Mists of Pandaria: Glyphmas 2012 for scribes is right around the corner

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Once upon a time, all was quiet throughout the land. Players had made glyph choices throughout Wrath, and they were good. Scribes made decent money.

Then came patch 4.0.1. The opening salvo of Cataclysm, the Shattering, didn't just break the world. It broke players' glyph setups, as well. A slew of new glyph options were added to the game. Players had to choose nine glyphs, up from six. At the very least, everyone had to buy three new glyphs. For glyph sellers, times were good -- so good, in fact, that the magical time post-patch 4.0.1 was dubbed Glyphmas.

We've already been told that major changes will be coming to glyphs once more for the pre-Mists of Pandaria patch 5.0.1. Prime glyphs are disappearing. A whole slew of new minor glyphs are being added to the game to promote fun. The opportunity for another Glyphmas is clearly present.

But will scribes experience the same kind of gold rush they did at the end of the last expansion? What's different this time around? And what, exactly, is the best way to prepare to cash in?

Glyphmas 2012 versus Glyphmas 2010

So, clearly, there are going to be some differences between the upcoming Glyphmas 2012 and the Glyphmas of yore. Namely, Blizzard is removing a class of glyphs from the game (prime glyphs) instead of adding one. That's not really a compelling point when it comes to making money -- Blizzard's removing something from the game is hardly going to make us rich.

At the same time, though, Blizzard is adding a large number of new minor glyphs. Predictably, some of these new minor glyphs will be replacing some old ones being taken out of the game. That's exactly what happens when you sign in to the beta under your existing account -- some of your old glyphs are gone, but your character already has new ones in place.

A lot of glyphs are being added to the game for Mists of Pandaria, including Glyph of the Stag, Glyph of the Orca, Glyph of the Chameleon, and Glyph of Claw. All of these have unique six-digit item identification codes on Wowhead. But when my max-level scribe logged on to the beta server, he already had the ability to craft all of them.

Glyphmas 2010 was profitable largely because people were required to buy a minimum of three new glyphs if they wanted to have all slots filled. That's not the case this time. But aside from that, all other aspects of Glyphmas 2010 are going to be in play for Glyphmas 2012. There will be plenty of new players rolling new pandaren characters, and they'll all need to buy glyphs. Existing players will be looking for the new, best glyphs.

Glyphmas 2012 is going to be very merry indeed.

Brace yourself for the flood now

Regardless of whether or not there's a huge rush on new glyphs by level 85 players, there will definitely be a rush on glyphs by newly minted pandaren. In short, we know that glyphs will be in high demand immediately after Mists of Pandaria launches, and likely, in the months preceding the launch as well. Smart players will brace themselves for the changes now.

What does that mean? Well, if you're not a scribe, the best tack for you may be to learn all the available glyphs now while they're still cheap. The less desirable glyphs can often sell for mere silver or even copper, depending on how many leveling scribes are trying to unload their wares. And as we said, many of these lamer glyphs will be turning into something more useful.

For scribes, the route ahead is a bit more tricky. Using what happened in the lead-up to Cataclysm as a guide, we know a few things. First, we know that prior to the launch of the current expansion, Ink of the Sea was no longer usable as currency to trade for other types of ink.

In Wrath, scribes would often trade Ink of the Sea for other inks, much the same way scribes trade Blackfallow Ink at the Ink Trader today. But if you'll recall, Blizzard stopped allowing these types of trades in November 2010, a full month before Cataclysm launched. That caused price increases across the board; inks got more expensive, low-level herbs got more expensive, and glyphs got more expensive.

We don't know if a similar change will hit prior to the launch of Mists of Pandaria, but there's no reason why you shouldn't be prepared for it now. Cinderbloom and Whiptail are relatively cheap right now and relatively plentiful, to boot. If you're thinking about trying to cash in on Glyphmas 2012, or even if you just want to be ready to avoid higher prices for when you're outfitting your own pandas, the time to act is now. Buy up herbs, make Blackfallow Ink, and trade down for some lower-level inks. Or, if it's cheaper to do so, buy the lower-level herbs now and make the low-level ink directly. There's very little risk involved here -- maybe a few hundred gold's worth. But the reward could be huge.

If you don't have a scribe, or if your scribe isn't leveled up to 525 ... well, what are you waiting for? Leveling the profession is cheaper and easier now than it's ever been before. Take advantage of those Darkmoon Faire quests offering those free five skill points. You don't want to be scrambling to level your profession when everyone else is churning out glyphs.

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