Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Epic Gems - History & Pyrite

NOTE: Loot list for ZA/ZG is up on mmo champ now. The good news is that there's plenty of gem sockets that will need to be filled and a diverse amount of gear to be enchanted as expected. The bad news? My DK is still going to be wearing her damned tanking helm and tanking boots and blue bracers to DPS in. Yes they're significantly better than the any of the purples in the new instances. Sad face!

Part one of three giving my thoughts on where epic gems will come from and what to look out for. It seems that every blogger out there has given their thoughts on the burning question that has been asked since the gem market has bottomed out. Where oh where will epic gems come from and what should I be doing before? Well I think it's pretty silly to speculate right now in all honesty. But regardless of that I'll be giving my thoughts on it throughout the rest of the week now that everyone else has finished their walls of text on the subject.

There are numerous paths that blizz could take and many previous examples to support a certain trend. The problem with all of this speculation is that they're all 100% opinion and are all just as valid as the next. Consider that my disclaimer. The entries this week are in no way to be taken as a "sure thing" or a "most likely scenario." It is merely my opinion no more and no less. That being said, lets move on.

A lot of things that people are saying lately is that cata relates a lot to burning crusade. And to blizzard's credit, was my favorite expansion and hope they make cata more so like TBC was. In any case what people who say this seem to forget one thing when talking about epic gems; where they originally came from. First let me remind the older players and educate the new ones. TBC was the first expansion to have gem sockets and naturally was the first to have epic gems, but they didn't come from prospecting. Yes you read that right, no epic gems came from prospecting ore.

Allow me to link you a few of them before we continue.

Crimson Spinel (red)
Lionseye (yellow)
Empyrean Sapphire (blue)

And now here is the highest level ore from TBC Khorium Ore

If you click the link you'll notice that it cannot be prospected. In TBC epic gems came from either mining a special node from a raid, rare trash drops from the top two raids, or from the TBC equivalent of around 200 valor points. They weren't common to see in raids and were typically sold by the top raid guilds of the server and then filtered through from the mid range guilds.

To sum up this brief history lesson, people who compare cata to TBC and talk about trends in epic gems forget that there was no prospecting and no transmutes. In other words, one speculation that people don't want to mention, either out of ignorance or not wanting it to happen, is that there WON'T be any epics from pyrite ore. There won't be any xmutes from current herbs or gems or anything what so ever.

But to contradict that possibility is the fact that blizz is wanting to make the entire game totally accessible to everyone. That goes from top end raids and all the way down to include purple text gems for all. However blizz DOES like to also give the hard core players something to gnaw on for a while before it gets nerfed and ultimately made obsolete. So if blizz goes the TBC route of epic gems, we'll see the firelands raid have epic gems from either trash drops or nodes. The prices will be in the 1k each range for a while and then the raid gets nerfed to just about pug levels. Maybe you might need a raiding rep to learn the gem cuts or the xmute recipe.

Who knows? I sure don't, and neither does anybody outside of blizz development. But damn it sure is fun to guess!

The next possibility that comes up is pyrite ore. The only reason people think this is because pyrite is a rare ore. Titanium is a rare ore. Titanium gives epic gems. So pyrite ore must give epic gems. Let me explain this logic using different words.

Lead is a metal.
Gold is a metal.
Gold is very valuable.
So lead must be very valuable.

Yeeeah, not quite so much. Yes you can make a claim to blizz keeping to patterns, but when something happening once (epic gems from rare ore) does not in any way constitute a pattern. So anybody saying that there is a pattern with epic gems and prospecting is in the wrong. Completely 100% wrong. However to contradict this, you can relate previous patterns to make an educated guess as to potential pattern. But once again this is only a guess and it is based on very loose reasoning. But here's a practical reason for it to go against predicting a pattern based on previous ones. You can already prospect pyrite ore.

In wrath you couldn't prospect titanium until epics were released. And in addition to that blizz isn't keen to any "patterns" of adding new items acquired from prospecting or milling or gathering. So with that being said I don't think that epics will come from pyrite ore. But I still have a decent stokpile of 2,000 ore juuust in case I'm wrong on this one. If nothing else I'll still be using the bars, rares, commons, and VE's from it all.

Continuing with this tomorrow.


  1. Nice post!

    One think I keep pondering about is why do everyone believe that epic gems will come with firelands?

    Firelands is the first expansion of Cata - we have been playing cata for 5 months now! Thats around 150 JC tokens worth of dailies for the most dedicated daily grinders or 50 cuts!
    My bet is that there are still plenty of people out there that misses JC tokens for recipies, and we all know how blizzard enjoys making everything available to the masses before going to next level.

    regarding the possibility of epic gems coming from trash it would certainly give a huge reason for pugs to venture into future raids just to clear the trash ;)

    but as you say - all this is merely guesses

    Tiroq - Eu Bloodhoof

  2. You're absolutely right that Blizz wants the casual player to have the same gear upgrading choices as the pro-raiders.
    That's why I don't think they'll have the new raid drop epic gems.
    I'm thinking transmuting from rare gems + herbs and maybe buying with valor points.

    But in the end we'll see what they have in store. ^^

  3. My recollection was that titanium WAS prospectable before epics were released. It's just that the loot table wasn't much better than other ores until epics were put in. Perhaps I'm misremembering, since I didn't have a JC.

  4. @ Anon
    People think they'll come in firelands because... BoT is hard! So if we don't get epic gems soon there is no way we can get through the trash in 4.2 omg!

    Ok I really don't know why really. But I guarantee that's a reason you'll get from a run of the mill social player.

    @ Indy
    You couldn't prospect titanium at release just as you cannot prospect khorium.

    @ Sarge
    The mention of valor points is an interesting thought. What if epic gems come in 4.2 but you can only get the gem recipes from valor points? That would make things available and have some prestige associated with them still. That would be fun I think.

  5. I personally think the gold collecting community has tried to sell the "Pyrite Ore is going to be needed to get the Epic Gems" to make themselves more income. Basically started a rumor to get more people to buy pyrite ore and stockpile it for you to sale as a profit.

    Granted at the end of the day it can be still sold by said owners but when the crap hits the fan that you cant get epic gems from them, well the bottom will fall out of that market as they AH will be flooded.

    Just my speculation of course.

  6. "Who knows? I sure don't, and neither does anybody outside of blizz development."

    - Seconded. Although I'm not even sure that Blizz development KNOWS at this point (the mechanic might not have been decided yet).

  7. Well the stockpiling of pyrite ore is probably not a bad choise - even in worst case scenario we know that new BOE epic recipies are most likely to be introduced in firelands, which will most like give new life to pyrium bars and true gold bars. So at worst case you could probably resell your stockpilled ore! Most goblins do have a fairly low buy price on pyrite to optimize earnings.

    Regarding Epic cuts and epic transmute recipies I highly doubt that these will come from valor points as these are a resource blizzard uses to even loot distribution.

    However, we have seen prior examples of raid level orbs being currency for recipies and that might be the case again!
    We all do remember ICC - and those very profitable arrow/bullet days ;)

    Tiroq - EU Bloodhoof

  8. I already gave my prediction in "Black Iron Ore, Pyrite Ore And The Truth About Epic Gems In Cataclysm" which basically was it will be hard to obtain at first (drops, 24h CDs) and become easier to obtain (JP/VP, CD removal, etc.) as time goes on.

  9. I'm not sure what they'll do, but I've a strong gut feeling that prospecting pyrite won't give epic gems.

    I think about this pretty often, which is the point - to understand how different scenarios affect you and how you can hedge against the odds. I have ~50 stacks of pyrite stockpiled, after blowing out 200 stacks a month ago.

    If pyrite doesn't give us epics, I expect you'll have to wait a month or two before you can start to unload your stockpile at a decent price. Far too many folks have bought into this speculation play.

  10. The thing is though, even if epic gems by some act of god don't come from prospecting pyrite ore, pyrite ore will still be hugely valuable no matter what; if blue gems can be xmuted then the blue gems from pyrite ore will increase in value, as will the green gems + herbs needed to make the blue gems, and even if that doesn't happen the volatile earth and pyrite ore being turned into bars could be profitable because of the new BoE crafted gear. When you think about it pyrite is going to cause huge increase in demand for almost all trade goods in cata. That's why i've got 700 stacks stockpiled and and am aiming for another 500 or so.

    Flabadoff - Draenor EU

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