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Consolidated Guide to Mining 1-450 with minimal experience gains
Written by cd34.

As we run a number of twinks, and WotLK released gathering profession buffs, some of our twinks are close to the dreaded ding into the next bracket. One of my twinks is so close that 7 discoveries would level me into the next bracket. As I had 225 mining early on as a consequence of leveling engineering with no ‘main’ account that could mine, I was able to grab the 300 training from the trainer in Orgrimmar before WoW was patched to disallow this. After an uprising, Blizzard removed the limits and allowed characters of any level to max out their gathering skills.

As with any smelting/mining guide, there are holes where you are required to mine to get past a number of grey levels.

From 1 to 450 with minimal experience gains:

1-65 Smelt Copper 130 ore
65-75 Smelt Tin 25 ore
75-115 Smelt Bronze 225 Copper Bars, 225 Tin Bars
115-125 Smelt Silver 15 ore
125-155 Smelt Iron 60 ore
155-175 Smelt Gold 30 ore
175-230 Smelt Mithril 200 ore
230-250 Smelt Truesilver 50 ore
250-290 Smelt Thorium 210 ore

This is where you have to mine from 290-300. Go to Northrend and buy your training there. DO NOT GO TO OUTLANDS. There are two places that you can mine Rich Thorium which turns grey at 365!! You will need two lock summons in either case if you want to speed up the process.

290-300 Mine Rich Thorium Veins
300-315 Smelt Fel Iron 90 ore
315-325 Mine Rich Thorium Veins
325-340 Smelt Adamantite 80 ore
340-345 Mine Rich Thorium Veins
345-350 Mine Cobalt Equip gloves with +5 mining
350-375 Smelt Cobalt 80 ore

There are two paths you can take here. If you cannot afford more than one discovery, mine Cobalt nodes next to your trainer. Cobalt turns grey at 450, but, it’ll take a while.

375-450 Mine Cobalt
375-395 Mine Cobalt
395-450 Mine Saronite

If you have Stonetalon Mountains/The Charred Vale discovered, there is Mithril and Truesilver that spawns within and you can easily get your mining above 270 just running around the outer edge and the few nodes that are within. As a 19, you probably never quested here, but, most 29s will already have discovered this area. You can save a lot of smelting from 220-275. There is also Iron, Copper and Tin within this area which you can sell on the Auction House to offset your smelting materials, or, to make engineering gadgets.

There are two areas that have Rich Thorium Veins that are covered under one discovery area. Since you are not required to go to the Outlands for any mining, you save discovering the trainer location, a Fel Iron mining location and an Adamantite mining location. Three discoveries could be the difference between having 375 mining and 450 mining on some twinks.

The first area that has five Rich Thorium Veins that spawn on a 15 minute timer is Fire Plume Ridge in Ungoro Crater.

There are also a number of other Rich Thorium Veins in Hive’Regal in Silithus on a similar timer, with a lot more mobs that would need to be cleared. There are more ore spawns and at any one time, three appear to be available every 20 minutes.

If you were to pick one location, I think Fire Plume Ridge is a little easier to get to, you can camp your main nearby, clear the mobs, do a quick search, log in with your twink and mine the Rich Thorium.

As a result, you should be able to avoid 3 discovery areas in the Outlands, bringing the total areas required for 450 mining to two areas. One in Un’goro Crater, one near your trainer in Northrend. If you have the room to discover one other area in Northrend, Sholazar Basin has a number of Saronite nodes. If you want to be extremely safe, pick the right-hand five nodes and do not cross the road. On the other side of the road is an encampment which is a discovery zone. The five nodes spawn relatively quickly and are camped quite heavily, but, there are no aggressive mobs near them. The easternmost spawn does have a mob that patrols nearby, but, if you wait until they are at the far end, you can get one tap on the mine and loot and run back until the mob is at the other end of its patrol again.

* provided the Saronite Map in the following post thanks to Santreal.
* provided some of the information required to develop the smelting table. Numbers used above were tested on a few twinks.
* has a relatively good guide for Mining 1-450 without as much concern for discovery areas.

Any newly created twink shouldn’t have discovery problems, but, any old-school twink that is close to dinging may be able to get 450 mining if they can afford a discovery or two and have already quested in some of the areas.

6 Comments so far

  1. cd34
    December 19th, 2008

    | 12:06 pm

    As a quick update.

    Dalaran recieves 0 exp for discovery. There is a Mining trainer there that can be used.

    There are a few areas that grant no discovery experience that also have ore. One such Cobalt node is located at 16,49 in Dragonblight.

    * Bobafet @ mentions one such location in this thread

  2. cd34
    December 29th, 2008

    | 8:56 am

    It does appear that on the PTR, Blizzard has put in the level caps again for all gathering skills, but, it appears if you have the skill prior to 3.0.8, you do receive the bonus.

    If you haven’t maxed out that skill or at least gotten 350 so that you can purchase the Master Artisan training, you need to do it now.

  3. cd34
    January 1st, 2009

    | 12:27 pm

    If you go to Vengeance Landing/Howling Fjord to talk with your trainer, be aware that Vengeance Landing is 1 discovery zone and the inn is yet another discovery zone.

    Also, Dalaran appears to give experience now, though, did not when the first draft of this was written.

  4. cd34
    January 13th, 2009

    | 6:40 pm

    Having leveled a twink to 375 mining that was only able to get 7 discoveries, we discovered Fire Plume Ridge and Terror Run. Between the two areas and the ‘master’ Un’Goro Discovery area, there are a number of Rich Thorium Veins that you can mine all the way to 365 if you desire. Once you hit 345, skillups are a little slower — requiring 8 Rich Thorium Veins to get 5 skillups to get 350.

    Map of Rich Thorium in Un’goro Crater.

    Be very careful – it is easy to hit Slithering Scar which is a separate discovery area. If you stay on the western side of the tree near the camp, you will run from Fire Plume Ridge to the Un’goro Crater Zone to Terror Run.

  5. January 22nd, 2010

    | 6:05 pm

    Why does one want to avoid experience? To keep a toon at 79 for twinking PvP?

  6. cd34
    January 23rd, 2010

    | 11:47 am

    At the time this post was written, there was no cap on the maximum level for gathering skills on a toon. As my 29 twink had a few hundred experience left before hitting 30, to get 450 mining at 29 would have given him about 3100 hp unbuffed.

    Many twinks are very close to leveling after gathering every piece of gear and doing every quest required to get particular pieces of gear. Newly created twinks can work in areas and get discovery experience. Older twinks usually cannot discover more than one or two zones which is why this guide was written.

    In March 2009 or so, Blizzard reinstated the cap on gathering, removed a bunch of enchant options and enforced level requirements on some of the items commonly used in twinking which made this post somewhat useless.

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