Andy's Workshop

Game chat and stories along with some articles probably for the more geeky among us,
all written by me, Andy.

Click here for my Frontierville Addiction Therapy Guide

Friday 18 February 2011

"I'm Bored" - The Most Dangerous Words In Frontierville?

Since the turn of they year we've seen 65 new missions, six new buildings, three new crops, a bundle of new decorations and some game-changing features such as the Kissing Tree, The Pony Express and injured animals.

Thing is... I'm actually feeling a little burnt out.

We know the big problem the developers face. Anyone starting this game gets used to never being without a mission thanks to the long story thread that first introduces us to the game, 38 central string missions and dozens of side missions.

We almost get indoctrinated into every mission bouncing up a new one, or at least when it doesn't one of the other little icons in our mission thread will.

So, when all the missions come to an end and we see nothing on the left hand side some folks get lost, they feel directionless... totally wrongly but I'll cover that later.

That's when we see the dreaded phrase on the page...

"When are new missions coming out... I'm boooooored..."

I must admit in a mission hiatus I do feel somewhat like the stereotypical comedy movie father in the front seat of the car, on the way to a holiday destination.

"Are the missions here yet? Are the missions here yet? Are the missions here yet? Are the missions here yet? Are the missions here yet? Are the missions here yet? Are the missions here yet? Are the missions here yet? Are the missions here yet? Are the missions here yet? Are the missions here yet?...... "

It makes me worry that the Developers now feel a duty to keep up with this vocal minority. The intensity of new stuff does suggest they're pushing out more and more things, over-reaching themselves in fact, in a hope of placating these few of the many who need newness at all times.

The problem they face is then alienating the silent majority, the ones who don't rush through missions, don't ever buy mission requirements with horseshoes or even those who use less than scrupulous methods of gaining mission items.

It sounds a bit mad, how can anyone complain about there being all these missions around?

Well, let me paint you a picture of a game player... someone who can't get on every day, doesn't have triple figures worth of neighbours and maybe even plays two or three different games, we'll call them Gamer X.

Gamer X is still doing the initial story missions, thanks to arriving a few months after the game released and finding all the new missions that longer term gamers only got recently. Perhaps Gamer X did start early but took a hiatus, lost their computer for a month or two to a problem or was locked out of their game for a bit.

When they log in they see up to six or seven different missions on the go at all times, old ones, new ones, timed ones, topical ones... a collective of missions all requiring their attention and all pleading for different things.

For a time that was fun, having stuff to do... but because Gamer X isn't horrifically addicted (as you can tell just from this, X isn't me) and doesn't want to add a lot of off game friends they find themselves lagging further and further behind. Time limits on posting means it takes up to a week to get mission items from wall posts and with few, or no, neighbours visiting there are no short cuts to any tend/harvest requirements.

Gamer X looks at all this stuff on their screen and realises how long they'll have to work to finish those missions... and they know that at this current rate of release for every mission they finish, two will have been released. They mutter something profane and close the game... knowing for every day they keep it shut the problem will intensify... so they remove it.

There is a problem much, MUCH more severe than boredom, it's burnout.

Boredom is temporary and highly unlikely to stop anyone playing the game, if you have no missions left you're an addict, plain and simple. You desire your fix daily.

For burnout victims the problem is more severe and much more likely to cause folks to leave the game. Sooner or later people will feel buried under the amount of stuff that needs doing and leave, because this is a game, and is meant to be fun... and work isn't fun when you feel under an avalanche of it.

New missions are hardly a great thing to celebrate when you've already got a half dozen on your screen, just like being given another report to write or account to tally when you have four on the go is why work is what we have to be PAID to do...

Boredom in this game is basically an inability to find something else to do when there are things all around... People forget that the game is not a dominatrix, you are allowed to do things without being told to.

Tend animals up to adult, sell them and start again from scratch. Plant crops, watch them grow and harvest them, only to plant more. Pluck fruit from the trees and bonuses from the buildings. Redecorate your homestead or redesign it... repaint all your buildings and give your family new clothes. If all else fails try a quick dose of "Mission Lite" and aim for some badges.

Try to remember the last time you did something in the game that wasn't mission dictated. Forget worrying about what future missions might require as most (read: all) of them are going to stick around for much longer than you need to finish them anyway.

Enjoy the game for the game, not simply for what it tells you to do... Every time you're going to say "I'm bored" think about the people who are the opposite, the people snowed under with missions and maybe even pressing that little X next to Frontierville...

...then go find something on your Homestead to do... If it helps, pretend I'm the game and that's an order. I'll give out some more invisible badgers to anyone who does it right.


  1. Been there, done that with the overload of missions going all at the same time. It was insanity and I had to keep looking in each one to see what the requirement were - no way I could "remember" all of them. It definitely was more "work" than "fun" at that time. :) (Amy)

  2. Well said. Thank you! I come less often now and may stopoming altogether.

  3. Well? Are the missions here yet?

    (someone had to throw that joke in) LOL

    Thank you for all you do!!!

    ~FrontierDelle Sherer

  4. I'm a completionist, and with the missions rolling out so quickly I'm overwhelmed trying to complete one before the next is introduced. I've gotten burned out and am no longer a daily player.

  5. Thansk for saying this..I think sometimes some people become so focused on this game they forget there are those of us with slower and not as nice computers..It takes longer if you don't have good internet to. I for one am always behind because of these issues ..So thanks for stating what some players don't seem to realize :)

  6. What makes matters worse is it takes ages to do these missions and there are so many glitches in the game quite often what you have just achieved has not been saved and you have to do it all over again. The trend this year seems to be constantly repeating missions to claim the reward...that is soooooo boring!

    It's not the amount of missions that rattles me, it's the fact you have to rely on neighbours to complete so many of them. It would be good to get some goals that you can do within your own homestead and not have to ask neighbours for help every time. Like it's been said, people give up because there is so many goals to achieve which then makes it harder for the neighbours they had, because now those neighbours have lost someone elses help!

    Zynga aren't listening because it happens in all their games and so many peeps complain about it but things don't change....infact they seem to get worse!

    I'm just a saddo that's! I did stop 2 games recently tho' because enough is enough!

  7. I agree...started the game in the beginning wondering how in the world I would ever get 10 neighbors!!!! NOW my original neighbors are long gone and I AM thinking of giving it all up, it is too sad...for such a fun game to become a " dreaded game"

  8. Not playing as much myself....All the repeat missions and begging has become ridiculous...too many glitches, not enough space to put all the stuff they want you to build. Get off the other huge towns (halloween and christmas) that are temps...and give us some land on our homesteads because I am way burnt out

  9. I, for one, commend you for posting this originally, in 2011, and again this year. I missed about 4 weeks in sept/oct of 2011 and came back to about 18 missions needing my attention. I have been a player(addict) since day one. I seriously considered quitting. I frazzled myself through December trying to play catch up. Then I had an epiphany. I originally played for fun. It had become a J-O-B! Now I am playing once again, for FUN! I will simply take my time and do what I can, and also do at least one thing a day NOT mission related. Thanks, Andy, for all you guys do for us.