After the first two weeks of playing farmville it is a good idea to take a close look at your neighborhood. Of course it feels good to overtake lots of neighbors in the neighbors bar but keeping neighbors who don’t play anymore doesn’t really make sense. You don’t get any more bonuses from them if they don’t play and your visits and gifts are not returned. If they are real-life friends who don’t want to play anymore but leave their farm open for visits you probably still want to keep them as friends and neighbors. You might not know what your online friends are planning to do, though. So in my opinion it is always good to investigate. Lots of people will write on their profile if they are going on holiday or have exams that prevent them from coming online, so if a farm in your neighborhood looks like it was abandoned you can check back on the profile whether there has been any activity in the past week or if you find clues why your neighbors can’t play at the moment. If you don’t find what you’re looking for it is OK to send them a short message, asking whether they have stopped playing. Most people will answer you. If you don’t hear back from them for another week, you may consider to remove them as neighbors and/or friends. You can send them another message to tell them about your intentions. If they still want to play the game they will probably respond. I used to do this kind of spring cleaning on my neighbors’ list every other week for the first half year of playing farmville since gifts are strictly limited. Other than non-players that didn’t respond I haven’t removed inactive players from friends myself for some time now, since the neighbors who responded quickly became more than just another online acquaintance. The drawback of this is that inactive players will still come up for truffle or other events in farmville and they might not send them back. But I’m willing to take that chance now since I’m not too dependent on my neighbors any more (at level 120).
Another reason to get rid of neighbors is if they annoy you. There are some players who will seldom farm and return gifts but will click and spread all sorts of scams on the feed. Some of these accounts might even belong to people who just spread spam and make money off stealing their friends’ profile information and selling it. If you notice that people who want to become your friends have pages on their “other interests” section that are fake like “the free FV money tree” you might want to ignore their friend request. When neighbors click on things like that by mistake on the feed it is always good to comment on their post and tell them to remove it and maybe report the page. Some of the fake pages look a lot like regular farmville posts, so if a neighbor makes a mistake once or twice, just tell them and there is no need to remove them. People who spread several fake pages a day are the ones I’m warning you about.
As soon as you can do co-op farming there will also be neighbors who remove you from friends if you join their co-op and don’t contribute. I don’t recommend that you do that since there might be all sorts of reasons for neighbors not to be able to harvest in time for gold or even other people joining late with pre-seeded crops who harvest before them. But you still might lose some stubborn neighbors that way.
In any case you should try to find some more new neighbors to make up for the inactive and lost ones. You can just use the same technique that I have already explained in the first part of the guide in the section on neighbors, look at your neighbors’ profiles, find posts by visitors to their farm and send them a friend request mentioning that you are an active farmville player looking for more neighbors. You can also post on the farmville forum or on the gamers unite forum in the “add me” section in the hope of finding lots of new players who need more neighbors.
Another good technique to find active farmville neighbors that may even have more in common with you, such as a fairly well-decorated farm, rare foal and/or calf breeders, the same crafting building, being reliable visitors and shoppers, or having few active neighbors, is by asking friends to recommend a few of their farmville friends who have the characteristics you are looking for (offering to do the same for them if they like). Not only is it easy and enjoyable for you to enlarge your neighborhood where you see similarities, it may also be enjoyable for your friends to do the recommendations if they have enough time and energy for it. I used to suggest new neighbors to all my friends with less than 50 neighbors for the local celebrity ribbon regularly, which gave me a growing neighborhood with active neighbors and friends who were also each other’s neighbors. That can help with the success of co-op missions as well.
One last thing I need to mention here because it’s a recent development is the new limit on feed collecting. It was introduced suspiciously close to the release of a constructable event building that required more than 150 building materials in total to finish the most advanced version, while releasing the same purchasable in the market for 150 FC. Since the limit was first set below the mark at 125 items a day, it is doubtful whether the intention behind it was deterring cheaters, as zynga claimed, but it rather it rather felt like making people who just can’t wait another day to finish a new building spend farmcash, most probably bought with real money. Since the outcry against this could not be overlooked (there are more than 450 pages in the feedback thread on the official forum and I have first-hand experience at how fast any critical comment gets deleted there with paltry excuses, yet I still have to find a response that claims the new limit is ok or even good), the limit was raised to 200 items a day after some time. 200 items isn’t all that bad as a limit unless you want to keep your snag bar running 24/7 and have it grab absolutely everything your neighbors publish. I have stopped collecting event rewards such as gold, spring flowers and so on from the feed for a long time now. You can easily make the limit last all day if you focus on what you REALLY want and need or just collect things from the feed once a day anyway. Your chances of being able to take rare eggs, foals and calves later in the day may decrease by the limit but maybe you can make up for that by setting your limit on regular collecting to 195 and then only collect the very rare stuff later, or grab 5 things you still need badly before you go off-line for the day. Most players seem to doubt the effectiveness of the limit, which begs the question why it was introduced. I hope in the future means of collecting from the feed like the snag bar will be recognized as simple tools, making the game more enjoyable, rather than being treated like a cheat.
3 Crops revisited
© Conny Streit, 2011