The is the second part of the series on specialization vs. diversification. Feel free to check out part 1 where I talked about specialization within a profession. In this post, we will look at specializing of professions and in part 3 and part 4, we’ll cover diversification.
Specialization of professions
What this refers to, is choosing a profession or sometimes two over others. Realistically, I can think of two situations where you would need to make this choice. The first is if you only have 1 max-level character, and you are trying to decide which two profession to have maxed. The other is when you are trying to determine which professions to choose on a brand-new character.
As far as choosing only 2 max-level professions, it might seem like an easy choice – just pick the two most profitable, right? Well, I’m going to try and change your mind with 2 words. The first word is synergy. Dictionary.com defines synergy as “the cooperative action of two or more stimuli” and what this means for us is that a number of professions have more value than meets the eye. Not only do they have their own avenues of profitability, but they also enhance other professions, making them even more profitable together. Some of these synergies will seem obvious: skinning-leatherworking, mining-blacksmithing, herbalism-alchemy. Any gathering-crafting combination will generally increase your overall profitability over gathering alone. Some synnergies aren’t as obvious: alchemy – jewelcrafting, jewelcrafting-enchanting, and the big alchemy-enchanting combo of 4.0.3 (which has since been nerfed, in case you’re wondering). Essentially, any profession that provides a resource that is used by another or improves the flexibility of another profession increases its value.
This brings me to word #2: flexibility. Or, more specifically – enchanting. Or, even more specifically than that – disenchanting. One of the great things about disenchanting is that it increases the value of nearly every other crafting profession. The vast majority or items that are created while leveling a profession have little to no value – there just isn’t a lot you can do with them. The vendor price is weak, only a small portion of them get reused later on in the profession, and because they are often produced in bulk and the market is flooded with them, they usually don’t sell very well on the auction house. Now, if you disenchant it, you gain something useful again – a profession mat. Not only that, but a profession mat that will retain its value because of its minimal deposit cost.
Sold yet? One last argument I would like to propose for disenchanting is that it actually helps to combat inflation, which increases your wealth. I think I will cover this in more detail in another post, but basically, gold gets created whenever it is taken from NPCs – such as looting a mob or vendoring an item. This increases the total gold in circulation which means that yours isn’t worth as much. When you disenchant instead, and sell the mats to another player, no additional gold is created (in fact, some is usually destroyed through the 5% AH cut). Now, if your only reason for making gold is to buy something, such as epic flying, you probably don’t care, but for all the goblins out there looking to amass as much wealth as possible – inflation is a factor.
So, if you are trying to decide which profession(s) to specialize in, remember those 2 magic words: synergy and flexibility (aka. Enchanting). In part 3 and part 4 I am going to look at diversification, so don’t forget to hit up one of the subscription options to stay in the loop.