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New World's Cooking Makes Me Long For LotRO's Farming

Joseph Bradford Posted:
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Ah farming: a chore I don’t really want to do in real life to the point I gave up on my own herb garden this year, yet I love doing it in The Lord of the Rings Online. I’ve spent days of my finite time on this planet in The Shire near Michel Delving, farming blueberries, pipeweed and more to sell on the Auction House in the nearby town.

Yet, while I love farming in LotRO, I was never as taken with cooking. Sure, I leveled it up to Master Cook in the Shadow of Angmar days, but like most crafting professions in the MMO I’ve not really touched it since. There have been friends of mine in-game that enjoyed it much more and I’ve just bought the fruits of their labor instead of laboring over fruit-based foods.

Yet New World’s cooking has me yearning for the ability to farm in a game again. And it’s not a huge shock when you consider how scarce some cooking materials are in New World, yet how complex some recipes can be.

Seriously, I would sell my house for a bit of peppercorn some days.

New World uses cooking to provide buffs to those who eat the meal, whether it’s increasing luck when mining or skinning or adding a buff to main attributes to boost stats while running to and fro in the tedious questing New World has on offer.

As someone who loves recipe building and cooking in my everyday life, I was pretty jazzed to see complex cooking recipes in New World. That is until I realized just how expensive and rare some of the ingredients would be.

While plants such as Strawberries, Corn and Potatoes can be found at farms and around the world in your travels, items like Sage, Rosemary, Thyme and the godforsaken Peppercorns can only be found in either the Herb plants you can harvest or in provision baskets around the various landmarks in Aeternum. Some items, like Milk, Sugar, and more are only found in those chests, making them quite rare and random indeed.

New World Cooking Recipe

I appreciate the realistic recipes, but make ingredients less random - or just let me work to grow them myself!

It makes me wonder why so many materials would be relegated to just sheer random drops. Crafters who focus on Armoring needn’t worry about this for the most basic of recipes. Want to make a sword? Go mine some iron, mill the wood into timber, and tan some hides for the grip. All readily available items you can conceivably find right away.

However, if I want to make, say, a Filet in Mushroom Sauce, I have to source milk (found in crates), onion (found only in crates), make butter from milk, find mushrooms, source the meat from an animal and get lucky on the herb drops. This level of randomness makes me wonder why New World didn’t include farming in the MMO. I mean, I can fish, and there is plenty of land to farm, yet we are unable to grow the ingredients and turn it into another profitable crafting profession to trade on the Auction House.

Farming could solve this. Instead of relegating ingredients to random drops, give players the ability to cultivate the crops. Grow garlic, onions, potatoes, and more. Give players the ability to milk a cow, not just kill it. It doesn’t have to be complex, and would provide another avenue for players who want chill, till their fields and watch the day go by in Aeternum, while, as I said, provide another opportunity to spend and earn precious gold. And given the deflation in the market right now where gold is absolutely precious due to fewer gold-making opportunity and ravenous gold sinks in New World, this could help ease that burden a bit.

The fact that the MMO has a fully player-run economy, yet not everything required to sustain the crafting in that economy is player produced (like the vast majority of stuffs on the market in EVE Online, for example) feels a little counter intuitive as well. Players should have all of the tools available to make not just their chosen crafting paths work easily and equally, but by ensuring that everything listed (for crafting at least) can be produced by a player to ensure a healthy supply could ease some market strain.

And that's not to say that some items should be easy to produce - far from it. There should be ingredients that require more work, and thus make them more scarce and, in turn, more valuable. But right now,  there are simply too many random variables that go into play here to make it as compelling as it would if we could, say, cultivate some of these crops. 

Ensuring too that some recipes have rare items to pad them out doesn't need to change. For a more advanced recipe, requiring the rarer Turkey Leg instead of just poultry gives you incentive to strap on your luckiest gear and go hunt some turkeys. But when the bulk of recipes rely on drops that are just too random, it doesn't make cooking nearly as compelling a trade as simple mining and smelting, or even becoming the best lumberjack on the server.

Lotro Michel Delving Farming

Every time I try to cook in New World I find myself longing for The Shire’s farmland in LotRO. Let me live out my farming simulator dreams, Amazon, if for no other reason to ensure eggs don’t cost me 20 or 30 gold a piece on the Auction House ever again.

Featured Image via New World Wiki


Joseph Bradford

Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he's not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don't get him started on why Balrogs *don't* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore