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Should the nutrient cyling be scaled down?


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I think the nutrient system can benefit from some value adjustment. At the moment, plants are consuming far too much compared to what fertilizers can provide.

Most plants consume between 16 and 32 nutrients for full growth. Fertilizers provide very few nutrients in comparison, 4 for manure, 8 for compost and 8 for a fermented growth formula. This means that if you want to run a one-type farm, you will need a very large amount of fertilizer (for example, a single field of 9 potatoes requires 36 manures to grow). Growing crops with fertilizer seems very inefficient in its current state. Basically, the only viable method is to mix the plants to balance the production and consumption of nutrients. If plant consumption/production were reduced (and/or fertilizer boosted), this would make fertilizer more efficient and would then open the way to two possible methods of cultivation, one with mixed plants, the other with fertilizer.

A second change concerns plant consumption in relation to the nutrient supply. Currently, a tile cannot contain more than 100 of each nutrient. Taking into account plant consumption, a fully fertilized tile cannot support the growth of more than 3 to 6 plants of the same type. This completely closes the door to "crop rotation". It might be interesting to be able to grow alternating monocultures in the same field instead of having to mix everything at the same time.

In summary, if the consumption and production of plant nutrients were to be reduced (by at least a factor of 2), this would make fertilizers useful, it would open the door to crop rotation while keeping the current system of farming by mixing plants viable.

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Darn. I just wrote up a whole essay on this same subject. :P

And I didn't even think of suggestion halving the nutrient production/consumption values. I'm not sure if that would be enough (or too much) given how hard a lot of the new fertilizers are too produce (mostly in terms of time investment), but making plants modify nutrients by 1/2/4 while fertilizers modify them by 2/4/8 sounds like a great start.

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I think requiring a mix of crops is the point. If you can just farm nine of one crop and then switch to nine of another I feel like self-sustaining farms would lose their value. Their benefit is being self-sustaining at the cost of needing multiple seeds/wasting space. You use essentially unwanted crops to make your 'goal crops' grow properly.

If you could plant all nine of a manure consuming crop, harvest, and then plant all nine of a manure generating crop it would also make fertilizer even more useless. You might use it initially to max out of plot, but afterword it would just be maintained by the rotation.

Right now I only see fertilizer as a means of making up for a minor net loss an imperfect combination may bring. There's definitely room for some number tweaks, but it's definitely a dangerous balance.

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31 minutes ago, Zeklo said:

I think requiring a mix of crops is the point. If you can just farm nine of one crop and then switch to nine of another I feel like self-sustaining farms would lose their value. Their benefit is being self-sustaining at the cost of needing multiple seeds/wasting space. You use essentially unwanted crops to make your 'goal crops' grow properly.

If you could plant all nine of a manure consuming crop, harvest, and then plant all nine of a manure generating crop it would also make fertilizer even more useless. You might use it initially to max out of plot, but afterword it would just be maintained by the rotation.

Right now I only see fertilizer as a means of making up for a minor net loss an imperfect combination may bring. There's definitely room for some number tweaks, but it's definitely a dangerous balance.

Yeah, farming with fertilizer should be worse than farming with automatic nutrition setups. And to an extent it always will be, because the 100 nutrient cap on soil means fertilizer farming can never be automated. But it's a shame to see neat items like the Formula Starter and Composting Bin go to waste because they are so much worse than automatic nutrition setups.

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40 minutes ago, Zeklo said:

You might use it initially to max out of plot, but afterword it would just be maintained by the rotation.

That would be the point of crop rotation as well. Using current combinations right now is maintained by the combination. Halving the consumption/production would not affect the viability of seed combinations, but allow crop rotation to exist as well, opening more possibilities.

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Another point is that the effectiveness (or lack of effectiveness) of fertilizers is not intuitive, even after reading the plant register.

When you open the plant register, you count the number of arrows for the crop you want, you count the number of arrows for the fertilizer, and because you see the same number, you end up with the idea that 1 fertilizer gives more or less 1 crop. And intuitively it seems balanced.
Except that in reality it's more like 4 fertilizers/crop because the nutrients are consumed at each stage.

To be consistent with the plant registry the fertilizers should be 4 times more efficient (or the plants consume/produce 4 times less). In their current state fertilizers are more a noob trap than anything else.

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