November 4, 2013
Fleece farming is among the best known of FFXIV:ARR’s money-making methods. Within weeks of the game’s launch, a number of guides and enthusiastic YouTube videos were singing the praises of fleece, an item required in significant quantities by high-level Weavers. The farming method itself is a tale as old as time: stake out the densest spawn points, corral the mobs using ranged attacks, and nuke them with AoE spells or skills. (The mobs in question are Ornery Karakuls, a type of Lv35-36 sheep found in small groups throughout southeastern Coerthas Central Highlands.)
Surprisingly, fleece prices have held relatively steady since Karakul farming became widespread, but other problems have arisen:
- Competition for the spawn points is fierce, especially at peak server hours.
- The drop rates suggested by the video are no longer realized in practice (have they been nerfed?).
I wanted to be sure I wasn’t merely having a run of bad luck, so I rounded up 64 Ornery Karakuls and counted the drops:
- 34 Fleece (32 NQ, 2 HQ)
- 17 Karakul Skins (12 NQ, 5 HQ)
That’s a little over 0.5 fleece/sheep and 0.25 skins/sheep. At market prices on my home server (Siren), these drop rates correspond to about 187 gil per sheep:
|NQ Karakul Skin||12||0.19||25||4.7|
|HQ Karakul Skin||5||0.08||250||19.5|
If you time the spawn cycle in the video, you’ll see that a practiced level 50 BLM (who, by his own admission, knows the exact spots to camp) can down about 6 sheep per minute, for a yield of about 1,120 gil/minute before market taxes or 1,065 gil/minute after. This is a respectable rate, but it won’t make you a gillionaire overnight.
Myotragus is the New Karakul
Later, while looking to level ALC, I grew frustrated with the prices for Horn Glue and decided to go collect the materials and make my own (weird, right?). I soon found that the goats who dropped the horns (Myotragus Billies and Nannies, found in Eastern Thanalan just east of Camp Drybone) were veritable piñatas of loot. In addition to Aldgoat Horns, they drop substantial quantities of Aldgoat Skins (and plenty of Aldgoat Chucks, too, but these are a “throwaway” cut of meat not worth the Market Board space to sell.) 71 Myotragus of mixed sex and level yielded the following:
- 25 Aldgoat Horn (22 NQ, 3 HQ)
- 40 Aldgoat Skin (30 NQ, 10 HQ)
I was pleasantly surprised to find that both of these items sell quite well on the Market Board. In fact, the total sale value per goat is just over 200 gil.
|NQ Aldgoat Horn||22||0.31||220||68.2|
|HQ Aldgoat Horn||3||0.04||575||24.3|
|NQ Aldgoat Skin||30||0.42||180||76.1|
|HQ Aldgoat Skin||10||0.14||230||32.4|
Oddly enough, at current market prices, Lv16-18 Myotragus are worth more per kill than Lv35-36 Ornery Karakuls. Assuming we could farm the goats at even the same rate as the sheep, we’d expect a profit of 1,200 gil/minute (1,140 after taxes).
Faster and Easier
But it gets better. The Myotragus are more convenient to farm in almost every significant way. First of all, they’re much easier to kill and, consequently, available for farming much sooner. Ornery Karakuls are only viable for rapid-fire farming after about level 40 or so, while the Myotragus Nannies and Billies can be quickly dispatched by almost any class at level 20+ (exception: CNJ). A level 20 ARC can comfortably farm up 2.5 goats/minute; a 35 MRD — hardly a class built for farming — can manage 5; and a level 50 BLM could probably achieve upwards of 10. In terms of expected value, this corresponds to a “sliding scale” between 500 and 2000 gil/minute.
The Myotragus Nannies and Billies also have a more “farmer-friendly” spawn arrangement. There are dozens of them in a relatively small area of the map, so it’s highly unlikely that you’ll run out of spawns. Rather than corralling them and then throwing down an AoE, you can often nab two or three at once with a single area-of-effect spell or skill. And because they’re in Thanalan rather than Coerthas, it’s that much quicker (or cheaper) to return to a major city and sell off your horns and skins.
Admittedly, there are a few advantages to the “traditional” Ornery Karakul farming method. One is that — as the above-mentioned YouTuber points out — fleece is constantly in demand, and its buyers are typically high-level crafters with the wherewithal to buy it in bulk. (That said, I’ve had no problem unloading the Myotragus drops.) You can also round up a few Karakuls when you’re in Camp Dragonbone waiting for FATEs to pop. Finally, the Karakuls naturally grant XP at much higher levels than the Myotragus. If your main goal is to make money, however, the Myotragus of Eastern Thanalan offer a far better value for your farming time.
Data for this post was gathered on 04 November 2013 using version 2013.10.23 of FFXIV:ARR. It may not reflect changes introduced in subsequent patches of the game. Thanks to Fevir of YouTube for publicly sharing his farming methods in an adaptable and easy-to-follow format.