Last Friday we got our first two Illustrious professions activated in the Beta. I've already previewed the new Cooking recipes, so today I wanted to actually tackle some leveling in First Aid. I think we can all agree that First Aid isn't terribly exciting, but we all need and use it. In WotLK it was a bit of a challenge to level up, due to the low drop rate of frostweave in the early zones of Northrend. Because of this I definitely wanted to scope out First Aid and see what challenges we might run into.
The first thing I noticed when visiting the trainer is that the Heavy Frostweave bandage is green in my Tradeskill window. I'm currently sitting at 450 skill, so heavy frostweave bandages aren't going to be a strong leveling option. When you learn the first Embersilk bandage, it will be yellow to you at 450. It looks like it's actually a 425 skill recipe, so that makes a certain amount of sense. It appears to have around an 80% skill-up rate through the first 15 points of leveling. This recipe turns green at 467 but we need to reach 475 for the next recipe. So you'll be slogging through another 7 skill points to unlock the next bandage. It took me about 23 more bandages to hit 475, not great but not horrible either.
The good news is that the Heavy Embersilk bandage is orange when you learn it, so we should get some good mileage out of that. The heavy bandage turns yellow at 485. I'm not going to level my FA any further than that, I need to conserve my cloth for Tailoring. But the Heavy bandage will have to see you all the way to 525 in order to unlock the Dense bandage. I'm assuming you'll be able to eek another 10-15 points from the recipe before it turns green. It's very likely that we'll have to crank out the last 10-20 points on this recipe at green status. Wowhead seems to be backing this assumption up with their datamined information.
I'll try to run this process again later in the Beta, just to be certain it's the same. I'll probably wait until after I tackle Tailoring, since that's a higher priority than First Aid. I think the good news here is that all of our bandage recipes are trainable (no more farming book drops). The other big plus coming is First Aid is the third bandage which will give us a huge boost for solo healing ability. Also, I'm getting a much better drop rate on embersilk cloth than I did frostweave in the WotLK beta. By the time you get to Deepholm it's not uncommon to have 2-3 cloth drop from a mob. I've even had 4 cloth drop from mobs on occasion!
Just to throw some health numbers at you, my Cata hunter just dinged 83 last night. I've only replace five pieces of the Tier 10 gear they gave me, but my health is sitting at 42199. If I swap out all of the epics for quest gear I've collected, my health jumps to over 45k. I'm not gonna do that just yet - I'm not quite ready to break up my set bonuses. But it gives you some idea of what our health pools will look like after we switch to Cataclysm gear.