Inscription is going to be going through some changes in Cataclysm. We've already had a pretty massive overhaul in patch 4.0 with the changes to glyphs, but we're in for some more after the expansion ships. Obviously, the mats we use will change: the new common pigment from milling is Ashen Pigment (for BlackFallow Ink), and the uncommon one is Burning Embers (for Inferno Ink). Kaliope, who I've come to rely on for beta profession information, informs us that the best herb to get the Burning Embers from is Twilight Jasmine, found in the Twilight Highlands.
As in Wrath of the Lich King, we will be able to trade the common inks for the uncommon ones; Jessica Sellers has updated her price list to accept Blackfallow Ink. It's going to be a single Blackfallow for a single older ink, as well as 10 for an Inferno Ink or Snowfall Ink.
Speaking of Jessica, it's a little strange that Dalaran, the only place to trade inks, can now only be reached by mage port or a fairly annoying boat ride and long flight. The portals back to the mainlands are gone now, so I imagine quite a few of us will be parking an alt in Dalaran to avoid having to travel between the business centers of the new expansion and the ink trader every time we want to craft something.
We'll probably also need to have an alt permanently parked in Twilight Highlands, because the best (so far, according to Kaliope's guide) recipe to get from 520 to 525 takes a Preserved Ogre Eye, sold in limited supply by Casandra Downs. I imagine this will be commonly sold on the auction house for far more than the 26 gold it costs at the vendor.
Inscription's looking very different than we're used to. Some of the craftables we'll be making on our way up to 525 are very interesting and have no Wrath equivalent.
- Adventurer's Journal is a book that gives the user one of five buffs, including one that increases experience gained from quests by 15 percent. It's on a 4-hour cooldown, but I imagine everyone powerleveling to 85 will want to have one of these available for the first hour they work. Even if they only get one of the non-experience bonuses, it will serve to make people move through content faster.
- Vanishing Powder is cheap and allows characters under level 81 to remove glyphs; however, the moment we hit level 81, we're going to have to start using Dust of Disappearance. It was available on vendors for 10g in beta, but even if that makes it into live, there will be plenty of profit margin to be made, as the mats are two common Blackfallow Inks. So long as Blackfallow Ink is below 5g each (which will not happen within a week or two of release), this will probably be worth making. Of course, there may be a short period where people leveling up their inscription skill with this are willing to sell it at a loss just to make back some gold they spent leveling.
- Nuts to farming -- I'm going to spend the first few weeks farming Deepholm and Kelp'thar Forest.
- Forged Documents allows you to turn three Blackfallow Ink into a Bulging Sack of Gold worth about 10g. This effectively places a bottom on the price of inks; if they ever get cheaper than the reward we get by turning them into forged documents, we can just buy them all and turn them all into cash. I hope this stays the way it is, because one of the most frustrating parts of inscription has traditionally been that once the expansion started to mature a bit, the supply of herbs way outpaced the demand, and prices on everything bottomed out. This is bad for crafters and herbalists, both of whom have to work harder to make the same gold.
- The Hurricane Deck has a strength and agility version of the trinket, which instead of a stat proc randomly hits your target for nature damage.
- The Tsunami Deck is an int-bearing trinket that procs spirit for healers.
- The Earthquake Deck is for tanks, providing dodge and a health on-use effect.
- The Volcanic Deck is a magic DPS trinket that increases mastery and has a proc that both deals damage and procs int.
All in all
Inscription is looking like it will be very interesting in Cataclysm. For those crafters looking to craft goods for sale, we're no longer limited to glyphs and some very marginal side businesses, as we have a very well-developed and potentially profitable non-glyph portfolio. I also really like how Blizzard is capping the bottom price for herbs as well as how it handled the Dust of Disappearance.
Maximize your profits with more advice from Gold Capped, plus the author's Call to Auction podcast. Do you have questions about selling, reselling and building your financial empire on the auction house? Basil is now taking questions for a special series, "Ask an auctioneer," at firstname.lastname@example.org.