Recipe: Vial of the Sands - A Perspective

100 Tauren Shaman
12890
Let me preface my argument by praising archaeology. I love the idea of being able to find epic items through persistent work. It is the perfect filler for time where I'm waiting for queues or arenas, or a replacement for idling in capital cities. I don't have a problem with Archeology itself.

I have a problem with the ignorance to total time-investment that shines through the drop rate of
Recipe: Vial of the Sands from Canopic Jar.

Here's why...

RATES
  • * 2 mins to complete a dig site.
    * 3 min per flight to next site (Kalimdor).
    * 5 minutes for the whole process.
    * ~13.5 fragments per site.
    * 2.7 or ~3 fragments per minute.
    * 8/56 dig sites are Tol'Vir.
    * 1/7 commons are Canopic Jars.
    * 3.67 fragments toward a Canopic Jar every hour. Round that up to 5 with hieroglyphics.

  • At this rate I get ONE Canopic Jar every 9 hours. This is a reasonable estimate considering I have obtained 13 Canopic Jars since I first had the required skill level to dig at Tol'Vir sites on 12/13/10, and that I have not spent all my waking hours nor hours in game grinding archaeology.

    But now let's apply some simple maths...

    PROBABILITY
    Assuming a 5% drop rate of the recipe:
    1 - (0.95 ^ 14) = 51.23% chance of encountering the recipe takes: 14 Jars.

    Assuming a 10% drop rate of the recipe:
    1 - (0.90 ^ 7) = 52.17% chance of encountering the recipe takes: 7 Jars.

    So if we are neither lucky nor unlucky and encounter the recipe when we have about a 50% chance then we are investing a 63 hours with a 10% drop rate and 126 hours with a 5% drop rate.

    So working full time on Archaeology it would take a minimum of 7.875 or about 8 full (8hr) days of work to have the odds on your side. In this same time at even a meager hourly rate, you'd be squandering away around 630 US dollars. But that's not really an argument - so let's make one.

    Let's say you play this game casually and can't invest 8 hours a day towards gathering fragments - that is you aren't sacrificing your day job to get this recipe. Let's say that you do 8 hours of archaeology per week. With a 10% drop rate that 7.875 days becomes 7.875 weeks or about 55 days before you can call yourself unlucky. And with a 5% drop rate, you are faced with 110 and a quarter days before you can start calling yourself "unlucky".

    Note: I'm using 5% and 10% as probable drop rates due to Wowhead data and my own experience of having looted 13 Canopic Jars without recipes, which reinforces the statistics that wowhead has collected.

    Seeing as Archaeology is a secondary profession, an 8 hour per week investment seems rather reasonable. What seems unreasonable is the 55-110 day time investment it would take to gain favorable odds to loot the recipe from one of these Canopic Jars at a casual rate.

    But let's move on and examine what the Recipe actually calls for, perhaps it's easily crafted...

    VENDOR MATERIALS
    Vendor materials cost an unprecedented 29,000g not including...

    12 Truegold (14256g @wowhead)

    16 flasks which amount to:

    Total for flasks: 5544g @wowhead.

    Grand Total: 48,800g*

    *Subtract 5800g if you can buy the vendor mats with a goblin, making it 43k.

    43-48k might not be much to certain people, but to most players it is more than a substantial amount to save. Oh - that won't include the price charged for crafting this item. Expect several thousand for that.

    Now it's not the price that breaks the camel's back - it only serves as proof that this mount is already hard enough to craft, and hence the 110 day grind @ 8 hours per week to simply get respectable odds to loot the recipe is absolute, maniacal overkill.

    SOLUTION
    If the mats were easier to obtain, and did not encroach upon 50,000g gold it might be acceptable to keep the recipe this rare. However the materials needed to produce this mount mean only select players will even see the gold or materials necessary to craft it. As such, the low drop rate only serves to castrate the will of any players still seeking the Recipe when someone else on their server has found it. Only the stubborn mules like myself continue on, completing 10+ jars despite the availability of the mount. Hence...

    The drop rate on Recipe: Vial of the Sands fromCanopic Jar should be increased.

    Thank you for your time and attention.
    Edited by Molinator on 1/10/2011 3:51 PM PST
    Reply Quote
    85 Human Paladin
    3715
    What really irks me on the whole Vial thing is that the recipe is BoP, such that you are forced to raise Archaeology on an Alchemist, and Archaeology has no replay value. So for people (who did not know the recipe's details) who capped Arch on a non-Alchemist are screwed in regards to the potion.

    The recipe should be BoA.
    Reply Quote
    100 Tauren Shaman
    12890
    01/10/2011 3:46 PMPosted by Serra
    What really irks me on the whole Vial thing is that the recipe is BoP, such that you are forced to raise Archaeology on an Alchemist, and Archaeology has no replay value. So for people (who did not know the recipe's details) who capped Arch on a non-Alchemist are screwed in regards to the potion.

    The recipe should be BoA.

    The fact that it is BoP is another issue, but understandable. I can't imagine what it would be like seeing it drop on a character that was not an Alchemist. I would practically feel forced to switch them to Alchemy so I could craft it for myself.
    Reply Quote
    90 Worgen Druid
    11435
    Recipe that is meant to be rare is rare. OMG not fair.
    Reply Quote
    100 Tauren Shaman
    12890
    01/10/2011 4:07 PMPosted by Jidders
    Recipe that is meant to be rare is rare. OMG not fair.

    Try reading next time and responding with an actual argument instead of a mindless one-liner.

    Rare is a spectrum. It's not black and white. But given your response you're not convincing anyone that you're capable of seeing that.

    Reply Quote
    90 Draenei Shaman
    5135
    was wondering if you would answer a few questions for me molinator cuz u really seem to know what ur talking about what exacly is it i need to do to even be able to get the canopic jars, where are they even located at? iam almost at 400 arch so i still have a ways to go but what is it that i even need to do to obtain those and then what do i need to do with the jar to have that really low chance of the recipe droping.
    Reply Quote
    I gave up at the 40 hour mark. That's just too much of one mind numbing thing when there is very little return if you are unlucky like me.
    Reply Quote
    90 Worgen Druid
    11435
    Try reading next time and responding with an actual argument instead of a mindless one-liner.

    Rare is a spectrum. It's not black and white. But given your response you're not convincing anyone that you're capable of seeing that.


    Farmed every reset for the ZG mounts for over a year. Not once did they drop. Took over 150 tries to get my raven mount. That's more time then you have spent waiting on your recipe, more time waiting for a reset. And more chances missed than you have had to get your recipe and less chances available to attempt to get it. I also watched people get them one the first or second attempt at farming for them. Tell me I don't see an item as rare again.

    Moral of the story, quit your complaining. Eventually you will get it. And if your cared about the mount at all you would bother spending the the extra 1k for someone to craft it. Most just want the ability to craft the item to make money. Funny thing the crafting fee is garbage. They only reason it was making so much money in the begining is because so few had it. More and more people get it on the server the price goes down. Not to mention all the people who craft it for free for friends and guildies.
    Reply Quote
    85 Troll Rogue
    1935
    I got the vial on my very first canopic jar, which was my third tol'vir solve.

    Ended up crafting and using it myself, since the only offers I received were below 30k. Don't kill yourself over this mount, no one will pay much for it.
    Reply Quote
    61 Night Elf Rogue
    760
    I don't mind the rarity of the reciepe but the price of the mats is abit over the top. Other profession mounts like the magic carpet and even the chopper are so much more cheaper.
    Seems alchemists and archeologists got a raw deal to me :(
    Reply Quote
    80 Night Elf Rogue
    2975
    01/11/2011 12:00 AMPosted by Windblade
    I don't mind the rarity of the reciepe but the price of the mats is abit over the top. Other profession mounts like the magic carpet and even the chopper are so much more cheaper.
    Seems alchemists and archeologists got a raw deal to me :(


    The reason its so expensive is because its the Cata version of the chopper. Gold has gotten even easier to get with the expansion. Just to compare, the first heroic per day in cata gave 25g. The first heroic you do in a day in cata gives 83g. The more gold available the higher gold sinks have to be to keep up.
    Reply Quote
    100 Tauren Shaman
    12890
    01/10/2011 5:25 PMPosted by Jidders
    Try reading next time and responding with an actual argument instead of a mindless one-liner.

    Rare is a spectrum. It's not black and white. But given your response you're not convincing anyone that you're capable of seeing that.


    Farmed every reset for the ZG mounts for over a year. Not once did they drop. Took over 150 tries to get my raven mount. That's more time then you have spent waiting on your recipe, more time waiting for a reset. And more chances missed than you have had to get your recipe and less chances available to attempt to get it. I also watched people get them one the first or second attempt at farming for them. Tell me I don't see an item as rare again.

    I didn't say you couldn't see that an item as rare. I was trying to imply that you couldn't see the difference between rare and TOO rare.

    And if you had looked at my numbers and reflected on your own ZG mount farm, you'd see that I've put in about 117 hours of farming (9 hours per jar * 13 jars). That doesn't include the 20 hours it took to simply hit 450 and have the chance to see it. It's not as if I'm cracking before the odds are in my favor. Nor did you, with the Raven mount clearly.

    Comparing grinding stories is irrelevant to the discussion, however. And I don't know how it's somehow relevant that I don't have the recipe yet or why you're so hostile towards me because I'm challenging the drop rate - I have interest in this mount being exclusive as well.
    Moral of the story, quit your complaining. Eventually you will get it. And if your cared about the mount at all you would bother spending the the extra 1k for someone to craft it.

    I'm not giving someone money because they got a little lucky. I won't get the mount if I don't find the recipe myself.

    Moreover, I'm not complaining. I'm appealing to the developers based on the fact that I think they did not consider that this recipe would take so much time to get, due to the triple-layer of RNG that comes along with the farming of it.

    Funny thing the crafting fee is garbage. They only reason it was making so much money in the begining is because so few had it. More and more people get it on the server the price goes down. Not to mention all the people who craft it for free for friends and guildies.

    Again, this isn't an issue of money. I believe it was short-sighted to make the recipe drop at such a low rate from these jars.

    If I only wanted the mount I would have it by now. I want to be able to craft it myself - because I see the ability to do so for my friends present and future as an investment worthy of however long it might take to get the recipe. I know there are people that feel the same way, so that's why I'm bringing to light exactly how much time it takes to farm this recipe.

    That and I think it's useful to discuss the drop rates explicitly so that the time-investment you likely will have in farming this is transparent. The ZG mount and the Raven mount had explicit drop rates. The Recipe: Vial of the Sands, however, is clouded in that it is wedged inside three different layers of chance, which is what I believe caused an error in judgment.

    If I get a blue post confirming that they'd like this recipe to continue to be a 100+ hour farm, then I'll submit and be on my way. But I honestly believe that with all the other things that concerned them in Cataclysm, this low drop rate went through the cracks because on the surface a 5-10% drop doesn't seem very punishing at all.
    Edited by Molinator on 1/11/2011 3:30 AM PST
    Reply Quote
    85 Night Elf Druid
    7340
    01/10/2011 3:46 PMPosted by Serra
    What really irks me on the whole Vial thing is that the recipe is BoP, such that you are forced to raise Archaeology on an Alchemist, and Archaeology has no replay value. So for people (who did not know the recipe's details) who capped Arch on a non-Alchemist are screwed in regards to the potion.

    The recipe should be BoA.


    It shouldn't be for alchemists only
    Reply Quote
    100 Dwarf Hunter
    12085
    01/10/2011 3:46 PMPosted by Serra
    What really irks me on the whole Vial thing is that the recipe is BoP, such that you are forced to raise Archaeology on an Alchemist, and Archaeology has no replay value. So for people (who did not know the recipe's details) who capped Arch on a non-Alchemist are screwed in regards to the potion.


    Yeah... That was me. After a few conopic jars my guildy posted the recipe so I could know the mats and I saw the BoP. I was very upset to say the least. I got over it though, and lucky enough while I was farming Whiptail in uldum someone on general said "OMG I got the recipe!" And I gave them my mats and BOOM got me my dragon :) (PS it was someone I knew so I wasn't handing almost 50k worth of mats to a stranger XD)
    Reply Quote
    90 Draenei Paladin
    8090
    01/10/2011 11:48 PMPosted by Esra
    I got the vial on my very first canopic jar, which was my third tol'vir solve.

    Ended up crafting and using it myself, since the only offers I received were below 30k. Don't kill yourself over this mount, no one will pay much for it.


    You are partially wrong in but I might just have been lucky.

    I got Recipe: Vial of the Sands in my 8th Canopic Jar and that was 3 weeks ago. I was posting the recipe and mount in trade chat in Stormwind every time I was passing by there. For the last 3 weeks I crafted around 10 of those Vial of the Sands and I got between 1000g to 5000g in tips for a total of 18,000g made in tip from crafting this mount.

    For me it was a good opportunity because I was the first on my server to get it, or at least advertise it in trade chat, and there is people willing to pay 50,000g for a mount. If someone would get it today on my server, he would definitely NOT make as much money in tips as I did because most people on alliance side on my server already know I can craft it and words spread fast in the first 2 weeks.

    So that's why I say you are partially wrong. I say it will be less and less worth working on archaeology to get it as more and more people will already have that mount unless no one have it on your server and side yet, or just a few have it. If you want the mount, find someone who can craft it. (I'm saying that to others working to get that recipe)

    P.S. I decided to stop archaeology yesterday and start actually working on my toon and get ready for raids. I was hoping for the troll 2-hand sword but i'm at 247 troll artifacts solved and no sword yet. Now it's time I take care of my toon before I miss all the raids and fun and if you have any sanity left you will do the same. I am 19/20 rare artifacts and it seems I won't get my Professor title yet.
    Reply Quote
    After completing to level 525, 12 rares and close to 70 commons, I have to agree with the OP.

    I also reported a couple bugs. One where I received no credit for completing a common when I was approximately level 150 and another last week when I received no tol'vir fragments after performing a survey in Uldum. (A mob attacked me just as the survey completed and the frags were going to drop.) The site only provided two frag drops.

    Blizzard responded to both, the second is a known problem they are investigating.

    This is especially grievous since Uldum is the only place those frags drop. I mentioned that as well.

    The profession could benefit from marketable items, a deeper and more interesting mechanic, involving the use of the (omg!) Library or Libraries in multiple places.

    Reply Quote
    100 Tauren Shaman
    12890
    [quote="18273154748"]
    So that's why I say you are partially wrong. I say it will be less and less worth working on archaeology to get it as more and more people will already have that mount unless no one have it on your server and side yet, or just a few have it. If you want the mount, find someone who can craft it. (I'm saying that to others working to get that recipe)

    If I keep playing through to another expansion (likely considering my past behavior) and that the faction I'm playing on is highly underpopulated (despite Blizzard claims that there aren't any faction imbalances that require them to intervene) the value attached to being able to craft this recipe will likely bounce back up once less people are willing to put 100+ hours into finding it.

    Then again my case could be an anomaly. But as I said before it's much much more likely that whoever assigned the 5-10% drop rate to the Recipe: Vial of the Sands from Canopic Jars likely didn't once consider how OFTEN a player would be completing the jars, as on average you'd get one per full work day.
    Reply Quote
    100 Tauren Shaman
    12890
    14 Jars, 120+ hours down the drain.

    Still no recipe.
    Reply Quote
    90 Human Warlock
    5485
    I'm not giving someone money because they got a little lucky. I won't get the mount if I don't find the recipe myself.


    So you assume that players who do have the recipe just got "a little lucky," but yet I'm sure when and if you do get the recipe, you'll claim it was through countless hours of hard work?

    Please, there are plenty of players just like you putting over 100 hours into archaeology for this, you're not the only one. Of those players, some are going to get the recipe. Those players will probably advertise in trade chat, offering to make the mount for a small tip, which is about 1-2k on my server.

    You can be stubborn all you want, but Blizz obviously intended this mount to be rare and to be sold via trade chat and the auction house - hence why it's BoE.

    Reply Quote

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