Q - A potted history

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Q - A potted history

Post  Quaggy on Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:37 am

I thought I'd write a little about how I've progressed through the game - maybe some of my strategies will help other players, maybe not. It’s just a potted history of Quaggy’s time on the Molehill, going from humble Salad Spinner to Super Emperor (and beyond)!

When I first started playing I was stuck in a hotel in New Jersey with 2 feet of snow outside on a business trip on my own with 2 weeks of evenings to kill! Lucky really, because carrots and lettuce need a lot of attention! My strategy at the outset was to grow a couple of harvests, then stick as much as I could on the market at the best price available, but ALWAYS below farm price. I'm quite proud to say that I have got through the game so far without ever selling crops above a price that anyone else would be able to get from the shops (even for flowers), and have always tried to be the cheapest on the market. My thinking behind this was to turn the crops back into cash as soon as possible. My first mistake was to put so many carrots on the market that I spent every last gB on market commission. That was a scary moment, because suddenly I had no flexibility if they didn't sell - luckily they did! This pricing strategy earnt me some respect with buyers, and forged trading partnerships which are still strong some 3 or 4 years later.

The next stage was to grow and sell to enable me to clear my first garden for maximum growth potential. By this time I was growing cauliflowers mainly as these gave the best return in gB of all the crops available to me. Whenever I levelled up I always bought 12 (minimum) of the new crops so I had full flexibility in what I could grow. I also started doing quests at this point, but without really understanding why! I just saw that I got cash and points, and that's good right? When I started getting garden decorations as quest rewards I sold them at the market - I've never been that interested in garden decorations, and didn't really want any more Wimps at my gate anyhow. I was selling to Wimps when I thought they offered a good deal, but this was hard work as I was calculating it all manually. Before long I realised that I could download a Wimp Calculator, so this made my sales more profitable and the whole process a lot quicker. (In the early days I always concentrated on growing the crops that I could sell for the maximum return. I calculated which crops gave the best cash return versus the time taken to grow them and focused my efforts that way.

I soon had a number of different crops at my disposal, of varying yield and growing time, so I set myself up a spreadsheet to track what I was growing so that I could feed the Wimps and grow what I needed for forthcoming quests (I downloaded a quest list from the internet). That spreadsheet has become a monster, and I now use it to track all the Guild scores amongst other things – that’s how I know when our Guild Members level up! When I ran out of shelf space for what I had grown I learnt to send myself a contract for the entire stock of a crop which then took it off my shelf until such time as the contract was cancelled, but there obviously had to be room on the shelf for the crop to come back to!

Shortly after my watering gnome disappeared (when I reached Harvest Helper) I became completely hacked off with having to click every single field to water my crops, and so made the decision to go Premium and buy a watering gnome. I bought coins from Upjers to do this, and have to admit that I have continued to fund my way through the game through buying coins. I also have accounts on servers 2, 3, and 4, all of which are non-Premium accounts and in varying stages of the game. I don't visit them that often, just often enough for the accounts not to get deleted. I opened these accounts when I got to growing crops that took longer than 24 hours, just to keep the interest up.

As soon as I could afford it I bought a second garden, and then a third, and then made it my business to get to quest 55 as soon as I could so that I could have a fourth garden.

There are always decisions and choices to be made. My strategy has been to get as much growing space as possible, then to speed up the growing process as quickly as I could by buying fertiliser levels. Fertiliser is always a better first choice than research as it affects all crops, whereas research is confined to a single type of crop. I soon discovered that the percentage taken off the growing time of each plant, through fertiliser levels, applied every time the crop was watered, so I turned to growing crops that took the longest time (the longest being Walnuts), as they required a greater number of waterings, therefore the reduction in growing time was applied the maximum number of times. This meant that I was earning more points for less growing time, as you always get the points based on the maximum growing time, even if you reduce the growing time through watering. I had turned into a Walnut Farmer!
As happens to all of us at some point in the game, I began to get bored with just logging in once a day to water my Walnuts, so I thought I’d join a Guild! I chose Palm Trees Suck because I’d been involved in discussions on the Upjers forum about whether the Wonder of the World was ever achievable, and decided that even if it was it would take decades (literally) and surely there was more to life than that? Palm Trees Suck, (as the name implies) was firmly anti the Wonder of the World, and would never ask its Guild Members to donate Palm trees, whereas for a lot of other Guilds it was their only purpose, and Guild Members were expected to grow and donate Palm Trees if they were a member. At the time Palm Trees Suck was a relatively small Guild with about 10 members, and Shoddybugger, the original founder, was the chairman. Being part of the Guild was a good reason not to quit because there was always the Regulars’ Table to turn to for a bit of banter and some advice or encouragement. It was then, and hopefully still is, a nice Guild to be in. I’m pleased to say that Palm Trees Suck has grown a lot in recent days and at the time of writing has 80 members and is the No 1 Guild in all categories on server 1. I’m pleased that I picked a winner!

Once I’d maxed out the fertiliser level to give 20% off the growing time I started to research walnuts as well. Research reduces the initial growing time of the crop. Over the years I have been playing I have spent over 100m gB on walnut research alone, but the result is that instead of taking 336 hours to grow without watering, I can now grow walnuts in just over 84 hours. That brings the points in very quickly! It was at this point that I became a little obsessed with my score and moving up the rankings as fast as I could: getting into the top 100; getting onto the first page of the scores; getting into the top 10. This became the driver for carrying on the game.

I have continued to do every quest that I can, and have earnt many fantastic rewards as a result. Obviously the higher the quest the greater the reward, but there is a fifth garden to be had, additional shelves, one reward gives 1.5m gB, while another gives 3,500,000 harvest points! There are also five extra fertiliser levels as a quest reward, although I was gutted when I got the reward and then found out that the extra levels had to be bought (and they weren’t cheap!)

I also threw myself into the Cactus quests when they were introduced, and was very proud of the day that I became the first player on all the UK servers to complete all of the Cactus quests. The decorations awarded for completing each of the series of Cactus quests are really cool, but as I said I don’t really do decorations, so if anyone wants to buy an animated half-pipe garden decoration and watch the gnomes catching some air let me know!

When I got to Molehill Emperor I was really happy. I’d reached what was originally the highest level in the game, although Upjers introduced Super Emperor the very same day! I don’t know what I was expecting, but I came close to throwing in the towel at that point. The next 14 quests were all for seemingly impossible quantities of either very expensive to buy, or very time-consuming to grow crops, and most were rewarded with only 1 point and nothing else (yes, just 1 point for handing over 2.5m gB in one case), but these quests were clearly designed to separate the Emperors from the rest! Once beyond those so-called Emperor Quests the rewards improved dramatically and the interest came flooding back. When I reached Molehill Emperor Shoddybugger IGM’d me to ask whether I would like to take over the Chairmanship of the Guild – I jumped at the opportunity! The Guild gave me something to do while I was waiting for Walnuts to ripen. I set about growing the numbers, building the scores, and trying to make PTS the strongest Guild on the server. It was a great day for all the Guild Members when we became the number 1 Guild across all four categories: score; cash; sales; and members. The next goal is to get to 100 members. The maximum number of members a Guild can have is 100 – any applicants after this go onto a waiting list. Can you imagine what it would be like to be part of a Guild which has a queue of applicants outside the door?

And now? Well, I’ve become the Guild’s second Super Emperor (Muizeke was the first). My target now is to get in front of Polo to become the number 1 Gnome, but that’s a little way ahead of me yet – hopefully March / April next year. So what next? Will I find that my new focus in the game will be completing the Wonder of the World? Will the Guild go from Palm Trees Suck to Palm Trees Rule?

We’ll have to wait and see...

Quaggy
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Join date : 2012-12-04
Age : 50
Location : Sunny England

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