Chapter 8 - Inscription

Inscription is the crazy red headed step child of all professions. It is both a great money maker and a great time consumer. It beats other professions by a landslide in the number of recipes it has that can be made for a profit and in the amount of time it takes to learn all of the recipes. In order to learn all of the glyphs you will have to conduct both Northrend Inscription Research and Minor Inscription Research daily for months. In addition there are numerous glyphs that can only be learned from Books of Glyph Mastery. With the coming of Cataclysm there are fewer and fewer of these books to be found on the Auction House as they are WotLK world drops - many times they will sell for 500g+ each - by no means a small price to pay to learn a recipe. None the less if you have the time and money to spend on Inscription by the time you have learned all of the glyphs you may well find that it is your number 1 money making profession.

*NOTE* Blizzard has stated that they will be making changes to how glyphs are learned in the future. They will change it so that ALL glyphs can be learned by using research and the Books of Glyph Mastery will simply become a way to learn glyphs faster.


1) A HUGE number of items that you can make for a profit.

2) Each item costs virtually nothing to list on the Auction House so cancelled or unsold auctions don't need to worry you.

3) As it is a converting profession you can take part in both the inks and glyph markets.

4) The rarity of Books of Glyph Mastery means that the profession is harder for new people to break into - meaning the numbers of competitors in this market is slowly declining.


1) Learning the profession takes a huge investment of time and money.

2) Competition can be fierce. Expect to have to cancel/repost multiple times a day in order to maximize your profits. Using an automatic poster like the one found in TradeSkillMaster is virtually a must.

3) Milling herbs, making inks, and then making glyphs can be VERY time consuming. Either expect to spend the time doing it yourself or paying a bit extra to have your inks made.

4) If you are fully invested in the glyph business expect it to take a LOT of bagspace. 8-10 full Packs of Endless Pockets isn't uncommon.

My advice on inscription: I wouldn't take this profession on my first toon but, if you have the time, I think it makes a great profession to pick up on your main alt. You will want to pick a toon that you log on to daily (so you can do the researches) and that is, or will be soon, a high level so that you can both do the Northrend Inscription Research and mill Cataclysm level herbs. Add Books of Glyph Mastery to your snatch list so that you can pick them up when they are cheap and slowly build up your business as the number of glyphs you know increases. Use your main toon's professions to make enough gold to fund the learning process and your startup costs. After a few months you should find that Inscription is making you a good chunk of money daily.

Recipes of Note:

1) Glyphs - Prices really can vary quite a bit. Check out WowPopular to get a list of the more popular glyphs by class.

2) Darkmoon Cards - These can be very profitable - or completely useless. Be sure to check your server to see if they are profitable to make or not. To do this simply subtract their cost to craft from the average sale price.

In order to get the average sale price simply look up the prices for all four of the decks. Add these prices together and divide by four. You now have the average price of a deck. Divide this number by eight (the number of cards in a deck) and you now have the average sale price for one Darkmoon Card.

In order to get the cost to craft simply do (market price of Inferno ink on the AH * 10)
+(market price of Volatile Life on the AH * 30).

Now just subtract the cost from the average sale price to see if the cards are profitable for you to make or not.

3) Forged Documents - Currently these are limited in their profitability by a one day cooldown. They still provide a little bit of profit in their current state but if the cooldown is ever removed these documents could effectively provide a price floor for all Cataclysm Herbs.

4) Mysterious Fortune Cards - The cards sell great (along with Fortune Cookies) as long as you are barking them in order to keep interest up. They are basically a form of Blizzard sanctioned in game gambling as when you turn over the card they can be sold to a vendor for anywhere from 10 silver to 5,000 gold. Cold from Cold's Gold Factory is the master at selling these and has written a mini guide on selling them. If you want to dominate this market I recommend checking out his site and/or purchasing his guide as he is the master of this niche.

5) Inks - Because Inscription is a converting profession you don't have to sell just the finished goods. If inks are selling for more than glyphs / cards then sell the inks! If you can make Blackfallow ink also check to see if you can trade Blackfallow inks for lesser inks at the ink traders and sell those for a profit.

6) Certificate of Ownership - These are used by hunters to rename their pets and usually sell for a nice profit.

7) Dust of Disappearance - These can usually be made for under the cost to buy them from a vendor. At one blackfallow ink they are cheap to make and you can often sell quite a few in a day. Just be sure to list them on the AH for a price lower than the buy price from a vendor in order to sell a good number of them.

Additional Resources:

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The Power Word: Gold Guide Free is Copyright © 2011 Jim Younkin. Guide contributors include Bangkok Bill and fluxdada.