HoTs and DoTs: A Restoration Druid and Shadow Priest

I Did it All For… Alchemy?

Caesandra-TK-Celestial Steed

One run of Botanica (and a couple extra levels) and I could be a Master of Potions.

Leveling isn’t really my thing. Alts aren’t really my thing. So it’s no surprise that leveling a new alt takes me, well, a really really long time.

Lathere stopped playing when Pixii (Lathere’s Warlock) and my Mage were just coming into the Burning Crusade dungeons around level 60. Like Pugging Pally – Pixii and Caesandra don’t quest. We do instances and that’s it!

I was quite happy to leave Caesandra sitting around level 60. At level 55 I had set her hearth to Cenarion Hold in Silithus. That’s where I go to farm Essence of Air and traveling there is the most annoying part. Then it occurred to me that Caesandra had maxed out her Herbalism skill (300) and picking Mountain Silversage while I farmed Essence of Air wasn’t earning me points. I traveled to Outlands, flew to Honor Hold, and visited both the Herbalism and Alchemy trainers. A few vials later and I had reached 300 Alchemy too.

Great! Now I was well and truly ready for Outlands. To celebrate I did a lap – on my level 60 flying mount – around Hellfire Peninsula. And stopped to pick some Felweed. And some Dreaming Glory

But no. I wasn’t going to level Caesandra without Pixii. And flying around herbing and not sitting in the Dungeon Finder queue seemed counterproductive. So I stopped herbing.

Well I tried to stop. Unfortunately I seem to consume huge quantities of Felweed (the most available and generally least expensive Outland herb) in my quest for Insane in the Membrane and Exalted Darkmoon Faire. So when the Auction House was all out… I would log onto Caesandra for just a little while and gather some herbs.

And soon enough I rejoined the Dungeon Finder queue just to break up my herbing spree.

Now I’m level 66.

And I’m well and truly ready to become either an Elixir/Flask, Potion or Transmutation Alchemist. Unfortunately I can’t do that until I’m level 68. But I’m motivated.

I have already gathered all the Outlands herbs that I need to get to 450 Alchemy and I’m about to start herbing Goldclover on another character to make sure Caesandra can breeze through the early stages of Northrend Alchemy as soon as she is ready for it.

Alchemy is the carrot-on-a-stick that is dragging me all the way through the levels. Not the promise of reaching level 80. Not the quests. Not even the dungeons. Certainly not the gear. But the profession… yes.

Caesandra is my first Alchemist. And I use Flasks and Potions as much as any serious raider (read: a lot).

I’ve been mentally debating the pros and cons of each Alchemy specialisation for days. I’m not really planning on using Alchemy as a money-making enterprise, more for the convenience of not having to go to someone else. And I think the most inconvenient product for me to get hold of these days is Potion of Wild Magic.

I don’t think there are many Potion Specialists on Barthilas. So I think that’s what I want to be.

However, as I understand it Potion of Wild Magic isn’t trainer taught – it’s discovered. The best way to get hold of this recipe is to create stuff as an Alchemist. I don’t want to make lots of useless trainer taught Potions. And I don’t want to make lots of useful Flask of the Frost Wryms … but without the possibility of proc’ing extra Flasks.

Instead I think I’m going to do something a bit more like this:

  1. Do the quest to become a Flask Alchemist
  2. Level to 450
  3. Create lots of trainer-taught Flask of the Frost Wrym
  4. Discover Potion of Wild Magic (and Potion of Speed?)
  5. Pay the gold penalty to swap to a Potion Alchemist
  6. Create lots of Potion of Wild Magic and enjoy the procs!

There’s one last problem to factor in:

The three different level 68 specialisations each have their own quest to complete. Most Alchemy guides suggest you complete the Transmutation quest and then pay to change specialisations because the Transmutation quest is deemed the easiest. You need to farm Primals in Outlands, but all in all, it’s easily solo-able.

The Flask/Elixir Specialisation quest requires you to run The Black Morass. The quest requires:

Black Morass is a level 70 dungeon. This is a problem because the Dungeon Finder prefers to drop players on the cusp of a new expansion in the new expansion instances instead of the “end game” dungeons. So at level 58 I never found myself in Stratholme (Classic), and instead was pushed into Hellfire Ramparts (Burning Crusade).

I expect that at level 68 I will not be placed in Shadow Labyrinth, Tempest Keep: Botanica, Mechanar or Arcatraz, or Shattered Halls or The Black Morass (all end-game level 70 Burning Crusade dungeons). I expect that I will be running The Nexus and Utgarde Keep.

Completing Black Morass is also a problem because you need to unlock that dungeon before you can queue for it in the Dungeon Finder. You need to have completed the Escape from Durnholde Keep instances first (level 65-68). And in order to unlock that you need to have traveled to the Caverns of Time in Tanaris and do an escort quest.

I’m currently the perfect level for Escape from Durnholde Keep. And I’ve gone to Caverns of Time to unlock it. But the Dungeon Finder still sends me to Auchenai Crypts (slightly too easy) and Setthek Halls (slightly too hard). In every one of my groups I ask and remind players to go and unlock the Caverns of Time instances. So far, people are acknowledging the reminders, but nobody has actually done the quest except me.

Becoming a Flask/Elixir Alchemist might not be easy, even with the Dungeon Finder. And I believe you need to complete The Black Morass at couple times depending on how lucky you get with drops.

Becoming a Master of Potions requires you to also run a dungeon: Tempest Keep’s Botanica. This quest requires:

WoWWiki suggests that you complete the Potion Master quest over the Transmutations quest as the easiest option.

It may be worth considering taking Potion mastery, as you will generally make all the needed quest items in the course of leveling Alchemy, and then switching to Transmutation or Elixir.

And it looks as though [Botanist's Field Guide] has a 100% chance to drop if you’re on the quest. So you need only do this dungeon once.

Using the Dungeon Finder this might be the easiest of the three Alchemy quests to complete. It’s likely that I’ll be making [Super Healing Potion] and [Super Mana Potion] anyway as I level Alchemy. And I’ll have probably picked up quite a few just by killing mobs.

Botanica doesn’t need to be unlocked. And as long as I’m willing to wait a bit longer I should be able to choose a Specific Dungeon instead of the Random Dungeon.

However I feel that Potion specialisation is the least exciting specialisation to have while leveling from 375 to 450. That still leaves me wondering if I should temporarily switch to Transmutation or Flask/Elixir specialisation when I reach 450 Alchemy and am waiting to discover Potion of Wild Magic…

It might cost me 300g (to unlearn Master of Potions, and then relearn it later) but at least I will be keen to use my profession.

Or I could farm the materials for Master of Transmutation and keep that until I discover Potion of Wild Magic… I did always hope to recraft my Frozen Shadoweave set… and I hear that Master of Transmutation is the most profitable at level 80.

Still undecided! What should I do?

22 Responses to “I Did it All For… Alchemy?”

  1. ClorNo Gravatar says

    As a potion master I’ll say that even if your main goal isn’t the money, it can be pretty profitable come raid nights.
    I don’t recall the quest being too difficult, and I’m pretty sure you’ll find the journey from 375-450 will be pretty quick if you have stocked up on mats (ie. if you really do think it’s the least exciting, it wont last long).
    Personally I can’t say I get a different level of excitement from potions to elixirs to transmutes :P

  2. VidyalaNo Gravatar says

    I looove me some alchemy. I have two max level alchemists – one is elixir specced, and one is transmutation specced. Having done the different specialties (apart from potions, which I’ve never been) – I’d recommend speccing into Transmutation first, then dropping it to pick up your preferred spec. It’s really easy to get the Northrend mats to make the Primal Mights you need for the quest, then you just have to drop it and choose one of the others for the nominal (hundred and fifty gold?) or something fee. Much less of a pain than the romp through Black Morass or the Botanica.

    As for the ultimate specialization, I have to admit that I’ve always considered elixir/transmutation vastly superior to potions, simply because of the extra flasks. If you look at the mats for the wild magic potions, they’re pretty easy – a pygmy oil, two lichbloom, and an imbued flask. That’s significantly less than any flask – which always use a frost lotus, lich bloom, icethorn, and the more expensive flasks, etc. I think for anyone using lots of both potions and flasks it’s better to get the flask procs than the potion procs – the transmutation gem procs are also nice, but occur much less often than elixir procs in my experience. The most I’ll get is an extra cardinal ruby, perhaps once a week or so. Just my two cents! :) I’m sure you’ll have fun with your alchemy no matter which way you go or how you get there!
    Vidyala’s last post: Strict Stalemate

  3. FooNo Gravatar says

    As a profesional-holic (8 trade, 3 secondary all at 450, working on gathering toons), Potions mastery seems to be the most profitable levelling profession. The potions that will sell most are mana and healing, and the extra pots are nice. You can gain many levels making those potions. Once you can transumte titanium, swap over to transmutes. If making a group for the instances is too hard, just get the transmute mastery at 68.

    Finally, once you get to Northrend, the AH herb supply is moderately stable (and generally cheaper than outland herbs), possibly due to gold-farmers. You can still level herbalism if you wish, but the need to do so is much reduced.

  4. LenNo Gravatar says

    Granted it’s been a while since I levelled alchemy… but don’t you discover new potion/flask recipes through ‘Northrend Alchemy Research’ ( rather than by randomly making other potions/flasks?

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      I don’t know… but maybe you do. That would make sense – that’s how Inscription worked in Wrath.

      Perhaps I’ll just go Master of Potions from the start then.

      • LenNo Gravatar says

        I think that’s the way it worked! At least it means you can pick what specialisation you want from the start :)

  5. JenNo Gravatar says

    I recently got my alchemist to 450 and specialized, on a realm without ‘support’ (not my main char’s realm, no friends online). I figured I’d do Transmutation, until I saw the prices of primals. I didn’t have the patience to go farm, so I just stuck myself in the queue for Botanica. It took me 3 days of queuing for ~1h each to get a group, because I kept having to relog on my main for raids and no one runs lvl 70 TBC dungeons anymore. When I did get the group, it was fairly easy – we even killed the boss who drops the quest item without a tank. Some of the people did have lvl 70 raiding gear, I think 2 of them were in a retro raiding guild.

    And Botanica is an amazing place for herbies! It’s got potted plants and everything :D It’s the only dungeon I never did in TBC and it was a great surprise.
    Jen’s last post: My take on the RealID Blizzard fail

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      I’m really really really hoping I can get a group for all the level 70 BC dungeons using the Dungeon Finder (because I loved them so much at level 70 – well not Steamvaults but the rest).

      I’m willing to wait. An hour might be too long though :(

  6. RedbeardNo Gravatar says

    I can’t really tell you what to do, Cassandri, since I don’t have a toon in this position. I do have a Priest that I’ve been tempted to switch from Inscription to Alchemy, however, so I’ll be following what happens with interest.
    Redbeard’s last post: So youre minding your own

  7. GarethNo Gravatar says

    If you cannot get into Escape from Durnholde Keep then stop queuing on random. The Dungeon Finder will only put you into what you don’t want if you allow it to.

    So, queue for Specific Dungeon into Durnholde then after queue into specific for Black Morass. You may take aaaagggeees to get into them but at least you will at some point. The one advantage of course is that anyone that can get into those instances and queues as random will end up coming your way.
    Gareth’s last post: A cool GM is full of win!

  8. DocatronNo Gravatar says

    If you are not planning on using Alchemy for huge profits but just to be self-sufficient when it comes to flasks and pots your plan sounds good. Just remember to stock up on flasks before you change specialization.

    Taking into consideration when choosing speciality is also the consumption rate. For flasks you will need to pop one every 2 hours. In that timespan you can easily go through a volume of pots that will surpass the cost of the one flask. In that case pot specialization is the way to go for you as you want to bring down your biggest consumption cost. Do a bit of math yourself to find out what costs you more over a 2 hour period: The flask you are using or the pots.

    Remember the best profits are found in undiscovered/unchallenged markets and if some pots are not being made (in huge numbers) and sold on your realm and there really is a market for it, making pots will make you more gold than a transmute specialist will ever make in a contested market.

    If your realm has a lot of raiders flasks and pots will always sell and your profits will depend on the competition. If there is a low profit margin on flasks and pots then obviously the best money maker is transmutes as the procc is simply worth more.

    Last thing about Alchemy I want to mention is the fact that you can only transmute once every 20 hours. This caps your profit making. Flasks and pots does not have crafting limits and if you can find a high demand market for specific pots or flasks then that’s another reason to stick with one of those specializations. It’s all about finding the right market. Making stuff doesn’t give gold. Selling made stuff does! ;)

    Are you not able to sign up to the mentioned CoT dungeons through the specific dungeon chooser as level 68? I have sometimes fore-fitted the random dungeon bonus because I needed to run a specific dungeon. Sure it takes longer queueing this way but the only other alternative is to come back to it at later levels and overpower through. Old Hillbrad is doable solo at 80 for almost every class I think. Black Morass is slightly more difficult so bring a friend (I couldn’t solo it as a 80 shadow priest, but then again I suck at DPS).

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      You have to travel to Caverns of Time and quest in order to unlock Escape from Durnholde Keep in your Dungeon Finder. If almost nobody in my level bracket has made the effort to do this then the wait times for Durnholde will be… awful. And less people completing Durnholde mean less people available to join Black Morass.
      Cassandri’s last post: Taking Control of Trade Chat

  9. ChastityNo Gravatar says

    Just to confirm, you don’t discover potions by making flasks, you discover them from Northrend Alchemy Research (which can, incidentally, create random flasks).

    I’m totally in the same position with my Rogue. She started out as a bank-alt, and I gave her Enchanting so she could dust low-level stuff. Then I thought “hey, it would be a waste not to be able to disenchant higher level things as well”. Then I thought “also, I should go jewelcrafter for Prospecting”.

    Which means I need to be level 75 by the time Cataclysm hits or my poor professions will *languish*.

  10. XeppeNo Gravatar says

    As a transmutation master on my hunter I’ve steadily dropped from around 120G profit per day (on a card transmute) to 60G per day – and still dropping. Those halcyon days of cards selling for 180G at the AH are over, at least on Saurfang.
    And as I’ve been a pot junkie since my first toon, I’ll probably swap over very soon.

    I was a bit disappointed the dungeon finder didn’t give Keppe-the-shaman any of the later BC dungeons – especially as the jump to Northrend dungeons was nasty. New DK tanks in UK can be scary.
    Xeppe’s last post: For the Sexy Gnome – Haste and Spellpower

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      I’ve got to be careful – I’m getting Sethekk Halls pretty much non stop as I approach level 68. And then I think Nexus/UK will open up.

      I’m going to stop queueing for the random dungeon and instead just check all the level 68+ BC dungeons. The wait times will be appalling, but I’m not keen to start in on the Wrath dungeons just yet.

      The level 70 dungeons from BC are so good, too. The instances I don’t particularly like (Crypts, Underbog, Sethekk) are the most common ones that I’ve run in the 58-68 bracket.
      Cassandri’s last post: Taking Control of Trade Chat

  11. PapaNastyNo Gravatar says

    As someone with 5 x 450 alchemists, I’d personally recommend going xmute mastery, as the quest is soo easy to complete (I usually just complete it via the AH as I’m too lazy to farm)

    Then just keep xmute spec, unless you want to go pots or elixir spec at 450 (in which case change to this straight away.

    Since you don’t need to make that many pots / elixirs between 375 and 450 anyway.

    You make a few, but not enough to justify swapping to pots/elixirs and then back to xmute at 450 (since atm it’s the most profitable, unless you’re really proactive).

    I know exactly what you mean about levelling just for Alchemy…. for me I levelled my shaman (well I paid someone to level for me lawl) from 52 to 65 just so that I could get 450 alchemy

    Then I went to 68 for xmute mastery, then I felt a bit gimped not having an epic mount, so levelled to 70 just so I could buy my mount. Then the 70 – 80 grind wasn’t soo tough, I remembered all the quests and it goes by soo quickly since the quests are soo nice and linear.

  12. PsynisterNo Gravatar says

    I have two 450 Alchemists on my main server, a transmute and an elixer spec. The easiest way to get your specialization is to just spec transmute since it only takes 4x Primal Might, and then pay the 150g to switch to whichever one you want to without having to do the quest. Farming the primals on the elemental ridge (or whatever it’s called) takes about an hour. The Mana I think were the only ones that didn’t drop up there, but their farm location isn’t far away either.

    You do learn new recipes from the Research, but you also learn them from crafting the item in question as well. The research can give you elixirs, potions, or transmutes while doing those tasks themselves only lets you learn that type. If you want transmutes then you want to make saronite bars -> titanium bars, for elixirs just make the one you use the most (Frost Wyrm), and for potions….I don’t bother much with potions, but I’d say Runic Healing/Mana will probably be your best bet since extras that you don’t use will sell well on the AH on most servers.
    Psynister’s last post: Magelo and Zetbit

  13. ArgonNo Gravatar says

    I’d recommend doing the spec that requires Botanica. At least on my realm, the mats for Primal Might as insanely expensive now that nobody spends much time in Outlands. I think it would have cost me 400 or more gold to buy them. I could have farmed them myself, but I’d still be better off just selling the mats on the AH. Queueing for Botanica didn’t take that long. Less than half an hour I’d say. It is actually a fairly long instance, so it was more of a hassle to get through. Four or five people dropped over the course of it. Hopefully you’ll have better luck. But it is definitely the least painless way to go about it.

    As you saw, there are going to be almost zero people queued for the Black Morass, due to the chain of attunements required for it. Blizzard really needs to drop those requirements.

    As for learning new Alch recipes, in Northrend there are two methods: the Northrend research mentioned above, and random procs. I’m sure you can find out what unlocks what on Wowwiki.

  14. KattiaraNo Gravatar says

    ~Six months ago, I was leveling my Druid, who was also an Alchemist. Like you, I was eager to specialize and start making lots of yummy pots. Flasks in particular, since I’d decided she should be Elixir spec. Getting the mats from Black Morass was AWFUL. As you said, at 68 the dungeon finder is more likely to pop you into Hellfire, so I was queuing specifically for Black Morass. The wait was often a good hour and a half for each run. God forbid I stepped away to get a drink and missed the queue when it popped (did I mention I was queuing as a healer? that didn’t make it one bit faster). When I would finally get a group, we’d pull start and I’d immediately discover… the only reason they had queued for it was because, of course, they were also trying to complete that miserable quest.

    The drops are not 100%. It’s not a quest item that everyone can loot from the same body. You have to wait till they drop for you particularly.

    I ended up running BM around 9 or 10 times. It took the better part of a week, since I only had time to deal with a couple of the lengthy queues at a time.

    For the love of god, do either of the other quests, but not this one (in hindsight, I don’t know why the heck I didn’t just do the transmute one myself.. would have required too much foresight, I suppose!). :)

  15. Kattastrophe just finished levelling her alchemy as a transmute specialist. (on an alt)

    I took my 80 Pally and just ran her through. The escort quest is a simply wander around the base area of CoT, the Hillsbrad quest is quick & easy so that the attunement was pretty easy.

    The Black Morass instance itself was a pain simply because of the drop rate of the quest items needed. But still, all told it was MAYBE 2 hours of total time for me to escort Katt’s alt.

    TL;DR – get a level 80 to run you through the x-mute quests. I know the urge to avoid getting run through stuff, but sometimes expediency works ;)
    SlikRX/Balthazario’s last post: Multiple Tanking Sets DONT BRING ME DOWN!!!!!


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