In WoW, professions provide different activities for players. If you get tired of farming and killing, you can turn to trade skills for a change in scenery. Sure, not all players like crafting and gathering, but it does break the monotony of combat.
Herbalism is one such profession, specifically a gathering one. You can't craft things without materials or ingredients, right? Those come from gathering vocations, though you can also buy them off the Auction House if you have the gold. Otherwise, you'll be out there in the wild, picking up flowers and herbs or mining for ore.
Herbalism deals with gathering plants for use in Alchemy and Inscription. Both of those professions are a good pair with this one. With that, you collect your materials for crafting potions or various enchantments. Alchemy might edge out Inscription in terms of investments and profits, though. Since its product is consumable, there's always demand as supplies run out.
How to Gain the Herbalism Profession
At level 5, you can choose your first profession. Head to the nearest Herbalism Trainer in a town to learn it. If you can't find them, you can ask a guard to mark the NPC's location for you.
For gathering professions, an early start is a critical step. This lets you start gathering herbs early to level up and build a stockpile of the stuff. By the time you get to the meat of your crafting, you don't have to collect as much as if you started later. You'll also be actively looking for nodes, so you'll have a bit of instinct for the locations of these herb collection points.
Leveling Up Herbalism
To level up Herbalism, you need to note the node's color. It will indicate whether you can gain experience from collecting it or not.
If the node is:
- Red, you don't have the required level to collect it
- Orange, you'll gain experience 100% of the time
- Yellow, there's a high chance you get EXP by gathering it
- Green, there's a low chance you get XP when harvesting
- Grey, you don't get experience at all
You'll only need to collect orange to green-colored nodes to level up Herbalism. As you grow stronger in levels, you'll also open new areas with new herbs to harvest. If you want to level up the profession, you'll stay in a location to wring out the most experience possible.
There are level milestones at 75, 150, and 225. When you reach those numbers, go back to the trainer for the next training step as an Herbalist. Otherwise, you'll be wasting experience because your level won't increase before talking to a trainer.
For a fast track to leveling, here is a path you can follow:
- 1-50: Peacebloom and Silverleaf
- 51-75: Earthroot and Mageroyal
- 76-100: Briarthorn
- 101-115: Bruiseweed
- 116-125: Wild Steelbloom
- 126-160: Kingsblood
- 161-185: Fadeleaf
- 186-205: Khadgar's Whisker
- 206-230: Firebloom
- 231-250: Sungrass
- 251-270: Gromsblood
- 271-285: Dreamfoil
- 286-300: Plaguebloom
You can deviate and collect other herbs. This isn't a rigid guide you have to follow to the letter. Harvesting whatever nodes you come across as you travel is also a valid method, even if it's slower. It's not a race so level up at your leisure.
Classes and Races for Herbalism
Some classes and races have an advantage over others in making the most of the profession. A Tauren Druid is the best combination you can use for it. The race has a bonus to Herbalism, giving a 15-point headstart to the vocation. As for the Druid part, the class's shapeshifting abilities let players collect nodes without dismounting a ride.
Since Alchemy is part and parcel of the profession, classes with an affinity with it will also benefit from Herbalism. Mages and Warlocks are an example. They need the various potions Alchemy provides, so taking Herbalism lets them supply their concoctions. They can save a lot of gold this way and sometimes even earn a profit.
Lastly, Rogues need some herbs for some of their abilities, making Herbalism a convenient choice to produce resources for it.
The WoW Retail wiki notes that bonus points in the profession may mess up the coloration of nodes. That sometimes means earning XP on a greyed-out collection area is possible. Similarly, it might mean that some orange-colored nodes are not available to you yet. While it may have been fixed in Classic, it's still worth noting and trying out. Using a Tauren or specific Herbalism points-improving equipment is the main culprit of this bug.
You can plan the potions or inscriptions you want to make and/or sell and focus on gathering the herbs for those. That is when you come across them in your journey. Stay awhile in that area and pick as much as possible so you don't have to do the bulk of it later.
Alchemy and Inscription are the only professions that could pair well with Herbalism. You can also have two gathering professions if you want to supply the crafters of the server. It could be a profitable system if you don't prefer making products yourself. As mentioned above, potions are always in demand because they are used in raids and other activities. That also means there's a constant demand for herbs and tinctures.
You won't need any supplies or equipment to start gathering herbs, though there is one exception. If you're harvesting Bloodvine, you'll need a Blood Scythe. Otherwise, you can collect any of the available herbs as you are.
If you can, get an Herb Bag with a dedicated inventory for your profession. Your herbs won't be scattered across several bags. Herbalists can buy one from the trainers, but bigger ones must come from a Tailoring friend or through the Auction House.
Go Out and Gather Herbs
Whether you're an aspiring Alchemist or just want to profit from gathering herbs, Herbalism is an excellent profession to take up. You have everything you need to know about it, so there's no reason not to put it into practice. Unless it's not your type of activity, in which case you should check out our other WoW profession guides.
Have fun playing WoW Classic!