Players who are familiar with Harvest Moon or Rune Factory know that new options are unlocked when your levels of experience increase or when you complete specific goals. Although Farming Simulation Games on Facebook cannot compare with Harvest Moon or Rune Factory in their depth, complexity or the sense of satisfaction one obtains when goals are completed in HM or RF, there still are new options that are unlocked at higher levels and that can expand the game's scope enormously.
In Farmville, for example, you will find that the game will change when you reach Level 15 and have the option to purchase a Market Stall. With a Market Stall, you can interact with other Farmers.
The Farmer's Market
You will not be able to purchase your own Market Stall until you reach Level 15, nor will you be able to accept Bushels from other players until then.
Once you purchase a Market Stall, you can access the Farmer's Market through the Stall itself.
The little tutorial that can be accessed at the Market Stall gives the following information:
Each time you harvest a crop, you might find a bushel of that crop. When you find them, you get extra bushels for crop mastery! Crop bushes are used to speed up your mastery or XP progress, to unlock seeds that you can't yet buy in the market and to craft items in your Crafting Cottage. Coming soon!
Bushels you find are stored in your Market Stall. You can spend your bushels to boost your productivity on the farm! First click your Market Stall and select Farmer's Market, then click the 'My Bushels' Button, and then click the 'Use' button under the Bushel.
When you harvest a bushel, your market stall is set to sell those bushels for 24 hours. If you've mastered the crop, your stall will stay open longer. If you're already selling the crop, finding another Bushel will keep your stall open longer, too.
From your own Market Stall, you can see the Bushels your friends are offering. You can take up to 3 bushels from each friend. Just click the 'Get Bushels' button and start shopping!
In order to 'Use' the Bushel, you need to be growing the specific Crop and it needs to be ready for Harvest within two hours. Otherwise, there will be no effect whatsoever
Market Stalls are used both to store Bushels of specific Crops and to offer them to visiting Neighbours. If any Neighbour takes Bushels from your Stall, you will be rewarded. You can choose the form your Reward takes. You will be offered 10 XP, 4000 Coins or 15 Fuel. (?) Whenever you harvest a Bushel of a specific Crop, it automatically will go into your Market Stall and the Stall will open for business for 24 hours. There are ways to extend the time that the Stall remains open, but 24 hours is the normal time period.
Whenever you click on your Market Stall, you will have an option to access the Farmer's Market. Here you will be given the opportunity to see all the Bushels that your neighbours currently are offering. You can take three Bushels of any specific Crop from a Neighbour's Stall.
These Bushels can be used or shared with Neighbours. If you opt to 'Use' a Bushel that you have collected, you need to be able to harvest the same Crop on your own Farm within two hours in order to gain the benefit which is an increase in the Experience earned from the act of Harvesting that Crop. For example, if you choose to 'Use' a Bushel of Rice, you need to have Rice that will ripen within the next two hours and be able to harvest it before the time limit expires. Rice ordinarily gives +1 XP. If a Bushel of Rice is in use, however, each Rice square that you harvest will give you +2 XP.
Only one Bushel can be in use at any given point in time. If you have Bushels for more than one Crop that is ready to be harvested, you can use the corresponding Bushels sequentially.
If you have not reached Level 15 and attempt to collect a Bushel from a Friend's Wall, you will receive the following prompt:
Sorry! You need to get to Level 15 before you can visit a Farmer's Market and collect bushels! Would you like 20 XP from Farmville to help you on your way?
You therefore can claim a little reward of 20 XP even if you cannot collect the Bushel posted on a Neighbour's or Friend's Wall.
The Garden Shed gives you the opportunity to save Flowers that you harvest to use as Decorations on your own land. If you love beautiful Flowers, you will enjoy this option tremendously. Unfortunately, the price is steep unless you have 10 Neighbours. On the positive side, there are no Level Requirements for owning a Garden Shed
The Garden Shed is described as follows:
Garden Sheds save Perfect Bunches hat you find while harvesting flowers. Use them to make decorative flower bouquets to put around your farm or share with friends! Your first Garden Shed comes with 10 rare bouquets as a special purchase gift!
The Garden Shed is a Building Item with two separate listings and prices:
10 Neighbours Needed
30 Farm Cash
The Co-Op Job is another advanced Option unlocked at Level 20. The third box at the lower left corner of your screen will change from the Delete Tool to Co-Op Farming.
Here is the description of Co-Op Farming from the game:
A job is a task that involved seeding and harvesting a number of the specified crop within the time frame stated in the job. There are three levels of rewards in a job: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Medal rewards are based on how fast you complete the job, and give even more coins and XP. Gold is the most difficult of all but gives all participants a unique reward item.
To help on a job, find a job on the 'All Jobs' List. You must be firends with the job initiator, not already be on another job and the job must not be full in order to join.
If for some reason you want to leave a job, you can select 'Quit Job' at any item. If you signed on as a helper, your contributions willr emain but you won't get a reward when the job is complete. If you are an initiator, you can only quit a job if there are no others helping.
A new option that appeared yesterday but which has been heralded and advertised for quite awhile is the Workshop.
The Workshop Option
When my Character reached Level 25, the following Announcement was made, requesting that I commit myself to a specific Workshop:
Sign up now! You'll get an awesome Limited Edition item!
There will be three different Workshops as follows:
Uses fruit and vegetable bushels to make pies and cakes
Uses fruits and grain bushels to make wines and juices
Uses flower and fruit bushels to make perfumes and candles
If you sign up for the Bakery:
Bushels Needed: Pumpkins, Wheat
Bushels Needed: Strawberries, Wheat
Bushels Needed: Carrots, Peppers, Ghost Chili
Bushels Needed: Pattypan Squash, Onion, Rice
If you sign up for the Winery
Bushels needed: Rice, Cranberries
Bushels Needed: White Grapes, Sugar Cane, Strawberries
Red Table Wine
Bushels Needed: Grapes, White Grapes
Bushels Needed: Raspberries, Blueberries, Sugar Cane
If you sign up for the Spa:
Bushels Needed: Pumpkins, Cranberries, Sunflowers
Bushels Needed: Raspberries, Morning Glory
Soothing Herbal Lotion
Bushels Needed: Aloe Vera, Green Tea
Bushels Needed: Blueberries, Morning Glory
Although you can accept one of the three Workshops at this point in time, it appears that some work still must be done by Farmville before you can begin to use them. The Limited Edition Gift I received for affiliating myself with the Spa (mainly because I love the flowers in Farmville) was a rather frightening garden gnome.