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Cursors and gradmas seem to have a lot of upgrades and achievements associated with them, and time machines seem to be the main cookie-makers. But is there any reason to get more than a 100 farms, factories, mines, shipments, alchemy labs, or portals?

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Remember that some upgrades like "Thousand Fingers" increase each cursor's CpS for each non-cursor building owned, so at some point it might be better to buy more cheap non-cursor buildings instead of an additional cursor. –  Zommuter Sep 10 '13 at 9:33

5 Answers 5

up vote 9 down vote accepted

It depends on your motivations for playing but the newest target is 200, and beyond that, there are no imperative reasons to purchase any more. If your only goal is to have everything currently available, then you can stop once you have all achievements, all upgrades, 240 cursors and 200 of everything else, got all the seasonal purchases and clicks, 7777 lucky cookie clicks, and have reset 12.5 quintillion cookies away as there is currently nothing beyond that.

You may optionally want to try to optimize CPS gains by balancing out cost/cps for building purchases in order to make more efficient progress later, but that is entirely optional and may not prove to be worth your effort depending upon what is to be added. Because the cost/cps is better on some of the lesser buildings when compared in equivalent quantities of other buildings, your most efficient CPS purchases will be from some of these cheaper buildings. Essentially you would calculate buildingCost/(cps/building)=cpsCost for your most profitable building and then purchase enough of every other building to get the cpsCost for each building to be approximately the same value as was calculated for the most profitable (because they will have the worst cost/value if you don't try to balance the cpsCost). It should be noted that the cost/value relationships change as you purchase upgrades. Having a spreadsheet helps.

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Huh, I didn't realize it might be worth taking the other buildings for CPS/cost, they all look very bad compared with the time machines. –  Oak Sep 6 '13 at 17:02
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The cost/value varies per structure. Each price is determined by baseValue*(1.15^#ofStructure). Cost/CPS is price/CPSperStructure. If we assume all structures have the same amount for comparison, it becomes (basePrice/CPSperStructure)*constant which we can ignore. With all upgrades, this gives us 500/20=25 for a farm, 3000/112=26.7857... for a factory, 10,000/400=25 for a mine, 40,000/1040=38.4615 for a shipment, 200,000/4000=50 for an Alchemy Lab, 1,666,666/66,656=25.0039... for a Portal, and 123,456,789/869,128=142.0467... for a Time Machine. Time Machines have the worst value. –  skovacs1 Sep 6 '13 at 22:48
    
I considered adding these details to the answer, but it seemed extraneous to this question as it gets pretty detailed on an entirely optional reason to continue purchasing that may prove to be a waste of time depending upon how the developer changes the game. It's more of a "How can I best optimize my progress in Cookie Clicker?" sort of answer. –  skovacs1 Sep 6 '13 at 23:00
    
The more expensive buildings usually have worse value than cheaper buildings if there's the same number of them. However, that's not always true. Also, given the tiny CPS boost compared to their cost in the end game that they're close to worthless. For example, at 180 shipments they start costing over 3 quadrillion while providing a negligible cps boost even with all the upgrades. At this point, if you have over 120 condensers, even though one will cost you over 100 quadrillion, it is still a better value than the 181st shipment. –  Royal Flush Dec 6 '13 at 19:32
    
I'm not sure what you're getting at. I already described the concept of cost/value per structure as it relates to current quantity. If you are looking to optimize gains, I do mention it in my answer, but, as I already said, elaborating would be better done as the answer to a more focused question on the subject. While the gains may be relatively small by comparison, paying less per CPS is still a savings and it makes a big difference early on. If you want to progress the fastest possible, it does matter. I maintain a spreadsheet with the game's formulas entered to optimize my purchases. –  skovacs1 Dec 7 '13 at 2:40

You need 128 Grandmas and 128 Farms for the Mathematician achievement.

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I got that achievement with 128 cursors and 126 grandmas and just 100 farms... –  Oak Sep 19 '13 at 14:31
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Since v1.036, the game requires you to have 128 Grandma's and 128 Farms. –  Pimgd Sep 19 '13 at 14:32

I don't know how far you are into the game, but grandmas for example have the upgrade to get more CpS for each 20 Portals, and there are similiar upgraded for the other types.

Keep in mind: The game is still in an early state so there is going to be a lot of balancing, but at this point in the game I wouldn't buy more than 100 of the things you mentionend.

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Well you can keep going so you can get more cookies and achievements, such as the Bicentennial achievement.

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The accepted answer is not current nor accurate.

Because Cursors produce more CpS based on the number of other buildings you have, if you have enough Cursors then it does make sense to purchase more than 200 Farms / Factories / Mines / Shipments. And, because it's profitable to get 280 Cursors (around 10 quintillion cookies) long before getting Kitten Managers make sense, you will also around that time will have enough marginal gain from more cheap buildings on Cursor income alone.

A good rule of thumb would be to keep your cheap buildings costing around 5% of what your Grandmas cost. For example, if you have 284 grandma's (16.792 quintillion for the next one), you should have about 245 farms (360.451 quadrillion for the next one). Note that those prices assume the Christmas Upgrades and the Faberge egg.

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