Thursday, July 21, 2011

Embarrassing Ignorance or Carelessness

Too often in popular Facebook games, there are embarrassing instances of misspellings. Granted that it is likely that English is not the native tongue of many of the developers, but surely the concept of EDITING is not entirely defunct. In this screenshot, a new fantasy Tree is shown with its name. 'Fleur de Les' is a meaningless name. In French, the words mean 'Flower of the'. Obviously, the intention was to give the traditional symbol of France its proper name, which can be spelled either 'Fleur-de-lis' or 'Fleur-de-lys' but NOT 'Fleur-de-les'. 'Fleur-de-lys' or 'Fleur-de-lys' means 'Flower of the Lily' or 'Lily Flower' in French. It is a very old heraldic device that became common in France during the Middle Ages.

How can such carelessness be tolerated by Zynga, a company that quickly is becoming quite famous for its online games? It could not be THAT difficult to make certain that some one fluent in the language read all text before its release. I understand that these games are available in a multitude of different languages but the amount of text is not significant and surely an appearance of basic literacy in EVERY language used should be important to the makers.

23 July: Zynga fixed the misspelling of the 'Fleur-de-Lys' Tree yesterday. I have no idea if some one from Zynga read this post or if the action were undertaken entirely by coincidence. Whatever the case, I am happy to see the correction. Each time I obtained a 'Fleur-de-les' Tree, I was rather uncomfortable with it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Impatience can cost you!

In Farmville, quite often, new items that are released in the Marketplace will be given as rewards upon completion of Quests later. Such is the case with the new Beach Ball Ram. It is an interesting pattern and one that most players who enjoy sheep breeding would like to acquire. There are ways of doing so apart from outright purchase, as lambs with a Beach Ball Ram parent who are adopted can 'carry' the pattern. The Beach Ball Ram, however, is an outright gift when a player completes one of the Quests in the sequence of the new Summer Quests. As the price of the Beach Ball Ram in the Marketplace is 30 FV Cash, the gift is a significant one in monetary terms.

Note that, with all the changes that Zynga recently made with respect to Breeding, only the Ram carries patterns in Farmville. Ewes and/or Sheep carry colours and tones.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

New Crafting Silo Recipes

Farmville has been expanding almost too quickly in the past few months, with new options to craft goods from Recipes in a number of different buildings and locations. The original choice between Home Farm Crafting Spa, Winery or Bakery still is the first crafting option, unlocked when a player attains Level 25. In the English Countryside, however, obtaining a Pub no longer requires any steps or quests. You simply will be given one and told to get on with it now.

A Craftshop recently was introduced which could be constructed both on the Home Farm and on the English Farm or on the farm of your choice. A variety of new Recipes using Bushels from existing Crops were introduced with it.

The most recent option, introduced a couple of days ago, is the Crafting Silo. This is not a Crafting Building per se but as its name suggests, simply a Storage Silo for new Items that can be harvested from existing Animals or Trees. Among the new Items are Bags of Manure and Baskets of Fruits, such as Cherry, Lemon and Orange. Wool Bundles can be harvested from Sheep and Apple Wood can be harvested from any type of Apple Tree, including Chrome Apple Trees.

Items that can be crafted vary wildly from simple construction materials to a Swiss Cottage. In time, the new Crafting option could be fun, but at the moment, Storage Space in the initial Crafting Silo is extremely limited and every Item I obtain fills it, making it impossible to organise any Recipes yet. I therefore am scrambling to expand the Silo.

Like the Craftshop, a player can opt to place one on each farm. This doubles storage space from 10 to 20, but space for 20 items is insufficient when one finds that one can obtain six or seven Wool Bundles from a single Sheep Pen harvest.

Once a Silo has been upgraded, it will store 50 Items. If a Silo is upgraded on BOTH Farms, a player will have a storage capacity of 100 Items. There are no further upgrades beyond the first one. It definitely is beneficial to upgrade both Silos as quickly as possible.

Recipes that can be made using Bushels harvested from existing Crops and items stored in the new Craft Silo include:

1 Rice Bushel
1 Rhubarb Bushel
2 Manure Bushels

Wooden Board
1 Cotton Bushel
1 Peanut Bushel
1 Apple Wood Basket

2 Morning Glory Bushels
1 Pattypan Bushel

Beach Ball
2 Tomato Bushels
2 Cranberry Bushels
1 Grape Bushels

English Postcard
1 Lilac Bushel
2 Leeks Bushels

Lucky Penny
2 Leeks Bushels
1 Pattypan Bushel

Fuel Can
2 Wheat Bushels
2 Soybean Bushels
2 Wool Bundles

3 Aloe Vera Bushels
2 Field Bean Bushels
2 Milk Jugs

Shovel Set
3 Jalapenos Bushels
3 Double Grain Bushels
1 Lemon Basket

Watering Can Set
1 Maple Sugar Basket
2 Lilac Bushels
2 Peanut Bushels

Vehicle Part
3 Tomato Bushels
3 Aloe Vera Bushels
1 Cherry Basket

1 Scythe
1 Wool Bundle
2 Rye Bushels
2 Spinach Bushels

Love Potion:
4 Strawberry Bushels
4 Tomato Bushels
2 Cherry Baskets

Fertilise All
2 Manure Bags
4 Carrot Bushels
3 Chickpea Bushels

4 Cotton Bushels
3 Soybean Bushels
1 Cherry Basket

3 Peanut Bushels
4 Morning Glory Bushels
2 Orange Baskets

Animal Feed
1 Walnut Basket
2 Sunflower Bushels
2 Barley Bushels

Pine Fence I
4 Cranberry Bushels
3 Cotton Bushels
2 Orange Baskets

Pine Fence II
4 Jalapenos Bushels
3 Spinach Bushels
2 Maple Syrup Baskets

Stone Wall
5 Wool Bundles
4 Manure Bags
3 Milk Jugs

Stone Archway
2 Walnut Baskets
3 Sunflower Bushels
4 Tomato Bushels

Lamp Post
2 Cherry Baskets
4 Coffee Bushels
3 Peanut Bushels

Milking Stool
1 Milk Jug
2 Cornflower Bushels
2 Rice Bushels

Modern Table
8 Lilac Bushels
5 Rhubarb Bushels
2 Lemon Baskets

Horse Sculpture
4 Jalapenos Bushels
2 Manure Bags
3 Pink Aster Bushels

Swiss Cabin
4 Apple Wood Baskets
10 Black Tea Bushels
6 Spring Squill Bushels

Unlike Recipes that are completed in the Spa, Winery, Bakery or Pub, each of the Craftshop Recipes has its own timeframe. For example, I believe that a Stone Arch takes six hours to complete, but a Stone Wall takes only 30 minutes. Unlike the other crafting options, however, you can work on only one Recipe at any given time in the Craftshop.

As with any Recipes List in Farmville, the order in which Recipes appear depends on the ingredients that a player currently possesses. A Recipe for which all ingredients are present will appear at the top of the list. Recipes for which no ingredients currently are held will be at the bottom. I have chosen to organise the list according to type, with construction materials at the top and complete items such as Swiss Cabin and Horse Sculpture last.

Note that there is an option to obtain 'Help' from other players in the new Craftshop. A player posts a request for Help on his/her Wall and the first four players that respond will be assumed to help with the next recipe. When a player has four helpers, he/she will obtain double the product. In other words, if crafting a Love Potion with four helpers, the player will obtain 2 Love Potions rather than 1. The helpers do not appear to gain any real benefit apart from the knowledge that they have acted as good neighbours.

A final note: Some of the Recipes given above are variations on Recipes that were released with the original Workshop. You no longer will be able to craft the item using the original Recipe now. A Love Potion formerly could be made using Strawberry, Tomato and Tulip Bushels. Now you must use Cherry Baskets instead of Tulip Bushels. (Actually, this is the 3rd variation on the Recipe for crafting Love Potions. The first was a Limited Edition Recipe in the English Countryside Pub!)