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Insider Trader: Alchemy in Cataclysm


So, alchemy in Cataclysm is starting to look pretty damned good. (Granted, all of the trade skills are looking good in Cataclysm, but I'm writing about alchemy this week.) Alchemy is one of the most stable crafts between expansions, though. You have your standard potions -- intellect, damage, healing, mana, health, stuff like that -- as well as your alchemist-only items like alchemist's stones.

Things get a little more exciting in Cataclysm, though. One of the most interesting potions I've seen so far is the Potion of Deephome. On use, it teleports the user to Deephome. It's a pretty neat effect, but it definitely makes me curious about Deephome. The dungeon finder tool is incredibly effective for teleporting players inside dungeons, so I don't see why your acerage alchemist would have to use the potion. Still, for sheer flavor, it's fun to see potions doing more than just buffing stats. I think that's a nice little side effect that's been a long time coming.

Shadowspirit Diamond

The big gem transmute this time around is the shadowspirit diamond. The shadowspirit diamond can be cut about a dozen different ways to suit your metagem needs. (But that's for a different post.) The diamond itself doesn't seem all that difficult to make -- if you've got a dozen other gems just sitting around. To create a shadowspirit diamond, you currently need:

These seem to be the green-quality gems for Cataclysm, though, and those do tend to stack up once the epic versions become available. Much like Wrath of the Lich King, the materials will be a little tough to come by, I think, at the opening of the expansion. Give it a few content patches, though, and you'll be happy to upgrade 18 green gems to a single metagem.

Metal transmutes

The two metal transmutations for Cataclysm are Pyrium Bar and Krovalian Gold. Pyrium uses four elementium bars and 8 volatile earth. Krovalian gold takes eight pyrium bars. So, to get that into perspective, it would take 24 elementium bars and 64 volatile earth. Pyrium bars are also sought after for blacksmithing, and each blacksmithing recipe tends to take between 10 and 20 of the bars.

Krovalian gold, however, exists in a more rarified air. Krovalian gold is the essential reagent for engineer's killshades. Each set of killshades require two bars of krovalion gold. We don't know of any other trade skill that requires the gold for anything, but I imagine something else must by the end of the expansion. Still, that means that krovalion gold bars will be fairly expensive on the auction house, but won't always have a consistent demand. I kind of expect it to become a trade chat item, that way. Engineers will gather their own materials and offer to pay for the transmute on the trade channel.

Alchemist Stone

The Lifebound Alchemist Stone continous to look just as sexy as when we first saw it. I suspect a lot of tanks might be looking at alchemy a little more seriously at the opening of Cataclysm, considering the epic amount of stamina being sported on this trinket. With an additional blue socket and 233 mastery, the Lifebound Alchemist Stone's going to go a long way to make sure alchemists get a leg up on their equipment checklist.

The stone's not too beastly to make, considering the enormous advantage conveyed by its itemization. It takes about a dozen herbs of various sorts totalling about 36 herbs. More shocking, though, are the 50 volatile life required to create the stone. I'll say that again; the Lifebound Alchemist Stone requires 50 volatile life. That may sound like a lot, but we don't really have a great concept of how many volatlie life you'll find around the expansion. If you get a life every time you hit a herb, 50 won't be a big number at all.

Upgrading gems

There are, of course, transmutations to turn green gems into blue gems. I'd considered listing them, but instead I'll link you over to MMO-Champion. We don't have any certainty yet about what those gems will be used for (aside from jewelcrafting), so I don't want to burn you out on news that we don't know. Still, I suspect we'll see about the same stat combinations on each color gem as we did in Wrath and even The Burning Crusade.

In closing

The last big news about new stuff for alchemy comes from the guild perks information. The guild perk Chug-a-Lug confirms that it affects both potions and cauldrons. That could just be the designers being surprisingly thorough and including the cauldrons from The Burning Crusade. But the tiny little part of me that still wants a pony is hoping and praying we might see feast-like cauldrons in Cataclysm. It would just make life so much easier.

Finally, alchemy will have the same kind of stat-buffing potions we have in Wrath. I didn't delve into them because they're stat buffs. And while numbers are fun and exciting, they don't have a lot of context yet. We'll revisit the stat buff potions a little later in the beta.

Each week, Insider Trader takes you behind the scenes of the bustling subculture of professional craftsmen, examining the profitable, the tragically lacking and the methods behind the madness.

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