Turbo Truffle Worm Farm - Vertical, Hoik Engine Powered (+ Spawn Area Tutorial)

ZeroGravitas

The Destroyer
Detailed video tutorial for an (AFK) farm that can collect about 340 truffle worms per hour [old V1.2.4.1 figure] and is also fun!:
1.3.0.5 UPDATE NOTES!:
  • Truffle Worms can now be killed by other mobs (previously immune). So output has been roughly halved to ~192 T-worms/hour (60 minute test).
  • Flame trap cooldown time increased from 3s to 3.33s, so firing pattern is now spread out over 4 seconds (instead of 3s). This doesn't affect things much, just stagger the starting times a little more, to even it out, or add a 4th timer and 4th circuit if you are keen on continuous flame action.
  • Skeleton Merchant will spawn periodically, bringing little white bunnies in place of monster spawns, but he should get burned up quickly.
  • On the plus side, truffle worms now sell for 10 gold each. So as a money farm you can make about 19 platinum/hour from T-worms, 3.5P/h in coins, 1.5P/h selling other item drops. So ~24 platinum per hour total. All items from the 1 hour test: 107 glowing blue snails, 38 (regular) snails, 2 jungle key moulds, 6 mechanical boss summons, 18 red husks, 1 metal detector, etc...
    Terraria 2015-07-19 00-21-19-14.jpg
  • Note: no banners, may mean they no longer drop from trap damage alone. Could try mixing in a few (flying) minions (provided they don't seem to kill the worms too).
Spawn Zones:
Usually mob farms rely on spawns out to either side of the player. After all, humans are very horizontal thinkers, evolved walking the plains, wide screens and wide spawn zones in game. However, this vertical farming paradigm turns things sideways for a few reasons:
  • Spawns below the player allow the full height of the game's spawn zone to be used. A large area above a valid spawn surface will virtually guarantee that no 'spawn events' are wasted. (These events occur at a random tile of the spawn zone area, where there is no player placed walls, before travelling down to find a valid surface. Details in NPC spawning page on Wiki.)
  • A narrow farming surface can be used (because of the high open space above it). This means you could line up a series of farms next to each other, like a row of books on a shelf, saving map space and saving time excavating separate chambers in the cavern layer.
  • Truffle Worms can be hoiked up much faster than sideways. This, coupled with the shorter distance from player by spawning below (35 tiles verses over 62 tiles horizontally to the inner boarder of spawn zone) means that worms go from mushroom grass to net as fast as possible. (However, this speed has little practical benefit, since the worms have only a 0.135 weighting in the spawn count towards the cap of 15-16 total mobs.)
  • The surplus mobs can be seen spawning, jumping about and getting killed. More entertaining than everything happing off-stage, so to speak.
The most important part of setting up any farm is controlling the spawning locations. All the fancy wiring is window dressing in comparison. A monster spawned outside the farm is one you could have had. But these will disappear after about 12 seconds. Worst is if a monster spawns and is then able to move into the 'safe zone' around the player (roughly the dimensions of a 1920x1080 screen). They will then stay there indefinitely, taking up one of the spawn slots. As more friends inevitably join him, the spawn rate (bonus) will also be reduced until no monsters will appear in you farm.

There are only 3 ways to block monsters from appearing where you don't want them:
  1. Cover the entire spawn area (around where the player will stand) with background walls. These must be placed by the player (natural walls do not count). This is generally impractical, as the total size of the spawn area is over 15000 tiles.
  2. Block up any openings with solid blocks, such that there are no spaces 2 wide x 3 tall (or bigger), anywhere. This may take almost as much effort as the background wall approach, depending on equipment, but requires fewer material resources (if you back-fill in rows leaving a 2 tile gap between, for example). It's also very difficult to be certain you've found all the gaps, even with a rod of discord and minions/weapons that tell you find caverns. (You can of course use TEdit, but that'd be cheating ;o)
  3. Explode and/or mine out all the blocks and line the bottom of the area with lava. Probably the fastest, least stressful, most reliable method.
Spawn blocking dimensions around truffle worm farm. Method 2: Spawn Area to Fill Diagram1a.png Method 3: Spawn Area to Fill Diagram2a.png
Wiki's spawn zone dimensions (slightly different and less specific than my findings, in the vertical dimensions): Terraria_Spawn_Area.png

Spawn Rate (Maximised):

Truffle worms are created as one possibility when a spawn event lands on mushroom grass. Thus a higher spawn rate, and higher number of spawn events, will make for a higher production rate of Truffle Worms.

The is a 1 divided by {spawn rate} chance of a 'spawn event' on each game tick (60 ticks per second, in line with the normal frame rate). So a big spawn rate number is slow (e.g. 540 at the surface, in a 'pure' forest biome, hardmode), while a smaller number is faster (e.g. 97 in Jungle dirt layer, 86 in Jungle stone layer, hardmode) [Wiki - Spawn Rates]. The rate is capped at 60. So 1/60 is the highest chance of spawn event (under regular conditions), meaning that you are odds on to get at least 1 monster appear within a second (63.5% chance, to be precise).

The pure cavern layer rate is 216, and a mushroom biome has no effect on spawn rates at all. So adding jungle blocks instead (80 grass or Lihzahrd Temple bricks) is a smart move, since this will raise the rate to 86. An increase of: (1/86)/(1/216) = 2.51 times (or 251%, an increase of +151%). A water candle multiplies rate by 0.75 (an increase of 25%), which is still worth having. This takes our rate to: 86 x 0.75 = 64.5. Very close to the cap. Hence battle potions are pointless with this setup.

In addition to these factors, a lack of monsters increase the spawn rate a little too: e.g. if there are fewer than 3 (20% of the capped number), the rate is multiplied by 0.6 (an increase of 40%). Hence it's always worth while killing these monsters as quickly as possible, to keep them replacing as fast as possible. Even when there are 80% of maximum there is still a bonus factor of 0.9, so in practice our rate should always be right up against the hard cap of 60. Thanks to DicemanX for reminding me of this factor. However, I haven't verified this empirically (in game), so am only quoting the wiki here.

TurboTruffle Full Diagram1.png

'Info-gram' on the farm posted up to imgur in conjunction with video.
[see new 1.3 item drop selection and T-worm rate, top of post]

Trap Configuration:
Killing the mushroom mobs as fast as possible is desirable on two counts:
  • To keep their numbers down and maintain maximised spawn rate.
  • To stop the Giant Fungi Bulbs firing spore projectiles. These pass through walls and hit for a lot of damage. However, the odd one isn't deadly, since they are consumed upon impact.
Flame traps are perfect for covering the space in the chamber (out to 23 tiles) and will do 40 damage to each mob in the flame, every 10 ticks. That's 240 damage per second (plus fire de-buff damage). With a flame duration of 1s, and firing cool-down time of 3s, there needs to be a rotation of 3 traps, fired one after the other, to have continuous flames. [See trap characteristic cheat sheet for more detailed info on traps (T-MEC).] Unfortunately, three cascading 1s timers don't work for this purpose (see this old forum thread). Instead, I've kept the 1s timers independent and just positioned them close to the player so they can to be started and stopped manually. You could make reliable timing mechanisms, but I judged it not worth the added complexity.

The flames themselves are 3 tiles wide, hitting mobs one tile above and below the trap's vertical position. This is great for coverage, allowing the traps to be fairly spread out (so you don't need too many). So be careful positioning of the lowest flame trap, as you don't want to roast half of your truffle worms! Ensure there is a 1 tile safe zone above the upper spawn surface, for the little fellows.

Alternative traps: you could try using a series of (rapid fire) spear trap batteries, again being very careful with how far down they reach (19.5 tiles extension). In theory you could get a more rapid kill rate, but at the expense of far greater complexity. It probably wouldn't even speed up worm collection, since the spawn rate should be continually maxed out already.

For using rapid fire dart traps I tried a horizontal hoik configuration at the prototype stage (back in November), but it proved slow. The size 1 horizontal hoik has to continually alternate actuation state, halving maximum speed. The worms were also wiggling back the way they had come, too. This is because the size one hoik length must be unbroken; objects/worms just stop at any joins between actuated and de-actuated lengths.In this farm configuration the monsters mostly got killed off screen too, which is a little boring and has already been done better by DicemanX in his, very solid, truffle worm farm.
Terraria 2015-01-01 22-10-58-23.jpg

Note the little up hoik at the end. This is so the player's position is raised, causing the fungi bulbs to stretch up into the dart stream and die (avoiding need for secondary traps).

Hoik Setup:
An important note is that the size 1 hoiks (for transporting objects or mobs less than 1 tile tall) must go from left to right, due to game engine nuances not yet understood. The setup I've used here is very similar to the "pit health extractor" from my Item Hoik Guide (example 4). Size 1 hoiks explained in the Item Hoiks video guide: horizontal, vertical.

The up hoik teeth have to have alternating actuation so that a tile is always free above each tooth for the mob to move upwards (instead of kicked out sideways). While the horizontal hoik must be toggled because these objects only travel a couple of tiles sideways each time. Although, under some circumstances, along mysterious lay lines more commonly found in bigger worlds, they may zip right down an entire length!...

The up hoik in this farm is very carefully configured for the worms. The shaft is 3 tiles wide so that there is a 1 tile gap either side of the up teeth. This lets the worms wiggle back and forth a little without quite falling off. In narrower shafts they tended to get jammed against the sides a lot. Alternating the teeth at the full speed of the hoik engine (60 activations per second) also seems to run the risk of jamming, with some worms getting permanently stuck.

The join between horizontal and up hoiks needs to be very carefully replicated to transport both worms and coins, etc. Even so, the odd heart, coin or other item may get deposited in there.
Corner Detail1c(side by sied).png

Under very rare circumstances mobs may also fine a way in, assisted by the horizontal hoik. I have died while AFK from fire damage afte several hours, so am assuming there was a Skeleton Archer involved.

The hoik engine used to drive the active up hoik is Skeleton powered, much like the flip-flop cells in my hoiktronic counter (video). A skeleton was selected since friendly (town) NPCs each reduce spawn rate (by 33%, I think...). Also, while the player could be used, it's probably better that they (and the screen) stays still. You could probably use the net effectively while oscillating back and forth in an engine, if you wanted to make a statue-free version... Ironically, this engine design (and the entire build) is console and mobile compatible, with no upside-down sloped blocks needed anywhere. Ironic because they also lack truffle worms (and the duke)!
Skeleton Hoik Engine.png

Skeleton hoik engine example, from Fastest Engines - Measured with Hoiktronic Binary Skeleton Counter (written guide).

Related Information (Links):

Player & General Hoiks | Item Hoiks | Hoiktronics | Fastest Engines Measured (hoik, house, teleporter, rainsticks, etc) | Rapid Fire Dart Traps.
DicemanX's Truffle Worm AFK Farming Guide and video.
T-MEC - Terraria Mechanical Engineering Disscussion Group.

 
Last edited:

HDanke

Skeletron Prime
@ZeroGravitas seems like glowing snails have a better survivability rate in your current setup than @DicemanX ' bait farm, even underground, it's there any way to force the snails to up hoik? It provides the snails a little more protection, though they might die from any mobs stuck in.
Out of curiosity, can the spawning surfaces work without issues while hooked to the hoik engine? It might be a little to fast for the snails to be able to fall.
 

ZeroGravitas

The Destroyer
seems like glowing snails have a better survivability rate in your current setup
Is this in pre-hardmode? Because I didn't get any glowing snails surviving for an appreciable length of time in hardmode testing. The spawn surface is very narrow with very high turn over, so they always get killed by something before they can be hoiked. A lot fewer spawn in hard mode too, I think.

I think you can make a size one (up) hoik specifically for snails and glowing snails, although they are awkward customers in that they stick tot he walls and like to go their own way. Note that I have tried connecting the horizontal collection hoik to the hoik engine too, but it was too fast to let anything fall in (as you say). So then I connected the hoik engine to a timer so it would only turn on intermittently (buzzzzzzzz........buzzzzzz......,etc). But while this speed up moving items, it didn't move triffle worms any faster (since they half push themselves along a a non-toggling horizontal hoik with their own movement, anyway). This intermittent toggling had the know on effect of truffle worms on the up hoik sometimes getting stranded just below the player, and then running away. So I would have needed 2 hoik engines to run the UP continuously and and the horizontal intermittently. Chose to keep it simple instead.
 

HDanke

Skeletron Prime
Is this in pre-hardmode? Because I didn't get any glowing snails surviving for an appreciable length of time in hardmode testing. The spawn surface is very narrow with very high turn over, so they always get killed by something before they can be hoiked. A lot fewer spawn in hard mode too, I think.

I think you can make a size one (up) hoik specifically for snails and glowing snails, although they are awkward customers in that they stick tot he walls and like to go their own way. Note that I have tried connecting the horizontal collection hoik to the hoik engine too, but it was too fast to let anything fall in (as you say). So then I connected the hoik engine to a timer so it would only turn on intermittently (buzzzzzzzz........buzzzzzz......,etc). But while this speed up moving items, it didn't move triffle worms any faster (since they half push themselves along a a non-toggling horizontal hoik with their own movement, anyway). This intermittent toggling had the know on effect of truffle worms on the up hoik sometimes getting stranded just below the player, and then running away. So I would have needed 2 hoik engines to run the UP continuously and and the horizontal intermittently. Chose to keep it simple instead.
I'd say that your previous setup that used the intermittently activating hoik engine is a better choice for farming glowing snails, they get faster to the destination, so less chances for them to die, it's quite odd that they are so fragile compared to truffle worms; however I do think that a slower engine might be better for this purpose, any known reliable engines?
Edit: Also, moving the farm to the surface might ensure survivability, since there are fewer tanky enemies; I was referring to the fact that the snails stay up to 1 second before being hoiked, leaving them exposed, less time they stay inside higher the chances.
 
Last edited:

ZeroGravitas

The Destroyer
I do think that a slower engine might be better for this purpose,
Once they are in the hoik a 30act/s engine is fine, as they'll go no more than 2 teeth per actuation (taking 2 ticks). For slower engines you can use certain crab or bird, etc, but no need.

You could try making a totally different farm for snails, with a wider, partitioned spawn surface, perhaps, with small gaps that only snail can crawl though...
 

DicemanX

Brain of Cthulhu
I don't think the vertical hoik set-up works all that well for glowing snails, because if a snail were to spawn far from the upwards trawl it will be killed by other mobs. Truffle Worms are immune to other mobs, so the vertical trawler works fine for them.

The best set-up for glowing snail farming is likely just the lo-tech truffle worm farm I use, because the dart traps keep other mobs away from the snails once they make it on screen. I built the glowing snail farm in pre-hardmode (in hardmode the rate is dismal) and put it up here:

http://forums.terraria.org/index.ph...m-farms-bait-crystal-shards-chlorophyte.7020/
 

HDanke

Skeletron Prime
You could try making a totally different farm for snails, with a wider, partitioned spawn surface, perhaps, with small gaps that only snail can crawl though...
Now I remember that I actually tried to use a surface which tricks the snails going downwards, unfortunately the snails have quite a heavy weighting, so there still needs to be some hoik action, the drops can't be collected remotely either, any suggestions?
 

HDanke

Skeletron Prime
I don't think the vertical hoik set-up works all that well for glowing snails, because if a snail were to spawn far from the upwards trawl it will be killed by other mobs. Truffle Worms are immune to other mobs, so the vertical trawler works fine for them.

The best set-up for glowing snail farming is likely just the lo-tech truffle worm farm I use, because the dart traps keep other mobs away from the snails once they make it on screen. I built the glowing snail farm in pre-hardmode (in hardmode the rate is dismal) and put it up here:

http://forums.terraria.org/index.ph...m-farms-bait-crystal-shards-chlorophyte.7020/
Not quite the best setup available, there are a few major issues, like the fact that glowing snails can be killed by any mob that spawns in their way to the collecting area, or that the dart traps themselves knock back the mobs, causing the side where the engine is to have almost no surviving snail [Hardmode]. Implementation of platforms with 'escape pods' isn't possible either.
 

DicemanX

Brain of Cthulhu
Not quite the best setup available, there are a few major issues, like the fact that glowing snails can be killed by any mob that spawns in their way to the collecting area, or that the dart traps themselves knock back the mobs, causing the side where the engine is to have almost no surviving snail [Hardmode]. Implementation of platforms with 'escape pods' isn't possible either.

Knockback and hostile mobs spawning between the snail and the collecting area is not a major issue in pre-hardmode since the mobs die very quickly. The snails that don't make it are those that have mobs spawn right next to them and live long enough to kill them.

In hardmode there are unfortunately far superior methods of collection outside glowing snail farming, and for stronger bait too. It's one reason why I never made much of an effort to build a hardmode farm.

Furthermore, it is actually possible to set up escape mechanisms in the spawn region that are snail-only - in fact I will demonstrate this in a future video but from the collection numbers I've been generating I don't think they matter all that much.
 

sqweek

Terrarian
Instead, I've kept the 1s timers independent and just positioned them close to the player so they can to be started and stopped manually. You could make reliable timing mechanisms, but I judged it not worth the added complexity.

I had an idea for a simple reliable bootstrap mechanism in this situation, requiring two additional 1s timers and minimal wiring. This gives you five timers total, three trap timers and two auxiliary.

The player flicks a switch, which enables trap timer 1 and aux timer 1. After a second, aux timer 1 fires and enables trap timer 2, aux timer 2, and de-actuates the block underneath it (preventing it from firing again). After another second, aux timer 2 fires enabling trap timer 3 and de-actuating the block underneath.

The aux timers need to be manually replaced while the machine is off, but it should suppress that OCD tingle :)

This method of priming timers is easier to follow if you used 3s timers for the traps - then there's a one second delay between the activation of each trap (in sequence). With 1s trap timers, trap 1 gets activated while the others are still being primed, leading to a two second delay between trap 1 and trap 2 firing. Same effect once you take the trap cooldown into account as trap 3 will fill the gap, just a different order of activation.
 

sqweek

Terrarian
Sure. Here's a quick lazy example using what I had on hand in the first world I logged in to (pressure plates and snow blocks ^_^):
terraria_bootstrap_wires.png


Ok so timers A B and C are what you plug the traps into. 1 and 2 are the aux timers. The on switch is the pressure plate next to timer A, the other pressure plates are just to allow re-actuation of the snow blocks.

The wiring is very particular - no two connected timers can be active at the same time, and the aux timers can't be connected to each other's actuator.

I've used red wire to connect to timers A B C, and if you continue the red wire to connect up the traps then you can ignore the last paragraph of my previous post entirely (about using 3s timers to run the traps).


OK so what happens when you turn it on:

  • +0s: Timer A and aux timer 1 turn on
  • +1s: Timer B and aux timer 2 turn on, aux timer 1 turns itself off
  • +2s: Timer C turns on, aux timer 2 turns itself off and reactuates aux timer 1's block

Turning the machine off is somewhat convoluted, but the following sequence does the trick:

  1. Reactuate aux timer 2's block and place the timer (Timer C will turn aux 2 on, which will then turn timer C and itself off)
  2. Reactuate aux timer 1's block to do the same for Timer B
  3. Hit the on pressure plate to disable Timer A
 
Last edited:

ZeroGravitas

The Destroyer
Turning the machine off is somewhat convoluted,
Unless you just click the three timers a, b and c, of course. But yeah, I'm impressed.:) Got precise timing figured with a very minimal setup. Shame it's not auto-reusable (without having to re-place timers), I'm thinking there isn't a way, currently (using just timers).
 

DicemanX

Brain of Cthulhu
Clever bootstrapping, but with the unfortunate reset requirement.

@Stahn Aileron already demonstrated how to create a continuous wall of flame with only four timers and one flick of the switch:

http://www.terrariaonline.com/threads/cascading-timers.117949/

He repeated it here:

http://forums.terraria.org/index.php?threads/base-defense-pit-w-cascade-reset-mechanism.10866/

He included a shut-off mechanism as well that is crab-powered, although if a crab statue is used then one can opt for a crab-powered continuous flame:

A75F2B7446B2CEF7FDDCB25AF9C3478A27F1C0FB
 

critcodedtuna

Terrarian
Hiya, @ZeroGravitas -- reporting in on my experience with this farm design.

First the good news: In single player, it works swimmingly well (though I'm a little bummed that I didn't magically get Truffle Worms yelling "Woohoo!" every time they zoom up to me).

Now the bad news: It doesn't work well at all in mutiplayer mode, even on localhost. Even worse, it took me building it manually on a friend's server then rebuilding it in TEdit locally to find that out. I followed your diagram (with my own personal tweaks) and thought maybe I'd done something horribly wrong -- a good 90% of the obstinate little buggers will pull a Houdini, often before they even get to the hoik elevator.

A bit more detailed history: A couple weeks ago I built a slightly modified version of @DicemanX 's farm on the server (which you also linked above), and it was pretty spiffy. We got to talking about it and decided to try yours out. Once we finished it, the traps were firing, the skeleton was whirring, and the hoiks were zooming. And of course, the Truffle Worms were just having none of it. So I built in in my lab world and tested it. Flawless, the worms were completely docile. I loaded the world in my test server (TShock) and got no cooperation. I also loaded it in vanilla and got no cooperation there either.

I'd be interested to hear others' thoughts on why this happens, and if there's any way to fix it to make it server friendly. My initial thoughts were either location dependent (original farm was built below the west ocean but second version was built near the middle of the world and still had the same problems -- probably debunked) or the fill around the farm offered them a convenient escape route (the area around the farm is also filled in single player but they don't try to escape -- probably also debunked). My current hypothesis is that there's something in the way the critter's AI works that gets altered somehow in multiplayer.
 

Your Conscience

Official Terrarian
I think I'll try this next time I have a whole day free. In all seriousness, this is a genius idea, and I hope hoiks don't get removed in 1.3. If it does get removed, hopefully the developers will add conveyer belts or something of that sort.
 

ZeroGravitas

The Destroyer
Sorry @critcodedtuna , only just mentally processed this message.
My current hypothesis is that there's something in the way the critter's AI works that gets altered somehow in multiplayer.
That is another quite weird situation for this same hoik design, as it happens (and size 1 horizontal). Almost as weird as these in-between speed hoiks that can be made in the old, conlsole version of the game!

Did you ever (eventually) try removing the horizontal hoik and relying on the worms simply crawling into the bottom of the Up section? (I think that's do-able.) If there's an AI difference, do you think it's to do with when the game thinks a mob is 'stuck' off-screen, since the worms are wedged continuously in those horizontal hoiks, which are in the zone they spawned in.
 

critcodedtuna

Terrarian
Did you ever (eventually) try removing the horizontal hoik and relying on the worms simply crawling into the bottom of the Up section? (I think that's do-able.) If there's an AI difference, do you think it's to do with when the game thinks a mob is 'stuck' off-screen, since the worms are wedged continuously in those horizontal hoiks, which are in the zone they spawned in.

They seem to be completely fine with the horizontal part. They never jump from there. It's only when they reach the vertical run that things go wrong. There doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason to it. Some will flee after they've gone a couple blocks, not even close enough to be to be alerted. Some make their escape after going nearly the whole way up. Only a handful make it all the way up (or at least close enough to be caught with the Bug Net). I suppose I could rework the bottom to disable the horizontal hoik to see if it makes any difference though.

Update: No good. I removed the actuators from the hoik and spawn platform and left them inactive. I left the bottom tooth actuated so that it would still push Truffle Worms up if they got that far. I think I heard some flee at random, but mostly they'd just aimlessly wander back and forth for a while and then despawn.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom