This interview is the first in a series which aims to introduce notable people in the FGO community. Hear their first hand accounts and perspectives about the game and much more!
Lyinne is known as a prominent farmer in some circles, or not at all in others. Some suspect they might be a robot, but if so, can they pass the Turing test?
If farming bores you, we recommend you read this article before sleep as an off-label treatment for insomnia.
The following interview was conducted on 26 Sep 2020, and has been edited for the sake of length and clarity.
Hi Lyinne, I'm glad you agreed to this interview. How are you? And since it is Gilfest now, how is farming going?
Hey Boris, the pleasure is mine. I’m good, farming’s good, there’s a lot to be grateful for in this crazy world right now, I’m not taking anything for granted.
What are the team comps you used this Gilfest?
I started with the typical DSS 5 slot comp. I prefer Dantes over Zerkerlot in particular because the runs are smoother - I prefer 3 turn NP gain.
After I started getting drops and MLB-ing my CEs I explored 6 slot comps. This is especially helpful when the difference of one slot is +2 drops, not +1.
Between different +6 slots comps, I strongly dislike ones that fish for NP charge and prefer comps where the majority of buffs are in one wave.
So, just a quick breakdown of my experience, with a disclaimer that these are not very innovative comps.
Round 1: The main problem here was actually finding Wavers with a MLB bonus CE - everyone was putting them on Skadi at first. This comp had a steep learning curve and was troublesome as the first wave had to be carded. So I had to quickly eye through the cards and estimate what combination will be able to clear the wave, if any. If there wasn’t, all buffs were held to wave 2.It got easier but still required more attention.
I eventually got the average clear time down to 2:05.
Round 2: I feel like it’s quite an elegant setup, and particularly enjoyed using it because I have barely used my Da Vinci before this. My Da Vinci is NP4, so the final wave’s damage is not as clean as it could be, but carding the remaining sliver was never an issue. I only failed runs when I accidentally used Waver’s buff on himself.
Round 3: The classic Jarcher setup. Double waver instead of Waver-Skadi allows me to skimp out of loring Paracelsus, and bypassing Musashi’s magic resistance.
A common theme is Jarcher is at NP4 instead of 5 so the damage wasn’t ideal, but more careful card selection on round 3 made it a non-issue.
How do you select what comps to use? Do you try to maximize bonus, per-refill efficiency, or do you just do comfortable comps?
I base my farming on the activities I’m doing during it - I try to pay as little attention to farming as possible. If I’m doing something that takes a lot of attention, I’ll default to comps that are simpler to execute. I focus on other things while keeping FGO in the corner of my eye. When stuff stops moving on screen, I react to it.
I aim to maximize my currency over time - not per run, but per hour. I find the latter takes into account comfort and compatibility with what else I’m doing at the moment.
Farming such large numbers of boxes must be taxing in many ways. Do you have some preferences when it comes to your setup - environment, ergonomics, tapping for so long..?
I feel like ergonomics matter more for streamers, since their environment is fixed. I’m way more flexible - I farm while working, reading, walking my dog, or other things. So I could have my phone propped up by the dining table, or by my computer, or be using a popsocket while walking my dogs, there are many possibilities!
What’s the biggest ember stack you’ve obtained while rolling boxes?
This is going to be really anti-climatic but probably 5. I use “collect all” until the last 100-200 boxes or so and don’t place such a high priority on stacking embers in inventory, which slows down rolling. I think this will continue since we know 5* embers are eventually added to the FP gacha.
Farming a massive amount of boxes in one lotto is impressive, but you have done it unfailingly throughout the years. How do you maintain such consistency and avoid burnout?
I have an unusual, polyphasic sleep cycle, so I usually take four 30 minutes naps a day. I get by fine on 2 hours of sleep a day, and have been for more than 10 years. This is not something I do for farming specifically, but it does come in handy. I don’t have the absolute best teams, or the fastest runs, I simply have more time.
Other times, I use the “extra” time to read, meditate, do jigsaw puzzles etc.
Author’s note: for the sake of professionalism, I have cut out the myriad swear words directed towards this unethical life hack and its unfairness, much to Lyinne's amusement.
One vital area I’ve gotten a lot better at over the past three years is the ability to multitask. My first big farming experience was the original run of the Da Vinci event. I farmed just over 500 boxes, and felt so cool for doing it.
Back then, I was barely able to farm while watching TV. Nowadays, I can do a lot more things that still allow me to tap my phone. In turn, farming becomes less intrusive.
The short answer is that I enjoy farming. If that changes one day, for any reason, I’ll reevaluate how much I’m farming, adjust and/or stop.
What gives you the drive to farm? Or to put it another way, why farm?
It is very satisfying! I love having all my servants max leveled, max skilled, and eventually max bonded.
I am a tad OCD. I get a sense of zen while immersed in that repetition, and delayed satisfaction after working hard for it. This is why I will never use bots, it defeats the whole point for me (Switch control to open boxes has been my only compromise).
Part of it is I like seeing what are the limits of what I can do. For example, the rush to 150 was fun and more intense than any lottery. The game got a new engine after a year of iOS struggles, so I wanted to see how fast I could get there. Free quests are also really great for bond, so that’s a bonus.
Shoutout to Ryuuji who was the first to get to 150, paced me and assured me I wasn’t insane.
How do you determine your goals? Do you aim for specific box numbers, mat counts, or do you have certain servant goals?
My goals heavily depend on my free time. Real life is more important to me than this game, so I try to set my goals accordingly. They’ve also changed drastically over time as I developed my account and became more committed to the game.
Short background - I started the game about a month after its release in NA, around the time Nerofest beta dropped. It was really for the historical and mythical characters and premise of the story.
The next year was when I decided I wanted to collect all the servants eventually and max everyone, which required a lot of farming. It also just happened that the next two lotteries both gave monuments, so after suffering through gem hell for a year, running out of even blue gems, I decided, never again. So when an opportunity arises in a lottery, say gears in Nerofest 1.0, I would farm as much as I would ever need, or up to two years into the future.
Nowadays, I am good on everything except new mats. This Gilfest I don’t actually need the mats, or have much of a QP sink. I want the aurora steel drops from round 3, and mostly need friend points from the boxes. Lotteries are still the most efficient way to get them, and I don’t believe I could run X-A during 2x FP events and stay sane for long.
As far as a specific box goal goes, I have a baseline and reach goals but keep them flexible. For Gilfest I was looking at 1,000 boxes as a baseline, and aiming for 3,000.
Addendum: we must include a section to flex some of Lyinne's accomplishments. In the spirit of Gilfest, let's use this event's drops.
Once you reach those goals, what are your plans for the game?
I’m internally motivated and not competing with anyone, so I feel that makes my interest more sustainable. My goal is to bond 10 all servants and level all the CEs I want. The latter is a very long list so it will keep me occupied for a while.
Primarily, I'm attracted to the story and characters in the game. As long as they keep delivering on that front, I’ll keep playing. If I’ve reached my goals, I’ll still keep up with new servants and events. It might mean playing less, we’ll see.
Life could also change in many ways, that always takes priority over a game. It’s hard to plan that far in advance.
When it inevitably ends, I’ll close this chapter and look for new hobbies. What a strange and interesting journey, it’s very different from my usual interests.
What advice would you give to players who want to farm more?
Just keep doing it. Really.
I did not farm 3,000 boxes my first “serious” lottery, I farmed 500 and thought that was my limit (though that's also due to lottery differences and the new engine). Part of it is that, as your account develops, you get better comps to use. Conversely, you also get better at other things. I find multitasking extremely helpful, but that takes a lot of practice. Other than podcasts, audiobooks, TV shows, taking a walk is also a nice change of pace.
Set goals, but remember this is a marathon and not a sprint. Going too fast too soon can easily kill your enthusiasm for the game.
A simple gauge is if farming is making you miserable right now - Stop. The flip side of that is if you have goals, or anything that make farming more enjoyable or less of a chore, it’s easy to farm more.
"Collect All" is a huge time-saver when you have a lot of boxes, but it does mean sacrificing existing EXP stock. Personally I find the tradeoff to be worth it, particularly for the September lottery. You can use the gift box filters to avoid touching other items such as Fous.
A tip for rolling boxes while also burning embers (also applicable to rolling FP) is to put every servant not currently needed into the second archive. This provides more space so you don’t have to burn stuff as often.
Do you sometimes wish for more varied content in the game instead of just farming?
I feel as if this game has a lot of unexplored good ideas, but tends to revert back to the usual formulaic events. I wish there were more events with unique mechanics.
From what I’ve seen, Ooku seems like an interesting event, I’m looking forward to it. The Grail Front mini-game in Scathach-Fest looks cool as well.
Events certainly don’t have to be farming-focused for me to find them interesting. I also love Valentines’ because of the CEs and eventually voiced scenes we get from each servant.
Do you find submitting data for your drops to be time consuming? Do you think you could get more done if you never submitted it?
I have a huge shortcut for submitting data! I use the bond point difference for a particular servant to track the number of runs, and take screenshots for the starting and ending drop info screens, and then just enter them into the drop spreadsheet.
It gives me comfort when I feel RNG is screwing with me, because the data has always told me it evens out in the end. It helps me keep track of things on my end too, which is nice.
Really, the people who have been developing Atlas are way bigger contributors than I am. Following its growth has been incredible, especially the technical stuff that happens in the background. I am just doing a small part.
Which event was the toughest to farm? Which was the easiest?
Excluding the rush to 150, it depends on my real life situation. Last Christmas was difficult because I went overseas halfway through it, which overlapped with the best node. Satellite internet over there was very slow, every roll of the lotto had a loading sign, it was excruciating.
The easiest event to farm was the Holmes event :)
Would you consider yourself the biggest farmer in the game? Or do you think there are people bigger than you, just unknown/quiet?
Absolutely not. Not even in NA, and certainly not in JP. You can see it on Twitter, there are way more impressive farmers - who reach bond 15 within a week, have thousands of gold mats, or go for 4k boxes in Scathach-lotto. Even in the NA community, there have been way more impressive farmers. In general, no one should believe they're the biggest fish around - if you do, you should probably find a bigger pond.
Also, I find this “title” quite meaningless and silly. I farm for personal enjoyment and satisfaction, I firmly believe everyone should play the game in a way that gives them the most enjoyment.
Are you an international spy for the United Nations?
Just hypothetically, who would a spy for the UN spy on? Who would they spy for, even? “International” is usually antithetical to “spy”. The concept is interesting...
Author’s note: Lyinne neither confirmed nor denied the allegations presented by the question.
How big of a whale are you?
I see no whale here.