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Digging has been significantly overhauled for T9. Take the information below with scepticism. The article needs to be reworked taking at least the following points in mind: It is possible to solo dig. You may need to burst dig to do so. If you are solo digging, the first stone of the tale is guaranteed to be a medium stone Digging is now significantly easier, and is manageable with a low number of players (5 with onions and slate shovels seems adequate, if slow) Teaching is no longer possible

  • Digging with +2 END allows a solo player with a slate shovel to dig enough to guarantee a single stone.

Why Dig?

Digs are one of the co-operative activities that produce resources, specifically Cuttable Stone, Medium Stones, Gypsum and Bauxite. It's also a way to get together, exchange rumours, sign petitions, drink, smoke, teach techs, or congregate for acrobatics.

Dig Preparation

You'll need:

  • Diggers
    • Early tale, with iron and slate Shovels, it takes four diggers or more just to get anything, but 15+ is recommended
    • As the tale proceeds, diggers will get hand crafted metal shovels, higher basic endurance and better endurance food, meaning that fewer diggers are needed
  • A place.
    • Digs have to happen on Dirt, but dirt is almost everywhere so that isn't much of a restriction.
    • It helps to be near a compound which has:
      • Chests for stashing the stones
      • A Carpentry Shop, where you can make Slate or Iron Shovels, less necessary as the game progresses and people have their own metal shovels.
      • Two Kitchens for mixing some high-endurance and blocker food
      • Bring a supply of Grilled Onions if there are no kitchens, or no-one can cook an END meal.
  • A time. Sometimes you can luck out and get enough people in a reasonable time by just announcing on selected channels (or on Egypt Today), but generally people like to plan it into their day. Give some advance notice. If you're feeling civic-minded (or masochistic) announce that you'll be running at a certain time on a certain day for a few weeks.
  • A cause. (This can help with the publicity)
    • Research
    • Personal
    • A clear understanding of the division rules. "100% for research", "100% for the diggers", or some combination.
  • A duration. One hour is the most common duration, but be clear and be firm - maybe the food lasts 1 hour and 10 minutes, and the dig will last the duration of the food. Some people will want to continue past the published end time, but others will have other plans. You don't want to impose on people. Your digs will get a bad reputation and people will stop coming.

Dig Mechanics

  1. Position people around the dig leader, far enough to be out of the way.
  2. When everyone has gathered, the dig leader starts the hole under Skills => Dig a hole.
  3. Everyone else should click the hole to get a menu, pin it, and start digging. If you have food, everyone needs to pay attention to their skill level and eat when the food runs out, be it onions or some endurance masterpiece.
  4. The dig leader appoints one or more "pickers". Eventually as the dig progresses stones will start to appear. The pickers get to run around and grab them. At first it will be just cuttable stones. They weigh 1 and have bulk 1. Eventually medium stones will appear. They have bulk 1 but weigh 10. The pickers should keep track of their inventory and stash stones frequently enough to avoid getting pinned. A hole can only have fifteen cuttable stones up at a time, so it is important to have enough pickers, so there will never be fifteen cuttables up at the same time. If there are, any dig attempts will not yield any stones, which is a huge efficiency waste.
  5. As the dig goes longer (as the hole gets conceptually, but not visually, "deeper") you will get more medium stones.
  6. When time is up have everyone stop and wave goodbye to the hole. The pickers stash all stones in the same chest, or give them to the same person. Count up the number of diggers, divide it into the number of stones, and distribute.
  7. Near the eastern border of Egypt, some cuttable stones will be replaced with bauxite instead, while near the western border there will be gypsum. Such holes have roughly 300 cuttable stones in them. As you dig up cuttable stones over time from the same hole, the fraction of bauxite/gypsum will increase, until you get only medium stones and bauxite/gypsum.

Dig Theory

All timings are in Ducky seconds, roughly 10% slower than real life seconds.

  • A freshly opened hole is at depth 10. Depth is not shown in the game, but the hole increases in size with its depth.
  • Any dig attempts that would result in a depth greater than 20 will leave the hole at depth 20 and an item may pop up, if there is room for it on the ground
  • A hole has room for 18 stones (combination of Medium Stone and Cuttable Stones) and a generous number of bauxite or gypsum
  • When the hole shrinks to size 0, it will disappear. It is possible to open up a new hole at the same spot afterwards.
  • Every dig attempt will start a basic 40 second END timer. With increased endurance, the recovery time is shortened. Every character has a hidden buffer for the cost of one tiresome activity plus 38 seconds, so everyone can start by digging three times during two seconds, and thereafter once every 40s.
  • Endurance 7 means halved recovery time, 20s.
  • Iron and Slate shovels dig exactly one step, either making the hole one level deeper, or digging up one item (if there is room)
  • Crafted shovels can be more efficient, and will dig 1-4 steps, depending on quality

To help calculate how many diggers are needed, please consider the following model:

  • A digger with E endurance has 7+E "effective endurance", or "ee", at 0 END you have 7 ee.
  • With simple shovels, it takes a combined 70 ee just to keep the hole open, which means 10 diggers at endurance 0 ( (7+0) * 10 )
  • With shovels that dig two steps, somewhere near q9000, a team with 70 ee or more can keep the hole open and get one stone per dig attempt forever by rotating and digging once every time the hole shrinks one step. This is greatly simplified if all have the same endurance (no need to switch places over time).

This gives the following table for diggers with equal endurance (it gets a bit complicated when endurance levels are spread, so count on all having the lowest in the group for simplicity):

  • One digger, iron shovel, 0% efficiency at END 63, slowly increasing with more endurance
  • One digger, 9k shovel (*2), 0% efficiency at END 28, slowly increasing with more endurance
  • Two diggers, iron shovel, 0% efficiency at END 28, slowly increasing with more endurance
  • Two diggers, 9k shovel (*2), 0% efficiency at END 10.5, slowly increasing with more endurance
  • Three diggers, iron shovel, 0% efficiency at END 23.3, slowly increasing with more endurance
  • Three diggers, 9k shovel (*2), 0% efficiency at END 11.7, slowly increasing with more endurance
  • Ten diggers, iron shovel, 0% efficiency at END 0, slowly increasing with more endurance
  • Ten diggers, 9k shovel (*2), 100% efficiency at END 0, but only if synchronizing perfectly with one dig attempt every 4s
  • With grilled onions (+2 END) we get 40 seconds * (7/(7+2)) = 31.11 seconds per dig, or 1.93 digs per minute. This gives 8 diggers.
  • There is a technique called "burst digging" which can be done with 4 or more unaugmented people where the host starts the hole and everyone does their three initial digs as fast as possible. Then you all wait for your timers to refresh and do it again. The output is small, but it is non-zero. The recovery time is almost 2 mins (2*40 + 38) from the first dig attempt with 0 END, less with more END.

Dig Etiquette

  • Show up on time, with your shovel and grilled onions.
  • If you show up late, don't sweat it. Just pitch in and start digging.
  • If you show up really late then you have a moral decision to make about how much of the results to accept. Be nice. Do the right thing. Conversely the host may ask you not to participate. Be polite.
  • On the other hand, it's often more trouble than it's worth to compute the fractional shares for partial participation, and the host may just give you an equal share.
  • The count probably won't come out even. Be prepared to accept one less than everyone else. Remember that you'll be leaving with more stuff than you started with, so it's going to be a win.
  • Conversely, if you need a certain number for a project and end up close, ask. People are often willing to help each other out. That's one of the things i like about this game.
  • If the dig supplied food, contribute to the recipe if you can, but again the food is often considered part of the cost of doing business. Ask if you're not sure.
  • Check the other diggers.
    • Afterwards is a good chance for acrobatics. Allow more time for that if that's what you want.
  • For the host, do your best to start and end on time.


If you have too small a number of people to organise a regular dig, a "burst dig" can acquire small amounts of stone with as few as 4 people.

How to do it:

  • Dig a hole.
  • As soon as the hole is dug, all participants dig on it as fast as possible, exhausting their Endurance timers.
  • That's it. Collect stone, wait for the hole to close and all endurance timers to fully go to black, and repeat.

We were able to reliably get 2 Cuttable Stone per hole with 4 people using Grilled Onions.

We were able to reliably get 4-6 Cuttable Stone and 0-1 medium per hole with 4 people using Grilled Onions, tower buff and 7k shovels. - Lechai


Depending on your Arthropodology skill level, digging can produce Blister Beetles, Clay Slugs, White Mealybugs, Mud Asps, Pickel Slugs, Queen Maggots, and Corkscrew Asps.