There was a time in ages past when A blogger wrote a post about leveling Alchemy on the cheap.
In response to the comments on that post he decided to put his money where his keyboard was and see just how much it would end up costing.
Why are you looking at me like that?
Ok, Ok, I wrote the post like two weeks ago, sue me.
Anyhow, two weeks ago I took on the task of seeing just how much it would cost me in the long run to level Alchemy purely from the auction house. I did use some mats that I already had laying about, but I take their value into account. I also picked up a few more items once I reached 450.
After it was all said and done I had leveled to 450, specced for transmutation specialist, and gotten the materials for the final transmute quest at 450. In total I spent just under 1300G in cash and used about 550G or so worth of my own storehouse of materials. We will just call it an even 1900G to have a reasonably solid number.
Now, as of this writing I have only done two of the epic gem transmutes toward the quest at 450. I have three left to go before I can start transmuting Cardinal Rubies. My shopping list included the mats for making each epic gem once.
Here is whats left after over a week of listing.
Transmute spec really helped out on this one. I used fifteen of these to skill up from 435 to 450. I ended up with 19 of them after having it proc twice. Since about half of these have sold for a bid and half on a buyout i’ll split the difference at 60g each and call this 420G once they all sell.
I also have a few flasks left over.
The flasks of agility and greater agility have been slowly selling off, but the earthen elixer and elixir of detect undead have not done so well. I am simply going to consider there a loss at this point. At best I could hope to get maybe another 10G out of these, but we shall see. More likely I’ll save the relisting cost and simply send them to my kids so they can use them on their small army of mid level characters.
Over all the strategy of crafting things that people would buy has worked out pretty well. I still have four epic gem transmutes to go over the next several days, and I am finding an average profit of about 100G on each one. That should put me at somewhere in the neighborhood of 800G still coming in from this project.
Another thing I did is to make use of the extra herbs that I bought for the leveling process. I did not waste their value by turning them into low level potions. While those do sell I took a loss on every single thing I made until I started crafting at about 350 or better. Instead I used inscription to mill them into inks. In the same way as tipping an Enchanter to D/E a bag full of greens you have been carrying about you can find a friendly scribe and pay them to craft the inks.
Or simply put them back in the auction house, thats up to you. Personally I happen to have a scribe so I did it myself, then sold myself the inks at 80% of market value.
The idea was not to eliminate losses, that is not going to happen with low level stuff. The idea was to limit them to the point that the gains from the higher level stuff would balance out. So the question is, how did we do? We still have an estimated 800G coming back to us from the meta gems and the as yet untransmuted epics.
What do we have already?
I started with 50G to cover listing fees, when it’s all said and done I should end up with about 1980G from this little adventure.
So the answer to the question is:
While you might take a loss on some things, especially before about 350 or so skill, over the long haul you can make alchemy pay for itself.
I put my money where my keyboard was, and I’m glad I did.