- Hardened brick building should be changed
- Hardened brick should keep the recipe but have its costs reduced
- The costs are fine and I also hate orphans and puppies
This will be a wall of text, so there’s TL;DR at the end, please skip to it so you at least get my argument before voting.
Yep we’re reviving THAT argument. Everyone else gets a poll, time for mack daddy to get his slice of the CHEESE.
But really, let’s keep having this conversation. I’m gonna lay out a comparison of the time required to build with the two resources, and then make the argument for the costs becoming more homogenous. As it stands right now, when you’re deciding what material to build in (ESPECIALLY in pvp), the most important resource you need to consider when doing absolutely anything at all is your time. I’ve paid for nearly every DLC released, but I absolutely never get to build with those DLC’s. My friends and I always wanted to roll out as a pictish warband, gear and all, but our base is 100% black ice 100% of the time. The opportunity cost is just too high, as it is, it feels like the game punishes you for trying to use the DLC’s you purchased. Why might that be? Let’s take a look.
Firstly, let’s compare the 2 resources. To make this a little easier, we’ll just look at differences, using a foundation as our pricepoint.
- 15 Black Ice
- 4 Insulated wood
- 15 Hardened brick
- 4 Shaped wood
Let’s tackle the wood first. Sometimes it is argued that the shaped wood is a bit of a saving grace, as insulated wood requires a few components. I’ve been told that sometimes people gloss over this aspect when comparing the costs of the two materials. Strategically, what does it take to get shaped wood? Wood. What does it take to get insulated wood? Wood. If you go to a northern area of the map and bring a pickaxe, you’ll obtain bark AND resin just from chopping down trees. So, the important takeaway here is that even though insulated wood isn’t the same process as shaped wood, It’s only one step removed and requires no additional grindpath.
You obtain both wood resources by chopping down trees, insulated wood just needs to be dried first. You can also farm dried wood and resin directly, then craft it rather simply. The end result of this is that ultimately, while shaped wood is objectively easier to craft in bulk, it doesn’t actually feel all that much more difficult even for the solo farmer. Most players hardly notice the difference. With that, let’s move to the hardened brick.
Before we begin with the bulk of the issue here, let’s talk shop. If I swing over to the Ymir dungeon with a black blood pick and an oil of bounty slapped on it, I’ll be able to (with official pvp rates) walk away with around 30k black ice in nearly 15 minutes. Because black ice is in dense clusters and has high yield, making the most of an oil of bounty is even easier, this will become important later. Without the oil of bounty, its still 20k black ice, but let’s use 30k for our math here because I often find myself needing the 30k or more for my bases.
So, 30k black ice = 15 minutes. How long would it take to get 30k hardened brick, I wonder…?
Let’s be generous. I’d say that in around 30 minutes, I can farm 60-70k stone on some of my good routes. If I save the oil of bounty (which, due to stone’s sporadic placement, often cannot be used as effectively) exclusively for rockslides in the silver mines, I might be able to get 80-90k in about 40 minutes (factoring the time it takes to get an oil of bounty into the mix). So, JUST getting the raw stone requirements alone, with a fully optimal build path and perfect useage of the oil of bounty and NOT counting crafting times, travel times, waiting for rock resources to respawn, we’re looking at 133 minutes or a little over two hours. Let’s say sometimes it takes up to 30 minutes for stone to respawn, if we’re farming the same few areas for stone it’ll take 3-4 trips… let’s keep the math easy for now and just slap another hour on there for however much time we might get. We’ll round it to 200 minutes.
So, for the stone alone, 200 minutes. Now, hardened brick takes more than just stone however. You need consolidant. Consolidant, without a thrall, is 2 ichor 2 twine. In order to produce the consolidant for 30k black ice, you’d need 12k ichor and 12k twine. I can’t even really estimate the time requirement here because even when farming ichor DIRECTLY I only manage to get maybe 1-2k ichor from clearing the best creatures in the game for it. So we’ll leave this as a wild card, maybe you use fish for it, maybe you use abyssal meat, point is you have to wait for those fish to cook and you have to add an additional grind to the mess. And with the fish, now hardened brick is competing with your fish for your oil needs, you have to sacrifice a valuable crafting resource/fuel source to make consolidant instead. With the twine, without a good armorer or two, you’re at 3 plant fiber per twine, so you’d need 36k twine to make the twine you’d need for all this stone. (We’ll get to crafting thralls in a second).
Recapping, you need over 3 hours of stone farming, 12k ichor and 12k twine which have debatable times for obtaining them.
Now we get into the crafting component, which is the worst part of this. Each brick must be smelted for 10 seconds, then combined with consolidant (which takes 2 seconds each on average, 10 seconds for 5) + 1.2 seconds for the twine crafting, with an additional 15 seconds for the hardened brick portion of the craft.
That’s a total of 28.2 seconds per brick. So for 30,000 bricks, we’re looking at around 235 hours of total crafting time, not counting the collection time.
So before we move forward and start comparing our options, just to reiterate and really slap those two comparisons together -
30k Black ice = 15-20 minutes
30k Hardened brick = 238~ hours not counting the time it takes to obtain ichor.
That’s about 705 TIMES LONGER for crafting hardened brick. Not to mention that hardened brick is also needed for benches, wells, and other crafts, while black ice is only used for a few other items beyond building. Just as an aside, hardened brick also requires fuel to cook, while drying wood often produces surplus dry wood which can be used as fuel. So, one process CONSUMES fuel, the other produces it. It’s minor since obtaining coal is easier than ever and you likely wont have issues smelting the stone this way, but it’s worth adding.
Now here’s the other arguments. You can rightly say that hardened brick can be sped up considerably with the usage of thralls, so let’s compare the optimal thrall setup.
Thralls/benches needed for optimal black ice building: None
Thralls/benches needed for optimal hardened brick building: Multiple smelters, alchemists, armorers, a taskmaster for these thralls, multiple kilns (ideally) or upgraded furnaces
With a kiln, you get 60 inventory slots. So, to do 300k stone in one batch, you’d need 5 kilns. You’ll need the kiln recipe. You’ll need 5 named smelters to make the most of it. You’ll need alchemists to cut the cost of consolidant in half, as well as to cook more than 1 at a time to keep up with the stone. You’ll need armorers to craft your twine, so instead of needing 36,000 twine you’ll only need 6k.
But again, for comparison’s sake, black ice requires NO thralls or additional effort, while hardened brick REQUIRES a host of NINE named crafters to even become comparable. And no matter how many kilns you have, how many crafters you have, how many thralls you obtain, hardened brick will always take longer to farm for the simple reason that even the most optimal stone grindpaths will take hours to obtain the same resources, and hardened brick will always take multiple components. Black ice is a 20 minute trip, hardened brick requires multiple resources and thralls.
Black ice -
- 20 minutes
Hardened brick -
- 238 hours without thralls, 3~ of those hours spent farming stone, time spent farming twine/ichor not included
- 41~ hours or so with named crafters, and being exceedingly generous assuming we’ve got 5 kilns, named smelters for all of them, named armorers/alchemists and that we caught all of those thralls at the same time and they cracked as quickly as possible. The raw crafting is 17~ hours per kiln(we’re rounding here), with an added 25 hours for the named thralls on top of it (a flat 25 for all thralls cracking at once which is impossible, but just trying to keep the math easy). Still not including the time it takes to get the ichor/twine.
So to be fair, once you’ve got your named crafters, the more you craft with those crafters the less important the time it took to obtain those crafters becomes as their cost gradually approaches zero, but when you really stack the two costs together there’s absolutely no reason for this disparity.
Basically, when you really stack the two against eachother there is no comparison. There’s absolutely no reason for hardened brick building to be as punishing as it is. DLC structures are supposed to be equal in strength, but if one takes immeasurably longer to craft, they’re not really equal at all. Every second you’re farming building resources you’re not farming everything else you need to stay competitive, there’s a steep opportunity cost to spending all your time on hardened brick.
To fix this, I’d say either make brick crafting faster, change the recipe on hardened brick, or (ideally) just make the recipes identical. There’s no lore specific reason why these structures have to be made with hardened brick. Temperaturewise, black ice always seems to come with a cooling effect when used in weapons/armor, but with buildings its warm insulating. In real life, insulation works for both hot and cold situations, keeping you cool in the summer and warm in the winter, so there’s really no reason for a difference in recipe anyways.
TL;DR - The Final Argument.
Just drop the pretense and give them the same recipe already. I may be a pvp’er, but sometimes I want my base to look good too, and I’m tired of feeling punished for trying to use the DLC’s I purchased. The cost between crafting with hardened brick and black ice is so ridiculously vast it’s almost crazy to think it’s been left this way for this long. Even if my math winds up being terribly wrong in some way, there’s no situation where hardened brick crafting will ever be as effective as black ice building. If the buildings have identical HP, there’s no reason for one to take hundreds of hours and the other to take 20 minutes. That’s stupid.
If you made it this far, thanks. Share your thoughts, have the discussion. I’m sure my math is off at some points, I forgot exactly what the effect of kilns are on craft speed, as well as some other things. it’s midnight and I should have been asleep hours ago, so be forgiving there. The point is that the time disparity is huge.