Min-Max Guide / Optimal Play

Drullo321

Farmhand
I wonder if there will be adjustment for the new Beach farm. I guess there won't be many adjustment for spring but having only max. 200 tiles for harvesting is something else.
 

LRangerR

Farmer
Looks like you put a lot of work in it. I didn't think people would min-max in SDV, of all games, though. The game is easy enough as it is and there's practically no reward to doing it other than it being an exercise in min-max.

There's some stuff in your guide that is good, but there's also some stuff that seems misguided. Not your fault though, that's just min-max culture.
 

LRangerR

Farmer
I'm familiar with all the different archetypes of gamers, so i'll pass on the read, thank you. In my experience, not everything fits neatly into a box, as archetypes would have you believe. This also applies to the fantasy-morality spectrum [Lawful-Good to Chaotic-Evil], and people who try to play fitting into those kinds of archetypes are only limiting themselves.
 

Zamiel

Cowpoke
I wonder if there will be adjustment for the new Beach farm. I guess there won't be many adjustment for spring but having only max. 200 tiles for harvesting is something else.
It's not optimal to use the Beach Farm, so I wouldn't recommend it. If you want to use the Beach Farm as an additional challenge, then the route doesn't change much.
- You still do a crapload of fishing.
- You still upgrade the pickaxe to gold first.
- After that, you upgrade the axe to steel (so that you can chop the stumps blocking the soil).
- Focus on maxing out Starfruit on your available soil.
- Ultimately, you don't need to rely on Starfruit, since you just just farm Skull Caverns over and over to get all of the money you really need for year 1.
- In year 2, you will have completed the CC, and you can use the island farm to plant around 700 (?) Starfruit + Deluxe Quality Fertilizer there, which will help you get enough money for the Gold Clock by the end of year 2.

Ultimately, this means that since you have access to the Island Farm, the restrictions of the Beach Farm become irrelevant.
 
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Drullo321

Farmhand
Yeah I know that it is not optimal in terms of raw min-max but I thought about min-max in terms of the beach farm itself. My guess was nearly the same as yours, e.g. fully utilizing the available tiles. But in addition I wonder if you then should mass build coops with void chickens as they aren't dependent on friendship points. Void mayo sells pretty decent and time investment is nearly minimal because their output is the same, zero or five friendship hearts.
 

Ralij

Cowpoke
Looks like you put a lot of work in it. I didn't think people would min-max in SDV, of all games, though. The game is easy enough as it is and there's practically no reward to doing it other than it being an exercise in min-max.

There's some stuff in your guide that is good, but there's also some stuff that seems misguided. Not your fault though, that's just min-max culture.
The spreadsheet is part of the fun! Making plans and analyzing each is entertaining and stardew has so many variables that its fun just to tinker with, add in limitations or restrictions and tinker again. This game made me use algebra of all things just to play with it. If they used this to teach that in school it would've been way more enjoyable.
 

Zamiel

Cowpoke
But in addition I wonder if you then should mass build coops with void chickens as they aren't dependent on friendship points.
No, unfortunately that is a bad idea. Void Mayo sells for 385g each. With the largest Coop, you can have 12 Void Chickens, with would equal a daily output of 4,620g, assuming you get an egg from each chicken every day.

This number is pathetic. Again, as I said above, there's no need to only min-max the beach farm when you have the island farm available to you. Contrast 4,620g a day versus covering the island farm with Hyper Speed-Gro + Starfruit. This is the optimal amount of gold per square, which comes out to 343.75g per day. With 792 squares available on the farm, that nets you 272,250g per day. You would need approximately 59 fully upgraded Coops to match that, with a significant amount of up front gold investment and time investment to get it going. So basically, a complete waste of time.

Furthermore, even in a hypothetical where you were arbitrarily restricting yourself from using the island farm, it would still be a waste of time to build coops. Each Skull Caverns run can net you 100,000g (or more, if you are good at the game). You would need 22 fully upgraded Coops to match that, which isn't as ridiculous as 59 fully upgraded Coops, but still pretty absurd. Having extra auto-petters to spare doesn't really change the calculus either. By the time that you set up 22 Coops in a completely automated way, you would *already* have infinite money if you had just used a more direct method.
 
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Drullo321

Farmhand
You can't compare one farm layout with another when the question is how to min-max on a specific layout. It is like when someone ask you what is the most profitable job in country A, you respond with, there are better ones in country B. My question wasn't about what is the best farm layout for min-max, that is obviously the standard farm. Also infinitve money isn't a comparable number when trying to decide which min-max methods are better.

So again, let's take the beach farm. Obviously as you said, skull-cavern runs are as good as on any other farm. And using the limitied space for sprinklers as described as in your guide I also agree. But when I think about having the most money at a specific point, let's say end of first year, end of second year or a far date in the future, i am sure there are better ways then only plating starfruits whenever it is possible, especially before having access to the Greenhouse or the new Ginger Island farm. When going the normal community center route (not Joja), there is a large time gap between having enough money after spend on all necessaries that increase your profit (tools, machines, upgrades) and having access to the greenhouse, which is approximeately one ingame month (mid summer to mid fall). And you have a large sum of free useable sand tiles that just lay waste. I do not believe it won't be profitable in a significant way to reinvest that money (hundred thousands of gold!) in that time frame.

Edit: I would like to also have a more practical look on the strategies. E.g. having unlimited space won't give you unlimited profit because you have a limited time per day. So I would assume Ancient Fruit Tiles are more profitable then Star Fruits (based on your sheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1RRmYU2NM1PxG3yfbHymKsK4-RR8d8eSHu9hnEr33CYs/edit#gid=0 ) because of time constraints considering the need of replacing Starfruits each harvest
 
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Zamiel

Cowpoke
let's say end of first year, end of second year or a far date in the future, i am sure there are better ways then only plating starfruits whenever it is possible, especially before having access to the Greenhouse or the new Ginger Island farm
Sure, we can discuss that.

The beach farm has:
- 202 tiles on the top half ((20x10)+2). But you need to use 8 tiles for Iridium Sprinklers, so this lowers the usable tiles to 194.
- 19 tiles on the bottom half.
So in total you have 213 tiles that are waterable by sprinklers.

If you have 213 tiles growing Starfruit/Pumpkins (year 1) and you don't have access to the Island Farm yet, then the likely best alternative to make additional money beyond that would be to simply plant more Starfruit/Pumpkins on the other tillable sand with Deluxe Speed-Gro and water it manually. The reason that I assume Deluxe Speed-Gro instead of Quality Retaining Soil is because it only provides a 66% retention rate, which is abysmal. Furthermore, mass watering squares with an Iridium Watering Can is going to be more straightforward and time-efficient than randomly running around and single-watering-tiles that happened to not get the lucky retention.

From my spreadsheet:
- We don't have Hyper Speed-Gro yet (because we don't have access to Ginger Island, as previously stated).
- We don't have massive amounts of Ancient Seeds available on year 1.
- In Spring year 1, you will be busy doing other stuff and won't have maxed out tiles yet. (Otherwise, you would hypothetically use Cauliflower.)
- In Summer year 1, you might be able to fill all the tiles with Starfruit, in which case you would plant more Starfruit.
- In Fall year 1, you would plant Pumpkins.

Building on this, the next two relevant questions are:
1) What is the time cost of watering?
2) What is the opportunity cost per minute, based on revenue in the Skull Caverns?

These are a bit harder to calculate.

Relating to #1, an Iridium Sprinkler can water 27 (9x3) tiles at once, so it would be prudent for someone to measure how long it takes to e.g. water 270 squares. (Remember to measure while using a double movement speed buff, in case that isn't obvious.) Feel free to perform this experiment.

Relating to #2, Skull Caverns revenue really depends on how far you are into year 1 or year 2. Later on, you will have infinite staircases (from mass Jades from Crystalariums), so you can really maximize the revenue to ridiculous levels. On average, we could select a more-ordinary value of around 300 Iridium Ore per day, which works out to be 60 Iridium Bars, which is 90,000g. Warping to the desert as soon as possible and eating Spicy Eel + Espresso, you enter the Skull Caverns at around 6:10 AM, which gives you around 1190 minutes inside the dungeon. That works out to be around 75.6g per minute. (This is a fairly conservative calculation, as I am not accounting for the extra profit from gems, the extra Battery Packs that you can make more Crystalariums with, and so forth.)

In summer specifically, using a value of 2,670g as profit for Starfruit w/ Deluxe Speed-Gro converted to Wine, we would divide that by the days to grow, which is 9, giving us 296.7g gold per water. That would mean that as long as it takes less than 3.9 minutes to water a tile, then it would be on average more profitable.

However, we also have to mention that extra Starfruit/Pumpkins requires more harvesting time, which this analysis does not account for. It also does not account for the infrastructure to get it to ship, namely a massive amount more Kegs, which must be further invested in. I think that a more specific analysis would be needed in order to hone in on exactly what point in year 1 or year 2 you are considering forgoing a Skull Caverns run for farming in sand + manual watering, but my intuition based on these numbers is that you might just be wasting your time.
 
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Zamiel

Cowpoke
Another assumption that makes the calculation more difficult (and more skewed towards Skull Caverns) is the following:
The Iridium Ore retrieval rate is not linear, as I suggested it was in my previous analysis. Rather, it is highly skewed towards the end of the run when you are on the furthest possible floor. In other words, reducing the length of a Skull Caverns run by X minutes at the end of a run is drastically different from reducing the length of run by X minutes shaved off from the beginning, which further reduces confidence in your 75.6g per minute metric as a useful metric to work with.
 
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Cptldsilver

Planter
Great guide!

A few questions,

1. Why no burglar ring? Its incredibly powerful in the skull cavern and lets you farm iridium bats for batteries.
2. How do you feel about using the elevator to rapidly reset floors in the mines? It can be used to farm the dust sprites for the burglar ring in 1-2 days.
3. Did CA change the growth speed of pumpkins? In 1.4 it required 9 days with agriculturalist and deluxe speed gro, which meant you had to have it planted and watered on Fall 1 to get 3 full harvests in.
 

Zamiel

Cowpoke
> Great guide!

Thanks!

> 1. Why no burglar ring? Its incredibly powerful in the skull cavern and lets you farm iridium bats for batteries.

What day are you referring to specifically? On Spring 15, you are already doing Skull Caverns runs and haven't killed any Dust Sprites yet, so you obviously won't have access to the Burglar Ring.

> 2. How do you feel about using the elevator to rapidly reset floors in the mines? It can be used to farm the dust sprites for the burglar ring in 1-2 days.

- Based on my experience, I am fairly confident that it would take longer than 2 days to kill 500 Dust Sprites (specifically with using the elevator to farm floor 55 over and over + using the pause trick). Feel free to test it and report back.
- Even if it only took two days, it would still be a waste of time to get the Burglar Ring, since the Burglar Ring isn't as good as a 2nd Iridium Band. Using two Iridium Bands is optimal for the double magnetism, making you waste less time picking up all of the stuff that you are bombing. Remember that we are ignoring all of the enemies and just bombing the rocks, so the Burglar Ring doesn't do much. (If you are seeking out Iridium Bats to kill, you are wasting your time - you lose around 100g with every sword slash that you do to an Iridium Bat.)
- Even if the Burglar Ring was good, there are not two days to spare in this route - you need the money from the Skull Caverns in order to plant as many Starfruit with Deluxe Speed-Gro as possible.

> 3. Did CA change the growth speed of pumpkins?

No, you can read all of the patch notes for 1.5 on the wiki: https://stardewcommunitywiki.com/Version_History
Use the Stardew Planner to see the growth speed of crops: https://exnil.github.io/crop_planner/
Pumpkins + Deluxe Speed-Gro + Agriculturalist = 8 day grow time.
 
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DJModulo

Greenhorn
First of all, great guide. I incorporated some of these ideas into my most recent start and am probably going to include them for good.

I do believe there's a typo in the amount of Bait expected on Spring day 2 (don't you mean 50-70 bait instead of 500-700?)

How much worse is fishing in the town river compared to fishing in the forest river? Is it just the 2 EXP difference between Chub/Smallmouth Bass (which are identical in every other aspect aside from Smallmouth being a tad easier to get perfect IMO) or does the Forest have an increased catfish%?

I generally do the introductions in a slightly different manner (see spoiler) and don't see a huge difference in terms of efficiency; if you think otherwise feel free to name it.

Everything until forest exit is the same (enter ~9:20, meet Jas&Haley, exit at 11:30-11:40)
Do not meet Emily yet; instead go towards Pierre's immediately to greet Marnie and ideally Sam
(Leah is optional, but nice to get here; Sam can be made up for later but it's on a tight schedule; Penny you can meet either here or later)
Down to the Beach to meet Elliot, east for Clint and the Museum
Do not enter JoJa, but do cut the patch beneath it; meet Abigail on the bridge.
Meet George in his home, Evelyn, Caroline, Jodi, Vincent and Harvey outside (exit towards the farm somewhere between 2:30 and 3:00).
Go back to the farm to dump your forage and immediately head back, check the bus stop on the way back into town
Go north to scythe the fountain area & the CC patch (you should be done between 4:00 and 4:30)
Head to Pierre's to meet Pierre (and Leah, if missed earlier)
Head down to greet Alex (by his dog), Maru and Penny (Bench south of the Saloon)
Go into the Saloon to meet Gus and Emily
Meet Pam and Shane on their way from Joja to the saloon (plus Sam on his way from Joja to his home, if you missed him earlier. Shane crosses the bridge around 05:20 PM)
Head north to the Mountain area, go around to meet Demetrius and Linus, then loop back around to meet Sebastian at 06:40 (no big mistake if you're 10-20 minutes late here).
Head back to the farm using the northern path.
 

Zamiel

Cowpoke
First of all, great guide.
Thanks!

I do believe there's a typo in the amount of Bait expected on Spring day 2 (don't you mean 50-70 bait instead of 500-700?)
Yeah, I think I meant that to be on the Spring 3 section on bait, not the Spring 2 section. It's fixed now, thanks.

How much worse is fishing in the town river compared to fishing in the forest river? Is it just the 2 EXP difference between Chub/Smallmouth Bass (which are identical in every other aspect aside from Smallmouth being a tad easier to get perfect IMO) or does the Forest have an increased catfish%?
Town river is 30%~ chance for Catfish, forest river is 35%~ chance for Catfish, according to Blade's spreadsheet, feel free to double check.
That's the most important difference, I would assume any other differences are a wash.

I generally do the introductions in a slightly different manner (see spoiler) and don't see a huge difference in terms of efficiency; if you think otherwise feel free to name it.
Did you test both routes and time yours to be faster?

Overall, I think that meeting everyone is actually just a mistake, since it only gets you 100g, and by only meeting Pam you can maximize your chance of getting batteries.
Furthermore, with the new clay strat, I think that the entire day 1 section in the guide might need an overhaul, depending on if it clay farming is considered cheating or not.
 
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Cptldsilver

Planter
> Great guide!

Thanks!

> 1. Why no burglar ring? Its incredibly powerful in the skull cavern and lets you farm iridium bats for batteries.

What day are you referring to specifically? On Spring 15, you are already doing Skull Caverns runs and haven't killed any Dust Sprites yet, so you obviously won't have access to the Burglar Ring.

> 2. How do you feel about using the elevator to rapidly reset floors in the mines? It can be used to farm the dust sprites for the burglar ring in 1-2 days.

- Based on my experience, I am fairly confident that it would take longer than 2 days to kill 500 Dust Sprites (specifically with using the elevator to farm floor 55 over and over + using the pause trick). Feel free to test it and report back.
- Even if it only took two days, it would still be a waste of time to get the Burglar Ring, since the Burglar Ring isn't as good as a 2nd Iridium Band. Using two Iridium Bands is optimal for the double magnetism, making you waste less time picking up all of the stuff that you are bombing. Remember that we are ignoring all of the enemies and just bombing the rocks, so the Burglar Ring doesn't do much. (If you are seeking out Iridium Bats to kill, you are wasting your time - you lose around 100g with every sword slash that you do to an Iridium Bat.)
- Even if the Burglar Ring was good, there are not two days to spare in this route - you need the money from the Skull Caverns in order to plant as many Starfruit with Deluxe Speed-Gro as possible.

> 3. Did CA change the growth speed of pumpkins?

No, you can read all of the patch notes for 1.5 on the wiki: https://stardewcommunitywiki.com/Version_History
Use the Stardew Planner to see the growth speed of crops: https://exnil.github.io/crop_planner/
Pumpkins + Deluxe Speed-Gro + Agriculturalist = 8 day grow time.
I guess if you're only using swords the burglars ring is less efficient so I see your point. Though I think your underestimating the value of an iridium bat. I usually carry three rings on me in the early game so I switch to the burglars ring when killing enemies then switch back to the magnet ring.

Its definitely possible to get the burglars ring in one-two days if your very efficient. You have to reset floor 65, use the elevator pause trick, and only pursue groups of 4+ sprites on the side of the level that's closest to the elevator. Using this method I can usually average 25 sprites an hour though I've seen some streamers get 30+ an hour. Overall though it is debatable whether or not to go for the burglars ring.

If pumpkins haven't changed then you need to plant wheat on the 27th of summer and pumpkins on the 1st of fall. Otherwise you will only be able to get 2 harvests in (Summer 28>Fall 2>Fall 11>Fall 20>Fall 29?) vs (Summer 27>Fall 1>Fall 10>Fall 19>Fall 28). Pumpkins take NINE days with deluxe speed gro and agriculturalist unless it was changed in 1.5 and I don't think it has.
 

Zamiel

Cowpoke
I usually carry three rings on me in the early game so I switch to the burglars ring when killing enemies then switch back to the magnet ring.
Excellent point. If you do already have the Burglar Ring, then it is optimal to swap it in before the last hit on each enemy, and swap it out immediately afterwards. (Although admittedly this is kind of annoying). It's also worth mentioning here that this same strategy is also quite useful with a Savage Ring (for the speed boost).

Of course, we should reiterate again that you won't have either the Burglar Ring or the Savage Ring at this point in the game, and using two entire days to get it is a tremendous opportunity cost that would be very difficult to recuperate.

Its definitely possible to get the burglars ring in one-two days if your very efficient. You have to reset floor 65, use the elevator pause trick, and only pursue groups of 4+ sprites on the side of the level that's closest to the elevator. Using this method I can usually average 25 sprites an hour though I've seen some streamers get 30+ an hour.
That's good info, thanks. Assuming:

- that you kill 0 Dust Sprites in your mines run
- that you arrive at the mines at 6:30 AM
- that you kill 30 Dust Sprites an hour

That gives you 17.5 hours in the mine and 525 Dust Sprites killed. But with 25 per hour, you wouldn't be able to make it. Sounds like it would be pretty difficult.

Pumpkins take NINE days with deluxe speed gro and agriculturalist unless it was changed in 1.5 and I don't think it has.
You are wrong. Once again, as I have said in my previous post, it takes 8 days. See the attached screenshot. Also, this has not changed in v1.5. [edit - it did change]
 

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