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.
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.
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:
- Do the quest to become a Flask Alchemist
- Level to 450
- Create lots of trainer-taught Flask of the Frost Wrym
- Discover Potion of Wild Magic (and Potion of Speed?)
- Pay the gold penalty to swap to a Potion Alchemist
- 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:
- [Essence of Infinity] ×10 from Rift Lords/Keepers in The Black Morass (Caverns of Time)
- [Elixir of Major Defense] ×5
- [Elixir of Mastery] ×5
- [Elixir of Major Agility] ×5
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:
- [Botanist's Field Guide] from High Botanist Freywinn in The Botanica, Tempest Keep
- [Super Healing Potion] ×5
- [Super Mana Potion] ×5
- [Major Dreamless Sleep Potion] ×5
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?