Magriculture

by NullMagic

When Aurum Industries announced the first Full Immersion Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (FIVRMMORPG if you're hip) Limitless Online, most people saw it as an opportunity to live out their sword and sorcery fantasies. John, however, saw it as the opening of a new and as of yet uncrowded job market. One he was willing, and eager, to exploit.

Determined to make money through virtual hard work and effort, John sets his sights not on the heights of magic or the perfection of the sword, but instead upon the tilling of the soil and the sowing of seeds as he explores the wide and wonderful world of magical agriculture all from the comfort of his own bed.


Disclaimer: This is, at best, a very rough draft. I have already had to do one major rewrite and several minor rewrites of entire sections of the story, and it is a virtual certainty I will have to do re-writes again.

Such changes may be as small as editing a few numbers (such as going back and changing how much mana an object holds) or it may force me to re-write entire chapters (this has happened once already, and I'm really hoping it doesn't happen again, but... life). Minor re-writes will probably never be posted here. Major rewrites probably will.

Anyway, what this boils down to is: If you're looking for a fully cohesive story with few to no errors and publisher level editing, this is not the story for you. If your looking for a cohesive plot that's more than "Man farms, man farms, man farms well, man maybe makes money" you're probably also in the wrong place, but I will attempt to entertain you anyway.

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NullMagic

NullMagic

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yellingbrian2
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Story
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Character

Good Farming Story! Poor Business Story.

Reviewed at: Chapter 20

Summary: This story is about John realizing a New Game could make him real world money. He decides to become (seeming) the only Player-Farmer in this Game in the hopes of eventually selling his crops for a living.

Overall: I am enjoying this novel. The Game mechanics are well explained and (mostly) well thought out. I enjoy the farming, and despite the fact that he COULD grow exponentially this game seems intent on screwing him over, with hidden costs and BS mechanics. So I don't feel John is over powered YET, but he will be if I keep reading. And that's a good feeling!

Style: This novel has a "tackling one problem as you go" sort of style. Each problem is met with a solution fairly quickly. There's no real feeling of urgency, all the characters are fairly helpful and nice. This is a Lit-RPG Farming Story, and if you came here hoping for one you found it.

However my big issue with this novel is that the Main Character has been making EXTREAMLY POOR BUSINESS DECISIONS. And making money is set up to be core part of this story. 

The issue here is that John has been working 15 hour per day for about a Month, he has spent (around) 120 USD in game, and has made ZERO DOLLARS for his effort!

In order to devote his life to this game, he turned down collage and getting a "real world" job, which the more I learn about the Game, the more foolish this seems.

Here is a detailed explanation of John's financial situation:

For one thing I don't think its realistic for anyone to EVER make a living off this game:

  • The US federal minimum wage is $7.25 dollars per hour.
  • With John working insane 15 hour days he needs to make $108.75 per day just to break even with 2 minimum wage jobs.
  • To get 1 USD from the game you need to spend 1 Gold Coin.
  • BUT to get 1 Gold Coin from the game you need to spend 100 USD.
    • This God-Forsaken Game takes a 99% cut of all Player to Player Transactions!!!
    • This alone should have been a missive red flag on John's prospect of making a living based off Player to Player transactions in this game.

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So for John to make minimum wage for his work, he needs to convince other players to spend $10,900 for his farming goods EVERY. SINGLE. DAY!

There's a number of other BIG issues with making money in this Game:

  • While theoretically the Players could bypass the 99% tax with an out-of-game trading site, most players we've seen in game have less than 1 Gold worth of loot.
  • This Game has been INCREABLY CHEEP and SCUMMY (the Game charges $20 to access the Help Menu) so I doubt even Veteran Players will ever be rolling in Gold Coins to trade.
  • John will also have to compete with the NPC farmers (who are both smart and have access to the same skills) on the open market.
  • Not to mention any MMO is only going to be popular for a decade or so before it dies off.
    • And we've been told some of the Adventurers are already getting board...

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We've been told that John is a smart dude, he's been solving puzzles and doing math with ease, so why hasn't he realized this Game is a SCAM and waist of time?

It hurts me somewhat to see a bright and dedicated kid waist his time. And with what information he has, the logical response should be to cut his losses.

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In addition to the above problems with making money in game (it seems almost impossible), there are a number of ways John Specifically has failed as a Business Man:

  1. Early in the story he got a skill that let him basically mass produce High Quality Mana Stones (an object that every Mage needs mass quantities off). And he NEVER uses it to make money.
  2. The best money making strategy seems be getting 1-3 crafting skills up to Grandmaster. Then sell Max Level Items for tons of Gold and Exp! This is because the Game is set up for skills to grow exponentially in power with Mastery, but the cost of Mastering Skills is linear.
    1. Instead John spreads himself thin, and waists skill points getting mediocre farming support skills raised, and using his limited skill points to buy spells rather then just asking the EXTREAMLY helpful old grandmother-type to just show him +20 spells for him to copy.
  3. He's also generally allergic to using the dungeon to raise his level. While I think this a good for the novel's theme (of focusing on farming) at the end of the day he has a lot of down time while he's waiting for his Mana to recharge and crops to grow. So why not do a couple of dungeon runs every now and then to get a few levels?
  4. I feel he should have higher mastery of his spells. To raise a Spell's Mastery to the second rank you have to use it for 24 hours continually. At one point he discovers (basically an exploit) where he can cast spells at low power for only 1 MP per Second. And he NEVER uses this trick to improve his spells...
  5. He keeps spending even MORE money (and going into debt) with new 'fun' projects. He builds a full house, expands his farm to include animals, and has started buying materials for other construction projects before even earing a single sale from the projects he's already working on.

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I think the fundamental issue is that this story was set up to be about a business tycoon's rise to power but actually wants to be a soft slice-of-life farming story. And those 2 genres aren't mixing well here.

The story is also struggling to balance John's exponential rise to wealth and power while also making the game feel hard and unfair to John.

But I believe it went too far in making the Game seem borderline impossible, so I can't look at John's laid back financial choices as something a rational intelligent human would do. And it doesn't help that John isn't using the exploits he's found (the 1 MP spell use) or the resources he has (the Grandmother and the dungeon delving friends) to their full potential.

I'm still going to keep reading but its hard for me to keep looking past the Main Character's ignorance of (what seems to me) obvious solutions to his growing money problem.

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Grammar: I always understood what the author was saying and I didn't notice any obvious mistakes. My only real "grammatical" issues where that he doesn't always explain the game's acronyms and has made some of the game's calculations unnecessarily complicated. For example: 

[The formula for raising an attribute is the Current Attribute divided by two, multiplied by 10, or: (CA/2)*10]

Why not just say "the Current Attribute multiplied by 5"??? This REALY bothers me for some reason.

[Name: Create Font]

[Description: Create water or similar liquid dependent upon environment. If cast into a container, such as a well, bucket, or barrel, the spell will never overfill the container.]

[Current Rank: Novice]

[Current Amount: V = (1*L)3 ft3]

[Mana Cost: 10/CF/second]

In this equation I have NO IDEA what "CF" stands for, and I believe the author just assumes everyone would know.

Characters: The Characters are acceptable, most of the supporting characters have a tendency of being unequally helpful to John without cause and they usually only have 1-2 emotional states. So wouldn't say I'm amazed but they work for the story's purposes.

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Again, overall I'm enjoying this story, but it feels unjust to see a dedicated and intelligent kid working hard to earn less than NOTHING.

obran
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

A Good Start to a Farming LitRPG

Reviewed at: Chapter 6

First off, I want to say that this is a great start to a farming LitRPG. I only wish there was more.  The main character is kind of generic, as are the setting and plot, but it is still enjoyable.  

The one concern I have is that during the character generation stage, becoming a farmer was an odd and unexpected choice.  Considering how many agriculturally based LitRPG, as well as computer games like Stardew Valley, Farming Simulator, Animal Crossing, and Banished exist, I doubt that the urge to fantasy farm is all that rare.

I also think the MC should eventually pick up the cooking skill to sell buffed goods instead of, or in addition to, raw materials.  He might also want to hook up with a merchant or at least become better friends with the adventuring group he's met so that he doesn't have to make the trek into town every day to sell his food and crops.  

But then this seems, like most farming stories, to be more of a homesteading fiction rather than just a straight farming story. Though the MC hasn't actually even bothered to build a home.  Or a barn.  Or even a shed. And as such the author might want to watch a few youtube videos by:

https://www.youtube.com/c/BetterTogetherLife/videos
https://www.youtube.com/user/babysownspace
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjl3zDun9SazYI0UWWu6_1A

Definitely looking forward to more chapters.

QueenInRags
Overall

Great Book, The Author Just Overthinks

Reviewed at: A Note From The Author

Honestly, this story has been nothing but amazing so far, with consistent updates, great grammar, and a understandable plot. 

Its been " focusing " on farming in a more roundabout way. Paying less attention to the crops themselves and focusing on the world around them and the actions required to farm them. But that's fine, so far its been an enjoyable and cathartic read with its ups and downs and that's perfect for me. 

If anything so far my only complaint would have to be that the authors been way overthinking everything arguably making it harder for them and everyone else. Ive been reading the author's notes / looking through the comments and ive noticed the author struggling a bit trying to keep everything to realistic. From stressing about how " overpowered " magic is in their story to somehow religiously sticking to the amazing mathematical formulas they've given to their skills. ( That just shows the amount of effort involved in this story ) to thinking about rewriting a bit of the book because of small details.

And so my rant to the author: QUEEN !!! YOUR DOING AMAZING DONT STRESS !!! You're writing a fantasy book with its premise based on magical farming. Of course, magics going to be ubiquitous and quite powerful. Your writing a fantasy fiction book, there's no need to make everything perfect and understandable for it to be readable and enjoyable for 99% of people. 

You've got a great project running keep it up until you don't enjoy writing it anymore. 

 

 

 

Scott Berry
Overall

This Fiction is off to a good start.  Lighthearted and fun so far.  The MC is slowly figuring out his path forward and getting a feel for things.  It looks like his growth is about to speed up.  This review is written after finishing chapter 10 (current limit).  I can't wait for more.  I reccomend this novel if you want a quick read about a friendly farmer trying to make a living.  No glaring typos or grammer issues that I have noticed although I am not that sensative to them if the story is decent.  Not great literature but it accomplishes what it intends to do well.  Not quite exciting enough for 5 stars but it is very early in the story. I have good hopes for the future.  

Blind Snot Dragon
Overall

What can I say, I really love farming litrpg stories. This story doesn't exactly win any rewards, the characters aren't what I would call complex by any means. That said, it's an enjoyable read, the mc is logical, it scratches an itch and fills a nitch! Worth a read if you like the focus. :)

Lodinic
Overall

Like playing in a sandbox

Reviewed at: Chapter 22

Easy reading, slice of life type story. Not too much plot yet, but I'm actually kinda okay with that? The worldbuilding's pretty cool so far and the characters are relatable in a good way. I'm happy to stick around and keep reading while the protagonist (and author) figure out how to get from point A to point B.

Sininenblue
Overall

Enjoyable and interesting

Reviewed at: Chapter 22

The story and the systems are interesting and the characters are fun to be around. The magic is also pretty cool, though a bit overpowered. And I really like the portrayal of other players, which is mostly just "they exist and cause a few small problems".

My only real issue is with sally being increadibly annoying, but that might just a personal thing