99 Days on FarmVille


99 Days on FarmVille – The End

Hello Fellow Farmers,

Alas, my 99 day experiment, or more like video game penance, has been completed. I have finished my 99 days on FarmVille. The whole reason I started this blog was because I was trying to get a job at Zynga and I figured I should know how the games work.  Before I knew it, a friend of mine hooked me up with 50 of her FarmVille friends – thanks Colleen! And my experiment took off from there with over 20,000 unique visitors in 99 days. Thank you to all that followed along. I hope you found my posts funny and useful.

I have to mention that in the beginning of this blog someone asked me, “so will you quit after the 99 days or will you keep going because you are addicted?” I replied then that I would be quitting and I am a woman of my word. I don’t find the game addicting, although, I can see how people with addictive personalities could find it addicting. After all, the developers at Zynga are constantly updating this game with new things to build, buy, or get.

My assessment of the game itself: one big time suck. Seriously. I found that this game passed the time and if you are lonely, bored, retired, sick, a stay at home mom with little ones in school or unemployed and looking for a job (like me) then this game would probably appeal to you. But, if you are a busy bee or employed then this game will suck up your time like crumbs in a vacuum.

The developers are still learning. The reason they have constant updates is not only to make the game better and more interesting, but to make it so that you can’t scam it. I posted a bunch of those tips and tricks throughout this blog just because it made the game more compelling.

As promised, I took a photo of my farm, which will probably piss the folks off over at PETA by the way I packed in my little calves.And I got to level 50!

But with all do respect, there were some great and stupid things that came out of FarmVille. Now for the  “awards” ceremony…

The FarmVille Awards:

Donny Dummy Award for the dumbest thing(s): The double sized avatar – I still can’t get over that silly “reward.” Whoever thought that was a good idea at Zynga should get the award for dumbest FarmVille idea of the year and be harassed every day by his/her co-workers for such a stupid idea.  Co-op farming was another dumb idea. In concept, it sounded cool, but the execution was weak. It was like they were figuring it out as they were going along. That’s not the way you develop.

Happy Farmer Award goes to the best thing(s): The farm hands, arborists, unwither and the bonus packs. Those items were perhaps my saving grace when it came to saving me time.

Creative Mind Award: Changing the way the Mystery Eggs appear to appear more like the Mystery Easter Egg Reward. You don’t feel so disappointed accepting a blind egg, not knowing what’s in it. Whoever thought this up at Zynga should be given the blue ribbon for best idea and a raise frankly, because people were scamming the hell out of this until tattletale NancyOveralls spilled the beans on the Zynga forum. Her name should be called NancySquarepants and the snitch should get a life.

Savvy Marketer Award: Goes to the person who came up with the idea that you can get 3 of one item if you recruit a new person to play FarmVille when you are requesting a gift.

My Top 10 ideas for improvements:

  • Expandable horse stable
  • Ability to buy Unwither for coin, not just FV cash
  • Expandable chicken coup – up to 100 chickens or be able to buy more than 1 coup
  • MegaPlow – a plow that plows your entire farm (kind of like the arborists and farmhands)
  • MegaHarvester – a harvester that harvests all ready crops (same as above)
  • MegaSeeder – a seeder that seeds all plowed plots at the click of a button (same as above)
  • Collection items you can gift should not be available by clicking on a completed collection. One has to figure that one can get those if necessary. When I click on a completed collection I want to get something that I don’t have a chance of getting any other way.
  • Rare collection items in the eggs. The rare items are nearly impossible to get.
  • If I have 10 (the limit) of any collection, and I click on a reward and I get an 11th of that item that I can’t use, FV should be able to see that I have 10 and offer me something else.
  • The ability to swap collection items either within FV or with other players

In closing, I’d like to thank all of those who followed this blog. If you liked what you read and my sense of humor, you can follow me on Twitter @tracysestili or you can become a Fan on Facebook Tracy Sestili –Writer or check out one of my other blogs at www.tracysestil.com

Cheers,
Tracy



Day 97
May 10, 2010, 8:37 pm
Filed under: Easter basket, FarmVille, Puppy, social gaming, Spring Eggs, Zynga | Tags:

Okay, I think I had a math mishap. I thought the end of this blog would  be this Wednesday – May 12, but it seems that I surpassed my 99  days a few days back. But, whatever, I’ll keep my word. Wednesday will be my last post.

Today, I’ve been farming away like crazy selling off every animal after I harvest it. It almost feels dirty, like I am selling them off to the black market or something. I had an especially hard time with the pigs. I mean, on one hand, it reminded me of Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web. But on the other hand, I do like bacon. I mean what’s there not to like? Besides, it is past my lunch time and I’m hungry and I’m only getting 50 coin for them, spotted or regular. Bacon sounds good right about now.

The horses were a disappointment because I thought that FarmVille would have allowed you to expand your Horse Stable by now, but no such luck. So those were going for 105 coin each. I only have a few more wandering around the farm. But I’m sure I’ll catch them tomorrow. No more pony rides for the kiddies I guess.

The chickens are perhaps my bane right now because I have about 200 of them outside of the Huge Coop. So it’s been a painful slow process. I wish there was like a nuclear button where you could just press it and all of the chicken would go poof!

I’m struggling to get the Knock on Wood blue ribbon. I’ve harvested a boat load of trees, but I still have several hundred to go. Not sure I’m going to make it. Oh well.

The good news is that my dog is full grown, and it ate the tabby cat! Just kidding. But I did sell her off yesterday.

I plan to post a picture of my farm on Wednesday. Until then. Oh and no more Easter eggs, so unless you have friends hoarding them, you should get rid of that basket.



Day 92: Alien Cow is Scam and Cinco de Mayo Adobe
May 6, 2010, 1:53 am
Filed under: Adobe, Alien cow, Cinco de Mayo, purple cow, Rumor, Scam | Tags: , , , , ,

Oh, it’s coming to an end soon. My 99 days on FarmVille is almost up. I feel like I’m a baked potato on a timer and on May 12th I am going to explode.

I’ve noticed a lot of people check this blog for cheat codes, which I find interesting. Those people over at Zynga are working night and day to make sure that no cheat stays up for too long. Yesterday someone wrote that the trick to opening up a collection in another browser until you get what you want was still working for him – well good for him! Nothing like salt in the wound, I tell ya. Today I achieved an abundance of blue emperor butterflies, so I had to sell a few off to the black market. Oh, I only WISH there was a black market for FarmVille where you could sell and swap the stuff that you didn’t need. (Don’t worry, I plan on cc’ing the CEO, Mark Pincus on my final blog post with a list of recommendations to enhance it.)  I know they are constantly making enhancements, but they don’t seem to be anything that anyone really wants.

For example, the whole adobe thing – I mean what is that? Am I supposed to be building a farm in Mexico now? I know it was in celebration for Cinco de Mayo, but enough already with the tomatillos. Because the problem now is that there is too much going on. You have the Cinco de Mayo, feed your dog, give it treats, harvest more crops now to attain Mastery levels, co-op farming and soon they will be introducing the Farmer’s Market. I can’t wait for that. And let’s not forget the blue ribbons in every category under the sun.

Yes, no more Cinco de Mayo! The next thing you know they’ll be offering seeds to be growing tortillas!

And my GOD, what in the hell is up with calves in every color. Only FarmVille addicts would fall for the purple cow. Does he even look normal to you? I can understand the spotted looking cows, the chocolate ones, the pink ones that produce strawberry milk, and I even understood the green ones for St. Patty’s Day, but what in the heck does purple signify? That’s how you should have known it was a scam. I mean, it’s called “Alien Cow” for pete’s sake!This little critter is on his own.



Day 89 New FarmVille Gifting

Well, I must say, all of the enhancements to FarmVille recently just means that the developers have been working overtime! A couple of days ago a friend and I noticed that every time you opened a collection or egg from someone in a new window, it offered you something else. Essentially you could open a bunch of new windows (or tabs) on a collection or egg and hold off on accepting until you got what you wanted, like the rare items such as cowbell, blue feather, centipede, copper butterfly, etc. But this cheat code was short lived and within hours FV fixed the bug and now with eggs, they now look like the Easter eggs. You can’t tell if you got a chicken or not and well, that just sucks huh?

I don’t know what it is, but every time I write the word cowbell, I just instantly think of the Christopher Walken and Will Ferrell skit “More Cowbell

Anyway, as for the collections, thanks to the tattletale NancysOveralls on the Zynga Forum, you can open 100 new windows or tabs and you’re going to get the same thing you clicked on the first time. So no more getting to select your “rare” reward because Zynga has fixed this little glitch. But it did put me a LOT closer to getting that blue ribbon. And who knows, I just might get it in the next 10 days.

With the new changes, you no longer need to reload your farm to receive gifts and you now can receive gifts without leaving your farm. The gift box pops back up after you use a gift, which is quite handy. But no more scamming the gifts. The only thing I don’t like about this is that it’s a duplication of your Facebook Inbox. So, you might be clicking on things that you already received, which is just another time suck, in my humble opinion.

Picture from FamVilleFreak

Where am I? Level 47, 10 more days of left and then  you get my fabulous synopsis and review of this game. (I probably could have written it in just a few days after playing it, but this has been quite the experience).



Villa on FarmVille – Day 84

I have finally saved up enough coin in a few days to get the $1Million Villa. Who woulda thunk it? Not me. I’ve also earned all of the blue ribbons I can possibly earn at this point. With only 15 days left of this blog, I doubt I’ll gain the other blue ribbons that I need. But I’m totally okay with that.

What I did notice this week was I found that the Co-Op farming was a distraction in getting further in the game. The reason being is that to have me join a co-op and have less than 420 plots, was useless. I was never going to gain the gold medal in finishing my co-op farming in the gold medal allotted time frame. I only had about 380 plots and that just wasn’t quite enough to plow, plant and harvest multiple times – even if I stayed up for 24 hours straight, to harvest enough pumpkins, pattypans or morning glories. So I gave up on that after two tries and being unsuccessful coming in at the silver or bronze medal.

I think the co-op farming is useful if you have Ribbons to earn in the Vegetable Virtuoso, Flower Power or Foremost Fruit Farmer categories. But otherwise, it’s just a waste of time. And for me, time is of the essence since I’m only doing this for 99 days.

Now someone way back in the beginning of this blog asked me if I was going to continue to play, and I responded then with the same answer I’ll give you now, which is no. In fact, now it’s a hell no. Why? Well, in 15 days when I write up my summary of this game, you’ll know. And my summary won’t be long or verbose. It’ll be pretty straight forward, along with some tips and tricks that I gathered a long the way for the newbies to utilize. I’m not even going to charge for it either, like some sites do. That is complete bullshit if ever I saw a scam. To get ahead, it’s basic math.

So come back on May 12th for my summary and in between if you’d like to read my semi-regular posts.

p.s. I finally broke down and bought a dog for $5K and the only reason I did it was because my gift box was filling up from people sending me puppy kibble and dog treats. And one mangy tabby cat survived. I hope my dog eats it before we’re through. LOL!



Bonus Packs – One per person
April 21, 2010, 7:24 pm
Filed under: Bonus Pack

Okay, I updated this in my original blog post but no one seems to be re-reading it. The Bonus Packs are only 1 per person. That’s it. One and done. If you try to click on any subsequent packs you will get this message:

Hope this clears things up.



Day 73 – Bonus Packs on FarmVille
April 16, 2010, 6:32 pm
Filed under: Baby Foal, Bonus Pack, FarmVille, Foal and Stallion, games, Nursery, Rumor, Zynga

So today I logged in and was pleasantly surprised by 3 bonus packs from my friends. At first I thought it was too good to be true, but I clicked on one, and to my surprise I received everything. The mistake I made was clicking on a second one. You can only receive ONE of these per day otherwise you lose it. Now if only the instructions said that. Damn FarmVille.

But, that gave me enough FV cash to buy a Mystery Box and I got some sill elephant fountain, worth $3000 coins if I sell it, which I will no doubt because it’s ugly looking and has no business being on a Farm.

Back to Bonus Packs. You get them by receiving them from your friends who Shared the Wealth. Now who gets to give them, not entirely clear but there is a rumor out there that it was given to people who hadnt’ signed in for over 7 days. But I don’t think that’s true because I got it from friends who have definitely been logged in within the past 7 days. So who knows, who cares. If you get one, I suggest you Share the Wealth back so that you can get another. You can only get one per person.

Here’s what you get:

  • 3FV cash
  • 1 Unwither – very handy
  • 1 Can of Fuel

as a bonus you get to pick one of the following:

  • 10 Stable parts
  • 3 Puppy Kibble
  • 10 Spring Eggs

Now I should have chosen the 10 Spring Eggs, but instead I chose the Stable parts. This is tricky because you get stuff for both the horse stable AND the new Nursery stable for your baby foals. I only wanted the nursery stable stuff. So I got harnesses and horseshoes that I didn’t need and sold them for 5 coins each. (you get 2 of each, so 4 total).

[New Note after someone asked: How do you send it yourself if you haven’t received a care/bonus pack?
Answer: You can go here: http://apps.facebook.com/onthefarm/stimulus.php ]

26 more days left and I am Level 42. I’ve earned all of the original Blue Ribbons except for Knock On Wood (which I’m working on right now) and the Neighbor one and They of Mystery (although I just earned my first yellow ribbon here). I finally earned the Cat Lady Blue Ribbon and then sold those  ugly mangy little bastards – the grey tabby was worth the most. And now, I just rescue all of the animals that my friends put up for adoption and then I sell the little critters off! Haha! I wish there was an underground black market for FV animals, LOL!

Alright, I’ve had enough fun for today with this.