ChefVille Aftertaste: When too many upgrades are a bad thing

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Over the past few weeks and months, we've seen a variety of upgrades being released in ChefVille, from a Mom 'N Pop Shop upgrade that offers double the amount of Sirloin Beef to the new Dairy Truck upgrade that offers one Milk and other dairy ingredient in a single collection. While most of these upgrades are easy to unlock, there's so little consistency among the upgrades that it makes actually upgrading an ingredient stall a real risk.

Take, for instance, the recent Cheese Cellar upgrades. While the Cheese Cellars originally offered Cheddar Cheese and nothing else, the upgrade created a sort of "pool" of ingredients that can be earned instead of being guaranteed an actual Cheddar Cheese. Each time we collect from the Cheese Cellars/Towers, there's just as much of a chance that we'll receive Fontina, Mozzarella or some other cheese, rather than the Cheddar Cheese that we might actually need. Why is this the case?

Why is there so little consistency among ingredient stall upgrades? One stall upgrade may offer double the payout of a single ingredient, while another removes the possibility of receiving the original ingredient altogether. What if a player needs 10 Cheddar Cheeses to cook a single Omelette dish? Should they be required to spend potentially dozens of energy while filling their inventories with cheeses they don't need in the hope of receiving the ingredient they actually want?

Of course, players can still purchase the ingredient they need with Chef Cash (that is, real money) if ingredient stalls can no longer provide enough, but this simply isn't right. For all of the enjoyment that can come from our time in ChefVille, removing access to ingredients without first spending tons of energy just isn't ok, and one would think that Zynga has been around long enough to know better.

If anything, ingredient stalls provide a learning experience to players, as we're taught through experience to not upgrade stalls unless there's no other option, or unless we know the final outcome before investing the time to actually upgrade. Hopefully, in time, items like the upgraded Cheese Cellars and even upgraded Garlic Stall will be revamped to resemble the ingredient stalls that do work, but until that ever happens, we'll make sure to let you know when it's safe to use what the game has to offer.

Play ChefVille on Zynga.com now >

Do you regret upgrading any of your ingredient stalls in ChefVille? Which ones, and why? Sound off in the comments!
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