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Finding a Quarry

You need to tune yourself to the relevant marble under Rocks of the Ages at any School of Architecture for a cost of 10 Slate. You need the correct Perception level (minimum 1) to get admitted to the class - see Granite and Marble for a list of perception levels for various marbles. Food does count, though you still need the correct Perception level every time you wish to prospect so have several portions nearby. Tuning to a marble doesn't wear off, you stay attuned until you change it manually (and even if your food wears off). In order to prospect, you need a partner, although only the person attempting to shatter slate needs to be attuned to the marble. Your partner is a person standing in range. (Note: This is not necessarily your prospecting partner. If someone runs closer by you when you attempt to prospect, they become your partner for that attempt. So, only prospect when there is just you and one other.)

You prospect from the special menu by throwing two pieces of slate down (Self->Skills->Prospect for <marble>).

  • All intact means your partner is out of range (32 in each coordinate - 512 feet - is the maximum)
  • A single broken piece means you scanned and found nothing (you see an emote of throwing some slate down)
  • Two broken pieces means you found some marble "in-between" you [NOTE: may not be actually in between] (you see an emote: bless)

Use one of the prospecting strategies below to home in on the exact location of a marble spot. Expect to use 30-50 slate when prospecting for a quarry.

Once a quarry spot has been found and built on (and the quarry removed after), you cannot get more marble from the same spot though it will show up as a valid quarry spot when prospecting. Attempting to build on the used spot or a non-existent spot will give you a dirt quarry. Except for the fact that you can detect marble at the spot, there is no way to distinguish between those two cases. Consequently, it's good manners to build a marker that will not degrade over time (such as a sign)on a used spot, setting the label to indicate there was a quarry there and what type it was.

Also of interest, the spots are always at coordinate tile corners, just where the coordinates change values. These spots are fairly easy to see, especially in desert, and can help tremendously when you get down to the 2-3 coord range. Dropping texture detail to minimum makes them even easier to spot.

  • If there are 2 types of Marble, the higher perception level Marble will come out of the quarry and you will NEVER be able to get the marble that you otherwise successfully prospected.

Prospecting strategies

  • Prospecting Helper, a web app designed to simplify the process. Also serves as a visual guide.

These links refer to pages from previous tales. YMMV!

Using a Quarry

Stone Quarries are buildings used to extract Granite and Marble from the ground. Quarrying generally requires four people operating in unison. (It is possible to replace one or two of the people with custom gearboxes. The first gearbox replacement is often easier to construct than the second one.)

Marble is extracted one piece at a time. Each piece must be successfully lifted 7 times before it is fully extracted. Working a quarry results in an END timer.

At every lift attempt, each quarry worker receives a list of four directions, randomly generated. Directions have two components, one taken from each of these two lists:

  • Northern, Southern, Eastern, Western
  • Up, Down, Left, Right

An example of a direction might be Southern-Left, often abbreviated as SL. Any set of combinations is possible, e.g. "NU, ND, SU, SD".

All four quarry workers receive the same directions, but the order in which they are listed is different for each person.

To successfully raise the marble, each worker must work one of the four directions, and no two people can work the same direction. Thus, coordination is crucial. If one direction is chosen by two or more people, then the lifting attempt fails, and the marble slides down one level. Lifting will fail if a worker clicks on a second move that has already been selected, otherwise it will display the words "Changed Direction" (even if the same move has been selected), costing END timer for both moves.

Provided each worker selects a different direction, the marble will be lifted one level. When the piece of marble is lifted to level 7, it is fully extracted and goes into the quarry's take menu

The direction list is randomized with each lifting attempt, whether the last attempt was a success or failure.

Quarries break after a while. It is possible that dropping a piece of marble may cause a quarry to break sooner, but this is unconfirmed. Reports range from 10 to 40 marble sheets before breaking. Remember that it’s quite easy to find more marble nearby and if you want a serious dig, set up several quarries beforehand.

Quarrying Strategies

Each quarrier sees the list of directions in a different order, so coordination is not as simple as saying "Person A always chooses the first direction, Person B chooses the second direction, etc." Instead, two techniques have proven the most widespread for marble quarrying, both being (with practice) accurate and reasonably quick.

The alphabet method: Before starting, each worker is designated a number: Quarrier 1, Quarrier 2, etc. Then, during lifting, each worker simply chooses whichever direction corresponds to their number in alphabetical order. For example, if the list is "WL NU SD ER", you should alphabetize it to "ER NU SD WL"; then quarrier 1 pulls Eastern-Right, 2 Northern-Up, etc. This method is usually the faster of the two, and has the additional advantage of requiring no communication between the participants. Tip: give people who struggle with the alphabet position 1 or 4.

The call method: Each worker is assigned a number, just as above; additionally, one worker is designated as the "caller". During lifting, the caller shouts out the list of directions ("WL NU SD ER") in the order that he sees them. The order given by the caller is the order in which the workers take their positions (quarrier 1 pulls Western-Left, 2 pulls Northern-Up, etc). (This can be slightly simplified by having the caller be the first or last position, and not calling out their own directions. For example "NU SD ER" if the caller took the first (WL) position.)


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