Love Your Thorium

If you’re looking for some extra spending money, acquiring some Thorium will give you a versatile means of doing it.  The best place to acquire the Ore is Un’Goro Crater, and a few laps around the outside will result in plenty to work with.  You can always check the Auction House for the price of Ore and Bars to save yourself some time too.  While doing so, keep an eye on the price of Thorium Widgets if you have an Engineer (or know one).

The Lifelike Mechanical Toad requires four of such Widgets to make.  I’ve mentioned before how rare the recipe is, but if you have access to it through yourself or someone else you can easily sell them.  I personally sell mine for 150-300g each these days, listing one at a time.

Blacksmiths can generate an incredible amount of gold on Alliance side with Thorium, thanks to Transmogrification.  The Imperial Plate set is the only one that resembles the Stormwind guards and a great many players seek this look.  I keep listing pieces higher and higher and they keep selling.  I honestly expect to be undercut at some point, but it’s not happening.  A quick look at The Undermine Journal puts the US Alliance Market Price at 131g for the Chest alone, and more than that is quite reasonable to expect.

The third area to make use of Thorium is Jewelcrafting.  The Ruby Crown of Restoration is still a great BoE headpiece for its level.  But also, Ruby Pendant of Fire, Red Ring of Destruction, Simple Opal Ring, and Aquamarine Ward all tend to disenchant into materials worth far more than the Thorium and respective gem they require.

So there you are.  A few simple ways you can Transmute Thorium into Gold currency.  What surprises me is how little competition I have when I decide to start farming in Un’Goro Crater  If you find the same, there’s worse ways to generate some income.  It also means the less competition you have in the zone, the less competition you’re likely to have on your Auction House.

Mining Guide: Twilight Highlands

While many folk jumped on Goblins/Worgens/Mains, I took Tumunzahar to mining.  I suffered through Obsidium Ore in Hyjal as long as I had to (packed zone, plus other miners) and then took off as soon as I could do Elementium.  I headed straight to Twilight Highlands where I figured few people would be.  In fact, while mining there Tuesday there were never more than four Alliance players and two of those were Shamans trying for server first 85.  So needless to say, I had my pick of the terrain and had plenty of minerals in no time (not much Pyrite as I might have liked though, it’s the new Titanium hotness).

So, while the Ore nodes spawn throughout, here’s the route I found the best to get a consistent supply.  The reason it’s short is because there shouldn’t be too many people farming the place yet.  No point wasting time flying, when there’s fast enough spawning and availability to keep it simple.  It’s also why I’m getting this route up fast, so you can get in and get what you need before the place is crawling with farmers.

Fast & The Furious (Or How To Level The Fastest)

There are a number of folk who can’t stand leveling characters.  I’m sure even with all the new content, there are many out there who would love nothing more than to be sitting at 80 with a new toon, and then reach 85 for the end game content.  I’m not one of them, but for those who want to basically get leveling “out of the way” it has never been easier.

There’s the obvious reduction in XP needed to get through Northrend (20%), and that happens to the previous leveling bracket every time a new one arrives.  More importantly than that, though, is a simple combination:  heirloom items and gathering professions.

People have always said to take two of the three gathering professions on a new character because they will generate money for you.  This is true, but I argue you can make money faster by not gathering.  However, this column isn’t about that.  Instead, I’m urging any of you “burn through leveling” folks to take gathering professions -specifically mining and herbalism.  Earlier this year Blizzard changed things a bit by offering experience for picking flowers or mining nodes (sorry skinners, Blizzard figures you got the XP in what you killed in the first place).  So, while booting around you get extra experience just for grabbing what’s in front of you.  The problem people had with the combo I’m suggesting was that you only ever had the ability to track one or the other on your minimap.  Queue another recent change by Blizz that allows you to mark several things on your map.  That includes both Ore and Herbs.  Hello!  Again, you’re only grabbing what’s already in your path.

The other part of the formula is heirlooms, which should be a no-brainer.  Currently you can obtain XP granting gear for shoulders and chests.  There’s more to come in Cataclysm, but let’s focus just on what we have now.  As it stands, two items will grant you 10% each.  That’s 20%, or needing a fifth less time to level.  That’s on quests, kills, exploration, and…you guessed it, gathering. 

To make it even easier for you, Blizzard has now placed questgivers in the instance they need you to go, either at the start or during.  So the first time you hit a new dungeon using the Looking For Dungeon finder, you’ll be able to knock off some quests as well.

Whether you hate level grinding or just have that one toon you want endgame and raiding, Blizzard has made it incredibly fast and easy to do so.  Start now and you’ll be at 85 before you know it and ready for the good stuff.