The price of Savage Leather just won’t go down on my server – and I need to level leatherworking on my main. So I’ve been levelling my hunter, who has skinning as one profession. It’s something I’d been wanting to do anyway, considering all the pretty pets in Cataclysm (got myself a flaming turtle as soon as I hit 81; I might tell the story of the adventurous tame later), and if it saves me some gold all the better.
Doing 80-81 in Vashj’ir got me some leather, but just barely enough for 5 skillpoints. Argh. I switched to Hyjal at 81, mostly to get the aforementioned flaming turtle, and then did 81-82 there simply because I couldn’t be bothered switching back. At 82, I went to Deepholm.
Not much skinning in Deepholm, what with all the stone creatures, right? Yeah, that’s what I thought as well. I quested my way through almost the entirety of the zone, skinning the occasional dragonkin and getting more and more anxious to hit 83 so I could go skin my way through Uldum.
Then the Therazane quest chain led me to the upper left corner of Deepholm. Unskinnable flayers, rock, rock, more rock, and… what’s that? Bats? Let’s try and shoot them and see.
In red, we have the bat path. Here, Stone Bats fly all around the marked area in packs of 8-10. You shoot one, you pull the entire pack; they have 5368 health each, and I could 3-shot them even as a level 82-83 hunter. Each of them skins into one Savage Leather (no scraps at all that I could see in my brief, unscientific farming of 8 stacks of leather off them) and will also occasionally skin a Strange Bloated Stomach; they also have a chance of skinning into a Pristine Hide (I got one last night), although the droprate is so low since the nerf-hotfix that your best bet if you want Pristine Hides is to just skin lots and lots of leather and trade up using the vendors in Twilight Highlands.
The bats also drop Toughened Flesh. It doesn’t sell terribly well (just 2g each on my server) but it’s used to make the Goblin Barbecue, the Engineering-crafted basic feast of Cataclysm. (There’s a better version, providing 90 stamina / 90 something else, but it’s a reward from a guild achievement your guild is unlikely to obtain anytime soon unless you’re in <Fishing Addicts>.) I got 3 stacks of the stuff from just a brief period of farming and let’s just say that Alieth loves me very much right now considering how fast his guild chews through the barbecues.
And of course they drop vendor greys – again, in a very brief period of farming I got roughly 100g in them, plus a couple of random greens I sent to my main to disenchant.
Running out of bats is extremely unlikely, but if you do – or if you just get bored – visit the Shalehide Basilisks at the northern portion of the bat path. Those also skin nicely, although they take much longer to kill; they are, though, quest mobs, so if there are lots of players in the area you might find empty corpses just waiting for you to skin them.
If you need Blackened Dragonscales, you can go further north, in the dragon area. The Stone Drakes here are elite, yes, but they’re also quest mobs – which means other players might be doing the killing work for you – and they get knocked down periodically by friendly NPCs, which takes off a decent chunk of their health.
Personally I’ve avoided the dragons (except when I was doing that specific quest) and stuck to bats, but I thought I’d mention them in case you’re ever in need of dragonscales.
Now I’m unsure whether I want to move out of Deepholm. It’s hard to imagine anywhere in Uldum or Twilight Highlands beating this for a skinning spot. Maybe I’ll just level to 85 and then come back here…