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Insider Trader: Inscription from 0-100

Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

This week's edition of Insider Trader will stand as an introduction to becoming a scribe. After covering some of the basic information you will need to know, I will walk you through the leveling process until you reach the 100th skill point.

I will also discuss Minor Inscription Research and glyphs in detail, ensuring that you can make informed choices when choosing how to level your inscription. In the coming weeks, I will continue with the guide until the new maximum, 450.

Hop on through the break to learn how to boost your scribe's levels quickly and cost-effectively.Tips to get you started:
  1. You will find Inscription vendors near your trainer that will have parchment papers and a [Virtuoso Inking Set]. You need the paper to make scrolls and glyphs, but you need only the inking set to make inks, unlike Alchemy which uses bottles for each potion.
  2. If you're desperate, some trades vendors will also carry paper.
  3. Milling will never grant skill points, so feel free to mill your herbs on the go, or as necessary.
  4. You will get skill points for mixing up inks, but only for a limited time. Because you will have to make so many, aim for making them until they go gray before you make anything else.
Skill 1-35:
The pigment you will be working with for this skill bracket is [Alabaster Pigment] and it can be milled from the lowest level herbs; [Silverleaf], [Peacebloom] and [Earthroot]. These are found most commonly in regions for level 5 to level 20.

Unlike most pigments, Alabaster will be used to make your first two ink types, so don't convert all of your pigment into [Ivory Ink], because you'll need some for [Moonglow Ink].

Still, you will want to take advantage of the ink conversion while it still gives you skill points. I recommend making [Ivory Ink] until skill level 18.

After this, use those very inks to create, in combination with [Light Parchment], scrolls of intellect, spirit and/or stamina. You probably won't be able to auction these, so pass them along to alts or use them yourself. Stop at skill 35.

Skill 35-75:
From 35 right on up to 54, you'll be able to coast by making [Moonglow Ink].

The easiest route to 75 if you are close to, or above level 40, will be to create [Armor Vellum] using ink and [Light Parchment]. If you have an enchanter, you can pass the vellum along and make some money on the auction house by binding various enchants into them.

If you are a low level scribe, then you might choose to create [Scroll of Recall]. These nifty items will "hearth" you to the inn that you have chosen for your real hearthstone, but will not consume your hearth's cooldown. In fact, it is only on a 20 minute cooldown itself, giving you up to four "hearths" in an hour.

Minor Inscription Research
Get ready to start learning doing your own research! Currently this is trained at level 75, and at first, will give you skill points.
  • Anyone and everyone can potentially benefit from your research, even level 70s.
  • Trained glyphs are always major glyphs. You will only ever learn how to create minor glyphs through research.
  • You can research once every 20 hours.
  • Each round of research is guaranteed to teach you something you didn't know. It often awards you with scrolls or vellum on the side.
  • The cost is 1 [Moonglow Ink] and 2 [Light Parchment]. This ties you to Moonglow for quite some time.
Glyphs
Now that you've reached the magic number 75, you will be given the option to create glyphs. In the early days after patch 3.0.2 went live, most glyphs were wildly profitable, as long as you were using your own herbs. Of course, you could likely have sold those herbs for more than the glyphs were worth. On my server, many herbs were selling for more than sought-after Outland herbs (think several gold per herb).

These days, depending on the server, you might have depressing luck when trying to sell your glyphs. Many minors can sell for upwards of 15 gold, while majors can go for as low as under one gold. If a major is in demand, you might be able to pull 4-10 gold out of the sale. Likewise, a highly coveted minor might sell for up to 30 gold.

When choosing glyphs for the rest of your career, consider the following:
  • Are you going to equip it? Would one of your alts want it? Can you talk a friend into taking it off your hands?
  • Is it orange, or yellow? Does it take two inks, or one? A glyph that is in the yellow zone and requires one ink might be better than one in the orange zone that requires two.
  • If you are going to use it, consider under what circumstances. For example, my paladin will have a set of tanking glyphs and a set for healing. Because she switches semi-often, I will need more than one of each of the glyphs I intend to use.
  • Is this glyph in demand, or a rare minor? How much is it selling for on the auction house?
75-100:
You will be using [Dusky Pigment] and the [Verdant Pigment] that is a semi-rare "spawn" when milling herbs that grant you Dusky. These herbs are [Briarthorn], [Bruiseweed], [Stranglekelp], [Swiftthistle] and [Mageroyal].

[Stranglekelp] is found in waters in and around areas of a variety of level ranges. Undead, druids with aquatic form, shaman and warlocks will be the prime candidates to farm this. Of course, the patch extended the normal breath bar, so it isn't going to be a painful farm either way. In many areas, there won't even be mobs. [Swiftthistle] is another "rare" spawn within [Briarthorn] and [Mageroyal].

From 75 to 80, aim to make [Midnight Ink] from your pigment. Don't forget that your inscription research can be done once per day, and will grant you a skill point for a limited time.

From skills 80 to 100, you will be choosing class glyphs to manufacture. Use the rules above to help you determine which ones to make, and how many. Remember that minors, if they are worth skill points, might sell for more.

The damage:
Here are my estimations for the necessary materials to reach 100 skill points:
  • You will need about ten full stacks of the lowest level herbs. This will take 23-24 millings/stacks of five. You should receive a minimum of 62 pigment. See above sections 1-35 and 35-75. Keep in mind you will need to create some extras for your inscription research!
  • You will need about 25 [Midnight Ink] (see above section 75-100). To get the 50 pigments, try milling 6.5 full stacks of herbs, or 26 millings/stacks of five herbs.

Each week, Insider Trader takes you behind the scenes of the bustling sub-culture of professional craftsmen, examining the profitable, the tragically lacking, and the methods behind the madness. Wondering how to equip a glyph? Check out our introduction to the concept. Are you a craftsperson with an eye on success? Learn all about achievements for crafters!

Filed under: Insider Trader (Professions), Herbalism, Making money, Guides, Leveling, Economy, Walkthroughs, How-tos, Tips, Items, Inscription

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