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talk me off the ledge about Mineral harvesting and MotherLodes in general (warning rant)?


Anhrez
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To be a 'good' social mechanic a basic understanding of what do we gain for it being social mechanic, and what do we loose if its easy to find players to be social with you.

I mean I could get 4 other players all with various different Hammers (some with + Quarry some with out) and we can all start attacking a Stone Motherlode. But if nothing ever comes out, not much of a social effort if the Node does not even drop the most basic of loot. So do i need a total of two players who have trained at least 8 days in Excavation specializing in Stone?  That creates a far far smaller 'social' aspect then me holler to a friendly team of scouts in the area to help me gather something useful for my guild. I understand specialization ... but it can be a problem when it creates too much of a gate (imo)

Hey who wants to come over and watch the Super Bowl? - a wide net of people some whom love football, some who love the commercials, others who like the hub-bub of being around people 

Hey who wants to come over to my house and watch this years Cheese Rolling contest? - the pool of those in my social effort here gets smaller i suspect. 

cheeserolling.gif

 

(omg cheese rolling, it can reach speeds of 70 mph) Back to my point ....

When digging around the skills I foundthis gem .... so is this first a binary option?

Can I or cannot I harvest minerals from Stone Motherlodes based on having this skill?  Does everyone need it who is attacking the Motherlode?

fJGbFsX.png

Once I have reached 0.1% I can harvest minerals from Motherlodes just a a horrible rate? where does the social come in? At least in the other format it was a combined DPS cycle on the motherlode. I have yet to work with someone who combined we could get a mineral. So do I need to find someone else that has trained more than 8 days in specific stone path in Excavation to be 'social with' ? I think I'd find a fellow cheese roller first.

And since I'm mid rant and mid-Diet coke I have to say I am not happy with MotherLodes in general.  
 

Why create a great conceptual mechanic then bury it behind a ridiculous limiter?   I have 5 or 6 players all with +25 quarry on their hammers and we can't dent it? Makes no sense to me at at all. 

Motherlodes should be team nodes, I like the adjustment to make Motherloades hold more resources and have a better overall outcome of output because that makes sense. If it takes 2-3 people to harvest it then i need 2-3 players worth of loot to share.

So could we get Gems and Minerals? Why not a refine step like we see for Ore to bars or Hide to leather ?  Its a skill to be trained for it to be able to be accomplished but the limiter to volume and quality refining not gathering?   Takes more ore or more stone to get a single gem or single mineral? the better the training the less materials needed? Same with the quality of the out come? 

ok .. I am done for now finished the d coke and will get back to dodging stuns and gathering SoulGems 

 

Edited by anhrezcf

Don't forget, the one EK that no one will judge you for looting your guilds treasury is Anhrez's Doober Shack. Where you can take those long con gains and 'simplify' them to more easily fit in your inventory. While you are unloading your hard earned winnings, swing by the Bazaar and pick up something to celebrate your genius.

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I think the social comes from working together and needing things other than other harvesters in a live game world with real sandbox pvp dangers and logistics to deal with.

Skeggold, Skalmold, Skildir ro Klofnir

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In one of my previous post, I said I would like to see a refiner profession or merge refining in another profession, to make more ore from ore (balancing all that of course however they see fit)

Refining ore/stone/herbs/skins/wood could be part of that 1st set of skills (basics) or a completely new tree, When you refine your ore you get gem and or whatever other speciality good that come from it.

I am speaking right now without having put much tought into it but, you gather your basic ressource (wood, stone, herb, ore, skin) and they can be refined to whatever the speciality is, (gem, mineral, grave goods, hunger shards, heartwood)

So crafter would use the refined material such as Ore = Gems and Unpurified metal , stone would be Roughtly cut stone and Mineral, ect...

So you get 100 ore, you get lets say 1 gem and 30 unpurified metal, thru the tree you Can get better at refining your harvesting profession (10% yield.. 20% yield, ect...). Harvesters would have something more to do and crafter would use refined materials for their crafts.

Tree could go like this, (All fictional numbers im just speculating)

Excavation basics ( 3% dust, bag space)

  • Refining Basics : Ore  (5% more metal and 5% more gems)
  1. - Basic Pick Handling (7% decay rate)
  2. - Basic Miner (Plentifull slag +1)
  3. - Mining Basics (beneficial chances)
  • Refining Exceptional (10% more metal 10% more gems)
  1. - Exceptional pick Handling (8% decay rate )
  2. - Exceptional Miner (Plentiful slag +1)
  3. - Mining Basics (beneficial chances)
  • Miner ( 10% more dmg to nodes 5% more metal, 5% more gems, 10% pick decay rate, unlocks the harvesting ore familiarity )

Excavation basics ( 3% dust, bag space)

  • Refining Basics : Stone  (5% more stone and 5% more mineral)
  1. - Basic Hammer Handling (7% decay rate)
  2. - Basic Quarry (Plentifull cobblestone +1)
  3. - Quarry Basics (beneficial chances)
  • Refining Exceptional (10% more stone 10% more mineral)
  1. - Exceptional Hammer Handling (8% decay rate )
  2. - Exceptional Quarry (Plentiful cobblestone +1)
  3. - Quarry Basics (beneficial chances)
  • Quarry ( 10% more dmg to nodes 5% more stone, 5% more mineral, 10% hammer decay rate, unlocks the harvesting stone familiarity )

Excavation mastery would give the +1 plentifull ( for 4 total) to all excavation. And some other cool stuff like more refining or something similar.

Have slag give up to green quality if you have plentifull 3 + so that the basic stuff is not so bad anymore. And have the weapons and armor scale accordingly.

You still retain the 25% decay rate you would get from the familiarity tree and it free up those slots to Mother Lodes. You can further free slots by putting beneficial chances in the basics. It leaves space for the refining specialisation skills for that type of mineral. It can be applied to all gathering professions.

Then You would get to your specalisation and in each tree you could refine more of that kind of ore (gold, silver, iron, copper, tin).  And you could swap the beneficial ore and or decay rate for some mother lodes skills.

I think something like that could Help fill the gap betwen super awesome top miner and low skilled miners.

This is just a quick Idea but I could help.

 

Let me know what you think I will also post this in suggestion.

 

Sorry for grammar.

 

 

 

No, you're not suppose to have extra pieces once the armor is assembled.

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I'm ready to jump off the ledge with you, Testing has lost all interest for me as a harvester/crafter simply due to 1 simple change in that potions now give a solitary experimentation point. I've grown tired of mining/quarring/chopping to get resources to make tools that last just long enough to mine/quarry/chop enough resources to replace your tools.

For those of us that enjoy the gathering/crafting side of the game unless you have focused on Runemaking and have at least 8-10 experimentation points you simply cannot reliably make good enough tools to not be in an endless tool making cycle in order to gather resources.

On top of this it's not even worth your time to try and make any advanced item higher than green unless you again have unlocked 8-10 experimentation points in said profession. Not to mention the removal of leather for the most part so the crippling of armour and any experimentation around building crafting/harvesting equipment sets.

Edited by grivyn
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15 minutes per single spawn. For mostly grey reward, and to get damn near anything you have to train for a few weeks or drink 12 minute pots. For a 15 minute spawn. One of which is a 40 second buff to help you gather more after the first gather, with single mobs on a 15 minute spawn. 


Something seems to be wrong here. 

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12 hours ago, grivyn said:

I'm ready to jump off the ledge with you, Testing has lost all interest for me as a harvester/crafter simply due to 1 simple change in that potions now give a solitary experimentation point. I've grown tired of mining/quarring/chopping to get resources to make tools that last just long enough to mine/quarry/chop enough resources to replace your tools.

For those of us that enjoy the gathering/crafting side of the game unless you have focused on Runemaking and have at least 8-10 experimentation points you simply cannot reliably make good enough tools to not be in an endless tool making cycle in order to gather resources.

On top of this it's not even worth your time to try and make any advanced item higher than green unless you again have unlocked 8-10 experimentation points in said profession. Not to mention the removal of leather for the most part so the crippling of armour and any experimentation around building crafting/harvesting equipment sets.

What colour of tools are you using?  Are you using basic tools or the advanced ones?  

With my mining skills and using green tools I make myself (with no runemaking skills trained) I am able to net a gain in all resources when compared to what it takes to craft those tools.  If you do not have any runemaking skills trained do not build any tools better then green.  Blue mats will be wasted since you don't have enough experimentation points to build those tools.  Also run potions 24/7 when farming and you should see a huge increase in materials.

I will also recommend farming Gold and Silver at the start, even with basic tools.  Using 2 Gold and 2 Silver when making a tool will add a crit chance on the node kill.  This will help increase the amount or resources you get when farming.

Official Moderator of the Community Crowfall Discord!  Come join the discussion @ https://discord.me/crowfall

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1 hour ago, Weebles said:

What colour of tools are you using?  Are you using basic tools or the advanced ones?  

With my mining skills and using green tools I make myself (with no runemaking skills trained) I am able to net a gain in all resources when compared to what it takes to craft those tools.  If you do not have any runemaking skills trained do not build any tools better then green.  Blue mats will be wasted since you don't have enough experimentation points to build those tools.  Also run potions 24/7 when farming and you should see a huge increase in materials.

I will also recommend farming Gold and Silver at the start, even with basic tools.  Using 2 Gold and 2 Silver when making a tool will add a crit chance on the node kill.  This will help increase the amount or resources you get when farming.

He's talking about the environment of harvesting AFTER the testing pots are removed, not the current model, and frankly, I completely agree with his assessment.

I think they wrote the code for skill and such backwards, and are going to have to rewrite a bunch of it the moment they start actually trying to have the group dynamics work.

The approach they took, was to buff the player, so every swing of the tool applied whatever his current stats were to the result. What they should have done would be more akin to the harvest bonus buff when the node is killed, but applied it to the node itself rather than the player.

User Story version.

When a user hits a node, it triggers a short duration debuff to the node based on the users skill. If there is a weaker or equal debuff of the same type already applied, the new one overrides, and restarts the timer.  Every time a node is hit, the debuffs are checked and the appropriate values modify the final results of the strike. 

The effect would be that a trained harvester would prep the node with a swing, apply ALL skill based debuffs, and be able to step to the next node and debuff it, while an unskilled player could work the debuffed node for a short period of time, before the harvester needs to re-apply the debuff. That way only one player needs be trained to mother load, as his first hit would debuff it, and allow other players to go to work.

Picks would not apply a debuff, but instead add a bonus for the individual using them.

But that's not what ACE did, so currently the whole thing is a bit of a backwards mess.

Edited by KrakkenSmacken
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1 minute ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

He's talking about the environment of harvesting AFTER the testing pots are removed, not the current model, and frankly, I completely agree with his assessment.

I think they wrote the code for skill and such backwards, and are going to have to rewrite a bunch of it the moment they start actually trying to have the group dynamics work.

The approach they took, was to buff the player, so every swing of the tool applied whatever his current stats were to the result. What they should have done would be more akin to the harvest bonus buff when the node is killed, but applied it to the node itself rather than the player.

User Story version.

When a user hits a node, it triggers a short duration debuff to the node based on the users skill. If there is a weaker debuff of the same type already applied, the new one overrides, and restarts the timer.  Every time a node is hit, the debuffs are checked and the appropriate values modify the final results of the strike. 

The effect would be that a trained harvester would prep the node with a swing, apply ALL skill based debuffs, and be able to step to the next node and debuff it, while an unskilled player could work the debuffed node for a short period of time, before the harvester needs to re-apply the debuff. That way only one player needs be trained to mother load, as his first hit would debuff it, and allow other players to go to work.

Picks would not apply a debuff, but instead add a bonus for the individual using them.

But that's not what ACE did, so currently the whole thing is a bit of a backwards mess.

I guess I should have fully read the thread and not skimmed, my bad!

 

As of the harvesting debuff they don't need to go that route since you can do the opposite and achieve the same results with the current build.  Right now the nodes give the most resources on the final hit.  All you need to do is have the weaker/non-harvesters to take the node down to 99%. Then you have harvester with the best skills for that resource to get the killing blow.  That will net the group the most resources and not require a total overhaul of harvesting by the dev team. 

Official Moderator of the Community Crowfall Discord!  Come join the discussion @ https://discord.me/crowfall

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Harvesting is going to be awesome once they remove the pots.  I am all for them removing the training wheels and landing closer to a tough dangerous campaign vision and game that isn't for people without the intestinal fortitude to really slug it out in worlds with actual danger and challenge.

Skeggold, Skalmold, Skildir ro Klofnir

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3 hours ago, Weebles said:

What colour of tools are you using?  Are you using basic tools or the advanced ones?  

With my mining skills and using green tools I make myself (with no runemaking skills trained) I am able to net a gain in all resources when compared to what it takes to craft those tools.  If you do not have any runemaking skills trained do not build any tools better then green.  Blue mats will be wasted since you don't have enough experimentation points to build those tools.  Also run potions 24/7 when farming and you should see a huge increase in materials.

I will also recommend farming Gold and Silver at the start, even with basic tools.  Using 2 Gold and 2 Silver when making a tool will add a crit chance on the node kill.  This will help increase the amount or resources you get when farming.

Yes I'm using advanced "green tools" the issue is in the time it takes for your tools to degrade (pick, axe and hammer) you will gather for the most part enough resources for around 6-10 new tools. Now of these 6-10 new tools you are lucky to get 2-3 tools of +30 (good/great or amazing) or more (which are required to mine/quarry/chop a single R5 node in 1 stamina bar), hence you are in an endless loop of harvesting to gather enough resource to replace your tools.

So in short, I'm running +crit ore green tools with weapons and armour crafted using "+crit ore" and "+crit amount ore" seals along with potions and I'm finding it frustrating now that the experiment point potion only gives you a single additional point. Prior to this change you could safely make 2-3 "blue" tools of each type and harvest resources you wanted to make decent "blue" and up weapons/armour. Now unless you are heavily (meaning weeks) invested in Runemaking you are stuck in a tool making loop. Not to mention also requiring any craft to have weeks of training into experimentation point skills to make items higher than "green" grade worth the time.

At this point for any harvester you are forced to make a heavy investment into Runemaking or face lengthy waits on stamina regening to gather a single R5 node.

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5 minutes ago, grivyn said:

Yes I'm using advanced "green tools" the issue is in the time it takes for your tools to degrade (pick, axe and hammer) you will gather for the most part enough resources for around 6-10 new tools. Now of these 6-10 new tools you are lucky to get 2-3 tools of +30 (good/great or amazing) or more (which are required to mine/quarry/chop a single R5 node in 1 stamina bar), hence you are in an endless loop of harvesting to gather enough resource to replace your tools.

So in short, I'm running +crit ore green tools with weapons and armour crafted using "+crit ore" and "+crit amount ore" seals along with potions and I'm finding it frustrating now that the experiment point potion only gives you a single additional point. Prior to this change you could safely make 2-3 "blue" tools of each type and harvest resources you wanted to make decent "blue" and up weapons/armour. Now unless you are heavily (meaning weeks) invested in Runemaking you are stuck in a tool making loop. Not to mention also requiring any craft to have weeks of training into experimentation point skills to make items higher than "green" grade worth the time.

At this point for any harvester you are forced to make a heavy investment into Runemaking or face lengthy waits on stamina regening to gather a single R5 node.

I understand your frustration since this is something I have ran into quite a bit with the recent potion change.  The one thing I did to combat the poor tools I make on my own is I found a few tester who have gone deep into the runemaking tree.  They are now my tool crafters and I tip them extra resources for the time they put into the crafting.  I would recommend joining up with a guild or befriending other crafters to get your tools made at a higher quality.  That will help alleviate a large pain point with the tools right now.

Official Moderator of the Community Crowfall Discord!  Come join the discussion @ https://discord.me/crowfall

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tl/dr He doesn't have access to a trained runecrafter to make his tools.   He is correct that motherlodes appear too hard to touch for most groups... the threshold for T4 motherlodes appears to be 70+ quarrying.    How will we reach 100 quarry to hit T10 motherlodes?    Leadership perhaps?

Edited by Frykka

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2 hours ago, grivyn said:

Yes I'm using advanced "green tools" the issue is in the time it takes for your tools to degrade (pick, axe and hammer) you will gather for the most part enough resources for around 6-10 new tools. Now of these 6-10 new tools you are lucky to get 2-3 tools of +30 (good/great or amazing) or more (which are required to mine/quarry/chop a single R5 node in 1 stamina bar), hence you are in an endless loop of harvesting to gather enough resource to replace your tools.

What's so bad about taking more than 1 stam bar to mine nodes? I rarely got +30's before the potion nerf, now I never do. I use my +10-18ish tools and about 1.3 to 1.5 stam bars per node. Please tell me you're not just throwing away anything less than +30, because that's the only way you could possibly not make a profit.

Don't get me wrong, I think harvesting/crafting/potions/etc. have problems, but come on. This is not even in the system's top 10 problems. You're complaining about needing to take a little longer to mine nodes because you make bad runetools with no runecrafting training..

I'm actually with @VIKINGNAIL on this one (never thought I'd say that). I can't wait for potions to get removed so we can all see the real problems with harvesting/crafting.

Edited by Avloren
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1 minute ago, Avloren said:

What's so bad about taking more than 1 stam bar to mine nodes? I rarely got +30's before the potion nerf, now I never do. I use my +10-18ish tools and about 1.3 to 1.5 stam bars per node. Please tell me you're not just throwing away anything less than +30, because that's the only way you could possibly not make a profit.

Don't get me wrong, I think harvesting/crafting/potions/etc. have problems, but come on. This is not even in the system's top 10 problems. You're complaining about needing to take a little longer to mine nodes because you make bad runetools with no runecrafting training..

If he/she is farming on Scorn (Faction) he could not be netting a large amount of Blue/Purple resources. But the amount of greens he would get should pay off the materials required for the tools.  If he/she is farming on Corruption there would have to be a serious issue happening for a net increase to not be made when harvesting.

Official Moderator of the Community Crowfall Discord!  Come join the discussion @ https://discord.me/crowfall

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51 minutes ago, Avloren said:

What's so bad about taking more than 1 stam bar to mine nodes? I rarely got +30's before the potion nerf, now I never do. I use my +10-18ish tools and about 1.3 to 1.5 stam bars per node. Please tell me you're not just throwing away anything less than +30, because that's the only way you could possibly not make a profit.

Don't get me wrong, I think harvesting/crafting/potions/etc. have problems, but come on. This is not even in the system's top 10 problems. You're complaining about needing to take a little longer to mine nodes because you make bad runetools with no runecrafting training..

I'm actually with @VIKINGNAIL on this one (never thought I'd say that). I can't wait for potions to get removed so we can all see the real problems with harvesting/crafting.

Before I address the first paragraph, I must reiterate that I think there are many major problems with the current harvest rates/tool decay, and in general the way they first approached the model.

That said, when calculating attrition and cost of really good tools, we are missing a HUGE piece in the formula that will make very big difference, blue prints and bootstrapping.

Of all the things that can be mass produced, ruin tools are probably the easiest to both BP, and material bootstrap.

Bootstrap symbols using parchment, (5 tries per single log).

Test results from the bootstrap link hint at a 25% ratio. 21x Blue/White/White -> 5 blue, 3 green, 13 white

Bootstrap white blanks with 1/3 logs. 

Get a rune crafter to make a dozen or so till you hit both the high quality and amazing success, (remember, you get to keep the ones that don't fail), and then grind out close to 100 finished blue quality with 1.1 high quality logs per.

 

Edited by KrakkenSmacken
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1 hour ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

Before I address the first paragraph, I must reiterate that I think there are many major problems with the current harvest rates/tool decay, and in general the way they first approached the model.

That said, when calculating attrition and cost of really good tools, we are missing a HUGE piece in the formula that will make very big difference, blue prints and bootstrapping.

Of all the things that can be mass produced, ruin tools are probably the easiest to both BP, and material bootstrap.

Bootstrap symbols using parchment, (5 tries per single log).

Test results from the bootstrap link hint at a 25% ratio. 21x Blue/White/White -> 5 blue, 3 green, 13 white

Bootstrap white blanks with 1/3 logs. 

Get a rune crafter to make a dozen or so till you hit both the high quality and amazing success, (remember, you get to keep the ones that don't fail), and then grind out close to 100 finished blue quality with 1.1 high quality logs per.

 

Some good points. I've been avoiding the blueprint topic since there's so little we know about it yet, it's hard to say exactly how it will change the economy.

For example, you seem to expect that blueprints will fully benefit from bootstrapping. So a lucky white/white/blue combine could produce a blue-quality blueprint, which lets you turn more white/white/blue resources into blue results on an industrial scale. But if we go down that path, we could end up with blueprints that let you turn 3 orange ore and 87 white ore into an orange-quality weapon. Sure the odds are slim, but with a payoff like being able to produce 100 orange swords for 300 orange ore, people will go far to get that holy grail of a blueprint.

I expect they'll limit blueprints somehow to prevent that. Maybe a blue-quality blueprint (created from a lucky combination of blue/white resources) requires pure blue resources to mass produce, not the mixed resources that went into the original item. Maybe each blueprint has a very limited run of items it can produce, reducing the payoff for getting the perfect blueprint. The limit could scale with quality of the result - an orange blueprint creates max 5 items before it breaks, blue is 100, white is 1000, etc.

Maybe they could give blueprinted items a penalty of some kind. Like lower stats or quality on the final item, so they're never as good as a (lucky) hand crafted item. It may sound harsh, but I'd actually rather like it - it would lead to something reminiscent of our modern real life economy. Most people use cheap mass produced goods of decent quality, but if you're rich enough you can get something higher quality that was hand crafted to perfection.

Edited by Avloren
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1 hour ago, Avloren said:

Some good points. I've been avoiding the blueprint topic since there's so little we know about it yet, it's hard to say exactly how it will change the economy.

For example, you seem to expect that blueprints will fully benefit from bootstrapping. So a lucky white/white/blue combine could produce a blue-quality blueprint, which lets you turn more white/white/blue resources into blue results on an industrial scale. But if we go down that path, we could end up with blueprints that let you turn 3 orange ore and 87 white ore into an orange-quality weapon. Sure the odds are slim, but with a payoff like being able to produce 100 orange swords for 300 orange ore, people will go far to get that holy grail of a blueprint.

I expect they'll limit blueprints somehow to prevent that. Maybe a blue-quality blueprint (created from a lucky combination of blue/white resources) requires pure blue resources to mass produce, not the mixed resources that went into the original item. Maybe each blueprint has a very limited run of items it can produce, reducing the payoff for getting the perfect blueprint. The limit could scale with quality of the result - an orange blueprint creates max 5 items before it breaks, blue is 100, white is 1000, etc.

Maybe they could give blueprinted items a penalty of some kind. Like lower stats or quality on the final item, so they're never as good as a (lucky) hand crafted item. It may sound harsh, but I'd actually rather like it - it would lead to something reminiscent of our modern real life economy. Most people use cheap mass produced goods of decent quality, but if you're rich enough you can get something higher quality that was hand crafted to perfection.

I suspect they will balance resource rarity on the expectation that people will be boot strapping.

It's a much better model to make people always want those 87 white ore for bulk item making, and getting a lucky blue or gold bootstrap with amazing success BP is going to be well, amazing. Far better that then people basically tossing out the white because it's all but useless.

 

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7 hours ago, Avloren said:
3 hours ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

I suspect they will balance resource rarity on the expectation that people will be boot strapping.

It's a much better model to make people always want those 87 white ore for bulk item making, and getting a lucky blue or gold bootstrap with amazing success BP is going to be well, amazing. Far better that then people basically tossing out the white because it's all but useless.

 

You are absolutely right, bootstrapping a blue amazing success from white ore and blue paper then blueprinting means you are making a blue grade amazing sigil from 4 white ore and 1/5th of a blue wood, in turn this means to recreate this 100 times you'll get 100 amazing sigils from 400 white ore and 20 blue wood. That's a pretty damn fine return on investment even if it takes 5-10 attempts at getting that blue amazing.

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17 hours ago, Avloren said:

What's so bad about taking more than 1 stam bar to mine nodes? I rarely got +30's before the potion nerf, now I never do. I use my +10-18ish tools and about 1.3 to 1.5 stam bars per node. Please tell me you're not just throwing away anything less than +30, because that's the only way you could possibly not make a profit.

Don't get me wrong, I think harvesting/crafting/potions/etc. have problems, but come on. This is not even in the system's top 10 problems. You're complaining about needing to take a little longer to mine nodes because you make bad runetools with no runecrafting training..

I'm actually with @VIKINGNAIL on this one (never thought I'd say that). I can't wait for potions to get removed so we can all see the real problems with harvesting/crafting.

So with all the changes I had an idea a couple of weeks ago, and thought it might be a good time to share.

I tend to do a fair amount of solo harvesting, and hounding our rune maker is not something I want to do while pick durability inheritance is not functioning properly(I'd much rather hound them to do chapter combines /sigh).  So I started playing with white quality tools, where all mats are white quality.  I only use gold/silver ore for the +crit like many do, and I use stone for the blank runestone (I get a extra since I do WW, I prefer to have the spare wood on hand, though I will use white wood if I have an excess or run out of stone). 

Once I do the final tool combine, I put all 3 pips into Grade. An Amazing gives just over 33 to mining, a Great gives just over 23, if I get anything less, you hit abort & move on.  I tend to set-up 10 to 12 tools to combine at a time.  I have experimented with doing 1 point at a time in Grade, but that seems a lot less fruitful if you are not a skilled Rune Maker, and I have tried things like putting 1 or 2 points into durability first (I get 5 points on a final rune combine), and a number of variations/permutations on this small set.  The best and most efficient method I have found is to just dump all the points into the Grade to start and abort if it isn't great or amazing.

I get 4-6 great or amazings off of every dozen or so combines (this varies simply because if I get bad RNG I will make another set of tools and try to maximize pot time/combines).

Obviously a rune crafter tool will be better, but I use this method to minimize tool combine time (which is still considerable, don't get me wrong) while still maintaining a viable quality tool that uses nothing more than white quality materials.

The one stamina bar per node is a stated 'target' by ACE for a harvester, and maximizes the beneficial harvest bonus/buff for non-leather nodes.  If you are comfortable with doing it in more, go for it: I did rank7's (when they were in) in 2 stam bars and was perfectly happy.

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