Before I get to what I have to say, let me give you a little background story.
I have been chocobo digging for as long as I have played this game, basically since late 2004.
When I first started digging, I wasn't very serious about it but as I did it more and more, the more I was hooked. By the time I got a level 40 job, I actually put levelling, crafting and anything else on hiatus in lieu of digging.
From that point on, any time I was in game, I was digging. Some days I would only spend a few hours, some days I would spend upwards of 10 hours a day on a weekend, but rest assured I would log time spent digging every night. Point being, I spent more time digging than I probably should have. When I was at work or not digging, I was researching how to dig better on Somepage's digging section as well as the few very secretive threads that would surface occasionally on Alla. There was a time where I thought I knew everything there was to know regarding digging.
A good solid IRL year, maybe a little more after I went on the levelling hiatus, I finally dinged A10 chocobo digging. I was pumped. In that time I had seen a lot of BS go on. RMT monopolizing every decent digging zone in the game, (some of you may remember my threads cataloguing that topic) people going head to head in fierce competitions to get zones dug out before the other guy, SE nerfing the piss out of digging, I could go on.
Years later, IE today, here we are. There have been a lot of changes to chocobo digging, including taking away our ability to dig more than 100 items per earth day as well as the inclusion of our ability to use our personally raised choco's for digging. I raised one, and it works beautifully... a large Red bird with a gigantic tank sized beak and intelligence/smarts that are maxed.
I am not exactly sure what has caused me to stumble upon what I am about to tell you. Did SE have this in the code the whole time and we just didn't know about it or hadn't reached the number of stacks necessary? Did raising a special digging bird enable this? Did SE secretly slip this in the recent updates without mentioning (very possible considering the whole topic has always been shrouded in secrecy, myth, speculation and half truth.)
I know these claims are going to rock the chocobo digging foundations as we know it, but I would appreciate if you would have an open mind and just ponder my speculations. I have toiled back and forth with this data for a while, wondering if I have lost my marbles or something was glitching... (I have actually been able to do this for about 3 months now) however I hope to get a realistic and mature examination of my findings here. It would also be nice if the NA community could be the first to prove such a discovery in an area of the game that the JP population always had a head start and more knowledge in... providing they already don't know this and their lips have been sealed.
The A10 cap as we have always taken as a hard and fast rule may not necessarily be the case anymore.
One day while digging, I noticed that it was definitely not taking me as long to start digging after I zoned in. This persisted and eventually I /clocked it to verify. Sure enough, I was now averaging a 6 to 7 second delay to dig.
I have always been a follower of the A20 > A15 > A10 progression, even though my times were always more like this A21/22 > A16/17 > A11ish. basically, my area waits are always a second or so longer than the norm but remain within standard accepted values.
We can all agree that the method of quantifying our area waits could use improvement, but I believe the standard approach is:
/clock as soon as you can enter any sort of commands in the chat log
spam dig macro until your dig macro fires executes
/clock again asap after your macro works
Therefore, you're left with a start time and an end time, the difference between which would give you your area wait.
I present you with unedited screenshots of this happening, taken from about an hour ago.
As you can see, my area wait time hovers between 6 to 7 seconds. I am actually honestly surprised a fellow skilled digger has not called a GM on me given I typically zone neck in neck with them repeatedly in the hunt for treasure yet can always tear off before they are near being ready to rock.
Time for my theory:
It is in my opinion that this has always been in the code, as diggers we just never got to a point where someone put in the stacks of greens necessary to facilitate the A5 area wait ding.
It is also in my opinion that our capabilities go beyond A5, meaning that I strongly believe that it is feasible we could be capable of Area Wait 0.
I have always questioned as to why SE would stop it at A10 and I thought that A10 was a strange ceiling to be stopped at, but always just shrugged it off and kept on digging. Realistically, you start at such an excruciating Area Wait and Dig Wait delay bringing one of them down to 0, why not both?
I could not even begin to estimate the amount of stacks I have burned through since I dinged A10 a few years ago... but I do know that it was a sufficient amount, enough to make an A5 ding a chronologically possible theory. If that is in fact the case, I highly doubt I will ever see A0, especially given the 100 item/day implementation as well as my time left with this game is growing sparse.
I have one more little theory to throw in, to answer those who might have had this question smash them in the face as soon as they realized what I was alluding to in this post. Yes, A5 allows you to dig up items that were not possible before... and I am NOT just talking about stuff that SE has added in after the patch or stuff that your own personal bird gets with Bore and Burrow.
We were always under the impression that Orichalcum ore (and adaman ore, to a lesser extent) only comes from Rolanberry, and most recently outside Aht Urghan right?
Draw your own conclusions, I welcome your thoughts and feedback. I had to get this out in the open.