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Personal Opinion on the new farming method


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Before trying the beta, I already made a general comment in the post in General Discussion. You don't need to read it to understand this one, but in case you want to:

Spoiler

 

And since I have properly tried the beta, I am going to give a proper review:

As a quick note, I decided to go full Farmville and only played around the crops (had to lure Deerclops out though as I had no weapons or armor to fight it), however, I didn't pay much attention to nutrients. Only water and talking.

The Good

Spoiler

I have loved it overall, specially when comparing it to the old farms: it is considerably cheaper and less space consuming than the old farms, I also found it more visually appealing overall. But most importantly, it is far more reliable than I thought:

  • You don't need to tend the crops much to get a product and a seed (making it self-sustainable). From my very bad and unprofessional testing: just plant in season, water it full in the first stage and talk to it in the first stage, and you get 1 product and 1 seed; take a little more care and you can get 1 extra seed.
  • If a crop is near spoiling, you can feed it to a bird to get a completely fresh seed of that crop. In my fast overview I mentioned how birds should give 2 seeds, but now I think it is completely unnecessary and is perfectly fine as is. Birds also help accelerate harvest production.
  • Crops now can replace ice as filler. Sure, ice lasts forever in an ice box, but you can only farm it in winter and spring. While for crops, just in the first season you can plant over 20+ plants with just: 1 rigamajig, 1 hoe, and scaring lots of birds for seeds. From there you should be able to get a startup for winter (when birds don't drop seeds) and at some point you could be able to harvest 30-40 plants every 5-6 days. Although I don't know how effective the seed production would be without the watering can or much attention.
  • Giant crops are cool! They are a good way to reward investment on the gardens, and can also serve as decorations with the produce scale. Although I would have had a hard time making giant crops if not for the nice guides around here.
  • The weeds are an interesting combination of annoying and useful. At first they are annoying as you have no control over what grows in your garden, but later on you can weed them out quickly. Even then, 3 of them can be useful depending on the situation. Only 1 of them is straight up useless and harmful for the player.
  • It improves a few unused/useless items: beefalo horns are amazing to "talk" to several plants in a large area. I didn't try the one-man band, but I imagine it sacrifices area for uses/durability per plant.

 

The Bad

Spoiler

The new mechanics are good overall. However...

  • As expected, the watering is annoying. Though not as bad as I expected, since it is kind of optional. I personally crafted 3 watering cans just in case. From autumn to summer I filled them 6-7 times (not counting winter, because of how it works). Do note I did not water too often in autumn and early spring. When I started to try for giant crops is when I started to use the watering cans. But it was specially annoying in summer when the soil dries in seconds, making it the worst season to grow plants, because plants can also catch on fire.
  • I don't mind having to use the garden hat to "research" plants and see how "happy" they are, but I don't like that you need to have it in your inventory and equip it to see your plant cheat sheet. A similar problem I have with the recipe book.
  • Plant nutrient items are not worth using. Late-spring I decided to play with giant crops, and it did not go well... I decided to go for manure since it was the easiest and fastest to obtain. Potato was available (spring + manure). And even though I used a lot of manure, I didn't get giant crops. Which is odd because I accidentally got giant potatoes from random plots before this experiment. The second time I did get giant crops, but I had to use a little too much poop (although, thinking back, I should have made it into buckets of poop, oh well). I don't want to imagine for compost or growth formula that are harder and more time intensive to make. Nutrients do not seem to be worth the investment in the slightest.
  • What is the point of the seed bag? I get that it has lots of item slots for seeds, but it just seems useless to me? It doesn't have enough spaces for all seeds and doesn't seem to slow their spoil time noticeably if at all? 

 

The Ugly (No experience)

Spoiler

There are still a few things I did not get to experience from my gameplay:

  • Lord of Fruit Flies never spawned. I guess because I barely left anything to spoil? I mean, I left a few things to spoil later on and fought some flies. But the lord himself never appeared.
  • Composting bin, compost, growth formula, advanced garden hat and malbatross watering can. Just never crafted them. Although the only one I "regret" not trying is the composting bin (and, indirectly, compost) since the others are just upgraded versions of other tools.

 

Suggestions and Improvements

Spoiler

Just opinions on what could be improved or added

  • The plant (and recipe) cheat sheet should be accessible without having to craft specific items.
  • Nutrients should be simplified. I already mentioned to divide them into manure, mineral (bones, ash, charcoal, nitre even) and rot, or similar things that are easily accessible but still make sense. Compost then would be a jack-of-all-trades fertilizer that gives all nutrients in good quantities (making it useful for plantations made from random seeds or with a huge diversity of plants in mind). Growth formula on the other hand would accelerate plant growth in a tile, and make it easier for them to go giant (they reduce the overall requirements for the plant to go giant depending on how strong it is), it would be a special "nutrient".
  • A sprinkler would be fantastic. I believe a tiny re-work to the ice fling-o-matic or the boat water pump should do. This would help a lot for the watering.

 

As for the final words, I have enjoyed the changes to farming so far. Hope it can be tweaked a little more for a more "smooth" experience. I will keep trying the beta and make comments here and there.

Thanks for your time!

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UPDATE [2020 / 12 / 14]

Here is a quick update on my experience:

Spoiler

Lord of the Fruitflies. A simple, annoying and weak pseudo-boss. I didn't expect much from it, but at the same time I can't say I am disappointed: it is weak enough to not be difficult, and it is strong enough to be a good punishment for letting crops rot; and the loot is not great outside of the friendly fruitfly fruit. The most annoying mechanic it has is the fruitflies summoned by it plant weeds all over the place in whichever empty farm soil you have made. However, I find that last part very useful if you are looking for a specific weed: make plenty of farm soil for seeds, plant a few plants and let them rot (leave many farm soils empty), wait for the lord of the fruitflies and enjoy a garden full of weeds (after that you weed out the ones you don't want). You could also just wait for regular fruitflies, however they are very aggressive towards the player so it is harder to keep them planting weeds without keeping a good distance. My only concern right now is that it seems it spawns not quite based on rotten crops, but on a timer, rotten crops just accelerate this timer, which might make it way more annoying than needed... At the moment I have only found him once, so I can't say for sure.

Friendly fruitfly. This little guy is definitely better than beefalo horn or one-man-band (yep, also tried the one-man-band this time, as expected: when compared to beefalo horn it sacrifices distance for durability). Definitely worth killing the Lord of the Fruitflies for this guy.

Nutrients. I gave them a second chance. I don't know if there was an update to them between when I played the first time and the second time (I mean, ArubaroBeefalo does mention it was balanced, but I am not sure if I played before or after that balance?), but the manure needs felt much better. I also noticed a few guides changed the values of each nutrients to something closer to what I recommended (for example, spoiled fish and spoiled fish morsel give growth formula nutrient and are way easier to obtain than growth formula item, and rot and rotten egg give compost nutrient and are way easier to obtain than compost item). Even though they are generally not worth it, specially when compared to crop-pairing, it is a viable option now. The main use I see for them is for base-decorating (farm tiles full of a specific crop giant, or maybe difficult combinations that do not do well together), and if for whatever reason you need lots of a specific crop and can't afford the space.

  • Composting bin and compost. As you can read above, they are way better than I anticipated, but the composting bin has something that bugs me a bit. It can "store" up to 6 items inside, and will produce 1 compost while consuming 2 of those items (it starts working after placing 2 items). Every time a new compost is made, the image of the composting bin is updated with a pile of compost in the floor below it, the more piles in the image, the more compost you can pick up at a time (so, if there is one pile of compost you pick one compost, but if there is 3 piles on the image, you immediately pick 3 composts). It has 4 "stages", meaning you can pick up to 4 compost at a time, after that 4th stage, every compost made by the composting bin is thrown in the floor next to it as an item. The weird part of this all is that the composting bin cannot make more than 3 compost per "batch". In order to get to the 4th stage you need to wait for the composting bin to make 1 compost, and then add 2 more items. That 4th stage feels kinda pointless IMO as you will place the 6 items, wait for it to finish while doing other stuff, place 6 more items, pick up the compost made, and rinse and repeat; it is unlikely you will ever see the 4th stage. EXTRA: whatever item you introduced in the composting bin cannot be retrieved (maybe if you destroy/hammer it before it is processed though).
  • Growth formula (nutrient). It is still quite complicated to get compared to the other nutrients, but is much better now that you can just fish some ocean fishes, murder them, let them rot, and use their spoiled carcass as growth formula fertilizer.
  • Ocean fish. If you are into farming and decorating, ocean fishing might be a great ally for you: spoiled fish and spoiled fish morsel can be used as growth formula fertilizer. You can hammer them for rot and bone shards. Rot gives compost-nutrient (and can be transformed into the more efficient compost-item through composting bin), while bone shards can be crafted with manure into buckets-o-poop. Basically, ocean fishes are amazing fertilizer.

 

That is all. Thanks for reading!

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I made a new beta world just to test this new mechanic. I must say, I have never been so drowned in potatoes and tomatoes, and I wasn't even particularly trying!

I got Lord of the Fruit Flies. He is essentialy like a tiny Bee Queen, except without slowing honey or annoying minions (at least, not the ones that attack you). Grab a spear and one or two armors and you should be fine. Once you get his loot you can essentialy forget about talking to your plants. The friendly fruit fly will take care of it.

I rarely bother watering or fertilizing them. Usually I just plant them and dig up weeds. I sometimes got a few giants. I even got a Wilson assistant to watch over them... by just standing there all year round (yes thats just an equippable Wilson)
0aGion3.jpg

So far I'm really enjoying the update. I have no idea what to do with this amount of crops. My only issue is that I can't seem to get other seeds. I heard that the random seeds will grow crops from the current season, and I skipped first summer in caves, so it might be why I have no dragonfruits and barely any peppers... but then there is garlic which thrives on every season. I dunno is it just very rare?

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14 hours ago, pedregales said:

Suggestions and Improvements

  Hide contents

 

  • Nutrients should be simplified. I already mentioned to divide them into manure, mineral (bones, ash, charcoal, nitre even) and rot, or similar things that are easily accessible but still make sense. Compost then would be a jack-of-all-trades fertilizer that gives all nutrients in good quantities (making it useful for plantations made from random seeds or with a huge diversity of plants in mind). Growth formula on the other hand would accelerate plant growth in a tile, and make it easier for them to go giant (they reduce the overall requirements for the plant to go giant depending on how strong it is), it would be a special "nutrient".

 

 

You never tried composting, but you don't like it?  

Growth formula is the only one that seems obnoxious, considering how annoying it already is to get bottles.

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19 hours ago, QuartzBeam said:

The trick with watering is to do it only once per growth stage. Even at the highest possible moisture drain, this will more than meet the plants' moisture requirements.

I see, will take that into consideration next time!

16 hours ago, ArubaroBeefalo said:

I use the seed bag when im plating and harvesting. Is so usefull to dont have a messy inventory

When i finish i can see all my seeds and choose what i keep in bundles and what not

I still find it unnecessary. You could just make a regular backpack or even a piggyback (since you are not going to move far the speed reduction is negligible, and it is fireproof, protecting your seeds) for that same function, and they are easier to make. You could also make chests or ice boxes (if you have the gears) near the garden. Maybe even salt boxes, but I don't know if you can store seeds in them?

Having said that... maybe the seed bag is fireproof? Will have to try and burn it.

9 hours ago, MrNaxeros said:

[...]

So far I'm really enjoying the update. I have no idea what to do with this amount of crops. My only issue is that I can't seem to get other seeds. I heard that the random seeds will grow crops from the current season, and I skipped first summer in caves, so it might be why I have no dragonfruits and barely any peppers... but then there is garlic which thrives on every season. I dunno is it just very rare?

I am also enjoying this beta so far. As for the seeds... dragonfruit seems to be naturally rarer than most other crops, but it seems to be true that random seeds grow into specific crops according to season. After all, I got my first dragonfruit and pomegranate in spring.

7 hours ago, cybers2001 said:

You never tried composting, but you don't like it?  

Growth formula is the only one that seems obnoxious, considering how annoying it already is to get bottles.

Well...

I tried manure fertilizing a crop and didn't like it. I imagine that compost (another nutrient) and growth formula would be much worse, because manure can be easily obtained in mass quantities: just get near a herd of beefalos, "tame" a koaleffant or, better yet, transform a werepig and feed them all your disposable crops for easy manure. You can then craft buckets-o-poop for 10 uses if you don't mind the bone shard cost. Meanwhile, from what I have read, for compost you need to gather some materials and wait for at least half a day (or 4 minutes), I imagine it gives more than 1 unit of compost per production, because otherwise, you might need to make several composting bins to remotely get close to the level of production of manure of a koaleffant. Growth formula is even more complicated because of the bottle requirement you mentioned, and in order to get full advantage of it, you would need to wait 3 days for maximum power and 5 uses.

Having said that. I will give compost and growth formula a try in a new world.

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On 12/6/2020 at 2:11 PM, pedregales said:

Nutrients

How about self-feeding crops combo, then all you only need to water and One-man band, and re-fertilize after harvested (theoretically you don't have to re-fertilize plot since this is self-feeding, but i didn't tested this). about Fertilize value, if Klei won't buff those enough i'm sure there will be mod that does that.

If fertilize cause you so much trouble just craft ton of Garden Rigamajig then after you harvested crops, dig the plot up with a fork and create new plot (new create plot have some Nutrient in them).

So far i use two mod, one let me plant 4x4, the other remove overcrowding stress (Sorry, i don't like to be limited), i did ask the mod author to include Crops Nutrient cycle (just incase Klei mess up again), maybe ask him to include fertilize value to.

P/s: i have a kind of issue when play game: "I'll try my best to do what the game want me to, and if i found it's not good enough (for me) i will enable mod :d. Cause in the end, playing game is about having fun, so if the original way is not fun enough, then my way it is.

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I agree with all you said.

About nutrients :
It looks like nutrients require indeed a huge amount of poop/compost/growth to grow a giant vegetable field, and is overshadowed by the seed combos that balance the input-output nutrients for 2-3 seeds (tomato-potato, garlic-onion-pepper etc.) and allow to grow giant vegetables without any add of nutrients.
Do all nutrients are hard to mass produce enough in your experience (and they need a general buff, or a reduced consumption from seeds) or is it specific from one (like manure, guano that could be buffed etc.) ?

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2 minutes ago, Nyr said:

I agree with all you said.

About nutrients :
It looks like nutrients require indeed a huge amount of poop/compost/growth to grow a giant vegetable field, and is overshadowed by the seed combos that balance the input-output nutrients for 2-3 seeds (tomato-potato, garlic-onion-pepper etc.) and allow to grow giant vegetables without any add of nutrients.
Do all nutrients are hard to mass produce enough in your experience (and they need a general buff, or a reduced consumption from seeds) or is it specific from one (like manure, guano that could be buffed etc.) ?

They already balanced it, now is cheap to balance the nutrients (which is only useful if you want giant crops) 

I has been harvesting hundreds of corns (i play wurt) in a field without any nutrient and im receiving a corn and 1 to 2 seeds just by planting. I do it in spring so i dont need to water anything and i have the friendly fruit fly that tents plants for me

About nutrients, as scott explained in the beta patch, now the nutrient values of the plants means how much 'arrows' you need since you plant the seed until the crop is ready to harvest. Example, if a plant consumes 4 arrows of manure you will only need to use 2 piece of guano 

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I have updated the main topic with more opinions on the beta, you can find it below UPDATE [2020 / 12 / 14].

@Psychomaniac I did try self-feeding crops the first time I played. The basic ones though: 2-pairings and 3-pairings. You don't have to re-fertilize the soil at all with this set-up and you will get giant crops guaranteed. It definitely is way more efficient than using fertilizers. But fertilizers are much better than I thought, specially with the changes to spoiled ocean fishes.

@Nyr Yep, fertilizers are completely overshadowed by crop-pairing, although they are still a valid option. As for nutrients:

  • The hardest nutrient to get by far is definitely growth formula, because you need to go to the ocean to get it (unless you have glommer's goop or Wormwood's compost wrap; however glommer's goop is not very efficient or effective, and not everyone has access to Wormwood): growth formula starter requires empty bottles and kelp frond, while spoiled fish can only be obtained from ocean fishes.
  • Compost is probably the easiest nutrient to get now as you just need to let things rot and rot gives a decent amount of compost. You can also make compost with 1 rot and 1 cut grass for 3 times the effectiveness. Although rot would still be the most efficient form due to how easy it is to farm, specially if you have a juicy berry bush farm; compost would only be space-efficient.
  • Manure is pretty easy to mass produce as well, just get a werepig and feed it stacks of veggies (do note flower petals and lightbulbs count as "veggies" for this, so you don't need to sacrifice crops, but whatever crops are close to spoiling, you can also use them to get manure). You could also "tame" a couple of koaleffants for manure, they poop like crazy. You could also find a beefalo herd and take advantage of their intensive digestive tracks. I personally think guano could use a good buff as a fertilizer considering how hard it is to get compared to regular manure.

-----

Sidenote: the seed bag is not fireproof :(

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On 12/6/2020 at 2:11 AM, pedregales said:
  • Lord of Fruit Flies never spawned. I guess because I barely left anything to spoil? I mean, I left a few things to spoil later on and fought some flies. But the lord himself never appeared.
  •  

the lord is very worth killing for its seeds and the minion it drops which automatically attends to crops

You would either need to manually talk to each plant or use a one man band/beefalo horn

The one man band is now viable early game, just be wary of your pig skin

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