Hi, I wanted to throw this here after my own initial experience with farming on a new character.
Enter Oemeria, fairly young player in terms of city involvement, level, etc. Not very oriented to combat/lessers, so looks for other ways to get involved in her city, maybe help out with commodity production: that's a great way to help, plus she is a crafter, she can use the comms herself.
In comes farming, a shiny little system with graphics and all: wow, appealing.
It so coincided that I thought I'd help out in Spinesreach by making an introductory CHELP for new players to become involved with farming.
And then I get to it:
10,000 gold to learn farming.
Some 13,000 gold for initial equipment.
But that's not even bad, just chump change. But let's talk about the initial investment in lessons:
- 360 lessons to learn watering (60 credits, if you're converting bound ones).
I think okay, that's not too terrible, after all, we do have credit milestones nowadays. I go and spend all these lessons, and then get to my field. I figure maybe I can plant trees, or cotton, or hemp.
And then I realize that is a big NO. Why? Because after spending 360 lessons, you can only plant things in the 'grain' variety, read: wheat and barley. These are essentially good for crafting and provisioning, as far as I know (add 100 credits to the cost of putting farming to use, in this latter case).
The next variety of seeds you can plant are in the 'vegetable' variety, still no hemp, no cotton, and no trees. Add 63 lessons to get to that skill, with no possibility of using this for production yet (total: 423; 71 credits total). So I think 'gee, just how many lessons do I need to put into this so I can get involved in comm production?' And I get to the total of 619 lessons (104 credits total), to reach the 'arborist' skill, which will allow me to plant trees for wood; make that 804 (134) if you want to be able to plant cotton and hemp with the 'field' skill for cloth and rope.
With all this in mind, several questions came to me:
- Is farming even intended for new players? I see no point in farming for new players if they can't use it to become involved in the game's economy. What do I do with sacks of barley and wheat, for which I will probably obtain zero profit? It is much easier and probably cheaper to buy these from any craft store.
The only potential I see to growing barley and wheat is provisioning, which we've already established requires an additional investment of 100 cr. If I'm going to spend that, I'm more likely to put those lessons directly into farming.
- Several times I've heard that it is intended for the economy to eventually be entirely or almost entirely in the players' hands. How will we accomplish this if newer players will indubitably want to invest their lessons and credits into other things, essentially deducting themselves and their time from it?
- Should we really have to invest 360 lessons just to be able to water plants?
- Should farming generate small amounts of experience? Maybe this would encourage participation - take the example of fishing: a 100 credit investment, which generates gold and experience. If I'm going to put my credits somewhere, maybe I should put them there.
- Should there be farming credit milestones? Another way to encourage the use and investment into farming.
Finally, I want to say that this is by no means a way to lash out at anyone. I rather love the mechanics of farming and provisioning, but I'd never experienced it with a new character that didn't have lessons to burn. From this perspective it is much different and I think it merits some looking into to perhaps make it more accessible, and a skill and activity that people will want to be more involved in.
Thanks for reading, and please correct me if anything is off/wrong.