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15 hours ago, Miss Magical said:

I don't doubt that people exist who do farm for fun; repetitive grinding does appeal to some players, and it was a hallmark of the earliest generation of MMO's. There is nothing inherently wrong with this kind of gameplay, provided that rewards are properly balanced with respect to the rest of the game. Ultimately, the problem lies more with the fact that farmers are fighting to demand the special privilege of having their playstyle award vastly more (up to 1,000% as much) rewards than players who choose to enjoy the game differently.

 

I guess I just don't care what farmers are doing with their time, or what rewards they're getting for it.  At the end of the day, it has absolutely zero impact on my play.  I don't PVP, so the fact that someone levels up a character ten times faster than me, or makes ten times more inf doesn't worry me at all.  As long as they're having fun, good for them.  I'm happy to leave them to it.

 

Put it this way: let's take your numbers and say that it takes 2 hours to level a character to 50 in AE, and 20 hours to level to 50 using your preferred play style.  And let's say that the devs nerf AE farming so that it takes 20 hours to level a character to 50 there, too.  The game has literally not changed for you.  It took 20 hours before the nerf, it takes 20 hours after.  I don't see what benefit you, personally, have gained from that change.  The people who are committed to hitting up the content that returns the best rewards for time spent will not spread evenly across the game, they'll simple move on to the next most profitable content, because min-maxing rewards is what they enjoy.

 

(The only thing I do care about is that inf and recipe generation are kept sufficiently in check and in balance that we don't end up with the runaway inflation of live, or with IO prices that make it impossible for the casuals to purple out their warshades should they desire to do so.  So far, the HC devs seems to have an excellent handle on this, so I'm happy to trust them to keep monitoring it and react again if it becomes a problem.)

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20 hours ago, Miss Magical said:

Thank you for understanding the real issue at stake here. Ultimately, I consider all economics arguments a distraction from the issue of a subculture of players demanding the privilege to receive vastly more (as much as 10x) rewards than anyone who simply chooses to have a different playstyle, for no reason.

 

What happened to "work harder get paid more?"

 

If I spend the time and energy to max out a character so that it can farm DA at 3 vet vls an hour, why shouldn't I earn more than the guy running a SO build at +1/x1 diff?

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6 hours ago, Miss Magical said:

I also think there is a separate effect where farming increases demand for IO’s by mass-producing high-level characters who will all now desire enhancements. This generates demand, and increased demand leads to higher prices.

This is only true if the act of producing those characters generates more inf than those characters will spend on their enhancements, which is definitely not the case. I can farm up a thousand brand-new level 50s but if I don't have the inf to buy enhancements I'm not contributing to demand in any way.

 

TL;DR: The "farmers are ruinin' the economy!" argument only works if farmers are generating influence without also generating supply. This did happen back on live to a point because you earned inf and XP in AE but no drops, but on Homecoming where you're getting drops at the same time that impact is significantly dampened. The "farmers earn rewards too fast!" argument is also bunk - there's already a rewards throttling system in place in the game. Does no one remember MARTy?

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19 hours ago, Miss Magical said:

Are you seriously trying to suggest that farming does not give, by far, the very best rewards in the game? Farmers would not circle the wagons around their golden goose if it were not.

Marketing gives the best rewards in the game.  Farmers prefer to farm because they dislike marketing, not because farming gives better rewards than marketing.

 

(In much the same way, I don't farm because it doesn't appeal to me, not because I think that running solo mission arcs is more efficient than farming).

 

That said, the market would be vastly different if it weren't for farmers, and it's not clear that marketing doesn't depend on farming in some way.

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2 hours ago, Grouchybeast said:

 

I guess I just don't care what farmers are doing with their time, or what rewards they're getting for it.  At the end of the day, it has absolutely zero impact on my play.

I'm not a big fan of farming, and I have to concede this is true. I can only thing of one possible, maybe, kinda-sorta way that farming could impact my game, with a ton of ifs and caveats on top.

 

Farming a character from 1 to 50 in a couple hours could, maybe, produce a player that has no idea how to play that character properly. It could produce a player who considers himself an expert on whatever AT it is, because he has a Level 50 Sizzle/Wham PowerPuncher with fully-slotted Everything Os that he bought on Craigslist or that he farmed up AFK while taking a long hot shower. He's never played that character at level 10, at level 20, at level 30, so he has no idea how to handle mid-game content, or how to prioritize his slotting, or how to deal with certain enemy groups. He doesn't know what his character can handle, or what other ATs can bring to the table. If you ask "how did  you deal with Malta and caltrops?" or "should I take travel first or mez protection?" he may not have any clue. He's never played on a non-farm team, so he thinks it's normal to run around mashing buttons in melee range with a Controller and somehow never dying. And this guy might, maybe, someday, team up with me. Or he might team up with some actual newbie who looks to him for advice he can't give.

 

Yes, yes, I know what you're going to say. You're going to say a) sometimes non-farmer players don't know how to play very well, either, and b) maybe the farmer is a veteran from Live who played that AT up to 50 already, or c) maybe the farmer already leveled up a few characters some other way and has a pretty good idea about the content, and furthermore d) if you're not a farmer, who says that farmer is going to team up with you anyway? And you'd be right on all counts: farming is not a guarantee that you'll end up with a player who lacks fundamental game knowledge. It is not a foregone conclusion that the player will thereafter end up on regular non-farm teams, only to screw things up for everyone. I'm only saying this is possible.

 

Like I said, I'm not a fan of farming. But this series of ifs and maybes is the worst way I can think of, where possibly, once in a while, hypothetically, a farmer's playstyle might affect me. It isn't all that much, if I'm honest. So I'm not too worried about farming. Let 'em have at it.

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8 minutes ago, MHertz said:

Farming a character from 1 to 50 in a couple hours could, maybe, produce a player that has no idea how to play that character properly.

 

That's a big stretch. The game is based on math. Once the math is understood, it doesn't matter what character it's applied to. I can PL 100 alts and T4/Enhancement out all of them and they'll be based on an understanding of the underlying math meaning they'll either be able to solo carnies at +4/x8 or they won't. There's far more combo/at choices that CAN than can't and the can't crowd usually get deleted.

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4 minutes ago, Bill Z Bubba said:

 

That's a big stretch. The game is based on math. Once the math is understood, it doesn't matter what character it's applied to. I can PL 100 alts and T4/Enhancement out all of them and they'll be based on an understanding of the underlying math meaning they'll either be able to solo carnies at +4/x8 or they won't. There's far more combo/at choices that CAN than can't and the can't crowd usually get deleted.

I think it's a legitimate criticism. At least pre-AE a new character would have to make it to Peregrine Island or Grandville to hop on the PL train and the simple act of having to move between zones would have weeded out the extremely new players. There should never have been an AE building in Atlas Park or Mercy Island but that ship sailed a long time ago. "AE babies" were absolutely a thing back on live but it seems like the vast majority of the Homecoming playerbase are veterans who at least have a basic understanding of how the game works. Granted, I've spent enough time on the forums, on Discord, and ingame to know that sometimes even a "veteran" player doesn't know what they're doing...

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A clueless, power-leveled n00b is going to be a clueless, power-leveled n00b rather they got to 50 by door-sitting on a farm map or being side-kicked into a dozen taskforces they don't understand or hauled along on a day of PI Council scanner missions. The "AE Baby" issue has never really been limited to AE.

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1 minute ago, macskull said:

Granted, I've spent enough time on the forums, on Discord, and ingame to know that sometimes even a "veteran" player doesn't know what they're doing...

 

Obvious in my case. I can't get past the concept of proc-monstering instead of set bonuses to increased sturdiness.

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5 minutes ago, Coyotedancer said:

A clueless, power-leveled n00b is going to be a clueless, power-leveled n00b rather they got to 50 by door-sitting on a farm map or being side-kicked into a dozen taskforces they don't understand or hauled along on a day of PI Council scanner missions. The "AE Baby" issue has never really been limited to AE.

[Emphasis mine] You're absolutely correct, but the accessibility of it is different and even if you're getting dragged through radios or task forces you may develop at least some understanding of what's going on as opposed to door sitting for 50 levels. Edit, to clarify: I don't think this is a serious, systemic issue on Homecoming.

 

4 minutes ago, Bill Z Bubba said:

Obvious in my case. I can't get past the concept of proc-monstering instead of set bonuses to increased sturdiness.

*shrugs* Neither way is right or wrong, the people who are proc-monstering are just huffing inspirations instead.

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16 minutes ago, Bill Z Bubba said:

 

That's a big stretch.

Yes and no.

 

On the one hand, if it is possible to gain lots of XP while AFK, then it is possible (if unlikely) to level without skill, practically by definition. On the other hand, even assuming that it is true in theory, I already concede that there's a very small and only hypothetical possibility I would ever meet any such player. All of which is to explain farming doesn't bother me.

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17 minutes ago, Bill Z Bubba said:

 

Obvious in my case. I can't get past the concept of proc-monstering instead of set bonuses to increased sturdiness.

 

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8 hours ago, Luminara said:

 

 

The foundation of your premise is flawed from the outset.

 

For example, your hypothetical comparison of a farmer generating 100,000,000 inf* per hour versus 10,000,000-12,000,000 inf* per hour for a "kill most ITF" doesn't clarify the conditions of the comparison.  A farmer triple-boxing versus a single character on a full team is what your suggested comparison implies, and that would grossly skew the metrics involved to make it appear that the farmer was generating ten times the inf*, when in actuality, the inf* generation would be equivalent for the activities, with the difference being the ITF inf* split eight ways, rather than all going into a single pocket.

 

Your comparison fails to account for the 26 merits rewarded for completing the ITF.  Yes, the farmer can collect Empyrean merits for achieving veteran level milestones and exchange those for reward merits, but the character on the ITF can acquire those Empyrean merits as well and the ITF reward merits in addition.  That equates to roughly ~6,000,000 additional inf* for every character on the ITF, and potentially more, depending on how they use those merits, that wasn't included in your comparison.  That increases the average inf* generation from 10-12,000,000 inf* to 16-18,000,000 inf* per participating character, netting a total of 128-144,000,000 inf* for completing that TF (28-44,000,000 more than the farmer generates).

 

You're throwing out numbers with no qualifying data, and either failing to account for all variables or deliberately obfuscating the results.  People here actually look at the facts.  People here test things.  And people here have had this discussion numerous times in the past, so they're not easily hornswoggled, or unlikely to notice that you missed some very obvious points.  If you'd like to be taken seriously, post some real data, not wild guestimates presented as gospel or deliberately disingenuous comparisons intended to incite FUD.

 

You are fundamentally wrong when comparing the earnings of farmers vs. other playstyles. The fact that it requires an entire team of players to exceed the earnings of a single multiboxing farmer is proof of how much vastly more farmers earn, and has implications for which kinds of playstyles are incentivized and which are discouraged. You're not only neglecting to consider the difference in individual income, but also ignoring non-quantitative factors, such as how farming is AFK-friendly (while other playstyles are not); farming is solo-friendly, while task forces are less so; etc. Before you accuse me of disinformation, failing to look at the facts, or missing obvious points, look at your own post first.

 

But if you disagree with my premise that rewards from AE farming are disproportionately greater than those of other playstyles, you don't have to take my word for it. Farmers, by their own admission (in this thread no less), make far more rewards than those of other players. You can find @Ukase's claim of 51 M inf/hr for a solo AFK farmer. I'm sure you'll be able to produce 51 M inf/hr while solo and AFK on a task force, story arc, etc.

 

I'm certain you've had this discussion many times in the past. I don't expect farmers to change their minds on a reward system that disproportionately favors them; they have a vested interest in claiming that the current system is fine. But expecting to hoodwink me by comparing the rewards of a single player vs. a full team, and then turning around and accusing me of deliberately obfuscating facts is simply condescending. If you aren't going to argue in good faith, why bother?

Edited by Miss Magical
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Remember:  there are two basic ways to accumulate inf in this game.

 

1.  Inflationary methods.  Killing mobs, finishing missions, selling items to *vendors*.  These all generate inf from nothing, and increases the pool of inf in the system.  Basically, these are all fundamental parts of playing the game.  Farming as we know it is merely an extension of this, playing the game in a way to maximize creating inf in as fast and as easy a method as possible.

 

If only inf was created and nothing was sold on the AH, then there would be an increasing amount of inf and a limited amount of goods.  We would expect prices on goods to increase, which would help some and hurt others.  Generally, inflation is not considered to be a good thing and I'll let you do your own research on that or take a Macro 101 class.

 

2.  Deflationary methods.  Getting drops/merits/whatever, maybe transforming them, and selling them on the AH.  Everything you sell is (in theory) bought by another player.  No one is creating inf -- you are merely moving it around from one person to another.  Since every transaction on the AH erases 10% of the value of the transaction in inf terms, inf gets deleted from the system, and it is deflationary.

 

If you could only get inf from trades on the AH, there would be a shrinking amount of inf to be spent on goods.  Since inf would be the rare commodity, we would expect prices to decrease as each inf gets increasing buying power.  Deflation is also not considered to be a good thing, although generally preferred to inflation.

 

In fact, running missions or farming, involves both of these methods.  You get inf and some of your drops (common IO recipes, maybe salvage) you vendor.  That's inflationary.  You get recipes, craft them (deflationary, since crafting fees are a sink), sell them and 10% of the price gets deleted.  That's deflationary.

 

So, is farming/running missions quickly and optimally against easy enemies good or bad for the economy?  In theory, there is a multiplier of 10x, where an influx of 10mm in the system would be offset by aggregate trading of 100mm worth of goods.  (You buy something on the AH for 10mm, the recipient buys something worth 9mm, they spend 8.1mm on something else, etc.).  So if running farming missions produce 10mm of raw inf, and provides 100mm worth of goods, it should be neutral.  I believe that the devs were worried enough about that multiplier to remove some farming exploits and slow down the process some.

 

Now, in reality that multiplier is probably a lot less than 10x for a number of reasons.  A big one I can think of is that I am out there taking away all your inf and hoarding it, essentially taking it out of circulation.  That's partly because I'm greedy; partly to help the economy; partly because there isn't anything for me to spend it on that would not disrupt the system and thereby negatively affect someone else's playing experience.  But what I have witnessed is more of a glut of supply -- probably not because there is too much inf and not enough goods being created, but because there are flat out not as many players making as many alts as they used to.

 

tl;dr  I'm fine with farmers at this point in time.  Also, they are not within an order of magnitude of earning potential in terms of inf accumulated per active minute spent as marketing. 

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3 hours ago, aethereal said:

Marketing gives the best rewards in the game.  Farmers prefer to farm because they dislike marketing, not because farming gives better rewards than marketing.

 

(In much the same way, I don't farm because it doesn't appeal to me, not because I think that running solo mission arcs is more efficient than farming).

 

That said, the market would be vastly different if it weren't for farmers, and it's not clear that marketing doesn't depend on farming in some way.

 

As I said earlier, I think the fact that you can make more money off the market doesn't excuse the imbalances in AE farming vs. other rewards. One part of a system being more imbalanced doesn't erase other flaws in the system.

 

Personally, I consider profiteering on the market less disruptive than AE farming: it earns only inf, not exp, and hence has no way to get certain things like empyrean merits, incarnate salvage etc. You can't level from the market, and the profiteers at least have some reason to, eventually, venture out of the auction house. You can probably pay someone to powerlevel you -- but that's dependent on farming existing in the first place. Farming is potentially a one-stop shop for everything, and that's an advantage you can't quantify.

 

Do I think the market needs changes? Yes, but what I would actually love to see is a thorough revision of reward systems, with the goal of rewarding different playstyles and incentivizing a wider range of content -- which this game has never had and will never have. I am under no illusion that nerfs to marketing, or in fact, AE (I've seen posts in the suggestions forum that even removing exp from it entirely) in a vacuum will achieve this.

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The thing is, with Ouro and TFs, the game actively incentivizes farming.  You can do content at level, or you can speed your way to a full build and then do all the low level content you want with full slotting, extra powers, and IOs.  If you're a melee with only a handful of active options at low levels or a low damage class that's reliant on procs and IOs, its a very tempting choice to make.  More so if, like a good number of us, you've done the content repeatedly and know how your AT works.  You've done this all before and there's nothing new to learn, and now here's a way to get to where you want to be as efficiently as possible. 

Edited by skoryy
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What is it that an "AE farmer" (as opposed to a "street sweeping farmer" or "Ouroboros farmer") are taking away from other players? I can't see what the impact to other players is. Spoilers: I know it is not that the price of good on the market has increased, because of all the reasons already explained.

 

I think that at certain times on Live, it was possible to make a tangential argument that AE Farming (for XP and Inf) that got characters to level 50 was potentially diminishing the chances for non-Farming players to experience/enjoy/collect the rewards from incarnate content... which was something that players had to explicitly pay $$ (not inf) for the privilege of enjoying.... If the Incarnate content was being flooded by 'freshly-minted farmed level 50s'.  That is certainly not the case on Homecoming.

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1 hour ago, Miss Magical said:

I'm certain you've had this discussion many times in the past. I don't expect farmers to change their minds on a reward system that disproportionately favors them; they have a vested interest in claiming that the current system is fine. But expecting to hoodwink me by comparing the rewards of a single player vs. a full team, and then turning around and accusing me of deliberately obfuscating facts is simply condescending. If you aren't going to argue in good faith, why bother?

In terms of contributing to the amount of inf available to buy things from the market and therefore contributing to inflation (or "raising the equilibrium" as you've said) the only thing that matters is the rate at which influence is being generated out of thin air per unit time. The vast majority of the playerbase isn't spending all their time - or probably even a moderate amount of time - farming, at least in the sense you're talking about.

 

1 hour ago, Miss Magical said:

Do I think the market needs changes? Yes, but what I would actually love to see is a thorough revision of reward systems, with the goal of rewarding different playstyles and incentivizing a wider range of content -- which this game has never had and will never have. I am under no illusion that nerfs to marketing, or in fact, AE (I've seen posts in the suggestions forum that even removing exp from it entirely) in a vacuum will achieve this.

The merit system already does this. Story arcs, trials, and task forces get time-based rewards, though the playerbase tends to lean towards the task/strike forces which offer the best ratio of merits for time spent. The one thing I do agree with you on is challenge settings - the flashback arc/TF challenge settings have no tangible rewards associated with them aside from badges. If the developers want to incentivize players using these difficulty options they need to offer additional rewards on top of what the content on its own offers.

 

It's not exactly scientific, but I looked back at an hour of chat logs from the LFG channel. Eliminating duplicates (like one person spamming a dozen times about forming a certain TF) there were 125 separate posts about teams forming or players looking for teams. Eight of them were AE farming-related. These 125 posts ran the gamut of speed task forces, patron arcs, 54x8 kill-most ITFs, Talos radio missions, Praetorian content, and the weekly strike targets. Seems like a decent sampling to me.

 

EDIT: I'm sure the poster I'm replying to in this post isn't actually reading my post, so this is more for everyone else who's been following along with this thread - here's your reminder that 1) a rewards throttling system exists to combat abusive/exploitative behavior and 2) AE farming does not earn rewards at a sufficient rate to trigger this system.

Edited by macskull
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9 minutes ago, Miss Magical said:

The fact that it requires an entire team of players to exceed the earnings of a single multiboxing farmer is proof of how much vastly more farmers earn, and has implications for which kinds of playstyles are incentivized and which are discouraged.

 

If you scroll up a bit, you'll note that @macskull expanded on my post with additional calculations and information.  In that post, using the numbers you provided (plus some which you omitted), the team of eight players generates the same quantity of inf* in ~15.62 minutes that the farmer needs an hour to generate.  We can also extrapolate that it only "requires" two players to equal the farmer's inf* generation rate per hour, as opposed to "an entire team of players", based on that same analysis, which, again, uses the numbers you provided.    You proved yourself wrong.


You're so focused on forcing everyone to accept your assertion that farmers cause inflation that you're overlooking, or deliberately distorting, facts which refute that assertion.  Farmers might gross more than individual players, but the economy isn't based on the actions of individuals, but the sum of all actions of all players.  What farmers do is, in reality, a drop in the ocean, because they don't comprise a significant portion of the player base and their best efforts are only really impressive when viewed at that individual level.

 

I and others have looked at your numbers and come to the conclusion that the math, based on your numberscompletely disputes everything you've said.  The evidence you're attempting to support your position with has had the opposite effect.  Let it go.

 

1 hour ago, Miss Magical said:

AFK farmer

 

Is not condoned by the HC team and will, eventually, be addressed.  Chill, they're not damaging the economy in the least.  You can put the pitchfork and torch down.

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2 hours ago, Miss Magical said:

As I said earlier, I think the fact that you can make more money off the market doesn't excuse the imbalances in AE farming vs. other rewards. One part of a system being more imbalanced doesn't erase other flaws in the system.

And yet, the system actually works quite well.  The economy is robust and the market is active.  Players can equip their characters for lower costs than back on live.

 

The consensus in this thread seems to be that the game economy is fine.  The devs have said that they are happy with the overall state of the game economy and just want to address some edge cases like AFK farming.  They have also made it clear that they are fine with active farming and currently have zero plans to change the rewards.

 

Your position is an outlying opinion.

 

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