When I was starting out in World of Warcraft one of the reasons I picked Jewelcrafting was due to the profession bonus. My Paladin was a Draenei so he had the racial bonus Gemcutting which gave me a +10 to Jewelcrafting, which I thought was just fantastic.
Draenei aren’t the only race to get a profession bonus, in total eight races have profession related racials:
|Race||Profession (Bonus Skill)|
|Dwarf||You find additional fragments when looting archaeological finds and you can survey faster than normal archaeologists.|
|Worgen||Skinning (+15), skins faster|
|Tauren||Herbalism (+15), faster gathering speed|
|Blood Elf||Enchanting (+10)|
|Goblin||Alchemy (+15), +25% health & mana from potions|
|Pandaren||Cooking (+15), double stats from food buffs|
So immediately you see some problems here, some profession bonuses are much more powerful than others. First of all, lets talk about how the skill bonuses work.
Racial bonuses work a bit differently than when you use a bauble for fishing, or you’re carrying a Mining Pick, racial bonuses are a bit more permanent and function differently. You won’t see the buff added on to your skill like you would with the bauble or mining pick for example, rather it will show up like your regular skill would. Racial skill points work identical to regular skill points in that you can train based off your inflated score. In fact, there are only two differences between your inflated score and your base score:
- Achievements don’t count your inflated score, so if you want world first professions you won’t have any advantage over other players.
- Skill gains (Orange, Yellow, Green, Grey) depends on your base skill, not the score inflated by the racial bonus.
For those that chase realm first profession achievements what those two differences mean is that you have no advantage or disadvantage racing to get to max, the process will take just as long and just as many materials if you have the bonus or not. The only advantage this skill bonus gives is that you will potentially have access to new crafts early; just because you don’t get an achievement for hitting 600/610 doesn’t mean you can’t start crafting the endgame items at 600/610.
Profession Racial Bonuses are Useless Endgame
Here’s the problem with profession skill racials: Once you have maxed your profession, the racial is useless.
The only advantage you get from having extra skill points in a profession from a racial is when you are levelling that profession, either for the first time or at the release of a new expansion. Once you’ve hit the (un-inflated) skill cap for the current expansion, the racial becomes useless. Arguably, the racial is weak even when it’s not completely useless, the effects it has on levelling are minimal depending what profession you’re levelling, the skill bonus you get, and what prices are like on your server for key materials needed to level the profession.
The racial bonuses for most of the professions right now are so weak that they should be a non-factor when picking a race, and very low priority when deciding what professions to give your character since once you’re done levelling the racial might as well be non-existent.
There are Many Terrible Racial Bonuses in the Game
At this point I’m sure many people are thinking about how many shitty racial bonuses there are in World of Warcraft, and you raise a fair point, the racials need a drastic overhaul. However, most of the other racial bonuses at least do something for a player endgame, even if it’s near negligible. That however, could be a whole separate series of articles, and certainly a topic that would be much better served by a blogger with a broader and better understanding of races and endgame content.
How Racial Profession Bonuses Can Be Fixed
First, we need to ditch any racial that adds skill points, they are flat out useless in the WoW end game. Next, we need to look at some racial bonuses that actually do something for maxed characters:
- Dwarves survey faster and find additional archaeology fragments
- Worgens can skin faster
- Tauren can pick herbs faster
- Goblins get more health and mana from potions
- Pandaren get double the food buff
Now bonuses like the Pandaren double food buff and the Goblin extra health and mana are being balanced against other stat increasing racials, and aren’t to be compared to the other profession bonuses. Besides, both Pandaren and Goblins also get skill bonuses, to Cooking and and Engineering, respectively.
The Dwarven racial is the strongest profession racial (baring the Pandaren and Goblin we just excluded) because it increases the yield of your Archaeology finds and the speed at which you survey. Archaeology may not be a very important profession, it’s not even as useful as cooking or fishing, and you certainly won’t make gold off it, but it’s useful. The usefulness of the Worgen and Tauren racials are debatable, but I know many people swear by Tauren Druids for their herbalists. But again, they actually do something, and that’s key.
We can’t just pick apart the current system’s flaws however, we also need to provide some alternative and suggestions to improve the system. Sticking just to the professions that currently have a skill granting bonus, here are some of my suggestions. You’ll notice they follow heavily on the Worgen and Tauren theme of doing things quicker, as for this batch of suggestions I wanted to avoid anything that could drastically alter the profitability of professions.
- Draenei can cut gems faster
- Gnomes have less chance of their engineering contraptions failing
- Blood Elves can disenchant faster
- Goblins can transmute quicker
- Pandaren can cook faster
I gave Pandaren a new bonus to because the food buff bonus is a separate racial, and like I mentioned above it should be balanced against other stat granting racials. Goblins probably don’t need a new profession racial, but the extra mana and health is fairly weak, and so is my suggested faster transmutes, so I think it would balance out well.
The point here is that all these proposed bonuses would remain to be useful after you’ve finished levelling the profession. I picked these bonuses because I feel that while they would be useful, they wouldn’t be game changing, and wouldn’t cause unfair advantages. Would I like racials that would grant extra perfect cuts, more procs, and the like? Yes, so long as I could benefit from them. But that’s the kicker, profession bonuses that altered the yield of production would create too strong a bias, wouldn’t be good for the economy, and I can tell you right now Blizzard wouldn’t go for it.
So those are the two options as I see it, we either need to ditch the skill granting racial bonuses, or change them so they actually do something for endgame characters. Will Blizzard ever update the racials? Unlikely, but one can hope.