At long last the posts you've been waiting for! Yes, I'm finally writing some leveling guides for Cataclysm tradeskills. We've only got a few weeks left before this Beta is likely to end, so I guess I have to start leveling. I'm still not entirely comfortable with some of the professions at this stage. Therefore I'm just going to start with the ones that look most viable and hope the others get some love before I get to them. Right now Alchemy is pretty solid so it's getting the first guide :)
When you unlock Illustrious rank at 450 skill, your WotLK flasks and epic gem recipes will still be yellow. You could stock up materials and make a bunch of flasks if you want to try them. You will only get a handful of skill points that way as flasks become green at 457. Most of the recipes you'll be learning will turn yellow within five skill points, so be prepared to change recipes frequently. For those who are curious, you CAN level this up in one day if you have the proper ingredients. Getting those ingredients will be the hard part.
The main roadblock will be getting your hands on either 120 volatile life for flasks or 60 uncommon gems for transmuting. If you have a mining character, I would suggest the transmute route. At the current drop rate of 15% for volatile life, you'd need to collect about 40 stacks of herbs. If you have a Jewelcrafter who can prospect your ore, you could probably get the 60 gems you need in 15-20 stacks of ore. The flasks also require 24 herbs per flask while the gem transmute only uses 3 herbs. I think the transmute path will be the least time consuming.
Every five skill points you'll learn 2-3 new recipes. While you can use any of the recipes you learn, my list uses a certain priority. Volatile Life is avoided at all costs, so we will not be making flasks. If you want to use it you can, but I'm not including it. If you have enough volatile life to make flasks you plan to use, feel free to substitute it for gem transmutes. I would not make flasks just to level, I would prefer that you save your volatile life to make your trinket. It's also used to transmute volatiles for other professions, something you'll appreciate when you need them to level Tailoring, Leatherworking, Engineering or Blacksmithing.
I'm skipping all Heartblossom because you can't gather it at level 80. Unless you think there's a reasonable chance that you'll hit 82 the first day, we can't use Heartblossom in our leveling process. In addition, I try to minimize use of Whiptail and Twilight Jasmine. We can't skip them entirely, but we can use them sparingly. I'm favoring Cinderbloom over Stormvine and Azshara's Veil. Cinderbloom is all over the place while the others are not, so I lean toward it in the recipe selections.
Ok - let's get on with the show!
450-455 5x Ghost Elixir (2 cinderbloom)
455-460 5x Deathblood Venom (1 stormvine)
460-465 5x Volcanic Potion (1 azshara's veil + 1 cinderbloom)
465-470 5x Elixir of the Cobra (1 azshara's veil + 1 cinderbloom)
470-475 5x Potion of Concentration (2 azshara's veil)
475-480 5x Mighty Rejuvenation Potion (2x whiptail)
480-485 5x Prismatic Elixir (1 whiptail + 1 cinderbloom)
485-490 5x Potion of the Tol'vir (1 whiptail + 1 stormvine)
490-495 5x Elixir of Mighty Speed (1 stormvine + 1 twilight jasmine)
495-500 5x Mythical Healing Potion (1 volatile life + 2 twilight jasmine)
500-505 1x Flask of Enhancement (8x azshara/cinderbloom/stormvine/jasmine/whiptail)
505-510 5x Dream Emerald (3 jasper + 3 stormvine)
510-515 5x Ember Topaz (3 hessonite + 3 cinderbloom)
515-520 5x Ocean Sapphire (3 zephyrite + 3 azshara's veil)
520-525 5x Amberjewel (3 alicite + 3 whiptail)
This list will look different when leveling a few weeks after Cataclysm is out. First, the 470-480 range could be done with Deepstone Oil + Mysterious Potion if you had fishing and access to Deepholm. That's my preferred method. Also, I would use Elixir of Impossible Accuracy at 480 and Elixir of the Master at 495. Both of those require Heartblossom, so I left them off this list.
You'll notice at 500 that I have a Flask of Enhancement. This item will give you five skill points when crafted. The other options at 500 are flasks that require 24 herbs and 6 volatile life but only give one skill point when crafted. I thought 5 skill points for 40 herbs was a better deal than than 1 skill point for 24 herbs. In my opinion this is the cheapest way to get to 505.
At 515 you can make Ocean Sapphire or Demonseye. I went with Ocean Sapphire because Nightstones are a heavily used item to level Jewelcrafting. Especially if you find yourself buying the gems, you'll have an easier time getting your hands on blue vs purple. You might also prefer to save your purples for a JC alt. You can craft Demonseye if neither of these is a consideration for you.
To wrap up, here's the master shopping list for my Alchemy list:
48 - Cinderbloom
38 - Stormvine
43 - Azshara's Veil
43 - Whiptail
23 - Twilight Jasmine
5 - Volatile Life
15 each - Jasper | Hessonite | Zephyrite | Alicite
And good luck to everyone who's going for a Realm First!