Saturday, January 9, 2010

Jewelcrafting 450

This article is long overdue. I have mastered (though "mastered" is a relative term in this case) Jewelcrafting on my Warlock almost two months ago. Every time I wanted to write about it, I got caught up in other articles and more recently I've been "guilty" of enjoying the new Dungeon Finder tool and blogging about it.

Dear WoW players, if you have several alts, especially high level ones, or plan to have several alts, my suggestion is to learn all the tradeskill professions in the game. I suggest you do that even if you won't immediately make a lot of gold from them. Once you reach a certain level of "wealth", meaning a few tens of thousands of gold, or even a few thousand gold, a very good investment for the future is to learn a profession.

Maybe a year ago I decided to learn Jewelcrafting on my young Warlock but then I gave up and got Herbalism instead. That wasn't such a big mistake because I am of the opinion that the best professions for a leveling character are gathering skills. That's because a leveling toon doesn't have access to the highest level of recipes and patterns anyway, while they can always gather mats through the areas they are questing, both for profit or for use in another profession.

My Warlock had Tailoring and Herbalism when he reached level 80 and then I parked him in Dalaran, un-learned Herbalism and taught him Jewelcrafting. When you're 80 it's almost trivial to power-level a profession, especially when gold is of no concern.

To level Jewelcrafting to 450 quickly, I used this guide. There are probably others out there but the guides I found on this site have always been helpful to me. Some of you might recall my Engineering 450 article. Engineering was a surprisingly cheap and quick profession to level, despite claims to the contrary. It cost me about 1500 gold. Jewelcrafting, in contrast, is at least double that. It requires a lot of costly mats but you can diminish some of the pain by planning accordingly.

Since I like to plan my moves ahead of time, I knew I would power-level Jewelcrafting once I hit 80, so I made a list of mats I needed and I watched them on the Auction House for at least a month, always buying the cheapest ones. I calculated the average price for leveling Jewelcrafting at about 4200 gold but I believe it cost me less than that, perhaps around 3000. At any rate, cost wasn't of great importance, though I realize that other players won't feel the same. If it is any consolation to you, consider that you can recuperate some of the cost by selling the crafted items on the AH.

I won't take you through every little detail of leveling Jewelcrafting. At various points you might find yourself running out of certain mats if you follow the guide. That's why it's a good idea to have a little bit more than the minimum required.

I would suggest you get all the required mats before starting to level, or at least 80-90% of them. Keep in mind that if you do that, you will require a lot of space. You could get special Jewelcrafter's bags or you could use your bank for storage. Since I have a full 6-tab guild bank and also all bag slots on my bank alt, I didn't have a problem here, though I still got close to capacity with all the stuff I had in there.

Once I had all the mats, I used my bank alt to mail them in stages to my Warlock. I found that easier to do than grabbing them from the guild bank, because I could mail the crafted mats back to my bank alt. For some reason I find it easier to grab items from the mailbox than from the bank. Your opinion might differ.

Getting to 450 is only a small part of being able to call yourself a true Master of Jewelcrafting. That's because the most powerful patterns will only be available after weeks and weeks of "studying", or rather doing the Jewelcrafting dailies in Dalaran.

Once you get to 440, the going will be slow, but it needn't be. There are 2 main options here to get you to 450:
  1. Cut your daily Icy Prism
  2. Cut metas
The Icy Prism is a good bet because it stays yellow until 450, so at a minimum you will need 10 days to get there. I suggest you purchase the cheapest mats you can find, for the Icy Prism, and get large quantities of them, especially when you can find them under market price. Luckily, Frozen Orbs, which used to be the most expensive component until recently, have plummeted in value thanks to patch 3.3 and the Dungeon Finder tool. Paradoxically, the regular green gems will be more expensive than the Orbs due to the fact that there's high demand for them because of the Jewelcrafting dailies. So why would you want to craft Icy Prisms? Because they give you a few blue gems and occasionally a purple gem or a Dragon's Eye. These are expensive gems and even more so when cut. Even if sometimes the Icy Prism gives you a couple of crappy gems, it will also give you the more valuable ones such as in the end you'll be at a profit.

The 2 metas that I have learned to cut are Ember Skyflare Diamond and Relentless Earthsiege Diamond. Both of these recipes however require 5 Dalaran Jewelcrafter's Tokens each, meaning about 10 days of doing dailies before they can be acquired. You will be able to get a few extra tokens from one or two quests at the beginning but that's about it. Once you can craft these metas, you'll be making your first profits with Jewelcrafting.

To give you an example, on my server I can buy Skyflare Diamonds for 30 gold or less, cut them, and sell the meta for about 50 gold. I will buy Earthsiege Diamonds for the same price but they usually go for more, around 60 gold. These two metas seem to be some of the most popular ones, so I haven't bothered learning other patterns. It so happens that the Relentless Earthsiege Diamond is also the best meta for a DPS class, such as my Hunter.

I like doing the Jewelcrafting dailies. Each daily will give you 1 Dalaran Jewelcrafter's Token that you can use to purchase some of the most powerful patterns. You can also buy other powerful patterns from the various Northrend factions but I won't be doing that with my Warlock since I just parked him in Dalaran until the next expansion. If you can become exalted with a few factions, more power to you.

The dailies will take you to a few areas: Icecrown, Dragonblight or Storm Peaks. In another article I will show you exact locations where I go to find the required item for the quest. In essence, each of these quests will require you to go to a certain zone and get a certain item that drops on certain mobs. Then combine that item with a couple of green gems and you get your quest item which you then turn in. I love these dailies because they are quick and Tokens are at a premium since most patterns require 4, 5 or 6 Tokens.

Once you have your first tokens, the question is what to buy with them first of all. I would suggest to spend them on one of the two metas that I presented above, or both. It also depends what your Jewelcrafting goals are. If you just want to make gold, research which cut gems sell for the most amount and learn those. On the other hand, you might want to cut gems for your own characters, in which case your profession will take a slightly different direction. In this case, try to figure out which gems are the most important for you, which give you the best stats. Cut those.

Don't make the same mistake I did. As a noobish Jewelcrafter I jumped at the chance to buy a profession specific epic gem, blinded by the fact that it only cost 2 tokens. I then realized that the gem was BoP and only my Warlock could equip it. Unfortunately I had grabbed an Attack Power gem, which is totally useless for a spellcaster. Oh well, live and learn.

Since I had accumulated a whole bunch of raw blue gems prior to my Jewelcrafting career, the first patterns I purchased with my tokens were for gems that I could sell at a profit. I only learned one of each color, except purple. Here's what I have been selling since then, at a profit:
These are the gems that sell for a profit on my server. The profit is not a lot and the AH deposit fees are pretty high, nonetheless I managed to sell dozens of them, one at a time.

Later in my Jewelcrafting career I started to need epic cuts for my Hunter who had acquired some shiny new epics from running random heroics. Thus, I bought some epic patterns so I could cut all the gems I needed for this character. Luckily, I could fill almost all my needs with a few cuts. Here they are:
As you can see, there's not much wiggle room when selling cut gems, and margins are tight. Selling a cut gem can be risky and there are many competitors, constantly undercutting each other. I only post 1 gem at a time and check occasionally if it was undercut. Then I will post another, undercutting by 1c. If some people decide to sell under my cost, I will stop selling until prices jump back up.

Jewelcrafting is not a huge gold-maker for me. It is highly stressful to me due to the huge AH deposit costs. Very often, gems will return unsold. What I sell the most are the two metas and Nightmare Tears, although people tend to bring prices to the ground. For veteran Jewelcrafters, this profession has been a gold mine. It is said that it is second best at making gold after Inscription. It might well be, but as far as I'm concerned, I'm taking it easy. I find it useful because I can cut my own gems and I can sell the surplus for a small profit. I can also prospect ore that I get from my Hunter who's a Miner. My Hunter also supplies various green and blue gems that he mines from nodes.

Most of all, I have learned this profession to complement all the others. I believe that as someone who has several alts, including 4 level 80s, it is a very good business practice to have all the professions at max level. There are synergies between all professions and it pays off in the end to have them all maxed out.

Coming up in the next article: locations where you can find the required items for the Dalaran Jewelcrafting dailies.


Skaut said...

I recently leveled JC with my Gnome Rogue, who is 70 now. I didn't have the capital to buy from the AH to do it. I started from scratch, spent a couple of days and farmed every single item I needed. I've only put a few items of each kind on the AH at a time, not to flood, and so far I have grossed around 2k and still have lots of made items(and leftover ore and gems) waiting in the mail to be placed when some sell. Items that don't sell well get sent to my disenchanter. And my Rogue got up to 350, in order to start the Northrend level, without buying a single item from the auction house. If you have the time, farming the mats was really easy, at least for me. And the profit was 100% since I only spent the money for the actual training.

My other jewelcrafter, on another server, has really raked in the money since the epic gems started. The ones that always sell, the +stamina, +spellpower, +attack power, and then I found some that were good gems but there weren't many on the market-such as the Wicked Ametrine, and made a killing on those. It also helps that my 450 alchemist is a transmute master and getting 5 epic gems from one transmute is quite a boon!

I'm anxious to see where you go for the dailies. My 450 JC is only level 76 and I think I've found the closest to Dalaran to get each one for my level.

Darth Solo said...

Farming for your own mats is definitely an option. Unfortunately, I was stupid. I had tons of mats in my bank at one point, about a year ago. I had wanted to level JC but then I decided against it, thought it wasn't worth it. Of course, back then I was "poor", hovering around 10K gold, so I couldn't justify spending a few thousand to level a profession. So I made the mistake of selling all those mats that I had gathered. In the meanwhile I saw the light.

I would also love to have a transmute master Alchemist but I'll wait with that until I can level a Worgen Mage in Cataclysm. That will be my last remaining profession.

Anonymous said...

New 450 JC here too.

One thing, you can also collect titanium dust from prospecting titanium ore and turn them in for the tokens allowing for faster pattern acquisition.

This is of course expensive and is a gamble, but you also have a chance to get epic gems in the process.

I've noticed that if you get the right price, a stack of 20 usually gets me at least 1 epic gem which eats away more than half of the cost of the ore right there. If I ran the numbers I'm sure I'm losing gold from prospecting, but Ive got hungry alts to feed...gem.

Darth Solo said...

@Anonymous you're right but I didn't talk about the titanium dust because it's on the expensive side. For me it's a bit late to be doing this in the current expansion, perhaps I'll try something like that in the next.