It all looks deceptively simple… ^^ (From Wowhead)

All the talk in Guild last night, when all was said and done, was about Farms.

In a December 2010 interview with Gamasutra, game designer Jonathan Blow criticized FarmVille for being designed to create an atmosphere of negativity, requiring an unprecedented commitment to the game, and encouraging users to exploit their friends.[12] In August 2011 a court heard that Adam Hamnett, of Greater Manchester was so desperate to buy virtual animals for his FarmVille account that first he robbed from a blind man, Brian McKenzie, and then murdered Peter Boustead when his friends threatened to report the matter to the police.[13][14]

Sensationalism aside, putting mini games inside other games is really nothing new (Day of the Tentacle, anyone?) However, the introduction of the Tillers in Pandaria does seem to indicate a distinct sea change in Blizzard’s approach to how you can ‘play’ this game, and it appears to have been aimed squarely at the ‘collectors’, if the spiel from Wowhead is an indicator of what we have to look forward to:

A special perk when gaining reputation with the Tillers is your very own customizable farm. You will be able to acquire livestock, plant fields, and decorate your building as you gain reputation.

I’m betting that you’ll be able to get some of those (100 or so) Wild Pets from your Farm to add to your Pet Battle Team (still not going there yet, oh no) What isn’t yet clear (and I’m sure with the amount of interest in this particular part of the game it will be soon) is just how like Farmville this is likely to be: after all, if the Tillers are a Reputation Grind, once you reach Exalted there’s no point in continuing to play. Unless, of course, your Farm itself can become a Gold Generating Resource. If the pets you get are Soulbound (or indeed if any other resource) then this isn’t nearly as significant a move, and could easily be considered a gimmick. However (for instance) if a Farm had a chance to produce key resources used in crafting, lets say items you could use in your Cookery, then the entire picture is subtly altered.

Then I find myself thinking that Tillers reputation past Exalted isn’t a waste of time, it’s a way to (passively) generate gold, and then we open up a potential Pandora’s Box of possibilities, depending on what I can make/sell outside the auspices of the minigame itself. You could happily say goodbye to Dailies as a gold-generating resource: you just keep running your farm. Even if your excess raw materials could be sold for gold, and not even passed on to another player for gold or onto the AH, you have a self-contained income. No more tearing about doing repetitive Dailies any more, you earn your money offline, or while you’re Raiding. You create your own micro-economy simply by letting the Tillers do the hard work for you.

Needless to say, once I’d considered this as a potential result, running a farm becomes vastly more attractive. What we need now, as is the case with a lot of things that were ‘revealed’ yesterday, are some more details…

13 thoughts on “When the Dust Settles…

  1. Worth reading David Kosak's comments here (English at the bottom) – http://www.battlecraft.it/viewtopic.php?f=98&t=6510

    “How much influence had Farmville in all of this?
    D.K.: (Laughing) We didn't wanna try recreate an all other game. It's not like a whole separete mini-game, it's really something fun to do. It takes maybe a couple of minutes a day. You don't feel bad if you don't log in one day, so your plants never rots.”

    It has rightly been picked up for what it is, but what it is still sounds a rather minor component of the game.


  2. Cheers for the link E.

    What I'd like clarified is whether this is simply a variation on the Reputation grind, or whether I can 'grow' anything of intrinsic value outside the game. If there is even a small chance of something being produced that can be sold on, then I think we have something that can impact on the wider game world.

    If I could 'grow' pets, for instance, I would hope they will be Soulbound, which would mean there would be no potential impact on the Game Economy.


  3. I read the Tiller farm economy as closer to the “Glitch” model: One will be able to plant a limited number of herbs, which could be resold. However one can only plant a finite amount, so the benefit is mainly convenience. If one wanted a lot of herbs, gathering them from around the world would still be much more effective. In Glitch, farmstead plant slots tended to get most used for hard-to-cultivate items, like wood trees (sic), which could theoretically be grown in the public game world, but tended to get chopped to death. Wow doesn't have quite the same economy, but I can imagine home plants merely capping the price of the most expensive herb, by allowing players to farm rare, but high demand herbs (like Twilight Jasmine in the first few months of Cataclysm).


  4. And yes, I just realised we now have 2 meanings of the work “farm” – to gather herbs in the wild, and to grow herbs on your farm. Maybe we should agree to call the second activity “tilling”?


  5. Tilling it is :D

    I am sure I read somewhere (but I can't seem to find the reference) that there could be the possibility of 'tilling' pets for battle on your farm. Assuming these would be soulbound I don't see there being a massive issue.

    This will all depend of course on whether the Farm operates on a separate currency: if it uses Game gold, then there is a lot to consider…


  6. I'd not even considered the possibility of growing game herbs: I'd assumed that anything that was produced on your farm would be separate to what might be available 'in the wild'… ^^


  7. Glitch is a somewhat fun game to waste some time. I liked their farm model some. It was okay.

    I love the idea of farming my own herbs however and with the shear amount of 85s I have and figure to have more 90s when the time does come, depending on how much is needed to get to own a farm, I can see myself wasting WAY to much time on this just to make herbs.

    I almost do not want more stuff like this. They say it is for optional fun but if they make it so it can get you valuable resources, like the hardest herbs to get, I will feel forced into doing it. I do not want that.


  8. That's why I don't think it would be about things you could only get this way, because that pretty much defeats the object of the 'game'

    If this is to serve as a rep grind then it's about doing things to a certain point and then stopping without a penalty. It's whether Blizzard then add something into the mix to make this worthwhile doing as 'a diversion' and if that could, in turn, make you some extra gold along the way…


  9. “and then we open up a potential Pandora's Box of possibilities”

    Disgraceful. How could you miss the opportunity to open “Pandaria's Box” of possibilities. It is a pun just begging to be used. I am very disapointed in you.


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