In which Actual Numbers are used to derive Actual Conclusions. Accept no substitutes.

I mentioned a while back that I didn’t trust WoWHead’s numbers on pigment yields from herbs, based on a few things.

  1. Uploads from the collection tool don’t seem to be applied in real time.
  2. There is no indication as to how often stale data is purged,
  3. … or how old is considered stale
  4. No indication as to how much of that data is from Beta, and thus no confidence in whether the data was from artificially inflated yield rates1

I also mentioned at the time that I had created an addon that would grab milling data automatically in order to obtain an alternative set of numbers that would be – to me -  unimpeachable.

The downside to this is that I could not trust the numbers I saw until I had more samples.  I think I have enough – for MoP herbs – to provide some more or less accurate commentary, which I present forthwith.

Pigment yields, raw numbers

As you probably know, there are two types of pigments yielded – common (for Ink of Dreams), and rare (for Starlight Ink).  The former is for the mundane stuff such as glyphs, the latter for the rare and epic items, quite often cards for Darkmoon decks.  So there are two thing to consider when obtaining inks to mill – what are you looking for, and what are you going to do with it?

For the average glyph monger, high yield of common inks and low cost (if buying) are key factors.  For Darkmoon Card makers, high yield of rare inks will be the overriding concern.

Common Pigment Yields

As you can see, common inks are largely clustered around the 2.5 per mill mark.  Fool’s Cap far outstrips that at 2.84 per mill. So if other factors are the same, Fool’s Cap is the way to go.  Otherwise any of the other herbs except for Desecrated Herbs are equally good. Desecrated Herbs are probably going to be overpriced, but if they aren’t, they’re marginally better than others.

Rare Pigment Yields

Rare pigments have a similar story, with most clustered around one pigment per four mills, or 0.25. Fool’s Cap again is crazy large at more than one per every other grind, but the price may make it unfeasible.  However, given it’s close to 3-to-1 superiority to the others, a bit of flexibility on the price is warranted. Even at double the price of the others, its yields make it more profitable.

Again, Desecrated Herbs have a marginally higher yield rate than the others, but not high enough to justify a premium price.

The clear winner here is Fool’s Cap, with its tremendous yields of both pigment types. You can justify quite a lot of time farming or money on the AH in order to obtain stacks of this herb. This is especially true if you are after rare inks – the other herbs don’t hold a candle to it.


  1. It’s possible, in order to get more iterations, that node spawns as well as milling yields were tweaked in beta. I have no evidence that that is the case, but I have to consider the possibility when it comes to working numbers. []
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