Wednesday, December 15, 2010
So with handling Petnome Contest and in-game gardening and farming taking up a lot of time of the day, it’s been a long while since I’ve gotten to write anything technical. Well, let’s jump into some game mechanics, shall we?
With a tennis-style exchange of information, news, and tips, Paige Moonshade and I have been bouncing the ball on Gardening over the past few days. I think we’ve managed to dissect the system fairly well. So, while Paige will cover the basics tonight on Ravenwood Radio, let us take the journey into the “whys” and “hows.”
Wikipedia defines quality of life as the “general well-being of individuals and societies.” For example, it can mean that those with toilets generally have a better quality of life than those without. Another example (so we aren’t mistaking this with the concept of having technology) is that those with retirement plans, insurance, and health care have a better quality of life than those without. Salaried, full-time graduates have a better quality of life than college students living on Top Ramen and cheese macaroni. The more benefits you have, the healthier you feel, and thus, the happier and securer you are. Instead of dreading what you don’t have, you’re able to focus more on your goals (and not your hindrances), allowing you a clearer path for your pursuits.
Let’s apply this idea to our plants in the game. Simply put, the better quality of life your plants have, the less needier they become, and the faster they are able to produce for harvests. Also, they will reach the Elder stage much sooner. To provide them with such “happiness,” you will need to place what they “like” around them. From the observations we’ve made so far, it seems that all plants enjoy having a Tropical Garden Gnome around them, so having a few of these on hand is a great idea.
Keep in mind that you need only one of each Like-item for a group of plants. Think about it this way: if you had a toilet as opposed to the bushes outside, you’d be happy. However, having two or three toilets does not mean your happiness will significantly be any different than if you had just one. So, unless you are aiming for symmetry in your garden, you really need just one Tropical Garden Gnome per patch of plants; the range of its effect is pretty long (I’ll cover how wide in my next post).
But, having a sink and a bathtub in addition to the john will definitely boost your morale! The more “Likes” that your plant shows when you mouse-over it, the more noticeable their development will be! For example, Evil Snow Peas have the following preferences, allowing them to jump from Seedling to Young in about 45 minutes:
Let’s take a visual perspective on how Likes affect a plant’s life cycle.
As you can see, the more various “Likes” around the plant, the less time it takes to become an Elder. But that’s not the only benefit. In an experiment where I placed a single plant without any “Likes” in Mistblood’s dorm, and the same plant in another dorm with four “Likes” around it, it turns out the plant at Mistblood’s required more pest control. In the picture above, you can see how spoiling your plant with “Likes” will decrease its chance of becoming infected or bothered by a Pest. From careful observation, I can say that pests arrive randomly, but the diagram still holds true: the shorter the plant’s life cycle, the fewer times you will have to treat them, thus reducing energy use in the long run.