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.

Monday, 28 February 2011

No Thanks, I'm Just Browsing...

[Please note this is largely a Windows PC based post. Although much of it will also cross over to Linux etc Mac owners don't really need to worry about this one]

Considering many issues in Frontierville are browser based and we know that some browsers are better than others, here's a little roundup of the different options on the market.

Why should I change?

Because all browsers are different, and because of this some work far better with Frontierville than others.

Is it difficult to change?

Not at all, you simply download your preffered browser, install the program and run with it. The first time it runs it'll check if it's the "default browser" and if you click to make it so, every time you go to use the internet it will open that specific program.

Can I change back?

Yes, very easily. The browsers don't replace each other, they simply run alongside. The only important thing is which is considered the "default browser" and, as such, opened every time you activate the internet. Every browser, when starting up, checks to see if it's the default and asks if it's not. Changing browsers is as simple as installing one and clicking a button.

What are the choices?

There are four main choices in the browser wars right now, and their performance for the internet in general and Frontierville in particular vary wildly. As with any good awards show, let's announce them in reverse order...

Bronze Medal - Third Place - Internet Explorer

We all know IE, it's the browsing version of those songs that get given away free with MP3 players so you can take them straight from the box and use them. Basic, tasteless and to be removed as soon as possible to be replaced by something much better from our own collections.

There's nothing inherently WRONG with Internet Explorer in the same way as there's nothing inherently WRONG with wearing socks with sandals... but just like that example, if you do use it, people will think you're strange.

IE runs the internet in its most basic form, gives minimal control over personalisation and runs Frontierville at an "average" speed and reliability. It's last in the line because it offers nothing the others don't, offers a lot less than some of the others do and is generally the bargain basement option.

(I've not done a download option for IE for two reasons... 1. If you have a PC it'll be there. 2. You shouldn't use it. Ever.)

Silver Medal - Second Place - Mozilla Firefox

This pains me, it really does. I've been using Firefox for as long as I can remember and I adore it. I'm writing this blog in Firefox, I post and comment on our Facebook wall in Firefox, I surf Frontierville based info in Firefox, along with 99% of my non-FTV websurfing.

The one big major important thing I DON'T do in Firefox? Frontierville.

When it's game time, up comes one of the Gold Medal browsers and I use it in them. For some reason, be it memory drain, connection to Flash or a combination of factors, using Firefox for Frontierville is painful at best.

The reason Firefox beats out IE in the browser list is because the rest of it's browsing experience beats it hands down, in fact it beats the Gold Medals too in general internet use, but it fails when it comes to Frontierville, so here it is, better than the Bargain Basement, but not quite reaching the heady heights of the Penthouse Suite.

Gold Medals - Joint First Place - Google Chrome/Apple Safari

These are both fairly new on the Windows block compared to the previous two browsers but both are making a big name for themselves.

The premise is simple, they both offer a SIMPLE solution. Whereas some of Firefox's problems may be attributed to trying too hard, allowing apps and add ons and extra customisation fiddling, both these browsers run the cleaner and easier line.

Imagine it this way, Firefox is a supercar with a thousand buttons and controls but because it's so complicated you can't tweak it right and end up driving around at 30MPH all the time because you're worried it'll fly off the road.

Chrome and Safari are like the Mitsubishi Evos of a few years back. Few bells and whistles and simple, basic controls and features... but because it's so simple and easy you can corner them at 60MPH with no fear of it breaking.

For a general browsing experience neither of these are anything too special, in fact for me they're a little TOO bare bones, but I'm a nerd and I like my shiney extras. They're certainly on a par, if not slightly better than IE.

BUT, where these babies fly is Flash games, and Frontierville in particular as that's where your interest lies.

Chrome holds a slight edge but only VERY slight, and that's because it's fully integrated with Flash and therefore shouldn't need updating, it also runs just that little bit more crash free. On the other hand although the under the bonnet stuff works better on Chrome the game itself seems to run the same, if not slightly bettter on Safari.

The Conclusion

If you're a nerd like me, the best option is to have more than one browser running. I have Firefox for my general browsing, and I have Chrome open purely for gaming.

But, especially if you don't need or want the bells and whistles, for just a solid browser that'll play this and other Zynga/Flash games well, then you won't go wrong with either Chrome or Safari. Every now and then one will get a few more Brownie Points and a few more supporters, but the other tends to fight back quickly and pull level.

So right now, if you play Frontierville and want the best possible playing option? Download yourselves Chrome or Safari.