Shadowlands goldmaking: What’s better, buying essences or prospecting?

I wrote about my jewelcrafting shuffle a couple of weeks ago. Since then I’ve been selling and crafting a lot more legendaries and I have a couple of specific tips to help figure out if it is better to buy essences or prospect the zone specific ores.

We want quick maths

We want to simplify this into some very quick math you can utilize to make this decision quickly, as well as some tips for speeding up the process. This will ensure you can spend less time thinking about what the right decision is, and more time making legendaries and posting them to the AH.

We only care about essences

For this post we will assume you only care about what essences you get from prospecting the ore. If we disregard the gems, we can get some very easy calculations that will automatically include a small margin of error.

For the zone-specific ores you get an essence at a rate of about 7% per ore. You can then simply divide the price of ore by 0.07 to get the price of an essence from that type of ore. This is equal to multiplying by 14.2. If the price of an essence using this calculation is smaller than the price of an essence on the AH, then it’s a no brainer. You will even get gems, that even if you do not want to turn them into crafter’s marks you can vendor them at 2g50s per. It’s not going to make you rich, but will make sure you have a small cushion of profit.

Zone specifics or laestrite?

As I said in my shuffle post the only ores it makes sense to prospect are the zone specific ones and laestrite ore. Laestrite is good if you are low on essences in general AND you can use the gems. If you can’t use the gems you should stick to only zone-specific ores, as they will give you more essences per gem, thus giving you more of what you care about while wasting less time to dispose of the gems.

Getting a fast overview

To get a quick overview the base AH UI is unmatched now. I suggest adding all the ores and essences as your favorites on your main jewelcrafter. That will then show you all of them as soon as you open the base UI. You can then quickly pull up a calculator and multiply the zone specific ores by 14.2 to figure out what your best approach is right now!

The base UI is also currently by far the fastest way of buying materials. TSM does not play well with changing quantities on the AH sadly, so I prefer to use the base UI when buying stackable items like materials and consumables.

Now go out and prospect!

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