Before I get into the meat of this subject, I want to clarify something. You may have noticed that for being a blog which kind of has a gold-making feel and name, I have not written much about the subject. To be honest, part of the reason is because I have felt pretty hesitant to tread on already covered ground, just posting to put words out there and get page views. I want to be as original as I can. In this series that I am starting, Preparing for Mists, I hope to do just that.
If you have done any cooking on the Mists beta, or read about it, you will know that Blizzard is changing the way that buff food is handled. Cooking will have (insert number here) "Ways", or specializations, which focus on making food which benefits a particular stat, with the exception of the Way of the Brew. Each Way will also have its own feast, which gives everyone 250 extra in their primary stat, and a little extra to people who have the primary stat that is associated with that Way. For example, the Banquet of the Pot will benefit Mages more than they will Death Knights, as the Way of the Pot specialization is about intellect.
Additionally, each feast now comes in two sizes, 10 and 25, with a higher material cost to make the 25-person version. Also, feasts are produced in batches of five. As an aside, I originally thought that they were made singly, and when I took a look at what the mats were to make one of them(as I thought) I literally thought that Blizzard was playing some sort of joke. having those same mats produce five makes much more sense, although it is still going to be a higher cost than what we have been used to in Cataclysm. What are the mats, you ask?
Pandaren Banquet (serves 10)
1x 100 Year Soy Sauce
10x Jewel Danio
10x Raw Tiger Steak
50x Pink Turnip
Great Pandaren Banquet (serves 25)
1x 100 Year soy Sauce
20x Jewel Danio
20x Raw Tiger Steak
100x Pink Turnip
As you can see, the 25-person version is simply twice the material cost, save the Soy Sauce, which is purchased with an Ironpaw Token. An interesting thing about the mats here is that they are of four different types. I already mentioned the Soy Sauce. The Jewel Danio is a fish that, from what I can tell so far, is only fished in the level 90 zone(in pools and open water). The Raw Tiger Steaks are looted form tigers you kill, and the Pink Turnips can be looted from Yaungol that you kill, but seems to be much more reliably gained through farming, which I will get into in a bit.
Now, to prepare for your raid's feasting needs, you will have to consider a few variables. First and most obvious, is the raid size. This will set the base cost of mats per feast. Second, you want to determine the amount of feasts that you will need per week, which is a little more involved, but not too much. After these two steps, you will come out with a material requirement that you will have to fill every week. Let me walk you through the process, using my raiding group as an example.
First, my guild raids 10-mans. That part's easy enough.
Second, to determine the amount of feasts we will need per week, I can either spitball it(as in, just guess) and add a little more on top to be safe, or I can attempt at a more educated guess. Let's try the latter. First, I will want to figure out the amount of raiding time spent per week. For our guild, we do four hour sessions, three days a week, which means we raid for 12 hours a week. Now, given that we are not the most hardcore type of guild(although we are pretty good in my opinion), and factoring in that this calculation will be for the first few weeks of content, which means it will be new for us and we will be relatively undergeared for the content, I estimate that we will be wiping a lot. That said, because it will be so new for us, there will probably be some amount of time spent in-between pulls to figure out our strategy. In other words, we probably won't be wiping and running back in to pull in 2 minutes. I would put the in-between fight time at probably an average of 6-10 minutes. The fight time average I would put at about 4-5 minutes, because I am sure we will be wiping a bit on the first couple minutes of a fight, which will balance out the longer times.
Total time for pull+wipe+run back in, buff up and pull again = ~10-15 minutes. As I am a believer in preparing for more than you will need, I will go with the low part of the estimate, 10 minutes.
12 hours/10 minutes=72. As, in, at worst we will need about 72 feasts per week. Now, as I don't trust my estimation skills too much, I like to add a bit more, and so will go with 80 feasts per week needed. If we prepare for that, and end up needing less(or even far less) than it's not like the feasts will go wasted, and we can adjust our estimates accordingly.
Remembering that each feast recipe produced actually makes five, I determine that we will need to make 16 feasts. That comes to a material cost of:
16x 100 Year Soy Sauce
160x Jewel Danio
160x Raw Tiger Steak
800x Pink Turnip
Which, in my opinion, isn't really all that bad, if we make the acquiring of materials a team effort. The fishing and killing part of the equation is easy enough, but the part that I want to get into is the turnips. 800 Pink Turnips a week may seem like a high cost, but it actually shouldn't be too much if people pitch in. My idea is requiring every raid member to take the minimum of time to start their own farm, which takes less than a half hour to do, and require them to grow a certain amount of turnips per week. How many turnips, you ask?
Well, turnip plants, when planted and harvested, provide(from what I have seen in my limited experience, so correct me if I am wrong) 5-8 turnips per plant. If we multiply that number by 10(the number of raiders), we get 50-80, as in, if everyone plants one. This means that to get 800 turnips reliably(as in, only taking the low number, 50, into account), each raider on average will have to produce 16 plants worth of turnips. That means four days of planting for the people who only get 4 plots(the starting amount). Additionally, as you can start farming at level 86, so anyone with a current alt at 85 can take the tiny bit needed to level it to 86 to start farming if they don't want to have to plant turnips on their main. Either way, it is super easy to plant and harvest the turnips, they cost next to nothing for the seeds, and it takes just about the same amount of time as any other daily, so there is no excuse for not taking advantage of it.
Again, the gold that your guild does not have to spend on the hundreds of turnips necessary to produce feasts is gold that you effectively earned. Additionally, it will mean more turnips on the AH, which will mean lower prices for when you do need to buy some. In fact, and here's a trivia section for you, this idea of growing your own crops affecting the larger market has even been the focal point of a famous US Supreme Court decision, Wickard v. Filburn, which helped define the powers that Congress had under the commerce clause. What can I say, I am a politics nerd :P
I hope you actually made it though the long-winded post, and actually gleaned something informative and/or interesting from it(other than my overuse of parenthetical statements, or my irony at doing one now, or my obviousness for pointing out the irony, or the long-windedness of this parenthetical statement). Either way, you can expect another post in the same vein soon, although I haven't quite determined the topic yet. Thanks!