Saturday, July 28, 2007

Bad Items, Worse Items, and the -Right- Way to Farm

Playing through Azeroth again, I've been doing a lot of quests that I didn't do the first time, which means a lot of Kalimdor, which means a lot of Night Elves. I've noticed (though maybe it's just me) that Night Elf quest rewards in Azeroth seem to suck an awful lot. It's like they really like spirit or something.

Speaking of bad items, I'd argue that this little number might be the worst weapon or armor in the game. It's probably substantially worse than wearing nothing. There is other gear that lowers stats in exchange for marginally higher stats, but the exchange rate is apparently pretty bad; the armor only has 3 or 4 more spirit than a same-item-level green 'of the spirit' cloth chest piece.

Finally, there's something I hear a lot about farming that I think should be addressed. Here's something like what I hear a lot:
"I'm think I'm going to get some Bracers of the Green Fortress made. Better start farming Primal Life."

No! Well, maybe, but probably no!

One of the beautiful things about the auction house is that for a small fee, any item can be turned into an equivalent value of almost any other item over time. If you have 1000g worth of Adamantite Ore, you can turn it into around 950g worth of any other item. (Because of AH fees.)

For every character, that character has some fastest way of making -cash-. It might be farming primal fire, it might be farming primal air, it might be mining or herbing or something else, but there's some fastest way they have of making money. Any time they want -anything-, farmable or not, it's better for them to make money in the most efficient way they can, and then to buy what they want off the AH, assuming that their goal is the spend as little time as possible farming. The only exception is if there's only a very slight difference in the farm time of the thing they want and the farm time of the thing they are most able to farm for, because then auction house fees cover the gap. (Not to mention the bother of having to wait for a good time to sell the things they farmed and buy the things they want.)

I'm sure that many people already realize this all, but I thought I'd give a slightly humorous example of contrary thinking:

I was in Badlands doing a quest where you have to kill little or elite dragons to get them to drop a Black Drake's Heart. Both the whelps and the elites have a chance to drop it, so I was sticking to the whelps. I noticed that a level 70 hunter was repeatedly killing the elites and the small ones as well. Figuring that he was farming for Small Flame Sacs, I offered him the few that I had picked up. (I got to skin all his dead dragons, so I was glad to help him out.) He responded that he wasn't farming for Small Flame Sacs, but for Bow of Searing Arrows - an epic world drop!


Anonymous said...

hey! i'm going to cali this weekend and won't be back until is the website i was talking about where i made extra summer cash. Later! the website is here

Joyd said...

Yay! My first spam!

Michael said...

Gratz on the spam ;)

You're basically describing an economy in your post, and you're exactly right. You should (in theory) always farm for whatever gets you the most gold-per-minute, and then buy whatever you need. Of course, there's a certain satisfaction that comes from doing something yourself, and sometimes you just feel like killing bog-lords for primal-life.

Also, people who farm for world-drop stuff are stupid. The amount of pure-grinding you'd need to have even a 1% chance of the drop is insane. If you want an item, sure, check the AH every day, but don't try and get it yourself.

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