In Defense of Donut Farming…Mostly.

We are a whiny lot…those of us who have played this game for half a decade.

Yes. We have reached that point in the game, and our lives, that admitting that HALF A DECADE of tapping is a reality. Like many of the true Addicts, I started playing in the first week of October of 2012, and have run the full gambit of emotions as the game has evolved.  And before I start whining (this is a warning to the bliss-ninnies), I am going to begin by saying the game HAS evolved.  It has become amazingly more interesting, more complex, and in some ways, a lot more rewarding for the effort we spend to play each day. Mostly.

There. See? I can be something other than “Cranky” about TSTO and EA.

But, what does that have to do with Donut Farming? (I hear the donut farmers say…they are in impatient lot).  Plenty.
First of all, I have pretty much made it known that I am not a huge proponent of donut farming.  Unlike some who believe that it is “ruining the game for others” (that is an extreme over-generalization), I simply don’t want to take the time to do it. It does take time…and dedication…and commitment. But, as has been witnessed by those who can EAsily grind out hundreds of Free Bonuts, (Bonus Donuts), if you really want Premium Items…without spending an inordinate amount of REAL cash, Donut Farming is the way to go.

I’m not going to go over the actual hard cost estimate of what someone would have to spend in real dollars to a acquire every Premium item over the last 5+ years (thousands of dollars). But, I can tell you that I stopped buying donuts with real money (for the most part) when we started “doing something that matters” with our work in Uganda. Every dollar matters…and therefore, even $5 (which is 3 school books or a pair of shoes) just seemed frivolous to me.

However…I am still an Addict. And I DO want some of the Premium Stuff that is offered. So, I find myself grinding for Bonuts with the Rail Yard, and welcoming every bonut offered in Daily Challenges…and playing “Where’s Maggie” relentlessly.

Essentially…just grinding. One big grind…just like almost every major update this past year.

And therein lies the rub…and my finally coming over to the “Safi Side of Donut Farming” (or SSDF).  I have come to trust the instincts of our resident math wiz, and TSTO systems analyst. He does what I rarely do, which is to dissect almost every twist and angle on every aspect of the game. He loves this stuff. He eats it up. So when Safi offers his defense of SSDF, I have to step back and listen.

Here’s the basics of what he does…and yes…for some of you, this will seem incomprehensible!!

He only Donut Farms when he WANTS to!

Whoa! Stand back folks!  A little “self control and common sense” coming through here!

That’s right…unlike those who have given their lives over to the obsessive and insane pursuit of maximizing every possible multiplier, in order to obtain Bonus percentages in the thousands…so they can accumulate Bonuts in the hundreds EVERY WEEK… Safi just does it when he actually wants something.

I am the first to admit that I can be short-sighted and opinionated.  I tried farming a few KEMs…found it tedious…so I stopped.  But, I apparently think nothing of grinding like a madman over the past few weeks, since the Rail Yard has become a “Bonut Factory” that is always open.

That’s just nuts.

What this all comes down to (and here comes the whiny part), is that EA has made the game so predictably “grindy” for the major updates, while almost negating any real reason to visit neighbors, (or for that matter…even HAVE neighbors), that it has become a perpetual “4-hour-tap on- tap off” exercise in gathering clutter.

I’m not going to debate anyone on this.  Over the course of 5 years, there is a profusion of “stuff” that has almost no real meaning to the basics of the “Springfield that we started” back in 2012…and we are the poorer for it. More stuff…more clutter…at a greater and greater expense…does not lead to more contentment, happiness, or fulfillment.  Period.

Where that leaves us, is a TSTO world where you are simply stupid to spend a ton of real money on the game.

How Stupid? Well…in this update alone, if you wanted to get all of the NEW Premium items being offered (that doesn’t include a BUTTLOAD of returning retreads from past events), you would spend more than 1,200 donuts! And, that’s BEFORE you started “trying your luck” on Mystery Boxes.

That slips PAST the ridiculous level of a $49 investment, into the “completely out of your mind” level of $99. For WHAT??????  A bunch of digital clutter, that can all disappear with the flip of a server switch. *Poof!* Like Magic! (even more magical than this update).

This. Is. Insane.

The “Inflation Rate” of Premium Items and the amount of clutter has risen exponentially….and insanely.

If you don’t remember the “Good Old Days” let me refresh your memory.

In the FIRST Halloween THOH event, which landed October 3rd of 2012…we received ELEVEN FREEMIUM Characters…and ONE Premium (The Raven), for 60 donuts. I didn’t buy it

We received 6 Buildings and 1 Facade…Freemium…and one Premium (the Mausoleum- 60 donuts) which I bought, because it was spooky and generated game currency. We received 16 decorations, and a couple of what seemed to be “whale” items…a Cauldron for 90 donuts, and the Ray Gun for 100.  But, as it turned out, The Ray Gun came with Kang as a full character, and a crashed UFO (which actually had a questline, and an animation that crashed it, once you shot it down with the Ray Gun).

I spent my first real money on donuts at the very end of this update…which ran for 4 Weeks…with an extension, due to server outages…which were pretty normal at that time for TSTO.

So…yes…you COULD have spent as much as 250 donuts. But, few did. And you were given some of the CLASSIC Halloween and TSTO/Simpsons items in the game. Kang, Krabappel, Devil Flanders, as well as Mayan Homer/Marge and Witch Marge.

Today? That 250 donuts will get you a Ghost Pirate Ship (retread)…or the Burns Dragon, and part of one other character. Pfffftttttt….

So…where does this leave us?

Either ramping up the amount of REAL money we hand over to EA, taking the “CrankyOldGuy” route and just ignoring almost ALL of the Premium offerings…or spending some time Grinding for KEM/Bonuts…the choice is yours.

After some honest contemplation,  I’m going to go the SSDF route.  Why? Call it a protest against EALP (EA Lazyass Programming).  These updates are too long…too cluttered…too repetitive…and too, damned expensive, to compel me to hand any cash to EA.

Check Out Safi’s Guide HERE

When EA gets its act together…and starts doing events that have content that is WORTH my hard earned money…I will consider spending money. Until then???  I’m on the SSDF team. OK. So…maybe not ON the team, (it still takes a ton of effort and time)  but at least supporting the team from the sidelines!

Sorry Alissa. They made me do it.

***ADDED NOTE of reference… 
To compare my NET yield between KEM farming, and my now Perpetual RailYard/Maggie routines…I am keeping track of the total expenditure of game cash and donuts (the Collider XP Collider does cost donuts) and how long it takes me to get back my 20 donut investment, and go into the Donut Profit mode….comparing the SAME yields from my Rail Yard…which do not cost donuts or game cash, and still give me a healthy amount of donuts.

We’ll see… The Rail Yard may turn out to be the “Great KEM Neutralizer!”

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215 responses to “In Defense of Donut Farming…Mostly.

  1. Can i ask for some advice? I have 46 donuts right now, at level 101. So I’m trying to figure out the best way to spend my donuts to increase my % the most. I currently sitting at a whopping 86.75%.

    I don’t have the beach hideaways yet but wanted to see what’d you recommend? Buying the mystery boxes seem like a gamble since I have most of the uniques. Can I get any sort of advice?

    Would like to KEM farm.

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    • With the Mystery Box, you’ll have a lot of News vans (2%) and Itchy & Scratchy Billboards (1%). But it still has the second best return on donuts invested is the Mystery Box, as you typically go up 1% in XP bonus for every 6-8 donuts spent. The best item in the Store is the Jet Engine Bike (2%) for 30 donut, which comes out to 1% in XP bonus for every 15 donuts spent.

      But by far, even better though (but you’re limited to 5), is purchasing, upgrading, and placing all the accessories for the Beach Hideaways. A fully upgraded Beach Hideaway with all accessories placed in your Springfield will earn 20% for 40 donuts, which comes out to 1% in XP bonus for every 2 donuts spent.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Go for breach hideaways first, then mystery boxes.

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  2. Like Patric, I currently do the rail yard, find Maggie and daily challenges for Bonuts. I did the KEM farming once for 10 day’s. I don’t like it for two reasons: 1 – it isn’t easy to place the KEMs. I would like to be able to rapidly place them like I do the fences or flowers. 2 – it eats up my in-game cash. But other than land, what else costs a significant amount of in-game cash at this point? In-game cash spent will be even higher once I go for 3 bonuts while farming (I’m not there yet). I will probably farm when I get so much in-game cash I feel comfortable in spending large chunks but the rail yard is rockin’ in the bonuts right now. And since there isn’t anything I want to spend them on, I just keep bankin’.

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    • I’ll be posting my results soon. There is something to farming “the Safi way” that makes sense… but it is a grind.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Placing the KEMs is actually the easiest part (at least when your bonus multiplier is high). It’s just a matter of figuring out the arrangement that fit the “natural ” tendencies of the placement algorithm. I’ll quote from one of my earlier posts where I described it:

      “Pick an area bordered by other items, ideally ones that can’t be sold… It’s easiest to build them if you leave them in the default orientation (with the long axis in the rising-from-left-to-right direction on your screen), and put them in long rows going in the other direction, upwards from right to left. This is the direction that the auto-placement works best with. I start from the bottom corner of my field, and the auto-placement lets me sort of spiral in from the edges towards the center, with only minor corrections when at the upper-left and lower-right edges.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, I could never make the KEM placement work quickly, try as I might, so I could efficiently use my available space to farm. Placement was always a struggle. But you have a good point in that my multiplier is only at 295%. I’m sure any increase in my multiplier will make any farming I do less of a in-game cash drain. But you can’t beat ZERO cash spent on the rail yard that still rewards bonuts even with “casual” grinding (is there such a thing?). Thanks for the feedback, all! 🙂

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        • My point about the multiplier is actually that once you get up really high (say above 1000%), the time to actually go through all those bonut rounds becomes the main point of tedium, mainly because it’s a long chain of waiting for animation delays — 4 seconds for every tap in the bonut round, plus then going and tapping another batch of KEM completions. Rat trap trucks are a bit better for that, because it sends the bonut rounds at you one immediately after the other, so at least there isn’t another round of building tapping every few bonut rounds.

          To elaborate on my other explanation of the layout: if you want to farm, say, 100 KEMs at a time, the way I would do it is to set up a field somewhere along the top/right edge of my Springfield, 5 KEMs wide on their long axis, and 20 along the short axis, with the “20” side parallel to the top/right edge of the Springfield. Border that space with un-sellable objects (and the edge of the Springfield if possible). Then:
          – Center screen a bit below the bottom corner of the field, and start the KEM placement.
          – It will automatically place them such that you’ll do the first row of 20 along the left/bottom edge of your field in rapid-fire fashion.
          – After you get to the left corner, you’ll need to do a slight position adjustment after each placement by pulling downward on the screen, but you’ll only need to do that 3 times.
          – Then you’ll be at the top corner, and auto-place will work nicely as you go down the top/right edge.
          – Then two “pull-up” adjustments after placements along the bottom/right edge
          – Then rapid-fire back up along the bottom/left edge
          – One more “pull-down” adjustment as you go along the top/left edge
          – Then you’re home-free: just keep placing, and it’ll take you down to the bottom/right edge and immediately back up, and you’ll be all filled in.

          That’s the process I called “spiraling in” in my last post. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • If I make the effort, I can often tap all 36 KEMs in my Springfield Heights farm before the first bonus box set comes up, so that all of them do come in a row for me 🙂

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    • Your reasons for not KEM farming just indicate that you weren’t doing it “correctly.” If you both lay out your farm and center your screen correctly, you can (mostly) just lay out KEMs automatically in a row, like you do with flowers. And, if you’re farming the “right” number of KEMs, your cash shouldn’t decrease at all (that’s one of the points of farming KEMs instead of bloodmobiles or rat trap trucks).

      Now I’m not saying you “should” be farming…just saying that, if those are the only reasons you don’t, those needn’t be a barrier, if you’re willing to make a couple of easy adjustments.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Here is a quick farm, place the first one and the rest fall with the area. Takes less than a minute. Easy to highlight to sell. Walls will not be sold.

      https://imgur.com/gallery/3jT4m

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was placing about 100 KEMs along the edges of my town (best space available for me) at a time to get the most bang for my 25 bonuts spent on the XP collider. It takes a lot of in-game cash to farm that many but once I save it up, I might as well spend it. I like your design if I want to make a permanent KEM farm…I could make a similar design in the perimeter of my town. I WOULD PREFER IT if EA would just make KEMs place more easily for farming…but I think I’m repeating myself…I say I think I’m repeating myself… 🙂

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        • Once you get to %level and donut stash you like, you will find that farming easier and less expensive with a small farm. The first 24 are the cheapest. It is less of a “grind” with a smaller farm. Then if you need more donuts quickly you can use the extra cash to buy bloodmobiles or build a temp larger farm. If you visit 4 or more times a day it really adds up quickly.

          Liked by 1 person

        • A lot of it has to with where you center your screen when you start placing them.

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  3. Sandrashill – you’ve posted in the past to have SH buildings placed to get their “hidden” percentage… I checked before and after placing them and my percentage hasn’t changed. (Is that why it’s “hidden”?)

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    • Yes, it’s “hidden” because it doesn’t reflect in the Conform-o-Meter bonus percentage number. Out doesn’t show ihop there, because that percentage applies to both XP and cash, while the hidden multiplier the Springfield Heights buildings provide only multiplies XP. You can see its effect if you collect from two different higher-yield buildings, like white houses – one before and one after placing the buildings – and note the difference in the amount of XP awarded.

      And don’t forget to turn the collider on…that multiplies your entire yield by 5!

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  4. Donut Farming is a must! 👍

    Earning Bonuts allows a Tapper to obtain Premiums (unless you’re spending real $). There’s no shame in KEM Farming – quite pleased EA is allowing Tapppers to do so (I average 50 to 100 Bonuts earned weekly) 👍

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  5. 10 days worth of KEM doing 101 kems each time . 3 sometimes 4x daily with 450% base + the XP x 5 leaves me with between 800-900 donuts , costs about 24-26 million I forget exactly Don’t know what else I’d use the $ for Been playing since 2K13 , have spent a few hundred easy Earn about 1.4 – 1.8 mil daily from tasks & rent Still spend for something like SVT skin but playing/investing for years has it’s deserved perks Have bought everyting this halloween , the lamest IMO including all the mystery boxes Actually like that content better than all the Harry Potter esque themed items which quite frankly will look out of place

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  6. Doughnut farming has actually brought some of the fun back to the game for me. I’ve essentially swapped earning in game cash (for which there isn’t anything much left to buy with) for earning doughnuts which I can use to buy some of the many many premium characters I’ve wanted for the past ~5 years of playing.

    Think about it this way; if EA had made some of the older (and new) premium characters/items available for in game cash at 10’s of millions would you be complaining?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Time is precoius. Without spending real money, without cluttering your already full town with buildings you don’t want, without being forced to do a regular routine, what are short (1 min) things one can do now and then to get donuts? I just play when there is an interesting event and search for Maggie every now and then and I do the daily tasks. When there is an interesting event, I also visit neighbors.

    I don’t like the constantly sending on tasks for minutes, sending them to the next tasks, being forced to go through that chore until I finally get something. It’s like that with the railyard or am I wrong? You can’t just send them to one task and be done, right?

    Do you have any advice for me?

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    • Unfortunately… If you’re looking for donuts, but you’re not willing to grind, in one shape or another… You’re kind of out of luck. There are daily tasks that will award donuts, and you should always do those. So far, I am finding donut farming to actually be not much more tedious than railyard farming… And it actually gives you a much higher yield. There’s a lot more to it… But if you’re really just after donuts, I hate to admit it, that is your best option.

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      • Ok, is there a way to gain 46 donuts in 15 days? If there is a possibility that is reliable, I’d try that to get the magic academy. What would you recommend?
        I have 396746 game money and could play 4 times a day for 5 minutes. Unrealistic or possible with a good game plan? 🙂

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        • Yes, depending on your bonus % and level and how many donuts you currently have. 5 minutes 4 times a day could earn you 10 donuts a week through the monorail. More if you can spend 2 minutes every 1:15 to gather metal, etc. You could also do a 24 KEM farm.

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          • Thank you, how does earning donuts with the monorail / railyard /… work? I never really understood it. 😦

            Is a KEM farm simple as that as to put 24 KEM together and tap them 4 times a day? Is that more rewarding than other buildings? Thanks in advance. 🙂

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          • There is a whole section on KEM farming.
            https://tstoaddicts.com/2016/09/28/from-the-mouths-of-addicts-kwik-e-mart-farming-for-free-donuts/
            Turn on the XP collider for as long as you can. 24 KEM costs under $60K net (if you sell all but one in inventory and town, first one cost $220), each additional one will cost you $14,400. KEMs do give the best XP. Increase you return by buying Mystery Boxes (6 donuts) to up %.

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          • [replying to Nerd alert]
            “how does earning donuts with the monorail / railyard /… work?”

            It’s just the 5-donut reward you get when you “complete” the Railyard’s prize track, once you hit 25000 blueprints. Then the prize track resets and you can do it over (it used to make you wait until the following Tuesday to be able to start again, but they took away that restriction a few weeks ago).

            Note that if you have Little Lisa’s Recycling Plant, that will give you 450 blueprints every 4 hours (if you can tap it every 4 hours), so some progress is “automatic,” though quite slow.

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      • You have been assimilated…welcome to the collective! 😉

        (Or should I have gone with the Kool-Ade metaphor, instead?…)

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      • I agree with Patric; I’ve been with the game since its first week in my A game; & a bit later for my B game. You have to work @ it to get most benefit. (I’m a retiree, so my time is my own, but real cash is scarce – So TSTO is my only hobby)

        Both my games are max level 939. I worked hard to get them there. Any other way seemed to me to be a bit like “Cheating” Until today I’d never turned the collider on @ all; Not since the day we got a free day when it was introduced.

        I tapped away on my 2 games for 6 to 12 donuts a day from KEM farming. It was tedious! @ 7am this morning I turned the collider on for 10 days (25 donuts cost) & my donut cost was repaid within the hour! How silly was I to not do that sooner?

        I guess donuts to me still represent real money I’ve spent on the game. The ITunes gift cards that I got from family @ B’Day & Xmas that bought me items for my towns. I’m glad of the easier access to free donuts; & thank EA for that opportunity.

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  8. Am I right that there is a secret bonus if you have all the Springfield Heights buildings? Do they all have to be leveled all the way up, or is there a lesser bonus if some aren’t? Like, not 150%, but 110%? Also, I think I read to not include the Exclusive Resort in the buildings, but I need to have all three Private islands? I’ve never KEM farmed, but I’m getting really sick of the rail yard grind.

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    • Yes. But the buildings do not have to be leveled up at aol, except for the private islands, which need to be leveled up to level two for the bonus to kick in. Yes, resorts don’t have the bonus and, no, there’s no “partial credit” (except for the beach hideaways). And, remember….this is a “hidden” XP multiplier…you won’t see it reflected in the Conform-o-Meter percentage, because it doesn’t multiply cash, just XP.

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  9. OK, So…the word “moderation” is really at the base of what I was trying to say in the original post. There is nothing…as in nothing…”moderate” about 40K, and thousands of % in bonus…because of what you have to sacrifice in REAL LIFE CURRENCY (Time in your life) that it takes to get there.

    There is even a difference between this and people in the “real world” who hoard/collect untold amounts of anything…because at least, they OWN something that is real…tangible…actually exists.

    The reality as harsh as it is to say…is that this entire “world” exists purely in a digital world, hosted by EA…that can disappear in the flick of a server switch. To put that much time/effort into something that is so intangible and so fleeting is nuts. What is your time worth? What do you get out of it in the end? Hours…days…months…of time wasted on something that simply doesn’t really exist.

    I can understand playing a game for pleasure. But, if the only pleasure you get, is a perpetual obsession with “more” with no other result than a number on a page…that doesn’t really exist,,, it’s just scary in the the magnitude of “wasted time” involved.”

    What else is there in life that would/could benefit from a better use of your time? Gosh. Almost anything.

    I have been trying my “experiment” for 2.5 days now…and am already bored, annoyed, and questioning the “why?” unless it has a real goal associated with it. I’ll keep doing it…for the week or so that I paid for the XP collider to do it’s thing. But, I can already tell that “Team Safi” is the only thing that makes any sense. Moderation, and setting a goal for a specific item you may want…in a town that isn’t a cluttered mess of insanity, makes sense. It’s moderation…controlled, purposeful moderation.

    Anything else…is just nuts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bored? It takes less than 5 minutes to sell, gather donuts, place new buildings for 24 KEM, if done right. Of course I do it while watching tv, on the treadmill, waiting (for some other activity), etc. Lot easier than setting a 4 hour clock to “finish” an event.

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    • It’s not that much time, really; just a consistent effort to achieve the goal I wanted.

      And it did it, by about June of this year, getting my bonus % high enough that I don’t have to be “poor” in the game anymore. Since then, the next goal is to clean up the mess I made to get to the first goal, in terms of the cluttered landscape. The starting point I chose was to set up my “spirit-accelerated power plant,” which will reduce the area of clutter by 2/3, and rearrange from there.

      I’ll admit, I may also be a bit obsessed with the Wailing Walls themselves — ever since I got a taste when they made them craftable in one of the Halloween events. They’re so compact, and stack together so nicely, and give such a high bonus % *and* cash payout… that’s what building up the 40k donuts was for (actually my goal was 20k, but it turned out to be a lot easier than I expected). It also just felt good to be able to do that, even while buying all the premium items that came up along the way, after so many years of being so limited.

      Freeeedom!

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      • Oh, and in terms of wasting time… posting comments on the internet is much worse for me (don’t get me started on electric cars).

        So I’d better stop now. 🙂

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        • LOL! At least you have a sense of humor! I’m fine. I am really reflecting my own personal choice of how I use my time and resources. I’ll let you know how I do with my lowly 242% rating. Even at that…I’m gettiing 5 bonuts every 4 hours…which is admittedly WAY faster than the Railyard.

          See? I can look at new/old tricks! I am just boggled by your results…

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    • The difficult part is keeping track of the clock. Unfortunately- you may find yourself becoming a slave to the 4 hour cycle. It takes some getting used to. As for the actual planting and harvesting of the KEM’s….I don’t see it as a big deal at all. I’ve been farming for about a year and a half now, and it feels very natural. A part of the game. Maybe less farming is more your style. How often do you log into the game on a daily basis? 3 times a day? More? Less? I think farming 5 times a day gets tedious. 4 times a day is easy. 3 times a day is very easy. You need to find what annoys you the least. 😉

      Go Huskies!

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  10. hmmm
    I always thought my 112.65% Bonus was awesome and my 100 to 200 donuts was a good amount to have.
    I almost feel like I don’t even play the game after reading these comments. I don’t have multiples of items except houses and trees.
    With all the events now, I don’t play. I can’t remember last time I cleared my entire town of cash.
    I use the send everyone on jobs, my IRS building is maxed, So when I clear characters, what ever buildings are near, get cleared as well.

    With this halloween event. I log in 3 to 4 times a day. Click the tower, collect and store my items from my 3 enchated monsters. I have treestache and bully-vern almost Enchanted. So send my characters to attack them, and then out. I bet 5 min tops. Thats it, all I play now.

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  11. My gameplay for a while involved increasing game income and multiplier after going through the early days of the game where donuts are scarce. I suffered frustrating EA support just to ask for a few donuts replacement when fault occurred. It has become a challenge of the game for me to see how high I could increase the figure while still keeping the town looking like a town.

    Today I have reached a good level where I only do donuts farming when I got the time using rat trucks. I also do not harvest income as my income is always maxed out. I cannot increase my multiplier further unless I start to dismantle my railway as I have a very long one and my items count are always maxed out. I did a bit of design in early play but found myself dismantling it frequently due to land constraints and items count limit. So now I just keep my town simple. Generally buildings do not overlap as I like to see the whole item. And I try not to block the roads so that I can see the characters. My main springfield is well zoned and organised. I have at least one of each item out. I used few fences except for the Neros to keep righeousness up.

    I am supportive that the game now allows people who are willing to spend the time and effort to earn their donuts. Not everyone wants to spend that much money on leisure. I do not like the hackers’ way though. I know some are active in forums and even frequently post spoiler pictures

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  12. I’m in the spirit of farm when you need it, except I do it every day. I started farming earlier this year, I have a modest 172% visible bonus, not sure what the SH one is but I’m assuming not high because I hate grinding away over there. If they were reasonable length tasks maybe, but anyway…
    Typically I maintain a small farm of 24 KEMS, 3 to 4 times a day and this gets me between 9 and 12 a day.

    It’s not a lot by any stretch of the imagination. Far from enough to buy everything, but enough to buy the things I really, really want on discount or returning items I missed out on previously either in the two years before I started playing or from not having enough donuts at the time it was released, or any new items I might actually really want (I’m the type to always wait for Alissa’s SIBs to make sure it’s worth it, though). Definitely not enough to be a serious loss of cash flow to EA given the current rate of free donuts from daily bonuses, Maggie and the now endless railyard. I do try to put a small amount of money in the game once a year if I can afford it. Usually the 132 donuts, usually it’s planned and near Christmas to buy decorations (I know, sorta pointless from a game standpoint but it’s my favourite holiday). I’m on a fixed income so doing more simply isn’t realistic. I’m not going to chose between food or money into a mobile game that like Patric says, could disappear with the flick of a switch.

    I never buy things I don’t like just because the donuts are there, or buy things just because they have the bonus multiplier. It’s a nice perk when I do like an item with a bonus, but this game will have to be around a long time for me to even get to 500. I don’t even always get everything I want. Passed on Jacques for the discounted Barney during Pin Pals, passed on Amber in favour of completing the Spucklers during the Springfield Fair. Basically, I’m able to get enough to not feel completely left in the dust by those that have money to put in the game, enough not to feel like I can’t get any good new characters anymore – because those are rarely coming from the prize track this year – but not so much that I can buy every premium item without stopping to consider if I actually like it. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to have donuts in the thousands banked. It would be a totally different game.

    This comment got way longer than originally intended, sorry!

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  13. I took Alissa’s suggestion and watched Addicts Live 17. I want to give you a perspective, and also talk about the elephant in the room that was totally avoided.
    First, I started farming for % when cash actually mattered. It doesn’t anymore.
    Secondly, what spurred me to start farming and spend as little in game cash as possible was when I found out that my then 13yo son had spent all of his gift cards on another electronic game (over $200 worth) and I though how ridiculous it was that the best video games in a store cost $75 and these electronic games can make people spend thousands.
    Lastly, EA changed the rules of this game a little over a year ago by making it incredibly difficult to complete events without premium purchases. As Patric pointed out, premium purchases in an event can cost over 1,000 donuts. This is the first event I can remember in a year that you can complete the event without having to log in 4 times a day every day. When EA started this a year ago and I wasn’t able to complete acts is when I began heavily farming. And I won’t look back.
    Now for the elephant in the room that’s totally avoided – the risk to this game IS NOT people who doughnut farm and play by the rules. The REAL RISK to this game is the people who cheat. I follow the wiki’s, I follow the forums and I follow fan pages. There are forums all over that hack the game and give away thousand of donuts, all of the old characters, etc. And it’s becoming more and more prevalent.
    But instead of us talking about the real issue, instead the ill feelings are turned to people who play this game honestly without cheating. Lets stop making honest tappers the enemy. My 1,000% bonus rate with 13,000 doughnuts or someone else’s with 2,000% and 40,000 who choose to use our free time t grind isn’t going to affect your game play at all. We are much more of a minority than the people who cheat the game. And unless you’re willing to talk about that, then you have an incomplete addicts live and an incomplete forum post.
    I love everything that the 4 of you do for us, giving unselfishly of your time and money to put on this site. Over 100 million site visitors. It’s incredible. So please don’t take offense. But please, let’s keep the post honest. I’m hoping that you approve this post and give input back. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • We talked about hackers in live. I also choose not to give those guys the time of day.
      They’ve also always been a part of this game unfortunately. I promise you they are no worse now then they were 5 years ago…Gamezino and all.
      In fact 4-5 years ago I would argue it was worse.
      However, the shifts in donut prices never happened until they started making it easier to get in game donuts for free.
      It never seemed (over the last 5 years) that EA punished every day players for the hackers actions. Now that donuts are easier to get for free it seems there is a shift in the game economy.
      Perhaps it’s a slow punishment for 5 years of hackers? But my guess, and the more likely scenario, is that the game economy is changing because the value of the donut is declining due to an abundance of free ones.
      Hackers aren’t the elephant in the room…we don’t tip toe around it ever. If you cheat you’re a cheater and you represent everything bad about this game. We’ve never let that be an elephant in the room… not in 4+ years of blogging

      Liked by 1 person

      • If you add up all the donuts you can generate from Find Maggie, Monorail, Daily Challenge, leveling up, etc is the price really that more expensive?

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        • You’ll never get me to change my view.. just like I won’t you

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          • Probably not. It is like inflation and minimum wage. If you can buy eggs for $1 a dozen when you made $2 an hour. And now it cost $1.50 when you are making $3 an hour, has the price really gone up.

            Take a look at Elf Hotel, Donut Cost: 50 Donuts Earns: $200, 22xp/8hrs
            versus 2013
            Building Name: Frink’s Lab Donut Price: 150 Donuts Payout: $150 & 11XP every 3hours
            Elf hotel earns $25 per hour versus $50 per hour for the Lab, but at 1/3 the price. So the Elf hotel is cheaper.

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          • Sorry, not a good comparison, forgot about Frink.

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      • I think EA realised the economics of Freemium – an EA sports title say, may cost $50 and that’s yours forever and there will be a 2018 with updated teams and players and maybe a tweak or two to gameplay but an avid tapper could spend $50 a month if they had the cash.
        I’ve not really noticed an increase in cost in 22 months of playing but it does seem that there is a lot more Premium content out there.
        I’m still saving for Barney and Duffman if no others but ( curse you Evil Shopkeeper ) there always seems to be something to tempt me to part with my hard earned sprinkles.

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      • Hackers are the worst. Period. I hate them in every aspect of life…and have nothing but disdain for their ridiculous excuses they offer to justify it. They are thieves…plain and simple.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I haven’t had a chance yet to view the Addicts Live 17 video, so I still only have a vague idea of your concern — but from your comment here, it looks like you’re saying that people doing farming are inflating the donut currency, forcing EA to raise prices for premium items. Which in turn sounds like a statement that places blame on the players (apologies if that’s not the intention). I think the responsibility lies in EA’s hands completely here. Because EA surely knew what it was doing when it opened the door to farming.

        Before the “end of levels” event, one could get bonut rounds by accumulating extra XP beyond the “top” level, same as now. But, crucially, the amount of XP needed to get to the bonut round would increase by 20% with each iteration past the (latest) top level; this made it virtually impossible to do more than a handful of rounds, no matter how much in-game cash you were burning for XP. To put it geekier, even though one could theoretically achieve an exponential rise in money/XP income by raising the bonus %, the barrier to doing so (the XP needed per bonut round) would rise exponentially as well (much faster in fact), keeping a firm lid on the farming possibilities.

        But once they declared “end of levels,” they changed that aspect: every bonut round after a certain point now takes a constant 1 million XP — yet the bonus % part of the game remains. So now the player’s exponential bonus-% capability is meeting a mere linear XP barrier — and the path to farming is open.

        It’s always been clear that EA evaluates these sorts of mathematical aspects very carefully, so when they made this change, they must have known that people would start farming, and were prepared to deal with it. Perhaps they felt that the stingier players were losing interest in the game, and maybe player activity in general was declining, and so they gave the farmer-types an irresistible goal to keep them in the game, keeping at least some buzz going, and therefore keeping more money-paying players around as well.

        And I’d wager that it worked, because EA didn’t go back and reverse this change, which they could have easily done by restoring the rising bonut-round XP barrier, or perhaps something more subtle, like removing the cap on KEM price increases.

        So if they’re raising prices on premium items, I very much doubt that it’s a response to bonut farmers, because there would have been much simpler ways to deal with them directly.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Reading your post reminded me when you could buy 3 pinball games for a quarter. And by the time I put $10 into a game, I was able to generate free games and then sell them to next person in line.

      Like

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