When I'm interested in leveling a profession, I usually hit the profession guides at The Noob School. Yeah, they advertise their own gold making guide, but it's not too in-your-face... and the advice they give for leveling professions is generally pretty decent. I don't follow their advice 100% (or even 50%, really), but I can at least look over their info and say "Hmm, my tailoring is at 230 - I should be making some of those higher-end mageweave pieces."
Ironically, their tailoring guide is still a work in progress, so I ended up having to get my tailoring information from wowalism instead. Same caveats about that site as for NS. I'd use the NS guide if it were available, though. I just like their style a bit more.
One of the particularly nice things about their guides is that they give you an idea of how much of a certain material you'll need for your leveling. So: let's start by assuming that you've got a character with a 450 tailoring that's been sitting around for the last month or so. Now that you're determined to get his/her skill to 525, what's it going to cost you?
Roughly speaking (there are a couple of alternatives at differatn points), you're looking at the following:
- 100 eternium thread - a relative pittance at 240g.
- 75 volatile fire - at 25g each, that's 1,875g total
- 365 bolts of embersilk cloth - or, rather, 1825 pieces of cloth; at 5g each, that's 9125g.
Ouch. Yes, you will sell some crafted items to make back some of that gold; and as a tailor, if you're leveling through the Cataclysm zones, you'll scrape up some embersilk cloth here and there. Keep in mind that those materials aren't free, though. There's zero difference between farming 1000g and spending it on embersilk cloth, and farming up 1000g worth of embersilk yourself... either way, at the end of the day, you've got 1000g less than you could have had, and instead opted to have 1000g worth of embersilk instead.
Let's do some similar calculations for a couple of other professions, then: blacksmithing, engineering and jewlcrafting, all of which are pretty widely regarded as being money sinks. We'll keep the same starting conditions - 450 skill today - and see how much it would cost to buy the materials needed to level to 525.
This includes the 60 elementium bars you'll need to purchase the high-level blacksmithing recipies needed to get from 510 to 525.
- 166 obsidium bars - 342 ore @ 4g = 1368g
- 354 elementium bars - 708 ore @ 6g = 4248g
- 120 volatile earth - @ 15g = 1800g
- 8 volatile fire - @ 25g = 400g
- 144 volatile water - @ 18g = 2592g
Total? 10,408g - only slightly less expensive than tailoring.
Since you purchase recipes using tokens from the JC daily, and each of those tokens can be used to purchase a Chimera's Eye, I used the cost of an CE to determine the value of a JC token.
- 45 jewler's settings - @1.50 ~= 68g
- 34 hessonite - @18 g = 612g
- 39 carnelian - @ 20g = 780g
- 55 nightstone - @ 65g = 3575g
- 15 zephyrite - @ 19g = 285g
- 15 jasper - @ 18g = 270g
- 15 alicite - @ 15g = 225g
- 25 shadowspirit diamonds = @ 200g = 5000g
- 4 JC tokens - @450g = 1800g
Total? 12,615g. More expensive than tailoring, but the majority of that cost is the large number of meta gems you'll need to obtain. Oh, and if you're going to purchase a couple of uncommon gem cuts along the way and use them to level your skill, tack on another 1500g - 3000g.
Enough for tonight! I'll look at engineering, alchemy, and inscription tomorrow.