Thursday, September 27, 2012

Farming Today : One Elf Went To Mow...

We had a haircut :D

Many of you are well-aquainted with my Mogging Hunter. She logged in for the first time last night with one task in mind: to get to Halfhill Market and start a Tillers Farm. There appears to be a fair bit of misinformation on exactly how the Tillers work, so lets try and use this first (of what is likely to be many) 'I Own a Farm' Reports in clearing up some key details:

  • YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE L90 to start a farm. 85 is perfectly fine, but once you have completed the sequence I'm about to detail you won't be able to quest or gain rep with the Tillers until you're at 90.
  • You can get to Halfhill without massive difficulty on the day you start levelling, which will give a vital 22 hour/2 week start on your farming career depending on your L90 ETA.
  • You WILL WANT A FARM if you want to a) save money b) make money and c) level cookery. You don't NEED a farm to do any of these, but the potential is there for the canny amongst you.

Right, now that's cleared up... you're 85, and for the purposes of this guide you are Alliance (but the Horde amongst you can work this out I am sure) You need to complete the opening quest sequence that gets you onto your flying warship of choice and then onto Pandaria. Next up, travel to Halfhill:

I didn't even bother completing the quest. TOO MUCH TO DO!

The trip from the Alliance starting area takes you north, the Horde come down from the south, but you use main roads and most, if not all combat can be avoided if you are squishy. I however am a miner/herbalist and (as you can see) I may have taken advantage of the plentiful spawn rates on the way to the Jade Forest/VTFW Border. I also snagged a rare spawn on the way through the Nectarbreeze Orchard: be warned, these guys are hard kills so if you're not packing a lot of dps you may wish to avoid them until you do.

When you get to the Jade Forest border, its pretty much plain sailing on the way to Halfhill:

Again, no exploring, just GET TO THE FARM!

Once you get there, try not to squee and/or panic too much at the Cookery stuff. That's a post for another day. We're here to meet our new best friend:

Me and the Farmer ^^

The key here is the fact that the basic mechanic of this 'game' (growing things!) can happen from the moment you arrive: all the fancy stuff (reputation, rewards, respect of the farming community) comes later. The starting point are crops: four 'slots' which you place a selection of vegetable seeds (and later other stuff) which grow into plants, all of which are used in Cookery recipes. This isn't the sole supply of these veggies: you can buy them, or they have a chance to drop from various creatures around Pandaria. The key factor here is these thing grow WITHOUT YOU. Set them off in the morning and by the time you return the following day you'll have stuff worth more than the seeds you planted. Over time you may not need to buy seeds at all, as those can also be harvested from your crops

Currently, carrots on my server are selling at 75g EACH. Although this price will never be sustainable, it does indicate that there is a good chance that excess crops will have some value. It's time to get our hands dirty and start questing!


Time to get your hands dirty...

Yoon's a city boy, who freely admits he's clueless in the ways of Halfhill's thriving growing community. He'll ask you to remove 8 stubborn rocks from his property when you first meet him, and after you do his 'neighbours' arrive to give him a hard time: the state of his farm, his inability to actually grow anything, nothing is sacred. Imagine this is an episode of 'The Simpsons' and Fat Tony's turned up to give Homer a hard time and you'll get the general gist.

They can talk, they don't even LOOK like Farmers... ^^

With the gloves off, Yoon's determined to make a go of the farm and enlists your help. You'll be sent to buy some cabbage seeds, and then asked to till and plant two plots of land. This is how things go whenever you want to place any new crops:

  • Till your soil. Seeds cannot be planted until you do.
  • Buy your seeds. After time you will begin to harvest your own. Expect a Farmer's Seed Bag in an upcoming content patch ^^
  • Plant your seeds.
  • Deal with whatever 'unexpected consequence' occurs when you do.

The tilling and planting are explained to you via quest, and you'll find as soon as your cabbages are planted that they are Parched, and you will need to locate the Watering Can found on the farm to remedy this. There is also a Bug Spray (which you'll need once you plant your own crops) and a Spade, which can be used to dig up a misplanted seed. There are 8 'unexpected consequences' that can randomly befall your crops:

  • Alluring: Attracts a bird which needs to be killed.
  • Bursting: As soon as it is planted, it can be immediately harvested. RESULT!
  • Infested: Bug Spray time!
  • Parched: Watering Can time!
  • Runty: Use the green arrow to interact and press 'Space'
  • Smothered: Use the green arrow to interact and press Button 1 until the infesting weed is removed.
  • Tangled: Use the green arrow to interact and then move away from the crop to 'break' the weeds.
  • Wiggling: Attracts virmen, possibly 2 maximum. No time for traps... ^^
  • Wild: This one resulted in a six minute fight with a carrot yesterday until I worked out how to do it. Use the green arrow to interact and use the 'Flex' ability to build 50 stacks. Use button 2 'Gnaw' to interrupt the weed's slam.

Left is Ripe, Right is Plump . That's an ENORMOUS Turnip!

Once fully grown, you are likely to get one of two types of harvestable crops: Ripe should yield five of your choice of vegetable or berry, Plump will give you something extra: it may be more of your planted item, it could be seeds and (I have had confirmed this morning) it is possible to harvest items that can be handed over for the next part of the rep grind once you hit 90.

It is also possible once you have harvested your crops you will find weeds that remain (pull them out) or more virmen in your piles of untilled soil, which will need exterminating... ^^  Thank you to guildies and Yoco for this additional information.

We should mention the L90 part of this grind, and will come back to the story of your farm once P is 90 herself.

P makes Yoon a Happy panda. BOO to Silver ! though :D

Yoon asks you to take a gift to Gina Mudclaw, the Tillers Quartermaster (and therefore someone you want to know) and introduces the concept of Character Reputation. Instead of factions there are 10 individuals scattered around the Halfhill area of the Valley of the Four Winds, all of whom can be given items to increase your standing with them. However, none of this is important until you hit 90. For now, all we want is Gina on our side, and once we have you'll have to stare at that silver ! as I am until we're at max level. While you level, make sure you plant crops and harvest the spoils because all of them will be useful for Cookery or to sell on the AH.

Oh, and one last thing before I send you off with this autographed picture of Percy Thrower (Target Audience Reference #161) to start your own smallholding: seek out Jogu the Drunk. He's by the cookery trainers and for 25g a day he'll tell you which vegetables will give an extra yield the following day. While one carrot is selling at 75g, you could do a lot worse than take his advice (and once you get to 90 you can be his friend via quests and get the info for free)

So, what are you waiting for! TO THE FARM!


CATS said...

Your path to Halfhil is suboptimal for Alliance: Just jump of the ship and swim west (if you can waterwalk even better, Waterstriders are my favorite pet now), there you can find a path up the mountain to the Karasang Wastes bordering the Valley of the 4 Winds,from there just go north and then west to halfhill.

Bob Flintston said...

Who cares about sub-optimal. Thanks for the guide, it is first on my list of priorities for tonight.

Ataraxaven said...

Awesome guide, started doing the farm thing this morning, handy to know about the extra little things like Jogu the Drunk. Wouldn't have known that otherwise!

linkyloobeeloo said...

Yup thank you, I was in the dark about all of this. Great guide and as above I would have never talked to the drunk if I hadn't read this. Can't wait for my crop tomorrow, woo hoo!

Yoco said...

You forgot one of the conditions that can happen to your crops upon planting. I forgot the name of it, I think it was "Bursting": if this "ailment" happens you can harvest the crop right away without having to wait for it to grow! (and you can plant a new crop in the slot vacated by harvesting).

Yoco said...

About harvesting time: the crops become ripe at midnight server time exactly. The reason you may have seen strange behaviour on the beta server is that even the european beta server was running in the pacific time zone, so "midnight" was actually in the middle of the day for europeans.

On the beta I usually waited till the next day with harvesting, as the dailies will have been reset then (dailies are available at level 90), and the prediction from Jogu between 00:00 and 04:00 is unreliable (is it for the current day or for the next day?)

Side note: there are two ways of being "ripe" - normal "ripe" crops and "Plump" crops - the latter contain extra produce (independent of the extra produce you get for planting the right crop according to Jogu's prediction)

See for a list of the states the crops can be in (comments are missing for most of those yet, but I guess they will come in some day)

Angelya said...

Omg... here I was thinking I couldn't start with a farm until level 90 :O I skipped up to Kun-Lai without doing most of the valley quests but now I think I'd better go back and get them done... thanks!