How to be a Happy Farmer

There’s a lot of stuff in the game that requires farming, and farming is pretty tedious by itself. You can skip it if you want, but you miss out on quite a lot like that.

I know farming. Since TBC’s been released, I’ve solo farmed my way to:

  • 375 fishing skill
  • Exalted with Consortium
  • Exalted with Kurenai
  • Revered with Aldor
  • …and then Exalted with Scryers (starting from Hated) because I wanted all the Jewelcrafting patterns

So, here are a few tips and tricks.

1. Break the job into chunks.
Don’t try and fish yourself from 300 skill to 375 in a day. It’ll seem like a dishearteningly mammoth task, you’ll burn yourself out, and never pick up your fishing rod again – not much point in having 375 skill at that point, is there?

Instead, just say to yourself “I’m going to get 5 skill points on this fishing trip before I log off and play that alt instead.” Do that, and do another 5 points later in the evening. You’ll get your 75 fishing skill within a couple of weeks, and you’ll still be fairly sane to boot. Apply the same principle to anything you’re farming – “just another 10 drops and I’ll go”.

2. Maximise your returns.
Take a look at what your goal is, and work out how you can get incidental benefits.

  • Farming Consortium rep? Why not kill the Ogres in Nagrand for their warbeads – they drop Crystal Powder Samples for Halaa token rewards (like an 18-slot bag), and they give Kurenai/Maghar rep with every kill to boot. I hit exalted with Kurenai solely through Consortium rep grinding.
  • Trying to level your fishing skill? Why not fish up, say, Deviate Fish in the Barrens? They still sell very well on most servers (especially if you have the recipe to cook them yourself), they’re easy to fish, and you still get skill points for them.
  • Trying to get Dampscale Basilisk Eyes to go from Aldor to Scryer alignment? Cut a deal with a friendly caster who might like to buy all the Chunks o’ Basilisk you’ll wind up with – those things make great spell damage buff food.

Be creative and opportunistic to see what else you can get out of it when you’re farming for a specific goal. Also, be openminded about ways to reach your goal. For instance, I was having troubles with Scryer rep – I was trying to farm for Sunfury Signets, but as a holy pally I found it hard to kill the blood elves fast enough to get a decent rate of return. So I switched back to farming for Aldor rep items off the various demons in Netherstorm – the increased DPS I could get from my demon-specific damage spells turned frustration into ease (not to mention the fact that unlike blood elves, demons don’t run away at 10% health to fetch five buddies). On my server, you can trade Aldor and Scryer items at a 1:1 ratio in the trade channel, so I just farmed for Aldor items, traded them for Scryer items, and handed them in. Presto, exalted.

3. Distract yourself.
No matter how efficient you are, farming is boring because it takes very little mental effort.

So, distract yourself. I find podcasts work really well for this purpose – a farming session is about the only time I listen to podcasts, but they certainly do the job nicely. Other people I know recommend audio books. If you have friends you don’t see very often, hop on Skype or an IM service that allows voice chats, and natter away with them.

A friend of mine on the other side of the world talked me through the killing of about 789235238 ogres for my Consortium rep – he works from home and keeps funny hours, so we’d power up iChat and voicechat for hours at a time… I barely even noticed the ogres falling under my mighty hammer.

8 thoughts on “How to be a Happy Farmer”

  1. I’ve been farming a lot, lately, and this is great advice. Dual-box fishing is how I don’t bleed through the nose during that particular grind. Two accounts, two fishers, two screens, and twice the bobbing. I love it. ;)

  2. I am too easily distracted.

    Part of the problem is if i farming on my main I am visible on my main.
    Last night would be typical.
    Blades edge to farm, then heroic ramparts for daily.
    Back to BE, then invite for pvp daily
    Back to BE, then friend needs help with a elite in Nagrand
    Back to BE, then headed to ZG since it had just reset to 5 man fish hoss for poly spell.

    Time to log..

    My current project is to finish all the tbc quests, but 375 fishing(60 to go) and consortium exalted (8k to go) are up their.

  3. I still can’t convince myself to do this. I have 1k gold to go until 300 riding, and I’ve just about finished all the NS and SMV quests, so it’s looking farming is the way to go.

    My time isn’t exactly any more valuable than that of anybody else who works or studies, but I really can’t shake the feeling that if I’m just farming, why shouldn’t I be doing something actually productive instead? Cleaning, playing piano, hanging out with my girlfriend, etc…

    It’s like instances – I won’t PUG a non-heroic instance that I’ve run before, unless I need a quest or I’m helping out a mate. Re-running an instance for something that has a 30% chance to drop…

    This is what made me quit Eve in the end. The social aspects of it are absolutely amazing, but the time investment on non-fun tasks (mining) required to be a part of a successful corp (guild) were fairly high.

    end QQ.

  4. Great post. I totally agree on the distractions! I’m farming Kurenai reputation at the moment with my iTunes on, so aside from gathering warbeads I am also entertaining my entire household with my vocal stylings!

  5. Dual Screens all the way for Farming – Watch a DVD – Talk on MSN Check Face book – fire up a Mp3 program of your choice.. while Dot / Blast / Flay ect ect.. I agree in part with Fedorin – Farming is a mindless activity that requires sheer repetition to be effective Hence the Multitasking or I would go nuts – but as my stats increase I love how farming gets quicker

  6. I recently got exalted with Kurenai the same way (beads for Consortium). However, since I currently have no plans to go all the way to Consortium exalted, I turned in @ 160 beads to Kurenai for the last 8k rep.

    And, since I’ve pretty much abandoned my warrior, I’m thinking about leveling up fishing (again) on my Paladin… :(

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