Alchemical yields must be increased.
Reason 1: Alchemy is currently the most inaccessible of all of the crafts.
A clothier plant yields 3-4 items per node, with a 10% chance to yield 6-8 with the PH perk. A flower yields just 1 mat per node, with a 10% chance to yield 2 with the PH perk. This makes no sense, esp. since potions are consumables that last around 45 seconds while a piece of gear can last you indefinitely
For example, at CR160, a typical crafted armor piece requires 130 refined mats, which requires, on average, 153 raw mats. The average harvest per node is 3.85 (with the PH perk), so you're looking at 40 node harvests to craft a piece of max-level gear--a piece of gear that can last indefinitely: Inside dungeons, I'm still using the Julianos gear that I crafted 10 months ago. In contrast, 40 node harvests of Lady's Smock and Corn Flower (20 harvests of each) will, on average, yield enough mats to make 88 Spell Power potions, which is gone in less than 2 hours of raiding. And that's not counting the solvents.
Of course, most of the alchemical nodes that I harvest aren't even the ones that I need for a specific potion.
I used to try to be self-sufficient, and before a night of trials, I'd spend over an hour running circles around the Hollow City. If I did this at a quiet time when nobody else was competing for nodes, that would typically yield enough Lady's Smock and Corn Flower to support just one
night of trials. Is this what you want, ZOS? For people to mindlessly farm for hours just so that they can play your content for one night?
This affects not just endgame players like me, but also casual players. When I first started playing this game over a year ago--back when I was still learning and trying out my first vet dungeons--my first clear of vet Darkshade was a painful 3+ hour wipefest. And in that time, I had completely depleted the potions that I had accumulated over the course of a few weeks of casual harvesting. The fact that the stock of potions that I had build over weeks could vanish so quickly made me not want to even consider using potions.
Reason 2: Difficult content has dramatically increased demand.
Back before the vAA revamp in Update 11, a run of AA for the weekly took less than 10 minutes. You could clobber together a group with people on alts, with a few inexperienced people, etc., and it'll still be done in 10 minutes. After Update 11, vAA weeklies take anywhere from a bit under 30 minutes (if you have a solid, experienced group, with people on their mains) to well over an hour (a duct-taped group with people on alts).
I welcome the new difficulty, and it's breathed a lot of new life into the raiding scene. But what it also means is that potions are no longer optional luxuries--they're mandatory. And instead of budgeting for 7-10 minutes worth of potions for an AA weekly, we now need to budget for 30-70 minutes worth of potions for a vAA weekly. @ZOS_Finn
had stated that they tuned the new trials based on the DPS that people are capable of achieving. This level of DPS, however, is heavily dependent on popping spell power and weapon power potions on cooldown. Effectively, endgame content now more or less requires potions.
If we look at alchemical prices on PC/NA, they were stable for much of 2015 and early 2016. But they started to steadily rise when MoL was released and people started getting back into PvE raiding, and with the revamp of vSO, and later the revamps of vAA, vHRC, vDSA and the introduction of new demanding vet dungeons, the price increase has accelerated. In the midst of all this, more and more people are coming to the game, lured in by vet removal, the Japanese launch, etc. Early this year, I could easily find Corn Flower for 25g apiece. These days, I'm lucky if I can find some for sale at 100g apiece, and I usually have to pay 150-200g apiece if I want them in any substantial quantity. We're talking about over a 4-fold price increase
in a bit over half a year's time. And from what I hear, the PC/NA prices are actually the lowest--prices are even higher on Console and on EU.
Reason 3: One Tamriel will decrease supply, and, no, the instancing won't help.
There aren't many good farming spots for alchemical nodes, and it's no secret that the Hollow City is the best place for it. On Live, if one faction's instance is too busy with flower pickers, I can try my luck on another faction. This will no longer be an option in One Tamriel. Of course, there is the mechanism of splitting into multiple instances to avoid overcrowding, but that happens only when the zone in general is overcrowded. All it takes is 2 or 3 people farming the same route to mess things up--that's not nearly enough to cause the overcrowd instancing to kick in. During the off-hours--the best time to gather mats--the zones are pretty quiet except for the farmers, and there simply won't be enough of them to spawn new instances.
And, yes, this is happening for all harvestable nodes, but for cloth, ores, and wood, this is mitigated by all the zones now yielding max-level mats. This means that max-level alchemical solvents will be easier to get, since they can now drop in more zones, but that doesn't matter because they aren't the bottleneck (also, each solvent node yields several solvents instead of just one, which is rather inconsistent--why are the reagents the only harvestable node in the game that drop only one mat per node?).
Reason 4: Increasing the gold compensation for content isn't the solution.
made a thread
highlighting the problems facing people running endgame PvE. The biggest problem that we face right now is the cost of running this content, almost all of which is related to the cost of potions. And if the status quo on the PTS remains unchanged, Update 12 will seriously harm the health of the endgame PvE community.
While it is important that content should be rewarding, I don't think that gold compensation is a sufficient solution for the cost of potions. It won't alleviate the high demand of potions, which, as I noted above, are now required
for serious endgame PvE. And it won't alleviate the shortage of alchemical mats, esp. with what One Tamriel will do to alchemical farming. When demand remains high and supply goes down, throwing more gold into the mix will serve only to inflate prices even more, making potions even less accessible for everyone
Furthermore, it also won't solve the pain for the many people who are still progressing. The 10K gold every 5 days from vSO HM is nice... if you can get it. But what about the groups that spend hours wiping in vSO, learning the trial and progressing? They're not getting that 10K gold, and they're using even more potions because of all the wipes and time spent. We want to encourage more people to try out, learn, and progress through the content, not erect further barriers between the people who have made it to the end and the people who haven't.
This isn't a problem that can be solved by throwing more gold into the pot. This is a problem that requires
a rebalance of the supply-and-demand equation. The demand isn't going to change--the new difficult content is here to stay (and, again, we in the endgame PvE community welcome it), and One Tamriel (along with Tamriel Gold Edition) will bring in more players. So all that's left now is the supply. And that part can be changed--and quite easily--simply by increasing alchemical node yields.
Summary: We need higher alchemical node yields, and we need it now!
- Demand of alchemical mats will only increase as the player base grows and as more people start getting into the newly-rescaled endgame PvE.
- If the status quo is unchanged, One Tamriel will hurt the already-low supply of alchemical mats.
- This is a problem that affects everyone. Although I speak from the perspective of an endgame PvE player, when tripots are costing north of 40K per stack, casual players are going to be hurt by it just as much. The worst-hit will be players who are progressing. That's when you spend hours and hours wiping and learning, but not earning any kind of reward. The countless weeks that we spent in vMoL, wiping, before finally seeing the contents of that final chest. The countless hours, deaths, and stacks of potions I spent getting my first vMA clear. Or even a simple vet dungeon, for a new player who is just starting out--I still remember the hours, potions, and repair kits that I spent getting that first clear of a vet dungeon. One Tamriel is supposed to make the game more accessible to everyone--the status quo in alchemy is in stark conflict with that goal.
- For endgame PvE in particular, the removal of lucrative sellable loot will severely hamper our ability to fund our trial runs. I understand ZOS's desire to not lock too much gear behind trials, so if this change doesn't get reverted, at the very least, give us relief in another manner. (Though, for the reasons stated earlier, yields still need to be increased even if we get a full or partial restoration of economic rewards from trials.)
- The current yields are grossly out of whack with everything else in crafting. When I can get 3-4 pieces of raw silk off of a cloth node, and multiple solvents out of a solvent node, it makes absolutely no sense why that flower I picked yielded just one mat that will last me for just a few minutes of gameplay.
As suggested in this thread, the yields of potion crafting can also be increased. Either in lieu of node increases or, ideally, in conjunction with node increases. Increasing node yields to 3-4 per node (in line with other harvestables) while at the same time increasing potion crafting yields to 2/4/6/8 would solve many of the problems that we face, and it should be a fairly simple, straightforward solution.
As people have noted, potions are a crucial part of the Argonian race and of the Nightblade class. The difficulty of crafting enough potions to last a long play session places Argonians and Nightblades at a relative economic disadvantage compared to builds that get similar benefits without the need for consumables.
PC/NA ― Officer of Nightfighters
― Officer and former GM of The Merchant's Reserve
– Breton Nightblade – DD – Snow Oryx ☙
– Dunmer Dragonknight – DD/Tank – Cinder Oryx ☙
– Altmer Sorcerer – DD – Elim Crake
– Breton Templar – Healer – Zebulon the Spirit Bear
– Bosmer Nightblade – DD – Higgs Bosmer
– Argonian Dragonknight – Tank – Erects-the-Horns-of-War
– Redguard Sorceress – DD – Rallina Oryx
– Altmer Nightblade – DD – Joyèd
– Dunmer Nightblade – DD – Raven Oryx ☙
– Argonian Dragonknight – Tank – Takes-All-Blame
– Altmer Sorceress – DD – Codegasm
The Flawless Conqueror • Dro-m'Athra Destroyer • Divayth Fyr's Coadjutor • Voice of Reason • Bringer of Light • Blackrose Executioner
Add-Ons: Itemization Browser
― Loot Log
― Deconstruction Junk Marker
― Purge Tracker
― vHoF Status Panel
― Asylum Status Panel
― Dungeon Timer
― Combat Alerts
― Smart Looter