(Yes, I've been busy, and yes, I'm now seen in Northrend. I'll get to that on another post.)
The past week or two -save for occasional forays into Northrend and our weekly group session on Thursday night- I've become Farmer Quint.
Back when I was somewhere in the 30s, I made the decision to concentrate on leveling and questing rather than stopping for every copper, iron or tin deposit around. I was also in that peculiar stage in Jewelcrafting where you need some higher level metals and/or gems to fashion stuff that will advance you, but those higher level materials were rare in the 30s level areas. I figured that I'd get around to backfilling my professions when I got to the 40s, so it was no big deal.
The 40s went by, and I said I'd do it when I got to the 50s.
Rinse and repeat. Twice.
You'd think that when I landed some Green items with sockets in them from Outland that I'd remember to go and start bringing up my JC capability, but noooo..... I think it was when I realized that I couldn't mine anything in either Northrend or Outland that it finally clicked that I ought to do more than simply keeping my First Aid current. (All the time spent learning Cooking for the Thanksgiving-esque achievements also reminded me how far I had to go.)
So, a-farming I went.
First, I had to get to being able to farm Thorium, which meant mining so much freaking Mithril and Truesilver that my ears were turning silver. Well, that gave me an excuse to explore some parts of the Eastern Kingdoms that I'd neglected. I also found the 70th level Raid dungeon in Deadwind Pass, which provided me an outlet to get some XP while farming. Luckily for me, it didn't take that long -timewise- to reach the plateau needed to mine Thorium.
Thorium is a real bastard. The best places to mine Thorium, as Murtaugh likes to put it, are in the Silithid dungeons. (Yes, I know about the Eastern Plaguelands, but have you tried farming there? It would have taken me twice as long to farm in the Plaguelands as anywhere else given all the competition for resources.) Well, I'd already explored and quested in Un'Goro Crater, so I knew where to look there, but I hadn't explored Silithus that much. That was to shortly change.
Since I was there, I figured I might as well gain some reputation with the Cenarion Hold and work on some quest lines. That wasn't too bad, and it took me a couple of hours to progress the quest lines to the point where I'd need another body or two to help finish. The farming, however, was painful. Almost all the Thorium was below ground, which meant fighting my way through Silithids that posed no real threat yet weren't low enough level for them to ignore me. And that last gasp before you reach 300 is painful: you spent about 40 points with only one way to raise your skill -mining Thorium- yet it's a green level skill at that point. I probably went through about 60 mining attempts (plus smelting) before I reached that 300 plateau and I could mine Fel Iron in the Outlands.
Then I had to do the same for Jewelcrafting.
Given that the last 20-30 points in JC before you reach 300 is spent generating rings and necklaces heavy in Azerothian Diamonds, guess where I had to prospect for the necessary ore?
Oh, I was so sick of Silithus when I was finished, I just wanted to blanket the entire region in a spray of Raid. The Cenarions might not approve, however.
I've spent the past several days farming in Outland, and while Mining has been a breeze -relatively speaking- Jewelcrafting is going to be painful once again. I've reached 333 on JC, and the gems, which are my primary method of advancing to this point, are all either green or about to turn green.
Here we go again.