By now you've heard of inscription, the new trade skill coming with Wrath of the Lich King. We've already given you a few sneak peeks, looking at glyphs, enchantment scrolls, and other beta insights. This time, though we had a chance to fiddle with Inscription directly, on the Beta servers themselves. The trade skill is most obviously only in the very first stages of implementation, but there's still enough to play around with to get an idea of how it will all work once things go live.
To start off with, we needed to do a little running. There's no inscription trainers to be found in Dalaran or any of the capitals. We found one in Vengeance Landing, so it seems likely that Alliance could find one in Valgarde as well. However, there are no Inscription suppliers nearby, so you'll still have to run to Dalaran to get the Scribe Tools and parchment you need for most recipes.
It's probably a given that that'll change for the better as we get closer to live, but for now it's a pain. You'll probably want to go buy the Scribe Tools and stock up on parchment before you go to train if you're doing it in Beta. Luckily, Light Parchments stack up to 20, so you can carry a lot -- be warned though, most of the scrolls you make out of them only stack to 5.
Anyhow, to the meat.
Starting Out: The Miller Tells His Tale
As we've mentioned before, Herbalism is the complementary profession for Inscription, which means that if you want to get into it, you'd best save up a bunch of herbs now. With the herbs, you'll be primarily making pomace and ink in order to create various scrolls.
You start by using Peacebloom and Silverleaf to make basic inks, Ivory and Silver, respectively. Those will go yellow at 15, green at 32, and gray at 50. You'll also be able to make your first item, a Scroll of Stamina, which uses 2 Ivory Ink and 1 piece of Light Parchment. That recipe goes yellow at 40 and green at 52. You'll also be able to make scrolls of intellect and spirit starting at 15 skill. Scrolls of Intellect will take Silver Ink, while you'll use both Ivory and Silver inks for Scroll of Spirit.
At 30 skill, you'll learn Milling. Milling is similar in function and form to Prospecting. It grinds 5 herbs into a pomace which is then used to make high level inks -- the higher your inscription skill, the higher the level of herb you can grind. Mageroyal, Earthroot, Silverleaf, and Peacebloom apparently all give Alabaster Pomace, while Briarthorn gives Dusky Pomace. Milling can also give out random mushrooms, which I suppose are at least slightly more useful than Copper Powder. Once you've done some Milling, you can use the Alabaster Pomace to make Moonglow Ink.
Shamans and Enchanters: Now in handy scroll form!
Moonglow Ink allows you make some really cool stuff. For example, at 35 skill, you can start making Scrolls of Recall, which act like the Shaman spell Astral Recall, allowing you to teleport home every 15 minutes, and all for the price of a vial of Moonglow Ink and a piece of Light Parchment. The scrolls go gray at 75, so you can churn out a lot of them as well.
At 50 skill, you can start becoming an enchanter's best friend. You can make Bleached Parchment, which can be targeted with armor enchantments. Anyone can then use the resulting scroll to enchant their armor. So far, there's no apparent level limit on these scrolls, so if that remains unchanged, they'll be good even for the new Wrath enchantments. All of this and all it requires is one Moonglow Ink and some Light Parchment for each scroll.
Another 50 skill recipe is a bit of an enigma. The Mysterious Tarot, which uses 2 vials of Moonglow Ink, will produce a random card from the Rogues Deck. When you combine the Ace, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of Rogues, you'll get a deck you can turn in to the Darkmoon Faire for a magic chestpiece with a random enchantment. The quest text implies that there will even be gypsies in various inns out in the world so you can do the the turn-ins any time of the month, although those gypsies don't seem to exist yet. It's worth noting that the Rogue cards may also be world drops -- at the least, I have personally seen one drop off a Citizen of New Avalon in the Death Knight starting area.
At 100 skill, you learn to make Midnight Ink, which requires Dusky Pomace and goes green at 115. With this ink and 5 pieces of Light Parchment, you can make Treated Vellum, which can be targeted with weapon enchantments, then used by anyone to enchant a weapon. It goes yellow at 112.
Unfortunately, that's about as far as the recipes go at the moment, and there does not appear to be a reliable way to level up much past 150. Still, it's early in Beta, so there's no doubt that we'll see more recipes and more trainers in future builds. I do wonder, though, if we'll continue to see low level herbs be useful into the 100s skill range, or whether we'll see higher level enchants require more expensive to make scrolls in the future.
Regardless, even if we've only had a taste of inscription, and even if we can't see actual spell inscriptions just yet, seeing things like Treated Vellum and the Rogue Deck is more than enough to get me excited for Inscription, at the very least.