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#Life Skill #Cooking
Cooking to Guru Cheatsheet and Imperial Cooking Guide (2022)
Jun 3, 2022, 21:27 (UTC)
23983 3
Last Edit : Feb 23, 2024, 13:48 (UTC)
# 1

Link to the cheatsheet

2024-Summer here. The sheet is mostly still accurate. Both routes of leveling to guru, spamming cheap dishes and cooking meals, are still viable. On one hand, some materials like milk/eggs/bracken have become easier to obtain, which makes cooking meals less bottlenecked/gather-intensive. On the other hand, you'll lose a lot of value when cooking meals at lower mastery in the curent economy. So use your own judgment.

Preview:

All the cool kids are doing imperials. What's so special about it?

Imperial delivery is one of the easiest ways to make money with cooking.
It gives 45-120 mil profit for 5 minutes of work each day, depending on your mastery and CP.

If you want to, you can make it even more profitable by gathering materials and cooking the dishes yourself.
The money comes straight from an NPC so there's no need for market PVP or for a Value Pack to offload the meals.
Even at professional level, imperial boxes are solid income. Once you reach guru and unlock guru imperial boxes, the profit increases significantly.

The higher your cooking level, the higher your mastery, which means more imperial profit and more profit from cooking through additional procs and more crafts per hour.
The number of boxes you can hand in is limited and the limit depends on your CP. Incidentally, the best way to gain CP is also by cooking.


All things considered, cooking is a great source of income and leveling your cooking to guru and beyond is a worthwhile endeavour.

Cooking to Guru chart: Leveling cooking efficiently

In other lifeskills, leveling often means sacrificing profit for EXP.
The 'Cooking to Guru' chart presents two profitable ways to level your cooking to guru.
Once you hit guru, you'll unlock higher imperial profit from guru boxes. But not only that.
If you follow the ideas described in the chart, you'll also have a stack of either raw silver, CP or a few weeks' worth of meals ready to pack into imperial boxes.

The Cooking to Guru chart:
- Gives a selection of recipes for leveling to guru efficiently.
- Shows how to plan out your journey to guru.
- Gives an idea of much work is required to hit guru.

As I wanted to keep the info in the chart concise, it's best used as supplementary material in addition to 'traditional' cooking guides, for example Grumpygreen's or EvilDoUsHarm's guides. This post is also not meant to be a complete guide to cooking but rather to provide a bit of background information on the chart.

Bdolytics: Lifeskill calculator

Bdolytics is the best-in-slot lifeskill calculator.

It features:
- Auto-updating prices
- Gathering/processing/cooking/alchemy calculators
- A central market overview
- A node map
- ..and many other lifeskilling tools.

We'll be using the site for any lifeskill related calculations in this guide.
If you are new to the site, I recommend watching the guide on using bdolytics linked on the front page.

Imperial Cooking FAQ

How can I pack and deliver imperial boxes?

Packing:

Open the processing window (L) -> select Imperial Cuisine, input a dish and press Start.

Your cooking level has to match the box level: For example, packing pickled vegetables into a professional box requires professional cooking.

Higher-grade versions of dishes can substitute regular versions at a 1:3 ratio.

After completing the quest Carolin's Expert Packaging Skills (Cooking), you can use 1 heavy duty packaging cord in processing to pack 10 boxes at once.

Delivering

Hand in the boxes to an Imperial Crafting Delivery NPC - make sure to equip your mastery clothes for the turn-in.

The number of boxes you can hand in each day is equal to your CP divided by 2.

‎‎‎

Summer, it's 2022 and grinders are making 500 mil an hour with 200 AP. Why bother making 100 mil from imperials if I can grind for 10 minutes and get the same money?

Imperials only take a little time and almost no effort. If you could only log into the game for 15 minutes each day, imperials would still be one of the best uses of your time! Whether lifeskills can keep up with grinding income in general is a different discussion. But the 5 minute silver injection from imperials is easy money no matter if you're a grinder or lifeskiller.

How can I check imperial delivery profits?

Head over to https://bdolytics.com/cooking/imperial and punch in the cooking mastery you have with mastery clothes equipped.
The page shows the profit on buying dishes under 'Profit per Box (Buying)' and for making them yourself und 'Profit per Box (Selfmade)'. If you make the dishes yourself, you'll probably want to go into the recipe view (click on the name of the dish) and fine-tune a few things such as ingredients and which sub-dishes to make.

But what about alchemy imperials?

Alchemy imperials are in a tough spot. The mastery scaling for imperial box income is way higher on cooking than on alchemy. On top of that, most alchemy recipes are bottlenecked by traces, fruits or sap. In their current state, alchemy imperials are at best a way to offload elixirs from leveling but the profit is very underwhelming, as you can see here: https://bdolytics.com/alchemy/imperial.

Which meal should I cook for imperials?

There are 17 different guru dishes!
The main criteria when selecting a dish are (in order of importance):
1. Profit of the imperial box
2. How easy it is to get the main material, e.g. by gathering or hunting
3. Bottlenecks: for example eggs/milk
4. Cooking EXP
5. Other materials: for example onions and pepper from farming

Balenos, Valencia and O'dyllita are the current 'meta' for imperial meals because they are profitable, somewhat easy to gather for and have very forgiving bottlenecks.


If you want to venture off the beaten path, you can consider other meals. But they tend to have either harsh bottlenecks or are not profitable to cook.
For example, Mediah meal is comparable to Balenos meals in materials but has a severe milk and egg bottleneck and is less profitable.

In case you're wondering about the Mountain of Eternal Winter meals:
- Eilton Meal: The main ingredient (translucent ice) is difficult to gather and the profit on the imperial box is *very* low.
- Balacs Lunchbox: They have an absurd egg bottleneck: 7k eggs for 200 imperial boxes.
- Special Eilton Specialty Meal: very low profit.

Pickled vegetables is renowned for being the king of sub-guru boxes. Are there more profitable boxes than pickled vegetables below guru?

Some master boxes can be more profitable but they all come with at least one bottleneck.
The most viable ones are Sute Tea and Milk Tea master boxes and they come with a milk bottleneck attached.
Some rare procs of dishes, for example Meat Croquette, King of Jungle Hamburg and Blood Red Delotia Pudding are also great value for master boxes.
Pickled Vegetables is definitely worthy of its reputation. For having no bottlenecks at all, the profit is very solid.
If you have the bottleneck materials required for master boxes, you can run a mix of master and pickled vegetable boxes as master boxes alone generally aren't sustainable for daily turn-ins.

Is it worth cooking my own meals for imperials?

You can approach imperials in two ways: buying the finished meals off the market (buy-boxing) or cooking them yourself.
Buy-boxing is easy money and I'd recommend everyone to hand in imperial boxes daily.

On top of that, you can spend extra time gathering, hunting, processing or farming materials and cooking the meals.

But is that time worth it?

It depends on the specific meal and how efficiently you can get the materials.
All three meals presented in the chart (Balenos, Valencia and O'dyllita) are viable to gather for and cook yourself.
Small disclaimer: Balenos meals are not very profitable to cook right at guru and require a few more mastery brackets to really start seeing high profit. This is because almost all the materials for Balenos meals are freely available on the market so meal prices are dictated by high mastery cooks.

Valencia and O'dyllita meals require rare materials like lion meat and bracken, which makes them less mastery dependent and very profitable even right at guru.
As you level up cooking and gain more mastery, the profit from producing guru meals will become hard to beat by any other lifeskill activity.
This is because the process involves already very profitable lifeskills like gathering/hunting, farming and cooking and amplifies their profit by chaining them together.

Do I have to get all the materials for meals myself?

Let's look at how to get different materials.
- Node materials: You can buy them off the market as needed without hesitation.
- Processing goods: You can process flour and dough yourself, given that you are okay with the processing profit -> check https://bdolytics.com/processing/market. Most people I talk to choose to buy flour and dough instead.
- Farming products: I recommend farming crops like onion/pepper/garlic/hot pepper yourself. If you hate farming, these crops can be bought as special versions on the market.
- Meat: For some materials like red meat (wolf/deer/lamb/fox etc.), you have the choice between buying and getting them yourself. Especially hunting for red meat is very profitable so I recommend doing it. For other materials like lion, snake and scorpion meat we have no choice but to gather them.

Milk:

- Exchanging byproducts from cooking (witch's delicacy)
- Milking cows.
- Farming haystacks: yields ~850 milk and ~90 red meat on 20 magical haystacks.

- Preorders
- Buying milk indirectly through processed goods like cheese, cream or butter.
- Buying milk indirectly through cooked dishes, for example Soft Bread.
- Random cooking quests and a daily quest from Liana: [Daily] [Cooking] Striving Towards Imperial Delivery.

Exchanging byproducts and Liana's daily quest are easily the most efficient ways to get milk. Milking cows can be a viable source of milk when you're just starting out with lifeskills. But since it doesn't scale with mastery, it becomes less attractive compared to other activities as your mastery increases. Farming haystacks is not a great way to get milk considering that you could farm crops for way more money.

Eggs:

- Nodes in Velia and O'draxxia.

- Preorders
- Farming chicken feed: yields ~500 eggs on 20 magical chicken feed.
- Buying eggs indirectly through cooked dishes, for example Soft Bread or Meat Croquette.

- Random cooking quests and a daily quest from Liana: [Daily] [Cooking] Striving Towards Imperial Delivery.

Buying materials compared to getting them yourself will mean anywhere from a slight to a significant reduction in cooking profit, depending on how much of the crafting cost they are responsible for.

Keep in mind that materials you get yourself are not free. Using a material in cooking means giving up on the profit of selling it to the market. So by using self-gathered materials, you essentially save on the market tax.

At the end of the day, you decide which materials to get yourself. Cooking can still be profitable even when buying all the raw materials. The exact profits will depend on your mastery and market conditions.


If you want an exact answer, I recommend going to Bdolytics and playing around with different settings for buying or gathering materials.

Should I gather or hunt for meat?

With the recent hunting buffs, hunting for red meat gives up to 50% more materials an hour than gathering at comparable mastery.

To check the numbers for yourself, you can use the gathering overview on Bdolytics and gpw's hunting calculator.

Gathering is still king for rare materials like lion, snake and scorpion meat.

Which quality of seeds should I farm for cooking?

There are three grades of crops: white, high-quality and special.
In recipes, one high-quality crop can substitute 3 to 6 and one special crop 8+ whites.

Farming recently received an update, which is outlined in the graphic below:

Since you can now exchange special crops into HQ and white crops, magical seeds are the only seed you should consider farming for cooking materials. I explain this in a bit more detail in this video.

You need artisan 1 to farm magical seeds which you can get within 1 day. 

How can I level cooking after guru?

The way after guru and eventually to g50 is a choose-your-own-adventure kinda deal.
Some people like to spam vinegar all the way into the late gurus while others transform into a gather-cook bot. You gotta find whatever works for you.

(this image is from my guildie Jako who is going for 100 million vinegar)

With lower mastery, you'll often have to decide between EXP and profit. The higher mastery you get, the more EXP will align with profit.
For example, Valencia meals are the highest EXP in the game, but it won't be profitable to cook them until you have very high mastery. In turn, with high mastery, they're the best money and best EXP you can get.
So my general advice is to cook for money and let EXP come naturally.

How can I make money with cooking outside of imperials and how much mastery do I need?

There are two more ways:
1) Cooking for byproducts:

You can cook recipes like Vinegar, Pickled Vegetables and Essence of Liquor for 30-100 mil profit per hour depending on your mastery. If you're calculating the profit on cooking for byproducts on bdolytics, make sure to set the 'Byproduct Usage' in the settings to cheese or butter.
2) Market cooking:

Recipes that require gathering rare materials like King of Jungle Hamburg and Teff Sandwich are very profitable even at low mastery. Cooking sub-meals into the actual meals requires very high mastery to be worthwhile. That means gathering and cooking for sub-meals will stay your best option for a long time. If you want to buy sub-meals and craft them into meals (market 2 market cooking) you better bring softcap gear: 1850 mastery and the 'Fundamentals of Cooking' lightstone set.

Good luck on your cooking journey!

Last Edit : Jun 4, 2022, 18:45 (UTC)
# 2

lmao I'm over the character limit. unlucky. Part 2:

Resources

Cooking to Guru cheatsheet: https://bit.ly/CookTLDR2022

Lifeskill Discord: https://discord.gg/GUsNAYT

Bdolytics: https://bdolytics.com

Item Database: https://bdocodex.com

Hunting calculator including a map of hunting spots:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1hb28t4_hlQxPhd6rKVLBFgSFoJgNAFSti5zH3i0brbg/

List of gathering rotations:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Uz-Y_fdCXJBhzPisrvzfvs296f8wBJ3Y-yi7vh-T-mQ/edit?usp=sharing

My blog: https://bit.ly/Summersblog

---------------------------------------------

If you have any questions or suggestions, let me know in the comments.

Last Edit : Jun 3, 2022, 23:25 (UTC)
# 3

Educate me more papa 😩

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