MoP Beta Files: Round One Herbalism

Over the past week I've been working through Herbalism and I think I have enough information to build a preliminary guide. Once again I hope to do a secondary pass and refine the process (updated 9/6, see "Update" section at the end), but this guide will get it done. The hard part about gathering in Pandaria is the massive presence of low level herbs (and ore) in all zones. This complicates the leveling process because there are no zones that are exclusively or even predominantly high level nodes. We are no longer in a situation where a higher zone means higher nodes. We are in a situation where there is one predominating node for the continent and all of the other types are secondary. As a result I'm having to work harder than normal to find spots that will get you guys the last 25-50 skill points in gathering.


Step One is to leave your Herb Picker near a trainer in Stormwind (Orgrimmar). Learn Zen Herbalism as soon as you log in. Also, be sure you have a +10 Herbalism bonus of some kind, you'll need it. The starter quest for Pandaria is a pop-up that triggers when you enter the city. It may not be functioning well when mass players hit the servers. If for some reason you don't get it, just go into Stormwind Keep (Grommash Hold) and that should also activate the quest chain. Then grab the next quest and hop on the flying boat to Pandaria. Once you zone in, leap off the boat (try to hit the water below) and just hoof it to Valley of the Four Winds. You want to get to the middle of the Jade Forest, along the western border. Just follow the western road north as I've shown on this map:


If you stay on the road as I've depicted above, you'll end up at a bridge that crosses into Valley of the Four Winds. From there you can reach Halfhill with minimal aggro (there's a quest area with virmen just past Pang's stead that you may want to skirt around). You can see on this next map that you simply follow the main road west (marked in red) to Halfhill. After that you continue west to the yellow section marked "The Heartland".



This is where you should be able to find lots of green tea leaf, as well as silkweed near the water. I don't recommend staying in the Jade Forest as the herb nodes there aren't quite as plentiful when lots of players are questing through. If for some reason you have too many folks infringing on you in the Heartland, travel a bit further west to the second yellow area. This section also has decent herbs and few if any players hang out here. You can collect green tea leaf on the outskirts of Paoquan Hollow and up around the plateau east of it. Hopefully one of these two locations will be workable for you.

Green Tea Leaf starts out yellow to you at first and quickly changes to green around 530. You need to reach 545 (535 with buffs) to pick Silkweed, so you'll have to keep picking tea leaf a bit past the change to green difficulty. Alternately you can postpone your trip to Pandaria and pick Twilight Jasmine in Twilight Highlands to skip green tea leaf completely. At 535 you should switch to the northern and western portions of the Heartland area and focus on silkweed. Another area you can go to for silkweed is the river to the south, there are nodes along that as well. Water walking potions could be helpful here if you want to ride down the middle of the river and avoid the mobs on the sides.

Silkweed will change to yellow around 560, but keep farming it until you reach 565. At that point you can switch to Kun-lai Summit and pick Snow Lily (575 without buffs). To reach Kunlai you need to go back to the eastern side of the zone at the spot called the Grassy Cline. This is roughly north of the "T" in Thunderfoot on the second map.

Right next to the flight master at the Grassy Cline is a footpath that leads up into the hills. This turns into a set of stairs that take you up and into Kunlai. Follow the stairs, then the gravel path (stay on the lower portion after you pass the Tavern) and keep going until you reach the river. Stay on the west bank of the river and ride into the tunnel. Hug the left wall of the tunnel to avoid aggro from the level 90 mobs in here. Usually they don't attack if you're careful, but you can lose them at Kunlai if they do decide to jump you.

Once you pass out of the tunnel, you will be at Binan Village in Kunlai Summit. Follow the road towards One Keg as I've marked it on this map:


In this zone I would advise you to stay on the road and try to dodge any mobs that wander near the road if you can. From One Keg head west past Kota Basecamp and then swing north towards Winter's Blossom. I would be wary of stopping for herbs along these roads as the aggro can be swift and brutal. Just before you get to the camp at Winter's Blossom, you'll reach a fork in the road - take the northeast fork. Ride through the camp and up into the mountains. (A shortcut into the mountains that may save a few minutes on your time is to ride directly west from One Keg. Run straight up the mountainside and onto the Burlap trail. There may be elite, aggressive mobs here, so run past and hope you can shake them. Follow the flags up the mountain until you reach the actual trail).

Once you make it into the mountains past Winter's Blossom, you should start seeing snow lily nodes on your mini-map. There aren't a ton of herbs in this area, but there should be enough for 1-2 people to farm without too much trouble. The main attraction with this area is that it's easy to avoid aggro from the nearby mobs. There are some non-aggressive goats, as well as cats and yetis. Aggressive mobs can be ignored if you give them a wide berth. There are also a couple of quests that pass through here, but those mobs can also be avoided if you keep your distance. Feel free to explore all the various nooks and crannies for herbs as the paths through here aren't well marked on the map.

It will likely take about 20-25 minutes of gathering in Valley of the Four Winds, plus another 20 minutes or so in Kunlai to reach the new Herbalism skill cap (600). For the record I found one golden lotus while I was farming snow lily, if that gives any indication of it's rarity. Kunlai is marked as an 87-88 zone on the in-game map.

I took notes while collecting herbs and they mostly follow this difficulty chart:

Green Tea Leaf = Requires 500 | Green @ 530
Rain Poppy = Requires 525
Silkweed = Requires 545 | Yellow @ 560
Golden Lotus = Requires 550
Snow Lily = Requires 575 | Yellow @ 590
Sha-Touched Herb = Requires 575
Fool's Cap = Requires 600

I don't have good notes on some of these herbs because there just wasn't enough of them around for me to track the changing difficulty levels. I will make updates to this list on my second pass if I'm able to get better information. The herb requirements are all accurate as of the current build except for Golden Lotus. I wasn't able to find one to check it, so that number is from an older version of my notes.

9/6/2012 Update: I leveled Herbalism for a second time today and most of this information is still relevant. I refined some of the herbalism numbers and changed the run times according to my second test. I'm still recommending the same basic leveling process. The elite mobs near One Keg may have been removed/phased, so that route up the mountain looks more promising now.

Feel free to post any questions or concerns in the Comments and I'll add them to my notes for the next round of testing :)

37 comments:

  1. Brilliant, this guide i've been looking forward to for a good bit. Herbalism is what i'm gonna try for RF.
    Only thin i had different is the area for Snow Lillies. I was gonna head up in the mountain by Kota Basecamp, and was just wondering why you picked the mountain area you did? Less mobs, or something else i'm not thinking of?

    Grelliena

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    1. I didn't scope out the area west of Kota, but having just done so it would not be my first choice. Granted the herb density there is insane (6-8 nodes up at once on the mini-map) but the mob density is higher, the aggro radius of the mobs is bigger and the roads are narrower (making it harder to dodge them). I would consider this a backup location if the Neverest summit is too crowded. On the other hand, if too many players are farming Neverest then getting the RF may not work out either.

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  2. On the support forums for gatherer, someone's done a rough patch to make it work in the beta.
    http://forums.norganna.org/index.php?p=/discussion/13168/mop-beta-addons#Item_5

    It's missing dark soil and sha-touched herbs but otherwise it's ready to go. If you were to install it, and copy over your 4.3 gatherer database, you could use it to memorize pandarian nodes, and copy the DB and the new addon back to live just before release day.

    Getting Alchemy to 600 is going to be difficult unless you're a goblin, as there seems to be no way o get from 590 to 600 without lotuses (and anything between 577-590 that doesn't use lotuses will be grey). at 600 we get 3 transmutes that don't need lotuses, but by then it's too late for anyone except goblins.

    I have 5 alchemists; if the lotuses stay as rare as they seem, I may be relying on things like the darkmoon faire to help out.

    Has there been any talk at all about a world-pvp zone (i.e. Wintergrasp) with better herbs? I haven't heard a thing.

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    1. Thanks for the link - that may be really helpful to folks who are trying to plan ahead =)

      I just started working on Alchemy last night and I'm at 590 now. I'm formulating a plan for the last 10 points, I need to test it and see what the run-time is. But I agree that the final stretch of Alchemy is more of a challenge than that profession has had in a long time.

      I have not seen anything in the patch notes regarding a WG-type location. But I'm not really a PVP type, so I don't follow the news too closely there. I have some ideas on herb supply too, just doing some documentation this week to provide meaningful stats for it. Hopefully I can write something up in another week or so.

      We've still got a lot of professions to cover, I hope to have new guides up every couple of days!

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    2. It may be that herbing is your less common source of GL.

      If you have several farmers, then you may be able to get a few Gl per day from Farmville.

      Your main can just go kill mobs, which will randomly drop MoH/SoH which you can use to purchase BoE GL.

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    3. That's what I'm thinking also, which is why I've spent the last week planting craft materials instead of veggies. I'm trying to build up some data on drop rates. The golden lotus nodes are very rare. I think I've seen maybe a handful the whole time I've been in Beta and only found the one while I leveled Herbalism.

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    4. How ofter do you get the option to plant songbell seeds?

      I envision 11 members of Team Hagu with 16 plot farms generating 17.6 SoH per day or 52 GL per day. The tiny flaw in this plan is that by the time I get all 11 to 90 with 16 plots, GL will sell for 2G.

      My new theory for MoP is that 99% of all questions can be answered with one of three responses:
      1) Ask Kaliope
      2) Spirit of Harmony
      3) Grind more

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    5. Lol to #1! You can plant any seed you want in your 16 plots. You could certainly go all herbs and it's possible that Blizz is expecting folks to do just that. But bear in mind that not everyone will be focusing on Alchemy mats. It's hard to predict what effect Farming will have on mat prices once everything gets unlocked. Also, you can't grow Golden Lotus. You can grown an herb seed which will give you a random herb. Occasionally it's GL, but so far I've only gotten it 15% of the time. I think it's more likely that people will plant songbell seeds.

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    6. Also if your growing SoH you can trade 1 SoH for 3 GL at the Panda capital city.

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    7. Gathermate2 is working for the Beta. couple things missing but it is working fine and the Author is updating reg.
      Blizz has said no wintergrasp/tol bard type zones this xpac.

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  3. I apologize that the mining bonuses and changes confuse and annoy me: but what are "+10 Herbalism bonus" items? something new or just oldfashioned herbalist gloves with gatherer?

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    1. Well, I was trying to leave folks the option to stick with their current method but I guess I was rather vague. You will need a +10 bonus to Herbalism. If you don't already have that then you probably want to get a Gnomish Army Knife (http://mop.wowhead.com/item=40772) which has the necessary bonus in MoP. There's also a new item sold by Edna Mulby in SW called an Herbalist's Spade (http://mop.wowhead.com/item=85663) which you can purchase after MoP launches. Sadly I could not find a vendor with the spade at the starting town in Pandaria, so if you forget to buy this before you ship out you are probably screwed. I think I'd take care of this now and get the Army Knife (or the Herb gloves + Gatherer).

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    2. I am a convicted hoarder so bag slots are precious. And this is a change in that in cata, one did not need to spend a slot on herbing but now you do? I had been using the cheaper pick on my M/H toons but the single slot GAK seems like the way to go.

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  4. And new question. For a tauren with the + 15 racial, would I have to go to 615 to get RF? Do you know when Snow Lily's go green? (I really hope to be able avoid having to gather Fool's cap for the last points).

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  5. To get the Realm First, you have to max out your Herbalism skill. Meaning, you have to go to 615 as a tauren.
    At least it was like that for Cata, where I got the RF Illustrous Herbalism achie only after reaching 540 skillpoints. (cursing everyone while getting the last 15 skill points, :-P )

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  6. I agree, I think you'll have to hit 615 as a Tauren. I don't know when snow lily goes green since I can't take my skill higher than 600. Wowhead isn't showing any data on that type of thing either.

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  7. Hey Kali, I've been MIA at a family reunion and then dealing with a family medical emergency and catching back up at work so I have a lot to catch up on but a quick question - the 45 minutes + 45 minutes you spent, for an hour and a half, is that straight gathering time? Or is it your total time from log in (training) to 600, with initial time to get to Pandaria, and travel time to Vot4W and Kun-Lai?

    Thanks. I did a run through on a second druid the other day and, although I forgot about the +10 bonus so it took longer in the Heartland with Green Tea Leaf green, I think it took me longer than 1.5 hours, but not by much. Maybe 15 minutes. I had to stop in the middle for 10 minutes or so to deal with the ill family member, though, so I'm planning a second (third? since my first was in Jade Forest a while ago) go but may end up trying this way if the travel time was included.

    I also noticed that although there didn't seem to be anyone else herbing in the Heartland they weren't spawning that well. I was doing full circuits of the upper levels for the Silkweed, even going above to the crane area (another good little area without mobs), and could do a whole lower circuit as well and still have to wait for them to respawn up top. Could that be the cross-realm thing, or did they just lower it to a more realistic rate?

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    1. The 45 + 45 is the gathering time. It's less than 10 minutes to ride from VotFW to Kunlai and maybe 5 min to get to Pandaria from your city. I would say the whole thing should be doable in under 2 hours.

      The +10 Herbalism is pretty important for time-savings, as it allows you to pick both silkweed and snow lily sooner. The less time you spend on herbs that are too easy, the faster you will be.

      I haven't done any herbing in the last week or so with these last few builds that came out, but I did a couple of ore runs and saw no difference in the same area. The silkweed can be sluggish since it's a smaller area than tea leaf, but I was still getting respawns by doing a huge circle around the Heartland (just looping around the eastern side to kill time mostly). Silkweed would be coming back up by the time I had circled back up to the upper level.

      One thing I did notice is that there are now mist clumps, which another reader thought might be the goggles in action. You could try grabbing a pair and see if it improves the node levels?

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  8. But those will only be available after Engineering has been leveled, right?

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    1. Correct, those will not be available for RF seekers when MoP goes live. I was merely suggesting that you could play with a pair in Beta to see if it has an effect on your spawn rate situation :)

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  9. Is the road clear between the main road in VotFW and Grassy Cline? also, in the text it says "Silkweed will go green on you around 560" but the summary at the end states "Silkweed = Requires 545 | Yellow @ 560"

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    1. There is no road from the main road to the Grassy Cline. I assume you are wondering about mobs? In order to get to the Grassy Cline you will have to run through mobs east and south of it. Coming at it from the west is the safest direction, most of those mobs are neutral.

      My notes on Silkweed are vague, I think Yellow @ 560 is the most likely. I am planning another test run of Herb/Alch next week, I'll add that to the list of things to check :)

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    2. fantastic, TY... btw, there is a boat thru the tunnel now

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    3. here is the boat http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RORWIf52xk0&feature=relmfu

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    4. Thanks for the video! I think the boat has always been there, but if you aren't questing through you can't ride it. I'm not 100% certain on that but I've never gotten the boat to work for my 85 toons.

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    5. Yes, the toon in the video was 86... drats... so how easy was it to get through the tunnel without being clobbered? I'm wondering if I should bit the speed bullet and stealth.

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    6. It's not hard, I've done it like half a dozen times and only got jumped twice. The mobs in there have a pretty low aggro radius.

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  10. Anon I've run through several times, even on a level 90 toon (I couldn't figure out how to make the boat work other than that one time for the quest and I was curious if the enemies inside had perhaps phased out), and while I've gotten aggro of at least one mob (or pat of 3-4 mobs) each time, I've only had to kill something once. The rest of the time I've outrun it.

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    1. Yeah, watch this vid and you'll see why i ask

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAJCM754j7Y

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    2. I've never had that happen to me and I've run through that tunnel at least a dozen times on various lowbie toons. The trick seems to be to hug the left wall. I always do that and hardly ever aggro the mobs on the other side. The 2 times I have attracted the mobs is toward the end (1m10s in the vid) there's a very narrow section of the tunnel. If you are running through it at the same time the pat comes through, that seems to be the point where you attract attention.

      You'll notice that the Ally dingbat who got jumped was on foot. It's a bit difficult to outrun mobs and shed aggro if you do it that way. Just sayin =)

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    3. Just as an added note both Whiptail (yellow on server for me now) and Twilight jasmine (orange for me now) are both grey to me on PTR as a tauren+15 with the +10 herb bonus (engineering dealie)

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    4. Any chance we could get a visul gathermate map in the next round?

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    5. I usually don't include that level of detail on spawns when I put the guides together, primarily because Wowhead will have much better information within a few days of release. In this case I doubt I'll even have time for anything that involved. I believe we have another Beta tester who's working on something like that, I'll add it to the post if he gives us a link :)

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  11. As a side note, when you herb Sha-touched herbs, sometimes you get a random herb, sometimes you get a white "desecrated herb" which is listed as millable. One crack gave me 3 shadow pigment.

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  12. Adding this for last minute people and because I never checked this page again I guess:
    While I did aggro each time I ran through the tunnel, I was always on the left side but I didn't completely hug the wall, was just close to it. There are a couple of mobs on that side, which is what I aggro'd each time, and I only killed one when it dismounted me - I probably could have outrun it but I wasn't in a rush. Definitely easy enough to outrun, as I said before.

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  13. REALM FIRST TY.
    TOOK me 45minutes

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  14. Have just got my server first (Grom EU) following your guide. Thank you so much for it, Kaliope!

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