Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Cataclysm leveling and Time Schedule

This post is my entry for the WoW Gold Blog Carnival.
This is the gold strategy I will apply in the first weeks... After some time, when more people reach max level, things will change... But we have time for that.
I've already talked about the importance of taking more than one alt to 80 before Cataclysm here... Now it may be a little late to start leveling something new, but if you don't have anything else to do it surely won't hurt.

Let's now talk about leveling and professions in Cataclysm.
There are three widely known things you should take into account:

  • Gathering profession will make you a HUGE profit in the first week of the expansion
  • To max out some professions (Tailoring, Leatherworking, Blacksmithing) you'll need to be level 85
  • Jewelcrafting will have new daily quests, Alchemy will have new researches

Now, lots of people will try to max out their crafting professions first, mainly because is what they have on their main and because farming mats isn't considered a good way to make money... The second one is usually true, but not in the beginning of a new expansion.
All these people will need mats to do this. A huge amount of them. And they'll usually be eager to pay any price it takes... 

Will they make a lot of money maxing a crafting profession so fast?
The answer is No.
Even if you are the first one to max out a crafting profession, having so total control over a market, you won't have people to sell things for a few days: everything is still leveling, both their characters and their professions. 
If you're an enchanter selling scrolls, they first want to have some blue or purple gear before buying anything. 
If you're a jewelcrafter, people will still need to put their hands on some equip with sockets before buying you gems.
If you craft equip pieces you need to find a wealthy player to sell them... But you'll spend a lot on mats (which prices are still high) and there won't be so many wealthy players with a maxed out character of the right class for what you're selling.
Add to this that most of the things you'll craft to reach this point will be crafted by anyone else trying to max out the same profession, thus flooding the market.

Some words about gathering
As I already suggested in my guide about leveling, your gatherer alt should have mining and herbalism (since you can track both kinds of nodes). 
If your alt is an hunter, your pet will take care of anything that attack you while you're gathering.
If your alt is a druid you'll be able to collect herbs without getting out of your swift flight form (so you'll be able to flee if anything attacks you)... If you're a druid AND a Tauren, you'll also gather herbs more quickly.
If you're a paladin Crusader Aura will let you move faster travelling from a node to another.

You could want to do one of these two things:
  • If you really want to level your main first, and it has no gathering profession:
This could easily happen if you don't thing just about gold but you also care about PvE... Maybe you just want to start doing heroics with your guild as soon as you can. There are still some things you could do to improve your gains:
  1. Sell every kind of white item mobs will drop (meat, cloth), as soon as you can. This is some kind of "gathering" after all... And lots of people will be trying to level cooking and tailoring, so the prices will be high.
  2. If your main is an enchanter, DE everything you're not equipping and sell the dusts and essences. Otherwise, keep the BoE items and find as fast as you can someone to DE them for you (some of the items you'll find in the first levels will still be disenchantable by alts with 450 of enchanting... So check it if you have one).
  3. If your main is a Jewelcrafter, level JC to 475 the sooner you can and start doing the jewelcrafting dailies!
  4. When you finished leveling your main, start gathering things with a gathering alt every time you can... You can still do your heroics, and you should slowly start to level your professions, but when you're not doing these things (or the JC dailies), you should be gathering... At least for the first two weeks.
  • If you want to just get the most gold you can:
Spend at least the first 2-3 days gathering in Mount Hyjal, disregarding the quests.
Mount Hyjal is an heavily phased zone, and you'll want to level your gatherer (when the time will come) in Vashj'ir, since the "first phase" of Mount Hyjal has more gathering nodes than those you get after some of the quests (you could also check which quests changes the phasing). 
You should also check this two guides made by Kaliope
Depending on your server economy, the prices of the gathering mats could stay high for a while or drop down as everyone starts farming: you're the only one that can see when stop the "just gathering phase". After that you have two options:
  1. Continue leveling your gatherer (good if you don't think you're main professions won't be lucrative at the beginning of the expansion): you'll be able to collect more easily mats from high level zones (and you'll actually gain access to those zone that have a level requirement), while you'll still be able to gather along the way.
  2. Start leveling your main (follow the advices given before, but also start to level its professions when you can).

Time Schedule
There will be great differences between prices in the first days, prices in the first weeks and prices in the following months. These is what I expect to happen:
First days
Everything from Cataclysm (both mats and crafted items) will be posted at high prices in the first days... The difference between mats and crafted items is that the second ones will have a very small profit margin (since they're done with overpriced mats) or maybe even at a loss.
First week
Slowly, mats prices will start to go down, becoming affordable by most players, but still quite high. Volatile air/earth/fire/water will remain very high.
Crafted items will appear more often in the AH, and those which will bring more profit will be the ones crafted by Tailoring/Leatherworking/Blacksmithins, since people will be try to acquire gear before enchantments and gems. The recipes which requires [Chaos Orb] will be the more profitable, since there will be very few crafter with these... They could value double what they'll be worth in some weeks.
Second and Third week
These will be the best time to sell Gems (if you have chosen wisely your recipes) and Enchantments.
In some servers Enchantments could take a little longer, as players leveling up Enchanting will be offering their service for free.
After that
Is difficult to make such long-therm guesses, but we'll probably see the profit margin in Enchanting Scrolls go up (prices may go down, but so will do the mats), while most of the other professions will start to have lesser profit margins than in the first weeks (but still huge).
"Volatile" mats will go down in price and stabilize, some at high prices, other quite cheap... The same goes with herbs, while probably anything that is "mined" will still be quite valuable for a while.

As a last advice... Check this month WoW Gold Blog Carnival hosted by Just My Two Copper: you'll surely find lots of useful information to get rich or richer come Cataclysm!


  1. Nice post, Kreaton - I definitely found it very informative. I really like the tip about rushing to max level crafting, and how you reasoned it all out.

    To be sure, there will be lots of money to be made in Cata - but it will all be in several phases (some short, some long). Knowing how those phases work in different market segments, and timing them right will make all the difference.

  2. Considering the phased Hyjal, wouldn't it be the best to simply not do any quests there at all with a gathering toon?

    I'm not sure how big the difference in spawn rates are as I've not been there on the beta server.

  3. Hey Kreaton, I was wondering since we're both kinda new to gold blogging if you'd want to exchange blog rolls.

  4. @Vayaz: Yes, that's why I suggest questing in Vashj'ir to level a gatherer (and to gather in Mount Hyjal disregarding both quest and leveling in the first days of Cataclysm)

    @Stede: Ok, I was already thinking about adding your blog to my blogroll.