Warhammer Online Apothecary Guide
I am not a master of this skill- I am working my way up. To that end, the information contained herein is not meant to be a precise and unquestionable guide for how to be an Apothecary, but rather it is compiled so as to allow you to understand the use of the skill and what you need to take into account. Again, there is a spreadsheet that I make reference to that I did not create- much like my Cultivation guide. I will be happy to provide citation for the spreadsheet, but I do not know the originator.I would also point I am not focusing on the potions themselves, only the use of Apothecary to create potions. I do not know timers, effects, or the rest. This just gets you to the point where you can brew potions with an understanding of what you’re doing. Beyond that, experiment. You’ll have more fun playing around than following any rigid guidelines.
The Apothecary Window
The window that opens when you click on the Apothecary skill is very simple- if you’re familiar with Talisman Making it should seem familiar. There’s four basic areas to it, and they are exactly that: basic. So we’ll run through them quickly.
- Container – Uppermost left. Used for vials or mortars (no, not that kind of mortar- mortar & pestle)
- Main Ingredient – Mid left. Fill this in after the Container.
- Stability Meter – Right. You want this to have the arrow at the top when you’re brewing things.
- Additives – Bottom. Three slots, three possible additives. Five possible types. Pretty simple.
Like I said, pretty simple. We’ll deal with them in order.
There’s two types of container, vials and mortar & pestle. The type of container you put in here determines what you’re making. There’s several kinds of vial, and only one mortar & pestle. Mortar & pestles are used for making dyes. If you want to make dye, you need a mortar & pestle. They’re skill level 1. …And that’s about all to say about those, so let’s move on to vials.
Vials come in a number of skill levels, starting at 1 and working upwards by 50s- 1, 50, 100, and so on. Vials are used for potion-making, and they don’t have a lot of variety. Again, if you look at the spreadsheet, under the 1.2 vials tab, you’ll see that the vials provide a small amount of stability and power. These small amounts don’t seem like they’re terribly useful- but they are good for augmenting other elements in the potion-making process. A skill 200 vial’s bonus to power is enough to bump a main ingredient’s tier up by one- a skill 200 vial and a skill 175 main ingredient is equivalent to a potion made with a skill 200 main ingredient. In addition, a skill 150 vial can offset the stability of a skill 200 main ingredient just enough that two stabilizers will handle the rest, leaving a third slot open.
That may sound like a lot of gobbledegook, but it will become more clear as we keep going. The main idea here is that the small extra bump to stability and power a vial can provide may prove useful. Keep in mind what you’re trying to make, and decide whether that +1 to stability is worth an extra six silver per vial.
Oh- and as you can tell, the prices at the Guild Vendor as of 1.2 are insane. The regular merchants are a much better deal, and they’re easy to find. Skip the guildhouse.
Again, two kinds of main ingredients, and which will be accepted is determined by the Container type. If it’s an Extract, you’re looking at a dye ingredient. If it’s anything else? Potion.
Main ingredients have three basic stats- skill, power, and stability. Like vials, actually. The difference is that MIs have negative stability. The more powerful the ingredient, the less stable the potion. There are main ingredients that do all sorts of things:
- Ballistic Skill
- Resistances (Spiritual, Corporeal, Elemental)
- Absorb Shield
- Thorn Shield
- Healing (instant & over time)
- Energy/Action Point recovery
Some will do more than one thing- these are the ‘Special MIs’ or hybrid potions. That’s better covered in my Cultivation guide, since those are primarily made from special plants.
In any case, the main ingredient helps determine just what it is you want to do. It doesn’t necessarily determine how long it does it, but it plays a large part in figuring out how well, and to what degree you can tweak it via additives.
It should also be noted that Apothecary main ingredients do not completely overlap with either Cultivation or Butchering. If you want to be able to make potions of every single type out there, you’ll need the results of both gathering skills. Obviously that means that you either will be spending money to buy these things, or you’ll need more than one character involved in gathering ingredients. This does not necessarily have to be your own- you can likely find both Butchers and Cultivators in your guild, or you can team up with a friend to share the spoils of your work.
Stability is rather like studying for tests. You do not strictly need to do it, but if you don’t, you’re increasing the odds of it blowing up in your face. Unlike tests, this can be quite literal.
Your baseline stability is determined by your main ingredient, and it is negative. The more powerful the main ingredient, the lower the stability. You can then offset this with stabilizer additives, better vials, and skill. You have three basic degrees of stability you can achieve-
- Stable – The potion will do what you want, reliably, and at full power.
- Volatile – The potion will be at reduced power and may have unexpected and deleterious effects
- Failure – The potion goes boom while brewing, destroying the container and possibly ingredients
As best I can tell, and this is mostly conjecture, volatile is any degree of instability between about 50% and 1%. If your potion starts out at -10 stability and you drop it to -6, it’s still a Failure waiting to happen. Drop it to -5, it becomes volatile. It won’t become stable until you balance the books, even if it’s only a single point away. This explains why you might see the needle refuse to budge from the bottom, then suddenly rocket to the top.
I have heard from people that you can, at certain skill levels, produce stable potions without any need for stabilizers. This suggests that your Apothecary skill level helps determine stability as well. I can’t confirm this, but if it does happen, the way that it’s described goes back to the studying metaphor: if you just finished Advanced Trigonometry, you can probably skip studying for that long division test. The higher your Apothecary skill and the lower the skill of the main ingredient, the less stabilizing you’ll need outside your own self.
Do you gain anything from super-stability? No. A potion that’s at +9 stability isn’t going to work better than one at 0. So you want to try and cut it as close as possible to save as many additive slots as you can. Of course, if you have no choice but to use two (or three) slots, but that last one can be any potency and still work, you don’t have to be picky. A positive stability isn’t going to hurt you, either. Use what you can afford to, save what you need for other things.
There are five basic types of additives: fixers, stabilizers, multipliers, extenders, and stimulants. Fixers go with dyes. You need one. Just one. Three slots, you can leave two open. Mortar & Pestle, Extract, Fixer. Boom, you’re done. Let’s deal with the others then.
Stabilizers we’ve gone over above, so we can hit the high points. There are three basic categories of stabilizer: Cultivation, Butchering, and Vendor. The ones you get from Cultivation (resins or Goldweed) as well as those from Butchering (Zoic Gores) not only provide stability, but they also give you a slight boost to the duration of your potion. The ones you get from the vendors, don’t. Skip the Cloudy/Fizzing/Glacial water. You can usually get resins and gore cheaper at the Auction Hall anyways- personally I sell my excess resin from Cultivating at about 15 silver for a stack of 50 skill 100’s (or about 30 brass apiece). Cloudy Water (skill 1) goes for 87 brass a bottle.
Multipliers increase the number of potions created per brewing cycle. This is rated by multiples of 2, but I honestly do not know how the number translates into how many potions you end up with. It does not guarantee multiple potions per brewing (so it may be boosting the percentage chance), or it may also affect how many you get in the end. I don’t know- but it’d be useful to consider if you’re trying to get more for your investment.
Extenders only with with potions that have a duration. Again, we have top-end ingredients rated at 16. I know that translates into a 60 minute duration. Use of two resins (duration 2, total) yields a 10 minute potion. People seem to like very long durations, so you’ll probably want this on any sort of stat boost or ‘over time’ effect, such as napalm or restoration.
And finally, stimulants. We’re not talking caffiene here- stimulants boost the chance of getting a critical success on your brewing, which can yield improved potions. It’s worth noting this is separate from the chance to get a special moment or super critical, which appears to be a side-benefit of Fusk and Gobswort plants (multipliers and extenders, respectively), but rather simply boosting the potion to the next tier. Useful, yes- unless you’re making potions for yourself at the highest level you can use. It’s rather bittersweet to be level 20 and get a critical result that gives you a minimum 25th level potion. Nice to have, yet…
Yup, you’ve made it to the end of another of my guides.