Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tips on Being a Good Neighbour

These are a few tips I've discovered while playing FarmVille. They do not benefit the player much in some cases, but can benefit his/her Neighbours, especially when they are at low levels, struggling to survive.

Fuel can be difficult to obtain when one is a low-level player. One can purchase craft items from Neighbours but often one lacks sufficient coins. Neighbours who are at higher levels have the option to share craft items by posting to their Wall. Obviously, the item that will be converted into the largest amount of fuel when used is the craft item of the highest level.

There are two ways to obtain the option to share a Craft Item when a player accesses his/her Craft Building on any Farm. The first is by raising the level of any Craft Item that is being made or sold. It is here that other players can help. Whenever a player purchases a Craft Item from a Neighbour, XP points are awarded to the Seller of the Item. Often it can be useful to ask the Neighbour which Craft Items he/she is trying to increase in level. Two different strategies apply.

First, there are those who would like to concentrate on a single Craft Item to raise its level and thereby its value to the maximum. A Player who is interested in pursuing this strategy would prefer that Neighbours purchase THAT Craft Item and none others. It will be the most expensive Craft Item that is offered from any Farm.

Note here that high-level Craft Items require far more XP points than their low-level counterparts. In practice, this means that their level will increase very slowly and that it will require many purchases on the part of Neighbours to raise the Craft Item to the next Level.

In dealing with Craft Items, it is important to understand that they affect a Player's ability to increase the Level of the Craft Building itself. This is where the second strategy in terms of raising Craft Item levels can be preferable to the first.

I believe there are five possible Levels to any Craft Building on any Farm. A Player usually can raise the Level of the Building by using Farm Cash at ANY stage, but the the option to purchase the Upgrade using Coins only will be unlocked when a specific total of Craft Items are raised in Level.

Players who have upgraded their Craft Buildings to Level 5, the highest Level, no longer will care about this aspect of Craft Items as increase in Craft Item levels no longer will affect their Buildings. It therefore usually is the high-level Player who will prefer that his/her Neighbours purchase the Craft Item with the highest Level.

Low level Craft Items will increase in their Level far more quickly than the high-level Items. If a Player wishes to upgrade his/her Craft Building using Coins, therefore, he/she will prefer that Neighbours purchase the Craft Items with the LOWEST Levels.

It is here that FarmVille can be a little complicated, as Craft Items from ALL Farms and Craft Buildings will be offered together when any Player accesses a Neighbour's Craft Items in order to purchase one. Unless one is aware of the status of that Neighbour's Craft Buildings on each Farm that he/she owns, it is almost impossible to know which low-level Craft Item to purchase. Many Farmers do not care that much about these matters but there are others who do. I would suggest that any Farmer who is trying to upgrade a single Craft Item or Craft Building post a note on his/her Wall to Neighbours to request that they purchase a specific Craft Item when this is desirable.

I began this post actually to give a tip to Players who wish to help their struggling low-level Neighbours. The tip is as follows:

Whenever Neighbours purchase any Craft Item, it will gain XP points towards the next Level. When it gains sufficient points to push it to the next Level, the owner of the Craft Building will be informed of this when next he/she accesses his/her Craft Building. An option then will be given to share the improved Craft Item with Friends by posting.

If the Farmer has any low-level Neighbours, even a low-level Item will be appreciated! That is why I often will post a Craft Item, even if its value would not be significant to high-level Neighbours.

The second opportunity to share a Craft Item occurs when a Farmer finishes any Craft Item in the process of being made when the Craft Building first is accessed. If you wish to help your Neighbours, choose the Craft Item of the HIGHEST Level to finish first. You will be given the option to share this Craft Item with your Friends.

This all may sound overly-complicated but it can be helpful to Players to understand how FarmVille works where Crafting is concerned. I have created a separate page on this site for all the Recipes that are available on the various Farms at each Level of Upgrade.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

New Facebook Game Data Options

I am writing this because I received absolutely no help from Zynga when both FarmVille and CityVille crashed my Flash plug-in each time I tried to load the game for almost a fortnight. Having played FarmVille for almost two years, the response Zynga sent, which was to copy and paste an elementary list of system requirements, made no sense whatsoever and was unhelpful in the extreme.

The fact that the many advertisements linked now to FarmVille and CityVille ALWAYS loaded easily and only the game itself was unable to load was a clue that the problem lay within the actual games and new options that pertained to the Flash plug-in.

Note here that I am not technically advanced where the internet is concerned. I cannot write software or code and basically can perform only the most basic tasks on my laptop. I had hoped for some expert advice, therefore, but it was not forthcoming.

The Adobe site was my next stop on the internet highway, but 'support' is offered only to paying customers. I then tried to research the problem myself. What I discovered was that one needed to be able to access the Flash Settings Panel. Alas, whenever I attempted to do so, IT crashed instantly as well! I therefore could not perform any actions whatsoever to change the settings.

My research led me to some reports that camera and microphone access sometimes led to Flash plug-in crashes. If I had possessed the ability to go into my Adobe Flash settings, I could have made certain that this access were denied but I could not do that.

Meanwhile, I could not play either FarmVille or CityVille on my own laptop. Note here that I had enabled Zynga to save data for FarmVille and CityVille on my laptop long ago. The worst part of the problem was that I could not send any Crash Report to Firefox or Adobe when the Flash plug-in crashed. Each time it crashed and I attempted to do so, 'submission failed'.

I uninstalled Flash in all of its manifestations and then reinstalled it, but in vain... The problem continued. Oddly enough, I still was able to play Fantasy Kingdoms and Gourmet Ranch on Facebook as well as loading streaming video on other sites. The problem therefore was peculiar to Zynga games.

There is one aspect of FarmVille and CityVille that has changed radically since the games first were released. The amount of data used is tremendous and if you do not allow Zynga to store data on your computer, you may not be able to load these games easily or handily. If the games do not load quickly and 'hang' for any length of time, you need to adjust your Flash settings to allow storage of data. Quite a lot of data actually...

I was able to solve the problem with the two games only after I finally was able to load the Settings Panel without a crash. Firefox has updated itself in the past week so perhaps there was a fix involved in that update. (I could not load the games on Chrome or IE either, however, so it may have required a Flash update of some kind. I always install all the latest updates in any case.)

Perhaps this is a pointless post because I don't have the technical knowledge required to assist any one else, but I wanted people who have experienced the same issue to know they aren't alone and that allowing Zynga the capacity to store a lot of data on your computer/desktop may be part of the solution. Clearing my Cache did nothing but clearing my Cookies may have helped as well.