I have been warned by Mom (Alissa) not to write the kind of post that I would have written as CrankyOldGuy on my old site. I think that goes without saying, as I am a far LESS cranky guy these days, after several months of being here at Addicts.
That said, I think you will get my general impression as far as what I think about the way things went during the Prehistoric (Post-Hysterical?) Act I of the Time Travel Toaster event that EA unfurled.
The response to the poll was huge…as in FAR larger than most of the polls done by news agencies during the political season. More than 4,000 players responded! This can certainly be considered “empirical data” to which EA should certainly take a serious look (especially if they want to keep players happy, and playing). The results are fairly self-evident…with only a few minor surprises and anomalies.
When you take a look at the poll results, at least in the first glance, it looks like the vast majority of players were able to “Get Everything” (the consummate goal of every die-hard TSTO player). But when you drill down into the data on a player-by-player basis (and who doesn’t love to drill down on player data?), a couple of fairly obvious things emerge.
So…If we are to use the basic data…
- 66% of you Got Moe and his cave. That’s good.
- Almost 90% of all players got the Baby T-Rex (which is now wandering around my town…not doing much).
- 49% of you claim you didn’t have either of the primary Premium characters (Booberella Cave Girl or GraveDigger Billy).
- More than 58% of you logged on at LEAST 4 times a day.
OK. That would make some of the data seem ambiguous…until you DRILL (imagine the sound of a dental drill…and the bad guy from “Marathon Man” continuing to ask over and over, “Is it safe?”).
When you take a look at all of the comments…and the data associated with EVERY respondent, there are a couple of things that emerge, as to the way that EA set this up. And frankly, the poll didn’t ask a couple of important questions, that may or may not have altered the outcome for some.
Let’s conclude, that if you logged on at the previous “bare minimum” set by previous recent events (the magic 4-5 times a day), you should have had no problem “getting it all” (even as as totally Freemium player, who does not purchase any of the Premium characters).
That was not the case.
Logging in 4-5 times a day, resulted in almost 10% fewer “Getting it All” results. So…there was another factor in those who got it all…and perhaps didn’t log in as often. As in…they bought the premium characters.
Also not included in this survey was the purchase of the “Waterslide Tree” (which gives you 405 of the event currency every 4 hours). This REALLY (see? I’m learning….I didn’t do the rEAlly bit) adds up. That’s an additional 2k per day or more, depending on how often you log in (or more than 28K over a 14-day duration).
But, the overwhelming thing that pops out, is that more than 50% of players had at least one of the Premium characters…both of which offer some extra currency, but also offer up additional shovels, which makes it easier (or EAsier if you prefer), to find the jewels, and propel you along the prize track resulting in the Baby T-Rex.
FINALLY….as far as missing pieces to the data…there was no place to note how many donuts you spent on additional shovels, in order to get the Baby T-Rex.
These are all factors that could, and most likely made the data not seem to correlate to any single element for “getting it all.”
Which brings us to a couple of logical conclusions…
1. EA (especially after lowering payouts halfway through the era) did not have any intention of making it super easy to get everything. For the most part, you either had to spend donuts on one or two premium characters, or spend donuts on the Tree Slide, or spend a ton of donuts on extra shovels, while logging on at least 4 times a day.
Hardly anyone reported “getting it all” by not doing at least a couple of those things mentioned above, and two of them weren’t on the survey.
2. If you are totally a Freemium player (or don’t do the KEM farming bit to rack up loads of Bonuts), you are not likely to “get it all.” Period. The odds are simply not in your favor.
Those who did not do at least a couple of the aforementioned things (log on 5 times and day and buy at least one Premium character) was left with the choice at the end of BUYING Moe…for donuts. And in some cases, a LOT of donuts.
This is where I want to start by making sure that you are all aware that this is MY opinion…and not that of “the management.” Everyone will have a take on this…and I expect a ton of comments about what I am going to write. But, as a “blind test case” for both methods, I will start by laying out how I played…and what my results were.
1. I did not purchase any of the premium items. None.
2. I logged on 3-4 times a day, with very few days that I fell below 4 (I was on the road a few days).
3. I figured out a fairly proficient system for finding the jewels, so my percentage of “wins” there may have been a bit higher than some.
The result of this…was that I DID get the Baby T-Rex…but was almost 15K away from getting Moe, even after some serious “make up” tapping the final days (set my alarm to allow me to log in 6 times…as in middle of the night log ins).
To see if there was any single difference between Act I and Act II, I DID buy the Treehouse Slide on the first day of the Egyptian era…and have been consistently logging in, 4-5 times a day (mostly 4), and am almost 2 days ahead of the calendar at this point. I have still not bought the Premium characters. So yes…playing Freemium is hard, if not almost impossible (if you have a life outside of TSTO).
But, Alissa did mention that she hoped that this wasn’t an indication that EA was slowly morphing into TinyCo, and the way that the Family Guy game really is a fustercluck of items, and all of the best stuff costs money (or clams, or whatever the currency of the week is). I certainly hope not.
I don’t mind giving EA a few real dollars every once in a while. Lord knows, over the past 4+ years, I have dropped hundreds in real cash and gift cards. But, the real problem for me (and this is where some of you will disagree), is that the vast majority of what is being offered, just isn’t anything I want in my Springfield.
I play the game to grow my town, and have options for making it realistic enough, that it is a place that I would want to live, if I was a Simpsons character. I know…I know…that is a bit (a lot?) strange. The challenge I have right now, is that other than turning this stuff into some sort of strange amusement park (BibleLand or Land of the Toaster comes to mind) where its “normal” to see humans and dinosaurs side by side with Egyptians and Pirates (none of which are in the REAL Springfield of the TV show or the movies…outside of a flash with the Toaster episode), I just don’t care to have it.
I work on the principle of ROT (return on tapping) for the time (life currency) that I spend on the game. Yes…some of this stuff is clever or kinda cool (I DO like the Tree Slide and the brontosaurus…I have both in a remote corner that I may develop later). But, did I buy Moe, with real donuts when I didn’t earn him? NOPE. I already dislike having two Barts, two Lisas, and a bunch of dead characters. Physics and Metaphysics be damned! If you are going THAT far with stretching the time/space model…BRING US BLEEDING GUMS MURPHY!!!!
I hope that EA backs up a bit in regards to penalizing those who don’t spend a wad on donuts (or spend hour and hours KEM farming). I also hope that they at least try to go back to content from the huge list of shows and characters that they seem to be neglecting.
What do YOU think? Does “Hope” constitute a demand? That’s a conversation for another time and place…right? I have to go now…I have a bunch of neighbors to tap, to keep on track! (still on the fence about the prizes for the Egyptian era…but am willing to play the game to the best of my ability, just to see where it ends up).
ON A POSITIVE NOTE…WE ARE SOOOOOO CLOSE to completing this round of funding for the solar lights. Plus I have a surprise I’ll reveal in the next addition of Addicts Live on Saturday!
Join in the fun. Every dollar makes a difference!