Forsaken sympathy, DPS excellence, and more Firelands tips

We’ve had some interesting topics come up in the last few days, and it seems the blogosphere’s all about responding to them today. So, with no further ado:

  • Shintar of Priest With A Cause has been playing through the Forsaken experience, too, and finds that in many ways they’ve become more sympathetic: “Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the Forsaken have suddenly turned into a bunch of fluffy bunnies. They are still ruthless and cruel, but something has changed for sure. They don’t just loathe everything and everyone anymore, including themselves.”
  • The great improvement tips posts keep on coming, with Gazimoff of Mana Obscura laying out his advice for going from a good DPS to a great DPS: “The next time you go out in dungeons or raids, push yourself into looking for situations when you can use your other buttons. Become more than a damage machine – throw a bit of versatility in the mix. If someone says “I didn’t know your class could do *that*”, you know you’re getting somewhere.”
  • And it looks like there’s still a fair few people going for the Firelands title: Elkagorasa The Casual has more suggestions if you’re stuck. No quote here, but a bunch of useful additional tips.

So which side of the Forsaken debate are you on? (If you haven’t answered already) And do you have any more “good to great” tips?

All quotes taken from their respective articles

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Becoming a Flamecaller

We don’t feature guides terribly often on MMO Melting Pot, but every once in a while I like to feature a good one – particularly a guide to a part of the game that isn’t classes or raid bosses, but something more niche, more obscure, more interesting.

And frankly, it may be remiss of me, but I didn’t even realise there was a title to be had from the Firelands dailies.

It turns out that there is – the Flamecaller, to be precise – and today Killing ’em Slowly has a guide to getting the hardest achievements in the zone:

When all you have left is the bombing run achievement (if this is not your last one, you’ve either planned very well or gotten very luck. The odds are totally against you. You have to get the quest, which isn’t always up, and then get the spawns you need, one per day. Ugh), you can simplify the process by not turning in the quest. Thus, it should remain active for you. Obviously, you’re sacrificing marks, but if you’re done, who cares? The downside here is that you’ll need to log out near the quest giver because the fire comes back every day (or do some clever corpse running to get there). If you don’t, then you can still get there by completing the pre-requisite dailies, but that’s sort of a pain.

I’m actually slightly surprised that there’s a title on offer here. It’s not that the Firelands dailies aren’t a hell of a lot of work (I’ve completed them, and my word, that was a grind I never want to do again), but titles tend to be fiercely protected by Blizzard, and even given the scale of the task, it still feels… almost… worth doing for a title, particularly a rather cool one.

Having said that, I’ve heard that some of these achievements are a total bitch. I haven’t completed them, but after reading this guide, I might give it a go…

Any other tips for the Firelands Achievements? And can you think of other easily-achieved titles?

_Quote taken directly from Killing ’em Slowly’s post.

Find Killing ’em Slowly at http://killingemslowly.blogspot.com/2011/08/stupid-harbinger.html_

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Firelands Boss Guides

The new raid’s here, and with it come, of course, all the new boss guides! So buckle up as we hack through the various Fire-based Nasties that those particular Lands have to offer.

Shannox

Nice doggy. Play dead.

Beth’tilac

If you don’t like spiders… well, you’ve probably not liked a LOT of WoW raids. But yep, it’s another spider boss. But this one’s on fire.

Lord Rhyolith

He’s a giant made of fire, who lives in a lake of molten fire, and throws fire at the raid. Guess what you need not to stand in?

That’s right, the volcano.

Alysrazor

Wow, that’s a LOT of phases.

Other Firelands bosses: details coming!

Any tips we didn’t mention there? Are you desperately waiting for the other guides? Post below!

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Badges suck, Draenai confuse, and Pandas (presumably) Kung their Fu – the roundup

Lots of good posts today, and I’ve already selfishly taken up one spot talking about people getting their legs broken for Diablo III swords. So, it’s that time again – time for an awesome post roundup!

  • Pandas. Srsly. The Dead Good Tanking Guide has an, erm, dead good piece on the “Mists of Pandaria” possible expansion. “The gloom that has wrapped around me with Cataclysm has lifted, just a little, since thinking about what “Mists of Pandaria” could imply.” They actually make it sound good!
  • Cynwise continues the new trend of “playing WoW with your kids”, talking about just how confusing Azuremist Isle actually is, all the major time boo-boos, and what could be done about it“Dad, what do you mean they changed some parts of the story but not others? How can a story work like that? Why didn’t they change it to all fit? What are development resources? Why? Why?”
  • Big Bear Butt achieves the impossible – he actually makes the Firelands daily quests sound fun “And they’ve got this blazing phoenix flight form too, it makes me swoon with desire. Have you seen them flying around in that form, leaving blazing contrails across the sky?”. (Bonus points for making one quest sound absolutely filthy.)
  • Kurn is having an absolutely fascinating dilemma – she’s starting to think that voice chat actually makes her a worse player. “I still feel as though my play is lacking and although I have all this other stuff to take into consideration (raid leader stuff, etc), I’m not convinced that it’s not just pure laziness stemming from voice communication being available to me.”
  • And finally, Procrastination Amplification makes me facepalm with the news that in SWTOR, all loot will be purchasable with badges – “All items that bosses can drop will also be available in stores for badges? This is the epitome of boring loot. Do you know how people say that if you never take any risks you never get the chance of good things happening to you? “

Do you love badges? Understand Azuremist Isle? Still hate the idea of pandas? Find voice makes you smarter? Or just not want spiders to spew their sticky fluid on you? Comment below.

All quotes taken directly from their respective articles.

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Firelands Boss Guides: Healing Shannox

Shannox, along with his two pet dogs, is one of the first bosses you’ll encounter in the new Firelands raids. Although not the hardest boss in terms of healing, Shannox will definitely require your healing team to be on the ball.

As you’ll see from our detailed guides to Shannox strategy, this is a two-phase fight. The first phase requires you to keep healing your assigned targets while avoiding Shannox’s traps. The second phase is a burn phase during which Shannox will be pumping out truly shocking amounts of damage. Your job during that second phase is to help your raid cling on to life until the DPS can take Shannox down.

A lot of the damage in this fight will be Fire damage, so fire resistance buffs are mandatory.

Starting positions

The fight consists of three mobs, all of whom you’ll be fighting at once. The main tank will be on Shannox, with the off-tank taking Riplimb some distance away. Rageface can’t be tanked, so he’ll be running amok through your raid. Spread out at the start of the fight. Ranged DPS will be doing the same.

Things not to stand in (spoiler alert – one of them is fire)

Shannox will regularly drop _Immolation Trap_s and _Crystal Prison Trap_s. Both of these look like standard Hunter traps, so they’re easy to spot. You should avoid standing in either of them. The _Immolation Trap_s will do fire damage, but the _Crystal Prison Trap_s will prevent you from performing any action at all until the rest of the raid frees you. Getting a healer caught in a trap like that can often mean an unexpected meeting with the spirit healer, so watch where you stand.

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Shannox will frequently throw his spear in the direction of Riplimb. Any player standing in that spot when the spear lands is dead, so move out of the way as soon as you see the indicator appear (it’s a big fiery circle on the ground).

Once the spear has been thrown, there’s a secondary effect – a lot of smaller, one hit only, fires on the ground. Avoid standing directly on those and they won’t trigger.

Healing the tanks

As well as regular melee damage, both tanks will quickly acquire the debuff Jagged Tear. Not only is this a DoT, it can stack, so you’ll need to be ready to compensate with sparkly feelgood green HoTs.

The tanks should be coordinating so that Jagged Tear drops off when Shannox throws his spear. This will give you a bit of breathing space , but be prepared for Jagged Tear to start stacking up again soon afterwards.

Healing the raid

Shannox does a Cleave attack, which in an ideal world shouldn’t hit anyone other than the main tank, but be prepared for melee DPS to be accidentally caught in the cone from time to time. You know what they’re like.

It’s also a good bet that some players will trigger an Immolation Trap, especially during the first few attempts at this boss. The trap will do immediate fire damage, plus additional fire damage over the next three seconds. It will also apply a debuff which lowers the target’s fire resistance.

When Shannox’s Hurl Spear ability lands, it’ll do a nasty 50k damage to everyone, which will need to be healed through. Watch out for the fiery explosions which come immediately afterwards, too, in case some raid members get caught out.

_Crystal Prison_s will be being triggered fairly regularly. Be aware that these block line-of-sight, so you may need to move to continue healing your target.

Off the leash

Rageface will be another source of continuous damage to your raid. He’ll target a random raid member and start to do serious amounts of damage. Your raid leader or healing leader will probably assign one healer specifically to track Rageface’s targets, and heal them through the damage.

Final phase

If everything’s gone according to plan, your raid will kill both dogs when Shannox is on about 35% health. At that point, Shannox will enrage. Expect the damage to the tanks to increase significantly. Your healing cooldowns should be saved for this phase if you possibly can. Coordinate with your tanks, too – they should be cycling mitigation cooldowns during this final phase.

Shannox will no longer be throwing his spear, but will instead regularly cast Magma Rupture, which does AoE fire damage and also increases the amount of fire damage taken. Be prepared for the main tank to die during this phase, even if your healing is top notch: it’s a difficult phase to endure unscathed.

That final phase can be a bit hair-raising, but if your DPS team are on the ball it shouldn’t last too long.

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Firelands Boss Guides – Shannox tactics

Welcome to the Firelands! It’s full of fire. You probably shouldn’t stand in it. The initial few bosses of the Firelands raid can be killed in any order, but the first one most raids attempt is Shannox. Tactics for this big bully and his fiery pets are simple, once you’ve got the hang of the fight mechanics.

Here’s our top tips guide to killing Shannox … and his little dawgs too.

Preparation

Shannox patrols throughout the middle area of the raid, with his two dogs Riplimb and Rageface. Before pulling Shannox, you should clear all the trash around the central area of the map.

You’ll need two tanks for this fight; one for Shannox and one for Riplimb. Rageface can’t be tanked – he’ll attack raid members at random, and generally cause a nuisance.

Things not to stand in

Shannox will regularly drop traps on the ground. These should be avoided at all costs. There are two types of trap – _Immolation Trap_s and _Crystal Fire Trap_s. Importantly, Shannox is not a very considerate pet owner, so his traps can (and will) affect Riplimb and Rageface as well as affecting players. Each trap will only affect one player (or dog), so once triggered will do no further damage.

_Immolation Trap_s cause fire damage. _Crystal Prison Trap_s encase their target in a crystal block, rendering the target incapable of performing any action until freed. If a raid member accidentally becomes trapped, DPS should switch to free them. The crystal prisons have a high health pool, so it’ll take several seconds of sustained DPS to destroy them.

Shannox will also regularly throw his spear to somewhere near Riplimb. Any player caught by the spear when it lands will be killed outright, so be sure to move away as soon as you see the indicator appear. It takes the form of a big red circle on the ground, and it’s easy to spot.

Once the spear throw has gone off, the ground will be covered with lots of little fiery explosions. They appear in a spiral pattern emanating from where the spear landed. Make sure not to be standing on them. Note that they don’t have any AoE effect, so there’s no need to move away from the spiral completely, just be sure not to be standing directly on one of the small fires.

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Playing dog-catcher

The sight of Shannox’s spear flying over his head is too much for Riplimb, and his doggie instincts take over. He’ll stop what he’s doing to chase the stick, grabbing it in his mouth and running back to Shannox to return it. You should spoil Riplimb’s fun by trapping him in a Crystal Prison Trap, thereby allowing your tanks a precious few seconds’ relief from the Ragged Tear debuff that both Shannox and Riplimb apply. Check out our detailed guide to tanking Shannox for more information.

Balancing act

Your eventual aim is to kill both dogs at roughly the same time. To complicate matters even further, you need to do this when Shannox is at about 35% health. Have your DPS switch targets if necessary to balance it out.

If Shannox dies before the dogs, the dogs will enrage and wipe the raid. If the dogs die before Shannox, Shannox will also enrage – but this at least is just about manageable. Each doggie death will give Shannox a 30% boost to his damage and a 30% boost to his attack speed – he really loved those dogs. Once the dogs are dead the fight becomes a classic burn phase – DPS hard, and let your tanks and healers cycle mitigation cooldowns to keep the tanks alive. Obviously, this is the time to call for Heroism/Bloodlust/Timewarp.

Dealing with Rageface

Rageface is one of those annoying, yappy dogs that runs round the room wanting to make friends with everyone. Once Rageface has picked his target the only way to distract him is giving him a firm, hard smack on the nose. In this case, the smack needs to take the form of a 30k crit. Unless and until Rageface receives 30,000 points of damage from a single blow, he’ll continue to maul the poor unfortunate soul he’s targeted. Luckily, while he’s doing so he gains a debuff which makes each shot that lands on him much more likely to be a critical.

Summary

The two keys to this fight are ensuring that all raid members avoid the various nasties on the floor, and making sure that your tanks manage to drop their stacks of Ragged Tear regularly. Once you’ve got those two tricks mastered, the fight becomes quite an easy one.

Why not check out our dedicated guides for Shannox melee DPS, Shannox as ranged DPS and healing Shannox?

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Firelands boss guides: Shannox – Ranged DPS duties

The first boss you’re likely to encounter in the Firelands raid is Shannox. Ranged DPS have an easier job in this fight than healers or tanks, but it can still be a little tricky to figure out the mechanics of this fight.

First of all, take a look over our guide to Shannox tactics to give you a good idea of Shannox tactics. You’ll see that your primary job is to avoid traps, and your secondary job is to focus DPS on your assigned target.

Initial positioning

You’ll most likely have two tanks for this fight – one on Shannox himself, and one on Riplimb. Rageface (Shannox’s other dog) can’t be tanked and is going to be a constant pain in the neck for you throughout this fight – perhaps even literally.

Once the tanks have positioned Shannox and Riplimb, spread out. The healers will be doing the same, so coordinate your position relative to the rest of the raid.

Your raid leader will assign a DPS target for you. This is most likely to be Riplimb, but you may be asked to DPS Shannox instead. Either way, this target will be your sole target for most of the fight – there’s very little target switching required.

Don’t stand in the … well, you get the idea

Your primary task during this fight is to avoid the traps that Shannox regularly drops. This takes priority over everything, even DPS. The traps in this fight look like standard Hunter traps, and are easy to spot.

There are two types of trap. The first is an Immolation Trap, which will burn your lovely shoes right off if you stand in it. It’s not an instant kill, but it throws out some nasty damage, and you’ll have a ‘fire hurts more’ debuff at various points during the fight, so be nice to your healers and don’t stand on the fire traps.

The second type of trap is called a Crystal Prison Trap, and is basically an ice-block. Stand on this nasty little device and it’ll encase you in crystal. You won’t be able to do anything at all until the crystal is shattered. That means that the rest of the raid will have to stop what they’re doing and DPS your prison to free you. The crystals have lots of health, so this is a distraction you don’t need.

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There’s another fight mechanic which effectively counts as a third type of trap. When Shannox throws his spear he’ll do colossal damage to anybody standing in the way. If you’re standing in the circle of fire once the spear comes down you’re virtually guaranteed to die. It’s easy to avoid – just look out for the big pillar of fire and make sure you step away from it as soon as it appears.

The secondary effect of Shannox’s spear throw is lots of little fires that appear on the ground after the spear throw triggers. There’ll be a lot of them, which can be quite panic-inducing the first time you see it, but – like the spear throw itself – they’re easy to avoid. They appear in a spiral pattern, moving outwards from the spear’s point of impact. Just make sure you’re not standing directly on one of them. They don’t have any AoE effect, so there’s no need to run right out of the spiral. Just move away from the individual fires.

The ‘hitting things’ part

Once you’re confident in your trap-avoidance skills, the actual DPS mechanics of this fight are pretty easy. Keep up sustained DPS on your assigned target, and watch the health meters of all three opponents. You’re aiming to kill both dogs when Shannox is on about 35% health.

Once the dogs are dead, Shannox will enrage and start doing very unpleasant things to your poor tanks. This is a classic burn phase, so DPS like a loon. Your big DPS cooldowns should all be saved for this phase. With a bit of luck, you should be able to take Shannox down before he turns the tanks into liquid smears of shame.

Here, boy!

If your single-target DPS is particularly hard-hitting, your raid leader may assign you to hit Rageface instead of Riplimb. Rageface can’t be tanked, and will regularly pick a random raid member to be mean to. Once Rageface has picked his target the only way to distract him is giving him a firm, hard smack on the nose. In this case, the smack needs to take the form of a 30k crit. Unless and until Rageface receives 30,000 points of damage from a single blow, he’ll continue to maul the poor unfortunate soul he’s targeted. Luckily, while he’s doing so he gains a debuff which makes each shot that lands on him much more likely to be a critical.

If you’ve been assigned to Rageface-distraction duty, your job is to hit him with a high-damage strike as soon as he picks a new target. After that, you can kite him until he picks a new target, then repeat the process.

Extra credit

When Shannox throws his spear, Riplimb will grab it and run back to Shannox to return it. If you have any slowing abilities, this is the time to use them. Riplimb can be slowed, and doing so will really help your tanks.

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Firelands Boss Guides – Shannox Tanking Tips

The first boss you’re likely to encounter in the new Firelands raid is Shannox. Tanking Shannox and his pets can be very challenging, but our tanking guide will help you along.

If you haven’t already done so, check out our guide to Shannox tactics, which will give you a good grounding in the basics of this encounter. Like the rest of the raid, you too should avoid the traps that Shannox throws down.

Of the three mobs in the encounter – Shannox, Riplimb and Rageface – only Shannox and Riplimb can be tanked. Rageface has no aggro table and will attack random raid members throughout the fight.

Shannox and Riplimb will both repeatedly apply a debuff, called Jagged Tear. This is a standard bleed effect, and it stacks. Managing Jagged Tear is the main challenge for tanks in this fight.

Both Shannox and Riplimb are immune to taunts, so you’ll have to build up threat the old-fashioned way.

The main tank role – getting all up in Shannox’s face

The main tank will be tanking Shannox himself. Position in standard raid boss style: in the center, towards the back, facing away from the raid. Maintaining a predictable facing for this boss is particularly important, as he cleaves in a 120° cone in front of him. Don’t let him hit the squishies.

Shannox will regularly throw his spear to somewhere near Riplimb. When this happens, he will be unable to reapply Jagged Tear until Riplimb runs back to him with the spear. This is the only opportunity you’ll have to allow your stacks of Jagged Tear to fall off.

He’s probably more scared of you than you are of him – off-tanking Riplimb

The off-tank task in this fight is to keep control of Riplimb. Riplimb should be tanked some distance away from Shannox, but be careful not to get too far. Further than 60 yards will cause both Riplimb and Shannox to enrage – something which can be firmly classed as a Bad Thing. Ideally, you want to position Riplimb just next to – but not on – a Crystal Prison Trap.

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The trick to this fight is to balance the stacks of Jagged Tear. Riplimb will continue to apply this debuff to you at all times, except for when he returns Shannox’s spear. You need to slow him down as much as possible at that point, so that you and your fellow tank get the maximum amount of ‘downtime’, allowing your stacks of Jagged Tear to fall off.

The first, and most important, way to slow Riplimb is to trap him in one of Shannox’s _Crystal Prison Trap_s. As soon as you see the red circle appear, indicating the target area for Shannox’s Hurl Spear ability, kite Riplimb into a Crystal Prison Trap (being very careful not to trigger it yourself). If you’ve positioned Riplimb correctly, there should be a suitable trap very near to you.

Riplimb will find his own way out of the trap after 10 seconds, at which point he will head back to Shannox. Slows can help here – Chains of Ice from a Death Knight, for instance.

When Riplimb has returned the stick – sorry, spear – he’ll go back to attacking the raid. Hopefully, you’ll still be at the top of his aggro table so he’ll run towards you. At this point, abilities which put distance between you and Riplimb (Heroic Leap, for example) are useful. Just be careful to keep him within the 60 yard range.

Alternative Tank-swap strategy

An alternative strategy is to have one tank take on both Shannox and Riplimb at the same time. Once Jagged Tear reaches about 8 stacks, swap to the other tank. Since both mobs are immune to taunt, this strategy requires some serious tanking skill, but it can make things easier for your healers.

The horrible bit at the end during which you’ll probably die

The DPS will be aiming to kill both dogs when Shannox is on about 35% health. Each canine fatality enrages Shannox, to the tune of an extra 30% damage and an extra 30% speed. Once that kicks in, he will hit like a truck that has won the Which Truck? Best Truck To Hit Like award three years running. There’s no getting away from it: this is gonna hurt.

You should try to save your mitigation cooldowns for this final phase, and coordinate cooldowns with your healers. You won’t have to worry about Hurl Spear any more, but Shannox will more than make up for that by repeatedly slamming the spear into the ground instead, doing large amounts of AoE fire damage and applying a debuff that increases fire damage taken.

Grit your teeth and take the pain, and it’ll soon be over.

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Firelands Boss Guides: Shannox – Melee DPS tactics

The first Firelands boss most raids will tackle is Shannox. Melee DPS, frankly, have it easy for this fight, so there’s no excuse not to be on top form. Take a look at our general guide to Shannox tactics, then come back here for specific melee DPS tactics.

Initial positioning

As melee DPS you’ll be focusing all your attention on Shannox himself. Ignore the two dogs unless your raid leader specifically tells you otherwise. Your job in this fight is to avoid Shannox’s Cleave attack, avoid the traps he regularly drops, and hit him with your big weapon of choice – in that order.

Yes, Shannox does have a nasty cleave attack which will hit any target in a 120° arc, so your first priority should be to make sure you’re standing behind him. Your tank shouldn’t need to turn Shannox once the fight starts, so get yourself entrenched right behind his fiery rear end and prepare to do some damage.

Avoid the traps

Your primary task during this fight is to avoid the traps that Shannox regularly drops. This takes priority over everything, even DPS. The traps in this fight look like standard Hunter traps, and are easy to spot.

There are two types of trap. The first is an Immolation Trap, which will burn your lovely shoes right off if you stand in it. It’s not an instant kill, but it throws out some nasty damage, and you’ll have a ‘fire hurts more’ debuff at various points during the fight, so be nice to your healers and don’t stand on the fire traps.

The second type of trap is called a Crystal Prison Trap, and is basically an iceblock. Stand on this nasty little device and it’ll encase you in crystal. You won’t be able to do anything at all until the crystal is shattered. That means that the rest of the raid will have to stop what they’re doing and DPS your prison to free you. The crystals have lots of health, so this is a distraction you don’t need.

There’s another fight mechanic which effectively counts as a third type of trap. When Shannox throws his spear he’ll do colossal damage to anybody standing in the way. If you’re standing in the circle of fire once the spear comes down you’re virtually guaranteed to die. It’s easy to avoid – just look out for the big pillar of fire and make sure you step away from it as soon as it appears.

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The secondary effect of Shannox’s spear throw is lots of little fires that appear on the ground after the spear throw triggers. There’ll be a lot of them, which can be quite panic-inducing the first time you see it, but – like the spear throw itself – they’re easy to avoid. They appear in a spiral pattern, moving outwards from the spear’s point of impact. Just make sure you’re not standing directly on one of them.

Remember – none of these do any AoE damage, so they’ll only ever affect one person. It’s also worth noting that the _Immolation Trap_s and the _Crystal Prison Trap_s can be disarmed by Rogues. Rageface and Riplimb can be affected by the traps, so you normally want to keep them all in place, but occasionally it might be worth disarming a trap which is in an awkward place, or which is in danger of hitting a tank.

The moment you’ve been waiting for

Your aim in this fight is to kill both the dogs when Shannox is at about 35% health. When that happens, he’ll enrage and start to give your tanks a very bad day. That’s your time to shine. Turn the DPS dial up to 11 and pop every cooldown in your arsenal. Burn, burn, burn – you need to kill Shannox before he kills your tanks (and shortly thereafter, you).

This fight is all about awareness. Watch out for the traps and you should be fine.

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Editorial: Was the Firelands recipe grind worth it?

Warning: Contains Math.

Updated with live figures from our server – see below.

One of my big things in WoW at the moment is the Auction House – having started about 2 months ago from the premise of “I wonder if it’s possible to make serious AH gold from professions that most people think of as money-losers?”, I’ve been tracking it pretty hard. And like most serious AH players, I’ve been hacking through the Firelands dailies as a furious rate, trying to get the Blacksmithing professions first, so I can make phat bank, as I understand the kids say it today.

Now we’re in the final day or so of the grind – I’m already hearing reports of the recipes being available to some players. And so the question becomes – was it worth it?

Doing the Math

Let’s have a look at the crafting recipes from the Firelands. They’re all roughly the same in mats usage, so I’ll just pick the two-handed sword as an example, the Masterwork Elementium Deathblade.

I’d expect this weapon to sell for about 20-30k when it first appears on the AH. Mats are 8 Truegold, 2 Ocean Sapphire, 4 Hardened Elementium Bars, and 5 Chaos Orbs.

Not too shabby, eh? We’re in the money!

Not so fast.

First up. Truegold. Truegold’s going to spike when these recipes become available, and tailor off roughly in proportion to the demand, most likely. On my server, it’s already been seeing highs of 800g, so I’d be expecting a price during the first rush of – let’s be conservative – 1200g. So, for 8 of them, that’s 9600g.

The other mats aside from Chaos Orbs are trivial. 400g for the lot. So, mats cost 10k, potential sale price 30k, that’s 20k profit. Win!

Except for those pesky Chaos Orbs. Now, you’ll probably have some of these already – but on the other hand, you’ll probably be wanting to craft one of these recipes for your main or an alt. So, how much does a Chaos Orb cost?

In most dungeon runs, you’ll have between 2 and 4 people rolling on them, in my experience. Thanks to the VP kerfuffle, we have pretty good numbers on how long a standard dungeon run – the most efficient way to get a chaos orb – takes. It’s about 50 minutes. So, to get enough Chaos Orbs to make one of these weapons, on average, you’re looking at 3(average number of rollers) x 50(minutes) x5 (Orbs) = 12 hours, 30 min of dungeons for a single weapon craft (not counting queue time).

(This is optimistic, by the way. I’ve been seeing more rolls on them recently thanks to the dailies – often 4 people, sometimes even 5.)

Wow.

That ISN’T going to go down, either. So how much money could you make in that time?

A quick Google and my own experience suggests that a dedicated and skilled farmer working intelligently can probably make 1500g per hour. You’ve got to be fairly heavily optimised doing that, but if you’re planning to be a serious epic weapon seller, you’re going to be in that camp. So your 12 hr 30 minute opportunity cost is 18,750g.

Total cost for getting the mats for your first weapon, right out of the gate – 28,750g. Expected sale price – 30k. Auction House cut: 5% or 1500g. Net profit: -250g.

And after the rush dies down? Well, let’s assume that Truegold drops back to its 500g price, where it has been stable for months. At that point your mats cost is 23k approximately. Expected sale price? 20k. Oh, dear. -3000g profit.

But it’s not as bleak as all that. The chances are that you’re doing dungeon runs anyway, and with the new recipes out, your Chaos Orbs would otherwise just sit in your bank. So is it an efficient way of making money if you’re already going to be doing the dungeons?

Hardcore VP-Cappers – WIN. Other people – Not So Win

Of course, that’s assuming you’re not getting Chaos Orbs anyway. Let’s assume the best possible case here and assume you’re a hardcore, Valor Point-capping raider. That means you’re running 7 Troll Heroics a week, and possibly also means that you involuntarily stab yourself in the hand every time you see a boss shaped like an animal. But it also means you’re going to be getting Chaos Orbs just as a biproduct of doing that.

How many? Approximately enough to make a weapon every 2 weeks, for roughly 14k profit assuming you consider the Orbs to be free.

Sweet!

Erm. Except that we haven’t considered the opportunity cost of spamming through to GET the original recipes yet. Most people estimate 45 minutes per day to do the dailies, and it rises after the 11th day, probably to about 1 hour for the sake of simplicity. So, in order to go through the 25-day process to get the recipes, you’ve spent 11×45 +14 x1 hours = 22 hours approximately. (This is a VERY optimistic estimate, and doesn’t include learning time, time to do the quests you only do once, time to complete Hyjal if you haven’t done that yet…)

At our figure above, then, the opportunity cost of getting the recipes was 33k at best.

So, in the end, how much are your recipes worth? Well, if you’re doing at least 7 Heroics a week, every week, after 12 weeks you’ll have made 51k, or 600g a day – not bad, but not a great return. It’s about twice what I make off Ebonsteel Belt Buckles on their own – for 5 min work a day.

And if you’re not a hardcore VP-capper, it’s even worse. 3 Heroics a week? Then you can make one weapon every 5 weeks, meaning after 12 weeks you’ll have made 7.2k.

But what else could you do with the Orbs?

Of course, that means that you could, essentially, be looking at a steady income from Chaos Orbs, which is nice. But the problem is that at some point, the market’s going to change.

Pretty much everyone’s expecting Chaos Orbs to become BoE. Even if they don’t, with the next raid patch the iLevel will go up again, and in all likelihod there’ll be another recipe grind.

So what’s going to happen then?

Well, for starters, if they do become BoE, you could then sell all the Orbs you’ve aquired even if you didn’t do the recipe run. Everyone will be unloading at once, so there’ll probably be a glut, but nonetheless you’ll be able to make 500g or so for each orb.

At the same time, the new recipes are likely to make the older ones, compared to their mats cost (including newly-tradable Orbs, if that happens) significantly less valuable. It wouldn’t be unfair to assume that the utility value of the recipes essentially stops at the next patch.

And whilst we’re examining all this, it’s worth remembering that you can still make the old 359 Chaos Orb items now, even if you don’t have the new recipes. They don’t sell and won’t sell for nearly as much as the new items, but still, making something like Elementium Deathplate or Assassin’s Chestguard will net you a grand total of about 4-5k, meaning approximately 1-2k profit, again working out at, very roughly, 500g per orb. That means that your increased profit for selling the new stuff is effectively reduced by 500g per Orb from the totals above, because you could have simply skipped the Firelands recipes and sold the old items instead.

So, grand and final total maximum profit from grinding for these recipes, over simply farming the same amount of time?

For a 7-Heroics-per-week raider: 110k total over the 6-month lifespan of the recipes, or 600g per day.

For a 3-Heroics-per-week more casual player: **22k total over the 6-month lifespan of the recipes, or 120g per day.

**

Overall, if you’re a VP-capper, grinding for the recipes was probably significantly less profitable in the long term than levelling a new toon to 75 and getting them two professions maxed, unless you already have all professions covered. If you’re not capping your VP, it was probably a LOT less profitable.

Of course, all of this could be wrong. Demand for the weapons could be much higher than I expect, and they could sell for 50k for months. Equally, they could sink like a stone now that everyone’s PUGing raids for 359s. But my best guess is the above.

So what to do now?

If you’ve already ground out these recipes, all is not lost.

The most important limiting factor in all this work is the rate at which you can aquire Chaos Orbs. If you can somehow arrange it so that you get a Chaos Orb every single run, the recipes become a massive money-maker. At 7 Orbs a week, if everything else stays the same, you’re going to make 370k profit from having these recipes rather than anything else over 6 months.

That means that it’s worth using almost any means necessary to get those Orbs. Offer to boost people in exchange for the Orb. Organise runs with guildies you know don’t use Orbs. Pay people off not to roll.

If you can optimise your Orbs, you win.

And what should we watch out for next time?

The Firelands recipes looked like obvious winners for gold-making, which is why so many of us have been grinding hard to get them. But in actual fact, it turns out that they’re less a gift and more a treadmill for comparatively little reward, unless you’re already doing some other very grindy activities.

If the next patch contains more tempting recipes, it’s worth looking very closely at the amount of effort needed to obtain them. Do they require materials that can’t be easily obtained (Living Embers, I call you to the stand) or are only obtainable through farming (Orbs)? What else could you be doing with the time investment needed to get them, and would it be more profitable, more flexible, and/or more fun? I know I would have had more fun levelling a DK at my own pace than HAVING to do the dailies every day to get the recipes as soon as possible.

In this case, if Blizzard puts a sparkly pony on a string in front of you as an AH player, it’s definitely worth counting its teeth.

– UPDATE as figures come in –

Numbers are coming in on our server at least. Currently the weapons are going for 10k-15k, less than HALF what I predicted below. Truegold hasn’t spiked as predicted, although I would expect that to happen at the weekend.

This significantly changes my summary to a very simple “It’s basically not worth it no matter what you do and how you’re getting the orbs”. Even if you’re a hardcore raider, to make the time you spent back will take more than 3 months (@10k price – 5k mats every two weeks).

Please comment with the numbers you’re seeing on your server – I’ll be interested to see if this value estimation FAIL is happening across the board.

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