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Preparing for 3.1

By Deborah Dietrich on March 31, 2009 | General Articles | Comments

Preparing for 3.1
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Preparing for 3.1

We don’t know when, but we do know what. Expansion 3.1 is coming. If you want to take a sneak peek, the public test realm (PTR) is available. In the meantime one can run Naxx once more; take on Malygos one more time and attack the Obsidian Sanctum, yet again. Or one can utilize the excess time to prepare for the coming expansion. Are there certain items that are worth stockpiling? Are there things that should go on the auction house now, before 3.1 shunts them to the clearance rack? How will the changes in 3.1 impact the value of items in your inventory? Now that you’ve run every dungeon, done every heroic and achievements are getting a bit stale, what items should you focus on farming?

Of course gold is the ultimate fungible commodity. Probably one of the best things you can farm is gold. So start doing those lucrative dailies. There’s a lot of new stuff coming in 3.1 and you’ll need a bit of jingle in your pocket if you want to buy the hottest items right away. As with every expansion, prices will soar for whatever is considered the latest and greatest. And all this new equipment will take gems and enchants. Then there’re glyphs for dual specs. You’ll want to have a reserve of gold on hand when 3.1 goes live and gold doesn’t take up bank space.

But we all have professions. Who are the winners and who are the losers in 3.1? What gathering skills should one focus on? Should our gathering toon be seeking herbs or ore? What items should go on the auction house before prices plummet? What should we stockpile in anticipation of an increase in value?

Bind on Equip Items

You’ve seen the spam in Dalaran: “Je’Tze’s Bell, only 10k. Cheaper than the AH!” “Nobles Cards for sale. The Darkmoon Faire is coming. Get ‘em while you can.” If you have bind on equip items to sell, now is the time to get rid of them. Uldar is bringing a ton of upgrades and as folks slot in 226 level trinkets, the value of the Je’Tze’s Bell and Greatness trinkets will drop. As players secure higher level items in Uldar and new higher level BoE items appear on the auction house, demand for the current crop of BoE items will fall precipitously.

Herbs/Flasks/Elixirs

The yield from herbing will increase in 3.1. Herbalists will be able to put in less time to yield the herbs they need for elixirs and flasks or to sell on the auction house. The value of your stockpiled herbs is likely to plummet for this reason alone, especially for those herbs used to make elixirs.

There are some fundamental changes coming for Alchemists. In 3.1 the time span on flasks will cut in half. Flasks that currently last two hours will now last for one. This will allow players more ability to customize their use of flasks. Does your guild run of Uldar last three hours? You’ll use 3 one-hour flasks and get exactly the coverage needed rather than 2 two-hour flasks, with one hour of coverage going to waste. Alchemists will be compensated for this change by a doubling in yield on flask production. Those with stockpiled flasks will be able to turn their current two-hour flasks into 2 one-hour flasks.

Players entering entirely new content are likely to see an increase in deaths and total wipes, so flasks will gain in popularity over elixirs until the new instances enter the farm stage. I predict a drop in elixir sales and the herbs used to manufacture them. Flask sales should remain fairly constant. Herb prices will drop. Elixir demand will decline.

Where raiders were buying two flasks for a typical raid before, now they will buy three. It will take fewer herbs to make those three flasks than it took to make two in 3.0 so prices of individual flasks will drop. However, new content will make folks likely to feel the need to maximize their stats and the drop in price will make them likely to use flasks where they might have foregone their use in the past or use elixirs for content their guild has on farm. This should counterbalance the increase in supply 3.1 will bring.

The Flask of Pure Mojo (+38 mana/5) may gain in popularity over Flask of the Frost Wyrm (+spell power by 125) as healers face new mana issues in 3.1. Elixir masters who used to see 2 to 3 extra elixirs or flasks per stack created will now see 3 to 6. Overall I see a wash for Alchemists: cheaper herbs, larger yields, increased usage coupled with increased supply.

Skinning/Leatherworking, Mining/Blacksmithing & Tailoring

There are new patterns forthcoming, presumably out of Uldar, which create bind on equip items. I remember well the good old days when my ability to create the desirable Belt of Blasting garnered me some nice returns in Shattrath. The tailoring patterns are confirmed to be rare Uldar drops, but Wowhead did not indicate how the more numerous 3.1 blacksmithing and leatherworking patterns are obtained.

In any case, the Blacksmithing patterns all required Titansteel bars, Eternal Earth and Saronite bars. The Leatherworking patterns all required Heavy Borean Leather, Arctic Fur and Icy Dragonscale. The Tailoring patterns required either Moonshroud for healing oriented armor or Spellweave and Ebonweave.for cloth armor with hit rating. Ebonweave, Moonshroud and Spellweave are made from Frostweave cloth, Infinite Dust, and Eternal Fire, Eternal Life or Eternal Shadow, respectively. The ingredients mentioned should see their value increase when 3.1 goes live and folks begin to acquire the new patterns, especially those ingredients whose creation is on a long cool down.

All the new belts from Uldar drops, Emblems of Conquest purchases or crafting will need new Eternal Belt Buckles. Score another one for blacksmiths. These take Saronite Bars, Eternal Earth, Eternal Shadow and Eternal Water. With all the blacksmithing patterns requiring Eternal Earth, the price of this item should climb quite a bit and the other eternals should see a price increase as well.

Enchanting/Inscription/Jewelcrafting

I would say it is “Katie bar the door” for these professions. Everyone will be upgrading their armor and weapons as they venture into Uldar. New armor and weapons means new enchants and gems on a regular basis until a significant number of folks have maxed out many of their characters with the new best-in-slot items.

While there are new epic gems, which will come from the fishing daily of all places, they are a rare reward and unique equipped. As I read the reports from the PTR, I can only have one of the seven new epic stormjewels equipped at any given time. I won’t be able to have a Runed Stormjewel in a red socket for its +23 spell power and a Brilliant Stormjewel in a yellow socket for its +20 intellect. I’ll have to choose one. They do not appear to be BoP, so should sellable on the auction house, much like the Eye of the Sea reward from the fishing dailies in the Burning Crusade. The relative rarity of this reward and the fact that it is a unique-equipped items means its insertion into the game should have only minor impact on jewelcrafters. The price of enchanting mats and jewelcrafting gems is due to soar.

As for Inscription, folks will need tons of new glyphs initially. Changes to the various classes, new glyphs and dual specs should drive the prices of glyphs to the moon. Start stockpiling those glyph mats now!

Meat and Fish

Fishing just got more attractive. It will be easier to level, since you’ll be able to fish anywhere regardless of skill. You have a new daily fishing quest, which yields some very nice rewards. Fishing is being added to the Wintergrasp battleground. All the fish needed to create the Fish Feast used to buff raids will be obtainable in that one location. All these factors should increase the numbers of fisher folk and make the fish needed for the Fish Feast (glacial salmon, mussleback sculpin and nettlefish) easier to obtain. More fisher folk and easier to obtain fish for the Fish Feast will likely mean a decline in demand for these fish. Demand for meat and other types of fish should see a slight increase as players more consistently eat food to maximize their stats for the new, more challenging content.

Other Losers

If you have Northsea Pearls or Siren’s Tears in stock, you might want to try and unload them. According to El’s Extreme Anglin’, these will be common rewards from the new fishing dailies. The patterns that call for these items will become sub-par as folks equip Uldar drops. These two items may well be little more than vendor dross once 3.1 goes live.

Of course the PTR is still live and more changes are coming. There will be tweaks and balancing, but it is unlikely items already introduced will be withdrawn, so what we see now is a fairly good indication of the winners and losers in the 3.1 commodities game.

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