We’re now about 3 months into the expansion and from what I can tell, the various gold making opportunities are all just about solidified and will likely remain the same for a while to come. While some of the tactics remain from Cataclysm, many of them have been changed a bit and in some ways affected drastically. While the jewelcrafting shuffle still remains in some degree, it is no longer the outstanding cash cow that it was in Cataclysmn. I was going to try and include a brief overview of each profession in this post and go into detail with following posts but I think I will just start one profession at a time. So alphabetically…first up is Alchemy!
This profession has seen little change with the new expansion. Flasks and potions will always be a must have for the raider community although at the beginning of the expansion, potions were (and still are) very very cheap thanks to how many people were making during the process of leveling the profession. They still have their daily cooldown Transmute: Living Steel similar to the Truegold of Cataclysm. It is still the main component to the major blacksmithing items along with the Chaos Orb of this expansion, Spirit of Harmony. The biggest change for alchemists is that each flask requires one Golden Lotus. While these are not particularly difficult to come by, they are a drop chance as opposed to the sure thing that Volatile Life were in Cataclysm. My server during Cataclysm had an abundance of what I can only assume were gold farmer bots that kept ore, herb, and consequently Volatile Life, prices pretty low on the AH and so were not too expensive to make.
In today’s WoW, the Golden Lotus can be acquired three different ways:
1) Tillers farming once you’ve reached at least Revered. You can buy the Enigma seed which will turn into herbs with chance at some Golden Lotus. If Exalted with Tillers so you can have 16 plots to plant seeds, you should typically see about 4-5 Golden Lotus each time.
2) Exchanging Spirits of Harmony with the Spirit of Harmony vendor. At the beginning of MoP, this was a 3 Golden Lotus : 1 Spirit exchange rate but with 5.1, has been changed to only 2 Golden Lotus now. Generally before this would have been the preferred method since you could farm 3 spirits of harmony every two days when exalted with the Tillers netting 9 Golden Lotus but with the lowered change rate they upped the Enigmseed chance of spawning a Golden Lotus to the current rate. If you happen to have some good Mote of Harmony farming locations this might still be a quick way to get Golden Lotus. More on Mote farming later…
3) Herbalism. From what I can tell they don’t spawn in any particular location, there’s just a chance that the next herb node you visit could be a Golden Lotus, sometimes two. Apparently with 5.1 they can also be looted while farming other herbs. When farmed from herbalism (and not from Enigmas seeds) they do give the added benefit of giving you a Luck buff that will get you some extra treasure from killing mobs.
With the relative scarcity of Golden Lotus, flasks will always be in demand, especially with the lack of Battle Cauldrons this expansion. You will obviously want to be a Flask Master if you will be trying to make money via Flasks. On my server at the moment, I am generally willing to buy Golden Lotus at 50-60g each. The last time I saw them at this price I bought nearly 10k worth, almost everything available on the AH, Even at this relatively low price, a single flask, along with the various herbs costing anywhere from 2-4g each, a single flask was costing me about 60-70 gold to create depending on the herbs. I did 2 stacks of each flask, which averaged about 20% extra flasks, so given these numbers, I spent about 12k to make 200 flasks, netted around 240 flasks with flask mastery procs, and am hoping to sell from anywhere between 75g-100g each depending on the night and AH supply. The potential profit here will be about 3k on the low end, to hopefully 10k on the high end. The profit margin is decent but will take a while to achieve (I’ll be happy if I sell these flasks within 2-3 weeks) and does require a fair amount of investment. However if alchemy is your sole profession this might be the way to go. Obviously you don’t need to be making the large quantities that I am starting with but it makes it easy to see your proc chance evened out and also get Golden Lotus at a good price all at once.
Edit: At the moment this is not looking like a particularly great avenue for gold making. While the potential profit is there, you would have to be quite selective for when to sell. If you are trying to be a constant presence on the AH with flasks, I would expect to be selling quite often at cost so flasks might have to be well timed for server raid times.
Alchemists have a great synergy with Blacksmiths so if you have access to one I highly recommend going that route instead. Using Transmute: Trillium Bar and Transmute: Living Steel you can making Living Steel Belt Buckles instead. The belt buckles will require a blacksmith that is also honored with the Klaxxi which should be relatively easy to achieve considering most of the questing in that area will gain you reputation with the Klaxxi. If you finish all the quests in the Dread Wastes you should be Honored with the Klaxxi already and therefore able to buy the pattern. The Living Steel transmute is on the daily cooldown so that will be your limiting factor here. However, Ghost Iron Ore or Ghost Iron Bars are relatively cheap to start with. I can usually get Ore from 40-50g per stack and smelt it all myself though recently I’ve taken to just buying the Bars that people have been posting on the AH for about 100g/stack. The ore I’ve been saving for my Jewelcrafter to prospect since there seems to be an abundance of bars available. Between both transmutes, assuming a 20% proc chance for each, I might hypothetically spend 3000g on the ghost iron materials. At 100g/stack of Ghost Iron Bars, this will get me 30 stacks of bars, so 60 Trillium bars minimum. (Don’t forget it’s one stack of ore to one Trillium bar, one stack of bars to two Trillium). With the 20% proc chance one hopes to get 72 Trillium bars from that transmute. So now your yield is going from 10 Living Steel to 12. Add in another 20% proc chance for Living Steel and you should end up with at least 14, maybe more, Living Steel. As Living Steel Belt Buckles, these are selling for 400-500g each depending on supply so your profit margin here can be anywhere from ~70% to over 100% easily. Again, doing this in larger numbers should get you some more predictable results but I generally calculate myself to be making close to double what I can put into it.
If you don’t have access to your own blacksmith, selling the Living Steel can still be a potential profit. The blacksmith patterns for epic items are still fairly profitable assuming you have the spirits of harmony to spare.
The other profession that Alchemists complement well is Jewelcrafting. This is mostly due to the Transmute: Primal Diamond being off the daily cooldown. Because the other transmutes require a golden lotus for each gem made they will not be the most profitable but Primal Diamonds, especially cut ones, should still be selling for a very good profit on most servers. More will be covered in the Jewelcrafting section.
The last mastery available for alchemists is the Elixir Master that can help you proc more potions. Personally I find this the least viable method at the moment for making gold at the moment mostly because of the abundance of potions made while leveling the profession. If you have any comments on this that I hadn’t thought about I’d love to hear them.
That’s about all for Alchemy. I think it gives a fairly good lead in to blacksmithing for the next post.