The Lazy Scribes Guide to Preparing for Mists

“Time is money, friend.”

How often have you heard that? Have you ever stopped to think about it?

Time is money.

More specifically, time is a resource.

It’s finite. For each of us, it has a beginning, middle and an ending.

Time is the one resource we have we simply can’t grind to get more of. I try to spend mine wisely.

When I’m playing World of Warcraft, I see it as time I am spending in exchange for relaxing fun. I do find a lot in the game to be fun, but one thing I’ve never enjoyed is pursuing the acquisition of wealth in the game just for the sake of wealth.

To me, gold is something to spend in exchange for things that are fun. Gold sitting in the bank, to me, is gold wasted. If I’m hit by a car tomorrow, that gold is equal to nothing but air unbreathed. It is a potential unfulfilled.

That usually leaves me with about as much gold as I need to do the day to day stuff, along with normal gear purchases and whatever. I may have enough lying around to buy that 10,000 gold dagger that catches my eye on a whim, but if I want something larger, like a motorcycle, a vendor mammoth or a Sandstone Drake, I’ll have to save up enough to hit that goal, then get back to the fun.

In fact, throughout all of Cataclysm, whenever my gold got to between 6k to 12k, I’d go out and find something to buy to have fun. Mounts, pets, gear upgrades for alts, leveling professions, whatever. I never let it accumulate, and it may take a month to build up again from raiding and questing and selling neat stuff I come across, but like unsightly weeds, I always whack it back down again.

“What the heck does that have to do with Inscription?”, I hear you cry.

Simply put, I am a max level Scribe on my main with every Glyph.

I spent the time learning and discovering every Glyph for many reasons.

First, completing a collection IS something I find rewarding in the game. Especially when there are rewards for completion. Pet and Mount collecting, with extra pets and mounts at certain goals, is a brilliant hook to get me in.

Second, once you know how to make a Glyph, you always know it. And, if they change a worthless one in the future to something cool, now you know the new one. If you learn them all, then you know them all. Period. If someone comes up and asks, “Do you know how to make…” I can just cut them off and say, “Yes, give me a second and I’ll make one for you.”

Third, I get to have great shoulder enchants without grinding Therazane rep. I refer you to my earlier “hates to grind” comment. Score!

BUT… while I have a maxed out Inscription, I do not use it to master the Auction House!

Cutting to the chase of Inscription in Mists

If the following describes your position, then I might have some advice for you.

I have a Scribe, and I can make every Glyph currently out there, including having trained all the new Monk Glyphs that the trainer has available right now. Until the expansion comes out, I’m good. Right?

I can make Glyphs for myself, my friends, and with all the recent changes Glyphs are in huge demand.

But… I am not a Glyph auction house deal maker. I don’t live and breath Glyphs on the AH, obsessed with buying low, selling high, and undercutting by 1 copper. I do not use the Mobile Auction House app on my phone. I don’t even know how. It often seems every other Scribe is a money making master, but me, I’m just in it for the shoulder enchants, man. I don’t understand all this Scribe High Finance stuff.

I just like being able to make Glpyhs for my friends and myself.

But it’s such a pain! There are all these different levels of Glyphs, and they take all sorts of different kinds of inks, and you never know what Ink you’ll need for the Glyph your friend wants when they start an alt, respec, or change Talents around.

What to do?

I want to be ready! I don’t want to go farm stuff every time someone wants a Glyph.

I could go out and farm lots of different kinds of herbs in all the zones where they can be found to get the inks appropriate to each level.

OR… I can get a shitload of the latest herbs, mill them to make the latest Ink, and use those to buy the lower level Inks whenever I need them.

DING DING DING we have a winner! So for all of Cataclysm, I’ll just stockpile Blackfallow Ink, and whenever anyone wants a Glyph, a quick stop by Jessica Sellers in Dalaran and I can buy whatever low level Inks I may need. Sweet.

Oooh… I LIKE farming herbs on my Druid! It’s so soothing after a rough day to load up a Lewis Black album and swim laps around Azshara in Orca form, herbing away.

An hour of swimming later finds a calmer Bear milling a few hundred herbs into Blackfallow Ink, and there are extra Volatile Life to ice the cake!

But wait… when Mists of Pandaria comes out… won’t there be a new Ink? What will happen to the purchaseable Inks from the seller? What will happen to my Blackfallow reserves?

FINALLY… The Chase!

As of Patch 5.0.4, if you visit one of the Ink traders, it SAYS that you have to use Ink of Dreams, the new Mists Ink, to buy the old Inks right now.


Yeah, it says that, but it’s more a herald of the changes yet to come. As of right now, despite what it says, you CAN buy the old Inks with your Blackfallow Ink. Just ignore the tooltip window.

But holy crap, folks. Time is running out! It was almost too late, and the clock is ticking.

Right now, if you’re sitting on a bunch of Blackfallow Ink, ready to buy whatever you need in terms of Inks to make the Glyphs you need when you need them, when Mists comes you will have to go out and get the brand new, hotly desired new herbs, and then piss them away buying old Inks to make a Glyph.

To hell with that!

Can you imagine it? There you are with your brand new Panda Monk, and you go to make your Glyphs, and your Blackfallow is no good. There you are with a max level Scribe, forced to either buy your Glyphs off the AH at the high prices, go out and farm the low level herbs, or go out and farm the new high level herbs… but use them to get Glyphs instead of leveling your Inscription and getting new stuff. Or making awesome Feral Druid Staves. *cough*.

Hell NO!

No, when Mists comes out, you’ve got much better things to do with new herbs than buy old Inks.

So, here’s what I suggest you do.

Buy up a stockpile of all of the old Inks RIGHT NOW, using Blackfallow Ink, while it’s cheap and easy to get.

Here are the existing old Inks, and how many Glyphs each are used as reagents to make:

  1. Ink of the Sea – 125 Glyphs
  2. Ethereal Ink – 68 Glyphs
  3. Lion’s Ink – 49 Glyphs
  4. Midnight Ink – 45 Glyphs
  5. Jadefire Ink – 37 Glyphs
  6. Celestial Ink – 23 Glyphs
  7. Shimmering Ink – 22 Glyphs
  8. Blackfallow Ink – 1 damn Glyph (Colossus Smash)

The key lesson to remember is, it takes 3 Inks to make a Glyph. So you’ll want to buy the old Inks and stockpile them in quantities of 3.

I made this list so as to figure out, in rough terms, which Inks are more likely to be needed than others. I could do a really scientific analysis of the most popular Glyphs by spec and Talent, but you know what? I don’t care THAT much. I just want to be covered for the opening months. And I’d rather not buy 60 Shimmering and find out later I only needed three, and run out of Ink of the Sea four Glyphs in.

After making the Ink list, I checked our Auction House.

Sure, I’ve got some Inks, and I like farming herbs in Azshara, but how much are they to just buy?

The following herbs are milled to make Blackfallow Ink; Cinderbloom, Stormvine, Azshara’s Veil, Heartblossom, Twilight Jasmine and Whiptail.

Of all of them, the average price, if any was available, was between 2 and4 gold PER HERB.

Except for Cinderbloom, which averaged about 70 silver an herb. Stacks sold for about 15 gold or so.

Remember that whole “time is money” thing?

To me, I would rather spend 15 gold than spend the equivalent amount of time farming 20 herbs, when I’m not in the mood to swim around, and when I’ve got the money. Granted, I’ve farmed about 400 Stormvine and Azshara’s Veil doing leisurely Orca loops in the last few days, but I wanted to really stockpile some stuff. 🙂

See, there was over 1,000 Cinderbloom in our AH. There was, but not anymore. Some herb sellers got a sudden influx of business, and God bless them for it.

Now, a bunch of milling and buying later, there are a shitload of old Inks in my bank, and I’m really not out much gold at all.

There is one other thing, of course, that you can do to prepare.

Just go ahead and learn every Glyph that is available for your characters. Take ’em all, even the ones that sound useless. You never know what Blizzard might turn them into, somewhere down the road.

I’m not saying buy enough old Inks to last until the end of Mists, you know. I’m just saying, stock up enough so that you’re good to go in the short term, until such time as Ink of Dreams feels as cheap and easy to get as Blackfallow is now.

This really is the Lazy Scribes Guide. No tips on making money with Glyphs, I wouldn’t know where to start. Just my strong recommendation that you think ahead and buy the old Inks now when they’re still easy to get, so you don’t waste time later on when you suddenly decide you want to make something and it’s too late.

Oh, and on a parting note – now is a great time to tell your friends and guildies that if they want Glyphs, speak up now and you’ll accept donations in modern herbs as trade. Once the Expansion goes live, if people come up expecting Glyphs, well, unless they’re good friends, they’re going to find out you’ll be happy to make them… and you’ll take the NEW herbs in trade. 🙂

11 thoughts on “The Lazy Scribes Guide to Preparing for Mists

  1. This was great advice, BBB! Took me a while to act on it, but I finally got around to buying up all the cheap herbs and making sure all my characters have all the glyphs I can make for them, and then I stocked up on some extra inks for the future. I know you posted this a while ago, but I just wanted to say thanks. 🙂


  2. Ive started stocking up using your table – cheers! While I was leveling archaeology (I got to 300 odd on the first day or two of cata and stopped) I thought that you could precharge all the archaeology types to 200 relics of each, making sure you have a cheap thing youre archaeologilising and then come mists day 1 maybe a couple mins into the expansion, hunt down the archaeology trainer and boom! Realm first 600 archaeology… not sure if that would work though… but its a thought jsut like fishing your way to a realm first.


  3. Thank you so much for that table of how many glyphs are crafted by each type of ink – that explains why I kept running out of Ink of the Sea! That table is a great guide on how much inks of each type to stock up.

    A tip for the commenters asking about the storage space: grab a few inscription bags and equip them on a bank alt – they store a lot of ink. The 32 slot Pack of Endless Pockets is usually very cheap on the AH (levelup fodder for leatherworkers) or get the 36 slot Royal Scribe’s Satchel (Molten Front recipe) if you want the extra space.


  4. How is your bank so empty???! I dont have space for inks to store and Ive been meaning to do as you did and farm modern herbs to ink… I dont have space…


    • I just bought Void Storage, finally last week. So, all my transmog stuff is packed away.

      I had to, I had no space left.


  5. Interestingly my main is also an inscriptionist and I only make for friends/guildies pretty much. I love not having to worry about getting my shoulder chant! But I also went to a little expense back when to get all the recipes. Thanks for this 🙂 I’ll need to spend a little time figuring out what I have 🙂


  6. off topic
    i need major help from any of triple Bs readers. or triple b him self he taught me how to bear tank long time ago
    i had opposite expereince too triple B on end of time. i wiped grp twice. with healer. and it was my fave run .before. i fixed that prob. i didnt know my threat was free.
    i work 12 hours a day. all my tanking advice. came from triple B. i flounder and try learn on run.
    i figured out mit i live like i used too now.
    my new prob is i cant hold threat. i was iron before. always held mostly with swipe. thrash was my emergency back up.
    now thrash my main. iv rebuilt 3 times i cant hold threat:(
    iv been running 3.36 expertise for long time. is that my prob do i need to bump it again?
    i had at 7.5 in icc.
    im embarsament to bear every were atm. need help 😦


  7. im max inscriptionist too. but my question is. what did you gove up for orca form? i dont have was too much good stuff in way.
    like glyph of Grace, Stag ,and aquatic form.
    i need another slot 😦


  8. I have herbalism on my tauren druid too. Super fast gathering and I leveled from 83 – 85 picking herbs only.

    I stockpiled almost 10,000 inks of all types altogether. I thought that was a lot, turns out people on my server had 25 – 50K inks stockpiled and they were just camping the AH 24/7 and undercutting by 1 copper.

    So I did the only reasonable thing under the circumstances and listed all 400+ glyphs at a max price of 45g with a floor of 15g. If they’re going to camp and snipe my auctions all day, the least I can do is ensure they don’t make obscene profits doing it. 😀


  9. You and I have the exact same inscriptionists… Though I didn’t stock up on inks, I did make sure all my toons are maxed out (and it helped me determine which glyphs are brand new with MoP and which were new with 5.0.4).

    The only difference is, my druid is a tauren, so I get fast herbing. Swimming around gathering herbs super fast is leet.

    Sadly, fast herbing is inferior to white griffons. Most things are.


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