WoW Cataclysm Primer

What Are Professions

  • Primary Professions
  • Secondary Professions

The New Profession and Ability

  • Archaeology
  • Reforging

Primary Profession Update

  • Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, and Tailoring
  • Alchemy
  • Enchanting
  • Engineering
  • Inscription
  • Jewelcrafting
  • Herbalism, Skinning, and Mining

Secondary Profession Update

  • Cooking
  • First-Aid
  • Fishing




World of Warcraft is a massively multi-player online role-playing game that was created by Blizzard Entertainment as a pseudo-sequel to its famous PC strategy series, Warcraft. Since its release in 2004, Blizzard has released a couple of WoW expansion packs; The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King. After the defeat of the Lich King, Cataclysm continues the saga as the third World of Warcraft expansion pack.

Blizzard has been teasing its players with new and exciting updates to characters, skills, and professions. Whether earning your very first batch of WoW gold in Cataclysm or unlocking the expansion's new loot and rewards, Epictoon's Cataclysm Profession primer will help gear you up for the World of Warcraft.

What Are Professions?

In World of Warcraft, a profession is a set of trainable trade oriented skills that a player uses to gather, create, or enhance various items used in the game. Professions play an integral role in a character's growth and are important in the world's economy, either for WoW gold or as personal supplies. Most professions require recipes, which can be bought or found, to create certain materials.

Professions have two main categories: primary and secondary. Each player is allowed to have only two of any primary professions while all secondary professions can be learned. There are three types of professions: gathering, production, and service.

Primary Professions:

  • Alchemy - A production profession of mixing herbs to produce potions.
  • Blacksmithing - A production profession using metal bars for weapon and armor creation.
  • Enchanting - A service profession using magical formulae to enhance weapons and armor.
  • Engineering - A fun production profession used to create scopes, bombs, etc.
  • Herbalism - A gathering profession of harvesting herbs for alchemic/inscription purposes.
  • Inscription - A service profession that allows the enhancement of abilities and spells.
  • Jewelcrafting - A production profession of creating jewelry from metals and rare gems. 
  • Leatherworking - A production profession of making leather/hide armor using animal skin.
  • Mining - A gathering profession allowing the extraction of ores from metal veins.
  • Skinning - A gathering profession involving skinning of animals for fur and hide.
  • Tailoring - A production profession of weaving cloth into armor, bags, etc.

Secondary Professions:

  • Cooking - A production profession involving cooking dishes with healing/various properties.
  • First-Aid - A service profession teaching bandage making to heal one's self or another.
  • Fishing - A gathering profession that involves a fishing mini-game.

The New Profession and Ability:

In Cataclysm, World of Warcraft introduces a new secondary profession and an important addition to the existing primary professions.

Archaeology - Joining the secondary professions, archaeology is a gathering profession that specializes in the collection of artifacts that were unearthed by the cataclysm in Azeroth. 

Each artifact, which can be a troll relic or a map fragment, can uncover the hidden stories of the past. When analyzed and deciphered, these may give clues to finding a valuable treasure cache or a bigger, even more priceless artifact. These artifacts are highly sought after by the Archaeology Society as they pay World of Warcraft gold and other items in exchange for them.

Those who have mastered the profession of archaeology can find Titan Artifacts and unlock a special currency that is used to further the growth and customization of a player's character.

  • Archaeology tracking will allow you to find artifacts yet retain the original "tracking" that you have activated such as mining, herbalism, etc.
  • Each artifact is not deposited into a player's inventory but is placed in an artifact journal. 
  • Once placed in the artifact journal, the artifact has to be studied to unlock its rewards, items, vanity pets, etc. A mini-quest will have to be completed before the reward is redeemed.
  • In order to forward a player's character's growth in Cataclysm, archaeology leveling must be pursued as Titan Artifacts are Ancient Glyphs that are used by the Path of the Titans (Cataclym's new form of character leveling that involves Ancient Glyphs).

Reforging - Reforging allows players to customize the stat bonuses found in items produced by jewelcrafters, engineers, tailors, blacksmiths and leatherworkers. Each profession will have the capability to slightly modify the current stats of a "forged" item, allowing them to "reforge" it with new statistics.

For example, a blacksmith may be able to change the statistics of one's weapon/armor (reduce an unneeded stat bonus for a more usable one) to make it more efficient in raids, PVPs, or other specialized uses.

  • Statistics already included in the piece cannot be changed but creation is possible with a new reforging "point" system.
  • Reforging will not affect "on use" or passive effects such as those found on Trinkets and Ranged, but the alteration of stats is still possible.

Primary Profession Update:

Cataclysm introduces a whole new batch of changes for its primary professions. To make things easier and flexible, profession-specific items have been removed as most of the specialized items can now be used by anyone in WoW.  Many of the professions have been updated with new dailies and rewards such as vanity pets.

Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, and Tailoring

  • The major change in these professions is the random stats given when producing green (or blue) items. Two statistics will be set while the other two will be randomly given. This is allows a mix-up in creating these items so that no two pieces in a batch of ten will be exactly the same.
  • The materials required to create an item is directly proportional to the item skill-up. If a recipe takes two times the materials, then, the item will give you two skill-ups.
  • Specializations have been removed from these three professions allowing the items to be used by anyone.
  • Each of these professions will have their own sets of starter PVP gear, which will be upgraded every season.
  • For high-level tailoring, a new type of cloth can be weaved through five different recipes, with different sets of materials and a long cool down.


  • The new elixirs will be 75% as strong as flasks. This allows stacking of total statistic points. Two elixirs will add two stacks of stats, yet flasks will still be the best at single offensive/defensive statistics.
  • All potions and elixirs will use the same basic vial type but flasks will still use a fancy vial.
  • A new Alchemist stone is introduced as well as a new Mysterious Potion that restores HP and mana, or may produce the results of another potion, randomly. 
  • The minimum amount of HP and mana gained is scaled upwards by the Alchemy Skill, making it a choice for alchemists to keep as personal supplies.


  • Materials needed for more recipes are moderate in requirement, yet high-end recipes will need larger quantities. This is to make leveling recipes more consistent.
  • A new vanity pet will be introduced.
  • Preview of weapon enchantment:
    • Avalanche - Chance to deal Nature damage on melee hit/spill hit.
    • Elemental Slayer - Deals devastating damage to elemental spawn.
    • Heartsong - Mana regeneration through statistic increase in Spirit when chain-casting.


  • Creation of powerful mechanical bows and crossbows will be available.
  • New toys, explosives, as well as new vanity pets will be introduced.
  • Engineering will retain its unpredictable nature but can lean towards earning WoW gold.


  • Existing glyphs will be updated due to Cataclysm class changes. Minor glyphs will be upgraded for balance throughout all classes. New Major glyphs remain to be unseen.
  • New Darkmoon Cards will be introduced as well as new off-hand and relic recipes.


  • Gem colors have changed: Hit is now blue. Mastery and Dodge are yellow. Intellect is now red.
  • New cuts will be added for the new Mastery statistics.
  • New Cataclysm jewelry recipes will have random properties and a random chance of producing superior and epic versions.
  • New dailies and vanity items (fist weapons, rhinestone sunglasses, and sprinkle-on stardust) will be introduced as well.

Herbalism, Skinning, and Mining

  • All Cataclysm herbs can contain Volatile Life which will be used for high-level class flask creation instead of a Cataclysm Lotus equivalent.
  • Preview of new items:
    • "Heartblossom - Named for its deep red color…"
    • Savage Leather - The basic Cataclysm leather which takes six pieces to be converted to Heavy Savage Leather.
    • Pristine Hide - The rare Cataclysm hide which can be found when skinning killed creatures or be created from Heavy Savage Leather.
    • Obsidian - The new common mineral found in Cataclysm veins. May contain gems, Volatile Fire, and Volatile Shadow.
    • Elementium - The new uncommon mineral in Cataclysm. May contain gems, Volatile Fire, Volatile Water, or Volatile Earth.
    • Pyrite - The new rare mineral in Cataclysm which may contain gems and Volatile Fire.
    • Elementium Ingot and Hardened Elementium Bar - The new names of the Previous Elementium Ore and Bar used for classic quests.

Secondary Professions Update:

The secondary professions will see updates as well. New quests and dailies will be added to the secondary professions.


  • New daily quests and fun recipes.
  • New quests will work similarly to the old quests of collecting materials near the quest giver.


  • Three new bandages will be introduced.
  • The casting time for first-aid will be shortened and will put a heal over time effect on its target for 8 seconds. This effect will be break when target is damaged or attacked.
  • Bandage preview:
    • Dense Embersilk Bandage - "Heals for 34,800 over 8 seconds. Requires 3 Embersilk to create."


  • New dailies will be introduced. New types of fish will be caught as well.
  • Fish will still be used to make premium food.

These updates and changes are in accordance to Blizzard's most recent posts, previews, and teasers about the Cataclysm expansion pack. The information stated here is not definite and is still subject to change as Cataclysm is in its beta phase. Updates will be provided as soon as they are available.

Thank you for reading and good luck as you look forward to earning World of Warcraft gold or chasing after the new Cataclysm rank of "Illustrious Grand Master"!


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