What you’re going to need:
Mining skill (obviously). Go see your local mining trainer to get trained.
A mining pick. Can’t mine without one (these can also be enchanted if you want, makes absolutely no difference, but it’s cool to have. Even if you have your mining pick enchanted the standard mining animation remains the same, so you actually see that nice demonslaying glow you got put on there. You will only see the glow when you equip it like a normal weapon. A player on our server even had a Crusader enchant put on their mining pick and told me that the proc happens when they mine, cant confirm this for sure, but it does seem really pointless).
Optional, but recommended extra: get the cheapest pair of gloves you can find and get them enchanted with +5 mining skill (shouldn’t cost you more than 2g, as it takes 3 x Truesilver Bars and 3 x Vision Dust). Don’t bother with the +2 enchant as it’s not worth it.
If you’re an engineer then make yourself a Goblin Mining Helmet as this will add +5 to your mining skill.
Also, please remember that mining nodes only appear on the side of hills, cliffs, mountains etc. So your unlikely to find any ores in the great rolling plains, unless there is a small hill there. Also note that Darnassus has NO ore whatsoever! So if you’re a Night Elf and want to mine, get your booty over to Darkshore ASAP. So with that in mind, always follow the cliff faces or hillsides.
Mining 1 to 65
Estimated number of nodes to mine = 30
This bit is easy. Mine about 50 copper and smelt. You can use any of the following suggestions for mining routes or make up your own, as copper is so abundant:
*At level 50, go back to the mining trainer and learn Journeyman Mining.
Undead: Start at the entrance to Deathknell, looking out towards Brill. Head South and follow the cliffs all the way round to The Undercity. Skip past UC and keep following the cliffs up to The Bulwark. Now head North up to Scarlet Monastery, hugging the cliffs as you go. When to reach the coast, head west and then south to follow the cliffs down and round to Agamand Mills. Follow those hills south again to get back to your starting point. Average amount of copper ore from this run, should be about 30-40.
Tauren: Mulgore. The natural geography of this place makes it easy to run around. Just pick a starting point and follow the cliffs all the way around in a circle. Remember to check out the Venture Co mine on your way round. Average amount of copper ore from this run, should be about 40-50.
Orc & Troll: You could just do whole circuits of Durotar, but there is so much copper round here that small routes are just as productive. My favorite routes are:
Start at the gates of Orgrimmar and head East towards Skull Rock (make sure you go into Skull Rock and mine the ore there too). Head a short way south to where that Orc is standing on his lonesome, then head back West following the cliff face (keeping the Zep Tower in sight). Carry on over the road and across the top of the canyon and on to the coast. Head North up to the cliff face and then East back to Orgrimmar. I get about 30-40 copper ores from this short run on a good day.
Start at Razor Hill and head West towards the Quilboar grounds. Hug the cliff face until you reach the river, then head north until you reach Orgrimmar. Head East until you see the first little farmstead, now head south and drop into the canyon. Follow the canyon out and head South East until you reach Razor Hill again. You’ll get about 25-30 copper ores on this route.
Human: Start at Goldshire and head East following the cliff face to the north of Crystal Lake. When you get the north of the Logging Camp head South. Follow the river to the border of Elwyn forest and Duskwood, then head North West back towards Goldshire (make sure you visit the two mines on this route). This route should net you about 30-40 copper ores.
Night Elves: Your going to have to go to Darkshore, as Darnassus has no ores whatsoever! So start at Auberdine and head directly east until you reach the cliffs at the edge of the map. Now head south, hugging the cliff face as you go. When you get to the entrance of Ashenvale, head west to the coast and then North back to Auberdine. Head out from Auberdine, directly to the East (same as you did at the start of this route), but when you reach the cliffs this time head north. Just follow the cliffs to the North and back round the coast, heading South again to Auberdine. I find this figure of eight pattern to be easier than taking Auberdine in one whole route, but that’s just me. Feel free to improvise it. Normally get about 40-50 copper ores from this entire route.
Dwarves and Gnomes: Ah, the home of mining and possibly the best place to start, Dun Morogh! You really don’t need a route around here, copper is everywhere, if you can’t find a decent route yourself, then you’re beyond help! But, I will tell you my favourite route. Start at Kharanos and head to the Wendigo cave (you all know where that is, right?). Clear cave and then continue on West, following the cliff face. Carry on until you hit the main road then head North up to the Frostmane Hold. From there head directly east over to Shimmer Ridge, then North up to Ice Flow Lake. Now follow the cliffs down to Ironforge, on to Misty Pine Refuge and back round to Kharanos. This run normally nets me about 40-50 copper ore.
Another good run in this area is the Gol’Bolar Quarry. Circle the outside, around the top, then drop down and into the mines. I can get about 20 copper ores on this short run.
Mining 66 – 125
Mining Tin, Silver, Incendicite and Lesser Bloodstone
Estimated number of nodes to mine = 60
This part is a pain in the butt, if you don’t have a mount (well its all a pain in the butt, if you don’t have a mount) as the Tin Veins your going to need to mine are more spread out and not as common as the Copper you just being mining. You also stop getting skill up’s from smelting after about level 85 (Silver is the last thing to give you a skill up). The leg from 100-125 is also pretty bad, as Tin is green at this stage and therefore your getting skill ups at fewer intervals (just pray its a Silver spawn, instead of Tin, as this will still be yellow to you).
Horde & Alliance even on PvP servers you can still use these routes and areas.
Easiest way to level up to 125, is to go to The Wetlands and find Thelgan Rock (its near the entrance to Dun Algaz – 53,64 for those with location addons). There is a cave there, that is full of spiders and a quest ore called Incendicite. This is an Alliance only quest, but Horde can still mine the ore. Now the ore itself is worthless and only used to complete the quest, but you can mine it from level 65 until about level 125. The nodes respawn quickly and you can level up your mining in less than an hour if your the only one in the cave.
If your Alliance and want to do the quest, go see Pilot Longbeard in The Miltary Ward in Ironforge for the starting quest. He’ll send you to speak to Pilot Stonegear in Kharanos, who then gives you the quest.
Thankyou to everyone who suggested this, especially Plog
Lesser Bloodstone: go to the cave in north east Arathi Highlands, just to the east of Hammerfall (path to cave is at 80,40) and mine the nodes inside. It’s used as part of a quest chain that’s started in Booty Bay by Corporal Kaleb (in the tavern). You only need to keep four of them for the quest.
Thanks to Garleth for this one
I actually combine two of my routes here, if I have time. They are as follows:
Start at The Crossroads and head West towards the entrance of Stonetalon Mountains. Then head south, hugging the cliffs as you go. Follow the cliffs all the way down south until you reach Blackthorn Ridge, just north of Razorfen Kraul. Follow the cliff to the main road and over. Continue heading east and then north up to the entrance to Dustwallow Marsh. Carry on going north until you reach Northwatch Hold and then head up to the Raptor Hills and the Quilboar Village. Now head back to The Crossroads.
Start at the bottom of the Great Lift in Thousand Needles and head northwest up to Camp Ethok, following the cliff face as you go. Continue on till you reach the border of Thousand Needles and Feralas, then head over to the other side of Thousand Needles and follow the cliffs south. Make a detour when you reach Highperch, as there are a couple of Tin / Iron veins here. Carry on heading south until you reach The Screeching Canyon. Have a quick run into the cave here and pick the couple veins that normally spawn here. Continue south past Freewind Post and all the way to Windbreak Canyon. Now head north, again hugging the cliff face as you go and make your way up to Splithoof Crag. There is a Centaur Village here, with a cave that can have 4 or 5 veins (both Iron and Tin). Mine it. Carry on north past Darkcloud Pinnacle and back to the Great Lift.
Combine the two routes above for a 90-minute (ish) trek that can net 100+ copper, 50-70 Tin and 30-40 Iron.
There only two other places that I bother mining for Tin and that is:
Hillsbrad Foothills: No route here, just do full circuits.
Ashenvale: Again no real route, just do full circuits.
But you could also try the following places:
Wetlands: Start at Dun Modr and follow the cliffs to the southeast down towards Raptor Ridge. From here either go around Grim Batol, if you’re a high enough level to cope, or follow the cliffs towards Mosshide Fen and onto The Igan Rock. Once there head over to Dun Algaz, then north to Angerfang Encampment and onto Whelgars Excavation Site. Now head north past Ironbeards Tomb and back to Dun Modr.
Redridge Mountains: Start in Lakeshire, head north to Rethban Caverns and follow up to Renders Camp. Head south and follow cliffs to Alther’s Mill. Carry on east towards The Tower of Ilgalar and then loop round that and to the south, heading towards Renders Valley. Carry on to Lakeridge Highway and over to The Three Corners. Now head back to Lakeshire.
Mining 126 – 1755
Mining Iron and Gold
Estimated number of nodes to mine = 100
*At level 125, go back to the mining trainer and learn Expert Mining.
From now on both Horde and Alliance can follow this guide easily, so I’ll won’t have separate sections.
Do the Thousand Needle route above, but take in The Shimmering Flats as well this time.
Desolace: If you’re Horde, start at Shadowprey Village and head into the Valley of Spears. Follow that through and out and over to the Kodo Graveyard (you could do a quick circle or move on here). Head east to the Magram Village and loop round and down to Shadowbreak Ravine. Follow that through and onto the Mannoroc Coven to the west. Carry on west to the Gelkis Village and make your way back to Shadowprey Village. If you’re Alliance, then start at Nijel’s Point and head southeast to Sargeron, then south to the Kolkar Village. From here you could carry on down south and complete the Horde run or head west to the Kodo Graveyard. From the Kodo Graveyard, head northwest to Ethel Rethor and then northeast ish to Thunderaxe Fortress. Follow round to the north and up to Tethris Aran and then back east to Nijel’s Point.
Ashenvale: start at the entrance to Ashenvale from The Barrens and head to the west. Skip round the Battleground entrance (only if your Horde) and carry on to the river. Follow the river north, trying to keep as close to bank as possible, so that you can see spawns on both sides of the river. Keep following the river till you get to just before Xavian in the north. Now head east to the next river and cross over to Saytrnaar and onto Forest Song (watch out for those elites). Now head south through the Warsong Logging Camp if your Horde or skirt around it if your Alliance and continue on down through Felfire Hill and onto Demon Fall Canyon. Now head west through Nightsong Woods and back to your start point.
Badlands: start at Apocryphens Rest and head south to Camp Cagg, then east to Mirage Flats. Now follow cliff face all way to Camp Boff, past Agmonds End. Head north past Dustwind Gulch and onto Hammertoes Digsite and then northwest to Angor Fortress. Now follow the cliffs west all the way to Kargath (or just before it, if Alliance) and back down to Apocryphens Rest. Remember to divert off slightly at each point where the Rock Elementals gather and do a quick tour of their spawn spots.
Arathi Highlands: start at Thandoll Span and head east then north to Boulderfist Hall. Follow cliffs round to Witherbark Village and continue north up to Hammerfall. If you’re Horde, loop round the back of Hammerfall and continue on to the west. If your Alliance, go as far Drywhisker Gorge (remember to check inside, both Horde and Alliance) and then loop round Hammerfall to the south and back up to the northern cliffs. Follow cliffs west to Dabyries Farmstead and then head south past Refuge Point and back down to Thandoll Span.
Alterac Mountains: start at the entrance to the Ruins of Alterac and head west past the Growless Cave. Follow the ridge around the ruins and keep going to the end. Now drop down to the coast (you can make a series of jumps to get down, without dying). Now head north to Dandreds Fold. Head east through The Uplands, zigzagging between the two cliff faces as you go until you get to Strahnbrad. Now follow the road back to your starting point. If you’re a high enough level, go into the ruins and do a quick sweep.
Stranglethorn Vale: couple of small but good routes here. First one is to the north of Grom’Gol Base Camp. Start at Nessingwarys Expedition and follow the hills around the front of the three sets of ruins (Kalai, Balal and Zuuldaia) and then back round to the north of them and return to Nessingwarys Expedition. Second route starts at Kurzens Compound to the north of Zul’Gurub entrance. After a quick circle around the compound, head south down to Mosh’Ogg Ogre Mound. If you’re a high level, then do a sweep of the cave and carry on south to the Ruins of Zulmamwe. Keep heading south past the Crystalvein Mine and the Ruins of Aboraz. Carry on into the Mistvale Valley, now heading west towards the main road. From here either head to Booty Bay or follow the road back up north to your starting point.
Swamp of Sorrows: couple of nice little spots here. Check around Ithariuss Cave where the Green Whelps are and also around The Stagalbog. Remember to check inside the Stagalbog.
[ post edited by Highlander ]
Mining 176 – 250
Mining Mithril and Truesilver
Estimated number of nodes to mine = 125
*At level 225, go back to the mining trainer and learn Artisan Mining.
So now we come the real money making stuff, Mithril. This stuff is used in such quantities by Engineering and Blacksmithing that you will always sell what you mine for a good profit.
Blasted Lands: just do full circuits, simple.
Searing Gorge: again, just do full circuits. You can do what I do and do a full circuit of the perimeter of Searing Gorge, then drop down into The Cauldron and do a circuit of that (inside and outside). Also remember that at level 230, you can mine Dark Iron, so pick that up too.
Badlands: two good places here. First is Camp Cagg. Just do a circuit round it, taking in the Rock Elementals spawn point as you go. Second place is Lethlor Ravine. If you start by the Master Dragonscale Leatherworker and head into the Ravine and loop round to the north and back out and south past Uldaman back entrance, then you’ll pick up a good amount of Mithril.
The Hinterlands: start at Aerie Peak and follow the cliff face to the south and east. Now just go around the south cliff face until your get past Jintha’Alor, then north up to Seradane and then west back to Aerie Peak.
Western Plaguelands: do circuits of the Ruins of Andorhal.
Azshara: start at the Legash Encampment and head east to the Bitter Reaches. Loop round to the north and back west along the coast past the Jagged Reef and then back down to the Lagash Encampment again.
Winterspring: start at the Timbermaw tunnel entrance and follow the cliffs to the east past the Hot Springs and all the way over to Starfall Village. Just before you get there, head south to Lake Kel’Theril and then follow the cliffs west all the way back to your starting point.
Felwood: only if your there. Don’t go out of way to mine here, but if you happen to be in the area (i.e. grinding Timbermaw rep) then look out for a few Mithril nodes here.
Stonetalon Mountains: quick circuit of The Charred Vale can net you 10-15 Mithril ores.
Desolace: grab yourself some underwater breathing potions and head to Ranzajar Isle. Theres a good number of Mithril nodes in the sunken ruins round here and very few people mine them. You can also take a run through the Valley of Spears and down to Mannoroc Coven to pick up the Mithril nodes there.
Tanaris: bit of a long one this, but can be well worth it. Do full circuits of Tanaris, but drop down into The Noxious Lair and The Gaping Chasm to pick up the nodes that virtually nobody mines, unless they are questing in there.
Mining 251 – 300
Estimated number of nodes to mine = 160
This is the reason you took up mining, Thorium. What a moneymaker. Your also looking to get Arcane Crystal from the rich veins, which will sell for about 20g each (depends on your server).
Un’goro Crater: just go round and round the crater, making sure you drop down into The Slithering Scar and take a detour into Fire Plume Ridge. There is loads of Thorium to be had here, which is why its farmed constantly, so you will be competing for nodes here.
Azshara: start at the Ravencrest Monument and follow the coastal cliff all the way round to the Tower of Eldra. Then head back west to the Legash Encampment in a zigzag pattern from coast to coast. You may also want to drop into the Ruins of Eldarath and pick up the couple of nodes that spawn there. Azshara isn’t the greatest place to mine Thorium, due to its natural geography, but that does mean its less popular and therefore your likely to have less competition.
Winterspring: start at Everlook and head south to the Ice Thistle Hills. Make a quick sweep of the yeti cave here and then back out and to the south. Keep going till you get to Owl Wing Thicket and make a small circuit there. Now you can either carry on south into Frostwhisper and Darkwhisper Gorge’s if your happy about avoiding the elites there, or you can head west over to Mazthoril for the slightly lower level elite area. Once at Mazthoril, you can either sweep the main cave (only recommended for Druids, Rogues or Hunters) or carry on up to Lake Kel’Theril and back round to Everlook.
Blasted Lands: not a massive amount of Thorium to be had here, but good for a quick run, whilst your looking for Mithril.
Searing Gorge: same as the Mithril run above.
Burning Steppes: No real decent run here. Just do full circuits picking up Dark Iron as well.
Eastern Plaguelands: start at Tyr’s Hand and head north past Lights Hope Chapel. Go past The Noxious Glade and onto Northdale. Head west to Northpass Tower and then south to Blackwood Lake. Carry on south to the Pestilent Scar and then onto Lake Mereldar and back to your starting point. You may want to throw in a quick diversion to The Fungal Vale, in between Northpass Tower and Blackwood Lake.
Western Plaguelands: start at The Weeping Cave and head south to Gahrrons Withering and then west to Dalsons Tears. Head northwest from here to the edge of Felstone Field and follow the cliffs north into the Northridge Lumber Camp. Follow the path up towards Hearthglen and then double back once you reach the watchtower. Head south and follow the cliffs all the way back round to The Weeping Cave.