Ok, I finally got off my patootie and did some LJ and mining recently, something I have not done in volume since before the changes to how the resource tiles work. An additional change from last year was to double the amount of granite (and sand) given when mining. MINING: Mining to me is perfect. I spent this weekend mining, my main focus being harvesting large amounts of granite. I mined in fel, as a human and would get drops of 3 or 4 granite a pop. It took only the weekend to refill my 9 stoneware vendors from pitifully empty, and I reduced their prices by a third to a quarter depending on the item - which means faster sales and lower vendor fees over time. It was a bit challenging to find valorite (as it should be), but a huge time saver was the use of the prospector's tool. This tool eliminates the "what is it?" frustration, and allows the miner to move along the mountain side (or mine up a cave) quickly. Hitting each node, even if they are not mined out, means they get recycled and will have the chance to spawn something new. So in a month I can do the same route I did before and have the expectation that I will be marking all new nodes. Result: mining is fun for me as it never was before LUMBERJACKING: I used to love LJ! Chop, chop, chop! All day long! Chop, chop, chop while I sing this song! That is no longer the case. The largest frustration with chopping is not the low incidence of woods, it is being unable to identify a tree untill you have chopped it about 8 times in a row, or get a rare wood drop. This frustration, combined with the low incidence of rare woods means that fewer and fewer people will be chopping, which means less turn over of new nodes, which means less actual frostwood to find. It's actually a vicious cycle that means only the LJers with the hardiest of constitutions (or script LJers) will be out there, chopping regularly. Another issue directly related to this is the prevalance of lower level woods, compared to their usability. Ingots, even the lowly dull copper, are highly sought after in filling bods. When you mine, you are guaranteed to make a profit or find something you can use. When you chop, a large portion of what you recover is unsalable (regular wood, oak and ash) or will go for very little, and is almost always unusuable in any great quantities. Sure you can turn it into the library, but the point return versus wood weight is poor. Result: LJ is no fun for me now. Fixing Lumberjacking: UO is an older game, and was developed before it became popular (and coding efficient) to make resource harvesting in MMOs similar systems. So while I'd consider it to be a great addition, putting in a "lumberjack woodfinder tool" to work like a prospector's tool, or a "lumberjack's pickaxe" might not be a solution inline with the philosophy of keeping each system in UO individual. However it's pretty clear to me that something is needed in order to revive interest in LJ and make it a viable method of resource gathering. Some ideas: - wood gathering BODs: X number of wood to fill a deed that will get you a tool (with a limited number of charges) that will tell you if you are near a rare tree node and will lead you to it (think tracking) - a wood exchange where you can turn in a certain amount of wood to get back a smaller number of rare wood. Possibly 1/10th of a return as you would get at the library, so 480 regular wood would net you 1 frostwood board. This would be far more useful a system for casual choppers who need the wood for their own personal use, IE bow upgrades. - A new skill: Wood identification. This could be trained by chopping, or using the skill on trees, or any number of methods (quests included). This could be adjusted to make it viable but not overpowered; a timer on reuse, or only giving a % chance to tell what kind of tree you are targeting even at GM, etc. - Repeatable quests that require you to chop in a variety of random areas, for a quest update. Quest rewards could be a tool to find rare wood, or rare wood its self.