Andy's Workshop

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

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Tuesday 28 August 2012

Booby Prize Animals

[As usual, all thoughts in this blog are mine and mine alone. They do not necessarily represent the views of the admins or members of Frontierville Express.]

I've decided, if I can indulge myself, that it's time for another letter to Zynga.

Agree or disagree I'd be interested to see your thoughts in the comments, although remember to stay nice.

Hey Zynga, thanks for coming, sit down, there's something serious I wanted to talk to you about.

I like pizza.

Thin crust mostly, really don't like the big puffy ones, but other than that I'm pretty open minded, meat, veg, anchovies, even pineapple. When it comes to pizza I'm an unfaithful topping-chasing pig with a fear of commitment.

But here's the thing, however many different toppings I'll cruelly masticate with and discard, I can't do pizza every night, even trying a variety of eating positions.

So, we get onto prize animals, or specifically the mechanic of them.

Get animal, team with neighbour, feed it a ludicrous amount of times with something we have to craft, weight it, lather rinse repeat.

Basically we've now had Pigs, Sheep, Bulls and Ponies, not to mention the Carnival and Frontier games which were prize animals in a disguise so thin they might as well have just worn a pair of those comedy glasses with a big nose and moustache on.

We've had all of those in, near as makes no difference, exactly three months. That means this exact mechanic has been used every fortnight, 1 in 4, 25%, a quarter... however you read it.

That's bordering on the slightly daft, if I may be blunt for one second, you're flogging the ass donkey off it.

"But it's new things!" I hear you cry. Well, it's not. It's just pizza with a different topping, only it's being given to people who don't like pizza.

Thanks to the monotony of a free gift crop (just make them coins after a month) and a request being needed for every feed (and LOTS needed) the issue is the actual spine of the mechanic is as tedious as a four hour lecture on toenail clipping.

There are some people still doing ALL four prize animals and both carnival game missions, missions that are equally dull and differ only in cosmetic features, like the Kardashians.

We're already dreading Prize Goats, Prize Oxen, Prize Cows... I'd worry about giving you ideas if I didn't assume you'd already had them.

Expansions release night... people were HAPPY... they WANTED those missions. That's what we need more of. Compared to a normal release night it was heaven.

We need some fun homestead based mission threads without a building, like we used to have, harvest this, request that, tend the other, job done.

We certainly need that before we need any other prize animal. Because pigs were fun, sheep were interesting... and from then on it went downhill. Probably 7 out of 10 people hated the sight of the Prize Ponies. A few more and you may find a 10 out of 10 universal hatred rating for those poor Prize Goats...

So how about a compromise? You get one mission thread a week that's tedium and requesting for your clicks and marketing... We get one mission thread a week where we get to have fun?

Hows about it? Mundane Mondays and Thrilling Thursday, sorts both sides out...


  1. Add my name to the list, Andy. And I'm sure it is a long, long list. I no longer do those missions, nor do I accept requests. I was only performing the required idiocy if required for another mission, and that stopped dead with the bulls. Perhaps you could also mention (although that is beating a dead horse) that they fix known issues before they consider another release? Really, these rollbacks are getting to be disheartening.
    Once again, Andy, very well said. I agree 100%.

  2. Well said Andy. I have been on this game since it was released, and unfortunately I am on the verge of just giving up and quitting. It's becoming more like work than fun!!! I think Zanga needs a reality check!! (or I do)...

  3. I don't have the time to keep feeding all these "special" animals and do the rest of anything. I am falling farther and farther behind and I refuse to buy horseshoes to catch up-I would go broke. There are just some things I ignore and don't do. I do like expanding the plot to put things on. I wish there was a way to delete missions that we don't want to do.

  4. I agree has become boring at best, it lacks imagination and with the restrictions on posts with the Ponies(food being linked to build)it is beyond my comprehension why the developers are trying to kill the game. I have come to dread mission release days..there is no thrill in completion, only relief. Not to mention My neighbor base has gone from around 200 active players to about 25..I get most of my help from people no longer even playing the game out of sympathy. Sad, but true.

  5. we have so many of the pig,sheep,bulls,games ect,i have not finished any of these and they continue to grow.wondering if it worth the time and stress.4-7 hour wait for postings,not enough helps to collect on,then with the bugs in game and games going this really worth the time & hassle?they need to fix everything i don't have any room on my farm and can't delete the games on my farm..

  6. Thank you, Andy...It's about time someone said our thoughts out loud!!

  7. Great idea, if they would only listen. I personally don't mind all the missions. If I complete them okay, if I don't, that's ok too. Because the awards are just not enough to get overly upset about. I agree also that it is just not as fun as it used to be. It is too much work, it's supposed to be a game, relaxing, fun.

  8. great job on the wording , its better than how i would say but gets the point and explanation across . i did notice that prize pigs give items for collection which traded gives hog chow , prize sheep give minimal shampoo and bulls gives chili- whats up with that???

  9. Andy appreciate your comments as always.Prize this prize that how many folks are actually getting prize anything as we can't get the items needed to make the prize when there are so many beg items nobody can get all the clicks they need? So many beg items you wonder did I get everything posted? Will anyone click on needed items? Oh yhe stress of playing a GAME :)

  10. Well said!! While I moan about too many missions, too many upgrades and too many requests, at least it keeps me busy with the game. However, the lack of total creativity is making the game dull and repetitive! And if they're going to keep releasing all these animals that need to be stored in the same building, they need to adjust the amount of storage we gain for such a HUGE amount of work to upgrade that building. I still have not stored my sheep and bull and now will have to upgrade more for the horses. Also, need to add a way to ignore neighbor prize animal requests within the game. I just accept from the envelope but then when there is someone who specifically asks me to help, I have to place bunches of animals before I can get to theirs. I think people are doing this with my requests too b/c I have so many games & animals that get accepted and then the neighbor never does anything with them!

  11. Love the idea, but add this...limit the items needing to request for ...seriously need to ask for 80 meat hook, while continuously asking your neighbors to send you those dreadful HS only crops that you need to receive an 8th of the items needed to accomplish baiting, taming, boosting animals that NO ONE wants to help with. Begging for 20 items of anything is enough but when you need 72 to 100 of one thing, a bit mundane and ridiculous. While on the mundane, sure some players have over 200 hundred neighbors that HELP, lets stop the madness of mission after mission.You get the Mission is rolled out to 5% of players then all of a sudden every one has it then the 45% who can't get anywhere are left literally hanging in the frontier begging for a small morsel that no one helps with anymore once they have accomplished the mission. I personally have 136 neighbors only 30 actually help; 20 no longer play; can't get them off my frontier; while 70 others take and never return anything (you know the ACCEPT button but none SEND BACK)and the others play whenever.
    And as for Carnival games and animals growing I no longer am doing them since the first animals came out I helped 10 animals ( their owners didn't help) and when I needed the help(with my own)I was left to feed on my own, no one accepted my request for help. the Games are useless I am still working on those just not worth begging.
    I believe the developers want us to leave the game (like the boss who wants to fire you but would rather have you quit)....aggravate, anger, no answers, constant piling up of tasks, begging and so on you eventually quit and find a better job for better rewards.

  12. You are right Andy. I can't keep up with all this crap anymore. Too many buildings and not enough room to put them any where. I can't seem to get enough of soap, beef cakes, & so on to feed my own prize animals let alone help others as much as I want to help I just can't. I thought games where to have fun with and play off and on, NOT to be a second job or third in some cases.

  13. totally agree they are gettin so tedious some ppl are just giving up, too many prize animals but not enough clicks to get them...

  14. Agree completely! So tired of those animals the only one I finished was the pig one. I only got one star sheep, and in spite of doing 14 bulls, haven't gotten any of those. I don't even try to keep up anymore, I have so many missions I have abandoned, and have lost most of my active player neighbors, can't say I blame them!!

  15. Do I sense a theme here? Let me jump on the bandwagon with everything everyone else has said. I won't even do the pigs, sheep, and bull missions anymore, after doing close to 50 and only getting 1 that weighed over 300 lbs, I'm letting them sit and ignoring doing them. I've resorted to start the pioneer trail over again (for the 4th time) just for something to do between all the waiting and hoping that all those crazy requests get clicked. And even the trail now has glitches; my carpenter, hunter and doctor rarely load so I can't use them..and of course I now have missions that require them to do whatever. Flusteration abounds everywhere! But we are troopers and will hang in there! Just out of curiosity, does zynga ever listen? Will they hear our cries and go back to how it was so we can enjoy the game?

  16. I do agree that they would just as soon the long-term players get out of the game. It's easier to lure new, unsuspecting players, and get them hooked, vs fixing glitches (which I am coming to believe are deliberate in some cases), or to create missions that are fun. Support is directed as to what they can do for us, and it's not anything for the current missions. this is even when it is their fault the current mission items can be collected due to Shock wave Crash, bug/Refresh, or simply not getting the item without any explanation. They believe that will force players to buy their way thru the mission. Why don't they realize it is the longer players (for the most part) that will buy Horseshoes and things like the Irrigation Station, etc? Also, why would I publish my URL ID? don't mind my name, but not my ID. Anonymous it is!

  17. Watch when you load your games. There has always been something above it that says X smount of people like this game. Ive been watching it plummet at an astonishing rate since the end of July. 30,000 in the last 6 days have dropped out. Dont they pay attention? No of course they don't. I'm sorry, but if they don't care what they are doing to this game,and to loyal players....well then I no longer care to even consider purchasing horseshoes, or items that I use to on a monthly expensive basis. This... is a sinking ship, and the capatin at the helm, doesnt seem to care one way or another. This latest farce of only being to ask for ONE collection item OR the horsey punch.. its laughable, and its a downright juvenille insult to loyal players. Apologies, but you asked how we felt. And right now. I feel like a gullible guinea pig in a sad little boys game.

  18. Well said Andy-I"m sure many agree-I am not doing any more prize useless time consuming and frustrating!

  19. Totally agree. I raised one pig and haven't started any of the other animals. I did start the carnival games, but sold them off asap. Didn't even start the olympics.

  20. Andy~ Always well said and exactly what We Want!! I have played since day 1 and am at the point of quitting forever!! Zynga needs to get their heads out of there AS%'#!! They want our suggestions, well we keep giving them, and I don't think any of us have given them the repeatable's!! And after the ponies I will not move on to other animals! I am (holding paper between fingers) this close to quitting!

  21. Andy thank you for being the players voice. This is the first time that I have seriously considered leaving the game due to these ridiculous missions with the animals. Also, has anyone noticed how hostile players are getting with their pleas for help when they post for items? It has become so hard to get help and we as the player is starting to gag from the smell of burned out piazza!!

  22. Thanks for a frank discussion of the irritations we as players are having with redundant missions and impossible collections (150 rabbit jerky for 3 wolves, etc.) that take up the number of requests or bonus collections we have. Then when we have a problem we are promised the moon but a week later, it's still dark as pitch outside.
    Too many issues to list.

  23. I have said all of the above things to Zynga support when I have to contact them for a problem. Just last night I sent to them, due to my harvesting of crops not showing in the quest completion, and asked again WHY they do not listen to all of people's problems and dislikes regarding the game. I will be curious to see the reply!