Daily Archives: January 23, 2007

AGP – New Cards, Old Systems

Tom’s Hardware has an article up titled “AGP Platform Analysis, Part 1: New Cards, Old System” that takes a look at whether it is worth upgrading your video card on an AGP-based system or whether your old system will just be a bottleneck on video performance.

Among the cards used in the article is the Sapphire x1950 Pro AGP that I just installed in my own aging setup.  The conclusion of the article seems to be that the higher the resolution you run, the less likely your system is to be the bottleneck on performance.  Since I insist on running at the native resolution of my Dell 20″ LCD, which is 1600×1200, I was pretty happy with that answer.

Tom’s Hardware also has their regular “Best Gaming Video Cards For The Money” article up for January that covers both AGP and PCI-E cards.

Ore is Hell

One aspect of the trade skill changes last year is coming home to roost for me.

Everybody needs ore.

I wanted to stock up on supplies for Blintz.  As he approaches level 40, I need to keep his armoring skill apace.  The main raw material for armor and weapons is the metal harvested from ore nodes.  Tin, iron, carbonite, feyiron, fulginate, indium, and adamantine are all found in the ore nodes of the various tiers. 

Back in the pre-Live Update 24 days, most of the crafting professions needed some of this metal.  But since ore produced nothing but metal, and since people would harvest it like crazy looking for rare harvests to complete their armor sets, the metals from ore were always cheap.  There was always a flood of it on the market.  People would trash it rather than bothering to sell it for 1 copper per cluster.

Then two things came about: Loam and Tinkering.

With the trade skill changes in LU24, suddenly ore produced two materials, metal and loam.  The easy net effect of this was you had to harvest twice as many nodes on average to get the metal you needed.  The more insidious effect was that now provisioners, alchemists, jewelers, and sages all needed loam to make much of their basic material.  This was in addition to needing metal for some items (except provisioners). 

Now we have half as much metal being harvested and many more people requiring the output of the available ore nodes.

And then Tinkering came along with Echoes of Faydwer.  Tinkering requires a lot of metal for each item made.  A lot more than any of the other trade skills.  Metal from ore nodes.  And Tinkering is a secondary trade skill, so anybody can pick it up, even if they have already committed to one of the older skills.

Let the ore rush begin!  Let the market prices go through the roof!

A couple of weeks ago I spent three hours harvesting in Zek with my 47 Templar.  Ore nodes were rare.  How rare?  They were so rare that if I saw an ore node and a sparklie at the same time, I would hit the ore node first.  They were so rare that I clear harvested whole areas of all other harvest nodes in the hope of spawning some ore nodes.  They were so rare that this was the highlight of my evening!  Two ore nodes right next to each other!


I predict a lot more harvesting in my future.