Hardened brick DLC vs Black Ice *POLL*

  • 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
  • Other

0 voters

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.
Black ice:

  • 15 Black Ice
  • 4 Insulated wood
    Hardened brick/DLC:
  • 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.


black ice should be turned into bricks before using it to build

so, 10 black ice + 1 brimstone to turn it into a black ice brick


Surprisingly, I agree. Everyone’s already complaining about how “it’s too easy to build a massive fortress in a couple of hours”. The first time I read that complaint, I thought it was ridiculous, until I realized two things:

  • People complaining about it are primarily PVP players and official PVP servers have the harvest amount multiplier set to 2x.
  • Black ice is laughably easy to get and extremely cheap to build with.

So yeah, let’s bump up the black ice building costs and level the playground a little bit. Who knows, maybe that’ll make some people understand why it’s important to be able to carry a lot of stuff when farming :wink:

EDIT: Yeah, I voted “other” because the poll is about “hbrick vs black ice” and I don’t think “costs are fine” in that context.


I think it’s bull spit that I have to use ridiculous amounts of resources to use a “style” I paid real world cash for. Realistically, if you paid the cash for it (like I did) it should actually cost LESS resources than Black Ice.

Again, bull spit.

Or instead of being actuall crafted items that are built, why not instead have a “free” paint that you have unlimited uses and litterally paint the object to what it should look like regardless of it’s resource cost.

If I’m on a new server I have to wait until I’ve unlocked it to be able to use it? That shouldn’t work like that…

I should he able to walk up to my sandstone building and paint each individual foundation yamatai, each wall khitan, and all of my cielings aquilonian. Regardless of what material I used to make it.

I believe the developers are looking into the matter; if I remember correctly, Alex said so in a relatively recent stream. Please note that the likely solution will be to increase Black ice bulding costs instead of reducing hardened brick costs - but we shall see.

EDIT: I voted for “Other” - this should read as “Black Ice building costs should be increased to be on par with hardened brick, and I also hate orphans and puppies”.


A lot of puppy haters clicking the “other” option to try to hide from me in this thread, tsk tsk

Coming from pve-c, just want to mention that on pve, black ice is the build choice for griefers to get their purge meter up quicker, so I agree with Kapo, black ice cost should be raised


Other for me as well, considering how building affects the server performance and half the complaints are about stuff being blocked, we need to make building harder, not easier. I love pretty buildings and castles over 5 grids but we have singleplayer with admin module for that and private servers with x10 rates. Increase the costs for black ice even more.


Just gonna toss this out there… making things tedious for tedium’s sake isn’t what I’d call a solution either. I firmly support the idea of making hardened brick cheaper. Maybe it’s because I’m on a pvp server instead of pve, but I honestly wouldn’t want anything about the game to be grindier no matter the game mode.

For comparison it takes me a few hours to solo farm enough mats for 240+ bombs. That’s enough for 80 doors (its 4 bombs per door since the nerf unless I’m being dumb). If we turn the building of a base into an endurance test that takes 40 weeks, I can’t say I’d really bother playing the game honestly. You’ve got to factor in opportunity costs man. Consider everything you need to be viable in pvp:

  • Epic flawless gear
  • Dragonbone weapons
  • Ideally, legendary weapons, which have to be individually farmed
  • Thralls, levelled to 20 ideally
  • Bandages for antibleed
  • Set potions for anti-poison
  • Buff fish, or potions/crimson powder
  • Bows, arrows, etc
  • Haunch and tea for healing in combat, which means flasks too
  • Have to find time to scout the enemy, find their bases
  • Named blacksmiths and armorers to produce the gear

On top of it all, you need LOTS of all this stuff. Not one set of gear, not one thrall, not one weapon, plenty of them. And even after farming all this, which can take a considerable amount of time, you can still get dumpstered by just being outnumbered or misplaying a few key engagements. You already have to spend a considerable time building a (largely ineffective) base, with the steel farming being the most time consuming portion, there’s no reason to make the game MORE grindy.

As it is, my buddies and I are some of the most efficient farmers out there. We can get ourselves largely setup and ready to rumble in a few days… but those few days are hours and hours of back to back peak efficiency grinding. The average player takes considerably longer, and it’s not a joyful experience to have to engage in weeks of chores and grind before you can play the real game. I work for a living you know? My job has mandatory overtime, sometimes I get home so late it’s not even possible for me to get 8 hours of sleep before my next shift. Then I get on, finally get to work, and its like I’ve got 19 grindpaths that need my attention before we’re viable, it gets old.

If we’re moving costs, we should be scaling back hardened brick, not increasing the cost of black ice. I know some people think you shouldn’t be able to make progress on a reasonable timescale in this game, but I don’t really know why you’d want to have to spend more of your time to accomplish the same thing in a video game when server populations are so fickle and starting over is so frequent.

Just my two cents on that.


There’s a lot of text involved, as well as a poll, but this bit I quote pretty much summarizes everything you say or imply that is relevant to the thread. You know, the poll options already pretty much tell us how you’d want us to answer.

But since you asked, I hope you respect the opinion of those who disagree with you.


Yeah the text is to substantiate the point, we’re having a conversation. It’s easy enough to just say “it should be harder”, im communicating why someone might support the opposite position. It’s not enough to just say “I want it cheaper”, I’m taking the time to say WHY I want it cheaper. Please respect that effort.

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I think Hardened Brick costs are fine, and if a change is to be made (which I’m fine with) it would be to bring the opportunity cost / total time to build of Black Ice on a level with that of Hardened Brick.

I play PvE, so I don’t have the 2x gathering of PvP servers to help me, but on the other hand I can afford to take my time finishing a build (which I do) since it’s not a problem if someone comes and takes a poke around my base.


Make it a possibility to make Black Ice Bricks by chugging in the same amount of bricks and black ice, as you would need bricks and stone consolidant for hardened bricks, and make the costs overall equal to each other after that?

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Voting “Other” for much the same reason other do. Black ice should be brought up in price to be on par with hardened brick.
Some reduction in price for the hardened brick building blocks is not unwarranted but I see no need to bring as low as black ice. Black ice need some kind of refinement process that utilize time and some crafter to make it more balanced but it need not necessarily be smelters and/or alchemists.


The way I see it - remove black ice from building block ingredients and replace it with hardened brick - effectively turning “Black Ice” into a free t3 block skin.

You are literally asking for the game being easier when you pay…what

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Grinding is not my thing, so I voted to REDUCE requirements for hardened brick. On my server, there are almost exclusively black ice buildings, even in the jungle. It destroys the diversity inherent in the game.

EDIT: My suggestion would be that 4 stone = 1 brick, and rebake 2 bricks with 1 ichor to obtain 1 hardened brick. In line with that 4 ironstone = 1 iron bar, and re-smelt 2 iron bar with 1 steelfire to get 1 steel bar.

Has PVP 2x harvest? then increase cost on that.
Remove Sandstone after lvl 20 for all.
Make a 1 day decay block for blue printing if you need to have one
Remove timer on standalone pilars.

For me on PVE its easier to make hardbrick now then black ice, many players now on our server that level thralls there and farm the black ice nodes there too.

I can get 10k stones in 10minutes, with perk.
Black ice not so much. Maybe 2k in 10minutes.

Don’t forget the ratios though. 10k stones > 1k brick, which is half as much black ice as you’re getting in the same time, and black ice is considerably more efficient for building with since the foundations require less crafting.

Rates are higher on pvp servers to reduce grind as well, increasing costs to offset the higher harvest misses the point. A lot of contention from the 2 communities (pvp/pve) comes from players not really considering the needs of the other side, try to see the arguments in this thread. There’s no need to have tedium for tedium’s sake.