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Glyph of Herbalist and Choya Mining Tool - Info and Drop Rates to Help Decide if you Want to Buy


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Put this on reddit, but figured I'd crosspost here for folks who don't read that site. I've been doing a lot of testing of the Ingredients pouches and glyph of the herbalist to figure out drop rates, value, etc. and the fact that it is leaving store prompted me to get it all together and write it all up in a summary. So here it is.

Perhaps you have noticed that the Choya Mining Tool is leaving the gemstore and you’re still undecided on whether to buy it. There is really only one reason to add Spastic Red, Wrong-End Green, and Hopeless Heavy-Hitter Blue to your gathering arsenal: You like the animation. The costs of the permanent tools require A lot of mining to recoup. But maybe you already have an watchwork pick or another Glyph and wonder how the Glyph of the Herbalist works, is it better than the Glyph you have? Is it worth it? Does it give me something that I can use?

Hopefully the information here will help you make an informed decisions. I have posted most of it on wiki, but it is probably easier here as a summary in one place.


When you mine with the Glyph you have a 33% chance to get an ingredients pouch. There are six tiers of pouches: common, uncommon, advanced, exceptional, superior and exquisite. Each ingredients pouch gives you 3 items from that tier’s drop table. You can get the same item twice from the same pouch. The ingredients within each type of pouch DO NOT have an equal chance to drop. There are some items in each tier that are common drops and some that are uncommon (like in the BL chest preview window, not to be confused with the common and uncommon pouch names). Based on my drop research, you appear to have a combined 1/6 chance to get something from the uncommon table for each drop.

An example to illustrate this is probably helpful:

Take the T1 Common Ingredients Pouch.The possible drops are:Uncommon (3.3% chance each, total 16.67%) – Black Peppercorn, Carrot, Garlic, Onion, ThymeCommon (11.9% chance each, total 83.33%) - Blueberry, Chili Pepper, Lettuce, Mushroom, Parsley, Potato, Vanilla

On Average, 5 out of 6 drops will be from the common list and you’ll get 1 from the uncommon list. If you want to figure out the % chance of getting any specific item, just divide 1/6 by the number of uncommon drops and 5/6 by the number of common drops. So if you want Onions, you have about a 3.3% chance to get one and every pouch gives you three rolls at this 3.3% chance.

All these numbers are useful for estimating the value of each pouch tier. But the uncommon/common split is helpful for seeing if you’ll get ingredients that you actually want. Here’s the bottom line: almost all of the “good” (or more valuable at least) ingredients are in the uncommon table at each tier.

Drop Tables

T2 Uncommon Ingredients Pouch – Uncommon Drops (5.55% chance each): Spinach, Oregano, Clam. Common Drops: Bay Leaf, Beet, Strawberry, Sage, Turnip

T3 Advanced Pouch – Uncommon Drops (5.5%/ea): Rosemary, Sesame Seed, Yam. Common Drops: Cabbage, Dill, Grape, Kale, Portobello, Zucchini

T4 Exceptional Ingredients Pouch – Uncommon Drops (4.167%/ea): Rutabaga, Mint, Clove, Coriander. Common Drops: Green Onion, Portobello, Sugar Pumpkin, Blackberry, Cauliflower

T5 Superior Ingredients Pouch – Uncommon Drops (5.5%/ea): Butternut Squash, Cayenne Pepper, Lemongrass. Common Drops: Artichoke, Asparagus, Leek, Parsnip, Raspberry, Tarragon

T6 Exquisite Ingredients Pouch – Uncommon Drops (5.5%/ea): Ghost Pepper, Orrian Truffle, Snow Truffle. Common Drops: Prickly Pear, Saffron Thread, Seaweed, Omnomberry, Lotus Root, Nopale

Pouch Value

Now that we have the drops we can calculate an expected value of each pouch. Taking the expected value of a drop and multiplying by the three drops per pouch the estimated values (before TP fees) are:

T1 Common Pouch – 2.12s T2 Uncommon Pouch – 0.6s T3 Advanced Pouch – 0.6s T4 Exceptional Pouch – 0.87s T5 Superior Pouch – 1.57s and T6 Exquisite Pouch – 4.81s

When mining high level nodes, the proportion of T5/T6 pouches seems to be about 7 T6 pouches out of every 100 T5+T6 Pouches that you get. So the combined value of your average pouch from a high level node is about 1.8s. This is currently better than watchwork sprockets and, since much of the value comes from things like ghost peppers, butternut squash, lemongrass, truffles, saffron and seaweed, you may have more of a use for the valuable ingredients if you craft your own food compared to sprockets, which are often sold and the TP tax is lost. Mid-tier pouches pretty much stink and the ingredients are not that useful, so you should probably run another glyph for t2-t4. T1 has lots of cooking staples, but I doubt that most players spend a lot of time gathering in t1 areas. If you do, the herbalist glyph can generate some decent coin or useful staple ingredients.

TL:DR The “good” ingredients from the glyph of the herbalist pouches drop less frequently than the cheap, unwanted ingredients. Despite this, the value that the Glyph of the Herbalist provides is competitive for T1 and T5/T6 nodes. Permanent gathering tools and glyphs usually take a long time to pay back, but if you like the Choya mining skin, the glyph is a decent one.

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I got asked on reddit, and will add it here: I have a spreadsheet that compares the different glyphs at different levels.
Looks like this: Glyph TableIt also has the expected values per strike of many types of gathering nodes including glyph returns plus most of the bonus orbs, gem bags, freshwater pearls, etc.. Maybe someone will find the info useful to help pick what glyph to use where or what to gather.

Link to glyph comparison spreadsheet on google docs is Here

It is manually updated by pasting the info from http://api.gw2tp.com/1/bulk/items.csv into (Sheet 1). You should be able to make your own copy to save and edit (I think, I'm not a google docs expert). Maybe someone who is a better programmer than me can create a version that ties into API and automatically updates. The volatile magic value also needs to be manually updated for now, I use http://gw2lunchbox.com/IstanShipments.html for prices. The tab marked Glyph Comparison shows all glyphs compared on an equal basis of 10 or 30 seconds of time to run between each node. The individual Glyph of _ and Analysis - __ tabs have more details about each.

@Gaile Gray.6029 said:Wow, that is a very informative post! Thanks for doing the research and sharing the data.

Thanks for the official nod. I'm a numbers nerd, so discovering drop tables and rates is actually fun to do in a weird way.

@Rabbi Rick.3194 said:While this information is (can be) incredibly useful, Having Larry, Curly, and Moe do my mining for me is priceless.

Yeah, the animation is very well done. A surprising number of people come by and just type lol into say chat while you're mining a rich node.

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