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Is farming an imbalanced method of earning ingame rewards?


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10 hours ago, Neiska said:

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.


I think for the basis of discussion, you'd compare farming to any and all other methods of game play. 

While it is true "anyone can do it", the starting costs of making a farmer can seem overwhelming. I recall one player telling me, "If I could get those sets, I wouldn't need a farmer!"

There may be a player or two, whose system is so poorly designed or old, that they can't handle two accounts being on at the same time. I can't fathom such a system belonging to someone who'd play this game, but anything is possible. The default setting for both Tequila and the HC launcher require adjustment before being able to multi-box, and if the player is unaware, they likely assume all of us multi-boxers are hacking the system in some way, and wondering why HC never does anything about us, or assuming that the volunteer staff doesn't have the time. 

For those with genuine alt-itis, a farmer is rather bitter-sweet. They likely only do what's necessary to get the inf necessary to fund the next alt. I could be wrong, but I think it's fair to suggest 80-90% of all farmers fall in this category. In fact, they likely don't even consider themselves farmers, just a regular player that has a farmer or two on an alt account and their primary account. 

As to the question, "Is farming an imbalanced method"....to put it delicately, and please read all I state here, yes, it is imbalanced - but only because to be balanced would be to suggest the same time, effort put in doesn't give the same rewards as other methods. 

The case could be made for most designated farm characters require 4 full superior winter sets, two superior ATO sets, a few pvp IOs and a number of other procs. The cost of the builds, depending on how resourceful the player is can be anywhere from 200M to more than 900M. 
24 winter-Os, if the player is getting them "now" from AH will cost them 720M alone.  (current AH pricing shows most of the superior winters selling for 30M, give or take 1M) 

Compare that to most other builds that might have 2-3 winter sets - if that, they'll be far more affordable. That's not to say that a player can't "farm" their way from SOs to a fully kitted out build eventually, (I certainly did with my first farm brute) but there is large barrier to entry in this space. 

These players that complain about farmers seem to have differing objections. 
1. Reduced teaming pool - if they're farming, they're not teaming. 

This comment won't earn me any points, but if you have another player on your map helping you clear, you're not farming, you're teaming. I am referring to folks who solo the maps repeatedly. These are the players that this segment of anti-farmers want out of the farms and into the pool of available teammates. 

2. The ability of the farmer to tackle +4/8, seemingly without risk, doesn't seem fair to your average defender, who has to wait 30-45 seconds for their nuke to recharge to tackle 0/8 to +2/8 mobs, depending on the build. But they'd never be able to do this afk-style with any level of proficiency. A blaster can fare better, given the vast improvements to HP and the sustain toggle (if you choose the right secondary, lol), but they're not going to be able to afk either.  Over time, given the contrast in ability for the farmer to solo these settings, they will eventually earn all the investment back. But - even this takes time, depending on what the player does with drops. Just selling stuff - it will take much longer. Crafting, converting, selling drops - it will require more tedium, but the recoup of investment will be sooner. It's all a function of how much time they want to put into it. 

3. A perception that the drops earned - more influence, what's done with the salvage and recipes, catalysts that drop on the farmer - impact the prices of IOs. More specifically, the perception that a farmer's activities impact their ability to afford what they wish to buy from the market. They seem to think the farmer, by listing an item for X inf is responsible for the sale price of that item. Rather, it's the player that saw fit to pay that price that sets the value. And the farmers get blamed for this. For some reason, it's always the farmer that is accused of paying these higher prices - but the farmer doesn't need these pieces. If they did, they wouldn't be selling them! The market is blind. We have no idea who's doing the buying. We can guess in some cases (thinking of you, Yomo) but we never really know for sure. But the ones that vocally complain about this, somehow, they know! They assume only the farmer can afford such things, and yet - marketers that market daily have far more influence than farmers who farm daily. 

In summary, no, it's not balanced. But, there's a ton of time that goes into earning the inf/merits to make a farmer. It takes time to recoup that investment. Let's not forget also, that while some find farming relaxing or fun, most folks find it boring. We put up with the boredom to fund our alts. I see no reason why others can't put up with the same boredom. If they don't want to, nothing wrong with that, but it's not my problem. 



 

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4 minutes ago, SuperPlyx said:

What do you think "flipping enhancements" means?

 

Probably referring to waiting for low bids to fill and selling them for profit at market price or higher.

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Well I could look at farming as several methods, you can farm merits from TF'S, inf from fire farms, council missions, recipes from darn near everything. 

I have 3 fire farmers, I put them on afk, do some work and check on them. It gives me inf, drops, etc which in turn with a small amount of time generates more inf via the market on undesirable drops ie recipes, insp, etc.

This in turn generates inf to purchase packs, which in turn leads to more inf.

 

Unbalanced, imbalanced, whatever I dont believe so. It might give an edge to some players but the time/work requirements are there to balance that out.

Farming i believe is a necessity of the game, it provides a steady supply of recipes to feed the market for players. I regularly drop most recipes from farming on the market at 111 inf, this in turn goes on to the end result which helps a player get the desired item.

Without it just remove me from that equation and how much of an impact dies that create down the line? 

Hard to say but I believe farming is a necessary component of the longevity of this game to give the player base items that they want.

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42 minutes ago, SuperPlyx said:

What do you think "flipping enhancements" means?

 

Certainly not that.  He's taking recipes and salvage, adding some inf and getting a product worth more than the combined value of his components.  This is how wealth is generated in real economies.  Real economies are not a zero sum game.

 

Flipping is buying an item low and reslisting it for a higher price.  There's no value added and it fuels inflation.

 

 

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I think by definition, farming is earning rewards in the most efficient method.  Even if they make changes to disrupt the current "best" farm, the farm changes to the next best method and continues.  

 

But I also believe the market is the fastest way to earn influence.  Especially if you're accounting for direct time of putting in only 20 minutes a day flipping stuff.

 

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This actually is something that matters to actual game devs quite a lot. For example over in Path of Exile, they have a setting for solo self found only. Doing this actually makes it so a player can not trade with others, and is entirely dependent on their own loot drops. It increases their chance for good loot to drop by a very large % but RNG being RNG still means getting the uniques they may need for certain builds much less likely. It exists however to help balance the game for those who do not want to engage in player trade.

 

In DDO they have struggled for years to find a way to not let guilds who raid together and happily share raid loot to quickly get entire top tier BIS gear kits have an overwhelming advantage over those who run as pugs with each man for themselves. From a dev pov loot sharing like that in such a guild borders on exploiting the system, and for sure see it as a real balance issue. Because when a small % of players can reliably always get BIS gear kits quickly and then over power the current content, how does a dev design for them to be challenged while not punishing the players with average gear? In pen and paper dungeons and dragons its sop for a DM to regularly have such super loot stolen from characters to depower them if they are too out of sync with the group.

 

CoH has a pretty flexible dif system, but we still are all aware of how a perfected toon basically breaks the game these days. Anti farming mechanics are a real need, and honestly at this point I think it should be something as simple as make inf earned from the AH go into its own storage and put a cap on how much can be withdrawn each day. It does not have to be anything too low, but keeping it to like 500 million a day would at least discourage that kind of behavior a bit. And yes it is behavior we should want to see discouraged.

 

The goldilockes zone for loot rewards should always be aimed at pug groups doing actual social group content.

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(remembers when people farmed before AE existed)

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19 minutes ago, Llewellyn Blackwell said:

This actually is something that matters to actual game devs quite a lot. For example over in Path of Exile, they have a setting for solo self found only. Doing this actually makes it so a player can not trade with others, and is entirely dependent on their own loot drops. It increases their chance for good loot to drop by a very large % but RNG being RNG still means getting the uniques they may need for certain builds much less likely. It exists however to help balance the game for those who do not want to engage in player trade.

 

Anti farming mechanics are a real need, and honestly at this point I think it should be something as simple as make inf earned from the AH go into its own storage and put a cap on how much can be withdrawn each day. It does not have to be anything too low, but keeping it to like 500 million a day would at least discourage that kind of behavior a bit.

Self found wouldn't work as well here since players can control mob size. This does remind me I never used that setting in PoE and yet I never traded with players. Limiting it to 500 million is comical. My latest build to be done was around that amount and had purples. I mean, "Oh noes, it took two days to fund a build versus one. Damn, I guess I won't farm."

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4 hours ago, Blackbird71 said:

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.

 

Then present your experience as anecdotal, which is how we have to interpret it without seeing the underlying data.

 

If you want us to treat your posts as empirical evidence of inflation; then show us numbers demonstrating a steady-state inflationary trend since the implementation of the NoXP2xInf Fix.

 

Also, I'm pretty sure no one here cares about your market strategy.  I know I sure as hell don't, but my Gamer Goal isn't the accumulation of Fake Money Units either.  That said, I imagine the marketeers in this thread don't really care about your strategy either, because they have their own.

 

If you've got data showing consistent and rampant inflation in a wide enough market segment so as to affect the player base as a whole... THAT we're actually interested in seeing.

 

4 hours ago, Grouchybeast said:

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.

 

This Beast Gets It.

 

I wonder how much of the "OMG AE RUINS THE ECONOMY" sentiment is just scars of the past.  Yeah, during Live the economy was basically broken AF.  In the 17+ months that I've been around HC though, I'm just not seeing the "massive affects" of the past.  Even less so after the removal of 2xINF.

Edited by InvaderStych
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2 hours ago, KC4800 said:

How is solo farming an AE map any different than a MSR?

 

Oh! you're doing it together! :::grupehugz::

 

Also, getting Vanguard Merits, so you can buy helmets or whatever.  

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7 minutes ago, InvaderStych said:

 

I wonder how much of the "OMG AE RUINS THE ECONOMY" sentiment is just scars of the past.  Yeah, during Live the economy was basically broken AF.  In the 17+ months that I've been around HC though, I'm just not seeing the "massive affects" of the past.  Even less so after the removal of 2xINF.

 

I think it's a combo of that and how the Auction House works now. IOs going into the AH "with no level" makes a big difference. Also Converters being an easy thing to earn make a huge difference. "Crap" Def set IOs can be turned into good ones very easily, so the supply of "good ones" is easier to sustain. 

 

It WAS broken in live but part of that was the AH supply was utterly fragmented whereas now its much more streamlined. 

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39 minutes ago, Without_Pause said:

(remembers when people farmed before AE existed)

 

Yup: I remember keeping Dreck or the Axis America Council missions in PI unfinished simply so we could restart them over and over and over and over ...

 

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How is running endless radio missions and Maria Jenkins arcs NOT farming? Ever join a Dark Astoria group running Maharaj, which is basically DA radio missions with Incarnate rewards? Fire farming doesn't drop Incarnate salvage every run. As was mentioned above, MSR is farming too, but with a big group, and will unlock your Incarnates and give you threads at a decent speed. Before AE we farmed mission arcs, like a big chunk of Unai Kemen, including the Freak Farms. 

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Title question doesn't mean much. Farming is almost by definition the most imbalanced way of gaining rewards. It's the natural confluence of human desires and human ingenuity. Remove one farm and whatever the community decides is the next best way to easily achieve their goals becomes the new farm, people start complaining and we start the process all over again. Gameplay mechanics are almost incidental to this discussion. Unless someone has a "fix" for the human desire to get what they want with minimal time and effort, farming is going to be a thing.

 

We can debate the rate of rewards in AE farms vs the rest of the game, but the generic anti-farming crusade is really just raging against human nature. The HC devs are amazingly awesome, but they're not going to recode that for us.

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I think of farming as pretty much playing regular content, to an extent.  Over time, people faced with any repeatable task will tend to move towards the most efficient way to complete that task because economics, aka the allocation of scarce resources, works.  I'm ok with that.  I run Heather Townsend arcs when I want incarnate components.  I skip cave missions when I'm running scanner missions.

 

Sometimes farming, as some could define it, pushes the boundaries in my opinion.  Example:  AFK farming.  For me, this is mainly an aesthetic, or possibly a moral objection.  It's like when a little kid pokes his fingers at his little sister and says,  "I'm not touching you!  I'm not touching you!"  Technically correct, but it doesn't sit well with me.  So then I have to look and see if my objection has any merit in terms of "Is this hurting other people?"  Inflation is one possible concern.  Marketing is clearly deflationary; farming may or may not be inflationary.  My observations over the past two years have seen mostly deflationary pressure; your observations may differ.  Getting annoyed by broadcast spam could be another possible concern, but I can move past that.  There may be other concerns.  But for the most part, I really don't think farmers are hurting me personally.

 

Now, if we are going to come back to the farmers v. marketers (or "cowmen" as I used to call it!) argument, well, I don't know what else to say.  It's kind of like when tourists visit NYC and have dinner at the Olive Garden in Times Square and brag about it on social media.  I mean, sure, if you're happy with it, good on you!  But you should know that there are so many better and/or cheaper alternatives out there.

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Forgive me then for I have bought as many of the common salvage types from the market at 100 per item as I could hold and sold them to a vendor for 250 as a way to generate currency for a new character. I'm not sure how the market could deal with my shenanigans considering there were over 10 million of said items even after I was done.

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1 hour ago, InvaderStych said:

 

Then present your experience as anecdotal, which is how we have to interpret it without seeing the underlying data.

 

 

Did I ever say it was anything but anecdotal?  It's my own personal observation, and therefore nothing but anecdotal.  Frankly though, all the other claims here that "the market is stable" are likewise the same.  No one has presented any actual data in this thread or the other.

 

In the absence of such data from a reliable source (read: HC devs), I can only go with my own personal observation.

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1 minute ago, Without_Pause said:

Forgive me then for I have bought as many of the common salvage types from the market at 100 per item as I could hold and sold them to a vendor for 250 as a way to generate currency for a new character. I'm not sure how the market could deal with my shenanigans considering there were over 10 million of said items even after I was done.

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe those 10M are the ones automatically seeded by the devs at a cost of 1,000 Inf as a means of keeping material prices down.

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Just now, Blackbird71 said:

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe those 10M are the ones automatically seeded by the devs at a cost of 1,000 Inf as a means of keeping material prices down.

Missing my point. Anyone can do what I did, and the prices of that salvage isn't really going anywhere. The longest I had to wait for something on the market to get filled was on live.

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12 minutes ago, Without_Pause said:

Missing my point. Anyone can do what I did, and the prices of that salvage isn't really going anywhere. The longest I had to wait for something on the market to get filled was on live.

 

Not really, because those 10M you can't buy at 100 Inf, so counting them in your total is inaccurate.

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13 hours ago, Bill Z Bubba said:

I like my veggies. Farming is good for us all, even tiny backyard farms where you get just enough food to stay healthy.

 

This is going on a Post-It on my monitor. 

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3 minutes ago, Blackbird71 said:

 

Not really, because those 10M you can't buy at 100 Inf, so counting them in your total is inaccurate.

That number is also irrelevant. My point was I could buy a horde of something, sell it elsewhere for profit, and yet, the market magically carries on. Again (gets out soapbox) THE LONGEST I HAD TO WAIT FOR A BID TO FULLFILL WAS ON LIVE. Time and time again people who are willing to dump hundreds of millions in terms of currency into their builds are fully admitting it being cheaper to pimp out a build on HC versus live, and yet, oh noes farming is doing harm to the game. The market prices are TOO DAMN HIGH!

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