Sunday, July 4, 2010

FrontierVille: Managing The Trees

Yesterday, I wrote My First Look At Facebook's FrontierVille. The post provides a basic introduction into the game many are starting to play. Fans of Zynga's FarmVille will find it has plenty of sowing and reaping, but now users are asked to complete individual challenges. My favorite task so far is to prepare the land for my wife and raise a family. At level 15, I just had my first child.

Last night, my friend Marianne asked a few questions about the game, one of which I plan to answer here. She asked, "Why do some people have so many trees?"

In the beginning, we all have tons of pine and oak trees. For me, I even had a few cactus scattered around my  home. As the game proceeds, we are asked to cut down the trees in order to make room for our family. We also need chunks of wood in order to build things, such as a cabin or barn. If left uncontrolled, some may eventually cut down all their trees. One of my friends has only six trees left, three oak and three pine. The rest of his land looks like a warehouse with every crop, fruit tree, animal, and covered wagon in a straight line. I'm not sure how he manages all of it, but he seems to be doing well at level 28.

Growing Trees
In nature, plants and animals reproduce. In FrontierVille, pine and oak trees will do the same. If left alone, cleared land will begin to sprout trees, grass, cactus, wildflowers, thorns, and skulls. However, with enough money or horseshoes one can even buy these things.

Based on my observation, all new trees, crops, and animals grow from small things into larger things. With small trees, players can either cut them down or allow them to grow. Small trees can easily get mowed down with one swing of the ax; however, as they grow larger, it will take more energy to remove.

Allowing trees to grow provides decoration for your land and a supply of wood for future construction projects. Unfortunately, wild trees have a way of hiding people and resources. If left unattended, trees make it hard to see when crops are full grown, when animals need feeding, and fruit trees are ripe. Therefore, it takes a little help from you.

Managing Trees
To manage trees, all it takes is the simple wave of the players hand. More specifically, the click and slide of the MOVE tool. As shown in the image below, users can use the move tool to rearrange small to medium sized trees to other locations on the land. For me, this means the upper left and right sides. Waiting until trees are full grown removes the MOVE button as an option.

With this information, users should be able to better manage their land, conserve the natural resources for construction projects, and provide shelter for bears and snakes, which you will need later in the game.

Good luck!
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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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