This information is preliminary, based on publically released information for the new expansion and reports from the closed beta. Information may change prior to the expansion release.

Professions

Skinning

Skinning is directly related to leatherworking, but the leather and hides produced are also needed by blacksmiths, engineers, and tailors for various projects. With a trusty Skinning Knife in hand, a skinner can retrieve leather and hides from many beasts through Azeroth. Skinning Knives can be found from Trade Suppliers and some Leatherworking Suppliers. You do not need to equip the Skinning Knife, just have it with you (NB, Skinning Knives have no durability, so they make a good fallback dagger in the event your main weapon goes red).

To skin, just kill a beast and loot it. You can't skin an unlooted mob. You can even skin someone else's kill, as long as they've looted it. When you mouse over the body, if it says "Skinnable" in the tooltip, you're set. To protect your skins from being accidentally looted by someone else, wait until all combat is complete to loot the mob, then skin each mob immediately after looting.

Skinning is the easiest of the gathering professions to level, since the resource nodes come to you (and you get xp from killing them and making them harvestable). Many of the skinnable items - especially scales - can also drop from the kill, but the drop rate is significantly lower. As a general rule, you need to have a minimum Skinning skill around (mob level x 5) to be able to skin it.

Skinning also makes certain gathering quests easier (in particular, the yeti hide quests in Feralas and Winterspring). There's a chance to get the quest item off the skinning as well as the drop, so this gives you a second chance. You can even get the quest skin off both, doubling your rate of progress.

Note that to skin The Beast, Skinning skill of 310 or better is required. Usually, this is accomplished by obtaining Finkle's Skinner (conveniently dropped by The Beast on Blackrock Spire). Since this is a dagger, paladins will be unable to equip it; paladins thus cannot use this to become an über skinner. By convention, paladins (and others without 300 Skinning) should always roll Greed for this weapon, as only a 300 Skinner who can equip the dagger will be able to skin The Beast and make his hide available to the party. The other option is to obtain the Zulian Slicer, a rare drop from High Priest Thekal in Zul'Gurub. This is a Rare quality 1H Sword (and thus the only way for paladins to reach 310 Skinning). Either the Skinner or Slicer functions also functions as a Skinning Knife, so the skinner will no longer need to carry one separately.

To skin Core Leather from the Corehounds of Molten Core, you need the Skinner or Slicer and the glove enchant.

As with all gathering professions, when grouped with other skinners, you need to agree on the loot rules for skins in advance. This is especially important for Molten Core runs, since Core Leather is a very rare commodity. Also, since you can skin kills from other players, you should make sure that the skinnable body you find is really abandoned.

Trainers

There are skinning trainers in all the capital cities as well as some of the starting zones. Ask a city guard for directions to the nearest skinning trainer. All skinning trainers are able to train up to Artisan level.

Related Items

Item Description Source
Enchant Gloves - Skinning +5 skinning skill to gloves 200 Enchanting
Finkle's Skinner Main Hand Dagger, 41.2 DPS, +10 Skinning, +45 Attack Power vs. Beasts Drop (The Beast, Upper Blackrock Spire)
Zulian Slicer 1H Sword, 44.8 DPS, +10 Skinning, +12 Attack Power, CoH: 72-96 Nature damage Drop (High Priest Thekal, Zul'Gurub)

Quests

Name Given By Description Reward
[55] Salve via Skinning Arathandris Silversky, Felwood Collect 5 Patches of Tainted Skin 2 Cenarion Plant Salve

Trade Items

Item Gathered From
Ruined Leather ScrapsL5-15 mobs
Light LeatherL5-25 mobs
Thin Kodo LeatherWild Kodos, The Barrens
Light HideL15-40 mobs
(Perfect) Deviate ScaleRaptors in Wailing Caverns
Medium LeatherL15-40 mobs
Medium HideL30-40 mobs
Black Whelp ScaleBlack Whelps, Redridge Mountains
Red Whelp ScaleRed Whelps, Wetlands
Heavy LeatherL30-40 mobs
Heavy HideL35-50 mobs
Green Whelp ScaleEmerald and Dreaming Whelps, Swamp of Sorrows
Thick LeatherL35-50 mobs
Shadowcat HideShadowmaw Panthers, Stranglethorn Vale
Shadow Panthers, Swamp of Sorrows
Thick HideL40-60 mobs
Turtle ScaleL35-50 turtle mobs
Scorpid ScaleL40-50 Scorpids, Tanaris
Worn DragonscaleScalding Whelps, Badlands, other dragonkin
Rugged LeatherL40-60 mobs
Green DragonscaleL40-55 green dragonkin mobs (Swamp of Sorrows)
Chimera LeatherL50-60 chimera mobs (Chillwinds, Winterspring and Mistwings, Azshara)
Heavy Scorpid ScaleL50-60 Scorpids, Un'Goro/Silithus
Warbear LeatherWarbears, Felwood and Winterspring
Frostsaber LeatherL56-60 Frostsabers, Winterspring
Rugged HideL50-60 mobs
Blue DragonscaleL50-60 blue dragonkin mobs (Azshara, Winterspring)
Devilsaur LeatherDevilsaurs, Un'goro Crater
Black DragonscaleL50-60 black dragonkin mobs (Blackrock Spire, Burning Steppes)
Red DragonscaleL50-60+ red dragonkin mobs (Grim Batol, Wetlands)
Brilliant Chromatic ScaleL54-L60+ chromatic dragonkin (Blackrock Spire, Blackwing Lair)
Light Silithid CarapaceL58-60+ Hive Silithids, Silithus
Silithid ChitinL58-60+ Hive Silithids, Silithus
Heavy Silithid CarapaceL58-60+ Hive Silithids, Silithus
Primal Tiger LeatherZulian Tigers, Zul'Gurub
Primal Bat LeatherBloodseeker Bats, Zul'Gurub
DreamscaleGreater Green Dragons
Pristine Hide of the BeastThe Beast, UBRS (reqs 310 Skinning)
Core LeatherCore Hounds in Molten Core (reqs ~315 Skinning)