P3P’s Idiot’s Guide to Stocking Up for Cataclysm
One of my favorite non-WoW authors is Bill Simmons, a sports columnist for ESPN.com. He has developed a number of internet memes for his writing, and one of my favorites is his “Idiot’s Guide” series. So, in Bill Simmons style, I present to you, dear reader, P3P’s Idiot’s Guide to Stocking Up for Cataclysm.
Q: What is an Idiot’s Guide? How does it work?
A: It’s a method for me, the blogger, to tackle a topic by writing fake questions and then answering them. I write, you read, and we all win.
Q: Is it time to start stocking up for Cataclysm? Already!?
A: A few posts ago, I said it was too early to start stocking up for Cataclysm. However, I’ve been rethinking that position a little bit over the past few days. Maybe it is time to start stocking up.
A: Timing. We don’t know when Cataclysm will be released. However, Blizzard did say (at BlizzCon 2009) that Cataclysm would be released before the next Blizzcon. We know when that will happen- BlizzCon 2010 happens this October 22 and 23. Starcraft 2 will be released July 27 of this year. I’m going to guess that Cataclysm will be out sometime in September.
(Just as an aside, until BlizzCon was announced, I was sure that Cataclysm would hit in mid-November. Why? Because Blizz did great with the WotLK release in November 2008. They released it ahead of school and work holidays, and it was on shelves everywhere ahead of the gift-giving season. But, the BlizzCon announcement changes everything.)
ANYWAY, since it seems like Cataclysm will be released earlier than I thought, it is time to start at least considering what to stock up on. Maybe you want to start, maybe not, but let’s at least talk about it.
Q: What do I need to think about before I start actually buying stuff?
A: Let’s start with the 800 lb. gorilla in the room- specifically, we don’t know what professions are going to be like in Cataclysm. We know that professions are changing, but we do not have specifics of how they will change. And this is a huge problem when you’re trying to stock up. Anything could happen. Could rare-spawns (truesilver, gold, etc.) become obsolete for leveling? Yes. Could Thorium disappear completely? Yes, it could. Could Blizzard implement a holiday that will allow you to power level a profession to 300 at almost no cost? Yep, although that seems unlikely Yep, and it’s already happened. I can’t say what is likely, but certainly anything is possible. Cataclysm is blowing the old world up, and no option is off the table.
Q: Yikes! So basically, everything we know is out the window. How can I plan? Is nothing sacred?!
A: While the old world is blowing up, it looks like the Burning Crusade (TBC) content will be left alone. This seems to be mostly a practical consideration- Blizzard needs people to buy expansions, and they don’t seem to be in the mood to re-do the Outland as well old Azeroth. While professions may change in Outland (remember, nothing is sacred), there doesn’t seem to be the same necessity to “fix” the Outland levels (301-350/375) of professions. If leveling professions in vanilla is currently broken (ie: frequency of choke points, scarcity of materials, cost of materials, etc.) then TBC-level professions are largely okay. Leveling them can be expensive, but generally is possible. Blizzard seems to have followed the TBC model in WotLK (leveling the profession with common materials to maximum level; rare-spawn materials for the endgame content of that expansion).
Q: So what?
A: So what?! So, you can expect more congruency from TBC content than from vanilla, which means you can plan around it! TBC raw materials are currently some of the best materials to farm in the game. Things like Adamantite (and the resulting powder), Khorium, Dreaming Glory… these are consistently some of the highest priced commodities on the Auction House. Even Felweed and Fel Iron will sell, albeit over a longer period of time.
Also, remember that these materials are ridiculously easy to farm nowadays because of how heavily we outgear the content. My level 80 druid alt wearing ilevel 226-251 gear now. (WTF is my gear score rating = 5071.) In gear like that, all you have to do is look at most stuff in the Outland and it will die. Hop on your epic flyer (especially if you’re an Unholy DK or a Palli, for the speed boost) and do a few laps around Nagrand, or the Netherstorm, or Shadowmoon Valley. Kill all the fire elementals on the elemental plateau. Heck, even go to Zangarmarsh and go fishing. The materials are there, and almost no one is farming them.
Q: How much, if any, pre-Cataclysm materials will you stock for Cataclysm? If you do, what materials will you stock?
A: I actually didn’t make this question up. Hugmenot left it as a comment in the May Call for Questions post. P3P shout out for that! Thanks Hug! As for what I’ll stock, here’s the list of items I’ll focus on. This is the list based on what we know now; when we get specifics about professions and leveling, it will probably change. With that said, here goes nothing:
-Adamantite (and LOTS of it)
-WotLK common (green) level gems, and some rare (blue) level gems
-Dreaming Glory, Sungrass, Blindweed, Goldthorn, Khadgar’s Whisker, Kingsblood, Mageroyal, Dreamfoil, Golden Sansam, and just about any other herb that all the new Goblins will need to power-level Alchemy.
-Primals (especially for leveling Alchemy. This could be huge profit.)
-Any WotLK herb I can get for 40% of market value or less.
My choices are largely dictated by the professions of my toons. I mostly focus on Jewelcrafting, Engineering, and Alchemy, so I understand those markets best. I don’t have a Leatherworker, Tailor, Blacksmith, or Inscriber, so I don’t know those markets as well… and I tend to stay in my own sandbox when it comes to stocking up.
(Just as an aside, the lack of an Inscriber kills me, and the Blacksmith is tough too. If WotLK is an example, then those two will be killers for the beginning of Cataclysm. I don’t want to miss out, but I can’t stand the thought of changing professions again. Decisions, decisions…)
So, that’s just about it. Sorry about the wall of text, but hopefully it was helpful. Finally, if you want an example of what to do, consider the great player and blogger Matticus, and his beautiful WotLK stock-up. I would go so far as to say that if you copy his bank exactly, you’d probably be in good shape for Cataclysm, even though there is no WotLK stuff in there.
Thanks for taking the time to read. As ever, I look forward to the comments.