Refining 101

Update 1/7/15: Look for a “Refining 201” in a few days!

With the Chains of Eternity expansion, SOE introduced Prestige Abilities.  One of these abilities is “Refining”.

Refining gives you the ability to turn raw materials into something else.  You can refine either common harvests or rares.

Each point you put into refining decreases the cool down.  At 5 points, it makes it an instant cast ability.

Refining Rares – refining a rare will turn it into a “purified” form of the rare.  Currently no food/fish items can be refined.  Only wood, gems, ore, roots, soft metal and pelts can be refined. I have done limited testing of refining rares.  I refined 20 banyan roots and received back 1 LQ Slag, 6 HQ Slag, and 13 Purified Banyan Roots. Your mileage may vary.

Purified Rares are used to create mastercrafted gear.  If you use the purified rare in place of the normal rare, the stats of the gear will be a little better.  Green stats remain the same, but the blue stats are about 10% better (on lvl 90 gear).  You can use a purified rare in the place of the normal rare for any recipe, including spells, furniture, etc – but it will not effect the stats.  It’s not going to make your expert spell any better.  It won’t make your storage box any bigger.  Believe me, I tried.  But it’s good to know for later…

Now, this is where this post is going to get weird…. Hang on for the ride…

Refining Commons

Before we get started, a few assumptions – I did all my testing on my main Caely.  She is lvl 92 adventurer/95 carpenter.  She has 27% bountiful harvest and 6% rare harvest chance through gear and AAs.  All the testing was done on lvl 90-99 materials.  I don’t know if any of that makes any difference, but there it is.

In my search to figure out why I would want to refine common harvests, I became a little obsessed.  I have over the course of two days, refined over 5,000 commons.  One.  at.  a.  time.   And it’s four freaking clicks per combine.  I’m not kidding.  Yes, that’s 20,000 clicks – over and over and over.  I told you, I got weird…

But here is what I learned.  You mostly get Low Quality Slag.  You’ll get LQ Slag 98% of the time.  The other 2% of the time  you’ll either get a purified form of the rare of that common, or a HQ Slag.  LQ Slag sells for 12 copper, HQ Slag sells for 41 gold.  The purified rares are the exact same you get from refining the rares.

I arranged my windows so that I would not have to move my mouse much while doing all the clicking.  This is harder than it sounds.  Some windows just don’t want to pop up where you last put them.  I ended up with my box with harvests and my tool bar with the ability in the middle of the screen – because that is where the confirmation box wants to popup.  It was better to join it than fight it.  The result window would move, but you had to over-compensate to get it to end up in the right spot.  It takes a lot of trial and error to get the boxes in the right place.  I tried to save my UI layout once I got it perfect so I could use it again, but I apparently suck at saving layouts – it didn’t work.  I’m open to suggestions – because each session takes a while to get just right.

With the clicking all close together, I could churn out a stack of 200 in about 10 minutes.  But believe me, you don’t want to do that.  It’s mind numbingly boring, your wrist will hurts, your neck will hurt, and you will go cross eyed.  You might even yell at your husband and kids.  I would do  anywhere from 10-100 at a time – take a tiny break, and do more.  Each time I did 2000+ combines, it took about 2 hours including the breaks.  Here’s a video I did – I’m only going to bore you with 29 seconds – just thing what 10 minutes or 2 hours would be like…  By the way – there is nothing automated – not sure why the mouse doesn’t know up – but every click was done by hand.


Now, you must be asking yourself (because I sure did) why would you want to do this?  Well, you get purified rares out of it.  I’ve got a table  listed at the bottom of my combines to date.  (Sorry, it’s a little squished).  Just from HQ slag I’ve made 32 plat – but with the purified rares, selling them on the broker I could get up to 800 plat.  And since these purified rares can be used for the more common rare, I now have plenty of rares for all my spells.  And unlike the gathering goblin, I can control what rare I get.  So I don’t end up with 30 roots and 2 osmium clusters.

The rate is not terrible.  About 2.3% overall for something other than a low quality slag.  Less than 1% for a purified rare, and around 1.6% for high quality slag.  See the table at the bottom for my exact returns.  I did note it was very streaky.  I could do 100 and get nothing, and then do 10 and half would be HQ or rares.  But over time it all evened out.  Smaller batches seemed worse than larger batches – but I think that’s just perception and streaky RNG.

But it’s a freaking pain.  And therein lies the problem.  First – someone is going to make a bot program to automate all that clicking.  Honest people are going to be at a disadvantage, while botters get to flood the market with rares.  In the abilities current state, you have to spend points to reduce the cooltime.  The ability is nearly worthless with less than 5 points.  With 1 point it’s an hour cool down – 4 points is 15 minute cooldown.  So no way you could really use the ability with even a 15 minute cool down (at least for commons).  A far better implantation, as suggested on the SOE forums,  would be to have the ability be a set cooldown – maybe 3-5 minutes – but more points allows you to refine more raws.  1 point- 1 raw, 2 points – 5 raws, 3 points – 20 raws, 4 points 100 raws, 5 points – 200 raws.  Then they could even lower the rate.  Even a  .5% chance would be acceptable if you didn’t have to click 20,000 times.  These changes  would stem the tide of rares coming into the market place, make raws valuable again, and level the playing field between honest players and botters.

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