Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Zen and the Art of Gift Giving

Marie, like most people, is excited to receive a gift.
That is, until she opens that box and finds a brick inside.

Whoever said "Never look a gift horse in the mouth" probably never played Farmville 2 and received a gifted brick from a neighbor.  Gifts of bricks, wood planks and metal are basically worthless to any FV2 player who has progressed beyond level, I don't know, seven or so.  I can't even remember the last time I needed one of these items for anything.  I think it was many levels ago when I might have needed some bricks to build a well or something.  Now they are just another random piece of  detritus collecting dust in my inventory.

This is my "WTF? Another brick?" face.
Ditto for feed, metal and wood planks.

Fortunately, I am here to show you that there are much better gifts that you could be sending to your friends than bricks and the like.  In this article we will endeavor to delicately explore this sensitive issue.

The first thing you must know is that the game allows you to send a free gift to your friends every 18 hours.  To do so, simply click on your mailbox, as pictured here:

These used to exist before e-mail.

Upon clicking the mailbox you will receive the following screen showing the different types of gifts you can send, most of which are completely worthless and should be eliminated from the standard set of gift options by the game devs.

Nobody needs feed, wood plank, brick or metal gifts.  Don't send that crap!

The only gifts that matter to anyone, and consequently the only gifts you should ever send to your neighbors, are water and fertilizer.  So just ignore all that other garbage, it's useless

I find that one good way to be a helpful neighbor is to alternate sending out a free water to all of my friends one day, and then fertilizer the next.

Here I am sending out free water to all my friends one day:

Free water for everyone!  Yay!
This makes you at least 500% more awesome to your neighbors.

And here I am sending out free fertilizer to all my friends the next day:

Free fertilizer for everyone!  Yay!
My usefulness as a neighbor just increased by a factor of 1,000!

See how easy that was?  Does this make me a saint?  No.  It just makes me a not-so-horrible neighbor.  It's easy to share a little kindness with your friends in the form of consumable resources, and it doesn't take anything away from you.  That is to say, when you send a water or a fertilizer to your neighbor, the game isn't going to deduct any water or fertilizer from your own supplies; so don't be stingy!  Resolve to send useful gifts each day.

What's more, it's not an entirely selfless gesture.  Because the more water and fertilizer you send your friends, the more you get back from them.  Just like in that one Beatles song!

Most of my neighbors seem to understand this concept well, and happily reciprocate.  But a certain number of them either don't get it or don't care, because they constantly send me an endless supply of the aforementioned worthless items, in spite of the generosity and goodwill I have repeatedly demonstrated towards them via my daily gifts of water and fertilizer. 

Which of these things is not like the others?
Every time I receive such a lousy gift I can't help but to feel a little bit sad and wonder to myself what the person could possibly be thinking.  Do they really think that I needed another "Metal" or do they just not like me?  Well, Sandra, which is it?

 Excuse me?

I asked, which is it?  You just sent me
a gift of metal.  So, do you really think
I need metal or do you just not like me?

 You don't need metal?

Uhh, no. Not really.

 How about wood plank?

No thank you.


No, I have no need for any of these things.
That's the point I've been trying to make!

OK well tomorrow I send you a feed
then, OK?  I must go to farm now, bye.

Wait, no!  Don't!  Not feed!
Aww crap, she's already gone.


Ugh.  Where was I...

Ah yes, my inventory is full of these things.

I can hold no more, yet still they come.

A perpetual influx of items that I do not need, cannot use and do not want.

What is the point of sending me these things?
Screen caps of the useless wood, metal and brick gifts rotting away in my inventory.

Apparently I can hold a maximum of 12 wood planks, 16 metals and 12 bricks.  If the game did not place any restriction on the number of these items one can store, the true counts would undoubtedly be in the four to five figure range, and counting. 

Sometimes the game will sneakily try and trick you into asking for one of these pointless items yourself.

Ask my friends for a free brick?  Umm, no.

Don't fall for it!  Just click the little X and cancel this thing.  The next time you reload you will be offered something else.  Keep doing so until you get a water or fertilizer one, and then ask friends for that instead.  Take it from your Uncle Choo, you'll be glad that you did!

Hi Choo.
I sent you that brick you asked for.

I didn't ask for any brick, hocine!
What the hell?

Are you sure?  I could have sworn
I saw you asking for free bricks just now.

I assure you, I did not ask for a brick, hocine.
In fact, I was just demonstrating how not to ask for a brick.

Are you sure?  Because bricks are very useful.
You can build many things with them!

I don't think so. After you progress beyond
a certain level, bricks become quite useless.

Are you sure?
Because I thought that bricks are very good..

You thought wrong, friend.
Bricks serve no purpose, at least at my level.

Are you sure?

Yes, I'm sure. 
Please stop asking me if I'm sure about everything.

So what level are you then?


Wow, that's pretty high.
So I guess you think you are better than me, huh?

What?  No. Of course not.
That's not what this is about at all, hocine.

Are you sure?  Because you sound like you think
you are all all high and mighty, sitting there in your
ivory tower, spitting on us lowly bricklayers.

That's not what I think at all, hocine.
I'm just saying that you could be sending better gifts than...

(Throws a Brick at Choo's head.)

What is wrong with you man?

I was just showing you another good use for bricks!
Happy now, you ungrateful jerk?

No, hocine, I am not happy.
I am bleeding.


OK, so let me just wipe up some of this blood and try to recover my train of thought and we'll move on...  I have to be more careful.  This is clearly a very personal topic and I seem to be offending my neighbors...  Now, what's next, hmmm.  Ahhh yes, feed.  Someone please go ahead, ask me about feed.


Anyone here?

Oh screw it, I'll just continue to pretend this blog actually has followers and ask myself...

"But what about feed?" you ask.  "Every farmer needs lots and lots of feed each day.  Isn't that a good gift?"

I'm so glad you asked that.  No, it is not.  Not a good gift at all.

Let's do a little bit of feed mill math to learn why:

This is my Feed Mill. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

As you can see here, grinding up just one cucumber in my feed mill will produce 15 feed.  So, mathematically speaking, one feed equates to 1/15th of a cucumber.  If I chopped the average cucumber into 15 pieces, this is what one of those pieces would look like:

Therefore when you send your friend a gift of feed, you are essentially just giving them a small slice of a cucumber, which is not even enough cucumber for a small salad.  Not really very helpful, is it Mariagioia?

You are talking to me?


What do you want?

Nothing, I was just explaining 
how feed isn't a very helpful gift.

You don't like my gift?

Well it's nothing personal, 
it's just that...

Screw you then you ungrateful SOB!

Wait, what?  
No, I was just...

You are bad neighbor. I delete you now!  Goodbye!

Oh never mind.


This article is not going well at all.

I don't know why I bothered. 

Well I think we had better end it here.  I'm feeling a bit light-headed after taking that brick to the temple, and I really do need to go lie down.

So just to summarize, suffice it to say, water and fertilizer.  Just send those.  Nothing else.


WAIT!  You forget to say wood plank.
You cannot talk about best gift and not say  
wood plank! Wood Plank is best gift ever!  Here, have one.

No, you're missing the point, Mario!
I do not want wood planks.
It is not a good gift.

I can sharpen it for you?

Sharpen what?

Wood plank. You say it is missing point?
I make one end sharp and pointy like spear!
You like wood plank now?

No, no, no.
That's not what I meant at all.

Here, try it.
(Tosses sharpened wood plank at Choo)

Oh God, you've skewered me!

So sorry.
Maybe next time you don't look gift horse in mouth, yes?

Good grief.  I give up.
I don't feel so good...

This article was a bad idea.  Someone please call 911.

1 comment:

  1. I called 911, they thought they were coming to my pad....then I remembered I forgot the address of your farm....sorry!