So, patch 5.2 - The Thunder King - is upon us and I hope you had an eventful time on your first exploration of the Isle of Thunder. In this post on Blizzards latest patch I thought I’d discuss some of the changes that might have an effect on the wow gold economy and, as always, help to put more gold in ya bags.
Getting to the Isle of Thunder
The Thunder King, Lei Shen, has risen upon the Isle of Thunder which now forms a new, phased questing zone for both Horde and Alliance factions. To get to the new zone visit the quest giver Vereesa Windrunner and pick up the quest ‘The Storm Gathers’. You can find Vereesa just outside of the the Shado-Pan Garrison, on the Western shore of the Townlong Steppes. Once the quest is accepted Vereesa will fly you to faction-specific fleets, just off-shore the Isle of Thunder. Once there, you can pick up a few more quests before teleporting to shore via an on-board portal.
Note, there are no longer portals in the Shado-Pan garrison as was the case in the PTR. After the first flight to the island, the Shado-Pan will open a portal near the tent of Vereesa.
Isle of Thunder War Effort
On the Island, the Kirin Tor Offensive and the Sunreaver Onslaught do battle with the Zandalari tribes. Daily and specific quests can be picked up all over the island which, when completed, unlock more zones from a total of five. When I tried this after the zone had opened, it took me an evening to complete and unlock many of the zones.
The zones on the Island are a mixture of PVE and PVP and are great fun. Some are a little quirky, like the one to squash 150 cockroaches. Another disguises you as a Saurok which enables you to cover great distances in a single bound. I would urge players to unlock as many zones as possible as there’s a chance of some rare drops and of course there are plenty of Valor Points which remain unchanged with this patch.
Gold Opportunities of The Isle of Thunder
From a gold making perspective, players have the opportunity to unlock stage 4 of the phase 4 of the quest line and the Thunder Forges, giving access to the Lighting Vein Mines which allow Blacksmiths to craft vanity weapons for Transmog and the new, BOP Lightning Steel Ingot. Time I leveled my Blacksmith!
Players who are lucky enough to find a Key to the Palace of Lei Shen can run a solo scenario called the Troves of the Thunder King to loot as many treasure chests as possible. Chests contain a mix of reputation items, gold, Shan’ze Ritual Stones (used to summon elites) and Spirit of Harmony.
Drops of Spirit of Harmony
I noted that the drops of Spirit of Harmony greatly increased from most of the mobs throughout the island. Combine this with the Troves run and players could make some reasonable gold from daily questing. I have yet to confirm if this is a server wide tweak to the drop rate or whether it’s Island specific.
Profession Changes in Patch 5.2
Probably the biggest change in this patch is the alternate way Blacksmiths can level their profession 1-525 via Ghost Iron Training Projects. There are 22 projects ranging from ‘Simple Eating Utensils’ requiring 2 Ghost Iron Bars, to ‘Ghost Iron Bells’ requiring 90 Ghost Iron Bars. While this may be an expensive way to level Blacksmithing, it does allow those with gold to max out this profession in double-quick time. Training Projects can be obtained from faction specific trainers located in the Shrines in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms.
Blacksmiths can now create a new BoP Lightning Steel Ingot that can be used to create new BoE vanity weapons that resemble weapons of the Burning Crusade and Crafted Dreadful Gladiator’s gear. The new plans are ‘discovered’ during the process of crafting Lightening Steel. The plan for Lighting Steel is obtained from the quest !Lighting Steel from the quest giver Itoka (Master of the Forge) on the Isle of Thunder. So far it looks like Lightning Steel has a daily cool down. With weapons like the new Lionheart Champion, Reborn taking 10 Ingots of the new metal, Blacksmiths won’t be able to grind these out for a quick buck. Initial pricing of these weapons on the Auction House will be interesting.
Which brings me to the price of Ghost Iron. When I first logged onto my server, the price of a Ghost Iron Bar remained relatively unchanged. But you must remember I’m playing on an EU server which lags behind the release of my US counterparts. My US mates all twittered to me that their prices of Ghost Iron was on the increase. I expect Ghost Iron will increase in value as demand surges with the rise of Lightning Steel crafting over the next few weeks. Keep an eye on this.
Archeology – a new Mantid race has been added for this patch with 10 new solves and 17 achievements. While Archeology has never been a great part of my goldmaking, new drops of Mantid Amber Sliver Keystones that help complete Mantid archaeology may initially be in demand on the Auction House.
Fishing – Players who like to fish now have the opportunity to pick up a new daily quest called ‘Fish of the Day’. This was given to me by Gina Mudclaw who sends you to Ben of the Booming Voice (Fishing Trainer). After an initial quest, Ben will reveal the location of ‘The Fish of the Day’, large pools of Pandaren fish. Fishing these large pools is a great way to farm large numbers of fish in demand on the Auction House or for those players wanting to complete the daily Half-Hill container cooking quest for Iron Paw tokens.
Jewelcrafting – new world drops are available for Design: Serpent’s Heart and Design: Primal Diamond. Crafting cuts of Primal Diamond has certainly been profitable for my JC in the previous patch so I’m looking forward to acquiring these new designs.
Serpent’s Heart takes 3 Serpent’s Eye which should sustain demand for eyes which I still sell at a profit on the Auction House. Serpent’s Heart can only be made once a day and contains a rare-quality Pandaren uncut gem. There’s also a low chance for discovering the Battle Pet recipes Design: Sapphire Cub and Design: Jade Owl. Both these companions are BoE so are tradable on the Auction House and should add extra revenue to high-end Jewelcrafters.
The other main change that could have an effect on the economy of Jewelcrafting is the world drop Design: Primal Diamond which allows Jewelcrafters to craft Primal Diamonds form common gem. Previously, this had only been available to Alchemists and was always a good source of revenue for me on my server. However, the impact on Alchemy may be lessened by the fact the JC design requires a Spirit of Harmony where the Alchemy skill does not. But watch of price of Primal Diamond on your server.
Leatherworking – New world drops for Pattern: Magnificence of Leather and Pattern: Magnificence of Scales have been added that allow Leatherworkers to create Magnificent Hide. When learning Magnificence of Leather or Magnificence of Scales, Leatherworks have a chance to discover recipes for 5.2 raid epics and Crafted PVP gear.
The crafting of bags is always a good way to make gold and in Patch 5.2 a new 36 slot bag has been added for Leatherworkers which require 7 Magnificent Hides to craft. Keep an eye out for this bag on the Auction House.
Tailoring – Tailors now have a chance to discover new 5.2 raid epics or Crafted PvP gear when crafting Imperial Silk. Crafting Imperial Silk results in a Silkworm Cocoon which contains the Imperial Silk. In addition, there’s a chance that the cocoon may contain an Imperial Moth or Imperial Silkworm companion.
More Work on the Farm for the Tillers
Changes to reputation have been made to the Tiller’s faction which now allow those players that have reached Exalted and all sixteen plots unlocked to gain reputation with other MoP factions via a ‘Work Order’ system. Farmer Yoon now posts ‘Work Orders’ which allows players to work the farm in order to gain reputation with the faction of their choice. Players must have unlocked that faction’s dailies for Work Orders to be accepted.
Gaining reputation with MoP factions is a must for all those players wanting to access faction specific recipes for their professions which are more desirable and command a higher price on the Auction House. The only down side is that you have to spend more time on the farm!
Some restrictions have been lifted for two-handed axes, maces and swords which can now be transmogrified to each other. The same applies to one-handed axes, maces and swords. In addition, staves and polearms can also be transmogrified to each other. The weapons classification as Main Hand has also been relaxed allowing greater flexibility. Many new PvE and PvP tier sets have been added including new troll transmog options.
For those interested in transmog goldmaking, Blacksmiths can craft new replica BoE Burning Crusade weapons, as mentioned above.
As with all new patch changes, the wow gold economy subtly changes. By understanding the basics of supply and demand, the rare and the sought after, those players wanting to make a little more gold can anticipate these changes and align their Auction House strategy more closely to market demands. By giving players what they need and what they desire at a reasonable price, you’ll always make gold in Warcraft.