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Gold Capped: Crafting for disenchanting

Basil Berntsen

Want to get Gold Capped? This column will show you how, and is written by Basil "Euripides" Berntsen, also of, the Hunting Party podcast, and the Call to Auction podcast.

Enchanting mats are a strange business. They are in constant massive demand, and can be made in a variety of ways. Every Tuesday, thousands of guilds get thousands of upgrades that need to be enchanted, every day, hundreds of thousands of players run PUG and PvP content that gives them upgrades they want to enchant, and every day, thousands of players buy things like Bolts of Imbued Frostweave, which require enchanting mats to make.

The more things change

Recently, Blizzard added the ability to disenchant easily with the need before greed loot system, and created a massively popular random 5 man dungeon system. There's no overhead, just automatic mats appearing in everyone's bags. This created a huge source of supply for enchanting mats. Also, the amount of Infinite Dust created with each disenchant was recently raised significantly, altering the balance of dust to Greater Cosmic Essence available.

The demand for enchanting mats is not fixed. In fact, there is no market in WoW that has static demand. As things get cheaper, more people find them affordable and that increases demand. While high end raiders wouldn't dream of entering a guild instance without the best enchants on all their gear, many people don't run that type of content. They put the enchants they can afford onto their gear they have. As infinite dust became more and more affordable, people started enchanting more gear with better enchants, and this served to increase demand for greater cosmic essences.

Abyss Crystals have also undergone a few changes lately. They used to come mostly from unwanted raid gear, and were fairly expensive. Since the release of the Trial of the Champion 5 man, enchanters have been able to farm 5 of these every 15 minutes. That raised the supply so much that Blizzard introduced Abyssal Shatter, which lets you break an abyss crystal into an average of 4.75 infinite dust and 1.75 greater cosmic essences.

Where's my money?

Random supply from 5 mans is nice and all, but how does this affect you, a proactive auctioneer who wants to make money with enchanting mats? Why, crafting for disenchant, of course! While all these mats can be disenchanted from craftable items, now that dust is so cheap, most of them aren't profitable.

When you disenchant green armor, you get:When you disenchant green weapons, you get:Lastly, any blue weapons or armor yield shards. Since dream shards are a guaranteed drop off every boss in every 5 man with an enchanter, it's probably never worth crafting to disenchant these.

You can see here that while crafting armor for disenchant might have been a good business before, these days, green weapons are the sweet spot. Blacksmithing is the only profession that can make weapons, and one recipe stands ahead of the rest: the Notched Cobalt Waraxe requires 10 Cobalt Bars, and disenchants into greater essences. All the other similar items DE into lesser essences, and cost almost as much cobalt. Unlike the good old days of the "saronite shuffle" and disenchanting saronite based weapons and armor for then scarce shards, these days, the only farmable material we care about is cobalt. This will be a choke point for your business, as very few people farm this.

Step one: find cobalt.

Cobalt ore is always harder to find on the auction house than saronite as it's a little more spread and has no rare veins like Titanium to boost the average income. Add it to your daily purchase list. If you use Auctioneer's snatch feature, scan for it regularly.

Another thing: Cobalt Bars usually go for more than the ore. You need access to a miner if you want to be able to get the price advantage of buying ore. Luckily, smelting can be done AFK.

One way to increase the amount of cobalt you can process is to advertise in /trade that you're looking for miners. When people send you tells, reply to them asking if they'd be willing to farm cobalt for you. They invariably say that there's not enough money in it, so be prepared to do some convincing. I offer them about twice as much per stack as saronite provides, and I tip for large orders. Ask them how much they make per hour grinding saronite in Sholazar or Icecrown, and work backwards from there.

Step two: craft greens

Once you have your cobalt, you'll need to smelt it and craft the axes. A handy macro for handling the mail aspect of this was posted in an earlier column, however here's my cobalt version:
/run for bag=0,4 do for slot=1,GetContainerNumSlots(bag) do local item=GetContainerItemLink(bag,slot) if item and item:find("Cobalt") then UseContainerItem(bag,slot) end end end
Be aware that this clicks on anything in your bags that starts with the word "Cobalt". If you bought a bunch of ore on your main and need to send it to a miner to smelt, this will click on any cobalt ore or bars in your bag.

Here's my macro for mailing green quality items:
/run for bag=0,4 do for slot=1,GetContainerNumSlots(bag) do local texture,itemCount,locked,quality=GetContainerItemInfo(bag,slot) if quality==2 then UseContainerItem(bag,slot) end end end

Step three: disenchant greens

This is the longest part that can't be done AFK. You need to disenchant every single waraxe you just created. Luckily, this is much less of a grind than, say, prospecting or milling. You can keybind this macro if you want to turn around and watch a movie while you press the space bar:
/cast Disenchant
/use Notched Cobalt Waraxe
There you have it -- after a moderate amount of work, you're able to produce the most sought after and short supply enchanting material in the game. On my server, Greater Cosmic Essences can sell for as much as Abyss Crystals on raid nights.

bringin' sexy back!Being an auctioneer is like being able to print money. Or gold, as it were. Wait, that doesn't make sense... you can print on gold, but you can't print gold. That would be closer to transmutation? I can transmute titanium, but that's only worth it if the price of saronite is low enough to justify the time spent making it. I need some sort of analogy here. Whatever, I'll figure it out later. Making gold? Every week, Gold Capped will teach you the tricks of the trade. From setting up your auction addons and user interface, to cross faction arbitrage, to learning how to use your tradeskills.

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