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While leveling I always heard professions were a huge gold sink so I stayed away from them until the end of Cata, where I picked up Herbalism and Alchemy. I maxed both of those out but didn't really have a clue what to do with them when I got there, so I just wound up abandoning them in favor of mining and Jewelcrafting because it looked profitable. Shortly after that, I burnt out on the game and have just recently returned to MoP to get this guy to 90 and see what's going on in Pandaria.
All that being said, I just abandoned my Journeyman-level JC/Mining in order to try and figure out what I'm going to do to make money at the level cap, and since it took me all of two minutes to level those up if it turns out that was a mistake I'm okay with doing it again.
So, Professions forum, for an idiot with no idea of how to make bank in this game, are there any resources you can direct me to or any pieces of advice you can provide so that I can actually afford things at level 90?
JC/Alchemy are money making ones atm, once you hit 90 you have all the time in the world to start gathering mats for profession of your liking. Agreed its pain and takes a lot of time and not to mention CRZ, but you will find it profitable.
Install TradeskillMaster addon(source other forum posters) scan the AH, make an idea what is selling now etc. You will not be able to sell the items the moment you install the addon, doesnt work like that, but gives you an idea of what you should do....my two cents
The quickest and easiest way for you to start making gold at 90 will be dailies. You get gold, reputation, coins for rerolls, and valor points for gear. Beyond that, you will need to learn your servers economy and auction house.
The first thing you need to realize with making gold with your professions, is that nothing is free. So in most cases, you will be better off skipping the gathering professions and leveling dual gathering professions. Though for getting started, you might want to stick with a gathering / crafting profession combo until you are comfortable playing the AH.
Inscription, paired with herbalism, has been the most profitable crafting profession so far this expansion. Once you hit 600, you can start making scrolls of wisdom on a daily cooldown. You then convert those scrolls to DMF cards, ideally creating decks which can be traded for 476 trinkets during the DMF. The process mainly involves buying cheap end-game herbs off of the AH and milling them into ink of dreams which can be traded for starlight ink. While one of the easiest professions to level, the return on cards is constantly on the decline.
Jewelcrafting is the next big gold maker this expansion, and should overtake inscription, though there is a lot of competition. It goes with mining, prospecting mass amounts of ore for gems to be cut or fashioned into jewelry, though it is best used as a "gathering" profession for enchanting, the third biggest gold maker imo. Your best bet would be to Google the JC shuffle. While not as strong as it was in Cata, the shuffle is still quite profitable.
You could also try leveling alchemy and herbalism again, as alchemy barely edges out inscription for ease of leveling. There is some profit to be made in transmuting primal diamonds for jewelcrafters as well as rare hybrid gems if you can find cheap golden lotus. Or you could take the elixir mastery route and try turning a profit with flasks. Finally, there is potion mastery, though the market seems poor on my server.
For a new player, I would recommend avoiding the armor crafting professions. I have done well with leatherworking this expansion, but it is really a niche market. I would also start out with a "simple" auction house addon like Auctioneer. It will simplify posting your goods and researching what you might want to craft. It also comes with enchantrix for auto-prospecting, disenchanting, or milling depending on your professions. For more advanced tools, investigate Trade Skill Master, which has a steeper learning curve and the Undermine Journal website for your server.
The short answer is that alchemy/herbalism is not a bad choice for you if you have 1 character at the level cap with no idea what to do to make money. I also recommend specializing either in flasks (elixirs) or transmuting. Any economy follows the law of supply and demand. So supply raiding flasks and xmute gems or living steel for sale on the AH. I do recommend downloading an AH add on as well since the good ones will poll your AH regularly to ensure you are selling at a good price instead of posting at prices that will only guarantee your auction won't sell.
Once you have made a comfortable amount of gold you could drop herbalism for inscription. You'll need to get all your herbs from the AH, but you should be able to make the gold back with no probem.
Any profession has a few things that are in regular demand. But I'd start with the easiest to skill up and go from there.
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