The Golden Lotus Bottleneck
Today I want to share my thoughts on Golden Lotus (GL) and the impact to the economy this herb will have. Golden Lotus is used by Alchemists to make Flasks & Transmute Gems. Every Flask/Transmute requires 1 of these items.
There are 3 sources of GL. Herbalism, Spirit of Harmony exchange, and planting seeds to grow a mote of harmony or a random herb (Farmville).
Having farmed Green Tea Leaf, Fool’s Cap, and Snow Lily on my Druid quite regularly since hitting 90 last week, I have 10 GL to my name. The spawn rate of these is terribly low. The best place I found was Dread Wastes where I farmed about 4 of these in an hour.
They are currently going for 255g each on Caelestrasz Alliance, and I expect that price to rise significantly now that Raids have been released and LFR to begin this week also. The demand for this item will definitely outstrip supply for 2 reasons.
There are no Cauldrons of Battle from Alchemy currently, meaning that every raider will either have to supply/use a Flask which lasts 1 hour (Unless you’re an Alchemist) or (use an Elixir after every death). Most guild raids last 2.5 hours so 3 Flasks will be required every raid night. We therefore have a choice, either fork out for 3 Flasks per raid night from the AH, or go farm GL on you Herbalist, or farm Motes of Harmony and when you can make a enough Spirit of Harmony, exchange them for GL. If you don’t have an Alchemist, then your friendly Guild (Flask Master) Alchemist will be more than happy to take your GL and exchange them for Flasks (to later hope for a proc when they make replacement flasks).
The other reason that prices will go through the roof is that Ghost Iron Ore and Kyparite share the same approximate prospect yield for Rare Gems (4%ish chance) - pretty low. I should also mention that Jewelcrafters can also cut their Uncommon gems in a hope to get a perfect cut with has the same stats as a Rare gem. I believe there’s a 20% chance of getting a perfect cut so there is a potential source for alternate gems but I'll be doing the enchant shuffle.
The only way to get gems transmuted colour specific, is by an Alchemist. Again for every transmute a GL is required. So we’re back to farming GL either by Herbalism, Motes of Harmony or Farmville. I should also note that Jewelcrafters can also cut their Uncommon gems in a hope to get a perfect cut with has the same stats as a Rare gem. I believe there’s a 20% chance of getting a perfect cut so there is a potential source for alternate gems.
Farming motes of Harmony from Mobs again takes a while, there’s a cave just up from One Keg that has an acceptable drop rate of these approx. 1 Spirit an Hour.
The last way to acquire GL is via Farming (Tilers Rep), this involves planting Enigma Seed seeds and cultivating your crop the next day. There is a random chance that you will receive a GL. I believe you can have a maximum of 16 farms if you want to play Farmville. You can also plant Songbell seeds and harvest Motes of Harmony which is probably the better choice.
After discussing this issue with a few people in game I am of the opinion that the general gaming community do not like how the system is working presently. As a raider (Goblin view below), I didn’t sign up to spending an hour a night doing Dailys for Rep gear, to then have to go out after the raid to farm mats for consumables. The general wow community want to log in, raid, run a few dungeons then log out. They aren’t looking for the time sinks that Blizz are imposing on us. For these type of raiders that are time limited, they have one option, buy off the AH.At last count there were approximately 200 GL on the AH ranging in price from 255g to 489g. As a Goblin I’m going to make hay while the sun shines. Buyout all the GL on the AH to 300g and make Flasks for re-sale. Keep buying out GL and play the Flask market until Blizz realise the errors of their ways and either increase the drop rate of GL or make Mote/Spirit of Harmony BoE.
After trying this out, the demand for Flasks and low price of Gems ,make buying out Golden Lotus unprofitable. Do not attempt this until the price of Golden Lotus and demand for Flasks/Gems increase.