As I stated in my post last month, while I’m in training for my new job I wouldn’t have much time to actually play any games other than maybe (maybe!) my days off training. That pretty much held true as it turned out, so the main goal for October was to run an experiment tracking how much each of my KDF “doff” (Duty Officer) farming alts actually earns over the course of one month of casual use. By “casual use” I mean login once per day guaranteed (in the morning before I go to class) to run my typical “doff route” and if I have time, optionally twice per day (after dinner in the evening). No more than that.
I wasn’t sure how to present the numbers and what to count, however. Brian joked (at least I hope he was joking) about a spreadsheet with graphs. I don’t even know how to do that! What I decided on was: Energy Credits, Dilithium, Contraband, and Commodities then how many of those commodities are needed for the current projects we have in progress in our Fleet Holdings. We’re a very small, very casual fleet. Our Starbase is Tier 2, and roughly 50% to Tier 3. Dilithium Mine is Tier 2 and coming up on 70% or more towards Tier 3. The past month or two has seen an increase in activity and even a few new members and we’ve made a lot of progress in a short time; probably more progress, especially on the Mine, in two months than in the past two years. The other two holdings, the Embassy and Spire are both Tier 1 and roughly 50% towards Tier 2.
So, today is the 31st and the numbers are in. However, I did manage to throw a few glitches into the mix, but I still have good enough numbers to work with. The first is a simple one: while I did mention counting R&D materials in my original post, by the time Oct 1 came around, I’d forgotten about that so I didn’t clear out the farmers’ R&D inventory to have an accurate count. On the flip side, I really didn’t bother concentrating too much on jobs that gained R&D materials anyway, other than a handful of blue-quality ones. Starfleet characters get the same projects as KDF for those resources, so I didn’t see a need to concentrate on them when I could focus on resources that Starfleet has a dramatically more difficult time acquiring.
In couple weeks prior to the Delta Rising expansion’s launch, STO had a Bonus XP event going, so I ended up creating two more KDF doff farming characters because they would reach level 11 to unlock Duty Officers much faster. I made one standard KDF, the other Romulan. Both of them ended up throwing a huge monkey wrench into my routine, but for different reasons. The KDF one has so far encountered some sort of technical glitch where he never gets a promotion when he enters a new level bracket. He’s now level 34 but still in his original ship, which tops out at warp 5.72. He takes twice as long to travel and I have to get packed, get breakfast and catch the van to class so I ended up getting very discouraged to even do much with him. A lot of the time I’d only run him through two sectors instead of my full normal farming route. The Romulan, on the other hand, is crippled due to content-gating: you must play through a certain number of missions in order to unlock the ability to travel to all the sectors. The point of a farming alt is not to play missions, so I still haven’t made the time to run the next few missions to really get him on his way. Obviously, low level farming alts have the same low profitability as any other low level character. Low tier gear vendors for much less than high tier gear. Other low level problems were: marauding acquires prisoners, which are wonderful to sell them off to labor camps for dilithium. However, the Forced Labor Requisition project doesn’t unlock til level 22, so you end up with a brig full of prisoners and nothing to do with them. You can mail them to your account and hopefully use them in other projects on other characters, or just dismiss them. Also low level characters simply don’t have very many duty officers initially, so they can’t do as many projects, and all the initial duty officers are common quality (“white”) and have a much higher failure rate on the profitable jobs. So, low level farming can be somewhat frustrating.
The new KDF farmer was level 18 on Oct 1, and level 34 today. He ended up earning 190,993 Energy Credits and 28,740 Dilithium. 190 Contraband. A total of 1871 Commodities, 826 of which are in demand in our Fleet Holding projects.
The Romulan started at level 21, and is also 34 today. He ended up earning 88,322 Energy Credits and 17,576 Dilithium. 42 Contraband. 461 Commodities, 139 of which can be used immediately in Fleet Holding projects. See how being limited to two sectors limits the projects he’s able to do, limiting his total earnings? Once I take the time to play his missions to open up the rest of the game, he’ll be a fine earner but for now my best advice is to not make a Romulan farming character.
The other mistake I made was on one of my five primary farming alts. Two mistakes, actually. Apparently while clearing out everyone’s resources so I’d be able to count their earnings, I forgot to clear out her Energy Credits and Dilithium. Then, about a week into October when she did her first Starbase run to vendor stuff to clear inventory space, I stopped at the bank and realized she had several commodities that could be used to complete some Holdings projects right then. Which was my normal thinking. That’s what farmers are for, right? So before I caught myself, I put all her commodities in the bank and the in-demand ones into the account bank. So, I will post her numbers separately since her EC and Dilithium count will be higher because I didn’t clear them, and her commodities won’t be the full amount she actually earned.
She has 674,405 Energy Credits and 151,753 Dilithium. 177 Contraband. 1,767 Commodities, 693 of which can go into Fleet Holdings.
That leaves four of my five primary farmers to work with. I’ll post their totals and averages, then the total earnings for all seven farmers.
- 574,730 EC; 75,978 Dilithium; 155 Contraband; 1834 Commodities; 826 in demand
- 762,014 EC; 68,438 Dilithium; 305 Contraband; 2800 Commodities; 1046 in demand
- 561,184 EC; 53,498 Dilithium; 338 Contraband; 3062 Commodities; 1366 in demand
- 686,057 EC; 61,118 Dilithium; 329 Contraband; 3143 Commodities; 1078 in demand
Using those four characters, the average comes out to: 645,996 EC; 64,758 Dilithium; 2,709 Commodities; 1,079 in demand.
The difference in earnings mostly comes out to factors such as: the quality of duty officers, the number of successes (and crits!) versus failure and disaster (even worse because those duty officers go to sick bay so are out of commission for a day and can’t be used). I don’t spend any Zen on increasing the duty officer capacity like the hardcore farming players do, nor do I spend their dilithium or energy credits getting better quality duty officers. I only run the occasional duty officer job that will hopefully acquire a new higher quality duty officer whenever that farmer alt has them available. Even then, I’m often dealing with failures or disasters so come up empty-handed. But that’s one of the differences between casual doff farming like I’m doing versus the hardcore guys who spend hours and hours each day maximizing their earnings.
The total income of all seven duty officer famers came to:
3,537,645 Energy Credits; 457,092 Dilithium; 1,536 Contraband; 14,938 Commodities; 5,974 Commodites I can use immediately for our Fleet Holdings.
All in all, I’d say that’s not bad just for logging in once per day and running some duty officer jobs! The dilithium alone should be able to finish up both of our current Upgrade projects and a few more.