ChefVille Aftertaste: Where are the rest of the quests?
As most players make their way through ChefVille on Facebook, they'll spend the majority of their time working to complete the game's quests, which ask them to cook specific dishes, purchase decorations, interact with friends and more. At the beginning of the game, the new user is given plenty of different quests to complete, which help to introduce them to the game's ingredient-based cooking and social features. However, after the new-user experience is over, players are very quickly introduced to arguably ChefVille's biggest (current) problem: a lack of additional quests to complete.
To be fair, most players will never actually run out of quests, but they'll frequently become stalled on a single quest that asks them to reach a specific number of mastery stars. Whether it's a quest that asks you to earn 65 mastery stars or 119, these quests normally arrive long before a player has anywhere near the required number, bringing all in-game progress to a literal standstill.
While these quests can obviously be completed with enough dedication to the game, actually finishing them is a slow, grinding process, as most new recipes and appliances are only unlocked after we've completed the few quests that are available. As an example, the Intermediate portion of the game's Grill can only be unlocked after completing the Best-o Pesto! quest, which asks players to earn 119 mastery stars. In my own personal experience, I unlocked this quest weeks ago, when I had around 85 mastery stars, and have yet to finish it, even though I play the game multiple times each and every day. Adding insult to injury, most every dish becomes harder to master with each additional star earned, and being forced to reach two or three star mastery on dozens of dishes just to complete a single quest simply doesn't seem fair.
ChefVille is obviously entertaining to play (or we wouldn't have made it this far to begin with), but I'm left to wonder: how many players are going to have the patience to repeatedly cook the same small selection of dishes for mastery stars so that the game will give them something new and interesting to do? To be fair, we have been given two additional quest sets that have introduced the Dough Freezer, Second Mixer, and Tomato Sauce Rack, but these are fairly easy to complete, and once finished, leave us again stranded with a single task: cook, cook and cook some more until we've earned enough mastery stars to proceed.
These "grinding" quests have likely been designed so that extremely dedicated players won't run out of quests just days after starting the game, but that definitely doesn't make the setup perfect. If anything, it introduces feelings of boredom and even frustration to a game that would be much better served with smaller, lighter quests that always keep the interest level high. Hopefully, more quests will be introduced in the future to keep new users interested, or I can definitely see these quests that are so based on repetition being the game's downfall.
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What do you think of these "earn mastery stars" quests in ChefVille? Would you prefer to have other quests to complete while you're working on mastery stars, or do you like having a single goal? Sound off in the comments!