A quick post before I head outside for the day (gasp! It cant be!).
Boyfriend and I took our worgen druids through the Burning Steppes recently on our way to level 60. First off let me officially declare the zone “saved”. It’s a crapton of fun. Definitely more fun than it was in its original incarnation. There’s still no saving Blackrock Depths (that place is still a clusterfuck) but at least now all the quests for it are easily picked up right inside the entrance and not scattered all over the place after hours of questing.
Mining is one of “those” professions. Yes. It borders on being obnoxious, or at least it used to. I have several max-level miners and while leveling the profession I always got stuck at mithril and thorium. Mithril wasn’t so much rare as it was out of the way, with only a few decent zones at that level to farm in. Thorium was usually located in caves filled with bugs and who knows what else, which made it harder to get to even if you did find it. As a result, I usually got stuck somewhere around 250 mining skill, and even after hitting level 58 and clearing my quest log in favor of the better Outland questing experience, I still had to trek back to Azeroth to grind out the last levels of mining. Riddle me this: why do herbalists get some lee-way in their herbing (high level Azeroth herbs are present in Outland, meaning an herbalist doesn’t have to be maxed out at 300 to herb there) but a miner has to get to 300 before they can mine fel iron ore? Bleh.
This time around though I noticed something. Mining nodes are more plentiful. I have a few theories on this. With Cataclysm Blizzard decided to award players with experience every time they harvested a node, be it ore or herb. Herbs are more plentiful in Azeroth and also more easily aquired. They’re usually located out in the open on the ground and an herbalist can collect them more passively just by running about their business. Ore, on the other hand, is restricted to hill and mountain sides and caves, meaning that a miner must do a bit more than run around aimlessly to collect his stuff. Fighting to the end of a cave filled with baddies for 3 thorium ore doesn’t seem worth the trouble, especially since in the same block of time an herbalist can get an entire stack of something just by fiddling around outside. So if you’re going to award experience, best make the two professions equal. And this time around, I noticed a ton more ore. I have had no problem (yet) keeping my skill high and getting all the ore I need. Questing in the Burning Steppes and Tanaris yielded enough mithril ore to max out my engineering until I can get my paws on thorium. Yay!
So, the scoop: Burning Steppes is the shit for mithril ore. If you’re having trouble finding it, if you need ungodly amounts, if you want something to farm relentlessly, head to the Steppes and start questing. You’ll pick up a lot of ore just from running around, but about half-way through the quest line you’ll receive a quest to speak to a Blackrock orc while wearing an ogre disguise. Ignore him for now. Take your orge butt to Dreadmaul Rock in the east. The rock is crawling with orcs and ogres, but with your disguise on they’re friendly to you and you can run around the caves there collecting ore to your heart’s content. It respawns so fast you wont know what to do with yourself. At one point the yellow dots on my mininmap were so thick they blotted out the question marks representing the orc bosses I was supposed to talk to. In five minutes I had 3 stacks of mithril ore. Truesilver is also found here, since it spawns in mithril’s place occasionally.
The disguise lasts through a few more quests but once you complete that chain, it goes away. If you accidentally turn in the quest and lose the disguise, you get it again a few quests later for the last time. Use it wisely!