Leveling Mining 450-525 (BETA)

I've gotten more requests for a Mining guide than any other profession. After reviewing my previous post for leveling Mining, I can see some glaring omissions that need to be corrected. I know some of you would like me to post farming routes for Mining, but I'm not going to do that. With the use of extensive phasing, it would be difficult to account for changes in the zones. Plus the number of players in each zone will be so high that I doubt a map would be of any real use. I remember the first day of WotLK in Howling Fjord, there was literally no ore anywhere. People in chat were complaining about hunting for an hour and seeing nothing. In all likelihood any ore that spawns will be snatched up within seconds.

The truth is that the new Cataclysm zones aren't any different from our current zones in terms of spawn patterns. Fly around the edges of the zone, fly near "ridged" areas. The same logic that applies now is still valid. Deepholm is just a big round zone, so it's pretty easy to fly in a loop and spot plenty of ore. Uldum has a huge river in the middle, with desert all around. I haven't found any good reason to fly through the middle of it, but ore does spawn around the edges of Uldum. Twilight Highlands is quite mountainous, so there's ore pretty much all over. Vashj'ir is spotty when it comes to ore, if you're a Miner I wouldn't try to farm this zone. Mount Hyjal has a decent amount of ore, but apparently phasing really hurts the availability. If you want steady access to obsidium, don't quest in Hyjal.

As I mentioned in my previous post, you can level Mining in an hour if you stay focused and avoid the crowds. One of the best ways to avoid crowds is to start in Northrend. Rich Saronite has the same difficulty as Obsidium (425) and Titanium is higher than both of those. You should be able to achieve the same leveling results in Icecrown or Sholazar Basin that you would get in Mount Hyjal. The main reason to go this route is to avoid crowds. No one wants to be in Northrend after the Cataclysm launch and you may end up with the zone all to yourself. You'll get skill points a lot faster if you can mine all the nodes in a zone without interference from other players.

Once you hit 475 (470 with a Gathering enchant on your gloves) just hearth back to Ironforge/Undercity and fly to Twilight Highlands. You can also use the CoT portal in Dalaran if you prefer to go to Uldum for Mining. Uldum may have less competition due to being more difficult to access, but it also has less ore spawns.

Here are the skill requirements for Cataclysm nodes:

LevelNode TypeLocations
425Obsidium DepositVashj'ir, Mount Hyjal, Deepholm
475Elementium VeinDeepholm, Uldum, Twilight Highlands
500Rich Elementium VeinDeepholm, Uldum, Twilight Highlands
525Pyrite DepositUldum, Twilight Highlands

I've seen "rich" obsidium nodes in the Beta, but they went missing in the last month. This could have just been my bad luck, but if they show up anywhere it will likely be Deepholm. That's where I had previously spotted them before they disappeared. In any case, I wouldn't go to Deepholm until your Mining is 475. The vast majority of the ore there is Elementium and you need 475 to collect that. Bear in mind that you cannot get to Deepholm until you are level 82. Deepholm is only accessible by portal, which has a level restriction of 82. If you plan to power-level your mining on the first day, you have to skip Deepholm completely.

My recommendations for getting a Realm First in Mining would be to camp in Dalaran and set your Hearthstone to Ironforge or Undercity. Make sure you have a +5 Mining enchant so you can mine Elementium at the lower skill. You should also make a point to pick up all the flight paths between IF/UC and Twilight Highlands before release day. For Alliance the key flight point you need is Farstrider Lodge, I don't know what the Horde version is. On Launch day learn Illustrious Mining from the trainer in Dalaran and then fly to your favorite Saronite/Titanium zone. Farm both of those ores until you get to 470 (475 with no glove enchant) and then hearth to Ironforge/Undercity. Don't forget to stop by a flight master before you head out and pick up the Azeroth flying ability. From IF/UC take the griffon straight to Farstrider Lodge/Hordie FP, then mount up and fly to Twilight Highlands.

There is plenty of elementium in Twilight Highlands and you should have the zone to yourself. If you don't, I'm sorry :( Hopefully the other guy has a slower computer? At first you'll only be able to collect elementium nodes, but at 500 you'll unlock the rich elementium veins. There won't be a ton of pyrite, so from 500-525 you should be able to get the vast majority of the spawns. The western and northern borders have plenty of ore to keep you busy, last week on the Beta realm the respawn times were about 5 minutes for a full repop. That could be increased for Live, but I had no trouble farming just a section of the zone.

My daughter leveled Mining on her 80 Death Knight and got to 525 in less than an hour. If you're smart, the aggro in Twilight Highlands can be avoided. There are plenty of nodes out of range of mobs, just skip any that look tricky. If for some reason you don't get Realm First, you can still make gobs of money off the elementium and pyrite you'll be able to collect when no one else has any :)

Please keep in mind that my information could be inaccurate if Blizzard changes any of this before Cataclysm goes Live. They still have two weeks to continue tweaking before we see it. The skill levels of Northrend ore could be modified (unlikely) and the CoT portal in Dalaran could be removed (reasonable chance of this). Sometime between now and 12/7 I would do a dry run and make sure everything is working the way you want.

Good Luck to all of you and let us know how it turns out!


  1. 1) Any more info on a cooldown for mining? Or is your only income source "just" what you gather? E.g., 3 smelts, all w/o cooldown, no titansteel c/d?

    2) At first being able to get to TH but not Deepholm confused me.
    Am I correct that:
    MH & Vash are available to any 78
    Deepholm requires 82 to even get to
    Uldum, TH, and TB require 84 for the portals, but the zones, and their resource nodes, are accessible to any 80/ Also, the NPCs who sell those LW, BS, JC, Enc recipes are not in phase until you do the level 84 quests?

    3) (I find phasing, except for Battle for Undercity, to be an annoying affectation from Blizzard. And a phase summoning stone for ICC was just silly.) It seems confusing for gatherers. If I am a level 80 or 85 flying through Hyjal, I see different nodes than someone who has done some quests? And the quest person sees different nodes? Do you know when they finish do they drop back to the "vir... I mean unquested" phase? Or is a different one? And do we know if these other phases have more or less ore? I.e. is there a stage in the quest chain where you have the best ore? I.e., get to quest 4 of 6 and then move on to Vash leaving yourself a phase with extra ore? Or the phases have less ore?

    If you are have done quest 5 of 8 (for example) then you will see ore that someone who is 4 of 8 or 6 of 8 will not see. But someone else who is 5 of 8 will see the nodes you do. Cause if they are in a different phase, then do you have your own private, competitionless farmable phase?

  2. 1) I believe Ebonsteel was removed, it certainly wasn't part of the Blacksmithing or Mining process when I leveled last week. It may make a comeback at some point, but likely not at release.

    2) Hyjal and Vashj'ir are 80, quests cannot be picked up by level 78-79 according to beta forum posters. Deepholm requires a portal with an 82 level restriction, you cannot fly to it. The rest of this is correct as far as I know.

    3) I cannot vouch for what you see vs what phased players see. My understanding of the problem is that nodes are all connected but spawn in different phases. If there are fewer farmers in my phase, more ore ends up there because no one is collecting it. This is why not doing quests helps, because you get the untouched phase to yourself. I haven't done a comprehensive study of the phases. What I do know is that players who quested through complained that there was not enough obsidium ore. While I, who did not quest through Hyjal, never had a problem finding ore. Read into that what you will, but as a Miner I would not tempt fate by trying to guess which phase is best. Only Blizzard knows that :)

  3. What does the veins drop? Ive heard that Elementium and Pyrite Veins only gives us gems and Elements. But then it is a Elementium Bar that I guess must come from Elementium ores.

    What is prospectable? In tbc, Khorium wasnt prospectable while Titanium ore was in wotlk.
    So, if there is Pyrite ores and Elementium ores, is those prospectable?

  4. oh, nvm. Just read your comment at the JC-guide :)

  5. Great guide again :)
    Thank you for it.

    This is my first expansion (been playing since vanilla) that I'm going first the gold road and later the mevelling road :).

    What should we expect in terms of prices for first stacks of ore and plants of the different types?

    For how much is it worth to snatch them for resale/level profession alts?

    I know it can change from server to server but I tend to think that this kind of moment/materials are always around the same prices.

    Thank you for your insights!

  6. on a slightly related note, I just noticed that the 290-300 mining smelting leveling hole went away. Maybe years ago; they never tell me anything!

    Anyway you can now start mining and hit 332 without ever leaving IF.

  7. Anon: I can't say for certain, but I think prices for herbs and ore will be sky high in the first few days of Cataclysm. As supply increases, prices will drift down to reasonable levels. I really wouldn't expect prices to stay as high as they will be in the first few days. If it were me I wouldn't snatch anything unless it's priced at a level comparable to WotLK materials. If someone is dumb enough to put up a stack of Cata herbs for 20 gold, then sure go ahead and grab it.

    In general I would expect that prices will start at the top end and fall off as more farmers flood the market. The only exception to this would possibly be leather. In the first week of WotLK leather was quite cheap, including arctic fur. My theory on this is that players were leveling and collecting leather as a by-product. They dumped it on the AH to get rid of it with no consideration of its crafting value. As a result, I picked up lots of cheap arctic furs (like 10g cheap), because I knew they were used as currency with the Dalaran leather trader.

    If you really want to take advantage of early bargains due to ignorant sellers, arm yourself. Go through the recipe lists and familiarize yourself with the new materials and their usage. Read through all my Cata guides, especially the "Final Tally" section and look for items that will be in high demand like nightstones and volatiles.

  8. Kal -- as I'm looking at the smelting skills available at the Dal mining trainer, it is showing Titanium and Saronite grey at 400...looks like the easy way to get to 475 has been cut off. :..(

  9. I'm terribly not surprised at that, really. In taking a peek at the smelting chart on Wowhead, I see that every Cataclysm ore except obsidium turns green at the exact skill level you can mine it. That data could change of course, but I doubt it. I still think if anyone has trouble collecting obsidium they should go mine in Northrend until they get to 470 and then head for TH or Uldum to collect ore.

  10. It appears that I may have been mistaken, reading the wrong chart on Wowhead.com -- we may still be good with using Northrend mining to 475. My apologies all 'round.

  11. Got realm first miner now. Thx to you

  12. Holy crap - that's AWESOME! Way to go!!!

  13. Likewise here;) Your idea worked! Levelling to 470 in sholozar first was inspired, absolutely no-one in twilight!


    Early EU servers ftw! Though the achievement hasn't registered yet, guess armory is taking a hammering..

    Thing is, being the only person in a zone, and with nodes spawning like crazy, and my jeeves on hand to stash all the ore & volatiles...I think I am becoming addicted to al the money...can't stop mining;)

  14. That's amazing - I'm so happy for you!! Congrats on the achievement and all the gold you'll be raking in with ore and volatiles =)

  15. Great advice linking your post in my blog as really enjoy all your info


  16. Sounds good, thanks for the link!

  17. Awesome guide Kaliope! Followed it and got server first on Sargeras US!

  18. Thanks or the guide Kaliope, server first on Zuluhed - US!

  19. Grats to both of you - that's awesome!!!

  20. Runeforged - Khaz'Goroth. Server first. THANKS KAL!!!!

  21. Realm first mine US Shattered Hand! Ty so much man!

  22. Got realm first on my server in 45 mins thanks to you :)

  23. ^^^ Burning Legion - US

  24. This worked for me too, server first - Thunderhorn (EU). I think I also got lucky though, managed to get online about 10 mins after Cata was turned on. Some of my guildies had to wait for 30 mins and more, so maybe my competitors where stuck in the login queue with them.

    Going for a Northrend zone first was definately the way to go, I later tried mining in Hyjal and quickly gave up since there was way too much competition. I didn't see anyone in Sholazar or Twilight Highlands.

    Thanks for the great guide and great site :)


  25. Thanks for the Guide. Realm First Mining in 1 hour 8 minutes.

  26. Last night at about one hour, realm first Nazjatar - Alicecooperr.


  27. AWESOME GUIDE :) realm first on my gatherer alt, that had 280% flying! took about 1hr30mins.much love <3


  28. Great guide and a dead-on strategy. Got Realm First last night on Runetotem. Took about 40-45 minutes. Key areas were Wintergrasp and Twilight Highlands - lots of nodes and zero competition for them (never even saw another player for the duration).

  29. Oh yeah - and the icing on the cake was being able to sell all this at premium prices to crafters trying for their realm firsts all night.

  30. Realm First Mining on Kargath. Johnsonitis.

  31. THANK YOU SO MUCH! This is the guy that commented on your engy thing. I Got Realm first in mining and engy! All thanks to your guide. So awesome when i got mining less than 45 minutes after the start and everyone was like WTF!?

  32. A HUGE Gratz to all you guys who got Realm First achievements - I'm so happy for all of you!!! Thanks for coming back and sharing your stories with us =)

  33. I'll add my Realm First to this page too.

    Elnia. Sliver Hand (Alliance)

    56 minutes (and I even died once!)

  34. new question: how much did you make from selling your first batch of ores/volatiles? :)

    22 stacks of elementium ore @ 1100g a stack
    and 29 volatile earth @ 250g each!

    gotta love people going for realm first engi ;D

    had a uni exam the next day so sadly couldnt stay up farming all night :) but still, thank you so much Kaliope, your guide made all of this possible!!

  35. Got the realm first aswell, the Fire Prism as 524-525 is all thanks to you :) really made the diffrence in my case i reckon

    /Mosby Emeriss EU

  36. Logged on on Dec 9th. After the hotfix, after more than half the nodes were removed. :( Got to 275 in Wintergrasp, hit twilight, got 6 nodes in an entire hour. :(

  37. That's pretty strange that you saw such a huge change in the TH nodes after the hotfix. I was mining there the morning the hotfix went out, maybe 2 hours later and had no trouble collecting ore. I did notice that Grim Batol seemed less prolific, but the rest of the zone felt the same to me.

  38. I've done another 90+ minutes of mining in Twilight Highlands today and I'm still not seeing a huge change in the spawn locations. For the most part the same spots I farmed in Beta are active now. Granted much less of them are up at a given time, I attribute that to higher competition on the Live realms.

    We just had a server restart on my realm as I was farming the Grim Batol area. When I logged back in I found seven elementium and one pyrite node. I think the nodes are there, just being heavily farmed at this point.

  39. just smelted my 2nd mining alt from 450 to 475 and learned smelt elementium. will update how high you can level with pure smelting once i get a bit of elementium.

    smelted 125 obsidium bars to get the 25 levels.


  40. 111 elementium bars to go from 475 to 500.
    learnt hardened elementium.
    not sure i have the cahs to do the next part...

  41. Thanks for sharing your information Anti! Hopefully you'll be recovering your investment by selling those smelted bars :)