Leveling Herbalism 450-525 (BETA)

This may be hard to believe, but I've actually leveled Herbalism three times in the Beta. The first time was on a pre-made character which I leveled from the ground up. Unfortunately she was already level 82 by the time Illustrious Herbalism was implemented, which led to the second leveling test. The second round was taking a level 80 through the same 450-525 range, which I was able to do successfully. I've also just completed a third test which I'll discuss at the end of this post.

When Cataclysm launches and you're ready to tackle Herbalism, you should probably decide where you're going first. The new zones are on two different continents, so switching between is a bit of a time sink. The nearest trainers for Mount Hyjal farming are probably Darnassus/Orgrimmar. If you want to go to Vashj'ir you should train in Ironforge/Undercity. I believe Mount Hyjal is preferable to Vashj'ir for a couple of reasons. First, you don't get a seafaring mount until you do the initial quest line in Vashj'ir. This takes about a dozen quests to unlock, meanwhile you're swimming about like a noob. This is fine for questing, but annoying for farming. Second, Vashj'ir is a three dimensional zone. You have mobs above and below you, in addition to the normal aggro radius. Some folks have trouble adjusting to this concept. Even if you don't think that will be you, sometimes mobs have the nerve to lurk behind huge blobs of seaweed where you can't even see them. Eventually we'll all adjust, but you may not want this much novelty on your plate right off the bat.

The herbs that spawn in the two entry level zones require a skill level of 425 and turn green at 475. The logical progression after that would be to travel to Deepholm and collect Heartblossom, the herb available at 475 skill. Unfortunately Deepholm is inaccessible to level 80/81 players, so our progression needs to provide an option that skips Deepholm. Luckily it's possible to farm Cinderbloom & Friends all the way to Whiptail, which requires 500 skill and spawns in Uldum. Whiptail can only be found near the river banks, so be aware that wandering the desert is an exercise in futility. You'll have no problem getting to 525 with Whiptail, it actually stays orange all the way up. Once you cap Herbalism you can also collect Twilight Jasmine in the Twilight Highlands, the final Cataclysm herb.

With my level 80 test I went to Mount Hyjal for the early portion of the leveling process. This is a workable plan if you haven't quested through Hyjal yet. As I discovered earlier today, it can be frustrating if you've completed most/all of Hyjal before you get around to working on gathering skills.

Phasing is not your friend as a gatherer. At this point I've doing a good amount of mining and herb farming in Mount Hyjal. In general it's much easier to go about your gathering before quest areas are phase-shifted. In one particularly nasty twist, a significant section of Hyjal becomes populated with aggressive elite dragons who will continue zapping you for 2-3k from half a zone away. After attracting the attention of one... then a second... of these babies I booked it to Winterspring. They continued to blast at me several more times before they realized I had actually gone to a different zone. Perhaps these little snags will be corrected before launch. Meanwhile I know where I won't be leveling my gatherers.

The only portion of Hyjal that was changed for the better was "The Regrowth". If you complete a set of quests that transforms this fire-blackened area into a budding forest, you should get some decent herb spawns in that section. I would absolutely not quest through "The Scorched Plain" or any other area south or east of that (Gates of Sothann, Seat of the Chosen, Forge of Supplication, Doom's Vigil). Well, assuming you want to preserve a part of Hyjal for gathering duties.

Which brings me to my latest leveling attempt - a dry run of the "power level" process to see what's involved in making that work. I know some of you are interested in going for Realm First, so I thought I'd try that out. I started in Hyjal, but I'm not sure that's the smartest way to go. Theoretically you could also go straight to Uldum and farm Cinderbloom until you hit 495, then start picking Whiptail. Uldum has both herbs, Cinderbloom in the sandy desert spots and Whiptail in the river bank areas.

But all of the new herbs turn green at 475 which means you'll have to get 20 additional skill points on them before you can switch to Whiptail. Leveling 20 points on green herbs seemed painfully slow to me. So I checked in with Wowhead and realized that Icethorn stays yellow longer than Cinderbloom/Azshara's Veil/Stormvine. Stupid as it sounds, it actually worked better to level part of Herbalism in Northrend.

I spent 22 minutes in Mount Hyjal getting my Herbalism to 472. Then I hearthed back to Dalaran and flew to K2, where it took me only 14 minutes to hit 495. What it boils down to is that you'll get more reliable skill-ups from Icethorn than the new herbs. The spawn density is also better in Storm Peaks and there's no competition from other players. So if speed is important to you, I have to recommend Northrend as the better leveling location. At 495 (with your +gathering gloves) you can portal from Dalaran to the Caverns of Time and be just one zone away from Uldum.

The ideal scenario for a Realm First attempt would be to have a Dalaran ring and your Hearthstone set to the classic city of your choice (to avoid being trapped in Dalaran). If you don't have a Dalaran ring then just leave your hearth set in Dalaran. You can learn the Illustrious rank of Herbalism in Dalaran and then fly to your preferred Lichbloom/Icethorn farming spot. Once you hit 495 skill (you have those +gathering gloves right?) you ring-port back to Dalaran and use the Caverns of Time portal.

Next, fly directly to the center of Uldum but don't use a flight path. You won't have the right ones anyway. Once you see the river, start collecting Whiptail. It took me about 12 minutes to hit 525, but I started at 500 skill instead of 495. You can probably assume 15 minutes if you don't have other competition in the area. There's a good amount of Whiptail along the river, but watch out for crocolisks and the occasional cat-dude.

All told it should take less than an hour to hit the Herbalism cap. If my numbers are reasonably accurate you can do it in under 45 minutes. If for some reason you don't manage to get Realm First, the consolation prize will be making mad money on all the Whiptail you collected. You can also head over to Twilight Highlands and score some of that Twilight Jasmine.

Bear in mind that this information could change between now and launch. To be honest, I would not be surprised if they tweaked the Cinderbloom/Azshara/Stormvine triumvirate. I find it strange that they can all be harvested at 425 with the other three herbs spread across 475/500/525. They could also shift Lichbloom to be green at 450. Plus, the CoT portal might be removed from Dalaran. I'll try to do another test for this if I get a chance towards the end of Beta, but no promises on a fourth go ;)

62 comments:

  1. Thanks!
    1) If you are a scribe, have you seen the changes to scrolls of teleportation?
    If so, where can scribes port to?

    2) you could go all Gevlon and hire a mage alt to be pre-positioned to port you.

    3) I hope the engineering teleport to gad still works

    Unless electronic downloads even the playing field, we west coast players are giving up a 3 hour head start.

    Does the Druid herb while in flight form still work? Do the min/maxers think that is better than the pally/unDK speed buff?

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  2. Thanks for this awesome info.

    I have recently re professioned my druid to herbalism because of his 310% speed flight form insta-herbing potential as I am hoping to make mad money on day 1 rather than aiming for realm 1st, although that would be sweet.

    The other benefit for druids is the Moonglade portal puts us real close to Hyjal so that will definitely be my first farming spot.

    Re Northrend herbing, I hope they don't nerf that as they certainly didn't nerf Outland herbing on Wrath launch.

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  3. Any plans for a similar review of mining?

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  4. I would think that Icethorn will not remain as is when Cata launches. They will alter the level and it will grey out very quickly. We will probably see this happen on the Beta servers as we get closer to release. They usually do this very close to final polish I remember this happening in the previous expansions.

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  5. I'm surprised you're talking about power leveling herbalism only using gloves with a +5 herbalism enchant.

    There are leatherworker gloves in the game that provide a +5 enchant, which can be enchanted a further +5 making Whiptail available at 490.

    Herbalist's Gloves http://www.wowhead.com/item=7349

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  6. I'm sorry, that should have read "leatherworker crafted gloves"

    The recipe is limited sale, and only buyable by alliance, but I've been able to get a lvl 8 nightelf over there, and the recipe can be transfered through the neutral AH, so the gloves are available to both factions, without too much difficulty

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  7. So far there's no new teleport scroll for Scribes. And yes, I forgot to include the mage thing... assuming you've got a buddy who'll interrupt his Cata activities for you ;)

    Engineering teleports still work, I've tested by Area 52 version.

    Druids can still loot in flight form and other players are still peeved about it.

    Yes, East Coast players are at an advantage and may get the Realm First before other zones are even in the game.

    Draco: I've leveling mining twice so far and I'm kinda out of toons for further testing but I'll see what I can do. Meanwhile I think my original post gives enough information to make a go of it.

    Anon: I forgot about the herb gloves, my bad. They wouldn't work for cloth wearers, but other players can certainly use them to their advantage.

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  8. Sorry for posting here but the blog entry from crafterstome leads back here.

    Is there any way to see the recipe info sorted by zone not profession? I.e. if I make a once every six months trip to some remote location, is anything interesting (i.e. rare. ok valuable) sold there? Currently, candy buckets.

    Thanks!

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  9. No worries! We don't actually track that sort of information in our charts. In fact, I don't think we have an herb chart. However, I know you can see that kind of thing on Wowhead:

    http://cata.wowhead.com/objects=-3

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  10. I'd be extremely surprised if they decided to change icethorn to green, since I leveled herbalism AND mining to 340 in azeroth, and to 420 in outlands last month just to see how long it would take for gathering profs in either place to go grey.

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  11. "The spawn density is also better in Storm Peaks and there's no competition from other players."

    well, *was* no competition...

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  12. It has been a while since I leveled my herbalist, but I was able to level it by only touching mt hyjal and twilight highlands.

    Doing so won't work for everyone: being a tauren (+15 herbalism bonus) is a requirement, together with gloves with the herbalism or gatherer enchant (+5), for a total of +20 herbalism skill. The key here is that Cinderbloom and Twilight Jasmine are both quite common herbs, but vastly different in required herbalism skill: Cinderbloom goes 'gray' 20 levels before you can start picking Twilight Jasmine. At least, that was the case when I tested it some weeks ago. Hyjal has plenty of Cinderbloom, while Twilight Highlands has a little Cinderbloom and loads of Twilight Jasmine.

    On the live realms I now finally managed to grab the "herbalist's gloves" recipe for another +5 bonus (only sold by an alliance vendor in the middle of nowhere - ashenvale), so my herbalist can start off with +25 herbalism skill once cataclysm hits.

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  13. Cata is launching at midnight pst. So the East coasters are going to be SOL (3am ewww).

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  14. Tis probably revenge for getting the three hour jump on us west coast folks during the last two expansions ;)

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  15. I am fine with it.. I live in the west coast.
    What I am not fine with is the collector edition buyers getting screwed in terms of the online preinstall.

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  16. 3am East cost just means do it like the farmers... Early to bed and get up before sunrise...

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  17. Any word on the drop rate for Volatile Life from herb gathering?

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  18. I've got my own personal observations on the drop rate of Volatile Life, but Wowhead is currently putting it around 15%. That's about half the drop rate we get right now for the WotLK version. Since we're no longer using Lotus to make flasks, the current drop rate isn't going to cut it for Live.

    On the other hand, it's better than the drop rate I'm seeing for other volatiles, so in the grand scheme of gathering it's King of the Hill.

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  19. So Volatile Life may be more on par with the Mote of Life drop rate in Outland...not necessarily the best considering all the items that require life. Even the guild reward for gatherers will not make that much of a difference with the rate at 15%. Oh well, guess that it will make things more challenging for the long haul. Thanks.

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  20. So far I have been turning quite a bit of the volatile lifes I got into other volatiles, in the hope to get my supply of those other volatiles up a bit. (There is an alchemy recipe to turn 15 volatile life into 14-16 of a random other element) If you take that also into account (volatile life making up for the lack of other volatiles), I think you can safely say that there isn't enough of the stuff, even though it feels that volatile life is easier to get than others.

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  21. I'll just wanted to say thank you for another insightful article here!
    Somehow the other sites reporting on Cata seem to have no interest in professions.
    So I'm more than happy, that you're covering it so well, Kaliope!

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  22. Glad you're enjoying the content - professions are my passion so I'm happy to provide safe haven for fellow enthusiasts :)

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  23. Hello Kaliope,

    Thanks for all the great info. I really want to try to the realm first as not really sure any one will be even bothering on my realm.

    Have you had a chance to see if if the LK herbs are still orange/yellow for when you suggest heading to K2?

    Also do you know if the +herbalism enchants stack? Say I had gatherer on Herbalist's Gloves. This would net you another 10 points so ever closer towards farming whiptail.

    Also, this being true, should I then head back to Hyjal at 485 (+10 herbalims enchants) or wait till I hit 495 so in theory have 205?

    Thanks for the help :):):)

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  24. Yes, the herbs in Storm Peaks are still yellow/orange as they currently are. I just made myself the Herbalist Gloves with the +5 herbalism enchant and they are both showing in the tooltip. I don't have a low-level herb picker to test with, but I assume it's working :)

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  25. Great stuff! Ill let you know how it goes :)

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  26. Great job on the Beta-coverage Kaliope!
    I've got a crazy dream of going for realm first on herbalism, so I'm now busy as a little bee trying to figure everything out.

    As a tauren you get +15 to herbalism, and with the enchant + glove that puts you at +25. Does that mean that you have to gather till 550 for the achievement, or do you get it at 525?
    If you have to make it all the way to 550 for the achievement, is that possible to do gathering whiptail? Or will I have to head for Twilight Highlands to farm Twilight Jasmine?
    I might have gone a bit overboard in thinking you know *everything*, but its worth a shot. :)

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  27. Anon: How exciting - I hope you get it! I think the only thing the glove enchant does is enable you to pick herbs 10 points sooner than you would with no gloves. The achievement will be based on your skill, not the buffed skill. You can always take the gloves off once you reach whiptail if you're concerned that it might affect your skill ups, but I don't think that's how it works.

    As for the racial, I'm not 100% certain on that as I don't have a Tauren herbalist. However, I do have a gnome engineer and I don't think her racial affects the achievement. I believe you still get the achievement at 525 even though you personally have a cap of 540. I could be wrong on that, but I'm fairly sure that's how it works. Anyone else wanna chime in here on racials?

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  28. Actually, i see lichbloom as yellow with 465 skill (tauren here too), and green with 475 (gloves+enchant). I don't know if it as an influence on skillup rate, but i wont for sure take the risk, and drop the glove once i really reach 400 with wiptail.

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  29. thx a lot. I made server first :)

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  30. Great guide, just got me a Realm First, thank you!

    Storm Peaks to 490, then Uldum with +10 gloves, worked perfectly.

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  31. WOOT - That's AWESOME! Gratz to both of you!!!

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  32. I just got my server first, thank you! I just went for Uldum and did it in about 40 minutes.

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  33. Congrats on Realm First!!! Now us Americans have two methods to choose from :)

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  34. Thank you for this post. You're the reason I got the realm first achievement on my 75 (dinged 76 1 second after) Tauren druid :D

    -Extro of Bloodscalp (EU)

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  35. I'm so happy for you - WAY TO GO!! Gratz on Realm First AND level 76!!!

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  36. Just to confirm I got the achievement at 540 on my Tauren. Was really excited I hit 525, the nothing happened and I was sure I wasn't going to get the realm first :P

    -Extro

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  37. Thank you SO MUCH for letting us know about that, I know our readers who aren't in Cata yet will be happy to have that information =)

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  38. Thank you so much for this! I hope you are able to respond to this within the next 2 hours and 45 minutes..lol

    Just to clarify...Uldum does have certain herbs that I'll be able to pick with a skill of 465?

    I'm trying to figure out the best option. I decided to go for my realms first--thanks to your guide! :)

    My plan:

    1. Log off in Dal
    2. Train Herbalism/Flying (not sure if I can train Az. flying in Dal or not)
    3. Fly to Storm Peaks & get skill to 495
    4. hearth to Dal and take portal to cavern
    5. fly to Uldum and cap skill

    or should I just go straight to Uldum and hope for the best? conflicted. hehe

    Anyway. Thats my plan! I hope it works. I can't find anyone that has the old enchant gloves advanced herbalism enchant i had to settle for +2 on my herb gloves. lol

    Anyway, thank you so much for this site!

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  39. Thanks :) got my realmfirst from this

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  40. Thanks :) just got my realmfirst from this!

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  41. Scott: Yes, Uldum has Cinderbloom which can be collected at 425 skill. We've had people who did both (Northrend/Uldum or just Uldum). It's just a matter of how much competition you end up with.

    Too bad you're not on my realm, I posted 20 pairs of Herbalist gloves with the +5 enchant ;)

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  42. thank you so much for this guide!!!!! got me realm first stormreaver-us. Also confirm tauren 540 is needed.

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  43. Thanks so much Kaliope! After following your advice I received the realm first for this on Kilrogg. Much love.

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  44. Kaliope, I just wanted to post and say thank you - I got Realm First herbalist on U.S. Proudmoore, entirely thanks to your guide. While the other Tauren Druids were fighting for herb nodes in Hyjal, I went from Storm Peaks straight to Uldum, and cruised to realm first in under an hour. (With the enchanted herb gloves, natch.)

    For those who are curious, I needed to get to 540 herbalism for the achievement since I'm a Tauren. I think that's probably the case for most of the professions.

    Anyway, just wanted to say a HUGE thank you for your awesome blog and tips!

    - Quorn

    Proudmoore-US

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  45. I GOT IT!! Realm first! :) Thank you!!

    I did Storm Peaks & then Uldum

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  46. I got realm first herbalist thanks to your help also... Thanks so much for this post. I even beat out a few druids, amazing....

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  47. Gratz to all you guys - amazing job getting all these realm achievements!!!

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  48. I got Realm First on Bloodhoof US thanks to this! Thank you very much!

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  49. Thank you, just came back by to say that this guide got me the Realms First Illustrious Grand Master Achivement! Thanks again.

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  50. Another Scott here with the Realm First, also wanted to say a big thanks to everyone here for the great advice. Had no competition whatsoever - never saw a soul in Storm Peaks and only saw 2 others in Uldum - 1 mining, 1 fishing.

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  51. Thanks so much for your guides. I was just looking for some help on where to gather for my double gatherer hunter and you got me a realm first for herbalism and almost a second one for mining, lost it for 6 points.

    I started in Icecrown with a route for Icethorn, Lichbloom, Titanium and Rich Saronite and I was ready to move on at the same time on both profs.

    THANK YOU!!!

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  52. I got realm first herbalist on Warsong Realm. Thanks so much!!!!!
    Viril

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  53. Kaliope you are awesome! I discovered your blog while I was trying to 'prepare for Cataclysm' months ago, and have visited it frequently since. So much useful information, it would have made my "WoW life" 100 times easier if I'd discovered it earlier.
    After reading this post for the first time when it came out, it became my next WoW Goal to get Realm First Herbalism on my main, and I got it last night all thanks to you! It was so quick and easy that I didn't really know what to do afterwards, so I kept farming in Uldum for 2 hours and ended up with way more stacks of Cinderbloom and Whiptail than I need to follow your alchemy guide and still make tons of money on the AH, and over 100 volatile life, which has already been extremely profitable.
    My preparation paid off just like I wanted it to, all thanks to your preparation on the Beta! Thanks so much!

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  54. Oh, and I forgot to mention that I love that you are Alliance - it feels like most bloggers are Horde and it makes me happy to 'finally' have one with the Alliance POV.

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  55. OMG! THANKS Kaliope. Took me 1 hour 13 mins to level Gathering till 525. Not server first but that's cos I didn't start playing at midnight.

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  56. A HUGE GRATZ to everyone who got their Realm First in Herbalism - I am so EXCITED for all of you!! Thank you so much for coming back and sharing your stories of triumph!!

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  57. I also got Realm First Herbalism on my server. I started in Storm Peaks and then headed to Uldum. I never saw or competed with anyone for herbs. I was a bit on edge for the last 20 points, I kept expecting to see someone else get the achievement and was edge during the last few points.

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  58. Thanks to your guide (and I have to add, because credit is due, Basil Berntsen on WoW Insider for mentioning it) I was able to get Realm First on Herbalism.

    I hadn't heard of your website before but a wealth of information on here. Keep up the great job!

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  59. Agreed - I am very grateful to Basil (Euripides) for pointing avid crafters my way in time for all the Cataclysm madness. It's been great having so many new peeps join our ranks!!

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  60. Just wanted to say thanks, got realm first on Feathermoon-US in roughly 30-45 minutes. You're route plus tauren gathering speed and swift flight form was golden.

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  61. Just out of curiosity, where is the best cata zone to herb in. Since i'm a scribe, i dont care what herbs they are, im just looking for the zone that has the highest density. Basically, is there a zone that compares to sholazar basin in cata?

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  62. During the Beta my favorite zone was Twilight Highlands. In some spots you can't walk 10 feet without bumping into another herb. However, this was before the nerf that went into effect this week. Deepholm was also a good zone for picking herbs as it had pretty nice spawn density. I just started leveling my herb picker yesterday, so I should get a chance to revisit TH later this week and see how it compares to the Beta version.

    If you're looking for spots to investigate, check out Twilight Highlands and Deepholm. There's a reason they nerfed it, even with the change they should still be pretty good.

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