Blacksmithing and Training Projects.

General Discussion
So, firstly I want to say that I am glad that Blizzard decided to allow more professions other than cooking to be leveled entirely in Pandaria. It's somewhat of a relief to know that with a little work and perseverance I can get all the way to 600 Blacksmithing without ever leaving the new continent it's a great system and I love it, but...

It's flawed.. oh so flawed.

I tried to do this today. I unlearned Engineering and figured what the hell, with training projects I should be able to level blacksmithing up to at least 525 easily, and the last 75 points would be the grinding slog, where I'd need 200+ Ghost Iron + Spirits of Harmony to hit that 600 mark. Not so apparently. I mean at first, when I got a look at the first training project I was amazed. 1 ghost iron bar for 10 points in Blacksmithing? Yes I'll get some of that thank you! Then of course the material cost started going up higher, 2 bars for the next tier, then it jumped to 15 bars.. not too bad and they were offering 5 points a craft so it was still more economic than flying around Elwynn getting copper bars..

Then I looked through the other training projects, more so out of curiousity since I knew I'd eventually have to grind my way there and use these patterns to continue leveling my smithing. What I saw completely boggled my mind, made me do a massive double-take.

Training Project: Ghost Iron Picks
Cost: 100 Ghost Iron Bars
Skill Points gained: 5

So already I'm getting asked for 100 bars, or 200 ore for one creation of this. How many times do I have to create this to get to the next training project?

9 Times...

That comes to 900 bars, or 1800 ore and for what? 45 points in smithing? Now I knew this wasn't going to be cheap or as easy to level as cooking. I knew that I'd need to grind a lot of ghost iron to get from 1-600 but seriously? 900 bars?

Actually now that I think about it, lets add up how many bars I would actually need.

*elevator music*

Adding everything together the total cost in bars to level from 1-500 through the training projects is a whopping 4,412 Ghost Iron Bars, which considering that you need 2 ore to smelt one bar, means you need 8,824 Ghost Iron Ore.

That's my entire servers ghost iron economy 10 times over, considering that ghost iron stacks on some servers can go up to 125g per stack that's 551,500g IF I were to buy it all from the auction house!

Waaaaaaaaayyyyy to excessive.

So please, Blizzard... reduce the cost on some of these items, because as it is right now it is far more cost effective, and time efficient to grind through all the other metals, which I'm pretty sure is the exact opposite of what you wanted people to do with this system!
If I recall correctly, Blizzard intentionally designed it to be incredibly inefficient, mats wise, to level this way. It's meant to be an alternative method of profession leveling and probably keep the value of Ghost Iron Ore up, not a complete replacement.
The system is intended to fill the gaps where harder to farm Ore is not posted on the AH. It is not intended to give you a fast track cheap way to max Blacksmithing.

I leveled Blacksmithing on my Paladin and finished just yesterday. I used the plans to fill in the holes but didn't rely on them. My experience with it was just fine.
If I recall correctly, Blizzard intentionally designed it to be incredibly inefficient, mats wise, to level this way. It's meant to be an alternative method of profession leveling and probably keep the value of Ghost Iron Ore up, not a complete replacement.

I didn't expect it to be a complete replacement...

I wasn't expecting something similar to cooking where I can just sit at a vendor, spend a chunk of gold and not have to mine a single node (although granted with cooking you do need to buy or farm the fish for some of the recipes). When I first heard of the system I expected something like... farm 120 bars and buy 12 items from the vendor to craft said item which gives 3 points per craft..

It's still inefficient both in time and cost, especially considering that you could sell those bars for a healthy profit BUT asking for 900 bars for 45 points? That's above and beyond. The more materials you're using the more skill points you should gain. That first pattern for Ghost Iron Pins? Should only offer 2 points or 3 at most, not 10.. where as something as expensive as Ghost Iron Picks should be giving 10-15 points a craft, not 4.

Edit: As for the price of ghost iron, it like all other metals, remains high cost throughout the entire expansion in which it's relevant. Only starting to drop when there is a new metal to throw on the auction house. Right now between Blacksmiths, Engineers and Jewelcrafters the price of ghost iron isn't fluctuating that much (dependent on individual server economies). If anything it's increased because now there is a much higher demand as people who don't 'feel' like grinding are buying all the ghost iron available (Actually I think that's a bit of an exaggeration because I'm guessing most people saw the whole 900 bars thing and said 'NOPE').
Bump
wouldn't it be for filling in the gaps for things you couldn't do ? I've not read up on the recent changes to blacksmithing
Well there really aren't any 'gaps' so to speak. Not anymore.

The only really -massive- gap is general outlands level smithing since Fel Iron is a pain to farm since only one zone (Hellfire) has large amounts of it and it really can only take 2 people farming it before you start running into supply issues. I've not had to farm Fel Iron since CRZ was implemented so I can't say for sure what it's like now as you try to farm the stuff but I imagine it's worse.

But even then, in following basic profession guides you only need 152 bars, that's 304 ore, which if you're lucky can take only an hour or so to farm, if you're unlucky add a few. Looking at the training projects for that skill area and I'm essentially needing to make 750 Ghost Iron Bars just for that section alone. That's 1500 ore... which even with the massive amount of ghost iron that can be found in pandaria would still take a long amount of time to farm. You'd essentially be better off farming outland.
wouldn't it be for filling in the gaps for things you couldn't do ? I've not read up on the recent changes to blacksmithing


More or less. I think it's designed for those times where buying 10 stacks of Ghost Iron Bars is cheaper than having to buy enough Thorium for the bars AND to get a JC to smash for those 20 Azerothian Diamonds you need to level BS but are missing from the AH.

Or something like that. Be nice if they did it for JC and Enchanting since those two are just as bad for important mats being super expensive or non-existent while leveling.
More or less. I think it's designed for those times where buying 10 stacks of Ghost Iron Bars is cheaper than having to buy enough Thorium for the bars AND to get a JC to smash for those 20 Azerothian Diamonds you need to level BS but are missing from the AH.

Or something like that. Be nice if they did it for JC and Enchanting since those two are just as bad for important mats being super expensive or non-existent while leveling.

But that's literally not even necessary.

1. On all servers Ghost Iron is more expensive than Mithril or Thorium.
2. All metals save for Fel Iron and Adamantite are easy to farm with many zones having the same ore densities as the Jade Forest. (Hell you literally trip over Thorium in Winterspring)
3. Save for 10 Star Rubies you don't need any gems to level Blacksmithing... ever. (and even that is optional)
4. You need far more Ghost Iron than you need of the original metal, meaning that even if Ghost Iron was cheaper, you'd still end up paying a ton more gold.

And to top it all off

5. None of the items you make with all this Ghost Iron sell for above 1 gold. The only item that does sell for that even amount are the Ghost Iron Picks.
I bought almost all the mats with the exception of copper, thorium, saronite and cobalt to level BS on my DK and it cost around 4k.

Edit: That said, as someone else said, blizzard said this isn't suppose to be effecient but it is crazy the amount of mats needed at higher levels to simply get 5 points.
*nods* No disagreement on the fact that it's supposed to be inefficient as I said above I expected it to be more optimal to go out there and do the grind, which is now what I am doing since I drew the line at training projects early and I will likely do the hellfire grind even though it is beyond time consuming simply because it's either do that or farm over 1000 ore.

It should be inefficient, it should be more costly but I think the current implementation is above and beyond and I'm hoping to get it changed.
Bump
those training projects are useless to us sub level 85s. i've got most of my skill points in blacksmithing from the darkmoon faire monthlies
those training projects are useless to us sub level 85s. i've got most of my skill points in blacksmithing from the darkmoon faire monthlies

Well not entirely useless, you can get to your factions Shrine via portal and you can learn them at any level and as I pointed out the first couple of training projects are fairly decent for extra skill points.

It's just far too unfriendly both in time investment and material investment to use them later on. Even -if- you're having a hard time farming thorium or fel iron and it takes you two hours to farm the necessary materials you need, it will still be far better than farming or buying the ghost iron.
bumping again X.x
It's working as intended. It's not intended to be friendly - just to give you more options using mats more likely to be found on your AH.

I don't think anything says you have to stick only to the Ghost Iron training plans. Switch back to other stuff when older mats are cheaper to use.
It's working as intended. It's not intended to be friendly - just to give you more options using mats more likely to be found on your AH.

Well you're right that it's working as intended... if not being friendly to players was intended (which it clearly was). It doesn't give options because you literally have only two:

Option A: Overspend on time/gold/materials to get a trivial amount of points.

Option B: Do the usual grind for normal materials which is more time/gold/material efficient after the first 100 points.

I doubt anyone, unless they are able to throw around large amounts of gold without a care in the world, will ever use later training projects because it simply isn't worth it (hell even those people would likely do a double-take). Even if you remove buying from the equation and just focus on farmed materials, the amount of time you would need to farm those bars (assuming you don't have competition for the nodes) far outweighs the time needed to farm the normal materials.

So what was the point in the system? To give players an option that no sane player will actually pick? Because if that's the case then mission accomplished.
Bump
I can do nothing but agree with the OP.

Far too inefficient to be a legitimate option for leveling BS.

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