World of Warcraft Classic players will do almost anything to head into the upcoming Wrath of the Lich King expansion launch with an advantage. If we’re being honest, building up to the release is the only thing to do right now. However, it can be a source of pain and frustration for some — be it through farming Alterac Valley or struggling to get past (the now far smaller) login queues.
However, its professions that stand out as the foundation to the latest major pain point for forward-thinking players. Right now, in game, players are fighting tooth and nail over ore all around the world of Azeroth and Outland. Far from the battlegrounds and arenas are brawls over mining nodes.
“Nodes aren’t plentiful in vanilla classic as they weren't on game release,” says Squee, a level 53 Priest levelling on the Thekal fresh server in the weeks leading up to Wrath of the Lich King. “There are only a few zones where you can get ore and level up, and at the moment, no matter which zone you go to, you’ll run into 3-4 other players running the same route”. They are one of many players currently farming mining in order to funnel resources towards jewelcrafting and / or engineering.
The reason these two professions are particularly rough for MMO grinders is because of how damn great they are in Wrath of the Lich King. Both provide players with untradable gems or gear upgrades, which provide incredible benefits that’ll put you a step ahead of your peers in terms of damage, healing, or anything relevant.
So why is mining ore a point of contention right now? Well, both jewelcrafting and engineering require raw ore and gems that are only obtainable via mining. Either that, or you have to spend in-game gold at the auction house for resources that currently are seeing inflated prices due to the sheer demand at play right now. As such, for those without much capital, especially on fresh servers without years of earned wealth around, m ining is the best option.
According to Squee via in-game whispers: “You could spend 1 hour running in circles, not seeing 1 node”, purely down to the number of players out in the world hunting them down. On Azeroth there’s no flying, so those with epic ground mounts (or paladins with their additional mounted speed) have the advantage, whereas in Outland the costly epic flying speed reigns supreme. For comparison, I levelled up herbalism from start to finish in around 5 hours over the weekend. Miners are struggling to finish up in double the time thanks to sheer competition.
So why do it now? Why not wait until later, when people have moved on? You guessed it: sunk cost fallacy. Now they’ve started, they might as well finish it. Squee states: “It's more than time spent, when you spend such a large time doing something, it feels like a massive waste to give it up, so you're kind of stuck with just finishing it off, out of principle.”
Looking at the situation from afar, it makes you wonder what everyone affected thinks about each other. Are they bitter enemies, or comrades in arms suffering together. In a heartwarming twist I wasn’t expecting, it appears to be the latter… for the most part. “I usually call them expletives, cause they beat me to every node, but it’s understandable, they’re all in the same situation. So we all just have to put up with each other. Unless they’re a paladin, then I hate them, because they have extra mount speed.”