A Sneak Peak at Unraveling for Tailors

Tailoring enthusiasts may already be aware of a new ability coming in Cataclysm called Unravel. This ability allows Tailors to "extract the elements of fire and water" from a stack of Embersilk cloth. On the surface this sounds great, and maybe even a bit overpowered. Based on what I'm seeing in the beta so far, you'll be unable to level Tailoring without it. The recipes that have been mined so far require a large amount of volatile elements, as much as five times higher than needed for Leatherworking or Blacksmithing. Of course, this information isn't final. But assuming it's in the ballpark, it portends a tough road for Tailors. Especially since many of you are Enchanters, which means your companion profession won't help at all.

I'm calculating the need for at least 600 volatiles to skill all the way from 450 to 525 in Tailoring, most of those fire and water. I have yet to figure out where volatile fire comes from, I've only gotten volatile earth/shadow from mining obsidian. It's possible that it will drop from higher ores, but that won't really help availability. Volatile water has been dropping from fishing since that was implemented this week. Naturally there should be plenty of it floating around once folks decide to work on their fishing. But once again it looks like fire will be the bottleneck in crafting.

This is where the Unravel ability comes in... you can sacrifice a stack of cloth and convert it into volatile elements. The tooltip only lists fire and water as possible results, which makes sense since that's the bulk of the volatiles needed. The only downside I see here is that when you're trying to level Tailoring you probably won't be stoked about destroying cloth. But if that's the only way to progress I assume most will suck it up and do it.

I decided to give up a few stacks of my precious Embersilk stash to test the Unravel ability. I cried the whole time. Ok, maybe not actual crying but my inner hoarder screeched a little. I can already tell that my cloth stash is outpacing my volatile stash by a good bit, so I felt I should make the sacrifice for the greater good. I did five stacks of cloth to see what sort of volatiles I could get. Here's the results:

First stack: 10 volatile fire and 5 embersilk scraps
Second stack: 11 volatile water and 7 embersilk scraps
Third stack: 9 volatile water and 2 embersilk scraps
Fourth stack: 10 volatile water and 6 embersilk scraps
Fifth stack: 11 volatile water and 4 embersilk scraps

The embersilk scraps are gray trash that you can sell back to the vendor for about half the price of the embersilk cloth. As you can see, I was getting an average of 10 volatiles per unravel action. The tooltip indicates that you'll get 8-11 and it looks like it stays mostly on the upper end of that range. The dismaying part for me? Four out of five stacks gave me water and not fire. I would really like to see that evened out so Tailors can craft their items without creating a glut of volatile water. We already have too much eternal water floating around that isn't used. Enabling Tailors to unravel cloth for volatile fire will just encourage them to plow through tons of cloth and cast away the excess water. Alternately I'd like to see more crafted items using volatile water and relying less on volatile fire as a component. In WotLK it is near impossible to find a popular item that uses eternal water. Surely we can correct that problem instead of perpetuating it, I think.

For those of you curious about the early leveling progression, you might be interested to know that the only yellow recipes for me are Ebonweave/Moonshroud/Spellweave Robes and the Glacial Bag. The unravel ability was gray when I trained it and the Embersilk bolt is yellow. My tailor is currently capped at 450 skill. In all likelihood you'll want to focus on making embersilk bolts for skill points rather than making old gear. The good news is that cloth is dropping quite nicely in Cataclysm so collecting it should be as bad as it was in Northrend.

As always, feel free to post questions and research requests in the Comments section :)


  1. Thanks for this information! :)

  2. I also experimented with unraveling a bit, but didn't take detailed notice of the results - of the 3 tries I only got volatile water so far, no volatile fire. I got a few volatile fires in the bank, but those came from mob drops.

    What is the reason you are capped at 450 tailoring btw? The trainer (in Dalaran) offered me the illustrious grand master rank after I learned the bolt of embersilk recipe; it seems that learning that recipe somehow made the game realize I was eligible for the illustrious rank. I don't know if that is a one-time offer and that the offered rank reverts to apprentice if you do not learn illustrious immediately, or that the offered rank stays at illustrious.

    In other news: I crafted the two craftable tailor-made items whose recipes are available (sorry, I don't have the links atm, as I am not near my game computer). One surprise was that by now I already replaced one of the two (green ilvl 300) items with a green ilvl 287 quest reward (from deepholm) which had slightly better stats. Seeing the ilvl difference that felt like a bug to me.

  3. It would be nice if the water could be used on first aide bandages for a buff.

    I do think that destroying the cloth should be the same as prospecting ore for gems and give you some sort of powder equivelant. This is exciting for me though because my husband is a warrior Blacksmith/Miner, so I'm hoping between the two of us we'll be able to get cloth and ore to get the Volatiles.

  4. For reference, the two items I was talking about above were:
    Crafted ilvl 300 bracers: http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/54473/deathsilk-bracers/
    Quest reward ilvl 289 bracers: http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/61504/furyquench-bracers/

  5. Yoco: I'm not quite ready to raise my skill yet and I was concerned that the unravel ability my give me skill-ups. So I decided not to train Illustrious and leave my skill at the old cap. Luckily both recipes I wanted to test were under the cap. Of course after I trained the Unravel spell I realized it was gray :) But I'm waiting for a more final list of recipes before I start leveling up and right now the trainer recipes are very skimpy.

    BTW - I think you should submit a bug report on the Tailor bracers. If the item level is higher, the stats should be too.

    Anon: Smithing should be able to level with just earth/water, very few recipes use fire atm. So your Tailor should be able to provide him with the water he needs.

  6. Ah, that makes sense, waiting for a slightly more complete implementation before leveling.

    I didn't mention it in my post, but I already posted a bug report via the in-game reporting tool on the bracer issue.

  7. is there an ability similar to the one tailors got in Northrend to pick up extra cloth from mobs, or is that gone and Unravel kinda sorta replacing it as the bonus ability?

  8. Rien: I've not seen any mention of a new "extra cloth" ability, but Tailoring is very weak right now. There are only five or so recipes on the trainer and they are all under the 450 cap. We'll probably know more once the full list is activated. Right now mobs are dropping 2-4 cloth, so it would be reasonable to assume that they might just skip it completely.

  9. Rien: I don't have a screenshot handy, but it seems the graphics for the tradeskill pane has space for two buttons per profession. For tailoring I actually see both of those: one is of course "Tailoring" - the button that opens the tailoring crafting panel. The other is the passive 'button' "Northern Cloth Scavenging" (the name may be slightly different, I can not check in game atm.). So it doesn't look like there is space for a cataclysm-specific version of that, at least not yet. If they would add it, I guess it would have to come as a new 'rank' of northern cloth scavenging.

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