thehipone.6812 Posted April 16, 2018 Share Posted April 16, 2018 After the big gathering update I took a slight detour from my mob drop research that was posted a little over a week ago to take a closer look at how the Guild Gathering Boost and Gathering Banner Boost influence the materials that you gather from nodes. The text on these buffs seems fairly straightforward:Tavern Boost: Increase chance to find rare materials from mining, logging, and harvesting by 20%.Banner Boost: Increase chance to find rare materials from mining, logging, and harvesting by 15%.From this wording, and where I see these banners placed in the world, I think it is fair to say that I and many players would expect that these boosts would increase things like:-Living World Season 3 node items like the Jade Shards that drop from mining Jade Fragments in Lake Doric, Petrified wood in Ember Bay, or Blood Rubies-The number of gemstones that drop from mining metal nodes-Perhaps you might expect the buffs to increase the number of the hidden bags that contain a gemstone and sometimes drop from logging trees.-You may also expect the buffs to increase the amount of Freshwater Pearls and Maguuma Lilies that drop from Mussels/Jungle Plants, respectively.Aside from the last one, where the drops are so rare and nodes spread out so much that testing is impractical, I set out to test hypotheses related to the bulleted statements and also to see if I was able to tell if the buffs stacked. To do this, I gathered a minimum of 500 strikes on nodes of each type with a) No Gathering Buffs b) Only the Guild Tavern Boost and c) With both the Guild Tavern Boost and the Guild Banner (15%) Buff. Suffice to say, the tested hypotheses were not supported by the data and the gathering buffs do not seem to operate in a manner consistent with the tooltip description. On to the testing...Pick Me a Winner Dude - Jade ShardsI chose Jade Shards as a model for the Living World Season 3 drops because I find them easiest and fastest to gather. There appears to be a base 33% chance to get a Jade shard from each strike of a jade fragment node. Thus, the hypothesis would be that with the 20% buff you might get 33% *1.2 = 39.6% of strikes that yield a Jade Shard. If the banner buff stacks, this number should go higher. Here are the results:https://imgur.com/zO6dzkhUnexpectedly, there was no effect of the gathering buffs on the frequency of getting Jade Shards from the nodes. I (and I think much of the playerbase) probably considers Jade Shards to be “rare materials” that would be expected to benefit from the buffs as worded in the tooltip. I do not have data yet on whether this extends to all of the other LS3 and 4 rare gatherables like Blood Rubies, Petrified Wood, or Difluorite Crystals. However, based on the following metal mining testing, it would not surprise me if there is also no effect. Again, this runs counter to my observed understanding of player expectations and behavior – there is almost always a gathering banner on the ship in Bloodstone Fen, so it seems that somebody thinks that it will increase the chances of getting a blood ruby. Observations of mapchat conversations back this up too. Each strike also gives an average of 5 unbound magic. This was not affected by the gathering buffs. I also tested the hypothesis that these buffs do not increase the number of watchwork sprockets, as it was basically a freebie test while doing the other ones. As expected, the number of Watchwork Sprockets did not change with the buffs.TL;DR Guild and banner buffs did not increase the frequency of receiving Jade Shards from mining Jade Fragments.More Gems for Free?!? Sure! Oh, Gemstones - Merch – Platinum MiningOther things that could possibly be considered “rare materials” for the purposes of evaluating the effectiveness of gathering buffs are the gemstones that drop from metal nodes. Ruby shard, opal crystal, carnelian nugget, sapphire orb, etc. etc. I mined platinum ore and used only regular nodes. I skipped the rich platinum veins just in case they had a higher gem chance, as indicated by the wiki. Mining was spread roughly evenly over Sparkfly Fen, Mount Maelstrom, and Timberline Falls and was performed in conjunction with the hard wood logging described in the next section. Test results were:https://imgur.com/AECVaa1Platinum nodes always give 1 ore per strike so nothing exciting there. The chance at watchwork was also the same, matching our initial hypothesis. As was the case with the jade shards, there was no effect of guild tavern or banner buffs on the frequency of getting a gemstone from mining. I don’t know about you, but this was quite unexpected for me. Even after seeing jade shards unaffected, I still expected to see an effect of the buffs on gemstones. TL;DR Guild and banner buffs did not increase the frequency of receiving gemstones from mining regular platinum nodes.…alone or in pairs… - Hard Wood LoggingWood nodes were interesting to test for two reasons – 1) they rarely drop the “hidden” bags containing a gemstone that could possibly be expected to benefit from the buffs and 2) you have a chance to “double strike” and get two logs from a single swing of the logging axe. I counted both the number of hidden bags and double strikes. Here are the test results:https://imgur.com/CrbwXNIThe hidden hoard, despite being what I would again consider a “rare material” was not influenced by the buffs. But finally we have some data that suggests that the buffs seem to do something – the chance at a double strike increased with the tavern boost and increased further when the banner boost was added too. I’m not claiming that these are “true” drop rates, but the ratios scale roughly as expected based on the buff tooltip text. The tavern boost got about 22% more double strikes than with no buff. The banner appears to stack. What this does suggest is that the tooltip description on the gathering buffs may be misleading and that the buffs do not actually increase the chance of getting "rare materials", but actually increase the chance of getting more of the basic materials! (As long as the node is of a type that can give doublestrikes).TL;DR Guild and banner buffs did not increase the frequency of receiving hidden hoards from logging. The buffs did appear to increase the chance of getting a doublestrike (2 logs from 1 swing) from a tree.CommentsThe discrepancy may be explained by looking further at what the actual guild upgrade says:https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Guild_Enhancement:_Critical_Harvesting “Add a personal enhancement at the tavern that increases the chance of getting a critical success when harvesting a node.”The banner upgrades are less clear and only mention “gathering chance” : “Craft schematics to manufacture banners that offer allies a 15% boost to gathering chance and a 10% boost to swiftness for 30 minutes.”If we take the doublestrike during logging as a “critical success when harvesting a node”, then the actual in-game function seems to match this description. But the in-game function does not match the tooltip descriptions of the Tavern and Banner buffs. I have not had a chance to test plant nodes, nor the other living world node types. I would expect that the buffs increase the chances to get a doublestrike from plants (i.e. 2 carrots in a single harvest), but cannot confirm. In practical terms, this means that the buff could be useless on a variety of nodes that cannot generate a doublestrike. Ironically, this includes the nodes where these buffs are arguably most used – the living world nodes.TL;DR Guild gathering tavern boost and banners do not seem to operate in the manner that I expected. They did not increase the chances of getting LW tokens (Jade Shards) nor gemstones from metal nodes. The buffs did appear to increase the chances to get a double strike from a tree. The buffs may have no effect on nodes that cannot generate a doublestrike. The error may be in the tooltip description. 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