I mentioned previously that our group, having arrived in Hellfire Peninsula, was still trying to catch up some lagging trade skills to keep up with our transition from vanilla content.
That was easy enough with some things. Tistann, my hunter, was already at 300 for skinning and leather working. Wilhelm, my pally, was up to 300 mining and closing in on 300 for engineering. Viniki, past tank for the group and my weapons specialized blacksmith crafter, was in a bit of a bind though.
The path from 280, where he stood, to 300, requires a walk through a rich field of thorium veins… and he was hardly the only character in that situation. The competition for thorium veins was pretty fierce. So I was feeling kind of content at letting him stay behind for a while.
And then Ula succeeded in getting up to 300 in enchanting and needed a fel iron rod for Outland enchants and the market was alternating between empty and highway robbery on that front. Suddenly a blacksmith with a 300 skill level seemed like a very handy thing to have around. The rod is one of the first Outland recipes available for one. I just needed a pile of thorium. Fortunately, I had figured out a plan.
In farming for thorium for Wilhelm, I had noticed that at the south end of Winterspring, in Frostwhisper Gorge, there was a regular rotation of rich thorium vein spawns.
Unfortunately, the gorge is also home to a bunch of Frostmaul Giants, level 59-60 elites. That makes getting into the gorge a bit of a challenge… unless you can stealth your way around.
Alioto, my recently level 60 feral druid had managed to get t 300 mining and could stealth around in cat form pretty well. So I sent him there to farm the thorium veins.
The next problem was the spawn rate. Once you harvest a node it takes 20 minutes of so for another one to appear. It is kind of dull just hanging out waiting for spawns to show up.
So I hit on the idea of just logging in every half hour to hour, depending on when I had the time, scooting along to find the current node. Then I would mine it, go back into stealth mode, and log out again.
This was pretty low pressure and something I could do throughout the day. The joys of working from home.
In fact, logging in during the day was more fruitful than in the evenings. Once the server hits prime time there starts to be some competition for the nodes. There are a couple of level 70s who come in and farm the giants… they must drop something of value… and harvest the nodes.
But during the day things tend to be quiet. Not perfect… you get a truesilver spawn every once in a while, which isn’t as useful… but pretty good.
I had to hang out there for a while. For Viniki to get from 280 to 300 blacksmithing, he needed to make 20 Imperial Plate bracers, which take 12 thorium each. That is 240 thorium, which at 4-6 ore per spawn, takes a while. But I just left Alioto parked in the gorge all week, logging in every once in a while to grab a bit more thorium.
Eventually I collected enough that his bags were full. But when I sent it all to Viniki he went to work on the bracers and made it to 300.
The fel iron rod was the next thing he made. Op success!
Then I sent Alioto back to the gorge to help out Ula’s blacksmithing alt Scscla. More thorium harvesting.
One thing I did find out was that rich thorium nodes continue to give skill ups when you harvest them all the way to the Burning Crusade maximum. Alioto hit 375 mining mostly on rich thorium. (I did take hit to Hellfire Peninsula for some gear upgrades and he mined a bit of fel iron there.)
The whole thing has also made Alioto my wealthiest character. Truesilver, and the gems from rich thorium veins, sell pretty well at the auction house. He isn’t out buying an epic mount yet… but he is pretty close to that being an options. Of course, that is in part because the expansion rewards pumped a bunch of gold into the economy, so everything at the auction sells for more. But that is the way to get to a flying mount eventually.