This will be new “it” tradeskill in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, expect heavy competition if you’re looking to make money with this profession. The major item you’ll be crafting is Glyphs, which are a new item for all players. Glyphs are not as consumable as gems however, so it may not be as lucrative a profession as Jewelcrafting in the long run. At this point it’s not certain what sort of perks Inscription will have to offer. There are some shoulder enchants and off-hand items which can’t be used by all classes. If you still feel this craft is right for you, let’s get to it!
The only realistic companion skill is Herbalism, Inscription doesn’t rely on any other ingredients at this point. If you don’t take Herbalism it will be quite costly for you to purchase your herbs. Plus you will be missing out on a secondary source of income since you’ll always be able to sell your surplus herbs for good money, depending on the herb.
Your first order of business is to find the local trainer. Any major city should have one of these, just ask a guard to mark your mini-map. Here’s a list of the major cities and the Inscription trainers located there:
Hopefully you’ve also collected some herbs to start with, in addition to that you’ll need parchment. These are sold by the Trade Vendors who are usually located near a trainer and can also be found in most towns. Here is a list of the various parchments used by Inscribers:
This vendor can also sell you a “virtuoso inking set” which is a required tool for scribing. When you first learn the Apprentice Scribe ability, you’ll be given four new recipes. Then with each new wave of recipes, you’ll learn a new type of ink and the items that use it. Generally you’d make twenty or more bottles of inks until the ink recipe no longer provides skill points, then make glyphs and other items with the crafted ink. In order to create ink, you’ll need to mill herbs for the proper pigment. Milling works exactly like prospecting and disenchanting, right-click the Milling icon (put it on a hot bar for easy access) and then left-click a stack of herbs to “mill” them. Milling destroys the herbs and gives you two or more pigments in exchange. Milling requires a stack of five herbs to activate the process, any less and you’ll get an error. You cannot combine different herbs either, it must be five of the same herb.
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It’s a good idea to get in the habit of calculating your pigment needs before you start milling. Milling can be a time consuming process and it adds frustration if you end up short on inks and have to repeat the milling and ink creation steps multiple times.
Inscribers can make a variety of wares, including scrolls with temporary stat boosts, glyphs which enhance your class abilities, self-only trinkets, specialized vellums and card decks. Most of the time glyph recipes are the cheapest way to level Inscription, but any time you want to divert from the quick and easy path to make yourself something, feel free to do so. That said, here’s a power-leveling guide you can use for Inscription if you want the fastest and cheapest way to hit the 350 cap.
Some of the items made by Inscription are new to the WoW community. This includes glyphs, vellums, and to a lesser extent, card decks. The Darkmoon Faire has offered a variety of card decks for some time now, Inscription merely builds on the same premise. Buyers collect a set of cards from the same suit to form a deck, then give the deck to an NPC in exchange for a rare (blue) quality item. Inscription opens these items up to lower level players, where previously they were only available for level 60 and 70 characters. When you craft one of these cards, you create a random item from the set. These recipes have a higher component cost than glyphs, so you may prefer to skip them if you’re power-leveling.
Glyphs are also a new type of item, they function in a similar fashion to Jewelcrafter’s gems in that they are an enhancement. But instead of enhancing your gear (as gems and enchants do), they enhance your class abilities. Each class has a set of six glyphs that they can access through their spell book. There are three major glyph slots and three minor glyph slots, as you level up these slots are unlocked for use. To add a glyph to your spell book, you’ll need to purchase or create one. A Lexicon of Power is also required, which is similar to a forge or a cooking fire in function. Lexicons of Power are generally found near Inscription trainers, just track one down (as a guard if you need help finding one). Right-click the glyph while standing near the Lexicon, then left-click to scribe it to your spell book. Major glyphs are typically used for functional improvements to your abilities while minor glyphs tend to be more cosmetic in nature.
The last type of item that’s being introduced with Inscription is the specialty vellum. These parchments are used predominantly by Enchanters, allowing them to transfer an enchantment to the parchment for sale on the Auction House. There are two types: Weapon and Armor, with obvious distinctions. There are also two levels, regular for enchantments below 300 Enchanting skill and version II for enchantments over 300 skill and requiring 35+ for the target item. It’s assumed that these items will be decent sellers since Enchanters are very interested in selling via the Auction House and buyers need new enchants on a regular basis.
A new mechanic being introduced in Wrath of the Lich King is the concept of “researching”. It’s along the same lines as the discovery process used by Alchemists to learn new recipes, but in a more controlled and systematic fashion. When you reach 75 skill in Inscription, you’ll be able to learn an ability called Minor Inscription Research. It looks similar to an actual recipe, except that you don’t actually make anything. When you craft this item, you ‘discover’ a new minor glyph recipe. It’s on a 20 hour cooldown, so you’ll be able to use this ability once per day.
If you have Herbalism as your other Primary craft, be sure to take advantage of the special Herb bags that are now available around Azeroth. There are also a few Inscription bags available, a smaller 12-slot bag that Inscription vendors sell in limited supply and a larger one made by Leatherworkers (in Northrend). Depending on which size you purchase, they can be significantly larger than regular bags and you’ll be able to carry more crafting items with you. You can also use specialty bags in your bank slots, so why not get extras?