I've put together this harvester crafting guides as a counter-part to the guide available here. It is the same information, of course, as the crafting process is the same but the presentation is different. I've published it on my site in progress, The RR&D Report but would like to present it here for feedback and critique, so please feel free. Thanks.
Guide: Harvester Crafting
By Tech Twin
So you decided to be a Structure Trader, eh? Well, congratulations; you’re about to enter an exciting and challenging profession. As a Structure Trader there are two craftables you possess that are essential to your own, and all traders’ success: the crafting station, and the harvester. Both of these items are the backbone of the trader and it is important that you not only craft them, but craft them well.
In this guide we are going to focus on the latter of the two, the harvester. Crafting an efficient harvester will not only be a profitable item to sell but they provide a great means to gather the resources you need for other crafting jobs as well. We’re going to use the heavy harvesters as an example because they are the most commonly used harvester size. Smaller units are much less efficient for the lots. The methods for crafting all the harvesters are the same, however; only the names of the subcomponents differ for the Elite versions.
Overview of the Components
Okay, where to begin? Like most of the complex craftables, harvesters require not only the base resources needed to craft them but they require subcomponents as well. Subcomponents are items that are either crafted or looted (as in the recyclers) used in the crafting of a different item. Harvesters require the following subcomponents:
- The Mining Unit: Ore Mining Units (OMU’s) for Heavy Mineral Mining Installations and Fusion Ion Generators. Turbo Fluidic Pump Units (TFPU’s) for Deep Crust Chemical Extractors, Heavy Natural Gas Processors and High Efficiency Moisture Vaporators; and finally, Heavy Harvesting Mechanisms (HHM’s) for High Capacity Flora Farms.
- Structural Modules and Wall Modules (no one seems to abbreviate these for some reason): High Efficiency Moisture Vaporators use only structural modules, which will save you a factory run (though as a structure trader you should have a huge supply of both these on hand already). All other harvester use wall modules. Like all structures, similar makes of these modules will do; no factory runs are needed (but seriously, if you’re a structure trader you’re probably running these things like mad. Recycled resources FTW!)
- Generator Turbines (GT’s): Every harvester requires at least two generator turbines; the Fusion Ion Generator requires three. These must be identical so factory runs are a must.
- Small Structure Storage Module (SSSM’s): Each harvester requires at least two of these and they must be identical; factory runs are a must.
- Manufacturing Mechanisms (MM’s): Fortunately, these are only used in the crafting of Fusion Ion Generators. Unfortunately, they are required to be identical and contain a Generator Turbine as a subcomponent. This means that you will need a factory run of GT’s to use for the factory run of Manufacturing Mechanisms. Whew!
Resource and Subcomponent Quality
In order to craft the best harvester possible you must do two things: 1. Cap the base extraction rate (BER); and, 2. Cap the hopper size. Since doing both of these is very unlikely you should always focus on the BER first, keeping the hopper size as a secondary consideration. Ecnal Kram wrote in his guide, “BER for dough, hopper size for show.” This couldn’t be more accurate.
To cap the BER your base resources should have a high HR, SR and UT. Generally, and this assumes you have all your expertise points in “resource refinery,” that you’re looking for resources with a stat of 960 or greater. This is just a general guide-line, however; many crafters have pulled off some nice builds with sub-960 stats. However this tends to require more in-depth knowledge of the mathematics of crafting that this guide isn’t going to cover. If you’re interested in the math behind the madness check out Ecnal’s guide linked above, and Zimoon’s Beginners Guide for Traders.
After we have our base resources we need to look at our subcomponents; specifically, the Mining Unit. As you might recall there are three types of Mining Units: the Ore Mining Unit, the Turbo Fluidic Pump Unit and the Heavy Harvesting Mechanism. The quality of the Mining Unit your harvester requires is essential to crafting a capped harvester.
Like the base resources you’re looking for 960 or greater HR, SR, and UT. Here’s the caveat: Not all the resources you CAN use to craft harvesters have ALL THREE stats. This is important. For the steel and metal requirements you’re out of luck. All steel and metal have HR, ST, and UT but inert gas has none of these stats so its quality doesn’t matter. Chemicals are little trickier. Some chemicals, like fiberplast and polymer will require you to gather high quality resources which either cost you money to purchase or time to harvest; both result on the loss of profit. However, chemicals like lubricating oil do not have HR, SR or UT so grind quality materials can be used. Lubricating Oil is one of my favorite resources for this reason.
How does this work? Well I won’t get too deep into it (refer to the previously mentioned guides for more info) but the bottom line to crafting is this: Each experimental stat for the item you are crafting needs only to be met once.
Since the steel and metal MUST, by resource definition, have all three HR, ST, and UT then all the other resources required need not have the experimental stat. But remember that if you use a resource that does have the experimental stat, it MUST be of high quality.
What about the remaining subcomponents? Well, here is where we catch a break. All other subcomponents can be crafted from grind quality resources. BER is completely a function of the Mining Unit and the Harvester’s base resources.
- The experimental stats needed to cap the BER are HR, ST, and UT and a stat of 960 or great is our goal.
- The Mining Unit, whether it is an OMU, TFPU or HHM also requires a rating of 960 or greater in the HR, ST, and UT stats.
- The gas resources and SOME chemicals do not have HR, ST, and UT and when they don’t, any quality will do.
- The quality of all other subcomponents is inconsequential and grind quality resources can be used.
Okay, at this point it is assumed that you’ve completed your factory runs of structural and wall modules, GT’s, SSSM’s, and MM’s and used junk resources to do it; after all, the quality of these subcomponents doesn’t affect our harvester’s BER or Hopper Size. Now we’re ready to tackle the import stuff, the Mining Unit and final build.
Let me start by saying that like, most of the important schematics in the trader’s bank, the schematic for the mining units are bugged. No matter what you do, or what resources you use you will never see the experimentation number hit 100%. The good news is that if you use the right resources you can hit 99% that acts like 100% and that’s what really matters. NOTE: The schematic for the elite versions of the Mining Units are not bugged and will reflect both 100% experimentation and BER 21 (which is the extraction rate for the elite components).
How do we know if we have a real 99% or bugged 99%? It’s all in the BER. For Mining Units the magical number is 7. If we have a Mining Unit with a 7 BER then we capped it, if it’s only a 6 then a real 99% it is. To insure you hit the magical 7 BER it is essential that one experimentation roll be an “amazing” result. You cannot cap a Mining Unit with all “great successes.”
The common strategy is to roll one experimentation box at a time until you get an “amazing” result. Then fill in the rest with a single roll until you’ve used all your experimentation points or the BER is capped.
Do a factory run of your capped Mining Unit to insure a good inventory of components for when high quality resources run rare; and finally, move on to the final assembly.
Now that we have our BER 7 Mining Units we are ready for the final build. Following the same principles as above we take our 960 HR, SR, and UT resources, our BER 7 Mining Units and our other grind quality subcomponents and mash them all together.
Follow the same experimentation process as we did for the Mining Unit and relish in your capped BER 14 harvester! Unless that harvester is a Fusion Ion Generator, then it is BER 19! Or, if it’s elite, then it’s a BER 44!
Any remaining experimentation points on this final build can be used to increase the Hopper Size.
So you want it all, eh? Capping the BER isn’t enough? You have to push it? Make it stronger, faster, better? Well, it’s not the bionic woman or anything but with the right high quality resources you can not only cap the BER but you can give your harvester a nice belly to keep its wares as well. After HR, ST, and UT, Malleability (M) is the stat to look for. Technically, M and UT both affect Hopper Size but we’re assuming that you already have the quality UT.
After that, increasing the Hopper Size is all about the experimentation points. The less you use to cap the BER the more you have for the Hopper. Some gamble with a full out experimentation on the BER, capping it with only 2 or 3 rolls and using the rest in the Hopper but this can be costly. I won’t give you any words of wisdom on this one other than, “experiment and do what works best for you.”
Crafting Other Harvesters
The process we outlined above demonstrates the crafting of Heavy Harvesters and Elites (though the Mining Units for elite are named differently). But what about the other sizes? Fortunately the theory remains the same, just the components change. Let’s give a quick breakdown of the other harvester sizes and types:
Small Harvesters: Dubbed “personal” or “micro,” in the case of flora extractors, these are the smallest and least efficient harvester type. However, their usefulness lies in the 1x1 footprint these harvesters require, making them buildable pretty much anywhere a harvester can be built. The BER and Hopper Size of these harvesters is based entirely on the base resources; the stats remain the same. A capped BER for these harvesters is 5.
Medium Harvesters: These are simply named after the resource they harvester (i.e. Chemical Extractor, Moisture Vaporator, Automated Flora Farm). They are a little larger and more efficient than the small versions and have a slightly larger footprint. These harvesters also introduce the use of subcomponents, including the Mining Units. The Mining Units used for medium harvesters are: Light Ore Mining Units for mineral mining installations, Fluidic Drilling Pump Unit for chemical extractors, natural gas processors and moisture vaporators, and Harvesting Mechanism for automated flora farms. The crafting process for these are the same but the max BER is 5. Using a capped Mining Unit and high quality resources you can achieve a medium harvester with a max BER of 10.
Elite Harvesters: I’ve already made mention of these throughout the process above but let’s give them their due with the other harvesters. Elites require the same components as their heavy counter-parts but use more of them. The only real difference is that the name of the Mining Units is preceded by the nomen “Advanced,” such as in Advanced Ore Mining Unit and they have a max BER of 21. Elites have the same footprint as the heavy harvesters but require three(3) lots instead of one(1). They have a max BER of 44. Note: if you plan on using a self-powering deed from the vet rewards you will need to combine three(3) of them to self-power an elite.
Wind Generators: These harvesters use no subcomponents making the BER completely reliant on the base resources. The stats remain the same and the max BER is 10.
Solar Power Generator: These harvesters require grind quality subcomponents like the GT, SSSM and MM. The BER is dependent entirely on the base resources and caps at 15.
Fusion Ion Generator: We’ve made mention of these sporadically throughout this guide, but let’s recap. These harvesters do require a Mining Unit that caps at BER 7. With quality base resources and a capped Mining Unit, these harvesters have a max BER of 19.
Geothermal Harvester: Last but certainly not least (as any Master Pet Breeder will tell you), these harvesters require grind quality subcomponents. The BER is dependant entirely on the base resources and caps 15.
Assembly and Experimentation Outcomes
While you can go through this entire process as written with only a 15 rated crafting tool and 44.9999 crafting station and still achieve a capped harvester, why not make it easier on yourself?
Use clothing with Assembly and Experimentation bonuses, while the assembly bonus is negligible the 2 bonus experimentation points are quite welcome; plus you get a bonus to your experimentation roll which increases the likelihood of an “amazing” result, which means less experimentation rolls for BER and more for the Hopper. Your favorite tailor and reverse engineer can help you there.
Craft in a city that specializes in Research; doing so will give you a +15 bonus to each experimentation roll.
Craft in a Diner or use the Helper Monkey. By crafting in the diner you can gain a +15 bonus to your experimentation rolls. By using the Helper Monkey you gain a +5 bonus to your assembly roll and +6 to your experimentation. Additionally, the use of either of these options with a capped crafting suit will grant you 14 total experimentation points! I say the Diner or the Monkey because the bonuses of one do not stack with the other.
Diners can be obtained as loot via the Trading Card Game while the Helper Monkey can be obtained by completing the Fish Tank Crafting Quota.
Use foods like Bespin Port and Pyollian Cake. These give you a +4 to y our experimentation rolls and +6 to your assembly roll, respectively. Remember that one portion of food must be consumed for every roll you make.
Finally, to increase your assembly roll, don’t forget your entertainer buff. The things they inspire can be priceless.
Okay, this is part of Sprockets where we review:
- HR, ST. and UT are your stats of choice for the BER attribute; M and UT are the stats of choice for Hopper Size. A stat rating of 960 or greater should be your goal.
- The Mining Unit and base resources are the only portions of the build that affect the BER. The base resources of the final build is the only portion that affects Hopper Size. All other subcomponents can be grind quality.
- Each experimental stat must only be met once. The metal resources always have all 4 pertinent stats and will fulfill ALL the experimental requirements. The gas resource and SOME chemical resources do not have HR, ST, M, and UT and should be used whenever possible. But if it does have the stat, it MUST be high quality.
- During the experimentation process you must achieve at least one(1) “amazing” result to cap the BER attribute. Heavy Mining Units cap at 7, Elite Mining Units cap at 21.
- Use RE’ed clothing, food, city, diner and entertainer buffs to ease the process and craft better harvesters.
And that’s all there is to it. You’re now ready to tackle and conquer harvester crafting and propell yourself into profitability and successful mining. Once you’re comfortable with the process and logic behind it, you will be ready to tackle the next complexity of sructures crafting… the Crafting Station! But that’s another guide…