Someone on the Consortium IRC quipped the other day (and I really apologize I don’t remember who said it) that farming in World of Warcraft is the 8th deadly sin. This is a sentiment shared by many in the gold making community and though frankly I can see where they are coming from, I find it ridiculous. Do I go out and farm? Nope. Have I? Yes, I have, during my dark ages where I thought the best way to make gold was to go mining and sell the raw gems from prospecting the ore I collected. Dark days those were.
People in the gold making community seem to make out farmers as the lowest form of gold makers. I could be accused of this as well, as I’ve spoken before how much I hate farming. The hilarity in this situation though is that without farmers, what most Auctioneers do would not be possible without the farmers. The fact that raw materials can be acquired in bulk for reasonably cheap prices can only be accredited to those that take the time to go out and gather these materials.
Farmers are the blue collar workers of World of Warcraft. I know many people look down on blue collar workers in real life, but that is something we should stop as well. Just like in real life, the blue collar workers of World of Warcraft perform vital tasks that must be done for society to function (or in this case, the economy) and their existence supports our existence as the white collar workers. To function correctly the economy needs a healthy ratio of all the various types of players who interact with the Auction House, the farmers to supply the raw materials, the auctioneers to manufacture the ends products and keep the markets in check, and the consumers (the average Joe) that buy the end products.
Here’s another positive for those that farm, there is little to no diminishing returns on the Gold Per Hour while most auctioneering activities are limited by how much demand there is for an item, most of the raw materials you would be farming have nearly perfect demand assuming you hit the right price point as most ‘goblins’ buy everything they can under a price point in case of drought later on, which shifts the worries about demand onto them.
Gathering professions also can garner a lot higher passive income than auctioneering. What do I mean by passive? Well when you’re out in the world doing your quests, dallies, etc. you naturally come by nodes and skinable mobs, meaning you do little out of your way to collect these goods. Most auctioneering practises require dedicated time to do, so it’s either one or the other, not both.
The largest downside to gathering (or farming) is usually a very low GPH, and the fact that is the World of Warcraft equivalent of menial labour.Some people don’t mind the menial labour aspect, some players actually enjoy it and find it relaxing, to do something not thought-process intensive (would one of these people please offer to do my prospecting and milling? Seriously, please?) The largest problem with it however in the gold making is the stigma. Most people will bash farmers out of hand, and inform them (where possible) that they are doing it wrong and tell them that the Auction House is where it’s at. Personally I don’t think such stigma has ever driven someone away from farming, it’s usually the fact that the Auction House has much more profitable and exciting ventures you can partake in instead.
I think we should stop talking down about people who farm, because frankly without them we wouldn’t be able to do what we do, and for that we should be thankful. I certainly wouldn’t be able to farm.