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  • Back to Non-April Fools Mode... Pyrite Ore & Epics Gems Speculation

    April Fools has come and gone yet Black Iron Ore speculation continues. Just to clarify a few things in light of the discussions we've had concerning the new ore:
    • No, I don't think legendary gems will come from Black Iron Ore.
    • Yes, the blizzard quote was made up.
    • I have no idea if the ore is prospectable or not. There is no such thing as "item data string".
    • Yes, the gold blogging community colluded to bring you nothing but the best April Fools material.

    Many did suspect that my analysis seemed a little... fishy. I'd also like to quickly thank those who played along, particularly Zerohour with his multiple-paragraph reply containing this gem (no pun intended):

    Quote Originally Posted by Zerohour
    This will make pugging incredibly dicey, because all the miners are going to be falling over themselves to get to the veins first, pulling all the trash mobs and wiping the groups. I can't wait to hear about it!
    Keep in mind, Black Iron Ore has been datamined. So the best part is that the April Fools joke may, ironically, bear some truth. Sickening!

    Let me now ask an important question: if Black Iron Ore was to source epic gems, why would Blizzard place it on beta servers prior to any 4.1/4.2 content? There isn't a trace of any other trade good to be found in the Firelands. Wouldn't it make sense for epic gems, or any other trade good to be datamined as well? To be honest, I'm having a hard time believing we'll see epic gems from BIO. It seems more plausible that epic gems will come from Pyrite.

    At the very least, we're getting epic debates out of this smorgasbord (definition for posterity: random assortment of dishes/meals). Final verdict: Black Iron Ore probably won't make it into the game.

    Let's switch gears and talk about Pyrite again. Here's a short compilation of blog posts about Pyrite Ore. Have a link you think should go here? Let me know (discussions & analysis only, please).

    Caffeine, Smokes and Auction House Fees: Epic Gems, Epic Gems, Where For Art Thou Epic Gems?
    Alto's Goldish Advice: Epic Gems in Cataclysm - Incoming Soon
    Bankgkok Bill's World of Goldcraft: Pyrite Ore, Black Swans, and Risk (Part 1)
    Bankgkok Bill's World of Goldcraft: Pyrite Ore, Black Swans, and Risk (Part 2)
    Venture, LLT: All Your Speculation Are Belong to Us
    Bank of Wukam: Why You Can't Afford to NOT Stockpile Pyrite
    Anaalius' Hunt For Gold: Epic Gems: Where Will They Come From

    There's a lot to take in. Speculators and respected bloggers are butting heads, where generally these gurus tend to agree with each other. Some recurring arguments I'd like to touch on;

    1. Alchemists were always capable of transmuting epic gems, this won't change.

    Agreed. When you consider that some herbs are going into transmuting rare gems, you'd expect Blizzard to do the same for epic gems. Gem transmutes are gobbling up some herbs, and I don't think Blizzard wants to change this - we know how careful Blizzard's been with the economy in Cataclysm.

    2. Pyrite is not Titanium. The latter was never prospectable. By logic, Blizzard won't alter the drop tables for Pyrite prospecting.

    I heartily disagree. If anything, Blizzard made Pyrite prospectable in order to lessen the price spike if epic gems are to be added to its loot tables. Again, they're being careful with the economy, so it's entirely plausible that Blizzard would alter prospecting loot tables.

    3. It's called Pyrite for a reason.

    As a mining engineer (IRL), I can tell you from experience that Pyrite is useless. Not only has it fooled prospectors since the dawn of time, it also proves to be a pain in the arse even for sophisticated mining operations. It shares a chemical composition similar to several valuable minerals, yet remains extremely difficult to separate and too costly to mine -> crush -> mill -> refine -> smelt. To top it off, Pyrite separation is the source of SO2 in mills, a nasty acid responsible for mining's bad rep (amongst other things of course). Hope you learned something here, because I've got to get off this tangent.

    Some think that Pyrite will live up to its name, after all, Blizzard folk love subtle jokes like these. Then again, WoW is a game where you can walk on water, resurrect others, and create food from nothing. Totally unrealistic.

    /closet atheist

    Another counterpoint here is that if Pyrite was living up to its name, why does it prospect into gems at all?

    Anyway, those are my scattered thoughts. Generally, I provide pretty good insight into these type of things, but I'll be honest, this one's got me stumped. Of one thing we can be certain: if and when epic gems become prospectable from Pyrite Ore, we won't get much prior warning. Blizzard's too afraid to hurt the economy.

    Sterling beaming out!
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Back to Non-April Fools Mode... Pyrite Ore & Epics Gems Speculation started by Sterling View original post
    Comments 31 Comments
    1. Drrwho's Avatar
      Drrwho -
      The question I have here is... in order to "hide" what ore will possibly produce epic gems, coudln't Blizzard build in the code, but comment it out until the last second, or avoid a mass craze of ore buying pre-patch?

      Depending on how complex the code would be to implement the gems (and I know it wouldn't be a couple one-liners... I do some programming myself), they could write in the code, but keep it commented out until the last minute of PTR testing.

      There are 3 main areas that coding would need to be done, making it difficult to hide it:

      1) Mining - will there be a low percentage chance of getting an epic gem from mining?

      2) Jewelcrafting - not only the prospecting side of the profession, but also the epic gem cuts as well

      3) Alchemy - the transmuting of epic gems


      It's going to be hard for Blizzard to truly hide this until the last minute, I think. Sadly, we are likely to get a decent bit of notice, causing the pre-emptive wave of mass ore and volatiles/herbs stockpiling.


      I'm with Sterling on this whole topic... I'm not really sure what to think. Blizzard has been known to follow similar paths from previous content. Titanium could be prospected for epic gems, so Pyrite could be as well.

      However, to the point of whether it would make sense to have Pyrite prospect to epic gems since IRL, it's nearly worthless... there are instances in game where Blizzard doesn't really follow RL logic. For instance, Silver Ore/Bar vs. Gold Ore/Bar. Silver carries a much bigger premium in WoW than Gold, due it's capabilities of leveling mining faster and it's various uses (both crafted items and quests). However, IRL, we all know that Gold carries a significant premium over Silver.

      So, it could stand to reason that Blizzard will ignore the RL worthlessness of Pyrite and make it worthwhile in WoW.

      That's just my 2 copper worth. I'm still gonna keep my Pyrite handy and wait to see what happens.
    1. Sponsor's Avatar
      Sponsor -
      You forgot to mention that Pyrite has an IRL nickname; Fool's Gold, and that in 4.1 blizzard will add an item called Fool's Gold. Coincidence? I think not.
    1. Drrwho's Avatar
      Drrwho -
      I wonder if that will be a drop from mining Pyrite Ore nodes. Too bad it's BoP. But that would suggest it may not be a drop from mining. Should be interesting...
    1. calianna's Avatar
      calianna -
      Quote Originally Posted by Sterling View Post
      I heartily disagree. If anything, Blizzard made Pyrite prospectable in order to lessen the price spike if epic gems are to be added to its loot tables. Again, they're being careful with the economy, so it's entirely plausible that Blizzard would alter prospecting loot tables.
      I think this is the biggest reason why epic gems will not come from Pyrite (if the expansion has epic gems at all). If the Pyrite tables are changed to include epic gems, it would affect major aspects of the current economy.
    1. Kyiran's Avatar
      Kyiran -
      I have two thoughts on this - 1) One is that JC getting epic gems is not the only possible future addition to cata professions. Whether epic gems come from pyrite or something else, I don't think will have much impact on the value of pyrite. If epic gems don't come from pyrite, some other profession likely will be using the pyrite for something new added instead. Volatiles are still going to be used, truegold is still going to be used, uncommon/rare gems are still going to be used, etc. 2) People are stockpiling pyrite. When we do eventually get to the point where new profession content is released, that flood of pyrite back into the economy is going to have an effect no matter what. I anticipate that this will have the larger effect on the value of pyrite, unless blizzard does something *totally* unexpected with it.
    1. Whitewolf's Avatar
      Whitewolf -
      Whatever gives people the idea that Blizz is being "careful" with the economy? In almost every major content patch, they introduce or remove something that multiplies the fortunes of some and diminishes the fortunes of others. I'm pretty sure they're not too worried about maintaining or protecting an economy skewed to the tastes of those of us who like to collect gold, just for the sake of collecting it.

      From their standpoint, (not mine) people like us have a detrimental effect on the economy as we go out of our way to manipulate the markets and maintain higher AH prices longer than they were designed to be. (Personally, I take the stand that we keep the economy thriving by bolstering the value of things and by bringing goods to market that the rest of the playerbase would be too disorganized to craft on a regular basis.)

      In most cases, when Blizz makes a sweeping market change, its to the betterment of the playbase as a whole, to make things more accessible and affordable, and not intentionally to the betterment of monopolists. That being said, they love to introduce new market-altering mats and craftibles in a gated fashion, increasing availability over the course of several patches, initially favoring those who raid over those who farm. That being said, they almost always give us months of advance notice in ptr patchnotes.

      I no idea why anyone thinks epic gems would be making an appearance this early in the expansion's lifecycle. (Other than perhaps, in the form of Stormjewels which preceeded epic gems in Wrath through fishing, but we've heard no mention of that.) It seems to be a case that if enough players wish it to happen they can somehow will them into existence sooner. Blizz has had years of experience at rolling out content in prescribed stages in order to maintain player interest over the long haul. Epic gems traditionally get released in conjunction with some major mid-game/end-game content....that is....near the middle of an expansion's lifecycle. I don't see them changing this just to suit the desires of us industrious types who are bored with Rare gems already.

      Right now everyone seems to be thinking in black and white terms. "Things happened one way in BC and another way in Wrath, so this patch they'll do things this way or that way." It's more likely that they'll learn from both previous formulas and come up with one that has elements of both.

      Ignoring Alchemy and VP/JP turnins, we seem to be stuck in a debate where one side feels that epics will come from Pyrite, while the other feels that a new ore will be the source. At this juncture, is it so unthinkable to speculate that both could happen? Pyrite could have a low chance of producing them and a new, unnamed, comparitively rare ore could be introduced with a higher drop rate.

      Once again I'm going to cite the fact that 6 months prior to Cata's release, I was warned by virtually everyone to immediately start dumping my Wrath-level gemstock. The quoted reason was that when Wrath hit, BC gems went into the toilet overnight. I suggested that all Blizz needed to do to prevent this from happening to Wrath gems would be to give gems level requirements. And before Cata was released, to everyone's surprise, that's exactly what Blizz announced...that Cata gems would only be socketable in gear with a certain ilvl. So while everyone else on my server was STILL dumping their raw gems, I was buying them up. I sell more Wrath Gems at Full Asking price now than I was doing for the last year of the Wrath expansion because the competition is minimal but the demand is still there.

      All I'm trying to say is that if you're relying on the past to predict future, don't just look at the slice of it that supports your hopes. Try to take a step back and look for patterns that also display how Blizz can, and has, evolved their methods in regards to introducing things to the game.
    1. calianna's Avatar
      calianna -
      Kyiran, I'm curious what you're basis you're using for your assertion that pyrite will not be affected much. I think pyrite is going to be affected when/if it is announced that epics will or will not come from pyrite. It might not be immediate, but it will have an effect. Let me give an example, suppose you have a few buyers on your server. They are keeping the prices artificially high. If epics were to come from pyrite, they would probably start selling. With several of them supplying, it's quite possible they would supply the market enough (initially) to keep prices at about the same level. Once their stocks start to disappear, however, prices would climb as demand outstrips supply.

      And, I have to agree with you Whitewolf. It's way too early for epic gems. People are bored with rares and want to have a market they can corner again. So, they are trying to will epic gems into existence. I just want you all to know, I have inside information. They have a "doomsday" counter going. Every time a gold blogger "predicts" epic gems, they increase the counter. Once it hits a certain point, they will remove all restrictions on what weapons and armor hunters can roll on and equip. You've been warned.
    1. Kyiran's Avatar
      Kyiran -
      Calianna - My point was not that pyrite will or won't be affected. I'm saying, pyrite is going to be affected irregardless of whether gems come from it or not. It's going to be affected by the current trend of stockpiling/hording, and once whatever is going to happen with pyrite happens, it's all going to be coming back into the economy. In otherwords, I think that the value of the goods that come from pyrite, is going to be crash no matter what, once it reenters the economy - and the value of pyrite itself will follow it down. This will be true to the extent and in proportion to the extent that people are hording now and is probably inevitable, and will happen whether or not epic gems end up coming from pyrite.

      My *guess* is that even if epic gems don't come from pyrite, other things for other professions will still use pyrite and will have new ways to use pyrite, even if JC's don't. My point being that the difference in demand for it will be roughly the same whether its JC demand or other profession demand. The only "extra" demand right now comes from speculation, which leads to what I discussed above, when that goes away, the price will drop.

      I make these points in response to both camps of speculators - those that expect gems to come from pyrite generally seem to say that ore prices will skyrocket. Those that expect gems to come from somewhere else and not pyrite generally seem to say that ore prices will plummet. I think that the middle ground is more likely. Initially ore prices will crash (no matter what) but that there will still be some kind of demand, so ore will recover (no matter what).

      I also agree with whitewolf that it's too soon for epic gems, however, I don't think many really expect them as early as firelands tier. I would guess most likely the tier after that. Your comment regarding ilevel requirement for cata gems got me thinking though - who's to say they won't do the same for epic gems when they are released? What if epic gems require 38x or 39x (or whatever ilevels are at whenever they are released?) On that note, taking a look at other cata developments - whos to say that epic gem designs (at least some of them) won't be world drops? Burning/reverberating/agile meta cuts are, and I don't think many expected that. Perhaps some epic gem cuts will be purchasable with tokens, along with potentially higher ilevel jewelry, but based on the recently added metas, I wouldn't be *too* surprised if at least some designs are world drop, or at least come from new dungeon/raid loot tables or faction vendors rather than JC vendor. But this is wildly starting to get off the point of the thread...
    1. calianna's Avatar
      calianna -
      That's an interesting thought about a higher tier requirement on epics (when/if they are released). I don't think I've seen anyone consider that possibility. It would definitely make it a very different market. I'm not sure that people have considered the effect the current iLevel requirements have had on the current market and might have on the epic market.
    1. Stede's Avatar
      Stede -
      I entirely agree with Kyiran. If you step back from all this you see two general scenarios.

      Epic gems come from Pyrite. As JCs begin prospecting en masse, epic price wars will follow a race to the bottom. You guys remember the World drop meta gems? Rinse & repeat - unless there's a twist and we see gating via tokens for recipes, but so many JCs will have tokens stockpiled that I'm just not convinced. The Volatile Earth market will crash through the floor. Truegold will take time to correct as Pyrite Ore slowly climbs in price, levelling out somewhere around 150~200g/stack, and as it does, alchemists will favor Living Elements - expect Volatile Air to come down a tad. Volatile Life will feel some additional pressure, particularly during the Tuesday-Thursday raid rush, and will have manic price swings throughout the week. Belt buckles will tank - well, not in the traditional sense. The current margins will be slashed to the bone as Pyrite gets more expensive, but the stockpile that the big players have will keep prices low. Many will abandon this market.

      Epic gems do not come from pyrite. Everyone who lets a blog think for them will crash Pyrite. Belt Buckles and Truegold markets won't change much (at least not due to this). Volatile Earth will be worthless, as those without the stomach to sell their pyrite raw for <50g/stack start shuffling through it. Some servers may see JCs try to blow out their rares by tanking the cut gems markets (and uncuts, too). In this scenario, the new stockpile goods would be whatever reagents that will be used for epic gems.

      Across these scenarios, I see Transmute Alchemists as being more stable.
    1. calianna's Avatar
      calianna -
      I have to say I 100% approve of the more outside the box thinking. In the line, what if there are no epic gem transmutes? Or what if the recipes for epic gem transmutes are raid drops? Suddenly, alchemy alts are much less valuable and that daily transmute carries a much higher value.

      And, Stede you missed a key point in there. If alchemists can transmute epic gems, there is a good chance that will conflict with the living elements and truegold transmutes. If it does, nobody will be doing either of those. Truegold will go through the roof if it's the same cooldown and volatile air will probably trend upward a bit as well.
    1. Xsinthis's Avatar
      Xsinthis -
      I have no doubt the epic gems will be transmutable. The cooldown and reagents are of course still up in the air. Making the recipes raid drops would be interesting, so long as there wasn't a cooldown, or at least not a you-can-only-do-one-of-these-per-day type cooldowns. This will limit how many people initially have them, keep the prices from crashing to masses of alchemy alts. It also means that as the weeks go on it becomes more and more available, helping even out supply and bring prices down to were most people will be able to afford them.

      Also, in wrath you had to wait 5 from from your first epic gem transmute before you could do the red. I expect something similar with the reds this time.

      Still stockpiling pyrite though.

      EDIT: Also, there seems to be next to no debate or discussion about whether or not our current JC tokens will be used to buy the epic cuts. With this new system of currencies it would not surprise me one bit if they added a new token for epics and any other new recipes. This would create the two tier system you see with Justice/Valor and Honor/Conquest.
    1. Stede's Avatar
      Stede -
      @calianna - yeah, Aeg brought up that same point about the shared alchemy CD in IRC minutes after I posted. I was too lazy to go back and edit. As for there not being any Alchemy involvement in epic gems, I don't think it will happen. Blizzard has already committed to giving Alchemists a way to transmute (currently) top-tier gems. They're not going to selectively cut them out of the game for epics. However, if epic transmutes are gated (recipes from raid bosses), then I'd expect the gems to be gated for other professions, as well.

      @Xsinthis - great point about the 2 tier currency.
    1. Davison's Avatar
      Davison -
      Quote Originally Posted by Xsinthis View Post
      Making the recipes raid drops would be interesting
      I honestly dont see this happen, blizzard has made sure these things are availlable to the majority of the playerbase without them having to raid for it,
      This goes nicely allong in the line of getting as much as possible availlable to the big crowd.
      I dont see them going back to MH situations anytime soon tbh...

      What might be possible is either a system allong the lines of the inscription/alchemy research or Book of glyph mastery, not sure just throwing it in as an option,
      although to me it looks more viable then being availlable trough raids.

      On topic of the Pyrite ore speculation, my brain is ripping itself appart between the choice of stacking up a fair amount (thinking about 40K worht of pyrite, where my liquid gold is about 130K)
      and just buying the cheap ores up and keep crafting belt buckles.
    1. Stede's Avatar
      Stede -
      ^ Davison, you're on the right track. Blizzard has voiced a concern about scaling the game to accommodate casual and hardcore players, particularly with regards to the economic viability of professions.

      Cheap Pyrite should be bought regardless of whether you're stockpiling for a speculation play, and you can always save some as a hedge. This is one istance where being open-minded and maybe even 'wishy-washy' will profit you - as long as you're thinking on your toes.
    1. Xsinthis's Avatar
      Xsinthis -
      The recipes wouldn't have to be BoP. If they were BoE they would trickle into the non-raiding world too, while giving bleeding edge guilds the opening edge.
    1. calianna's Avatar
      calianna -
      @Davison - I don't necessarily think any of these things happening, I would just like us to get away from the "Prospect pyrite/Patterns from current tokens/Transmute" pigeonhole that I think has become the norm.

      @Stede - By Blizzard's commitment to alchemists, are you meaning the transmute to rares?

      Another random thought... They could make an entirely new "transmute" for JC's that "perfects" a rare into an epic. This could be in addition to or in lieu of alchemy transmutes.
    1. Sterling's Avatar
      Sterling -
      Quote Originally Posted by calianna View Post
      Another random thought... They could make an entirely new "transmute" for JC's that "perfects" a rare into an epic. This could be in addition to or in lieu of alchemy transmutes.
      That's a novel idea. Or simply add gem perfection for rare gems.
    1. Stede's Avatar
      Stede -
      @calianna - yeah. I suppose they could make a JC transmute...
    1. Davison's Avatar
      Davison -
      Quote Originally Posted by calianna View Post
      @Davison - I don't necessarily think any of these things happening, I would just like us to get away from the "Prospect pyrite/Patterns from current tokens/Transmute" pigeonhole that I think has become the norm.
      Another random thought... They could make an entirely new "transmute" for JC's that "perfects" a rare into an epic. This could be in addition to or in lieu of alchemy transmutes.
      I agree on trying to get away of that thought, but a daily research is the only thing that pops to mind atm
      Except for one last thought, your remark on the transmuting got me thinking.
      With the possibility to proc green necks/rings to blues as a jc, it might be possible there wont be any new patterns at all nor even prospectible epic gems, but from proccing superiour gems into "Perfect *insert gem type here*"
      This would ofc rule out alchemists unless they add Calianna's thought that they can "chance on transmute" epic gems wich will always grant a "Perfect *insert gem type here*

      Edit: I might be taking this a bit to far off, but i just wanted to throw this out since crafting systems like these are found in other mmo's aswell, and with quite some competition upcomming in the mmo market blizz will most likely implement some features from other mmo's.