Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Crafting to Mordor, part 2: Words of Wisdom and Rest XP

DanaArodel is head high in fields of grain

I get questions periodically asking how the lildanas (lil-danas) are progressing in their craft-adventure toward Mordor?

All nine of them are full time crafters. Originally, five of them adventured to level 25 to get better tools. The four quadruplets were storage/AH-sales/greeter hobbits and were level 6. Well, to suggest that the first five “adventured” is overstating it… primarily, they just went to festival and got XP. Danaszar actually went to Yule Festival right out of the intro years ago and “ate” her way to level 18 by visiting the food quest many times. 

If they do nothing else, all nine crafters try to make crafted relics each week. The crafted relics net lots of shards and have an AH sale value higher than the materials it took to make them (rohan-shard-queen-master-of-relics).

Update 9 in December-2012 changed the crafter world when crafting started giving XP.
We last left the lildanas in January, 2013… crafting-toward-mordor-with-universal-toolkit

Update 10 release notes in March-2013 (notes-on-update-10-release-notes) said that "craft XP values were adjusted down" but we are happy to report that appears to be an error in the notes. I have found no difference in crafting XP per recipe versus pre-U10.

How have they progressed doing nothing but part-time crafting and occasional festivalling?

Current Level, June-2013
Was, Yule-2012
Metalsmith/Prospector (Champion)
Armorsmith/Prospector (Minstrel)
Jeweller/Prospector (Burglar)
Woodworker/Forester (Hunter)
Scholar/Farmer (Guardian)
Cook/Farmer (Warden)
Cook/Farmer (Warden)
Cook/Farmer (Warden)
Cook/Farmer (Warden)

They had planned to go get Legendary Items around level 50… which is probably next on the list. It is mildly disconcerting since they carry flowers and pretzels instead of weapons and none of them have virtues, or skills, or gear. Of course, since they are a craft team, once they set themselves to do it, they can make their own gear. I am advising that they do try to get some class skills before trying to kick in the Door of Durin.

By the way, Danaish the Jeweller sees that cooking may be in her future, though we haven’t started that yet and she was able to level just fine with gems that were lying around.
Danaszar whittles wood while dexterously twirling a festival fire stick

Word of Wisdom from the Farm: We were told that the most crops that can be planted and harvested before they spoil is 5. That is not true; don’t be fooled. The amount of time it takes from “ready for harvest” to “spoiled” is 2 minutes. With a Universal Toolkit (crafting-toward-mordor-with-universal-toolkit), it takes 10 seconds to plant and 5 seconds to gather. In the 2 minutes allotted, a farmer could plant 12 crops at a time, then harvest all 12 with no spoiling. (In case they get distracted chatting, the lildana farmers tend to work with batches of 10.)

Ok, but Dana, I don’t want to buy a Universal Toolkit, or have tools crafted for me, or think I can win a Toolkit in the Hobbit Presents. How many can I plant? A basic farming tool should be able to handle 9 (same spoilage time of 2 minutes applies, but now you craft slower.)

Word of Wisdom from the Farm, #2: “DELETE, U” is your friend. After planting a batch of crops, hit DELETE to select the closest selectable thing to you (in this case, a crop). Then, hit the U key to pick it up. Of course, the Delete key is always helpful to remember if you are trying to find something like spring flowers, nails, mushrooms, doors, etc. It is a very, very useful key.

Word of Wisdom from the Farm #3: Those upper tier recipes come in a standard version as default and a “Hearty Crop” version if you look in the multi-output of the recipe. Always choose the Hearty Crop version. For nearly the same price for the seeds, the Hearty Crop version yields significantly more crops. For a long time the farmer team had been using the default crop recipe. Of course, most everyone else in the world might already know the difference. I was excited about my revelation and pointed it out to another Farmer who just shook his head and mumbled something about “silly noob farmer”. In case it was new to you, now you know there is a difference!
DanaClaus plants and harvests a dozen Apple trees at a time; move over Paul Bunyan

Word of Wisdom from the Smiths: Tier 9 crafter Processing is a great way to level. The four crafts that use Processing are the two Smiths, the Woodworker, and the Tailor. Processing involves turning 2 units (ingot, plank, leather) into 4 shavings which in turn can be turned back into 1 unit. Obviously, there is a decay function associated with this activity (easy to calculate, yay math… anyone want to take a shot at the formula? Bonus points for including the 25% crit in the formula going from shavings back to unit) and soon you will have no materials left. 

The short answer… a stack of ore, wood, or hides will net about 50k XP (using rest XP) so it is still the most efficient way to level a full-time crafter (well, one that isn’t a farmer/cook anyway).
Danadalyn processes ingots in Thorin's Hall

Towynia of Landroval: In crafting part 1, Towynia of Landroval made an appearance. She started at level 1 at the beginning of the year as a farmer and was working as a Cook in the Prancing Pony. She is now level 68 and counting. That is pretty good for a full-time cook who has other obligations. Towynia never did learn to ride a horse; we were suggesting she might want to learn to ride one as Warsteeds are all the rage these days. Give her a /cheer and /tell if you see her around.

Towynia’s Words of Cooking Experience: We asked Towynia what food gives good Experience and is profitable to make. Some food materials actually cost more than the finished product. According to her spreadsheet (we like spreadsheets), one of the best options is “Bowl of Water” under Supreme Cook. It is 1 Mint Leaf + 1 bottle of water = 1 bowl of water. It gives good experience and has a positive economic margin. Now that is a good win! Do you have other things that you prefer that are also a good XP and sale win?
Towynia of Landroval cooking in Bree

Rest XP and Crafting: With Update 11, Rest XP was changed for VIPs. It seemed benign. Before U11, characters got 20% rest XP per day, up to five days worth to make a full level of blue bar. Post U11, characters got what is claimed as 30% rest XP per day, resetting each day during the night.

Regardless of which version, the bigger change was what activities counted toward rest XP and how much those activities contributed.

Here is a crafter’s perspective on Rest XP:
  • Before U11, rest XP reduced by 80% of the total XP given. If a craft recipe gave 100 XP, rest XP reduced by 80.
  • After U11, rest XP reduced by 100% of the XP given.
  • The short answer = for the same number of materials, unless you log in every day, you will run out of rest XP faster post U11, and a lot of the reason has to do with that consumption part (80% versus 100%).
For fun, here is a math proof (~for non-maths, skip the paragraph in pink):
  • At level 49, XP needed to increase to next level = 188,088.
  • Pre-U11 rest XP for 1 day, 20% = 37,617
  • If using a recipe that rewards 100 XP per use (80% subtracted from rest XP), after 471 uses, rest XP is depleted… (471 x 100 x 0.8). You have used 100 uses of mats, you are +47,100 XP.
  • Post-U11 rest XP for 1 day, 30% = 56,426
  • Same exercise as before, 100 XP per use, +47,100 XP and rest XP is still visible though less than 10k.
  • You can see that this balance changes at day 2 and beyond, where Pre-U11 rest XP at 40% and so on while post-U11 stays the same. BTW, if day 1 shows advantage post-U11, and day 2 through 5 shows advantage pre-U11, the breakpoint can be calculated at 24% for pre-U11, i.e. 1 day and 10 hours. (The difference is the consumption.) /math_off
Therefore, if you don’t log on EVERY day and are able to consume your blue bar when you are on (easier to do for an actual adventurer than a full-time crafter), then you will have less effective rest XP available to you.

I read the arguments for why Turbine sees this as a “benefit” to VIPs. However, since I don’t play every day, visiting alts mebbe once a week, this new rest XP plan is a detriment, not a benefit. This change isn't any sort of major game-changer, so I will survive. lol!
DanaArodel learns new recipes, good thing that stein has a lid

On the Bright side of Rest XP debate! 
  • (1) At level 50, for a full-time crafter, 30% of a level is still a ton of materials. Yes, I can burn through the blue bar, whereas I rarely could before U11. (That would have a more profound impact at lower levels.)
  • (2) With nine crafters, I can always move on to another crafter and burn through that blue bar and another and another… (Mebbe, this new plan will push more people into becomes altaholics.)
  • (3) Destiny points still exist. We get 200 destiny points per level and a rest XP boost costs 250 destiny points. Between my alts and the DP that used to be awarded in the Moors, I have more DP that can ever be spent.
All that said… I understand why people are miffed about the change. Some of it has to do with quest XP receiving rest XP bonus, a silly argument since they are really just leveling faster than before. Others point out one of the things I mentioned: 20% daily but accruing over several days trumps 30% daily but capping at 30%. And, of course, my key observation above is that XP is simply consumed faster (the 80% versus 100% pink paragraph).

I feel badly for the Turbine employee that tried to help but botched his understand of how pre-U11 rest XP worked versus post-U11 rest XP... http://forums.lotro.com/showthread.php?512456-Rested-XP-Nerf/page3.

I personally could not argue with a straight face that the post U11 gain/spend rest XP system is more beneficial to much of anyone since you would literally have to log in every day and spend more than 20% of a level every day to come out ahead. As usual, the lildanas will optimize around the change. Heck, it wasn't that long ago that crafting gave no XP for leveling so we feel like we are playing with house money! 

Enjoy the ride and the lildanas will continue crafting toward Mordor!  
Rolliepollie the Cook and DanaBoffin the Cook in synchromized cooking


Tomeoric said...

Towynia does make more than water! I know - she's provided me with stacks of foodstuffs that are most tasty and helpful. She is normally in the Bree craft hall, and I know for sure she takes orders for all types of food at all levels - including guild food and relics!

Anonymous said...

Danania, thank you so much for this wonderful guide! I myself am a free player with loads of crafting alts. Your insight is very helpful :)

Leanie said...

Wonderful Dana another beautiful and informative post ;)

Unknown said...

Yay Tomeoric! The rest of yall should take Towynia up on the offer. When you are a full-time crafter and enjoy it that much, it is a pleasure to make things for others. :)

Unknown said...

Lotroadventures... You are very welcome! I hope you continue to find beneficial articles if you wander around the site.

Unknown said...

Thanks Leanie! I try. :D

Maragold said...

Amazing Blog! Enormous fun to read and refreshing to find someone with a true love for the game!

~Maragold of Arkenstone

Unknown said...

Yay! Thanks Maragold! Good to see Arkenstonians visit. /cheer :)

Kata Bijak said...

Good article, I like to read and inspire. I wait for the next article

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