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Insider Trader: Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble


If you're the type of player who finds cauldrons useful, then you probably already know about them – and if you have no idea what they're for, you probably have no use for them. But Insider Trader is the Martha Stewart of WoW Insider – we happen to think that any tool that helps other players take responsibility for their vitals is, as Martha would say, a Good Thing. So let's talk about the so-called pot o' pots.

Cauldrons are the alchemical, resistance-pot equivalent of a warlock's soulwell. The alchemist creates a bubbling cauldron that other raid members can click on to receive a major resistance potion from one of the various schools of magic – there are cauldrons for each type of magic except for Holy. Cauldrons can turn out 25 potions over a five-minute duration, a decided improvement over creating, carrying and handing out that many individual pots (and quite a bit cheaper than making even less than half the number of normal major protection pots).

Read more about cauldrons, as well as a handy tip about how to use multiple healthstones (yes, that's more than one at a time), after the jump.

The potions produced by cauldrons are comparable to major protection potions. However, cauldron pots are both unique and Bind on Pickup, so you can only have one at a time. Furthermore, like conjured food and water, cauldron pots will poof if you log out longer than 15 minutes. Check out the available types:

Cauldron of Major Arcane Protection
Cauldron of Major Fire Protection
Cauldron of Major Frost Protection
Cauldron of Major Nature Protection
Cauldron of Major Shadow Protection

Alchemists, there's a funny little twist to making cauldrons: the recipes are available only through discovery. You can't buy, loot or train these recipes. That said, you needn't write them off as dreamware. Cauldron discovery rates run on a different table and at much, much higher rates than other alchemy discoveries. Players report making cauldron discoveries at about a 30 percent rate -- as frequently as every one to five batches.

All cauldrons currently use similar reagents:

The advantage to you as a crafter? Not only do you spend less time creating pots, less bag space to carry them and less time handing them out at raids, but you use vastly smaller quantities of ingredients for an equivalent number of pots. The ingredients for a 25-use cauldron are comparable to those for making just 10 Major Protection pots.

More than one of a unique item?
While we're on the subject of players' managing their own health, let's talk about healthstones. Healthstones are the summoned, single-use consumables created by warlocks that give back instant health when clicked on. Many players (and unfortunately, many warlocks themselves) assume that because healthstones are classified as unique items, they can only hold one at a time. As Amy Winehouse would say, no, no, no!

The trick is in getting healthstones of different types from warlocks with different talents. Check this out:
  • Warlockius has no talents in Improved Healthstone; his Rank 5 healthstone returns 1,200 hit points.
  • Lockina has one point invested in Improved Healthstone, so her Rank 5 healthstone returns more hit points than that of Warlockius.
  • Lockarella has two points Improved Healthstone, so her Rank 5 healthstone returns even more hit points than Lockina's.
The bottom line: the thing that makes a healthstone unique is not who makes it, but what its quality is (how much health it returns). Because Warlockius, Lockina and Lockarella all make healthstones that return different amounts of health, you can carry one from each of them at the same time. Now all you have to worry about is waiting for the cooldown between each one. For long fights, like the cauldrons – it's a Good Thing.

Lisa Poisso is a writer and editor, when she's not wheedling the maximum number of healthstones possible from her warlock friends.