OP/ED: Farmville Ghettos -- The New Reality in Farmville
- By: Heather Savage
- Posted 28th Sep 2011
The problem is that when new farmers arrive at their Lighthouse Cove farm they discover that it is not structured at all like the two previous farms that they have been happily working towards improving, and by doing so impressing their friends... No, the proverbial gloves have come off, and like the real coastal Maine from Bar Harbor down, Lighthouse Cove is a place that requires you to have deep pockets and spend real money in order to succeed there!
First, look at the farm expansion system... In Lighthouse Cove placement of farm crops is limited to 35 tiles unless you expand -- something that Zynga has never done before. Farm expansion in Lighthouse Cove can ONLY be accomplished by spending Farm Bucks -- there are no Coin expansions available, and that means dipping into your bank account or credit cards friends. Why would you do that? Because the new content in the game requires space, and you cannot grow crops and harvest the special seaside resources and animals as well as deploy the new content unless you have the space to do it in!
The mastery system that recently introduced and then expanded encourages you to succeed with as many different types of crop and animal as you can -- and like the English Countryside this new farm at Lighthouse Cove has unique crops and animals, as well as trees, for you to master!
-- Expanding your Lighthouse Cove Farm --
The detailed listing below reveals how you arrive at the best size and what it costs, listing the name of the expansion, its size and plowable plots, the cost in Farmville Bucks, and the cost in the real-world dollars you must use to purchase the Bucks. Because you must purchase each expansion in order of size, smallest to largest, before you can arrive at the largest size to expand your farm, I have included a running total that consists of the cost for expanding each level, then adds the total cost for the previous level(s) to give you the running cumulative total cost in US Dollars.
The following expansions are available at Lighthouse Cove:
-- Coastal Patch (14x14 Tiles & 45 Plowable Plots) $30 Farm Bucks ($6)
-- Inlet Garden (16x16 Tiles & 60 Plowable Plots) $40 Farm Bucks ($8 + $6 = $14)
-- Harbor Homestead (18x18 Tiles & 75 Plowable Plots) $50 Farm Bucks ($10 + $14 = $24)
-- Oceanside Farm (20x20 Tiles & 95 Plowable Plots) $60 Farm Bucks ($12 + $24 = $36)
-- Seaside Farmland (22x22 Tiles & 115 Plowable Plots) $80 Farm Bucks ($16 + $36 = $52)
-- Beachfront Property (24x24 Tiles & 140 Plowable Plots) $100 Farm Bucks ($20 + $52 = $72)
-- Shoreline Acres (26x26 Tiles & 165 Plowable Plots) $120 Farm Bucks ($24 + $72 = $96)
-- Seashore Villa (28x28 Tiles & 195 Plowable Plots) $145 Farm Bucks ($29 + $96 = $125)
-- Bayside Estate (30x30 Tiles & 225 Plowable Plots) $170 Farm Bucks ($34 + $159)
-- Waterfront Land (32x32 Tiles & 255 Plowable Plots) $195 Farm Bucks ($39 + $159 = $198)
If you have already expanded your Home and English farms to the maximum size, when you add the price for expansion of Lighthouse Cove, you have spent a total of $356 USD expanding the size of a trio of virtual farms which produce nothing, create nothing, repay nothing, and at the end of the day you cannot even put on the market to sell to some other farmer in order to recover your investment!
Of course this only accounts for the cost of land -- what about the money you have to spend to improve your farm, obtain special animals, buildings, and items, and all of the other premium content items that you can buy -- some of which you will want to buy? The use of Farm Bucks in place of money was a clever idea, since you do not think of them as real money when you spend them, and making it easy to resupply them using your credit card or the odd $20 bill when you are at the local grocery store thanks to the placement of Zynga cards near the checkout means that feeding your farming needs has never been easier.
The story of Lighthouse Cove is a simple one -- the previously idyllic and peaceful seaside community is struck by a massively destructive coastal storm (commonly called a Nor'Easter) that destroys the coastline, damages the lighthouse, and drives away the warm fuzzy whales and other attractive water life, leaving you with the considerable challenge of rehabilitating the community by starting with your own farm!