The discoveries aren't intended to be common, they're extremely rare in fact. It's really intended to be a bonus if you happen to get one, and not something every alchemist is guaranteed to see. They're so rare that if you're putting effort purely towards discovery you could be spending a lot of time and resources to simply be disappointed. If you do find one, it should be a happy discovery, and not a waste of time if you don't.
What I'm saying is don't expect to discover one, but if you do then congratulations.
This makes a lot of sense to me: it's more or less a waste of time to grind for them, so just go about your business and be happy if you get one. Like a world epic. Drysc elaborated:
I previously made the [above] post, which many of you have probably read, regarding the discovery system and its intent. The discovery system is really a perk in addition to Alchemy, and not a guaranteed part of it. We wanted to reduce the amount of 'taxi cab' calling for Alchemists, where you can stick out your hand and any Alchemist with its light on can pull over and do the job. We wanted to give some the ability to have specific recipes that no one else may have, be it someone in a high end raiding guild or some random person that now has a unique purpose on his realm (until someone else discovers it of course). Are they required for advancement or success as an Alchemist? Definitely not, but they're certainly a very nice perk if you happen upon one. The same could be said for world drop items, they're a nice perk, but in no way required for your character's advancement.
The randomness takes out the need to make the recipes so difficult to obtain that only the highest geared or most well supported alchemists have access.
We do have some important changes coming on how flasks and elixirs function, and we'll be announcing those as we get close to the release of that patch.
Ooh, important buffing potion changes? Do tell! Honestly, I can't really think of what he might be referring to. Flasks already last through death; what more could you do to change them? Maybe they'll have multiple charges? But that would be just like being able to make more flasks for the price of one, and there's already an alchemy spec for that. Anyhow, Blizz have hinted before that they're doing something to address raid consumables. NPCs handing them out for free at instance doors? Who knows.
In other news, those of us who have had our eye on our Consortium rep are feeling a little miffed. The Consortium are supposed to send those of us whom they like (Friendly or better, I believe) a free bag of gems at the beginning of each month. So far, this has not yet worked, as far as I know. The standard blue response is to go to Aeris Landing and speak with an NPC there, but that didn't work this month either. Nethaera had this to say:
There is a bug with this quest at current where it is not resetting properly like it should be. This is being fixed in an upcoming patch. Unfortunately that means that everyone will need to wait a little longer until that patch is applied to get their gems and continue being able to take part in the quest.
When questioned as to whether we would be retroactively supplied with jewels for missed months, she said:
I honestly don't know as of yet. I think it will be closer to the time the fix is applied that we will find out how the fix is going to work exactly and let everyone know what to expect.
Well, OK. Thanks for being straight with us anyway, Neth. Guess I'll be blowing a few more gold on AH jewels for the time being.