type which feature 208 Rating of a Secondary Stat of your choice, allowing slightly better customisation though obviously reforging won't be an option. Whilst they're unlikely to be better overall than dropped Tier 11 Helms they will allow you to gear up more quickly than you otherwise would be able to if you're willing to shell out the gold on Materials. More casual players with less consistent access to raiding environments should appreciate this.

Currently Engineering is in a pretty bad way, but a Profession parse before the first major patch would hopefully alleviate much of the issue. If you're rolling a new Paladin it may be best to avoid it, especially as many of the most useful utility tinkers are being prohibited in Rated Battlegrounds.

5) Skinning, Herbalism

Maximum proficiency in Skinning grants you Master of Anatomy Rank 7 which increases your Crit Rating by 80. It's definitely not the most optimal of professions, and should probably only be taken if you intend to sate the voracious leather requirements of other characters.

Similarly Herbalism is only really suitable if you're looking to invest in herb-dependant tradeskills on other characters, primarily Alchemy and Inscription. Skilled Herbalists gain Lifeblood Rank 8, a buff granting 480 Haste rating for 20 seconds on a 2 minute cooldown.

6) Mining

Very simple. Toughness Rank 7 grants you 120 additional Stamina and is gained when you max out the Mining skill at 525. This is a profession ideal for tanks, not for DPS or Healers.


So there are your options. I certainly wouldn't beat yourself up if you don't have the two absolutely most optimal professions available to you, but if you're still using gathering professions you may want to replace it favour of the better ones.

A point to note: as we up the gear Tiers to a higher value of Gem all the professions will probably be adjusted to compensate, staying the same relative strength. On the other hand if a new range of ultra-power wrist enchants with the a high budget and utilising Primary stats is released the value of the major crafting professions could be turned on their head.

As always, choose the best fit for you, and enjoy!


Amoro 18/11/2010, 15:15  

There is also a helm with 2 cog wheel slots that is craftable by the engineer. Cog Wheels being engineer only items. Kinda like JC gems. Might wana poke into that a bit. As im not privy to the exact stats. but as I understand it brings the helm up to t11 Standards. But again, not positive

Amoro 18/11/2010, 15:18  

Found a post that expands on the Helm. Figured id let ya know :)

Suicidal Zebra 18/11/2010, 15:18  

Yeah, I probably should make a note about it. You can use it to gain a helm of T11 value, but practically speaking it's a boost to convenience rather than overall DPS in the long run.

Amoro 18/11/2010, 15:30  

This is very true. However, if your like me in Dice luck, it will end up taking about three months to upgrade that helm. And only do I get it then cuz nobody else needed it.

P.S. Your posts are awesome. Read alot of them, never commented tho due to nothing constructive to say. lol

Antigen 18/11/2010, 15:33  

I have to agree, an easily-obtainable starter helm is not an acceptable replacement for a viable endgame perk.

I really hope they rework Engineering and give us melee DPS some useful tinkers because I really don't want to see the day that every min/maxing melee is a leatherworker.

Rhidach 18/11/2010, 16:02  

I think the Nitro Boosts would stack with any enchants, since tinkers aren't considered enchants anymore. Also, I haven't seen this confirmed, but the general consensus is Nitro Boosts don't backfire in raids and probably still won't in Cata.

Suicidal Zebra 18/11/2010, 16:25  

Thanks guys, post updated. I was working off old information in the Nitro Boosts.

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