Crops Analysis 03/14/2011

Crops involve something I call the babysitting factor. The babysitting factor boils down to how much time you’re willing to invest to earn money from your crops. Typically the best returners harvest in very little time. Which means you have to invest more time in the game. I don’t know about you, but I want to spend less time harvesting crops, not more. So the question is not, do I want to plant longer harvesting crops, the question is how much am I willing to lose to save my precious time?

I’ve tried a number of methods to analyze the numbers, but the best I have been able to do is make it easier to find the patterns, not draw them clearly from the data.

You really need to think of farming as two different enterprises. The long-term regularly scheduled enterprise, and the special harvests for special situations. As a rule you don’t need to think about experience points. With a couple of exceptions, which I will note, they tend to run about the same ratio to coins with all of the crops. So a higher coin return will tend to have a slightly higher experience return.

Mix crops?

The one policy I don’t advocate is hedging bets by mixing crops. Not only do you need to be an accounting whiz to predict the optimal mix of crops, you have to juggle multiple schedules. For most players it’s easier to develop a routine schedule and stick to it.

Harvest Time and Hardy Plants

Most crops have a twice life. That means you have as much time to harvest them as they took to ripen. Some do this right on the gun, some give you a few minutes leeway.So if mushrooms take an hour to ripen, you have another hour to get back to them.

In case you know you can’t be back right on schedule, readers have tested and reported the following plants that survive longer than they normally would.

  • Sunflowers (1 day) and birds of paradise (3 days) last seven to eight days.
  • Bamboo (45 minutes) lasts five days. This makes it the perfect crop to plant when you don’t know if you’ll be back tonight or gone for a couple of days. You won’t be locked into a 24 hour or 72 hour harvest time.
  • Grapes (6 hours) last up to 14 hours.

Please email me if you discover a crop that lasts well beyond it’s expiration.

Low maintenance crop schedules

Sooner or later you will want to develop a fairly low-maintenance crop schedule. Farming is no fun, and figuring out which crops to plant less so. So they key is to decide which crops manage themselves most profitably.

Once players reach L17 they earn magic cauliflower and for most players that will be their staple crop for the rest of the game.

The question is, now that it takes thirteenhours to harvest, what should we plant for the other eleven?

Rather than trying to fill every free hour, I look to pair one other crop that will provide the best return in the long run.

Cauliflower doesn’t provide the best cash return per hour, but it provides the best return of plants that aren’t high maintenance, with 100c and 27xp an hour. Yes, the net profit for the 13 hours is lower than if you were to plant bamboo, eggplant, tomato or peas. But you don’t have to devote time to those crops either. This makes it the perfect overnight crop.

So what crops do we plant in the remaining 11 hours? This will depend on your level. At L40 you have several options.

Currently I simply plant grapes simply because they harvest every six hours, which means I can harvest my orchards and farms at the same time and not worry about playing with off-hour schedules. Should ngmoco:) decide to ruin this perfect schedule by making grapes harvest every six hours and twelve minutes I will probably go back to blackberries and cauliflower as I describe in the next paragraph.

I used do one cauliflower planting overnight, and three blackberry plantings during the day. Blackberries deliver 500xp with every harvest. With 23 fields and 3 harvests my farms can generate 34,500xp a day.

So in one day my cauliflower generates 30000c and 8000xp, the blackberries deliver a piddling 575c and 34,500xp. That’s 30,000+c and 42,000+xp every day.

Depending on your current level, you should study the charts to find the best partner for your cauliflower because it will change as more crops become available. But some crops are good low maintenance performers and others are dogs.

Once you earn the magic cauliflower you might look at pairing the following crops as you reach different levls (the coin totals are net coins earned):

  • Peppers (L16): 255c and 105xp in 11 hrs.
  • Oats (L21) 240c and 100xp in 9 hrs.
  • Honeydew (L27) 550c and 125xp in 9 hrs.

The following deliver less cash than the honeydew but far more experience:

  • Dragon fruit (L32) 450c and 200xp in 6.67 hrs.
  • Grapes (L34) 450c and 575 in 6 hours.

The following require a little more effort but can harvested at least twice in the 11 hours before the evening’s cauliflower planting.

  • Lavender (L37) 525c and 145xp in 4 hrs (2 harvests double the return of the single honeydew harvest in 9 hours.)
  • Blackberries (L28) 500xp in 3.33 hours, or 1500xp in three harvests between cauliflower plantings.
  • This list is based on the low maintenance assumption that you only want to perform two harvests a day, not that you want to do three or four plantings each with different harvesting intervals.

    But I can’t get the cauliflower

    When you reach L11 you’ll be so happy to see the magic asparagus that you won’t care about the cauliflower. Each field delivers a net of 800c in 13 hours while you sleep. Multiply that by eight fields and you’ll feel rich every morning. Just don’t forget to save 400c for every field or you won’t be able to plant those asparagus again. If you want to remain low maintenance during the day, you could plant potatoes because they won’t spoil before it’s time to plant more asparagus. But I think you should be a little more high maintenance this early in the game, so at least do a round of potatoes and a round of pumpkings (better yet, four separate plantings of onions).

    Before L11, I would go with potatoes overnight because they don’t spoil easily and pumpkins and strawberries during the day. Your farm is new and you need to put some time in the fields.

    Overall winners

    There was a time when the choice was easy. Magic cauliflower (L17) delivered 1300c and 350xp every twelve hours. Before that the Magic Asparagus delivered 800c and 250xp every twelve hours once you reached L11. You could do your morning and evening harvest and get a really decent return.

    Then ngmoco:) ruined our delightful harvesting schedule with the digital equivalent of global warming. Players were doing very well, incomes were raising the temperature of the game, so they cooled things down by stretching the harvest schedule. Harvests went from every 15, 20, 30 and 60 minutes to 12, 18, 24, 36 and 70. By breaking away from a schedule that works with familiar day-to-day schedules, they really screwed us.

    Nonetheless, a few crops stand out for delivering special values:

    • Best hourly return: The mushrooms deliver $1000 per hour, but you have to reach L47 to plant them. Until you hit L47, there’s no getting around it, corn, at $600 per field per hour. They turn around every thirty seconds,* so expect some carpal tunnels in your tapping finger.

      When I needed money and experience fast before L30 I would spend many evenings turning over corn fields, only stopping to plant wheat when I needed to go to the bathroom or grab a beer from the refrigerator.

    • Best cash return short term:Bamboo at $333 per hour per field every 45 minutes. Even if you harvest every hour, you still make a killing.
    • Best overall short term: The Venus fly trap returns $150 and 250xp every half hour. You can plant them at L35. At L30 you can plant cat whiskers, which blossom fast at 12 minutes and spoil just as fast, but if you can take the time to groom them they return $225 and 225xp per field per hour. They are high maintenance.
    • Best cash return medium term: Lavender at $131 per field per hour over 4hrs. This makes it a good compromise investment. It’s the best cash return for any crop that harvests in more than four hours.
    • Best cash returns for lower levels: Onions give you $100 per field per hour from L3 on. The 23 and 46 minute crops pay more, but an hour gives you time to do real stuff before returning to the game. The shorter intervals pretty much ruin your ability to think about other tasks.

      Once I hit L30 my corn nights were gone. My ruby groves outperformed my crops by a large margin. So if I needed an additional quick cash and experience boost like the old days, I turned to cat whiskers. I could set my alarm for 12 minutes, harvest and plant my cat whiskers and grab the free coins from the promotions if they were available. I couldn’t work on my blogs productively, but sometimes you make sacrifices for what’s really important.

    • Best overnight returns: Cauliflower (L17). But I’ve discussed this at length.
    • Best six-hour return: Grapes (L34), with a healthy balance of coins and experience ($75.00 and 96xp).
    • Least likely to die: Sunflowers (L34). At $20 per field per hour the return is terrible (in a tie with carrots for fifth worst hourly return). But if you need to spend some time away from the game, or just get tired of planting, these won’t spoil for eight days and scare customers away. The birds of paradise have a much better hourly return at $51 an hour and take just as long to spoil.

    Overall Losers

    • Beans at $13.60 per hour in 25 hours.
    • Artichokes and Cotton at $16 per hour in 20 and 25 hours.
    • Watermelon at $16.67 per hour in 18 hours.
    • Pineapples at $19.06 per hour in 16 hours.
    • Carrots at $20 an hour in 13 hours.

    Harvesting with Mojo

    What about harvesting with mojo? With a couple of exceptions, I wouldn’t do it, and I would never do it at the higher levels.

    Mojo is expensive and the more fields you have, the more it adds up. For instance, lets say you spend two each to harvest six fields when you’re L12. That’s 12 mojo. With 23 fields at L40, you’re looking at 46 mojo, which is a bundle by any means.

    Now let’s put both in perspective. Twelve mojo you don’t spend at L12 is a chocolate shop you can buy and that will generate 320 coins and 120 xp every day, even if it sits there doing nothing. Or you can save the mojo and buy one ruby tree later on. You can keep collecting 100 cash and 85 experience points every six hours after that. At L40 you can buy four diamond trees, which, again, will produce 150 and 105xp as long as you have them. Or you can buy a vintage chateau (40m) and earn $1500-2000 every three days (I don’t have the numbers yet and probably won’t for a couple of weeks since all six of my chateaus are always booked).

    Economically, you’re better off with constant and larger return from buildings or groves.

    However, if you’re trying to get to a new lower level and you feel you have to burn mojo on crops this is what I would do. Pumpkins, which normally harvest in three hours are the highest returning crop that you can harvest with a single mojo. One mojo will produce a return of $160 and 65xp. If you look to plants with higher mojo to buy out, expenses begin to escalate.

    Let’s say you’re in a hurry to jump to L10 so you can expand your castle
    With six farms of pumpkins, six mojo will net 960c and 390xp. Seven pumpkin harvests will generate the experience points you need and more than enough cash to generate the level 10 land and castle upgrade. Those seven harvests will require an investment of 42 mojo, which will mean a $10 purchase. Ten real electronic dollars.

    And again, I want to stress that the coin and experience return is one time only. You will not be creating anything to build for the future.

    I’m not going to try to talk you out of a mojo level jump from L9 to L10. But let’s review those numbers at 19 to 20. You now need 33,500xp to make the leap, about 12 times more than the leap from 9 to 10. The mojo cost will be 515, and now you’re looking at fifty dollars to buy a mojo flask.

    Is it worth fifty dollars for a one-time mojo splurge that will do noting other than get you to the immediate goal?

    By comparison, 515 mojo would buy you 51 diamond trees, which would generate $23K and 16K xp every day. In three days you could buy a magic emporium and now both will generate income. In less than two weeks you could buy the new vintage chateau, which earns 3K in coins whenever someone places an order. And your diamond trees are still coughing up the money.

    What if I plant the wrong crop?

    Sell the farm, don’t harvest with mojo. You will lose 225c (the price of the farm less the ten percent sell back price) but you won’t lose the mojo. If the return on the crop you intended to plant is less than the cost of the farm, let the current crop rot or wait until it harvests and plant something else that can be harvested in approximately the same amount of time as the time remaining on the crops you do want.

    It’s easy to think, what’s one mojo for a field of wheat (or even cat whiskers?). Think that ten times and you’re out a diamond tree again.

    Truthfully, crops diminish in importance as you kingdom grows. But if you plant smart, you’ll move through the levels more quickly.

    *ngmoco:) changes the time on corn with no predictibility. I have seen them at seven seconds and 45 as well. Theharvest time and price may fluctuate but it’s always pretty good.

    8 Comments (+add yours?)

    1. Kat
      Feb 13, 2011 @ 19:46:43

      Better than selling the farm that you have planted by mistake, put it back into inventory and then bring it back out and plant what you intended to plant. Your post was probably before there was this possibility, I’m sure.


    2. Ern3000
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 21:08:42

      My 8 stone gargoyles are ready to harvest. That cannot be right…


    3. Kate
      Mar 08, 2011 @ 15:37:07

      I can’t harvest during the day, so my personal method is:
      5:30am – plant cauliflower
      6:30pm – plant mushrooms until about 11pm
      11:00pm – plant grapes


      • Myllena
        May 24, 2012 @ 06:24:23

        Interesting to see so many different mtoheds with fruitful results. Me I have to try everything to learn which works for me. Last year I tried sq ft garden following Mel’s latest mtoheds, this year I tried square ft gardening without using mel’s mix just plain loam and local compost. Side by side comparison the loam/compost plant were healthier than mel’s mix. Nutrient wise I have no way of measuring but i added plenty of fertilizer to all my gardens.


    4. Superknight98
      Mar 13, 2011 @ 14:33:10

      Isnt the corn supposed to be grown in 30 seconds, not 7?


      • Totalthinker
        Mar 15, 2011 @ 02:17:29

        Seven seconds was a typo. It was originally 30, then 7 when I first wrote this, then 45 when I revised the coin return (but forgot to change the duration) and now it’s thirty (which means 600c an hour if you harvest every half minute).

        I depend on readers to catch changes I may have missed because I could spend all my time rechecking everything ngmoco:) changes on a whim.

        Thanks for noticing.


    5. pjsplantation/v3gasvamp1
      Apr 13, 2011 @ 21:18:32

      wow another minus for ngmoco..werent the magic farms just 5 mojo yesterday and I went to use some today and cha-ching-ouch 10 mojo for those farms… come on


    6. Annie
      Apr 10, 2012 @ 01:49:50

      So Happy to have this valuable info!!! Thanks much.


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