Resource Blending is an often-overlooked tool for inventory and resource management, and it’s likely to become more important in future as Red5 adds inventory limits. So here’s a resource blending guide to help get you up to speed!
What is resource blending and how does it work?
Resource blending is a process you can perform at the printer, to condense multiple qualities of a resource into a single stack. You’ll need to select at least two stacks of the resource, and the recipe will calculate the necessary time and tell you the output quality. Like refining, you can put an entire stack into one input slot, or you can select a specific quantity if you only wish to blend part of that stack.
There’s a separate set of blending recipes for each resource; you can’t blend stacks of different resources together. When you first start, you’ll have access to Resource Blending I, which has two input slots; higher levels of the recipe unlock as a side effect of researching higher levels of Raw Resource Refining. At Resource Blending IV, you’ll have five input slots for resources.
If you want to play around with the blending calculations to see how they work in practice, you can try out our Blending Calculator tool. This lets you add up to five inputs, with specified qualities and stack sizes, and you can see how long the job will take and what quality your resulting stack will be.
The quality you get out of a blending process is a weighted average of the qualities you put in.
- If you put in 750 units of Q700 copper and 750 units of Q100 copper, you’d end up with 1,500 units of Q400 copper.
- If you put in 500 units of Q700 copper and 1,000 units of Q100 copper, you’d end up with 1,500 units of Q300 copper – because you put in more of the lower-quality resource, it drags the finished quality downwards.
In cases where the result isn’t an even number, the blending process rounds downwards. So if you have 1,000 units of Q950 iron, and you add a single unit of Q949 iron, you’ll end up with 1,001 units of Q949 iron.
Note that if one of your inputs is part of a larger stack, you’ll end up with two stacks afterwards – the finished product, and the remainder of the input stacks you used. For example, if you have 400 units of Q450 methine and 400 units of Q650 methine, and you blend 100 units of each, you’ll end up with 200 units of the new Q550 methine you’ve blended, and two leftover stacks of Q450 and Q650 at 300 units each.
The time needed for a blend used to be based on a complicated formula, but is now a flat 10 second duration per blend, regardless of the quantities or qualities of resource involved.
Blending fulfils two purposes in Firefall:
Blending for quality
Blending allows you to fine-tune the resources you need for crafting items at a specific quality. Provided you have a range of high and low quality resources, you can blend up any other quality in between them, which is very useful for creating just the quality you need for a specific recipe.
Blending for quantity
Blending allows you to combine bulk quantities of resources in ranges where you don’t care about their qualities, in order to streamline the number of different resource stacks you have to deal with when crafting. For example, if you have six different stacks of biopolymers between Q300 and Q500, you might choose to blend them all into one large stack.
You can combine both of these approaches, too. For instance, you might choose to blend for quantity to amalgamate all the mid-range resource qualities in your inventory, and then just fine-tune smaller quantities of them at the specific qualities you need for crafting.
Strategies for resource blending
When crafting, many people prefer to use high-end resources for the stats that matter to them and low-end resources for those that don’t, in order to min-max the effectiveness of their gear. Blending synergises well with this approach, if you use the following method:
- Keep your stacks of high-quality and low-quality resources intact while they’re still a reasonable size; if you blend them into other stacks, their usefulness is reduced. (When you’ve only got scraps left, you can blend them away to clean up your inventory, of course.)
- Blend your mid-range resources into a few large stacks. You’re unlikely to use these for crafting anything where the quality is important, so you can use these large stacks for making progression tokens and consumables, and spending on constraint unlocks.
- If you do need a specific quality within your mid-range, you can always blend it up using a chunk of these bulk resources and fine-tuning its quality upwards or downwards using a small amount of your high- or low-end resources.
- The definition of what counts as “high” and “low” quality resources is a personal choice and really depends on how diverse your collection of resources is. A good rule of thumb, when you’re starting out, is to keep blue and purple resources for high-end use, and low-quality white resources (Q200ish or less) for low-end use. As you gather more high and low-quality resources, you can of course decide where to draw the line yourself.
As an example, one approach is to blend as follows:
- Purple resources: optionally, blend stacks together if they’re less than 10 quality apart.
- Blue resources: blend stacks together within ranges of 50 quality: 701-750, 751-800, etc.
- Green resources: blend stacks together within ranges of 100 quality: 401-500, 501-600, etc.
- White resources: above Q200, blend as per green resources. Between Q100-200, blend as per blue resources. Below Q100, blend as per purple resources.
- Never blend Q1 resources if it will increase their quality.
This approach will leave you with a range of qualities to select from if you’re crafting on the fly, and you have a lot of options for adjusting qualities if you’re blending more precisely. Obviously this is entirely optional, and is just one suggestion if you’re looking for a place to start. If you have another good blending strategy we’d love to hear about it in the comments!