Min-Max Guide / Optimal Play

Zamiel

Farmhand
Hello OldMcKeg,

Thanks for the comments.

1) I've not heard about the tulip strategy, so it might be good. However, with the changes in the meta from fishing --> farming Void Essence as a means to get the gold for the Vault, you won't need to eat anything and thus I would imagine that you wouldn't need the tulips for the extra energy.

2) Yup, Trout Soup entered the meta this year around January/February, but I haven't done a run since then, so I haven't had time to try it out.

3) Probably agree. I haven't done much testing around Summer 11, as in almost all my challenge runs I have stopped min-maxing money at this point and am attempting to do other goals.

4a) Yes, you should buy as much coal as you need from Clint.

4b) Yes, you should aggressively bomb, but not so much that you don't have enough ore left for sprinklers and/or don't run out of coal. Later on you can craft Mega Bombs to avoid using coal, but I generally build up 100 Solar Essence first for the Iridium Rings.

4c) Master Slingshot should be used with explosive ammo on big chunks of rocks. I don't use it on enemies.

4d) It is extremely cumbersome to snap a screenshot and then look at the screenshot. Don't do that. Instead, just zoom out using my recommended mod.

4e) I don't have a lot of experience using explosive ammo, so for now I would recommend using a mixture of that and other Bombs + Megabombs.

4f) Yes, it's fairly easy to distinguish the crabs, since they are offset. That isn't stated in the guide since it is fairly obvious for players who have played the game before.

4g) Yes, definitely fight multiple bats, as you need the batteries and the loot. It's most efficient to gather up an entire floor worth of bats first, though. As I've said elsewhere in this thread, don't stand in one spot killing one bat like a noob, just ignore it.

4h) Yes, lucky rings are nice, but it would be suboptimal to go out of your way for barrels, as they are a very rare drop.

5) The tightest part of our route is getting back to Clint on day 5, so your adjustment does seem preferable in that sense. If I am following correctly, you just buy 25 copper ore and 25 iron ore, then use the iron pickaxe to get floor 80. Does the iron pickaxe actually 1 shot everything like the gold pickaxe does?

Anyway, as I've said earlier, the route is a little outdated now because of the existence of Void Essence farming, so everything, including when to upgrade the pickaxe, needs to be re-routed around that.

6) You can use appendix C in the guide to measure average expected value gain/loss from farming when compared to fishing. Feel free to measure something more specific. However, note that appendix C is out of date, because farming would need to be compared to Void Essence, which would make it even more difficult for farming to be viable.

7) Potentially agree. Day 1 is structured around meeting villagers mostly because you can talk to most of them whilst looking for foragables + checking garbage cans. (This leaves only a few that you actually have to travel inside of buildings to meet.) The gained friendship is pointless and not a consideration. Day 1 is also structured to give you the most possible money for day 2. By eating all of the foragables instead of selling them, you go into day 2 with less money, won't be able to buy the rod as quickly, might not be able to get fishing level 4, etc. But if you've played through two routes for day 1 + day 2 side by side and believe that one is better, feel free to submit a PR.

9) I typically go against the guide and get Iridium Pickaxe before as soon as possible, but that decision is dependent on the specific kind of challenge run that I am doing. Feel free to break from the guide if you feel like you need to to cut down on bomb usage.

10) Yes, for most runs it will be optimal to complete the CC as soon as possible, but of course it depends on the specific challenge run. A section on when to buy a barn might be nice, but probably not necessary, as it will be variable depending on many different factors. I expect that most players will have everything that they need for CC by Winter.
 

BlaDe

Rancher
By eating all of the foragables instead of selling them, you go into day 2 with less money
I believe using the energy from Leeks and Dandelions to chop trees, then selling the wood and sap give more g than selling the foragables alone. However you do lose the opportunity to make seed packets using them (which you won't be able to do until day 2 anyway, after which you have to go to Pierre).

farming Void Essence as a means to get the gold for the Vault, you won't need to eat anything and thus I would imagine that you wouldn't need the tulips for the extra energy.
The diamond nodes that you will see doing this provides a lot of the money, so there is still some energy expended.

Regarding Tulip stacking:
The colours of flowers are one of the few RNG elements of the game that is not partially determined by the game seed (Others being contents of crates in the mines, and boss monster drops). The only factors are the tile, and the day of the month (not total days played). Colours are set on plant. This will allow you to only plant certain colours to mitigate the inventory issue. Given the rest of the ruleset, I can see this being a bit of a grey area.
 

Zamiel

Farmhand
> This will allow you to only plant certain colours to mitigate the inventory issue.

That's interesting, thanks BlaDe. That seems like a bug in the game, as there is no good reason that the color of a tulip should be determined in a different way than the quality of the tulip.
 

OldMcKeg

Cowpoke
To clarify, what I meant in 4c was to shoot gold ore from the master slingshot before getting the galaxy sword. It kills *much* faster than the obsidian edge.

What's the void essence farming strategy?

The iron pickaxe will one-shot all regular rocks until floor 80. I don't remember if it one-shots or two-shots iron ore.
 

Zamiel

Farmhand
You just farm void essence + diamond nodes on floors 85 --> 95 --> 105 --> 0 --> repeat. (And use Savage Ring when you get it, which increases gold per hour dramatically.)
You should plan on getting roughly 12 kills per hour. This means that ideally, you go for 2+ Voids at a time. (If you spot a single Void, don't go for it unless you have the speed buff active and it isn't very far out of the way.)
It is also unclear whether or not time should be invested to get the Burglar's Ring, and what else should be rerouted, if any.
If you want to perform some research, you could compile a section similar in scope to Appendix C, that shows expected value with and without Savage Ring, Burglar Ring, etc.
 

Zamiel

Farmhand
RE: Lucky Rings, there's also a strategy where you can get a Lucky Ring by resetting floor 1 of the Skull Caverns over and over until you get a specific layout, but that falls in the realm of RNG manipulation and is cheating.
 

Zamiel

Farmhand
> To clarify, what I meant in 4c was to shoot gold ore from the master slingshot before getting the galaxy sword. It kills *much* faster than the obsidian edge.

I'll have to try that out. One issue though is that you are supposed to be building up gold ore for Quality Sprinklers, Mega Bombs, and so forth.
 

BlaDe

Rancher
> This will allow you to only plant certain colours to mitigate the inventory issue.

That's interesting, thanks BlaDe. That seems like a bug in the game, as there is no good reason that the color of a tulip should be determined in a different way than the quality of the tulip.
Quality is determined on harvest as you current farming level helps determine quality. Colour is determined on plant as it needs to know what to show when fully grown, and it has the information available from looking up growth times.
 

BlaDe

Rancher
RE: Lucky Rings, there's also a strategy where you can get a Lucky Ring by resetting floor 1 of the Skull Caverns over and over until you get a specific layout, but that falls in the realm of RNG manipulation and is cheating.
Some people use floor 1 of Skull Cavern for farming ore and combat xp. Does that fall under cheating in your ruleset?
 

Zamiel

Farmhand
> Quality is determined on harvest as you current farming level helps determine quality. Colour is determined on plant as it needs to know what to show when fully grown, and it has the information available from looking up growth times.

I meant specifically with respect to the game seed. Why use the game seed in the quality algorithm but not the game seed in the color algorithm? That doesn't make sense.

> Some people use floor 1 of Skull Cavern for farming ore and combat xp. Does that fall under cheating in your ruleset?

No, I don't consider that cheating. If you are just doing level 1 over and over looking for crates/whatever else, then that's fine, but if you are looking for a create in one specific square on N specific layouts because you know before-hand that the crates on those specific squares would yield a certain reward, that's cheating for the same reason that using Stardew Predictor is cheating.
 
Last edited:

BlaDe

Rancher
> To clarify, what I meant in 4c was to shoot gold ore from the master slingshot before getting the galaxy sword. It kills *much* faster than the obsidian edge.

I meant specifically with respect to the game seed. Why use the game seed in the quality algorithm but not the game seed in the color algorithm? That doesn't make sense.

> Some people use floor 1 of Skull Cavern for farming ore and combat xp. Does that fall under cheating in your ruleset?

No, I don't consider that cheating. If you are just doing level 1 over and over looking for crates/whatever else, then that's fine, but if you are looking for a create in one specific square on N specific layouts because you know before-hand that the crates on those specific squares would yield a certain reward, that's cheating for the same reason that using Stardew Predictor is cheating.
(I think you copied the wrong thing to quote)

Funnily enough, both topics are related. They are both elements that the game seed isnt used in the determinations.

I could make images illustrating the outcomes of crate drops and flower planting, and it will be true for all save files.

I can understand if you prefer not to use this information, but the comparison to Stardew Predictor is not direct (though still relevant)
 

Zamiel

Farmhand
> I could make images illustrating the outcomes of crate drops and flower planting, and it will be true for all save files.

Right, that's the bug. That seems to be not intended by ConcernedApe. Why would he want that to be true for all save files? He would almost certainly want tulip colors randomized across all save files in the same way that tulip quality is randomized across all save files.

Capitalizing on unintended bugs isn't in the spirit of min-maxing the vanilla game.
 

BlaDe

Rancher
Honestly, we can't make that call.

You can however make the call to not use it in your own ruleset.

Capitalising on knowledge of in depth game mechanics is in the spirit of how I min/max the vanilla game.
 

Zamiel

Farmhand
> Honestly, we can't make that call.

In my mind, it seems like a little bit of a stretch to think that ConcernedApe intentionally made tulip colors & crates & boss monster drops not be based on the game seed, but every other possible thing in the game based on the game seed. =p But sure, if you have fun exploiting those irregularities, then go for it.

> I believe using the energy from Leeks and Dandelions to chop trees, then selling the wood and sap give more g than selling the foragables alone. However you do lose the opportunity to make seed packets using them (which you won't be able to do until day 2 anyway, after which you have to go to Pierre).

I never thought of selling wood, so that's neat. And yeah, going to Pierre's is a little inconvenient, as you are already by the ocean by the time that he opens.

Given a reasonable number of foragables / Spring Onions that spawn, I wonder how much spare time you have left over after expending all possible energy. Would it be possible to still meet everyone in town AND expend all possible energy cutting wood? I guess it would probably depend on how many foragables spawn.
 

OldMcKeg

Cowpoke
RE: Lucky Rings, there's also a strategy where you can get a Lucky Ring by resetting floor 1 of the Skull Caverns over and over until you get a specific layout, but that falls in the realm of RNG manipulation and is cheating.
Look I know I've brought this up before but I really think you should not use the word "cheating" in contexts like these. You're not describing a rule: there's no authority, no external harms, no consensus and no consequences to different behavior. Instead you're describing a preference, and largely your own preference. You wouldn't hear a vegetarian say that eating meat "isn't allowed". They'd say that they "don't eat meat." Someone might say they "cheated on their diet" but that's an ironic usage. Describing preferences as if they were authoritative can sound childish, and I think that's the effect here. Anyway it's unnecessary; it's just as good a sentence, if not better, if you just say "but that falls in the realm of RNG manipulation." and end it there. If you really need to call it something you could say "preferred" or "consistent with my framework" or something.

The void strategy sounds interesting. I feel like you'd still need food, if only to recover hp, though maybe with practice you take very little damage.
 

DarkYttrium

Greenhorn
Hey! I’m on Spring 20 and need some tips for my first skull cavern run using the guide. I’m not at a high enough combat level to craft explosive ammo or bombs so do I just mine rocks with the pick axe. I struggled a lot in getting the money for the vault + tool upgrades around this period so that’s why I’m a bit late to the skull cavern.
 
Top