When I began playing FV2 I naturally ended up joining the large number of friends who were my neighbors in the original Farmville, many of whom were playing Farmville 2 in addition to remaining active in their play in the original game, an aspect of playing the game that hosted a number of interesting conversations that ranged from the inevitable comparisons to speculation on where the game was going and where it would take the original game as a result.
One of the stand-out issues was the reality that the game client (and naturally the experience of playing) is very different between the two games, with the strengths in FV2 being its sharper focus upon first-person game play as opposed to the third-person and more simulation-focused client and play experience in Farmville.
Planning for and organizing your farm begins with a tiny and otherwise meaningless gesture: naming your farm.
The Farm Sign
A white painted sign with bright green trim, the farm sign in FV2 basically consists of two supporting posts from which the sign is hung, and the sign has basic stock information that is presented in the form of a generic Farmville 2 logo of a cornucopia and the word “Family” in green in its center, with space below that for the player to input the proper name of their farm along the bottom and below “Family” that for most players consists of their first or last name.
A Product of Intent
The layout for the Farm was created as a reactionary process to the various structures and the expansion of capabilities in the game and my own notion of what looks good and makes sense, and as a consequence of that the farm for the semi-official account that is the basis for writing this guide enjoys benefits from my main account and its play, since I know what is coming and as a result can plan out land use with that knowledge in mind - and share that with you in this guide.
To start with the farm is laid out in zones, with what I like to think of as a logical approach to modern simulated agribusiness in all its glory, with one of the only nods to the actual commercial side being the need to maintain all three basic economic forces in the same restricted environment.
What I did not want was a generic farm with no character, so I set out upon the expansion trail with the idea that it would be well involved before I (technically I mean my “farmer”) would be able to afford to place and built a proper home among the various agribusiness structures.
The consequence of this are that for the lion's share of its existence the farm has consisted of the Crafting Kitchen, Crafting Workshop, and later additions like the Shady Trough (which is actually a rest area that allows your larger and smaller animals a place out of the sun as well as a watering station and feeding station), the Hen House and Chicken Coop, Sheep Shack and Goat Shelter, and a number of support structures including the most recent addition the Kiln, as well as a number of Feed Silos and the like, but nothing resembling a proper home for the Farmer and his Crew.
Some Lessons I have Learned
This section of the guide is not here so I can ring my bell about what a bitchin' farm I have, but rather it is a place for me to share via observation some of the things that I have learned about the game that just do not fit in very well in other parts of the guide.
You can take all of these any way you like, consider it important or not... It is all really just a series of (sometimes) disconnected observations that may or may not be useful to you.
A Place for Everything
One of the most annoying choices in the game, at least for the people who visit your farm (meaning your friends and neighbors) is to let your large herd of animals run free over the entire farm. You might not think that this is an issue but it is, largely due to the strange way that the pointer will often shift when you are selecting the object to use your five helper actions on - so you visit your neighbor's farm with the idea being to click on a particular type of crop or tree and you end up clicking on an animal instead.
This is also true in the case of crops or trees that are placed around other non-crop and non-tree items, and in particular low-rise fences, boxes, bags, and other decoration that you may not be able to tell are there until you go to click on one object and end up clicking on another.
They Called it a Man Trap
In the original game one of the things that you did for your friends and neighbors as a common courtesy was to build into the center of your farm a trap of sorts that pretty much restricted the movements of the farmers who visited your farm to a few squares in the center of the map.
The point to this was that it kept your visitor in the center, so that the really poor pathing in the game did not eat up lots of time while your visitor's avatar tried (and often failed) to reach the objects you were helping with - because the way that the game worked was that if they could reach it, the avatar for visitors TRIED to reach anything you clicked on.
In FV2 that is not as great an issue since the game actually has pretty good pathing, but it is still possible for you to create situations in which the visitor's avatar gets trapped so you want to be considerate in how you lay out your Farm... Like by not placing potential man-traps in the fields, that sort of thing.
Place Trees and Groves Wisely
Having your neighbors use their helper actions to service Tree Groves is perhaps the most effective use of their time and efforts, but only if you make them easy to click on and easy to access.
Groves that contain four Pine Trees (or any other tree that has a higher than average WRU requirement) should be placed in the front of your Grove area, so that they are easy to see, easier to identify, and wicked easy to click on!
The one thing you should not do is hide them all the way in the back of a group of Groves, or even worse, place the groves with single trees of differing heights surrounding them, because that makes it very easy to click on the wrong object, more difficult to ID the Grove with the high-WRU count, and all-in-all more frustrating for your visitor.
Considering that they are doing something nice for you, you should try to do something nice for them and make the process as easy on them as possible.
Sharing the Good Stuff
While it is understandable that players are reluctant to share every event in the game - after all that can make for some very cluttered Walls -- and nobody is likely to begrudge you if you routinely hit the 'X' in place of the “Share” button for things like the PR message that pops up every time you do your five helper actions on a neighbor's farm, there are certain events that you should ALWAYS hit the Share button on out of common courtesy and because they are, clearly, not just helpful but valuable for your friends and neighbors.
Those events that you should always share include the following:
- Antique Coin Event Shares for your Mud Wallow
- Baby Bottle Event Shares
- Golden Fleece Share
- Level-Up XP Shares
Tending to the Wall and Feeds
Another common courtesy that you should make every effort to attend to is your Wall - and specifically the passive requests for assistance that appear on it that are related to quests and missions in the game.
You will know these when you see them; examples include the following, all of which are connected either with a quest or a structure building mission and are marked with the “Give and Get One” tag, recent examples of which include:
- Clean Hay
- Fancy Shoe Box
- Flash Bulb
- Horse Soap
If the above list seems random, you may be surprised to learn that there is a common link connecting all of those items: they were ALL present on a SINGLE PAGE of my wall as I write this!
What that means is that there were that many quests and building projects underway at the time - and really if you think about it that is eight excellent opportunities you have right now to help a friend and, in the doing of it, help yourself, since you are not just giving them one of each item but getting one yourself in return!
Keeping an eye on and tending to the passive resource requests on your Wall is a really good idea that is certain to endear you to your friends and neighbors!
Keeping the Pigs On their Own
While it makes a certain sense to mix animals by building a common pen, when it comes to the new Pigs in the game there are a number of really good reasons for building a special pen just for them, and setting that aside in its own area of the farm.
The reasons include the fact that you need to place the Pig Wallow someplace where the Pigs can access it, that you need to place some of the special Mud tiles nearby the Wallow so that your Pigs can roll around in it and otherwise have some fun, and the main reason, which is to make the Pigs easier to find so that your friends and neighbors do not have to hunt for them among the much larger Cows and Horses, which the Pigs are prone to hiding under when they are in mixed company.
It is really to your benefit to make the Pigs as easy to find and click on as you can anyway!
Consider this: when one of your friends or neighbors clicks on one of your Pigs as a helper action, they are hoping to receive a single Mud Bucket as their reward, but every time that they click on one of YOUR Pigs, when you activate their helper actions in your game you get a FULL harvest from that Pig, which depending on the Pig type could be two to FIVE Mud Buckets! Yeah!
I call that Win-Mud-Win!
Completing a Play Session
While the bulk of this is for your benefit, that just makes it more important not less...
When you are about to wrap up a play session and log out of the game there are several things that you should always do both to squeeze as much XP as you can from that play session, and make your pre-play actions at your next play session more effective.
A lot of this is common sense, but some of it may be aspects of the game you had not considered before. The following are the basic items you should always do before ending a session:
(1) Use all of your Water.
Water refills over time including when you are not logged into the game, so leaving any WRU's on your game makes no sense, and if you have WRU's at the end of your session there are ways you can use them to make your game better.
If you have open Crop Squares, plant something that you universally need, like Wheat. If you have PRU's available, turn the WRU's into Lemon Water, which is something you can always eventually use even if just to make Lemonade for money.
(2) Use your Power
PRU's are another of the resources that refills over time, and when you are not logged in, so leaving your session with ANY unused PRU's makes no sense.
Use whatever is left to craft resource units that you can use to craft other things. If you are at a loss for what to craft, make bags of Flour, or Pie Crusts, or Batter, or if you have any WRU's left make Lemon Water. You get the idea.
Remember, a PRU you don't use is a wasted PRU!
(3) Feed any hungry animals before you log out.
That is common sense - sure they will still be hungry when you log in for your next session, but that is a different meal they need to eat, and feeding them before you log out of your session means a few extra XP and the resources that they produce, and there is no such thing as extra resources!
(4) ALWAYS Top off your AFRU's before you log.
The reason you want to be sure that you use that Feed Grinder and cap-off your AFRU's is so that in the pre-session harvesting of the Walls at the start of your next session any AFRU's you harvest from the Walls goes into the x30 cap AFRU's in your Inventory Storage and NOT into the game window resource pool.
AFRU's do not refill over time, you have to refill them. If your game window AFRU pool is not at capacity when you log out, any AFRU's you harvest from the Walls goes in to filling it to capacity BEFORE they start landing in your Inventory Storage pile.
Since you will want to keep your Inventory Storage Pile at the x30 cap, this is just common sense.
(5) Complete all of your Helper Actions
Check the slider for your neighbors farms before you log - remember that every five helper actions you can complete is not just 6XP and perhaps a resource item or two, it is good will you share with your friends and neighbors!
When they see that you visited their farm and helped them out, they are more likely to do the same for you - so try to use your five helper actions every day and use them in a way that is beneficial to both yourself AND the person you are helping!
(6) Check your Missions and Quests
Before you log check your Missions and Quests, including any Special Event objects that grant related quests (examples include the mission/quest icons on the left side of the play screen as well as structure and special event items).
(7) Lastly Check your XP Meter.
Getting caught accidentally triggering a Level-Up means not having your farm configured to best benefit from that Level-Up! If you are within 300XP of Leveling-Up you want to take special note of that so that when you log-in for your next session you take care to make sure that as many of your Trees, Animals, and Crops are prepped to complete growing as a result of the Level-Up.
What you especially do not want to do is make pre-session actions that could result in using up some of the outstanding XP that might prevent you from getting the most benefits out of the pending Level-Up.
These are all pretty much common sense actions but they can mean the difference between rocketing to success and wishing you had... They are also in every sense methods for organizing your farm.
The assignment to write this guide came well before the actual writing of it due in part to the schedule of other projects, and that fortuitous circumstance allowed me to experience the game in depth prior to starting the farm that the guide is based upon. A direct result of this was the growing understanding that organization for farms in the game is of critical importance and is directly related to success.