Path of Exile

How worthwhile is the “Harbingers drop rarer value currency shard” watchstone? 100 t8 pens with vs 100 t8 pens without.

I ran 100 t8 pen maps both with and without an Auspicious Platinum Valdo's Rest watchstone to see exactly how much value the mod was adding. At the time I bought the Auspicious watchstone, it cost me 15 ex. TL:DR at the end.

Why t8 pen?

Mostly because when I tried to bulk buy t2 pens, nobody had a stock of 50 or more. I managed to buy 200 t8 pens for an average price of 2.5c/map, so call it 500c or 5 ex +200 alchs and a few reroll chaos which I didn't track.

What modifiers other than "Auspicious" might have affected droprates?

  1. The other watchstones used were two "Harbinger's in area have 9% chance to drop an additional stack of currency shards" and a random chromium watchstone with .3% chance for transmutes to drop as a full stack and 3.2% chance for boss to drop a scarab.
  2. The 100 non-auspicious maps were run at awakener 8, so I did not receive any map drops whatsoever. For the 100 auspicious maps, I dropped down to awakener 5 and slotted only one watchstone in Haewark Hamlet in order to allow t9 atolls to drop in the hopes of bulk selling to generate a little additional profit. Awakener level shouldn't have affected any drops from the harbingers themselves, but I figured I would include it just in case.
  3. The maps were all alc and go (ele reflect got rerolled to something runnable), though I figured over 100 maps any variations in rarity would average out.

How did you run the maps?

I'm playing a lightning strike accuracy stacking jugg. The character is not minmaxed and could definitely clear faster, or be replaced by something optimized for running valdo's. POB here:

The maps were run until the harbinger pack was found and killed, then portaled out and started a new map immediately. If the harbinger pack was in the boss room, I killed the boss. I was running Neversink's very strict filter, so almost every rare was filtered and I didn't usually bother to pick up the uniques/rares that were shown. Additional content was done as follows:

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Abyss and Blight were skipped straight out.

Breaches were opened, but only cleared if it was chayula, which happened a grand total of once.

Delirium was popped at the start of the map, fast forwarded once the harbinger pack was killed.

Essences were opened if encountered

Harvests were run if encountered, but crafts were only immediately used and none were stored or sold (not that I found anything good in Valdos).

Heist caches were opened but usually ignored. I picked up all blueprints but not most contracts.

Legion was opened if I found it before or at the harby pack, but looting of rewards was somewhat sporadic. I mostly only bothered to pick things up if there was a maraketh army.

Metamorph was spawned after killing the harby pack, and any currency organs were chosen. If no metamorph could be made i TP'd out.

Jun/Einhar mobs were killed if they were in the way, but not specifically targeted. I did pop all Niko sulphite nodes for the chance at free alts,

What were the results?

The non-auspicious maps

The 100 NON auspicious pen runs returned 11.6 ex according to exilence next, though one hard exalt dropped due to delirium and 90c is a 21/23 faster attacks from legion. Various other drops were "luckier" in the non auspicious runs like a blighted map from a metamorph or getting more delirium splinters. Drops of harby stuff were

EX: 2 and 8 shards. 1 and 8 shards if we subtract the hard drop.

Ancients: 24 and 7 shards

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Harby orbs: 4 and 19 shards

Annuls: 15 and 17 shards

Value of solely the harby drops is around 8.75 ex

Here's a picture of the loot in one tab:

The Auspicious 100 pens

The Auspicious 100 pens returned 12.5 ex NOT INCLUDING MAPS according to exilence next. They also returned 57 t9 atolls which I can either run or sell, as well as 33 palace and 28 plaza which are probably 1c each. I'm valuing the atolls at 4c each though I don't know if they'll actually sell at that price; I'd just run them for my own harvest crafting if they don't sell. If maps are 2.5ex for all of them, total revenue would be 15ex. Drops of harby stuff were

EX: 2 and 17 shards

Ancients: 30 and 13 shards

Harby Orbs: 7 and 1 shard

Annuls: 21 and 3 shards

Pic of the tab:

Pic of maps dropped:

Value of just the harby drops: 11.1 EX-ish

It took me 2 hours 50 minutes to run the non-auspicious maps, and 3 hours 20 minutes to run the auspicious maps, not sure if it was because of the extra pickups after letting maps drop or if it was from the extra clicks of harby pickups, or even if I just played worse or had worse luck getting the pack early in the map.

What would you change if you did it again?

Pen is actually really annoying with the doorways. I thought the linear layout would be optimal, but honestly I could probably move around city square or canyon better and find the harby pack faster. I think my build can probably still speed clear in red maps, so I might try going a bit harder than alchNgo on some t15 canyons.

I would filter out fuses and maybe even harbinger shards, they're not really worth picking up at current prices.

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I'm definitely going to grab three 15% extra stack drop watchstones to farm valdo's with, regardless of any other changes.

As a side note, grasping vines affecting jugg is both surprising and pretty annoying. I mostly moved through the map with leapslam, and then would have max stacks of grasping vines when I went to pick up harby stacks, which felt bad, but isn't really something I could fix without swapping the character.

Tl:DR and conclusion

It's possible that running 100 of each is not a big enough sample size, but the results are pretty compelling. It would be nice to see some other people test and post data. Hard EX shard drops doubled (again subtracting the hard EX drop from delirium), ancients were 1.25x, annuls were 1.5x, and harby orbs were 1.75x. If you're juicing harder than alchNgo it seems like a no brainer pickup, and even at alchNgo it's generating about an extra EX/hour value.

Very Tl:DR: Pretty decent.


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