Inspired by the goldblogosphere, I’ve been thinking about future niche markets and it suddenly occurred to me: what about gathering up cheap mats now that will be useful for the mini-boom in Leatherworking we’re likely to see come Cata?
(Disclaimer: I dropped Leatherworking for Inscription ages ago. But NOT having a Leatherworker may have actually served a useful purpose here…)
Why a Leatherworking mini-boom and potential profits? Here’s the logic:
1. More leatherworkers:
There will be Worgens with Skinning up the Wazoo. I figure the vast majority of new Worgens will take Skinning for the racial bonus. Seems silly not to.
Many players foolishly combine a gathering and crafting skill on the same toon. Tons of these Skinners will thus become Leatherworkers.
Also, some of the Worgen who don’t take up Leatherworking as profession #2 may take it up on an alt.
2. Slower skillups:
Leatherworking naturally skills up far, far slower than Skinning. Skinning level-ups happen naturally; Leatherworking skillups, for the most part, take work.
Leatherworking skill-ups might not even keep pace with leveling…many players may be more focused on killing for leveling than on killing for Leatherworking. Thus, many may level up using BGs, instances, non-skinnable mobs, etc. They will need mats.
In other words, their Leatherworking will lag. My assumption is that rather than level Leatherworking a few points at a time, using farmed mats – which is a lower cash outlay but dreadfully inefficient way to skill up – they will look for ways to push many skillup points at a time. Hence,
3. Emphasis on powerleveling techniques:
True, many will fly by the seat of their pants (Gevlon’s M&S), picking patterns that are yellow or orange to skillup in an ad hoc fashion, almost certainly guaranteeing they will use more mats than necessary to skill up (this only emphasizes my basic premise of selling Leatherworking mats!). The rest will do what I did: Google “powerleveling Leatherworking” – or something similar. They will then find and follow the leveling guides from
4. Where are the opportunities?
As a service to you, I have assembled the mat sets suggested/implied by each guide in the table below. As you can see, they vary substantially in their suggested stockpile for the 1-450 push (I avoided old guides that don’t go to 450). Some routes avoid certain mats entirely.
My goal here was to identify the mats that are absolutely necessary to level. Not surprisingly, leathers topped the list!
That’s a lot of leather for each Leatherworker! Eyeballing this lot suggests to me that essential items to focus on include Borean, Rugged, and to a lesser extent, Knothide Leather. I left Light Leather out completely, because there will probably be mountains of it in the AH, generated by all the low level skinners running around (combined with the very fast/low mat leveling that takes place at the Apprentice/Journeyman levels). For this reason, I would also guess that even though they stand out in the table above, Thick and Heavy Leathers should be a lower priority, as quite a lot of these may be generated by the advancing skinners, plus Leatherworkers won’t need as many of these.
Finally, the table above highlights some other items that may prove incredibly cheap over the next couple of months, relative to what they will fetch post-Cata: Fel Scales, Arctic Fur, Icy Dragonscales, Nerubian Chitin.