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Looking at how skills and adders (tables, chairs, etc., in your house) radically changes what you accomplish in a day, I've been trying out a new (to me) start -- almost exclusively based on gathering, and with respec being so cheap, easily "fixed" when needed.

Day 2 -- Complete first test right away. At 0.5x, you can do this and still get to commerce before it opens. When the level happens put it in "Lucky Me". Complete second test, go ahead and run up the wood a little if it's on the way back to the farm. Presley is at cafe. Pick up at least the salad sauce. Top up stamina at Djangos -- the deal of the day plus at least one of the most expensive +XP dishes. Get license and take bridge, plus hopefully an easy commission like charcoal. Fix house, and remember to place license on the wall. Spend the rest of the day harvesting apples, eating them as needed, putting all points into "Lucky Me". Likely need the sauce, so plan ahead a bit so you don't have to wait. (I have a "standard" route where on a full day I get one tree on the way to the forest, seven in the forest, two near the bunnies, one near Sophies, cut through the pastures looking for feces, hit the three trees near the east gate. Day 2 I usually pass out in the forest.)

Day 3 -- Fill commission, take another, set it running if a furnace commission, do the west apple run, fill second commission, do east apple run, use up stamina on rocks. Craft 4 tables, 1 stool, place in house to maximize stamina.

I'm consistently starting Thursday morning at L9, maxed out in "Lucky Me" and "Mastery of Pickaxe", and a single point in "Power Up" and 294 stamina. I find I can hack at some rocks on the way to town, take a commission, go to the ruins and mine most of the day, returning in time to trade a lot of rocks for wood, grab a bite to eat, get the research started, do the east apple run, then fill today's commission. Pass out on the west apple run. Repeat Fri. On Sat and Sun, I just do the ruins until I'm out of stamina, do dinner, and apple runs.

I really like the fact that with 5 points in "Lucky Me", I can end up with a few hundred apples to spare by Fishing Day. More than makes up for the fact using the axe costs me so much stamina. At least in the short run.

Wondering whether that last point should be placed in "Advanced Mining" instead. The "Power Up" is only good for, what 6 pts? Doubled drops 8% for 290 pick strikes seems like it would work out about 4x as well. Or maybe something outside the resource path like "Smooth Talk" or "Intensive Training". I NEED "Fish Encyclopedia" by Fishing Day at the latest, so I can't neglect the resource path too much.

Any suggestions? Or am I all wet? Am I overestimating the value of leveling up?
You missed one little trick I use - on day one when you meet Presley at the harbour, stop at the first rubber tree you pass and kick it until it gives no more rubber fruit, then the tree next to it until you're out of stamina. You don't need any stamina at all Day 1, and Pres will just wait for you. I put any level gains from that into intensive training, as it speeds up further levelling up.
Post edited June 29, 2021 by threp
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threp: You missed one little trick I use - on day one when you meet Presley at the harbour, stop at the first rubber tree you pass and kick it until it gives no more rubber fruit, then the tree next to it until you're out of stamina. You don't need any stamina at all Day 1, and Pres will just wait for you. I put any level gains from that into intensive training, as it speeds up further levelling up.
Nice. Just the 2 trees, right? Blow the rest on "This tree won't give you any more..."?

Played out day 2 several times, and only twice did I not run out of stamina before running out of apple trees unless I put at least 3 of the first 5 points into Lucky Me. I can see the advantage to doing Intensive Training first only if you are willing to reload until you get lucky drops.
Changed it up a little bit. Day 1 was as threp suggests. Gets me to 2nd level, a third of the way to 3rd.

Had a bit of luck in that Higgins' ingot was copper, so I was able to make a fishing pole day 2. Got a commission for 3 talismans, which I could just collect, plus sell the magnetic bracelet. Put in a commission for worn fur, minimum qty, maximum time, while I was near. Went out to grab the 100 and the 200 gols and whatever shells are close. Stopped by Sophie's on the way back to spend everything else on bait. Then mine until I hit 6 data discs, buy food, get research started, grab and drink the juice, sit a spell, hit the 3 apple trees, and fish until I run out of stamina, but reserving all apples. Sell the goliaths. For no particular reason, I did not sell the salmon. I guess I thought they just weren't enough to bother with. Hit the tree farm, and use up all the apples kicking apple trees. I did run out of stamina, so spent some time collecting chests I had not yet hit.

Day 3, Lucy wanted a few stools, which was easy, and I found out I had the cooking set on the way. That was when I appreciated how OP fishing really is. Each of those salmon will soon, with the addition of 16 gols worth of stuff from the Farm Store, recover about a quarter or more of my max stamina. A single common goliath buys enough to make 21 meals and change. Depending on what you are doing, you might go through 300% of your max stamina per day, so one day a week fishing is more than enough to keep you going all day until you pass out. That's just unachievable with anything else that I know of. Juice is too weak and too slow, or too expensive, and even dried apple slices are nice, nice, not thrilling, but nice.

It took a bit to get the Abandoned #2 opened, but once it was, stamina was never again an issue.
Well, that didn't go as I thought it would.

Seems the best case is day 1 fishing and then grab a bite and go straight to mining is the best bet. Skip tree kicking entirely except to get the 4 cocoons for 2 fish poles. Or you can get by with just the one pole if Higgins has a copper ingot.

While I can pretty easily get the bridge done by Friday, I can't seem to get 4 Dee-Dees done in time.

Ran into something I thought odd, though. I've always upgraded my pickaxe ASAP, and decided to test that assumption. The bronze obviously runs me out of stamina faster, but I had not noticed that I am mining considerably fewer resources with that stamina. This is with both of the L1 pick upgrades, and just one of the L2 pick upgrades. I'm getting somewhere between 20% and 33% more resources with the stone pick, AND I'm getting significantly more artifacts, I'm assuming because the tunnels I'm digging as smaller diameter.

Now, yes, it takes a little longer to run out of stamina, but recovery is so slow at that point in the game. There are way too few stamina consumables for sale, and you can't make any until at Abandoned Ruins #2. Maybe with the massage chair, but that requires you to latch onto at least 1 king on your first day. Yes, I've done that, but kings are so rare it takes a lot of reloads to make it happen. I'd rather play the game than reload until the RNG comes through for me.

Anyone have a similar experience? Yes, you need the bronze axe asap in order to get hardwood planks going, but I'm starting to think "upgrading" the pick is a bad move in the early game.
Been looking at Steam and Youtube. I don't see that anyone has been able to get 4 DeeDees built by the end of the first week. I'm really close -- I came within about 15 minutes of getting to Antoine about the bridge before he disappeared Wednesday evening. Thursday morning is easy. It's just that I'm not seeing any way to accomplish it if you don't turn in the bridge on day 2. Not only does the Abandoned Ruin #2 not open up, Gale won't give you the battery mission in time. I'm just not finding a path to it, but I'm only missing it by about 15 minutes.

Any suggestions?