This weekend many tradeskillers noticed an interesting thing. They could now use the cheapest fuel for all combines regardless of the tier level of the combine.
This is a puzzling development, and might possibly be a bug. A quick search through SOE's message boards showed very little discussion of it, and nothing mentioned in the patch announcements. However, I found these two items in the latests test server update announcement, dated February 25:
- Fuels used in tradeskill production will now display which tier they are best suited for in their examine text.
- Examining a recipe should now show exactly what type of fuel is required for that recipe.
This suggests another reason for the current fuel interchangeability. For those of us who read the patch notes assiduously, have a guild to disseminate this information, or even read blogs like this on the internet, we were able to figure out which kind of fuel was needed. Personally, it took me a while to remember which kind of coal was which, but I used the merchant window UI to sort by price and then was able to sort them out by their price. The cheapest form of coal was for tier 1 combines, second cheapest (at 14c) for tier 2, and so on.
But the recipes still all say "Generic Fuel" on them, even though they take quite a specific kind of fuel. Or at least they did until recently. So, it was very difficult to figure out what kind of fuel to use without going outside the game to special sources of information. The in-game information was misleading, and likely to create frustrated players and unhappy customers.
The update on the server addresses this problem directly. The fuel slots have been relabeled, and the fuel itself has information added. This is a big improvement, and helps clarify things to the more casual player, which is their intended audience. In the meantime, it may be that they have simply reverted to more or less the old system, with any kind of fuel working for any combine of any tier, avoiding the confusion.
Of course, I don't think that they changed the sellback prices, so the opportunity to generate coin through selling back combines is going to be around for a bit longer until the latest update goes live on the servers.
There's many more goodies in this latest update, more on that later.