Calculating Maelstrom Crystal Price vs. Engineering Goggle Price

With patch 4.1 drawing closer and bringing with is the inevitable lowering of Maelstrom Crystal prices many of us are working to liquidate any Maelstrom Crystals we have.

Today I'm going to share a spreadsheet I utilize along with a Auctionator shopping list to quickly analyze the profitability of producing a Maelstrom Crystal via crafting and disenchanting a pair or epic engineering goggles.

A Primer
It should be noted right up front that this technique is only usable if you have Enchanting and Engineering on the same character. The goggles are soulbound and can not be traded to disenchant.

That said I think the processes involved are worth learning by those who may not have this particular combination. The idea behind building a custom spreadsheet calculating material prices along with profitability can be applied in many other ways.

What I am sharing today is just one small section of a much larger spreadsheet I use for calculating profitability of many other items from various professions.

I chose to use one of the more complicated examples from my spreadsheet today because if you can grasp the fundamentals of this spreadsheet you can produce much simpler ones as well.

Downloading the Spreadsheet
In order to utilize this spread sheet you will have to have Microsoft Office Excel, (free download), or a Google Account (Gmail, etc.) to use Google Docs. I personally do all this directly in Google Docs.

To download the spreadsheet head to the "WoW AH Helper - Maelstrom Crystals" page on Google Docs.

Once on the page look for the "File" button in the upper left.

File Menu in Google Docs

In the File menu select "Download as" and then "Excel" or "OpenOffice". Once downloaded you can open this file in either program or import it back into your Google Docs account.

Google Docs "Download As" Menu

Now that you have your spread sheet ready to go lets get into finding the values we will need to enter.

Gathering Material Costs
We will be using a custom Auctionator shopping list to quickly get the current auction house values for the various materials required for crafting the goggles. (If you don't have Auctionator you can download it at the Auctionator download page on

Once you have Auctionator up and running head to the auction house and build a shipping list with the following items on it. (For more information on building Auctionator shopping lists see my detailed instructions in the post "Buying And Selling Valor Boots For Profit".)

Once you have all of these items in an Auctionator shopping list simply press "Search for All Items" with the shopping list selected and Auctionator will bring you a list of all the current prices for these items.

The screenshot below shows the auction house prices on my server at the time of this writing.

Current Maelstrom Crystal mat prices on my server.

Inputting the Values
Now that we have our material and Maelstrom Crystal prices we enter them into the "AH Price" column of the spreadsheet.

It should be noted that this spreadsheet includes alternate price entries for items that may be cheaper already crafted. These are Handful of Obsidium Bolts, Mats for Hardened Elementium Bar and Electified Ether.

The case may be that Electrified Ether is available on your auction house for below material cost. If this is the case you would enter the price for Electrified Ether and delete/leave blank the price entry for Volatile Air. Same goes for Handful of Obsidium Bolts. You enter one or the other but not both.

Hardened Elementium Bar vs. mats for Hardened Elementium Bar are included because the materials to craft Hardened Elementium Bar are often far cheaper than the pre-made bars.

After entering the values for Elementium Bar and Volatile Earth you would compare the value you entered for one Hardened Elementium Bar against the calculated "1 Hardened Elementium Bar Material Cost" value.

If the material value is lower you would know you should have them crafted rather than buying them pre-made. You would remove the "Hardened Elementium Bar" value and leave the values for "Elementium Bar and "Volatile Earth".

Maelstrom Crystal price vs. goggle material price example.

The Totals
Once we have the values entered and have made sure we aren't doubling any materials (e.g. having a price for Electrified Ether AND Volatile Air) the spreadsheet now shows is the total profit/loss we would make if we purchased that materials and crafted a pair of goggles vs. selling the raw materials.

The "Goggle Material Value" is the total cost of all materials (not including the soulbound Chaos Orb which doesn't have a value other than being needed to craft the item.) needed to craft one pair of goggles to disenchant into a Maelstrom Crystal.

The "Maelstrom Crystal Value (Minus AH Cut)" is the current auction house value for Maelstrom Crystals minus the 5% cut the auction house would take if you sold your Maelstrom Crystal via the auction house.

The "Difference" is how much gold you would earn/lose if you bought all the materials, crafted goggles, disenchanted them and sold the Maelstrom Crystal via the auction house.

Measure Twice. Cut Once.
While it may seem a bit complicated at first once you get the hang of it this is a quick way to see if crafting a Maelstrom Crystal is worth it at the time or not.

Engineering is a complicated profession with lots of parts and materials involved in crafting items. I hope this spreadsheet helps all you engineer/enchanters make better decisions on when to make a Maelstrom Crystal and when not to.

As time goes along and material prices drop this spreadsheet will contnue to be useful as we evaluate lower material costs vs. Maelstrom Crystal prices at the time.

It Works For Everything
For all of you who aren't engineer/enchanters this the principles behind this spreadsheet can be applied to other items such as epic tailoring items that can be disenchanted into Maelstrom Crystals. It can also be applied to any crated item.

My current spreadsheet included similar setups for Truegold, Darkmoon Cards/Decks/Trinkets, Cut/Uncut Inferno Rubies, Savage Leather/Pristine Hides and many more.

Time is money. Pairing a spreadsheet with an Auctionator shopping list is a great way to save time and make sure you are actually going to make money on an item before going tying up your valuable materials.

Talking Points
  • What tools/techniques do you use to help judge the profitability of items?
  • What are some of the items you watch to gauge profitability?
  • What items have become more profitable for you as cataclysm has gone on?

Like this post? Get even more Power Word: Gold: Subscribe via our RSS Feed. Subscribe to the Podcast via iTunes or Podcast RSS Feed. Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook. Subscribe on Youtube. Join us on reddit.


  1. Great article - very informative!

    I had a question about the "Lowest Price" listed by Auctionator after you do the "Search For All Items". Volatile Earth is listed as 11.95g, but sometimes, for example, it may be that there is only one earth at that price and all the rest jump up to say 16g each. Is there a way to combat this? It can make or break whether or not something is worth creating.

    I have this same issue when using the Shopping List in TSM.

  2. @minddwell While I didn't go over it in the article (it was already beefy enough as it was) the way to find more robust pricing information is to click on each item from the list which then shows you more details on the prices on the next page.

    A "Back" button appears on that page and can be pressed to return to the list after which you can click on the next item to check, etc.

    It takes much longer to do this but for certain items it can be worth it checking individual mat prices.

    Thanks for the comment. Hope that helps.