At the moment, there are 8 types of farmhands included in the Mod:
Before starting the actual farming, you should prepare in advance:
- Seek out a suitable place to start a new farm. You need easy access to it and you should often be in the vicinity (see below why this is important).
- Set up some water supply. As you should know from vanilla farming, all farmland that is away more than four blocks from any water source, will gradually turn back to dirt.
- As of Public Beta 27, the player can tell the slave not to hoe a patch of land, by putting a block of sand beneath it. That way, you can leave space for growing pumpkins or melons, or just set up your fields in neatly rows.
- Farmhands only tend dirt, grass and jungle mud, so put one of these, where you want your crops, if it's not already there.
- As of Public Beta 28, the player can put up a chest with a hoe in an item frame on it. This chests holds excess seeds, bonemeal and crops.
- As of Public Beta 30, the player should build a scarecrow to prevent crops from getting eaten by birds.
You should prepare your farm before actually hiring farmhands. Otherwise they'll get in the way while you are scouting or building.
To hire farmhands, you must first seek out their respective captain. Make sure, that you've got enough alignment with the respective faction and enough money to pay for them. You can hire several farmhands at once. In the following examples, only Hirgon, the Slave of Núrn is used for simplicity, but the concepts shown work with any of the farmhands.
The new hired farmhand follows you around. It joins you also in fast-travelling. When you decide to interact with it by right-clicking, you can either talk to it, dismiss it, or start a new farm, by using the command button.
Now, you've got to tell your farmhand to start farming, by clicking the command button. If you turn farming mode on, you can restrict it to a certain range from where it is standing at the moment - so lead or push it to the center of your intended farm first.
After setting the farming range, you've to hand your farmhand at least two seeds of any type, by opening its inventory and puting them in the top slot. You can farm any type of vanilla and Mod crops, like potatoes, carrots, melons, pumpkins, wheat, lettuce and corn. There are also non-edible crops like pipeweed and flax. Make sure, to hand over the seeds and not the crops. When you are not sure, if a crop is farmable, just try to put it in the top slot of the farmhand. If it goes there, the farmhand will farm it.
In case you intend to grow grapes you've got to put up posts first and hoe the ground yourself. It should be noted that when planting melons or pumpkins, farmhands can actually die of suffocation, should they accidentally get stuck in the block, so make sure there's enough space for farmhands to walk.
If you use only one seed, you'll get an error message. This feature was added in Public Beta 27. Before it, farmhands forgot what to do after using up their last seed and stood around idly, no longer knowing what to harvest.
Now the farmhand starts to tend the fields (unless you've put sand below) and to plant your crops there. It will harvest any fully grown crop and replant it, as far as it has any spare seeds left. After a while, the top slot fills up with seeds, the two bottom slots fill with crops. By accessing the farmhand's inventory, the player can now harvest the fruits of all their efforts.
Public Beta 28 improved farmhands even more: You may now place a chest with any hoe in an item frame within range. Instead of simply keeping their crops on them, farmhands will pool their crops and excess seeds in the chest, making it extra easy for players to get their moneys worth. They also refill their supply of bonemeal from there.
Farmhands are not nearly as efficient as players in any of the farming actions, so it's recommended to only buy a few. They can fight but will use their hoe as a weapon, they can sometimes be attacked by enemy NPCs.
If the player is not near a device in Minecraft, this bit of the world (chunk) gets unloaded from the game. Everything is "frozen" until the player (or any player on multiplayer-servers) returns near it. Mobs don't move, furnaces stop smelting, plants won't grow, farmhands won't tend fields. To get enough food, it's important to farm near your base or mineshaft or whatever place you visit commonly (or is used by other players regularly in multiplayer games).
Dismission and Desertion Edit
If you want get rid of a farmhand, you can hit the dismiss button after right-clicking it. More important is desertion: When your alignment with the farmhand's faction sinks under the required level you need to hire it, the farmhand leaves you and you get a chat message like this:
Your hired unit Hirgon, the Slave of Núrn has deserted.
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