Sunday, March 22
Large, Burly Men Picking Flowers
The big bad Warrior trudges through the icy landscape, cutting a swath through the evil undead with his mighty sword. The enemy seems endless, but our hero fights on. Blood, gore and bits of brains splatter his once pristine armor. Biceps bulging, he chops down two walking corpses with single, powerful blow and looks around for his next target when suddenly...
Ohhhhh! Pretty flowers!
Flower picking and mixing pots may not seem like the most Warriorly of professions, but there isn't a Warrior out there that doesn't use 'em. Whether you make 'em or buy 'em, you'll need to know about those pretty flowers and what wonderful concoctions can be brewed up with them!
I haven't done a lot with Alchemy and Herbalism since Wrath launched. Honestly, it's probably at bottom of the professions as far as interesting goes. Oh, sure we got all the regular stuff. Not much more than that, though.
One addition we did get was how we learn new mixes. Northrend Alchemy Research is a great addition and way better than the BC method of randomly learning a new Pot while making something. Alchemists picked up a neat passive ability called Mixology that doubles the duration and increases the effect of Elixirs, Potions and Flasks. Herbalists picked up Lifeblood, which is a nifty heal. Both are practical and useful skills. I just think both professions offer up the opportunity for some more fun, silly, and unusual applications, as well.
I use the term "pot" to refer to Elixirs, Flasks, and Potions, by the way. They are different and have different uses, but for a generic term, it'll do. I also equate Alchemy with Herbalism. One isn't complete without the other. I understand that you could certainly do one without the other, and that herbalism now supports a second profession. To me, though, the two are one and the same. :)
Herbalism is easy to level. Just pick stuff up off the ground and Ding! you're at level cap. Alchemy isn't terribly difficult either. There is a minor brick wall when you get near the end. You can't level the skill any further unless you do the transmutes. Minor annoyance, because you have to shop for the mats, but not terrible either.
One of the things I've always felt I should be doing with Alchemy and Herbalism is carry around the mats I need and mix on the fly. I never do, though. I usual end up with a big bag full of all sorts of weird crap I've mixed up thinking "Oh yah! I can definitely use that!" and then never actually use. Eventually, I burn them off while questing just to make room for one more stack of [miscellaneous bad guy body part]. So I sat down and made a carry list of stuff I'd actually use.
Brilliant, I know.
This is particularly true for Elixirs, which is the bulk of what you'd be mixing on the run. Potions are too situational, though being able to mix one when you need it just before a fight is handy. Flasks and Transmutes would require carrying too many mats. Most players will only use one type of Flask anyhow, so carrying the mats for them isn't economical, bag space-wise. In most cases, you'd pre-mix the particular Flasks you want and then hand 'em out and consume them prior to going adventuring.
Like me, you'll know you need to switch to carrying mats instead of the finished pot when you're filling a 20-slot bag with bottles of various fluids. Not good. :)
The Pretty Flowers
There are currently eight Northrend herbs. The vials you'll use are the Imbued and Enchanted Vials. A proper alchemist will carry one stack of Imbued pretty much all the time. Anything else, you'll probably only buy containers when you're pre-mixing.
Do you need to carry a particular herb?
I've started carrying enough to make the Elixirs and few pots I need plus anything my guildies might need. We're very magic dependent in Dark Clan, so I frequently need to make stuff to boost mana regen or spellpower and the like. Your mileage will vary, so look at what kind of groups you usually run with and you may be able to drop an herb from your bag.
Frost Lotus - only useful for making your Flasks and Alchemists Stones. Warrior Alchemists will probably end up making two of the latter: Indestructible Alchemist Stone and Mighty Alchemist Stone. I have both cause I don't have a better trinket to replace the Mighty one (damn you Loken!). Flasks always have a special reagent you have to use, like Pygmy Oil or a Crystalized something-or-other. Carrying all the mats would defeat the purpose, so Flasks are usually going to be pre-mix and carry. Basically, not a lot of reason to be carrying around Frost Lotus. Bank it.
Adder's Tongue - an excellent herb to consider carrying. Warrior's will mix up Elixir of Deadly Strikes and Elixir of Expertise. Unless you're capped on these two stats, these pots come in terribly handy. And who couldn't use an Expertise boost? You can also use it to make Elixir of Mighty Agility and Potion of Speed.
Deadnettle - might not carry this one around unless you really, really need to. It's used for Elixir of Lightning Speed, Elixir of Mighty Thoughts, Lesser Flask of Toughness, and Wrath Elixir. For a Warrior, Wrath Elixir is tempting, but there's a better one that doesn't require Deadnettle. You might need it for Elixir of Mighty Thoughts if you run with those magic wielding types a lot. If not, bank it.
Goldclover - Probably should carry two stacks of this. It's the most commonly used Northrend herb and is a reagent for 15! recipes. Nope, not gonna list 'em all. The most common thing you'll use it for is healing pots, of which I prefer Crazy Alchemist Potion. A heal plus a bonus. There's plenty of Warriory Elixirs that use it, too. Just carry it. It's your little yellow friend.
Icethorn - yes and no. If you're not at Def cap, then yes. This and Crystallized Life make Elixir of Mighty Defense, which frankly, you need if you're tanking under cap. The top end healing potion, Runic Healing Potion, also requires this, so if you prefer these you'll need Icethorn. I've never been willing to burn my potion cooldown on situational pots, but if you do, Indestructible Potion is excellent. Otherwise, you can safely bank this one.
Talandra's Rose - this one is worth carrying just for Elixir of Accuracy. Specially if you're like me and the ol' Hit rating sucketh. With this and a bit of Tiger Lily, you can be smacking stuff around properly. If you're packing Deadnettle, as well, your mana using friends will love you for Elixir of Mighty Thoughts and Elixir of Spirit. The best pot heal comes from the Rose. It's called Potion of Nightmares. One of these and a quick bandage will get you back in the action fairly quick. You might be a bit disturbed after, but you at least you'll be fighting quick. :)
Tiger Lily - One of the best. Another you won't want to leave home without. For Warrior's, Elixir of Mighty Strength, for spell casting friends, Spellpower Elixir. If Armor Penetration becomes more important, this one will also do Elixir of Armor Piercing. And, of course, you'll need it for Elixir of Accuracy, mentioned above.
When I know I'll be mixing for a group, I carry:
1 Endless Healing Potion
20 Adder's Tongue
20 Talandra's Rose
20 Tiger Lily
*I always run out of Goldclover, so prolly should start carrying more.
Which is 7 bag slots (including flasks). With these I can make at least 16 pots for a nice buff diversity. Two or three more slots increases that to close to thirty mixes. Much more economical than carrying around the individual pots.
If I'm not planning to be mixing on the move, I carry:
5 Elixir of Accuracy (Battle)
5 Elixir of Mighty Fortitude (Guardian)
5 Flask of Stoneblood (Both)
10 Crazy Alchemist's Potion
Once I'm hit capped, I'd switch to Elixir of Mighty Strength for the Battle Elixir. So, just for m'self I can run around with some nice buffs in only four bag slots. And all are dirt cheap to make for a flower pickin' Warrior.
Don't be ashamed to pause the head bashing for a moment to pick some flowers. Stop and smell the Talandra's Roses. They may laugh at you now, but they'll be kissing your plate-clad behind when it comes time to hand out the pots. :)