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A few weeks ago, I discussed the province of Storm Peaks and several of its gold-making opportunities. This week, we will be moving on to Sholazar Basin, a level 75-78 zone. This area is more accessible to mid-level Northrend characters, and doesn't require a flying mount to take advantage of most of the farming areas.
An Herbalist's haven
Sholazar Basin is an Herbalist's dream come true. Often, several herbs appear on my mini-map, even though it covers only a small area. In fact, I can seldom take three steps without running into more!
Three types of herbs grow in this province, and each have a chance to also spawn Deadnettle when you harvest them, as well as the usual Frost Lotus and Crystallized Life.
Tiger Lily is found along the rivers and lakes, of which there are plenty, and there is a special concentration bordering River's Heart near the center of the map. Goldclover is smattered all over, while Adder's Tongue literally seems to grow everywhere (click the herb names for Wowhead maps).
I went herbing between 4pm and 5pm server time to test how much money I could feasibly make, even during a semi-popular hour. I used my epic flyer, but I did not employ the services of any gathering addons. Here are my results for one hour's worth of work:
Tiger Lily: 46.
Adder's Tongue: 123.
Frost Lotus: 3.
Eternal Life: 7.
Using Wowhead price estimates, if I sold everything, I would earn: 566g50s for one hour's worth of herbing.
Sholazar Basin is full of beasts, which makes it an ideal place for a Skinner to hunt. The mobs aren't especially densely packed, but there are so many that you could move around the map, killing as you go, and not run out of spawns.
Aside from the small pockets of Oracle and Frenzyheart outposts, the only area that does not contain beasts is in the northeast, at the Avalanche and the Lost Lands, or the snowy and brown areas on the map, respectively.
The Basin also holds one area that will allow you to farm for Icy Dragonscales, and this is the Savage Thicket in the north, which appears on the map as a muddled grey area.
In this area, you will find Primordial Drakes, and when you kill their eggs, Primordial Hatchlings will appear. In addition to the usual leather and chance to acquire Arctic Fur, these mobs drop Icy Dragonscales. According to Wowhead, these scales sell for about 1g each at auction, but currently on my server are going closer to 2g each.
Humanoids in this zone have a 40-45% drop rate for Frostweave Cloth, but because the area is so full of beasts, unless you are questing, your best bet will be to run the circuit that I told Skinners to avoid. Start at Death's Hand Encampment, just west of The Lost Lands. This appears as two tents on the map, and contains a group of Cultist Infiltrators. Once that base is clear, continue into The Lost Lands and Avalanche, although avoid going too far up the mountain, as there are several elites there that don't drop anything.
There is plenty of Saronite in Sholazar Basin. Wowhead claims that there are in fact 385 individual spawn points, although only a percentage of those will be active at any one time. The suggested circuit is to fly/ride around the outer edges, and explore the meat of the zone while waiting for any respawns.
Because I do not have a level 80 miner yet, I will estimate the amount of money you could make mining in this zone for one hour a little differently than I did for herbing.
1 Saronite Ore = 2 Saronite Bars, which sell for about 2g, meaning that each piece of ore is worth roughly 1g.
For every stack of 20 that you collect, you could make 20g+. You will also mine up Crystallized Shadows and Earths, green gems, and blue gems.
Eternal Shadows, according to Wowhead, can sell for 7g each, and Earths sell for 5g each. Let's assume that in one hour, you gather three stacks of ore, and five of each eternal. We'll count other metals and gems as bonuses. You would earn about 120g, and this estimate is probably low.
If you are a Jewelcrafter, there is even more money to be made. Prospecting gives you an 18% chance to turn up 1-2 of any colored green-quality gem, and a 4% chance for the blue-quality, with Scarlet Rubies, which Wowhead estimates auction for 90g, potentially granting you an extra one.
Stay tuned for part two, in which I will discuss the zone's rare spawns, choice drops, elementals, and more.