Wednesday, September 21

Pyrite Ore, Rainbow to Gold, or a Fool's Errand

Many of my fellow bloggers and gold makers are all discussing pyrite and if it is worth keeping or dumping after an interview with Greg Street AKA Ghostcrawler (Interview).

But is pyrite now a fool's errand? or is it still the rainbow ore with a pot of gold at the end of it?

The question that had everyone chatting in the gold community, was simply "will we be seeing epic gems in 4.3" to which ghost crawler answered:
Great question, and yes, you will! The way we're hoping to set it up, and we kind of have this working but things could change before we go live, is when you kill a boss on normal or heroic mode, each player gets a geode, and when they open the geode there's a chance they may find an epic gem inside. If not, it'll have blue gems or something like that. We really want it to feel like an individual reward, and not something that the raid leader gets to have fun in deciding who gets the gems, or they all go to the guild bank or something. We really want it to feel like an individual reward.

They'll be somewhat rare. It may take the entire content cycle before someone has replaced every red gem they have, but they won't be so rare that you won't see them.

After reading this interview lots of people are worried that their current stockpile of pyrite was a mistake and many bloggers have already put up arguments for one side or the other, the 2 worth reading the most being Flux from Power Word Gold and Faid from Nerf Faids.
The first thing I want to point out is the exact wording used by Ghostcrawler in the interview,

The way we're hoping to set it up, and we kind of have this working but things could change before we go live

Ok, so maybe I'm grasping at straws here but it is not unknown for Ghostcrawler to comment on something and it to then be completely contradicted in the next patch or hotfix, such as a blog post where he commented that Heroics should be hard, which was then completely contradicted in the next patch with a mass heroic nerfing. So it is possible that either the raid Geodes may not be the only possible way to obtain Epic quality gems, or the system itself might not even be implemented. So lets Speculate a little.

Positive Speculation

Looking at the way in which blizzard changed their implementation style for epic gems from TBC to Wrath can leave us to conclude that it is highly possible that a second or maybe even third way to obtain gems will be possible. During initial TBC heroics Epic gems would drop pre-cut from bosses, then later from other sources in a raw form. However in wrath this system was changed to allow epic gems to be obtained via prospecting Titanium ore, mining Titanium (low chance) and alchemy. This was then augmented during a later patch to allow the purchase of epic gems for honor points also.

Looking at this change shows that blizzard moved away from boss/PVE only epic gems, and moved into a more openly available method of acquisition, that was evenly matched for PVE and PVP players alike.

Also consider that blizzard have been implementing a duality and equilibrium style system between PVE and PVP (Honor and justice, Conquest and Valour), where PVE and PVP players can obtain equivalent gear for their play style. So to now limit epic gems to a PVE only concept would create an imbalance, and in theory also give PVE players an edge in PVE, something blizzard have tried to avoid since Sunwell.

It is prudent therefore to speculate that some other way of obtaining Epic gems in 4.3 will be highly probable. However it may not be Pyrite Ore prospecting, so is it still worth stockpiling?

Gold at the end of the Rainbow

Personally I think keeping the Pyrite ore is a great idea, there are many reasons for this that completely devoid the Epic gem speculation. As I said in my Truegold Experiment having multiple uses, or backup uses for something is always a good idea. Pyrite ore has multiple high-end uses other than prospecting that mean a stockpile is not necessarily a bad idea.

  • 4.3 = new gear

    • New belts and need for belt buckles (both pyrite bars and Volatile Earth from prospecting)

    • New weapons new weapon chains

    • New shields new shield spikes

  • 43 = potential new PVP gear and patterns meaning Truegold and Pyrite may be needed for Crafting or even pattern purchase

  • Still a High need for Blue Gems from prospecting

If the Ore was brought when Botters where around then you should have stockpiled at a cheap price, and has multiple uses so is worth keeping your stockpile (however I suggest not growing it unless at a stupidly cheap price).

The other thing to consider is the statement that it may take a full patch cycle to replace all gems with epic ones, this means that Rare quality gems will still be desirable. Therefore even pyrite prospecting cannot be counted out for a use of pyrite come 4.3!

however maybe these reason are not so profitable on your specific server...

Fools Errand

So what arguments are there for pyrite being a Fools Errand and dumping it while the prices are still inflated?

  • Epic gems are not available from prospecting pyrite

  • PVP Gear, Belt buckles, Weapon chains, shield spikes are not profitable on your server

  • If you wait till 4.3s arrival to sell the ore the prices will crash

  • The gold sunk into stockpiles could be better used on more current endeavours

The downside of pyrite depends largely on A.The price you paid per stack B.The potential profit available for crafted items, and C.The amount of competition on these items.

Pre-Patch Conclusion

So what conclusions can we take from all the speculations, information and retrospective of past examples?

Well first of as much as I'd love to see epic gems come from pyrite, I'm 90% sure that this will not happen on the initial release of 4.3, the amount of emphasis that Ghostcrawler and Tom Chilton both put on creating an elite upper tier, where raiding has real rewards available to no one else. I do feel we will see some form of PVP equivalent although I will leave this speculation alone.

This means that although stockpiled pyrite is a great resource adding to this stockpile is a much more highly risky endeavour that it was pre-interview. I will personally not being adding to my stockpile unless I can pick the ore up at around Elementium prices therefore treating it as a non-premium ore.

Post-Patch Conclusions

Once the patch hits I will decide about which uses of ore are best for me, and split my stockpile accordingly. Taking into account the speed at which Gems sell over the 1st few hours, the speed at which near gear is obtainable from new 5-mans and raids. With the new Looking For Raid system giving the consumable resources such as belt buckles, gems and potions a huge boost the chance to make profit should be incredibly high.

this new found increase in casual gearing combined with a new tier of both dungeon and raid content should mean the use of pyrite ore will be profitable if used intelegently.


So what do you guys think about the situation? Are you dumping your stockpile? or adding to it from other peoples dumping? Let me know below!




  1. While I'm a little bummed out from the information given in the interview, I'm not suprised if pyrite turns out not to be prospectable into epic gems. So far I have bought all pyrite ore below 5g and stockpiled it (got about 1600 stacks). I'll just lower my treshold to maybe 3g and continue buying it up.

    I've made a few beltbuckles and the rest went to my stockpile. Once 4.3 drops I might start prospecting the ore aswell if I have a need for rare gems.

    I bought all that ore with the mindset of even if epic gems won't come from pyrite I'll still turn a profit off the ore. So now I'm hoping this news will scare a few stockpilers and there will be some dumping going on :P

  2. I personally never stockpiled Pyrite Ore at all. If anything I'll be picking up a few cheap stacks If I see people dumping them. I'll most likely do this to stock up for my four transmute specced alchemists if they need to swap to Truegold in caseTruegold prices spike due to any new patterns.

    I won't be stocking up on more than 10-12 stacks though in case they prices for Pyrite Ore drop even further after the patch.

  3. What an awesome attitude to have about it :D
    keep the positive side of things at the front and look at how it can earn you gold! The mark of a real Goblin!

    Keep it up dude, and lemme know how it goes for you over the next week or so!

  4. Other than my pyrite stockpile (DAMN YOU BLIZZ :P) im always a buy it when i need it guy just like yourself.
    The only thing I tend to buy that I dnt have an immediate need is elementium when i see it cheap! as inferno rubys are always needed :P

  5. innominAntikythera22 September 2011 at 13:45

    i stockpiled khorium
    i didnt stockpile titanium
    i havent stockpiled pyrite

    considering murphy's law its sure to be prospectable

  6. I'll be honest with ya with the ethos blizz has for there upcoming changes I think it will remain un-prospectable, however i might be wrong!

    But who knows only time will tell :P

  7. One thing I haven't seen yet is anybody talking about prospecting this ore for the increase in rare gems, and the role these rare gems will play in gold making with the raid nerfs. Raid nerfs mean more people raiding, right? More raiding means more people getting gear, which means they will need gems. They will still need to gem/enchant this new gear. Even if epic gems don't prospect from pyrite, there will still be a demand for epic gems with all of the new gear around. And with new dungeons/raids incoming there will be still more gear to gem/enchant. Also, new recipes mean even more gear.

    I think that if you've stockpiled Pyrite in excess you may be hurting a bit if people decide to just dump it. But I also think that knowing more gear is coming, knowing that demand is still there for the gems and enchanting mats, I'm going to hold onto mine and buy the cheap stuff. I think people will still want to slay internet dragons no matter if pyrite is cheap or expensive. With demand being still moderately high prices shouldn't drop too low.

    That being said, I've got a 6-tab guild bank full of pyrite ore. I hope I'm right in my thinking :/

  8. i love this comment! great points, and the extra rare gems is gonna be a massive save for pyrite!!