[WoW] Ghost Iron is the new black

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jurvetson@flickr

I wrote a post about my adventures with blacksmithing in Pandaria a few months back.

Executive summary:

  • Wow, there’s a lot of ghost iron about.
  • As well as the base material for blacksmithing and jewelcrafting, you can also transmute it into other stuff (like trillium, living steel, etc)
  • Hey, crafted PvP gear sells really well. Who would have thought?

So I made a ton on crafting and selling PvP gear until I got bored of it because I had more gold than I needed. (Which is the entire story of my ventures into the economy on any game, I can never feel motivated after I have enough.) Living steel is fairly cheap on the auction house so it’s still easier to sell crafted PvP gear and use the profits to buy anything else you might need. Life is good.

And then comes patch 5.2, which continues on the whole “hey guys, our entire economy is based on Ghost Iron these days” theme by adding a bunch of entirely new demand for the stuff.

1. A new PvP/ Arena season. This means that the PvP crafted gear gets a bump in iLvL to help starting players (not a huge bump: its going from 450 to 458). Typically what Blizzard have done in the past is leave the recipes alone but have them produce higher iLvL gear with a slightly different name. So as a blacksmith, you don’t actually have to do much to take advantage of this. However, you really don’t want to be left with old stock when the recipe is upgraded.

Often there is a surge of demand for crafted gear when a new season starts. I don’t know if that will be the case this time, it hasn’t really been improved much. But best to assume this might happen again.

2. Large demand for trillium as part of the Wrathion legendary questline. The next stages of this quest are rumoured to require people to hand in 40 trillium bars. Blizzard have been known to tweak files in between the test server and a live patch drop to encourage people not to hoard, but if this is true then there is about to be a huge demand on trillium. Which means a demand for Ghost Iron by alchemists queueing up to turn the stuff into trillium.

(I personally feel the cheapest way to get your trillium is to buy white/black trillium on the cheap and make up the spares by spending Spirits of Harmony at the vendor because a lot of people do not have miners and don’t know how to combine black/white ore to get trillium bars. Also white trillium has been cheap for ages.)

3. Blizzard are tweaking Blacksmithing, and making it possible to level the tradeskills from scratch in Pandaria, using only Ghost Iron as a material. Players have realised for awhile that tradeskills haven’t really been in synch with the new levelling curve – it takes a bit of effort and going out of your way to keep tradeskills up to date while you level now. So it may not really be surprising if Blizzard decided to provide shortcuts, in the same way that they did with cooking. As a crafter, this makes me a bit sad; I quite liked that there was an advantage to knowing where to gather all the materials you might need to level a tradeskill. Although I imagine more hardcore players on large servers just buy it all from the AH.

As a miner, it makes me think that the price of Ghost Iron is going to go through the roof.

4. And you’ll also need a bunch of Ghost Iron to make the new Lightning Steel material that is going to be used to craft new blacksmithing recipes in the next patch.  I’m not all that excited by any recipes that I have seen, as it’s mostly iLvL 463 (blue) weapons that can be transmogged to look like Burning Crusade weapons. I never thought that BC was really the weapons high point of the game, but your mileage may vary.

This isn’t really a gold guide, and if I need more in game gold I’ll probably just keep selling crafted PvP gear. But it’s intriguing to see Blizzard deliberately driving the economy like this. I can only imagine what will happen when they eventually bring in legendary gems (these recipes usually appear a few patches into an expansion) which are bound to be based on Ghost Iron too.

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3 thoughts on “[WoW] Ghost Iron is the new black

  1. I haven’t been holding Gold Iron as a rule, but I tend to store up almost all my mats and only use them when really pushed, so far that means 1500 ghost iron ore, and about 300 bars. The blacksmith change which I thought was good – I read that the patterns can be learn by discovery through creating the Lightning Steel. If the price of ghost iron does sky rocket then I might sell mine early and wait a month and re-by it when the prices fall.

  2. I’ve collected tanking weapons (tier 4 to tier 12) on my warrior so I have a first-hand experience on the subject.
    The Sun Eater (Mechanar Heroic) and King’s Defender (Karazhan) were beautiful, as was T5 tanking mace (Scepter of the Tides, if I’m not mistaken). T6 tanking axe (Brutalizer) and sword from Hijal – not so pretty.
    Wotlk t7 tanking weapons were unmemorable, but then there came Sorthalis from Ulduar, which I think is the best model for hammer ever. T9 looked much like standard army issues. In the Icecrown, there wery pretty Facelifter (sword) and the Last Word (mace) – Last word even had a counterweight attached.
    Cata-style didn’t appeal much to me, the most memorable tanking weapon was Cookie’s rolling pin (until they made it look like actual and very bland-looking mace).

  3. It seems like this will really impact the market for lower grade materials. This is something lower level players can do to make quite a bit of gold by selling off the ores (or herbs, or leather, etc.) they come across while leveling. It makes me wonder if this is intentional, that Blizzard doesn’t think lower level players should be getting so rich off of bottom tier materials.

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