How I did it. Where it stands today. (part 2)
* * *What do I need to get started?
This is a continuation of part 1, which has lots of the essential how-to details as well extra background information.
* * *
This is a continuation of part 1, which has lots of the essential how-to details as well extra background information.
* * *
Here's a little bit of a checklist.
+ Time, and lot's of it; A schedule that supports multiple 10 hour days in a row twice a month, an unwavering 2.5hr/day+ for checking pots.
+ Starter packs (30-day free trial discs), the key ingredient. At $2/piece. It is important to find a supply. Hopefully gamestops near you carry them, but they've been discontinued as of like 3 years ago, and what's remaining in gamestops are the packs that have taken so long to sell cuz nobody wants them. At the time I did it they'd been discontinued for like a year but there were 1 or 2 dozen packs at most gamestops I went to. You could also look into purchasing online, though I think gamestop.com limits to 1 or 2 per order.
+ Gil to invest in:
- wildgrass seeds at 3.6k/stack iirc; buyable at the south port in whitegate, from a vendor in a little tent
- ceramic flowerpots at almost 1k/pot; buyable in North Sandy in the area near the exit to W.Ronafure
- crystals from the AH at 1-2k/stack; I recommend 1-2 stacks of water crystals as these are cheap, give a good yield, and also yield lightning crystals which you can turn around and use for feeding as well
+ a visa giftcard; this is optional. You can always cancel trial accounts before the end of 30 days. I did almost all throughout my funding. I'm not going to go into further detail on this one, but keep it in mind and think about it
+ extras like multiple pc's and multiple main accounts can help to speed things up, but are essentially unnecessary
+ lots of viewing/listening material etc to keep you busy while you garden. Unless you're not human, this is pretty much a necessity and not an accessory
+ I can't think of anything else right now but if I do I'll add it
I've written a tome, so something more step by step might be a lot more useful.
1.Organize your life and schedule to allow for large scale gardening to be reliably possible.
The Bread & Butter
2.Locate and buy your starter packs.
3.Open them up. Register them. Get on playonline and hit join playonline. You'll need to input your address and personal information as well as your credit card information. You'll need the FFID that comes with the pack. Write down your 8-digit login, ie 'XQCL4388'. What I prefer to do is write this right at the bottom of the card where the FFID etc is written, which you'll find in the CD slip. I keep all of the cards together by my computer and flip through them as I check one account after another. You might want to write backup copies of your logins somewhere.
Tips for registering accounts.
When I did this, there seemed to be about a 15-30 minute+ wait or so in between registering accounts. At some point in fall '09, it seems they've adjusted this. No matter what I do, and I've heard this from others as well, there seems to be a 12-24hr+ wait on a single person registering accounts. I'm not sure if they do it by credit card or by IP, but I think it's by both...not sure. This past fall if I needed to register a couple accounts I would give friends the info and a diff cc to use, and they'd register it from their end and that seemed to work ok. Unfortunately nowadays a system like this, or multiple CC or access points, IP maskers, etc, would be necessary I think. Otherwise to register 16 accounts could take 8-16 days. Not viable.
4.Login & Content ID's. You'll need to accept a TOS agreement and make a handle. Then proceed to the screen w/ the "play" button. Click "content ID." Then click "obtain ID." You need to "obtain" ('purchase') 16 content ID's. Don't worry, if you cancel within 30 days there will be no fee. Once that's done go back and hit play. You'll be asked to make another handle and link new content ID's to it. After you do that you can now log in and make characters.
Creating & configuring characters
5. It helps to have a certain name theme to each of your accounts. That way you can easily identify the account and deliver stuff to the right mules. For me, I used a system like. ehh.. One month I'd name all the accounts after foods or something, so I'd have something like Canadianbacon. I would do this with the letters a->p at the end so I could easily locate and dbox w/e etc, to the required mules. Make w/e model you like. I just held down the right arrow key and made all hume males as this was fastest by far. Name it and select sandy and hit ok. While the initial CS goes by, you can occupy yourself with something else, such as making another mule on another account.
+ Tip: It's really important to multitask here to save lots of time. This may sound bonkers, but I would go through 4-6 CS at once. On one comp I would have 4 pol's up, and then maybe 1-2 up on another computer. There's a wait in between when you click ok on cutscenes and the next time it'll let you click ok, so just tab or click through the different pol's to get through many cs as fast as possible. You can also click through manual cs while other pol's are going through the automatic cs.
+ When you finish the manual cs, logout. You'll need to configure settings on this char b4 you move it around, if you’re a laptop player at least. Or reduce settings if you have a laggy computer. This is done in your USER folder. What you do basically is get through all the cs first. Then you start copying and pasting settings in order to quickly set macros and configurations on your mules. If you have 256 mules, this will save loads of time. Here's how you do it. Actually set the macros you want on a single mule, as well as configuration settings (ie weather off, etc). Then go into that characters USER folder. It's easy to locate the character you did this on if it's the last char you made, and you organize the USER folder by date modified. Then go into that char's folder and copy mcr.dat and cnf.dat, and paste those in your USER folder for future reference. Then copy them again, and paste and overwrite those files into every one of the folders that belongs to one of your newly created mules. Then when you log in everything's set, which is a godsend especially if you use a laptop.
+ Pro Tip +
+ I imagine other people that have done what I've done know this as well. But it appears there's a sort of limit to how many folders you can have in ur USER folder. If you have too many, then every time you try to make a new character your pol will crash. If you let this happen each time you will fail. It will consume far too much time. I don't know what the max folders allowed is. Maybe 60? Maybe 100? Either way, just drag a shit ton of folders you're not using and put them in a temporary folder. Now when you try to make a new char your POL won't crash. Drag the folders back into USER again later.
+ Helpful macros: mine were (alt1: /targetnpc, /garden), (alt2: /targetpc, /follow <t>), (alt3: /bank), (alt4: /target my-main-char's-name, /target my-alt-char's-name), (alt6&7: /deliverybox), (alt8: /follow main-char-names), (alt0: /logout or /shutdown for 16th mule), (crtl1: /c), (crtl7: /layout, /equip body, /equip hands, /equip legs, /equip feet), (crtl0: /ja "Mighty Strikes" <me>)
These macros save an incredible amount of time and make going through mules much easier and require less concentration. alt1 seems to be the fastest to hit. /Targetnpc is used for targeting an npc to sell grass, etc. /Garden is so it goes into your gardening so u don’t have to from the menu. Alt2 is meant to follow other mules to the MH so you can train multiple at a time. Alt3 just opens your mog house. Alt4 saves a lot of time trading to your mains. Alt6&7 yada yada. Alt8 useful to save time. alt0 I didn't really use. I found that pressing space and up for the '/logout' in my log was faster. /Shutdown just saves time so you don’t have to type it but if you hit it twice in succession it just brings you to the starting screen. Crtl1 is a habit I’ve had since game day 1. Think of crtl10 as the equivalent of a fighting game 'taunt.'
Loading-up Mules :: Setting the MH
6. Loading and setting mules. This part is maybe most time consuming and boring.
Before you do this you need to start loading up your main character with goods to trade. Start with wildgrass seeds or pots. Doesn't matter which is first. Dbox crystals later. Throw everything in your mog house so you have a lot of space. If you're going to get wildgrass seeds it helps to have /blm. I didn't have /blm so I just level oned and poison potted. I'd go buy wildgrass seeds in WG, poison pot warp to sandy MH. When I was out of seeds to trade my mules, I'd walk to the npc to warp you to wg, rinse and repeat. This will go by much faster if you have a main and an alt char on 2 diff accounts like I do. If you do, post one at south sandy MH and one at port sandy. All mules that finish a CS in north sandy should go to the south sandy MH. Interesting note here. When I was doing this you could pop up in perhaps 5+ places in each of the 3 zones. Now when you make a new char, it will always spawn in the same location in whatever zone it spits the char into. I take it this was changed to help SE keep a closer eye on RMT.
If you're doing ceramic flowerpots just main/sub thf and/or blm. When you're out of pots, flee to the north sandy NPC, buy up pots to max yourself, and warp back to the MH.
Log your mules on. I found that running 2 mules at a time was just about as effective as 3, 4, or 5. Too many mules just seemed too clumsy. 2 computers w/ 2 hands on 2 keyboards makes this easier but it is not necessary. If you encounter another one of your mules on the way to the MH hit alt+2 at the right time to target and follow them. Doing this in traings of 3 mules+ requires some balls. I've been confused w/ GS many times, especially in trains greater than 3. If someone questions you, just pop your 2hr taunt macro at them and speak to them in some combination of fluent and complex or sarcastic English.
When you get to the MH your main should be waiting there. Hit alt+4 to target them and while running toward them hit /logout. While your char is logging out you have time to trade them either 40 wildgrass seeds or 10 pots. If you logout while your trading this can save 30 seconds per mule, which can add up to be a lot of time saved.
After you're done trading all your mules either pots or wildgrass seeds, you log them back on and now trade them the other item. So if you traded 40 seeds to each mule, now trade them flowerpots. Log them on, immediately hit /logout, target and trade ur main, rinse and repeat. Or it might be better just to trade, then zone in the moghouse and log, as that logs you instantly.
As you're doing all this, you should periodically be logging onto jeuno or starting city mules on your main accounts to buy up crystals. Usually there is enough supply and it's not something of concern but if necessary, start early and start buying around when you're doing cs's or before. If necessary have mules at every AH. Many times for big operations I would about completely deplete the Jeuno, Sandy, and Basty AH's of a given crystal for a day or two. If you have multiple stacks to send each mule, great. If you only have one stack for reach mule at the moment that's ok too. If you don't have any, that's still ok. Just make sure you send your mules the crystals before it is feeding day.
Zone in your MH if you haven't, hit your dbox macro if you've got crystals, take em out. Now put everything in your MH. Now hit your /layout macro, which will also unequip all your equips so you can move them to the /bank later. Commence pot placement. I don't know how to explain what a "large amount of mules" and a "small amount" is, but if you've got a small amount you can lay your pots and immediately plant. If you've got a fuckton of mules, you might want to layout pots on all your mules first and then plant seeds so there's not a large timespread on your plants. Hawt, now all your mules are loaded up and set. Everything in this step will have literally taken days, and by the end of it you'll be glad as hell it's over, though in my case I could have enjoyed an entire season of LOST during this time.
The Daily Grind
7. Daily Examination/Upkeep.
+ Do something to keep yourself entertained while you check mules. If you like anime, national-anime.com is a paysite but very good. You could watch TV, or internet TV. You could camp NM's on your mains or chat though this will slow you down. You could be on vent or skype. Listen to music. You could listen to podcasts. Petfoodalpha and limitbreakradio are very good, but so are all the other FF podcasts.
+ Load 2 pol's on your pc, or preferably use 2 pc's. Simply examine 10 pots on one, logout, examine 10 pots on the other, logout, login and check 10...etc. Plant/harvest/feeding days will take longer but it's the same concept.
+ Nothing much else to say here. Just keep it up and use your macros to speed processes up. If you don’t' have quick fingers like I do, you'll probably get them after practice. Keep scoutin the AH and delivering bulks of crystals if you still need to.
+ I recommend not selling plants until you've harvested all 4 rounds if possible. This helps you to use your time most efficiently. However if you don't have any money you may need to start selling things after 2 harvests, etc. This will take much more time, so this is a habit that should be broken if possible.
This is fairly easy. Also there is leeway with harvestable plants. It takes awhile for them to die so if you want you can log on a mule, harvest, and start selling instead of harvesting on all and then beginning to sell.
+ Harvest on all your plants. Don't worry about the day. In mass gardening you don't have time for that. Same goes with when you examine, plant, and feed crystals. Harvest and then fill up your inventory. Exit and walk to the nearest NPC, and sell everything. If you've done 4 harvests, sometimes you'll get a paltry sub 40k. Other times you'll get 100k to 120k. Most of the time you'll get more than 80k. Your main chars should be standing at the npc's, so after you sell, hit logout and trade as you're loggin out.
+ Don't worry about selling pots or crystals or other junk. Almost always there will be no time and it won't be worth the time even if you had it. Just stock up to 30 invent and only go back to your house for a second round if you have actual valuable greens in the house. If it's just worthless gyashal or little worms, rock salt, ceramic pots, crystals, etc, forget about em. If you fill your invent w/ valuable greens and still have space leftover, sure, throw crystals or pots in there for some extra cash if you want, but it's not gonna make or break anything usually.
+ Grats, you're now much richer!
9. Canceling. They're 30 day trials so you might want to do that. Easy. After you're done harvesting, just go into playonline, go to content id's, and cancel all of them. And done is done. Might want to keep the account information though for a rainy day, as opposed to throwing it away. If you've got a special piece of plastic though there may still be some bonus levels, hint.
So that in a nutshell is a very detailed account as to what I did, how I did it, how others could do it, and what SE is doing and can do to people who currently might do it. Took me 9 very long months to fund what now seems like a paltry 120m or so. I took many breaks in between and also had incidents with lost harvests. It wasn't all smooth. While I was doing this I ran dynamis for about 6 months. During the last two months of gardening I did much better. Instead of 15-20m a month, after I quit dynamis and after the semester was over, I made 30m/month. The last month and a half actually produced almost half of the entire funding required.
I'm not terribly concerned about finally posting this. I don't really have beef with anyone. I've already got just about everything I want out of the game. And I don't have any shame really. Posting this doesn't threaten my current gilmaking methods, nor can one be sure that gardening is even safe now. I thought this would be very informative to some though, as many have asked or begged me for details which I've withheld until this time. And of course there are others that never believed this was possible. And yet others who would just label me a common relic gilbuyer.
While this guide is thorough, I understand that it's all quite prohibitively difficult. Especially the scores of starter trial packs required--and now long since discontinued. As if that weren't enough, you can now apparently be banned for this.
I'm open to any questions, etc on these articles.