Saturday, July 31, 2010

New Crafting Option in Farmville

Despite my sometimes jaundiced view of the rather aggressive commercialism of Farmville, it does have a multitude of endless interactions with the player and constant interfacing with other players as well. Lost Animals, Pregnant Sows, a Farmers' Market that offers Bushels of the Crops that you and your Neighbours grow as well as Co-Op Jobs are among the Options that appear whenever you play Farmville. Unfortunately, the Farmers' Market and Co-Op Jobs can be experienced only by players who have increased their Levels of experience. I now have tried both.

Between the Co-Op Job Option and the Farmers' Market Options, I personally find the Co-Op Jobs rather tedious, even when a Neighbour assists. Essentially, what is required is that you grow enormous quantities of a single Crop within a limited time period. If you do not have machines to till the field, sow the Seeds AND harvest the Crops, you will be forced to invest a substantial amount of REAL time in the venture, with very little reward really. You can earn a Bronze, Silver or Gold Medal and of course, you will earn whatever income and experience your Crops produce.

For my Co-Op Job, I chose to grow 1500 Red Tulips as I love Flowers. A Neighbour and Harvest Moon comrade very kindly added his effortst to mine. In all honesty, without his help, I could not have completed the Job and in fact, he was the MVP in this labour, supplying over 60% of the Red Tulips for the 'Wedding' organisers who contracted with us for the items. Annoyingly, some glitch in Farmville forced me to harvest the last 200 Tulips TWICE. I had completed the entire job and indeed, had re-tilled a number of plots when the game told me that the game had been 'enhanced' and forced me to reload. To my horror, when I did, I found that the 200 Red Tulips had regrown themselves magically and had to be harvested again.

You can choose between a number of different Co-Op Jobs but it appears that they all involve a task of growing and harvesting large quantities of a single Crop.

The Farmers' Market, on the other hand, has been invested with a Crafting Option that might prove interesting. When it first was announced, I was asked to choose between a Bakery, Winery and Spa. I chose the Spa, thinking that it would involve Flowers more than other Crops.

Actually, I suspect that the Recipes in all three Crafts require a wide variety of ingredients. As in games like Rune Factory, you need to raise your level of experience before you can make more than one Recipe.

So far, I have made 'Fresh Sachets' at my little Craft Cottage and sold a few to a Neighbour. Each time you make a Craft, your levels of expertise improve and the quality of the Goods will improve.

The Recipe for a Fresh Sachet is: 3 Pumpkin Bushels, 3 Cranberry Bushels, 1 Sunflower Bushel

What is interesting here is that you can 'buy' any Bushels you do not have from a Neighbour's Stall if he/she has them, which extends your potential to complete Recipes for Goods.

It is not as interesting as Grand Bazaar, or any other Harvest Moon or Rune Factory game, but it is a step in the right direction!

Later: The automatic option to make a choice between the three Crafting buildings no longer is given to players. I was rewarded by responding instantly with the gift of a free Spa, but now you must buy one or more of the three buildings at the Market. The Buildings are: Bakery, Winery and Spa. The three Buildings are available only at Level 25 and each costs 100,000 Coins, making me rather happy that I responded to the offer when I received it! You may not even see them at the Market if your levels are not high enough.

If you do not have a Market Stall, you cannot do anything with the option as it all works through the Market Stall. Now, at the Market Stall, there are new Menus that allow you to Use either Bushels or Goods or, when you choose Bushels, to Make Goods or Uss a specific Bushel as before simply to gain Mastery Points during harvests.

At Level 15, with a Market Stall, you can buy Goods now as well as Bushels from Neighbours. The 'Fresh Sachet' costs 1100 Coins. If you have a vehicle, you can trade the Fresh Sachet for Fuel. I was rather disappointed to find that this is the only way to use the Goods at present, although Farmville promises that there will be an option to acquire special items in future as well.

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