The Basic Sprinkler: A fairer look at the unloved little squirt

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by One More Day, Jan 27, 2020.

  1. WilliamZ

    WilliamZ Phantasmal Quasar

    Sorry to bump with my noobness, but assuming that you're aiming for basic sprinklers, won't make sense to skip quality and purchase iridium latter on then? The Krobus exploit was fixed wasn't it? So we can only purchase one per week. I believe that doing this suits more a multitasked game instead of focus in only (for example): I will plant one billion of hops to produce beer until next year.
     
    • Honeywell

      Honeywell Subatomic Cosmonaut


      Crafting 20-30 sprinklers by the 12th is taking away from something else and easily tripling the amount of copper and iron needed very early on when time, energy and materials are at a premium and your skills are at their lowest. I appreciate they can be useful and incorporated into different farming strategies but there's good, sound reasoning people tend to skip them as well. IMO
       
      • One More Day

        One More Day Cosmic Narwhal


        Yes, that's the one I was thinking of. After a few tries, I eventually reproduced it for myself, although I didn't devise the strategy, but as I said, it would be easier now in 1.4
        *******************************
        Yes, correct

        And mainly, the difference is that fishing has been deliberately and completely removed from the schedule, as an income stream and as a source of food, while still demonstrating that you can quickly have your crops watered effortlessly by machine. And if eating fish isn't an option in the mines, then smacking ordinary stones three times in the hope of finding a ladder after floor 40, and pitting yourself against ice mines monsters, and after that, lava monsters, simply to bust down to floor 80 by day 7, aren't really good options either. On the flip side, days 2 to 4 can be spent improving your foraging skill quite a bit, with a side benefit of acquiring plenty of wood for all sorts of stuff, and fiber for tree fertiliser. You can also completely clear the farm, to increase space for tree seeds to fall, and planting acorns for your oak trees as you go. And with all that spare time freed up from fishing, once we hit floor 40 we can level up our mining skill pretty fast, and basically risk free, by only bothering to break ore nodes and gems from farming floors 21 and 41. And when you do get to floor 80, your rate of gold acquisition will be faster for it, due to already having the Miner profession. At some point during the day or so you will spend farming iron, you'll almost certainly get a run of freebies down to 45 anyway, so some progress down the mines will still be made. And you'll have all you need for those sprinklers in less time than it would have taken simply to reach the gold floors, never mind the time farming the iron and gold, and the time watering 200 or more crops

        The time isn't lost, or wasted, it's just used differently.

        Yes, and in more than a few cases, it's about as sound as the reason that some people still swear that the earth is flat. It's because they heard it from someone else who swears it's true, and they don't bother to investigate. I myself didn't bother much with basic sprinklers until now, and when I did investigate, I surprised myself with the opportunities that they offer.

        I'm not saying don't do quality sprinklers either; they are definitely worth it at the right time and in the right place. I'm just saying that basic sprinklers are definitely viable. I'm saying that they are nowhere near as bad as most people think. I'm saying that there are some situations where it is decidedly advantageous to use them, in preference to pursuing quality sprinklers simply for the sake of the pursuit.
         
        • squigglyruth

          squigglyruth Big Damn Hero

          This is an interesting analysis - thank you!

          One More Day is being modest - he managed it by day 21. (See the post 'min-max challenges'.) I think earlier might be possible in 1.4.
           
            Last edited: Jan 31, 2020
          • One More Day

            One More Day Cosmic Narwhal

            Well yes, I did do it by spring 21, but it was on a farm that was hopelessly unbalanced, on the worst farm layout, by hand watering over 600 kale every day on the river map, to the exclusion of all other activity. The last ten days or so were rather a tedious grind towards the inevitable finish line, and that really wasn't what I was thinking of. IIRC, you managed the same with parsnips.

            I actually was trying to recall azula's effort, where he got hundreds of strawberry seeds, progressed down the mines, and managed to get 120+ sprinklers down for summer 1, with a result that was much more balanced.
             
            • squigglyruth

              squigglyruth Big Damn Hero

              Fair enough! 120+ sprinklers is impressive - I wonder what the rest of Year 1 would be like after that?
               
              • ThorfinnS

                ThorfinnS Astral Cartographer

                Y'know, I'm amazed by how well this works. I don't like giving up fishing -- it's one of the few things in the game I'm good at. But starting this concept from Day 5, then milking instead of gold rushing compensates greatly for my bad mousing skills. Hard to give up overplanting on day 4, though.

                But, yeah, it's surprisingly easy to "accidentally" get to 45. Particularly considering how hard it is to find ladders when I'm trying to do it. ;)
                 
                • ShneekeyTheLost

                  ShneekeyTheLost Black Hole Surfer

                  One thing I would like to mention concerning the sprinkler spam that I hadn't considered previously...

                  One of my primary strategies is to get a ton of Oak trees down and then Tap them all. Like 30 of them. That's 60 copper right there. That's a LOT of copper, and I don't know if I'll be able to squeeze out all those sprinklers either. While it takes longer to mine-dive to 80 for Quality Sprinklers, the fact that they don't require copper is actually a low-key advantage for me! I can easily have a couple of Recycling Machines set up and running, and fish up enough Broken CD's and Broken Glasses to get the Refined Quartz for my initial 20 Quality Sprinklers, so all I need is the iron and the gold and I'm up and running.

                  Another thing is that I'm looking forward to Summer, and a very Hops-heavy Summer since I'm planning on mass-kegging by the end of Summer or by Fall at the latest. With a Quality Sprinkler, you can surround the sprinkler in Hops Starters and be able to walk around the 3x3 block. However, it gets trickier to harvest around the checker-pattern of Basic Sprinklers and Hops that you can't walk through.

                  I'm not saying Basic Sprinklers are useless, you've got some interesting arguments about stamina cost savings, but I am saying that by the time Summer rolls around, all those Basic Sprinklers will have likely already been replaced by Quality ones, and are just taking up space in a bin somewhere, gathering dust. In effect, you are consuming the copper and iron necessary to produce the sprinklers in order to get returns on stamina... effectively eating them as a stamina-recharging item. Not sure how profitable that would be vs just purchasing salads or nomming down on Spring Onions/Salmonberries.
                   
                  • KThomas14

                    KThomas14 Subatomic Cosmonaut

                    I don't see why you would need to get rid of the regular sprinklers once summer comes. Sure, you can't use the sprinklers for hops, but you can use them for any other crop. I like hot peppers (along with cheese) so I can eat pepper poppers year round. You can use about 50 hot peppers for that. You might also want to grow some short term plants (like radish or wheat) so you have some cash coming in until hops start producing. If you literally have every farmable tile covered by a quality sprinkler, then you don't want the basic ones, but that would be a lot of work for summer 1. Even if that's the case, you could still use some of the basic sprinklers to water the edges of the greenhouse.

                    I haven't had time to try them out yet on a large scale, but I don't think they'll be a net waste of copper and iron since you'll need to spend less time watering, fishing, and hunting for salmonberries early on, time that you can instead spend on mining.
                     
                    • ShneekeyTheLost

                      ShneekeyTheLost Black Hole Surfer

                      I tend to limit the absolute amount of farming I do on my farm, with substantial space investments in sheds for processing, a fairly sizable oak tree stand producing oak resin for more kegs, and tending to play on the Forest farm which has limited growing space anyway. As a result, it doesn't take more than about 40-50 Quality Sprinklers to fill up the space allotted to my farming area. That's... a week's mining dive, tops.
                       
                      • One More Day

                        One More Day Cosmic Narwhal

                        Mostly, it's not actually freebie ladders spawning themselves as such, but when you're continually farming iron on 41, you'll often get runs of floors with lots of dust sprites, and it's both easy to kill them and desirable to do so because of their high chance of a coal drop. So when you slaughter plenty of them on each floor from 41-44, you pretty easily get them to also drop a run of ladders. I am actually trial running this whole sprinkler hypothesis this weekend (results to follow), and I happen to be at the iron farming stage right now and I got to 45 twice without actually trying. The chance of a monster spawning a ladder isn't affected by daily luck, so while it's not absolutely guaranteed you'll get freebies, it's *virtually* guaranteed. This doesn't work on the rest of the journey down to 80, because you're not repeatedly visiting the same floors.

                        *******************************
                        Don't we all? Personally, I prefer 50, and that fits absolutely perfectly into the NW corner of the standard farm. In this trial run, without fishing to distract me, I had all 50 acorns planted by day 4. I also had 28 maple planted around the edge of the onion area in Cindersap and Foraging 3 by the end of day 4. Those trees will almost all be grown before the end of the season.
                        The copper for the sprinklers can be got by about day 9, but you can't put the tappers on the trees until they grow, which will take quite a bit more time. There'll be plenty of time to get more copper when you actually need it. Meanwhile, there's not much point letting it sit in a chest doing nothing but gather dust, so you might as well put it to use.

                        Also, when it comes to getting gold, you'll already have Miner by the time you get there, due to the much safer farming of copper and iron, and you've been mercilessly slaughtering dust sprites, which will have bumped up your combat too, so you're going to get the gold you need quite a bit more rapidly than usual.
                         
                        • ThorfinnS

                          ThorfinnS Astral Cartographer

                          Right. The side benefit I'm noticing is the dust sprites. Farming the iron levels twice means I end up with twice the coal. Not quite, but you know what I mean. More than enough extra that I'm no longer tempted to get an early charcoal kiln and can throw all that extra energy into leveling up farming. (I know, this is a minimal farming strategy, but I'd really love to get more than a handful of cauliflower into jars.)

                          Another thing the basic sprinkler has over waiting for quality -- you can better work around the existing oaks, not take them out quite as soon, and get at least one harvest before relocating the tapper. Practically speaking, though, I'm finding clearing the area between house and greenhouse for most of the basics works pretty well. I get, I think, 27 in that space without interfering with where the qualitys are going to be placed. Two scarecrows covers them all, without sacrificing any watered spaces. It does make it a little more tricky to run through to get to the mines, but with a little practice, doesn't slow me down too much.

                          [EDIT]
                          Starting the pattern from a different point, I'm now getting 34 ordinary sprinklers in that space, still not taking any spaces that will soon be quality and may ultimately be iridium. Two scarecrows is not quite enough. The best I've been able to do with just 2 scarecrows is one watered tile unprotected.
                          [/EDIT]
                           
                            Last edited: Feb 2, 2020
                          • Arqane

                            Arqane Void-Bound Voyager

                            Yeah, I still see a few problems with using basic sprinklers that have mostly been pointed out. The biggest part is that they just overlap on resources too much. Copper bars are very valuable, especially early on, and there's little reason to stop using them early on until you have other systems going (may as well make tappers if nothing else). Iron overlaps with the quality sprinklers, so it probably is best to just hop to Iridium sprinklers if you go with the normal ones.

                            They don't really save all that much time, either. I'd say the average player with experience probably hits farming 6 around day 20-26, but you can also get it between 14-18 if you're powergaming. At that point, there's really very few days between when you could start making any useful number of normal sprinklers, and when you could have Quality sprinklers anyway. But even with a longer wait, the difference between having no sprinklers and crops fully covered by sprinklers is generally 2 hours spent watering and 100-200 energy per day. While that gets you a little more time to go spelunking to replace the copper/iron you spent, I don't think it's significant enough for only maybe 10 extra days of watering instead of mass producing regular sprinklers.

                            It would make a pretty big difference if you could recycle the parts on the basic sprinklers, or if they simply didn't overlap with the raw materials so much. If there were a recipe to upgrade basic sprinklers into quality ones, maybe with the gold bar, refined quartz and an extra coal, then I'd say it would definitely be worth it. But at this point, I'd probably say that upgrading your watering can twice is probably just as useful, and a whole lot cheaper on the materials, than making a full set of basic sprinklers.
                             
                            • ThorfinnS

                              ThorfinnS Astral Cartographer

                              Think it depends on your player skills and your aims in the game. It helps me, because my accuracy in clicking leaves something to be desired. When I'm mining stones looking for ladders, somewhere between 10 and 20% of my clicks are wasted energy, as in trying to use my pickaxe where the rocks are not. When I'm farming the level for ore, there are frequently no mis-clicks, since there are usually no more than a few things to mine, and quite often none at all close enough to the ladder to make it worth going after.

                              I can tell already that 34 ordinary sprinklers is going to hurt my overall progress towards my goals; one is to have as many tappers as I have oaks on the 26th or as soon as possible thereafter, to get 2 resin harvests before the hops ripen. Apart from bars for the axe and pick, anything else in early game becomes a sprinkler. Quite often, that means a mix of sprinklers and tappers come on-line each morning, because my goal is to leave no copper bars in a chest gathering dust. I haven't actually played this strategy very far yet. Today's run I've done 26 sprinklers, and I'm pretty sure that's going to be too many for my variant on this theme, what with fishing and extra planting/watering. Without insane luck on the copper levels, I'm going to be short at least a half-dozen tappers. Though I did screw up -- I have way too many furnaces for just copper and iron. As in, at 20 ore per extra furnace, I'd have been able to make my tapper goal. I'm just assuming that once I get gold elevator levels unlocked, I'm going to be able to farm for qualitys about as well as I have in previous games. I'm not going to have the same stash of cds and broken glasses I'm used to, so refined quartz might be a bottleneck. But I should have been spending the time getting to gold rather than farming ore.

                              Farming, note, is NOT One More Day's plan here. He's suggesting enough to get you to L3 [EDIT] Oops. L2. I had tapper on the brain. L1 mining, L2 farming, L3 foraging are the key mileposts to this strat, IMO. [/EDIT] is Day 5, possibly, but Day 11 at the latest. Personally, I'm in the Day 5 camp, and expand planting any time I have extra money, with the aim of canning day 1 mixed seed cauliflower as soon as I harvest them. I also cannot bring myself to abandon fishing. While I do not enjoy the mini-game AT ALL, I am pretty good at it.

                              And keep in mind you aren't talking about only 10 days of watering. It's every day up until you have every tile you plan to farm sprinkled, and you start replacing the obsolete sprinklers. Unless you are capable of having 100 iridium sprinklers in place by about the 18th of Spring, that's a LOT more than 10 days.
                               
                                Last edited: Feb 3, 2020
                              • Skinflint

                                Skinflint Subatomic Cosmonaut

                                Not sure if this would matter in any way material to those to whom standard sprinklers may be of interest, but I've not seen anyone note the fact that they can be arranged to form an interlocking, seamless grid.
                                 

                                  Attached Files:

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                                • KThomas14

                                  KThomas14 Subatomic Cosmonaut

                                  Thanks, this is useful. I'm pretty sure everyone commenting on this thread knows the pattern, but it's a nice reference for anyone who hasn't tried them before.
                                   
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                                  • ThorfinnS

                                    ThorfinnS Astral Cartographer

                                    Yeah, thanks, Skinflint. And that's even the correct orientation to place them if using the space between the house and the greenhouse, because it lets you run up the diagonal to the north exit of your farm. And it's not a hard pattern, either, if you've played a little chess -- it's the knight's move. Two over, one up.
                                     
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                                    • WilliamZ

                                      WilliamZ Phantasmal Quasar

                                      I never noticed that they kinda align on the diagonal, thanks.
                                       
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                                      • Fuzzyman

                                        Fuzzyman Scruffy Nerf-Herder

                                        I don't have the iron in the early game for that many sprinklers and so generally only make one and use it to water some flowers that are surrounded by bee hives and use the can on the crops until I can get the upgraded sprinklers
                                         
                                        • FickleRhubarb

                                          FickleRhubarb Astral Cartographer

                                          TESSELATION (or non-tesselation)

                                          Basic-sprinkler-non-tesselated.PNG
                                          I appreciate this thread, and I continue to use basic Sprinklers long after I have many Quality Sprinklers. I quickly gave up on the idea of tesselated basic Sprinklers and started thinking of them as field extenders (A, see image) or partial watering relief (B, see image). I lay them out in the middle of an 8-crop square, just like a quality sprinkler. I have not thought again about tesselation until this thread. Obviously I never upgrade my watering can.

                                          1. I don't have to adjust my crop layout plan at all. From day 1 I plant in 3x3 squares with a hole in the middle.

                                          2. I get the math/counting benefit of 3x3 squares (4 or 8 per square) from day one. I never have to adjust my thinking.

                                          By the way, I am starting to move away from rapid descent in The Mines to taking my time on first descent to break lots of coal, stone, crates, copper, etc. I am finding I enjoy play more now not stressing about getting lots of gold (getting to floor 80+) the first season. And I have learned to enjoy fishing for relaxation and profit!
                                           
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