[Tooth & Arrows] The Farmer In The Valley

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I’ve never really been able to get into FarmVille. I admit this. Even Facebook games that I love only tend to get a week or two of devoted play at a time before I get bored with them and go back to doing other things – like WoW and TheHunter. But with the new expansion came the addition of a new facet of gameplay that WoW has never seen before: personal farming.

No, not the kind of farming like I’ve talked about before, when you run the same instances or kill certain mobs over and over in order to up the chances for a certain mount, pet, or item to drop – but actual FARMING. As in, FarmVille style farming. And with that farm (which doesn’t technically belong to you, the player, but to a Farmer Yoon – a Pandaren trying to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and join the elite union of the farmers in the Valley of the Four Winds, known as the Tillers – and you’ll have to be best friends with them, too, before you’re done), you can grow every kind of vegetable cooking ingredient in the Pandaren area of WoW, as well as getting access to some “special crops” later on that will allow you to harvest everything from cloth to motes of harmony – an important crafting resource as well as a currency of sorts.

But we all know that veggies aren’t exactly something that would get me excited about farming. Let’s talk about what does, shall we? Namely – neat animals and visuals! (Yes. I’m a bit shallow when it comes to my gaming stuff. Shush.)

As you progress in the reputation grind with the Tillers and each individual member of the association (I linked to a guide above that will make that a bit easier – love WoW Insider), for each person you become “Best Friends” (also known in classic reputation terms as “Exalted”) with, you gain something new for your farm. These things range from a Yak named Shaggy, to a few portly Piggy’s, some Chickens from Hillpaw, and even a cosmetic Orange Tree and some sheep. Of course, you also gain useful items as well.

These items vary from a mailbox right on your farm, to furniture for your house that includes a stove that you can actually use as a cooking fire. Thanks to the fact that one of my other toons is an Engineer, I keep myself supplied with Thermal Anvils, allowing smelting to be done anywhere – including on my farm, and the fact that I own the Traveller’s Tundra Mammoth, I have a vendor to sell junk or repair on my farm as well.

If I had the Grand Expedition Yak mount and therefore had a Reforger right at hand as well, my farm would only be missing two things that would keep me from simply “living” there full time and making it the spot where I “live” in game. The place where I log out every day and always leave my character. As the Yak is obtainable and I know I’ll get it eventually – it just involves saving up the 150,000 gold that the mount costs – that means there’s really only one thing my farm is missing in order to make it perfect.

It isn’t technically an Inn. Yes, I know, this doesn’t matter at max level, since my “rested” doesn’t matter. But I would still have liked the ability to set my hearthstone to my farmhouse. Yes, there’s an Inn right on the other side of Halfhill. No, I haven’t set my Inn there. If I can’t set my hearthstone to my farmhouse, I’ll just keep it at Shrine of the Seven Stars, where the portals to the main cities are. It’s only a quick kite ride from there to Halfhill, anyway. However, if my farmhouse had an “innkeeper” of sorts – perhaps a book or something that functioned to allow you to set your hearthstone there, I’d be very much tempted to set my hearthstone there and use the flight points to get to the portals for when I need to get to an auctioneer, which is currently the only reason I leave Pandaria.

However, even though it’s missing that functionality, I admit – I absolutely love my farm. There’s a scarecrow for me to sit on in flight form, animals to watch and play with (wish I could name the animals myself, though – having a dog named Dog is kind of boring), plenty of veggies to grow and plots to work with every day. I took a bunch of screenshots, included in the below gallery so everyone can see my farm. Because, even were you to come meet me in game, you wouldn’t see it – see, every player’s farm is in the exact same spot, so it’s phased. No one can see someone’s farm other than their own. So the only way for me to share my farm with you is like this.

However, I thoroughly enjoy this new aspect of the game, affectionately called FarmWoW (much like battle pets is called PokeWoW), and look forward to continuing to farm and cook things for the rest of my WoW career. Enjoy the screenshots after the jump!