WotLK Cooking 375-450

As I posted during Beta, Cooking is not easy to level and there’s been lots of commentary on that since Launch.  Blizzard seems to be of the opinion that green recipes are an acceptable path for a secondary profession and that capping isn’t necessary since there are no rewards for reaching it.  Despite the problems, I worked hard to cap Cooking this week and publish my findings.

Getting to 400 in Cooking is fairly easy, just make any of the recipes from the trainer that are available at 350 skill.  My only tip here would be to avoid recipes that require rhino or mammoth meat.  You’ll just have to farm more of those later, so why make it worse now?  There are plenty of other recipes to choose from, I used a mix of fish recipes including Smoked Salmon, Pickled Fangtooth and Baked Manta Ray.  These recipes will turn green around 390, but you can still get to 400 without too much pain.  It took me about 65 cooked dishes to get from 375-400.  The last 10 points were gained at around a 30% rate.

At 400 you unlock the vendor recipes from the guy in Dalaran.  I hope all of you took my advice and started his dailies as soon as you hit the city, so you have tokens to spend when you reach this point.  My strategy here was once again to select recipes that would be easy to farm for, while still avoiding the use of rhino/mammoth goodies for the home stretch.  I went with the Spicy Fried Herring recipe since I knew there were lots of spawns in Howling Fjord and I’d have no problem using up the yummy MP5 food for my healer.  I also bought Critter Bites and Dragonfin Filet, and I would highly recommend that everyone purchase at least one of those two recipes.  Why are they so special?  Because they stay green longer than any of the other vendor recipes except the feasts.  They don’t turn gray until 450 and this may be very important to you later, it sure was to me!

I collected three stacks of Fangtooth Herring, which I used to go from 400 to 420 in Cooking.  After that I made about 9 Critter Bites to hit 425 and unlock the feast recipes.  At this point, all of your recipes are gray except Critter Bites and Dragonfin Filet, which are green.  When you purchase the feast recipes from the vendor, they will be yellow.  Buy whichever one you think will be easiest to farm – I went with the Small Feast.  I had already been farming rhino meat in anticipation of this process and had about 100 of them waiting in my mailbox.  All I needed was the fish and Northern Spices and I hoped that would be enough to push me over the top.

In my previous post about fishing locations, I erroneously stated that Glacial Salmon were in Crystalsong Forest.  That was incorrect, it’s Glassfin Minnows that are found in Crystalsong.  Salmon can be found in Grizzly Hills along the various rivers and lakes.  I found a very nice fishing spot at the Blue Sky Logging Grounds.  There are a number of spawns around the lake, you can easily fish the upper and lower sections with respawns popping where you started by the time you’ve completed your circuit.  The only caveat is to be careful of the locals, there are PVP-flagged mobs who will jump you if you wander too close.  If you need assistance finding any other type of fish, please visit El’s Anglin where he maintains an amazing depth of detail on fishing spawns.

For the critter meat, it appears that some of my suggestions from Beta were implemented with regard to drop rates.  Rhino meat is easier to collect from the Rhino packs in Borean Tundra.  I was using my borrowed hunter (with gorilla) to AOE groups of them and collect the drops.  I think I put in about an hour, maybe 90 minutes, to get my 100 pieces of Rhino meat.  That’s significantly better than the 15% drop rate I was finding on the Beta server.  Right now I would estimate that the drop rate is in the 30-40% range.

At 425 I had enough mats to make 50 Small Feasts (100 rhino meat, 100 nettlefish, 100 salmon, 50 spices).  I was really hoping this would be enough to get to 450, unfortunately I only got to 448.  The feast actually went green at 437, so I suppose that wasn’t too bad under the circumstances.  Here’s where the other two recipes I mentioned earlier come in.  At 437 you have three green recipes: Critter Bites, Dragonfin Filet and your Feast.  Obviously you can keep making feasts, but they require 6 meats per combine.  They are also soulbound, which means you can’t mail them to your alt for storage.  

Once I’d run out of the mats for my Feast recipe, I wondered if it wouldn’t be better to switch to a less ingredient-intensive recipe.  However, working under the assumption that my Small Feast would have a better skill-up rate than Critter Bites due to it’s higher starting value, I went ahead and made 15 more of them.  I did not get a point.  Then I made 21 Critter Bites and got 1 point.  So clearly it’s just takes lots of combines and there is no meaningful difference between the green recipes at this stage.  With one point left to gain, I made 14 more Critter Bites and got zero points.  It was here that I ran out of the 100 Northern Spices I’d managed to farm and had no Cooking dailies up either.  I was forced to wait until the following day, luckily I was able to get 35 more spices on my three toons in Dalaran when the dailies reset.  I also bought a few more stacks of Chilled Meat on the Auction, I was tired of farming meat, what can I say?  It took another 25 Critter Bites to get my last skill point and reach 450 Cooking.

I hope this gives everyone a rough idea of what to expect if they want to cap Cooking.  Plus an FYI for you, there is no Achievement tied to this.  I got no ding when I hit 450, which kind of surprised me.  I guess I hadn’t really looked that closely at the Cooking achievement list to pick up on that.  So you can go for it if you want to, and I know a lot of us want that notch on our belt.  Just be aware that it took me about 125 combines to get from 425 to 450 in Cooking.  Plan wisely and Good Luck!


21 Responses to “WotLK Cooking 375-450”

  1. Joel Says:

    Grats on getting there! I’ve made it to 425 on 2-3 toons now and I’m going to be making Dragonfin up to 450. It’ll take me a lot longer that way, but it’ll give me food I can use. :)

  2. dorgol (boulderfist us) Says:

    Leveling on green recipes scares me. In TBC I cooked over 100 pieces of meat (Ribs and Serpents to be exact) to go from 365 to 375. Over HALF of that was spent at 374 just trying to get to 375.

    I really hope Blizzard doesn’t make me do that again.

  3. Debrashavi Says:

    Thanks so much for doing all the research and publishing your discoveries! I just arrived in Dalaran this week and have started the cooking dailies. :)

  4. kaliope Says:

    Thanks for the great comments folks, I’m glad my efforts are paving the way for the rest of you to hopefully have an easier time of it.

    Dorgol, I’m totally with you on the yuck factor of leveling with green recipes. If you don’t have a burning need to cap, you might consider waiting. I wouldn’t be shocked if more recipes get added in an upcoming patch, that happened in BC and I think there’s a good chance of it happening again. Blizzard seems to be fine with easing progression for casuals once the trailblazers get to the finish line and enjoy their glory for a bit ;)

  5. Sean Says:

    Thanks for posting this Kaliope.

    I decided to try for the realm first 450 cooking on my server but came up short by a couple days because it was a purely solo effort on my part.

    Although it will take substantially more fish, the most efficient way to level up cooking is to use cooking level 350 recipes until they go gray at 415. Using any of the Dalaran recipes before that point will necessitate the use of spices which are better used skilling from 415 on up.

    From 415-425, Snapper Extreme is a great choice for a recipe as it relies on Bonescale Snappers which if you level up fishing concurrently, you will have in droves.

    From 425 to 450, as you noted, small feasts seem to be the easier of the two feasts to use to level. Although you were able to use Critter Bites (or Snapper Extreme for that matter – there are more than the two you cited which stay green till 450), you will use less spices from 437-450 skilling up on feasts than alternatives.

    Be prepared in either case for the long haul to get the last few skill points. It was so frustrating to go through over 30 feasts on the last couple points only to run out spices at 449.

    Thanks again for the site Kaliope.

  6. Bobo & SgtPork Says:

    I also got nothing for 450 fishing or 450 mining. Did Blizzard drop the ball? Wait, there’s an Achievement for ball-dropping, isn’t there? *wink*

  7. Sean Says:

    There were some problems initially with several people being given the realm first achievement and then having those achievements redacted unexpectedly (in some cases affecting the actual winner). Those problems have been sorted out and if you want to see both the realm first and world first achievements, check out Blizzard’s updated armory: http://www.wowarmory.com

    The news feed will display world first achievements and if you log into one of your characters, server first achievements will also be displayed for that character’s realm.

    What amazes me was that the world first achievement in cooking was on 11/14. In order to pull that off, one would have had to level to at least 74 on the 13th to get access to Dalaran, port your entire guild to the city, have everyone do the daily and trade their awards for spices, and then hope against hope that you got an extra cooking award in your spice bag when you did the daily the next day. That and do A LOT of fishing (or have a lot of help).

  8. Rakhman Says:

    I followed your advice from the beta and stockpiled all my meat, plus as soon as I could get a portal to Dalaran I got the flight point and have been doing the cooking dailies ever since, at level 73 currently. So I’m sitting at cooking 413 at the moment and its just a matter of getting more spices.

    Once I can get a portal for my level 70 alt I’ll send him there too, following your advice, and get him doing the cooking dailies, as they all seem to just need the cooked products and some picking here and there around Dalaran, something an alt can do easily. Particularly Cheese for Glowergold which requires no cooking at all!

  9. Raima Says:

    I actually got 450 cooking yesterday, and got the realm first for cooking. I was surprised it hadn’t been taken yet (but not too surprised). I finished out with Critter Bites, and I’m giving a stack to anybody willing to take one in my guild so they can work on the Critter Getter achievement. My next goal is to try and get one of each recipe, but the problem with that is that some of the ones on the Northrend Gourmet list don’t seem to actually be available yet. (Fish Feast, Shoveltusk Stew, Succulent Orca Stew, Kungaloosh)

    Here’s hoping they’ll show up after today’s maintenance.

  10. Bahkauv Says:

    152 Small Feasts from 441 to 450. I had to kill entire Rhino populations and I hope the D. E. H. T. A. guys will convince Blizzard that this has to be changed!

  11. kaliope Says:

    Gratz Raima! I’m also surprised that you got a realm first at this late stage but good for you ;) I’ve also been sharing my Critter Bites, at one point I had almost 300 of them! As for the missing recipes, they could be BoP drops, faction items or Holiday treats. The Kungaloosh in particular looks suspicious to me as a specialty item.

    Bahkauv: I’m so sorry you had to endure that kind of torture for 9 skill points, that had to be extremely aggravating. It’s also part of the reason I started doing Critter Bites, I wanted to see if they were a viable alternative to the cap. Hopefully folks reading this will see how much extra work the feasts create and try some other options instead.

  12. ClemSnide Says:

    We;;. I didn’t get that Realm First 450 Fishing,probably because I spent too much time swimming around the northeast of Northrend. (NB: There’s nothing. You can’t even fish in the ocean. It’s the whole Useless Fjord situation all over again.) I’ve pretty much given up on getting a RF for anything, though I may make it to 10,000 Fish thanks to that stupid-head Gold Coins quest, for which I have one catch to go that has been eluding me for four days.

    I decided not to level up Cooking the way I go after other skills, mostly because I have a paucity of recipes (and gaining them at the rate of 1/3 days isn’t helping). It’s also frustrating that Kathryn Lee seems to be stuck on that meatloaf recipe. Oh well, The Rokk was sending me out for Spiritual Soup pretty frequently in my Shattrath days.

    Since Critter Bites seem to be a popular item, where are people picking up their Critter Gitter Achievements? There is a group of five Critters (four turtles and a rat) in the Underbelly, so I thought taht would be a good place to start. Or are the Rats in Stormwind more populous and easier to reach? …Farm animals around the Lumber Camp? …Chickens in Shattrath? I dunno. I’m still fishing.

  13. ClemSnide Says:

    Never mind! I found the perfect place. Moonglade. I was passing through while levelling up my Druid Herbalist/Alchemist (7 more levels till she can get the new recipes, so I’m working on her pretty diligently). While traversing the paths I saw scads of Rabbits and Deer.

    So Saunders went there armed with a stack of Critter Bites. Let’s just say that three minutes is way too generous. In less than half that time I was looking like a heroine in a Disney film.

    musing stuff! I’m going to hang on to a few to amaze and annoy people in the cities.

  14. Eino Says:

    I made about 3000 gold selling off my northern spices that I’ve gathered in the last couple weeks. Good market to catch someone trying to power level cooking to 450. Since there’s absolutely no reason to actually hit 450, should make some money off people who are impatient.

  15. kaliope Says:

    Good tip Eino! I noticed during my push that Northern Spices were selling for 7-10g apiece. I wasn’t desperate enough to pay that much, but I’m sure other folks are :)

  16. Solidstate Says:

    > one would have had to level to at least 74 on the 13th to get access to Dalaran

    Actually no, mages got access to Dalaran at level 71. So a mage friend could level to 71 and then use the BG trick for example to port the entire guild over.

  17. nickyjean01 Says:

    For those fishing in the Logger area don’t forget to get your walk on waters. I’m a shaman w/ a glyph but I always do my fishing dailies and hand em over to another toon. Then we’re both in the bad areas not getting any argo. It’s how I get a ton of glacier salmon.

  18. wingedtiger Says:

    Wow, thanks for the tips, guess I better starts some serious saving of meats/fishes!

  19. LucieRommel Says:

    Great post !!!! thanks

  20. dubson Says:

    thanks, nice post.

  21. Nick Says:

    Just sell your mats made and leveling in the green isn’t so bad. I sell mine in x5 blocks for 25 gold.

    Making at least 500 gold a week off leveling. Then its just a pleasure to get a point, not a necessary.

    firecracker is good to sell…goes like hotcakes

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