MoP Beta Files: Prospecting Ghost Iron

Today I've been working on my Mining leveling guide and as a result I've got 2 bags full of ore. I thought that might be a good time to do some prospecting and take some notes for you guys. I know there's some concern about the volume of blue gems that are coming from prospecting. So let's just dig in and see what we can find out.


I'm just going to share my raw numbers here and let the folks who are good at number crunching decide what they mean. I prospected 300 ore (15 stacks) and here's what came out of that:


You can see here that I'm ending up with 20 rare gems, which would cover about 6 days' worth of recipe discoveries. 300 ore can easily be collected in an hour, probably less. Which means an hour or so of farming time could supply your research gems for almost a week. If we assume 5 minutes/day in Cataclysm for each daily token, it would take you about 90 minutes (over 18 days) to get the same number of new recipes. From a time standpoint, we're saving 12 days and 30 minutes of in-game time. 

Plus with Zen prospecting we get sparkling shards, which save us from spending daily tokens on our personal gem needs. This number of shards would buy me almost 6 chimera's eye if I had to acquire my gems from the vendor. I'm really pleased to see this change, because I no longer have to sacrifice new recipes in order to gem my own gear.

I hope this information helps those of you who were wondering about prospecting. If you have any questions on prospecting ore, please leave them in the Comments!

24 comments:

  1. Mmmmm mining leveling guide u say? My ears perked up.

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    1. Lol, I have some notes but I'm not happy with how I got it done. Debating whether I need to research some alternate strats.

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    2. My concern is that the real road block to getting a realm first isn't going to lie in the actual mining but in the fact that in order to get to Pandaria you have to do a dozen introductory quests first. Quests which everyone on the entire realm has to do too whether they are going for a Realm First of not. What a nightmare.

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    3. Omg you're kidding :(. That's a huge roadblock hopefully maybe just maybe some of the starter stuff that happens in regular wow questing that is starts in 5.0.x so that some of it can be outta the way especially since none of the other xpac's have been semi-gated this way

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    4. You raise a valid concern. I have no idea how Pandaria access will eventually be done. Currently we are using Adm. Placeholder to portal us in. However, I plan to do another run-thru for Mining closer to the end of the month. Perhaps I'll be able to include details on getting to Pandaria at that point.

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    5. I strongly suspect realm firsts will be gained by players who jump off the ship the moment they reach Pandaria.

      The first quest in Pandaria (Aliance) involves shooting 60 targets. I tried it just after they fixed a bug preventing it and there were several people a second accepting the quest. Whenever a target would appear, there were at least 5 people trying to shoot it, and no way at all to go somewhere where there weren't people competing with you.

      Once you get passed that, things get easier. In the next few quests, it seemed like every time anyone killed a quest target, another one spawned somewhere, so as long as you spread out and don't shoot tagged mobs, there'll always be more.

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    6. The thing about jumping off the boat is once again the ugly beast of phasing rears its ugly head. What are you going to be able to see. Realm firsts in the gathering professions are a pure speed race that is decided by minutes or even seconds, so knowing the correct details are vital.

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    7. Totally not feeling the phasing lol

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    8. Circumventing the starter quests as much as possible will probably be a major factor in the RF race, as will the random luck of the draw with cross-realm population juggling.

      I've not yet had a problem with phasing drastically changing the landscape, except when trekking through Kunlai. For the first two zones it doesn't appear to make a huge difference in visible landmarks or nodes. I can say this pretty confidently because I have 5 different toons at Halfhill and only one of them has quested through it. Most are 85s that took the portal straight from SW and rode directly to Halfhill for Cooking/Farming/Gathering purposes.

      None of my toons have done the starter quest chain, it was implemented after Kaliope was already level 90. While phasing seems to introduce some key blackout areas in the higher zones, I'm not aware of any critical areas that are phased away in the lower zones. So far in my testing, phasing has not prevented me from accessing any necessary content for tradeskills, except for faction vendors in the higher zones who may sell critical recipes. But without the proper reputation at level 85, getting to them won't matter anyway.

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  2. Odd question, do you have guild perks on the Beta? Cause myself and other have done prospecting tests of our own and have come up with 1 rare per stack, while you seem to be at 1.33 rares per stack

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    1. It's doubly weird since despite your rares being 33% higher than previous results, your uncommon yield is spot on at ~6 per stack

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    2. I'm not in a Beta guild so none of my toons have perks of any kind. Not sure why my numbers are that much different. Perhaps my sample size? I tried to do a reasonable volume but I was concerned about pilfering mats from my Smith and Engineer.

      On another note, how long ago did you test? Perhaps they've been tweaking drop rates. My numbers are from today (5.0.4 15929)

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    3. I did mine over the course of Aug 3-5 approx.

      Another on the consortium did some testing too http://stormspire.net/professions/6847-ghost-iron-ore-prospecting-ratio.html

      That'd be kind of surprising if they tweaked them like that, they were already high

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    4. Could just be that my sample was so much smaller than his + random chance. I also notice his numbers on the uncommon gems are much more evenly distributed than mine.

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    5. Definitely possible, but even my relatively small sample (http://xsinthis.net/2012/08/poking-around-beta-jewelcrafting/) was in around the same mark, you've definitely thrown a wrench in the works lol

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    6. I agree with Kaliope. The sample sizes are too small to draw meaningful conclusions. One outlier does not a buff make.

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    7. If the odds were that 1/4 of the prospects produced a rare, there's a less than 12% chance that a test of 15 stacks would produce exactly 15 and an almost 4% chance that it would produce 20.

      9.2% of all tests would produce 20 or more. So Kaliope's 20 rares doesn't mean the rate must have changed. On the other hand, for all we know, the prospect rate of rares might vary based on the first letter of the prospector's name.

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  3. I definitely think the cross-realm nodes throw a kink into things.

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    1. Yes, that's part of the reason I'm hesitant to beat myself up over the goggles problem. It's just so hard to control what you're seeing when the zone pop is high and you have phasing in play and you have cross realm stuff going on around you. On the plus side, the respawn rate is really high - I'm hoping it stays that way for launch :)

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    2. Speaking of kinks and phasing, are you seeing the sort of there/not-there phased nodes like we saw in TH initially?

      I am assuming for September that all of Pandaria will be too high pop to be cross-realm? But are there other phasing issues - like you need to do/not do certain quests to get access to some nodes?

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    3. There are absolutely phasing issues at work, especially in higher zones. In fact, that's one of the big problems I'm having with my Mining test. I ran it on an 85 and she saw virtually no ore in Kunlai. That's a problem. Whole quest hubs are phased out to me, having run most of that zone on my druid I know where they should be.

      And don't forget the cross realm population shifting. This creates even more hinky scenarios where invisible players can steal ore from you. This xpac is going to be a huge wild card compared to what we've seen in the past. Significant luck will be needed to bag an RF IMO.

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  4. TYVM.

    To me, the biggest surprise is you saying you could get 300 ore in an hour? Isn't that more than live? Oh wait, I bet you're flying while we peons will be using ground mounts and aggroing every panadapig in the vincenty of the node. Ground mounts at 2AM on 9/25 shall be a tad frustrating.

    Initially, you hope that your prospecting gives you the gems you need for the skillup research applicable. But at some point, if you are doing red gems research you might sell your red gems and research something cheap since it will eventually find you any color. Selling red gems to buy cheaper blue gems to research to learn red gem patterns has a quirky only-Blizzard sort of feel. Of course, the new item budgets may finally break the red gem supremacy. Regardless, one hopes the AH gets into gear so you can trade with people and not just rely on your own results.

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    1. No worries, I'm not flying for my test runs. That would be a pretty poor test for an 85 to duplicate =) I'm using my 85 rogue for the mining experiments. As for the 300 ore, theoretically you can bag even more if you have the zone to yourself. The respawn time on nodes is pretty fast and they are often clumped 3-5 at a time on the mini-map. On launch day those numbers will be harder to achieve, but I'm not in a position to correct for that when I test. The best I can do it direct you guys to areas where ore is plentiful and aggro is minimal - which I *am* working out for the guide.

      Prospecting appears to give you a reasonable shot at the research gems you need early on (blue/yellow). I assume lots of players will hold their research CD until they unlock the Ruby recipe. Personally I've always been a fan of going orange/purple to avoid the mass of red folks fighting for sales.

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  5. Something to keep in mind is with the way they have itemized the gems the other colors are very attractive now.

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