Loam - once a valued commodity, now a worthless bag-filler?
With the changes to urth blocks, I find myself digging more loam than I can use. I know there is some proportion used in blockmaking, and some for projects but I can't help but think it's now a junk item.
I ended up unlearning the top levels of Soil Appreciation in the hopes of getting less loam. My loam overflow isn't as bad as it used to be, but it would be great if it was a bonus rather than a replacement, as Lorraine suggests.
Yes, the higher level skill now seems to be a hindrance since loam isn't really used for much. Hopefully, they balance this out at some point. Tempted now to unlearn SA5 at least...but suspect we'll eventually need it...the question is when...it might be worth that 9+ day relearning penalty just to get more dirt than loam for now.
I didn't play around with blockmakers much when they had the A AA AAA and Brick blocks, because I didn't figure I'd never use them (street projects weren't around, etc etc), so I don't remember the recipes. Because those blocks came in different tiers, they had different balances of earth vs loam and loam I'm guessing was quite valuable on the higher grade blocks.
Now that they removed most of those recipes, leaving us with just one unified block, it gives loam very little use outside of that one recipe. Earth is ultimately what winds up being used in all the garden projects.
Honestly, they should cut the earth cost in garden restoration quite a bit and add in a significant loam requirement, especially if they don't intend to change the current dirt pile/soil appreciation yield system.
That's the problem Benzyl. Earth is needed too much, Loam needed way too little. Thing is, with SA5 you get loam more often than you get earth from a dirt pile, and the two rewards are currently mutually exclusive. This makes it very tough to keep up with the garden restoration requirements, let alone making Urth blocks.
Also, loam, by definition, should be richer, rarer, and more valuable than standard dirt. Currently, it's the opposite in terms of how those items are used in gameplay atm.
I think they made a change to loam received from gardening. I did my 5 large plots this morning and no loam! I did get a fuel cell and a ruby and that's the first time i got either of those from gardening!
Because higher level Soil Appreciation skill gives a greater chance of getting loam instead of Earth, it is probably a bad thing right now. I bought quite a bit of earth at what I thought was a reasonable price of around 60c per lump (20 times it's list value) but for some reason people are selling loam at auction for 5c (please take note you can sell it to most vendors for 6c or the tool vendor for 8c).
As Lorraine said, the real solution is to change the cost of fixing gardens to have much less earth and to include loam (perhaps get rid of the earth entirely). Another possibility would be a way to use a high level Soil Appreciation skill to extract earth from loam - maybe using a shovel (2 energy + 1 loam + 1 unit of shovel wear + 1 second = 4 earth would be less than generous but people would be doing it).
Alternatively they could just make loam useful for something in the quantities it is generated.
I'm sticking mine in an SDB because I just *know* that if I get rid of it all, a Really Cool Thing that requires lots of loam will be introduced. See also, donating all my Planks before Furnituremaking was introduced.