Insider Trader: Gather in Northrend

Amanda Miller
A. Miller|11.29.08

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Insider Trader: Gather in Northrend

Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

As more of the player base steps into Northrend, the demand for goods and services rises. Craftspeople are especially concerned with developing their skills, and for this to be possible, there needs to be a decent supply of gathered raw materials available.

This is where you gatherers will shine. Of course, you will have to level your skills as well, and this week's edition of Insider Trader will have you maximized and making cash in no time.

Being an herbalist in Northrend is a tough job. Your toes, or perhaps hooves, are freezing. Your eyes, or eye sockets, are blinded by the wind and snow. Yet you must push on through it all, bravely climbing slippery mountain slopes, balancing on cliffs, and wading through camps of hostiles, all with one goal in mind.

When you finally reach the herb and finish carefully extracting it from its icy tomb, you have to pack it into your bags between your mace that glows with magical fire and your chocolate cake. Try not to ruin it!

Training and leveling
While leveling your skill, I recommend staying in the two starting zones, the Borean Tundra and the Howling Fjord. Despite the fact that they are still somewhat crowded, the volume of herb spawns is high, and the difficulty of reaching each mob will be lessened by the fact that the mobs are in the high sixties.

If you press on into Dragonblight, be aware that the frozen herb nodes will yield a random herb, and rarely ever gives more than one. Still, it only takes one for a skill point!

In fact, you will also find your trainer in the starting zones. For the Horde, Marjory Kains resides in Vengeance Landing, and will teach you all that you need to know. If you find yourself in the Borean Tundra, then search the second level of Warsong Hold, behind the stairs, for Tansy Wildmane.

Alliance members in the Howling Fjord should seek out Fayin Whisperleaf in Valgarde near the Inn. If in the Borean Tundra, pay a visit to Kirea Moondancer in Valiance Keep.

Sweet spots
The Sholazar Basin seems to be the most fertile area in Northrend. Once you have leveled your character to the upper seventies, you should survive while herbing there.

Of course, not all herbs are found there. Talandra's Rose, for example, is found most commonly in Zul'Drak, a level 74-77 zone. Lichbloom and Icethorn can be found in The Storm Peaks (76-80) and Icecrown (77-80) in heavy numbers.

Herbs like Deadnettle, Constrictor Grass and Frost Lotus are occasionally found inside the spawns of other herbs.

Special abilities
Herbalists are awarded with their very own self-heal, Lifeblood, that upgrades as your herbalism skill does. Over the course of a short five seconds, you are healed for:
  1. 300 with rank one.
  2. 480 with rank two.
  3. 720 with rank three.
  4. 900 with rank four.
  5. 1200 with rank five.
  6. 2000 with rank six.
Miners in Northrend are hereby advised to bundle up. A warm hat and a sturdy pair of gloves that afford a good grip should do the trick.

Training and leveling
The Alliance trainer in Howling Fjord will find Grumbol Stoutpick of Valgarde near the forge. Fendrig Redbeard of Valiance Keep awaits eager miners in Borean Tundra.

Jonathan Lewis resides in Vengeance Landing, Howling Fjord, for the Horde, while Brunna Ironaxe can be found in Warsong Hold in the Borean Tundra.

Just like herbalists, I am going to advise that you do much of your leveling in the starter zones, simply because you will be able to spend less time killing monsters in order to reach your nodes.

Sweet Spots
Once again, the Sholazar Basin is home to much of the ore that you will seek. It has the most number of nodes for both Titanium and Saronite. If you find the area is packed with miners, then check out Icecrown and the Storm Peaks.

Cobalt, on the other hand, is found most notably in Zul'Drak, along with the two starting zones.

Special abilities
Miners are granted a special ability called Toughness. It increases their maximum hit points by a number that is relative to one's abilities.
  1. Rank one: 30hp.
  2. Rank two: 50hp.
  3. Rank three: 70hp.
  4. Rank four: 100hp.
  5. Rank five: 300 hp.
  6. Rank six: 500hp.
Skinning is very different from the other two gathering professions, as it allows you to create your own 'nodes.' As you quest, you will inevitably be killing beasts, affording you the opportunity to skin the corpse. You will also happen upon corpses of beasts killed by non-skinners, which always feels like a bonus.

Training and leveling
In the Borean Tundra, Trapper Jack awaits Alliance skinners in Valiance Keep. Frederic Burrhus of Valgarde is located in the Howling Fjord.

The Horde can choose to visit Roberta Jacks at Vengeance Landing in the Howling Fjord, or Tiponi Stormwhisper within the inn at the Taunka'le Village in the Borean Tundra.

Leveling skinning quickly is a matter of finding ideal circumstances and then getting to work. For example, Horde skinners need only to step outside of Warsong Hold to find a pit full of quick-spawning skinnables associated with several quests. Not only could you knock off those quests, you would be able to reap benefits from everyone else's labors.

Another method of farming skins is to locate an area full of mobs that drop something else that you need. Perhaps they have a specific meat type that you require to level your cooking, or that can be sold for a high amount because it is part of a sought-after cooked item.

If you are not a craftsperson in need of your skins, then get ready to make some serious money for every Arctic Fur that you find! Currently, on my server, each is a guaranteed 35 gold minimum sale on the Auction House. This is found randomly while skinning.

You will also notice one important difference in Northrend skinning that is not present in the profession for other skin types. Normally, you need to be a leatherworker to convert skins. The following is a paraphrased version of a recent [1: General] conversation:

Some Guy: "Can anyone tell me when we learn to convert scraps into leather? I have like 350."

Helpful Respondant: "Just right click on them."

Some Guy: "What? Seriously?" (Profanity removed for your protection. Try picturing yourself on a beach instead. The sound of the waves is soothing, isn't it?)

Sweet Spots
  • The pit outside of Warsong Hold in the Borean Tundra.
  • There are boar at a farm to the North West of Warsong Hold.
  • Check out the worgs that spawn to the South West of Vengeance Landing in Howling Fjord.
  • There are many mammoths that roam the Borean Tundra, and shoveltusks that roam the Howling Fjord. Beware that, because they travel in packs, attacking one will bring a swarm of vengeance upon your head.
  • In Dragonblight, there is an area full of diseased animals that are part of a quest or two. You can find these animals lurking near Azjol-Nerub, west of Agmar's Hammer.
Special Abilities
Skinners are awarded with the ability, Master of Anatomy. The first five ranks award you with critical strike rating in multiples of three (3, 6, 9, 12, 15) while the last grants you 25. At level 80, this translates to approximately half a point, or percentage if you like, of critical strike chance.

Each week, Insider Trader takes you behind the scenes of the bustling sub-culture of professional craftsmen, examining the profitable, the tragically lacking, and the methods behind the madness. Are you a craftsperson with an eye on success? Level your inscription using the guide from 0-100, from 100-200, then 200-305!
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