Since I missed having a fresh post yesterday, I'm posting two leveling guides today. This guide is for First Aid, which usually isn't a high priority for crafters. However, I've gotten several requests for it so I'm including it to help those folks who want to know what's involved.
The first new bandage recipe, embersilk bandage, is learned at 425 skill. By the time you learn it at 450 it's already yellow difficulty. Despite that, you need to eek 25 skill points from it to unlock the next new recipe. I made about 45 bandages to get from 450-475, the recipe turns green at 467 so it takes a bit more effort to reach 475 after that.
Next you'll be able to train the heavy embersilk bandage recipe when you get to 475 skill. This recipe will actually be orange difficulty when you learn it and stay that way until 485. It will eventually turn green on you at 505, which isn't a pretty bad run for one recipe. Unfortunately you still need to hit 525 to unlock the final recipe, which leaves you 20 skill points to grind on a green recipe. This part is pretty painful.
I ended up making about 140 bandages to get from 505 to 525 in First Aid. This equates to about 14 stacks of cloth just to get through the final push. That's a lot of cloth in my opinion, you end up making roughly 7 bandages for each of the last 20 skill points.
I think Blizzard must realize that it's an excessive amount of bandages we're being forced to make of a type that we likely won't want. I'm guessing this is why they added this little baby to the First Aid lineup: Field Bandage: Dense Embersilk. When I first saw this I wondered why they would give us a recipe that uses two of a lower recipe to make a beefier version. Why wouldn't we just make the beefier version in the first place if that's the one we needed? Now I see the reason. No matter which bandage you might prefer, you're going to end up with 140+ heavy embersilk bandages. Personally, I think it makes more sense to work the dense bandages into the leveling process so we aren't forced to make crap just to level. But clearly no one is asking me ;)
At any rate, you can count on using about 400 cloth (20 stacks) to hit the new level cap in First Aid. This represents a 60% increase in materials vs. Northrend First Aid. In addition, I've been farming mobs in Deepholm (level 82) on my 84 hunter. After 10 minutes of killing humanoid mobs, I got 4 cloth. I did a brief estimate of my kill speed and I was able to take down about 3 mobs a minute. Over 10 minutes that's at least 25 and possibly 30 mobs. So the drop rate on cloth is roughly 15%, maybe slightly higher. The WotLK drop rate for cloth from mid-level mobs is closer to 32%. This is far from scientific, but it may well be twice as hard to level First Aid than it used to be. I've submitted my numbers to Blizzard, so we'll see if this gets changed before release. If not, be prepared for a significant grind to 525 in First Aid.
Once again, I'd like to thank Foo and Celmorph for their donation of 8 stacks of embersilk cloth to help me level :)