Daily Archives: September 25, 2007

Mithril Mining Madness

As I move from game to game I tend to forget some of the differences until I am confronted with them.

So it is with my latest trip back into Azeroth. 

As with every other MMO, all of my characters in World of Warcraft have a trade skill.  It is my cross to bear that I cannot leave trade skills alone.

My main character, Vikund, a level 49 paladin, is also an engineer.  If you know me, you’ll know that as professions go, that one isn’t much of a stretch.

Engineers can make all sorts of interesting gadgets.  It is truly one of the hallmark professions of the game.  But since most of the itetms can only be used by fellow engineers at a similar skill level (how like real life!), there are not many items worth mass producing.  Bombs and the like are good for AOE, but Vik primarily manufactures guns and ammunition for my hunter, Tistann, and for friends.

With almost everybody unable to play last weekend, I decided to get Tistann out and work on him.  For solo play a hunter remains my favorite class in WoW. 

On getting Tistann logged in, I noticed that he had a lot of bag space available.  This is something unusual for a hunter in my experience, as they generally dedicate one of their bag slots to an ammunition pouch.  And since hunters go through ammunition very quickly, a lot of free slots shown on the UI usually means a shortage of ammo.  Tistann was down to a couple hundred rounds.

So I put Tistann away and got out Vik.  I was going to have him make some more high-impact mithril slugs for Tistann.  Unfortunately, he was fresh out of mithril.  And in the spirit of inflation brought about by The Burning Crusade, mithril listed at the auction house was a bit more pricey that I could afford.  Vik is level 49 and has all of 100 gold on him, so I have to watch the spending.

Mithril is a harvestable resource in WoW, so I did not have to buy any, I could just go out and get some.  Vik’s mining and smelting skills are up to the task.  But was my node locating knowledge up to it?

It has been a while since I went out solely to harvest in WoW.  Where would I find mithril?

Fortunately, I remembered finding some in the Badlands at one point, along the southern edge of the zone between Camp Boff and Camp Cagg.  So off I went, mineral tracking on, pick in hand, ready to harvest a mountain of mithril.

And so, finally, we arrive at the “I forgot” part of the tale.

When compared to EverQuest II or Lord of the Rings Online, resource nodes in WoW are pretty sparse.  Or my knowledge of where to harvest is pretty incomplete.  Or both.

This isn’t to say I couldn’t find any mithril.  I found and managed to harvest about 20 units of mithril ore over a two hour period of time.  But I would have to say that if I spend two hours harvesting an item in EQ2 or LOTRO that was in an area where the mobs were 8-10 levels below me, I would have come up with a lot more than 20 units.

The nodes themselves were not hard to find, there just were not very many of them and they took quite a while to respawn.

I found a node now and again.

Vik levitating with joy! 

More frustrating was running across a true silver node. 

Required skill to mine, 230.  Vik’s mining skill, 224.  No Joy here.

And when I finally collected those 20 units of mithril ore and recalled back to Stormwind, I realized that I also needed solid stone to make solid blasting powder, which is the other ingredient for high-impact mithril slugs.  I had only come up with 8 solid stones while I was out looking for mithril ore.  Two stones make one unit of solid blasting powder, so I ended up being able to make exactly four stacks of ammunition for Tistann.

And, of course, by that time I had used up the free time I had to play.

A lesson for potential trade skillers, no doubt.