Friday, December 3, 2010

Cataclysm: Darkmoon Faire Card Trinkets Guide.

In a few weeks every level 85 will be looking to fill out their gear slots in order to gain them spots in raiding guilds, pugs, or even to make the first "scouting" teams into the new Cataclysm raid instances. Before you can set foot into these raids, you must gear yourself with crafted items (a topic for another day), Justice Point items and Heroic dungeon drops. The majority of items that drop from Heroic Dungeons in Cataclysm are item level 346, while some crafted items can bring you up to item level 359, which is the same item level as Normal mode Cataclysm raids.

One of the wonderful items people will be looking to equip is trinkets. The only profession that produces trinkets everyone can use, is Inscription. The new Darkmoon Faire Card trinkets are item level 359. The same level as items purchased for Valour Points (obtained by running Daily Heroics, 10/25 man raid boss kills and also has a weekly cap). This makes the Darkmoon Faire Card trinkets even more desirable.

So, now that we've established the demand, let's look into some other details.

Darkmoon Faire starts Dec 5th, and ends Dec. 11th. Cataclysm launch is Dec. 7th. This gives us 3 days to level up our Scribes to 525, which is when you can perform Darkmoon Card of Destruction. Or, we can wait until Jan. 2nd when the Darkmoon Faire returns. I doubt anyone will be doing any serious raiding until January, and since the cards are a jump up from even Heroic dungeon level loot, they will still sell. However, having them before everyone else could mean massive profit. If you're an Insane seeker like me, this is a win-win situation.

Guide to crafting Darkmoon Faire Trinkets: 

Firstly, you should be sure to check out Kaliope's Inscription Guide and El's Inscription: Cataclysm for the most exclusive glimpse into 450-525 Inscription leveling and information. However, I suggest saving as much Inferno Ink as possible, using recipes that require Blackfallow Ink instead, where possible. This gives you more materials for making cards.

Secondly, you need to understand what you are getting yourself into and the risk you may be taking in doing so. There is a LOT of mats required within a very small window, and they may be difficult to obtain in such large quantities, or at all. It may be entirely not worth it depending on the price of herbs/ your farming skills. There is also a great bit of chance here, so you will certainly have to make a great deal of cards. I would assume that you're entire time spent those few days will be between farming/ milling herbs and crafting cards and making decks. It's a big commitment, and certainly not for the light-hearted. However, this guide is also relevant if you choose to wait for the second Darkmoon Faire, and DMF Cards will certainly be just as valuable.

Thirdly, you will need a ton of Volatile Life, each card requires 30. I suggest supplementing this with herb farming your brains out, since you need herbs for the ink any way. Volatile life drops 15-30% from herb nodes, and a 20% drop from an NPC called "Wailing Weeds" in Hyjal.

Each card takes:
1x Resilient Parchment

You will get 1 of 8 cards from 1 of 4 suits of cards:

Winds: Which combines to become Hurricane Deck which can be handed in at the Darkmoon Faire for Darkmoon Card: Hurricane (Agility) or Darkmoon Card: Hurricane (Strength) Melee trinket.

Waves: Which combines to become Tsunami Deck which can be handed in at the Darkmoon Faire for Darkmoon Card: Tsunami. Healing trinket.

Stones: Which combines to become Earthquake Deck which can be handed in at the Darkmoon Faire for Darkmoon Card: Earthquake. Tanking/ PVP trinket.

Embers: Which combines to become Volcanic Deck which can be handed in at the Darkmoon Faire for Darkmoon Card: Volcano. Caster dps trinket.

Blizzard have really stream-lined the cards for us this time, as you've likely noticed, there's a card for everyone. In an ideal world every 85 on the server would be looking to buy a Darkmoon Card. Perhaps they will. I'm unsure of the BiS qualities for these items, however, because of the unavailability for other trinkets, and the Gearscore (derpscore) people or "ilvl snobs", I really feel (and certainly hope) these trinkets will be desired.

The Darkmoon Card: Volcano looks the most promising to me, even OP really. The other trinket procs are alright, however the raw stats look to be worth the trinket alone.

A few hurdles to note if you plan to do this big rush:

Ok and also a bit of a gold tip: Limited vendor items in Twilight Highlands.

While you won't be gated until level 84 to get these items, you need access to an 85 that has done the required quests to phase Twilight Highlands. There is a vendor who sells a few limited items to get from 515 to 525. It's only 10 levels, and you should get multiple skill ups for these recipes, but you should grab as much of them as you can. These items are Preserved Ogre Eye, Scavenged Dragon Horn, Silver Charm Bracelet. Keep in mind you may be able to find these items on the AH, but likely for a fairly inflated price. Not many will have access/ know about these items right away, but getting to them first would be a strongly recommended idea.

Along with the benefit of getting the cards first, you will also have a 525 Scribe all ready to craft up some off-hand item love. Done well I think this whole ordeal could be a fun grind, and very profitable.

-- Fractella, the (almost) Insane.


  1. Expect the Preserved Ogre Eye to be the most sought after since it is used to make the Epic spell caster Relic. Although unless you can manage to resell it for hyper inflated prices I would use them and sell the relics instead.

  2. for max leveling herbing do you have to be level 85?

  3. Thank you for a great post!

    However, I disagree with two points:
    "DMF Cards will certainly be just as valuable."
    "any serious raiding until January"

    A i359 item will almost certainly be worth more in December than January. All is impermanence, most people who spend 30,000g or whatever on a DMF card in December will have vendored it within a year, perhaps a month or two. It will be a long time before the poor and the casuals will be buying these. But the very beginning is when the market is least elastic. If you are trying for a realm first, are you really going to jeopardize that because you know it will be half the cost in a week, or 5% of the cost in 18 months? It is a small and very fleeting market, but it can be quite profitable. I think a December DMF card or any 1359 item will be worth many times the January price. But it may cost many times as much to craft.

    If you go herbing, you well never be able to sell them for more than when people are going for realm firsts. Then the huge supply/demand imbalance will keep prices high but declining.

    IMHO, the calculus is

    1) can you do it without ruining my health/job/relationship? We don't know how much time will be lost due to server instability, some restarts, low spawn rates, phasing and competition. It just may be more than a game is worth to do this.

    2) It seems to me there is a scope issue.
    I.e. what seems to me to be a very bad idea is to use December 9th herbs to make a part of a DMF card you will turn in in January.
    I.e., selling your Dec 9th herbs and buying them back for cheaper on January 9th is better than using them on Dec 9th to make cards but not decks. However, if you roll the die and get a DMF card in your 3 day window then


    While I think casuals will be leaving heroics for raids in January, they are not the target market for a DMF card and certainly not a DMF car produced when herbs are as expensive as they will ever be. The progression/realm first guilds are the target market and they will be 85 before the weekend and should be raiding very soon thereafter.

  4. @ Anonymous

    You're right, it certainly won't have the same monetary value, but there still will be a demand for it, and I intended the guide to simply give people a preview and understanding of what is required for the cards, regardless of when they decide to make them.

    Consider a few factors here. There's a lot of people who won't have time to run endless dungeons or raid until after Christmas. With Holidays just starting many people will be busy and play time may be more sporadic than normal. I'll admit there are a lot of people who have the time to devote, but you can't expect an entire server to be pushing very hard. There are plenty of cashed-up casual players looking to buy these cards after the early January DMF. Remember this will be the first time people will really be able to hand in, unless Blizz changes that system.

    The point to the whole post is that it's a large risk to be taking if you're pushing for server first, and also a bit of fun if you like to work under pressure with a fast goal in mind. If you reach that goal, you could make a fair bit of profit, given you farm your own herbs. But, I was looking at this from the mind of an Achievement-whore wanting Realm First, and profiting from this with cards and possibly DMF rep for Insane in the Membrane.

    If you can get the cards in first, you could easily sell for a very inflated price to the "hard cores" who spent all their time leveling their main with JC and LWing for raiding and have been saving their gold for this very moment.

    It's high risk, with a lot of excitement, and I did say it's not for the light-hearted. :P

  5. @ The other Anonymous "for max leveling herbing do you have to be level 85?"

    Not 85, but I believe you have to get yourself to 84 to get into Twilight Highlands that has the last tier level of herbing to get the rest of your profession skills. However, I never really paid too much attention to leveling gathering skills, but this is something worth factoring into the equation if you're pushing for a server first.

  6. Nice and informative post, though I wonder if it's really worth pushing that quick and selling all those cards early.

    I'd rather wait it out and make my money with gathering professions.

    In fact, I won't experience money troubles anyway, so I'll be able to devote my time to leveling, have fun and lay the cornerstone of my remade profession empire instead of selling highly inflated crafting items.

    It's more long-term oriented, I guess, as even an inflated price at the start of Cataclysm cannot be compared to the regular sales throughout the expansion (which will net more money in comparision due to inflation).

    My goal is to start the profession machinery as fast as humanly possible, so that when my competition has made some initial (inflated) sales, but not prepared for the time after too well, I'll begin to bring in the regular cash flow.