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Farming and marketing. Farmketing.


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A fair question, Andreah. That opportunity cost of TIME has made me question the wisdom of the crafting/converting/selling vs simply vendoring all but the very rare and pvp drops. 

And that's the rub in my motivation to test it. No idea really what the active non-market farmer is doing with their drops, not a clear idea anyway. When they say they sell it - are they selling them on the AH, only saving crafting time? or are they simply vendoring the red fortune recipes for 5k? instead of crafting and converting and getting at least 5M? Some might be, some might not. It's a difficult thing to measure, because there's probably a lot of variation in this loosely called "strategy". 

1. Vendor the salvage when full. Vendor all but purples when full. 
2. Vendor some salvage. Vendor some recipes, Sell rare salvage and pvp and very rare recipes on AH.
3. Vendor unneeded common salvage after crafting Red Fortunes, Titanium Coatings and Doctored Wounds (and other specific rare, very rare and pvp recipes that may drop )

The pure farmer who doesn't market may be laughing at all of the marketers all the way to the inf bank. But I doubt it. I think the afk farmers with multiple accounts that craft, convert and sell the drops fare better from an inf perspective.
I would even venture the more successful of us have even taken a step back from aggressively afk farming. Maybe one or two accounts run in the background while we actively play on the other one - leading SG hamidon raids and having the sheer stupidity of tanking hamidon but forgetting to take an EoE before entering the goo. Leading various traditional leveling teams, trials, etc. 

I know one fellow made me jealous for a moment when I heard he had 8 accounts. He doesn't play in an office, it's more like a lair. He's got an array of monitors, and multiple PCs. At this scale, you could make the case that just the passive influence from simply going in, clearing for the most part on #125 (Asteroid), exiting, vendoring when full, resetting would outpace the afk-farmarketer, but then there are afk-farmarketers who may have a similar crazy set up that are must be a bit more of a slave to their farmer, as they must craft, and convert. 

There was a time - and still is, when I would simply clear, exit, SELL ON AH, then enter, begin to clear, craft, and convert within the mission, and sell upon exit after clearing. When you stash a few of each rare salvage in your /vault, you can pluck the rares needed. Or, just not craft those and wait until the required salvage drops. The problem is - while I'm clearing while I'm crafting and converting, it takes time away from badging and playing, and trying to be at least a semi-good citizen for our community. Helping folks with answers to questions, avoiding heated discussions in help channel over the whole use shards vs. threads debate, helping folks beat up on difficult EBs and AVs, and actually starting and completing story arcs. And the latter is why we all wondering into the area of farming and marketing in the first place, right? 

I don't think there is an optimal solution that would fit everyone. You just have to find the balance of optimal paths that works best for you, whomever you may be. I know someone who LOVES to farm. They venture out into the rest of the game only rarely. They're in my sg, and they don't want to reveal their lack of experience in the rest of the game. I'm still surprised that some folks have no idea where Firebase Zulu, and The Cascades are, nor how to get there. So much is behind the curtain left to explore for them, I'm a bit envious. But, they do know farming. I saw them with three accounts, two following the first, alternating judgements and destinies and when not recharged, using the one to throw fireballs and such. They like it. To me, it's interesting, but I could never do this for more than 30 minutes or so. Too dull for me. But, I've been there, when the inf gains and the drops would raise my dopamine levels and give me the motivation to continue. We're all going to do things differently for different reasons. If I can be helpful, let me know. I won't give you a large chunk of influence. But, if I'm ever asked how, I will share my methods. If I keep a secret, it's only because it may be something I've learned from someone else who told me not to share that secret, so I respect it. 

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57 minutes ago, Andreah said:

 

I wonder about the time efficiency of the converter game on the usual grab-bag of recipes drops from say, an hour of farming.

 

13 minutes ago, Ukase said:

That opportunity cost of TIME has made me question the wisdom of the crafting/converting/selling vs simply vendoring all but the very rare and pvp drops. 

And that's the rub in my motivation to test it. No idea really what the active non-market farmer is doing with their drops, not a clear idea anyway. When they say they sell it - are they selling them on the AH, only saving crafting time? or are they simply vendoring the red fortune recipes for 5k? instead of crafting and converting and getting at least 5M? Some might be, some might not. It's a difficult thing to measure, because there's probably a lot of variation in this loosely called "strategy". 
 

 

These two thoughts are exactly why I posted this topic, and I'm endlessly fascinated with coming up with "best" strategies.  But at the end of the day, the strategy just needs to be "good enough".  I don't mind in the slightest when someone tells me they spent 100 merits on an ATO, or 600 on a full set, when they have 10k more merits and they don't feel like dragging and dropping 30k converters into the AH interface.   This game is an embarrassment of riches, so "good enough" is probably good enough!

 

Based on some of the feedback in this thread and in many others, I am concerned about AFK farming.  I'm not sure if I'm concerned about it from an economic standpoint (inflation fears) or from a moralistic standpoint.  Probably the latter.  I *think* the GMs are actively trying to discourage it, but that's beyond my paygrade.

 

My current "optimal" lvl 50 farming strategy (starting with empty inventory and running a full series of 5 #125 missions):

 

1.  Sell all SOs at vendor.

2.  Sell all common IO recipes at vendor.

3.  Separate set IOs into keepers and duds.  Keepers include purples, pvp, anything else that doesn't require rare salvage, any recipe that I would want to equip or easily convert).  Vendor dud recipes.

4.  Open up workbench and craft everything you have salvage for.  Bid for salvage you are missing at buy-it-nao prices (which generally are 500k for rares, 1-2k for uncommon, 250 for common although I've never needed to buy a common yet.)

5.  Vendor unused white and yellow salvage (or AH if you prefer), AH unused rare salvage.

6.  Play "What Do I Do With That?" with your crafted IOs.  Put them on the AH.

 

I find that this is adding at least 5-10mm a series to a more basic strategy that would involve just putting everything on the AH at 5 inf, but I'd like to quantify that at some future point when I have more time and interest.  I think that's a very conservative number, but it's within an order of magnitude.  Takes me a couple of minutes at the end of the run to do this and I enjoy it.  If I didn't enjoy it, and those few minutes were better spent starting the next run, then I guess that's ok too!

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@Ukase Well you are in luck cause I'm one of those farmers that sells everything so I'll give you a run down of my thoughts here.  Quick side note, when I mention using merits to pick up a PvP recipe I mostly mean if there is one that you want for a build and the number for sale on the AH are low and / or you don't want to spend converters to roll for it I think it is acceptable to use merits for that one recipe.  Never to sell it there I agree the math says sell the converts/boosters/catalyst/unslotter.

 

Anyway...

 

When I'm done with a farm run I sell all SO and generic IO recipes at the vendor.  I sell any yellow or orange recipe that is not currently going for 10k+ on the AH at the vendor.  I sell all white, yellow, and orange salvage on the AH in lots of 10 meaning if I don't have 10 to list I wait.  I generally hold onto converters and catalysts unless I notice the selling price has spiked at which point I may dump a lot of 10 or 20.  That is the extent that I wish to invest in my inf making efforts after a run.  This is by no means the best when it comes to maximizing my profits but that is my choice.  It is quick, easy, and I don't have to spend a bunch of time using that pathetic AH interface to try to find sweet spots to target.  I get in, get out, and go on with mob bashing.  I know plenty of people that farm and then use the stuff they find to craft and convert to boost their profits and they sit in Pocket D spending 30-45 minutes doing so.  I don't have that kind of free time in game. 😜

Edited by iBot
meant greater than 10k
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Well, let me say that I believe (without proof) that if up-converting recipe drops from farming is worth the time it takes, there's a high chance that just low-bid buying recipes off the auction and upconverting them full time will be better than a mix of farming and upconverting.

 

There's a "pure" strategy of farming/selling, another of buying/upconverting, and a mixed strategy of doing both. And, iirc, there's a theorem in game theory which has some harsh things to say about mixed strategies in most situations. 

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19 minutes ago, Andreah said:

Well, let me say that I believe (without proof) that if up-converting recipe drops from farming is worth the time it takes, there's a high chance that just low-bid buying recipes off the auction and upconverting them full time will be better than a mix of farming and upconverting.

 

There's a "pure" strategy of farming/selling, another of buying/upconverting, and a mixed strategy of doing both. And, iirc, there's a theorem in game theory which has some harsh things to say about mixed strategies in most situations. 

A valid point, given the efficiencies discovered and implemented when doing repetitive things. 
I'd once thought running a map for tickets, as opposed to drops was better - because the 125 map, without even clearing it, like - maybe 1 minute into it gives enough tickets that the completion bonus of tickets maxes you out. And at 60-70 tickets per recipe in the random roll section...you get a ton of recipes - a lot more than you would organically, but you'd get no very rares or pvps. Nor the salvage to craft them. I thought it might be worth doing one run every so often, but it took me out of the pattern/routine I'd established so I let it go. 

There is one thing I remember from playing video poker  - and that's if you're going to play for the Progressive Royal, you have to let go of winners to keep the edge, as that edge is very, very small, and it requires perfect play. And you have to definitively know it. For if you have to take your time, the phrase "Study long, study wrong" comes to mind. The whole idea in this specific instance is to make a profit doing what you enjoy. But that profit should exceed what you would make in any safer job you could get and keep. But, I digress. Simply put, once you've found a path that makes you the influence you need, you stick to it - until you learn a path that will help you increase that influence with less effort, or less time, or more fun. Or some combo of all three. 

 

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1 hour ago, Yomo Kimyata said:

1.  Sell all SOs at vendor.

2.  Sell all common IO recipes at vendor.

3.  Separate set IOs into keepers and duds.  Keepers include purples, pvp, anything else that doesn't require rare salvage, any recipe that I would want to equip or easily convert).  Vendor dud recipes.

4.  Open up workbench and craft everything you have salvage for.  Bid for salvage you are missing at buy-it-nao prices (which generally are 500k for rares, 1-2k for uncommon, 250 for common although I've never needed to buy a common yet.)

5.  Vendor unused white and yellow salvage (or AH if you prefer), AH unused rare salvage.

6.  Play "What Do I Do With That?" with your crafted IOs.  Put them on the AH.

This is fairly close to what I do.

 

The main difference is that I generally will not buy salvage nor do I sell recipes (other than generics to vendor).  I craft what I can from salvage at hand and sell, convert, or store when I have something decent.  Since I am not paying for the salvage I consider it "free" even though I realize that there is the opportunity cost of a lost sale.  I do this with dedicated fire farmers as well as all my other characters. 

 

I have a little over 2 dozen 50s over two accounts that I generally play one at a time unless PLing something new and I alternate PLing with old fashioned leveling, mainly solo at the highest setting I can and throw in an occasional TF or I-trial.  Each one starts with 200-300k start-up cash to buy the various P2W goodies and a build.  By the time they are 50+3 (my personal "done" spot) they have already made up those funds and frequently doubled it.  And once they are done I might have each character place lowball bids on recipes and IOs to convert and sell.

 

The dedicated farmers tend to stay in Pocket D AE to farm, PL, vendor, and market.  Since they rarely leave except to get accolades they have few merits so they buy lowball bid converters.

 

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2 hours ago, Yomo Kimyata said:

when they have 10k more merits and they don't feel like dragging and dropping 30k converters into the AH interface

😄

 

This is why I generally prefer to go the boosters route from my merits. It's often a wash, value/merit-wise, but the boosters are 15x less clicking/inf.

 

And this leads me to another part of the equation; it's not just Value vs Time vs Clicks vs Fun, but also Complexity. A wealth building strategy that is complex will appeal to some people and less to to others. For example, if there's a simple and infallible steps 1, 2, 3, method, that's not complex. One's fingers can learn the motions to do it efficiently. But if one must stop and collect information, evaluate options and make choices to make a strategy work, that's more complex. Most people get overloaded by that fast.

 

When I give advice to other players, I tend to tell them simple rules that I know will work for them, instead of complex ones that will require they look at the market and figure out best options. It's easy to tell people to vendors all the X's, and list all he Y's for 1 in the /ah. A little more difficult to flip rare salvage, harder to explain how to do the conversion game from low-ball snipes.

 

And for myself, there's a limit to the complexity of a scheme I will tolerate. For me, there's a fine line between an interesting pastime that supports my active multi-player gaming, and one that is, frankly, work I ought be paid real money for.

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1 hour ago, Andreah said:

Well, let me say that I believe (without proof) that if up-converting recipe drops from farming is worth the time it takes, there's a high chance that just low-bid buying recipes off the auction and upconverting them full time will be better than a mix of farming and upconverting.

 

There's a "pure" strategy of farming/selling, another of buying/upconverting, and a mixed strategy of doing both. And, iirc, there's a theorem in game theory which has some harsh things to say about mixed strategies in most situations. 

If memory servers you are talking about a Nash Equilibrium but that generally applies to your optimal strategies when confronted with choices involving other players and trying to predict the best result for you based on what they choose.  Is also referred to as the Prisoner's Dilemma.  However in this case I think the correct analysis would be closer to maximizing profits relative to time spent.

 

Your thought that low bid buying works is correct and there are people who do only that.  They purchase blocks of yellow recipes, craft, convert, and sell result.  If you factor in the cost of the craft, convert, and market fee sometimes you come out ahead if you get really lucky on that convert.  Other times you will actually lose on the transaction because of the lost profit that could have been made by just selling the converters outright.

 

So really it depends on the final goal as well.  The strategy used to gain maximum inf is different then the strategy used for fun.  Personally I do what is fun and the extra inf is a bonus.

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1 hour ago, Andreah said:

Well, let me say that I believe (without proof) that if up-converting recipe drops from farming is worth the time it takes, there's a high chance that just low-bid buying recipes off the auction and upconverting them full time will be better than a mix of farming and upconverting.

 

There's a "pure" strategy of farming/selling, another of buying/upconverting, and a mixed strategy of doing both. And, iirc, there's a theorem in game theory which has some harsh things to say about mixed strategies in most situations. 

 

Well, yeah.  You can come at it from the direction of "hey, I got a Quickfoot lvl 50 drop!  I can craft that, convert to a Celerity, and either sell or convert more for quick profit!"  And then there's "hey, why don't I sell this one and buy back one at a lower price level and save oer 250k?" and then "hey, why don't I buy ten, no, fifty of them!" and so on and then you are well past farming and in the black hole of the marketing zone.  Even with people five boxing it, I don't see how farming (including drops) comes even close to the rates that active marketing does. 

 

In this thread, I'm trying to come from it from the direction of "hey, I like farming.  How can I goose my returns with some quick marketing?" and to see if that goosing is easy or worthwhile or not.  My jury is still out on that right now.

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12 minutes ago, Yomo Kimyata said:

In this thread, I'm trying to come from it from the direction of "hey, I like farming.  How can I goose my returns with some quick marketing?" and to see if that goosing is easy or worthwhile or not.  My jury is still out on that right now.

I suppose to answer that question we'd need to answer this: "Do you earn more inf by bashing more mobs in the time it normally takes to craft->convert->sell?"  Taking into account the cost of the craft, convert, and sell.  The time invested in each activity I think is important because without that calculation it isn't a fair comparison.  Beyond that I'd say the combination is probably the best since you are already farming but you personally have a ton of knowledge about where sweet spots in the market are so you don't need to spend a bunch of time doing research which is another sunk cost that is usually ignored in the discussions but skews the calculations.

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3 minutes ago, Yomo Kimyata said:

My jury is still out on that right now

Mine too.

 

20 minutes ago, iBot said:

If memory servers you are talking about a Nash Equilibrium but that generally applies to your optimal strategies when confronted with choices involving other players and trying to predict the best result for you based on what they choose.  Is also referred to as the Prisoner's Dilemma.  However in this case I think the correct analysis would be closer to maximizing profits relative to time spent.

That's the one, and yes, it doesn't fit perfectly, more as an analogy. It's been many years for me since my coursework.

 

I also think of the Extreme Value Theorem, which I believe is a more accurate fit. In this case, the function is the expected value of the influence return per unit time invested, and the range is the mix of time spent on two strategies -- pure farming & selling, and pure snipe conversion marketing. Call this F(x), where F is the return per unit time, and x is the fraction of time spent farming ( (1-x) would then be the time spent marketing). F(0) is the return of pure snipe/conversion/marketing, and F(1) is pure farming/vendoring/auction listing.

 

In this case, if one can successfully argue that the mix points of these two strategies are always and only a linear sum of the two, then we would say that F(x) = (1-x) * F(0)+x * F(1) . And if that's the case and if F(0) =/= F(1), then the derivative of F on the interval (0,1) is always non-zero, so the extreme values (one minimum and one maximum) are the two end points.

 

It could be argued they are not linear if there's synergy between the two sets of actions, or useable overlap of steps, so that, for example, clicking that would need to be done twice in each pure strategy, but only needs to be done once in the mixed strategy; or data lookup that would not need to be done in a mixed strategy. I can think of one case already -- farming will get you a lot of invention salvage, and the random salvage will on average speed up crafting even if the cost is a wash.

 

On the whole, I think there is non-linearity, but believe, again without much evidence, that it's weak.

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@Andreah ... 🤑 ... well all I can say is that is way more math than I'd apply to this situation but very interesting and insightful.  I do know this much.  Bashing mobs nets more inf than not bashing mobs.  Selling items at a vendor nets more inf than not selling them but not as much as certain items on the AH.  Opportunity costs for all three activities differ slightly but I think time probably cancels out.  Total inf is then expressed as M+V+A.  Maximize each of those values and you have the highest possible inf gained for the invested period of time.  M is inf earned by defeating a mob.  V is inf gains by selling to vendor - time spent getting there.  A is inf gained selling on AH minus the costs of market fees, salvage, crafting, and converters.  I'm not sure how to include drops in the A but I suspect some sort of time invested there.

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