How many mages does it take to feed an army?

You know you have been playing too much WoW when questions such as this start popping up in your head.

Just a couple of months back, I think, there was a competition on which server will be the fastest to gather the resources necessary to wage war. Resources such as food, metal ores, cloths and herbs are to be gathered by players and handed in to marshals, supposedly because you need cloths to make bandages, herbs to brew potions and ores to make weapons and armour. Eating food while resting helps players recover from injuries more rapidly.

Now, mages in WoW are able to conjure food and water to help themselves replenish their health and mana after combat. In case you are not familiar with WoW, mana is used to cast spells and drinking water helps recover mana when resting, hence the ability to conjure food and water can be useful. So how many mages will you need to feed your army if you are fighting a war? Given that these conjured items will disappear 15 min after the mage logs out, you cannot stockpile them but have to produce as you need them. So how quickly can a mage conjure and pass them on to other players who need them?

This part of the equation is easier to answer than how large your army is. A player can pass on items to another player by trading. The trade window has 6 slots, so you can pass a maximum of 6 items to another player at a time. A mage can therefore generate 3 stacks of food and 3 stacks of water and pass to another player before stopping to drink some water and replenish his own mana. The other player will then have to help distribute the supplied to other needy players. This way, you need keep the minimum number of mages producing food and water.

Now to carry out the experiment. I have a level 24 mage who can conjure a stack of 20 pieces of bread in 3 seconds and a stack of 20 flasks of water in 3 seconds, and is able to easily conjure 4 stacks of each, pass on to the next person and still have some time to rest. Assuming there is no lag. Assuming low level bread and water is enough, because I’m not sure how much high level foodstuff I can produce when I’m level 60. Anyway I won’t want to keep a high level mage doing the logistics if I can help it.

So how many people can the 6 stacks feed and how many do you need to feed? That’s a tough question. Anyone want to give a try?

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