Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Top 10 Reasons Why Your Neighbor Secretly Hates You

“The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because generally they are the same people.”
― G.K. Chesterton

Hello my friends, it's your uncle Choo here, host of the Late Blog with Choo Dessny.  Thank you for visiting my blog!  In this latest installment of my Good Neighboring series, I'm going to tell you what everyone else is afraid to tell you.  Which is to say, I'm finally going to explain why your neighbors secretly hate you and what you can do to change that so you may become the beloved neighbor you always aspired to be.

Nobody really wants to be hated.  We all secretly desire to be loved and wanted, don't we?  I know that most of you have great intentions, and you visit your FV2 neighbors each day, and you click on a bunch of stuff thinking that this is helping your neighbor.  But what you may not be aware of is, depending on what you're clicking, you may not be helping much at all.  In fact, you actually might be totally pissing your neighbor off!  It is the irony of all ironies - here you are thinking you are a great neighbor being helpful, when in fact you are being a lousy neighbor and unknowingly making your neighbors despise you!

To make things even worse, no matter how badly you piss your neighbor off, your neighbor probably isn't going to tell you that your visit made them want to grab you by the throat and throttle you into permanent unconsciousness.  This is because most people are basically kind and polite, and because no matter how badly you screwed up your visit to their farm, your neighbor still kind of appreciates that you took the time to show up, and maybe they even figure that you might improve over time.

But how will you ever improve if you don't know what you did wrong?  Unless someone tells you what is expected of you during your visit, you will likely continue to make the same bonehead mistakes over and over again, perpetuating this vicious cycle of unintentional neighbor antagonism ad infinitum. 

That's where your old pal uncle Choo comes in.  I will now show you exactly what you've been doing wrong, and then I will rub your nose in it like a naughty puppy who just pooped all over the carpet.  Not because I'm mean, but because I care.  This is how we learn, folks!  So don't get offended if you find one of your own behaviors in this list.  We were all new to this game once, and we all make mistakes.  It is nothing to be ashamed of, especially when we can learn from those mistakes and improve.  That's what this blog post is about; mockery and ridicule learning and improving!

So, let's get started.  Here are the top 10 reasons why your neighbor secretly hates you:


Zynga has generously provided many different signs for us to use on our farms in order to help point our visitors in the right direction insofar as what things we may desire them to click on.  Some signs allow you to write text on them, while others, like the one pictured above, are just arrows you can use to point at stuff in hopes that your visiting neighbor is halfway intelligent enough to take a blatant hint.  Some people even rename their farms to things such as "CROPS ONLY" or "TREES PLEASE" to let their visitors know what they want done.

As a conscientious visitor who wants to please their neighbor and earn their love and appreciation, you should make an earnest effort to look for these signs on each farm you visit and do what they say.  If you fail to heed these signs during your visit, you are basically telling your neighbor, "Screw you and your stupid sign, neighbor!  I'm gonna do whatever the hell I want on your farm!"  That's not very nice, is it?  No, it isn't.  It's downright disrespectful, and it certainly won't endear you to your neighbor anytime soon.

As pictured in the screenshot above, there is a sign with an arrow pointing at a line of ten trees.  But even though she is standing right next to the sign, this visitor completely ignores the sign and tends two fields instead.  

This particular neighbor has signs on her farm too, and each time I visit her I make sure to do just as her signs instruct.  But then she comes to my farm and ignores my sign.  That's really not very cool, is it?  Nope.  It is not.  At first I though it may be because she does not speak English.  But then I remembered that my sign is just an arrow pointing at trees, and I realized that arrows are a universal language.  She is simply a sign spurner; there's just no other way to account for it!  Shame on you, sign spurner!  Shame!


Before going to bed, I will usually plant a bunch of crops that take the duration of my sleepy time to mature.  The next morning when I awake, I will go and harvest them all and start processing my overnight visitors.  Invariably I find that several of these overnight visitors decided to play an impromptu game of hopscotch all over my farm whilst I slumbered, such as the one pictured above.  Now I have to go back to all the random plots she hit, one-by-one, and re-plant, re-water and re-fertilize each before I can activate her to speed-grow them.

Q:  Do you have any idea what a pain in the ass this is?


It didn't used to be such a big deal back when you could hover over your visitor to highlight the plots they hit while you were still in planting mode.  But somewhere down the line Zynga inexplicably, probably unwittingly, eliminated that super helpful feature.  So now you have to click the DONE button to stop planting before you can hover over your visitor again to re-highlight the plots she hit to see which ones you need to continue planting.  Therefore, unless you have a photographic memory, cleaning up after a swarm of crop hoppers left your plots in a jumbled mess can consume a substantial portion of your farm day.

I have no idea why anyone would do this.  The crops they clicked on were all the same type.  Everything was neatly planted, watered and fertilized in nice straight lines, and then these crop hoppers come along and randomly click individual plots all over the damn place like they're having a bloody seizure.  What is the point of that?  It makes no sense.  All you need to do is click once and drag your mouse, so why would you go out of your way to click 10 individual plots in 10 separate locations?  It's as if you're intentionally trying to piss off your neighbor!

So, if you must tend plots, please don't click them at random and space them all apart.  Simply click one and drag your mouse across 9 more of them in a straight line.  This will inspire appreciation in your neighbor rather than the grisly murder fantasies engendered by crop-hopping.


Unless your neighbor has a pen of animals in the front of their farm with a sign that says, "Please feed these damn animals," chances are they don't want you feeding their damn animals.  The animals pictured above are located in the very back of my farm and don't have any sign asking anyone to feed them. In fact, if this keeps up, I'm going to need to put a sign asking my visitors NOT to feed them. I fear this may be pointless, however, because I know many of my visitors are sign spurners who will just ignore it anyway.

Of course, even if I did place a sign prohibiting the feeding of these animals, there would still be a risk that such would merely call attention to the animals and result in my visitors feeding them.  It's just human nature, I guess.  Damned if I do and damned if I don't

The visitor pictured in the above screenshot is feeding my African buffalo. If she happened to give my animal pens even the most cursory of glances, she would see that I have around thirty of these ravenous beasts roaming around.  If she then bothered to peruse this animal's stats from the General Store before thoughtlessly feeding ten of them on my farm, she would see that African buffalo get hungry every fifteen minutes, deliver two fertilizers per feeding 100% of the time, and prize out after just 45 feedings. If she then utilized this vital information to do some very simple math, she would realize that THE LAST THING I WILL EVER NEED ANY VISITOR TO DO IS FEED MY AFRICAN BUFFALO!

But there she is feeding those fat bastards, so apparently she didn't do any of that stuff.   So now my fertilizer shed is double-stuffed overflowing with fertilizer I can't use or store, and 10 of my African buffalo are now one more unnecessary step closer to the pasture of doom.  Thanks, neighbor!


This well-intentioned visitor thinks she's being extra helpful by splitting her 10 visit energies into tending 5 trees and 1 field.  What she fails to realize is that if your neighbor has a line of 10 trees, tending any less than all 10 of them kinda ruins their entire day.

Neighbors with lines of 10 trees are known as "Tree Trickers."  Tree Trickers only keep 3 trees in each of at least 10 groves, and they put out a line of 10 solitary trees for their visitors to water.  At the end of the day they may have 20 visitors stacked up to water their 10 trees, which would allow them to turn 10 groves over 10 times, earning them a significant amount of XP and State Fair points.


The "trick" is this:  When a visitor waters 10 solitary trees, the Tree Tricker inserts those trees back into 10 groves before they activate the visitor.  Upon activating them, said visitor will actually water all 10 groves instead.  The Tree Tricker will then fertilize those 10 groves before activating the next visitor who watered all 10 trees, who will then proceed to speed-grow all 10 groves.  The Tree Tricker will then harvest those 10 groves before activating the next visitor who watered all 10 trees, who will then proceed to re-water all 10 groves.  This process is repeated until all tree-watering visitors have been processed.

Now picture the look on this hapless Tree Tricker's face when, in the middle of this whole glorious tree tricking process which had been running like clockwork up to this point, your silly ass comes along and only waters 5 trees, throwing a monkey wrench into the entire operation.

So please, people, if you want to be helpful and less-loathed by your tree-tricking neighbors, either water all 10 trees or none at all.  In fact, no matter what you do, whether it be trees, animals, fields or plots, try to be consistent and confine your actions all to one general area.  Nothing makes your neighbor want to impale your severed head on a spike at the front of their farm as a warning to others of your ilk than hovering over you to find that you've clicked on 10 different things from one end of their farm to the other.


Tree Trickers take tree-tricking very seriously.  They have their own groups and clubs where they meet up and form alliances to visit each other and water each other's treeline.  They have little tree stickers they place on their profile pictures to help them identify each other.  They have specific rules about how to set up their farms, mandating that your treeline be situated at the front of your farm alongside the river and that it be backed up by sprinklers to make visits easier and faster.

Their rules are all in place for good reasons and such, and I respect and admire that, but I am also old, cranky and stubbornly set in my ways.  I've been tree tricking since I first discovered the trick by accident around the time the tool shed came out, so as far as I'm concerned, I frigging invented it.  But I'm not in a tree tricking group, I don't have a tree sticker on my profile picture and I don't line my trees up against my river, buttressed by sprinklers.  However, I do have several tree-tricking neighbors with whom I share a sacred, implicit, unspoken agreement - you water my trees each day and I'll do the same for you.  Simple!

Yet in what may very well be the ultimate act of betrayal, the fellow tree-tricker pictured in the screenshot above, whose farm I visit and trees I dutifully water every single day, visited my farm and tended 2 four hour fields instead of my treeline.  What's more, she's actually done this several times now without so much as an "Oops, sorry about that."

So I calmly and politely sent her a message on Facebook inquiring as to the nature of her egregious faux pas:


"I'm used to the trees being along the river, and yours aren't," she whinged in reply.  "Your trees are in the wrong place!" she added, accusingly. 

So I guess she expects me to rearrange my entire farm because her lazy ass can't be arsed to scroll her mouse half an inch to the left to find my trees?

Yeah, that's not gonna happen.  Bye Felicia!


This tends to be a touchy subject because many people seem to feel quite passionately about it one way or the other, and the people who are for it seriously outnumber those who are against it.  So whatever you do, don't go into a FV2 group and start a rant about how you hate sprinkler suckers, because they will all gang up on you and do the online equivalent of murdering you in the prison yard with a rusty shank.  Trust me, I've seen it happen, and it isn't pretty.  Hilarious, yes, but not pretty.

As for me, I guess I just don't really understand it.  I've always approached my neighbor visits as an opportunity to help my neighbor, not to help myself.  It's just the way I always thought the game intended
neighbor visits to be.  It has never even crossed my mind to raid my neighbor's wells, pillage their quest buildings or suck on their sprinklers.  To do any such things to my neighbor would just make me feel... dirty.  I would feel like a self-interested savage, completely oblivious to my neighbor's well-being.

I mean, how desperate for water must you be to visit your neighbor's farm and unabashedly use your visit energies to click on ten of their sprinklers instead of helping them with something meaningful?  Water is already fairly abundant in this game without necessitating sprinkler sucking.  Don't you have a fully upgraded water tower that gives you a metric shit ton of water every four hours?  Don't you receive 32 free waters simply by visiting your first eight neighbors each day?  Don't you find numerous water gifts in your inbox several times a day?  Don't you have a plethora of free water certificates in your inventory leftover from various quests and such?  Doesn't your water meter recharge itself with a free extra drop of water every three minutes?  Don't you know how to ask your neighbors for water when in a pinch?  All these existing sources of water, yet you still feel the need to suck your neighbor's sprinklers too?  What could you possibly need all this water for?  What are you doing, watering your own trees?  (Protip: See above section about tree tricking.)

Just ask!
Resource management is a large part of this game's strategy, and if you're so hard up for a drop of water that you have to hoof it over to your neighbor's farm and suck it out of their sprinklers instead of helping them with their trees or fields, you're probably not managing your resources very well.  The fun of this game lies in the challenge of parlaying the limited resources at your disposal into a thriving farming empire.  I know if many of you had your druthers, you would be given the ability to attach a pump and hose to your river and just use that to freely water everything on your farm in perpetuity.  But what fun would there be in that?  The game is supposed to be challenging!  Otherwise it's just mindless clicking, isn't it?

In fact, the more I think about it, the more I wonder if Zynga's decision to allow visitors to extract a drop of water from their neighbor's sprinklers wasn't one of the worst things to ever happen to this game, in terms of how drastically it altered visitor interactions.

Sprinklers didn't always dispense a drop of water to visitors who clicked on them, this is a change Zynga made sometime after sprinklers had been introduced, kowtowing to lazy players who constantly bitched and whined about never having enough water.  If you were around during the time that Zynga implemented this change, pause and reflect upon the differences in visitor behavior before and after the modification.

Before this tweak was made to sprinklers, apart from the occasional greedy little well raider, most visitors were primarily focused on helping their neighbor with farm chores such as watering trees, speed-growing crops and feeding animals.  But these days most visitors are primarily interested in helping themselves to water from their neighbor's sprinklers.  It has clearly made visitors lazier and more selfish.

Proponents of sprinkler sucking argue that they are helping their neighbor too, since both parties receive a drop of water from each sprinkler hit.  But if your neighbor is managing their resources properly, their water meter is likely already full, meaning whatever water they get from your sprinkler-sucking is wasted.

Stay thirsty, my sprinkler-sucking friends.

Right or wrong, sprinkler-sucking is a generally accepted practice these days, and most of your neighbors probably won't hate you for doing it.  Chances are they may even want you to do it, especially if they have succumbed to peer pressure and placed 10 sprinklers in front of their farm for you to suck on like all the "cool kids" in their neighborhood did.  But maybe instead of sucking 10 sprinklers every time, just suck 5 sprinklers and speed-grow a field once in awhile.  Help your neighbor out with some other stuff, they just
might appreciate it!

Or maybe instead of relying on the crutch of sucking your neighbor's sprinklers, try some different strategies to manage your water situation.  Challenge yourself, learn some new tricks, test your mettle and make yourself a better player.  It just might make your farming experience more satisfying!


The barn is unequivocally the absolute worst thing you could ever waste your hard-earned coins and favors on in this game.  Everyone I know who owns one regrets buying it, including me.  It is a horrible and worthless purchase.  If you're contemplating buying one, don't.  Just don't.  Trust me on this.  You do not want it.

You will waste a fertilizer rake on it each day for the privilege of receiving a handful of disappointing and useless crap.  Does that sound fun to you?  It really isn't.

In the early days, just after the barn had first been introduced, I used to get a pretty cool farm buck animal from it once or twice a month.  But then Zynga caught on to the fact that some of their players were actually deriving pleasure and enjoyment from their barns, so like everything else in this game that players initially receive gratification from, they promptly nerfed the hell out of it.  

Now you're lucky to get an animal from your barn once in a blue moon.  And even if you do receive an animal, that's no guarantee it's going to be any good.  The barn will actually give you trash animals like white chickens and red goats; cruddy beasts you can buy in the General Store for mere pennies!  Why, barn, why?!?!

When a barn-storming visitor wastes five of their precious visit energies clicking on your barn, they and you receive even less rubbish than you do when you rake it yourself.  For example, I received exactly five apples from the Barn Stormer pictured in the screenshot above.  Five apples for five visit energies is not a very good exchange rate, no matter what country you're from.  Not even in Narnia.  

Why anyone is still doing this now that the novelty of the barn has long since worn off is a mind-boggling mystery.  Please.  Just.  Stop.  Do not click my barn.  Your five visit energies are much better spent elsewhere, such as clicking my sprinklers.

That was a joke.  Do not click my sprinklers.


OK, let me get this straight now, not only are you going to pretend the line of ten trees and the big arrow sign pointing at them don't exist, but you're also going to ignore one of the two fields of 24-hour crops that you're currently standing on and wander all the way across the treeline, whose urgent attention you've made the conscious decision to neglect, in order to hit a field of 4-hour wheat crops?

This makes about as much sense as a bunny wearing a hat made of pancakes.

Surely you're of sufficient level that you're not still trying to earn any mastery ribbons for wheat, right?  So why go out of your way to hit a field of 4-hour wheat crops when you could have just hit the two 24-hour fields of Brussels sprouts nestled adjacent each other?  Wouldn't that have been not only easier, but 1,000 times more logical?  Or do you begin each visit thinking to yourself, "What messed-up thing can I do to ruin this neighbor's day today?"

Upon harvesting my water tower, I usually plant a bunch of four hour crops, because in four hours those and my water tower will both be ready to harvest.  After four hours elapse I intend to harvest and replant same several times throughout the day.  So if I've planted any crop that takes four hours or less to mature, I don't really need or want my neighbor's help speed growing it.  

What I do need and want your help speed growing, since you've opted to deny my trees the juicy drops of water they so desperately crave, are the two fields containing 24-hour crops that I have strategically positioned at the front and center of my farm in hope and anticipation that you will notice them and tend them instead of doing some other stupid thing.

So if you're going to ignore my treeline and tend my fields, please feel free to hit anything that takes more than four hours to mature - preferably 24 hours.  Don't try to be creative.  Don't think outside the box.  Don't try to re-invent the wheel.  Just keep it simple and hit two fields that are situated next to each other which contain crops that take longer than four hours to mature, k?  Easy-peasy, lemon squeezy!


Why are you still sending me gifts of feed, metal, bricks and wood planks after all these years?  Do you really think that I need any of this crap?  Because I don't.  When was the last time you needed a brick, wood plank or piece of metal for anything?  Level 7?  Level 12?  Level 23?  I'm at level 245, FFS!  I don't need this flotsam drifting into my inbox.  The only gifts that you should be sending to your neighbors are either water or fertilizer, and since they're likely all sprinkler-suckers, water would probably be your best bet.

I'm going to give my neighbors the benefit of the doubt for once and assume that some of them are not sending me this worthless junk intentionally.  I suspect that it might be resulting from this stupid "Give to Get!" pop-up that you receive while playing every so often.  Since it doesn't indicate what gift it is going to send, I assume that when you click "Send Gifts," knowing Zynga's buffoonery, it sends random gifts to your neighbors, including the aforementioned feed, bricks, metal and wood planks.  So please don't fall prey to this trap, lest you enjoy hearing the sound of the "WTF heard 'round the world" when your neighbors receive that dreck from you!

What you should actually do if you receive this pop-up is immediately click the X in the upper right-hand corner to close it, then click the "Free Gifts" link from the top menu bar of your game screen.  This will pull up a gift screen that will allow you to select a gift to send that your neighbors will actually appreciate, such as water or fertilizer.

You can do this every 18 hours, so keep on top of it each day.  Your neighbors will appreciate it, reciprocate, and maybe not hate you so much anymore!


You can click just about anything to drag your view around your own farm.  Plots, signs, fences, fields, animal sheds, whatever.  Doesn't matter.  Left-click and drag anywhere on your farm and your view moves.  Fun, right?

But when you're visiting a neighbor, you have to be mindful of the fact that the same rules do not apply!  

You should know this by now if you've played this game for more than fifteen minutes.  You need to click something like either solid ground or the sky in order to drag your view around on a neighbor's farm.  You can't go clicking fences and decorations and stuff, because that's going to register as a hit and subtract a visit energy.  Why are people still failing to grasp this elementary concept?

And no, clicking on unfinished quest buildings, river obstructions and animal sheds does nothing to help either of us.  That is, unless you think receiving 5 measly little coins is helpful.  (It isn't.)

If I had a farm buck for every time some numbskull wasted a visit energy mis-clicking something stupid on my farm over the years, I would surely be able to afford to buy enough diamond shovels to finally beat those cheating bastards at the state fair for once.

Well, that brings us to the end of our little top ten list.  Hopefully we all had some fun and learned a thing or two along the way.

One of the most common complaints I read about online is, "I visit 40 neighbors each day but only get around 3 visitors to my farm.  What am I doing wrong?"  Well, thanks to me, now you know exactly what you've been doing wrong.  If you're guilty of doing any of the things mentioned above, chances are your neighbors won't be motivated to visit you back.   So change your ways and see if that helps earn you some visit reciprocity.  I'm pretty sure that it maybe possibly might.

Put simply, be a good neighbor to your neighbors, and your neighbors will probably be a good neighbor to you!  

That is, unless they're mostly just a bunch of lazy, selfish pricks who can't be bothered to scroll down their neighbor bar far enough to find and visit you, because you place last in the state fair week after week.  In which case, like me, you're basically screwed no matter what you do.

Happy farming!

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