I've been stockpiling here and there, and doing a lot of forum searching for what other people are stockpiling, and I've come to the conclusion that a lot of people are crackpot crazy. Some raise valid points, but then veer off into some serious speculation. I prefer to base predictions off of a few, simple facts.
Fact 1: There will be Monks.
If the incredibly bloated population of DK's in Wrath is any indicator of how the addition of the Monk class will affect the game, it shows that Monks will be contesting Hunters, Druids, and Paladins as the most popular class. How does this affect the economy? Simple: There will be more leather-wearers.
Many people lose me at this point by talking about 77-79 Cata greens, low level crafted items, and snatch list for relatively rare leveling mats. These are decent suggestions, but very "niche", so to speak. I prefer to look broader. Consider that the largest portion of players wear Mail or Leather (40.6% on Durotan-Alliance). This could easily go over 50% with Monks added in. There's the argument that more Monks means less of other classes, but I think that's only valid for players that stop playing a class in favor of another. I think this portion of players is very small.
Consider also that Leatherworking is not as popular a profession as others, especially in the max-level crafted armor market. Sure, many people leveling Monks may take Leatherworking and Skinning, but there's quite a difference between having the profession and using it on a large enough scale that it impacts the economy, and more importantly, my sales.
I predict that the number of steady, large-scale crafting Leatherworkers and Skinner/farmers will rise slightly, to accommodate the increase in leather-wearers, and that there will be a leather bubble right after Mists goes live, but that the bubble will not last more than a few months at the most.
My simple suggestions for taking advantage of this:
- Have a max-level Skinner.
- Have a max-level Leatherworker.
- Farm leather and stock the AH with both crafting mats and crafted gear.
Fact 2: There will be Panderan.
Well, duh, you might say, so more specifically, there will be players looking to take advantage of the Epicurean racial, even while leveling.
There's two ways this will be done: by leveling Cooking themselves, or buying buff food off the AH. I don't care to speculate which choice will be more popular. I just plan to meet both demands.
- Hit all the vendors and quests that reward a good recipe.
- Do the Cooking dailies (including Dalaran) to fill out your recipes.
- Farm Cooking mats and sell both buff foods and raw mats, especially for foods that buff a primary stat.
Fact 3: There will be new glyphs and DMC trinkets.
Brace yourselves, Glyphmas comes again.
It's a bit different this time, though, since many glyphs are being modified or dropped from the game. There are certain variables we (Myself, at least) don't know, and until those facts become apparent, we can't make many reliable predictions.
- Will Blackfallow be used for anything other than Mysterious Fortune Cards, Fortune Cookies, and that one glyph?
- Will we have to discover all the new glyphs, or will some or all be converted from glyphs we already have discovered?
- Of the glyphs being removed, how many are of each lower level ink? Homework to do here.
- What portion of existing Glyphs will be converted to vendor trash?
- How many people will be leveling Herbalism? This seriously affects the lower level herb supply, and which ones to stock up on.
- Have a max level Herbalist.
- Have a max-level Inscriber.
- Farm herbs, keep the AH stocked with glyphs, and make as many DMC trinkets as you can.
Wildcard fact: Working Overtime will be bumped up to 20%.
This is beta, so subject to change, but this has important ramifications. This means that particularly cheap to make items can be crafted more reliably for points while green, so certain leveling bottlenecks may be going away, and certain stockpiles of rare leveling mats may be worth a lot less than anticipated.
I don't think this will actually increase competition in any market from new crafters, but it definitely will make changing professions less expensive. This is just one more reason to not worry about what character has what profession, or how many Alchemists you need. If you mess it up or a certain market doesn't work out as planned, just drop the dud profession and level a new one.