Supercell’s Hay Day is one of these games, which are a good example, how an 8 years game can still offer a very complex farm building/resource management experience. Although Hay Day is the oldest active project of this Finnish company, the team behind it is still working on improving existing, and development of new features (for example The Valley – the big new loop, was introduced in june 2019). And now, at the end of 2020, they are introducing … wait for it … Battle Pass. Ok ok, officially it’s called “Farm Pass” and you can get it for 5.49 EUR. Why is this such an interesting topic? Let’s look, why I decided to look a little bit closer.
- New Farm Pass and Farm season will be introduced every month. This feature will be from now one of regular progression and engagement mechanic in the game.
- In the time when designers started working on Hay Day, nobody heard about Battle Pass. Whole market was different than nowadays, but Hay Day survived. So I am interested, how they implemented this last “mandatory” feature into 8 years grandpa (well, we had a similar task this year).
- In every Supercell’s game you can see perfect UX, juice and attention to detail. What they prepared for us now?
- Farm pass is their third (or the fourth, if we count freshly cancelled Match 3 Hay Day Pop) Battle Pass implementation (Clash of Clans – april 2019, Clash Royale – july 2019). What they learned from them?
Like most of features in Hay Day, Farm Pass is also represented as a building – chicken house and farm pass with a road. It’s not surprising that your goal is to help small cute chicken to get from the beginning of the road to the road’s end (not cross the road!). Each event point you will get by fulfilling goals represents one chicken step. Everything is animated and responsive as we expected from Supercell.
Farm Pass offer two kinds of goals, for which you will get points:
- Daily goals – You can have 3 active daily goals at the same time and they are usually easy to complete but every daily goal gives you only 3 points. Next day your daily goals will be reseted, doesn’t matter if you finished them or not. Example of daily goals: Activate one booster, feed 10 farm animals.
- Season goals – Finish season goals will take a little more time, but you will get significantly bigger reward – 50 points. 3 new goals are unlocked every week and you have time to finish them until the end of season. Example of season goals: Feed 50 chicken, Complete 20 truck orders.
As you can see, the amount of available goals is limiting your maximal progress in the Farm Pass. It’s not hard to calculate how far you can get, if you will fulfill all goals. And here is one important point, why it matters – Perks.
Perks and other rewards
We can say for sure, that rewards are segmented, probably according to player’s level and unlocked features. There are 5 main categories of rewards:
- Basic currencies (Coins, XPs)
- Expansion materials (highly valuable, you can get them only as a reward, or for diamonds)
- Special (Bundle consists from all previous mentioned rewards and exclusive cosmetic)
As you can see, Hay Day team follow the successful formula of Clash of Clans Battle pass, in which you can unlock a lot of perks, but to purchase premium tier is not enough. To start use their benefits, you have to unlock a specific tier by playing and after that they are active until the end of season. You will not get any farm resources as eggs or tomatoes, what can be the first idea, when you are thinking about Battle Pass in resource management game. Farm pass offers new, time limited experience. Full list of rewards you can find at the end of this article.
- You can unlock a perk, which allows you to increase the number of production slots in a production building. But you have an option to choose one building from an offer of three. The fact you have this possibility gives you a feel of strategization and optimization of your production pipeline.
- Next interesting perk is the possibility of sending diamonds (hard currency) as a gift to your neighbor. A reward for you is only a good feeling from your generosity. But of course, now I expect the same generosity from my playmates … or they should start to look for different neighborhoods.
- I was wondering how Hay Day team will implement skins, because they are a part of Battle Pass in Clash Royale and Clash of Clans. Here aren’t any heroes … but you have animals! You probably noticed that during Christmas or summer, your hens or pigs wear funny hats and accessories. What probably began as a nice joke from developers transformed to full feature! So now you can unlock a unique Green Beanie, and dress separately every animal and become the most stylish farm in your neighborhood. This unique reward is situated in the middle of Farm Pass.
Integration into social loops
What Hay Day did well is, how they implemented tasks and rewards perks into all loops and elements in the game. Here we can see interesting thing – strong representation of social related rewards but not tasks. So you aren’t pushed to play with others to get your points from tasks, but after you will unlock possibility of getting some extra help from your team mates, do will use it? Probably yes, it will help you to progress faster. This will also affect Derby (recurring competitive event between neighborhoods). Derby Task Reactivation perk will not change it to pay-to-win, but together with other benefits it will create some kind of advantage.
Currently, I am still playing the first season of Farm Pass and I have some tiers to unlock. And I am looking forward to the next tasks and how I will fulfill them. Good job, SuperCell. And at the end, I want to recommend GDC Talk from Eino Joas, who talks about how they approach to creating successful Battle Pass in Clash of Clans: Clash of Clans: Bigger, Better, Battle Pass