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.
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!”