Friday, January 18, 2008

Secondary Skills

We've talked about skills for various classes. Today, I'd like to touch on each of the secondary skills. You know, the ones everyone can learn in addition to the two primary trade skills you're allowed. I'm talking about cooking, fishing and first aid.

Let's start with first aid. There is no reason for any character to not learn first aid. Yes, it takes cloth. Yes, the cloth resources may be stretched if you're also leveling tailoring as one of your primary skills. However, it's my belief that there will be (nearly) enough cloth drops from mobs you kill to support both first aid and tailoring. But, I hear you say, why should I learn first aid on my class that can heal? Priests, paladins, shamans and druids can all heal themselves. But I know I've been in situations where I was totally out of mana, in combat and had time to bandage. What I didn't have was the mana to finish the mob and heal myself. Most of those classes have ways to put a single mob out of commission long enough to get a few ticks in from a bandage. Stuns, fears, and roots can handle that job nicely. I think the taunt totem would also allow you a few ticks of bandaging. And sometimes in an instance, a bandage will serve any of those classes well. Please don't ignore first aid. As a tip, you can use some bandages before you can make them. Wowwiki has a nice chart, so if you have other characters that can make bandages and "outgrow" something they've made, consider sending them to a lower level alt who can benefit from the bandage before it can be manufactured.

Cooking also is something that I think everyone should learn. I find a total of 26 cooking recipes that are quest rewards. These quests are likely going to be in your leveling chain anyway as you level. Additionally, many mobs will drop items that can be cooked. Most of the time, I do not "cook in the field." I collect the bits & pieces as I quest and when I'm back in town I hit up the (usually) handy trade vendor, buy the spices I need, find a fire and cook up everything I have. Rarely will there be no fire (or cookpot or stove) handy. In those cases I often carry a stack of wood and flint & tinder. Just in case. The last couple of times I've leveled a character, I found it very easy to keep up with cooking. There is a pronounced deadspot around 270 where nothing you can cook will come from drops. You'll have to fish. This is supposed to be fixed in the next patch, but for now you need some fish to get to 300. From 300 on it's easy. For those of you that have leveled fishing, there's currently a market for fish to get you to 300. I got all of mine from Azshara. Tip for fisherman who want to make some gold. And past 300, some of the easiest to acquire buffs in the game come from eating cooked food. And things like Golden Fishsticks or Ravager Dog also sell pretty well on the auction house.

This leads us to fishing. I do not recommend leveling fishing "as you level." I find that fishing takes too long to make significant gains while I'm focused on leveling my character. I usually get fishing to 75-ish and then carry my pole with me. Whenever I'm waiting on a party member or a boat, I fish. It never seems to go up fast enough. This is definitely a skill that I tend to level post 70. However, keeping fishing in line with cooking will make the cooking even easier to level.


kestrelsaerie said...

I had a long comment all set to respond here...but then it developed into an essay. Suffice to say, too many people don't have First Aid.

Rant to follow over at my place. :)

Pike said...

As I said over at Kestrel's place, I LOVE First Aid.

I like cooking and fishing too... but I still have to work on those. My First Aid has been maxed since level 62 or something.

Ratshag said...

The one comment I has on fishing as you is that it were real hard to get me cooking from about 275 to 300 without the fish recipes. Had to cook A Lot of monster omlets. Anyone know if this still be the case?

Learn first aid! Use it! Max it out!

kestrelsaerie said...

Ratty, it probably is. But my Hunter got there just fine without fishing (okay, it was a struggle), and my Priest had someone do the fishing for him. But the real cool thing is going from...I dunno, 300? 325? to 375 just by doing the daily cooking quests!

Daddy Gamer said...

FA is a must.

But both cooking and fishing are real time sinks. If you have lot of time - do them. Else don't.

Especially since doing a daily nets you 11g wich is 2-4 stacks of high grade food. And takes significantly less time than hunting cooking.

Plus fishing and cooking tends to fill them bags of yours pretty quickly... =D