Farming for fun, profit, and beating down the bots!
Table of Contents
1. Getting Started
2. Addons and Keybinds
3. How to detect, evade, and deal with bots.
4. Tips & Tricks
We all know how to farm. Fly from point to point and right click the nodes we find. But did you know that there's some small things that people miss? Especially now with the phasing. You know what I'm talking about. Those occassional herbs or minerals that you fly down to and start gathering only to watch it phase out and you've wasted your precious seconds of farming time.
So here's a little breakdown of the basics that you want to do before you go all out farming.
- How long do you want to farm? -- This is the first decision you want to make. If you farm too long, you'll get bored. If you don't farm long enough, you'll feel unsatisfied with your haul. You can also decide how much of a particular item you want to farm.
- Do you think you have the capacity for the duration/quantity you've decided on? -- Running out of bag space is problematic for farming. Especially if you're going to do it for extended periods of time. Having to mail all your stuff is time consuming even with addons. So the less trips you make to unload, the better. Think about investing in a Mammoth Mining Bag or an Emerald Bag.
- Where are you going to farm? -- This right here is where lots of farmers get frustrated. They'll go to their favorite farming location and find that it's overrun with people and often go to a place that they aren't as familiar with in hopes of it having a lower population of fellow farmers. Don't do this. Pick your spot and stick with it. Flying around all over the place just hoping to find somewhere with less people is wasteful and frustrating.
- Is the area you farming in a phased area? -- This can distract you as well. Be wary of the nodes located along the outside of the area your farming in. You Twilight Highlands farmers are probably already aware of this. If possible, try and find an area that isn't phased. One you remember hasn't changed since you leveled through that zone.
- And finally, is this for professions or profit? -- If you're farming in order to build up a profession, you probably don't have to farm as long or as much unless you need that profession maxed like, right now. If you're doing it for profit, then it's likely you'll be spending more time farming than someone with professions. Especially if you're like me and get a great deal of enjoyment from pulling 10-15k gold out of your mailbox every morning ^_^
Addons and Keybinds
This little section here is all suggestions. Things I personally find make farming much easier for me. Lots of you probably already have some of these but some of you might not. Hopefully these will make you day to day farming a more pleasant experience.
Here is a general list of addons that I use as well as the function I use them for. I would provide links, but I'm pretty new to the forums. However, many of my addons come from wowace.com and curse.com. There are numerous setup and tutorial videos on youtube on how to configure these addons.
- GatherMate2 -- This addon tracks nodes that you have found and marks them on your world map and mini map. Gatherer is another addon that serves the same purpose.
- Gathermate2_data -- This is a wowhead dump of known nodes. While I strongly suggest building your own database through actual farming, this can be useful for people just diving head first into the farming game.
- Routes -- Should be a staple addon in any farmers arsenal. This addon can generate, tweak, and display routes created by you for optimal gathering. Just make sure to learn how to use the taboos and such. Make your life much better when it comes to those pesky phasing nodes.
- TomTom -- When combined with fine tuned routes generated by the Routes addon, farming is literally as easy as "Monkey follows the arrow." But that's only if you willing to invest the time in fine tuning your route.
- Postal -- When it's time to open or send lots of mail, this addon is great.
- BagSaver -- This addon can help when you find that pyrite node and your bags are full. Displays the two lowest value items in your bags and lets you trash one. Also has an auto sale feature for grey items you may come across while farming.
- AdiBags -- Great bag addon that separates your goods. Wonderful for us dual gathering types!
First things first, go to your keybind options.
- Targeting Functions - Pet Attack -- If you have a pet, you want this at your fingertips. I have it bound to Shift+Mouse3. I can't stand when there's a mob by a node and someone else swoops down and snags it out from under me while I'm in combat. (Note: If you aren't a permanent pet class, you want a quick keybind or something that can root, incapacitate or distract the mob. Shamans, Stoneclaw totem. Mages land blink distance from the node, pull mob, nova, blink, gather. You get the idea.)
- Targeting Functions - Interact with Mouseover -- This is just a personal preference over clicking on the node. I'd rather over my mouse over it and press another key. This can be useful if you're trying to beat someone else there. I know you've all right clicked and just slightly moved the mouse during that click. You know what I'm talking about.
- Targeting Functions - Show All Nameplates -- This has a few purposes that will be discussed later. Default is Ctrl+V. Just make sure you can turn it on.
- Your Mount! -- Having this key readily accessible is a necessity for farming. I've got mine bound to my mouse so I can mount up asap after gathering a node.
How to detect, evade, and deal with bots
Bots... we've wished unholy death upon them for stealing our nodes while they are under the terrain or for racing node to node while having no mount at all. We've all been there, cursed, and wished there was something we could do to deal with them. And there is!
Bots are programmed by lazy people for lazy people. Many cost money and some are free, but there is one thing that every bot has in common. They will never compare to or beat a real human player. Especially when you're armed with knowledge of how some of them work!
How do you know if it is a bot? What are the tell tale signs that some guys computer is taking you for a loop? Here's a few ways to tell if it's a bot.
- Can you only see the players nameplate? -- If so, they're likely under the terrain stealing your goods. Not much you can do about these guys unless they're enemies and flagged for PvP. Then you can attack them and they'll most likely stop moving for a predetermined amount of time.
- Are they walking through the air with no mount? -- I've found numerous bots lately that don't even mount, they just slowly go from node to node without a mount and under the terrain. I got lucky and death gripped one back through the terrain only to watch him "fly" off. These people are using not only bots, but XYZ hacks, to get them ahead with no effort. These ones you can usually report to a GM and see them disappear a few days later.
- Do they mine a node and fly straight upwards after mounting? -- There are a few actual players that do this, but in my experience, they're mostly bots. The bots that do this are being run by a lousy program that requires the player to define a max height to ensure that the player won't get stuck. I've seen a number of reports about these guys getting banned and it makes me tingle!
These are the best ways I've found to detect bots. May not be all the methods or signs, but these are what I notice the most.
If you get nipped in the butt twice by a single bot, just turn around and reverse your route. He's going one way, you're going the other. Pretty much the only way to avoid bots.
Dealing with Bots
Now. I enjoy hunting bots. I find it exciting. I research them, follow them, and ultimately get their asses banned and raise a beer in victory! Yeah. Little over the top, but I really like hunting bots! If you have no ambition to hunt bots, then this section won't do you much good. You can probably skip to the next part of the guide now.
Research! -- Knowing how bots work, their limitations, and their tells makes this a great past time. And I'm not saying to go out there and use them! Don't be stupid! I'm telling you to read forums, reports of who got banned and what bot they were using, where they were botting. You may not know this, but the more ban reports a bot gets, the less trusted it is by botters, and ultimately, reduces the number of people running bots. Less people running bots usually means less people farming, and that's my goal!
Follow! -- If you can map out an entire bots route, you just hit a goldmine of information! See... people are lazy. They just take whatever route is given to them and stuff it in their bot. If you can discover these routes and match numerous players to the same route, you may just have yourself a nice fun time compiling a list of bots to forward to the GMs. My largest report thus far was 4 bots using the same route in Uldum.
Misc -- You know that bot you just reported? How the GM said they can't tell you about any action they take? LIES! Add that bot to your friends list and pretty soon after reporting (sometimes you'll have to report them a second time.) you'll find that the person either doesn't exist on your friends list anymore, or no longer comes online! This is victory! I have a lowbie alt that just has bots on his friends list for the opposing faction.
Tips & Tricks
- Pick a section -- Don't just go flying all over the zone looking for what you want. Pick an isolated section and farm only that section. Such as Uldum. I will pick sections of the zones outer wall and only run those. Such as the west wall. I'll go up and down that area repeatedly rather than do a full circle around the zone. This always yields a higher take than when I used to do full zone sweeps.
- Roll a Druid -- Druids are, by far, the best farming class. They stay in flight form with herbs and instantly enter flight form. That means you save 1.5 seconds every node. Huge difference when you farm as much as me.
- Avoid Phasing -- If you have a dual gathering druid alt that hasn't done any quests in the Cataclysm zones, keep it that way. This will reduce the number of phased nodes you'll encounter and makes farming much more pleasant.
- Know Market Values -- If you're farming for profit, find out the average value per unit in the AH. Pick something that has a low quantity in the AH. You'll likely find a great deal of AH guides at the end of this contest! USE THEM!
- Music -- Farming is probably viewed as THE most tedious thing to do in WoW. I've found that listening to some Drum 'n' Bass or some Dubstep keeps me going for hours! Throw on your favorite tunes and just go for it!
- Keep your bags closed! -- Nothing will deter you from farming more than looking at your bags and seeing that you haven't gotten as much as you thought you have. Don't open your bags till they're full!
Ultimately, everyone farms differently. People will hate it and people will love it. I'm one of the latter and it's unlikely that I'll change. The gold I get from farming is just too satisfying for me to pass up ^_^
The only real last thing I have to say is that if you have any other tips, ideas, suggestions or whatever, feel free to let me know!