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Is farming an imbalanced method of earning ingame rewards?

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I'm tired of beating this dead horse... I really, really am.

It's not even horse-shaped anymore! 

At this point there's nothing left but a vaguely equine-shaped puddle of goo. 


If people still want to pontificate endlessly about how horrible farmers are and how we're just murdering "their" game? Okay, Have at it. Everyone's entitled to their option. But I'm done talking about it. That's proven to be about as useful as punching a brick wall. <_<




Edited by Coyotedancer
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Taker of screenshots. Player of creepy Oranbegans and Rularuu bird-things.

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Prior to the double INF while malefactored nerf?  Maybe.  Now?  No.  It's good for PLing up alts to level 50 and for passing the time, but for actual rewards, marketeering and speed running TFs/SFs are both better sources of INF in the end.  Heck, even Hamidon raids are a better source of INF now, if you're lucky and don't get a Golgi. :P

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No. And here is why.


First off, "Imbalanced" is subjective. Yours, mine, the staffs, no one will kiss your elbow agree down to the inf per minute on what is or isn't balanced.

Secondly, I view it more as a (time x activity) - investment = Y sort of formula. Not a linear "X activity should get X rewards".

Thirdly, by what metric are we going by here? Your argument uses what as a baseline for comparison, precisely? And where is it stated that activity is the "base" core of the game?

Is Raiding the base? Teaming? Open  world? Street Sweeping? By what measuring stick are we comparing to here.

Lastly, Imbalanced would imply that not everyone can do it. Everyone has the same access to the same tools and methods. Some choose to farm. Others don't. Those that don't get other rewards - merits, badges, teleport points, accolades, hami drops, or whatever other activity they choose.

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Imbalanced feels like an awkward word choice.  Unbalanced?  Imperative? Excelsior!!!!!


I do not love farming.  Never have.  I have started to like farming in very certain instances. 1) when using my alt acct farmer to PL a main account new toon 2) when helping out someone who i feel needs/deserves the help of some AE farm doorsitting. 3) when a bunch of my SG mates happen to be farming and we take 4-8 farmers in and just eat maps


It is very fast cash.  I still do not love it.  I would rather play for fun. Cash flows

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Farming generates inf that is then used by the economy.  Marketeering doesnt generate inf,  it just transfers existing inf around and actually removes inf from the economy when fees are included.  


Both are probably needed to keep the market stable-ish.  When inflation occurs,  prices go up and fees remove some inf from the game which reduces inflation.  Its not perfect and never will be,  but prices from a year ago are essentially the same as they are now.

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Here's my answer: I have no earthly idea if it's "imbalanced." I don't have access to any numbers which would indicate what a perfectly balanced system would look like. And I don't much care whether farming is or isn't "balanced."


As far as I can tell, we're talking about farming, not cheating. They haven't broken any rules that I'm aware of. This isn't hacking. It isn't item duplication or aimbots or likewise. Farmers are using the same system everybody else does — maybe with a few extra resources, like additional computers — and making XP/inf faster. Is it the fastest way? I dunno. But it's faster than the way I do it.


Well, so what?


Whatever the fastest method for gaining XP is, that's what farmers will do. It's not the way I play the game, because I know my game has downtime. I talk with people, I crack jokes, I schlep across zones to talk to contacts, Sometimes I Super Jump around Steel Canyon for no reason at all. I visit Wentworth's instead of typing /ah on the command line. Sure, I grumble about these things sometimes, but I could be more efficient if I wanted to. And farmers are more efficient. They know which enemies are easiest to defeat with their builds, they know where to find those missions, and they know how to maximize combat time. I could do that if I cared enough, but I don't.


If all the farmers stopped farming and started playing "normal" (whatever that is), I'm pretty sure that nothing would change except the rate at which those players leveled. Again ... so what?

Edited by MHertz
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The original @Hertz, creator of the Stan and Lou audio series on YouTube. Player of City of Heroes for yonks.1


1A yonk is a very long time.

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Define farming? There are plenty of builds, see tanks, who can nap though +2/x8 content. Are they farming, or is it just when it is +4/x8 because the only difference at that point is currency and not drops? Is it not the same since the mobs change up enough even though again, some builds essentially sleepwalk through that content. It doesn't have to include fire attacks to be farmed for rewards. Or is it the repetitive nature of it all which makes it farming like playing ebil marketer? Since, you know, once someone knows how to work the market, there's very little risk at all outside of a misplaced bid. People have written about how best to essentially farm Incarnate related drops or merits. Just curious what people find so terribly wrong in this game where defined correctly A LOT of people "farm" on some level. Oh, and why on God's green Earth is it so terrible I enjoy the way to play the game the way I have chosen to do so? If by farming I put more into the market than take out of it, how is that "bad?"

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7 hours ago, macskull said:

And why did you answer "no?" Discuss.

Farming is fine. I don't consider it a problem in terms of resource generation. Actively farming a mission over and over is no different than farming a task force or farming the market or farming hami raids or farming PI radio missions. The keyword here is actively.


I do think AE moonmap afk farming is ludicrous however. I can set the mission run my character into the middle of the map and tab out of the game. I can completely ignore my character while passively earning inf and drops. This is something that has existed on homecoming far longer than it would have on live before being patched.


I will occasionally farm as i have a need for inf or to level an alt but most of the funding for my IOs comes from speed running TFs and hami raid merit rewards. However when you have 2 accounts, which many people do, you can slap your fire farmer on the moonmap, tab out, and run a task force, missions, or wait for that hami raid to finally start. Hell you can just drop your guy off on the moon and go for a walk, take a bath, do the dishes, or read a book, and it takes <60 secs to reset the mission. In terms of time investment for the rewards given such inactivity has never been so profitable. This is where I see the issue.

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I don't feel the thread title is a fair, accurate, complete, or impartial question, so I instead will make an impartial factual response as a starting point:


"Farming is an inflationary method of earning in game rewards."


No, it's not the only inflationary method in the game.  It may be the most extreme inflationary method, but to verify that would require data that I do not have access to, so I can only assume.


So, depending on the definition of "imbalanced," you could say that farming (and I am presuming "farming" in this context refers to "AE farming") is in fact imbalanced because any inflationary method in isolation is imbalanced, as they are only half of the equation and thus cannot be balanced in and of themselves.  The counter balance of deflationary methods and money sinks are necessary to create balance.


Which brings us to this point:


5 hours ago, TheZag said:

...but prices from a year ago are essentially the same as they are now.


This is only true if you're looking at a narrow subsection of enhancements.  As I pointed out in the thread that generated this one, my tracking of enhancements I frequently trade in over the last 6-8 months has shown a 200%-300% increase in price.  From a personal standpoint I can't complain about this too much, as it has greatly padded my wallet (I don't "flip" enhancements; merely craft, convert, and sell at market price).  But I can also see the negative impact this has overall as these prices rise significantly above previous levels.  That tells me that there certainly is an imbalance somewhere, that Inf is coming into the economy faster than it is being removed.  Is farming the cause (or "a" cause) of that?  Again, that would take access to more data than I have.  But it certainly does show an inflationary economy on some level.


And before anyone asks, no, I won't share what enhancements I'm referring to.  First, it's a broad range and I really don't care to spend my time putting together a long list for your satisfaction.  Second, and more importantly, to do so would be to reveal my overall market strategy which I put time and effort into developing, and doing so would devalue that strategy and damage my Inf-making ability.  I will only say that for anyone willing to put in the effort, it is neither a difficult nor complicated strategy to come up with, yet that minimal effort deterring the average player from using the same strategy is exactly what keeps it profitable.  So again, no, I'm not giving away my specifics as by doing so I would be shooting myself in the foot.



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1 hour ago, DreadShinobi said:

I do think AE moonmap afk farming is ludicrous however. I can set the mission run my character into the middle of the map and tab out of the game. I can completely ignore my character while passively earning inf and drops. This is something that has existed on homecoming far longer than it would have on live before being patched.


IIRC the HC devs have made noises in the past at looking at AFK farming.  My guess is that the reason it's gone so long without a nerf is that it isn't, so far, having any negative effect on the game in terms of the economy or anything else, and so it's dropped down the priority list of people with limited time put into the game.  I would also guess that if they start to see negative effects of some kind, they'll look harder.


At the moment, things seems to be pretty nicely balanced.  AE farming on live was terrible for the economy, but that seems to have largely been the result of the way that AE worked on live.  HC changes to AE in combination with changes to the market and converters are working out okay at the moment.

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IS 50+4 Council Farming in PI an unbalanced method of earning rewards?


No. Come on man. Because (someone) cant or dont want to farm doesnt mean there isnt a million other means by which farming is occurring that you are just ignoring. Shall we list the express route to merits and Emps and ISalvage that is used by people in the know? That is absolutely farming, and it is absolutely a more efficient way to unlock i-all-the-things.



Refer the OP's comment from the willtherebeapatch thread:


The only thing I don't like about Rebirth is their insistence on maintaining "the grind" as part of the core gameplay experience.


If "the grind" is bad, what would make anyone (especially the OP) consider stripping away farming options?


I edited some of the original post, because maybe the OP is not actually against farming and just trying to make a point, or maybe they are, but with the vagueness of language I did not want to cast aspersions when their 1 sentence comment does not clearly state their reason for the question and could be confused as to the intent of the question.

Edited by Hew
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