Monday, 30 April 2012

Cataclysm Ore Processing

Ore is one of the most basic bulk materials and can be processed in many different ways. Most auction players probably already know about the shuffle but there's more to ore processing than just the shuffle.

I'm going to limit myself to talking about processing cataclysm ores today though similar methods apply to most other ore types too. I'll further limit myself to talking only about *bulk processing methods that can help us use up mountains of ore. Pre-expansion blues have set in pretty much everywhere now so most servers should have mountains of cheap ore available.

This is the time to be buying and stocking up on things you'll sell to leveling / skilling up characters during the  next expansion. If your liquid gold keeps going down now but your stock keeps going up, don't panic. It sounds like you're doing it right to make a very lot of gold in the expansion!

Cataclysm Ore Types

- prospects into uncommon and rare gems.
- produces a rough average of about 4.5 uncommon gems per stack and 1.5 rare gems per stack
- smelts into Elementium Bars

- prospects into uncommon and rare gems
- produces a rough average of about 6 uncommon gems per stack and 1 rare gem every 3-4 stacks
- smelts into Obsidium Bars

- prospects into volatile earth, uncommon and rare gems
- produces a rough average of about 4 uncommon and 3-4 rare gems per stack. Not sure about the earth.
- smelts into Pyrium Bars

Useful professions for ore processing

- prospecting
- cutting gems
- crafting jewelry to disenchant
- great synergy with enchanting

- disenchanting
- crafting scrolls
- terrific synergy with other crafting professions, especially jewelcrafting and smithing

- gem transmutes
- great synergy with JC

- crafting armor to disenchant
- crafting belt buckles to sell
- great synergy with enchanting

- Smelting bars
- good synergy with smithing

The Shuffle

The shuffle (aka Elementium Shuffle or Obsidian Shuffle) in it's simplest form only requires Jewelcrafting. You prospect ore into gems, cut some gems and sell gems in both cut and raw uncut form.

Alchemy and Enchanting are commonly used to add value and often considered part of the shuffle.

You can make jewelry from uncommon gems to disenchant for enchanting materials. Either sell the mats for a quick profit or take it a step further, make scrolls with them and sell the scrolls, hopefully adding even more value.

- Carnelian, nightstone, hessonite, jasper and alicite are all good for this.
- Carnelian are often reserved for inferno ruby transmutes, but they DE into far more Celestial Essence than anything else (rough average of about 2.5 GREATER essences per spike).
- Jasper usually have the largest profit margin but produce a lot more dust than essences.
- Nightstone and Hessonite share the same DE table. They are usually the most expensive uncommon gems to buy (besides carnelian) but they also disenchant into more Celestial Essence than anything else (again besides Carnelian). This usually means a significantly larger total profit (not to be confused with profit margin) than Jasper or Alicite.
- Alicite are usually the cheapest useful gem to buy and have the same DE table as Jasper but you need 2 of them to make 1 pendant with. If you can buy 2 Alicite for less than half the price of 1 Jasper it's more profitable making jewelry with Alicite than with Jasper.
- Zephyrite is completely useless for the purpose of making jewelry to disenchant and usually sells for around vendor price.

At times it may also be profitable to craft jewelry that disenchants into heavenly shards from rare gems and volatiles. In my experience to date the only one that's ever been profitable for me is Viscious Amberjewel Band (4 amberjewel, 8 volatile water, 1 setting) though if gem and volatile prices continue dropping other such crafts could become profitable too. In particular if volatile air ever drops to around 5g Vicious Sapphire Ring (4 ocean sapphire, 8 volatile air, 1 setting) should be profitable DE fodder too.

With alchemy you can transmute uncommon gems into rare gems, mainly inferno rubies and shadowspirit diamonds (other gem transmutes may be profitable too but often are not). Shadowspirit Diamonds are particularly good for using up very large numbers of uncommon gems very quickly and in equal numbers (3 of each color per transmute produces 2 diamonds).

Beyond the Shuffle

That covers what most auction players do with their ore now and what's generally considered to constitute the "full" shuffle, but there are still a few more things we can do with bulk ore..

First of all there's smelting bars, which often sell for more than the ore goes for though smelting bars by itself isn't enough to make having a miner really useful. Of course you can take it a step further, add some more materials and smelt Hardened Obsidium or have alchemists transmute Truegold for you, but that's not what you really want smelting for either. What you really want smelting for is to smelt vast quantities of bars on demand so your blacksmith can use them to make huge numbers of things to disenchant.

With your blacksmith you make Stormforged Shoulders (or Stormforged Legs, both use the same materials) which disenchant into 1 heavenly shard. These take 2 folded obsidium, and 8 Elementium bars to make. If elementium and obsidium are both going for 40g a stack, your cost is 4g per bar and 8g per folded for a total cost of 48g per shard. If shards are usually 75g or more on the auction, you can make a pretty decent profit selling them in bulk at 70g each. If you sell scrolls it's always nice to be able to produce your own shards on demand and at a reasonable cost.

Then there are Ebonsteel Belt Buckles. It takes 4 Pyrium Bars, 4 Elementium Bars and 4 Volatile Earth to make one buckle. If both ores are going for 40g a stack, that's 2g per ore, 4g per bar and earth is probably under 1g each everywhere now for a total cost of 36g per buckle. If you can sell them for 72g each that's 100% profit, not too shabby. Another good way to make a sizable mountain of ore disappear.

Finally there are Carnelian Spikes, which take 3 carnelian to make. Many shufflers get so caught up in the cutthroat inferno ruby market they forget all about doing anything else with carnelian. I often see competitors selling inferno rubies for 50-60g each when carnelian are going for 25-30g and GCE are over 100g... Go figure! Of course when questioned they always insist they're making big bank on rubies because they get their ore cheap/free.

Another thing that's particularly nice about smelting, producing belt buckles and shadowspirit diamonds is you don't have to sit there repeatedly clicking a button. You can start up a long crafting queue and walk away from the computer until it's done. You don't have to disenchant them later either and they even stack, saving you plenty of bank / bag / mail space!

There are of course even more things we can do with ore such as using Engineering and Blacksmithing to craft items for sale but I don't consider that bulk processing and my purpose today was to talk about bulk ore processing.


  1. The shuffle has been amazingly profitable in cataclysm. I have played with Stormspire's spreadsheets and website a lot.
    I have always been amazed that what ever I buy elementium ore for lets say 40g, all I need to do is sell inferno rubies at 3x40=120g each and each Carnelian I will value at 40g. All other gems I value at zero , and I can make a profit. That means for me every other cut gem , every enchanting mat, every enchanting scroll is pure profit from that stack of elementium ore.
    Just amazing.
    I was upset originally that wow decided no transmute of epic gems but what it did was make rare gems more valuable because no one can afford 1500g each for a cut epic gem.