Tuesday, July 15, 2008

It's a Living

If you're not familiar with the term 'farming' as it applies to MMORPGs (Massive Multi-Player Online Role Playing Game) it basically means killing bad guys, not to further a quest or gain experience points, but simply to take their money and loot. On a larger scale it can mean doing so to make money in the real world by selling this virtual cash to lazy gamers for real cash. Check out ebay sometime and see WoW Gold, Guild Wars Gold, etc for sale. Reportedly there are warehouses full of low paid workers in China sitting in front of PCs and collecting game gold all day to be sold in the real world.
On a lower scale, however, it's how I make most of my cash in Lord of the Rings online's virtual economy. See the game has a crafting system where you can be a cook or a woodcutter or a metal smith, or any number of other crafts as ways to make money. None of these interest me so instead I'm a thug. I go to Orc camps and kill everyone there and take their money and their goods and then sell the goods when I'm in town.
Yesterday I needed to earn 1000 silver pieces. The average orc soldier carries three silver coins and some loot that can usually be sold for another two silvers. As you can see, I'd have to kill a couple hundred orcs at that rate. But I know of an area simply crawling with orcs and even some orc elites who carry 10 to 15 silver and some nicer articles of armor, clothing, weapons, etc, that I can sell. Plus there are five orc camps fairly close together.
So I went to the first camp and killed everyone there and took their loot. Then I went to the next camp and the next, and so on. By the time I'd made the circuit of all five camps, the orcs in the first camp had respawned, so I made the circle again. Took me a little more than an hour to earn the 1000 silver coins. See? I told you I was a barbarian.
Now if some other players show up who actually need to kill the bad guys as part of a quest I go somewhere else. I'm not one of those players who hogs an area when others need the quest. In fact if lower levels just need to get to the bosses in an area, I'll gladly let them follow in my wake as I kill the soldiers. Did that for a small group yesterday who kept getting killed. I'm a polite barbarian.

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