This is the first in a series of posts about the little things that cataclysm messed up on this expansion. These little things are things that mostly go unnoticed or are easily overlooked because they are usually not game breaking but they do leave you having that feeling of something being off.
Healing and Mana Potions:
Throughout the history of warcraft humanoid mobs where known for three things. They drop currency, they drop cloth and they drop potions. For some reason they do not drop potions this expansion. A question I have never seen asked of any of the designers is why is that.
I am sure there must be some sort of design reasoning behind that but I am not exactly sure what it might be. Admittedly when raiding I would rather use my one potion per fight on the potion of Tol'Vir for the agility boost during the burn phase but that does not mean that there is no need to ever supply me with a flow of healing and mana potions otherwise.
Some might say that alchemists can make both potions but that still does not answer the question of why they do not fall from mobs. It also is (was) not a suitable replacement as the healing and mana potions required volatile life to make which with the shortage of that in comparison of herbs meant that it was not worth making. What would you rather have, a flask with an hour buff or a few healing and mana pots? Most people would take the flask in a heartbeat.
In a recent patch they corrected the volatile life error and healing and mana potions no longer require them to be made but that does not change the fact that we went through two tiers of raiding without any easy to come by pots. None dropping from mobs and none on the market really, unless someone wanted to waste volatiles or you where willing to pay an insane amount for a minor potion really.
You did not even get the by product potions on the auction house that leveling alchemists might make because leveling alchemy did not ever have a spot where making them would be cost effective to level, so none where made in the leveling process.
Let us not even delve into the area of the amount of mana or health these things gave us. While minimal they could have their place if they where more readily available.
In the history of the game potions could be found everywhere. You could get them off humanoid mobs, as mentioned, you could get them fishing oddly enough, you could get them from treasure chests, you could get them from the cases you got while fishing, you could get them off the occasional non humanoid mobs too as strange as that sounds and you could get them from a few vendors that kept them available at a limited stock where you just had to be lucky enough to be at the vendor when it was restocked. They were also easy to make with no expensive ingredients for alchemists and were often used as leveling potions which meant there was always a steady flow of them on the auction house.
So if you are playing cataclysm, like it or not is irrelevant, and you ever felt like some things just did not seem right then perhaps this is one of those things you subconsciously noticed. While not game breaking the lack of readily available potions is one of the miscues of cataclysm.