One of the better parts of Mists of Pandaria has been the farm at Sunsong Ranch – its been a great source of materials and fun.
… yes, fun. Gaining favor with the Tillers to get more of the farm – since you got rep from harvesting crops you didn’t have to do the available dailies, but doing them did speed things up. The dailies didn’t take too long so it didn’t have the Golden Lotus daily feel to them.
Being able to make friends with the various tillers – either by giving them their favourite food or the gifts (eg the Jade Cat) you got from the Dark Soil or occasionally from harvesting the normal crops – so they’d give you things for your farm was a nice touch.
Whilst my main made friends with all of them – there was an achievement & you ended up with pigs, sheep and a cat amongst other things – most of my chars would only become best friends with Tina and Gina.
Gina as a mail box close by is handy
Tina as Farmer Yoon leaves Sunsong Ranch in a horrible mess and if my characters are going to have their hearthstone at the ranch they’d rather do so without the flies et al. Plus you get a cooking fire.
As an aside, El’s Anglin’ has an awesome guide to the farm – if you’re chasing the farm then its hard to bet.
Over time I’ve gained more full farms – 16 plots – and at the start of the expansion I was making full use of all of the farms I had.
This meant I was getting a lot of materials; as an example of this, to the right are all of the materials you need to take one character from having 525 cooking to having a fully trained Nomi to give you cooked food and an Ironpaw token every day.
With the 6 or so full farms I had at the time getting those mats five times over took about 3 weeks. Given that I don’t need to farm any mats for the deluxe noodle cart thanks to this, that was a good investment in time pre-5.4
I now have 9 full farms – even if I harvest and re-plant a farm within 3-4 minutes that’s still over half an hour doing nothing but farms.
Half an hour of killing vermin, birds, pulling weeds, watering plants, getting rid of insects… Even if you learn tricks like using blink or disengage to break the weeds – and if you’re not on a hunter, flying – it still takes a lot of time.
The materials you get back are pretty good mind – from the 5 farms I had doing snakeroot this weekend I ended up with 51 bars of trillium and 110 bars of ghost iron.
It is a lot of work however and even doing it at just the weekend it has started to feel somewhat soul destroying.
So, apart from my tailors who are still making a good trade in bags, I’m going to be shutting down all of the farms unless I actually need materials to support raiding.
… which means that my DK will probably still be harvesting engima seeds from time to time to provide Sipollo with the potions of the Jade Serpent he burns through raiding.
I’m also hoping that Blizzard really do design Garrisons in a different way to the farms when it comes to alts. They’ve said they will do, but it remains to be seen how that’ll work.