MoP Beta Files: Leveling Zen Engineering

The first thing I want to share is that my Engineer is a Gnome. So she starts her skill at 540, but she has to level up to 615 so it balances out. I double-checked myself with Wowhead along the way to make sure that my recipes looked comparable to their values at several parts of the process. I believe my experience should be the same as you non-Engineers, except that I can learn recipes a tad earlier than you can. That said, I tried not to use those recipes until the proper level.

 When you pick up recipes from the trainer at 525, the first two are yellow. You also get a handful of other recipes, but you need to make parts before you can do anything else. As I'm sure you've come to expect, your first wave of crafting will be making bolts and gunpowder. These items both turn gray at 550. Since we'll be using a lot of them to reach the cap, you may as well go all out and do them now for skill points. If you like, you can also make a few Tinker's Gears while the recipes are still yellow. The G91 Landshark is another inexpensive option for this skill range.

Once you reach 550 you'll need to switch it up and start making Tinker's Kits. This is the cheapest item you can make in this skill range, it requires just 4 ghost iron bars and 2 windwool cloth. You're going to keep making these until you reach 580 skill, it took me about 30 of them to get there. The recipe turns yellow at 575 but you can still get good skill points from it.

At 575 all of the orange recipes in your list will require at least one Spirit of Harmony. So when you're sitting at 580, the next best option is the Thermal Anvil. The recipe is yellow at this point, but it's the only way to avoid massive SoH farming. Therefore, I'm proposing we use this yellow recipe for at least the next 15 skill points. This is the part where Engineering gets ugly. Each anvil requires 13 ghost iron bars (26 ore) to make. I had to make 25 of them to get 15 skill points. That translates to about 325 bars or 650 ore -- just to get 15 skill points.

At 595 the Thermal Anvil will turn green. I can't reasonably suggest that you continue using it, but the other options aren't much better. I think at this point you'll have to break down and farm at least one Spirit of Harmony. The two cheapest options here are Lord Blastington's Scope of Doom or the Mist-Piercing Goggles. The scope requires only 1 Spirit of Harmony, but you must also have 2 primordial rubies to make it. The goggles do not require mats from another profession, but they do require 2 Spirits of Harmony. So it's up to you which way to go.

Here's my progression list for leveling Engineering:

525-550: High-Explosive Gunpowder (need 135 for later)
537-550: Tinker's Gears (2 bars) or 5x G91 Landshark (4 bars > 2 sp)
550-580: Tinker's Kit x 30
580-595: Thermal Anvil (made 25 to get 15 skill points)
595-600: Mist-Piercing Goggles | Lord Blastington's Scope (requires JC)

I strongly recommend that if you're not in a rush, you should take your time and make the fun toys that are available while you level. Cranking out massive bolts/gunpowder/tinker kits/anvils is not fun and may not be a worthwhile use of materials. This list merely represents the cheapest way to cap Engineering, not the smartest way :)

Realm First Thoughts
I'm not going to characterize this as a tip because there are no tips here. The truth is that Engineering is ugly towards the end, even more so for the last 5 skill points. At 595 every recipe is green except for those that use Spirit of Harmony. I can't honestly recommend using a green recipe for skill points with mats as high as the anvil. On the other hand, farming motes of harmony is going to take a while too. Grinding out the last 5 points on the thermal anvil could be a bit faster if you get lucky with skill points. The main reason to go with mote farming is that the skill points are guaranteed for crafting those items.

The easiest item to make if you don't have a Jewelcrafting alt is the Mist-Piercing Goggles. This requires 2 SoH and 1 stack of ore for bolts. If you have JC who can prospect ore for you, I would opt for the Lord Blastington's Scope of Doom. You only have to farm one SoH, but you need 2 primordial rubies as well. To get 2 rubies will likely take 12-15 stacks of ore, which can be farmed in 45-60 minutes. You'll also need 2.5 stacks of ore for bolts. In my mote-farming test I killed about 200 mobs over 90 minutes time to get 10 motes of harmony. That works out to a drop rate of about 5%.

If you're doing the math here, the Mist-Piercing Goggles will take about 3 hours for the 2 SoH plus another 10 minutes or so for the ore to make bolts (unless you have 8 left over). The scope will take around 90 minutes of mote farming plus an hour of ore farming. These two are close enough in time investment that sluggish ore spawns could put the scope behind the goggles. Bear in mind that neither of these estimates include the time needed to reach 595, we're talking only the last 5 skill points.

I have to say this is the only profession I've hit so far where I hope I'm wrong and the skill tree gets tweaked before launch. To my mind it's somewhat sad that our least loved profession is getting smacked below the belt with an ugly grind.


  1. 1) do we know what the MPG do? Usable by non-engineers?

    2) Is the 1 SoH / 200 mobs the nerf dropped rate you mentioned recently?

    3) I'm too disheartened to do the math, but this is what 4 or 5 times the mats to level a BS? You could level 2 BS just to get to 575?

    4) Why are we getting to 600? Is there much past 575 when we get the new dragonling? What do you need to be to use the goggles?

    P.S. /grumble Please don't refer to engineering as a profession. It is a hobby.

    1. 1) Anyone can use the goggles, I have one on my JC/Mining rogue and one on my BS/Herb hunter. The mists are easier to see now and you can tell which nodes are "hidden".

      2) Yes, the numbers in this guide are post-nerf. I believe the drop rate from my earlier guides was closer to 10%

      3) Yes, depending on the path you choose for the final 5 points this could easily use double the ore or more.

      4) There's no reason to rush to 600 unless you are chasing a RF or you want to make the cool items at the cap. This includes the pet/mount/Blingtron/class helm. If you're not trying to cap, just make the goodies you want as you gather the SoH to make them.

      5) I agree with you, I'm not inclined to kill myself over this profession. I'll probably just work on it as I level and use SoH as I find them.


    2. Why is it a hobby? I mean, ok, they could have made the helms be upgradeable or at least more helm recipes drop from raids as you progress. But, the tinkers on gloves for instance are on par with other professions. It is not as flexible as BS but it is not that bad. The other bad thing is that it has no enchantment thingy to sell as BS, tailoring, LW, Inscription have...

      Oh well...

    3. I meant professions are things you do to make money. I can't recall anyone suggesting Engineering as a good way to make gold. ever. Basil on Call to Auction keeps saying that engineering has so many cool things Blizzard is determined to make sure it is not profitable.


  2. I will not try to realm first since IMO this is not the right profession to try it :) But the first thing I might try to create is the googles (and will keep make these as I level up and get SoH) since it really shows nodes others cannot see and second these will be expensive and must have to every gatherer.

  3. Another question about the mist-piercing goggles: their tooltip suggests you do not need to equip them to get the benefit. Question 1: is that true? Question 2: if so: do they also work for a character that never equiped them, just had them in their bags in their not-soulbound state?

    (I am on the beta myself and have an engineer that could make them, if it weren't for the fact that I had run out of spirits just when their drop rate was nerfed; and at level 86 they aren't quick to farm - I haven't put too much time in that character, but normal questing gave me precisely 1 single mote so far since that patch that lowered the drop rate)


    1. First one is yes. I had these in my bags. Now the second one is weird. I mean I wore it to see how it looks but I do not know TBH. That would be intesting. You mean have a pair only and mail it to alts etc without having to use them and become soulbound. I will ask blizzard :P

    2. I can answer this. I have two of them. The first one I equipped on the toon who had it, so she cannot pass it around. The second one I did not equip, it's just in her bags. Both of them can see misty nodes. You do not need to equip it to get the benefit, so technically you could pass it around to your gatherers. I'm not how many folks will actually mess with doing it that way, seems like a lot of hassle to me.

    3. It is a lot of hassle. OTOH, getting an extra 2 SoH on my engineer will be even more hassle.

    4. True, it's a lot of hassle for an alt Engineer. For those who have EG on their main, I could see it being a good product to sell.

  4. From 550-575 you reccomend Tinker's kit as the cheapest. This costs 50 cloth, 50 explosives, 50 bolts

    On the other hand, Ghost Iron Dragonlings from 550-575 would cost 60 cloth, 20 explosives, 40 bolts.

    If you have alot of lapis lazuli (blue uncommon gem), 12.5 mirror scopes will also give 25 skill points and cost 50 bolts, 25 Lapis Lazuli, no cloth, no explosives. This is the cheapest in terms of ore, and cloth.

    From 575-580 you might as well make tinker's kits, because you'll need them, and the dragonling stops giving 5 skill points.

    For those people who aren't going for realm firsts, You might wait for 6 living steel to make a helm for 5 skill points good until 600.

    Gnomes can also skill up making the Blingtron 4000 and the rocket mounts.

    For those being frugal and not concerned about speed, figure out how many 5-skill items you'll want to make that stay red to 600, and base the number of anvils on that. As a gnome, I want the helm, mount, blingtron, and goggles, so there's no reason to make anvils at all.

    I'd recommend

    525-550 Bolts and explosives
    550-550 Tinkers gears (for helm and dragonling), whichever ones you'll
    use later, any skillups are a bonus, reducing the number of anvils
    550-575 5 Ghost Iron Dragons
    575-variable Anvils
    Variable-600 2-5 Neat expensive things that give 5-points each

    1. sorry, that should read
      550-575 5 Ghost Iron Dragons
      575-580 Tinkers kits
      580-variable Anvils

    2. The main reason I used the Tinker's Kit instead of the Mirror Scope is because the scope requires you to have a Jewelcrafter and the kits do not. Also, I'm not sure you can say that the scope uses less ore since you have to prospect a bunch of ore to get those 25 gems. Sadly the dragonling is no longer cheaper than the Tinker's Kit. In the current build it requires 8 bolts + 4 explosives + 12 windwool cloth. I think they revised the recipes a few weeks ago and changed the skill progression as well as some mats. I noticed an older guide that mentioned making the new pet at 575, no longer an option since the recipe was moved to 600.

      I agree that Gnomes have better options to reach the cap and should probably tweak their progression accordingly. If you actually play your Engineer and are in a position to collect the SoH needed, I would definitely make toys instead of anvils. That said, I believe anvils will be a viable market product for Engineers. So making a bunch of those shouldn't be a waste of materials. They are only good for 20 charges, eventually Blacksmiths will wear it out and need a new one.

    3. Since Kaliope has published the Official Azerothian Actuarial Tables of prospecting, we know that it will take about 25 stacks (500 ore) to get 25 LL. Which may or may not be cost effective but probably not optimal for RF unless you know someone going for RF JC who would sell you 25 LL.

      My takeaway is that if my JC has the option for random cut colors or to cut throwaway gems, try to avoid LL since they have some non-JC value.

    4. There's no compelling reason to use blue gems on your JC, I don't think I made even one LL when I was leveling this weekend. I went with red/orange/purple because I thought they would sell better and I could use them in my own gear. I suppose you might hold onto them for Alchemy gem transmutes, but even then I think if you had some Golden Lotus to spare for transmuting, you'd likely make rubies instead.

    5. I really only mentioned the scope recipe for completeness sake, because someone who had leveled JC first might have been about to vendor the uncommon blues. My reason for commenting was to point out the dragonling was really quite economical up until 575.

      The dragonling does need 12 cloth, 8 bolts, and 4 explosives, but it gives 5 skill points.

      That's 2.4 cloth, 1.6 bolts and 0.8 explosives (5.6 ore) per skill point; in comparison to the tinker kits requiring 2 cloth, 2 bolts, and 2 explosives (8 ore).

      That's why I gave the numbers for 25 skill points. It uses 10 more cloth, but 60 less ore to get the 25 skill points when the dragon trinket recipe is red.

      And the ore is needed by many more professions, than cloth is. Other than these engineering recipes and first aid, there's only tailoring, and 10 cloth (2 bolts) isn't enough to make anything.

      Food is so plentiful (dropping off monsters) that I doubt I'll make many bandages before I prepare for the expansion after this one. The best bandage heals about 15K a second, while common food heals 6.7K a second, or 4/9 bandage speed.

    6. Those are good points and certainly if someone would prefer to make scopes or dragonlings, they are both a reasonable alternative. It can be difficult to weight one type of material over another when they are from different sources/professions. My assumption is that cloth will be in short supply early on, but I'm basing this on other expansions where the drops have been meager.

      Engineering is one of the hardest professions to plan out because there are so many nice items in the early phases to distract you. You also need to incorporate layers of components and make sure you provide X item to craft Y product. Honestly, Engineering is one of the professions where I really don't follow a guide and I just make the items I want for my character.

  5. /nerdalert

    If we assume a stack gives 4 rolls each with a one in six chance of getting your gem, then

    The first column is the number of stacks, the second is the one in ? chance of only getting 0 or 1 gem

    For example 10 stacks is 40 prospects which will give zero gems .068037% and one gem .544302% or a one in 163 chance of failure.

    1 1.15
    2 1.65
    3 2.62
    4 4.40
    5 7.67
    6 13.71
    7 24.98
    8 46.19
    9 86.44
    10 163.31
    11 310.99
    12 596.20
    13 1,149.53
    14 2,227.36
    15 4,334.42
    16 8,466.83
    17 16,594.79
    18 32,623.38
    19 64,307.21
    20 127,072.26
    21 251,654.48

    1. Sometimes you get two of the same gem in one prospect. Back to the math.

  6. What would you recommend the quickest way to get soh at 85? Chain grinding mobs in jade forest for motes and ignoring questing till you get enough motes?

    1. If your goal is to try for a Realm First, absolutely ignoring quests and farming the ore and SoH is the best way to get it done. By grinding mobs, you can stay in one location and cut out all the travel involved with accepting and turning in quests. Pick a location that has little or no player traffic. Go for neutral mobs that are less likely to be quest targets. There are plenty of deer/cranes/caterpillars/etc that you can kill.

      You can stay in Jade Forest or you can skip ahead to Valley of the Four Winds if you want to stay ahead of the crowds. I have farmed both Jade Forest and VotFW on neutral, easy mobs. It takes about 90 minutes to collect 10 motes, the drop rate is about 5%.

  7. Let's not forget you canet to 540 engineering making heat-treated spinners lures so can save up the mats now and be ready to knocka few points off straight up after talking to the trainer.

    1. It's true that you can do that, but I'm not sure you would gain meaningful progress by doing so. In order to level Engineering all the way to 600 you'll need over 100 gunpowder. Since you have to make them eventually anyway, you can do that from 525-550 and get skill points for them.

  8. Can get*
    (sorry about the iPad keyboard).

  9. Someone was saying
    Blingtron 4000 is deprecated. Will this be another in a line of datamined eventual disappointments? Or just the usual WH speculation? Do you still have one or the recipe?

    1. I still have the recipe in my spellbook, but I haven't made one because... 4 SoH. This recipe is learned from the trainer though, so it looks like the item that was deprecated was a physical schematic to learn the Blingtron. That's not really an issue if the trainer has it.

  10. Hey Kaliope,
    Hopefully you may see this before launch tonight; of course I wait for the last moment to do my server first homework!

    I intend to get Engineering again; your information was amazing for helping me get it last time. Every person has recommended what you did here, getting the last five points via some Mist Piercing Goggles. However, you've also mentioned that Anvils are still green. So then is it possible, even if it's not cost-effective, to level engineering all the way to cap without SoH?

    I have a lot of gold to spend and two accounts to dual-box mine on and I think that it may be a better route to go (for my personal situation) to power through a bunch of green anvils rather than farm SoH on launch day. Is this possible?