Litter Picking Guide
"My life as a Scavenger" -or- "Raphael's all-purpose Guide to Litter Picking" by Raphael the scribe

Litter Picking in General

"Litter picking" is how I like to call the process of picking up all the stuff thrown away by others at the banks all over Britannia and selling it to NPCs. While the life of a scavenger has never been a very reputable one, it's well worth trying it - at least for a new citizen of the realm, who is in desparate need of money.

Litter picking makes an average of 3,000 gp per hour, which is way below what one can earn through bashing monsters or doing serious trade during the same time. However, there is no job I can think of that is more rewarding for a brand-new character in Britannia with nothing more than a book, a dagger, a candle, 100 skill points and 1,000 gp as the basis of its future wealth. And besides that, you contribute to the community by keeping our streets clean and shiny.

The aim of this guide is to provide you with some more and some less obvious hints and pieces of information on how to make the most out of your new favorite spare time activity of being a member of the scavengers' guild. So on we go!


Get a mount

The first and most important thing you will need for your duties is a mount. You will be travelling a lot, and since you most likely neither have the reagents nor the runes to recall around, you should use the next best thing to improve your travelling speed. Oh, and even if you have the ability to recall around, you should consider not doing it for three reasons:

  • Litter picking, as we've said earlier, doesn't pay off too well, and since you would have to recall very often, the money spent on reagents will take away a good deal of your earnings.
  • You will be running through the cities quite a lot to meet all those NPCs you want to sell your precious collectibles to, and while recalling won't help you in this process, a mount will.
  • Besides banks, public moongates are another popular place to get rid of garbage, so visiting them every now and then (and using a mount, it's inevitable to do so) doesn't seem to bad an idea.

Sometimes you're lucky and a player is selling freshly tamed horses or ostards for about 300 gp next to the bank of the city you started in. But in most cases you will have to buy a horse from a stablemaster or animal trainer. These may be found in Britain (West of the city, in Lord British's Castle, and in the Northern part of the city), Minoc (Northmost building), Moonglow (outside of the inn), Skara Brae (next to the bank), Trinsic (East and West end of the city) and Yew (at the sheep pasture South of Empath Abbey), so you may want to choose one of these cities as the birthplace of your character. The horses sold by stablemasters cost between 550 and 650 gp, and you shouldn't hesitate to make that investment from your very first 1,000 gp, as it will pay off pretty soon.

Another option that you have is to tame a horse yourself. But this requires that you either choose Taming as one of your starting skills or go to an animal trainer or ranger and buy some training in that skill. It may take a little more time, but comes at a cheaper price, especially if you want to have that skill on your character anyways.

The empty bank box

A freshly created character comes with another very valuable asset: an empty bank box. Yes, that's right, an empty bank box. As you will be at one bank or another most of the time, opening your bank box is a simple task. And it comes in handy if you happen to find a backpack full of sellable stuff that's just too heavy for you right now. In that case you can put it in your bank box before someone else takes it away, and afterwards you sell the stuff whenever you have the capacity to do so.

Macros, macros, macros...

A must have for your business is a "Circle of Transparency" macro. For those who don't know: There's a macro option called CircleTrans, which, when assigned to a macro makes the walls invisible in a circle around you. There is quite a lot of garbage hidden behind a wall, and the CircleTrans macro is your only option to get that valuable waste.

Oh, it's rather obvious that a "vendor sell" macro will help you a lot during the item sale. But such a macro should be part of your default macro set anyways. Besides that, there isn't much else of the litter picking profession that you can macro.

Some software aid

There are two tools out there that are a great help to the aspiring scavenger - UOAssist and UOAM.

UOAssist: The sell agent provided by UOAssist nearly is a must in litter picking. Get yourself a bag, a pouch or any other container, assign it the status of a "sell bag" and then put everything you pick up inside that container. Afterwards you just have to hit your "vendor sell" macro each time you meet a NPC vendor and UOAssist sells everything for you that the NPC is willing to buy.

However, most new players don't have UOAssist, so this is mostly for the veterans that just created a new character or even started out on a new shard they haven't been on before. But even a compete newbie might want to give it a try - you can get a 30 day trial key for free on Tugsoft's website.

UOAM: UO Automap (or UOAM for short) helps you in quickly finding the vendor type you're looking for, as most likely you don't have the maps of all the cities in your mind. So in case you don't have it already, get it from its website on UO Stratics and see what it can do for you.

Doing the job of a scavenger

What items to go for

In general, you should pick up every item you find and try to sell it to a NPC vendor. Sometimes you can sell items that you never thought a vendor ever would buy. Of course the "no rule without exception" rule applies here as well. Some items just can't be sold to any NPC, but you should only care about the heaviest of them, as they take away lots of your precious payload without giving you anything back. Basically, you should ignore crystall balls and any piece of bone armour. Both can't be sold and both are rather heavy. Another thing to ignore are heating stands and spyglasses left behind by tinkers in training.

Pick up everything else that you aren't sure about and throw it away after you haven't sold it to any NPC after doing your tour for two or three times, and add it to your "ignore list". Sometimes a vendor just has bought lots of one item type from another player right before you arrive, and while he would be willing to buy an item in general, he doesn't want it right now. So giving an item a few chances to get sold is no mistake.

The most common items that also make quite some money are armour, shields, weapons, scrolls, wands, gems, potions and magic cloaks (the latter come in two alignments only one of which may be sold to NPC tailors). Perhaps you even want to keep a few of the items as they help your new character, such as scrolls for a mage or armour and weapons for a warrior. Usually armour and weapons that were thrown away are either heavily used or of the magic variety, but with a very low enchantment. However, for a new character, they are better than nothing and cheaper than anything.

Selling what you've got

Your most basic rule for litter picking is quite simple: "The provisioner buys it!" Although this doesn't apply to each and every item, most of the stuff can be sold to a provisioner, be it armour, shields, weapons, gems or common stuff like bags (a backpack sells for 9 gp, and you will pick up quite a lot over time). This means that your should pay your first visit after filling your backpack to the provisioner. Afterwards, you sell the remaining stuff to the other NPCs, such as dying tubs to a tailor, a sack of flour to a baker or scrolls and wands to a mage.

Other things to keep in mind

You will make the most out of your time if you do your job while your shard is rather busy (usually 5 pm to 11 pm local shard time). During these hours, the most people are around and thus the most garbage gets thrown away.

Don't try to do litter picking for more than approximately one hour a day. Eventually you will have collected everything, especially from the more remote locations where not so many players do their banking and leave their stuff behind, and your earnings over time ratio will eventually drop. Besides that, there might be more scavengers working on your shard, and if too many are busy at the same time, they mutually destroy the basis of their income because each one gets a smaller piece of the cake.

Planing your tour

Not all cities in the realm will bring you the same benefit, so you should plan your tour wisely in order to optimize your income. Here is a brief description of all cities that have a public moongate adjacent to them.

Other cities are not worth visiting, not only because they are seldomly visited by other players, but also because you'll need runes and the ability to recall to get there, and we've opted that out right from the start.

When planing your tour, you should keep two things in mind - how long does it take you to get from the moongate to the city (or in other words, how far are they apart) and how many people visit the city and leave their stuff behind?

Britain:Britain is a medium choice in your tour plan. The city is the most busiest of all, but the moongate is quite far away from the bank, especially the East Britain Bank, and running through the city to find the NPC vendor type that you want can be quite painful because of the city's size.

Jhelom: Should be part of your top three or four cities in your tour plan. The gate is close to the city, and the city itself is rather busy.

Magincia: Probably the city you will visit the least often. Together with Yew, it's the less bussiest city in the realm, and although the moongate is close to the city, there are a lot of nasty critters around the gate that can make the live of a new character to a hell.

Minoc: Being a medium to low level choice because of the distance between moongate and bank, Minoc still has its value for a scavenger. Many smiths are there, and maybe you can pick up some worn out armour or weapons.

Moonglow: One of your top three choices. The moongate is quite far away from the city's bank, but for some strange reason, the city is very busy and you will find a lot of stuff littered around the bank.

Skara Brae: Another of your top choices. No other city has its moongate closer to its bank. And Skara Brae is the favorite town for tamers, who often throw away magic armour and weapons with lesser enchantments after a hunt.

Trinsic: You should visit Trinsic at most once a day. The city itself is not as busy as many others, the moongate is not too far away, but due to the city walls you will still do a lot of running, and because it has two banks, the traffic is shared between both, which makes your journey even longer.

Vesper: This is a busy city, and its bank is rather close to the Minoc/Vesper moongate. This makes it another one of your favorite choices.

Yew: You should visit Yew only once or twice a day. Although the bank (Empath Abbey) isn't too far away from the moongate, it's a very calm location, and new garbage comes at a slow rate.