Wednesday, March 17, 2010
'Stress' in Animals in Sunshine Islands
Dealing with Stress
‘Stress’ is a condition that effects Ranch Animals in specific circumstances. When it occurs, you will find it displayed on the Animal Pages of your Farm Menu in the gauge beneath the Animal’s Heart Level on the lower screen. Stress Levels fill the gauge with blue. An empty gauge in this situation is the optimum situation with respect to any Ranch Animal. It is only Ranch Animals who have a Stress Gauge. When the Stress Gauge fills, the Animal will become ‘sick’ and die if not treated with Animal Medicine.
Most of the circumstances under which an Animal is afflicted with Stress can be controlled by your Character and when so afflicted, your Character can take action to reduce Stress. Although feeding your Animal will not REDUCE Stress, neglecting to feed your Animal will reduce Friendship Levels by 5 Points and cause 20 Points of Stress. 100 Stress Points will fill the gauge. If you do not hold/pet or speak to an Animal for two days, you will lose 2 Friendship Points per day and accrue 2 Stress Points per day. If you strike an Animal with a Farm Tool, you will lose 10 Friendship Points and accrue 10 Stress Points. If you leave an Animal outside in drizzle, rain or snow, you will lose 2 Friendship Points after the first 4 hours and 1 Friendship Point for each additional hour and gain 1 Stress Point per hour. Leaving an Animal outside in a Typhoon or Blizzard will cause you to lose 10 Friendship Points and gain 30 Stress Points.
If the Wild Dog appears on your Field when an Animal is outside, his mere presence can cause Stress in the amount of 10 Stress Points. It will cause you to lose 2 Friendship Points with your Animal as well. If you or your own Dog chase away the Wild Dog quickly or you return your Animals to the Chicken Coop or Barn before too much time elapses, there will be no ill effects from the unwanted visitation.
The greatest amount of Stress is inflicted when you have entered an Animal in an Animal Contest in any Festival and then fail to attend the Festival. This form of ‘neglect’ will cause 50 Stress Points, half-filling the Stress gauge. Stress is a condition that can be caused by emotional damage as well as physical neglect.
Positive Actions on your part may or may not act both on Friendship and Stress Levels. For example, as previously indicated, you will not reduce existing Stress Levels by feeding an Animal but you will gain 1 Friendship Point. Using a Milker or Clipper on an Animal will not reduce existing Stress Levels either but is worth 1 Friendship Point. Entering an Animal in an animal Contest will increase Friendship by 30 Points but have no effect on Stress. (Actually, if anything, it probably should increase Stress, as Animals in ‘real life’ generally do not respond well to crowds... but in Harvest Moon, there are no ill effects unless you fail to arrive at the contest to support your Animal!)
The only Ranch Tool that has an effect on Stress is the Brush. Whenever you brush your Livestock with an ordinary Brush, you will gain 3 Friendship Points and reduce any Stress by 5 Points. It is by setting Wonderfuls into the Brush that you can increase its Effect on Friendship and/or Stress.
Setting one Orange Wonderful in the Brush will add three Points to the effect that the Brush has in reducing Stress. A Brush without any Orange Wonderfuls will reduce Stress by 5 Points. A Brush set with a single Wonderful will reduce Stress by 8 Points. Each additional Orange Wonderful set into a Brush will reduce Stress by a further 3 Points. In other words, 2 Orange Wonderfuls set into the Brush will increase its effect to -11 Stress. 3 Orange Wonderfuls will cause it to reduce Stress by 14 Points. 4 Orange Wonderfuls will increase its effect on Stress to 17 Points.... and so on.
Note that setting Yellow Wonderfuls in any Ranch Tool will increase its effect on Friendship Levels by 1 Point. A Brush without any Wonderfuls will increase Friendship by 3 Points. With one Yellow Wonderful set into it, it will increase Friendship by 4 Points and so on.
There are other methods by which existing Stress levels can be reduced. Taking an Animal outside in good weather can reduce Stress as well as increasing Friendship Levels. The effects on Stress are far more significant, however, than any Friendship gain. Taking an Animal outside on a Sunny or Hot day will reduce Stress by 2 Points per hour and raise Friendship by 0.2 Points per hour. On a Cloudy Day, you will reduce Stress by 1 Point per hour and increase Friendship by 0.1 Point.
The most significant reduction of Stress can occur when you have the option of playiing the Touchscreen Petting Game. The highest score can reduce Stress by 20 Points.
Finally, you can hire the Orange Sprite Team to reduce existing Stress either in your Chicken Coop or Barn. The amount by which Stress is reduced will depend on the size of the Enchantment.
The single cause of Stress that is most difficult to avert is that caused by a Typhoon or Blizzard. As the Weather is set 6 days in advance, it is very difficult to ‘control’ and you may find that Typhoons and Blizzards will occur. What you CAN do is to make certain that you obtain the weather prediction daily from Taro. If you place all your Chickens outside in a Pen on the day prior to a Typhoon or Blizzard and fill all the Feeders in your chicken Coop, they will feed themselves outside and the Chicken Feed in the Feeders will be used only on the day of the bad storm. Provided always that the Typhoon or Blizzard last no more than a single day and that you remember to bring them all back into the Chicken Coop before the storm hits, you can guarantee that your Poultry will remain stress-free.
You can do the same with respect to your Livestock only if you have enough ripe Grass growing in your Field to provide Fodder for each Animal. Each Animal requires 1 Square of fully-ripened Grass per day. It is a great nuisance to push Animals in and out of the Barn but it may be worth the effort on the day preceding any Typhoon or Blizzard in order to avoid Stress. A different strategy would be to set ALL your Orange Wonderfuls into the Brush the day AFTER the Storm to reduce Stress as much as possible when it is used.
Another strategy described elsewhere in this Guide is that of building extra feeders for the Chickens and Livestock for emergency use during Storms. If you have two feeders for every Animal and fill both, you can weather a Storm that lasts a single day without fear that your animals will incur any Stress.