ChefVille Aftertaste: Zynga, can we please store more ingredients?

Over the past few weeks, we've seen ChefVille transform from a fairly linear, one-track-mind Facebook game that focused on nothing other than earning endless amounts of mastery stars into something much more complex. New cooking appliances, ingredient stalls, branded quest series and limited time events have been released to give us something else to do, but at the same time, this increase in quest variety has brought about another concern: the lack of ingredient storage available in our inventories.

Where there's a pro, there's a con, and that's definitely the case here. With so many more dishes to cook for quests, wouldn't it be nice to be able to plan ahead by storing up on as many Tomatoes or Mushrooms as we know we'll eventually need to finish those quests ahead of time? Each ingredient, including those like Dough and Pasta Noodles that are crafted, have arbitrary limits in our inventory. Items tend to be limited to either 9 or 15 items each, but it seems like the items we need most are limited more. For instance, we're limited to holding just nine Romaine Lettuce at a time, but with some dishes requiring five or even seven Romaine Lettuce for a single serving, your ingredient storage takes a major hit, and you're left to scramble to earn more of these same ingredients before you can ever cook that same dish again.

If we had higher ingredient limits within our inventory, or even within a Pantry or Refrigerator item, we'd be able to master dishes more quickly, as we'd be able to login to the game multiple times per day and spend our energy on collecting extra ingredients. As it stands, if your cooking appliances are all full with long-term dishes, logging back in will see you wasting dozens of energy each day, as you may have plenty of ingredients that are ready to harvest, but no room to hold them.

What's more, new quests often ask players to craft ingredients like Tomato Sauce, which is also limited to nine units in our inventory. What if our inventory is full of those nine Tomato Sauces and we're required to craft even more? Should we have to cook dishes that we've already mastered just to use that Tomato Sauce so we could craft some more? If we don't, we'll lose the new items that we craft altogether, since our inventory is simply "full," and that's a waste of the Tomatoes and Onions (in this example) that are used to craft it in the first place.

While these ingredient storage limits are likely in place to stop players from racking up collections of 50-100 (or more) of a single ingredient, thereby removing all incentive players have to actually purchase ingredients, I still keep going back to a single thought in my mind: if a Facebook game has a user-friendly setup, allowing for fast progress, wouldn't players feel more appreciated by the developer and be willing to purchase limited edition decorations, spice packages, etc. as a result? The more a game works against its players, the less incentive a player has to come back for more, so in this particular case, we can only hope that a tool like a Storage Pantry comes along to give us just the boost we need to make progress faster.

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Have you found any problems with the ingredient storage setup in ChefVille? Which ingredients do you wish you could store more of? Sound off in the comments!

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