Forging Documents For Profit

11 January 2011

Here is the math I just did (and posted to wowhead) to see where the Forged Documents inscription recipe would “cap” herb prices in World of Warcraft:

40s = rep-discounted resilient parchment price
10g = conservative forged document average (sounds like it goes up to 30g, so it may be more like 20g average)
3 blackfallow ink = 1 stack of 20 high-end herbs, since they net 6 pigment

You should only buy+mill herbs to forge documents if:
(Cost of forging documents) < (Profit from forging documents)
40s + 20*(1 high-end herb price) < 10g + (1 inferno ink)
20*(1 high-end herb price) < 9g60s + (1 inferno ink)
high-end herb price < 48s + (1 inferno ink price) / 20

Low-end herbs get 5 pigment per stack instead of 6, and generate half an inferno ink per stack:
low-end herb price < 48s * 5/6 + (1 inferno ink price) / 40
low-end herb price < 40s  + (1 inferno ink price) / 40

You can use blackfallow ink for other things, so you also want to make sure it’s cheaper to craft than your profit from the forged documents:
3 blackfallow < 1 forged documents = 10g – 40s (parchment)
3 blackfallow < 9g60s
1 blackfallow < 3.2g
AND Backfallow Ink is worth < 3.2g

10 Blackfallow can be traded for 1 Inferno ink, so you also want to make sure:
Inferno Ink < 10 * blackfallow ink value
AND Inferno Ink is worth < 32g

Considering the glyph and Darkmoon card markets, it won’t be worth spending inks on forging documents any time soon.  Even late in Cata with a huge herb supply, lower glyph prices, and lower demand for these mats, I don’t think forging documents will cap herb prices.  Each scribe can only forge 1 set of documents a day (1 stack of herb) — there aren’t enough scribes to forge a significant percentage of the herb gathered daily.

That said, this recipe is one of those knobs the designers could turn to increase herb prices later on — either by increasing the sell value of the forged documents or by lowering the cooldown.