My dilemma occurred when I researched how to get to Deepholm. But why would you want to go to Deepholm, Gaiwyn? The answer is simple: Elementium Ore. It is by all accounts the best zone for mining the new minerals. Sure, Twilight Highlands and Uldum are some great high-level zones and will prove to have a good number of node spawn points; but Deepholm is where the serious miners will farm. It's freaking underground!
Deepholm: Elementium Ore Mining CircuitIt turns out that to get to Deepholm you must be level 82. The only other way to get there is to ask for a Warlock summon. Good luck with that in early days.
So my choices are now three-fold: level my chosen miner to 82 before seriously focusing on mining in Deepholm for profit; try to play the auction house - buy as cheap as possible and resell for profit; or simply head to Uldum or Twilight Highlands and grit my teeth at the fewer nodes and higher level mobs with large aggro radii.
Option 1: Level to 82
Gidaeon is the warrior on my second account. Originally, he was on my primary account but I transferred him at the end of TBC to what was then my brother's account. He took him from 70-80 and played him a bit - mostly as a tank - in WotLK. Since then, my brother has quit playing the game and so I inherited his account as my own secondary account; essentially giving me back my old warrior to do with as I please - an entire account to do with as I please.
His second profession is maxed blacksmithing. This could prove to be fruitful also, in the long run, if I put a little time into levelling it for Cataclysm.
My initial plan was to pop 4x Mammoth Mining Bags onto him, zoom around Icecrown until I get mining up to 470 off Saronite nodes, and then head over to Deepholm to do a few mining spirals for Obsidium Ore. But since there is no way to get to Deepholm before picking up the quest from Naraat the Earthspeaker in Stormwind, in order to do this I would have to level him to 82.
This is not entirely out of the question. If I dual-box I can level both Gaiwyn and Gidaeon in tandem. Gaiwyn will definitely have the XP advantage, though, as I have 25 daily quests ready to hand in for a nice little boost on my way to 81. It also means that at 85 there will be a few more quests to complete for extra gold.
So this is one of my options. Once Gidaeon hits 82 I could then proceed to spiral around Deepholm tapping any nodes that I encounter before any of the dozens of other miners out there doing the same thing, while Gaiwyn picks up and levels Archaeology in the old world. A fairly sound plan.
Option 2: Sit at the Auction House
My second option is to sit at the auction house, buy up herbs, ores and leather for reselling, refresh glyphs, and slowly trickle out levelling and twink items for all those people who will have rolled new Worgen and be looking for gear to boost them or deck them out.
At the same time I would probably be levelling Gaiwyn in Hyjal; not too difficult to do dual-boxing, as not much concentration is needed to sit at the auction house on my other account.
The advantage of this is being able to snatch* what I estimate to be good deals as well as getting my goods out there to make a bit of profit as I go. The disadvantage is that Gidaeon will be no closer to 82 and able to go to Deepholm to mine, if I so wish to do so in future. Farming is not my thing; but there is no better time to mine the new ore than the first few weeks of the expansion.
* Turns out that you can set your snatch list for the new materials now. Read this great post by Mike over at Server Fifth: Build Your Snatch List Now.
Option 3: The High Level Zones
Forgoing levelling at all is my final option. I would still get to 470 mining (475 when my old Gauntlets of Might mining gloves are equipped) in Icecrown, but then shoot off straight to either Uldum or Twilight Highlands. I'm currently not sure which is the better of the two in terms of chance of being splattered into the ground by high level mobs camping nodes, but I'm sure they are both equally plausible for doing mining circuits.
The advantage of this is no waiting around and thus very little, if any, competition. Soon as my mining is high enough for the new ore, I can fly straight to one of those zones and go crazy finding nodes and tapping them out for their sweet, sweet juices. The disadvantage is being splattered into the ground by... well, you get the picture.
Twilight Highlands: A Rough Mining CircuitThis is the decision that I have just over a day to make. Come tomorrow I will be leaving very early for the conference out in the city (a two hour drive, at least). It finishes 30 minutes after Cataclysm goes live, and I have to then leave the location and drive somewhere to grab a bite to eat / snacks and drinks for the long night ahead, and head to the hotel to check in to my room.
Here's hoping that tonight I can set everything up that needs to be set up, ready to go, with my toons logged out at strategic locations, and my bags and banks sorted out ready for everything that is going to happen over the next few weeks of play.
Whatever happens, I look forward to everything that tomorrow night will bring. And whatever your plans are, so should you.
Gaiwyn of Proudmoore