We had a nice little grind session yesterday and the alt is a mere 10 bars from 70. I expect to have some PvP war stories when I get back from this upcoming long weekend/vacation. My goal is to get to ~1700 with nothing but Rep, AH and craftable gear, buying no PvP honor/arena gear except the 20 resilience PvP trinket (ok, maybe some arena gear if I can get it fast enough). If anything, Shadowform will help me hide my lack of gear and resilience. We'll see if it's possible.
The other goal is to define the two most beneficial professions for Arena/BG PvP with WotLK.
Here's the way I see it (Referencing Banana Shoulders' info post):
Gathering professions (Herbalism, Mining, Skinning) Not an Option
Both my characters can heal and if a 2k hot is going to make or break my game, I'm doing something wrong. Although, the ground blooming with flowers upon activation is definitely a nice touch. Mining's 500 HP and Skinning's half of a percent of crit rating are equally negligible.
Armor professions (Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, Tailoring): Largely Uninteresting
-Leatherworking seems to be the least impressive, as the BoP/BoE gear seems to be pretty much replaceable. The bracer enchants are purely stat boosts, as are the leg enchants.
-Blacksmithing doesn't seem to be much of an option either as its primary product isn't usable by either of my classes, so the added sockets would only provide a stat boost. If (and only if) blacksmiths are granted the ability of adding another meta gem, would I consider going that route on either character.
-Tailoring seems as interesting as the other armor professions with the stat boosts from BoP spellthreads, but the two caster cloak enchants do add a bit of RNG to the mix. Darkglow is a mana return proc, a la Insightful Earthstorm Diamond and we've seen the popularity of that meta gem. Lightweave is a damage proc (1-1.2k holy damage) that could either add burst or keep people in combat. It's definitely something to look into.
Gear/ability improvement professions (Enchanting, Jewelcrafting, Inscription, Engineering): Moderately Interesting to Very Interesting
-Enchanting's new claim to fame, aside from the BoP ring enchants, are their upgradeable wands. I can't imagine a wand getting upgraded to the point that it has as much impact as Stormherald has had, and as such, will assume it will maintain its role as a stat stick.
-Jewelcrafting has some new trinkets that look vaguely familiar to the initial set of JC trinkets (i.e. Golden Hare, Jade Owl) in terms of trinket cooldown. I'm assuming later sets of trinkets will have shorter cooldowns and greater effects (ex: Talasite Owl vs Seaspray Albatross). The added gems sockets are nice, especially for meeting meta requirements or to accommodate for lost stats due to use of the JC trinket. The JC only gems are the stat boost that's pretty equivalent to other professions' stat boosts.
-Inscription seems lackluster with scribe only shoulder enchants and offhands. Pure stat boost without much else. Without the rumored extra glyph slot, this profession doesn't have any allure.
-Engineering has its usual array of gadgets and gizmos, but instead of creating specific gear to accomplish a function, its gone all 'enchanting' on us and now provides 'enchants' to gear. Two such 'enchants' stand out for me: Hyperspeed Accelerators (glove) and Nitro Boosts (boots). The Hyperspeed Accelerators provide a 10% haste buff every 2 minutes, which should stack with whatever other passive haste gear you already have. I'm not sure if it will stack with other 'on use' talents or abilities, but even if it doesn't, its a pretty nice boost for both DPS and Healing. The Nitro Boosts aren't as game breaking as the now-banned-from-arena Rocket boots (300% speed increase), but even at a 70% speed boost, matching a sprinting rogue shouldn't be too bad (just hope it doesn't backfire). Hopefully there is going to be a nice caster meta that has run speed built into it.
Other professions (Alchemy) Moderately Interesting
-Alchemy is inherently disadvantaged when talking about the arenas as its primary output is something that isn't allowed. However, the good thing is that WotLK is introducing Endless potions that can be used in the arena. The bad thing, is that they heal or provide mana in such tiny amounts that it's pretty much a joke. 1680-2160 health and/or 400-600 mana back from an Endless potion? Right. Combined with one of the new alchemist stone trinkets and its 40% potion bonus effect, and you're looking at 2352-3024 health and/or 560-840 mana back. Actually, its not bad. But woe is you (unless you're character race is Human) if you want to use any other trinket but the Alchemist stones (i.e. Burst trinkets or Battlemaster's).
So, what are my profession plans?
Well, I intend to keep my Druid as a Jewelcrafter for the money making aspect and for the new trinkets (I actually like the Seaspray Albatross line), but Enchanting doesn't seem to be that big of a draw. I will likely keep Enchanting just for the Disenchanting ability, until I can spot some trends of other top druids. Extra stats may be the key to RestoDruid longevity in WotLK, so 2 stat boosting professions may be the way to go.
My alt Priest will likely keep Tailoring, but most likely drop Jewelcrafting once WotLK hits (I love my Brilliant Glass), upon which she will take Engineering. With Imp Shadowform granting Fade the ability to remove all snares, it's likely that the Nitro Boosts will actually come in handy. If I decide to go healspec, the Hyperspeed Accelerators will help me with Manaburn. Either way, should be fun!
I'm definitely looking forward to the long weekend, and remember to be safe! Don't do anything Columbus wouldn't do. Also, get your Arena games done soon if you're going out of town!