Speculate No More: Epic Gems Dropping in Raids in 4.3

Well, we finally have our first solid information on Epic Gems in patch 4.3. In an interview with Greg Street, lead systems designer for Blizzard, on a question about the new "Looking for Raid" tier of difficulty:

What achievements will be granted in the new Looking for Raid system and are they similar to existing ones or any new rewards?
Ghostcrawler: We are very concerned about preserving the sense of accomplishment for the Normal and Heroic tier. We don’t want to over reward Looking for Raid. It is really there for people who want to see the content and want to feel like they’re raiding, but we don’t want it to be more attractive than traditional organized raiding.

We will offer some achievements; they’ll be very simple, nothing like you’ll be able to get in a Normal or Heroic. For example, it might just be “Kill the first four bosses” as one achievement and “Kill the second four bosses” as another achievement, something like that. We won’t, for example, put the legendary in the Looking for Raid tier. We are doing epic gems this time around as a drop in the raid and we may not have those drop in the Looking for Raid tier.

How does this impact our gold-making business? Find out after the break.

Some Unknowns
There are still some questions about the epic gems dropping in raids. A couple off the top of my head:
  1. What will be the drop rate? This post from TankSpot suggests all bosses will drop a "geode" that has a chance to contain an epic gem. Blizzard believes it will take people most of 4.3 for raiders to replace all of their red gems.
  2. Where will the patterns come from? Also raid drops? Or will all Jewelcrafters (not just raiders) have access to them? Will they be purchased with existing tokens? Or new ones?
There's a lot of stuff we still don't know about the Epic Gems, but we know their (planned) source, so now we can start planning a course of action.

Pyrite Ore and the Jewelcrafter
I see a few possibilities for using up that Pyrite Ore you've been stashing in the hopes of getting epic gems from it. Some options:
  1. Sell, Sell, Sell!
    This is actually my least favorite option. Some people (and most non-JCs hoping to capitalize on the speculation) will try this first and prices will plummet. In the short term, this could be good for a flagging ore market to prospect thanks to recent botting bans. When others are in "sell, sell, sell!" mode, I'd consider buying and using them profitably now.
  2. Prospect, Prospect, Prospect!
    Of course, some will prospect. This will lead to a glut in raw gems from both the common and uncommon (green and blue) tiers. Cut gem prices will drop through the floor in anticipation of the new patch. You might try keeping prices high by purchasing low-priced stock, but beware sinking a lot of gold into the process with no hope of maintaining the high price level.

    Most of the price drops will be from people panicking about the lack of epic gems in Pyrite Ore. If epic gems are as rare as Blizzard is suggesting, however, we'll see the prices settle back into their normal range once the backlog of Pyrite is cleared from people's banks. While raiders are getting epic gems, they'll likely only be placing those in Best-in-Slot or near-BiS gear. Another factor to consider is the news that your Tier 13 gear will only be available from raiding, and not from Valor Points. There will, however, be VP gear for those slots, it just won't be BiS. Will a casual raider, not competing for world or server firsts, really waste their epic gem on their VP chest when they know their tier chest will drop eventually?

    There will also be a large influx in gear from the 3 new 5-man heroics being released in 4.3. The gear is expected to be better than the 353s that Zandalaris give, but won't warrant epic gems. We'll also have a level of gear that is above those dungeons, but below the "normal" raid level from the Looking for Raid feature that's coming. This uptick in gear acquisition will help keep prices high for rare (blue) quality gems.
  3. Diversify!
    The final option for your Pyrite Ore is to unload it through other products. Oh, wait. That's really just Ebonsteel Belt Buckles and Truegold. While this might be useful for a small portion of your stash, I suspect many who went all-in on the risk won't be able to use this method alone to get out.
How to Proceed
Be patient. I plan to weather the storm in prices as most people start prospecting and selling. Already, I'm seeing large quantities of Pyrite Ore on the Auction House from people getting out of the speculation market. I'm still weighing the possibility of buying up Infernos and Carnelians when they get to about 50% of their current cost. Ditto for Shadowspirit Diamonds. In the end, hasty decisions are usually the wrong ones. Don't give in to the "fire sale" mentality.

What are your plans for exiting the Pyrite Stockpiling Club? How do you feel about the change in epic gems for this expansion? What advice would you offer your fellow gold-makers?

I consider myself a somewhat casual auctioneer. I can be found via Twitter @Aleithia3. I also like getting email at Aleithia AT jasonthedce DOT com. Send me your questions and I'll try to write about them on the site.

9 comments: on "Speculate No More: Epic Gems Dropping in Raids in 4.3"

  1. Like you said people won't put their epic gems in their vp items etc, so what will they put in? They will put in rares, while the prices may drop depending on wether the epics are soulbound or uncut or wateva, the fact that they r so rare should hopefully keep demand and thus price for the rares high

  2. took the site long enough to report this.

  3. @Wheatbicks

    Epic Gems that drop will probably be kept inside a guild for guild runs. They might creep out in the open market from pugs and the occasional money making raider. But within the annoucement it looked like it would take some time to get someone up to having all of their epics gemmed.

    rare gems might end up going up depending on gear drops and patterns with 4.3. But unless there is a major change in the strategy, money making from the epic gems is going to be much more difficult for non raiding characters.

    If they were to make the epics soulbound you would hear all of the raiding community in an uproar. Unless some in raid trading system was developed to allow trades of the raw gems within a run.

    Aleithia is absolutely correct to the idea of a "wait and see" look making the most sense. I"m looking for the people who will dump inventory and drive down the pyrite prices to pick up some cheap stacks. These can easily drop into the Jewelcrafting shuffle and make a significant amount of money back and even a tidy profit. Maybe not the earth shattering profit that JC have received in the past. But enough to keep us all in Brew and pretzels.

  4. I still have hope that this won't actually happen and until it is confirmed in the release of 4.3 onto live servers I'll keep hold of the pyrite ore and /pray.

    Like the rest of the serious speculators, I've invested only that which I was prepared to lose, with everyone and their dog about to dump pyrite ore it may even be worth investing in a bit more ;p

  5. @Anonymous: We actually "reported" the announcement as an update to my Monday post about making gold on the Firelands raid nerf. Our analysis came a little bit later in the week as other posts were already scheduled. One reason for that is there was more information coming out and it made more sense to analyze it rather than just posting the specific news.

    I hope you still find the information helpful, despite the fact that it wasn't covered immediately. We have plenty of time to revisit the subject as changes to the plan show up in the PTR and actual release.

  6. I'm holding onto my 15k pyrite until we know for sure. If not, I'll bleed it out when the patch hits on belt buckles, etc. I'll still make money in the long run, just not as much.

  7. @Deepcut

    agreed on your plans. though I would look to look for really really good deals on your server when people start to dump their stock for
    a quick recovery.

  8. Well written post. although I expected it sooner than this. Gold and silver too, are going up the price trail.

  9. Mabey not in the beging of 4.3..but I predict that blizz will implament other forms of epic gem availibity.. just as any thing else they will cater to hardcore players raiders and then nerf later for casual's. I would gladly drop 200k on pyrite ore if it goes to 50g a stack.

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