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All the latest information on the newest glitches and crashes making your game a little more entertaining, along with articles about how to do various semi-game related things to help you or your neighbours.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Statehood Building Guide

Building a State infrastructure is a tricky business but if we're going to do it, we're going to do it right!

The build in the Statehood mission is a standard four stepper, with all the usual mix of items.

One thing to note is that there is a common item between builds 3 and 4, so leave those until last during build 3 so you can keep collecting/asking!

Stage One

12 Rock Picks - Rocks
10 Scaffolding - Direct Request
8 Construction Crew - Wall Post
10 Blastin' Sticks - Silver Forge
10 Climbing Gear - Direct Request
12 Sculpting Crew - Wall Post


Stage Two

15 Rehab Weights - Popcorn Kettle
12 Massage Chairs - Wall Post
9 Swimmin' Tubs - Crafted
12 Pain Snacks - Catnip
15 Small Stretchers - Direct Request
8 Fixin' Tables - Crafted

Each Tub requires 4 Old Washtubs (Tin Forge) and 8 Paddle Wheels (Wall Post)

Each Table requires 6 Relaxin' Pads (Birds of Paradise) and 8 Rectangular Tables (Direct Request)


Stage Three

25 Pink Tickets - Sheep
16 Parking Meters - Wall Post
8 Street Blockers - Crafted
14 Stoppin' Whistles - Steel Forge
12 Walk Only Signs - Direct Request
10 Free Parkin' Spots - Crafted

Each Blocker requires 6 Solid Logs (Turf) and 8 Wagon Snaggers (Direct Request)

Each Spot requires 6 Can's of White Paint (Goat), 9 Painted Lines (Wall Post) and 5 Tyin' Posts (Direct Request)


Stage Four

15 Slow Down Signs - Direct Request
18 Warnin' Tickets - Wall Post
12 Free Parkin' Spots - Crafted
18 Street Names - Recycle Bins
16 Ridin' Instructions - Wall Post
12 Direction Dividers - Crafted

Each Spot requires 6 Can's of White Paint (Goat), 9 Painted Lines (Wall Post) and 5 Tyin' Posts (Direct Request)

Each Divider requires 6 Grass Squares (Fountain Grass), 9 Brick Trim (Direct Request) and 4 Stay Right Arrows (Wall Post)


Thursday, 14 August 2014

Varmint Technical Academy Building Guide

Universities take a lot of work, and building up one, even just to train Varmints, is going to work, although this week the Building is 25% less than normal being just a three step build!

Even though it's only three stages it's still the same mix of items that we're going to need, Wall Posts, Direct Requests, Crafting and, of course, homestead drops!

So, lets take a look at what we'll need!

Stage One

10 Dorm Food - Cotton Candy
16 Orientation Itinerary - Direct Request
8 Bunk Beds - Crafted
10 Freshman 15 - Cheesemaker
10 Welcome Packets - Wall Post
15 Itchy Blankets - Wall Posts

Each Bunk Bed requires 3 Unsturdy Ladders (Oak Tree) and 4 Pairs of Mattresses (Wall Post)


Stage Two

20 Giant Chalkboards - Direct Request
20 Overpriced Texbooks - Wall Post
9 Professor's Offices - Crafted
20 Spiral Notebook - Cranberries
25 Teacher's Aids - Direct Request
18 Varmint Curriculums - Wall Posts

Each Office requires 6 Ancient Notes (Spider Flowers), 12 Stacks of Unread Books (Wall Post) and 8 Irregular Office Hours (Direct Request)



Stage Three

18 Customised Toolsets - Steel Forges
25 Final Exams - Wall Posts
12 Chemistry Sets - Crafted
25 Passing Grades - Sheep
18 Tiny Trumpets - Direct Request
12 Final Projects - Crafted

Each Set requires 6 Cracked Beakers (Glass Forge), 9 Graduated Cylinders (Wall Post) and 7 Sketchy Chemicals (Direct Request)

Each Project requires 8 Caffeine (Compost Pile), 8 University Library Cards (Direct Request) and 5 Plagiarism (Wall Post)



Thursday, 7 August 2014

Blank Posts - Workarounds


UPDATE: There are now two workarounds.

Workaround One


Please note, to make this Workaround work you need to use Adblock Plus.

Until Facebook manages to solve the blank posts issue there IS a workaround you can use to make sure you still get your items with a secondary link, with some input from a member, Debbi.

PART ONE - This only needs to be done once


Step 1) Install Adblock Plus.

Step 2) Open the options by right clicking on the Adblock icon then select the "Add Your Own Filters" tab.


Step 3) include this filter EXACTLY:

facebook.com##.unclickableMask

That text has to be added exactly, especially the capital M in the middle. PLEASE NOTE: there are no gaps in the filter, it is all one "word".

PART TWO - This needs to be done for each post

Step 1) Go to post and get to the Facebook preview popup.


Step 2) Right click the blue text title, and select copy link.


Step 3) Click in the comment window and paste that link in, then post.



Step 4) If the post works fine, it's just a second link. If the post is BLANK, that link will still be clickable and get you your stuff!


Workaround Two

Step 1) Get to the Facebook window posting stage.


Step 2) Right Click and select Reload Frame.


Step 3) If it looks normal, post it. If it's blank, repeat step 1.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Blank Posts - All the info we have...


[Please Note: We will attempt to update this post when we know anything new.]

UPDATE 3: 13/08/14 - They're still pushing, the second workaround that's come to light pretty much blows any suggestion it might be Zynga out the water so at least we can all finally get down to actually kicking Facebook.

Last I heard one of the top guys in the team was going to be discussing things in person with the department in Z that deals with Facebook when he was in San Fran if things hadn't improved, which they obviously haven't. That's on top of the fact the devs themselves have been pushing their side of things with that part of FB.

On top of that there was talk of being able to possibly circumvent that section of Facebook or access it in a different way, although that might mean a fairly intensive platform alteration.

Obviously we can use the fix-it bandaid on the Zynga Support side of things but all that does is give them numbers to give to FB, we can also use the "Report a Problem" bit in Facebook itself although I don't know how useful it'll be.

It is trouble, it is annoying and it has been going on far too long, but I guess the problem is while a few games are having it (it's not just PT) it's a small percentage, and while PT having issues is huge for the team and big for Zynga as a whole, it's just one of thousands of apps for Facebook.

UPDATE 2: 07/08/14 -
PLEASE NOTE: We have a workaround HERE if you use Adblock Plus.

UPDATE: 07/08/14 - Just a small update. Zynga are still pushing FB for a fix, the general cause has been tracked down on FB's end but now the problem is having to find the cause for that cause... Think of it like having a broken nose, you may know someone hit you, but you still need to find out who... and why.

Zynga are also looking if there's any technical things on their end that would bypass the section of Facebook that is causing the problem. It may not be feasible however, we have to remember whole sections of the game rely on fitting in to Facebook's framework.

It is not being forgotten, it will not continue indefinitely, and right now the team at PT are nearing simply invading FB HQ with some pitchforks and torches and staging a coup... which if it happens, we'll be sure to get pictures...



I know what's most frustrating about game issues might be when you're feeling like you do0n't know what's going on or aren't really in the loop regarding it.

So, with blank posts being such an issue we thought it might be good to collect all the information we know into one post, to give you as much data as we can. Some of this might be techy, but we'll look to make the whole explanation as simple as possible.

What?

This is a simple enough point as I'm sure we've all experienced them by now. Some game posts, when published are showing up minus the box of game info containing the clickable stuff.

That's the part we all know.

When?

When it happens varies wildly, it's not specific posts all the time, it's not certain times of day, it does appear worse if you hurry through posting but even that doesn't tally up elsewhere, including with what appears to be the issue. This is truly a random variable.

Why?

OK, so now we get down to brass tacks... why is this even happening?

The simple answer is... Facebook is forgetting it's a game post and instead it's posting as a status, breaking it.

If you're nerdy like me you can even see it clear in front of your face in the page code. Each post on our timeline comes with a series of little identifiers, and one of those tells the site what type of post it is. A healthy post is labelled as a "PlatformAppUserActionUnit" or in other words, a game post. A broken post is a "StatusMessageUnit" or, in short, a status.

All the different types of post in Facebook have a different way of being put together. A status is "built" one way, a photo another, a game post another way entirely, so as Facebook is posting them as a status, we then lose all the game info that a status not only doesn't have, but CAN'T have, there's nowhere for it to go.

We can see on these two posts the difference, one is a working game post and the other is a broken post, both for the same item, Basic Coordination.


The highlighted stuff on the left are sections that ONLY appear in a game post, so is thrown out by Facebook when it posts a status instead. As you can see the text is still there (even if it is just a full stop) so SOMETHING carried over, just not the bits Facebook thinks it didn't need.

Think of it like packing a suitcase, if you're going to Siberia you probably won't include the bikini, if you're going to the Seychelles you might leave the snowshoes at home.

Who?

So, whose IT department need to be rushing around... well, to work that part out we need to look at how posting actually works, it seems simple but it's four steps that are spread between a pair of different companies.

Step 1 - We click the post button in the game.

Step 2 - We then confirm the posting via the popup window.

Step 3 - This then hands over to Facebook and gives us the preview window where we can select privacy and write a comment.

Step 4 - Hopefully posting...


Where these posts are breaking is between step 3 and 4. At step 3 the game has handed over all the info Facebook needs and FB knows what it should look like, it knows it's a game post and everything is hunky dory... but before it reaches step 4, Facebook has lost all of that.

That's not to say everyone isn't working together. We're collecting info, Zynga are collecting info, and then Facebook is getting all that info.

What now?

We keep everything crossed, and keep collecting as much stuff as we can and forwarding on.

We do at least seem to know the very basic level of why it's happening, but now it's a case of why is THAT happening... and that's how it'll get fixed, you keep finding signposts that point you to somewhere else until finally there's no more signposts, just a big "You Are Here" arrow hovering over the main cause.

As you can hopefully imagine reading that, it's not as simple as some may think, it's not one single thing that's a button press or a misplaced comma away from being perfect, so it'll take work, but work IS happening, every day and as a priority.

It WILL get fixed, and hopefully it will be soon.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Dance Hall Building Guide

Fanny's getting her dancing shoes on and bringing the other Frontier ladies with her so you know what that means...

We have to build her a Dance Hall, because she demands the very best!

What it means for us is a standard four step building setup with the usual mix of requests, crafting and, of course a set of Homestead drops to get her Hall up and running.

Stage One

9 Oaken Bars - Oak Trees
10 Foundation Blocks - Direct Request
12 Hall Chandeliers - Wall Post
10 Metal Bar Stools - Compost Piles
10 Tinted Windows - Direct Request
12 Classy Artwork - Wall Post


Stage Two

12 Rouge - Red Clover
12 Petticoats - Wall Post
8 Dance Hall Stage - Crafted
14 False Fingernails - Marshmallow
16 Fancy Garters - Direct Request
8 Dance Hall Floors - Crafted


Each Stage requires 5 Pine Slabs (Pine Trees) and 8 Iron Supports (Wall Post)

Each Floor requires 6 Wood Wax (Worm Nest) and 7 Well Sanded Floors (Direct Request)

Stage Three

21 Red Lipstick - Radish
18 Feathered Fans - Wall Post
9 Feathered Hats - Crafted
16 High Heeled Boots - Hide Prepping Stations
15 Fishnet Stockings - Direct Request
10 Dancing Dresses - Crafted


Each Hat requires 7 Fluffy Feathers (Birds of Paradise) and 8 Felt Caps (Direct Request)

Each Dress requires 6 Metal Ribs (Tin Forge), 10 Shiny Silk (Wall Post) and 5 Dancing Corsets (Direct Request)

Stage Four

16 Travelling Bands - Direct Request
20 Pianola - Wall Post
12 Stage Light Displays - Crafted
18 Red Carpets - Red Pineapple
18 Backup Dancers - Wall Post
12 Orchestra Pits - Crafted


Each Display requires 6 Iron Piping (Silversword), 9 Precise Welding (Wall Post) and 5 Coloured Spotlights (Direct Request)

Each Pit requires 9 Brass Instruments (Brass Forge), 9 Folksy Musicians (Direct Request) and 5 Funky Bassists (Wall Post)

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Clubhouse Building Guide

Well, if golf courses were easy to make, we'd all have one...

The Clubhouse and Golf Course are a traditional 4 step build, with the usual mix of requesting, crafting and, of course, homestead drops.

One thing to note is there is one craft used in both Stage 3, and Stage 4. So, if you have other stuff to do, don't craft all the carts and keep being able to request!

Stage One

12 Rough Seeds - Grass
10 Nettie's Signature - Direct Request
8 Loan Contracts - Wall Post
10 Bunker Sand - Sieve Stations
10 Amos' Signature - Direct Request
12 Landscapers - Wall Post


Stage Two

15 Coloured Golf Balls - Easter Eggplant
12 Medieval Towers - Wall Post
9 Petite Pyramids - Crafted
12 Green Grass - Turf
15 Divot Fixers - Direct Request
8 Wee Windmills - Crafted

Each Pyramid requires 5 Rough Limestone (Granny's Ovens) and 8 Ancient Mortar (Wall Post)

Each Windmill requires 6 Tall Barrels (Grog) and 8 Long Oars (Direct Request)


Stage Three

25 Contract Copies - Sheep
16 Microscopes - Wall Post
9 Water Hazards - Crafted
14 Golf Pins - Fiddlehead Ferns
12 Eddy's Advice - Direct Request
10 Golf Carts - Crafted

Each Water Hazard requires 6 Purdy Ponds (Algae Pool) and 8 Scaly Denizens (Direct Request)

Each Cart requires 4 Cart Parts (Ox), 10 Small Wheels (Wall Post) and 4 Powerful Ponies (Direct Request)


Stage Four

15 Contract Loopholes - Direct Request
18 Joseph's Passport - Wall Post
12 Golf Carts - Crafted
18 Immigration Laws - Runt Plantain
16 Golf Tees - Wall Post
12 Lawnmowers - Crafted

Each Cart requires 4 Cart Parts (Ox), 10 Small Wheels (Wall Post) and 4 Powerful Ponies (Direct Request)

Each Lawnmower requires 6 Hungry Goats (Matilija Poppies), 9 Goat Wagons (Direct Request) and 4 Overgrown Fairways (Wall Post)


Thursday, 3 July 2014

Bess' Niece Building Guide

Oh Boy, this Sarah is trouble!

Seems we're really going to have our hands full with this one over a series of four builds that take us from just cleaning up around Granny's Place all the way to a life or death rescue from some venomous City Folk predators!

In essence it's what we're used to, requests, crafting and homestead drops.

The only difference this time is that there is the main build and the mini build for Sarah, so we've separated this week's guide into missions, so you can see what you need to do for your current mission progression.

Mission Two

Sarah

10 Frontier Experience - Heather
8 Frontier Smarts - Direct Request

Etiquette Desk

9 Chopped Wood - Oak Tree
10 Knitted Blankets - Direct Request
12 Cleanin' Brooms - Wall Post
10 Filled Wash Buckets - Lavender
12 Knitters Needles - Direct Request
12 Brass Dustpans - Wall Post


Mission Three

Sarah

1 Last Place Prize - Smack a Varmint Game
5 Dating Savvy - Crafted

Each Savvy requires 6 Frontier Experience (Heather) and 8 Frontier Know-How (Wall Post)

Etiquette Desk

18 Large Toothpicks - Pine Tree
10 Old Fashioned Dresses - Wall Post
9 Terrible Smelling Perfume - Crafted
12 Platform Shoes - Hide Prepping Stations
12 Blue Lipstick - Direct Request
8 Hair Raisers - Crafted

Each Perfume requires 5 Durian Juice (Mayfly Nests) and 8 Perfume Puffers (Wall Post)

Each Hair Raiser Requires 6 Static Electricity (Blue Essence Lab) and 6 Shag Carpets (Direct Request)


Mission Four

Sarah

12 Steele's Warrants - Wall Post
8 Stranger Danger Alerts - Crafted
15 Amy Evidence - Debris

Each Alert requires 6 Frontier Experience (Heather), 9 Frontier Know-How (Wall Post) and 8 Frontier Smarts (Direct Request)

Etiquette Desk

18 Life Experience - Oxen
16 Relationship Advice - Wall Post
9 Outlaw Directories - Crafted
16 Wits - Spirit Flames
12 Horror Stories - Direct Request
10 Scared Straight Sessions - Crafted

Each Outlaw Directory requires 7 Book Binding (Recycle Bins) and 8 Stack of Wanted Signs (Direct Request)

Each Scared Straight Session requires 6 Bad Decisions (Basic Still), 10 Prison Experiences (Wall Post) and 4 Captive Audience (Direct Request)


Mission Five

Sarah

20 Wits - Spirit Flames
10 Devenomisation Stations - Crafted

Each Station Requires 8 Frontier Experience (Heather), 8 Frontier Know-How (Wall Post) and 8 Frontier Smarts (Direct Request)

Etiquette Desk

15 Beware Signs - Direct Request
16 Deodorant Sprays - Wall Post
12 City Folk Armour - Crafted
18 Soft Skin Lotions - Ginger
18 Potpourri Masks - Wall Post
12 City Folk Safe Zone - Crafted

Each Armour requires 6 Plush Padding (Sheep) 9 Sturdy Stitching (Wall Post) and 5 Tin Plating (Direct Request)

Each Zone requires 3 Clearin' Hoes (Brass Forges), 9 Desolate Areas (Direct Request) and 5 Sanitizers (Wall Post)