Welcome to Serendipity

Welcome to Serendipity

Benigni (aka OldBlueBen)

Hi. I'm... well, call me Ben.

I am not a big gamer. The games I've loved and played most over the years have been SimCity, Age of Empires, and The Settlers Online.

Several weeks ago, I happened upon Stardew Valley. I have been playing it obsessively ever since. What a game, right? What a game!

My first playthrough was blind - absolutely no research on the game - not even the wikki. It took me eight game-years to feel like it was time to look around online for information and to find out what mechanics and content I had yet to discover.

Soon, I installed SMAPI and began to experiment with mods.

Then I began to enjoy multiplayer gaming through communities on Steam and Discord.

Which brings me to the present. Thanks for reading my little backstory.

As I see it, the problem with multiplayer is that you get going with 1-3 other players, go through the first season or two, then hardly (if ever) get back together again to continue.

My solution to this problem is to use a mod which allows for unlimited players on one farm. Why do I want more than four 'slots' in my games? Players come and go.

In my experience, the majority of PC multiplayer games undertaken with newly met players go like this: someone wants to play; someone agrees to host; an invitation code is shared and one or two more players are pulled in; good fun is had in facing the challenges of the first few seasons; then the game peters out before year one is over, never to be continued.

I am not saying that there is anything the matter with enjoying the game in the way I just described. I am saying that my games are different from this norm.

Before seeking out players to join my game, I prep the map with seven to ten cabins. I find if I then announce in several places (discord, steam, reddit, facebook, twitter, etc) simultaneously, and reissue my invitations repeatedly (at amenable intervals), then during the first hour or three of gameplay, I will be joined by a few players who have played with me before, and a few who are new to my games. Of these, say, five to seven players, about half will become invested in the game. The other half will play just a short while and then take their leave.

So... Typically after a few hours of play, I have two to four relatively solid companions on my journey, and another two to four players who have established a character and left, who may or may not return. As I continue to announce the game online, the last few cabins become occupied. At this point, I edit the save file of the game, moving the character data of the players who have come and gone into a backup file in order to make the existing cabins available to further interested players.

These days, I am a cat-napper. I like to jam away at multiplayer for long sessions, adjourn for a quick refreshing nap, then see who's around to jam away at multiplayer some more. And because of my methods, I do not need to create a new farm over and over. If someone has created a character which I have removed, and they want to reinstate that character, it is fairly simply done.

My games go further. More is accomplished. With a larger group of players coming and going, we are more likely to sustain a level of three to five players on the farm at once at any given time. I have had six at once. Maybe seven counting myself. It is awesome.

I still enjoy vanilla Stardew, but I also enjoy experimenting and playing with various mods. They help me to be a better host as well. I will probably be using Chests Anywhere for example, which will allow me to access all chests at any time from wherevs on the maps. But I won't steal your stuff!

I also have come to prefer a little speed boost, so I may be using Auto Speed and appear to be all coffeed up all the time. Various other modifications may come into play. You can use whatever mods float your boat. My only request is that you please not spawn items. Spawning can be fun, sure, but in my experience, it can ruin a good multiplayer game pretty quickly. It's all about everyone enjoying the game, as far as I am concerned.

Mutual respect is always best, and I reserve the right of course to refuse or discontinue any player I choose, but hey, I am an easygoing guy and I don't foresee any major difficulties, especially considering that practically all of the Stardew Valley players I have encountered so far have been cool.

I am 'Benigni#5812' on Discord, and 'OldBlueBen' on Steam and Reddit.