Foraging Info (SPOILERS)

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Nysyarc
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Foraging Info (SPOILERS)

Post by Nysyarc » June 27th, 2014, 12:06 am

Been doing some testing of the Foraging skill, primarily out of personal curiosity. Did a quick search of the forum and didn't find any precise info on the rate at which you find items while foraging, or when exactly you can begin to find what items. So I thought I'd share my findings.

In general, the formula for determining how many turns it will take to find an item is:

Turns = 200 - (3 * Foraging Skill)

This is counted starting from your first turn after finding any item via Foraging (or drinking water that you discover). So for example, if I find a Wild Cabbage and I have 1 point in Foraging, I can expect to find another item or fresh water in exactly 197 game turns, provided that on the 197th turn I walk onto appropriate terrain for foraging. Waiting or performing any action other than walking on the turn you would otherwise find an item will cause you to miss that item and you'll have to wait another full cycle.

The counter seems to reset itself to a random value within an appropriate range whenever your Foraging skill level is changed, whether by investing at a level-up, training, reading a skill book or equipping/un-equipping items that provide a bonus. Example, if I had 1 point in Foraging and read a skill book to increase it to level 3, the counter would be instantly set to a random value from 1 to 191 turns (I'm assuming the random value ranges from the minimum to the maximum for the new skill level, but that's only an educated guess at best).

So with Foraging at level 10 it will take 170 turns, and at level 25 (the highest useful level for finding new types of items) it will take 125 turns between each item.

An interesting thing to note is that (assuming no conditional statements are in place) at level 67, the number of turns required to find another item reaches a value of -1. This likely explains why things "start to go weird" at that value, as stated by another user in a previous thread:
Chaotic Newt Ral wrote:
BasiliskWrangler wrote: Usually - a widget will have a (item name) in parentheses
There are several issues with foraging.
Widget() is one of them:
http://imgur.com/a/Oj74S#2
(tested with Foraging Skill 66. Above that things start to go weird)
As for what items are available at what levels of the skill, it follows a consistent pattern of introducing one new item each skill level with the exception of skill levels 2 and 3 (Foraging Skill level on the left, new item(s) available starting at that level on the right):

1 - Bittercup Seeds, Wild Cabbage, Water
2 - Nothing new
3 - Nothing new
4 - Yambi Berries
5 - Plumpcot
6 - Brimstone
7 - Mandrake Root
8 - Sulfur
9 - Spider Silk
10 - Noximander Venom
11 - Mercury
12 - Belladonna
13 - Ambergris
14 - Raven's Heart
15 - Willow Bark
16 - Dried Brainstem
17 - Dwarvish Mellowleaf
18 - Stinkroot
19 - Anise
20 - Widget ()*
21 - Wormleaf
22 - Black-spotted Shroom
23 - Toadis Pollen
24 - Ectoplasm
25 - Auricflax


*Note: The "Widget ()" is likely supposed to be a different item. There doesn't seem to be any level that makes Corpse Ash available, so maybe it was intended to be the level 20 item but there is a bug?

By the way, I haven't used anything but the playable game itself for any of this. I have tested and re-tested each level of Foraging extensively in-game and am fully confident that my list is 100% accurate.

Due to my method of testing however, the chance of finding food versus reagents at various levels of Foraging is not something I will be investigating. That would require far more data collection than the resulting information would be worth. If I had to make an educated guess I would say that there is an equal chance of encountering each of the items you are able to find at your current level of Foraging skill, regardless of what type of item they are. This includes finding fresh water.

Predetermined Seed Mechanics

When playing with the game rule for a predetermined seed to discourage saving and reloading, it seems that each wilderness tile suitable for foraging is assigned one or two items as part of the seed, and the assignment is not changed until your Foraging skill level changes. The seed is determined for all possible skill levels of Foraging when the game begins, so specific tiles will always contain the same item(s) at specific skill levels in a particular game.

Each tile will yield only a single type of item (for example, Brimstone) as long as you do not forage on it twice in a row. So if I receive Brimstone from one tile, walk until I receive a different item somewhere else and then return to the Brimstone tile, it will still yield Brimstone. If I farm the same tile repeatedly it will alternate between two items (say, Brimstone and Plumpcot) as well as occasionally yielding fresh water, seemingly in place of either of the main two items. The precise mechanics of this are still a bit foggy but the above rules seem to apply consistently so far.

If I were to change my Foraging skill level in any way, for example by equipping an item with a bonus to make it level 15 up from 12, the tile that yielded Brimstone and Plumpcot at a Foraging skill of 12 would likely now yield something different. If I remove the ring so I have a skill level of 12 again, the tile will revert to yielding first Brimstone and then Plumpcot. There seems to be a carry-over period wherein the first item you receive after changing skill levels still coincides with the old seed, so immediately after switching to level 15 I may still find one Brimstone at that spot, but then begin alternately finding Yambi Berries and Spider Silk, or just Yambi Berries if I am also farming a different tile.

To put the implications of this as simply as I can, with any odd-leveled Foraging skill (25 or higher being ideal), you could abuse the auto-walk feature to quickly walk back and forth between two tiles that both yield favourable items, collecting one item from each tile alternately. The item you collect from each tile would never change because you would not collect from the same tile consecutively. With an even-leveled Foraging skill you would have to find a tile whose two items are favourable and you would have to deal with sometimes finding fresh water as well, since walking back and forth would always end up farming the same tile. This is because of the formula for turns outlined at the beginning of this post.

I hope that wasn't too confusing and that some people find it interesting or helpful. I may do some more testing of these mechanics later but not for awhile. Happy foraging everyone!
Last edited by Nysyarc on July 1st, 2014, 11:08 am, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: Foraging Info (SPOILERS)

Post by swcarter » June 27th, 2014, 1:59 am

I was looking at this for a while, but it gets hard to test after a while.

7. Mandrake Root
8. Sulfur
10. Spider Silk
12. Mercury
16.Raven's Heart, Ambergris, Dried Brainstem
18. Mandrake Root, Willow Bark
19. Stinkroot, Dwarven Mellowleaf
21. Wormleaf, Anise
25. Ectoplasm, Auricflax, Belladonna

These are the levels I first got items, but a few probably show up earlier.

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Re: Foraging Info (SPOILERS)

Post by Nysyarc » June 27th, 2014, 9:16 am

Yah most of the later skill levels will take a lot of data to know for sure. Fortunately, because of the fixed number of turns between each item encounter, I can save immediately before finding an item and then continuously reload the file to quickly test for different results. I haven't actually tested but I imagine this exploit is taken care of with the "fixed seed" game rule, like any other form of save and load re-rolling.

Also, off the top of my head, I know I've gotten Raven's Heart, Ambergris and Belladonna all with only 15 points in Foraging. My first character has had 15 for quite a long time, I don't think I ever found any of the other ones you've listed above that level. I'll be doing more thorough testing of as many levels as I can today.
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Re: Foraging Info (SPOILERS)

Post by SpottedShroom » June 27th, 2014, 6:27 pm

I started work on this a while ago and got as far as level 9 before I got distracted. The method I used was to turn on auto-walk, walk into an obstacle, and then weight the keyboard key to move in the opposite direction. That causes your character to walk back and forth over the same squares repeatedly. I let each skill level run for ~2500 turns, so you'd get quite a few items and easily be able to see what's new.

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Re: Foraging Info (SPOILERS)

Post by Nysyarc » June 27th, 2014, 7:58 pm

SpottedShroom wrote:I started work on this a while ago and got as far as level 9 before I got distracted. The method I used was to turn on auto-walk, walk into an obstacle, and then weight the keyboard key to move in the opposite direction. That causes your character to walk back and forth over the same squares repeatedly. I let each skill level run for ~2500 turns, so you'd get quite a few items and easily be able to see what's new.
Yah my method was a bit less time consuming, heh. The loading time in Rockhammer Mine is really quick so I was able to find dozens of items per minute by just walking a single tile each time I reloaded. I started a new character whose sole purpose was to reach 25 Foraging a.s.a.p. so I had it all done by the time I reached level 5.

Hopefully the info is helpful to people!
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Re: Foraging Info (SPOILERS)

Post by Nysyarc » July 1st, 2014, 11:11 am

Update: Edited the OP with information regarding how Foraging works with a predetermined seed in the game world. May be a little confusing, but it's not especially important to know anyways, just for those who are curious (like me). All the rest of the information is finalized as well, including a list of all items that can be found at different Foraging skill levels.
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Re: Foraging Info (SPOILERS)

Post by IJBall » July 1st, 2014, 6:18 pm

Nysyarc wrote:As for what items are available at what levels of the skill, it follows a consistent pattern of introducing one new item each skill level with the exception of skill levels 2 and 3 (Foraging Skill level on the left, new item(s) available starting at that level on the right):

1 - Bittercup Seeds, Wild Cabbage, Water
2 - Nothing new
3 - Nothing new
4 - Yambi Berries
5 - Plumpcot
6 - Brimstone
7 - Mandrake Root
8 - Sulfur
9 - Spider Silk
10 - Noximander Venom
11 - Mercury
12 - Belladonna
13 - Ambergris
14 - Raven's Heart
15 - Willow Bark
{snip}
This is not an attempt to kick BW when he's down, but I have to say that if this is how Foraging was set up in Book III, it was poorly designed (and is likely an over-correction to how it worked in Book II - i.e. too easily by many accounts...)

But I feel quite strongly that the first 5 Levels in Foraging should each yield a unique benefit. The fact that Levels 2 & 3 in Foraging gives you nothing is really unsatisfactory, IMO.

On a related note, the two Alchemical ingredients that brew up a Healing Elixir should be the first two Alchemical reagents obtained from points in Alchemy (for obvious reasons...). Thus, after food, say Level 5 in Alchemy should give you Willow Bark, and then Level 6 should give you Sulfur. Etc.

As for the "widget", like Nysyarc, I suspect it's either supposed to give you Corpse Ash, or possibly the useless reagent Toadis Pollen, which I guess could be a revenue generator (the latter might also explain why the mechanism is "broken" and only giving up widgets...).

But, like some of the other Skills in Book III (I tend to think Alchemy is potentially another example...), Foraging is "ramped too high" (i.e. IOW, you have to achieve too high a level in it before it becomes remotely useful, which is highly unlikely with the playthrough time seen in Book III itself...), and should be adjusted downwards somewhat (i.e. should yield more tangible benefits at lower Levels).

Oh well... I don't suspect this is going to be changed/fixed/improved at this point...
Still, it does point up the potential need for Book II modding capabilities, as I think some of us might prefer to play around with that (so-called "easier") game engine and gameplay style...

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Re: Foraging Info (SPOILERS)

Post by Randomizer » July 1st, 2014, 8:59 pm

BW added the ingredients for Healing Elixir to containers in the first few zones so getting them from foraging isn''t that big of a problem. Also by Moonrise you can find a few more key ingredients to deal with disease. This gives you time to find enough money to train.

You can train for 8 levels, use a book for 2 more, and then 2 rings for 6 more levels to get all but the rarest ingredients.

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Re: Foraging Info (SPOILERS)

Post by SpottedShroom » July 1st, 2014, 11:27 pm

IJBall wrote: Oh well... I don't suspect this is going to be changed/fixed/improved at this point...
Still, it does point up the potential need for Book II modding capabilities, as I think some of us might prefer to play around with that (so-called "easier") game engine and gameplay style...
I doubt we'll ever see full mod support for Book II, but I'm leaning towards thinking I (and potentially xolotl) should build a mod loader application that can add and remove mods from the datapak. That would be just as easy to do for Book II as for Book III.

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Re: Foraging Info (SPOILERS)

Post by SpottedShroom » July 2nd, 2014, 8:24 am

Prismatic Maelstrom wrote:
IJBall wrote:Oh well... I don't suspect this is going to be changed/fixed/improved at this point...
Unrelated I know, but was Repair touched in Book III?
I think it was made less effective, but I consider that to be a good change. A single point was enough in Book II, and it's honestly still easy to just pick up two repair rings in Book III and call it a day.

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Re: Foraging Info (SPOILERS)

Post by Randomizer » July 2nd, 2014, 11:45 am

Higher repair levels are needed for the heavy armor materials and upper end of light armor materials. But it still doesn't take that much, maybe 3 or 4 levels.

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Re: Foraging Info (SPOILERS)

Post by IJBall » July 2nd, 2014, 1:54 pm

Randomizer wrote:BW added the ingredients for Healing Elixir to containers in the first few zones so getting them from foraging isn''t that big of a problem...
Perhaps, but I don't think that changes my point that they should also be the first couple of Alchemical ingredients available from Foraging.

One point - I'm coming at this from the perspective of wanting to create a character that starts with a focus on Foraging and Alchemy, and is trying for the "True Ranger" challenge. I think the tweaks I've suggested to Foraging would be key for making that build work (better)...
Prismatic Maelstrom wrote:
IJBall wrote:Oh well... I don't suspect this is going to be changed/fixed/improved at this point...
Unrelated I know, but was Repair touched in Book III?
On my end, I saw no noticeable difference - if it was "nerfed" it was "nerfed" only a little, as 1-2 points in Repair was all I ever needed.

IIRC, the one change to Repair that was made was that you needed higher Levels in Repair to "repair" higher "level" armor (esp. Heavy Armor). But as I never tried for builds with a focus like that, I never saw any difference...

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Re: Foraging Info (SPOILERS)

Post by john1v6 » July 5th, 2014, 8:08 pm

I'd been thinking that Foraging might be a good skill to rework in the next Basilisk game (if there is one, inshallah). Make it more geographically realistic. For example, Willow Bark should be easy to find when you're in a forest, not so much in the desert. Likewise with brimstone near volcanic areas, wild cabbage in the plains, etc. Killing a noximander (or other poisonous lizard) may occasionally yield an intact venom sac, the same way you can get ectoplasm from a poltergeist.

You can even incorporate a new skill, Fletching, into it. In the right areas, you can find feathers, straight sticks, and small rocks and/or bits of metal, from which you can create the shaft and arrowheads to make your own basic arrows. Find them through Foraging, make them during rest as with Repair.

Of course, this assumes a future Basilisk game with similar game mechanics to the current, to-be-replaced game engine. Please? Let there be one?
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