So over the weekend I added a new profession to my repertoire! I am now the proud owner of max leatherworking, and already it's been making me some good money. Hopefully this will give me something else to blog about that's not jewelcrafting updates.
So first things first, I'd like to mention a few triumphs and hitches I ran in to while leveling LW. Unless you really want to power level your way up to max, it's not a bad idea to make stuff that actually sells or that you can profit off of. When I first started leveling LW, DEing the greens I made wasn't really viable, but depending on the cost of savage leather on your server, that is certainly something to look in to. Also, making Savage Leather from Savage Leather Scraps will work all the way to 450. This is probably the most cost effective way to get from 425 - 450, as you will be using that Savage Leather for other things. Other items you should make until green or even grey are the Blue quality Leg Armors. You can start making Scorched Leg Armor at 475, and Twilight Leg Armor at 480. Obviously this will be server dependent, but I can generally sell Twilight Leg Armor for well above the cost of mats. SLA turns green at 490, grey at 495, TLA turns green at 495, grey at 500. You can also make Heavy Savage Leather from 485 to 490 if you want to cut costs down a bit. At 500 skill, you hit a snag where all you can really make are the two cloaks, Cloak of Beasts and Cloak of War. Of course, this could be awesome if your server actually shells out money for these, but from what I've seen, they rarely sell for more than the cost of mats. You could do your Draconic Embossment from 500 - 505, but it does start out green. On the plus side, it only costs two Volatiles to do, so while you won't make any gold, you might loose a lot less than if you just made cloaks.
At 510 is when the fun starts, and you can start buying PvP gear (if you've unlocked the vendors in Twilight Higlands). Simply buy whichever piece sells best, and make them up to 525! And with that, I'll explain a bit about what pieces I've found sell well, even in the short time I've been in the PvP gear market.
From a simply theoretical standpoint, LW might be the best profession for making gold through PvP gear. While Tailoring only has two options (Cloth DPS, Cloth heals), and Blacksmithing only 3 (Plate Heals / DPS / Tanking), Leatherworking has four potential markets (Mail DPS/Heals, Leather DPS/Heals). Breaking it down further into classes, Tailoring only has 4 potential customers (Warlocks, DPS / heal Priests, and mages), BS has 7 (Tank/DPS Warriors, Paladins, DKs, and Holy Paladins), and LW has 9 class/specs they can sell gear too! (All four Druid specs, Hunters, Rogues, and the three Shaman specs). So LW has a much more diverse market to work with.
So which market to should you get in to? Ideally, you'd be able to constantly have one of each type of PvP armor that will turn a profit up in the AH. However, the start up cost of that is likely to be pretty high. I would suggest starting in with the Leather PvP gear, as it is much cheaper to craft. The leather gear only requires 10 Heavy Savage Leather plus 10 Volatiles, while the mail gear needs 8 HSL, 10 Volatiles, and 10 Blackened Dragonscales! Unless you have people who really love farming Blackened Dragonscales, I assume ten of them will cost more than two HSL.
If you're limited in what recipes you can pick up for now, I have a hunch backed up by a little bit of anecdotal evidence that Bracers might be the way to go. From what I remember, bracers were almost always one of the hardest pieces of gear to get. So it's entirely possible that plenty of PvE players will be looking to replace their crappy green bracers, but don't want to endlessly farm one heroic for them, and thus will turn to PvP gear. I've noticed that the Bloodied Leather Bracers seem to be selling better than any of the other pieces, so I might test this theory with the other bracers this week.
Ok, some last tips for making your PvP gear for even greater profit: don't buy Heavy Savage Leather! This is server dependent, of course, but on my server HSL sells for about 10g more than what it costs to make from Savage Leather (5 pieces of SL for 1 HSL), and sometimes double what it costs to make from Savage Leather Scraps! (5 SLS = 1SL, so 25 SLS = 1 HSL) Now I could have just been really lucky, but over the weekend I managed to craft maybe a hundred stacks of HSL for about 12-15g per, simply by buying an absurd amount of SLS. I don't know if there are skinning bots, but if there aren't someone really wanted to get rid of a ton of Savage Leather Scraps, and I was happy to oblige! Just a few extra tips on that; though you can craft SL from SLS through your trade skill window, you might not want to do that as its a 1.5 second cast time, and if you just "use" the SLS, it's instant. If you want to do some AFK crafting that's fine, but making HSL from SL is another 3s cast time, so you might be AFK for a while. What I did was bind a random key on one of my action bars to Shift + mouse wheel scroll up and down, and make a "/use Savage Leather Scraps" macro that I bound to that slot, and simply scrolled the mouse wheel back and forth for a bit. Makes going through a few hundred stacks of SLS very very easy. Then you just have to AFK craft the HSL, which won't be so bad.
Of course, while doing this will make the crafting costs of your PvP gear cheaper, giving you either a greater ROI or greater leeway when undercutting, it's also an excellent way to profit by itself! Just check the prices of HSL as compared to 5 SL or 25 SLS: if HSL sells for more, then convert and profit!
That's all for now. I look forward to having something else to blog about, and I hope to have some more insights into Leatherworking soon!