Cataclysm the new expansion from World of Warcraft is going to make some serious changes to both high and low level gathering. It should be easier overall and hopefully a little more interesting.
In high level herbalism there is going to be a rare item called Volatile Life that can be found on any of the Cataclysm herbs. These items are what is going to be used to create the new flasks. Hopefully this new system will help keep flasks a little easier for everyone to make. There will not be another Lotus situation where 5% of the players farm all of the herb needed for many flasks and the rest of the population is left buying it from them for high prices.
There will be many new fish to catch as well as some new items. A set of new dailies related to fishing is also in the works.
There is going to be some renaming of old gatherables but overall they look like they will remain pretty close to the same. In skinning there again seems to be a shift to making rare items more rarely available. The rare pristine hides can be found while skinning but it can also be made from the common Heavy Savage Leather. This move will shift some of the focus from pure luck to the ability to get what you need from a little extra work as well.
The new changes in gathering should make it a little easier to get what you need on your own. Rare items will not be quite as rare as they used to be. Many changes are still to be determined so it is important to get in on the Beta test to find out more when it is released.