Friday, January 18, 2008

The Mining Issue

Today, I’m considering the 5 gathering professions and their progression as you level.  What?  You didn’t realize there were 5?  While 2 of them aren’t really professions at all, they still have reason to be in this discussion.  Instead of using the word “profession”, maybe I should say the way you get materials for your producing professions.  How’s that?  So, from easiest to hardest to skill up:

The only thing that I found challenging about this profession is that you have to remember to go to the trainer to get your next cap level.  As long as you got this as your leveling, it’s pretty dang simple to get it leveled to max and always have enough leather to hand over to your leatherworking profession.

Cloth Gathering
This is one of the non-profession gathering things.  While it’s easy to get cloth, as a tailor, I found that I ran out of materials before leveling on the mobs of the next higher cloth, especially starting at silk.  Furthermore, I didn’t even bother leveling First Aid until I was upper 50’s.  So, leveling those at the same time, I imagine you’d probably be having to take up a personal vendetta against humanoids around the transition from Wool Cloth to Mageweave Cloth.  Still one of the easier “gathering professions” since you don’t need any skill at all.

The only issue here is that when you enter a new area, your skill isn’t usually high enough for all the herbs.  Example: when you first get herbalism, there’s a lot of earthroot around, but your stuck picking peacebloom.  Through my adventures, the herbs were generally where you were questing anyway, so just took you a few seconds to go pick a flower real quick.  Of course, the lure of that yellow dot could also lead you into some dangerous spots.  But it is fairly easy to gather enough materials while leveling to progress alchemy at a steady pace appropriate to your level.

This is one of the more difficult gathering tasks (excluding the use of the AH), because how do you solo farm for greens that are at your level?  Sure, you just kill a bunch of mobs hoping for a drop.  That’s about it.  You can’t really go after the elites at your level.  The career path my mage chose was to do Tailoring and Enchanting, so at least I could disenchant the greens that I made.  But it’s amazing how much money you lose (in opportunity cost) by disenchanting all your greens.  So for the “poor” factor, it rates up there as more difficult.  (As a high level enchanter, you can make a pretty good living, but expect to be poor on the flight up.)

Like Skinning and Herbalism, there’s no way to power level this profession.  At the beginning levels, it helps that you can skill up by smelting the ore as well, but for most of its life, you have to be in the foothills and caves looking for these nodes.  While leveling my Shaman, I felt that this wasn’t really a bad profession.  I could generally mine the nodes in the areas I was leveling.  Like herbalism, I may not be able to mine all the nodes at first, but by the time I was almost finished with the area, I usually could.  Then I got to Thorium.  My routes during leveling changed a bit, as I tried to stay near the mountains to find the nodes.  I did all the non-instance quests in WPL, EPL, and Silithus and was just barely able to mine the Rich Thorium Veins (requires 275 skill).  And since I hit 58 last night and headed off to Outlands, I can’t mine anything unless I get to a skill of 300.  So, I had to loop the Burning Steppes for a couple hours last night to hit 300.  This profession is further complicated by the professions it supports.  I’m now at 286 with my jewelcrafting, but I should still be mining Thorium to get the mats I need to level.  (Sounds like a trip to the AH for me.)  And from my high level blacksmithing friends, the nightmare only grows worse for them.  Each item to produce takes far greater amounts of ore.  If you want all the recipes, you have to produce items that require massive amounts of these metals.  Even if you just want to specialize, it’s not exactly an easy task.

So, when Blizzard said that they’re looking into easing the pain of leveling Mining… To that, I applaud.  I hope that just means that there are more nodes out there.  If you simply can get credit for smelting Thorium, and other higher ores, you still have the issue with the professions.  Along the same lines, I wonder if the faster leveling from level 20-60 has made a negative impact on the ease of these gathering professions since you probably spend less time in each area.


Elinor said...

I found the simplest solution for leveling through thorium, is to go down to winterspring in the area with the elite demons.

There is on average 4 rich throium vein spawns at one time. You can level your mining all the way to 375 on rich thorium. Also you get a ton of thorium and gems for your jewelcrafting.

The respawn on the veins if fairly fast too, about 15 min or so, so I use to keep a toon down there logged out, and just log in every 20 min or so, make a loop, and log off.

Of course you have to watch out for the elites, but with a little practice they don't pose much problem.

jimbo said...

Mining was a pain to get to 375, but wasn't that bad once I found a cool website that has routes to get you through each tier.

This was the one time I wished I was on a PvP server so I could kill all the horde taking my nodes!

As for faster leveling impacting gathering professions, I hit a wall doing skinning when I came to Outlands, just like you did for mining. I had to sit around killing lower level mobs for a while just to get it up to snuff, but after that initial grind I had no more problems.

If you are going to put cloth gathering as a profession, what about the mote gathering profession? And the primal nether, and the... :)

Amava said...

I think you hit the nail right on the head. I'm currently levelling an alt with Skinning and Leatherworking. Although still at low level, I found that I levelled out of Teldrassil (the zone you spend your first 10 levels in) way fast and I had not skinned nearly enough to keep my Leatherworking at even close to the appropriate level to craft the best stuff I could equip.

I'm not sure if recent changes to levelling impact such low levels (this guy is just about to ding 14), but I am definitely having to spend much more time specifically farming leather rather than just casually gathering while I quest. If levelling changes did not impact these low levels, then the pain will only increase as I speed through my 20's.

That's why my main took up three professions: herbalism, mining, and crafting gold

Dual-gathering, FTW!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey this is Fay. As you know, I am a craft addict too. I think I found Leatherworking with skinning to be the two easiest to lvl. Granted though when I was leveling my LW and Skinning together that was my primary focus. For the first 40 lvls of the game, I only took quests on that were kill this mob you are killing anyways to get mats for your LW. I remember the only reason why I started to pick up other quests was when I had maxed out my skill at lvl 24 or so and I couldn't level up LW again until I hit 35 lol. I think leveling up crafts on secondary toons is a bit easier too... I know I send random greens to my enchanter and gems that I come across to my JC. I think the main benifit to the "gathering" crafts is... if you aren't leveling the craft that goes hand in hand with it it's pure profit. :)