Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Updated Gathering Gear

I've been upgrading my gathering gear lately:

New gear

The latest addition was the Sheepskin Jerkin (Grey) +1.  Thanks to Jonel (Iron buckle) and Enid (Buffalo Leather) I managed to craft this baby up.  The Bronze Sallet was an improvement for me over the Cotton Turban.  The cullotes, work gloves and workboots are the same as previously.  I also upgraded to R17 mining main tool, R22 botany main tool as well.  Still kinda boned for fishing though...

Progress of sorts

I'm a bit discouraged that all the existing gathering information is now outdated (except for the sites themselves - the locations are good).  I have uploaded the latest gathering in Black Brush.  Still not enough to do a map but at least it's starting to flesh out.

In other news I got some combat levels and did some community crafting (basically if you were in the right spot at the right time - it was xmass a bit early).

Physical: 41, Hand to hand: 12, Sword: 17, Axe: 13, Archery: 10, Polearm: 11: , Shield: 11, Thaumaturgy: 11, Conjury: 12, Woodworking: 17, Smithing: 16, Armorcraft: 15, Goldsmithing:16 , Leatherworking: 17, Clothcraft: 19, Alchemy: 19, Cooking16 , Mining: 20, Botany: 20, Fishing: 16.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Gathering Site changes

Note that it looks like two of the site types have changed in Black Brush to become a whole pile of Lauan sites. One of the Willow and one of the Ash paterns did not disappear with this change though. This means I'll have to hit up ALL the old zones in order to see what's changed before making maps of those zones.  Fun Fun.

In other news I crafted up a bit of a storm after this patch (it's why there's so little new harvesting info).  Various things including my Physical level dinged.  I'm also in the middle of the Botanist rank 20 quest...

Physical: 41, Hand to hand: 11, Sword: 17, Axe: 13, Archery: 10, Polearm: 11: , Shield: 11, Thaumaturgy: 11, Conjury: 12, Woodworking: 17, Smithing: 16, Armorcraft: 15, Goldsmithing:16 , Leatherworking: 17, Clothcraft: 19, Alchemy: 19, Cooking16 , Mining: 20, Botany: 20, Fishing: 16.

Things get crowded again

Yep, everyone was waiting on SE to put the patch out.  Things got nice and crowded this weekend.  As I promised in various posts, I would make a link to a location where I can host PDF versions of my log books.  Note that the best of them is probably the Emerald Moss one.  I still need to do maps and what not on the rest.

I may have noticed a change from prior the patch to the current Black Brush area.  One of the trees seems to have a different pattern than before.  I'll try hitting this one up multiple times.  I still have not gotten enough data to really tell the exact extents of the site types in Black Brush, and I really need to start in on Drybone soonish.

I will admit that a good chunk of the weekend has been dinging levels and updating gear.  I'll probably need to broach some grade 3 zones since I need oak for a lot of rank 17 tools.  Weird observation: the weaving level 17 tool is the secondary tool, all the others are primary tools...  Weavers must be different...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Patch Day - Yep step in the right direction

After patching the game here are the immediate I noticed things:
  1. 20 extra spots of inventory.  Retainer too.  (Not much but it DOES help)
  2. A lot of the inventory and crafting lag - gone.  
  3. No more extra useless confirmation steps (both in exchanging items with retainer and in synthing)
  4. Keyboard synthing remembers your position in the inventory list (Huzzah!)
  5. Underwear no longer take wear.  
  6. You can now craft colored underwear!
  7. I no longer see other people's crafting in the chat window (It's still there - just in the battle window)
  8. Less shard and crystal use (we'll still be burning a metric tonne but anything helps)

As someone mentioned: SE is showing steps in the right direction with this patch.

I started the evening in Ul'dah and proceeded to finish processing the previous night's gathering leftovers.  Much smoother experience.  I heard reports that the +1's and +2's are still in the gathering sites.  Why remove them from the mobs but not the sites? No clue.  I heard that party EXP is now normalized for everyone.  Gladiators were pleased but I suspect that the DPS jobs are going to notice a slow down.  Color me amused.

Then on hearing rumors that the colored underwear synths were now available I proceeded to immediately synth up a storm.  Oooooo cloth synths now give 3 cloths!!!  And arrows stack to 999 and apparently the arrow synth is now 333 per synth!  Archers rejoice! 


Not much of an improvement I know but at least it's not that blah drab beige-grey.   And it no longer takes wear.

Also the experience curve was adjusted.  This resulted in some rather immediate dings (since I had more than enough SP in some categories to rank up) the minute I did something related to that job.

No new gathering info or maps or web site published data - had that new patch fever going strong.  I'll get to that over the weekend.  Overall though a nice number of steps in the right direction.

Physical: 40, Hand to hand: 11, Sword: 17, Axe: 13, Archery: 10, Polearm: 11: , Shield: 9, Thaumaturgy: 11, Conjury: 12, Woodworking: 16, Smithing: 15, Armorcraft: 15, Goldsmithing:16 , Leatherworking: 16, Clothcraft: 18, Alchemy: 19, Cooking15 , Mining: 20, Botany: 19, Fishing: 16.

Edit: I just noticed they put in the level 17 main crafting tools! Friday night will probably be spent upgrading MOST of my crafting tools!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


More gathering allowed my Mining skill to hit 20 (with Botany snapping at it's heels).  This allowed me to start and complete the level 20 main line quest.  This unlocks the level 20 job quests - I'll get the level 20 mining quest finished tomorrow night.

In the meanwhile, here is Chatnoir, my "Path Companion".  Full of innuendo is she.


Of course I needed to update my Emerald Moss maps after the session:

Emerald Moss Harvesting Sites

Emerald Moss Logging Sites

Emerald Moss Mining Sites

As you can see, quite a bit of progress last night.  Note that all these maps are still works in progress as I know for a fact I'm still missing sites.  There are sites I remember mining prior to my starting to record everything in log books that I don't see on the maps yet (need to screen shot exact location before I commit them to the map.

Physical: 40, Hand to hand: 11, Sword: 17, Axe: 13, Archery: 10, Polearm: 11: , Shield: 9, Thaumaturgy: 11, Conjury: 12, Woodworking: 16, Smithing: 15, Armorcraft: 15, Goldsmithing: 15, Leatherworking: 16, Clothcraft: 18, Alchemy: 18, Cooking15 , Mining: 20, Botany: 19, Fishing: 16.

Updated Emerald Moss Logging Map

So last night I went on a rather extended gathering spree.  I almost have enough data to fill out the mining map but not quite yet.  Here is the updated logging map.  As you can see the patterns are starting to pop out.  I know I'm still missing gathering spots but at least the existing spots are firming up nicely.

Emerald Moss Logging Map

As intensive as the gathering was last night, I still didn't ding any levels or ranks as the ones used were mostly in the start of the 19th level.  On the other hand I got both botany and mining over half way to 20 so another night like last night and they should ding 20.

I still only have 4 drops per spearfishing site...  I did manage to get the elemental type of the Anglers this time though.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I managed to find the "missing" spearfishing spot in the Emerald Moss area.  As I suspected there were three, just took me a while to find the 3rd.  I did some fishing and some discovering of new sites.  I was also able to "complete" some incomplete sites.  This means confirming all 5 drops.

I also did some fishing in a different "free" spot than last time.  This allowed me to note that the drop pattern is the same as the other "free" spot.  I'll need to hit up a few different locations but it's entirely possible that an entire zone has the same drop pattern with the exception of the schools. That's the theory at the moment anyways.

During the search for the third fishing spot, I managed to run across an albino willow.

Albino Willow

SE has put in these funky sites from place to place.  I can only assume they are either storyline related or pre-positioning some stuff for future content.  We'll see.

All this gathering of course managed to push my Botany and my Fishing up by a notch each.

Incidentally yesterday's map was in my raw gathering log.  One of the things I'm doing is taking a screenshot of my map location when I'm in front of a node.  This allows me to confirm if I'm visiting a node I've seen before or not.  It also makes the creation of an accurate map rather trivial.

I should also note that I've observed the same 5 drop pattern from the mobs.  This also allowed me to find out what dropped the Blacklip Oyster that goes into the Bone Hora (Yarzon Feeders actually - I hadn't run into it up to this point).  Still, more killing of Roselets and what not need to be done to flesh out that side of things.  Also I curse Anglers and Lone Wolves, I keep needing to switch to Gladiator to handle those as my Marauder is jut not quite up to snuff to handle them yet.

Physical: 40, Hand to hand: 11, Sword: 17, Axe: 13, Archery: 10, Polearm: 11: , Shield: 9, Thaumaturgy: 11, Conjury: 12, Woodworking: 16, Smithing: 15, Armorcraft: 15, Goldsmithing: 15, Leatherworking: 16, Clothcraft: 18, Alchemy: 18, Cooking15 , Mining: 19, Botany: 19, Fishing: 16.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Maping things out.

Well with 3 days of data on emerald moss I decided to make a map of the logging spots I had recorded and their (sometimes swagged at) types.  So I thought I'd ping in with the document I'm working on to show you guys the results so far of the data gathering.  Note that it takes about a week of steady gathering in a zone to firm up a better picture of the sites - this is with only 3 days of data points.

Summary of 3 days of data collection

Note that I have not yet got the full drop for Chestnut trees.  Also, so far the chestnut and walnut trees only seem to be in the clearings...   I have more data points on the mining, but the individual sites are less flush.  To the point where I can't tell if there's 5 or 6 types of sites yet.  But I'm getting there.  Thorniest part?  Spearfishing.  I've only found 2 sites and only have 4 drops on each...  That 5th drop is rather rare...

I'd also like to thank the FFXIV Map Information site for their maps.  They have been most useful in making the above.

It looks like people have gone into a holding mode while waiting for the patch.  In NA prime time the server count was apparently down to 850 people.  Not a good sign.  We'll see if the patch on the night of the 24-25th helps things when we get there.

I did a bit of grinding over the weekend and so some of my jobs dinged their next levels.  Oh, and I hit 40 physical (only 10 more levels of that until cap).

Physical: 40, Hand to hand: 11, Sword: 17, Axe: 13, Archery: 10, Polearm: 11: , Shield: 9, Thaumaturgy: 11, Conjury: 12, Woodworking: 16, Smithing: 15, Armorcraft: 15, Goldsmithing: 15, Leatherworking: 16, Clothcraft: 18, Alchemy: 18, Cooking15 , Mining: 19, Botany: 18: , Fishing: 15.

Friday, November 19, 2010

I start in on Skull Valley

So I crack open another log book (electronic of course) and start putting in information about Skull Valley.  To start this off I decide to see if the mobs also have the same 5 drop parameters as the sites.  Sure enough as I pound away with my axe on various hapless mobs in the zone, a clear pattern is emerging.  5 drops per mob of the same name...

Well, this will make things easy to document at least.  Course there's always the problem of going back and gathering this information in the grade 1 areas now...

Oh well.

Of course all this hacking and slashing has resulted in my Marauder hitting rank 13.  And I then headed back to town for repairs.  I think I'll need to start bringing repair materials with me on these little trips as it is becoming increasingly obvious that the weapon is the first thing to get damaged when one is on a slaughter/shard spree.

Physical: 39, Hand to hand: 11, Sword: 17, Axe: 13, Archery: 7, Polearm: 11: , Shield: 9, Thaumaturgy: 11, Conjury: 12, Woodworking:16 , Smithing: 15, Armorcraft: 15, Goldsmithing: 15, Leatherworking: 16, Clothcraft: 17, Alchemy: 18, Cooking15 , Mining: 18, Botany: 18: , Fishing: 15.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The wanning drive and Cataclysm

Oh, not myself.  Just what I'm observing in other people.  I'm detecting a certain depression setting in amongst some of the players.  They find that parts of the game are broken and are unable to break themselves away from their expectations.  A classic conversation of the sort happened recently.  Currently Gladiators are considered a little broken.  This is because they stop gaining SP in most parties after level 20 (apparently - I'm not there yet).  This is mainly due to the SP being heavily tied to damage being done.  Since Gladiators, by their nature don't do a lot of offensive moves when they tank and they are rather anemic when they do, they get shafted in the SP department.  

Of course they end up in parties where the dps buzz-saws ahead of them and out strips them.  Leaving them depressed.  When someone points out to them that they could simply change jobs for a bit while SE fixes the class, they complain that they have already committed too much time to Gladiator...  I'd like to point out that at this point we're two months in to a new MMO...  And they are complaining that they are too commited to the path they started on...  Honestly the mind boggles.

The good news is that in all probability we will not see an enormous drop in presence in FFXIV come the 23rd.  That's when Cataclysm comes out.  The reason for this is that by now most of the WoW tourists have already left FFXIV.  The bad news for Square Enix is that the general lag ridden interface, various issues like Gladiator and some other things (like the storage issue) are interfering with most players enjoyment to the point where the nicer newer features aren't enough for them.  Also they are loosing hope in the long wait between the last patch and the first update in November (only what? 1 week away). Also the supposed Juno equivalent not being open yet is proving to be a show stopper for a certain overly grindy set.  There's not enough content yet they complain.  Mind you I've seen this problem in EVE online frequently enough to recognize the symptoms.  They are simply trying to play some other game with FFXIV.  I call this "the inability to enjoy the game you are playing because you really want to play some game that does not yet exist".  The biggest issue I have with this is they bitching and moaning it entails...

We'll have to see if the player bleed slows down after the patch next week.  Meanwhile for myself, last night was a leve and crafting night.  I managed to get some arrows done for Jonel which allowed me to ding 16 carpenter. 

Physical: 39, Hand to hand: 11, Sword: 17, Axe: 12, Archery: 7, Polearm: 11: , Shield: 9, Thaumaturgy: 11, Conjury: 12, Woodworking:16 , Smithing: 15, Armorcraft: 15, Goldsmithing: 15, Leatherworking: 16, Clothcraft: 17, Alchemy: 18, Cooking15 , Mining: 18, Botany: 18: , Fishing: 15.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A break from gathering.

Well I have established that there are at least 4 Harvesting sites in the Bearded Rock zone.  So my theory that there are 3 secondary hand sites per zone (per secondary hand type) is machine gunned down in flames.  So far the fishing schools have not moved though.

When my gear indicated some wear, it was time to head into town and do the usual post gathering processing.  Followed by picking up leves for Skull Valley, followed by crafting, followed by teleporting to Skull Valley.  This time I also decided to do a bit of regional leves.  These were done on my Marauder class.

The combination of gathering, crafting and combat caused me to ding 39 Physical and 12 Marauder.

Physical: 39, Hand to hand: 11, Sword: 17, Axe: 12, Archery: 7, Polearm: 11: , Shield: 9, Thaumaturgy: 11, Conjury: 12, Woodworking:15 , Smithing: 15, Armorcraft: 15, Goldsmithing: 15, Leatherworking: 16, Clothcraft: 17, Alchemy: 18, Cooking15 , Mining: 18, Botany: 18: , Fishing: 15.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

More fishing datapoints

In the early part of the evening I concentrated on fishing schools.  I also concentrated on finding the presumed missing spearfishing spots.  I managed to find all 3 Bearded Rock spearfishing spots finally.  I also established drop patterns for both schools.  At this point I'm assuming that the schools don't de-spawn like logging and mining nodes do.

I still need to do some cross bait/lure fishing in schools to be able to verify their patterns as well.  An interesting data point is that the zone "default drop" is present on both the free fishing table and the two schools tables.  Whether this pattern will hold for other zones or not remains to be seen but so far is pretty consistent.

I didn't ding any ranks but my physical level is rapidly approaching 39 and should ding tomorrow night.

It turns out the maintenance was not the the expected update, so I guess we'll have to see if it happens next week.  Ah well...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fishing, Progress, Consolidation

This entry will be a bit all over the place.  Where to start, where to start?  Ah, we'll start with the early part of the weekend.  The weekend consisted mainly of a mix of harvesting in the Bearded Rock area and doing local guildleves.  I'm still at the "discovering all the sites" stage of this zone.  Due to the way that I gather and the way the sites spawn and de-spawn, it seems to take a good solid 5 days of harvesting in a zone to get a majority of the gathering sites.

One of the other reasons is that I travel to the NPC vendor at the camp quite a bit to empty out my inventory of stuff I don't need to use immediately.  The rest gets stacked up for eventual disposition when I head into town.  I usually wait until my gear needs repairs, then I head into town, process craft, sell stuff I don't store on my retainer, grab some leves and craft some more, then repair everything and head out to camp.

I've made some changes to the way I select local guildleves.  These days, I pick a specific destination and simply grab all the leves I can for that specific destination, regardless of their level.  Due to the fact that unlike most of the rest of the players, I'm not in any gigantic hurry to get to level cap on "something".  Not to mention the fact that I'm recording a lot of gathering data (which is great for my gathering professions, but lousy for my combat jobs progression).  So the convenience of delivering all leves to a single location outweighs the extra progress of doing leves as close to the level of my craft as possible.

This has allowed me to prety much nail down all logging site patterns for the zone.  I still need a bit of mining patterns though.  I still need to find (I think) two spearfishing sites and one harvesting and one quarrying site.  This is based on the theory that there are three sites for each secondary profession in each zone.  Just need to locate them all.  All this gathering activity has had a good effect on my Mining and Botany skills.  Both are now 18.  The leves and the post gathering processing have allowed my alchemy to hit 18 as well.

This however did not provide a lot of progress for my fishing skill.  So the last part of the weekend was spent concentrating on fishing (it's going to be the slowest of the gathering skills to progress, I can tell).  Since I was concentrating very hard on fishing, I decided to try and nail down some data in support of some theories I have regarding fishing in FFXIV.  Basically what I'm noticing is that there seems to be a pattern for the material drops from everything.  Namely that there are 5 types of drops from any particular type of site.  I suspect this extends to mobs as well.  So I wondered how this played into the fishing system.

So far I've been able to establish that at least on a single non pool site in the Bearded Rock zone, if you use a freshwater bait or lure you will only ever get one of the possible drops.  The same if you use no bait or lure - although the number of "nothing bites" results between the few catches is soul destroying if you only use a rod.  For Bearded Rock this is Malm Kelp.  The reverse for freshwater sites was also true.  Saltwater bait or lures in freshwater sites also results in a single type of drop.  For Black Brush it was Crayfish.  Now in the "free" drop pattern for a zone (basically if you plop your cast down in a non-school area) has 5 drops if you're using site appropriate bait/lure.  So far one of them is always the one that shows up for non-appropriate bait/lure.  So for example Bearded Rock (so long as you're not on a school of fish) seems to yeild: Malm Kelp, Merlthor Goby, Ocean Cloud, Tiger Cod and Vongola Clam.  I need to see if this is zone wide incidentally.  If you use non-appropriate bait/lure you get Malm Kelp.  There are 2 schools of fish up at any one time.

Stuff I still need to work on for fishing:

  • I need to establish the pattern at schools and determine if they spawn and despawn (aka move).
  • I need to see the results with general bait (supposed to be good for both saltwater and for freshwater).
  • I need to see if the "default" result is present in school sites.
  • I need to the results of using non-appropriate bait/lures at school sites.
So as you can see there's still plenty to discover fishing wise in the zone.  If only to nail down mechanics and patterns.

I also exported all my current raw data documents to PDF formats and uploaded them to the linkshell's site so others could work on some maps of these zones.  The drop patterns I'm talking about really pop out when you look at the raw data.

All this gathering resulted in some further processing crafting and managed to get my alchemy up to 18 as well.  I also how have about 60 iron nuggets stored away to progress Blacksmithing.  As a rule I try to store very little in the way of base raw materials, I try to store the intermediary materials so for example, I noted that I was low on animal glue.  So I simply didn't vendor a stack of Bone Chips.  Then when I was in town for repairs, I got some Sheep Leather Spetchs from my retainer and some Muddy Water from a vendor, then I crafted up sufficient animal glue to have a stack of 99 and vendor the rest.  So for example I have 99 Animal Glues, 99 Quicksilvers, and so on.  Also since the branches are used for various repairs, I've got 99 Maple Branches and 99 Ash branches and so on (still building up willow branches - only 72 of those).  I will be seriously glad when the inventory situation becomes manageable.

The other thing I have observed is the consolidation of linkshells that has been happening of late.  Although SE has been much more open and much more proactive about indicating that changes are coming, there have been a bunch of impatient players who have lost hope and either told us they are stopping playing or have simply stopped playing.  This happens at the linkshell leader level as well (not mine but others).  The end result is that we're seeing a round of linkshell mergers lately, as entire leaderless shells merge wholesale into other shells.

Hopefully with the update happening overnight, this will be the end of the bleed, as the wow tourists finally peter out and the server populations stabilize.  We'll see.  Note that the company system and the ability to build (or buy - we're unsure yet) company assets (like ships) is not coming until the first update of the new year.  But we're got November and December's updates to get through first.

Physical: 38, Hand to hand: 11, Sword: 17, Axe: 11, Archery: 7, Polearm: 11: , Shield: 9, Thaumaturgy: 11, Conjury: 12, Woodworking:15 , Smithing: 15, Armorcraft: 15, Goldsmithing: 15, Leatherworking: 16, Clothcraft: 17, Alchemy: 18, Cooking15 , Mining: 18, Botany: 18: , Fishing: 15.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

More data collection

I logged on late last night.  Not having a lot of time and still being in the Thanalan area I decided to continue my gathering activities (and their attendant recording).  I'm not entirely sure yet but it looks like there will be two types of grade 1 Willow and Ash node types in this area, Still haven't run into any Lauan.  Time will tell, I will need about a week or so of harvesting before I can come to such hard and fast conclusions.

Some intensive logging did allow me to notch up my Botany to 17.

I'd like to point something out to the crazies who are racing ahead and grinding up.  Guys!, there's probably no end game yet.  Why are you burning yourselves out getting to a place you wont' be able to do much but come back to the lower levels to work on stuff you've bypassed?  Sit back and enjoy the ride.

Physical: 37, Hand to hand: 10, Sword: 17, Axe: 10, Archery: 7, Polearm: 11: , Shield: 9, Thaumaturgy: 11, Conjury: 12, Woodworking:15 , Smithing: 15, Armorcraft: 15, Goldsmithing: 15, Leatherworking: 16, Clothcraft: 17, Alchemy: 17, Cooking15 , Mining: 17, Botany: 17: , Fishing: 15.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Getting my fishing on

Yesterday I relocated to the Ul'dah area.  After some quick local guildleves, I set out to work on both my fishing and my cooking.  These being the two jobs that were still under 15 at the start of the evening.

Sure enough it was quite easy to get the fishing over 15.  I also spent a bit of time fishing without bait or lure just to see what would happen.  Surprisingly you CAN catch stuff.  You get a tonne of "no bites" but you do get Crayfish.  This matches with my experience in Gridania where I was getting Crayfish for the few casts I did without bait or lure.  Also when matched against the Malm Kelp only result when using the Chocobo Fly in the Limsa Lominsa area, I am coming to the suspicion that bait used in an area it is not good for (and you can consider "no bait/lure" being no good in all areas) will get you one of the possible results exclusively.  This would seem to imply that the Chocobo Fly is a freshwater lure.  I will need more data to verify this theory.

I still need to do more fishing to also see if the pools move or not like the other main hand nodes.  I have not yet been able to confirm that they do.  With the 4 lakes in the Black Brush area that I am now pounding around being the candidates for having pools and only 2 pools being "up" at any one time, I should be able to determine if they move at some point over the next few days.

We shall see.

Physical: 37, Hand to hand: 10, Sword: 17, Axe: 10, Archery: 7, Polearm: 11: , Shield: 9, Thaumaturgy: 11, Conjury: 12, Woodworking:15 , Smithing: 15, Armorcraft: 15, Goldsmithing: 15, Leatherworking: 16, Clothcraft: 17, Alchemy: 17, Cooking15 , Mining: 17, Botany16: , Fishing: 15.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Planicus Interuptus

Best laid plans of mice and men and all that.  Last night was spent at a POS bash in EVE Online...  Back to FFXIV tomorrow night.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Been a week

Sorry for the break in posting.  Just not a lot of interesting things happening atm.  Steady progress.  The big thing is that I've gone on a gathering kick in order to nail down the gathering parameters much better than randomly hoping something nice will drop in my hopper so to speak.

In this endeavor I have taken to doing some serious gathering sprees where I record all the drops from the individual gathering sites.  Now the second hand tool sites are simple.  The spot may move around withing 20 malms or so (internal game measurement - on the map each grid is 100 malms by 100 malms.  But the spots are static.  So for example there are 3 Quarry, 3 Harvest and 3 Spearfish sites in the grade 1 Gridanian area.  Also the extent of each graded zone is easy to determine as each has a specific name and that shows up when you hit the map key.

A mining site in Bentbranch

So as you can see the Grade 1 Gridanian zone is the Bentbranch Zone.  Using crops of the print screens of map coordinates like the one above I have been recording all last week's gathering activity.  This has resulted in some interesting data coming out.  The first one is that each site (Mine, Log, Quarry, Harvest, Spearfish - Fishing I need more data to be able to come to some conclusions) consistently drop exactly 5 drops from the same site.  The other is that these drop "patterns" are rather limited in number and are very consistent.  In other words a specif harvest site will always yield the same 5 drops time and again.

Now there are two skills associated with finding main hand sites.  One shows how many sites are up and their general directions in the entire zone you are currently standing in (Ex: Prospect II).  The other shows the distance and direction to the closest gather-able site (Ex: Lay of the Land II).  Now it has been determined that once you finish a site, it has a cool down such that you can not harvest from it until you harvest from two other sites.  Once you do (any gathering site will do) it becomes available for harvesting again (so long as it's still up of course). 

The thing is that the entire zone skill will always pick up sites that are "up", even ones that are currently under cool down.  The "nearest site" skill does not pick up sites that are under cool-down so you can use it to find the next site with no problem.  Also since main hand sites can and do de-spawn regularly when one of the sites goes "down" it another site in the same zone immediately goes "up".  This way we know that there are always 5 Mining, 5 Logging and 2 Fishing (Schools) sites up at all times in the Bentbranch zone.  The second hand sites being more static are easier to determine so 3 Quarry, 3 Harvest and 3 Spearfish Bentbranch sites are always up.

For main hand sites.  If a site goes down and then later on comes back up, it will still have the same 5 drops as last time.  Also like I mentioned the number of patterns of these drops are limited and can be identified.  So far I've managed to identify 5 mining and 4 logging patterns in the Bent branch area. 

Bentbranch has Willow, Maple, Elm and Ash logging sites.  It also has Ice, Earth, Tin, Zinc and Femur mining sites.  This means that yes contrary to rumours you can get a steady supply of Zinc from the Bentbranch zone (Mainly along the the path going east from (34, 31) and on upstairs to the elevated area - but not the southern part of the elevated area - that's Soiled Femur area).  So far I've only identified two Fish School sites so I have no idea yet of the spawn and de-spawn.  Also fishing may or may not be affected by the bait/lure being used or not.  More data needs to be collected on fishing to come to any conclusions about the mechanics of fishing.

At this point I'm slowly working on the Emerald Moss area and occasionally going back to the Bentbranch zone as I do keep occasionally finding new spawn points and I keep fleshing out sites that do not yet have their full drop lists (mainly to absolutely confirm the 5 drops per specific site and the drop patterns - although so far that conclusion seems to be very strong).

Obviously there was crafting and some killing of mobs so levels other than the gathering ones progressed as well.  Also I now only have two Land and Hand jobs bellow 15: Fishing and Culinarian.  I guess I need to get fishing as these skills are linked.

Physical: 37, Hand to hand: 10, Sword: 17, Axe: 10, Archery: 7, Polearm: 11: , Shield: 9, Thaumaturgy: 11, Conjury: 12, Woodworking:15 , Smithing: 15, Armorcraft: 15, Goldsmithing: 15, Leatherworking: 16, Clothcraft: 17, Alchemy: 17, Cooking 14, Mining: 17, Botany16: , Fishing: 14.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Operation Make Some Arrows

I started the weekend off with a distinct lack of shards.  Oh and look, my combat jobs need some work as well.  You guessed it.  Time to work on some farming.  So the start was some general farming and what is becoming the pattern for my farming runs.  Pick an area.  Go kill.  Keep killing.  +1, +2, +3 stuff? chuck it.  Full stacks are worth more at the vendors.

Once the inventory is looking pretty full, and my weapons are dinged up, head back to town for post massacre processing.  Vendor the stuff I can't immediately process or just don't have the place for.  Process the rest.  Occasionally upgrade equipment or make something that takes my fancy (oh look I can make tabards and chainmail now)

In this fashion I've worked on my combat jobs and upgraded my equipment as possible.

Saturday was kinda fun.  At one point I'm working on my "make some chainmail for the heck of it" project.  Some random person shouts, asking if anyone has a level 8-10 gladiator weapon.  Now I've moved on from the Bronze Dagger to the Brass Gladius and I ended up vendoring my original dagger (no place in the bazaar for it).  But I'm feeling in a crafting mood so I convo him:  "If you can't find one, hit me up I'll make you one".  At which point he replies that he's been looking for the last 3 hours and having no luck.

This matches my own experience from looking for an axe and a spear...  You can find plenty of level 20-30 gear on sale but practically no low level stuff.  This is an example of the poor market that is the result of the current lack of retainers and lack of auction house and lack of sales slots.  It's simple:  As a crafter we just can't afford to not sell our best available items.  Basically it's a profit per slot issue.  We can simply make more profit selling higher level stuff than we could selling the low level stuff.  With only 10 slots it's usually faster simply to vendor the old stuff.  Or stuff that does not sell for that matter.  The end result is that new players that don't get stuck in with a linkshell that has multiple crafters and up having a hard time getting equipment.

So once my current buff was up.  I spent the next half hour crafting a few items for my new found customer.  No +1's but at least he was feeling better by the end of the half hour.  I got skillups and gear.  He got the gear he was looking for.  We were both happy.  The problem here is I think a difference between the shopping patterns in Asia and the west.  In Asia there is still the concept of going out and shopping around for the best deal available.  In the west that has been replaced by the concept of convenience.  If I spend less time shopping then I have more time for either more productive pursuits or for more leisure.

This is the major reason why the western gamer prefers auction houses (or proper EVE style markets) over the micro-transaction style 1001 shops.  We come from a culture where most of the goods a person needs to live on are available in quantity and at a reasonable price and the family income is (mostly) able to afford them.  So unless you're going for hand crafted quality shopping is a waste of time better spent on something else.

Anyways, After that I went and did some local guildleves and managed to get some crafting jobs up.  My lowest level crafting/gathering job is now 14.

I finished Saturday evening off looking for things to craft, since I had once again run out of wind shards by the end of all that crafting.  After perusing some recipes and noticing my archery job was now the lowest job I had I decided that looking into Ammo was the way to go.  One of the trickiest operations in this new game is making ammo for the Archer job.  You start to see the problem when the level 3 arrow needs level 21~ish Carpentry to make the actual arrow shafts.  However some careful perusing of the synth list revealed that Fang Arrows were withing reach.

Fang Arrows

I was at Rank 14 Carpentry.  The hardest synth should be the making of the arrowwood shafts.  Humm...  Let's take a closer look.  Hempen Thread - got in inventory, check.  Animal Glue - also in inventory, check.  Dodo Fletching - made from Dodo Feathers (level 15 synth) and Dodos are plentiful in the La Noscea region.  Arrowwood Shafts - although I've gotten plenty of Arrowwood Branches in the past in the La Noscea region, they are also available from an NPC vendor in Gridania.  And I'm going to want master support for the synth.  So, may cost me a bit, but it will be do-able.  Fang Arrowheads... These come from bat fangs...  Well I've vendor-ed some in the past but this will probably be the sticky part...

Thus at the end of Saturday evening I start the epic quest to get... 4 bat fangs...

I head out near camp Emerald Moss.  Find a cave with some moles.  I know that alternate pops for the moles in this cavern are Cave Bats.  With the occasional Spriggan thrown in.  And I start killing.  For most of my play time Sunday, I kill, and I kill, and I kill, and I pass the 2000 mob mark, and I kill some more.  I started the session off with Pugilist.  It dings and the Bone Hora wear out (reached 50% of durability).  I switch to Lancer.  It dings and wears out.  Thaumaturge.  Same.  Finally about half way thru Conjurer the 4th bat fang drops...  To put this in perspective I ended up with 34 plain Formic Acids (you don't want to think about the thrown +1's and +2's.  Remember the bats were only an occasional pop and even then they didn't always drop the fangs...  Great way to level my other combat jobs though.

When I finally got the 4 fangs, I was lucky and HQ'ed the result.  So I ended up with 16 Fang Arrowheads.  Woot.  Then it was off to Gridania sell off most of my drops and to buy and process the Arrowwood Branches.  2/3 successes so vendor the over supply and keep 16 shafts.  I kept some stacks of drops for various linkshell members that were going to use the goods (namely someone wanted the two full stacks of Formic Acid and someone else wanted the full stack of Limonite.  Then it was off to Limsa for the last element in the recipe - Dodo Feathers.

After some equipment repair work, I notice that Faeye, the destination for the Limonite, was in Limsa working on some Blacksmithing.  So off to the blacksmith I go (to drop off the Limonite and get a slot back).  When I get there Faeye had a new eye-patch.  Funky:

Faeye's new eye-patch

After that it was off to the road up to the Skull Valley area to go kill Dodos.  It took a bit of time, but no were as long as for the bat fangs to get 6 dodo feathers.  Some quick crafting and I had enough Dodo Fetching to go around.

The final synth was very nice actually.  Only used 2 shards (one earth, one wind) and I got about 175 Carpenter exp per synth at level 14.  No failures so I figure it was a level 12 or so synth (the exp rate would bear that out).  If I can find a better, steady supply of bat fangs, I may ride this synth for a few more levels.  It'll be cheaper than processing logs which uses ungodly amounts of wind shards.  In the end I ended up with 512 Fang Arrows

Look! Fang Arrows!

And so I become the first crafter in my LS to make a supply of arrows.  All that killing, the local leves and the crafting did good things to my overall ranks over the weekend though.  And I still have some dodo skins to process.

Physical: 35, Hand to hand: 10, Sword: 16, Axe: 10, Archery: 7, Polearm: 11: , Shield: 9, Thaumaturgy: 11, Conjury: 12, Woodworking: 14, Smithing: 14, Armorcraft: 14, Goldsmithing: 14, Leatherworking: 15, Clothcraft: 16, Alchemy: 17, Cooking 14, Mining: 15, Botany14: , Fishing: 14.