The Path to Mastery -- The GU Farmville Series

Before I do anything else I want to say Hihi to all my Farmville friends and neighbors!

If you are surprised to see my name on the by-line for this series join the club -- I was surprised to get the assignment myself considering that the Farmville Guide and other Farmville-related coverage was previously written by staff writers here at GU, not interns, but this intern is not going to argue herself out of such a great assignment by pointing that out until after she has had a chance to take a whack at it!

There is a prevailing theory in publishing that being an intern means getting the jobs that nobody on staff actually wants. Clearly that is not the case here at GU! I was told that the assignments are made based on the best person for the job - though I am not completely delusional as the fact that I already play Farmville probably had something to do with it... Anyway, whatever the cause, welcome to the first article in the GU Farmville Expert's Series, appropriately titled "The Path to Mastery."

This series is intended to be used as a companion to the Farmville Walkthrough and Guide that is hosted at our sister site, Supercheats, and each article in the series addresses specific aspects of the game. In this case we are talking about the process of crop, animal, and tree mastery, and the best way to attain those, including tips and tricks that can shorten the process considerably.

Before we get to all of that though, it might be helpful to define just what Mastery is in terms of the game, and the origins for it!

Regardless of the type of item in the game, if it can be harvested it will have the drop-shaped harvest icon over it when it is ready to harvest. If there are no Mastery Points attached to the item, the Harvest Icon will be an empty drop like the ones pictured above...

Mastery in Farmville
There are three types of Mastery in the game -- Crop Mastery, Animal Mastery, and Tree Mastery. Generally speaking, the path to Mastery in the game is unlocked when a player attains Level 10, and regardless of the type of Mastery, the process includes three distinct levels, which are denoted by stars. A rule of thumb for most items in the game that you have mastered is simple: following mastery when you plant more of the item that you have mastered, you gain an increased level of the different rewards that are associated with that item.

The three levels of Mastery: To unlock each level the farmer is required to grow of harvest a certain number of that item. Generally speaking the requirement is doubled for each succeeding level, so if Level 1 Mastery requires 400 harvests, then Level Two will require 800, and Level Three 1200. There are exceptions to this rule however; while Level Two is almost always exactly double the requirement for Level One, Level Three can be considerably more than the two previous levels combined!

A good example for this is the crop Strawberries: Level 1 Mastery for Strawberries is 500 crops, and Level 2 is 1,000, but Level 3 Mastery requires 3,750 Strawberry crops to be harvested, for a combined total of 5,250 crops!

If the item is part of the Mastery System its Harvest Icon will include a Gold Star as part of the Harvest Icon to indicate that when you harvest this item, you will also receive a Mastery Point in addition to the XP or coins you would normally receive.

Crop Mastery
Crop Mastery allows farmers to earn an increased amount of coins and experience points, as well as improve the rate at which bushels are obtained for a given crop. With each succeeding level of Mastery the farmer receives an increased amount of XP and coins, along the lines of the example below:

Lvl (XP) Coins
1 (25) 500
2 (75) 1,500
3 (250) 5,000

Once the farmer has completed the third and final level of Crop Mastery they are also awarded a Mastery Sign for that crop which can be placed on their farm to share the fact that they have mastered that crop with anyone who visits their farm!

In addition to the benefits of obtaining more bushels, coins, and XP from subsequent plantings of the now mastered crop, Level 3 Mastery also enables the farmer to unlock the Premium version of the mastered crop -- in the case of Strawberries, that would be the 'Super Strawberry' crop type. These Premium crops are not automatically unlocked however -- in fact the process of unlocking them is directly connected to the Mastery Sign that they can place on their farm!

You may notice after you have mastered a crop and placed the sign that indicates that fact on your farm, the sign is glowing blue and is clickable. When you click it you trigger a window that permits you to ask your friends and neighbors to approve of your farming skills. If enough of them do, you unlock the Premium version for that crop, and can then plant it.

Level 3 Mastery also enables the
farmer to unlock the Premium version
of the mastered crop

Although a Premium crop has a unique and different name, when you harvest Super Strawberries the bushels you receive are regular Strawberry Bushels, not Super Strawberry Bushels, which is a good thing all things considered since the whole point behind obtaining the bushels is to craft with them, and to use them to improve the Mastery process.

While this is covered in the Guide, it should be noted that when you are working towards mastery of a given crop, using a bushel from the stand effectively doubles the mastery points that are obtained while harvesting the ripe crop, and can increase the number of bushels that are obtained in the harvesting process, so you should always do that when you are harvesting!

Speaking of bushels, when you find a bushel for a crop you have already mastered, you receive bonus bushels based upon your level of crop mastery. So, for example, if you are harvesting a crop which you have not mastered you find one bushel from a bushel event, but when that event occurs for a crop that you have already mastered the first level for, your receive two bushels for that event due to having attained the first level of mastery. If you have two mastery stars, you receive three bushels, and three mastery stars will net you four bushels!

Clearly crop mastery has an incredible impact upon the process of crafting, which means you will want to master the crop types that are associated with the items you plan to master in crafting in order to make that process faster and easier.

Posted: 4th Sep 2011 by Heather Savage
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