Let’s talk about the rise and fall of the First Aid Profession. In the early days of World of Warcraft, First Aid was a crucial profession for both questing and PVP. As player power increased and leveling became easier it slowly fell out of use.
At launch, the first day trainers in the main cities could only train you up to Journeyman First Aid which is the 150 skill level. You would then have to either go to Stromgarde for alliance or Dustwallow Marsh for horde to buy a manual that you can use to learn expert First Aid as well as a manual for Heavy Silk and Mageweave bandages.
To learn Artisan First Aid, you had to do a quest called Triage which is in Hammerfall Arathi Highlands for horde and the Theramore Dustwallow Marsh for alliance. The first day trainers in Ironforge and Orgrimmar had the Bread-Crumb quest to get you there. Interestingly, despite the Triage quest teaching you Artisan First Aid, it wasn’t until patch 1.2 that the guy you learn Artisan First Aid from would actually teach you Heavy Mageweave bandages, Runecloth and Heavy Runecloth bandages. So you could get Artisan First Aid at launch but you wouldn’t be able to actually get to 300 First Aid skill until patch 1.2.
When Blackwing Lair came out in patch 1.6, a new anti-venom was added and the powerful anti-venom could kill poisons up to level 60. While this wasn’t effective in PVE, as bosses were level 63, in PVP this was great. Unless you were a Rogue then it sucked as people could take your poisons off of themselves.
Later on in patch 1.8, the level requirement to do the Triage quest and learn the Artisan First Aid was decreased from level 40 down to level 35. In one of the earliest patches in Wrath of Lich King in 3.1, you no longer needed to do the Triage quest to learn Artisan First Aid. And all the bandage training was moved to trainers in major cities. Including both the ones that he taught as well as one that you’d buy from books in Stromgarde and Dustwallow Marsh. And fun fact, the Triage quest is still in the game even today, though only for tailors.
For The Burning Crusade and Wrath of Lich King there were no new anti-venoms and only two bandages of the new cloths, the base and the heavy versions. In the next two expansions, Cataclysm and Mists, they increased these to three bandages. Cataclysm added the Dense Embersilk Bandages and Mists technically had two but you can upgrade the Heavy and Windwool Bandages to cost two Windwool cloth instead of three so it was more efficient.
For the most part though, the Profession was kind of stagnant at this point. With the one big change being that the trainers and cities could now train all ranks from apprentice onwards. And the vendors who sold the manuals for horde were moved to Moonglade to be a Druid trainer. While the alliance vendor just had the manuals removed. The first interesting change of the Profession happened in Warlords of Draenor where you learn the first anti-venom the Profession had gotten since vanilla WoW. As well as an oil called the Fire Ammonite Oil, used to remove diseases and decrease the duration of any diseases applied by 50% for two minutes.
The first and only healing potion that you could make with First Aid is the Healing Tonic. Interestingly however none of these required cloth as the Profession always had. Instead they required materials gained through the fishing profession which had throughout the game’s history been more closely tied to cooking than First Aid.
Legion was the last expansion that had First Aid as a Profession but it certainly went out with the bang. It had three base bandages Silkweave bandage, Silvery Salve and the Silkweave Splint. As in Warlords of Draenor the Salve was made from fish and the Splint actually required less stone ore, the first and only mining material used in First Aid ever. However on top of these Legion also added a bunch of NPCs across the Broken Isles. And while killing enemies in the open world, you could get a note that would direct you to one of these NPCs. And you would then have to heal them with a specific First Aid ability you gained. And if you got the notes and saved all the NPCs, you got an achievement which awarded the title Field Medic. A great title choice for healers everywhere.
Then in the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch the Profession was removed as a secondary profession. With all the items it created being moved over to Tailoring and Alchemy. First Aid was originally a way for all classes to have some kind of healing ability. Then when the game evolved to a point where everyone already had some kind of healing ability and they refused to remove the restrictions on actually using First Aid. It kind of just became redundant and that’s why they decided to just remove it but they didn’t want to have to actually remove everything in the game associated with First Aid. So they just moved those over to two existing Professions.