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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Guide to Mining and Goldsmithing

The key for all aspiring young blacksmiths is finding the raw material you will need to craft your creations. Therefore it is highly recommended that you take up the complementary skill mining along with blacksmithing or have several friends who are dedicated to mining for you. Like other materials related crafts blacksmithing requires 1 skill point to become an apprentice, 3 additional skill points to become a journeyman, and 5 additional skill points to become an expert. If you decide to take up mining as well to finance your blacksmithing venture, you will need to spend 3 skill points for apprentice mining, 5 additional skill points for journeyman mining, and 7 additional skill points for expert mining. As a result, unless you are human you will need to reach level 25 before becoming expert in both mining and blacksmithing.

Blacksmithing requires perhaps the most eclectic array of materials of any of the crafting professions. In order to craft some of the higher end weapons and armors you will need to collect materials from all of the gathering disciplines (Fishing, Mining, Herbing, and Skinning). As an example, in order to craft the Shadow War Axe you will need an alchemy Shadow Oil potion from an alchemist which in turn requires an Oil Blacktail fish from a fisherman along with other herbs. But for the most part your main components will come from mining so here is a list of the more common components you will need in great quantity listed in order of difficulty to attain (number in parentheses is the mining skill required).

Copper Bars (1) Your basic copper acquired from Copper mining nodes found in most hilly and mountainous starting zones (e.g. Dun Morough, Elwynn Forest, Durotar).
Tin Bars (65) These are found in Tin mines in lower level zones (e.g.Barrens, Loch Modan, Redridge)
Bronze Bars Bronze bars are smelted by combining Copper and Tin bars.
Silver Bars (75) Silver mines are quite scarce and found occasionally in place of a Tin or Iron mine.
Iron Bars (155 bug should be 100) Iron Mines are found in mid level mountainous zones and are usually guarded by ornery inhabitants of those zones (e.g. Alterac, Thousand Needles, Stonetalon)
Steel Bars Steel bars need Iron bars to lend them strength and Coal (from a trade vendor) to ensure the fires of your forge burn hot enough.
Gold Bars (155) Gold mines are a precious and rare commodity and can be found in place of Iron mine.
Mithril Bars (155) Mithril mines deep in the heart of the mountain yield an abundance of Mithril, unfortunately no blacksmithing formulas currently use it.
Truesilver Bars (155) not yet implemented Truesilver mines currently give you iron ore

In addition to metal you will also find stones inside mines which are also needed to make sharpening stones to add weapons damage and grinding stones used in almost all recipes.
Rough Stones Found in Copper mines
Coarse Stones Found in Tin and Silver mines
Heavy Stones Found in Iron and Gold mines

The final element you will commonly need to create your weapons and armor is the gemstones. Some can be found mining while others need to be acquired either from killing specific creatures or from fishing. In order of difficulty to obtain though not necessarily rarity:

Malachite Copper Mines
Tigerseye Copper Mines
Shadowgem Copper Mines
Small Lustrous Pearl Fishing or Small clams from Murlocs
Moss Agate Tin and Silver mines
Lesser Moonstone Tin, Silver, Iron, and Gold Mines
Iridescent Pearl Fishing or Large clams from higher level Murlocs
Jade Iron and Gold Mines
Citrine Iron and Gold Mines (and Dragons)

As in all of the trade crafts the difficulty of an item to make directly impacts how likely you will gain skill points from creating that item. Orange items will always give you a skill up. Yellow items will usually give a skill up. Green items very rarely give a skill up and grey items will never give a skill up. My suggestion is to always create orange or yellow items which require only ore and grinding stones as those two are your most common components. This will allow you to skill up quickly to the point where you can start selling some of your items at which point you can use your more rare ingredients to create items that people will actually want to use.

The blacksmithing trainer in all the major cities have the exact same stock formulas so there is no need to run around to different city trainers looking for different recipes. There are however special trainers scattered around the world that will teach you additional recipes. The three available in the alliance push are in the Stormwind Dwarven district (Hardened Iron Shortsword), Booty Bay (Moonsteel Broadsword), and Refuge Point(Solid Iron Maul). In addition to specialty trainers there are two other ways to acquire more formulas. Monsters will occasionally drop recipes relative to their level. And certain trade vendors in remote cities will sell smithing recipes (such as the Golden Chain Helmet in Tanaris).

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