New Year, New FarmVille Farm: Hello, Enchanted Glen!

FarmVille New Year
FarmVille New Year

Last week we said goodbye to 2012 and also to another year of FarmVille. 2012 was a productive year in the world of virtual farming- there were tons of updates including new themes, brand new features, and the launch of several new FarmVille farms, not to mention a spin-off of the original FarmVille with FarmVille 2.

Farmers debated over how much farming was fun and how much of their time they were willing to spend on the farm keeping up with the whirlwind of FarmVille updates. Some people became discouraged when they couldn't keep up with the pace of the game or find a happy medium. Others accepted the challenge and clicked their fingers to the keyboard, mouse, and set up shop begging for parts on the Facebook News Feed. Those FarmVille Freaks stuck somewhere in the middle tried to find a new way to play and stay happy on the farm. I encouraged players to think twice about riding off on their horses and abandoning their pixelated homesteads.

Instead, I invited them to look at the game in a different way and to only participate in the features and challenges of interest. My advice was to work on challenges and quests if you like the rewards and stick with the parts of the game you find enjoyable such as mastering crops. Farming for yourself is much better than becoming overwhelmed with all there is to do in FarmVille and feeling like a failure when you can't complete everything. There isn't enough space in this column (and maybe the Internet) to summarize the year in FarmVille, but I came up with a list of Top 5 items that made me happy. Be sure to tell me what you'd add to the list in the comments!

Top 5 of 2012 in FarmVille
Lost & Found Search Dog: The handy Search Dog made everyone's life a little easier. No more lost items (as long as you are on the farm you lost it at) or miscounted crops! Search a planted crops name and he'll give you the exact number of plots on your farm. Genius.

Un-Timed Quests: The problem with questing is that it subjects busy farmers to time constraints and adds to our ever-growing FarmVille To-Do list. FarmVille recently introduced us to new un-timed quests that we can complete at our own leisure and still reap great rewards.

More Ways to Earn Freebies: With all the new features such as voting events, the onslaught of quests, escapades and constructible features such as Dragon Lairs, Unicorn Island and so on, no one can say there isn't enough to work on in FarmVille that's for certain, but on the other hand, if you are willing to do the work you can earn some great and free rewards. This is an umbrella category that encompasses too many features to name and some that may be waiting on your farm for you to finish construction.

Crop Frenzy: FarmVille released a whole barrage of masterable crops in 2012, both permanent and Limited Edition, which means more Crop Mastery signs! After all, this is a game about farming isn't it

Haunted Hollow & Other New Farms: FarmVille introduced several new farms in 2012. It quickly became the year of new farms with a new farm releasing about every 3 months. Haunted Hollow was a highlight among the farms for many players who finally found an outlet for their collection of spookiness. Although we definitely can't forget about other gems of FarmVille real estate including Hawaiian Paradise or Jade Falls. The repeat winter holiday offender, Mistletoe Lane, seems a little less important and a little more forgettable or maybe it's just me.

And on that note, on to the net one! Hello, 2013, and hello, new farm!

FarmVille Enchanted Glen
FarmVille Enchanted Glen

FarmVille Enchanted Glen Launches
It's only one week into the New Year and FarmVille has already debuted its first new destination farm of 2013, FarmVille Enchanted Glen! Enchanted Glen is set in the delightful world of fairies and folklore, a long-time favorite theme in FarmVille and a destination farm that was bound to happen at some point. The pixies need our help restoring Enchanted Glen to its former glory. It sounds familiar, but there's still a lot to be excited about with a new FarmVille farm and this is a theme that a lot of players will appreciate. Enchanted Glen embraces the world of fairies and winged critters. Everything looks so much cuter with pixie dust and wings, doesn't it? Many of the Enchanted Glen animals and decorations are gnome-friendly-- think a Fairy Swan or Belle Bird both with a lovely gnome rider, a trait that FarmVille gnome lovers will welcome.

Early access starts today if you are willing to spend 45 Farm Cash, and regular access is expected to start next week on Jan. 14, 2013. Until then, check out a complete preview of FarmVille Enchanted Glen here.

What was your highlight of 2012 in FarmVille? Are you excited about the arrival of FarmVille's new Enchanted Glen farm?

Angela Morales created and manages FarmVille Freak, the largest FarmVille fan site, which provides news, tips and in-game updates for Zynga's Facebook farm game as it happens. She is also the co-author of FarmVille For Dummies book. Yes, it exists.