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Most WoW players know about Vial of the Sands primarily because of the ridiculous amount of time and mats that it takes to acquire.

My question to this forum is why can't I ever find this item for sale at the auction house on my server? I saw it for sale a couple of times about two weeks ago, but since then I haven't seen it since. I even created a guy on the Alliance (I usually play Horde) just to check and see if they have any, and what-do-you-know, they had one listed for 60k.

However, here's the part that I don't get -- I see Hordies in Org that have it, so I know that there are some alchemists with it. I'm not seeing that I see it a ton, but I can usually fly around Org and see at least 2 people with it at any time.

Any speculation as to what the hold up is on my server?

EDIT: Against all odds, my wife just got this recipe last night. Surprisingly, she got the canopic jar on her 2nd solve in Uldum and then got the recipe in the canopic jar.

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We're not likely to know any better than you are why your server doesn't have this item. Unfortunately, we're not a normal forum, and speculating doesn't work very well here, so I'm sad to say, I don't think we'll be able to help you. Is there any way you can change your question so its less specific to your server, and something we, who don't know your server, might know? Like: "What is involved in making/getting this item, and is there any reason one faction or the other would have a harder time doing it?" Something more like that we MIGHT be able to answer. – WillfulWizard Jan 10 '11 at 23:58
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Why is the Vial so rare? Because getting it requires that players max out not only their Alchemy, but then also Archaeology, since the formula to produce the vial is only found in Tol'Vir digsites which: 1) Do not appear at all until 450 skill, and 2) Even once you're at 450 skill, they're at best a 15% chance of appearing.

Even then, the formula itself is not assembled directly, but is a rare drop from the also not terribly common Canopic Jar artifact.

So, in short, the Vial pattern is rare because it requires two maxed professions, and an incredibly long grind to locate.

That said, even if someone on your server has the pattern, the odds of it showing up on the Auction House will still be somewhat low because as Raven Dreamer points out, the materials required to create one are incredibly expensive, and largely bought from a Vendor. Thus, even for those with the pattern, they may not be interested in or capable of expending the capital required to produce one just to have it listed on the AH, preferring instead to produce only on commission.

My suggestion? Get the materials together yourself, and then look for someone willing to craft it for a commission, either through your realms forums, or simply in trade chat.

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Just a nitpick: 450 isn't maxed, 525 is... – user2974 Jan 11 '11 at 1:04
By the time you complete a Tol'Vir artifact, much less several to get the jars needed, if you aren't maxed, it's because you're hoarding frags and not solving Night Elf stuff. Flat out. It may not explicitly require maxed Archaeology, but it sure as hell does implicitly. – LessPop_MoreFizz Jan 11 '11 at 1:07
And note: the recipe is BoP! There's no way to circumvent grinding out the formula by buying it from the AH. – Raven Dreamer Jan 11 '11 at 2:23
@LessPop - You bring out a couple of good points that I hadn't considered. Naturally, I realize how difficult the recipe is to get in the first place, but how difficult the recipe is to obtain is quite irrelevant to my question. I noted in my question that I see a number of players with this mount in Org, which logically indicates that some alchemists do have the recipe. However, specifically I wanted to know why they weren't putting the vial up on the AH. You've brought out a few points that I hadn't considered (thanks for doing so). (cont. below)... – Jagd Jan 11 '11 at 16:33
@Raven Dreamer Goblins get a discount not because of faction, but because of their racial skill, which works regardless of faction. Wowhead's comment page seems to confirm this works, as recently as 1/3/2011 – Steven Jan 12 '11 at 18:14

Possible reasons why the Horde on your server does not have any of this item available:

  • Lower supply
    • Your side has less interest in making the item.
    • Your side has less of the materials to make the item, maybe the Alchemists got unlucky.
  • Higher demand
    • You said it was a pretty awesome item, right?
  • Maybe there's no major difference, you're just checking the Auction House at the wrong times.

Ultimately, there's no way for us to know.

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Is there any reason you don't simply buy the flasks, etc. and ask for the alchemist with the recipe to craft them into the final product for you? Crafting such a flask requires a hefty investment of capital before the end product can be made -- simply put, many alchemists may not have the 24,000+ gold needed, at minimum, to produce the vial in the first place. (even if it can then go on to be sold for many thousand above that)

My Suggestion: Find an alchemist you trust with the recipe, and give them the materials -- if you're looking to purchase the item anyway, you must surely have no shortage of gold -- rather than wait for a rich alchemist to make one themselves and put it on the AH.

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Yeah, I'd considered this - but I don't know any alchemists personally that have this recipe yet. There are two in my guild that I trust, but neither of them have it yet. Regarding the 24k in mats, it just doesn't seem like that much to me, but I suppose to the average player it might be. – Jagd Jan 11 '11 at 16:55
"Regarding the 24k in mats, it just doesn't seem like that much to me" Good lord, man... how much gold do you have if you think 24,000 gold "doesn't seem like that much". – Raven Dreamer Jan 11 '11 at 17:10
Lol... I've got two accounts: one for me and one for my wife, and between the two of us we have about 100k. I'll spend anywhere from 10 to 20 hours a week on the game, so its really not too surprising that I have as much as I do. I've amassed most of it over the course of the past year at most, although I have been playing for around 5 years now. I've just never found it difficult to make gold in the game (and no, I don't support buying it online either). The trick is to understand how to make gold, be it by the AH or questing or professions. – Jagd Jan 11 '11 at 23:33

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