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Posts with tag farm

Warlords of Draenor: Dog may be in our garrisons after all

It's no secret that I love Dog, the farm puppy I rescued from the fields of Halfhill in Mists of Pandaria. I've written about Dog on a couple of different occasions, because he was just a really cool and unique perk to leveling reputation with the Tillers. Does Dog do anything? No, not really -- he just hangs around on the farm, responds to a few different emotes, but he doesn't actively do anything to further the game. He's just Dog, defender of the farm house, digger of holes, and overall good boy.

It was with some concern that I wondered what Dog's fate would be when Warlords of Draenor hit -- I didn't like the idea of leaving the poor little guy behind. According to a recent tweet by Cory Stockton, that may not be a worry after all.


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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: I did not farm, but I will garrison

Look, farming isn't Warcraft, okay? It just doesn't fit the fantasy of a grim conflict, of a war between ideologies, of a setting divided and defined by conflict for me. I just couldn't make that mental leap - I felt stupid running around killing weeds once, much less doing it over and over again so someone I didn't even particularly like would like me. Not even the dog could motivate me to do it.

But somehow dress up much of the same kind of gameplay behind stone walls and describe it as me constructing a fortified base on an alien planet and suddenly I am there. It all comes down to trappings - the garrison concept works with what I think of as Warcraft. It seems like bringing the RTS's whole 'construct a base, generate resources, use them for battle' gameplay into the MMO, and it works for me in a way the farm never could. So I'm down for it, ludicrously so.

How about you? Did you farm? Are you looking forward to garrisons?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

What we leave behind

I'm really concerned about Dog. Dog is the dog that I rescued from near starvation in the Heartland over in the Valley of the Four Winds. I was so excited to find and rescue this poor little guy that I even wrote a brief article about him at the time. Since then, Dog has been happily living the life of a king on my farm, and despite the fact that I was never able to name him, he seems to be happy enough to just respond to the name Dog, not to mention a few choice emotes. If you haven't already done so, try using /love, /pet, /bark, or /kiss on your puppy, because the result is adorable.

Actually, I kind of love everything on my farm. Shaggy the yak from Farmer Fung, the sheep from Chee Chee, the piggies sent courtesy of Fish Fellreed (who is still my favorite), and of course Luna the cat from Ella. Even the chickens, although they have a disturbing tendency to flop over dead due to phasing. I spent a lot of time building up the farm and making it the nicest little place to hang out, even when I'm not currently farming crops. It's a good farm. I had fun building it.

But I'm super concerned about Dog, because I know I'll be leaving soon.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Will Sunsong Ranch fade into irrelevance in patch 6.0?

Will Sunsong Ranch buy the farm with 60
We've had some good times and some bad times with the Sunsong Ranch. Its original owner was more than just a little annoying at times, and there were issues with virmen and birds and all manner of extremely tiresome weeds, but it seems like the torrid affair may be coming to a close with patch 6.0. Blizzard Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street tweeted the following over the weekend:

So, it seems like the good news is that the ranch definitely won't be gone for good. It will remain on Pandaria, in its peaceful setting,for you to visit whenever you see fit, grow some herbs, watch the virmen and the birds, kill a weed, or just shoot the breeze with your pets. However, it doesn't sound like it will continue to be updated in the new expansion.

What does this mean for the farm's success? Did it perform how the devs had hoped? Did it kill herbing? Were players too reliant on it? It would certainly be interesting to see whether this means an enhanced farm, or even something more akin to the much-desired player housing might appear with 6.0. It is also possible, of course, that the farm might go the way of other features that have been left for dust, and never reappear.

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.2 PTR: How to get your hands on Sunsong Ranch

Patch 52 PTR How to get your hands on Sunsong Ranch
When we last visited Sunsong Ranch in patch 5.2, it was to news of several improvements of the farming content. This included some changes to the Master Plow, some changes to the way seeds were planted, and to top it all off, the option to purchase your farm and make it your very own. This meant that the farm would turn into a rest point and an area where one could immediately log out of the game -- something that players had been requesting ever since they began helping Yoon and planting their own crops on his farm.

While we knew that the option would eventually be added, it was not available with patch 5.2's first iteration on the PTR. So we had no news on how much it would cost, what kind of reputation you would need to have, or what exactly would happen to Farmer Yoon after you purchased his property. The latest build to hit the PTR has now unlocked the feature, and players can now test out the content to their heart's content.

But uh ... you can't purchase the farm.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Big changes coming to Sunsong Ranch in 5.2

Big changes coming to Sunsong Ranch in 52
There's been plenty of talk over the last couple of months about Sunsong Ranch, the farm that players can adopt and use to grow various crops of their own. A lot of that talk revolved around whether or not Sunsong Ranch was the first step towards player housing, a feature that a lot of players have been wistfully wishing for since the days of vanilla. Earlier this month, we asked Cory Stockton and Dave Kosak if this was indeed the case, and the response was that while the ranch could be interpreted that way, player housing wasn't something intended for the future.

However, both Stockton and Kosak were excited with how well the farming feature had been received, and with how well it integrated with other features in the game. As a new feature, the farm works seamlessly with other professions in the game. Being able to grow your own resources has been a tremendous boon for players, but the question still remained -- how could the farming feature be improved even further?

Well ... how about as an additional means to gather reputation?

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Reputation in review: The Tillers

Reputation in review The Tillers
I may have taken leave of my sanity. I'm currently in the midst of a massive reputation grind in an effort to get everything to exalted. Part of this is because I like seeing green bars fill up on my screen, but part of it was intense curiosity towards the new daily system. Despite a somewhat compelling story, the daily quests in the Firelands just didn't quite work for me. Partially because the story just didn't seem all that compelling, but mostly due to the fact that the majority of the quests took place in a zone that was red on red.

I hate red zones.

Regardless, as a result of the experience I've seen what these rep grinds look like, and surprisingly, they're all different. You're not going to get the same experience doing each, and the quests aren't really very similar between each, either. Some of the reputation grinds are fantastic, and some ... well let's just say they could use some work. But let's take a look at what was hands-down my favorite rep grind and exactly what made it so fantastic to grind out.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: What do you like about farming?

Breakfast Topic What do you like about farming
Farming was literally the farthest thing from my mind when I wondered in a recent Breakfast Topic where you've been choosing to set your hearthstone, but boy did all the replies of "Halfhill! Halfhill!" set me straight. My daughter, a confirmed Glitch-aholic, hasn't been active in World of Warcraft for quite some time -- even playing a panda can't tear her away from milking butterflies -- but I know that one glimpse at the temptations of the Tillers, and we'll be renegotiating the list of games she has time to play.

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree; I'm a fan of farming, too. What I find so striking, though, is the number of WoW players who are discovering the attractions of this sort of gameplay for the first time via the Tillers. I suppose it's still early enough that many players are simply grinding through the content to grow veggies for cooking or harvest other materials for your professions. And obviously, the minipet and mount fanatics among us are all slaving away for a Terrible Turnip or a Riding Goat. But I suspect there are plenty of players out there like me who are tickled by the whole farming concept. We're one step closer to having our own little WoW homesteads!

Is there something you especially enjoy about farming? Or are you only buckling down in order to grab certain rewards?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Lost and lonely dog seeks warm and loving home (on your farm)

Lonely dog seeks warm and loving home on your farm
Some may call my desire to reach exalted with the Tillers nonsensical, but I would happily argue that the goat mounts are more than worth it. Regardless, I've been happily tilling away on my farm and doing dailies for Halfhill's assorted residents. There's a pretty cool cycle with the Tiller dailies, a storyline that plays out as you continue helping out poor hapless Yoon. He's trying to become a member of the Tillers, but he'll need five votes to get in. Somewhere in the middle of revered, I got vote number four -- and I resigned myself to nothing particularly interesting until I hit exalted.

But imagine my surprise flying over Halfhill when I stumbled across the little guy pictured above. The poor thing was stranded and alone in the midst of all the verdant fields, hungry and scared. Obviously dogs don't care for vegetables, even if they are monstrously huge. So I took the quest he offered, Lost and Lonely, and fetched some steak for the starving pup. Once fed, he hightailed it for my farm, and now lives there quite happily. He even responds to emotes!

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Blend in with the Tillers with your own farmer outfit

Blend in with the Tillers with your own farmer outfit
For as long as I've played World of Warcraft, players have been making farmer outfits. Who knows why? Maybe it's because Blizzard made it so easy, or maybe it's because every gamer subconsciously yearns to live an agrarian lifestyle -- Eh, on second thought, I'm going to go with it's because Blizzard made it so easy. I mean, look at the types of items we can get. There are overalls, a pitchfork, and lets not forget all those ugly brimmed hats. Wrath of the Lich King even gave us the chance to wear plaid flannel shirts. Flannel shirts! What fantasy world application truly requires the abomination that is flannel!?

Well, whatever it is, Mists of Pandaria has finally given us a place to live out our agrarian dreams, and thus a good reason to make a farmer outfit.

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Filed under: Transmogrification, Mists of Pandaria

Making best friends with the Tillers

Making best friends with the Tillers
The Tillers are one of several new factions in Pandaria, but they come with a couple of unique twists. First, you get to have your own farm for growing cooking ingredients through some unique phasing and a quest chain with a pandaren who is new to farming. In order to upgrade your farm and get more plots for planting, you have to get the approval of the other farmers around the area, which you can complete by increasing your reputation with the Tillers and completing a series of dailies.

Second, you can improve your farm itself, through befriending the various people you'll meet around the area. You'll start out as strangers to these characters, but over time you can earn reputation and make friends. Once you've reached best friend status, each character will mail you some items, and send an improvement or two for your farm. So what's the best way to a Tillers' heart? Some would say through the stomach, but I'd have to say through the judicious use of gifts.

And those gifts are surprisingly easy to find ... if you know where to look.

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Filed under: Achievements, Mists of Pandaria

Chasing chickens for the Tillers

Chasing chickens for the Tillers ANY
I'm a solitary person outside of raid nights, so I do end up loving all the archaeology, fishing, and cooking. I like providing feast materials for my guild, and I wrote a blog post before I joined WoW Insider about the pools one could fish for the guild achievement while still being buff-food productive.

So it's no wonder I'm really psyched about farming. My own personal farm, where no one can reap from the same planting as I can? Yes, please!

The farming faction is the Tillers, who are based at both Halfhill Market and the Heartland in Valley of the Four Winds. But farming isn't all they do. The Tillers are involved in the expanded cooking, and they offer dailies that reward valor points as well as the Pandaria-based cooking tokens.

One of the many NPCs you can gain personal reputation with, Old Hillpaw, has a chicken farm. So naturally, one of the dailies he offers is Chasing the Chicken. This isn't your ordinary daily of kill X hozen and steal back Y vegetables. Old Hillpaw has tasked you with finding his prize chicken.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

FarmVille in World of Warcraft? WoW Insider's first look at The Tillers

Farmville in World of Warcraft WoW Insider's first look at The Tillers
When Mists of Pandaria was first announced at BlizzCon 2011, the developers stated that players would be able to grow cooking mats and herbs on their very own farm in the next expansion. Immediately, players began to speculate on what exactly the words "your own farm" meant in World of Warcraft. Would we be getting our own version of FarmVille in WoW? Or maybe something more like Harvest Moon? Could this mean player housing? No one knew, and the general shortage of information over the months led some of us to wonder whether we'd be seeing the new feature at launch or have to wait for it in a future patch.

Now, almost a year after the original announcement for Mists of Pandaria, we can finally put a lot of our questions to rest. Over the weekend, Blizzard implemented The Tillers quests on beta servers, and with them, the new farm feature. So is it FarmVille? Let's take a look.

Your adventure in farming begins in Valley of the Four Winds, where you'll be able to start a line of daily quests to gain reputation with a pandaren faction known as The Tillers. Quests revolve around an NPC named Farmer Yoon, a young pandaren who recently traveled to the valley to inherit his late grandfather's farm, Sunsong Ranch. As it turns out, though, Yoon isn't cut out for all the hard work a farm requires, so he enlists you to help him run the farm and win favor with the valley's farming guild, The Tillers.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: What's the most difficult thing in the game to farm?

Breakfast Topic What's the most difficult thing in the game to farm
My warrior recently found herself farming a lot of Khorium in order to build her Turbo-Charged Flying Machine, and while flying a seemingly endless number of circuits in Nagrand in order to get the metal (which is a rare spawn on other Outland ore nodes), I started to wonder where this farm fell in relation to other grinds. Khorium sometimes cooperates by spawning regularly, but this time, it was its usual, awful self. I'm sure the Burning Crusade-era players can relate.

And yet, somehow I still don't think that khorium is the worst thing in the game to farm. Off the top of my head, I can think of others that are or have been equally bad or worse:
  • Non-combat pets A lot of farmable non-combat pets (e.g., the dragon whelps, the firefly, the Fox Kit) have a 1-in-1,000 drop rate and a limited number of mobs up at a given time.
  • Combat pets Waiting for a particular pet to spawn somewhere and then finding and taming it before someone else does can be maddening if you're consistently unlucky.
  • Fishing Accomplished Angler is justifiably famous for being stuffed with requirements full of RNG. Let's talk about the year it took me to get Mr. Pinchy's Magical Crawdad Box! On second thought, let's not.
  • The Scepter of the Shifting Sands quest This disappeared in Cataclysm, and with it went all the work that went into farming up bug parts and Elementium Ingots, which is where I got stuck in the chain. (So close, and yet so far.)
  • The Insane This almost goes without saying, although it's easier these days than it used to be.
Your thoughts, readers? What's the toughest thing in the game to farm?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Expanding Endgame Choices: How Mists of Pandaria changes everything

Image
In the past year, even before Mists of Pandaria went into beta, we've been seeing an expansion of options for players in World of Warcraft that have broadened our idea of endgame content. Endgame content can be described at its most basic as stuff we do when we're at max level, and patch 4.3 added not only the Raid Finder (which is absolutely endgame content) but also transmogrification (which is content for everyone). It revitalizes older content that was once endgame; it gives players from the level 17 twink to the 70 running BC raids to the new level 85 something to do that in no way actually amplifies a character's power in any way. It breaks with the mold of what we think endgame content is supposed to do.

Mists is bringing more of this. From the Pet Battle system, to a mass of hundreds of new daily quests and a removal of the limit on daily quests, to specifics such as being able to level up your own farm and improved Raid Finder support for each new tier of raiding, what we're seeing is an emphasis on broad content -- things people who play for six to 10 hours a day can do but which are also accessible in smaller bites for people with far more limited play time. You can hit up the buffet, do some Pet Battles, run some dungeons, or work on a reputation, or you can pick one aspect of the game and work on it. Do you really want to develop your fishing? Are you completely disinterested in anything but PvP? You can go as deep or as wide as you wish.

As someone who has no interest in Pet Battles, fishing, or having my own farm, I think this is fantastic.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Mists of Pandaria

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