Friday, March 14, 2014

Nothing Ventured - Hardened Obsidium Set

Greetings, gold makers. I hope you've all been having a great week, what with the unexpected boon of WoD pre-orders, and the boosted 90s that come with them, going live. I've definitely been having a good week. Glyphs have been particularly productive, but everything's been selling more, even some of my crafted PvP gear.

I have to admit, I'm a bit stumped at that one. The 476 gear I can understand, especially if someone wants to actually PvP with that boosted character. It may be slightly lower item level than the 483 gear they start with, but it's blue instead of green, it's got sockets, and it's got PvP Power, plus PvP oriented set bonuses. What I don't really get is why the 458 gear's seen an upswing. Maybe people who want to get that character into PvP, but don't have the gold to fork over for the 476 items? I'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth; I just wish I knew the logic behind why it's selling.

Still, even if existing markets are doing better than they have any right to be at this point in an expansion cycle, it's still good to branch out. Finding those extra little niches can help sprinkle a little bit extra on top of the bounty we're already getting. Most crafted items like this, especially, are hard to argue against, since the time investment is minimal. Set them up in a TSM group, assign crafting and auctioning operations, and they pretty much take care of themselves in the course of your normal restocking routine.

So, you know what that means. It's time for another part of my new series:

Nothing Ventured

Today's Item: Hardened Obsidium Set

For the second installment in this series, I really wanted to find something for my Blacksmith. It's arguably one of the less inspiring professions, having less non-gear options for high sellers than its armor making siblings, Leatherworking and Tailoring. With the crafted PvP gear no longer selling nearly as well as it had prior to 5.4, my Blacksmith was hit the hardest.

I was having a conversation with my partner the other day, and he mentioned that back around the end of Cataclysm, he used to make the Hardened Obsidium set for leveling tanks. He wondered whether or not there was still a market for them, and I'll admit that I started out skeptical.

Now, I know leveling gear still works as a market. Even with the boosted 90s available, there are still plenty of people leveling the old-fashioned way. Jim over at Power Word Gold is known for doing a bunch of business in the 77-80 Catacylsm greens market, for example. The Hardened Obsidium set, however, all requires level 80, so it can't be used to blast through the last bit of Wrath content. It's a perfect starter tank set for Cataclysm content, but the gearing landscape has changed since then, right? After all, we've got heirlooms that go to 85 now. We've also got vendors at the start of the Cataclysm zones that sell level appropriate gear, a la Mists of Pandaria.

Those are both true, yes, but there are some caveats. Many people haven't bothered to upgrade their heirlooms, so for them, the party still stops at 80. For another thing, particularly for a tank, dungeons are definitely the quickest way to go. Cataclysm dungeons are likely the first area where a leveling player will hit a roadblock, as they require a certain item level to queue. Not only are there likely to be gaps in a  person's current gear, but heirlooms count as item level 1 for these purposed.

Of course, as mentioned before, there are the vendors in the Cataclysm starting zones that sell starting gear, of item level 232 (actually the exact same gear given to Scroll of Resurrection 80s). Now, that's super and all, but the Harden Obsidium set is 289 (and the helm and shoulders are 308 blues). Definitely a much nicer starting point, and if the tank buying them does have heirlooms that scale to 85, these pieces are much more likely to let him keep some or all of them while he queues up for the initial Cataclysm dungeons.

Now for the best news. There's no reason you can't start making these immediately, because they're all trainer patterns. The whole set can be easily learned from any Blacksmithing Trainer, and in fact, is probably sitting in your profession tab unnoticed.

Here's exactly what to look for:
The materials are pretty straightforward, with all pieces taking Folded Obsidium (made via your Blacksmithing with 2 Obsidium Bars). Some pieces also take Elementium Bars. In addition, the bracers require an Elemental Flux. This is a vendor item, but be aware that it is only sold by Blacksmithing Supplies vendors, not general Trade Supplies vendors.

Anyway, that's going to do it for today. Give a try, and let me know what you think.

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