February 6, 2008

Mining Woes, or: No, Seriously, Can I Be Done With Azeroth Now?

Breaking up with Azeroth is hard to do, especially if you're a miner.

Cognizant of the fact that faster XP gains from old-world questing would give me fewer chances to skill up, I leveled Hooloovoo as a mining fiend, cutting down whole swaths of mobs just to be able to set my pick against one more mithril vein. I was diligent from day one, super diligent even, but to little avail: I still hit level 58 with only 267 mining skill.

Now, for those of you who don't spend your days deep within the bowels of the earth hunting precious gems and minerals, here's a quick primer on leveling mining so that you can mine in Outlands. Once you outlevel mithril (the nodes will go green at 225 and gray at 275), the majority of your skill points will come from dark iron and truesilver deposits (which require 230 mining and go yellow at 255 skill), and after that, from thorium. You can start mining thorium ore at 245 skill (the small veins will turn yellow at 270), but you can't mine rich thorium veins until you reach 275.

Now, the reason I'm bothering with all the numbers has to do with one simple yet aggravating fact: you cannot mine anything in Outlands until you have 300 mining skill. This generally means that after hitting 58, you're going to spend at least an hour or two running around in circles grinding up your mining skill.

My choice of location for eking out those last 30-40 points is the Burning Steppes, and here's why. First off, it's a very short flight from Stormwind, so it's easy for me to hop a portal in Shattrath and head out there. Second, all the mithril nodes in BS have a chance of spawning truesilver or dark iron, both of which stay yellow for longer as you're leveling. Finally, it's very easy to get around: there are almost no elite mobs to deal with, the terrain is conducive to making nice easy circles around the zone, and these days (as everyone besides miners leaves Azeroth at 58) it's pretty empty, so there's little ganking or competition to worry about. It took me about an hour and forty-five minutes to level my mining from 267 to 295 skill.

At 295 I was able to pack my stuff and hearth out thanks to [Enchant Gloves: Advanced Mining]. I highly recommend this enchant: buy yourself a pair of trash or white gloves and spend the three vision dust and truesilver, and enjoy the bonus 5 points to your mining skill. If you also happen to be a goblin engineer, you can really save yourself some time by wearing both the glove enchant and your trusty [Goblin Mining Helmet]. If you keep these on you throughout the leveling process, you should be able to mine nodes that are usually inaccessible to people at the "normal" level for a given zone (like the thorium veins in Un'goro), which means not only will you get to head to Outlands at a lower skill level, but you'll also reach that skill level faster than someone without the helmet/enchant.

And that's all the advice I have to share on mining. If you've got a good tip or a favorite spot for leveling mining skill, leave me a note in the comments. And for all you budding miners out there: good luck, godspeed, and above all... don't delve too deep.


Meltfacer said...

I by some stroke of luck have access to a rogue miner (aka hacks on steroids) and I have found 2 mining routes that i'd like to share.

1)Shadowmoon valley - 3 areas, Flying from Deathforge, to the Naga cave up north, to the netherwing island in the south east corner

2)Netherstorm - Doing a rotation of the 3 Mana forge caves

You will not be able to make it back to your starting point before the nodes respawn, and there are always 2-3 nodes per location

Maybe these cycles are only good for a stealther.. dunno

Leiandra said...

Umm... I think she was kind of talking about leveling up your mining, meltfacer. At any rate...

I had to do the same thing, and I even used the same zone to get my skill up to 300. My issue was there was a ton of lvl 70's (both Horde and Alliance) farming the Mithiril for whatever reason. One of the Alliance members was farming it for his lower lvl friend for the Order of the Mithiril quests. He'd camp on the nodes to let me mine them, then I'd give him the ore. Very nice of him.

Excellent tip on the enchant though; forgot about that.

Anonymous said...

Definitely thank you for the advice! I've let my mining fall behind while I've been leveling and buying my stacks of ore for jewelcrafting. It doesn't help that Cartographer apparently purged all my mining nodes from the map. :\

Rom said...

When I hit the mid 200's I would of course do Unguro, especially the cave just outside of town with all the gorilla's, but I alway sfound it heavily farmed in the entire zone. So my actual favorite farming spot was Wintersprings. In fact, there is a multiple cave complex with Owlbeasts occupying the location. There is not a lot of ore nodes but there is always a rich Thorium vein that pops every 30 minutes. So I would just sit down and farm the owl beasts for the Giant eggs (sells extremely well on AH) and that rich vein every 30 minutes. If your in a hurry you can always find plenty of other nodes in that map but I made very nice cash on the eggs there as well.

Anonymous said...

Now they need to make it simpler to smelt Dark Iron. I mean, they put a Mana Loom in Shattrath... Hell, they even put one in Silvermoon City (which is ridiculous since the Alliance have to get to Shatt to have access to one, unless they want to run a dungeon every time they want to make certain cloths.)

Dark Iron ore would sell for so much more if they made it smeltable at any forge. Hear me roar, Blizzard.

Mercot said...

I actually did this as well just a few nights ago. I got tired of passing untappable mining nodes in Hellfire, Terokkar and Nagrand, so I headed back to Azeroth and levelled from 220 to 295 in one evening. Mithril and Thorium from the Blasted Lands, Mithril and Truesilver from Alterac and Hinterlands. Found a nice path for Thorium in Western Plaguelands heading east along the riverbank from Andorhal up along the hills and north to the ooze cave, Hearthglen and back around the top of the map.

Also: I understand that we all want to make money, Horde and Alliance alike. But some players need to have some common decency. Twice last night I was fought for my life up to a precious node only to have some jackass descend from an epic flyer and ninja my well-deserved vein. And no, the "my bad" excuse really doesn't work.

Girl Meets WoW said...

Shh, Messyah! You're screwing up my plan to level the shaman to 70, buy up dirt cheap DI ore, run him into BRD, smelt, and then sell for 200% profits!

Anonymous said...

GMW - LOL, ok. Your secret is safe.

Bunnyfer said...

I am having the same issue on my hunter alt. I let my mining fall WAY behind, and I find myself trying to grind it up. Luck would have it my husband logged in on my toon and helped me gain about 20 points while I was at work, and sold the ore for me, so I came home to a nice surprise in my mailbox. I really hate mining though!

Anonymous said...

Silithus is the best area to get mining up. Nobody there, TONS of high end nodes. And the bugs aren't elite anymore, so it's safe to go in the hives.

Shimonu said...

You should try blacksmithing. Think about having to farm for mithril/thorium for around week (if you are lucky and there is no competiotion).

For thorium i suggest silithus (for players lv 58+).

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