Cactus Guide

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Cactus Guide

Post  Quaggy on Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:43 pm

Hi Everyone.

Thought I'd fill the forum with my cactus guide! If you have any questions or comments let me know.

The first rule of Cacti is... you better be rich!
The cactus quests have injected a whole new era of fun into MHE, but are they there to enhance the game, or earn Upjers money? Well, a little of both I guess. True to say that the price of coins has plummeted on most servers as people try to fund their cactus habit by buying coins for real money and selling them for gB - this means that people now need to buy more coins from Upjers to sell at market to get the same cash back; also true to say that few players have really embraced the cactus culture. However, cacti are with us, so how should we tackle them? Hopefully this guide will be of use.

I won’t list all the cactus quests, as these are available elsewhere on the forum. I will be talking about cross-breeding cacti, and I’ll talk about how to go about the quests, and what you can get in return. Not all the information I have is complete, but you’re welcome to what I’ve got!

OK. There are four different types of cactus:
Echinocactus are available from level 12, Rose Cavalier. These quests appear in Green Valley to the left of the Marketplace.
Bighead are available from level 15, Flower Fairy. These quests appear in Green Valley right at the front of the map.
Opuntia are available from level 18, Orchid Grower. These quests appear in Green Valley in front of the church.
Saguaro are available from level 21, Lavender Tender. These quests appear in Green Valley to the right-hand side at the front of the map.

Each cactus has its own series of 24 quests. All the quests appear in Green Valley – once you have completed a quest you will need to wait 48 hours for the next quest(s) to appear (in the same way that you do for the normal series of quests).

Initially you will get the ‘Greenhouse’ quest which isn’t tied to any particular cactus type, but once completed you will get access to the Greenhouse, the Garbage Can, 10000hp, and a shiny new shelf to keep your cactus collection on. If nothing else this quest is worth doing just to get the extra shelf. Personally I don’t see the point of the Garbage Can, but it’s there for you to use if you want.

Secondly, you will get to complete the first Echinocactus quest, the reward for which is an Echinocactus seed to get you going.

Then it gets a bit different! You will be able to choose which series of quests you want to follow, or you can just do them randomly. So, if you are at Lavender Tender or above you can choose from four different quest series (Echinocactus, Bighead, Opuntia, and Saguaro); if you are between Orchid Grower and Lavender Tender you can choose from three different quest series (Echinocactus, Bighead, and Opuntia); if you are between Flower Fairy and Orchid Grower you can choose from two different quest series (Echinocactus and Bighead); and if you are between Rose Cavalier and Flower Fairy you can only choose to complete Echinocactus quests. So, if you’re at Lavender Tender level, after the Greenhouse quest, and then the initial Echinocactus quest, each time the quests become available you will see four quests appear in Green Valley in the positions on the map described above. Once you complete one of the four available series of quests the others will disappear, and then four series of quests will appear 48 hours later for you to choose from again. If you want to concentrate on a single series of quests, then choose the quest icon in the same position each time. Once you have completed the full series for that cactus the quest icon will not reappear.

Once you have completed 10 quests from any one of the four series of cactus quests, you will be able to buy seeds for that cactus from the Collector of Rarities who can be found in Hedgerow Ville. You will be able to buy one seed for each cactus quest that you have completed regardless of which series, until you have completed all 24 quests in one series at which point you will be able to buy seeds freely for cacti from that series. I.e. if you have completed 20 cactus quests you will be able to buy up to 20 of each seed that your MHE level allows, but only if you have completed at least 10 quests from one series.

Note that you don’t get a seed from every quest – there are only 5 seeds per 24 quests in each series. There are good rewards to be had other than seeds, but they come at a price!

Cactus seeds cost the following:
Echinocactus 22,000gB or 1 coin
Bighead 28,000gB or 1 coin
Opuntia 36,000gB or 1 coin
Saguaro 44,000gB or 1 coin

According to the cost of coins on your server there are bargains to be had!

I’m going to speak briefly now about the difference in terminology between cross-breeding and growing cacti. All the work that is done in the Greenhouse is cross-breeding. After the cactus has been cross-bred it will start to grow. Once it has reached maturity and been harvested it will appear on your garden shelf. If you then wish to grow the cactus you need to plant it in your garden. Cross-breeding is expensive since you need to cross-breed the seed with other plants (and lots of them), and then choose to spend either cash or coins to tend the maturing plant. Once the cactus has been planted in your garden there are no additional growing costs. More about growing cacti later.

OK, so you’ve got your cactus seed – what happens now? The seed will appear in one of the seed pots in the front of your Greenhouse. You need to drag it into one of the breeding pots on the left-hand side. Initially you will have one breeding pot available, and I think that the others are unlocked as you become eligible to buy cactus seeds, up until all four are unlocked so you can breed four cacti at a time (you will need to be as rich as Croesus to achieve this however!)

There are five different levels of each cactus that can be bred. Level 1, level 2, level 3, level 4, and level 5. The higher the level, the longer the initial breeding time, and the longer the growing time. Additionally, higher levels of cross-breeding will require greater numbers of more expensive plants than lower levels. Therefore, an Echinocactus level 1 will be a lot cheaper and quicker to breed that a Saguaro level 5, but the rewards from growing the cactus in your garden will be greater from a Saguaro level 5 than an Echinocactus level 1.

Still making sense?

When you drag the seed to the breeding pot a window will appear with three separate areas marked 1, 2, and 3. Each section shows 18 plants. Click on one plant from each section and the screen will show you what level of cactus can be achieved from cross-breeding the seed with the three plants you have chosen by lighting up the stars at the bottom of the window.

Bit of advice here – be very clear about what level of cactus you want to grow. Visit the Collector of Rarities and look at what is needed to gain the various rewards, then breed the level of cactus required to achieve that reward. If you breed a cactus you don't need, or can't use, it could be an expensive mistake. Nuff said.

When you select plants to cross-breed with, start low! You’ll be surprised what can be achieved by cross-breeding with carrots from each section. Don’t immediately assume that for a level 5 cactus you need to cross-breed with cherries or blackberries. When you’ve selected your three plants and you’re happy with your choice and the level of cactus you will be breeding, click on the green tick. The next screen will show you how many of each of the three plants you will need to surrender to cross-breed the cactus. If you have the plants available and want to proceed click the green tick. The plants will be taken from your shelf and a cactus plant will appear in the breeding pot. Hurrah! If you don’t have the plants required, make a note of the combination of plants required, and the quantities required, and go away and either grow or buy them, then come back later.

Did I say 'Hurrah!' earlier? Hmm, well almost. Your cactus plant is there in the breeding pot, but it isn’t growing yet. You now need to nurture it! Click on the cactus and you will see the total growing time for the cactus you want to breed. There are four categories of ‘care’ that your cactus will need: Fertiliser; Water; Light; and Love. You now need to decide on the level of care that you want to apply.
If you buy your care with cash you will get the following:
Fertiliser 4,800 gB for 06:45:36
Cistern Water 7,300 gB for 10:00:36
Infrared Lamp 6,500 gB for 08:50:24
Love 6,700 gB for 09:29:24

If you buy your care with coins you will get the following:
Super Fertiliser 1 coin for 20:48:00
Mineral Salt Water 1 coin for 30:48:00
Ultraviolet Lamp 1 coin for 27:12:00
Mommy’s Love 1 coin for 29:12:00

To buy levels of care with coins as opposed to cash you will need to click on the gold star near the heart.

I’ll let you do the maths and work out which is cheaper, but coins are definitely more convenient. E.g. if you spend 2 coins on Super Fertiliser you will get 41:36:00 of fertiliser. If you use cash you can only charge the fertiliser level up to a maximum of 06:45:36. If you then click to buy more cash fertiliser an hour later you will only be charged pro-rata for the cost of taking the fertiliser level back up to the maximum of 06:45:36. Get it? Coins buy cumulative care, but cash only takes the level up to a maximum amount of time. Therefore, unless you want to be buying fertiliser four times a day, you’re kind of pushed into using coins. Personally I charge each level up with as many coins as required, but without charging the care above the total growing time, and then top up with cash. This is difficult to explain, so here’s an example:
If a cactus takes 75 hours to breed, I would use coins to buy 3 lots of Super Fertiliser (62:24:00), 2 lots of Mineral Salt Water (61:36:00), 2 lots of Ultraviolet Lamp (54:24:00), and 2 lots of Mommy’s Love (58:24:00). When each of the care levels then ran down I would top the care levels back up with cash. Note – If your care levels reach zero, the cactus simply stops breeding, and will restart when the care is restored. It does NOT die, or vanish in any way.

Once the cactus has matured it can be harvested and will then appear on your garden shelf. You can then choose to swap your cactus (or a combination of cacti) for a reward from the Collector of Rarities, or plant it in your garden. Growing cacti in the garden will give more hp than ordinary plants given a level playing field. Generally cacti give about 50% more hp than any other plants, although this is NOT the case if you have high fertiliser and research levels on a specific plant. For instance I have full fertiliser level, and have researched walnuts to level 31. This means that for me walnuts give 82% more hp than if grown without research. Consequently I’m better off growing walnuts than cacti (although the research has probably cost me about 25m gB!). You’ll need to calculate whether growing cacti is of benefit given your own fertiliser and research levels. I don’t know whether it’s possible to research cacti – perhaps someone can let me know.

Couple of other bits and pieces. There’s a ‘B’ in the top left-hand corner of the garden screens. When you’re in one of your gardens and click on the ‘B’ it will show you any cactus rewards that are currently in force. Cactus rewards last for 8 weeks with two exceptions. There is a reward that just gives you a heap of four different plants – this is a one-off gift of stock. Secondly, there is a reward that allows you to swap research levels already earned for one plant to another – this reward is indefinite (unless you swap it back), but once activated cannot be used again for 8 weeks.

Finally (sorry – it’s been a bit of a marathon!) when your cactus quests appear in Green Valley, you can drop down the blackboard at the top of the screen by clicking on the down arrow just below the icon for Contracts. This will show you what plants you need for each of the quests, and by clicking on your chosen quest the system will automatically buy all the plants you need to complete that quest (i.e. without having to go to the farm shop, the florists, the tree nursery etc). Know two things about this feature however. Firstly it costs 1 coin per use, and secondly it will only buy what you need – e.g. if the quest demands 250 pomegranates and you already have 100 in stock, it will buy 150 and use up your entire stock of 100 to make up the balance. This may or may not be what you want to happen – personally I don’t mind doing my own shopping (especially for the price of saving a coin) and I prefer to maintain a stock level of every plant.

With regard to the 'B' and the Blackboard, these may be Premium features, but I'm not sure. Please let me know if you have the answer.

Right, that’s it for now. If I think of anything else I’ll edit this post, but I think that’s everything.

OK – any questions?

Q

Quaggy

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Re: Cactus Guide

Post  Stone on Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:27 am

Excellent advise in here Quaggy.
I do have a small note to one of your remarks:
When you select plants to cross-breed with, start low! You’ll be surprised what can be achieved by cross-breeding with carrots from each section. Don’t immediately assume that for a level 5 cactus you need to cross-breed with cherries or blackberries.

There is an important thing to remember with this: low level plants used for cross breeding always require huge numbers, while tree numbers are a lot lower. Depending on the state of the player market as well as your research levels and what have on stock anyway it may be more economical to use a few trees in the mix as well. I have almost always use a quite a few trees.

Also of note is that quality of the final cactus isn't strictly related to the level of the plants used for cross-breeding. Oftentimes you'll only get a level 1 cactus if only using trees (say 3xMirabelles) while throwing in a bunch of cucumbers will suddenly raise the level of the final cactus. Play around with the 3 columns while cross-breeding and don't be afraid to see what happens if you change the order of the selected plants, it seems that sometimes this makes a difference.

Stone

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