Mists of Pandaria Professions: Cooking Up a Storm
September 24th by Nethaera

We’ve already gone over the new Spirit of Harmony resource and the changes coming to many professions in Mists of Pandaria, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t go over some of the larger profession changes. We sat down with the designers to talk about Archaeology, Cooking, and Inscription to learn more about what’s in store for these trades

Please note that this overview includes many details regarding plot elements or in-game surprises, so look away if that’s not your thing.

Archaeology: Digging in the Dirt

Introduced with the Cataclysm expansion, Archeology allows players to do a little digging (literally) into the history of the races of Azeroth; Mists of Pandaria will introduce two new fragment types for the mogu and pandaren. The discovery of Pandaria will also lead to the unearthing of new items and new functionality that will entice any treasure seeker to break out the survey kit and get digging.

Previously, each site only contained three dig locations, but with Mists of Pandaria, this has been expanded to six. This should cut down on travel time so archaeologists can instead spend more time discovering the mysteries that Azeroth has hidden beneath its crust. We’ve also added an extra surprise to the dig sites in Pandaria; you never know when one of the sha will pop up. Killing one will provide extra fragments and a chance to procure a keystone as well.

If you’ve wondered where Brann Bronzebeard has landed, have no fear, as you’ll be able to find him in the Seat of Knowledge along with the Lorewalkers faction. Pandaren and mogu common Artifacts will turn into Restored Artifacts on use, which you can trade in to him for bags containing a small number of fragments of the race of your choice. At Exalted reputation, you’ll also be able to trade them for Lorewalker’s Lodestones (which teleport you to a random digsite in Pandaria) or Lorewalker’s Maps (30-minute cooldown and randomizes Archaeology digsites in Pandaria). Occasionally, when you finish a common Archaeology project, instead of getting a “normal” common Artifact, you will get the Pristine version. These will start a one-time quest, rather than turn into a Restored Artifact. When you complete that quest, the artifact will appear in the Seat of Knowledge, and can be examined by interacting with it.

There’s plenty more to discover as you travel through this mysterious new continent.

Cooking: The Way of the Wok

The pandaren take their culinary creations seriously and their influence has changed cooking as a whole for all of Azeroth. Some of these changes are subtle, like the appearance of the cooking pane. Cooking recipes are more clearly organized based on what you’re looking to create, from expansion-specific recipes to holiday treats.

Cooking has become a slightly more individual affair. Feasts will still provide close-to-maximum food bonuses and are the most efficient way to provide for your raid, but the very best stat boosts are reserved for the cooks (and their customers) who put in that extra effort to create single-serving masterpieces. These food items crafted for individual consumption will provide primary stat benefits, and the more effort that goes into a particular recipe, the higher the value of the bonus stat it provides.

You’ll meet the Ironpaws in the Halfhill market in the Valley of the Four Winds on your epicurean quest. These are the culinary giants of Pandaria and as you complete quests for them, you’ll earn Ironpaw Tokens, which can be redeemed for Cooking rewards.

This new faction represents the best chefs that Pandaria has to offer, and you’ll be able to train with them to learn several different cooking specializations:

You’ll be able to specialize in any of these different Cooking techniques and any one will get you to max-level Cooking, but you’ll be able to master all of the ways if you so choose. While you can do all of them at once, the most efficient path to maximizing your culinary skills will be to focus on one Way at a time. Of course, no great chef is worth a salt without some support in the kitchen. You’ll be able to summon an apprentice chef named Nomi who’s looking to learn the tricks of the trade from an accomplished pro. You’ll be able to teach her every day until she becomes an expert cook.

Cooking rewards (Ironpaw Tokens) will allow you to purchase a variety of items. These are earned by doing Cooking dailies, or by supporting the Ironpaw’s cooking school with the groceries that they need to teach their students. Here are some of the great new items available for purchase in the market:

  • Heirloom Frying Pan, Rolling Pin, and Apron
  • Pandaren Banquets  – These provide the best possible stats of all the banquets.
  • Cooking School Bell  – Needed to summon Nomi
  • Flippable Table – Unleash your rage
  • Various exclusive ingredients that can’t be found anywhere else which are needed to craft banquets and the very best food items
  • Small bags of other commonly used Cooking ingredients*

Have too much of any one ingredient? By taking advantage of the common-ingredient bags available in the market, you’ll essentially be able to turn in stacks of surplus supplies for a small amount of something you’re having trouble getting. While it does add a convenient way to buy Cooking ingredients from a vendor, this won’t be the most economical use of your resources. If you’re concerned about being able to harvest ingredients, we suggest you get to know the Tillers, who can also help you establish your own farm and grow your own vegetables.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg (lettuce), and there’s more for you to discover when you begin your journey into Pandaria.

Inscription – The Pen is Mightier

The scribes of Azeroth are a deceptively powerful lot. Using herbs harvested from the earth, they create powerful inks and scribe glyphs that empower a hero’s most powerful abilities. Like Archeology and Cooking, Inscription will be renovated in Mists of Pandaria.

Many scribes may be wondering, “What’s become of the Book of Glyph Mastery?” First off, they still exist. Before you flip a table, let us explain. In the past, some glyphs could only be learned through Books of Glyph Mastery. Now, all of those glyphs can be learned through Northrend Inscription Research. Books of Glyph Mastery will stay in as a way to bypass the daily research cooldown. These same glyphs can also be learned through the daily Scroll of Wisdom cooldown (more on this later), but only after you’ve learned all the new Mists of Pandaria glyphs.  

You’ll have also noticed by now that as of patch 5.0.3, Prime Glyphs have been removed.  Most of the corresponding recipes have been converted into new Major Glyphs. Relics have also been removed from the game, so you’ll find that most of your Relic recipes have been replaced with ones for Staves.

Please note that ink traders will continue to accept Blackfallow Ink for a week or two after the expansion to give players a chance to liquidate their old ink supplies. After this short period, ink traders will only accept Ink of Dreams (the new common ink in Mists of Pandaria) and Starlight Ink will become available for purchase.

While trainers will teach some new recipes, most of the new Glyph recipes will be learned by creating Scrolls of Wisdom, which you can do once a day. In addition to functioning as a daily Inscription research for Mists, Scrolls of Wisdom will serve as a valuable reagent needed in order to make epic items (including Darkmoon Cards). This means that the supply of epic Inscription items will be limited by a scribe’s ability to only obtain one Scroll of Wisdom per day (barring a couple of exceptions including the weekly Inscription quests). It’s quite possible that the supply restrictions will result in Inscription items being more prized in the market.

On shoulder inscriptions: In the past, you only made them for yourself. In Mists of Pandaria, you need to provide them for your fellow adventurers as well.  Shoulder inscriptions will not be available for purchase from reputation vendors.  It’s all up to you.

In addition to the Staves that scribes can make in place of the old Relics, Fans (off-hand items) have been added for Mists of Pandaria level content.  While most of these can be used or sold to fellow adventurers, a couple of craftable epic Staves are reserved for the scribes that made them (Battle.net account bound). They will require the less powerful staves as a reagent, and will be a very significant undertaking – creating one will take around 20 days! Once you “outgrow” these items, you can turn it in for a “refund” of 10 Scrolls of Wisdom.

There’s plenty left to be discovered as you make your way through Pandaria and ply your chosen trades. Good luck and happy crafting!