BTH asked me the other day if I thought there would have to be a new version of the Tillers in the next expansion. It wasn’t something I’d thought about yet because Mists is still so new. With farming being an extension of the Cooking profession, and the general success of the Tillers faction as one that people generally like, it would almost seem like there would need to be a new farming faction in the next expansion. And if the devs are already thinking about the next expansion, maybe we should be thinking about how we’d like farming to evolve in the next expansion, too.
It would be simplest, perhaps, to just add a new “exotic seeds” vendor to the Halfhill market, to allow existing farms to continue to be useful. But then people would complain about having to go back to Pandaria every day just to tend their gardens.
What I’d like to see for the next iteration of the farming-and-cooking mini-game would be something tied to the original factions & capital cities. I think that would be more easily expandable for further expansions than having to build a new farming hub on every new continent or world that we visit.
For the Horde, there are a couple of reasonable places to put a farming village. One is Tirisfal Glades — there are already farms there, so why not reclaim one of them (perhaps Cold Hearth Manor?) for players to use? Another is Mulgore — if Ahab Wheathoof is “The Old Rancher”, where is his ranch? I bet he’d love to have some young whippersnappers come help him with his farm, and maybe we could even get Kyle to settle down and come home for good!
For the Alliance, Elwynn Forest seems to be a natural choice for a farm. Perhaps Tommy Joe Stonefield and Maybell Maclure have finally succeeded in running off together to start their own farm, and they need us to help them get things going and prove themselves to their angry parents.
The corresponding markets could be extensions of the towns (Brill or Bloodhoof Village, Goldshire). Like Valley of the Four Winds, the dailies for max-level characters could be up in the nearby mountains, requiring a flying mount to access. Upgrading farms for a new expansion would then be fairly simple — add new vendors with new seeds and other materials to the market, either level up the mobs for the dailies or have the dailies be missions to bring back materials from the new zones, and expand the size of the farm by another row of plots. Centralizing the farms to the starting zones might also be a good opportunity to revamp the cooking profession and make it be integrated with farming from the beginning.
Could this work? How do you think the farming mini-game could or should be implemented in the next expansion?