I have some bad news for Jewelcrafters. The new Brilliant Glass item has already been nerfed. Today I logged in and tried making a few more, and it now has a 23 hour cooldown. While I understand the reasons behind this, likely an attempt to avoid a flood of blue gems on the market, I'm still a bit sad. It was nice to think that I would clear my bags of all the green tribbles and make something useful from them. Ah well, at least the gem economy won't go down the crapper 24 hours after the patch, right?
On a more positive note, I've been doing some additional testing of the gathering quest to see if the drop rates have changed. I'm happy to say that for the most part I believe they have. You can pay me later for getting Blizz to do it my way ;) It has taken me close to a week to make farming trips to Nagrand and Netherstorm for each of the three gathering skills. The ore drop rates are notably more impressive than skinning or herbing. I believe part of the reason is that you hit each node multiple times. As a result, Rich Adamantite nodes have a pretty good chance of dropping 2 nether residue instead of just one. I have yet to get more than one nether residue from a single herb node or skin drop. So at this point, assuming no additional changes, Miners will be collecting their nether residue more easily than the other two professions. On the other hand, ore is more heavily camped than the other two, so this could be Blizzard's way of balancing that out. Here's my sampling of the drop rates for the gathering quest:
Nagrand (20 nodes | 13 nether residue)
Netherstorm (20 nodes | 15 nether residue)
Nagrand (20 nodes | 5 nether residue)
Netherstorm (20 nodes | 6 nether residue)
Nagrand (20 Talbuk Thorngrazers | 7 nether residue)
Netherstorm (20 Talbuk Does/Sires | 3 residue)
As you can see, the drop rate is much lower for herbs and skinning. That said, with skinning I killed the Nagrand talbuks in less than 15 minutes. I'm sure had I kept going I would have gotten the last residue and been able to complete the quest in a reasonable time frame. I'm not quite certain why the drop rate on the Netherstorm talbuks was so low considering the mobs were higher level, hopefully it was just a bad run. With the herbs it's a bit harder to estimate how much time it'll take to complete the quest. If you are on during peak hours, herbs can be just as hard to find as ore. But presumably you herbalists know when it's best to do your farming, so hopefully you'll be able to work it out. Feel free to post updates here once the patch goes out if you want to contribute to the information pool.