Make TSTO Events Great Again

Update: I’ve added another point…

Dear TSTO,

We need to talk.  Lately, I feel like we’ve lost that lovin’ feeling.  It’s totally not me…it’s you.  I try and try to bring that feeling back, but time and time again you just disappoint me.

What happened to the way things used to be?  You’ve tried over the last couple of years to fix something that wasn’t broken, and instead, you broke what was already great.  You used to be cutting edge in mobile gaming, doing things no other game was doing.  Now you’re stuck in a rut and I’m not the only one noticing.

Day after day, event after event, I see other players say you’re losing their interest.  They’re grinding for the sake of grinding, and not because it’s fun. They too have lost that lovin’ feeling.  That excitement and joy that made them come back for more, over and over again.  They’re missing what made them Addicts in the first place.  And it needs to be fixed, pronto, or I’m afraid TSTO will lose players faster than that other mobile game has.

I get it, this game is over 5 years old.  It’s had a long life and maybe you’re running out of ideas.  But, the best thing about TSTO is it’s based on the best show.  So running out of ideas isn’t an option.  You have 28 full seasons of The Simpsons to work with.  And unlike some of those other games, by that other miniature company, The Simpsons is actually funny (and doesn’t rely solely on “fart jokes” for a laugh) and has never been canceled.  So really, running out of ideas isn’t an option.  If we’re still watching a show after nearly 30 years, clearly you should still be able to hold our interest after only 5 years.

Don’t worry, this isn’t a “Dear John” letter.  I’m not breaking up with you.  No, this is a “let’s fix things so we can get back that lovin’ feeling” letter.  So what follows is a list of 10 simple changes you can implement to make TSTO Events great again. (when it comes to those mini-events I actually think you’re doing a great job)  So let’s get to it…

Let’s start with the easiest first…

#1 Make Major Events Shorter

While I know you tried to keep things fresh with the 3 act method by introducing a new act/items every 2 weeks, it’s getting boring.  Too often events are exactly the same for each act and by week 4 everyone is done and bored out of their minds.

When an event first hits everyone is super excited.  They can’t wait for what’s next and what they’ll uncover as they play.  But when an event is 6 weeks long you overplay that excitement hand, and in the end, players become so sick of the event itself they just want it out of their games.

If you limit events to 4 weeks you should be able to end this “just get it over with” drama everyone experiences by weeks 5 and 6.

#2 Hide the Game Files 

I know this one isn’t going to make me popular with A LOT of players, or fellow bloggers, but I honestly think that if you hide the game files better for later stages of an event.  If players don’t know what’s coming for Acts 2 and 3 it’ll build a lot more excitement. When you can go to other sites and see exactly what’s coming and how it’s implemented it takes away the fun and excitement of what’s coming next.  It makes you feel stale, instead of fresh and new.

Some of the best TSTO conversations are over speculating what’s coming next.  Everyone loves the app store update teasers that come out when an event is removed that potentially teases what’s coming next.  So try that instead of releasing the game files in advance.

However, still keep the in-game character collection teasers.  Those are fun.

Side note: Yes, I know a lot of you players will yell at me for this one.  I use the files too…but I really think this would make TSTO fun.  If the files are hidden until the Act is released at least there’s an element of surprise for everyone. 

#3 Bring Back the Old Way of Doing the Prize Track (Summer 2014 and earlier), 1 Prize Track for the whole event. 

This was fun because you had an entire event to work on the overall prize goals. It was fair to new players and old.  Also, allowed for players to miss a day without worrying they were going to get screwed by the Act Timer.

What’s happening now with the stagged prize track (Acts) some players aren’t unlocking everything by the end of Act 1 (typically because they started late due to a delay in the app store) and others spend a week of each act twiddling their thumbs because they finished each track early.  By bringing back the 1 prize track you’ll put everyone on an even playing field, prevent the thumb twiddling and give players an incentive to keep tapping until the very end.

#4 Bring Back Community Prizes and not in the half-assed way they were done for Tap Ball.  The REAL Community Prizes we saw during Halloween and Christmas 2013. 

There’s not much else to say about these other than they were awesome.  Kept everyone tapping with a specific Community Goal in mind.  Everyone worked together to unlock prizes as a group.  It was fun and it kept players engaged.

#5 Better Neighbor Interaction 

In the past, we were able to do things like egg a neighbor’s brown house or TP their elementary school.  Now we just tap and run.  Really, it’s gotten to a point where visiting neighbors is almost pointless.

TSTO is different than other games BECAUSE of the neighbor actions.  It’s what has allowed for the community feeling in TSTO.  Those other games, from that miniature company, don’t allow for neighbors to interact the same way.  Visiting neighbors in those games, if you can visit them, literally means nothing.  In TSTO it used to mean a great deal.  For Halloween 2013 you could possess their buildings and they’d earn Goo.  For Christmas 2013 you could leave them presents for more event currency.

Make Neighbor’s important again. Bring back fun ways to interact, like leaving gifts (that are easy to find…some of the stuff recently has had a timer and has been difficult to find.  I’m talking about you, stupid lawyers).  In today’s world, we could use to be closer to our neighbors, not further apart.

#6 Get Rid of Crafting, Instead Leave the Craftables in the Store for In-Game Cash

Let’s face it, crafting is annoying and in-game cash is becoming useless.  Eliminate crafting and put the items you would have had as craftables back in the store available for in-game cash. That’s a win-win for everyone.  Craftables go away, cash becomes relevant again and you (TSTO) may get some cold hard cash back from actual donut purchases, as players decide if they should spend in-game cash on items or donut farming.

#7 Bring Back Hidden Easter Eggs

Burns confess

Finding free donuts in TSTO because of a hidden Easter Egg is a blast.  We’ve had a few during events in the past…during Halloween 2013 there were donuts rewarding for correctly guessing who should confess, during Stoneutters they were awarded for tapping the Stonecutter table 10 times while the appropriate Stonecutters were signing and there have been others.  This has always been a fun scavenger hunt way to get players engaged in various things while playing an event.

#8 Bring Back Riddles/Puzzles To Unlock Bonus Prizes (ala Stonecutters)

This was one of the coolest things you ever did, answer a riddle (by sending a character on a task) to unlock bonus prizes.

Bring this back.  Players really loved it and still talk about how awesome it was today.

#9 Bring Back Characters Being Posessed/Attacked/Zombie’d  etc by Neighbors When You’re Away From Your Town

These were great.  For various Halloween events, characters would get bitten by Zombies (2012), possessed by ghosts (2013) or attacked by an alien (2014)…while you only did these for Halloween somewhere along the line you stopped.  Bring them back.

Oh, and while you’re at it…bring back trick or treating costumes…


#10 A Search Feature In Inventory  AND A Way to Delete/Sell All Items In Inventory

Let’s face it, we’ve been together a LONG time.  So naturally, we’ve accumulated a lot of stuff from our adventures together.  Who could forget those pink fountains or that construction yard or even that larger than life gingerbread mansion?

We’ve had a lot of great memories over the years and I love the memories we’ve made, but they’re just that memories to me.  Some items are better off as memories than features in my Springfield.  It would be great if there was a way to sell of some of those old items to keep my inventory down.  So when I look for items I really need that I’ve stored away, like those special fences or trees, I can quickly find them. Of course, a search feature (where you can type in what item you’re looking for, not physically scan for it) would be handy for this as well.  If I can’t have both, I’ll take either.

Ok those last two aren’t event Specific…but hey you really need to tidy yourself up and look presentable, so when I introduce you to my parents they don’t think you’re a scrub.

While I know I’m no expert in mobile games or video games in general for that matter, I have been playing TSTO for nearly its entire lifespan.  I’ve seen many events come and go, good ideas come and leave and bad ideas come and stay.  I’ve also been running this site for a long time, listening to players on a daily basis, so I think I have a good finger on the pulse of the TSTO Community.  And even if you don’t think so, I had loads of readers write in with their ideas to make things better…so if you won’t listen to me at least listen to them. 

In short, I love you, TSTO.  I’ve loved you ever since I found my first donut in the trash, way back in 2012.  This community loves you. We all want you to stick around for a long, long time.  Hopefully, we’ve given you some ideas to freshen yourself up and bring back that lovin’ feeling between all of us.

This community loves you. We all want you to stick around for a long, long time.  Hopefully, we’ve given you some ideas to freshen yourself up and bring back that lovin’ feeling between all of us.


P.S. If you bring Sarah Wiggum into Springfield (Ralph really needs his mom) and FINALLY introduce the World’s Largest toilet…that would go a long way with me as well.  #justsaying

Share your thoughts in the comments below about what can be done to make TSTO Events Great Again…

302 responses to “Make TSTO Events Great Again

  1. Bring back the option to buy land!!!! I cannot expand!!! If I can’t expand, what’s the point ffs!!

  2. This would be the top of my wish list:
    – Remove the annoying item limit for buildings and decorations
    – Allow selling of all inventory or at least placement in Krustyland
    – Bring back friend prizes
    – Add keyword search to inventory
    – Add letter-based index on top of town census listing

  3. I would have to say that I do love this game. I too have been playing since 2012 so I can appreciate the note above and agree with it all. I really miss the community prizes.

    Though the events are nice, I would personally like to see an update to the game for those of us that are at a level where there’s nothing to do until another event comes out. Such as friend xp can be increased with additional prizes, every now and then a new Springfield heights building or goal etc… and yes I know there Is the road to riches which is new but am bored with it as my town is it a money generating town and it takes forever to get the money then spend it all on a one hour job.

    Finally, IMO, one really grinds my gears is during events Springfield downs, race track, scratchers, tortoise tapping mini game and other mini games oh and the dig site are not updated to earn event currency. This would help greatly because I just barley make the final points needed for each week after grinding forever. And the second final point is and I will use Halloween since it is the current event. Previous Halloween characters from other treehouse of terror events are unable to earn event currency. Suzanne the witch has no jobs, Halloween costumes have no jobs, spooky campfire stories earns nothing for this event. I understand that was last event. But then why give me a character Halloween costume if it won’t reward me in the future events. Elf Home is same way onechristmas it earned event currency after that nothing. I’m not being rewarded for playing the game.

    • It’s just a business. They don’t care if you are rewarded or not. They just want to make more money. Sorry to say it, but it is true.

      • Ever notice? Sometimes these comments have different author names, but they read like one person writes them.

        I agree with much of what has been written here. Not sure why there are certain restrictions on the game.

  4. Definitely agree with point 3, I went on holiday during the Homerpaloozer only to find the destination had really poor wifi and no mobile signal (too create a hotspot) so I missed out the last prizes on Act 1 and 2
    The 3 Acts could remain but removing the 2 week time limit so that you can complete each Act before moving onto the next Act
    At least when Act 3 is completed you can either go back to “normal” playing or optionally grind for the Bonuts

  5. P.S.
    Unlock more Characters for Krustyland (that’s a no-brainer!)

  6. Preach it ’til EA gets it!

    4 Week Events that are FUN (6 Weeks of Grinding is an nope!)
    Old Prize Track (one Event Currency, better Prizes!)
    Community Prizes / Friend Prizes (bring ’em back!)

    Neighboreeno Interactions (I’ve zero reason to visit ’em now! this needs to change!)
    Craftables / In-Store Cash Purchases (make ’em worth my time Crafting / Buying! useless stuff gets stored forever!)
    Easter Eggs / Riddles \ Puzzles (aka fun ways to earn Bonuts! bring these back!)
    Character Interactions (Halloween Costumes, Zombie-fied, Ghost Huntin’, Trick or Treating – make my Springfielders Interactive to the Event!)
    Sell What’s In Storage – I’ve got too much useless stuff (and give us the option of putting things in Krustyland again!)

    Make this Game App great again (don’t make me Kem Farm and go play Pocket Morty’s)!

  7. I always hoped they would add a way for me to customize my inventory layout, so I could put items in my inventory where I wanted (such as making a Halloween or Christmas ‘folder’ in which I could keep related items for when the holiday rolls around)

  8. SailorAlphaCentauri

    Man, I missed our on some great gameplay. I didn’t start until the Clash of Clans event. I really hope that EA listens.

  9. Ok, so like characters past level 30 literally do nothing in events. What if older players that own these characters could substitute them for the main event characters. It’s really confusing as too why we unlock these characters, yet they just sit there (well stand) doing nothing. Give Chalmers something to do; give Freddie Quimby something to do; Kirk; Bernice; Mrs. Q; Database; Frankie or even little Michael D’Amico!

    • Completely agree! In addition, please stop using multiple characters needed for recycling in the major events. Use some of those other characters we’ve unlocked and stop double dipping the recyclers.

  10. Excellent run down of issues and suggestions. You’re so smart!

    Definitely 6 weeks is deathly long for an event. Good grief.

    I’m not truly anti-crafting so I’d give that some wiggle room.

    Managing inventory is ridiculous. They attempted to fix this by giving us 15(or so) boxes to sort inventory but they did a poor job of distributing the items in them them. It is an ongoing maintenance issue and no one at EA wants to ‘clean up the inventory’. Pick straws boys! Someone has to do this crappy job!

    My beef is that I used to try and make my Springfield attractive BUT land expansion makes it all but impossible. I’m constantly moving my awesome (and it is) stone fortress out yet another row to make room for new things. I can’t plan my town the way I’d like to. That said, there is no incentive to make my Springfield attractive. THAT needs to change.
    Suggestion: maybe friends could rate your town. I have dropped friends that have ugly towns(house farmers eg) and I’d rate them accordingly.
    Suggestion: Allow us to visit towns randomly and rate them.
    Yes yes, I see the potential for trolls to mess with the system. Maybe only players with more than 1 year and above a certain level are allowed to rate another’s town.
    Perhaps have a button to have your town rated by others.
    Whatever, PLEASE make having an attractive Springfield be something of value.

    And because it’s worth repeating, Alissa et al, you’re awesome!

  11. Great post Alissa. I’m only 3 years into the game, and as a purely freemium player, I’ve made a lot of strides. But I’m already getting bored of the game and I’m not sure I want to continue playing for much longer.

    I wouldn’t say in-game cash has no use though: I’ve stockpiled $150 million for express farming of donuts, and that amount of money is going to buy a LOT of donuts.

    I’m totally with you about the option to sell off stuff in your inventory. I sure don’t need all those monorail tracks, for example.

    Another thing I’d REALLY like is a one touch button to collect your money across the entire town. I know the game is called Tapped Out, but having nearly 200 characters in a big town means I need like 15 minutes to collect everyone and every building’s payout and reassign them new tasks, which even with 4 hour tasks is starting to feel excessive. If they made a 1-touch button to clear everything, it’d make it easier for everyone, regardless of whether you want to play more often or not.

    Also, EA really needs to put an update like how they did previously with Barbarian Homer, Smithers, Rod and Todd and Bernice Hibbert so that everyone ALWAYS have individual 1, 4, 8, 12 and 24 hour tasks that you can just one-click the unemployment office. At this point, we want the game to feel less like a chore.

    If EA is going to keep giving those ‘send Springfielders’ quests, at least make it so that after you assign the number of characters required for the quest, you can just use the unemployment office to send the rest to their normal routine. It is extremely annoying to have to assign 180+ characters forced tasks one by one, more so when you’re calling it a night and have to spend like 15 minutes scrollling down to every character’s 8-hour task..

  12. All on point. I just hope EA takes notice of it. Cheers!

  13. Oh Alissa, thank you so much for speaking for the masses! I’ve been a daily player since 2014 Halloween and agree with you regarding my experiences. This made my day.

  14. I agree as well with everything. One more thing – Unfortunately, the latest iOS 11 update brought with it the forced dumping of my TSTO game files on my 5S. I brought this up to EA, and others seem to have the same problem. There just doesn’t seem to be any real interest in fixing it. Basically I need to continually download 800 mb each time I log in. So, if it can’t be fixed, I’m gonna have to say goodbye to checking in during events the usual 4 times a day. 🙁 Oh yes, I’m aka albear140.

  15. I too lost interest long ago. I don’t even play anymore. I came back for the Halloween event 😬

  16. My only addition is this, can we open up Krustyland for decorations? I loved that I could place all my leftover Easter fences there but I don’t see why I can’t put my leftover rocks, painted houses, etc. since they’re ‘springfield only’.

  17. Best post ever.

    My only addition to the game would be for there to be a way for us to communicate with our neighbors directly.
    Leave a note.
    Ask a question.
    Pen pal kind of thing. QEM bulletin board kind of thing.
    Who has a bulletin in their local mart?

  18. Completely agree. I always participate in the events but they aren’t as fun as they were. Even tapping on neighbours buildings in the Stonecutter event and animating those buildings, some of them for the first time since we got them, was great fun. Also, I can’t believe I missed the Stonecutter table award but it still works!

  19. Nothing really to add other than…
    100%correct Alissa these would make for more interesting play!

  20. Alissa,
    I agree 100%. Was wondering if I was the only one who felt this way.
    I hope EA listens. They will if they’re smart.

  21. You know what would be great? Having the Halloween event feature the fog that turns people inside out. Then you just look for pink people dancing to tap. You could do it in neighbour towns or unleash a cloud of the gas that they would have to stop.

  22. I love this!! 100% agree on all. I’ve played since almost the beginning and hate to quit cause I’ve been at it so long, but I’m bored with the events. I really enjoyed how they used to do it.

  23. This seemed appropriate…Moon, are you listening?

  24. This is awesome! Hope they read this masterpiece.
    Thanks, Alissa!

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