This is a basic guide to help folks better understand the purpose of the farm and how they should be using it.
The Gameplay Loop
The most essential thing to understand about the way Farming in Cloud Meadow works is that this is not like farming in games such as Stardew Valley and Harvest Moon. In those games, you farm crops for ingredients in food and to sell them in their raw state at as high a quality as possible as more or less the end goal, in Cloud Meadow, it is part of the process of raising your monsters.
While at the moment the system is in a very bare-bones state, eventually, the goal is to make it so that the player only has to plant the crops and then he can allow his monsters to take over from there, with the storage system automatically distributing crops harvested by monsters into the mill to be refined, to the food bin(and eventually silo once that is implemented) to be distributed to your monsters, thus automatically raising your stats.
On the other side of this process is the breeding of monsters, the improvement of attributes in order to give monsters better stats, better abilities, and better graduation reward values. In the end, you should be making the vast majority of your money from graduating monsters, rather than from selling crops or eggs, though both are nice methods of padding your income.
For the moment, the most basic form of this gameplay loop has been enabled in the game, with the ability to set up fields, pastures, and training grounds, as well as having the foodbin available.
How Farming Crops Works
Crops are made in fields, and all crops have several values that are important to keep in mind. I will provide you with a single crop for you to understand the basics:
- Starting HP: 20
- Max HP:40
- Upgrade HP: 25
- Downgrade HP: 5
- Growth TIme: 1 Day
- Decay Time:5 days
- Type: HP
- Effectiveness: 5%
- Season: Spring
From this, you can see that Macrinas have a Maximum HP of 40, so once they’ve been watered, tended, and fertilized enough, they’ll stop gaining HP at 40. You can see that they start at 20 HP when planted, and that they’ll upgrade the quality of their seeds when you increase their HP beyond 25, and downgrade the quality of their seeds when they are reduced below 5 HP. They take 1 day to grow, and they can last 5 days without dying, and allowing you to continue boosting their HP in that time to continue to increase their quality. You can see that they are an HP restoring crop, that they grow in spring, and that they will restore 5% of HP per quality level they possess (based on the quality of the seeds you planted). If HP reaches 0, then the Macrina will die.
Plants gain or lose HP on a variety of things. Are you planting them in the right season, are you watering them, are you tending them, what sort of weather is going on. You can handle these things yourself a great deal of the time, and sometimes, it makes sense to deliberately not harvest a crop at the first opportunity, but to instead deliberately keep the crop growing. For this reason, it might be advisable to have a field that you set aside explicitly for experimentation, without your monsters working in it.
Monsters stats matter for this, and every threshold of stats (and it is a relatively high number for this threshold) will cause them to act on one plant in the field, per combined stats of the workers in that field, each hour.
- Every threshold of physique combined between all field workers will have them water 1 plant every hour.
- Every threshold of swiftness combined between all field workers will have them harvest one ripe crop per hour, or clear one dead plant per hour.
- Every threshold of stamina combined between all field workers will have them fertilize one crop per hour.
- Every threshold of intuition combined between all field workers will have them tend to one crop per hour.
Harvested crops are moved automatically to your storage.
All buildings you can set Monsters to work at, from the Mill to the Docks, works on a similar manner. They will take the points of the combined workers, and put them together, and add that each hour until the threshold is reached and then take an action, whether that be to refine a crop, tend to crop, move cargo to the docks to be sold, or something else.
On Breeding Traits
Monster Raising is a process between breeding monsters, feeding them crops, and training them.
Monster Breeding is simple, check the traits of your monsters. There are 3 types, 4 rarities, and 5 grades. This will tell you everything you need to know about how a trait can be passed on.
The types are:
- Species Only: those that can only be inherited by children who share the same species as a parent.
- Bloodline: those that can only originate in the wild in one species, but can be passed on to children of any species.
- Universal: those that can crop up in any species and be passed onto children of any species.
The rarities are:
- Copper: Common traits, these will appear randomly quite often, and are easy to pass on.
- Silver: Uncommon traits, these will appear randomly with with some infrequency, and are relatively difficult to pass on.
- Gold: Rare traits, these will appear randomly very infrequently, and are difficult to pass on.
- Rusted: Negative traits, which are relatively easy to pass on, but won’t pop up randomly unless domesticity is too high.
The grades are based on I-V, roman numerals. Each grade will multiply the values as described in the trait description by the number of the grade.
You should pair monsters who share the same traits at the same grade, as this will drastically increase the chances of not only the monsters passing on those traits, but in increasing their grade.
Monsters have a permanent value, set at birth, called Domesticity. This is an easily viewed trait on their stats page, taking the form of a bar that has a collar on one end, and a snarling mouth on the other. The higher domesticity is, the higher the graduation value of the monster, and importantly, the more likely they are to have degraded traits, or even develop new negative traits. The lower domesticity is, the more likely they are to develop rare, or improved traits randomly, but if it gets too low, they will hatch as a hostile monster and attack and damage your farm.
Domesticity can be manipulated by breeding monsters of the same species (which will decrease the value in the children), breeding monsters of different species (which will increase the value in the children), or by breeding them with the protagonist (which will majorly increase the value in the children). Mostly though, a good rule of thumb is that a child’s domesticity, absent other factors, will be in the ballpark range of the average of the parent’s domesticities.
Monster stats, unlike the protagonist’s or the NPC companion’s stats, can only be increased through feeding them. Each monster can get one stat increasing meal a day. This is why meals are much more effective than feeding them raw crops, as these allow them to increase multiple stats at once. Monsters who have not been fed personally by the player or served from the Silo will eat a random crop stored in the Food Bin.
Monster Loyalty and Graduation
Monster Loyalty is a hidden stat. It can be inferred by petting a monster, and seeing the number of hearts released from their head. The more hearts released, the happier and more loyal the monster is with you.
Monster Loyalty is increased by petting them, personally feeding them, personally breeding them, or bringing them with you in your party into the dungeon.
Monster Loyalty is decreased by allowing a monster to go a day without being fed, or overworking them.
When a monster is disloyal, then you will see them release black hearts from their head upon being petted.
If Monster Loyalty is above a certain value, it will begin to decrease below that value for every day you do not personally interact with that monster in some manner.
Monster Loyalty serves as a method to automatically churn monsters who are unimportant to you. One year after they hatch, if a monster is below 100% Loyalty, they will graduate on midnight of the night of their first birthday. Monsters who graduate will result in a graduation reward equal to their value being granted to you.
Monsters who become too disloyal will flee your farm and report your neglect to the Union, who will fine you the graduation value of the monster.
As described above, Graduation occurs on the first birthday of a monster. Monsters who are at 100% loyalty at this point will remain with you provided that you go to Montalvo on the day of their graduation and witness it. If you do not, they will think you do not care for them as much as they care for you and leave as normal at midnight.
Graduation Value is determined by several factors. The level of the monster, the value of their various attributes, the skill points invested into their skills, the grade, number, and rarity of their traits, and their domesticity level all play a role in how valuable a monster is, and a very valuable monster can net a canny Frontiersman many tens of thousands of krona, making them an incredibly valuable investment.