Hoo boy, finally decided to buck up and do a FDR run, trying for those 'cheevos. I was initially worried coming up on time that I was cutting it too close, only to remember that you get all of Day 5 AS WELL AS 12 hours/minutes in Day 6. Needless to say, my worries were voided, and I nailed that gold achievement! The knock-out was actually intentional to save time, and it worked out in the end. (I had two runs prior that a KO actually forced me to reset on day one, one in the crystal cave in the indigo quarry and one from the feral slimes in the dry reef)
All in all, it wasn't too difficult. Day 1 was mostly about starting a farm, getting the funds from cherry-picking plorts in the wild to get a second going, and popping the Pink Gordo to get a Slime Key. I absolutely recommend going to the Indigo Quarry first. Not only can you find the Vegi-diet Slimes from tier 2 AND 3 within easy reach for ranching on the farm, but farming food for them is MUCH simpler than the Hunters. Having those Crystals and Rads by the end of Day 2 more or less secured the run for me, as you can tell by the above chart. Even the Phosphors that I picked up on Day 3 after bursting the Phosphor gordo and getting to the Moss Blanket didn't compare, and I almost sold as many of them as I did Crystal Plorts.
In hindsight, I absolutely think the ruins are a viable goal by day 3, and with enough farming, maybe even Glass Desert by the end of Day 3. It's a tight window, and you wouldn't be able to get as much from tending to the ranch as often, but those high-commodety plorts from Tier 4 slimes would brobably give a big boost in the long run.
All in all, everything in this run is planning things out. If you're wasting time thinking about what to do next, that's valuable time you could be spending actually DOING it. The only time you should ever be having thoughts like that is while doing something like selling plorts or collecting & feeding your slimes on the ranch.
Other tips I came across on my first run:
- Some corral upgrades are nice, but try to only focus on what will be directly beneficial in the long run. While Music Box and Auto-Feeder are nice for casual play, in this mode, NOTHING should be automatic, and slimes should be able to eat the SECOND they get hungry, if not shortly after. Plort Collectors are very useful though, they prevent you from accidentally vaccing things in the Corral you don't want, and provide a nice easy spot to get all those valuable plorts quickly. And just... don't bother with the solar shield. As mentioned above... the Phosphors REALLY were not worth it. Personally, I'd instead try to invest in getting to the Ruins for Quantums. (they might be worth getting the Music Box for...)
- Get Capacity upgrade first. I know it's weird to not have hover, but honestly, it's WAY more useful. You really don't need Hover until you unlock a Slime Door anyways. Plus, buying the first Tank Capacity early means you'll get another before the run ends, which means more plorts delivered per batch.
- I'm still not sure which is more efficient, but I feel like regular slimes are more useful in these runs than largos. Yeah, you get 4 plorts from a largo where as regular slimes give you 2, but I felt completely comfortable with at least 30 regular slimes in a corral, wheras I was getting concerned having any more than 15 Largos occupying the same sized corral.
- For those who don't already know, the "Remove Crop" option in a Garden is your friend. Yes, it means you're wasting the remaining cycles from the food you planted, but at the same time, replanting a crop skips the next batch to their second stage of growth, effectively halving the time you need to wait before another harvest is available. Plus, removing the crop when he harvest is ready automatically pops out all the crops from their bed/tree, allowing you to vac them all up in a fraction of the time. It's literally a win-win, so try to use it whenever possible!
- If there's nothing to do in your ranch, don't stay in your ranch. If by the time you've replanted, fed, and sold everything you can, the next cycle hasn't started, get out of the ranch and do something else to keep the ball rolling. Burst a Largo for a Slime Key, unlock a new area, collect another batch of slimes if you don't have as many in your ranch as you'd like, there are many things to do in the Far Far Range that you can't do from your Ranch, so be prepared to do them when the opportunities present themselves. By the time you come back, you'll likely have your next cycle waiting for you.
Honestly, this was a really fun run. I'll absolutely look into doing this again. However, there's still a ton I've yet to do in survival, so for now, I think I'll start planning while getting back to my psuedo-idle game with extractors.