Warhammer Online Cultivation Guide
The purpose of this guide is to serve as an introduction and analysis of Cultivation, in order to assist other players in learning how to turn your thumbs green. It’s worth noting that a great deal of the information provided in this guide can be found in the Cultivation and Apothecary spreadsheets created by an individual at WarDB’s forums. I do not claim credit for them- I just find them extremely useful and accurate. I would provide credit if I knew the name, but I do not.Cultivation is one of the two gathering skills which produce materials for the Apothecary skill. It is, as of 1.2, considered the better option due to the fact that it is self-sustaining and produces fairly reliable results. This can be misleading, but that does not mean that it is not a worthy profession for anyone who is willing to put in the time. A highly skilled Cultivator with a wide variety of seeds will prove extremely useful to any guild, as well as to themselves. With patience and dedication, you can fulfill this role with limited expense.
There are several things that you should know before we go any further: Cultivation is very time-intensive. It is quite possible to Cultivate while traveling, camping, capturing, or doing pretty much anything else- but you will not get to skill 200 without putting in a lot of time. Prepare to put in hours upon hours of game working on your seed stocks and harvesting plants.
Furthermore, Cultivation takes a lot of space. There are sixteen varieties of basic seeds which exist at skill levels 1, 25, 50, 75, 100, 125, 150, 175, and 200. In addition there are twelve Bind on Pickup rare seed types at skill 200. This means that a complete collection of seeds will require 156 stacks. Your bank holds 80, and you can have up to 96 bag slots. That leaves you with 20, or about what you have when you started the game. You probably won’t have access to all those bag slots when you pick up Cultivation, which means you’re going to need extra room. Be prepared for this as well.
Plots And Planting
Now that you know what you’re getting into, let’s look at the very basics. Clicking on the Cultivation screen shows your Plots. You get one to start, and then gain more as time goes on- an additional one at 25, 50, and 75. It maxes out at four, meaning you can have four seeds growing at any point in time.
Clicking on a plot brings up the options. The upper left square is where you put the seed. On the right are the spots for Nutrients, Water, and Soil, working downwards. Water comes in Watering Cans, not the ‘Cloudy Water’ or ‘Fizzing Water’ that is an Apothecary stabilizer.
Growing has three stages- these correspond to the three additives, starting with Germination (soil), and ending with Flowering (nutrients). You can put the appropriate additive in the squares during or prior to the associated stage, but not after. We will get into additives a bit later.
There are also two buttons, one of which only appears after the plant has finished growing. These are Harvest and Uproot. There’s very little reason to ever choose Uproot: you are basically canceling the process and sacrificing what you’ve put into it. This would only be useful if you had some reason to need to cultivate a plant right now, which given cultivation times is probably not going to happen: if you have the time to grow a plant, you have the time to wait for whatever’s already in there to finish. We’ll move on to Harvesting next.
Harvesting is simple: click the button and get the results. Your Cultivation skill does not depend upon Harvesting- it goes up at the completion of the growth cycle. When you Harvest, you end up with one of four possible results:
- Critical Failure: You recover 1 Wilted Wild Weed, which is about 6 brass worth of vendor trash
- Success: You recover 2 plants of a skill level equal to the seed you planted
- Critical Success: You recover 3 plants of a skill level equal to the seed you planted
- Special Moment: You recover 3 plants of a skill level equal to the seed you planted, plus 1 plant of a skill level 25 points higher than the seed you planted, plus the main ingredient for creating a dye
Harvesting automatically places the results in your backpack. Seeds and plants stack up to 50 deep, dye ingredients and Wilted Wild Weeds stack up to 20 deep. Once the plants have been harvested, you can reap them by Ctrl+Right Clicking on the stack. Reaping will typically (as in I’ve yet to have it not) produce the following:
1 plant of skill level X -> 1 seed of skill level X + 1 resin of skill level X
Resins are Apothecary stabilizers with a very slight power boost to them, equivalent to Zoic Gores from Butchering and superior to the various Water stabilizers you can buy from vendors. These are useful, but you will tend to have more than you’re likely to need. Vendors will not buy them from you and the Auction House tends to be flooded with them at very low prices and all skill levels.
Additives are the Nutrients, Water, and Soil you can buy from vendors. These are useful, but not required. Each type of additive offers you two advantages:
- Soil – Reduced growing time, increased chance of critical success
- Water – Reduced growing time, increased odds of a special moment
- Nutrients – Reduced growin time, decreased chance of critical failure
As you increase the skill level of the seeds you are attempting to grow, the time to complete the growing cycle goes up. In addition, the odds of successful harvesting goes down, as does the odds of critical success and special moments. At skill 200 you are looking at a 20% or higher rate of critical failure- 25% with the rare Bind on Pickup seeds. This makes the additives useful, in that they allow for a shorter growth cycle and better odds of a good result. However, the benefits (and cost) of these additives also scale. This means that they’re not going to provide much in the way of a benefit until you reach the skill levels where there’s a significant risk involved.
Furthermore, additives are something of a gamble. Rather like doubling down, you’re increasing your investment with an unsure result. You can easily spend several gold on additives without ever seeing any tangible benefit from them. To that end I suggest examining the numbers listed in the spreadsheet and deciding the maximum degree of risk you’re willing to accept. More than anything else, additives are going to reduce the time invested in Cultivation, both from faster growth cycles and more reliable results. But patience is free.
It’s also worth noting that like most things you can buy from merchants, additive skill levels go up by increments of 50. This can confuse people who expect there to be additives at the same skill levels as all of their seeds. It’s a minor thing, but it is an issue.
And finally, Rhyas Loam. There are two varieties of this, and they both forego the typical boosts you get from soil in favor of a large boost (about 20%) to the odds of a special moment. This can be bought from Guild Merchants in the skill level 1 variety as well as found in Loot Bags, but it is not cheap and not readily available. Again, you’re trading money for time. It’s up to you to decide if that’s worth it.
Building A Seed Stock
Outside of the Guild Vendors, which require a Guild of a certain level to purchase from, you cannot buy seeds above skill level 1. This has caused confusion for people used to the way things worked prior to the 1.2 patch, simply because seeds used to drop regularly. They no longer do so. There are three ways to get them- the Guild Merchant (who offers bind on pickup seed ‘packets’ but which reap into normal seeds), the Auction House, or growing them.
As outlined above, special moments produce a single plant of the next higher tier in addition to the other benefits. These special moments are the primary means to acquire higher rank seeds. In other words, you need to start with skill 1 seeds and continually harvest, reap, and plant to get skill 25 seeds, and then again with the skill 25s to get skill 50s, and then 50s to get 75s, all the way up to 200. And every tier you go up, special moments become more rare.
I told you this required patience, didn’t I?
As a byproduct of this, you’re going to get a lot of seeds of each skill level, particularly if you try to get several special moments before moving on to the next tier. How many? Well let’s consider this:
Your odds of getting a special moment on a skill 125 seed is about 1:25. So about 25 plantings to get one. On average you’ll harvest two plants per planting. Reap both, you’re already at 50 seeds, or a full stack. At skill 175, those odds drop to about a 1% chance any given planting will yield a special moment. And you get a resin with every reaping.
Of course, a single seed, particularly at the higher tiers, stands a decent chance of being wiped out with a critical failure. So you will probably want to have more than one seed of a given tier before you start planting. Personally I go with about four, since even at skill 200 that means you get about a 5% chance of them all being wiped out. Not perfect, but a decent compromise between safety and investment.
Alright, by now this all sounds like a very lonely, long slog to get to the top tiers of Cultivation (and the bottom of this post). But there’s a way to make it go faster, or at the very least help others out- as well as mitigate Cultivation’s other big flaw.
I know, it’s like I titled the section that or something, isn’t it?
Because you get 2 plants per harvest on average, and 1 seed per plant, you can reduce the workload by getting other Cultivators to assist you. There’s sixteen seeds- let’s assume you and a friend each work on leveling up 8, and share your stock with each other. You just cut your time to 200 in half. Of course, you need more seeds beyond this- two plantings to share among four people, for instance- so beyond this you’re looking at diminishing returns. But it’s still useful.
Further, there’s your Guild and alts. You Guild has a vault (probably), and you can create alts whose bank accounts can be used to store seeds. This will help you mitigate the storage space necessary, and boost everyone’s output. A guild vault has 60 slots in it. That’s not enough for seeds of every tier and type, and you’d need at least three vaults to get it all, but it does allow you to help other Cultivators by sharing your seed stock. This is especially helpful at the higher skill levels where it becomes much easier to produce seeds of a given skill level than move up to the next. Those who have already climbed that hill can help up the ones who haven’t.
Bind On Pickup Seeds
These are the holy grail of seeds. You can only get them off Heroes and Champions, but not in Easy Public Quests. They are only available at skill 200, and their bonuses are appropriate to their skill and rarity. And they break the rules.
BoP seeds always produce a single seed, even if you fail. They are skill 200, so they can’t go any higher. The plants they produce create very powerful potions, and the seeds are more difficult than usual. You cannot reap them, and the seeds are always BoP. But, you can sell or give away the plants.
Do I need to explain any further why these are lucrative, valuable, and sought after? No? Didn’t think so.
Guaranteed made the following useful suggestions for Cultivation mods further in this thread:
I highly, highly, highly reccomend you get the following 2 addons to make your life as a Cultivator much, much easier:
The first link is Miracle Grow Remix. This is a replacement window for your standard Cultivating window. It is small, size adjustable, and allows you to add nutrients, soil, and water without opening your bag. It will also tell you how many of each component you have left. This addon also allows you to repeat or reap-repeat the last cultivation attempts you had. This tool is so invaluable to me it is not even funny.
The second link works in conjunction with the first, as it tells what what bonuses each Cultivating component gives. For instance it will tell you the % chance to critical and the % chance to fail on seed types. It will also tell you the % bonuses that the components give or that the plants give you as well.
I was going to do a theory section, and comparisons with Butchering and so on, but I’m probably nearly as tired of writing this as you are of reading it.
No seriously. You made it. Congratulations.