Wishful Features: Sharing the wealth of FrontierVille Quest items

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I'm a level 49 FrontierVille player. Having played the game pretty consistently since launch, I've accumulated an overwhelming amount of duplicate items from quests, that serve virtually no purpose once the quests are completed. Items like the Dress Patterns from the Tailor Shop missions, or extra Bloody Cannonballs from the Headless Horseman missions - and the list goes on and on, for literally page after page of items in my inventory.

While it's not entirely unheard of for Zynga to re-release an item in the game in a second or even third quest (see the Carving Knife from both the Thanksgiving missions and today's release of the Barbecue Party! mission), most of the items have been used once, and only once. Will they ever be used again? We honestly don't know the answer to that, but if they aren't, or if Zynga currently has no plans of ever re-using them, why aren't we allowed to share these items with friends?

I personally know of multiple users who have yet to finish, and will probably never finish their Graveyards, simply due to the fact that the Cannonballs are no longer appearing when visiting friends. Why is it that I can't send one of my nine extra Cannonballs to those friends in order to help them out? "But what if Zynga releases another mission requiring the Bloody Cannonball?" That's all well and good, but if I choose to give away items that I don't currently need, I would be accepting the fact that I could easily find them again when and if they are ever needed for another quest.

Of course, the argument against the inclusion of such a feature would be that users would exploit it - those users with dozens upon dozens of friends would finish quests within minutes, as users pass around extra, unneeded items. But for those players that are just starting, or who don't have as many neighbors to call on for help, this could be a real time and patience saver for them.

This was made even more apparent during the Thanksgiving Feast Table event, which has just ended in the game this week. I know of multiple users on my own friends list that weren't able to collect the 40 necessary dishes in each category in time, and therefore won't be able to Serve the Feast and claim their rewards. And with Zynga announcing that they will end the event entirely starting tomorrow, these friends will have worked on collecting those 40 dishes for nothing. Why can't I voluntarily send those friends my extra dishes? I have 50 Cranberry Sauces sitting in my inventory - 50! Assuming that they will only be required in the game for the Thanksgiving event, what am I ever going to do with them? I can't sell them, so why can't I help someone that genuinely needs them?

Ultimately, the inclusion of such an in-game gifting feature really seems like it could benefit the entire community, as players who would otherwise become frustrated and quit the game after failing timed or exclusive missions would stick around, knowing that there would always be a way for them to earn some help from friends. More players = more fun, in my book, and I can only hope that Zynga comes to the same conclusion in the future.

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Wishful Features is a new regular column on Games.com - The Blog in which we talk about the features we wish were present in our favorite social games. Leave your ideas and feedback in the comments!

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