PTR Alchemy Changes

Hang onto your Frost Lotuses, people. MMO Champion has just datamined a huge change to alchemy for 3.1:

All flasks recipes will now create 2 flasks for the same amount of ingredients but now last 1 hour instead of 2.

Oh noes! The sky is falling!

Maybe not, but the prices of flasks certainly will be. The only silver lining here is that PTR sellers say that flasks are stacking to 20 (a net buff) and proccing up to 10 per combine.

Quick Analysis

1. This change benefits flask buyers. Now they will be able to buy flasks to suit the typical raid time for their guild as opposed to “wasting” an hour or so on a flask.

2. This change is a slight disadvantage to elixir-specced alchemists. We didn’t usually mind wasting an hour on our 4-hour flasks. On the whole, I predict less sales volume for those of us who sold large amounts of flasks. Our customers will probably stay the same–raiders. You can’t make a noob flask just by making it more convenient! He’ll still say it’s too expensive. The customer’s gain here is the seller’s loss. The same players will buy less total flask hours. I’m not sure what will happen to the price–it may all settle out to about the same margins, but it may not.

3. This change is a HUGE setback for stockpilers. Thankfully I’ve been selling out my stock every day. I’m down to 5 flasks of the Frost Wyrm and 4 flasks of Mojo. I guess I’ll sell the former before the market reacts and drink the latter.

4. The biggest losers here are guild banks. Many of those–including Conquest’s–have stockpiled hundreds of flasks. To those guilds (psst, Matt)–I recommend selling what you can now or just letting raiders drink them for the full effect. Hold off on all future combines at least until there’s an answer on what happens to old stock. My guess is that all flasks, including ones made before the patch, will become 1 hour duration, but players and guilds will not receive doubles. That’s in line with past policy changes, for example, already-acquired Je’Tze’s Bells did not change from soulbound to BoE when the item lost its BoP status.

Anyway, time to rethink my flask business!

Edit: Stockpilers are safe! We’ll be able to trade in one of the old flasks for two of the new. Read the blue post on the subject below.

As many of you have learned, we will be reducing the duration of flask effects so that they only last one hour. However, all recipes that create flasks will create two instead of one for the same material cost. Additionally, we will be increasing stack size from 5 to 20 as we anticipate players will need to carry more flasks at a given time. Vendor value for flasks has also been reduced to keep the auction house deposit low.

Our goal with the change was to allow players greater flexibility when determining how long they plan to raid, as currently we were seeing many players balance time spent raiding around flask duration. We also anticipate that this change will make using flasks in dungeons and battlegrounds a more reasonable decision for players. Though this change will not occur until patch 3.1.0, we wanted to give as much advance notice as possible in case some of you who are stockpiling flasks would prefer to wait to do so until the change is implemented.

We realize players who currently have stockpiled a lot of flasks may feel like they will lose money with this change, since their current flasks will only last for half as long once 3.1.0 goes live. To partially remedy this, we are going to allow players to exchange any current Northrend flasks (Flask of the Frost Wyrm, Flask of Stoneblood, Flask of Endless Rage and Flask of Pure Mojo) for two flasks with the shorter duration. Flasks from older content will not be grandfathered in, and going forward, it will only be possible to make the flasks with a one hour duration.

27 thoughts on “PTR Alchemy Changes”

  1. This change seems aimed at dual-specs, as well. Those raiders who will swap specs mid-raid would likely need to swap consumables as well. Shorter time frames on flasks make that less costly.

  2. Hey! I get twice as much for the same price! As a herbalist without alchemy, I see only an advantage in this when it comes to providing myself with the flasks I need. On the other hand.. the price of mats may go down and thus ruin my (not so used) mat farming business.
    Thanks for the headsup Syd. I will make sure our Quaestor is alerted (though he probably is).

  3. hmmm… good to know. i have been farming mats like crazy for the last 2-3 weeks. i was planning on turning them all into pots/flasks but i think i’ll hold off and just hang on to the herbs till this all pans out. i’d hate to make 100 flasks one day when the next day the same mats would give me 200! o_O

  4. Flask prices will go down and Herb prices will go up initially, but it will mostly even-out pretty quickly. The only true downside, like you said, is for those who have a bunch of flasks in-stock, if they aren’t able to use them up or sell them off before the changes go live. Smart raiders already just buy/farm mats and have their flasks made by an elixir spec’d guildie/friend.

  5. Ya, I’d definitely just say use them all up at this point and stop making new ones. The gains from selling will be minimal as everyone is going to be like, “OMG SELL NOW!?!!!” and the market is going to go in the toilet until Ulduar comes out.

    The most important thing for the time being is to not make any more flasks.

    Veneretios last blog post..Attacking on the Run: Strafing

  6. True, it is a blow for stockpiling sellers. Although I’m honestly not sure that many sellers are taking a long position on anything with the declining markets, or if they are then they still likely have time to sell out.

    True G banks will suffer, but in reality, having hundreds probably means you won’t feel the hit.

    I think you are focussing on the negatives, as with commentary on the lifebloom changes (although not without reason). This may increase the market for Flasks as they will be more accessilble to casual raiders, or raiders on short raids such as Sarth and Mally. Or even fresh 80s that need a little boost in their first heroic?

    Although it is near-impossible to predict, I would be very suprised if the cost halved. Just look at the eternal / crystallized market prices. Its not 1.0 -> 0.1 (x10). Perhaps you alchemists may even end up turning more a profit if the market settles at 0.6 or 0.7 (x2)of previous cost :p.

    Your product is becoming twice as flexible – perhaps you should change your strategy in the same way :p

  7. I actually think this will end up being a good thing, in general.

    By lowering the duration but doubling the output it does mean that the cost of each flask will go down in cost by roughly half, if you assume the same demand per the current market.

    By cutting the price and duration down so significantly though, I strongly believe we’ll be able to dip into prices that much more casual raiders/Heroic grinders/etc. will be more willing to dish out. We’ll see people flasking to farm heroics, flasking to PvP, flasking for lower level raids, etc. This will in turn drive demand up from where it currently is.

    Then, factor into this dual specs. If I’m resto specced in a raid, as always, and flasked for sp or mp5, and I need to swap over to Enh to DPS for two bosses, I’m likely not going to blow 80g to flask for AP and back, wasting 1h+ of each flask. I very well, however, might blow 40g, especially considering the fact that my initial SP flask would have been much closer to wearing off anyway, due to the much shorter duration. Not only does it cost less for each flask, but I’m using proportionately much more of the total duration of each flask before swapping, so much less is wasted, cutting down on the perceived loss and making me less hesitant to swap. This too will add to the increased demand.

    In my opinion we’ll be able to put out twice as many flasks, and the prices will be well over 50% of what they currently are. I wouldn’t go so far as to make a guess at what they’ll be, but this sounds like it’s a very positive change for us alchemists.


  8. Does anyone else see a conflict of intent on Blizzard’s part? Before Wrath released they stated their intent to seriously reduce the dependency on consumables so that they wouldn’t have to balance encounters around insane stacking. Now they are making changes to apparently increase the availability of Flasks to all level of players for all content, which would lead one to believe they want more people using more consumables in more encounters. It is Blizz however, so i guess it shouldn’t surprise me.

  9. Dynasor, for example, the melee flask is 180 AP, with decent Naxx25 gear (the intended flask audience, imo) that is 5-8% of total AP. And no other stats. I don’t think it’s in any way gamebreaking to flask or leave it – atm.

  10. I think overall this is an advantage. Yes, the economy in terms of flasks might change and all but that means more raiders can afford flasks. With more prepared raiders means better outcomes in progression. So maybe this is Blizzard’s way of saying Ulduar will be harder, so you better have flasks?

  11. Does anyone know if this will extend to elixirs? Or is this actually aimed at increasing the viability of elixirs over flasks (given that currently for most dps classes, eg casters, the flask benefits are so much higher than the equivalent elixirs)?

    The other thing to factor into this discussion of course is the increased drop rate of herbs.

  12. Stockpilers take heart:

    We realize players who currently have stockpiled a lot of flasks may feel like they will lose money with this change, since their current flasks will only last for half as long once 3.1.0 goes live. To partially remedy this, we are going to allow players to exchange any current Northrend flasks (Flask of the Frost Wyrm, Flask of Stoneblood, Flask of Endless Rage and Flask of Pure Mojo) for two flasks with the shorter duration. Flasks from older content will not be grandfathered in, and going forward, it will only be possible to make the flasks with a one hour duration.


    So don’t panic, all of the flasks in the bank won’t suddenly be halved, they will be just as good after the patch.

    Keevas last blog post..Ulduar "Immortal" to be per-boss, not per-lockout period

  13. Thanks Keeva! I saw that myself mid-raid and did a little happy dance on behalf of Dannamoth and his 85 flasks of the Frost Wyrm.

  14. “Flasks from older content will not be grandfathered in, and going forward, it will only be possible to make the flasks with a one hour duration.”

    Does this mean Flask of Distilled Wisdom will be reduced to one hour while not being available for swapin? Cause if they doooo *shakes fist*.

  15. @Daunid: Yes, you should drink your stock of Distilled Wisdom now.

    @Deverka: I think people will still do that. Never underestimate the cheapness of cheap people! Or the annoyingness of annoying raiders? I think that for some people the flasks are still going to seem expensive.

  16. currently flasks run about 50g on my server. i’m guessing that b/c of these changes flasks end up being around 25-30g. i have a hard time imagining anyone who considers themselves a “raider” not to spend the gold on consumeables, especially while progression raiding. for content that isn’t on farm, my guild won’t give dkp to ppl who don’t flask/food buff.

    also, i was gonna point out that blue says the current flasks will be able to be exchanged for 2 flasks of shorter duration but keeva beat me to it.

    @ keeva: i realize this is waaay of topic but any ideas how in the world to disable that box that pops up on thottbot when you mouse over a players name? the one that tells you how you’ve bound your clicks in case you’ve somehow forgotten since the last raid, haha. i’ve tried a million different ways but haven’t been able to get it to disappear. it needs to go imo; takes up way too much of the middle of my screen! = P

  17. I am also happy about the change– most of the raid groups I run with tend to do 3 or 5 hours at a sitting, which means I always waste a good 40 min or more of my flasks.

  18. Hmm, I think in view of the announcement that you can turn in one for two you probably should re-write this post.

    Just about none of your points are true any more (although valid at the time of writing).

    The only arguable one is that this is a nerf to elixir-spec alchemists. I’d argue it’s not. First their own flask consumption becomes more efficient: a 2 hour raid will be half the mats. Second for every customer who manages to make a 25g flask work where they would have used a 50g flask before there will be a new customer who would never flask at 50g a pop but is willing to do so for 25g a pop. Ymmv.

  19. I don’t personally mind the change, however I don’t like the idea of grandfathering in some flasks and not others 🙁

    I will cry a little cry over my stockpiled Distilled Wisdoms 🙁 There is no way to use or sell them all before the patch.


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