Friday, March 26, 2010

Farmville Fridays

It continues to rain on and off in my home state, and I continue to be trapped inside my house.
Taking the proverbial page from The Least Read Blog on the Web, I will make use of alliteration and devote Fridays to the fun (to me) analysis of Farmville. Actually, The Least Read Blog has "Wordcount Wednesdays," but I'm not writing right now.

I will be writing shortly, though, because Wordcrafter has decided to interview me as part of his series on MLS Premise Contest authors and I need to figure out what I'm going to tell him about my writing career. I haven't forgotten you, Keven. The check is in the mail. That interview will show up in a few weeks on The New Authors' Fellowship. I will, of course, let my readers know when.

Elder Brother was kind enough to put to rest the urban legend that Facebook will become a pay site. Huzzah! The thought of selling off my farm and salting the earth (I would never leave those poor animals waiting to be harvested for virtual eternity) was bringing me down a bit.

I continue to farm. As I mentioned yesterday, I'm planting with gold in mind, which means high profit crops and a quick turnover rate. According to Adam Nash, the best crop for both XP and gold is blueberries. They mature in 4 hours, they cost 50 gold per plot (65 if you consider the cost to plow the ground) and your profit is 26 gold and 2-3 XP per plot. Not a lot, but do it 2 or 3 times a day and it does add up. The best crop for money value overall is tomatoes, which mature in 8 hours. I plant those overnight.

The short answer is in five days, I've nearly earned the 150K I need to expand my farm. After that, I expect to ease back a bit and have a real life. God willing, Kansas will dry out and let me do some real planting.

Farmville likes to keep its players engaged, and the programmers apparently do that with regular gift giveaways. For St. Patrick's Day, we gave away gold and got things like a "shamrock castle" (you bet I got one), shamrock sheep (green wool with shamrock antennae) and leprechaun gnomes (I intend to collect gnomes on my farm).

Spring and Easter involve eggs. They appeared last night, and I've gotten 8 as gifts already. We don't know what we'll be trading those for, but I hope there's a gnome involved. Or a cottage shaped like an Easter egg, 'cause that would be cool.

I got a tool shed (cost 30,000 gold) and a cottage (cost 15,000 gold) in two mystery eggs, which is great. I'll keep the cottage until I find something I like better. Originally I intended to keep my farm somewhat sparse of decoration and "druidic," with little obvious human presence other than my avatar. Now I'm going for a more hobbitish approach of cultured wilderness.

I start every morning with a leisurely "stroll" around my farm, seeing what needs harvesting and what needs petting. I don't understand why you can pet a bull but you cannot pet a swan, turtle or rabbit. But then, I don't understand why pink cows give strawberry milk, either. I guess that's just how it is in Farmville.

I also very much enjoy seeing what other people do with their farms. One lady always plants lavender around her house. I love that. One gentleman has moved his plots into 3 sections and grouped all his trees and buildings in the remaining space with a lovely effect I very much want to emulate. My College Friend put her castle in the same spot as her avatar - something I did last night. That way my little replica has a place to sleep at night, should she wish it. I also put my 3 cats in with her to keep her company.

I wish I had more cats, but I suppose those will show up in time. I must remind myself I haven't been playing that long. This might be my fourth week, and I'm now at Level 25.

Farmville is a bit frivolous, yes, but as that wise rock star Eric from The Crow once said: "It can't rain all the time."

Boy howdy, it is trying in Kansas, though.

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