I'm putting this post up here for players to add to the idea of overhauling the whole farming system for the game devs. So if you have any input you would like to add feel free. I'm curious to see what players think and have experienced with the whole farming system.
I have been farming in Eco since I bought the game on steam back in February. Honestly it took me about 2 weeks to master the system and even after all this time I still have huge frustrations with how the system works. To start I 'm going to review how the current system works. The farming system is not the same as the farming skill. The farming system is the complex system of world gen, NPK values and land movement. For anyone that has been a farmer you know that setting up a large farm is dependent on the RL players understanding of of the game mechanics and not the skills that a character has through skill points. If your not familer with all the little small changes that effect farming look it up on the wiki. Honestly there is about 15 different game mechanic factors that effect farming which make a very complex system to grow food. So if you don't know how it works look it up, you will be very surprised.
What I'm proposing is for the devs to create a new system for farming while still keeping the old system. Right now when a world begins only about 15% of the world is capable of high food out put. The reason behind this is the how biomes are created and the values plants need to grow. those two combined limit where farmers can set up and grow crops. Most of the worlds i've been in I have found I need to be very far outside of town to grow food. The reason is how land values change. I once had a massive corn field that died overnight because someone built a house next to my property. Surprised? So was I, but the just the function of building a small house created a cascade effect that kill off over 16 5x5 plots of corn. Why? because when they build the house it decreased the moisture value and temperature value of the land around it. in turn that effected my crops and lowered the moisture and temperature of my corn fields. all it took was a 3 degree drop in temperature and a 5% change in moisture to turn all my crops from 100% match to a 0% match in less then a few hours. the effect was I was out 400 corn seeds and had 16 plots of land I couldn't use to grow crops. Doesn't seem right that a farmer has to move there farm every time someone builds a house next to their fields. But based on how the game mechanics works this is a problem. This is only one of many small factors that can ruin a farm. there are more.
So how can this be corrected? I suggest having fertile plots for farming. for example a 5x5 item that farmers can make that allows them to control the crops they are growing. It doesn't make sense that we can build laser to shot down a meteor but have no idea on how to control the growth of plants. by having a controllable farm plot a farmer is no longer dependent on the changes in land, world gen or world ticks to grow crops. Right now growing crops does depend on server ticks. Just because your plant says it will take 19.5 hours doesn't mean it will. Due to high population servers world ticks take longer and longer. I've had times where crops take up to 48 hours to grow because the world ticks take longer and longer.
Imagine trying to feed 10 players with your crops and you need to produce at least 100 raw produce for each player every 24 hours to feed them. Basic math will tell you that you need to grow 1000 plants to maintain the minimum required food. As a farmer you know that 1 5x5 land plot will produce 25-75 produce times the gathering skill you have. the avg 5x5 plot will produce 4 produce per block, so the math is 25x4= 200 or 1 5x5 plot makes 200 produce. So you will need at least 5 5x5 plots to produce the food for players. in reality you need a lot more food then 100 raw crops per player the real number is closer to 1000. but you take other factors in to consideration, like distance of your farm to other players and how many cals a player is using in a given 24 hour period, ect. problems like low yields and increased grow times are going to cause massive issues for players.
So but putting in player controllable farms would allow players to farm closer to large cities, control production values and production times. it could be as simple as creating a single block that you can grow a type of produce on that is not effected by world gen or land values to a complex hydroponic item that function like a crafting type. in any case I think the game is getting to a point where controlled farming is needed.
I also think that gathering, farming, fertilizers and digging should all be combined into one skill. Each skill by itself has very limited value to game play, by combining them into 1 skill the player is better equipped to do their job.
I have other ideas like making food have a freshness timer so that after a given amount of time food rots. That alone would help driven the food economy. That would also push to have iceboxes and fridges used to keep food fresh.
But if any farmers have any ideas that would work to help overhaul the farming system, add to this post. lets put together a complete player driven idea to support the devs in building a new farming system.
there are two answers to that the short and the long.
the short answer is SP gain, you get higher SP gain from high level foods then you do from lower level foods.
the long answer is finding the best SP gain for the food you are making. From what I have found is that adv campfire is only going to give you around 55 food SP where home cooking is going to give you 85 food SP and adv cooking is going to give you around 120 food SP. The reason behind this is how food SP is calculated. you have your 4 food value categorizes, carbs, protein, fat and vitamins. Adv campfire foods are going to max around 12 for any given value. like chard meat is like 10 fat and 12 protein but 0 carbs and 0 vitamins. when you balance that out with a food that has carbs and vitamins you are going to create a new value. when you take all 4 values and ad the multiplier you get your final food SP value. the multiplier raises from 1.1 to 2.0 based on how close your 4 values are to each other. example if each of you 4 values is 10 then you multiplier will be x2. but if you have 3 values at 8 and 1 at 10 your going to have a x1.6.
so when you eat adv campfire food your 4 base value are going to only be around 8 to giving you a food SP gain of around 55. with home cooking you can get around 9 so you get 85 food SP. and with adv cooking you'll have 15 for a food SP of 120.
yes you need a lot of crops to make more adv foods. but not all foods are equal. so you have to look at the values you are going to eat. like with home cooking. ppl assume that veg soup and skimmed meat will give the highest SP gain, but reality is that basic salads and crispy bacon will give you the best overall value for home cooking. With adv cooking if you eat bear supreme and sweet salads you'll get around 12o food SP. Honestly most of the foods you can cook are worthless, like stuffed turkey.
I hope that helps answer your question. I apologize for the long explanation, but its very complex system that can't be correctly answered with a one liner.
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