I enjoy playing the economic game in Warcraft. WoW is no Eve Online, but the auction house is an interesting challenge. It's a fun game in itself and a little trading can fund my raid habits much more easily than hours of farming or daily quests.
And now I'm going to share one of my prime money makers, turning rocks into dust. The basic process is to turn ore into gems, craft the gems into jewelry, then disenchant the jewelry and sell the dust. Here's the details:
- Buy Saronite Ore at the AH. On my server it sells for about 20g / stack.
- Prospect the ore with Jewelcrafting. A single stack of ore turns into one rare gem and 6 uncommon gems, on average.
- Set the rare gem aside. On my server rare gems sell for 25g on average, so after prospecting you're already 5g ahead. Cutting it nets another 10g or so in profit, so I tend to figure the rare gem is really worth 35g.
- Get rid of any Dark Jade or Shadow Crystals; on average you'll have two. On my server I can theoretically sell those for 1g each, so your stack of ore yields roughly 2g. (In practice I just bank these, not worth the bother).
- Buy an Eternal Earth and click it, turning it into 10x Crystallized Earth. On my server they go for about 9g. We only need 4/5 of it for the uncommon gems from the stack of ore, so average expense per stack of ore is 8g.
- Use the remaining uncommon gems and crystallized earth to craft Bloodstone Band, Crystal Chalcedony Amulet, Crystal Citrine Necklace, and Sun Rock Ring. On average each stack of ore will yield four pieces of jewelry.
- Disenchant the jewelry. Each piece has a 75% chance of becoming 1.5 Infinite Dust (4.5g each), 20% chance of becoming 1.5 Lesser Cosmic Essence (4g each), and a 5% chance of becoming a Small Dream Shard (3g each). The 4 uncommons you got from your stack of ore turn into enchanting materials that are worth about 25g.
- Combine the essences and shards and sell them along with the dust on the AH. There's no listing fee, so no need to be aggressive on pricing if you're patient.
Bottom line: I spend 28g for some ore and earth, press some buttons, and end up with 62g worth of stuff I can easily sell. Net profit of 34g / stack of ore. I can process roughly 30 stacks of ore an hour this way, so I'm making roughly 1000g / hour of virtual labour.
The actual process is tedious, but mindless enough that you can do it while chatting, watching a video, etc. A couple of UI tricks speed the way. First of all, turn on auto-looting. Second of all, you can make macros to automatically prospect and disenchant for you.
/use Saronite Ore
/use Sun Rock Ring
Put these macros on your toolbar and you can just spam them to break items down into the raw materials.
I've been prospecting and selling cut gems for over a year now. It's definitely less lucrative in WotLK, more people have levelled Jewelcrafting and the new daily quest recipe system means there's few rare recipes to work for major profit. And uncommon gems aren't worth the bother to cut and sell. I originally started doing the disenchant thing just as a way to soak up all the leftover uncommons, but I'm now seeing it as an end in itself.
Sadly, so are others, and I see a lot more competition on the AH now to buy ore and sell enchanting mats. So I figured there's no harm in sharing my secrets here. Once this trading opportunity disappears I'll just find another.