Author Topic: Is farming for food really worth it?  (Read 671 times)

Offline Benedict

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Is farming for food really worth it?
« on: August 13, 2017, 09:54:43 AM »
I'm asking an open question, here, and it may come down to playstyle. This isn't a criticism of the farming mechanics at all, which are very cool and add flavour!

So... Is farming for food ever worth it, in its current state?

Setting up a farm which could provide even 50% of a character's nutritional needs would take a couple of days per month by hand, and a few hours using farm vehicles (but with a high start-up cost in terms of sourcing, building/repairing and maintaining the equipment).

This food must then be transformed into non-perishables, adding yet more time and labour. Alternatively, you can plant cycles of crops to eat as they grow, but this involves repeatedly going to the field to plant more every few days. Again, this is labour intensive.

Then there's a 21 day wait, which is more than the lifespan of most characters. This makes farming a late-game pursuit, by definition. By this point in the game (even assuming farming efforts start on day 1), local resources are likely to have been exhausted. Most players would be semi-nomadic by now, either with a vehicle base or establishing a new base in an untapped area. This playstyle is far more rewarding in terms of accessing late-game content and developing the player's equipment and skills.

If the player does choose to remain sedentary, hanging on until the first harvest, they have a now-constant supply of food on their farm, at the expense of all the other advantages of roaming the world for resources! This doesn't feel like a good trade-off, given the relative abundance of food in towns, forests, rivers and plains, easily available for very low effort.

So, for me, farming faces the following issues:
> Labour intensive
> Slow yield
> Conflicts with nomadic lifestyle
> Enforces sedentary lifestyle
> Encourages growth of neolithic agricultural communities at the expense of traditional hunter-gatherer societies
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Offline Kadian

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Re: Is farming for food really worth it?
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2017, 10:37:06 AM »
I might be hilariously wrong here, but isn't fertilizer speeding up the process of farming by a lot? I seem to remember that plants grow a lot faster if you use fertilizer.
But anyways:

Farming has its purposes. Especially with a different playstyle than you suggested. There are some people who like to build bases, a safe haven, hell, some of my friends reclaim whole towns and fill them with people. In such a playstyle, farming would make sense - in fact, it would be necessary, especially if you have followers who need food. Also, if you look how farming works, it encourages the player to move out, to go on adventures or raids for stuff. Plants only grow when they are unloaded and reloaded after all - at least that's how i remember it.
Even if you don't plan to make a safe base, farming can help you - in the future, with a different character. A lot of people reuse the same world for several characters,  and that's where farming can shine, especially if everything around your farm is raided. A new character can take the food from the farm, even train cooking with it, and the follow in the footsteps of your old character.

That all being said: I don't farm all that much either. I'm one of the players who basically make an enormous car and drive through the countryside.  Every once in a while, when I enter a new part of the map, I do search for a good base of operations, reinforce the place and plant a few vegetables and fruits. This can be quite important if you have the more complex nutritional system, since you're not always able to find fruits or vegetables. Of course, Flour, cornmeal and so on can also be relatively rare, especially if you have a low item spawnrate.

Offline Ruttiger

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Re: Is farming for food really worth it?
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2017, 02:59:47 PM »
It's very much worth it.  There's a lot of ways to cut down on the labor intensity, firstly, you don't need to fertilize any of the plants to make them grow, it just takes longer.  Secondly, you don't need to turn all that earth yourself, even though it's pretty easy with a ho.  If you fight a worm, just let it chase you around for a while upturning earth and then plant in that.  If you've conquered a city with blast craters in it, you can plant in the earth around the edges of it. 

The real reason situation where it's worth it is for a second year character, and it's best to be selective about what you are putting effort into planting.  Wheat requires no preservation, for instance.  Sugar beets can be turned into sugar which is useful for many things.  Corn is decent because making cornmeal isn't to terrible labor intensive.  Thyme is disinfectant oil, garlic doesn't spoil, and wild herbs are useful for any character of any caliber. 

Offline Azrad

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Re: Is farming for food really worth it?
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2017, 03:13:02 PM »
As I recall, plants that are ready to harvest won't wither away, so basically you can plant a massive amount, and only harvest the stuff you need.
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Offline NuG

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Re: Is farming for food really worth it?
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2017, 04:50:35 PM »
As I recall, plants that are ready to harvest won't wither away, so basically you can plant a massive amount, and only harvest the stuff you need.

I was wondering about that, I have just planted a couple sections on a farm that were pre-plowed where I'm holding up in as my base of operations until I can make a nicer roaming vehicle.
I remember one of my earlier runs I had forgotten I planted some stuff and came back like a year later and the plants were still there ready to be picked.. I just wasn't sure if I was getting a full yield or not since I didn't have much experience with the farming mechanic yet.

Offline Benedict

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Re: Is farming for food really worth it?
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2017, 06:05:12 PM »
As I recall, plants that are ready to harvest won't wither away, so basically you can plant a massive amount, and only harvest the stuff you need.

That's a nice addition. With canning or other forms of preserving, it makes farming a lot more useful.
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Offline DeWolf

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Re: Is farming for food really worth it?
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2017, 09:45:35 PM »
Don't forget with farming you can make booze and diesel.

Offline Rot

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Re: Is farming for food really worth it?
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2017, 10:21:13 PM »
Farming has its benefits, but to re-mention points that are already said above would be redundant.

I dabbled a bit in farming, and found it to be OK as long as you eventually return to the crops, from whatever you were doing.

But most of the time I find a swamp and hunt for meat, amass a large quantity of salt and make a meat smoker, all these allow me to just preserve meat (since I usually end up playing as mutant carnivores).


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Offline DeWolf

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Re: Is farming for food really worth it?
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2017, 10:56:02 PM »
I am mostly just wishing that we can have vehichle mounted fermenting vats and hydroponics basins.

Offline Miloch

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Re: Is farming for food really worth it?
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2017, 11:25:31 PM »
Last I checked crops will still become mature during winter.  You just can't plant during winter.

Offline DeWolf

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Re: Is farming for food really worth it?
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2017, 11:26:19 PM »
Last I checked crops will still become mature during winter.  You just can't plant during winter.
Yes these are the hardiest plants I have ever seen.

Offline CaioLugia

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Re: Is farming for food really worth it?
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2017, 01:00:56 AM »
Am I seeing somebody - OP of all people - bashing the farming system under my watch? Perhaps one of the greatest benefits from farming is flour. Basically, just add water and ta-da, a variety of delicious breads you could enhance with the many wild herbs, wild vegetables, tomatos and vegetable goodies you manage to plant along with all that buckwheat.

Get you hands on some salt and meat and then you can make sandwiches.
And don't even get me started on canola and other plants important to late-game crafting recipes.

Offline Alec White

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Re: Is farming for food really worth it?
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2017, 06:09:51 AM »
Weird reading someone that considers farming not OP as hell.

Farming is very worth it, only if you can manage to get enough seeds, which is generally one or two crops.
But if you managed to survive that long, there's very few things in the game that can kill you.

So no, farming food is not worth it, unless you know you are able to survive for more than a year.

Offline Benedict

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Re: Is farming for food really worth it?
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2017, 01:06:42 PM »
Am I seeing somebody - OP of all people - bashing the farming system under my watch? Perhaps one of the greatest benefits from farming is flour. Basically, just add water and ta-da, a variety of delicious breads you could enhance with the many wild herbs, wild vegetables, tomatos and vegetable goodies you manage to plant along with all that buckwheat.

Get you hands on some salt and meat and then you can make sandwiches.
And don't even get me started on canola and other plants important to late-game crafting recipes.

Not bashing it at all. It's a rounded and fun system, and I love the addition of tractors!

I just never could be bothered to put in the required effort to farm for food when there are so many other easy ways to get nutrition (literally any forest/swamp will, in a few hours, provide days worth of fruits, eggs and meat).
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Offline §k

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Re: Is farming for food really worth it?
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2017, 02:05:50 PM »
For a default year, one needs 56 * 200 = 11200 nutrition.
3 fruit leather gives 3 * 18 = 54.
3 fruit leather requires 1 blueberry and 5 sugar.
100 suger requires 2 blueberries.
So 1 + 0.1 = 1.1 blueberries give 54 nutrition.

208 blueberries can feed a man for a year. 1 blueberry shrub gives about 4 berries and 4 seeds. One needs 52 seeds which grow to 52 shrubs which give 208 berries.

In summer, blueberry naturally appears on field in groups of 5 - 10. After visiting a couple of blueberry colonies, you will get all the seeds needed plus some berries that can be consumed right away.

Farming solves food problem in late game. Oat and buckwheat are also good economic plant, but the seeds take some effort to find.