After level 10 in farmville you can master crops. The number of crops you have to harvest to achieve the stars varies, but you can get 3 stars for every regular crop at the market and sometimes special event crops can be mastered too. The first star gives you 500 coins and 25 XP, the second 1,500 coins and 75 XP and the third star is worth 5,000 coins and 250 XP. You also receive a mastery sign that you can put on your farm to show that you have mastered a crop. After you have mastered the crop, each plot of the crop you grow has a different chance between 5% and 40% to be a premium crop. A premium crop looks bigger and better than the regular crops (like the fertilized crops, but without the stars) and it harvests for additional XP, how many you get depends on the crop. In addition to that you can use the farmer’s market to master crops faster and to get more additional XP when you harvest mastered crops. You can check the farmer’s market section of this guide for more info on this.
Mastering crops that don’t get you many XP or coins doesn’t really make economic sense but some players see it as their long-term goal in the game to master all the crops. If you enjoy growing different kinds of crops like I do this may be fun for you, too.
I suggest you try to master profitable crops that you want to grow a lot first and you can help on co-ops that need less profitable ones as a way to get more co-op achievements and in order to get extra XP and coins for growing less profitable crops.
Crafting recipes can be mastered as well. While the level of the goods needed to achieve the first and second mastery star varies for the recipes you get at the different levels of your crafting building, there are fixed levels to achieve 3 to 5 star mastery of regular goods. Limited goods such as the carnation vinegar will get you the sign for 5-star mastery as soon as your goods reach level 20 or 25. Before that there are no mastery stars for the limited goods. All the regular recipes will give you 3-star mastery at level 50 of the good, 4-star mastery at level 75 and when your good reaches level 100 you get the 5-star mastery sign for it. The first star for your goods in your crafting building always comes at 20 levels above the one you started out with, the second one 10 after that. So goods that can be produced in the most basic, level 1, crafting building, your first 3 recipes, reach their first star at level 20, the second one at level 30. All the later recipes that you got after upgrading your crafting building start out at higher levels, 3 each for each of the levels of the crafting building. So a recipe from a level 2 building will get you the first star at level 23 and the second one at level 33, and so on (to look up which levels of which regular goods give you mastery stars, there is a good guide on crafting buildings and masteries on the official forum: http://forums.zynga.com/showthread.php?t=732112). The first mastery star on any recipe earns you 500 XP, 1000 coins and a mastery sign of the product with one star at the bottom. As you level up your recipes, the signs keep changing to display 2, 3, 4 and finally 5 stars. Your rewards increase with the stars you receive, you gain 1000 XP and 2500 coins for 2 stars or 5 stars on a limited recipe, 1,500 XP and 5,000 coins for 3 stars, 3,000 XP and 10,000 coins for 4 stars and 4,500 XP and 25,000 coins for 5 stars. After that you can still increase the level of your goods by making more and selling them but neither the fuel you get nor the price of the good will go up after level 100. There are no additional stars after 5 star mastery either. For a description of masteries for craftshop recipes, please refer to the next part of this guide on crafting.
Tree mastery can take long if you only keep one tree each of the less valuable trees and just like crop mastery of less profitable crops, it is more of an end unto itself for the less profitable trees. Let me explain: Assuming you can get your hands on one of them, you may want to master yellow maple tree. The total harvests required to do so are 678 (for the required number of harvesting actions per tree I’ve referred to this good guide on the official forum: http://forums.zynga.com/showthread.php?t=887926). Even with the tree ripe every other day, it will take you more than three and a half years to finish. During that time, the money you make from the tree will be hardly more than 10% of what you could make if you put a relatively profitable tree such as a Singapore jackfruit into an orchard and harvest it every other day. Getting the mastery sign and the stars will give you additional coins and XP, but the rewards are tiny compared to the kind of money you can make by regularly harvesting profitable trees. Nevertheless, a lot of farmers try mastering trees and one of the ways to lose little profit doing so is by using only one tree each of the less profitable kinds. If you aren’t in a hurry to get the masteries finished extremely fast, you can just keep one each of the less profitable types of trees and wait. Some people who don’t want to wait that long try to take shortcuts mastering trees. They place several orchards with only one tree inside them on their farm and move all the trees they are planning to master around from on to the other when they become ready to harvest, harvesting each orchard with all the freshly moved trees inside. Since this is time-consuming and not enjoyable in my opinion I haven’t done that, but this way you can receive the tree masteries extremely fast and save cash on the other shortcut, applying instant grow for farmcash.
You can store up to 20 trees in an orchard to get more coins if the interval between harvests is longer than 48 hours outside an orchard. In addition to that the orchard will either produce 2 watering cans or one mystery seedling that can be grown up into a new kind of tree when you plant it and water it with 8 watering cans. You can have as many orchards as you like, but only one can be built at the same time. An orchard requires 10 each of the common building materials nails, boards and bricks and the first brick is included when you purchase the frame. It takes up exactly the same space as the trees you put in. As you add trees to the orchard, they will get arranged from right to left, back to front. So if you want your orchard to look a certain way, it makes sense to try to put the trees into the order you want them to be inside and move them in one by one.
Until you can get level 2 seedlings from the orchard, the most profitable free trees are the arjuna and the jackfruit tree. Those will also give you level 2 tree seedlings that get you a profit of 420 (Indian laurel and Singapore jackfruit) when you’ve grown them up. If your neighbors have Asian pear trees, these can produce level 2 Shinko pear trees that also harvest for 420. If those are unavailable to you, the ginko and mango tree also produce quite profitable level 2 seedlings (autumn ginko and Manila mango) that will harvest for 390 each when fully grown. Since getting those is a high priority if you want your orchards to be profitable, it is really worth it to fill your orchards with these types of trees. The most profitable tree at the moment is the Peach palm, a level 2 tree that originally comes from the acai tree, the most expensive level 1 tree ever at 27 FC. The quirk with orchards is that you will get the fitting level 2 seedling from your orchard (for example autumn ginko from an orchard filled with ginko trees), but your neighbors, who pick up the same seedling, really will get a mystery seedling that can turn into any kind of mystery tree. So a seedling you pick up from the feed can turn into anything and may give you just another granny smith apple tree (which I all delete right after publishing, since they are one of the worst trees in the game) or it could turn into a Peach palm. At the start when you still need all kinds of level 2 trees getting all kinds of seedlings from the feed still makes sense if you want to master all the trees. But when you have most of the good trees, you can expect good profit from your trees and only grow up your own seedlings. I have 2 mixed orchards with less valuable trees and all my other orchards are stocked with trees that will give me either profitable tree seedlings or some very rare ones like the Chinese lantern tree or the disco ball tree.
Since you need 8 watering cans each to grow up tree seedlings, those will probably continue to be a popular gift. I recommend you always publish the watering cans from your half-way-grown seedlings, since those will also give your neighbors a chance to pick up some more cans for their seedlings, and what goes around will probably also get back to you again. 😉 If your seedling turns into a profitable tree, all your trouble with it was worth it: An orchard filled with Singapore jackfruit trees will give you 140 coins an hour per covered plot and a Singapore jackfruit seedling or 2 watering cans every two days. This makes good trees even more important than calves to progress fast by turning your coins into XP again by buying belted cows. They are also a lot more profitable than the best kinds of hybrid crops, even if you pick up the seed for free.
One last word about growing up trees: yes, I know, it’s a lot of work and some people will just delete their seedlings and re-gift their watering cans. But if you want to get lots of good trees, you really should grow them up yourself. Who else is gonna do it for you? Some guides say that picking up good trees like the Peach palm trees is great, but growing seedlings yourself isn’t worth it. That makes little sense to me, since nobody will be able to pick up any good trees if everyone stopped growing up seedlings. Rather try to adjust the amount of seedlings you grow up to how much time you have: if you play farmville for two hours a day, every day, you may as well grow up 10 seedlings a day if you can manage to find enough watering cans to do so. If you only have half an hour a day or even less to play farmville, maybe you just want to grow up one seedling a day or 10 a week. It’s entirely up to you, of course. But collecting hundreds of good trees without ever growing up your own seedlings just isn’t fair to your fellow players. I see growing up good trees as a way to give something special to my farmville friends without spending real money on the game, as some of them do to buy rare horses and cows for breeding, for example.
8 Crafting – turning bushels into fuel and more
© Conny Streit, 2011