Suddenly Serious about Blacksmithing

I am unable to resist the lure of crafting and trade skills in MMORPGs.  Despite more than 20 years of fumbling with them halfheartedly and having them draw off huge amounts of play time and in-game resources, I still jump right on them every time.

Seriously.  My advice after all these years.  At most, pick up a harvesting skill or two and just sell stuff you get and use the money you make to buy things you need.  Don’t try to make it yourself.  Every brief moment of profitability and convenience at having investing in crafting is far outweighed by the cost and effort.

And yet, knowing this in the logical and analytical portion of my brain, every single time I start an MMORPG I immediately start on crafting.  Even in games where I have done it before.  I start on a new server and crafting is on the menu.

So it will come as no surprise that I have several characters who have picked up and pursued trade skills in WoW Classsic.  Not all of them, thankfully.  Most of the alts just have two harvest professions.  But I have a leather worker, an engineer, and a blacksmith that I have pushed along into the mid-200s for skill levels.

Viniki, tank for the current incarnation of the instance group, is my blacksmith.  I have been able to keep him moving along by sending him out to harvest ore on his own.  Unlike retail WoW, there is no xp for harvesting, so he has managed to progress.  Ula has an alt that does blacksmithing as well, so I made the choice, when he made it high enough level, to split off and specialize in weaponry.  Ula’s alt could go down the armor path.

On the weapons path

That meant crafting some weapons as part of the quest to open up that path.

A dozen weapons

That was actually a bit of a pain, but mostly due to inventory space.  Collecting up the materials meant devoting precious bank space to the task, and then as I made each group of weapons, they also had to be stored away or carried with me.  But I got that done and was able to turn it in.

That unlocked the first set of weapons for me.  I still have a sub-specialization to go after later.

But then I realized, as we were working our way through Blackrock Depths, that I had an opportunity to pick up some additional recipes.  In the Grim Guzzler, inside the instance, is a NPC who will sell you such, so long as you have sufficient reputation with the Thorium Brotherhood, the Dark Iron Dwarf faction that resides in Searing Gorge.

So I set my sights on doing that.

Getting the faction though, that meant getting the attention of Master Smith Burninate out at Thorium Point.  He has the quests that let you raise your faction.

Is that name a Homestar Runner reference?

But to get to those quests you first have to do another quest, What the Flux?, which requires you to obtain the Firey Flux plans.  The plans are sitting on a table behind Overseer Maltorius and his two companions down in the slag pit in Searing Gorge.

The table behind them

The problem is that all three of them are elite mobs and were a bit too much for Viniki to handle solo.  I managed it with my hunter some time back by sacrificing his pet while he grabbed the plans, but it looked like I would need help to do this with a warrior.

Then I realized that one of my skills, Intimidating Shout, might do the trick.  It is a short term AOE fear that sends nearby mobs running away.  So I ran over to the table, got all three on me, then did my shout.  They ran off just long enough for me to scoop up the plans and jump of the ledge and run away.  The hard part was over I thought, now I just need to grind out the faction quests.

There are three quest options, each of which gives you 25 faction to the approximately 2,500 faction you’ll likely need at this point if you’ve done most of the quests at Thorium Point.

The three faction quests

The first requires four Kingsblood, the second four iron bars, and the third ten heavy leather.  After assessing my situation, it seemed that Kingsblood would be the best route.  I used a bit of heavy leather and some iron bars, but I sent my harvesting alt out to the Wetlands to get me Kingsblood.  I supplemented that with some I found cheap on the market.

The quest requirements

Each turn in also required two Incendosaur scales, which come from mobs down in the slag pit.  I had almost enough on my hunter from his time in Searing Gorge, and sent him down to collect some more… and skin… to fill out my need there.  And then you need one coal, which Master Smith Burninate sells, so seems like something of a silver sink, as you buy they from him only to turn them right back into him.

So I did that set of quests the 100 times required, which got me to friendly with the Thorium Brotherhood.

To get to honored you have a different quest.  You need close to a thousand Dark Iron Residue climb the 6,000 faction you need to go from friendly to honored and you need to do it in increments of 25 faction.

Dark Iron Residue has a use

Fortunately we had all been saving or Dark Iron Residue from the Blackrock Depths runs, so when everybody sent me what they had I was pretty much covered.  The tough part was doing the four clicks to turn in the quest 240 times.  I did it over three sessions.

But I made it, and am now ready to go talk to Lokhtos Darkbargainer in the Grim Guzzler in Blackrock Depths.  Of course at honored I can only get a few of the recipes, and to get beyond that in faction you have to raid Molten Core regularly.  And the recipes require Dark Iron Bars, the smelting of which requires another quest from one of the dwarves in the Summoner’s Tomb.  But we’ll be going there.  Then to actually smelt the bars I have to get down the the black anvil by Lord Incendious again, so I have been collecting those up to carry along if we make a run down there again.

All of which is more serious than I have ever been in the past about a WoW trade skill.  We’ll see how far I get and whether or not I end up making anything in any case.

As usual, if I had used the time I spent on this to just level up a character I would no doubt have at least one level 60 by now.  But that is the way I roll.  I cannot stop crafting.

6 thoughts on “Suddenly Serious about Blacksmithing

  1. bhagpuss

    About the only mmorpg I play where it can actually be more efficient (or at least cheaper) to make your own stuff is EQII and even there it only applies to Sage/Alchemist/Jeweler for making spell/skill upgrades. Also adorning/transmuting is pretty essential at the early stages of an expansion unless you have many millions of plat you don’t need. And I believe cooking can be handy too.

    Other than that, for some reason I am unable to explain, I invariably end up learning weaponcrafting in every game I play. It’s almost always completely useless and a total waste of time and resources but there’s just something about making swords that seems to be the thing to do in a fantasy game.

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  2. kiantremayne

    Ah, crafting… the problem is that if everyone gets into it then there’s no market for the dedicated crafter, and crafted gear usually runs a poor second to sweet epic raid loot in most games. The only games I can recall having a successful and profitable career as a crafter were DAoC (where maxing out a craft skill was an enormous time and money sink, but I was funded by a major guild and player crafted gear with spellcrafted enchantments genuinely was the best you could get) and Star Wars Galaxies (which was an outlier in so many ways).

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  3. Archey

    I’m a big fan of the idea of crafting as well. And I think Classic wow gets it about as right as they ever did. Significant decisions at endgame with real consequences and pretty good starter raiding gear is an engaging system. In light of that, other games and expansions pale in comparison, with the possible exception of the aforementioned DAoC.

    I do wish there were repeatable quests one could complete to make gear as you skill up and defray the cost of making 100 white or green items at a time, but that is the only quibble I have.

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  4. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @kiantremayne – I am less concerned about making money than being able to at least make something useful for my main or alts once in a while. I think I have been able to do that best in LOTRO. Inevitably though, it is better most of the time to sell raws and buy manufactured goods.

    Also, I am always surprised that when it comes to crafting, few ever mention EVE Online, where the game and economy pretty much depend on player crafting as there is almost no other way to get a hull bigger than a frigate. Massively OP does a “best crafting” post every year and somebody always pines for SWG and then they dither and go for some game in a half hearted way and never mention EVE.

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  5. Mazer

    As much as I enjoyed EVE’s crafting, it only really got fun and different for me when I got all the way out in w-space where it hit that sweet spot of a small enough pool for an individual’s effort to matter but a large enough need for crafted items. You could certainly get into T1 crafting as a new player but the real draw there seems like it’s the market, not the actual manufacturing.

    Even in my little corner of the Star Citizen community SWG is the crafting reference but EVE only gets brought up by the hardcore PvP diehards.

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