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Rill View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Gathering: The Basics
    Posted: 06 Aug 2012 at 09:13
This is a preliminary guide to gathering, focusing on resources introduced in July 2012 that can be gathered from the map using cotters, herbalists, skinners and miners.  I am sure someone will write a much better guide at some point, but I thought I'd stick one up with the basics as we know them now.

There are now several methods for harvesting items from the world map: 1) gathering basic resources and gold using caravans; 2) gathering basic herbs, minerals, skins and grapes using cotters; and 3) gathering "rare" herbs and minerals and animal parts using specialized units: Herbalists, Miners and Skinners.

I.  Gathering Basic Resources and Gold with Caravans

This guide will not attempt to describe harvesting basic resources and gold using caravans; there is already an admirably detailed guide on the subject written by Mara Zira that can be found here:  Knowledge of basic gathering can be helpful background when reading this guide.

II.  Gathering Herbs, Minerals, Skins and Grapes with Cotters

In the July 2012 release a new unit was introduced to do basic gathering:  the cotter.  Building a cotter requires the following steps:

1) Study Cotters in the Trade branch of the research tree:

2) Build one or more cottages for your cotter to live in.  Each cottage takes one building plot and allows you to create one cotter.  If you build cottages and cotters and then destroy some cottages, your newly homeless cotters will desert your city at their next opportunity.  Number of cottages in a city = number of cotters that can be built.

3)  Produce cotters on the trade train units screen, accessible by mousing over the gold coins and clicking on the donkey at the right:

4) Study Foraging in the trade branch of the research tree.  Study of Foraging enables your cotters to harvest Herbs, Minerals and Hides.  In order to harvest grapes, you must study Grape Picking.

5) Find and harvest resources on the world map.  The resources that can be harvested by cotters are:

Cotters can harvest and carry up to 100 of the item they are harvesting.  Cotters harvest at a rate of 5 resources per hour, except for human cotters, which harvest at a rate of 7 resources per hour.  

Cotters will continue harvesting until 1) they have collected 100 of a resource 2) the remaining harvestable resources on the square are exhausted, 3) they are interrupted by another cotter or harvester, either yours or another players, 4) they are recalled by messenger or 5) they are killed by a non-allied army attacking or occupying the square.  

If cotters are interrupted while harvesting, they take home the fruits of their labor rounded down to the last hour.  For example, if a dwarf cotter was harvesting a mineral patch and was interrupted after 30 minutes, it would return home with nothing.  If it was interrupted after 4 hours 45 minutes, it would return home with 20 (4 times 5) of the mineral.

More than one cotter can be sent to a square; the cotters will harvest in parallel, harvesting twice as fast if two cotters are sent, for example.

If there is more than one resource that cotters can harvest on a square, such as hides and minerals or hides and herbs, then the cotter will choose one of the resources and gather as much as possible of that resource (either the entire remaining amount or 100) and then leave.

Tips on Finding Cotter-Gatherable Resources

1.  Minerals

Mineral patches are permanent; if they are exhausted they will eventually be replenished in the same location.  They tend to be found in rocky or mountainous terrain.

2.  Herbs

Herb patches will continue growing unless they are completely exhausted by a harvester.  If they are exhausted, the patch will be relocated elsewhere.  Herbs tend to be found in forest terrain.

3.  Hides

Hides are found in locations where NPC animals have been killed, either by player armies or by conflict with other animals.  Danger:  If there are live animals remaining on a square, they will kill incoming cotters or other harvesters, although once a harvester is safely on a square it will not be killed by incoming animals.

III.  Gathering Rare Herbs, Rare Minerals and Animal Parts (Including Elemental Salts)

UNDER CONSTRUCTION: I'm posting this now so I won't lose the work I've done so far.

Edited by Rill - 06 Aug 2012 at 09:39
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dunnoob View Drop Down

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2012 at 18:27
Originally posted by Rill Rill wrote:

 If you build cottages and cotters and then destroy some cottages, your newly homeless cotters will desert your city at their next opportunity. 
Yes, they'd finish their work if they are out, bring back what they gathered, and desert if they find that they are homeless.  It's a sad story.Cry
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scaramouche View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2012 at 20:05
omg..I just see my first cotter busking in the tubes
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Gyreth View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Aug 2012 at 06:00
The amounts of basic herbs and minerals seem to be a bit inconsistent.  All the herb and mineral patches nearby me read around 100 any time I scout them, and slowly (slower than my gathering rate) decrease over 24 hours if I send a single cotter.  If I send many cotters at once, instead of quickly running out the minerals or herbs seem to spontaneously replenish until all the cotters have the most they can carry.  So I get 900 from the patch in a day instead of 100.

Has anyone actually exhausted a common herb patch?  The rare minerals and herbs definitely do not work this way - I only receive the amount that was there regardless of how many specialist gatherers were sent.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Aug 2012 at 10:00
Originally posted by Gyreth Gyreth wrote:

Has anyone actually exhausted a common herb patch?
Yes. I have exhausted some common herbs. Until now I harvested more then 40 thousand herbs and exhausted maybe 10+ locations...

Also I noticed several new common herbs spawned nearby.
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