• Greetings Guest, Having Login Issues? Check this thread!
  • Hail Guest!,
    Please take a moment to read this post reminding you all of the importance of Account Security.

Lava Quest Digging Statistics

Arroth Thaiel

Seasoned Veteran
Stratics Veteran
Stratics Legend
Hello all,

I've seen some discussion about how many uses of a pickaxe/shovel it takes to dig up the 5 rocks for the lava quest. My average uses are around 100, so I thought I'd post some stats from my own experience. This might just be interesting to me, but for those struggling to complete this quest, maybe this will help.

The first time I attempted this quest I used an elf (thought maybe the elves racial bonus for collecting speical ores might help) with 0 mining and dug on the very first tile on the outer edge of the caldera. Result = 338 uses to collect the 5 rocks, plus about an hour of time, and about 10 eles killed.

Then I heard that if you dug close to the center of the caldera, it didn't take as many uses. I switched to a human fighter (0 mining) and did the rest of my digging with that character, as close to the center as I could get.

I did not keep details on time/eles killed for the first four attempts. Then came the patch to remove SA items from the eles and my first try after the patch was taking forever, so I started keeping details on time/eles as well.

So, here are the stats (RNG....oh how I love thee!):

***
All digging with BoD reward sturdy pickaxe, human, 0 mining:

Uses to acquire 5 lava rocks (Avg. uses per lava rock) - Time - Elementals Slayed

90 (18) - ~40min - ~30eles​
81 (16) - ~40min - ~30eles
45 (9) - ~40min - ~30eles
102 (20) - ~40min - ~30eles
194 (39) - 135min - 115eles
117 (23) - 40min - 50eles
63 (12) - 13min - 19eles
129 (25) - 27min - 40eles
259 (52) - 49min - 75eles
74 (15) - 28min - 48eles
43 (8) - 5min - 6eles
209 (42) - 61min - 95eles
49 (10) - 18min - 29eles
212 (42) - 19min - 22eles

Averaging 119 uses per 5 lava rocks.
***

Image of the tile were I did all the above digging.
CenterDigTile.jpg


*****UPDATED 6-19-2016*****
Digging spot ~2/3's of the way into the caldera.

Same exact character, skills, items, as used for digging at the center of the caldera.

Uses to acquire 5 lava rocks (Avg. uses per lava rock) - Time - Elementals Slayed

181 (36) - 15min - 6eles
180 (36) - 13min - 19eles
153 (31) - 14min - 18eles
130 (26) - 20min - 16eles
106 (21) - 14min - 15eles
147 (29) - 16min - 20eles
223 (45) - 20min - 22eles
289 (58) - 28min - 25eles
142 (28) - 13min - 14eles
204 (41) - 26min - 35eles
161 (32) - 11min - 8eles
190 (38) - 17min - 20eles

Averaging 176 uses per 5 lava rocks.

Image of the digging tile ~2/3's into the caldera.
MiddleDigTile.jpg


Anyway, if you are feeling frustrated by this quest, at least you'll have some numbers to ponder.

If I find time, I'll try to use this same character at the outer edge of the caldera, just for comparison, but I don't really think I want to burn that many pickaxes.

I'd love to hear what other people are getting for numbers with different skill/race combos. Does the elven racial bonus for finding special material apply? Does mining skill have an effect?

If anybody has numbers they want to share, feel free!
 
Last edited:

Eärendil

Legendary Mall Santa
Supporter
Stratics Veteran
Great work! Can you post a picture of the reward, just to be sure that I do not miss anything collectible?

Thank you!
 

Merus

Crazed Zealot
Stratics Veteran
Nice work putting together your stats.

What a sad commentary for our Dev team though.

Same character, same location and the variation in time to complete:
5 minutes to more than 2 hours.

Even if you ignore the two outliers:
13 minutes to more than an hour.

Just ridiculous if you ask me. RNG based encounters are lame!
 

Arroth Thaiel

Seasoned Veteran
Stratics Veteran
Stratics Legend
Great work! Can you post a picture of the reward, just to be sure that I do not miss anything collectible?

Thank you!
All the quests and rewards are detailed here:
A Valley of One Quest Chain – Ultima Online

Nice work putting together your stats.

What a sad commentary for our Dev team though.

Same character, same location and the variation in time to complete:
5 minutes to more than 2 hours.

Even if you ignore the two outliers:
13 minutes to more than an hour.

Just ridiculous if you ask me. RNG based encounters are lame!
After doing this a couple times, I think that there are actually 3 RNG systems at work at once.
1. The actual lava rock from digging
2. The timer on the magma flows
3. The spawn of the volcano ele's

When the three happen to align, you get a rock every couple times you dig, the volcano doesn't go off and you get to dig for like 2 min, and rarely does a volcano ele spawn from your digging attempts. If this happens, you're set, and you complete the quest in 5min.

On the other hand, when the three are out of sync.....wow. The pass through that took me two hours was horrible. The magma flow occurred over 20 times in a row at the 49sec interval - which I now think is the minimum. I spawned a volcano ele from digging on at least every other attempt, sometimes two or three in a row, and the RNG just would not give me the lava rocks.

As for our RNG, I played a game awhile ago where you could plot out exactly how many critters you had to kill, and of what type, to max your 'toon. At first that was ok, but by about the 5th character, knowning you had to kill exactly 100,000 rats, (Not 99,999, oh no, exactly 100,000) with no variation, it just wasn't fun. Predictable yes, fun, not so much. (Interestingly, at launch this game was supposed to kill UO. Kill UO. It closed after about 5 years. Many big issues, with the lack of variation in content being just one.)

I am happy UO has an RNG (ok - most of the time) after having played many games that don't use random generators. The variation of the RNG just adds a little som'then to the game to keep you on your toes. However, for certain encounters in UO, stacking the RNG's, especially with the way ours works, might be a bit much. Seriously, I would have given up on the two hour attempt if I wasn't trying to stubbornly record stats.

Stick a pencil in your ear indeed.
 

Eärendil

Legendary Mall Santa
Supporter
Stratics Veteran
All the quests and rewards are detailed here:
A Valley of One Quest Chain – Ultima Online



After doing this a couple times, I think that there are actually 3 RNG systems at work at once.
1. The actual lava rock from digging
2. The timer on the magma flows
3. The spawn of the volcano ele's

When the three happen to align, you get a rock every couple times you dig, the volcano doesn't go off and you get to dig for like 2 min, and rarely does a volcano ele spawn from your digging attempts. If this happens, you're set, and you complete the quest in 5min.

On the other hand, when the three are out of sync.....wow. The pass through that took me two hours was horrible. The magma flow occurred over 20 times in a row at the 49sec interval - which I now think is the minimum. I spawned a volcano ele from digging on at least every other attempt, sometimes two or three in a row, and the RNG just would not give me the lava rocks.

As for our RNG, I played a game awhile ago where you could plot out exactly how many critters you had to kill, and of what type, to max your 'toon. At first that was ok, but by about the 5th character, knowning you had to kill exactly 100,000 rats, (Not 99,999, oh no, exactly 100,000) with no variation, it just wasn't fun. Predictable yes, fun, not so much. (Interestingly, at launch this game was supposed to kill UO. Kill UO. It closed after about 5 years. Many big issues, with the lack of variation in content being just one.)

I am happy UO has an RNG (ok - most of the time) after having played many games that don't use random generators. The variation of the RNG just adds a little som'then to the game to keep you on your toes. However, for certain encounters in UO, stacking the RNG's, especially with the way ours works, might be a bit much. Seriously, I would have given up on the two hour attempt if I wasn't trying to stubbornly record stats.

Stick a pencil in your ear indeed.
...I rather meant the turn-in items, not the rewards ;-)
 

Petra Fyde

Peerless Chatterbox
Alumni
Stratics Veteran
Stratics Legend
look closer - the turn in items are shown too. The lava one is even shown as an animated gif.
 

Merus

Crazed Zealot
Stratics Veteran
...I rather meant the turn-in items, not the rewards ;-)
I think he means the lava rock you are digging up... in which case, you don't actually get a rock in your pack. What you get is a message that you dug up a rock and save it for later.
 

Merus

Crazed Zealot
Stratics Veteran
All the quests and rewards are detailed here:
As for our RNG, I played a game awhile ago where you could plot out exactly how many critters you had to kill, and of what type, to max your 'toon. At first that was ok, but by about the 5th character, knowning you had to kill exactly 100,000 rats, (Not 99,999, oh no, exactly 100,000) with no variation, it just wasn't fun. Predictable yes, fun, not so much. (Interestingly, at launch this game was supposed to kill UO. Kill UO. It closed after about 5 years. Many big issues, with the lack of variation in content being just one.)

I am happy UO has an RNG (ok - most of the time) after having played many games that don't use random generators. The variation of the RNG just adds a little som'then to the game to keep you on your toes. However, for certain encounters in UO, stacking the RNG's, especially with the way ours works, might be a bit much. Seriously, I would have given up on the two hour attempt if I wasn't trying to stubbornly record stats.

Stick a pencil in your ear indeed.
I think some RNG is ok, but the level of RNG in the Lava (and the Bar throwing liquor bottles) is out of bounds. My personal best in the lava room is 11 shovels for a single rock... that is more than 500 digging attempts. I have also had rounds where I am done in 5 minutes. After 17+ years of UO, I can also tell you that the RNG does NOT like some people nearly as much as others. Thus while your average might have come out at 119 digs, there are some that will undoubtedly average much higher without outside help. IMO, there needs to be a counter balance... some way to mitigate the RNG through some game mechanic.

Easy examples:
Have mining skill improve the RNG if mining for lava rocks... with GM mining your odds become something like 50/50.
Have detect hidden give you a message when you get close to a lava rock, and active use of the skill at GM would highlight the tile to dig (think the hidden crates in Exodus dungeon)
Have the volcano elementals have a chance to drop the rocks when killed. "You discover a lava rock on the corpse's remains and decide to save it for later".

So, SO many ways this encounter could have been improved with just a little imagination.
 

Eärendil

Legendary Mall Santa
Supporter
Stratics Veteran
I think he means the lava rock you are digging up... in which case, you don't actually get a rock in your pack. What you get is a message that you dug up a rock and save it for later.
Thank you! I just wanted to know if that part of the quest deserves my attention. It does not ;-) Good to know!
 

Arroth Thaiel

Seasoned Veteran
Stratics Veteran
Stratics Legend
Easy examples:
Have mining skill improve the RNG if mining for lava rocks... with GM mining your odds become something like 50/50.
Have detect hidden give you a message when you get close to a lava rock, and active use of the skill at GM would highlight the tile to dig (think the hidden crates in Exodus dungeon)
Have the volcano elementals have a chance to drop the rocks when killed. "You discover a lava rock on the corpse's remains and decide to save it for later".

So, SO many ways this encounter could have been improved with just a little imagination.
I like all of these ideas. As I said in the other thread, I'm all for bumping non-combat systems (skills). I think it broadens gameplay.

You could also have the volcano ele's spawn throughout the region, but only spawn from digging when you actually dig up a rock. This would reduce some of the randomness, but then you'd definitely be requiring combat to deal with the spawned ele (or just run away like Brave Sir Robin!).

I really think that mining skill should play some type of role with mining(!!!!), but then you'd have people who play fighters complaining that they can't do the quest, or why did you make it so that I have to run a resource gatherer all the way out there, yadda, yadda, yadda.

(Actually, I haven't tried doing this quest with mining skill, so maybe it does play some role?)

I personally don't think it is a lack of imagination. I would bet the dev team talked this through and discussed a bunch of different ways of doing things (including most of the things you and I have suggested!).

I see a small team trying to meet a production schedule while facing the realities of the way this old gem of a game is built and the playstyles of their player base.
 

Arroth Thaiel

Seasoned Veteran
Stratics Veteran
Stratics Legend
I saved a log of a run to do that part. I was on my Archer/mage/weaver Vixen on Sonoma. It took a little over an hour to complete it. This was my very first run and I was feeling it out with the digging and all. As you can see it was a long run.
What race is Vixen and did you have mining? Also, were you digging on the edge of the caldera, or near the center?

You had 177 digging attempts (1 lava rock for every 35 uses), and killed 12 eles. Better than what Merus has been experiencing. Actually, if you were on the edge of the caldera, that sounds like it was pretty good.

Which may indicate how skewed a UO player's idea of "pretty good" is.

I'm doing another set of 10 quests, but on a tile about 1/2 way through the caldera. I'll add data for that when done. It might be awhile.
 
Last edited:

Drakelord

Crazed Zealot
Governor
Alumni
Awards
3
Vixen is Elf and no mining, all her digging was at the edge, took me a few tries to get the digging right. I stay away from the center area due to the high number of Volcano Elements in the center area most times. Most times a Element spawns during the dig just as the volcano goes unstable so its a rush to get to a safe room and avoid combat till I can fight without being killed by the lava flow.
 

Thom

Lore Keeper
Stratics Veteran
Just finished my first run through of this quest and I didn't really keep track of how long or how many elementals there were but I know I finished it without using a full 150 use shovel at about the middle part of the caldera. I also don't think the elementals see spawning from digging but just on a timer.

Sent from my SCH-S968C using Tapatalk
 

Parnoc

Certifiable
Stratics Veteran
Stratics Legend
Works fine for me, I dig edge (lot less hassle and saves time running), one quest done anywhere between 150 and 300 shovel uses, no complaints, to me, not too hard, not too easy. If you make it to have mining, then that leaves out a lot of folks. IMHO it's fine the way it is, don't change it. This quest is well done by the devs.
 

Merus

Crazed Zealot
Stratics Veteran
Works fine for me, I dig edge (lot less hassle and saves time running), one quest done anywhere between 150 and 300 shovel uses, no complaints, to me, not too hard, not too easy. If you make it to have mining, then that leaves out a lot of folks. IMHO it's fine the way it is, don't change it. This quest is well done by the devs.
If you're good with the success rate you are having without mining, how would letting folks with mining have an increased chance at finding a rock have any impact on you? I don't think anyone ever suggested that mining would be required... Only that it would improve the odds.
 

Parnoc

Certifiable
Stratics Veteran
Stratics Legend
If you're good with the success rate you are having without mining, how would letting folks with mining have an increased chance at finding a rock have any impact on you? I don't think anyone ever suggested that mining would be required... Only that it would improve the odds.
ok understand, didn't comprehend that you meant mining would be an addition, I thought it was that you were advocating it as a requirement. :oops:
 

Arroth Thaiel

Seasoned Veteran
Stratics Veteran
Stratics Legend
Updated this post with some new stats for digging part way through the caldera.

Yes it has been month's since this was posted, and very few are probably doing this quest now, but I have some new stats, so thought I'd put them here.

PS. @Kyronix as of 6/19/2016 the volcano eles are still dropping The Token of Holy Favor. I'm sure you're aware, just thought I'd pass it along.
 

Petra Fyde

Peerless Chatterbox
Alumni
Stratics Veteran
Stratics Legend
BTW for anyone who doesn't have a crafter, these eles are a possible source of the gems needed for the Gemologist quest of the Zipactriotl chain.
 

Basara

UO Forum Moderator
Moderator
Professional
Governor
Stratics Veteran
Stratics Legend
Wiki Moderator
UNLEASHED
Campaign Supporter
They also appear to occasionally spawn a rare Ter Mur gear for the music box, possibly instead of one of the gems.

2 gears found so far - both have been rares.
 

Arroth Thaiel

Seasoned Veteran
Stratics Veteran
Stratics Legend
They also appear to occasionally spawn a rare Ter Mur gear for the music box, possibly instead of one of the gems.

2 gears found so far - both have been rares.
The Volcano Ele's spawn all three "rare" gears for Dawn's Music Box in addition to their normal ingredient (gem/lumberjacking)...

*Primeval Lich
*Slasher Veil
*Stygian Dragon

...and it's anything but occasional. I have around 10 of each gear now.

This continued after the patch to remove the Renowned Fire Ele's loot from the volcano ele's, so I figured the dev team intended for the gears to still drop.

However, yesterday I also received an Untranslated Ancient Tome from a volcano ele in addition to a Stygian Abyss artifact.

Looks like post pub-93 the volcano ele's are dropping Renowned Fire Elemental loot again.
 
Have you tried doing the quest on a Stealther? I dont know if its been changed but you were able to do it, without being attacked and be able to mine non stop, making the rocks fall a lot faster on your backpack
 

Arroth Thaiel

Seasoned Veteran
Stratics Veteran
Stratics Legend
No, I haven't tried a stealther, or any of the other methods for doing it "faster". (Thanks for adding one more method to my list though!!!)

I might eventually, but having completed the major quest line numerous (ARGH!) times, I'm in no hurry!

When this quest first came out there was a lot of criticism about the amount of uses it took to get a lava rock. This set of data was just to share some raw numbers, when doing the quest without any tricks.
 
Top