Friday, May 8, 2009
Creating Prosperity in Rune Factory Frontier
The Runey system in Rune Factory Frontier adds another challenge to the game, but even veteran players both of Harvest Moon and of Rune Factory have problems with it.
It may have been created to remind players of the very real problems that confront us in our own world, problems created partly by human beings who do not have any thought of how their own actions may affect the entire globe. As we face the problems of global warming and destruction of the ozone layer, the Runeys may represent an attempt to alert gamers to the reality of how actions in one area may affect the situation in others.
The Runeys represent four elements: Water, Rocks, Trees and Grass. One type will 'feed' off the other. The Water Runeys are at the top of the food chain. Establishing balance is a matter of establishing equal numbers of each type of Runey in a district. Prosperity is achieved when there are 35 or more of each type of Runey in a district. The maximum number of Runeys that can exist in any district is 60 of each type.
If you grow Crops on your field, your own Runeys will increase. When you have 60 of each type, you can reduce the number periodically in order to transfer those Runeys to other districts if needed. When your Homestead is in a state of Prosperity, your Crops will mature faster, but you cannot ignore other districts.
Runeys will fluctuate according to variables such as weather. Whenever it rains, Water Runeys will increase. Furthermore, the game arbitrarily 'seeds' the Map with Runeys randomly each week.
There are two ways to deal with the Runey population.
My solution is to have your Homestead at 60 across the Board at the end of each week. I remove 5 of each type on Monday and use these to replace any Runeys that are not balanced elsewhere. By Wednesday, the total on the Homestead is back to 60 across the board. I then remove 5 of each type again and either store these or use them where needed.
Everywhere else, I maintain at least 12 of each type of Runey at all times in as good a state of balance as possible. I actually try to have 20-35 of each type on every other district apart from the Homestead but for players who are short on Runeys, 12 of every type on every district will suffice. I noticed that at 35 (Prosperity point), the Grass Runeys usually start to die off. The game will release more Runeys onto the Map randomly as well each week.
If you keep a watchful eye on the Runey Distribution Map and restore balance once each week, you should have no trouble. I keep 99 of each type of Runey in storage for 'emergencies' but I never had any emergencies. My Homestead is in a state of Maximum Prosperity most of the time and my Crops grow much faster than they otherwise would. I do believe that the Crops in all Dungeons may be growing faster but not as quickly as those on the Homestead. I have not timed them yet.
Note that Runey Distribution is as important in Winter as in the other three seasons if you are growing ANY Crops in ANY dungeon. If you have dead zones on the Map, the Crops in the dungeons either will not grow or actually will wither.
Some players advocate the following solution:
The maximum number of any type of Runey that can be sustained on any single district is 60. Grass Runeys, however, begin to die off when they are on a district in large numbers, unless that district has ripened Crops growing on it. With 60 of each type of Runey on a district, therefore, only Grass Runeys will die and you will have to replace them either daily or weekly.
The players who use this method keep 60 of each type on every district but one. They use the one District that remains as a breeding ground for Grass Runeys to replace those that die off continuously.
I was persuaded by a player to post this solution awhile ago, although personally I do not care for it! I do not think it actually is in the 'spirit' of the game.
Whichever method you use:
The best way to deal with Runey distribution is to start as early as possible in the game by planting Turnips and Grass in your Field. Grass is a necessity for fodder for tame Monsters. If you keep at least a quarter of your field planted with Grass, you can keep it unharvested until you actually begin to need Fodder for the Monsters you have tamed. The ripe Grass will generate Runeys on the Homestead. Turnips are good because they mature quickly, allowing you to boost Runey production very early in the game. The biggest problem in the first Spring, however, will be income. You will need the income that the Turnips produce and, as they are single harvest crops, once they have been harvested, you will be forced to replant.
Strawberries may be a better choice than Turnips in terms of maintaining Runey production as, with a state of Prosperity on your Homestead, you may be able to harvest Strawberries daily, making certain that there are fully ripened Crops always on your Field while allowing you to skim off the ripened Crops for shipment. Grass will ripen almost as quickly when you have achieved Maximum Prosperity and Balance on your Homestead, allowing you to set a Necro or Ghost to the task of cutting your Grass for Fodder daily.
Whatever you do, try not to allow any District to become a 'dead' one, as this will affect productivity everywhere, including your own homestead. To recapitulate the ecological principle at the foundation of Rune Factory Frontier, the situation in other areas will affect your own home. Ignore the world at your peril. If you care only about your own Homestead, you will find that your own life will suffer if other areas are in a state of inbalance or attrition. No man is an island and no island is immune to a negative situation in another part of the world.
Store Runeys whenever possible for possible use in other districts rather than shipping them or converting all of them into Rune Stones. Be sparing with your use of Rune Stones until you have a healthy Map. When Runeys are not balanced, the food chain will not work properly and you will find one type in danger of dying out completely.
An obsessive player will work diligently to create a state of Maximum Prosperity and Balance throughout the map. Once this is accomplished, your workload will decrease as long as you religiously replenish the Grass Runeys that die each week.
A player who is not that concerned with perfection can maintain a state of Maximum Prosperity and Balance in his/her own field and allow all other districts to remain chaotic PROVIDED ALWAYS THAT NO TYPE OF RUNEY DIES OUT COMPLETELY IN ANY DISTRICT. Your Crops will continue to grow at a faster speed even when other districts are not in perfect balance, nor in a state of Prosperity, provided that you maintain a presence for every type of Runey in every district. As stated previously, it is better to bleed off excess Runeys if you do not have a store of Runeys to boost the smaller numbers to balance the larger than to allow one type to become too dominant in any district.
If your Crops wither and die or take far longer than they should to mature, it is because you have neglected Runey Distribution. Period. Full stop. This is true with respect both to Trampoli and to all the dungeons. The Runeys are vital to farming in Rune Factory Frontier. Ignore them at your peril.
N.B. The screenshot shows the Homestead in any early stage of Prosperity, before I had reached the Maximum Balance and Prosperity in my first game. Even at this stage, however, my Crops were maturing far more quickly than they would in any dungeon. With fully ripened Crops on your Homestead, it does not take long to reach maximum Prosperity at 60 Runeys across the board.