I am Guild Master of a micro guild - Dark Prophecy, with 7 or 8 casual players. Sometimes we actually have players online and on friday nights will even have 4 or so players raiding. Considering our size and activty, being lvl a 12 guild isn't too bad.
We recently picked up a couple of alchemists, so it was worth getting the Cauldron of Battle (my non-raiding alchemist already had it from a stint in another guild). For this we needed Mix Master (1000 flasks made). We already had 250 flasks made from ad-hoc crafting, but needed to make another 750.
If you are serious about making a large number of flasks, you want to use an elixir specialist to do so. Over time, this provides a 15% bonus to the number of flasks or elixirs you make. I am also very happy to confirm that at the moment the proc's from this do count toward mix master. And even though I know that the law of averages says I will get 15% bonus, getting a 5x proc still gives a nice buzz.
We made roughly an equal amount of flasks with an eye towards the cauldron: strength, stamina, intellect and agility. This wasn't so much because I intend to use 185 cauldrons any time soon, but because there will be a consistent demand for these flasks - either directly or as mats for other guild's cauldrons.
I purchased both the herbs and the volatile life over six weeks, and over both auction houses. To make our 750 flasks (we already had 250), you need 12,000 cinderbloom, Azshara's veil, Twilight Jasmine and Whiptail, and 6,000 volatile life. That is a lot of mat's to strip off an auction house, with an inevitable price rise associated. My guestimate of the alliance price rise is about 2g50/life and about 50s/herb. It didnt help that on the Alliance AH, there was at least one other player also vacuuming all the volatile life of the AH. Life was the hardest thing to find enough to buy.
I staggered purchases. I bought off both auction houses. Horde side volatile life was regularly 3-4g cheaper per volatile than alliance. I made sure I had something to sell Horde side (glyphs) so I didn't have spend a 15% neutral AH hit just to convert cash.
I staggered my purchases over a month, once every day or so buying any needed 'below average' mats off the auction houses. Towards the end I had to pick only the best horde sales as I was running out of horde gold. However just horde glyph sales let me buy almost all the horde volatile life I wanted.
The darkmoon faire is just around the corner, so I expect that volatile life will reman in demand for another week.
I expect to make a profit on the flasks. I am not convinced that this profit would have been more than simply averaging out the AH prices buying mats when cheap, selling mats when expensive.
PS. If you are looking for a place to park a toon or two on Alliance Caelestrasz, send an in game mail to Foofixit. If you are willing to provide guild xp (even from doing the odd quest or daily), I am happy to provide guild repairs. I am also paying 2g/point towards the fishing achievement Thats a lot of bait.
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