There are many ways to earn good income as a blacksmith, and armor from high end patterns has always sold well. But if you aren’t an endgame raider with access to those rare 264s, or if you do have some really unique patterns and have noticed sales dropping off as Cataclysm comes closer, you are most likely looking for a steady income source. Let’s face it—the market has become depressed because more and more players are hoarding their gold and waiting to see what comes in the XPack. On my server, I have seen my Eternal Belt Buckles sales stagnate as more players learn to craft them. And Primordial Saronite? Forgeddaboutit—on my server, its going as low as 400g, down from 1,200g or more. Wouldn’t it be great to have a solid 350g to 500g crafted armor item that was somehow protected from market fluctuations?
Tanks will love this set as they level in the 70s
As tanks level up they always want to find the best gear they can, but certain levels are very important as new dungeons open up. As tanks hit L68 and can go to Northrend for the first time, many find that their Outland gear isn’t quite up to the new challenges in Utgarde Keep (at L68), The Nexus (at L69) and Azjol-Nerub (at L70). Having (most likely) wiped a few times, visits to the AH are usually the result. There are some good items there but the ones that really stand out are the gemmable items. Anything with blue sockets is great.
Faith in Felsteel is a great item set for any L70 tank. Comprised of 3 items—gloves, helm and legs—the set offers a total 3484 armor and +93 stamina. Alone, this is pretty good gear, but add to it the 4 blue sockets, 3 red sockets and one yellow socket and this gear becomes excellent. Tanks can stack stamina or gem according to the 4/3/1 format and also get +4 hit, +4 dodge and +3 parry, as well as the 3 item set bonus of +25 strength. As a leveling tank, my toon wore this gear for several levels as the other drops I saw just didn’t outweigh the benefits of this set.
The patterns for this set are L350 Blacksmithing required, and only drop to blacksmiths in Outland instances. That’s right, they are BOP. Since few players spend a lot of time in Outland, and when they do, it is usually just to level up or get the achievement for completing all the dungeons, these patterns are rare. The fairly low drop rate means blacksmiths have to farm them. Therefore, not many Felsteel items get made, and seldom are they seen in the AH.
The gloves pattern drops from Auchenai Monks in the Auchenai Crypts. The helm drops in Shadow Labyrinth, but only from the Cabal Fanatics. The legs drop in Arcatraz, but only from Unchained Doombringers. There are limited numbers of these mobs in each instance and the patterns don’t drop from any others. Plan to spend an afternoon farming the patterns, but the reward is worth it. ((and don’t forget the extra bonus of Netherweave and Mageweave cloth, and greens you can disenchant)). I had to run AC 3 times, SL 4 times and Arcatraz twice.
How expensive are the materials?
This set requires Felsteel Bar, not Fel Iron bars. To make one Felsteel bar you need 3 Fel Iron and 2 Eternium bars. Fel Iron bars require 2 Fel Iron ore, and Eternium bars require 2 Eternium ore. So, one Felsteel bar requires 6 Fel Iron ore and 4 Eternium ore. The gloves require 6 Felsteel bars, and the helm and legs are 8 bars each, for a total of 22 Felsteel bars. That’s 132 Fel Iron and 88 Eternium ore.
One or two passes through Hellfire Peninsula on an uncrowded day will yield about 50-60 Fel Iron ore. In just an hour on a weekday, I was able to gather 184 Fel Iron ore in my loop through HP and Zangamarsh. Eternium ore is a random spawn from other ore nodes, so it is harder to farm. Specifically, you will find it in nodes of Adamantite, Khorium, Fel Iron and Nethercite.
For some reason, Eternium ore sells very cheaply on my server, usually around 4g per stack. This will make 10 bars, so I usually buy whatever I need after I finish farming the Fel Iron. The other patterns for which Eternium bars are used are not very “high demand” items, not best in class, so the ore is cheap on the AH. I also watch the AH for low cost Fel Iron bars or ore, buying them when cheap.
How much can I earn?
Tanks will buy this gear, and pay handsomely. On my server I am the only player who ever lists these items. Either no one else has the patterns or just don’t know or care to list them. The gloves sell for around 140g, the helm for about 190g and the legs for about 175g. That’s over 500g for the set.
Again, the key to this strategy is to maximize profits in a niche, so your experience will vary based on competition. If people undercut you then you will earn less. And if you ask too much your auctions will expire. With no competition, I sell every item within the 48 hour listing period almost every time. I advertise in trade chat something like “Faith in Felsteel tanking set now in AH. Best tank gear you can get at L70” and then link the items. Many times I get a wsp asking me to sell direct. Sometimes I make two or three sets and sell one direct and leave the other listed. Other times I just answer back “sorry, already listed, only have one each”.
The key is to limit supply and drive demand. I do this by listing only one of each item at a time. And if someone buys just one piece, I replace it ASAP. The set has value for the set bonus and most players will pay to have the full range of sockets. I start listing on Thursday and then again on Friday or Saturday, so I cover the whole weekend. This translates into about 1000g-1,500 over a 3-4 day period. All for maybe 2 hours farming time. Best part? It is almost all profit because I don’t buy the expensive ore, just Eternium if needed.
Conclusion and Summary
Maximizing profits now is very important pre-expansion. It gets harder every day. This strategy won’t replace all your gold needs, but it has worked well for me for over six months, and should continue after Cataclysm. Tanks always need gear, and socketed gear just rocks at L70.
· With 350 Blacksmithing skill, learn the patterns for the three Felsteel items in the Faith in Felsteel set.
o Note: my L80 DK was able to solo the first two instances, and with a recruited healer, the two of us did the Arcatraz with no worries.
· With 276 Mining skill, farm Fel Iron ore in Hellfire Peninsula, Zangamarsh, Terrokar Forest. Here is a handy map of the best routes.
o Farm at least 132 Fel Iron ore.
o Avoid buying in AH because it is very expensive and eats profits.
· Farm or buy Eternium ore or bars (you need at least 44 bars, or 88 ore).
· Make your Felsteel, then craft your set.
· Briefely “tease” and ad in trade chat, then list in AH.
To illustrate the income potential of this tip, I just did a search using BeanCounter in Auctioneer. Over the last 30 days I have earned 5,118g on the sale of these items. My total investment during this period on materials was 235g for Eternium, 44g for Fel Iron (both bars and ore) and 0 for Felsteel. So my net profit for the last month is (5,118 – 279) 4,839g. This does not count the hundreds of extra gold I have gotten from the actual farming of the instances to get the patterns.
I think you will agree the payoff is worth the time required to farm patterns and materials.
Of course, you want to first check to see if anyone else is marketing these items, and if so, how much they sell for. If it looks profitable then give it a go.
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