[Number crunching and calendaring] Starfruit, Ancient Fruit, and Hops

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by FickleRhubarb, Apr 20, 2020.

  1. FickleRhubarb

    FickleRhubarb Twenty-three is number one

    TL;DR: Ancient Fruit is fun, a lot of hassle, no help in Year 1, king of the outdoors, and a toss-up for the Greenhouse.

    Request for review of my two cents on the juggling/calendaring act among the Stardew Big Three.

    Facts: Let me know if any of this is controversial or wrong (see Note 1)
    1. Hops Pros: Most money per tile. Most greenhouse money if infilled. Fast start (time & gold). Least space use. Cons: Most harvests. Most keg changes. Most kegs. Trellis/Mixed crops. Summary: Impressive low cost money at a high labor and keg cost. Combined with Ancient Fruit gives most greenhouse money. Great for first year.
    2. Ancient Fruit Pros: Few keg changes. Less space use. Cons: 28-day lead time cost. Summary: More greenhouse money than Starfruit at a labor and delay cost.
    3. Starfruit (DSG) Pros: Lazy. Fewest kegs & changes. Fewest harvests. Best return on labor at a high seed and additive cost once available. Best for greenhouse and casks. Cons: Most crop space. Reseeding.
    Question: I haven't verified year-round greenhouse Starfruit with 28-day DSG reapplications. Is this correct?

    My take: Hops is clearly king through first Winter, even in the greenhouse, to get income for cheap wood, ore, and coal. The choice between long term Starfruit and Ancient Fruit for the Greenhouse is a toss-up since Ancient Fruit (base) returns only 10% more (note 1) than Starfruit (DSG, base) and you can get 478 Starfruit for Casks outdoors. But Ancient Fruit in the Greenhouse is a "permanent" decision. Ancient Fruit outdoors is a clear winner starting second Spring.

    Calendaring Ancient Fruit (early game):
    1. See greenhouse comparison calc here.
    2. See more discussion and comparison with Strawberry here.
    • ShneekeyTheLost

      ShneekeyTheLost Black Hole Surfer

      Close, so very close... but there is one that is even better than Hops in the Greenhouse.

      Peach or Pomegranate trees.

      Let's do the math, shall we? Hops produces daily, brews into Pale Ale which sells for (assuming Artisan perk) 420g/ea. This gives a daily profit of 420g/day

      Peach/Pomegranate trees also produce daily. Pomegranate Preserves, however, sells for 461g/ea and Wine sells for 588g/ea. So as you can see, even if you don't want to brew your Pomegranates into wine, pomegranate preserves are still better than Pale Ale.

      You can fit a total of 30 fruit trees in your greenhouse if you plant some of them on the dirt. If you want to max out your profits, you do this, plus around 76 Hops, plus 30 Ancient Fruit between the rows of Hops (because remember, you can't walk through trellis crops). You might be able to sneak in an extra one or two hops, but I like the nice round 30 ancient fruit filler, because it makes my math for aging it much easier.

      There's also another trick you can do Year 2+ to max out your Ancient Fruit outside.

      We're going to assume you hit Farming 10 at some point before Year 2, which is a pretty easy assumption at this point. We're also going to assume that before Winter 28 in your first year, you've unlocked the sewers, which is a slightly bigger ask, but not especially difficult.
      • Winter 28, Year 1: Go to the shrine in the sewer and reset your Farming perk. Choose Agriculturalist instead of Artisan. Don't sell any artisan products until you change this back, obviously.
      • Spring 1, Year 2: Plant all your Ancient Fruit on Deluxe Speed-Gro. This will net a second harvest in Spring, one on the 20th and one on the 27th.
      • Spring 2, Year 2: Go back down into the sewer and re-reset your farming perk to Artisan. The plant only checks the day you planted for your growth-related perk.

      Et Voila! We have an even bigger reason to plant fields of Ancient Fruit outside for maximum profit!
        FickleRhubarb likes this.
      • FickleRhubarb

        FickleRhubarb Twenty-three is number one

        Nice trick for outdoor Ancient Fruit!

        1. Nice. I am having a hard time visualizing this with the Hops and Ancient Fruit interspersed. Do you have a diagram or screenshot? My nagging concern is how I do that to keep trees growing. Or do you infill once mature?
        2. I like simplicity. The "every Sunday" of Ancient Fruit is attractive. And not everybody uses a calendar like I do (maybe they should?), so I assume anything else (Tree/Hops/Ancient mix, DSG Starfruit) requires a daily visit to the Greenhouse. Is that right?


        One other question: are you sharing that as a fact or as a recommendation?

        I ask because it's correct as a fact, but trees share the negative of lead time with Ancient Fruit, frequency with Hops, and commitment (if that's a negative) with Ancient Fruit.

        In the recommendations department, would you say the following, perhaps, for the Greenhouse?
        1. If you need quick cash (like in first Winter), consider Hops infilled with Starfruit.
        2. If you are getting lazy and feeling commitment averse, consider Starfruit with Deluxe Speed-Gro.
        3. If you want a long-term dependable schedule, consider Ancient Fruit (about 10% more money than #2).
        4. If you are even lazier, willing to give up about a third of your long-term income per space vs. #3, and want a dependable schedule, consider Starfruit without Deluxe Speed-Gro.
        5. If you want to work every day for absolute maximum money, consider Peach or Pomegranate infilled with Hops and Ancient Fruit.
        Of course for hard work, there are also things like Truffle Oil, Goat Cheese, Cloth, and Dinosaur Mayonnaise, but that's off the subject.

          Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2020
        • ShneekeyTheLost

          ShneekeyTheLost Black Hole Surfer

          Lead time is practically irrelevant for Greenhouse. Greenhouse is there for consistent daily RoI with a very small space to exploit. The primary advantage of the Greenhouse is that nothing ever dies and that everything is always considered to be 'in season'. Your RoI is so much higher with Ancient Fruit, Hops, and Peach/Pomegranate trees than it is with anything else that it just doesn't make sense to plant anything else within the Greenhouse itself, unless you're still in the process of propagating and have unused space in the greenhouse.

          If you want a least work put in for reward put out, for the lazy individual, just fill the greenhouse with 116 Ancient Fruit, propagating as necessary from iteration to iteration until it is full. While this is going on, if you want to put in something like Starfruit strictly as a filler until your actual crops fill in, that's fine, but Ancient Fruit takes precidence. You only have to go into your Greenhouse once a week, your fruit matures on the same day your barrels are done brewing, so your cycles are already aligned. You have one workday per week, and are cranking out around a million per season. And this far outstrips anything outside of Hops/Peach (or pomegranate) setups. This should be your bar minimum for an established greenhouse.

          However, a full Tree/Hops/Ancient Fruit setup nets you 50% more return seasonally, around a million and a half vs around a million per season.

          For layout, here's an image I've used a couple of times (note: trees are not fully grown on purpose to demonstrate spacing)

          You wait to infill until after trees are fully grown. This costs you a season, but you'll make it back up once everything is in place Summer of Year 2.

          For processing, you'll need the following:

          74 Hops: 148 kegs
          30 Ancient Fruit: 30 kegs
          30 Fruit Trees: 60 preserves jars OR 210 Kegs.

          You can generally fit around 120 kegs/jars per Deluxe Shed, plus or minus a few, so that's going to be a deluxe shed plus a regular shed for the kegs and another regular shed for the preserves jars unless you're going full HAM on the extra 210 kegs which would need another two deluxe sheds.
          • FickleRhubarb

            FickleRhubarb Twenty-three is number one

            Not under my scenario 1 (first winter).

            I think "far" is a bit overstated. Even my lazy Starfruit scenario 3 is "only" 1/3 less than (2/3 of) Ancient Fruit. That's still huge money. I do like Ancient Fruit probably best. But I'm just giving facts. Clearly if money is the only goal, Fruit trees, Hops, and Ancient Fruit rule (but, oh, the Kegs!).

            BTW, thanks for discussing this with me!!!

              Last edited: Apr 22, 2020
            • ShneekeyTheLost

              ShneekeyTheLost Black Hole Surfer

              Bluntly, if you are only planning on playing until the end of the first year, the greenhouse won't be relevant to anything you're trying to do, as you won't get much of a return on anything planted there. The earliest you can rely on getting the Greenhouse unlocked is Fall 10th, and that's assuming Deluxe Speed Gro on the pumpkin(s). So you've got about two weeks in fall plus four weeks in winter grand total. That's... not enough time to really realize much in the way of profits.

              Let's run the numbers, shall we?

              Ancient Fruit produces weekly, and brews into Ancient Wine which sells for (assuming Artisan) 2,310g/ea. Meaning for every Ancient Fruit planted, you have a weekly income (after the first week brewing without profit) of 2,310g.

              Starfruit takes two weeks to produce and brews into Starfruit Wine which is the single most valuable per-item artisan good in the game at 3,150g/ea. However, unlike Ancient Fruit, Starfruit isn't a multi-harvest crop, it's a single-harvest crop, meaning you need to reinvest in more seeds each iteration. Which set you back 400g/ea, that you have to deduct from your gross sales to determine your net profit. Ancient Fruit cost you nothing to acquire, and will continue producing crops weekly until the heat-death of your CPU, and so does not have this additional cost. So, 3,150-400= 2750g. But that's for two weeks, cut that in half to get your weekly profit of 1,375g/wk.

              Trying to use the seed maker is even worse, because now you're sacrificing some of your extremely expensive wine to get two or three seeds, effectively paying FAR more for them than just buying them from Sandy. Consider an average of 2 seeds per fruit (since the range is 1-3 and also has a very small chance of producing Wild Seeds). You're effectively paying 3,150g for two seeds. Even if you go with the max and say you can somehow manipulate the RNG to guarantee yourself 3 seeds every time without fail you're still paying over a thousand per seed instead of 400. Net sum loss overall.

              So you're losing almost a thousand gold per crop per week by using starfruit. So yes, I'd say that the appellate 'far' less profitable is definitely applicable, since you're far closer to half profits than two thirds.

              I... may or may not have broached this topic once or twice on these forums before. And maybe written a guide or three on the topic. But yea, it's good to rehash the old ideas. And it's always nice to get a fresh perspective to ensure that the old entrenched ideas actually *are* still valid. More than once, we've upset the status quo and introduced new and more profitable strategies by revisiting what is 'known'. Good ideas can come from anywhere, so it's always nice to see someone challenge the established doctrine, if for no other reason than to see if it does in fact still hold up.
              • Pangaea

                Pangaea Forum Moderator

                @FickleRhubarb Please don't double post. Use the edit function to add to your post or wait for someone else to reply first. I've merged your posts.
                • FickleRhubarb

                  FickleRhubarb Twenty-three is number one

                  Heh. I'm sure you have! I appreciate your attitude.

                  Of course. :p I must have said something confusing. I agree with all. Have you forgetten the value of 20,000 gp to a new farmer in Winter 1 and the value of buying ore, coal and wood cheap? My suggestion was (much like yours) to use the greenhouse for a few (4-6) weeks to keep the Pale Ale income coming in and maybe get a bit of infill Starfruit income possibly while building up Ancient Fruit in the Greenhouse.

                  Yes. And it appears our numbers agree. To finish and digest the numbers (I made a spreadsheet three weeks ago in case you want to check; easier to look at than the sentences below):

                  Starfruit: 6k per space per month (includes seed cost). 0.5 Kegs per space. 2 changes per space per month. 687k/month in Greenhouse.
                  DSG Starfruit: 8k per space per month (includes seed and DSG cost). 0.5 Kegs per space. 3 changes per month, not on a fixed weekday. 978k/month in Greenhouse.
                  Ancient Fruit: 9k per space per month (no costs included). 1 Keg per space. 4 changes per month, all on "Sunday". 1072k/month in Greenhouse.
                  Hops: 12k per space per month (no costs included). 1.8 Keg per space. Daily changes. 988k/month in Greenhouse plus infill.
                  Mixed: Most money. Kegs per space varies more (Fruit Trees) or less than Hops. Daily changes.

                  I think (?) we agree. I see 978 vs 1072 as "not far", that's all. :-D

                  Sure thing. Thanks!
                    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
                  • ShneekeyTheLost

                    ShneekeyTheLost Black Hole Surfer

                    A mere 20k is a drop in the bucket by the time Winter rolls around. And bluntly, when you're making just over a quarter million per *week*, the extra price of wood and coal is trivial. So I tend to focus on getting my greenhouse set up and established for *big* bucks, instead of trying to make a quick buck immediately.

                    My issue with this is that by planting something like Starfruit as a 'temporary stopgap measure', you've delayed when you get your *actual* serious cash production up and running by an entire month. You're losing far more revenue in lost profits the following month than you would have spent on the higher cost of wood and coal. It's costing you more than you get back, a 'penny wise and pound foolish' strategy.

                    But let us look at monthly profits once everything is up and running to see what you are *LOSING* every month you don't invest your permanent infrastructure

                    Starfruit: 2,750g/ea (net after cost of seeds) * 2 harvests per month = 5,500g/month/space
                    Ancient Fruit: 2,310g/ea * 4 harvests per month = 9,240g/month/space
                    Hops: 420g/ea * 28 harvests per month = 11,760g/space with the caveat that you'll need infill because you can't walk through them.
                    Peach/Pomegranate Trees (assuming preserves jars): 461g/ea*28 harvests per month = 12,908 with a max of 30 possible

                    DSG on Starfruit is simply unsustainable. It requires a piece of coral and oak resin per five squares. You'll be spending your oak resin on kegs if you want to keep up with processing demands, and you can't guarantee that you will obtain that much coral every two weeks. So your only viable route is to purchase from Pierre at 150g/ea, which brings per-each net profit down to 2600.

                    With these numbers, we have the following:

                    Full Starfruit greenhouse: 5,500g * 116 spaces (assuming iridium sprinklers) = 638,000g per season greenhouse net profit
                    Ancient Fruit greenhouse: 9,240*116 spaces = 1,071,840g per month in profit
                    Mixed greenhouse (74 hops, 30 trees as preserves, 30 ancient fruit) = (Hops=11,760g * 74) + (Trees=12,908 * 30) + (Ancient=9,240g*30) = (Hops = 870,240) + (Trees=387,240) + (Ancient = 277,200) = 1,534,680g but requires daily tending and has a higher infrastructure cost.

                    With these numbers, it doesn't matter if the cost of wood and coal dramatically spike, you're still making far more than you would have otherwise saved.

                    This is why I reiterate that the only time you put something as unprofitable as Starfruit in the greenhouse is when you simply don't have enough Ancient Fruit yet and you're wanting to do something with the empty space. You're screwing yourself over in the long run by focusing on winter profits instead of the far higher profits attained had you set up your infrastructure instead. By the time Year 2 rolls around, you should already be a millionaire. By looking at short term strategies to obtain goods before a dramatic price hike, you delay growth for the entire quarter. That's the sort of strategy that a Harvard MBA grad will try to put up before the Board, only to be patiently explained that no, growth by 2.3% over the next quarter is worth far more long-term than your slash-and-burn tactics.

                    tl;dr: You're so focused on what you can make short-term, that you lose sight of what you don't make the following month as a result.
                    • FickleRhubarb

                      FickleRhubarb Twenty-three is number one

                      I think you may be insisting on disagreeing. Everything you are saying amounts to the same conclusions. I don't see all the conceptual disagreement you do with one exception. I do think you made one mistake.

                      Mistake: I already accounted for the cost of DSG at the Oasis. Do you have a spreadsheet I can check? Mine is pretty simple and transparent.

                      Exception: I don't think it's insane for a person to decide they DON'T want to handle stuff every day (Hops and Fruit Trees). Once per week (Ancient Fruit) and thrice per month (DSG Starfruit) are not significantly different in terms of profit, and DSG Starfruit has less Keg management.
                        Last edited: Apr 24, 2020
                      • Elenna101

                        Elenna101 Subatomic Cosmonaut

                        After you know what you're doing, yes. But on someone's first playthrough that can still be a ton of money.

                        DSG is 80g each from the desert though?
                        Or if you really want to craft it, you can place a few fish ponds with coral next to the greenhouse, I guess. Back of the napkin math suggests you need five or six to cover all the starfruit, but the real number is probably less because of coral from the beach. The oak resin is admittedly a little annoying, although eventually you'll reach the point of not needing any more kegs.

                        Don't get me wrong, I still think ancient fruit is better for people who don't want to check it each day. Just nitpicking a little :)

                        I'm kinda questioning why you would ever want to do DSG Starfruit, though, even if it is only a little less profit?

                        I guess your idea is that you have to check on the greenhouse less often, which, yeah, but then you have to keep going back to the desert for seeds/DSG, and you have to go back every week anyways to put starfruit in kegs. And you have to remember which days the starfruit will be done on, or else you have to keep peeking in every day.
                        I guess you could make it less annoying by making 116 kegs and then filling them every time the starfruit ripen, but the waste of oak resin/keg time would bother me.

                        On the other hand, with ancient fruit you can just make 116 kegs and remember, "oh, Saturday (or whatever) is always greenhouse day" and then the ancient fruit cycle exactly matches the keg cycle and it's just really nice. It's a little annoying at first when you have to use seed makers to multiply, but still.
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                        • One More Day

                          One More Day Cosmic Narwhal

                          If you use DSG (from Sandy) and play with Agriculturist profession for most of the year instead of Artisan, starfruit will have an 8 day growth cycle, for 14 greenhouse harvests per year, meaning that it actually beats mature AF for money in the greenhouse, even accounting for the seeds, the DSG, and the full 20k cost of switching back and forth once a year to sell. You also get an extra day between harvests, and your greenhouse earns a profit of over 4.4 million

                          Of course, that 20k cost of switching can be amortised over all the crops grown outdoors too, so that it is almost inconsequentially small.
                          • FickleRhubarb

                            FickleRhubarb Twenty-three is number one

                            Exactly. I agree with that. I should make that more clear in my spreadsheet. That's the salient point in favor of Ancient Fruit.

                            Fascinating. 1. Don't you take a hit on wine price? 2. When do you switch if Kegs are done every week? I am not sure I am seeing this clearly.

                            And is everybody moving to ConcernedApe's shiny new forum?
                            • Elenna101

                              Elenna101 Subatomic Cosmonaut

                              The idea is that you keep all your wine over the course of the year instead of selling it, and then once a year you switch to Artisan, sell it at the higher price, and then switch back the next day. Because the growth time of plants is only determined when they are planted, you still get all the benefit of Agriculturalist as long as you do the switch on a non-planting day, and you get all the benefit of Artisan by selling while you have it.
                              The disadvantage, of course, is that you need enough initial cash to pay for the seeds, DSG, the switching cost, and anything else you want to buy over the course of the year, without selling any artisan goods during the year. So in most cases it's a very late-game strategy.
                              (I say "in most cases" because TheHaboo's 1 year max money runs on Twitch use this strategy (in year 1), but he's not buying anything except seeds and DSG, and he's paying for it all with iridium bars which aren't affected by Artisan. Obviously most people aren't playing like that.)

                              And I'm staying here for the moment, because there are more min-maxers here. But we'll see.
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