Complaint: There's too much XP for too little activity
The farm was always intended to be low intensity content, but it's clearly gone a bit too far. We've come up with a plan to reduce the amount of XP earned through the farm.
Step 1 - Reduce the harvest XP by 50%
This was a tough one, but it was clear from your comments that reducing XP gain to 70% (the original plan) didn't cut it. As such, we have reduced the XP gain to 50% of the overall value. Looking at the numbers, this still gives the farm a really good rate of XP, but it's now at a more manageable level.
Step 2 - Animal XP is now based on their health and happiness
This is to encourage players to engage with their farm more actively. Now the happiness and health of the animals adjusts the XP to a percentage of their average, to a minimum of 10% of their maximum value. This means that you need to keep your animals fed and healthy if you want to maintain their best XP rates.
Step 3 - Harvest XP can now be boosted by items and bonus XP
You can now use any XP boosting reward or device while harvesting. While this doesn't include double XP weekends, it means that those who are going for efficiency can see an increase in the base XP to somewhere near the pre-nerf values.
Complaint: There are too many animals in the game, reducing their value
Player Owned Farm was intended to be a possible money maker for efficient skillers, but with the introduction of some mechanics we unintentionally made it so that far too many animals were flooding the game, dropping their overall value. Here's how we're addressing it.
Step 1 - Reduce breeding outside of the pens
The main culprit is the breeding functionality in the non-breeding pens. Originally our plan had been to massively reduce the chance of breeding AND to increase the time it takes for animals to breed in the non-breeding pens. In hindsight this was a little too much. The changes we're making are:
- Animals in the small pen will take 1.5x as long to breed as animals in the breeding pen
- Animals in the medium pen will take 2x as long to breed as animals in the breeding pen
- Animals in the large pen will take 3x as long to breed as animals in the breeding pen
Step 2 - Reduce the amount of animals the collector farmhand can hold
Currently the collector can hold 90 animals, which is excessive. The current format means that there's little reason to trade as players will just collect a ton of animals over the course of a few weeks.
So the plan is to reduce the collector's capacity to 10 of each breed, for a total of 30 possible animals.
Note: This won't remove any animals she is currently holding over that limit, merely prevent more animals from being stored.
The collector is still a great investment, but now we encourage people to sell more animals to get the best results (for both the buyer and the seller).
There's no point in feeding the animals because they eat so little
There's currently relatively little mechanical reason to keep your animals well fed. However with the proposed changes to how XP is harvested, feeding animals will now be more important than ever before.
However, due to the rates at which animals age and the rates and which they feed, for some animals it's relatively difficult to achieve high happiness and health before the optimum harvesting time. So we're making a change.
Step 1 - Increase the rate at which animals feed
To keep things simple, we've decided to make it so that each animal eats 1 food every hour. Put simply, this means that an animal's health and happiness will now improve at twice the rate, while still allowing players to leave their farms alone for a few days and check back in to top things up.
Additionally, we've increased the amount of food which can be added via left click. Now you can fill the entire trough in one go.
These changes will make it harder to complete the breeding log
We recognise that nerfs are never fun, even if they are necessary. One of the issues highlighted has been that the reduced breeding rate will make it harder to obtain shiny animals and complete the breeding log. So...
Step 1 - Increase the benefits of shiny enhancing traits
These traits have been doubled in effectiveness, meaning you are much more likely to get a shiny animal if you breed these traits. However, we recognise that breeding traits isn't an exact science so we've made an additional change.
Step 2 - Increase the hereditary nature of traits
All traits now have a much higher base chance of being passed on to their children. It's not 100%, but you should see it being much easier to breed the traits you want into your animals, whether it be the shiny boosting traits or traits like jovial and immune.
Step 3 - Increase the value of shiny animals
To give even more value to shiny animals, they will now produce 25% more XP than their base animal (up from 10%). This means that if you aim to breed shiny animals, you should see a higher rate of XP as a reward for the effort you have put into the farm.
Overall these changes should reduce the XP earned from Player Owned Farm without sufficient effort. We've not focused on giving value back to seeds as part of this update, but keep your eyes on the horizon for plans that might help in that department.