Farming skill improvement

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Xaveid
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Farming skill improvement

Post by Xaveid » Fri Apr 02, 2021 11:56 am

Hi there.
Is it possible to make so that farming skill effects the amount of energy used or the speed when you farm? for what I understand, so far farming skill is used to unlock more land, combined with the animal skill. the reason why I asked this is because weeding took so much time, especially if you have larger land. I do understand it is just how it is, more land, more work to do, but honestly speaking, I think it is way too much. imagine the amount of roundtime, energy consumtion+ if you are cold.
I hope you could consider my suggestion.
Thanks in advance

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Rias
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Re: Farming skill improvement

Post by Rias » Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:50 am

I've considered having weeding take less time with more skill, but I'd want farming to have more involved with it before I do that. As I've brought up before particularly with Animal Husbandry, I don't want farming to be one of those "log in briefly once a day to tap all the things real quick and call it good" experiences. The larger the farm, the more time is required to be spent on it. There's something to be said for finding what one's preference is regarding how much time one wants to put in and simply not expanding to exceeding that.

But to the point of weeing specifically: If farming can become a bit more involved with more actions to take and things to take care of, I'd definitely see weeding roundtime reduced with more skill.

Lastly: If roundtime is more than 5 per weeing repetition, see if you're wearing any armor that you can remove while doing farmwork.

ironcross
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Re: Farming skill improvement

Post by ironcross » Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:59 am

You do have the option of building a campfire on your farm to stave off the cold as you work. If you're going to be working the farm in winter, you will need to do this if you plan to spend more than a few minutes there.

The fire bundles are nice for this. You can prepare them ahead of time, store them in a crate or trunk, then pull them out, plop them down and light them. Done this way, you won't have to worry about sourcing wood, kindling and tinder every time you need to work on the farm when it's cold

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Irylia
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Re: Farming skill improvement

Post by Irylia » Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:25 am

I'm still not sure I understand the point in trying to make farmers or husbanders have more active chores to do. There's already not enough to do with just farming and husbandry to keep a bucket filled (unless you go to extremes) which then encourages farmers to take up secondary professions or be adventurers full-time and farmers on the side. The casual type of player who wants to just login - do their chores - and logout is never going to progress at any kind of rate that it would matter that that's how they prefer to play. I would personally rather have people who invest time and effort into leveling and gaining skill be given benefits from that effort that allow them to have more free time to do other things in-game or out.

I feel like a constant issue that's brought up with farmers is they never leave their land to interact with people. Well leaving farming so it takes them longer to do their tasks or adding more things to do won't help with this. It'll just make them want to only do their tasks and then move on with life rather than being able to get their tasks done quickly and then finding other things to do that are more interactive with the rest of the player base. And maybe that's just me. But as someone who works full-time and has a lot of IRL stuff going on and tries to find time to be active in the game - my desire to fulfill all my daily farming and husbandry tasks on a character that is able to provide value to the community through crafting usually outweighs my desire to play my alt (for now). And sometimes that ends up consuming ALL my active play time. And then there's zero time for RP. So what I'm saying is - I don't think more needs to be added before some reduction can be put in for those of us who have already invested enough to benefit. And that's just my 2 cents.

ironcross
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Re: Farming skill improvement

Post by ironcross » Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:37 am

This is a good point. If the goal is to foster good RP, creating more work for farmers that takes up more time is going to hinder that. Sure you could get druids to come help with growth, and you could have others working your land alongside you, but you'd still be interacting with the wider community less often.

We're looking at essentially two different play styles. The casual style of gameplay where you could get all your chores done then go out and do other things, and the real farmer experience which means that when you log in, you're spending most of your time on the farm. If you imagine this as a graph where you have casual and hardcore on the X axis, and roleplay potential on the Y axis, as you move closer to hardcore, RP potential is going to decrease, while closer to casual, it will be almost maxed out.

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Rias
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Re: Farming skill improvement

Post by Rias » Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:56 am

I'm always going to strive for a balance. As with all activities though, there should be a "you get out what you put in" feeling as far as effort taken and yielded results. I indeed do not want farmers cloistering themselves away on their farms all the time. On the flip side, I don't want it to be "log in, tap all my fields and animals real quick, and be free to do other things while having yielded the same results as other characters who spend significantly more active effort (roundtime/energy spent and/or risk taken) doing their activities".

If Farming and Animal Husbandry are desired to be more of an on the side thing where it's mostly based on wait times rather than active effort spent, their yields would need to be downtweaked (particularly Animal Husbandry).

Dennis
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Re: Farming skill improvement

Post by Dennis » Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:15 am

I think that vision that encompasses farmers having variety and involvement in their crops is a grand idea. More variety to gameplay is always a good thing.

To that end, for example, I'd love to be able to buy fertilizer and top off my soil health every now and again, perhaps after each crop cycle when the harvest has hauled in. Perhaps the fertilizer could bolster my first harvest of a crop. What I'd like to see is preparations being rewarded, not so much punishment for not spending all the time on one thing.

Feedback time from me!
Particularly with animal husbandry and farming, I figured now that I've done a fair share of ranching and farming I could give some feedback on the experience. My first and foremost is a sentiment that I've voiced a few times on chat jokingly, that the time it takes to perform can be drainingly long despite having a smaller sized farm. I also spend probably 8 hours of playtime a day on average every day for the last 3 months due to not having self-control.

Now for full contextual support, I own a farm that has 8 farm animals and 31 plots of planted land, I leave quite a portion of it fallow despite renting a sizeable field. I have 100 in farming and 200 in animal husbandry, and have a larger energy bar due to taking constitution as my attribute. I also typically play during day hours and benefit from a hidden exploration ability as a druid. Despite all of my benefits in terms of maintaining positive energy, I am frequently in the place where I don't leave my farm for hours on end, and I log off after because it has taken all my playtime and/or drained me of my will to play more. This time is drawn out for players without these enhancements as they have to account for longer resting time. I find that this largely applies most to animal husbandry, and not farming.

Farming:
Farming takes much longer to set up than it does to maintain. The farming upkeep is relatively short - each day I only need to spend a small time, half an hour to an hour, of weeding and watering and I don't pay it much mind. I spend a longer time in the morning, with a much shorter time in the evening just to top it off before bed. For farming, it is typically post-harvesting which tends to take the longest single block chains of time, where if I'm growing a crop that needs to be threshed and winnowed (like rimeveil) or it's a large crop (like pumpkins) I'm trying to manage storing all of a crop somewhere because of ground clutter. I don't have enough constructed containers. Generally speaking, farming with only 31 plots with a daily investment of time is actually alright and significantly improved over my prior farming experiences on the Other Game.

Feedback on things I'd like to see adjusted. On a grander scale, I would adore flexibility to accomodate people who can't dedicate daily active hours to the activity of farming. I think that this could of course be done on a player-level through companies where players are getting help from other farmers to keep weeds away and watering, but some mechanisms by which farming times and speed scan be modified through constructed enhancements would be nice. For example, sacrifice plot space to irrigate the field to keep it watered for longer periods of time to shelter against drought (the drought being that of player watering time) or sacrificing plot space to plant sacrificial crops that will attract pests and weeds to that crop over the rest of the farm. Farming would benefit from giving players more tools to control their growing conditions as is seen in agriculture.

In terms of reward: the end reward to the amount of active time invested is at a terrible ratio. I feel that a farmer will have invested dozens of hours of playtime and a cumulative realtime play of weeks to grow 1 yield of crop. I've found that the crop produces either enough material for someone to craft with for a few hours, or the same value of riln that another profession would make in a matter of less than 10 hours. I recommend increasing yield rate on crops so that there's at least more of a conversion rate by either reducing the overall growth time or increasing products yielded. I think that the product price is fine.

Takeaway suggestions:
Activities: Soil health monitoring. I'd love to be able to buy fertilizer and top off my soil health every now and again such as after each crop cycle when the harvest has hauled in. Perhaps the fertilizer could bolster my first harvest of a crop so there is both a give and take. What I'd like to see is preparations being rewarded, not so much punishment for not spending excessive time on one thing.
irrigate the field to keep it watered for longer periods of time to shelter against drought (the drought being that of player watering time)
plant special sacrificial crops that will attract pests and weeds to that crop over the rest of the farm.
increasing yield rate on crops so that there's at least more of a conversion rate by either reducing the overall growth time or increasing products yielded. I think that the product price is fine.

Ranching:
Ranching has taken the largest portion of my time during my daily farm hours. I own 8 animals myself and assist Hoss with upkeeping at least 20 animals daily. For Hoss's 20 animals, I will have spent 4 shifts in a day cleaning the animal sheds, small and large, each time taking a few minutes for probably an hour of gameplay. To get produce, I will spend approximately 4 hours milking the cows nonstop, unable to leave except to purchase food for my rapidly dwindling hunger. There is of course a significant return to the amount of approximately 10 to 15 thousand riln in milk per day over 28 total animals. While I would love to perform other things like hunting or socializing, realistically I'm trapped in a milking loop because of the size of the herd I tend to. My own 8 animals are much lighter in time commitment as small animals are less messy, and produce less milk. However they still do add to the overall playtime requirement. Feeding the animals has also proven to be a trip and a half all on its own. While I've recently discovered that I can spend about 2000 riln a day on buying biscuits at the store to feed most of the animals, Hoss also raises squirrels and ewe, who only eat pine cones and grass respectively. The time to forage, while modified by bushcraft, adds an additional active workload of 1 to 2 hours a week to keep feed topped off. I think ranching with animals provides a decent reward yield to work input. I do wish there was a smaller time requirement as not everyone has the time to maintain such a herd, or that there were tools to assist in the process. Either that, or increasing the rate of milking by my skill so I could, at a higher skill level, keep a larger herd with a reasonable time investment.

Takeaway suggestions:
Please make milking go faster and animals poop slower. :(

I'd say that the symptoms described of farmers never leaving their farm are largely a result of the process. While the actual farmwork and ranching, if looked at independently appears short, there is a heavy cumulative playtime that is enforcing this. Despite only have 8 goats, I find that I spend 1-2 hours a day just tending to them. The gameplay in and of itself is lengthy in time consumption and I think it goes back and forth to what extent... The only reason I'm able to consistnetly pull gains is because I'm inexplicably spending consistently ridiculous quantities of time in the profession which is non-reflective of the casual experience.
Last edited by Dennis on Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:38 am, edited 5 times in total.
"Always remember that we are a community before anything else. Before being a 'game' or a 'world' we are a bunch of folk who get together to have fun."

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Irylia
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Re: Farming skill improvement

Post by Irylia » Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:27 am

Maybe a solution for that then is to significantly reduce yield for those without the proper skill so that people who just login to do their dailies and logout in very short durations will not trouble you with their then menial riln gains for time spent. Or, as previous threads have suggested, increasing base costs of renting a farm or doing one of many other things previously listed that provide a sense of balance to the offline gains aspect. Just as a reminder... the gains are financial-only in this case, not anything to do with experience or skill.

I also feel like we have different perspectives on "real quick". Anyone who is playing in a style that bothers you enough that they're gaining too much from their minimal effort is likely still playing actively and doing farm chores for at least 30-60 minutes daily - because if they're really able to finish everything in 10 minutes or less, it's probably not enough of a farm to really gain that much from it. Even if it takes them only 15-20 minutes, that's still not super quick. That's a full work break's worth of time.

Crops take super long to grow. Wool takes days to a week depending on the animal. Rent is weekly. Again, farmers have to login every day. Otherwise days of effort is completely wasted as far as profitability. Weeds, weather, and poop (which is still not right for some animal types by the way) all make the daily login essential (food not quite as much since you can do a few days worth at a time). Everyone else does not have anything mandating they login or lose progress. And if you really want to be effective you have to login 2-3 times per day, not just once, to stay on top of it. So we're looking at probably an hour minimum of play time between the actual chores - checking town boards - mail etc. From my perspective, it's a non-issue. And if the riln is the problem - please just do something there. Increase costs, add breakage of buildings, add fees for pest control or farrier services or whatever. My character is plenty rich. I'm sure other farmers are too. I don't mind paying more or gaining less, but I do mind having more to do just to keep things running and I would GREATLY appreciate some relief in some areas.

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Rias
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Re: Farming skill improvement

Post by Rias » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:57 pm

I'm going to spend some more dedicated time on my farmy character whom I've admittedly not played in a very long time. I'll try and get a better feel for things. One of the things I feel is probably coming into play here though is the desire to get the 100% ideal output out of farming/animal husbandry. Yes, if one wants to get the 100% most possible out of crops/animals, one needs to log in more often and spend more time. The same is said for other activities as well. If I log out of my woodworker character, I'm no longer crafting items and getting experience/money. If I log out of my warrior, I'm no longer fighting things and gettings skins/loot/experience. I -could- be making more if I stayed online and constantly plied my trade.

I know tending after a large number of animals can be a lot of time investment, but so can doing any activity if shooting for the highest possible output. Just because the farm's big enough to support 30 animals doesn't mean I have to fill it with that many. If that feels like more work than I want to put in, I sell some of those animals and lighten my workload. I could be making a lot of money and experience if I did a constant rotation of tasks, crating, and combat - but that's more work and time that I want to put in, so I do things at a more leisurely pace and try to find a balance where I feel I'm getting enough progress dopamine while not also feeling overwhelmed by the investment required.

With Farming and Animal Husbandry, your stuff makes progress even when you're offline, provided you prepared them (watering/weeding/feeding/cleaning le poop/etc). As time passes they're going to progress less and less until they're tended again, sure. That shouldn't be seen as unacceptable though, should it? If I only want to log in for an hour or two each day, my crops/animal products are going to progress for that much time's worth of tending them. They would be progressing more quikcly if I were to stay logged in more often, but I don't need to be logged in every single day multiple hours a day to get something out of them. With crops - yeah, they will die if left unwatered too long or if the weeds get bad enough, so those little guys require a bit more regularity. Maybe that needs some adjusting so they'll not fully wilt and be lost, but give less/lower quality at harvest. But animals do not suffer any backward progress if left untended. They just halt until they're tended and enabled to start progressing on their own again over time. It feels right to me that the more time/regularity given to tending animals is going to result in more (or more accurately, quicker) yields.

Please understand that all of the above is the perspective I'm coming from, but it may well not be accurate to the work/reward ratio with Farming and Animal Husbandry at the moment. I'm happy to make tweaks. As mentioned, I'm going to be playing a character that farms and raises some animals in order to help me get a more accurate feel from the player experience side. I just wanted to make my thoughts clear on the general aim I have of requiring some kind of active investment to get output, and the concept of showing some restraint in situations where the workload feels overwhelming. I feel like the desire or expectation to get the highest and most optimal output possible - and being bothered by the risk of getting less than that if time is spent offline or doing other things - is hampering some peoples' enjoyment of these particular skills. And I get it - in our minds we know those weeds are there, or those animals are getting hungry, or those sheds need cleaning ... and if we could just get to them, that would pave the way for greater production/fulfillment/satisfaction/rewards/whatever drives us. Mentally, it's different from saying "I'm tired of woodworking/hunting/tailoring for the day, so I'm gonna take a break." It feels like there's a lingering responsibility remaining unfulfilled, rather than simply taking a break. But in the terms of the game, I want them to be virtually the same.

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