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Please increase the yields of alchemical nodes and/or crafting

code65536
code65536
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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.

@Nifty2g 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!
  1. Demand of alchemical mats will only increase as the player base grows and as more people start getting into the newly-rescaled endgame PvE.
  2. If the status quo is unchanged, One Tamriel will hurt the already-low supply of alchemical mats.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.)
  5. 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.

Addendum 1: 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.

Addendum 2: 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.
Edited by code65536 on September 8, 2016 2:57PM
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  • Preyfar
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    I feel you 100%. I just can not get enough Dragonthorn as hard as I try. I burn through them with weapon power pots on vet trials, and the cost of them has skyrocketed. Columbine was about 300g a few months ago (pre-vet SO revamp) but now I'm seeing it go for 600-800g. The cost and demand has skyrocketed, but the availability of them has not.
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  • code65536
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  • mertusta
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    Absolutely agree. If we continue like this columbine's value will rise over the 1k. Increase the nodes and please for the gods sake give us Flower Hireling passive skill at least...
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  • Elyu
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    Agree with EVERY point the OP has made.

    Make it happen!

    (Point to note: as my PvE main is a magblade DD, spell power potions are, on PC EU, costing me around ~18k for 100 potions, and I have long since run out of materials to make them)

    PvP players + tanks rely on tri-pots / immovable / detect potions, which are just as expensive.

    Another option to the problem is to increase the number of potions per craft, poisons yield 12 per craft, potions only 4. The reasoning is that poisons get used more quickly, but in reality, potions are used in more general situation (pve and pvp) while poisons remain useful only in niche pvp situations.
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  • Draxys
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    Fully agree. I've just now started dps-ing on a regular basis for the first time since pledges first came out, and I'm already feeling the time sink of having to go farm the solvents because I'm poor. I'm not against time sinks, but it takes wayyyyy too long to farm what you need if you don't have the cash to buy a few stacks of potions.
    2013

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  • Bryanonymous
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    I would not mind getting more per node. Would make farming faster. Seems kind of weird that regents are used far more frequently than raws for gear, yet they yield less. It's cool that there is one trade a merchant can capitalize on at any level, however injecting a few extra plants per harvest seems like it would not hurt much, especially since One Tamriel will be cutting available nodes down to 1/3 of what's currently available.
    Edited by Bryanonymous on September 6, 2016 12:12PM
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  • AJTC5000
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    This, and an Alchemy Hireling passive, will be greatly appreciated by everyone.
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  • code65536
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    Elyu wrote: »
    Another option to the problem is to increase the number of potions per craft, poisons yield 12 per craft, potions only 4. The reasoning is that poisons get used more quickly, but in reality, potions are used in more general situation (pve and pvp) while poisons remain useful only in niche pvp situations.
    That's an excellent idea. It's another option, done either instead of node yields, or, ideally, in conjunction with node yields.

    And instead of comparing it to poisons, I'd much rather compare it with provisioning. A single crafting of blue food with maxed passives gives you 4 hours of usage. A single crafting of a potion with maxed passives gives you 3 minutes of usage. Alchemy is just so out of whack with the rest of crafting.

    mertusta wrote: »
    please for the gods sake give us Flower Hireling passive skill at least...
    I would love to see an alchemy hireling as well. But in terms of what ZOS can do within the short month between PTS and Live, hirelings are unrealistic. They need to create a new skill point passive, have an art designer give it an icon, update their mail system, and also writing--and then translating into 3 other languages--the actual mail contents. With everything else that they must do before Update 12 goes Live, there's just no way they could do it. But I agree that it's a nice wish-list item for the future.

    In contrast, bumping the node yields and/or crafting yields should be much easier to do, and it's something that can reasonably be done within the short window available.
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  • idk
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    I agree with the OPs points.

    Since the earlier trials were upgraded the cost of potions and matts has increased significantly. By design we should see a further increase is cost with One Tamriel due to reduced supply.

    It's very concerning, especially when taking into account other changes occurring with this next major patch.
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  • Strider_Roshin
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    Let's just skip the foreplay, we need more columbine ZOS!
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  • worsttankever
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    The part that is gonna mess me up is changes in One Tamriel - with surveys sending you anywhere now instead of locked to the region where you completed the writ. This makes it even harder to stock up on alchemy reagents because I can't just complete writs till I'm holding 10-20 alchemy surveys, and then farm them all together at once. Those surveys will require me to go random places and waste more time.
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  • Kas
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    agree so much! flower-picking is just not a fun part of the game. yet, it is absolutely necessary.
    the worst part: the only ones that do not suffer are leechers that let others go the full way they just stick around, don't use pots and simply never post their dps.
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  • worsttankever
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    Is there any love for sub-optimal alchemy combinations?

    Like my friends on PS4 keep asking me to make them tripots. But honestly, they can't afford the materials. If prices keep rising, will they finally appreciate all the other potion combinations available other than the top 2 or 3?
    Edited by worsttankever on September 6, 2016 2:35PM
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  • Jar_Ek
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    Change snake blood to Expert Harvester, each point adds 1 to the yield and if a potential alchemy harvest is found with 0 alchemical ingredients, then 1 is found. If the non alchemical ingredients are not taken, the node is still removed from play.
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  • Liofa
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    Alchemy Hireling please . We can send Hirelings to mine ores , kill animals for their hide , gather weird looking stones but we can't send them to pick up some flowers ? Logic .
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  • altemriel
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    That is true!!! ZOS please increase the respawn rates of Alchemy mats nodes!!

    @ZOS_GinaBruno @ZOS_KaiSchober @ZOS_RichLambert
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  • Lava_Croft
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    Reasons 6 and 7: There's a race and a class that both depend on this time/gold sink in order to make use of their passives.
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  • bebynnag
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    Agree 100%

    @code65536 re: the prices you quoted -
    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

    wow what a difference a platform & server makes, im xbox EU 6 months ago your inflated prices were our standard price.... our prices have since inflated
    columbine & namiras rot are 1- 2k each
    cornflower, dragonthorn, nirnroot 600+ each (people started inflating the price of nirnroot once they realised the crafters wernt buying their supplies anymore & completing the writs instead)

    there was a time (quite recently) when i could run around coldharbour & pick up the scraps that other would leave behind (ie everything that wasnt columbine) and make myself some fantactic potions, but as more & more people have began to see the benefit of potions other than tripots those nodes are all gone too :(
    Edited by bebynnag on September 7, 2016 10:59AM
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  • GreenSoup2HoT
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    50 Namira's Rot on console (Ps4) is 25,000 Gold :/ ..... kind of getting crazy over here.
    PS4 NA DC
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  • Carbonised
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    As much as I agree that the yield from alchemy nodes could use a slight upgrade, I'm afraid that ZOS doesn't know how to give slight increases, and we'll end up with another ruined craft, just like they completely ruined enchanting last patch with their 'slight boost' to enchanting nodes, which made rune prices plummet into trash levels, killing off any rune trade whatsoever.
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  • altemriel
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    Carbonised wrote: »
    As much as I agree that the yield from alchemy nodes could use a slight upgrade, I'm afraid that ZOS doesn't know how to give slight increases, and we'll end up with another ruined craft, just like they completely ruined enchanting last patch with their 'slight boost' to enchanting nodes, which made rune prices plummet into trash levels, killing off any rune trade whatsoever.



    well for sure if will be better if they would increase the rate in which the alchemy nodes respawn
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  • idk
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    Zos. Do you have any comments to contribute to this discussion?

    @ZOS_GinaBruno @ZOS_JessicaFolsom
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  • Thommoboy
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    This really does need to be fixed, farming for 5+ hours for materials for 1 raid is absurd
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  • altemriel
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    Zos. Do you have any comments to contribute to this discussion?

    @ZOS_GinaBruno @ZOS_JessicaFolsom

    @ZOS_RichLambert ??
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  • GreenSoup2HoT
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    Another solution would be to offer some more Alliance War potions. Speed potions and other combinations but i still agree with OP.
    PS4 NA DC
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  • STEVIL
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    Ok so what about something more focused.
    I am generally against making world wide changes to deal with a narrow content problem.

    Add "resource packs" to rewards (inc drops but rarely) in end-game high end content at say vet mode or hard mode.which contain a better than average assortment of alchemical goods?

    That way those engaging in the high consumption content get "a lot more" supplies to help replenish their stuff.

    reduce demand not by giving everyone who doesn't do trials more stuff but by giving those who do that high end content more stuff to replace their losses.

    I am generally against making world wide changes to deal with a narrow content problem.
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  • code65536
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    STEVIL wrote: »
    Ok so what about something more focused.
    I am generally against making world wide changes to deal with a narrow content problem.

    Add "resource packs" to rewards (inc drops but rarely) in end-game high end content at say vet mode or hard mode.which contain a better than average assortment of alchemical goods?

    That way those engaging in the high consumption content get "a lot more" supplies to help replenish their stuff.

    reduce demand not by giving everyone who doesn't do trials more stuff but by giving those who do that high end content more stuff to replace their losses.

    I am generally against making world wide changes to deal with a narrow content problem.

    It's not just PvE. I speak about PvE because that's what I mostly do. But the most expensive mats in the game (at least on PC/NA) aren't Corn Flower or Lady's Smock or Dragonthorn--those are primarily the PvE mats. No, the most expensive ones are actually Columbine (some use in PvE tanking, but mostly in PvP) and Namira's Rot (used mostly in PvP).

    While I do like the idea of this sort of compensation, I'm not sure it'll be robust enough to cover all the kinds of content that people like to do. And, regardless of what content you do, getting 3 minutes of usage out of a single set of mats when the mats are available in singletons just doesn't seem very reasonable.
    Edited by code65536 on September 7, 2016 2:07PM
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  • STEVIL
    STEVIL
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    code65536 wrote: »
    STEVIL wrote: »
    Ok so what about something more focused.
    I am generally against making world wide changes to deal with a narrow content problem.

    Add "resource packs" to rewards (inc drops but rarely) in end-game high end content at say vet mode or hard mode.which contain a better than average assortment of alchemical goods?

    That way those engaging in the high consumption content get "a lot more" supplies to help replenish their stuff.

    reduce demand not by giving everyone who doesn't do trials more stuff but by giving those who do that high end content more stuff to replace their losses.

    I am generally against making world wide changes to deal with a narrow content problem.

    It's not just PvE. I speak about PvE because that's what I mostly do. But the most expensive mats in the game (at least on PC/NA) aren't Corn Flower or Lady's Smock or Dragonthorn--those are primarily the PvE mats. No, the most expensive ones are actually Columbine (some use in PvE tanking, but mostly in PvP) and Namira's Rot (used mostly in PvP).

    While I do like the idea of this sort of compensation, I'm not sure it'll be robust enough to cover all the kinds of content that people like to do. And, regardless of what content you do, getting 3 minutes of usage out of a single set of mats when the mats are available in singletons just doesn't seem very reasonable.

    Actuslly, in most content you wont burn potions much at all.

    I get the appeal of lots more mats for everyone or hey even potions for free but imx outside of the higher end combat potions are once in a while use at most.

    What if in content designated as potion hostile you multiply the duration by 4x.
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  • Autolycus
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    I support this suggestion in the OP. Also:

    STEVIL wrote: »
    code65536 wrote: »
    STEVIL wrote: »
    Ok so what about something more focused.
    I am generally against making world wide changes to deal with a narrow content problem.

    Add "resource packs" to rewards (inc drops but rarely) in end-game high end content at say vet mode or hard mode.which contain a better than average assortment of alchemical goods?

    That way those engaging in the high consumption content get "a lot more" supplies to help replenish their stuff.

    reduce demand not by giving everyone who doesn't do trials more stuff but by giving those who do that high end content more stuff to replace their losses.

    I am generally against making world wide changes to deal with a narrow content problem.

    It's not just PvE. I speak about PvE because that's what I mostly do. But the most expensive mats in the game (at least on PC/NA) aren't Corn Flower or Lady's Smock or Dragonthorn--those are primarily the PvE mats. No, the most expensive ones are actually Columbine (some use in PvE tanking, but mostly in PvP) and Namira's Rot (used mostly in PvP).

    While I do like the idea of this sort of compensation, I'm not sure it'll be robust enough to cover all the kinds of content that people like to do. And, regardless of what content you do, getting 3 minutes of usage out of a single set of mats when the mats are available in singletons just doesn't seem very reasonable.

    Actuslly, in most content you wont burn potions much at all.

    I get the appeal of lots more mats for everyone or hey even potions for free but imx outside of the higher end combat potions are once in a while use at most.

    What if in content designated as potion hostile you multiply the duration by 4x.

    I'm inclined to agree with you for most content, but from experience I'd say that this is not true for competitive pve content and in many pvp circumstances (particularly those of smaller group, duo or solo experiences). I think a duration buff is a decent suggestion as well.
    Edited by Autolycus on September 7, 2016 8:41PM
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  • BenevolentBowd
    BenevolentBowd
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    Good points overall, OP.
    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.

    I have a few comments on this point.
    1. I wouldn't say alchemy is the most inaccessible of all crafts because with enough mats you can level to level 50 in less than 1 hour.
    2. In the context of usable mats per node, alchemy nodes result in higher yields. e.g. you need 10 raw mats to obtain 1 refined unit usable for crafting. Alchemy passives allow you to make multiple potions without requiring additional reagents. However, comparing the two are similar to apples and oranges (potions need solvents and at least 2 reagents, equipment needs style item, trait item, upgrade item, require a lot more materials, and wear over time).
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