Good recommendations for early goals

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by FickleRhubarb, May 7, 2020.

  1. FickleRhubarb

    FickleRhubarb Subatomic Cosmonaut

    I read slowly through Shepherd_0's Day by day guide to spring for the experienced player thread, and there is a lot of great collegial discussion there. Recurring themes there are:
    • audience
    • goals
    • scope
    Scope was pretty much agreed to be mostly first Spring with a bit less detail in first Summer and Fall.

    Audience was tougher. Do brand new players read guides? Or is it really intermediate players? I think it's not first time players (mostly; but they could when they get stuck; and they need lots of tips on what not to miss), and it's not minmaxers (whatever that really means). I am going to go for a slightly relaxed schedule that mostly just alerts you of where you want to be so you aren't poor and frustrated relying on pumpkin juice (not that there's anything wrong with that!) in first Fall/Winter.

    Goals were wanted. So I am starting this thread with my question/proposals about goals, which unwind to priorities and calendar dates.

    Definition of goals: The goals of a guide are the things that the author believes won't be obvious to the reader. They are things the author believes the reader is looking to learn. A guide leaves out things it thinks are trivial or obvious to its audience.

    1. Goal 1 has to be to get a good number of Hops into Kegs on Summer 12-ish.
    2. Goal 2 has to be to repair the greenhouse in first Fall.
    3. Goal 3 could be to prevent all CC and gifting missed "last chance" opportunities.
    4. Goal 4 could be to know the "most important" expert knowledge/tips that don't take long guides and walkthroughs.
    I think those goals alone may distill the purpose of early general (non-minmaxing) guides.

    Goal 1: Summer 12th Hops in Kegs
    • How many? 40-ish?
    • How?
      • Sudden Tappers blitz with Tree Fertilizer on Spring 27? Foraging Level 7 crunch?
      • Tappers starting Spring 12? Spring 5 (seems pushy early)?
        • How many? 10-ish?
        • How does it prioritize with tool upgrades? Are there hard effects of tool upgrades on the fundamental goals? Are they "second tier" priority or first tier? Which tools? When do you need Secret Woods access, a good pick, etc?

    Goal 2: Repair Greenhouse
    • When?
      • Are any critical needs/dates missed if greenhouse is a repaired a few days either way?
      • Fall 10 or 14 seems both natural (Pumpkin with or without DSG) and easy to do with enough knowledge.
    • How?
      • No Joja?
      • Fruit bats? Probability of failure/delay? Gold crunch to get Demetrius early? (The Artisan Bundle seems rather easy with only two fruits.)
      • Coop vs Barn? Cross value with Rabbit's Foot gifting or Truffles? Deluxe Coop Wool cheaper than Deluxe Barn Wool?
    Goal 3: Prevent CC/gifting bloopers
    • Fish?
      • A fishing "last chance" calendar?
      • Fishing skill/equipment?
      • Secret Woods and Desert Oasis access not on a schedule. No guide needed.
    • Farm/Forage
      • Easy enough, but very confusing. Should be said, and needs a good format. Calendar? "Last chance list"?
    • What not to sell and how much to keep on hand (at least one of everything?)
    Goal 4: Learn quick tips
    I guess that's enough to get the discussion going.
      Last edited: May 8, 2020
    • ShneekeyTheLost

      ShneekeyTheLost Master Astronaut

      Well, the problem is that several questions you've posed aren't ones that can be answered definitively. For example, the question of audience is a very valid one. I've seen the experienced player's guide you've posted, and wasn't particularly impressed since it was largely dependent on several RNG points with frequent resets. I mean, from a speedrunner style perspective, sure. But for probably 99% of the players? That just isn't fun. So when I write guides, I tend to do so for the casual players who are like 'Wait, I can barely get 20k in my first year, how are you getting a million?' and go from there.

      * Goal 1 is dependent upon your Farming skill to unlock kegs, your oak tree farm for the oak resin to produce the kegs (plus the copper and iron from the mines which you should have by that point, although you'll need to be dedicating days purely to mining to keep up with the demand), and your ability to keep your hops watered automatically. In other words, hops aren't the limiting factor, the kegs primarily are. With this in mind, we can determine where we need to focus our efforts in order to hit our required goals.

      In other words, it's not necessarily about a definitive number of hops in kegs so much as what is required to get x hops in y kegs, then finding a good place you feel is reliable for your play style that you can comfortably hit and go for it.

      For example, I generally get a stand of 30 oak trees down by the end of Spring, and I'm trying to work that down to the second week of spring (I don't really like reset tactics of running out, seeing which trees are giving acorns, then restarting the day to go for those specific trees, so it's a little more difficult than it otherwise should be). With this in mind, I will only have probably 30 kegs by the second week in Summer, because it is very likely that my tree stand has only just finished growing and producing its first yield. Having said that, I can continue ramping up production every week by another 30 kegs. So by the end of the third week of Summer, I'll have 60 kegs. By the end of Summer, I'll have 90 (and either a second shed, or having upgraded to a Big Shed in order to accommodate them all). And that continues to ramp up each week for the next couple of years as I continue to produce more oak resin.

      However, it's also important to note that unless you sell Hops raw, you can save them and continue to brew them into the fall and even winter if necessary. You might not get the immediate influx of cash you were hoping for, but you WILL eventually recoup your gains, even if it spread out over a longer period of time. Because there's not much worth planting in Fall that should rightfully go in a keg, even pumpkins really do better in jars than in kegs (technically it is more profitable for kegs, but the increase in profit vs increase in processing time and thus kegs needed to keep up with demand aren't really worth it in my opinion), and same goes with Cranberries, the two most profitable Fall crops. Therefore, you can also afford to over-plant Hops with the expectation of continuing to brew them into the fall and winter as your kegs would otherwise be empty during that time frame.

      If I were merely counting my kegs that I anticipated to have on Summer 12, I'd only be counting on 30 kegs, which means only 15 hops. Pretty lackluster. However, knowing that my keg production is going to be continuing ad infinitum for the next few years, AND knowing that the next two months are not going to be employing my kegs, I can substantially bump that up and still be clear by the end of the year. I could plant 40-80 hops pretty consistently and still get them all brewed by the time I needed my kegs again, I feel. At that point, I'm going to be more concerned with space, since Hops is a Trellis crop that cannot be walked through, and I'll still need space for my melons for the quality crops bundle.

      As far as priority, I would consider the tappers to be the absolute highest priority over anything other than maybe the pick upgrade and (for Forest maps ONLY) axe upgrade.

      Forest map can really help get Foraging 7 for Tree Fertilizer to get your oak stand up and running even sooner because you can farm the stumps on your farm with only a copper axe, without needing to touch the secret forest. For that matter, you can get secret forest forage on your farm as well, meaning you don't need Summer access for the Fiddlehead Fern as you normally would, meaning you can delay your iron upgrade for your axe substantially, as iron and cash permits.

      The Copper Pick is a priority upgrade once you hit level 40 in the mines, so you can continue progressing at pace to get down into 80+ levels and hitting that gold for Quality Sprinklers and finding a Fire Quartz for unlocking the Furnace Bundles and the extremely useful railcarts. Typically, I do this upgrade during salmonberry season, spending the two days I'm forced to remain above ground collecting as many berries as I can for health and stamina to race to 80 as soon as I get my pick back. Hitting Foraging 4 before this point is a key mini-goal, as it doubles the number of berries you get.

      * Goal 2 happens on or around Fall 10, barring extreme luck with the cart vendor that is unreliable at best, unless you've seeded the run, or unless you're doing a Joja Run in which case you probably unlock it sometime late spring or early summer. You can get Fall 10 reliably with Deluxe Speed Gro on the pumpkin, but that's about as early as you can consistently and reliably get, barring seeded or restarted runs.

      Fruit Bats definitely can help. I've never failed to get at least one Artisan Bundle tree fruit from the fruit bats before the Fall 10 deadline. Neither fruit bats nor mushrooms provide enough money to be worth bothering with, and while you can make health potions with the rare spawns in the mushroom caves, gold-start cheese (made with any quality Large Milk) is strictly superior for both health and stamina gains, and are FAR more reliable to obtain, so there's no real reason to NOT do Fruit Bats, in my opinion.

      You don't need wool at all for your greenhouse. Animal Products bundle can be completed with both eggs, Milk, Goat's Milk, and Duck Egg. You can sell the duck after it gives you a feather to put another chicken in for more profit. You can also sell the goat after you get the large goat's milk and make a goat cheese for the Artisan bundle to put another cow in (unless you're trying to romance Leah and want the reliable gold-quality Loved gift).

      * Goal 3: This is going to be a separate thread. I'm actually working on an 'everything you need for your bundles, sorted by season and bundle' guide at this very moment.

      * Goal 4 :

      - Knowing ahead of time what resources you will need from the season can really help knock out bundles early and secure a Year One CC Completion with minimal risk (the only truly RNG item is the Red Cabbage). Do your research, and you'll do fine.

      - Remember that guides should not be inflexible. Do not hesitate to take advantage of RNG when it drops in your lap, and be flexible enough to account for RNG when it does not swing your way.

      - Don't feel the need to be pressured into trying a risky strat if that isn't how you like to play. The goal of a game is to enjoy yourself. Some people enjoy doing things that the rest of us mere mortals only dare to dream about. Others do not. Know your personal limits on what you are willing to put up with before it goes from a fun and engaging challenge to a boring chore that grinds away your enjoyment.
        FickleRhubarb likes this.
      • FickleRhubarb

        FickleRhubarb Subatomic Cosmonaut

        Really great post, as usual, ShneekeyTheLost. And I agree in particular with:
        -Helping people get from 20k to a million
        -Excess Hops
        -Tapper and tool upgrade priorities (everything you said)
        -Greenhouse date. Feels just right.
        -Scattered philosophy drops. Yeah.

        ***Start low-level talk***

        What a rookie mistake I made on the false early Greenhouse date. I was asleep at the switch and I have edited it to Fall 10 or 14.

        How do you like sheds for kegs? I got frustrated with lots of the potential keg places because of screen scrolling dynamics. The farm and the Desert have good scrolling, but I haven't used them. I'm just a two-bit player, so I have focused so far on house (which I like) and The Mines entrance (including Dwarfie's room). I also think I could use part of the Quarry, as long as I limited my use to the part that scrolls. (I'm super picky.)

        I am not sure yet (I pretty easily got 5 Tappers in on Spring 6), but I think 10 Tappers on Spring 12 could be a possibly good recommendation. And that yields 40 Oak Resin plus on Summer 12 plus any from interim Tappers. This accomplishment may be linked to my strange idea of buying Salad on Spring 1 to repair the Beach bridge the morning of Spring 2, which I am still debating, but does turn out to have a distinct early Foraging benefit (trees plus Tidal Pools) while still allowing Fish 5 by Spring 5 with liberal Trout Soup use. This strategy clearly sacrifices maximum early Fiberglass Rod. But it does call for buying the Fiberglass Rod as soon as there's money on Spring 3 or 4. That's the debatable part.

        Wool: I only went wool instead of Goats because I am on my way to Rabbit's Foot gifting and am happy giving Leah Salad. I am not sure which is the better recommendation. Here: I will price it out quickly. Deluxe Coop + Rabbit marginal = 28kgp. Big Barn + Goat marginal = 16k. So Goat is cheaper than Rabbit. I agree you can sell the Goat after making the cheese. That's a good recommendation, I think. Wait a month or two to Love some Rabbits for Pierre.​

        ***End low-level talk***

        Finally, I think everything I have seen so far suffers from Format issues. I don't know if a Calendar (examples linked in initial post) is the answer. But I don't think it's worse. Maybe Format is a missing usability item in my first bullet list.
          Last edited: May 8, 2020
        • ShneekeyTheLost

          ShneekeyTheLost Master Astronaut

          Okay, with the caveat that this is my personal preference, and that there are many potential solutions, I really do like using sheds for my production facilities. Especially in 1.4 where there's an upgraded shed available. The normal shed can handle just over 60 kegs, and the Big Shed can handle 120ish, which makes it more space efficient than the Deluxe Barn and only requiring one upgrade not two, which is important when you're also trying to get your barn/coop upgrades and all the other buildings from Robin. And at least before you start unlocking places like the desert or the quarry, your only real places are either the walkway north of your farm that goes to Robin's, or the bus tunnel. I find sheds to be aesthetically pleasing as well as space efficient.
            FickleRhubarb likes this.
          • FickleRhubarb

            FickleRhubarb Subatomic Cosmonaut

            I counted my The Mines Floor 1 Kegs, and it will hold over 105 plus a couple of Chests and a furnace. I guess that's not an insignificant amount to start with.

            I'd like thoughts about Spring 2 Beach Bridge (use all energy and money (buy Salads) on Spring 1 to top extra trees) vs. Fiberglass Rod (use spare energy to test Mixed Seeds and sell/ship everything including Parsnip Seeds, Wood, Sap, and Clay).
            • Beach Bridge is more on the early Foraging/Tappers track (since you need early 300 Wood for the bridge and you get easy Foraging experience from the Tidal Pools when you are fishing), which is more oriented to the key goals.
            • I've never regretted being a day late for the Fiberglass Rod (Spring 3), though I know it helps level up faster.
            • Either way, you can use Training Road and Trout Soup to get to Fishing 5 on Spring 4 and make all the Spring money you need fishing.
            Would anybody be interested in working together on a guide of the scope and audience ShneekeyTheLost defines/mentions? Such a guide is a lot of work including a lot of grunt work, and getting a few hands on it would make it a lot easier as well as better (proofreading and review).

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