Apothecary has always been painful and tedious, but after returning to the game and experiencing transcendent Herbalism with gloves for the first time, I hate Apothecary. I realize this has been brought up before, but I perhaps it is time to revisit the worst skill in the game.
1. For those without experience with Apothecary and/or Herbalism, Herbalists can fill their daily quota in about half an hour, perhaps less if they are are blanket harvesting and not being picky. No triggers are required, just one command to harvest everything in the environment. Apothecaries can fill their daily quota in, well, it depends because the amount of of parts you get from an animal ranges from 10 to 1. Then factor in the time to travel to, find and kill these animals, plus the time it takes for them to respawn, and it could take several hours.
2. Announce post #3092 added herds of a few animals, and this made Apothecary slightly less tedious. I still hate it. Notably missing were stags, frogs and snakes. On a side note, this change actually nerfed the scalpel; now its only use is to increase the daily harvest amount whereas gloves still get decreased balance to harvest.
3. Comparing economic potential, Apothecary and Herbalism are worlds apart. First, Apothecary requires casks to sell whereas Herbalism does not. To sell everything but purgative, an Apothecary needs to spend 560 credits for 14 casks. (To put that in perspective, that is 2.8 million gold at 5,000 gold per credit or roughly $190 USD.) Next, an Apothecary makes a refill of an elixir that sells at, say, 10 gold, whereas an Herbalist makes 10 pills at a time, which also sell for 10 gold each. In other words, an Herbalist sells one preparation for 10 times the amount of an Apothecary, or to put it another way, an Apothecary has to do ten times the amount of work as an Herbalist for the same amount of gold. Then using these rough numbers, Apothecaries need to sell 20,000 (40 credits at 5,000 gold each) refills (at 10 gold each) before they break even from their cask purchase, while Herbalists are making gold from their very first pill. Lastly, I do not even figure the use of gold/silver or ice/ashes into these calculations because at current commodity prices, it is not worth it.
In conclusion, given the ease and speed of harvesting plants, the ability of pills to be sold directly from shop caches without artifacts, and the fact that one preparation of Herbalism creates 10 times the amount as Apothecary, I hate Apothecary.
So, here are some ideas how to make me hate Apothecary less.
1. The fact that some animals only give 1 or 2 parts is, in my opinion, the most egregious part of Apothecary. It hardly matters that there are herds now or an entire snake pit -- you still have to find and kill each one of those animals. Snake oil is the worst of all. Each snake gives ONE vial of oil, and not only is this used in health, the most common elixir, but it is used in Herbalism as well. Want to use your daily quota for snake oil? Have fun killing 2,100 snakes. In Reanimation, we had the idea of slices. Males did not just give two testicles and females just two ovaries, but several slices of each. In fact, this already exists in Apothecary; you do not get a single boar heart but several slices. This needs to be extended throughout Apothecary. Every single animal should give you 8-10 parts, no exceptions.
2. Make herds of every animal.
3. Now that the scalpel balance decrease is pointless, have it do something else. For example, perhaps the normal roll for animal parts is 5-10, the scalpel can make it 8-10.
4. Give shops a fluid cache and fully refund casks. (While you are at it, do the same for scroll racks. It is kind of insane that some mercantile skills can sell their goods freely while others require sizeable credit investments.)
5. Why does one preparation of Apothecary make one refill and one preparation of Herbalism makes 10 pills? I understand it is because one refill of elixir is 50 sips, but when one refill and one pill sell for the same price, this distinction is pointless. Let one Apothecary preparation create 10 refills, or meet in the middle and let it make 5 refills and let Herbalism create 5 pills at a time.
6. Integrate Apothecary more into Herbalism. If Apothecary is going to be time-consuming, tedious, unprofitable and worthy of hatred, make Herbalists depend on Apothecaries more. Put an Apothecary ingredient in EVERY pill, or at the very least, in the most common such as anabiotic, antipsychotic, opiate, et cetera. At the same time, get rid of all Herbalism ingredients in Apothecary. Herbalists have it easy enough already.
7. Change the Silver and Gold skills to be in line with the current economy. As it stands, these skills are useless and only further increases the time consumption of being an Apothecary.
Phew, I feel better getting that off my chest. Now I am going to make an I HATE APOTHECARY pin and mail it to every single person in the game because I hate Apothecary.