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Item farming is a term in video games where players fight enemies over and over with intent to amass items that enemy may drop. Item farming is usually done to acquire particularly rare and powerful items that are difficult or impossible to acquire through other means.
Item farming may also be done to acquire items and equipment not available for purchase until later in the game. In games where items can be found to raise stats, farming such items allows the player to slowly max out their party's stats with patience.
The Steal ability was introduced, which allows items to be acquired in new ways other than random drops.
Items that permanently raise stats were introduced. The Soma Drop increases max MP by 10, while the Silver Apple and Golden Apple raise max HP by 50 and 100, respectively. These items are very rare and are only rarely dropped by enemies.
Stat raising items returns as rare drops from enemies. There are a select few stronger weapons that can only be obtained from enemies in the final dungeon, these are more powerful than the ones found inside the treasure chests.
Challenge Dungeons are featured, which reward the party a random treasure at the end of the dungeon. Some of the treasures are not unique, such as X-Potions, which allows the player to repeat Challenge Dungeons as much as they wish to farm them.
In the Wii release, the random number generator could be "fixed" to guarantee a 100% certainty of the enemy party dropping a particular item, as long as the player had their party at the right levels, equipped with the right equipment, and used the right actions in battle. Most documented instances of this no longer work on the PSP version.
This game introduced several new ways to farm useful items. Dragon's Neck Coliseum allows the player to bet items and equipment as wagers to win superior items and equipment, allowing the exchange of otherwise unique equipment pieces for others and the upgrading of some purchasable items into better ones.
The Ragnarok summon uses Metamorphose when summoned, randomly turning an enemy into one of four items, many of which are otherwise unique and some of which cannot be acquired even in the Coliseum, such as the Growth Egg.
In addition to Mug to steal items and winning items from enemies, Triple Triad and Refine abilities allow items to be amassed in new ways. Refine allows the player to turn Triple Triad cards and items into other items or magic spells, which are then possible to be further converted.
Thus in addition to farming items from enemies, the player can use Quetzalcoatl's Card and Card Mod abilities to turn enemies into useful Triple Triad cards and refine them into more items, as well as the player being able to play Triple Triad to win useful cards.
This game allows Zidane Tribal to use the Detect ability to sense what items an enemy has to be stolen. Because Zidane is almost always in the player's party as the party leader, many bosses have powerful equipment to Steal that will not be available until much later in the game.
Enemies can be stolen from multiple times, though the success rate of Steal decreases with each success. Items can also be stolen in multiples, making item farming quicker compared to past games. As a compromise, the purpose of most items—to be used to customize abilities onto equipment and teach aeons abilities—often requires several dozen of an item to be done.
The player can chain enemies of the same type by killing them in sequence without killing a new enemy type in the process. As chain level increases the drop rates of enemies increases and they may drop more than one item at a time. Many areas allow the amassing of items quickly be rapidly chaining like-type enemies in the region.
Item farming is subject to a glitch that allows items to be farmed from unique enemies when normally they could only be Stolen from or Poached once. When the player kills an enemy near the exit of an area and leaves the area before the display showing the Exp and LP won from that enemy appears, they will earn credit for the kill but the enemy will respawn at full health when the player re-enters the previous area, allowing them to stolen from and/or poached again. This also has the effect of allowing otherwise unique enemies to be chained, increasing the odds of their dropping items as described above.
High Arcana is a coveted item for the bazaar. There are couple ways the player can go about farming it. The player could repeatedly steal from Adrammelech, and leave the area and try again, replenishing the Esper's steal stock. The player can also farm it from respawning Rare Game, Etherian being a good choice for how easily it respawns. After Etherian has been killed, the player can simply zone out and return to the area, and it will respawn in the middle.
In The Zodiac Age version, the player can exploit the auto-save function for item farming. When an enemy dies, the player can collect its loot. With the auto-save, the player can try repeatedly at the same loot till get the loot drop they want. If the loot drop wasn't the desired item, the player can reload the auto-save and kill the enemy again, for a chance if a different loot drop. The player can even time their zoning out of the area so that the enemy only needs one more hit to die. This trick is useful for enemies that rarely spawn or that take a long time to kill.
It is possible to farm items from the Trial Mode in The Zodiac Age version. For example, if the player wants Ribbons from floor 49, they should steal one, beat the floor, and go to the next one. At floor 50, the player should exit back to the title screen, load their game save to lose the trial progress (the player keeps the Ribbon). The player can save their game, return to the title screen, and try the Trial Mode again from floor 49.
To farm for Dark Matter and Gold Nuggets, the best place is in the valley of Eastern Tors on the Archylte Steppe behind two Long Gui. After killing the three Shaolong Gui there, the player can exit where the save station is, stick to the wall at the right and jump onto it to find one more Shaolong Gui, wipe it out and return to the three newly respawned Shaolong Gui in the valley. It will not be possible to obtain both a Dark Matter and a Golden Nugget at the same battle. Rare drop have higher priority than common and have 5x better chance to drop when the battle is 5-starred.
All enemies have the inherent potential to drop a piece of equipment or a synthesis item, with or without a small sum of Gil, if they drop anything at all. Otherwise, they may drop a consumable such as a Potion or an Ether, which is applied immediately.
As of Series 3, all but five Daily Dungeons have been built for item farming; of those five, two are specific to level grinding, another two are for gil farming, and the last allows the player to amass Gysahl Greens for Fat Chocobo's Gysahl Exchange. Summon Orbs, previously rare and available chiefly in events, can now be obtained in the Netherbeast Cavern on Thursdays.