by Niami DenMother
There was a time when you could have your neighborhood priest summon you some food and drink, and you were "set" for the day, regardless of whether your day included a day of hard adventuring or serious crafting. That time, however, is long gone, and your choices for food and drink can make a significant impact on your day.
There are so many choices, though! How do you know which one is "right" for you?
Look at the Level
Keep in mind when shopping that food and drink that are higher level than you scale to your level. You can consume items that are 30 (or more) levels higher than you, but you won't see even close to the full stat and regen benefits from it. This means that you will want something "around" your level. Personally, I recommend something just a little above you (such as level 30 food at level 23), so that you can get the higher regen rate and grow into the stats as you level, but different people approach it differently.
Decide on Duration
Every food and drink has a duration - how long it will last before you need to eat and drink more. Obviously, longer-lasting food and drink means you will need to restock your food and drink less often. However, longer-lasting food and drink generally is more expensive to make, and therefore tends to be more expensive. The smart shopper might do a bit of math to see what's the better buy, taking into account duration, stats and price. Sometimes you'll find buying more of the shorter-duration item to be a better bet, sometimes the longer duration one, depending on who has a sale at the time.
Stuck on Stats?
Some foods have no stat boost, "just" out-of-combat health regeneration (which is nothing to sneeze at when you're prone to getting beaten on by critters ... or the forge!). Many player-made foods, however, give you a bit of extra oomph to a stat or two, and which one you aim for will be determined by class, playstyle, and what you're using it for. (Boosting your class's main stat for more power/damage can be a handy thing when adventuring, but if you're just needing something for regen while crafting, you might not need the fancy stat food.)
Here are stat/duration comparison charts for all tiers to help with comparison-shopping. Note that these charts are now in the process of being updated to include the apprentice-researched food and drink items, and it may take a couple days for me to tackle all of them:
Addendum: To Autoconsume Or Not Autoconsume?
When you first start a new character, autoconsume is turned on. This means that as soon as the buff from your current food or drink runs out, the game automagically tries to consume more - provided you have it equipped in the food/drink slots in your inventory. (Food and drink must be equipped in order to be eaten.) This can be a very good thing, if you are the forgetful sort. But what about times when you're going to be noodling around town, chatting with friends and so on, while munching down on your favorite (expensive!) stat food?
There is a right-click option on the food and drink slots to turn autoconsume on and off. If you are like me, and turn it off so as not to "waste" extra food and drink when out harvesting or otherwise doing low-impact work that doesn't need the extra regen, remember to manually consume some (right-click option on the food/drink slots) before you go into battle!
Image kindly provided by J. Waller of WTF Comics
Created: 2005-04-26 12:01:21
Last Modified By: Niami Denmother
Last Modified on: 2012-05-09 11:17:30
© 2003-7 Niami Denmother.
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