Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tips for playing Farmville

I have a love/hate relationship with Farmville although, after seeing 'The Social Network' at the cinema, I now understand that Farmville exemplifies ALL of the basic principles on which Facebook was founded. It is the ultimate social networking game, constantly chivvying the player to send Gifts to Neighbours and invitations to non-playing Friends.

It really wouldn't be a bad game were it not for the overload of prompts. Players (including me) often become annoyed by the nonsense Gifts that arrive in bulk for some limited 'collection' of items that can be found when ploughing your Field. There is far too much of THAT for any one, I believe.

In any case, I recently became enticed back to Farmville when a lost Himalayan Cat began to appear. As an owner of Himalayans, I could not resist. Art imitating Life in a big way!

Having immersed myself in the game again, I discovered the following: Farmville really isn't much fun until you reach Level 20. At Level 20, you can begin to craft items and sell them. You can join co-op jobs to deliver a specified total of Crops to an imaginary buyer.

Furthermore, unless you have at least 10 Neighbours, Farmville is rather lonely and difficult. Many purchases are unlocked only if the Player has 10 Neighbours. It may not sound like a hard goal to achieve, but the Neighbour aspect of Farmville is very glitchy. I tried to help a couple of new players obtain Neighbours in vain. The friends I solicited for help actually accepted the players as Neighbours but their names never were added! This occurred despite the fact that BOTH players accepted the Neighbour invitations.

In any case, here are a couple of tips from my own experience:

Although the game will tell you that you can send only one Gift per day to any Neighbour, the total actually is three. You have to wait a few hours, of course, before you will be able to send another Gift. The tip here involves the acceptance of Gifts from a single Friend. A prompt will appear with the gift advising you to send a 'Thank you Gift' in return. DO THIS ONLY WITH THE BEST ITEM THAT THE PLAYER HAS SENT IN THE CASE OF MULTIPLE GIFTS! Once you have sent a Thank-You Gift, you either have to wait eight hours before accepting the next one from the player or give up the opportunity to keep the Gift 'live'.

I will explain this further. As you only can send one 'Thank you Gift' in an eight hour period, if there are multiple Gifts from a single Player, accepting all of them will end the Gift process except for the one for which you chose to send a Thank you Gift'.

In other words, a Player sends you the following:

A Train Whistle
A Special Delivery
A Cow

The best of these Gifts is the Special Delivery as it will contain construction materials for your Current Building projects. Moreover, Special Deliveries ARE Special. The game issues an invitation to send them rarely. They do not appear on the regular Gift Page. If, however, you accept the Train Whistle first AND click on the invitation to send a Thank You Gift for that, then proceed to accept the Special Delivery and the Cow, the latter Gifts will be 'dead' in terms of being able to return them to the original sender.

Why is this important? If your Friend sends you a Thank You Gift in return, the Gift will remain 'live' and you can send it back and forth indefinitely. If you are trying to complete a number of construction projects, this can be invaluable. A host of Train Whistles is not as useful. A host of Cows can be useful, but there is nothing special about them. They will appear on the Gifts Page regularly.

That is the first little Tip. The second involves Mystery Gifts. The game will urge you to send Mystery Gifts as 'they can contain fuel' but in fact, they can contain items that are far more valuable to a player. Although they may contain weird items such as Old Bikes or Owl Statues, they can contain Seeders and Harvesters as well! These items cost 30,000 Coins each.

In the early days of my involvement, I told one of my Harvest Moon friends that I wouldn't use machines in farming. I was a purist. Now, however, beyond Level 20 and involved in the crafting of goods, the machines are a godsend. If, therefore, you would like to have the farming machinery and don't have sufficient income for them, send Mystery Gifts to your Friends, so that they will return them to you.

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