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MMORPG.com WoW Correspondent Hylton Buijs writes this look at what professions can contribute to raids in Blizzard's World of Warcraft.
As raids become more and more based on the work you do outside of them, so have professions expanded to increase their usefulness. In 'vanilla' World of Warcraft, professions were just a means to an end, and their actual usefulness was pretty mediocre at best. Few professions actually helped every class as well as they should, and they were difficult to level up (as they should be). Only the gathering professions were actual money-makers, along with enchanting, which everyone needed to use if they were planning on being a serious raider.
Those days were a simpler time, really: the professions you chose were the professions your class needed. Druids and Rogues tended toward Leatherworking and Skinning, while the Warriors and Paladins tended toward Mining and Blacksmithing. Few people actually stepped out of these well-worn norms. One of the main problems with the original professions was a lack of real usefulness in raiding. By your second run in Molten Core, you would already have realised how quickly getting items could be, and more often than not, there were better items in places like Stratholme or Upper Blackrock Spire, which only took a few runs to get.
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