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Friday, September 23, 2011

In Defense of Farming

Recently (I can never tell since there aren't any date stamps and I rarely visit anymore) a writer named Alisha wrote an article for Just My Two Copper about her favorite spot to farm Frostweave Cloth. Now, it's not my preferred spot (here) but the article was well-written and to the point, and it was also grounded in solid reasoning, which I appreciate.

I decided to read the comments, as it received more than the average posts seem to get there.  You can take a look at them yourself, but the two that stood out where these:

"Farm? For real? heh... kids"
"Farming is so inefficient / tedious...but I guess there's nothing else to post about these days."

I think it's this kind of closed-mindedness that irks me the most about some in the community. The "One Right Way" crowd who have made up their mind that "farming = bad" and that's the way it is. Clearly, anyone who doesn't know that "farming = bad" doesn't know how to make gold and is inferior to this person.

Now, some people will look at the markets on their servers and say "Hey, it's more efficient to buy this than to farm it given my position!" and to those I say kudos for thinking for yourself.  People like TaĆ«l gave a great explanation of why one may choose not to farm.

What I find ludicrous is the people who seem to think that farming is always and forever a bad idea, such as the anonymous posters previously quoted.  For those who haven't already watched my Tailoring gold rush, take a look at it really quick.  In the course of about 15 minutes I farm up about a thousand gold worth of items, or made twenty three times the amount of gold invested in 15 minutes. That is a tremendous return on investment with very little time investment.  Do you really purport that farming = bad given such amazing results?

Well, allow me to give an outside source.  I recently discovered that someone else on my server makes a lot of videos, some of which are WoW Gold Making videos. Though I think most of his fanbase is due to his SC2 videos, I was surprised to see he was such a popular video maker with gold videos and yet I very very rarely ever see him on the AH.  I watched some of his videos and found that he makes massive amounts of gold just farming, usually in instances.  Check out his farming videos here.

To the people who say "Farm? For real? heh... kids" I say this: Get your head out of your ass.  A real gold maker should recognize that there is room for all sorts of gold making strategies, and that many of these strategies can be highly profitable.  There is no "one, right, perfect way to make gold" and to close your mind to other tactics is foolish.

Would I consider it viable for me to farm Obsidium Ore? No, I don't want to invest that time for that return.  However, have I spent time farming cloth and greens? Yes, because the return has met the "worth it" threshold for my situation.

Everyone will set their "worth it" threshold differently and if someone deems something worthwhile for them but not for you it doesn't make them a "kid," or any worse at gold making. It makes them open minded towards other strategies, which is more than ignorant kids who believe that a single strategy is correct can say.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Agreed,

    I usually farm when I'm sick of prospecting/disenchanting stuff or camping auction house. It's refreshing.

    Farming can still provide pretty decent profit.

  3. If you apply the same level of thought to 'farming' it can be very profitable for time invested.

    It does depend on the realm you are on and being aware on where demand exceeds supply. But how is it less boring than say for example re-posting glyphs.

    Besides, without farmers the crafters would be stuck

  4. In general terms farming is best suited for those that are starting. If you are established with lots of gold there are a lot more efficient ways to make gold if you have a limited amount of time. If your time is not restricted farming will generate a decent rate of return. It just depends on where you are in your gold making abilities.

  5. Hey way to tell those guys! Ever try to level a professsion, just to turn around, tell yourself you are not going to pay that much and go then go farm. Yep, that's what people do all day. Just gotta go pick your poison. Do you want to farm Elementium or 100 g a stack briarthorn. Keep the posts coming Faid.
    The Siz

  6. In many cases, the downside to farming is opportunity cost. While you can comfortably make 2-3k/hour or more with some strategic and efficient farming, you can make this amount of gold aggressively cultivating and cornering specific crafting markets *per market*. Meaning, by purely working the AH and having an arsenal of profession maxed alts, you're in a better position to diversify and thus make more gold in the same amount of time.

    But as has been mentioned, ymmv depending on your server and your circumstance. Farming is great for people starting out, and farming tips should never be unwelcome or viewed as newbie business. Even the most seasoned of gold vets should welcome a farming tip, knowing that there are hours in the day when your time is genuinely of better use out on the field farming rather than sitting at a mailbox.

  7. Timing is a huge component. For instance, when cata dropped, I spent the first three hours farming elementium ore, which I then posted for 750g/stack. I spent an hour and a half to two hours farming and made something like 16k.

    There have been times when Blizzard messed with the bots that I wish I still had an herbalist to farm herbs because they were decently high, albeit not as high as that first day. This was generally post-patch.

    At the moment, I'm leveling a druid specifically for those few times when it is significantly profitable to farm. I don't forsee them being huge, which is why I'm just sort of slowly going at it, but the next time farming is poised to make a killing for the first few days, I'll have a toon ready to go. (Mind you, it's like my 12th toon lol)

  8. Faid,

    You did a great job capturing my own disbelief to those comments. The best method of making gold is the one you enjoy. For some, that's farming. For others, it's purchasing and producing.

    Love reading your blog!

  9. I farm when I'm chatting on skype to guildies & I want something simple & mindless to do. I usually have a little list of bits I haven't been able to get on the AH (Essence of Air anyone?) so I wander off to the wilds to get it myself.

    I tried to explain the shuffle to a young-ish guildie a few weeks ago - he thought it was too boring for words & went back to his farming. As he said, at least he can kill stuff if he wants to when he's out & about! lol


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