Hard Play/Leveling Up Strategies
TIPS TO LEVEL UP QUICKLY
Not everyone plays the game with the sole purpose of reaching the top level as quickly as possible. Some are happy to place decorations and have a “pretty” farm. There’s nothing at all wrong with that. This article, though, is for people who are interested in getting to the top level as quickly as possible, and making as much money as possible getting there!
This article will specify strategies to maximize coin and XP yields. For tips on general game play, read my “TIPS/TRICKS FOR ANY LEVEL” article using the blue link in my signature at the bottom of this post (or clicking here: http://forums.zynga.com/showthread.p...-at-any-level!.
This post assumes you have read that other article and are incorporating those tips to maximize your water/bottles – stuff like that.
Finally, the specifics of these strategies will vary slightly depending on what level you are at, and change as your levels increase. The underlying theories hold, though - I tried to keep things for mid-level players though I can't remember when some of the crops/trees come online.
Now, in addition to those general tips in my other article, here’s what to do to maximize your growth:
Use of Space: Don’t place any decorations. You can do that once you reach your goal of getting to the highest level. For now, every square in your farm should be dedicated to plots, trees, silos/troughs/crafting, or something that has a purpose. Your animals need space, but just enough so they aren’t so bunched up you can’t do anything with them.
At lower levels, it may not be possible to place enough plots AND have an area dedicated to animal containment. As you expand, however, it's very convenient to create a special place for them - you will be feeding them A LOT! Once you have the space, I'd also suggest (as a convenience) a small nursery area to keep your babies separate from the crowd - this makes feeding them easier. It's not worth wasting plot space for, but it is a convenience once you've gotten some expansions out of the way.
Animal Strategy: Fertilizer is the most important thing you can control in the game – you need a lot of it. Get as many troughs as you can and keep as many animals as you can at all times. When coins are an issue in lower levels, you want 2/3rds of your animals to be Nubian Goats, and 1/3rd to be Cochin chickens. Later (about Level 25-30) when coins no longer are an issue and your farm becomes highly profitable, switch this to 2/3rds Cochins and 1/3rd Nubians. Unless you want to purchase Ibex Goats with Farm Bucks or are completing a quest, there is no reason to have any other animal on your farm.
Feed your animals every time the goats get hungry (every 15 minutes). Feed your chickens more often than that if you need the fertilizer for a crop cycle. Continue feeding them until you have 100 fertilizer in supply, then let them rest until you need fertilizer again.
As soon as an animal prizes, store it if you can or sell it if you can’t, and replace it by purchasing a baby animal of the same kind. When you first visit the game after being gone for a while, “X” out (close) your inbox messages that appear and feed any babies you have all the bottles you can. Then spend down your water watering anything you can to about 10 waters left. THEN open your inbox and clear your messages. Get in the habit of spending water and bottles before clearing your inbox.
Prized animals are of no use to the farmer interested in maximizing profit/xp. They produce less than 10% of the resources that the same animal does when it’s not prized.
Having as many animals as you can is important. One trough will cost you 45 farm bucks and the rest are available for coin. This is a wise purchase *IF* you are interested in spending Farm Bucks on the game (see Expansion Strategy about how to get Farm Bucks at no relative cost).
Crop Strategy: Place as many plots as you have well space + 10 to 15. If you have 4 wells, place 50-55 plots. If you use the five plots trick & your neighbors understand it, increase this by another 10 plots. Also, don’t count your five plots in this total Consider your crops in 4-hour “cycles.” Each day:
· For the first “cycle,” place 1/3rd of your plots with potatoes (as soon as they become unlocked to you). If potatoes aren’t available, choose another 12 hour crop. Place the rest in wheat. Water & fertilize;
· When your wheat is done, your wells will be ready. Harvest your wheat. If any neighbors have visited, check to see if they are visiting any blank plots. If they are, plant them with your highest 24-hour crop (strawberries, sunflowers, carrots, cucumbers), water, fertilize, use your neighbor to speed-grow, and harvest. If the neighbor works one or more of your potato plots, allow them to speedgrow then harvest;
· Once all your neighbor visits are used, plant your crops so that 2/3rd of your plots are now potatoes. Basically, 1/3rd will now have 8 hours left, and 1/3rd will have 12 hours left. Place wheat on the remainder plots. Water & fertilize;
· Four hours later, harvest your wheat, accept your neighbor help (plant your 24-hour crop water and fertilize in any blank spot before accepting the help), then plant everything with potatoes.
· If you are still up for the next cycle, clear your ready potatoes and replace with potatoes. Usually, though, you will not get more than three crop cycles in in a day and will end up starting over when you wake up.
FERTILIZE EVERYTHING EVERY TIME! Every tree, every crop, every time. You have until it’s ready, but do it before it’s ready!
Water Strategy: Using the crop strategy above, you ill end up with more and more water available for your trees with each crop cycle, such that the third cr cycle will be mostly for trees. If you can, visit your farm once an hour.
· First visit (hour 0), all your water goes to new planting, with any leftover to trees. Spend to 0, clear inbox, spend to 0;
· Hour 1: Spend to 0 on trees of five plot visits growing your 24-hour crops. Leave your main plots alone even if there are visiting neighbors. Clear your inbox and spend to 0 again;
· Hour 2: Spend to 0 on trees or five plot visits, clear your inbox and spend to 0 again;
· Hour 3: Spend to 0, clear inbox, but DON’T SPEND the bonus water you get from your inbox. Save this for the next crop cycle in one hour;
· Hour 4: This is a crop cycle hour – same as Hour 0 except you are also using water for neighbor visits
Resource Strategy: Do not sell harvested crops, eggs, cheese, milk, etc. unless you really need the coin for something (like an expansion, to buy a new animal, etc.) Maintain savings until you get to about 500 eggs, 500 cheeses, 500 milks. Use your 24-hour crops for feed unless you run out, then use other crops as needed but only as needed. Anything above 500 of milk, eggs, cheese can be sold because you will continuously be making more.
Inbox Strategy: Spend water and bottles before clearing your inbox. NEVER let your inbox get to more than 125 messages waiting if you are playing the game (the number it shows is notoriously behind and you never want to get full).
Crafting Strategy: You want lime trees, nutmeg trees, plum trees, apricot trees as soon as you can get them. Overall, the best recipes are potato salad, muffins, plum betty, apricot trifle, lime water, etc. that provide high XP and decent coin return without a bunch of crafting steps. Do nothing with your potatoes until you can make potato salad, convert your wheat to flour and make batter and pie crusts (about three batters for each one pie crust) in anticipation for plums, nutmeg, sweet potatoes.
Expansion Strategy: Expand as soon as you can afford it. You can spend Farm Bucks wisely to get these expansions quickly – buy out the crafting portion of the requirements and complete the other two. The crafting portions are the only ones that are level-specific. So for a few farm bucks, you can get the expansions well before you would have if you waited for the crafting to become available. To get the farm bucks, check the OFFERS tab in game to see if there is anything you need or want to buy for someone for XMAS, birthdays, etc. Get the Farm Bucks as a bonus for bying these items at regular price. Only spend actual money buying farm bucks if you really want them and have found nothing you want in the OFFERS tab.
Level Up Strategy: As you get near leveling up, plant your highest unlocked 24-hour crop with each crop cycle until your farm is completely planted with that crop. Then, you may want to wait one more crop cycle (four hours) doing nothing but watering trees. Try to get everything watered and fertilized before leveling up. Then level up and harvest EVERYTHING to give you the highest levels of XP and crafting resources. Often, this will give you enough feed to last at least halfway through your next level.
Requests Strategy: If you have a LOT (like 1,500 or more) neighbors and/or active FV2 friends, you will almost never need to send requests for bottles (remember to spend them before clearing your inbox). Water requests can REALLY help when you are preparing to level up since you will basically need to water as much of your whole farm as you can twice in a row. Request power from the crafting kitchen every day until you get 30 in reserve – whether you need it then or not. For sugar, plan it out – wait until you have all your farmhands, your power is full, and you have at least some in your inventory. Then blast out requests for sugar to half or more of your friends. Check the recipe (powdered sugar, heavy cream, blackberry jam, whatever) FREQUENTLY like every 30-seconds in the beginning and craft them as they come in so you never get to 12. Continue this until you are out of power or until the requests stop coming. Use your farmhands as necessary to get more power (put them in the kitchen), then use your inventory power. If done right with enough friends, you only have to do this once a week or so to get all the sugar-based stuff you need.
There are tweaks to this for every level, but I hope this gives you food for thought as to how you can maximize your gameplay for experience points and coin. Maximizing recipes for coin can hurt you in the long run by getting your crop cycles out of whack and taking too many crafting power for just a few additional coin. Feeding your goats once will usually provide enough coin to make up the difference – so we’re not talking about a lot of coin here.
Bottom line is play frequently and keep those animals feeding/cycling, grow all the wheat you can (cycling longer crops so you have water for your trees) and sell nothing expect crafted goods unless you are over your 500 limit, or really need the coin. If you can convince your neighbors to help you with the Five Plots trick, you can get 5,000 to 10,000XP per day using it once you get to blue ribbon on cucumbers. It takes a lot of posting to your FB wall, messages asking individuals to please help, etc. But it's very much worth it if you really want to maximize things and level up quickly!
This guide is by no means definitive, and I don't consider myself an expert at all. Just some basic strategies I have come across that may not be the perfect way to play the game, but definitely have helped my keep ahead of almost all of my friends in leveling up.
Good luck & happy farming!!