Hey there, gold fans! First of all, apologies are in order. I know I've been a bit scarce lately. Part of that's been class work getting heavy, but most of it was just plain not logging on to WoW much. If I don't have much motivation to even log in, it's certainly difficult to write about the game.
Regardless, 5.2 is here, which means a return for plenty of us, including me. It also has some fairly significant changes from a gold maker's point of view. In-depth posts may follow, but for now, I'll settle for simply giving a birds-eye summary of what's happening.
Blacksmithing has undergone some rather significant changes. Most notably, recipes have been added to skill up from 1-500 just from Ghost Iron Bars. Be warned, however, that these recipes are often extremely inefficient. They also have no real use other than their rather low vendor value (although this is true for much of leveling most professions). In general, I would treat them as a gap filler for those levels where the old-school mats are either prohibitively expensive or just plain not on the AH.
All three of the major gear professions (Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, and Tailoring) have new PvP recipes and epic recipes available. Unlike with previous patches, these are all learned through a random discovery method on a daily cooldown. This means the basic 450 gear will probably be viable to sell for a while still, as everyone randomly learns their new recipes. This is particularly true because these recipes are exact replicas of what was offered from the honor vendor last season, meaning many pieces are actually class-specific.
Unfortunately for Blacksmiths, their daily cooldown, Lightning Steel, requires a quest item from the new Thunder Forge, which is only unlocked when their server's Thunder Isle reaches a certain stage. There were reports of players being able to get into that area early, but from what I understand, the NPC that drops the item has been hotfixed out. Unfortunately, the way Thunder Isle works, even if your server has full participation each day, it will likely be a while before you see the Thunder Forge.
Like Blacksmithing and Tailoring, Leatherworking has new patterns learned from a daily cooldown. It's actually two daily cooldowns, but only one can be used any given day. Magnificence of Leather and Magnificence of Scales are both BoP world drops from any Pandaria mob. Much like meta gem recipes, these seem to be "smart drops" and will only drop if you're a Leatherworker (not yet known if a particular skill level is required).
Personally, I recommend our good friends Wyrmhorn Turtles in Valley of the Four Winds for this one. They're clumped relatively well, they don't have much health, and are already very popular with skinners. I got both recipes in less than a dozen kills.
The daily cooldown will let you use either 20 Exotic Leather or 20 Prismatic Scales to make a Magnificent Hide, and teaches a random new recipe in the process. This ability to make one of your Hides more efficiently each day is particularly nice since, from what I've seen so far, the new PvP recipes all take Hides exclusively. You also seem to be able to learn both leather and mail recipes from either cooldown, so feel free to make whichever is more cost effective.
Like Leatherworking and Blacksmithing, Tailoring has new patterns learned from a daily cooldown. Tailors have it particularly nice, though, as the discovery has simply been folded into their existing Imperial Silk cooldown. Thankfully, though, the new PvP recipes don't require any Imperial Silk, just your normal Bolts of Windwool Cloth.
Jewelcrafters have two new recipes of note: Serpent's Heart and Primal Diamond. Both seem to be world drops from Pandaria mobs. Basically, anything that can drop your meta gem patterns can also drop these.
Serpent's Heart is essentially the new "Prism" spell of MoP. It uses 3 Serpent's Eyes to make a container that will usually contain a random rare gem, but can occasionally also drop a Primal Diamond or the recipes for the Jade Owl and Sapphire Cub. The recipe is, of course, on a daily cooldown. Depending on your realm prices, this can be a gamble. It's great if you get a Wild Jade, for example. Not so great if you get a River's Heart (I know on my realm, even one Serpent's Eye is worth more.).
The new Primal Diamond recipe makes a Primal Diamond with 5 of every uncommon MoP gem, plus a Spirit of Harmony. I guess this is great if you have extra Spirits just sitting around on your Jewelcrafter? Don't expect this to change the meta gem market much, if at all.
There are a few noticeable changes with the farm. First of all, if you're at Exalted with the Tillers, you can talk to Nana Mudclaw to get a quest that culminates in you taking over the farm from Yoon. This means two things: First, the farm house essentially becomes an inn, letting you rest and bind your Hearthstone there. I guess that's cool, although there's an inn maybe 30 yards away already.
More interesting, though, is the fact that this allows you to fulfill work orders for the various 5.0/5.1 factions. Each work order means using 8 plots, and the reputation reward is nothing to write home about (400 before any bonuses). They're usually not the best use of your plots, but if you're still struggling with a reputation, they are one more thing you can cram into a day. It should be noted, though, that the work orders won't let you get around rep prerequisites like Golden Lotus (sorry, Enchanters).
Also of note: seed bags. The seed vendor now sells seed bags of every type of seed. Each bag has 10 charges. When used, it puts a targeting reticule on the ground. Click an area containing up to 4 plots of Tilled Soil, and it'll plant in all 4 of them at once. It's so much quicker than planting everything individually.
Lastly, the patch notes say that the yield on special crops has been increased. I'm still in the process of testing the results. So far, Songbell seeds remain unchanged, but that's hardly surprising. Raptorleaf seeds are still disappointing, giving 3-4 Exotic Leather instead of 1-2, still with no chance for Prismatic Scales. Winshear Cactus seeds actually aren't half bad, each giving somewhere around 6-10 Windwool Cloth, as well as a decent chance for a Bolt of Windwool Cloth. I'm still in the process of testing the rest.
On the subject of reputation, there is one more notable change. You can now champion a faction for your first dungeon run and scenario of the day. Dungeons give a base of 300, while Scenarios give a base of 200. This is somewhat similar to the old tabard system, except that it's limited to once a day. To champion a faction, simply open your reputation panel and select the star next to your desired faction. It's also interesting to note that this method will let you earn Shado-Pan or August Celestials reputation even if you're not Revered with Golden Lotus.
Phew! That was actually quite a bit to cover, even in brief. Still, that should be the most relevant changes from a gold-maker's point of view. What are your favorite changes in 5.2? Let me know in the comments.
Until next time, good night and good gold.