My Thoughts on Stockpiling Saronite Ore

I've been invited by Markco to comment on his post Making Gold by Stockpiling Saronite for Cataclysm. I certainly appreciate the opportunity to participate in the discussion, however I'm not sure I agree with his logic on saronite ore for a few reasons.

First, I think anyone who plans to powerlevel a new profession in the first weeks of Cataclysm would be a fool not to stockpile materials now while they're bored. That's what I've spent the last month doing -- prepping for Cataclysm. So you have to eliminate people who plan ahead from your prospective buyer list.

Next, I think newly minted toons will usually take a gathering profession with their manufacturing skill. The primary reason to take two production professions is to min/max for raids and these toons won't be raiding anytime soon. Why torture yourself by passing up oodles of ore while you quest, just to pay outrageously for it later? I can't imagine many people choosing to do that.

That mainly leaves players who purposely take two manufacturing professions to fill holes in their tradeskill line-up. Players who plan to go dual-producer on their new toon probably already have a gatherer who can collect materials for them. As such they are unlikely to pay premium prices for ore they know they can collect themselves.

The only group left is people who are poor planners but still end up taking two manufacturing skills for some strange reason. Poor planners are notorious for having no money, this is a major symptom of a poor planner. The odds of them skilling up a new toon all the way to Northrend and still having the cash to pay through the nose for mats is slim. I would guess this type of player will either abandon the profession because they're broke and can't afford to keep buying mats, or will cave and level up the proper gathering skill. The way I see it, saronite is a gamble on people with poor planning skills and tons of cash. I wouldn't count on a large number of people fitting into that category.

Another thing to keep in mind is that lots of players will be leveling through all the old zones. A good number of them will take gathering skills and collect herbs/ore/skins while they quest through. Some of that material will end up on the Auction House. Things that look valuable to us today may not be the same when every zone that currently exists is swarming with new questers.

I remember in the early weeks of WotLK I had a friend who was skinning everything and getting a good number of arctic furs. I told him to hold onto them, that eventually it would be valuable because they were needed for high end craftables. All he could see was that for the first month people were selling them for nothing and he got disgusted. He continued to sell them for nothing and was bitter over the whole thing. Luckily for me, I was buying those firs for when my leatherworker was ready for epic recipes. The moral of the story is that items change in value based on availability and their current (not future) usefulness. Cataclysm will significantly change the availability for many items and I think it's a gamble to try and predict the resulting prices.

There are some things I think you can count on. Anything you can make that's required by another profession is probably a good bet. Armor and weapon vellums for enchanters would be a pretty solid choice. Honestly though, I'm not sure I'd pin my fortunes on tradeskills at all. For me it's a no brainer to follow the sure thing - levelers. The vast majority of people are probably going to roll a worgen or goblin. Those toons will need gear. It's pretty unlikely that they'll be able to stay kitted out for 58 levels just with quest rewards. I say to use all the recipes you've been collecting for 2-5 years to make those people stuff to wear! That should be a viable market for all types of players, not just the poor planners. It may not be as quick and easy as camping the auctions and reselling stuff you bought, but it's a great way to clean old mats out of your bank :)

My personal favorites for Cataclysm items are enchant scrolls (raid quality recipes from vanilla, BC and WotLK), flasks and jewelry. I think every leveling toon is going to want at least some enchants for their gear. And they'll probably be willing to spend a bit of money for buff items (potions or flasks) that help them kill foozles faster. I suspect that rings and necklaces will be in short supply based on traditional drop rates. Luckily crafted jewelry is well itemized compared to the old vanilla stuff, so JC items will probably be more appealing to buyers than loot drops.

I agree that eventually saronite will become valuable, as do all "old world" ores once their content is irrelevant. We see the evidence of it now with Vanilla and BC ore prices. If you're willing to hold onto saronite for a while, eventually you'll be able to sell it for a good price. Of course by then the bulk of the tradeskill leveling will be over as well. I would say enter this segment of the market at your own risk ;)


  1. You are very right about newly leveled toons taking a gathering profession, however, once these new toons hit 68 they will be back in Northrend, which isn't new content.

    I think the average new player will continue to hold one gathering profession, but the question is: how many new players will this bring? I think this expansion (key word) will be mainly for the current player base which already have a stockpile of gold.

    Therefor, I would have to say that anything trade skill related to Northrend will be a safe bet to stockpile on simply because it is not new content and players will want to get through the zone as soon as possible so they can get back to the old world for 78-85 content.

  2. I think you are overlooking the other side of a problem you have complained about - gold sellers. They are selling to someone, after all, otherwise they wouldn't be hacking accounts and stealing stuff. Who are they selling to? The poor planners, who will take the 'easy' way to leveling. When you can get 1000g for the price of a fast food meal, these guys will ante up for YOUR STOLEN GOLD.
    Still, I'm stockpiling up a variety of vanilla and BC mats, and cutting down on WotLK materials. Saronite isn't that hard to pick up now, just think what farming Scholazar will be like when no one else is around. Look at Un'Goro - in vanilla, everyone plus swarms of bots competed for thorium, one circuit now and you have stacks of it. Nagrand is nigh well deserted, I can pick up 5 or more primals, two stacks of adamantium and various other junk in one circuit. It will be the same for Northrend after Cataclysm. That's when I'm going farming.

  3. Keep in mind that ungoro used to have a handful of thorium nodes but after a recent patch it was turned Into the incredible thorium gold mine it is today.

    Great post kaliope! We will just have to see what happens.

  4. You have a point Tweel about gold farmers, I guess I figured folks who buy gold are using the money to buy BOE epics and such so they can cheese their way into raiding without the hard work of gearing up. I hadn't really pictured them buying gold and using it to level up tradeskills, since crafting is perceived as boring by the fast lane crowd. You may be right though, only Blizzard knows for sure the statistics on gold buyers.

    BTW - I love Ungoro now! I've been hanging out there collecting Thorium just for fun, because it's so dang easy to get there. I ended up with too much of it because I kept going back :)

  5. Another thing to consider, what if it takes less materials overall to level up tradeskills? Didn't Blizzard say that you could get multiple skill up points for one item?

    I think this is Blizzards way of combating teleport hackers who use "gathering" skills for simply gathering.

    So what could happen is raw good prices such as ores plummet, but the things you can do with them based on your profession, and cooldowns, will be how you generate income.

  6. I believe the percentage of gold-buying crafters is lower than the folks just buying epics, but have seen a few examples of toons begging one week and draining the AH of mats the next. This was most obvious at the start of a new expansion. When new gear is very limited, crafted gear is better than nothing.

  7. One thing to remember, is that risk vs. reward is very low on this particular venture. Interestingly enough, after I read the pro-saronite ore stockpile article earlier, I logged on and did my normal AH price checks as always and happened to find 67 stacks or saronite ore for 13g/stack, which is very unusual, so i grabbed it all. My snatch price is 16g/stack because it almost never goes lower on my server).

    Even if I were to hold on to this until Cata, and the prices never went up as expected, I'd lose almost nothing because I can still turn it into bars and vendor it for just a little less than I bought it for. On the other hand, if it does skyrocket, I'll be sitting pretty.

  8. One point of note about stockpiling saronite, and in fact any northrend mats, is that many of those mats are being sold on the AH for below vendor price. So if you buy them and can store them the worst that will happen is you will sell them to the vendor eventually for a small profit.
    What will most likely happen is you sell them for a decent profit.

    The hard part is storing them, not really the selling of them for a profit.