There’s a bit of anger and frustration going on with the Tiny Farm community lately thanks to Com2uS’ brilliant strategy of releasing two HEARTS-EATING events within days of each other. The first is the Valetine’s Day event which runs from Feb 11th 6 PM until Feb. 25th 11 PM PST. Shortly after the debut of that event, the Lunar New Year event made its appearance. This started Feb 15th 6 PM PST and will end on March 4th 6 PM PST.
Simultaneous events are nothing new in Tiny Farm, but the problem is this: Hearts, which can be viewed as a form of virtual currency in Tiny Farm, replenish at a rate of 1 per 10 minutes. You may be able to imagine how terrible it is to try and meet a requirement that reads “Give 50 Hearts to a rabbit” for someone that has a pool that maxes out at, say, 21 Hearts. 😛 Incidentally, that 50 Hearts crap is something the game asks for in the Lunar New Year event and it appears MULTIPLE times.
Now imagine having to deal with that ALONG with needing hearts to buy gifts for neighbours so that you can obtain cookies which are then used in a lottery draw that MAY grant you a Valentine’s Day animal! Unsurprisingly, the chance of getting an animal is dismal and it costs 10 – 20 Hearts for one gift. These gifts can either give you 1 cookie, 2 cookies, or 8 cookies, depending on the type of gift you buy. It also shouldn’t be a surprise that a single draw = 4 cookies. 😛
As with any event, neither these current ones are mandatory at all in that you don’t need to do them to level up or obtain necessities for any of the maps the player owns. However, they always have unique animals that can be won from them during their limited time run so they’re a reason to participate. To make matters worse, Com2uS usually reserves special critters and items for the top 100 – 1000 players that can complete their event-specific collections and whatever other conditions they think of within a narrow window of time WITHIN the duration of an event.
There’s nothing new about how Com2uS is going about designing these things. Pretty much every freemium game has weekly contests catered to paying players. The developer basically provides just enough time for people that don’t like to invest in in-app purchases to complete them but if the players want the extras, the rank — anything that’s near impossible to accomplish without money — they have to pretty much shell out the dough.
This model got me thinking of something silly — why not flat-out create a “Premium Tier” in events? The idea is to have objectives that everyone can complete comfortably in the “Basic Tier”. What this means is that anyone can get everything well within the few days they have to finish an event WITHOUT needing to spend any money ever; that is, they won’t even have to think about it. This can be in the form of REASONABLE objectives like giving a total of 20 Hearts to animals on a farm. Even low-level players can enjoy something like this given the low quota.
Those extra special items and animals that were once only meant for the 1% of players is now open to everyone from the start of the event as PAID chances in the Premium Tier. There’s no need to rush to get everything or to be in the top-whatever ranking. You just need money! The rewards would have to be guaranteed in some way, however, because there has to be some justification for the developer to be demanding that people pay for the virtual goods. 😛
The guarantee could be in the form of a “no duplicates” premium gacha/lottery draw where spending money absolutely ensures that you’ll get something that you don’t already have. CocoPPa Play offers this once in a while and I believe Tiny Farm can also do this too.
There are obvious problems with my proposed model, especially from the developer’s side of things, but I figure that the heavy spenders and folks that pay their way through the game anyway would blindy welcome it because the primary difference is that they’ll see a price tag dangling in front of them.
A bit of an aside: As of an update from last month, event animals from 2013 and before have been made avaiable for purchase with special coins that can only be received from completing daily missions. I would think last year’s group as well as the ones from this year will eventually be added but who knows how long that’ll be? Since we have the chance to get them now, why not try for them? :3