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[Mining] Can someone explain colour ore spawn mechanics?

Finegold

Journeyman
So coming back I quickly realised that all my marked mining books were useless.

It appears that some coloured ore spots change all the time, but some other spots I've found don't... and consistently spawn the same ore type. Needless to say it's a p i t a for a miner trying to target certain ore types.

Is there any pattern or rhyme or reason to what's going on here? Any advice or explanation on the mechanics at work?

Thx
 

Basara

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Ok, here's the basics as best as I remember them

  1. Ore color varies from resource square to resource square. These squares are 8x8, and were once the basis for the old "8x8" training method meant to optimize against the anti-macro skill gain code. Each square has its own base percentage for a colored ore to spawn from a dig.
  2. Fel has a base of 2 ore per dig, all other facets 1/dig. Color percentages and the number of digs before depletion are higher (on average - some still suck) in caves and dungeons, than on mountainsides, and there are even odd rocky bumps in Tram & Fel in the middle of fields, forests, and occasionally towns, that can produce ore (Haven had a lot of them, and still does in New Haven). As Ilshenar, Ter Mur and Eodon are semi-dungeon in nature as a whole, they may have higher numbers than a similar place in Trammel. Even many open-air places in Ilshenar even have Niter deposits (for the saltpeter to make gunpowder used in the ship cannons of the High Seas expansion), that normally only occur in dungeons and some caves.
  3. Humans have a 10% chance per dig of getting +1 ore. Elves get 20% more digs, and have their base change for colored ore modified upwards by x1.2. (so if a human has a 45% chance, an elf would have 54%chance). Dull Copper becomes available at 65 skill, each ore after in steps of 5 skill (except Valorite, which comes in at 99 instead of 100). Iron smelting becomes 100% at 85, DC at 90, Shadow at 95, Copper at 100, Bronze at 105. Gold and higher require special talismans to smelt at 100% (and those only last 24 hours).
  4. Originally, roughly 50% of all spots were iron ore only. The other 50% was split into increments if 1/36s of 50%, from 8 increments (each about 1.4%, for a total of around 11.2%) for Dull Copper, 7 for Shadow Iron, etc., until you got to 1 increment for Valorite. However, the chance for valorite was given a slight bump from about 1.4% to about 2%, about 10-12 years ago.
  5. Any mining of a resource square for ore, be it one swing or mining it until it runs dry, has a low percent chance (something in the neighborhood of 8%) of switching the ore spawn type. So, some spots might change from a single dig, or might stay the same over 20 different mine-outs (about an 18-20% chance to go unchanged over that many mining stops). So, the actual spread of ore spots will vary from day to day, but average close to the numbers in #4. However, no matter what color a spot is producing, it will maintain the color/iron ratio it had in the past as long as it's not iron only (and the following tools can make those a Dull Copper site temporarily)
  6. Use of a Prospector's Tool (dig with a normal tool, even unsuccessfully, then use the PT on the same spot before returning to a digging tool) will change the color of a spot up one step, for that visit. For a spot that is currently rotated onto Iron-only, this will make the spot produce Dull Copper at its usual colored ore percentage that would occur if it was producing colored ore naturally.
  7. Use of a Gargoyle's Pickaxe also escalates ore one step when used to dig, and now works on iron-only spots as well (producing DC ore, but is a waste of its special ability). Any site elevated to Shadow Iron or better with the Gargoyle's Pickaxe, has a chance to produce an ore elemental that contains 25 ore of its color (the color the site was elevated to). You can use a Prospector's tool, then the Gargoyle's Pickaxe for the following digs, to raise a spot 2 color levels (and using a GPA on a spot that starts as Valorite still can spawn valorite elementals).
  8. A niter deposit appears as a yellow rock on the ground next to the dig point, and is best mined with normal tools. It produces 0-4 saltpeter per swing, until depleted (and can go through several size stages along the way).
  9. Once you are 100 skill and read the appropriate books, you can mine sand for glassblowing (dig in sand), mine for stone (set tool for ore and stone, or use a Rock Hammer BOD reward), or mine for regular gems (set tool for ore and gems). Stone now only weighs 1 stone each, not 10, so it's not the pain it used to be. There are also larger gems used for crafting recipes and imbuing that can spontaneously appear as you dig.
  10. There are mining gloves available through blacksmith BODs that can take Mining over 100. There is also a quest you can get from Jacob in New Haven (provided you are under 50 mining to start the quest) that gives a recharging 20-use pickaxe that adds +10 mining (but won't take it over 100 - but you can then put the gloves on after equipping the pickaxe, for smelting).
 

Basara

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Oh, the old mining books aren't entirely useless.

If you had places marked that produced high percentages of colored ore, they still will produce those high percentages - just in the ore color the spot currently is providing.

So, take the runes, go back through them, look for high-output spots over several visits, and keep those runes for generic mining trips.

You'll also want a fire beetle, if you left before Samurai Empire. You can smelt ore in the field on a Fire Beetle, plus use it as a mount. You can stay out MUCH longer if you're converting all your ore to ingots (10 ingots to 1 stone weight) as opposed to ore (12 stone for 1 ore, that produces at best 2 ingots).
 

SugarMMM

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I have been playing many accounts since the beginning and I love to read Basara's posts because it shows me how much I don't know about this game!
 

Finegold

Journeyman
Thank you.

So when the one spot has stayed as shadow or val for three months, its just because of tye radom number generator.
 

Basara

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Pretty much - the change chance is on each visit to the square where someone digs, so the general crappiness of the UO RNG can sometimes work in your favor, and sometimes not. (sometimes a place stays the same color for dozens of visits, sometimes you fail 6 times in a row on what should be a 95% smelt chance, turning 64 ore into 1 ingot). Sometimes you can get an area stay the same for weeks - sometimes you can have something change after one visit. I'm to the point that I'll typically just go mine an area I know has lots of colored ore in high percentages, and use both the Prospector's tool and Gargoyle Picks, and come back an hour or two later with 100 or more ingots of every color from Shadow to Valorite.

And, if you need gold or agapite, it's easier to farm Blackthorn's basement for gold ore from the Golden elementals (take a combat miner down there, and smelt as you go - you can use one of the gold smelting talismans' 3000 charges in about an hour), then after you get a few thousand gold, get one of the gold-to-agapite cauldrons and convert 3000 gold ingots to 1000 agapite. The BODs that produce the talisman and cauldron are pretty cheap to fill.

Trees change similarly (but a change for the ore doesn't effect the trees, or vice versa), but since trees for higher woods are extremely rare by comparison, it's much worse for the lumberjack.

There are a few trees in Eodon that approach the old "magic trees" in terms of output (they eventually run out, but after hundreds of chops, and usually quickly refill, sometimes before it runs out). While I was training a lumberjack, I had one go from Oak, to Ash, then back to Oak, over the course of about 6000 logs. I'd been constantly chopping the entire time. So, the tree had changed type during a reset/refill as I chopped, then did it again later. The same tree/resource square had stayed the same over about 2000-3000 chops (tens of thousands of logs) over the previous couple of days.
 
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