Sunday, December 20, 2009

Trivial Farm and Ranch Tips for Animal Parade

There are a number of small details in Animal Parade that, while not earthshattering in their implications, deserve mention as players have asked about them.

First, where sowing seeds is concerned, you cannot 'waste' seeds UNLESS you attempt to sow them in the 3 x 3 square area allotted to any Tree. If the squares surrounding any Tree are tilled, the Seeds will go onto the square where you sow it, but will neither sprout nor grow. Thus, the Seeds sown on any square designated for a Tree's sphere of influence will be wasted.

In other situations, where you sow a seed and it fails to fall on a tilled square, although you hear the sound of the seed hitting the soil, it will remain in the seed bag in your Rucksack. You cannot waste a seed by 'missing' the square. Nor can Fertiliser be wasted by being thrown onto an untilled square. It will remain in your Rucksack until used on a tilled square.

Note in this respect that you should till the squares that surround any Tree and fertilise them for a better chance of obtaining high quality Fruits/Products from them.

The effect of Fertiliser is only temporary in Animal Parade and must be renewed each season or even more often in the case of lower grades. If your Trees produce low grade Fruits consistently, it is because you need to fertilise your field again. My own suspicion with respect to the effect of Fertiliser on Crops is that it is related to the ENTIRE FIELD, rather than any specific square. As with Animal Products, the actual Crop you obtain is random but your CHANCE of obtaining high grade Crops improves with the number of superior soil squares on your Field. In the case of any Animal who produces Product, heart level determines the chance of obtaining high level product. In other words, at a low heart level, you have no chance of obtaining Shining Product but your chances of obtaining anything above Decent improve with each Heart Level. I believe that 5 Hearts is the minimum required for a chance of obtaining Perfect Milk.

A point must be made with respect to Farming and your Animals when they are grazing outside. You will have noticed that both Poultry and Livestock roam freely throughout the land that surrounds your house, even straying frequently onto tilled squares where Crops are growing. The (accidental) use of any Farm Tool on an Animal WILL lower Heart Level. In particular, it is best to send all the Aninmals back to the Barn before you water your Crops.

If you wish to avoid 'missing' any square with your Watering Can or when planting Seeds, by the way, simply use the Z button on your Nunchuk to 'square up' your Character and perfect his/her aim.

With respect to Ranch Animals, although they will lose Friendship Points if you neglect to feed them on any given day, the mood in which any Animal awakens is random and does not represent any loss of Friendship necessarily. Animals can awaken in a 'cranky' mood, designated by the icon of a tornado over their heads. You can do everything correctly, feed, pet and brush an Animal, take it outside on a sunny day or keep it safely inside on a rainy day and it STILL may awaken the next morning in a bad mood. You will notice, however, that when this does occur, simply petting the animal will transform its Mood instantly from bad to good and the tornado icon will be replaced by a musical note. It is possible that this random bad mood option was added to remind players that even Animals at maximum heart level need attention in the form of petting. I could be mistaken, but the same random mood swings existed in ToT. I would have thought that bad weather alone could cause this except that it can occur even on the sunniest morning after another sunny day.

One more point about Ranch Animals: Shearing definitely DOES lower Friendship Levels. You will notice that your Sheep displays the blue broken heart icon each time she is sheared. If you ask Finn about this, he will confirm that shearing lowers Friendship. Milking, on the other hand, raises Friendship. This is logical in a way. An Animal who needs to be milked will be uncomfortable until you relieve her of her Milk. Shearing, on the other hand, can be uncomfortable... although if they wished to be completely logical, the Friendship effect of shearing on a Sheep should have varied according to the Season. In Summer, a Sheep would be happy to lose some of that excess weight and warmth. In Winter, animals need their heavy coats...

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