TL;DR – With the upcoming (today!) infinite salvage tools sale, I make crude assumptions on how to evaluate the profit of salvaging 1000 rare items with either of those, taking into account not only ectos but also upgrade salvaging. Silver-fed is 7.7% more profitable when talking about ectos. Rune salvaging results lowers this to 6.2% . This values consider the double cost of a single salvage. I do not go into the discussion of the cost of each salvage tool, as the price of mystic forge stone is (in my opinion) very uncertain. I am part of the school who thinks that convenience has its price.
The analysis is of course prone to my math errors. Any criticism is welcome. I do not attempt to encourage anyone to buy one or the other (I myself do not owe any of them because I just came back to the game a few months ago!), and this analysis is purely due to the scientific side of me.
Let's do a benchmark of 1000 rare items that can produce ectos upon salvage.
Let's use an ecto value of 21.20 silvers, and use the wiki value of an average of 0.875 ectos per rare item for Mystic salvage kit, which is equivalent to Silver-fed. Now, since Runecrafter's rare material chance is 5% lower, we need to account for that. EDIT: Found a reference for ectos with Runecrafter's. This study shows that the drop rate is 0.8 ectos/rare with Runecrafter's.
Runecrafter's vs. Silver-fed benchmark summary:
Number of rare items – 1000
Ecto value – 21.20 silvers
Number of ectos per rare – Silver-fed – 0.875
Number of ectos per rare – Runecrafter's – 0.8
So the numbers are:
Number of ectos = 875
Raw gold before usage = 185.5g
Usage cost = 6g
Total gold after usage = 179.5
Number of ectos = 800
Raw gold before usage = 169.6g
Usage cost = 3g
Total gold after usage = 166.6g
So from this simplistic benchmark, without taking into account the gem cost, Silver-fed results are 7.7% more profitable in terms of ectos.
Let's try to add the 20% difference of upgrade salvaging into the mix. Let's assume that each rare item has one major sigil/rune. According to the salvage research for sigils and runes in the wiki, one gets 1.87 lucent motes per sigil and 1.69 per rune. Let's take a weighted average of that, weighting by the number of samples in each research. The turns into 1.78 lucent motes per salvage. For symbols/charms it is 0.03 per salvage. Now for charms and symbols I'm going to use this reddit research. It confirms that there is no difference in the quality of the salvaged rune/sigil between different salvaging tools.
However, it's been harder to find a solid distribution for symbols/charms. I'm going to use results from this study, although it should be taken with a grain of salt as the statistics is pretty low and this was done on weapon levels of 77 and above. Also I assume that the chance of finding a rare weapon is the same as a rare armor.
I use the following values for each symbol/charm:
Symbol of Enhancement – 4.55 silver
Symbol of Pain – 16.92 silver
Symbol of Control – 35.35 silver
Charm of Brilliance – 79 silver
Charm of Potence – 19.78 silver
Charm of Skill – 16.48 silver
With the given distribution, the average profit from any of the above is 27.1 silver.
Lucent motes are values at 8 copper.
So let's get back to our benchmark. With 1.78 lucent motes and 0.03 symbols/charms per salvage, we get
Silver-fed (80% chance):
Number of lucent motes = 1424
Number of symbols/charms = 24
Total value = 7.6432 gold
Runecrafter's (100% chance):
Number of lucent motes = 1780
Number of symbols/charms = 30
Total value = 9.554 gold
So, the summary of this calculation I have done of the profit from ectos & upgrade salvages of 1000 rare items:
With Silver-fed, after usage cost = 187.1432 gold
With Runecrafter's, after usage cost = 176.154 gold
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