Sunday, 9 September 2012

Dung-Kicker Drops

There are so many questions to ask about the new gardening potions that it is hard to know where to start.  So when I was recently asked whether Dung-Kicker Drops were an efficient way to speed up Yellow Crumb production, I welcomed the direction.

Before even getting into the potion, though, let's talk a little bit about just growing Yellow Crumb.  I've done some new time tests since my last post on herbs after realizing that a significant amount of my lag was caused by things I was doing in another window.  I've revised my time to completely cycle a garden down to 66 seconds, or 4.4 seconds per plot.  I've also timed guano-ing an entire 15 plot garden at 44 seconds and pouring a dung-kicker potion at 5 seconds.

To recap, growing a single large garden full of yellow takes 9 hours and gets you 72 flowers.  Shucking those gets you about 201.6 seeds, 15 of which you are replanting and the other 186.6 of which you are selling for 53.5 currants each to the tool vendor for 10,058 currants.  You are also collecting about 691.5 currants worth of swag from the gardening actions and you are getting around 343.5 currants of net value in imagination and lost energy.  That's a total return of 11093 currants from gardening.

Of course this took you 66 seconds, so to determine the total profits, we should deduct the value of 66 seconds of play.  More on this later.

Guano reduces growing time by 95% with two applications.  So basically you can collect that 11093 currants twenty times as often.  Of course each time you do it it takes you 88 extra seconds to double guano everything.  You also have to pay for 30 guano.  Still, using guano is potentially big profit.  If, for example, we assume that that a second of your time is worth about 20 currants than the profit from a normal yellow harvest is 9773.  If guano costs 130 each then the profit from an accelerated harvest is 4112.  Twenty times that is 82240, which is a lot more than 9773 for nine hours.

Of course this is sensitive to the value of your time and the price of guano.  If you are a hardcore grinder with animal kinship or chicken eggs then your time might be worth 29 currants per second, which would reduce your profits per accelerated harvest to 2727, or 54540 per 9 hours.  The cost of guano would have to get up to 206 before guano-ing becomes a bad idea.

How Much Do Potions Cost
The list price of dung-kicker drops is 2000 currants, but clearly they are worth a lot more than that.  The ingredients are an Essence of Yellow Crumb, an Essence of Hairball, 15 Crying Gas and 50 Guano.

Essence of Yellow Crumb takes 6 flowers, each of which you could have shucked for 2.8 seeds.  That would have been almost 906 currants that could have been had.  Add to that the time it takes to craft the essence, the energy, and the Hooch (and subtract off the small value of the imagination you get for doing so) and the essence is worth 1039 currants.

Guano we priced at 130 currants, so 50 of it is 6500 currants.  The crying gas is relatively cheap, taking only 60 general vapour and a small amount of energy for a total cost of around 630 currants.

And finally on to the hariball.  Hairball itself is not terribly valuable, but every Hairball Flower that is produced represents herb growing time that could have been used on yellow crumb instead.  Hairball only takes four hours instead of nine to grow, but you get one third as much of it, so every hairball flower you produce, you could have instead had four-thirds of a yellow, which is a lot of money you are throwing away into an essence of hairball.  All in all the essence costs around 1135 currants, and somewhat surprisingly this price is actually reflected in the market.  You can certainly buy hairball for less than 200, and essences for less than 1135, but not a whole lot of them.  If you are looking for significant quantities of hairball, 200 really is the price you pay for it.

So altogether, with the time and cost of making the potion, it is properly worth around 8968 currants.

Potions vs. Guano
Since you use 40% of a potion in place of 30 guano, the comparative price is 3587 for the potion vs. 3900 for the guano.  So the potion comes out on top there.  It also saves you 78 seconds per accelerated garden, though really we should probably only count that as 68.5 seconds saved since making potions takes times too.

Still, at lower raw cost and less time taken, potions come out clearly on top.

Sensitivity Analysis
Since potions are saving you time at the cost ingredients, higher value on your time favorrs potions.  As we've already seen, higher value on time also devalues accelerated growth against normal growth.  With guano at 130 currants, though, even placing no value on time still makes the potion come out on top.

Of course a lower value of guano would also favour using guano since potions use only 20 guano for a full garden while using raw guano takes 30.  It turns out, however, that if guano were free we'd still be better off with potions.

In fact, to make raw guano a better deal, we'd have to drop the price of guano to its tool vendor price of 16.5 each and then value our time at only 8 currants per second.  But these values are very nearly self-contradictory.  If guano could actually be had at that price then merely gardening the yellow crumb would be producing 7.2 currants per second, so unless you literally did nothing else you would be better off with the potions again.  These numbers are highly unrealistic at any rate.  Given the difficulty of acquiring guano, the value of it will presumably never drop that low.

Above I noted that if guano got to a high enough price, it stopped being worth it to fertilize by hand.  It turns out that guano has to become very, very expensive before using potions stops being profitable.  With a personal value of time of 20 currants per second the cost of guano had to get over 400 in before accelerated gardening was less profitable than normal gardening.  With a time value of 29 currants per second potions are still useful up to over 370 currants per guano.

And all that means that you can actually afford to pay up to around 20k for a potion and still be making a profit off of it - though at that point the profit is a little slim.

Dung-Kicker Drops are more efficient than guano is you make them yourself.  You should reasonably be paying 9k for potions if guano holds at 130 currants, but you should probably be willing to pay more.

Overall, I still expect the list value of yellow crumb seeds to drop dramatically.  If they dropped to around 24 currants - so that shucking produced about the same value as the herb itself - then gardening yellow would still be a profitable endeavor.  Amazingly enough, using potions would still be potentially profitable though this would become very sensitive to the price of guano.  Obviously the specifics are important, but at my hypothesized 24 currant price guano would have to drop to about 115 to start using potions.  Until these changes happen, guano should steadily rise in price since realistically people should continue to buy it at 300 or even more.

Enjoy the yellow while it lasts,


  1. It looks like the value of seeds will remain the same but the drop rate from shucking will halve. I suppose this is the equivalent of seeds falling to 33 currants each, still above the 24 currant value you calculated to still remain profitable.

  2. Actually if the drop rate of seeds halves then it means we only get 45% of the current value rather than 50%, since we get half as many seeds per flower but we still have to replant 1 of them (we don't get to replant only half a seed). But also, my number of seeds per flower is wrong (it was based on observation of about 1000 shucks, I knew that wasn't enough to get totally accurate) - it turns out it's 2.66 instead of 2.8. So the "correct" price of seeds to make a shucked flower worth the same as an unshucked flower would be 25.