Addicts Question Corner: TTT Prehistoric Era

Hey Howdy Hey Tappers!

It’s been a little while since we’ve done one of these, but I feel like this might be a good place.  Lots of new information coming at you quick and fast, always best to slow down and break it all down so everyone’s on the same page.  So let’s get to it with a Time Travel Toaster Edition of Addicts Question Corner…Prehistoric Era focused….

Updated, I forgot one area…

Are their Bonuts? (Bonuts = Bonus Donuts)
Yes, once you complete the prize track you’ll have the chance for 1, 2 or 3 donuts for every 8,250 fossils you collect.

And as usual if you miss out on 3 the first time you can try again, for $150,000 each try.

My Bonus % Increased.  What Caused it?

Sacred Parchment now offers a .5% bonus as does the explosives.

Pro Tip:  This is a good indication they’ll both be back in the store during this event…if you’ve missed out.

Gravedigger Billy’s Grave Isn’t Paying out Shovels, Is it Supposed to?

Sorry guys, there seems to be some confusion with the way I wrote the rundown post.  Gravedigger Billy can earn Shovels at Mom and Pop’s (just like the other characters), his Grave does NOT pay out Shovels.

I Can’t Get Cecil’s New Tasks to Trigger.

I think a patch may have been released this afternoon to fix the Road to Riches not triggering for some of you.  If not try uninstalling and reinstalling TSTO.  Also, check to make sure you have your Townhall out in Springfield and not stored away in inventory.  HappyTapper reported this helped him.

Other than that…it’s time to contact EA and open a support ticket.

I’ve Lost ____ Millions In Game Cash, What Happened?

The way the Road to Riches items are earned are via tasks for Cecil.  These tasks cost significant amounts of in game cash and they’re how you’ll earn the road to riches items (don’t worry I’m breaking it all down in another full post). This works in a similar way to Money Mountain.  Spend money to unlock the prizes.  In this case you SPEND the money to send Cecil on the tasks  to unlock the prizes.


Again if you select one of these tasks (in green) you are SPENDING the money listed.  And I suspect this is what’s caused some of you to have in game cash missing…

Best Strategy at the Excavation Site


I’m working on the full detailed post for the Excavation Site for Act 1, hopefully it’s ready to go tomorrow morning, so this is just a quick little discussion.

There’s some question over strategy with this…your best bet is to find the Gem in as few digs as possible for each round.  A few tappers have posted strategies in the comments including:

This from Charles:

a sample
where -n- where to hit if hit rock on n.

13 -1- -6- 6 -2- 11
-1- 1 -1- -2- 2 -2-
9 -1- -5- 14 -2- -7-
-9- -4- 5 -5- -3- 7
-4- 4 -4- -3- 3 -3-
12 -4- -8- 8 -3- 10

hitting (r,c) (2,2), (2,5), (5,5), (5,2) will cover 25 of 36 squares. If you don’t find a rock try (4,3) covering 3 spots. Then you have 4 covering 2 spots (1,3 or 4), (4 or 5,1),(4 or 5,6),(6, 3 or 4). . That leaves the four corners. And last being (3,4). Worst case: it takes 14 shovels. If you get a rock in the first 4, the most to find the gem is 4 more, or 8 max. The 5th requires 2 more, or 7 max.

But someone else came up with a better pattern:

x0x6xx -7- 10 -6- 6 -6- -5-
7xxxx5 7 -7- -1- -6- -5- 5
xx1xxx -7- -1- 1 -1- -2- -5-
xxxx2x -8- -3- -1- -2- 2 -2-
83xxxx 8-3- 3 -3- -4- -2- -9-
xxx4x9 -8- -3- -4- 4 -4- 9

And this from Declan

https://pastebin.com/hSm4nRDq

With this image

And this detailed Google Doc from Teo47
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kN66glGHgcVXxe3dVakxwTKJQI88EWkvWiTuGT9lXE8/edit

And finally these detailed images from Bugman

People keep saying to use a checkerboard pattern when digging at the Excavation Site, but I’ve got a better method. Touch on all four corners, draw a line through the middle, then another above and below it. Although both methods guarantee that you will find either the gemstone or its surrounding rocks, the second method requires 4 fewer squares to do so. Since the actual location is random, the order in which you search doesn’t really matter, only the *pattern* that you follow. Over time, the second pattern pays off better than the straight checkerboard. I don’t know if this is the *best* pattern, though, since I haven’t really worked on perfecting it!

(he submitted a few images with this, but then sent me an email saying he found an even better way, so including the image with his better way..)

Start at a corner (say the bottom) then do a line every 2 rows. There’s no place the crystal-and-rock formation can hide completely, and the pattern requires only 12 clicks instead of the full 18 required by a checkerboard approach.

However you decide to do it you’re best bet is to do it in as FEW moves as possible.  Why?  Because you need to uncover 48 Gems before the Prehistoric Era ends on June 11th.

And note, the simpliest way is to locate the Rocks by the Gem.  Typically a Gem is surrounded by 4 tiles of Rocks (left, right, top and bottom).  You should be able to find the gem quickly once you’ve found the rocks.

(Note: You may have seen me comment in the comments earlier that it was better to do it in as many moves as possible.  I was thinking that because I was thinking of the Fossil benefits.  But I’m not ashamed to admit I was incorrect with this line of thinking.  In this case you need to do it in as FEW moves as possible to clear as many Gems as you can to get the final Excavation Site prize (Baby T-Rex)

Which Characters are NPCs, Skins or Full Characters?

Booberella- Full Character
Cavewoman Booberella- Costume for Booberella
Hollis Hurlbut- Full Character
Darwin Fish- NPC
Baby T-Rex- NPC
Caveman Moe- Full NEW Character (NOT a Skin for Moe)

And I think that wraps up all of the initial “burning” questions we’re seeing in the comments.  Again, I’ll have FULL breakdown posts for each element of this event (as well as Should I buy posts) up in the coming days…

Thoughts on the event so far?  Were your questions answered? Anything else you’re still wondering? What’s your excavation site strategy, if you have one? Sound off in the comments below you know we love hearing from you!

172 responses to “Addicts Question Corner: TTT Prehistoric Era

  1. does caveman moe earn shovels once we earn him? sorry if this has been asked/posted elsewhere already!

  2. I cant seem to find the Screamapillar ….am I not looking in the right place..is there a building or decorations I need to put up…does he pop up after I get the baby t-rex….im kinda lost here..m

  3. What happens when you get all the gems you need for Baby T-Rex from the excavation site, are there bonuts for additional gems or should I just save up the shovels for the next act (or use them for extra fossils at the excavation site)? I’m probably going to unlock it a few days before the prehistoric age ends.

  4. Indiana P.R. Underwood

    Hi! Was looking at my character collections, how do I get the screamapillar and velociraptor dinosaur? Not the baby trex

    http://i67.tinypic.com/2vjomjr.png

  5. Wanted Darwin Fish in ttt area. Had to storage it a few times since game places Darwin Fish where it wants to. Clicked out of build (or storage) mode a few times and got a nice surprise. Tried it about 20 to 30 and maxed the panini press

  6. Glad I have the Sit and Rotate!

  7. Hey Alissa, I just thought I would let you know that I finally unlocked the Road to Riches quest. After trying EVERYTHING, I finally found something helpful recently posted on the EA forums. It said that you had to at least have one aspirational building purchased and a minimum of two million in game cash. Buying the aspiration item did trigger it, when it triggered I only had three hundred thousand in game cash left. So, a minimum cash amount doesn’t appear to be a requirement. Also I finished the Money Mountain quest and it did not trigger after its completion so I’m guessing that doesn’t count as an aspirational item. Hope this helps everyone!

    • What would be an aspirational building?

    • Never mind, a quick search told me which buildings are aspirational after purchasing one I was left with 300,000 more or less and it instantly triggered Cecil for me. Thank you sooooo much.

    • That’s odd, because I don’t think I have any of the aspirational buildings. But I do have plenty of cash!

      • I meant to say that I got the Cecil quest, just by having enough cash, I think, so it must be an “or” thing, not an ” and” thing.

  8. I lost $15M thinking I had to close them all out, which was half of my cash reserves. I’m the fool who spent it, but the pain is REAL.

    Okay, not really . . . but you understand.

  9. Are there any characters that help earn event currency which we can’t see? (Like White Witch Burns in the controversial Holiday event?)

  10. Do you have to be at a certain level to get Cecil?
    I noticed several family members got him right away, but two did not.

    • just got this from EA: Please let me share that the quest has some requirements to start. The requirements for this quest the quest are: Either owning 2 million grind currency or owning one of the following buildings; Cubic zirconia, Sunsphere, Sit and Rotate, Krustyburger Oil Rig, Escalator to nowhere, popsicle stick skyscraper, and Fortress of Choclitude. If you do not meet these requirements, you will not able see the quest and it will not trigger.

      • I don’t own any of those and it triggered for me

        • You don’t have $2M? It’s that or one of the aspirational buildings….you don’t have to have any of those buildings if you have at least $2M in reserve. (That’s how I qualified, I guess, since I don’t have any of those buildings either.)

      • I can confirm this, it didn’t start for me until I purchased the sunsphere.

      • Thank you. The two newest players have none of those things.

  11. Springfield Dam question… I thought that you would be able to connect the Dam to a river, but when I placed my Dam, that wasn’t the case. It seems kind of goofy to just have a Dam and a small puddle of water there.

    Is this how everyone’s is working? Or is there an issue?

    • I had to treat it like I did the Springfield Falls. Cover the end of the river in the dam with rocks or trees – then add a river below it.
      I would love to have been able to have blocked the view with my nice covered bridge over water… but, you know…

    • Place the river first and you will be able to connect Springfield Dam to it. Worked for me.

      • Thanks! That works great. I had to free up some area around my river. It wouldn’t connect the river unless I had it lined up just right. ( it worked just fine in another spot where there was a lot of free land around the dam, I just had to modify the actual spot where I wanted it.

  12. Tracy - 1ltwoody920

    Trying to figure the math on Donut Days
    $20 yields 300 donuts
    2 x $10 ($20) yields 264 donuts PLUS 4 Golden Scratchers.
    Will 4 Golden Scratchers yield at least 36 donuts?
    264+36=300

  13. I’m a little confused about the “Tap Radius Upgrade” for the panini press. My town has all squares purchased and when I do the “blast”, it says that it cleared ALL of the Time Invaders in my Springfield. So what is the point of upgrading the radius? What does the “upgrade” actually do?
    What am I missing?

    • Its for when you’re tapping between blasts. (Until you get towards the end of the track, blasts are far less frequently available than the every four hours you should be trying to clear your town.)

  14. How do neighbors work in TTT? After the update I haven’t seen or had any noticeable visits from my neighbors? Are they the cause of all the dinos running around my town? Does that mean I don’t know who’s been visiting?
    Confused? Perhaps you already answered this question and could provide me the link to the post?

    Thanks,
    scomo9

  15. Cecil “Road to Riches” question…. When I updated last night (yeah, a day behind everyone else), I got the initial “Road to Riches” splash screen with the instruction to get Cecil to invest… He was in his 12-hour “count his money” task, so I stored the Brown house that he was in to free him up. But there was no Road to Riches” quest/prize line anywhere to be seen on my screen. I even uninstalled and reinstalled… It wasn’t until today that I even realized that Cecil’s “Road to Riches” tasks are simply in his task list, so I’ve had him do the 60-minute one a few times this evening. But nothing happens to show I’ve made any progress in this thing, whatever it is, and no icon for it anywhere. Is this a “contact EA” situation? That’s nearly always odious and painful, so I’m hoping I’m missing something easy and obvious… Oh, I also stored and unstored Cecil this evening, in case that might shake something loose, but it does not seem to have done so.

    • D’oh! A friend helped me find it. If anyone else is puzzled, tap on your daily-challenge icon on the top, right of your screen. Cecil’s “Road to Riches” prize track is revealed if you tap the “dollars” task book, which is now the third one down, below the railyard-blueprint task book…

    • It is with the daily challenge system in the top right corner. Easily missed. 🙂

  16. I’ve added Bugman’s strategy to my simulator output at
    http://fiddlesalad.com/typescript/simpsons-tapped-out-excavation-simulator/

    His pattern revealed a flaw in my logic, which I’ve fixed. With the corrected logic, the scores are as follows:

    ***** Declan’s strategy******
    games won:, 36
    games lost: , 0
    minimum moves:, 1
    maximum moves:, 12
    average num. moves, 6.166666666666667

    ***** Teo47’s strategy******
    games played:, 36
    games won:, 36
    games lost: , 0
    minimum moves:, 1
    maximum moves:, 10
    average num. moves, 6.111111111111111

    ***** Bugman’s strategy******
    games played:, 36
    games won:, 36
    games lost: , 0
    minimum moves:, 1
    maximum moves:, 14
    average num. moves, 7.361111111111111

    Teo47 is the champ, and I’m afraid that Bugman’s strategy is by far the worst (try running his pattern when the treasure is at [5,3], and when you’re checking neighbor squares in a clockwise pattern starting to the west): 14 moves.

    • Except generator to actual play are a little different…you can simulate something all you want, it’s never as accurate or as good as the real thing 😉

      • My simulation runs over each possible treasure location (36) for each strategy and tallies the results. If we assume that the treasure seeding is truly random (and that I don’t have any more bugs in code), then the statistics clearly show that if your goal is to minimize your shovel count then the best strategy to use is Teo47’s, at least until someone comes up with a better one.

        If you don’t care about saving on shovels, then sure, you can do whatever you like. If you have an alternative strategy you would like me to plug in let me know!

        • Can you do taos without looking at it? Do you have it memorized?

          • Ranking by ease of use would be a different exercise (a checkerboard would be easiest to memorize, but I don’t recommend using it)! I learned Declan’s first (it’s easy because it’s radially symmetrical), but then I was up all night writing the simulator, so I haven’t actually had a chance to learn Tao’s yet, but it’s actually very similar to Declan’s. I’m hoping an even more efficient pattern emerges; I’ll continue my tinkering with that goal in mind, next.

            By the way, I also have a simulator somewhere that explores the different payouts for various “bonuts” minigame strategies (where you must choose one of three boxes, and hope to win one, two, or three donuts). Should I post that somewhere?

          • Declan’s IS easy to remember.

            1)skip to 2nd row
            2) 3 from L
            3) 2 from R
            4) 2 from L
            5) 3 from R
            6) 4 corners

            So starting from the 2nd row, you have 2 things to remember, Left Right Left Right and 3, 2, 2, 3. Then the 4 corners. If I go beyond that, I look at my cheat sheet. 😋

    • Okay, good! I went with Teo’s because it seemed the best at a glance (and was easy to understand), so I’m glad to know it does look like the best choice.

  17. ARG! Need a “are you sure you want to spend” or an oops control with Cecil. Grandkids “helping” put him on a 1hr job, 3 times, only it wasn’t to earn but spend! EA put those at the top of the list, of course. (Kids already know no tappin Burns or irs)
    There went my budget, and all that new land 🙁
    Gonna put Cecil on long jobs or away for a while, till my dino tapping helpers learn no
    Cecil tapping too.

  18. Tracy - 1ltwoody920

    Excavation Site Prizes?
    I’m closing in on Prize #3, I have completed 12 out of 16. One more hour and hopefully I’ll have 13 out of 16.
    Anybody far enough, know enough to say:
    how many are needed to complete Prize #4
    How many are needed to complete Prize #5

  19. D’oh! I should have read the post more carefully – out $5 million with Cecil!

  20. Lenroy Changkins

    Eventually if we reach the point of getting Bonuts, should we just save shovels? Aka, will shovels still be used in the next act/episode or will they disappear?

    Thanks for this post. Highly informative for an event that seems a bit more complex than necessary (not to mention long)!

  21. Does anyone know what happens to the stuff in the vault when the time runs out?

  22. As far as I can see upgrading the panini press is #1 priority. Since upgrading currency is earned from crafting why should I ever craft anything but prehistoric fern? The 125 for 250 payout is far better than 645 for 2500, the second crafting item. Or am I missing something?

    • I don’t have a problem with the “big ticket” items but what I do have a problem with is that crafting them isn’t sufficient to upgrade to the next level, I have to craft a load of ferns 😒

  23. Pardon my ignorance, can anyone explain these codes to me?

    • I have a post coming (in process of writing it) that’s going to give you the two best methods (with photos). I’ve tested every option, these 2 are the best.

      • Looking forward to that, thank you, I seem to be “using” a lot of shovels at the moment 😬

  24. Thanks for the digging strategies! Usually I am on that like white on rice, but I haven’t had the time yet. Just tried Declan’s pattern, and found 4 gems with 16 shovels. Seems like a good average, guess I am going to stick with that until the weekend.

  25. Since people are mentioning the EA forums but don’t seem to be sharing what they found…this is from “infinite_jests” over there, the 10-shovel max method:

    x 3 x x 2 x
    9 x x x 10 x
    x x 1 x x x
    8 x x x x 7
    x x x 6 x x
    x 4 x x 5 x

    Got about 30-40 minutes until I can try it out.

  26. I see a lot of posts about cecil, how do you get him ?

  27. Hey Alissa and folks, I was interested in the different excavation strategies being discussed so I wrote a little simulator that pits them against one another to test their claims of cerebral manliness:

    http://fiddlesalad.com/typescript/simpsons-tapped-out-excavation-simulator/

    So far, I’ve only plugged-in Teo47’s and Declan’s strategies. While Teo47’s claims of a maximum 10 moves don’t appear to be true, at 11, his strategy does still beat Declan’s by 1 move. I find that a little puzzling because I was pretty sure that Declan’s would win out–his pattern doesn’t seem to have any holes in it, whereas Teo47’s has two adjacent plots (#8 and #3 on his chart), which seems wasteful.

    Anyway, feel free to fiddle with the code. Fork it, add features, plug in other strategies, etc (to add strategies, just scroll to the bottom of the typescript window and duplicate one of the “simulateGames” blocks, then alter to taste). I suspect that a 10-move max is possible. Let’s find it!

  28. My biggest question is about the crafting. Which should I make my priority – leveling up the museum or crafting and placing items? The latter would help me earn tachyons and therefore upgrade Frink’s machine. I don’t really care about the blast radius or cool down time, but it says in the game that upgrading it should also increase excavation site rewards. Does it really do that? How substantial is the increase?

  29. Daft question I’d appreciate answered(*hangs head in shame)
    1) Once I find a gem should I stop digging even if I have spades left? I’ve continued til they have all gone. I know it says to stop in the article but…
    2) Is there only one gem in the plot at a time and then it refreshes? Could there be 2 in the same plot.
    I’m clearly not understanding this aspect of the game.
    3) Do you know if the prizes will be offered for Donuts if we don’t complete in time? I doubt very much I’ll get many. I’ve only managed prize 1 thus far, with all the Premium extras too (may have to resort to buying extra spades).
    Thanks for answering……💜X

    • justinmwat151

      once you get a gem it refreshes to a new one

      • JUSTINMWAT151- Thx very much. I tapped really slowly and saw the stone pattern for the first time and how it refreshes. My gem location has improved so much too. I just keep in mind that it’s like battleships only I have to find the mine not avoid it. It’s quite good fun….for now!……💜X

    • Once you have unearthed the gems the plot resets, so you can use any spades left over on the next one.

  30. I still can’t trigger Bart’s side quest to unlock Cecil. My favorite character and I can’t get him. Sad day. I’m not sure what (if anything) I’m doing wrong. I uninstalled TSTO and nothing has happened. I emailed EA since I didn’t find any information on this bug but, I don’t believe a patch has been released. Though, I’m happy I’m not the only one with this issue.

    • Me too. Still having issues on both phone and tablet. I need to send them email and screenshots.

    • I can’t get it either 🙁

    • from EA: Please let me share that the quest has some requirements to start. The requirements for this quest the quest are: Either owning 2 million grind currency or owning one of the following buildings; Cubic zirconia, Sunsphere, Sit and Rotate, Krustyburger Oil Rig, Escalator to nowhere, popsicle stick skyscraper, and Fortress of Choclitude. If you do not meet these requirements, you will not able see the quest and it will not trigger.

      • That actually kinda makes sense…why give this quest to someone who can’t do it?

        I don’t have any of those aspirational buildings, but I do have over the $2M in cash, so that’s probably why it triggered for more. (Although, TBH, I’m bit sure when, or if, I’m ever gonna sink cash into that thing…certainly not if it’s a choice between doing that and being able to farm (while leaving myself a comfortable wad of cash I reserve, for buying land and such).)

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