ChefVille Aftertaste: Is too much money ever a bad thing?
Facebook games come in many shapes and sizes, but nine times out of ten, you can expect these games to contain some sort of virtual currency that can be spent on progressing the game. Whether it's coins or cash, this virtual currency is normally earned automatically by simply playing the game, but each game's balance tends to keep players from becoming too "poor" or too "rich." What happens when this balance doesn't exist? Well, we're learning that right now in ChefVille.
Most ChefVille players have one basic goal in mind: earn as many mastery stars as possible by cooking dozens of dishes each week. Each of these dishes is served for coins, and while the beginning stages of the game constantly give you items to spend these coins on, like cooking appliances and ingredient stands, more high-level players run into droughts, where thousands upon thousands of coins are added to your virtual bank account with nothing to spend them on.
Sure, players can purchase cafe decorations, wall and floor tiles, but these are relatively inexpensive and aren't items that you'll purchase everyday. Furthermore, ingredients are earned without the use of coins, and even purchasing Wild Onions and Mushrooms only costs Reputation Hearts. We may occasionally be required to spend thousands of coins in bulk for land expansion squares, but many expansions are either locked entirely or won't be available to actually purchase until you've earned over 100 or 200 mastery stars each. How do you earn mastery stars? By cooking dishes that, in turn, flood your coin total with even more profits that will just sit around.
Is there really such a thing as having "too many coins" in ChefVille? Not technically, but the overabundance itself raises concern about the rest of the game. Wouldn't it be great to be able to have more things to purchase? Productivity would obviously increase if we were allowed to purchase duplicate cooking appliances and ingredient stalls, and I know that I'd personally be willing to spend thousands of coins at a time if I was allowed to simply purchase ingredients using coins in the store. Of course, the latter would cut into Zynga's ability to monetize the game via the purchase of these ingredients with Chef Cash, but wouldn't players be more likely to spend this Chef Cash in much larger quantities on decorations if they didn't have to worry about using it to purchase ingredients?
The issue is definitely up for debate, but for now, I suppose the only thing we really have to worry about is Zynga pulling a move similar to that in Pioneer Trail, when Canning Missions stripped tens of thousands of units of Food from players who had earned too many to keep the game "balanced." Let's just hope that day never arrives, and we're given additional ways to spend our coins the old-fashioned way.
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How many coins do you currently have in ChefVille? Can you see Zynga releasing quests in the game to eliminate our savings, or do you think we're free from that particular worry? Sound off in the comments!