MoP Beta Files: First Look at Zen Herbalism

Last week Herbalism and Mining nodes were finally activated on the Beta realms. This will only be a brief look at them because they are only showing up in one zone currently. I rode through Valley of the Four Winds and Krasarang Wilds but did not see anything on tracking in either location. That said, I've had a chance to do a fair amount of collecting, so I can give some useful information on gathering at this stage.

Currently nodes are spawning in the lower portion of the Jade Forest. The good news is that the nodes are quite plentiful and the respawn times are pretty fast. I've only found two herbs so far: Rain Poppy and Green Tea Leaf. At 525 Herbalism skill the Green Tea Leaf is yellow to you and the Rain Poppy is orange. Here are the XP numbers for them:

Green Tea Leaf = 13,900 xp @ level 85
Rain Poppy = 13,900 xp @ level 85

That's about 2/3rds of the XP you get for killing a level 85 mob in Pandaria. From what I'm seeing, Green Tea Leaf mostly spawns near trees and stands of bamboo while Rain Poppy is mostly near riverbanks. It looks like a pretty even mix of both throughout the zone.

Here's a pic of a Green Tea Leaf:

And here is a pic of the Rain Poppy:

Here is the pic I took of the Golden Lotus:

Unfortunately I'm having pretty bad luck finding Golden Lotus. I saw this one after collecting about 200 herbs. I'm now over 300 herbs and still haven't seen another, despite staying in the area that had the first one. Luckily I got a screenshot of it before it disappeared but sadly I did not get a chance to check the skill level required to pick it. At this point in time the Golden Lotus is very rare, but perhaps the drop rate will be better in higher zones. I'll have to try farming this again after they start adding herbs to other zones.


  1. If I recall correctly, Golden Lotus required only 550 herbalism skill - I was able to find two of them and pick them after only picking a relatively small number of Tea Leaves and Rain Poppies.

    Of course, the skill level required is quite likely to change before the game goes live.

    Of note is that one of the two Golden Lotuses I picked spawned in the same location where I got a different herb before, so it seems the Golden Lotus is a rare spawn of other herbs.

  2. I unintentionally maxed my herbalism on Sunday. When the achievement (for making) popped up I was completely surprised - I hadn't been paying any attention and didn't think I would be able to max in the first zone.
    I started out in Twilight Highlands to check if Twilight Jasmine would be a viable way to start the maxing process, but don't think that would be a good way to max it. After 42 minutes I was at 560 herbalism in Twilight Highlands. Twilight Jasmine was still yellow, but didn't seem to be respawning and it felt like it was taking forever.

    I took the portal back to SW and then went to Wayward Landing. I believe Green Tea Leaf was green to me already, but Rain Poppy was either yellow or red, I forget. After about 23 minutes of running from node to node (they were everywhere!) - pop! Achievement!

    If it is kept like this and the density and respawn rates are similar throughout Pandaria, it might be my suggestion to walk to VotFW or KW to level without the mobs/competition/PVP problems (if you're on a PVP realm). I don't know if that's worth it though, since it was so easy here. I would actually suggest they reduce the density of herbs a little, because this was so crazy.

    I saw one Golden Lotus, and was able to pick it. I noticed that in my bag it said it required Inscription 500 to use. Not sure what it does.

  3. Yes, I purposely did not train Zen Herbalism on my toon because I knew I would cap it too quickly. With most of the zones still devoid of herbs there's not much to learn by capping now.

    I agree that Golden Lotus is a rare spawn of regular nodes - I camped the same node where I saw it and it consistently respawned as rain poppy. It's likely that it just has a really low spawn rate in Jade Forest, since that's a low level Panda zone. I'm hoping that the spawn rate is better in the higher zones.

    While the respawn rates are crazy at the moment (you can farm the same 8-10 nodes almost continuously) I don't think it will help us. Once the game goes live there will be so many other players in each zone that it will still be impossible to find nodes. They will literally be snapped up as soon as they spawn. This is the primary reason I have suggested regression in previous expansions, to circumvent crowds and allow players to level past the easy herbs and skip to harder ones. While I can't be certain this will work again, I will of course run tests and try it out.

  4. How much of a handicap are ground mounts? I sense future frustration when I, especially an alt, am riding to a node and avoiding mobs to see a 90 Druid swoop in and ninja what I consider my node.
    [GBTV iirc] had a complete guess, devoid of a shred of evidence, that perhaps Farmville was about making sure that you could get some herbs for raiding flasks even with overfarmed zones? If there were another way besides herbalism to get herbs, it would change the need to get the spawn rates tuned.

    A general question: are there any "twilight highlands vendors?" I keep reading about cooking trainers in Halfhill, fishing island..., Yak sold in,... but I don't know when I can get them. I dislike ohasing in general, but having to get some but not all professions to 84 to unlock TH vendors was especially frustrating. In your profession reviews, would it be possible for you to mention if it appears at the current time whether a five-minutes-off-the-boat 85 alt can train it to 600?

    1. *chasing was phasing prior to autocorrect

    2. Lol, gotta love autocorrect!

    3. Currently I don't feel that ground mounts are a problem, but there is no one flying either. At this point nodes are so close to each other that hopping on and off the mount is sometimes not worth it. But we only have nodes in one mildly hilly zone, so that's not saying much.

      I certainly hope that Farming will address some of the supply issues that we've had in the past. I'd be fine if Farms provided enough materials for personal use with possibly a bit extra to pitch in for the guild, but were not prolific enough to sell to the masses. Then each player has to decide if they want to use Farming for their personal stash.

      I am not seeing any sign of Twilight Highlands hijinks yet and I am much trying content on 85 premades for that reason. However, they did have the "timeout" box implemented when zones were closed, that could obviously be used at any time now that it's available to them. I'm also seeing phasing used as a gating mechanism (FP on map, but no sign of the NPC when you get to that spot) so that may be another way of keeping us out of content prematurely.

      At this time I can ride through the Jade Forest and Valley of the Four Winds on my 85 toons. I have not tested Krasarang Wilds yet but so far I'm not running into artificial blocks. Of course the top level zones aren't opened yet, so that may not be saying much!

  5. I just checked you in 2010:
    7/1 In Beta
    9/11 BS recipe post
    10/12 4.0.1 released and release date announced
    11/22 Beta over
    12/7 release

    So I assume that Blizzard will take your recent recipe posts as the official sign-off to announce MoP next month for an August/Sept ship? I suppose that publicly traded companies do tend to get things into the financial quarter but obviously the Blessing of Kaliope dwarfs the opinion of mere financial analysts.

    Ignoring all our frustrations that we wished Blizzard did more for professions and did it sooner rather than all at the last minute, does now seem about like September 2010 professions-wise?

  6. Haha, I kinda doubt that I am the barometer. I think we're at least 2 months from Beta ending, possibly 3 months. If you're right, they will be announcing a ship date in about 3 weeks (mid June). It's possible that they will pull it together in the next 2 months and push it out, but the last 2 months have been so slow that I could see it going another month. I think August is agressive but I could get on board with September.

  7. Will you be doing Alchemy next? There are recipes at the vendor, although none of the later herbs for leveling are up yet.

  8. I'm going to try to hold off on all professions until all the mats (herbs/ore) are available. I would also prefer to wait until the recipes are reorganized into some semblance of a progression. Currently the recipes for Alchemy have been "dumped" at 525/550/575, which to me is in indication that someone just threw them on the trainer without actually trying to set up the leveling process. Any tests I do now would probably be useless as the progression is sure to change before launch.

    The most likely profession I will tackle next is Cooking. Many quests are in, as are the specializations. Plus, all of the premades come with 525 Cooking so if I'm premature in leveling now I can roll another premade and test again. With primary professions if I level too early and revisions are done afterward, I have no way to test a second time.

    1. Re cooking:

      What level can alts do it? Currently, if I have the time I'll do the SW cooking daily on an alt for efficient XP/gold. Can an 85 get to the phase/zone of the daily and can they do it.

      It seems like their are six(?) types of cooking; Is it like the horrid Marks of the World Tree where you have to spend your daily currency on one of the six? Or in a stressful world of no limit on dailies, could you do the "daily" for each of the cooking specializations.

      General Q: Is there anything changed on guild perks especially regarding leveling?

    2. The biggest changes on guild perks are that they removed a couple. No more summoning your party/raid to your current location. (le sigh) And the amount of bottles in cauldrons is changed, and um I think length.

      Would you like to be in a beta guild Kaliope? Mine isn't exactly what you'd call active, but we are a grand whopping level 2 and have a friends status you are welcome to sit at.

    3. I'm open to being in a guild, I've just been avoiding most of them since they seem to be focused on dungeons and raiding. I have no intention of doing either in Beta, so I've been declining/ignoring most of the guild spam. But I'd be interested in joining a guild that's fine with me doing my own "crafty" thing :)

  9. I'm currently working on a Cooking post which should cover these questions, I haven't finished digging just yet though. As to the guild thing I can't really say as I'm not in a beta guild. Word on the street is that there are no new perks at this time.

  10. Is it true that if you learn herbalism on beta you start at skill 1 instead of 525?

  11. If you did not previously have Herbalism then you start at 1. If you previously had Herbalism and lost it due to a bug, you can visit the trainer and get your skill back. I was able to do this successfully with Skinning.

  12. What a mess... gnah. But thank you, Kaliope!

  13. Herbs are in Vot4W, at least the top half from the left of the large farm section to the silk farm people. I didn't check the rest of the map (or northern Jade Forest) because I went a little herb happy and spent the short time I had left before raid herbing and then fishing for 10 min (which was my original purpose in heading that way from VoEB).
    Silkleaf appears to spawn by bodies of water, and has the same crazy respawn rate/density as the herbs in Jade Forest were. I got about 15 stacks in less than 20 minutes, and some more Green Tea Leaf (which also spawns on the plains and the farm area, just on the areas that aren't right adjacent to water). I could have had more, but I made myself stop because my herb bag was overflowing and I still feel obligated to raid.

  14. Just wondering if you're gonna do another of those How-to-get-realm-first for herbalism that you did for Cata?

    To add my two cents' worth: Tested out herbalism for the first time last night on the beta. Tauren druid, so got a starting advantage compared to others (540 instead of 525). When i ported into Vot4W Silweed was orange, but I couldn't pick it (said too low lvl). So i picked some Green Tea Leaf until I was able to pick Silkweed. Not sure what lvl that was at, but guessing 550 or so.
    Then i ran around picking Silkweed for a while, and didnt notice that i continued gaining skills after it had turned grey. Must be some sorta bug, or is it meant to 'ignore' by racial bonus?
    Anyways, when i noticed that, I ran to Kun-Lai Summit and started picking Snow Lilies. With those I easily reached my Zen master skill (615).
    I cant find the herbalism skill-requirement for any herbs besides Sha-thouched herb (575), so dont know the limits for when to go to new areas.
    Looking forward to seeing your take on this :)

    1. Yes, you can find my 1.0 version of the herb leveling guide here