A common problem that afflicts many Farmville farmers occurs every time a new farm is released; namely, how to get rid of all those pesky treasures that litter the landscape and prevent us from laying down all the crop plots we so desperately need. With new farms being released every 7-8 weeks, the problem is not only common, but recurring; and begs for a strategy in dealing with the challenge. Actually, dealing with this problem is not really a difficult task at all, but does call for a certain amount of understanding of some relevant in-game functions. Therefore, in this article, I’ll begin by presenting the simple solution to the dilemma; followed by some more in-depth discussion. This way, you can simply take what you need from this; whether it’s just a simple solution, or a full collection of info nuggets (if you like that kind of stuff.)
Please note that you don’t actually have to have the newest farm in order to start collecting parts for it. Parts for clearing treasures and upgrading the main buildable features have not been locked to the new farm in the most recent new farm release (Mediterranean Riviera, at the time of this writing), and hopefully, this will remain the case in future releases as well. This is good news for people that don’t pay for early access, and gives you a way to prepare in advance of getting the newest farm.
The Simple Solution
Clearing treasures can be a daunting task, considering that literally hundreds of parts can be required to clear even a 20x20 farm. If you expand to even larger sizes, the problem grows with each movement of the fences. A little foresight and planning will make clearing the land a lot less stressful. Once a new farm is released, the parts needed to clear the various treasures become available to send as free gifts to your friends. Typically, one part is used to clear small and medium treasures, and another is used to clear large and extra-large ones. For up to a 20x20 farm (the largest size you can typically expand to for coins), you need roughly twice as many parts to clear the larger treasures, as compared to the amount needed for the smaller ones. Above the 20x20 size, most of the parts you’ll need will be for the large and extra large treasures. Do find out which part you will need more of. Either check your new farm, or check the article covering treasures and parts, found within the farm’s Complete Guides published here on The Dirt Farmer’s website. Checking the article for the Mediterranean Riviera farm reveals that you will need 180 Shimmering Tapes and 406 Sea Glass Glues to clear all the treasures on a 20x20 farm.
Send these parts to your friends via the Free Gifts tab above your farm. How many of each to send? People may experience different levels of success with this strategy, so the answer is not chiseled in stone. As a starting point, I would try to send half the total needed out to my friends. The point to this strategy (and key to its success) is to have your friends return the gift to you. Most people should have no trouble getting their friends to return their gift; after all, they are in the same predicament as you, and should be happy to reciprocate. One thing I find that helps enhance the effectiveness of this strategy is to allow 6 hours to pass between times that you go into your Zynga Message Center (ZMC) to address all the activity in there. (You may want to go in sooner than this if you see 100 items waiting for you there.) Once you’ve launched you initial wave of free gifts for parts, you should then become involved in a continuous trading of these parts back and forth with your friends within the ZMC. It’s not unreasonable to expect to end up with roughly twice the number of parts you originally sent out; adding to what you’re able to collect off the newsfeed or through periodic posts requesting the parts from the farm treasures themselves (Ask for parts.)
This is the solution to the problem, stated in the most simplistic manner. If you’re a savvy farmer, you either already use this strategy or know how to implement this strategy with a reasonable expectation for success; and can stop reading right here. Otherwise, if you’d like to know a bit (or a lot) more, or are thinking, “Hey, I do this, but no one ever returns my stuff!,” then keep reading. You may find something that may help you.
A Closer Look at the Zynga Message Center (ZMC)
This method of sending free gifts to your friends for needed parts is not limited to just parts for clearing treasures. It’s also a great way to get vehicle parts for building your farm machines on the new farms; or parts for those monster buildables, like Pantheon Isle on Mediterranean Riviera. The strategy is best when used for parts that are in high demand, like those for newly released farms; where the likelihood of your friend returning the favor is greatest. Also, understanding a bit about how the ZMC and Facebook requests work will help you to get the most out of this strategy. This strategy takes full advantage of the social aspect of Farmville.
A normal ZMC inbox has several distinct sections to it. First, there’s the gift inbox. Next comes the section for your friends’ help requests, where they beg you for something. After that come sections for crops they purchase from you via the Trading Post, notifications that someone sent you something you asked for (would you like to send them a gift), and neighbor requests. How you process the items in these various sections can have a bearing on how your part-trading efforts succeed.
Basically, when collecting parts, it is best to focus your efforts on this narrow task with respect to accepting and returning gifts you receive in your ZMC inbox. Put the collecting of Special Delivery Boxes (SDBs) on the backburner for now. Once you’ve sent your wave of target parts out, you’ll be getting a large number of these back if you stay on-task. You have 3 action options with your incoming gifts: 1) Accept & Send, 2) Accept only, or 3) Reject (the little gray “x”.) If you get a desired part, Accept & Send it, which will send the same item back to your friend again if enough time has passed since you sent them the item in the first place. Reject all SDBs…you can resume collecting these after you’ve achieved your part-mongering goals. Reject all Comet Tails, Grass Patches, Balloons, or anything else that is sent as a Zynga-suggested gift to you. For parts that are sent to you that aren’t from this urgent-need group, like Salt Licks, Rakes, Animal Feed, or Baby Blankets; do whatever suits your style of gameplay by either Accepting & Sending or Rejecting. I tend to A&S, since it appears to be something that my friend probably desires to get back in return (making it the right thing to do, socially speaking.)
Moving to the next ZMC section, your friends’ help requests, these should always be Accepted & Sent. Doing anything less is just being a bad friend. As far as the subsequent ZMC sections are concerned, they can all be handled by Accepting whatever it is, but do not Send (return) anything. What we’re doing by not returning in certain situations is preserving our allocation of game requests that we have available to use. If you return something to a friend, that uses your allocated request for that friend. This is also why I advise against returning SDBs.
Why bother making these distinctions in how you handle items in the ZMC? Zynga allows (or limits) you to send out 1 gift and 1 help request to each of your Farmville friends every 6 hours. You may notice when sending out gifts, that once you select someone and press send, that person disappears from the list of people you can send an item or request to. It also bears mentioning that you should be selective when choosing who to send the gifts of desired parts to. Always use the Suggested Friends tab to make your selections. These are the people that are typically the most active in the game (according to Zynga.) But don’t just click that send button when every name on the page is checked. Try to select only those people that you recognize as having appeared in your ZMC or the newsfeed. (But keep in mind that currently, Facebook only allows you to see 20% of the posts you’re actually eligible to see.) This increases your chances of making a solid connection and getting those returns you’re looking for. It takes some extra time, but I think you’ll be pleased with the results if you follow these guidelines. If you can’t muster the desired number of sends this way though, then by all means go ahead and shoot out a buckshot group of requests.
Time to Plow!
The main objective we are trying to achieve is being able to clear as much ground on the new farm (or expanded farm) as quickly as possible, so you can lay down as many productive crop plots as possible. The more plots you have, the quicker you can master the crops required for the farm’s “Beat” event. When I’m setting up a new farm (or working with a newly-expanded one), I always use my tractor to plow all the plots I can after moving everything that’s not nailed-down to one edge of the farm. I keep the pattern tight, keeping everything in line and ignoring the position of obstructing treasures. This will tend to show me quite quickly which treasures are hogging-up the largest amount of precious real estate, and helps me prioritize the order I want to remove them in. If you’re loaded up with tons of parts (like you should be if you use the strategies in this article), this shouldn’t even be an issue for you… you’ll just clear everything at once. To have the maximum amount of ground available for planting, do away with animal pens and other items that take up space and get in the way of achieving crop masteries and “beating the farm” as quickly as possible. Once you’ve gotten real close to beating the farm, then go ahead and knock yourself out with pens and such stuff.
The information, strategies, and recommendations contained in this article are based on a combination of knowledge, past experience, and my own personal style of gameplay. I don’t suggest that what is laid out here is the best way to do things, or based on 100% gospel fact. I will say, however, that I’ve had huge success using these methods. If you’ve wrestled with ways to handle real estate issues in the past, you may find this of some (or considerable) value. If so, please feel free to share this with your friends. Happy farming, and enjoy opening all those treasures!