Wasteland Diaries: Scavenger's guide

Killing White Crow
The economy in Fallen Earth is due to get a major overhaul in the next month. The devs have been pretty tight-lipped about what exactly is going to change. They may do something as bold as doing away with NPC vendors altogether (unlikely) or maybe just tweaking the rarity of materials (confirmed). Since we aren't exactly sure what is going to change, we can't really prepare ourselves properly, can we? We can guess which materials are going to become rarer with the revamp by looking at the recipes, but they will be undergoing changes as well. So trying to figure out what to hoard for the new economy is purely a guessing game.

I don't want to get into theorycrafting on what may or may not change economy-wise. I'll leave it up to your best guess as to what materials you think you'll need to stock up on. My purpose in this post will be to help you get said materials. I can't think of a single material in the entire gameworld of Fallen Earth that is out of my grasp. I'm pretty sure I can find anything. I have compiled a list of useful materials and the best places that I know of to find them. There are some things that I will not divulge, but I'm going to be very generous considering most of the loot tables will be drastically altered very soon. Click past the cut and have a look at the list.

Crafting in Los Alamos
There are many sources of materials in FE. Almost every material has a particular node that it can be harvested from. Some materials can come from several different nodes. In most cases I will try not to state the obvious. Botanical chemical plants will obviously drop botanical chemicals; the grade of chemical depends upon the nodes level and your requisite skill level (Nature in this case). If you want higher-grade drops, you want higher-grade nodes and a higher harvesting skill. Materials can also be purchased from vendors or taken from mobs. In addition, raw materials can be salvaged from higher-grade materials, and lower-grade materials can be refined into better stuff. Most of this guide is geared toward established players who have access to high-end materials.

Above and beyond the standard nodes, there are a few very good types of nodes and mobs. These types of nodes or mobs are much better than their run-of-the-mill cousins. They are usually in more hazardous areas making risk vs. reward a factor. Here is a list of all the special case nodes and mobs:

Faction veteran mobs: These guys drop loads of good stuff and are some of the most efficient mobs to grind for chips. They also drop the "general" books that are needed for vault expansions and pocket bosses. They drop a bunch of useful stuff that I'll mention case-by-case in the list below.

Cars: Cars drop a multitude of different commonly used materials. They can even drop gasoline and batteries. If your skill is high enough, they may even drop as many as nine of an item. Cars are usually found in clusters, especially in conflict towns, PvP zones and major crossroads.

The Deadfall Point boxes: These show up as treasure chests on the map and are found around Deadfall Point. They drop high-level mats, a nice, fat stack of 10 each time. I won't provide the exact location of these nodes, but there are plenty of them.

Faction supply crates: These are found in conflict towns. They are either randomly dispersed or focused around the Faction Control Points. They drop high-level materials in good quantities, but you have to meet or exceed the faction reputation requirement.

FCP parcels: These are packages that you receive in the mail each time you assist in capturing a faction control point. These drop a random distribution of up to five high-end mats when they are used.

Below is an alphabetized list of the more common materials used in the game and where to find them. Most of this stuff is available on the auction house, but you will pay a premium for the convenience of getting your hands on it quickly and painlessly. For those who want to save a chip or have more time than money, here's the list:

Antibiotics: Expensive both to buy and make but needed for many different types of medical aids. The mercenaries near Doucer's Court seem to have an ample supply. Standard antibiotics can only be purchased in Park City (and only when the merchants are at tier two).

Acid: It can be harvested from Burning Cacti or created with geo-chems.

Adhesive: This should always be bought when available as it is very inexpensive. It is also easily made.

Alloy Steel: Mostly found on cars in large quantities. The vet mobs drop a good deal of it as well. Salvaged alloy steel used to be pretty rare, but the vet mobs drop it like candy on Halloween. At least Interceptors are finally affordable for everyone. There is a single source of common alloy that I know of, but that's a closely guarded secret.

Aluminum: There aren't many aluminum nodes to be found. It's usually best to buy or refine aluminum. You will sometimes get it in a tech or scrap node. In most cases, you will always have enough on hand because it's only used for a few things.

Antiseptic: Cheap to buy and easy to make. Antiseptic is never hard to supply yourself with.

Antitoxin: It can be harvested from a Weeping Cactus or created from scratch.

Sitting around in Blockade
Bandages: Bandages are very cheap to buy or make. Average bandages can be bought in Los Alamos at a very reasonable price. Superior bandages, which are needed for Stanch Wound 7, can be expensive. These bandages are made from pristine cotton, which can only be bought in Blockade.

Biological Chemicals: All creatures have a chance to drop bio-chems. Shiva's Favored are a good bet; they drop bio-chems often. The average grades of chemicals (biological, geological and botanical) can be bought in conflict towns or found in the faction supply crates in Fender Gate.

Botanical Chemicals: These can be found mainly on botanical chemical plants. They can also be found on the corpses of the Deathspore-type creatures (the mushroom guys).

Ceramic: Don't waste your time hunting for clay nodes. The vet mobs drop gobs of ceramic.

Circuits: These can be found in mass quantities on the bodies of dead faction vets. The second tier circuits can be found in the faction supply crates or purchased in Park City.

Coal: Coal is very cheap, so just buy it as needed. Looking for a place to buy improved coal? Try Haietta.

Copper: Copper is everywhere, and it's cheap. If you need help finding copper, Fallen Earth is going to be one hell of a ride for you.

Cotton: Cotton is dirt cheap. Just buy it. Pristine cotton is the exception, as noted above.

Computer Chips: I usually find these in tech nodes. But since they are barely used, I usually sell them.

Eggs: Eggs are usually dropped by either prairie chickens or human mobs. Edible eggs can be hard to find, but I've gotten a stack of six from the wind-seeking prairie chickens near Citadel on more than one occasion.

Fasteners: Fasteners are pretty cheap and simple to make. The can be found in quantity in cars. CoGs are the mob to kill if you need some fasteners.

Fruits: These are cheap, so just buy them. Fresh fruits can be bought in Blockade or found on the mobs in Alpha County.

Gears: The best place to find gears is cars. They also occur in Tech nodes and are usually pretty cheap to make if you have the space in your queue. CoGs tend to drop a lot of gears (there's a pun there somewhere). Pristine gears are the worst of the high-end loot, comprising half of what drops from the 360k+ faction supply crates. They sell for a measely 47 chips each if you have high social.

Genetic Material: This stuff can be manufactured or bought in conflict towns. Shiva's Favored drop it more often than other mobs, but still not often enough.

Geological Chemicals: These can be found on geological chemical nodes. The average variety can only be bought in PC or Blockade when the merchants are fully upgraded. They can also be found on colorful junk nodes if you aren't very lucky.

Grain: There are many grain nodes near every Vista town. Grain is relatively cheap to buy, and even edible grain can be bought in the top conflict towns.

Gunpowder: Buy it from the merchants. It's actually cheaper to buy it pre-made than to buy the components and make it yourself. It's also faster.

Outside Oilville
Healing Accelerant: Harvested from Mender Fern. There is a huge patch of these plants in Haietta and another smaller patch near Picus Ridge.

Honeycomb: Raw honeycomb can be bought in most S3 towns. Crunchy honeycomb must either be harvested or bought in the high-end conflict towns: Haietta, Park City and Blockade.

Iron: Iron is pretty cheap and plentiful. One guaranteed method of getting plenty of it is to kill vet mobs. But as cheap as iron is, I would just buy it unless you're going to kill the vets anyway.

Kevlar: Kevlar is rare on corpses and White Crows, but it's downright common on the vet mobs. You'll never run low on Kevlar with the vet mobs around. Kevlar can also be refined, but not created. The same goes for Aramex and Radex.

Lead: Lead nodes are pretty rare. You will occasionally get lead in a scrap metal node. Scrap lead is usually the material that's the hardest to get for ammunition. Usually what I do when I see a tent city is buy a bunch of lead and either put it in my vault right there or use the tent's mailbox. Of course, sometimes I'm stuck salvaging it down to scrap lead in order to not get robbed on the auction house.

Leather: Leather is cheap and plentiful. Hides from all animals (even if horridly mutated) count as leather, so if you are broke and need leather, just kill the nearest four-legged mutant critter.

Meat: All animals can drop meat when looted or skinned. Edible meat can be bought in the high-end conflict towns.

Milk: This is dropped infrequently by human mobs (and frequently by cows). Potable milk can be taken from the mobs in Alpha only. Potable milk can also be bought in PC or Blockade.

Paper: Judges always carry paper. If you need paper, find some Judges, then kill them.

Plastic: Plastic is best farmed from the White Crow. Not only are they easy to kill, but they drop lots of other useful stuff, including guns. Common plastic is a little harder to find but is plentiful and can be purchased in conflict towns.

Rubber: There are tire nodes, but the best source is cars. Improved rubber is a common prize in the FCP boxes you get in the mail.

Petroleum: Oil barrels and gas cans are your best bet. You'll get all kinds of other stuff from these nodes as well, so you have to be persistent. A good spot for petroleum is southwest of Papermill.

Silk: I usually find silk on corpses and rarely on White Crows. Luckily it isn't used for much, so you won't need a constant supply of it. Finding it is pretty hit-or-miss.

Silver: Silver nodes are too few and far between. Your best bet is to buy it and/or refine it. You can obtain common silver in the faction boxes in Haietta, but it is rather uncommon.

Steel: Steel is found in a number of different nodes and dropped from almost all human mobs. It is, however, used in a lot of recipes, so I find myself buying it often. Common Steel can't be bought outside of conflict towns, but it is dropped readily enough by the mobs in Alpha County.

Stimulants: They can be made or harvested from Bright-eye Weed.

Sugar: Coarse sugar can be easily made or purchased. Sugar is available at the merchants in Haietta.

Synthetic Cloth: Usually found on corpses, but it is rare. Human mobs will sometimes drop it. Ragged cloth can be easily made in Oasis from the geological nodes there. Average synthetic cloth is required for the stage two armor and is a bit harder to find. It can be found in the DP treasure boxes or bought in Blockade when the merchants are upgraded.

Toxin: Toxin can be found in any source that yields petroleum.

Titanium: Plenty of titanium can be found if you take the road east out of Black Hill. Drive to the eastern end of the dump (past the wasps) and you will find Hacksaw mutants. Kill them for their titanium. Refine it if you need the higher grade.

Vegetables: See fruits above.

Water: The best place to get water is human mobs. White Crow are probably the most reliable source, and the vet mobs drop tons of it too. Don't waste your time with water cacti; even the high-level ones seem to mostly drop tainted water.

Wires: You can get wires from the vet mobs and from the faction supply crates. In a pinch, the circuits in Office Park count as scrap wires.

Wood: Wood is plentiful and cheap. Strong wood is relatively rare but can be found in Haietta and bought in Blockade.

That covers the most commonly used materials. There's no telling what you are going to need piles of once the changes go live. Get out there and start working on your cache and I'll see you here next week.

Ed Marshall has been playing Fallen Earth since beta and leads the KAOS clan. Wasteland Diaries is his weekly column that covers all aspects of Fallen Earth: PvE, RP and PvP. To contact Ed, send an email to edward@massively.com, find him on the official forums as Casey Royer, or hunt him down in the wastelands as Nufan, Original, Death Incarnate, and Knuckles Mcsquee.
This article was originally published on Massively.