About the Mega Melons Event...
(Duplicated here with permission)
Normally, the introduction of a new crop is a good experience. However...
New crop. It's been a while since we received a new permanent crop. Watermelon. I think the last one was the Soybeans and Soy Milk. Which, perhaps, was not that long ago(?) but it certainly feels like it.
New recipes. Watermelon has a lot of recipes available for it, in a number of different buildings. Whereas some new crops suffer from an initial lack of usability (Tea and Blueberries for example), there are many options available for Watermelon, including in the Kitchen, Juicer, Extractor, and Ice Creamery.
New planters. Whereas some newly-introduced crops in the past ended up using up our regular plots, the Watermelon has its own specially-designated plots, so we are not faced with the choice of what to plant based on conflicting needs.
Donkey Cart. Like the many other prizes in similar events--Chef Gnome, Aquaponics, Tropical Oasis, etc.--having the ability to harvest two more Watermelons is a positive.
Too many options. We have had "crops" that offered more than one option before: Maple Trees, Almond Trees, Hydroponics, etc. However, in all those cases it was only two options: Maple Leaf or Maple Syrup, Almonds or Almond Milk, Soybean or Soy Milk, etc. The Watermelon plants offer FIVE options, and all drop at different rates. This resulted in a lot of chaos as players scrambled and searched and solicited for assistance--myself included--for the harder-to-get-and-lower-drop-rate Watermelons. Did we really need 5 different varieties of Watermelon?
Too many drops. Until this point, all crops dropped only two of itself: harvesting one plot of Corn gave us two Corn, one of which we probably used to replant the crop. These Watermelon planters dropped THREE items: one Watermelon, and 2 Watermelon seeds. I get it...all the recipes require Watermelon Seeds as well. However, this meant that our Silos filled up 1.5x more quickly than usual. For every 6 Watermelons we received, we also picked up 12 Watermelon Seeds, only 6 of which went back into the planters. Where before harvesting 6 regular plots got us 6 new items in our Silos (after replanting), Watermelon gave us 12 new items in our Silos. I'm betting many players were discarding a lot of Watermelon Seeds just to keep making space for all the other crops they needed to continue growing.
Too many recipes. For the event, a lot of new recipes makes sense. But after the event? There are very few crops--or items in general--with only one recipe for them (I think White Daisies may be the only one...and of course, there are no recipes at all that use Bass). Now we have the Basic Watermelon (only used for Watermelon Grill) and Yellow Watermelon (only used for Watermelon Flower). It might be different if these items were themselves used in some other item, as they were during the event. Now, however, they have no purpose other than those two solo recipes. And, really, why continue these recipes at all? They made sense when celebrating the introduction of a new crop, but now, do we really need a Watermelon Grill, a Watermelon Shark, a Watermelon Flower, and a Watermelon Pig? Keeping the Watermelon Drink still makes sense, but keeping the rest does not. Maybe if the Watermelon Basket had been continued as a composite item--similar to the Almond Tea Service, the Pamper Package, the Maple Gift Basket, and the Hearty Breakfast in the Bed and Breakfast--then it would make sense.
Low drop rates v. high quantity demand. You want to keep the game interesting, I get it. You need players to spend money on gems, I understand. The tasks start off easy and become increasingly difficult, that's standard. And you're going to add to the difficulty by requiring a sizable quantity of the hardest-to-get item, that makes sense. However, if you want to keep players playing and not giving up in frustration, there needs to be a balancing of the scales. "Easy" could have been crafting 10-15 Watermelon Grills, and "Difficult" could have been crafting 2-4 Watermelon Drinks. With Basic Watermelons being the most common, even 10-15 would have been doable with very little trouble. And given the low drop rates of Orange Watermelons and Moon and Stars Watermelons, 3-5 Pigs and 2-4 Watermelon Drinks would still have been difficult, but not impossible. Or, instead of "Get 1, Give Many" it could have been "Make 1, Get Many" for the earlier goals, and then "Get 1, Give 3" for the final goals, and we would be able to use the crafts from before to make complete the final goals, and you could increase the difficulty (and the anxiety level) by increasing the crafting time (though, to be honest, 8 hours is more than enough time to stress people out). But asking players to craft 8 of one item with THE lowest-drop Watermelon and needing 8 of those same lowest-drop Watermelon just to craft 1 item, and then needing an additional 8 for another task...needing 72 of the lowest-drop Watermelon to complete the goals is really going to upset a lot of players and drive them away from the game.
Overall, this event was NOT easy. The only way many of us finished was through the kindness and generosity of our neighbors. I am very glad that we were allowed to sell Watermelons and crafts to each other (which makes sense, considering these would become permanent in the game). Although it was a welcome change to the Leaderboard events, I feel it was made unnecessarily complicated and difficult by the inclusion of 5 varieties of Watermelon when 1 or 2 would have been enough, with difficulty being implemented through crafting with multiple ingredients (instead of just Watermelons and Watermelon Seeds). If I had to rate it on a scale of 1-5 Stars, I'd give it a straight 3.
Outstanding thoughts PookieBear50
You took time to present both sides.
I was happy to see the train asking for Watermelons and Watermelon products.
Storm8 you did an outstanding job on the animation of this Donkey Cart!
Some things I would like changed is that we are given specific Watermelon Seeds to perhaps be able to grow the Watermelon we need. I also feel the price should be raised I can grow a four minute corn crop for more coins then a three and one half hour Watermelon.