Best Ever Charm Farm Guide – maybe

February 24, 2015

Best Ever Charm Farm Guide – um, well, maybe

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna


Note: This is a guide for Nevosoft’s Facebook game, Charm Farm. This is not a WOW (World of Warcraft) guide for farming charms.
Thanks for feeding my exotic animals!
Thank you for feeding the animals

Charm Farm


Charm Farm follows in the Castleville genre of Facebook games – clicks beyond counting, casino-like sounds, and cute. Charm Farm does not compare with Casteville but it is one of the better Russian makes of a would-be social game. Nonetheless, Charm Farm is trending as a Facebook game now because the the recent collapse of the Facebook game, New Rock City and the diaspora of NRC players looking for the next time-killing cutesy-ware. Beyond the people (some of them are wonderful), my interest in Charm Farm is about developing insights about social game market segments, social game design (or failure) and business strategy. None of which may be interesting to you if you searched for a guide.

Lucky for you, this blog post is mostly about how to play Charm Farm and dominate the noobs.

First to Complete the Fire Tree Quest

tree of fire etc

……

Charm(ing) Overview

Like all Castleville-ish Facebook games, you fill a graphic-based map (or maps) with stuff – decorations and production units. You do quests, build or put stuff on your map, make coin (to expand your map and buy stuff to put on your map), visit neighbors (other gamers who you befriend via Facebook) and “connect” with your neighbors in the various Facebook groups related to the game. Sometimes, the latter gets a little scary with all that drama.

Regarding Facebook game group drama, my advice is simple and, perhaps, biblical.

Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Matthew 7:6 NIV

In other words, get away from the drama queens as quietly and quickly as you can. You can pray for them on the way out. [grin]

Here’s my map at level 36 with some imaginative edits that I’ve made with the help of Maddy. Click it to see it bigger.
a vision softly creeping

How to play Charm Farm


Charm Farm is a free-to-play game. It’s also a pay-to-win game. This is not a game for the casual player who only has four to eight hours/week to play a game. To “build” (or fill) your map, you need gold, mana, shmoos, neighbors, magic points, experience points and a Charm Farm Facebook group. Knowing where the Charm Farm wiki is and how to search it for quest, build and object information is also important.
http://charmfarm.wikia.com/wiki/Magic_Point_Decorations

Gold

Gold is collected from buildings, harvested from animals or collected on the visits you make to neighbors’ farms. You need lots of gold. That’s an understatement. It’s not easy to make gold. You’ll spend countless hours every day trying to make gold. Or you will spend real world cash on rubies.

Mana

Mana is produced by mana resources (crystals) and crops. You need lots of mana to power buildings and feed animals. You’ll spend countless hours harvesting mana from crops and visits to neighbors’ farms. Some will spend real world cash on rubies to speed up crops.

Shmoos

Shmoos are the fuzzy blue workers that you will exploit in your pursuit of your Charm Farm ambitions. They just want cookies. As of yet, there are no cookies in the game. [sigh] Shmoos are added as you add places where Shmoos live (houses, huts, shacks and cabins). Unfortunately, there are limits to the number of Shmoo lodgings you can add.

Magic Points

Magic points build Magic level. You need to increase your Magic level in order to expand your map. You get magic points for items you buy with coins and rubies. You also get magic points by creating spells, using spells (enchanting buildings), and grooming animals.

Experience Points

Experience points build Experience level. It’s mostly a bogus status symbol since Experience level can be indirectly bought with real world cash, but you do need Experience level to “upgrade” the Tree of Peace which is related to the quest line by the same name.

Friends

There’s too much to say about friends/neighbors to keep it in a sub-listing like this. You need friends to exchange gifts and visits. You needs lots of neighbors. 400 would be nice. You need lots of good neighbors – people who you communicate with by group forum, group chat or PM for specific requests of help. 50 or more is recommended.

Charm Farm Group

You should belong to one or more Facebook Groups related to the Charm Farm game. A good group will be friendly and helpful. You’ll be able to get your 400 or more neighbors. It will have tools for you to coordinate gift exchanges, quest assistance, etc.
Here’s some groups to join:
Charm Farm Gazette
Charm Farm Voisons
(French-speaking)
Love thy neighbor.

Zoom on a vision softly creeping 5

Problems

The first rule of social game design is that you don’t allow players to buy their level with real world cash. The second rule of social game design is that you don’t let players buy their level or obvious success with real world cash, period. Because, if you do, you have created injustice and empty vanity. Maybe, these Russians don’t know things. Maybe, they don’t know better.

On the other hand, you’d think that they’d know a thing or two about corruption – being Russians. And that they would hate corruption with all of their heart, mind and soul.

There’s also just a whole lot of bad mojo built into the game play. Neighbors are squabbling. Some are rage quitting. But the problem is not the players. Your neighbors are not the problem – unless they use all CAPS. Nevosoft didn’t think things through. They just dreamed about a fictitious success as a game company and they could care less about the human beings that play their poorly designed games. The proof is in the pudding.

Another problem is the lack of decorations, the large size of available decorations and buildings, and the lack of alternate perspective of decorations and buildings. It’s as if the project manager had no clue about the award-winning Social City and the industry/design lessons learned from that game.

I’m reminded of my Ninja blender/food processor. The spout lid broke off in the second month – just out of reach of the warranty. When I use it, there’s always the possibility of a huge mess shooting out the top. Sometimes, it hits the ceiling too.

Those who don’t know shizzle about business, technology, games, social, life, the human condition, etc. will say I’m being rude. I say, I don’t like gangsta-style, drive-by business strategy and that old fashioned snake-oil kind of transaction. They want to get rich off a third-rate knock-off that limps. Where’s integrity, vision and value? Where’s the respect for the dignity of the human person?

So I also say, get back to me after you have finished reading and deeply understanding the following little books:

Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics
Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica
Fyodor Doestoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov
Adam Smith’s The Weath of Nations
Booker T. Washington’s Up From Slavery
Paul Tillich’s The Courage To Be
Herbert Marcuse’s One Dimensional Man
Tom Peter’s The Little Big Things
Jon Katzenbach’s The Wisdom of Teams
Derek Prince’s Called To Conquer

Then – we can talk. Ok? [grin]

Nevosoft breaks a lot of rules, ignores best practices, smells like a mob-funded venture, and their run of luck is likely to run out. Their big win was coming out with a cute Facebook game at the moment that the New Rock City game had collapsed. But Nevosoft can pull it together before all that unexpected interest and enthusiasm falls apart. If they are clever, wise and hard workers. They have about 30 to 60 days to get it right.

Succeeding Charmingly

As soon as possible:

Have 24 pigflies penned, feed them every five minutes, and immediately harvest them at adulthood. Rinse and repeat. That will generate sufficient gold to pay for buildings and expansions.

Always be growing mana crop with no less than half of your Shmoos. There’s “timed” exceptions but we can talk about it in PM.Build mana storage via the “crystals or whatever” of concentration. First shoot for 1000 mana storage. Then 2000. There hasn’t really been a need or use for storage beyond 2000 mana in the 30s.

Do not pass Go and collect $200 until you have worked on your magic points. Huh? What I meant to say is that you should not level up in experience without keeping your Magic level close behind. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself in a situation which can only be easily corrected by whipping out the credit card.

Join a group (see above) and tell them that Stan sent you. If you don’t tell them I sent you to them, I’ll never answer your add request or PMs. That’s just a tease. In fact, I welcome all good and friendly communications. [laughing]

Once you have joined, go ahead and add 100s of neighbors. Be friendly and nice. Leave your baggage and demons at home. Be a good neighbor.

WHY DOES THIS REMIND ME OF JAMI? (CFG inside joke)

Tips and tricks

Charm Farm Tower of Magic

Make Spells

Make one (or more) spells every harvest or two of mana crop. Enchant the Magic Tower to get two spells per production cycle. It’s better to incorporate spell production into your harvest cycle than wait to make all your spells in a single, long and boring sitting.

Leveling Up

Make one production at the Tree of Peace at least once per day. This will help you level up because the Tree of Peace gives the most experience points in a production than any other “building” in the game.

Farming

It’s best to dedicate time and attention to pigfly farming in one hour and twenty minute blocks. It’s not fun but it is a productive process. In a farming-time, you’ll feed pigflies every five minutes (or so) and harvest (sell) adult pigflies after 10 feedings. Again, this is the best method to generate coin and experience points in the game.

Animals

It’s best to start with the basic animals: pigfly and bully. After you have at least 24 penned pigflies or bully, go wild and do the zoo. But not before – if you want to get all the territories in your map unlocked. Because the exotic animals will slow you down. They cost a lot more mana in feedings and they take a lot longer to mature and produce.

Charm Farm Nurseries

Restocking Pens

You’ll save a lot of coin and make a better profit if you can restock your pigfly and bully from animals you collected from your neighbors’ nurseries. Restocking a large pen with 8 pigflies costs 800 gold (100 gold per animal). Restocking a large pen from your neighbors’ nurseries is obviously the better option.

Being Helpful

The most helpful actions you can do on a neighbor’s farm is as follows:

1. Unwither crops
2. Feed exotic animals (rabbits, flamingos, llamasa, etc.)
3. Collect from buildings or objects requiring action according to your neighbors’ current quests (such buildings are often indicated by a “Help required” sign.
4. Feed ordinary animals (pigflies and bully)
5. Selling things in a neighbor’s marketplace (helpful to the under level 12 crowd)
6. Collecting from mana resources
7. Not doing havoc – if you collect from a building with a costly production (large library, green house, tavern, etc), make it the first action you do so your neighbor can decline your visit activity.

Placement

New players will find it helpful if they place their marketplace, crops, mana resources, animals and quest buildings together in the center of their playable map. This will allow your neighbors to find them quickly and easily. And perform the required actions.

Gifts

Like any other social game, you’ll exchange gifts with your neighbors to fulfill quest and production requirements. That’s why you need 100s of neighbors. So you can get stuff done and not wait around. Most of your neighbors will only be helpful in this regard. It’s the good neighbors that will really help you (if you communicate with them), but it can be challenging to communicate with (or assist) more than 50 people on an ongoing basis.

Once you’ve got momentum and rhythm in your game, request large quantities of needed and constantly needed items. For example, say you need 50 magic dust today, ask 200 people for magic dust. That way you’ll have some magic dust left over. Also, use stuff up (make stuff in the lab) so that you can request items for the next gift schedule reset.

No

You don’t need two marketplaces. Don’t store your one and only marketplace. You need it for quests and so do your neighbors.

You don’t need more than four laboratories.

You don’t need to get upset when a neighbor digs up weeds, chops down trees and breaks stone on your farm. For better and worse, Nevosoft designed it to happen like that. Try not to rely on the freeware to create your decorative masterpiece.

You don’t need to be asked to do something nice for a neighbor.

Don’t ask for a paid gift unless you are ready to return the favor.

There doesn’t seem to be any good reason to keep or raise groundhogs in your pens after the quest was completed. The weather station does not provide worthwhile rewards.

Don’t get upset. 😛

Be a good neighbor

I’ll end on a scriptural note.

Love your neighbor as yourself.

Mark 12:31

You want to find things you need for your quests at your neighbor’s farm. Offer the same productions on your farm and make them perma-ready if you don’t need their productions for yourself at that moment. People always can use pigflies, bullies, planks and knowledge. In other words, make sure you have nurseries, saw mills and large libraries ready to be clicked by your visitor. This also means that you refrain from collecting from all of your own buildings as much as possible.

You want your neighbor not to make havoc on their visit to your farm. Communicate with them and be thoughtful on your visits. What I mean by havoc is that you don’t know whether their visit will help you with a specific quest or general helpful click (feeding animals for example) or whether they are collecting a production that cost you a lot to produce in terms of mana, shmoo time or otherwise.

If the latter, you will want to decline their visit so that you don’t have to restart the production. Of course, it also sucks to have to manually decline 400 visitors. That’s a horrible way to spend an hour of your life. And what if they do a little of both kinds of clicking – it’s hard to tell. Sadly, this is a huge game design failure that is causing much drama, anger, rage quitting and alienation. But you can always message someone and let them know you collected knowledge from their library, for example, and that way they can decline your visit.

You want your good neighbors to help you with the important things: completing quests related to what a neighbor does on your farm, feeding your exotic animals, and unwithering your crops. Communicate clearly with your good neighbors. Tell them what you need and be ever-ready to run to their farm and help them out. Save up extra premium energy for that!

Obviously, your neighbors are human beings. Some of us have to be reminded about that from time to time. Discover them. Or, at least, discover your good neighbors. Check out their Facebook wall. Like, comment and share the stuff there that is cool. Maybe, you’ll discover someone who has common interests. Maybe, you’ll discover a life long friend.

Good luck and check out my facebook fan page for more tips, tricks and cheats for Charm Farm: http://www.facebook.com/Faryna.FanPage

Stan Faryna
24 February 2015
Fairfax, Virginia
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He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)

April 11, 2012

He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Fans of Mad Men will know the song by The Crystals, He Hit Me. It punctuates a recent Mad Men episode about rape, serial killing, abuse, and indifference. The song also reminds me of what happened in Tunisia a few days ago when Tunisian protesters were beaten down – not to mention Rima Dali, a Syrian activist.

You’ll find the song lyrics below and then some of you will bounce. Because I think that’s all I’m going to write about the song written by Goffin and King. Or the TV series, Mad Men, created by Matthew Weiner.

The Crystals, He Hit Me

Read the rest of this entry »


Castleville: Guide, Cheats, Friends, and 100 Free Energy

January 11, 2012

Castleville: Guide, Cheats, Friends, and 100 Free Energy

Levels 9 to 20: Part One

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna plays Castleville

Free Energy for Zynga’s Facebook Game, Castleville

The Castleville energy links are expected to expire within one week of the publication of this blog post. However, you can only use five or so per 24 hours – assuming you have not used any other energy links from your Castelville feed. I hope you get the most out of this as you can. Each active link will provide 10 energy to your kingdom if your are not at your collection limit. I recommend growing a lot of grapes for making energy potions.

Is this Stan?

Will the real Stan Faryna please stand up!

Read the rest of this entry »


Zynga’s CastleVille: Cheats, Tips, Freebies, and Add Friends

November 30, 2011

CastleVille: Cheats, Tips, Freebies, and Add Friends

2014: Currently playing Blizzard’s Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. Read about that here.

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna plays Castleville

Does the Gloom overshadow your kingdom?

Zynga, the Facebook game partner, released a new game, CastleVille, just before the days of turkey coma and, perhaps, to keep 10’s of millions entertained beyond Thanksgiving through the winter holidays and Christmas – if I dare to publicly name the Christian holiday which marks the birth of Jesus Christ. And I do – in case you didn’t know. [grin]

Below you will find here my insights about how to get your game on. CastleVille – in other words. My insights have been reviewed by 100s of players and I’ve received quite a lot of positive feedback so far. Level zero to eight – that’s what we’re talking about. Cheats, tips, and tricks by any other name. And nothing to do with roses!

Or, we can call them by more modest terms, insight and illumination. Or to be more colorful, over turning turtles.

Yes, setting turtles on their back would be a reference to the dialogue in David Milch’s daring, western-style HBO series Deadwood – and reminiscent of Shakespeare! You can read up about Deadwood and it’s three short seasons here. Read the rest of this entry »