Atomicrops - plow, plant, and pow on a farm

That sounds promising and… very surprising!

Year 3 down. I feel like this is the first year where I start thinking “man some scarecrows would sure be nice” (I wound up with 3). So I can only imagine what its like in a few years. Death weeds start showing up, and I assume there will be an artillery version down the road. Crop growing at night is a little harder.

After the glitched run I had a couple go bad and I always dropped back to year 2 to build up a nice bag of goodies for the year 3 run. The year 2 run before this turned out weirdly fun. I wound up with like 8 chickens (cursing every time I got another “chicken or turret/scarecrow/bee” choice, which there were many) and then a bunch of egg upgrades. Every time I got an egg there was a bundle of fertilizer and then seeds and keeping everything planted got a little involved lol. And there were so many eggs. Zillions.

Got wings summer day 1 on the Y3 run, and never looked back. Weapon rolls were very good that time forward - I started summer and fall with an unpgraded minigun (because it’s that good) allowing me to really snowball ( and I hit an achievement for 5k cashews).

A few observations on my games:

  1. I just occasionally have games where I can’t help but walk into bullets when I see them. Derpy derp derp. Drives me crazy.

  2. I have growing appreciation for the roach killer. Target neutralization while I don’t have to shoot is huge.

  3. I, uh, didn’t notice the map until recently and I find I rarely use the drill now. The reason I liked it before was not being able to keep track of where holes are. But more importantly, it’s easier to remember what you were doing when you pause a run!

  4. The 4th anthill upgrading stats seems hugely beneficial.

  5. Tehre’s some upgrade that leaves little glowing circles on the ground when I believe you cut a weed. I have no idea what these do.

  6. I have sort of changed some upgrade priorities. E.g. I try to wait to grab scrolls until I know I may have some helpers on hand and pick whatever I’m weakest in (e.g. if I don’t score an early cow I consider a normal rain scroll strongly). I’ve started taking combat upgrade shrines more often, because clear speed is still crucial.

I think the year 3 run is the first where I probably cleared 95% of all field areas. I was really snowballed and killing it. 3 spouses certainly helps.

Year 4 down on the first try, but man that was close. Down to one heart. I failed to max out the seasonal rewards in any season after spring (and I might not have done it there; I came in 2 rewards shy of max in each successive season), and only accessed one farland (east, which I never fully cleared). Old Mechdonald is an asshole.

The difference between year 4 and year 1, at night, is stark. If you cound the death weeds it’s like triple wave sizes almost, and they’re faster/shooting more/faster bullets (for snipers).

I made a few mistakes. Lard was staring me in the face and I, for some reason, selected something the other entity had. Something that was decent, but ugh. Lard! My reward from the previous run was garbage. I got polygamy (which is good, but it’s a terrible starter and I never snagged a second spouse since I twice screwed up planting 4 roses) and I think the thing that makes the enemy bee things friendly.

Yes it gets pretty hairy doesn’t it? Old MechDonald is a pain with his big smoke clouds and those tyres, not to mention his movement. It’s very difficult getting close to him if you happen to roll a short range weapon too.

The weed monsters really make you pay attention to your weed growth because, left unchecked, they lock you down in the centre and when you’re being bombarded that’s really bad.

Lard is amazing yeah, and:

That’s the psychoactive weeds item (blades with an eye in the middle I think) which basically means when you cut a weed and collect the orb, bullets slow down. Coupled with lard you get bullet time. With other weed cutting items this can totally transform the game. It’s a killer combo.

I never got the opportunity to try this egg strategy but it sounds brilliant!

Yep. Some runs you’re a bullet dodging god, others you just walk into them all.

Yeah same. It was just nice at first, but later on insta-killing those things is a blessing, especially the meaty ones in the farlands.

D’oh! I didn’t even notice the pause screen for a good few hours, but when I did (and the map) it was a game changer.

Yeah, I think it’s very cool how this kind of thing starts to happen naturally. The number of things you’re weighing up is impressive; there’s real-time strategy here.

Oh wow, you smashed it. That’s amazing. I wasn’t able to get three spouses until my post-year 10 run!

Glad you’re making good progress still.

I think it’s my only 3 spouse run to date, but I’ve been close a few other times. I now follow the advice of “never plant roses except as 2x2, ditto hearts unless you are really hurting”. I think if you weent back and played a few year 1-2 runs (or even 3), you would do it a lot. It feels easier even compared to IV. I did another IV run after that to see if I was feeling better. It was going to sgood, so I paused to return to working and then when I fired up the run over lunch I managed to destroy like 7 of 8 hearts in like 30 seconds and couldn’t get through I think it was a summer boss fight. Yikes.

I try to save for 2x2 sunflowers as well. That’s trickier.

When it comes to helpers, I try to balance Cows vs Pigs but I am undecided if there’s a point where it makes sense to grab a chicken but you alreayd have say 2+ each of cow/pig and have a choice at another. I’ve had some weed management issues in III/IV runs at times, so I tend to think at some point grabbing that chicken makes more sense (and that multiple chickens is worthwhile, although I still value cows the most). I also value the weeder tractor more now (it’s also nice that it can drop seeds). And where I barely used combat tractors out in fields before, at this point I welcome the opportunity. I actually like the balance of the tractors. There’s a reason to consider using all of them, and some have better early game focus. The Tunneler should dig more than 1 square when you use it on the farm IMO.

I’m not sure how I feel about gun RNG right now. That IV run I won after killing Old mechdonald with the fucking SMG. Granted, it was max upgraded (that was two 2x2 sunflowers baby) so it actually has some decent range (also the decent damage coupled with the high ROF is still pretty good dps). On a Year III win (I have a couple now) I had to do him with the Shallotgun. No fun.

Yeah basically all the special seeds (hearts, roses and sunflowers) I try to do 2x2 because of the better yield. Health and roses are so important. Sunflowers are worth hanging on to for when you’ve got plenty of fertiliser and you need cashews fast. If you’ve had a bad day and hardly managed to sow and grow anything, they can get you back on track. I also think mowing weeds gives you sunflower seeds as well. At least I’ve had some great returns on weeding (I love the weeder tractor for that reason, besides them killing the weed monsters).

I try and get a couple of pigs just because they’re great at expanding your plot and keeping the soil good but, yeah, cows are brilliant. With Lavender the watering bees are amazing too.

The tunneler is useful early on when you can maximise the seed scrolls and I like it because you can tidy your plot up quite easily too. I definitely agree that the balance is good though. Have you used the watering tractor much? That can give you a nice batch of seeds each time.

My general feeling with the guns is that, yeah, the RNG can be quite rough, and some guns, like the squirrel launcher, are only much good when they’re seriously upgraded (then they’re amazing). Sometimes the upgrades can be the ‘wrong’ ones too. All it takes is a bad roll when you’re low on cashews and your chances against the boss, or indeed the night waves, start to shrink. Rye is a decent solution to this but it’s a 25% chance to trigger a repair. Still, when it triggers, it’s amazing. I’ve found most guns effective in the right circumstances and towards the end I got to the stage where I was thinking of what enemies I’d be tackling and which guns (and possible upgrades) would help me the most. Bolstering your firepower and defence with gourds, worms, drones, roach killer, thorns etc. can be a good holdover for when things get tight as well. And the meat grinder tractor is super useful for clearing busy camps quickly. Have you encountered the ‘other’ tractor yet?

Given a choice, I will probably alternate between cow/pig each time (although I sometimes grab 2 cows off the bat if I can). they’re both super useful. I’ve only ever played with the starter so I don’t really know what life without bees is like. But they seem like the least animal, by far. (Cow==Pig>Chicken>bee, and I wouldn’t change that for the upgraded animals). Of course upgrades can change so much, it’s part of the fun.

I just swapped one out in my current run. It’s great early, since watering is a chore and any seeds help. I went from it to the fertilizer but then to the weed wacker when I had the option. I have found the nuke tractor, which is amazing.

Buffed to 50% in a recent patch!

I don’t know how many bonus % you can get from the ants in total, but I just had that trigger for me in my last run for the first time (I think I have 2 or 3 of those 1% pgrades).

And I am definitely in the “well, these are my weapons so which way do I want to go now” category. I go west on day 1 of course. I just entered Fall ready to hit up the farlands but my gun options were parsniper and butcher knife, with only being asble to upgrade 2 times. I went parsniper (natch) and I’ll have to head west again (only have 2 bridge parts, so north is not an option). I like aoe/attack speed for south/east. And of course catling gun is good everywhere although I can see where it could be a problem in late years. I’ve come to love the biodegrader, although it’s definitely in the “1-2 upgrades massively increases effectiveness” category (whereas for some weapons, 1-2 upgrades is less dramatic; you can run unupgraded catling gun anywhere in the first 1-4 years).

As I now have several weed wacking upgrades I intend to put the tractor to good use in the current game, heh.

Haha, I didn’t want to spoil it because it’s such a beast.

Oh man, and just after I wrapped it up!

Yeah I had this a few times and it’s such a surprising buzz when they trigger.

Exactly. There are just too many fast little enemies for things like the parsniper.

Hahah, yep. The biodegrader was always my preferred weapon for day 1 and day 2, but for day 3 it can be really weak against bosses. The cattling is awesome right off the bat but that slowdown can start to bite you in the arse in later years, which is a nice balance.

Now I need to check these patch notes…

Actually the flamethrower is sometimes a tough weapon to roll with because it has no knockback.

That has burned me on more than one occasion.

Year 5 run in progress. Enemies got faster in terms of movement, how fucking terrifying. It’s going fairly well though, rocking fertilizer + sprinkler tractor and I rotate as needed (and I have quite a few seeds). Picked up some nice upgrades from town and already have a spouse IIRC.

The store of game knowledge you build up is really invaluable. Knowing the zones, what weapons are suited for which zones, how to prioritize camps, proper crop upgrading, prepping for North/South field access (and later Farlands), what weapons are good against what bosses, etc. The sometimes agonizing upgrade choices. And of course the synergies you start to recognize. It’s such a well designed game. I really am infatuated; it’s cutting into Path of Exile time.

But man are the enemy movements starting to get worrying. The bulls and the hornet things in far-east, yikes. The beetle swarms south. All the stuff that obfuscates enemy presence. Roaches. M otherfucking roaches, all the time. Roaches are assholes.

As for Biodegrader, if you snag triple shot + the fire aoe that thing is such a great field clearer. Honestly I would probably call it my favorite weapon for non boss days. Catlingun second, but I expect that to shift downward in later years based on what I am seeing.

V down, first time. I will say the game does a good job of sort of building you up. But the early games are getting harrier, it’s getting tough to hit that “now I’m snowballing” point for sure. I once again wound up with a bazillion chickens. The first two area animal camps were always chicken or bee/scarecrow/turret. I think I took 3 chickens. and then I got hatching eggs (and a few other upgrades) and they snowballed pretty hard. I bet I had 10-12 at least at the end. The 4th anthill upgrades are exhausted, but I can appreciate them quite a bit. It feels like I’ve gained about 10 seconds of extra time after the morning ritual (which is till 9 tiles, dig and till 2 more, plant potatoes 2x2, plant everything else, drop fertilizer on t he potatoes) and while it’s not a ton the extra dusk time means there’s a bit of flexibility there that’s very helpful. Especiall;y with the harder camps.

I could have had 3 spouses but I never got polygamy. I ended with enough roses for it though (in fact, I think I pretty much had enough at the start of winter).

Yep! You really have to start paying serious attention!

I’m really glad to read this because I think so too. I think a lot of its magic only becomes apparent as you start getting further and build up that game knowledge which bleeds into all the strategy and synergising.

Yeah that’s my favourite upgrade combo too. You can often clear an entire zone in one day with that thing.

Yeah this is exactly what I found. Getting established is the tough bit.

It sounds like you’re taking the later years in your stride. I found 1-3 tough, then breezed through 4-6. 7 was a bastard, 8 was, 9 I think I snowballed and 10… was a proper bastard.

Another point about the design here. Some games in this family tree have a zillion upgrades and a sizable portion often fall into one or more categories of: heavy overlap with other upgrades, utter crap, kind of oddball. This game wouldn’t benefit if e.g. there were a bunch more items that upgraded your stats.

I think perhaps the most useless item is double cream which charges your tractor when you harvest berries. Unless it works with your own crops…

The take damage stuff (charge tractor/drop fertilizer) is pretty bad too. I don’t mind the one that has a chance of dropping a heart beat because IIRC it does somthing else pretty good too.

Yeah agreed.

VI down.

3rd or 4th try, I think it was 4th. My first attempt was going well until disaster hit and I went all walk-into-bad-shit mode. Next two did not go well. Dropped down a few years to rebuild my start and the winning try was largely a steam roll. Was into farlands on the last day of summer. Started with the thing that auto-merges crops and I can’t remember, but the former (a trophy I think) is pretty amazing.

Also had faster weed cleanup, 2x weeds, and something else (but not weed stomp) and I basically had no weeds for all of winter after I went berserk cleaing them on night 1. I had so many chickens (hatching eggs again) and turkeys that any time one did spawn it didn’t last long. Also crucial were a fairly early roach killer (before I touched the farlands), a couple of speed upgrades before fall, and luck with some sunflower seeds (I pulled off a 2x2 mid summer). Also got Pidgeon on day 1 or 2 and twice maxxed out scrolls. I never wanted for money, and even when the gun rolls weren’t greatI could upgrade something significantly (I twice used the bloomerbuss thingy but always had it with the 600 cashew upgrade). Fighting Mechdonald with SMG isn’t so bad when it’s maxxed. And you have 3 normal + 1 upgraded turret and several turret upgrades to boot.

That’s one of my favourites and even better when you get seed scrolls and follow them up with a fertiliser scroll.

I never went back to a previous year to build up a start. I was going in cold every time!

Have you tried any of the other characters yet?

Character wise, I have switched over to the guy with the 50% chance to repair guns. He’s great, and I had a number of gun fixes that helped me snowball in my winning VII run.

The first run I picke dup the two speed upgrades early and then lost it all because I got a speed mushroom and it was too damn fast. LOL.

Second run was good though. Early wings, Participation Trophy, frequently having a 4x upgrade gun even in the first two seasons (well, late spring anyway). I was a little worried about the weed situation, though, and looking for (but failing to find) a weed eater. And then the following things happened:

  1. Faster Weed Harvest showed up from a partner.
  2. I passed on a “killing enemies harvests weeds” but I got one from another partner (poligamy as well)
  3. Egg hatching + some turkeys started snowballing.

And I noticed that when you are energized the actual game clock slows down. Which is how I spent a significant portion of Fall 3 just annihilating the weeds around the farm (seriously, in 30 in game seconds I probably dropped my weeds by 70%). No weeds, no tears.

I didn’t find the animal pen spawn until the last day of winter but it hardly mattered. I had a bazillion of everything. I spent the last day and a half of winter just farming, I didn’t have anything to do in the fields (and I only headed out on day 2 because I needed to get the golden pupa boss reward).

The only thing that sucked was I realized I had 4 trees and decided to go for a mega tree. But the game wouldn’t let me place them correctly. Drove me crazy. Something to do with my controller. But it would not line up the bottom row.