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Lava Quest Digging Statistics

Discussion in 'UO Time of Legends' started by Arroth Thaiel, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. Arroth Thaiel

    Arroth Thaiel Seasoned Veteran
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    Hello all,

    I've seen some discussion about how many uses of a pickaxe/shovel it takes to dig up the 5 rocks for the lava quest. My average uses are around 100, so I thought I'd post some stats from my own experience. This might just be interesting to me, but for those struggling to complete this quest, maybe this will help.

    The first time I attempted this quest I used an elf (thought maybe the elves racial bonus for collecting speical ores might help) with 0 mining and dug on the very first tile on the outer edge of the caldera. Result = 338 uses to collect the 5 rocks, plus about an hour of time, and about 10 eles killed.

    Then I heard that if you dug close to the center of the caldera, it didn't take as many uses. I switched to a human fighter (0 mining) and did the rest of my digging with that character, as close to the center as I could get.

    I did not keep details on time/eles killed for the first four attempts. Then came the patch to remove SA items from the eles and my first try after the patch was taking forever, so I started keeping details on time/eles as well.

    So, here are the stats (RNG....oh how I love thee!):

    ***
    All digging with BoD reward sturdy pickaxe, human, 0 mining:

    Uses to acquire 5 lava rocks (Avg. uses per lava rock) - Time - Elementals Slayed

    90 (18) - ~40min - ~30eles​
    81 (16) - ~40min - ~30eles
    45 (9) - ~40min - ~30eles
    102 (20) - ~40min - ~30eles
    194 (39) - 135min - 115eles
    117 (23) - 40min - 50eles
    63 (12) - 13min - 19eles
    129 (25) - 27min - 40eles
    259 (52) - 49min - 75eles
    74 (15) - 28min - 48eles
    43 (8) - 5min - 6eles
    209 (42) - 61min - 95eles
    49 (10) - 18min - 29eles
    212 (42) - 19min - 22eles

    Averaging 119 uses per 5 lava rocks.
    ***

    Image of the tile were I did all the above digging.
    CenterDigTile.jpg


    *****UPDATED 6-19-2016*****
    Digging spot ~2/3's of the way into the caldera.

    Same exact character, skills, items, as used for digging at the center of the caldera.

    Uses to acquire 5 lava rocks (Avg. uses per lava rock) - Time - Elementals Slayed

    181 (36) - 15min - 6eles
    180 (36) - 13min - 19eles
    153 (31) - 14min - 18eles
    130 (26) - 20min - 16eles
    106 (21) - 14min - 15eles
    147 (29) - 16min - 20eles
    223 (45) - 20min - 22eles
    289 (58) - 28min - 25eles
    142 (28) - 13min - 14eles
    204 (41) - 26min - 35eles
    161 (32) - 11min - 8eles
    190 (38) - 17min - 20eles

    Averaging 176 uses per 5 lava rocks.

    Image of the digging tile ~2/3's into the caldera.
    MiddleDigTile.jpg


    Anyway, if you are feeling frustrated by this quest, at least you'll have some numbers to ponder.

    If I find time, I'll try to use this same character at the outer edge of the caldera, just for comparison, but I don't really think I want to burn that many pickaxes.

    I'd love to hear what other people are getting for numbers with different skill/race combos. Does the elven racial bonus for finding special material apply? Does mining skill have an effect?

    If anybody has numbers they want to share, feel free!
     
    #1 Arroth Thaiel, Mar 18, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2016
    Riyana likes this.
  2. Eärendil

    Eärendil Legendary Mall Santa
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    Great work! Can you post a picture of the reward, just to be sure that I do not miss anything collectible?

    Thank you!
     
  3. Merus

    Merus Crazed Zealot
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    Nice work putting together your stats.

    What a sad commentary for our Dev team though.

    Same character, same location and the variation in time to complete:
    5 minutes to more than 2 hours.

    Even if you ignore the two outliers:
    13 minutes to more than an hour.

    Just ridiculous if you ask me. RNG based encounters are lame!
     
  4. Arroth Thaiel

    Arroth Thaiel Seasoned Veteran
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    All the quests and rewards are detailed here:
    A Valley of One Quest Chain – Ultima Online

    After doing this a couple times, I think that there are actually 3 RNG systems at work at once.
    1. The actual lava rock from digging
    2. The timer on the magma flows
    3. The spawn of the volcano ele's

    When the three happen to align, you get a rock every couple times you dig, the volcano doesn't go off and you get to dig for like 2 min, and rarely does a volcano ele spawn from your digging attempts. If this happens, you're set, and you complete the quest in 5min.

    On the other hand, when the three are out of sync.....wow. The pass through that took me two hours was horrible. The magma flow occurred over 20 times in a row at the 49sec interval - which I now think is the minimum. I spawned a volcano ele from digging on at least every other attempt, sometimes two or three in a row, and the RNG just would not give me the lava rocks.

    As for our RNG, I played a game awhile ago where you could plot out exactly how many critters you had to kill, and of what type, to max your 'toon. At first that was ok, but by about the 5th character, knowning you had to kill exactly 100,000 rats, (Not 99,999, oh no, exactly 100,000) with no variation, it just wasn't fun. Predictable yes, fun, not so much. (Interestingly, at launch this game was supposed to kill UO. Kill UO. It closed after about 5 years. Many big issues, with the lack of variation in content being just one.)

    I am happy UO has an RNG (ok - most of the time) after having played many games that don't use random generators. The variation of the RNG just adds a little som'then to the game to keep you on your toes. However, for certain encounters in UO, stacking the RNG's, especially with the way ours works, might be a bit much. Seriously, I would have given up on the two hour attempt if I wasn't trying to stubbornly record stats.

    Stick a pencil in your ear indeed.
     
  5. Eärendil

    Eärendil Legendary Mall Santa
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    ...I rather meant the turn-in items, not the rewards ;-)
     
  6. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
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    look closer - the turn in items are shown too. The lava one is even shown as an animated gif.
     
  7. Merus

    Merus Crazed Zealot
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    I think he means the lava rock you are digging up... in which case, you don't actually get a rock in your pack. What you get is a message that you dug up a rock and save it for later.
     
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  8. Merus

    Merus Crazed Zealot
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    I think some RNG is ok, but the level of RNG in the Lava (and the Bar throwing liquor bottles) is out of bounds. My personal best in the lava room is 11 shovels for a single rock... that is more than 500 digging attempts. I have also had rounds where I am done in 5 minutes. After 17+ years of UO, I can also tell you that the RNG does NOT like some people nearly as much as others. Thus while your average might have come out at 119 digs, there are some that will undoubtedly average much higher without outside help. IMO, there needs to be a counter balance... some way to mitigate the RNG through some game mechanic.

    Easy examples:
    Have mining skill improve the RNG if mining for lava rocks... with GM mining your odds become something like 50/50.
    Have detect hidden give you a message when you get close to a lava rock, and active use of the skill at GM would highlight the tile to dig (think the hidden crates in Exodus dungeon)
    Have the volcano elementals have a chance to drop the rocks when killed. "You discover a lava rock on the corpse's remains and decide to save it for later".

    So, SO many ways this encounter could have been improved with just a little imagination.
     
  9. Eärendil

    Eärendil Legendary Mall Santa
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    Thank you! I just wanted to know if that part of the quest deserves my attention. It does not ;-) Good to know!
     
  10. Arroth Thaiel

    Arroth Thaiel Seasoned Veteran
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    I like all of these ideas. As I said in the other thread, I'm all for bumping non-combat systems (skills). I think it broadens gameplay.

    You could also have the volcano ele's spawn throughout the region, but only spawn from digging when you actually dig up a rock. This would reduce some of the randomness, but then you'd definitely be requiring combat to deal with the spawned ele (or just run away like Brave Sir Robin!).

    I really think that mining skill should play some type of role with mining(!!!!), but then you'd have people who play fighters complaining that they can't do the quest, or why did you make it so that I have to run a resource gatherer all the way out there, yadda, yadda, yadda.

    (Actually, I haven't tried doing this quest with mining skill, so maybe it does play some role?)

    I personally don't think it is a lack of imagination. I would bet the dev team talked this through and discussed a bunch of different ways of doing things (including most of the things you and I have suggested!).

    I see a small team trying to meet a production schedule while facing the realities of the way this old gem of a game is built and the playstyles of their player base.
     
  11. Drakelord

    Drakelord Crazed Zealot
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    Arroth Thaiel likes this.
  12. Arroth Thaiel

    Arroth Thaiel Seasoned Veteran
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    What race is Vixen and did you have mining? Also, were you digging on the edge of the caldera, or near the center?

    You had 177 digging attempts (1 lava rock for every 35 uses), and killed 12 eles. Better than what Merus has been experiencing. Actually, if you were on the edge of the caldera, that sounds like it was pretty good.

    Which may indicate how skewed a UO player's idea of "pretty good" is.

    I'm doing another set of 10 quests, but on a tile about 1/2 way through the caldera. I'll add data for that when done. It might be awhile.
     
    #12 Arroth Thaiel, Mar 21, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
  13. Drakelord

    Drakelord Crazed Zealot
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    Vixen is Elf and no mining, all her digging was at the edge, took me a few tries to get the digging right. I stay away from the center area due to the high number of Volcano Elements in the center area most times. Most times a Element spawns during the dig just as the volcano goes unstable so its a rush to get to a safe room and avoid combat till I can fight without being killed by the lava flow.
     
  14. Thom

    Thom Lore Keeper
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    Just finished my first run through of this quest and I didn't really keep track of how long or how many elementals there were but I know I finished it without using a full 150 use shovel at about the middle part of the caldera. I also don't think the elementals see spawning from digging but just on a timer.

    Sent from my SCH-S968C using Tapatalk
     
  15. Parnoc

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    Works fine for me, I dig edge (lot less hassle and saves time running), one quest done anywhere between 150 and 300 shovel uses, no complaints, to me, not too hard, not too easy. If you make it to have mining, then that leaves out a lot of folks. IMHO it's fine the way it is, don't change it. This quest is well done by the devs.
     
  16. Merus

    Merus Crazed Zealot
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    If you're good with the success rate you are having without mining, how would letting folks with mining have an increased chance at finding a rock have any impact on you? I don't think anyone ever suggested that mining would be required... Only that it would improve the odds.
     
  17. Parnoc

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    ok understand, didn't comprehend that you meant mining would be an addition, I thought it was that you were advocating it as a requirement. :oops:
     
  18. Arroth Thaiel

    Arroth Thaiel Seasoned Veteran
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    Updated this post with some new stats for digging part way through the caldera.

    Yes it has been month's since this was posted, and very few are probably doing this quest now, but I have some new stats, so thought I'd put them here.

    PS. @Kyronix as of 6/19/2016 the volcano eles are still dropping The Token of Holy Favor. I'm sure you're aware, just thought I'd pass it along.
     
  19. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
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    BTW for anyone who doesn't have a crafter, these eles are a possible source of the gems needed for the Gemologist quest of the Zipactriotl chain.
     
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  20. Basara

    Basara UO Forum Moderator
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    They also appear to occasionally spawn a rare Ter Mur gear for the music box, possibly instead of one of the gems.

    2 gears found so far - both have been rares.
     
  21. Arroth Thaiel

    Arroth Thaiel Seasoned Veteran
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    The Volcano Ele's spawn all three "rare" gears for Dawn's Music Box in addition to their normal ingredient (gem/lumberjacking)...

    *Primeval Lich
    *Slasher Veil
    *Stygian Dragon

    ...and it's anything but occasional. I have around 10 of each gear now.

    This continued after the patch to remove the Renowned Fire Ele's loot from the volcano ele's, so I figured the dev team intended for the gears to still drop.

    However, yesterday I also received an Untranslated Ancient Tome from a volcano ele in addition to a Stygian Abyss artifact.

    Looks like post pub-93 the volcano ele's are dropping Renowned Fire Elemental loot again.
     
  22. Alex"Drake Iron Heart"CS

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    Have you tried doing the quest on a Stealther? I dont know if its been changed but you were able to do it, without being attacked and be able to mine non stop, making the rocks fall a lot faster on your backpack
     
  23. Arroth Thaiel

    Arroth Thaiel Seasoned Veteran
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    No, I haven't tried a stealther, or any of the other methods for doing it "faster". (Thanks for adding one more method to my list though!!!)

    I might eventually, but having completed the major quest line numerous (ARGH!) times, I'm in no hurry!

    When this quest first came out there was a lot of criticism about the amount of uses it took to get a lava rock. This set of data was just to share some raw numbers, when doing the quest without any tricks.