Tag Archives: Farmville

“Dailies have destroyded the game.”

So, I hear there’s a lot of dailies?

I’m not yet 90 myself, I’ve been trying to follow this: An Underachiever’s Guide to 90 by Tome of the Ancient, but I keep failing at the one and only step to success:

Yep, that’s it. Stop it, stop it, stop it with the pet battling already. Simple, easy. There’s my guide.

Maybe it also has to do with the fact that I’m having main-character-doubts, I’m like a split personality victim these days – do I want to play the elemental shaman, the shadow priest or the new’ish hunter? So, yeah, I’ve been dabbling around pet battles (okay, more than dabbling, I’ve been ADDICTED), I’ve also been playing my new gnome monk, and I’ve been leveling the shaman and the hunter. I really need to gain some focus!

When you go to see the Master Pet Tamer Zoltan (the smug blood elf in Felwood), don’t look his kneeling cultists straight in the eye – or maybe don’t look at them at all…

Anyways, back to the dailies! – There’s a lot of them! – Some people are unhappy! – So unhappy that a thread has become a hot topic on the forums, of course sporting an overly dramatic, punctuated and misspelled title, as we WoW players do it best!: “Dailies have destroyded the game.” I love it already!

The argumentation goes back and forth, there’s not exactly consensus, although the OP has been rated highly, but I think the discussion raises a few relevant topics.

  • The line between work and play can be very blurry

Old time classic game theorist Roger Caillois included in his definition of play, that it had to be free and nonobligatory. The less we want to do the dailies, the more they feel like work to us, which makes us question why we even bother in the first place. It’s my impression that in the thread, this has been wrapped up as lazy players vs. Protestant work ethic players. I don’t see it as a matter of being lazy or not, but of play gradually feeling and looking like work to a lot of people.

  • Dailies are in a way revealing the fact that the vast majority of activities in MMO’s are repetitious tasks consisting of simple click commands

Kill X mob Y number of times – Kill X mob to collect Y number of BWAINS! – Collect Y number of poops – Join Z instance and continuously press your AoE button. Of course, then, some clever guy realized that instead of coming up with new X, Y, Z’s they could just have us do the SAME stuff every day.

  • Power gamers/achievers and the pressure of optimization

If you care about progression, doing dailies will be even less voluntary, especially if members of your raid team are all grinding away. I’m not an achiever player-type, and even I feel a stint of that pressure. It’s more comfortable, in many ways, to stick to the large bulk of the wave, as it sweeps over the new content. Soon the learning phase is over and knowledge is expected a priori – that’s mostly what has me feeling stressed.

  • Are there ethical responsibilities in relation to designing games?

If we acknowledge that there is a pressure to optimize and touch that first row ceiling, does the designer have a responsibility to not ask too much of the player? Are players able to keep their heads cool under all the peer pressure? Do we trust players to be autonomous enough to manage and prioritize their own play time and activities under all circumstances?

How we lean on these subjects are influenced by what kind of player we are. I’ll usually fall in favour of an upper limit, like there used to be – 25/day, where as now it’s unlimited. But that’s probably also because I’m not very tolerant of long grinds, extremely low drop rates and camping spawns. I’d prefer they had kept the old 25/day limit in, which instead would have forced players to prioritize what factions they wanted exalted with first.

Previous Storylines in Chronological Order

This is an overview page made to help putting the various posts, that have a storyline, in order.

The Minecraft Letters

You Should Know About Minecraft, You Need to Know About Minecraft
The Making of the First Hideyhole
Minecraft – The Lego Game
Maybe This is Paradise
If You Think This Sounds Slightly Schizo, I Won’t Argue With You
A Hundred Billion Bottles
“Who Set it to Hardmode? I Can’t Handle Hardmode!!!” – Piglet Cried
Always Bring Flowers When Visiting!
Who Lives Here – Besides Me?
Why Are You in My House?
I Hope this isn’t the Resident of the House Visiting
It Turned Out the House Belonged to “ALIEN
Art and Bragging in Minecraft
This game is all about me – me me me!

-

The Farmville Letters

Traveling the Multiverse
You’re the Friend I Don’t Want To Be Seen With
What a Slacker I am!
Do You Want Me to Play or Do You Want Me to Pay?
My Best Random Friend in Farmville

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The GTA III Letters

Traveling the Multiverse
My Parents Would Call You Bad Company
Now That We’ve Met, I Guess I Can Call You GTA?
I Should Have Seen It Coming
Does This Make Me a Thief As Well?
Whatever GTA… Whatever!
The Thing is, I Have a Game Trauma
I Told You We Would Celebrate, Didn’t I?

My Best Random Friend in Farmville

I recently added a few complete strangers to my Facebook friendslist. It wasn’t some kind of scheme to make me look more popular, nor was it to stalk random people. It’s what a lot of Farmville players have to do to be able to play the game at a reasonable level, unless you’re willing to pay your way out of a lot of things OR fortunate enough to have 45 friends who also play Farmville…. I had two (and paying Farmville instead of playing it, is rather expensive).

So not long ago, I sat with this friend-request on my screen, thinking whether or not to press the send button.  I found it so creepy to be writing to someone I didn’t know whatsoever asking them to be friends.

Even the text (which is in danish) says "Only send this request if you know him personally".

Adding Fredo would be blending offline friends with not only online friends, but also with people who are just plain random. I didn’t know if I wanted to make my Facebook profile into an extension of Farmville…

… and then I went ahead and did it anyways. Only because of this experiement, not at all because I needed to upgrade my farm….. … ..

Fredo's farm caught withering. That's bad style Fredo!

I found my first “unknown” Farmville neighbour Fredo off the “add me” part of the Farmville forum, in a running thread where people post their Facebook account links, for others to add them as neighbours. It’s get deleted ever so often because posts are quickly outdated, and a new thread begins.

Sometimes Farmville drops in advertizement, which is usually pretty lame. Right now it's "GagaVille".

I’ve been playing Farmville for a few months now, and I have not put any real money into the company behind the game, Zynga Games.

It is easily possible to play the game for free, even though it is based on microtransactions and advertizing.

However, you will have to make a few compromises, mainly that of adding random people to your Facebook account. The logic of Farmville is, the more friends you have as neighbours, the easier it is for you to play. The number of neighbours and plotsize are the two essentials to how quickly you level up and in general are able to be efficient in the game. It’s like a marketing strategy built into the game system, kind of clever. This also means a lot of Farmville players, to not involve their primary Facebook profile, go and make a fake one.

I chose to use my real profile and as time has gone by, I’ve added a total of 4 random people to my Facebook friendslist. I’m keeping the number low, as I’m just playing a casual game casually. It is however possible to powergame Farmville.

This is how powergaming in Farmville looks like. The majority of the space is for crops, the rest is lined on the side. It's about efficiency, not aesthetics, for the powergamer.

I’ve set my Facebook up so that these people can’t see much of my activity, and in return my real friends can’t see the Farmville posts – if they could, they would have blocked me months ago, it’s VERY spammy.

One of my new “friends” is Linda D. It turns out, Linda D’s Facebook profile is not fake, which her adorable portrait picture also shows. Linda looks to be a round 50 something American woman. Her profile picture shows her leaning in over her grumpy husbands shoulder smiling at the camera. When I saw her picture, I couldn’t help but like her, she looks like the nicest person on earth.

Linda has a very well designed farm, I like her layout.

She’s also a nice neighbour, dropping by regularly to fertilize my crops, something Fredo never does.

Once in a while I can see her commenting on her friends and relatives posts and then today I saw this status update from her.

Linda D. considers me her friend!!!! I forgive her for posting chain messages, I forgive Linda D.

But I don’t want to post that as a status update myself, and as I was trying to write something nice like “You’re a good neighbour too”, I paused and deleted it. I’m still learning how to manage these modern internet related “friendships”. How to handle a friendly but random Farmville neighbour on Facebook without being creepy?