I opted to do something a little different today. Instead of bringing you a new leveling guide, I'm giving you a Gathering chart. Up to now we've talked some about herbs and ore and I've shared some of the upcoming changes with you. The reality is that Azeroth will be changing quite drastically in some zones. It's one thing to read about it, quite another to experience the change.
One of the first things I did when I got into the Beta was travel around and check herbs and ore. My plan was to visit each type of node and see if any of the skill requirements had changed. After a while it became obvious that this was a minor issue. I couldn't find plaguebloom. I couldn't find purple lotus. I couldn't blindweed - even in Outland! I went to the official World of Warcraft site and checked every zone listed for the missing herbs. They just weren't there anymore.
So I ask you, where would you go if a key herb you need for Alchemy is missing from the zone you normally farm? What if you go to Un'Goro Crater for the usual herb-fest and realize it has dried up? I tell you now, you can't take anything you know about farming for granted. Spawn patterns have changed, node density has changed. Some zones that used to be great are crap. Other zones that used to be crap are awesome. Swamp of Sorrows? Seriously? Yes - it's Rich Thorium heaven now.
I'm sure some of you would just go to Wowhead and look for the new location, right? Wrong! I tried that and right now their drop data is Crap with a capital C. Not enough Beta players are sending in their data and Wowhead can't tell you what it doesn't know. Eventually this will all work itself out, but this won't help you on release day. So I'm helping you with my handy gathering chart.
I flew through every zone and wrote down every herb and ore node I saw. I can't promise that this chart is foolproof, I'm sure I didn't catch everything. But this is probably the most reliable source of information you'll have on Launch day.
I listed the zones in ascending order by level. I listed the herbs and ore by volume - the herb/ore listed first is the one I saw the most in that zone. This isn't scientific, just my own observations as I traveled around each zone. Eventually this chart will be obsolete and we'll have solid data from Wowhead (etc) to rely on. For now this should be enough for you to find what you need:
Gatherer's Guide to Cataclysm Zones
Another change I noticed is that all of the quest ores are gone. I've checked for them several times and I still don't see any incendicite, lesser bloodstone or dark iron anywhere. If for some reason you think you might need these, deal with it now. I can't promise they will be there when Cataclysm is released.
For those of you who have big plans to power-level a profession on a new character in Cataclysm, I strongly encourage you to collect your ingredients now. You can't count on being able to find these things later. While writing my power-leveling guides I had a handful of items that were missing and I just had to skip most of them. This also goes for any vendor recipes you might need. Right now most vendors outside of cities do not have crafting recipes. Some of them don't even exist anymore. So don't wait - take care of it now while you still can!