ChefVille Aftertaste: Who thought staggered quest releases was a good idea?


Sometimes, it feels like Zynga has multiple teams working on ChefVille, and that most times, the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. For every positive change, we're given something worse to "balance" it out, but perhaps nothing is as downright silly as the recent release of the Oyster Bar and Truffle Station.

For all of the complaining we can do about the overabundance of timed quests in ChefVille, at least those features are given to everyone at the same time (well, everyone over five Mastery Stars, or some other low requirement). Even though they may be difficult to complete within their set time limits, we're able to decide personally whether or not to put in the time and effort necessary to finish them.

With the release of the Oyster Bar and Truffle Station, only random groups of players have received these cooking stations and their associated quests, with no rhyme or reason as to who received them and who didn't. Zynga has stated that its listening to player concerns about having too many quests in the game, and this staggered release was apparently the company's solution. I know, it doesn't make much sense to me either.

Why not simply delay these entire events for all players, either until they reach a specific Mastery Star level, or simply until other things, like the Valentine's Day or German events, have been allowed to expire? Why throw these quests onto already full plates "just because," and then leave the majority of players wondering where they are? Not only does this frustrate players that didn't receive the quests, but it makes it incredibly hard for those that did receive the quests to actually finish them, since they can't visit their friends' restaurants for necessary themed ingredients.

What's more, there's no reason that a player with five Mastery Stars should have ever been given these Oyster or Truffle themed events, since they require so many ingredients to finish. As we've all experienced first hand, ingredients take a lot of time and effort to unlock in ChefVille, and we're encouraged to keep cooking with the promise of more ingredient stalls as our reward. These lower-level and low Mastery Star players have barely started to get their footing in a really complex cooking game, and Zynga expects them to complete a massive Oyster or Truffle themed event with the few resources they have at their disposal? Seriously, who thought this was a good idea?

I've admitted before that I complain a lot about ChefVille, but that's only because I'm so passionate about the game. It's built on some great principles and fundamentally, the gameplay is incredibly fun. Zynga's choices, however, make it really difficult to be so supportive, and I'm really starting to wonder how much more the dedicated player base will be able to put up with before it's too late.

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Have you received either the Oyster Bar or the Truffle Station? What do you think about Zynga's decision to release these events to just a small group of random players and not everyone else? Sound off in the comments!