Which market has made you the most gold over the years?
That's an easy one to answer. Since I started, I've made more gold on glyphs than on anything else. Sadly, those days are behind us now. Blizzard made some important changes to glyphs back in October of 2010, with patch 4.01, the lead-in to the Cataclysm. This was the high-point of gold making through glyphs. Before this, when you learned a glyph, it became immediately active, replacing and destroying any previous glyph you had in that slot. Just like gems. After 4.01, however, once you learned a glyph it was never destroyed: it stayed available to you to activate at any time. This led to a spike in demand, as adventurers rushed to learn every glyph available to their class (since they were no longer destroyed, just activated or deactivated).
On the supply side, Blizzard had just successfully activated its Warden bot-catching programme, reducing the amount of herbs available, and also tripled the ink requirements for glyphs, so supply dried up. The result was that any scribe who had glyphs could sell them for a small fortune.
However, the downside of that for scribes has been twofold: the price spike attracted new scribes. Competition increased, and supply increased. Once people had bought all the glyphs available for their class, there was no more demand. So prices have steadily been dropping since Glyphmas 2010. It has been particularly bad for scribes (and good for everyone else) since our arrival in Pandaria. I'm not quite sure why that is. A new character race should have provided some new demand. Certainly a new class did, and monk glyphs are holding up reasonably, even as the other classes' glyphs tank. Perhaps it was that scribes stockpiled in preparation for another Glyphmas at the start of MoP, which never materialised.
Anyway, what's certain is that glyph sales are still a falling knife. As demand dries up, prices are dropping. Herbs aren't getting milled so there's a glut of them, dropping herb prices as well.
It isn't all bad for scribes: new Darkmoon decks, new offhand items, and new shoulder enhancements have kept them in cash. But glyphs aren't a licence to print money any more!
What's replacing it? Well, gems are still good, I suppose, especially if you're willing to camp the AH. I don't have any jewellers, so I can't benefit. We are going through a period of rapid change of gear as people qualify for heroics and then more and more LFR raids; replacing gear with new drops. This gear needs to be both bejewelled and enchanted.
Part of the 20 days of Gold Making series
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