Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tips for low level inscription

I started a new character on Lightbringer-US to join the <Power Word Guild>, the official guild of Power Word: Gold. It was just the excuse I needed to experience the Worgen storyline, which I had wanted to do for a while, but just never seemed to get around to it. I'd also wanted to get a feel for playing the Worgen race as a possible race change for my level 85 hunter.

<Power Word Guild> is a guild designed as a place for gold makers to hang out and interact. There is another guild across the globe on the EU servers too, as well as a guild forum. If you are interested in the guild, or just learning more about the gold making community, head on over to Power Word: Gold and check it out.

As a brand new character, and a glyphing enthusiast I wanted to see just how profitable inscription is at low levels. Get straight to the tips, or read on for my story of how I started making gold on Lightbringer-US.

First up, I played through the Worgen starting zone, and had a fantastic time. I started as a hunter, and liked having "dog" to keep me company (to this day he hasn't been named, despite barking in trade about [Certificate of Ownership]). By level 10 I had 55 silver to my name, and I actually felt quite wealthy. I made it to Darnassus and got some training and hit level 13. My first sale on the AH was [Malachite] for a huge 3g28s. I was gobsmaked. Over 4g after logging in on my second day of a new character was very exciting.

I had chosen to take up herbalism in order to get me through those first few levels of Inscription, and went off questing, making sure I picked every herb that I saw. There is nothing worse than coming across a herb in your travels that you can't pluck from the ground, so I kept a keen lookout. So my second day consisted of a quick herbing session with some miscellaneous quests, and looking for some teeny tiny transmog items (none of which turned into anything).

Overnight, I had a great deal of success selling some linen cloth and little bits and pieces from questing, giving me 21g. I was pretty excited, because now I had a bank roll. So I started with my herbs, leveling inscription and looking at the leveling glyphs that were the highest in value. I sold my first two glyphs on my third day, bumping me up to 78g. Two glyphs. TWO, and I'd not only quadrupled my working capital, but I had 19 glyphs on the auction house. I was motivated to herb, quest and even drop into the dungeon finder with my guild mates to move on up to level 20, where I could increase the cap on my inscription skill.

Logging in on my fourth day, I had sold 12 glyphs for 269g and I was jumping for joy. I pretty much reinvested the lot back into herbs, and found 60 [Midnight Ink] at 1g/ea. I also had my inscribing as high as 190.

On the fifth day, I had sold about the same in glyphs, and while reposting 43 glyphs, I realised I need more bag space. So a quick check of the auction house, and I couldn't believe my eyes! [Pack of Endless Pockets] were on sale for 5g/ea. I quicly snapped 3 up, two for my bags, and one for my bank. It instantly made a difference in how quickly I could manage my inventory. I hit 225 inscription and level 21 (how OP is the XP from cooking and fishing dailies at low level?!?!) and enjoyed a quick scan for transmog items.

Logging in on the seventh day, I saw my first transmog sale for 225g. From the graph, you can sell what a boost that was, giving me a good buffer as I was reinvesting almost every coin back into inscription (or cheap transmog items). I kept on milling and glyphing, making a reasonable return on my time and the gold spent on herbs, making sure I did my Minor Inscription Research every day.

My graph shows a good, solid profit and increase in capital with low level inscribing, even as I spent coin on increasing my glyph stocks and grabbing the odd transmog item. I very quickly had a sizeable bank roll (nearing 2k in only 9 days) and as I only introduced one new glyph per day, wasn't needing to reinvest a lot into herbs and inks.

The last chunk of orange, was a 750g sale for a [Warmaul Helmet] which instantly pushed me into the realm of what I consider wild riches for a level 23 hunter. Life on Lightbringer-US is great, and 10 days later (with a very limited amount of play time) I had reached the 10k mark and level 25. That graph will have to wait for another post, so I'll get right to the point here and present...

Tips for Low Level Inscription

Minor Inscription Research
THE most important tip is to do your Minor Inscription Research every day, without fail. Every low level scribe is going to be making a bunch of the trained recipes just to level up. Some of these seem to have a never ending supply, and almost no demand. So glyphs that come from research are where the money is. Scribes that are leveling purely for the end game, their profession buff and avoiding a rep grind will often not do research at all, so already the supply for these glyphs is reduced to those that are active in the glyph market.

For me, there was another factor in play as to why glyphs from research do better. Say for example, you throw yourself into a new server and a new guild full of fellow gold makers. BAM! Inscription is a fantastic profession for low level characters, and when you have competition who know what they are doing, glyphs from research can help you avoid some of the massive overlap when competing with them. I might discover [Glyph of Mark of the Wild], but my fellow <Power Word Guild> members might not have it yet.

There aren't too many other crafting professions that can make a good profit at low level. So when picking a profession to go with Inscription, I recommend herbalism. Particularly when you are first starting out, herbing as you level can help you level up, and avoid spending the precious little capital you have on herbs. Once you have a bank roll though...

Check the AH Regularly
It doesn't take long to scan the auction house for low level herbs to mill. If there's some interest, I can post my Auctionator shopping lists that are neatly divided by inks. If you can get to the auction houseand have a quick peek, you might be surprised at just how cheap people are selling low level herbs. I try to cap my spend at 75s per herb and really go to town under 50s. If I have glyphs to make in the 100g+ region, I might splash out on some more expensive herbs.

My Auctionator shopping lists also include the pigments and inks themselves, so don't forget to check the final product before spending too much on herbs. If you have a decent bankroll, there is also some value (in your time) in buying the inks direct if they are cheap enough. The only reason to mill herbs is because it is worth your time in the savings you make over purchasing inks themselves.

Tradeskill Master is at the backbone of my entire Enterprise. The link that sends you over to curse has a ton of guides listed, including getting started with crafting glyphs. It does take some time to set up and learn, but if you stay in the glyph market for any length of time, you will be repaid many many times over. There will be a new version of TSM out soon, so keep a lookout over at Nerf Faids for videos that are ready to go when it drops.

Cancel and Repost
In my regular glyph market, I never cancel an auction. It is completely inefficient for me to do so. I have a stockpile of glyphs in the bank, and if I need to post more, I just post more from my stock. I can then drain my mailbox wihle I'm AFK, and quickly deposit them in the bank.

A brand new character can't operate like this. You can't afford to stock 15 - 20 of every type of glyph, and even if you could, you'd probably have a hard time finding low level herbs and inks at the right price over a short period of time to create the stockpile... and then there's bag and bank space issues to contend with.

So I recommend crafting one (or two at most) of every profitable glyph you can and posting them up for 48 hours. When you manage to get back to the server and the auction house, check for undercuts (I use Auctionator). Cancel and repost. Then do a scan (using TSM) and make the profitable glyphs you currently don't have posted. Repeat. Along with searching for herbs and inks, this is the core of your glyph business.

Bag / Bank space
I admit, I've been a little slack in this area. I grabed my 3x [Pack of Endless Pockets] and haven't done a lot since. So as soon as you have the coin, grab the biggest inscribing bags you can afford, and use two of them permenantly in your bags. Inscribing bags in the bank are great for storing excess inks too. The goal with increasing your bag space is to be able to do a full cancel and repost with a single trip to the mailbox. Every time I scan, cancel, open mail or post... I'm alt tabbed out of wow and writing a blog post, reading email / rss / twitter or running my characters through wow reforge (or even making my wife a cup of tea). Getting the most out of every opportunity to be productive in game becomes second nature to gold makers.

Biproducts help you level
You can use [Hunter's Ink], [Dawnstar Ink] and [Royal Ink] to significantly level Inscription. Firstly, they are a biproduct of milling herbs to make glyphs, so you might as well get some use out of them. Secondly, getting these points from biproducts can help you avoid making trained glyphs that sell poorly. If you've been able to buy inks direct, and haven't needed to mill herbs for these biproducts, make sure you check the auction house for them (and associated pigments). Just as with trained glyphs, players often dump these biproduction on the auction house super cheap just to get rid of them, so you can grab some Inscription skill points efficiently.

Try resetting glyph prices
There is still a market for trained glyphs, they aren't all [Glyph of Voidwalker]. When you see the market flooded with glyphs at well below cost price, do an assessment about how much risk you want to take on, and buy them all out. Be prepared to try for a quick sale, recoup your coin and sit on your stock, as the price may well plummet as the next batch of scribes levels up.

[Glyph of Starfire]
With some success in resetting markets, you can apply the practise to the rest of the market (including glyphs you don't know yet).

Try out Transmog flipping
Last but not least, try your hand at the transmog market. Glyphing is a great way to make a steady income while leveling a profession. At max level, glyphing can drive your enterprise to the gold cap. However, particularly at low level, there's a great rush from turning a couple of gold into hundreds or thousands in a single transaction. My post on Transmog Auctionator Lists has links to a bunch of resources on the topic.


  1. Fantastic post Twitchie! I love reading posts like this that give the play by play. 10k by 25 would make anyone player jealous. Can't wait for the next update.

  2. Thanks for this great & detailed post!! I am just now trying to make $$ on a new mid-pop server and tried doing it by solely flipping mog items, but that isn't working _at all_ on this particular this is an alternative idea which might get me the gold I'm looking for...