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A beginner's guide to WoW's secondary professions

We've talked about WoW's crafting and gathering professions which only leaves the game's four secondary professions left to discuss. Unlike primary professions, you can take as many secondary professions as you want, so there are no hard choices here: if it's interesting to you, take it, and if not, ignore it.

So just what are these secondary professions? Cooking, fishing, first aid, and archaeology. And, we know, these might sound a bit on the dull side -- do you really want to spend your video game time cooking? But whatever you do, don't write secondary professions off as optional or unimportant, because they can definitely come in handy for players of all types.

So let's take a look at the secondary professions and just what they can do for you.

Cooking
  • What does it do? A cook can prepare different types of food which will restore health and provide a variety of "Well Fed" buffs when eaten.
  • Do I need any gear? You'll need ingredients for each recipe (meat and fish are common), which can be found by killing beasts, fishing, or from vendors. You will also need a cooking fire to prepare meals over, which you can find in many places (like inns) or you start one yourself, wherever you are.
  • Do I get any extras? Besides easy access to the food you prepare, Azerothian chefs also have access to daily cooking quests. And, yes, we know how tedious daily quests can be, but the cooking quests found in all capitol cities are quick and easy to do. Completing your daily gives a good bit of experience, cooking skillups, reputation for the city you're doing them in, and award tokens that can be used to purchase cooking items like recipes and the fashionable Chef's Hat.
  • Why take cooking? Food buffs are convenient to have and the dailies are an easy source of experience and reputation.

Fishing
  • What does it do? Allows you to fish from any body of water you may come across, collecting fish (which you can cook or sell) as well as the occasional chest, message in a bottle, or old boot.
  • Do I need any gear? You'll need a fishing pole and a nearby pond, lake, or ocean to fish in.
  • Do I get any extras? Besides easy access to fish (which can be convenient for the Azerothian chef), fishers also have their own daily quests which, like with cooking, can be found in the capitol cities and provide experience, reputation, and skillups. Additionally, there are weekly fishing competitions -- the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza -- for you to compete in for a chance at more rewards.
  • Why take fishing? If you're trying to level cooking, fishing can be a convenient companion profession to give you materials: and you may also find some cooking recipes with useful buffs require fish to prepare. And some people find fishing a relaxing break from the leveling grind.

First Aid
  • What does it do? Allows you to create bandages and anti-venoms which can heal you. For those looking to heal themselves, bear in mind that using bandages is similar to channeling a spell: it heals in small bits over a period of time, so it can be interrupted, especially if you're in combat. Still, bandages are a nice health boost.
  • Do I need any gear? Different types of cloth are needed to craft bandages while anti-venoms require venom.
  • Do I get any extras? Just the easy access to bandages whenever you need them.
  • Why take first aid? True confession time: we said earlier in this article that you could take any secondary profession that interested you and ignore the rest, but we lied. Everyone should take first aid. Everyone. It's easy to train up and it provides you with access to healing whenever you need it without using a potion or a healing spell. Yes, even healers should take this because it gives them an easy option for mana-free healing. You may not always, or even often, need them, but they're handy to have in an emergency... and like we said, it's very easy to train.

Archaeology (Cataclysm required)
  • What does it do? Archaeologists hunt for fragments of ancient artifacts to further their studies of the history of Azeroth. Visit archaeological sites throughout the game and survey them to gather archaeology fragments and assemble them to learn lore and collect unique items. Unlike other professions, you must be level 20 to train in archaeology.
  • Do I need any gear? Only the artifacts you collect using archaeology.
  • Do I get any extras? Archaeology is the only way to find a variety of unique items, like the Fossilized Raptor mount or Clockwork Gnome companion as well as a range of epic-quality gear.
  • Why take archaeology? Archaeology can be frustrating to level, as it requires the collecting of artifacts all over the game world, but it can be a nice change of pace from the standard game... if that's what you're looking for. It also grants some experience as you go, which we certainly can't complain about. And finally, archaeology is the only way to get a number of unique items... so if you want them, the profession is a must.

Now: good luck and happy professioning!
Just because you're a newbie doesn't mean you can't bring your A-game to World of Warcraft! Visit the WoW Rookie Guide for links to everything you need to get started as a new player, from the seven things every newbie ought to know to how to get started as a healer or as a tank.

Filed under: WoW Rookie, Archaeology

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