The state of all the professions in Cataclysm is still in a bit of flux, but at least most of the recipes have been added to the beta now. Like most professions, tailoring post-Cataclysm is going to look very similar to the way it looks now. Sure, all the numbers are higher, but the structure of the profession is basically the same.
One of the key differences, however, is that while tailoring has historically required mostly cloth and vendor trash for recipes, it is now a serious consumer of "volatile" elementals. Look through the recipes you start doing in Wrath of the Lich King and you'll see mostly bolts of Frostweave. You still need the new type of cloth (Bolt of Embersilk Cloth); however, virtually every single recipe you'll want to train on, as well as most of the actually useful (and valuable) recipes, are going to involve Volatile Water, Volatile Fire, Volatile Life, and Volatile Air. This is also true of the other gear-crafting professions, leatherworking and blacksmithing; however, tailoring had one thing going for it that other professions didn't: Unraveling.
Unraveling was a beta skill that allowed tailors to take cloth and turn it into Volatile Water and Fire. Unfortunately, it was taken off the trainers and removed from peoples' spellbooks a while ago. No explanations; however, Blizzard greatly reduced the number of Volatiles needed for tailoring around the same time.
One thing is for sure: Like in Northrend, the most common sources for elemental mats in Cataclysm content are mobs and gathering. This means that the price of Volatiles, which will greatly influence the price of leveling professions and making gear for all the new characters, will probably be inflexibly high at first. They're not easily farmed, so unlike prices for gathered goods (which should eventually settle down as the prices draw in fair-weather farmers like me who flood the market), prices for Volatiles might actually increase as more people hit 85. The demand for Volatile-based goods will increase as people start raiding, and I don't foresee any coincidental increase in supply.
Oh yeah, tailoring
So like the current version of of the skill, tailors are going to be getting some pretty nice recipes. I'd like to draw your attention to a few things:
- There are two types of BoE Spellthreads of two qualities. You can put Enchanted or Ghostly Spellthreads on pants to add stats, or you can use the more expensive epic versions, currently called Powerful Enchanted and Powerful Ghostly Spellthreads. People will likely use the cheaper version when they're poor, playing alts, or enhancing temporary gear. Of course, there are new tailor-only versions that are cheaper and stronger. The other tailor-only bonus enhancements go on your cloak and require 500 skill.
- There are two non-profession-specific bags, as well as a pair of 36-slot bags for enchanting and herbalism.
- There is a metric buttload of gear you can craft.
- Of all the "flavor" stuff you can make, the High Society Top Hat will be the coolest one.
- There appears to be no current replacement for Northrend Cloth Scavenging; however, it's not been proven that it doesn't still work in Cataclysm.
The new cooldown material you can make is called Dreamcloth. The cooldowns that create it are called Dream of [random place]; each takes a different Volatile and should have a one-week cooldown that's not shared. This, of course, evens out to one a day. The exception should be the Dream of Destruction, which will take five Chaos Orbs (the new Frozen Orbs) and have no cooldown. I imagine at first it won't be worth using Orbs on Dreamcloth; however, as we get farther along in the expansion, it might become worth it.
High demand at first
I'm looking forward to tailoring in Cataclysm. I actually had every plan of trying to get a tailor to max level before Cataclysm hit the servers, but then I found out about that stupid "no crafting alts" rule and have been forced to spend the time I'd have rather used on tailoring to level two absolutely horrendous terribly bad tanks. (Pro tip of the day: if you see a level 78 paladin named Harmun from Drenden in your random, just leave the party and wait the half hour -- if you're going to spend half an hour going in circles and cursing me under your breath, you might as well do it in Dalaran.)
But yeah, tailoring is first on my list once I've gotten my main and two crafting alts to 84. There's going to be a lot of demand for gear during the first few months and a lot of demand for Spellthreads and bags no matter how far along we are in the expansion.
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