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The Reverend

A:EftP - Wisdom Crystal and Mandrake Valuation

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As a side task during my current play-through (all-Anama, as discussed in another thread), I'm attempting to determine whether it makes sense, financially, to buy points of Cave Lore in Formello - and if so, how many. I'm looking at the prices items in the caches can be sold for (assuming 4 negotiator traits), as well as the value of the one time herb patches that require cave lore. For the renewable herb patches, I'm going to just add a variable to the valuation for the number of times you expect to reasonably visit the various cave-lore requiring herb patches. I will post my findings once they are complete. As a preview, it is almost certainly worthwhile to get to at least 5 cave lore by buying three points and grabbing the two free points in Mertis and the Giant Lands - if you are careful to avoid outdoor encounters you can sneak there early. It may be worthwhile to buy it all the way up to 10 - 8 bought, and 2 free - but that is where the rest of this message comes in.

 

The biggest bit that is missing from my analysis so far is a way to value wisdom crystals. This will also determine my valuation of Mandrake, since that is typically the rarest herb and thus all of them will likely be used to make wisdom crystals (Greymold has a easily-accessible-via-boat renewable patch that gives 2 and requires no cave lore, whereas mandrake's renewable patch is in dangerous territory, requires 10 cave lore, and only gives 1 mandrake at a time). Thus I plan to value Mandrake at the Wisdom Crystal value minus 85 (the selling price you could get from selling the other required herbs, since you are now consuming them rather than selling them).

 

So, I've come up with a ballpark estimate of the value of a wisdom crystal, and wanted to share my work here to see if others agreed with my assumptions. I am mostly trying to figure a lower bound on the value (i.e., wisdom crystals are worth at least N), so that may color some of the assumptions I make below:

  • I am looking at end of game value, thus each level grants you 5 hit points and 5 spell points, and a rotating basic stat increase. Builds are variable, but we can assume that AT LEAST 2 of the four rotating stat increases will be useful (endurance plus your primary attack stat).
  • In addition (since this is end game value), every 5 levels you get to increase a stat of your choice, and 2 skills of your choice. Since you are choosing, we can assume that these are all useful.
  • To keep things simple (by using nice round numbers), assume every *useful* skill and stat increase is worth 1000. This is roughly based on training costs (it is lower than many training costs, but we can assume that by the end of the game you've already trained in the most useful skills).
  • The 5 hit points and 5 spell points gained are worth 800 total. This may be a bit low since 5 hit points is most of the benefit of a point of endurance, but I'm not giving much weight to the extra spell points since not all characters can use them.
  • A wisdom crystal is worth 1/5 of a level for one character.

Thus, each wisdom crystal gives 1/5 of a rotating stat increase, 1/2 of which are useful (possibly more for some builds). This gives us 1/5*1/2*1000 = 100. It also gives 1/5 of 1/5 of a chosen stat increase, or 1/5 * 1/5 * 1000 = 40. In addition, we get 1/5 of 1/5 of 2 skill points, so 1/5 * 1/5 * 2 * 1000 = 80. Finally, we get 1/5 of 800 (for the 5 hp and 5 sp), so 160.

 

Adding these together, we get a wisdom crystal value of 100+40+80+160 = 380. We then get a mandrake value of 380-85 = 295. For some builds, the value may be higher. E.g. spell casters who often cast expensive spells and don't have a lot of magical efficiency may find the spell points more valuable, and non-minmax style builds that pump multiple attack stats may find more than half of the rotating stat increases valuable. You could also argue that intelligence is valuable for everyone, because it increases mental resistance, and dexterity is useful for everyone because of the increased evasion (however, for evasion to be at all reliable, you need to be pumping dexterity more than what you get from just the rotating increases).

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This is a pretty sensible analysis, and also seems to confirm the idea that buying wisdom crystals is usually not worth it.

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There is one other nice thing about a wisdom crystal: if your spellcaster is within 200 XP of the next level, it makes a good substitute energy elixir (for some reason, at least when I played on Torment, going up a level did regenerate spell points but did not regenerate health points). Once I passed level 30, that's all I used them for (didn't buy them but did save them for that reason). Whether that's worth giving them any extra value, I leave for you to say.

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Originally Posted By: Alberich
There is one other nice thing about a wisdom crystal: if your spellcaster is within 200 XP of the next level, it makes a good substitute energy elixir (for some reason, at least when I played on Torment, going up a level did regenerate spell points but did not regenerate health points). Once I passed level 30, that's all I used them for (didn't buy them but did save them for that reason). Whether that's worth giving them any extra value, I leave for you to say.


I noticed that as well - I had a couple fights where I was low on spell points, one of my casters leveled up, and they ended up with full points again. It seems like it might be a bug, but it's one that helps rather than hurts, so I haven't complained about it. smile

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Originally Posted By: The Rev
It seems like it might be a bug, but it's one that helps rather than hurts, so I haven't complained about it. smile

It was the same in A6 so i guess it's not a bug, it's intended to be that way.

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This, I mostly agree with.  Your valuations do make sense to me, but my main sticking point is how, past Level 30, you get all the discretionary points at once, rather than spread out.  If you stuff a character full of Wisdom Crystals so they get from, say, Level 31 to Level 34, the end result isn't worth as much as you had it, since you didn't go through a level that gave skill points or manual stat points.

 

Though I suppose if you're doing this, you probably already realize this issue and plan around it (even if that "planning" is "more patiently farming Mandrake" or something), so this is pretty minor.  Just thought I should mention it in case some people weren't sure if they had the patience for this.

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