Tobold's Blog
Thursday, May 05, 2022
PrUn alternative start - Carbon Farmer

As I said in my previous post, I am planning to look at all the different starting packages of Prosperous Universe, and comparing them to the Victualler that I already discussed in detail. In this episode, we will have a look that the Carbon Farmer.

At first glance, there are a lot of similarities between Victualler and Carbon Farmer. They both rely on agriculture, and thus both prefer the same kind of starting planet: Lots of water and good fertility. So Hortus - Promitor (VH-331a) is again a good option for starting location, and it makes it easy to compare the two starting packages if we remove the influence of the location.

What changes if you take the Carbon Farmer starting package is the set of recommended buildings. You now get the materials to build 2 habitations, 2 farmsteads, and 1 incinerator. As you will have some hydrocarbon plants HCP in your inventory, you might be tempted to have your farmsteads grow more HCP, and burn that in the incinerator. However, if you do it that way, you produce very little carbon, and far too much HCP. So to balance your production you need to produce high-carb maize MAI and high-carb grains GRN, and burn a mixture of HCP, MAI, and GRN in your incinerator, which cuts production time down from 1 day to just under 8 hours. On Promitor, your 2 farms produce enough that you can balance the production of 2 farmsteads making HCP, MAI, and GRN with the consumption of 1 incinerator. It just takes some adjustment, as the different recipes don't have the same speed.

So, is Carbon Farmer a good option? I don't think so. Of course, my analysis is based on prices current at the time of this writing. Most importantly, carbon right now only sells for about 250 credits on Hortus Station. You can get more if you fly further away, but unless you could get 400 per carbon somewhere, the Carbon Farmer is just making less profit than the Victualler. Also, because you use all the output of your farms to burn it, and you have neither rig nor food processor, you are neither producing the water needed for your farms, nor the basic rations and drinking water for your pioneers. Which means that you need to import a lot of stuff. Building a rig as your next building helps a bit.

My recommendation? It might sound strange, but if you want to become a Carbon Farmer, your best option might be to start as a Victualler, and use the profits of that to build additional farmsteads and an incinerator.


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