Friday Filler – When Life Gives You Lemons…Dealing With Glitches

Thank Grog It’s Firday!!

I mean it. Sheesh! What a week.

This is the kind of week that requires you to have some perspective…and maybe make hard choices…and adapt.  Or, if you choose to really internalize and personalize the situation, just “break up,” and walk away.

Neither solution is ideal.  But, then again…life is like that. Especially when you start to get older, and life throws you curve balls that you weren’t counting on. The lesson here? Adapt, perish, or walk away.

Wait…are we still talking about the game? Oh. Right. Yes. The Game, and the multiple glitches that are becoming more and more prevalent.

Let’s take a look at the options you have…not just as a player, but as a person.

I have to start with a disclaimer. For whatever reason, I have not experienced any of the major glitches that have hit the game over the years. As in none. Yes…my game gets laggy (I hard reboot). Yes, I get some of the same “death screens” that others report…usually in massive server outages (they rarely last very long).  But, I have not been infected by the BIG ONE…the Roll Back Glitch as we are calling it.

I’m not really going to even address the minor annoying ones, like the “log-in glitch” (being forced to log back into your game after being told that you have been logged out, or another device hasn’t finished closing down).  Yes. It’s annoying, but hardly earth-shattering or life-changing.

I will talk about the big one…the Roll Back Glitch (RBG). Because, of all of the minor inconveniences that have come along, RBG has an added ominous vibe, because our “creators” (EA) and our “medical staff” (EA programmers) don’t have a “cure.” They are only offering to “fix” the situation by altering the “who you are” in the game, by either taking away a load of time and effort by rolling back your game (messing with space/time is never a good thing), or basically, giving you a new “you” (town), that has most of the parts, but is just randomly cobbled together in a Frankenstein’s Monster kinda way.

From EA: We have two options for you to pick from:

  1. We can roll your game back to a previous save. You’ll lose progress and Donuts from today until the rollback date, but you’ll get 50 Donuts per week of lost data. If you have receipts, we can restore the Donuts that were bought during the rollback period. Just attach them to your case when you respond. You will also be required to remain logged out of the game across all devices for 48 hours after we confirm rollback. This final step can help prevent it from happening again.

  2. We can give you a brand-new Springfield: It won’t be the same as your current Springfield, but you’ll still have your level and can continue playing your game. If you have receipts, we can replace the Donuts you bought before the template land was applied. Just attach them to your case when you respond.

    We’ll also be giving you an additional 100 Donuts to get you back up and running.

Neither of these are great options. I’ll grant you that. But for me, the former is a far better solution than the latter. And in many ways, seems to reflect real life at an “advanced age” like mine.  And no…please don’t try to placate me with “you’re not old!” comments. I am 7 months away from 65. Trust me. I’m not young.

Let’s try some perspective.

This game is pretty much free. I have played it for coming up on 6 years. Yes. I have spent real money on it…but not much over the last few years. I have become a certified “casual” Donut Farmer, which has all but negated my need to spend money…but does require loads of time.  This is a choice.

If I compare the game to real life, it is pretty brain-dead simple. A lot of repetitive actions for a few rewards. There is an entertainment value that is unquestionable…but, I admit that many of my actions are born out of habit than actual reward. The items and donuts come so frequently these days, that I am often in the “what’s next” mode, before a “Great Prize” has barely been placed and decorated.

So, maybe the RBG is actually a great time to take stock of what you have, learn to appreciate the value of all you have been given, and chillax to at least “roll with it” a bit if you are “infected.”  Again, comparing it to life, I know that it took me being riddled with the “real deal flu” this year for 6 weeks, to appreciate how I feel now that I feel much better. And frankly, when compared to real life issues, anything happening in a silly game, pale in comparison. At least you HAVE a choice...right?

If we took the RBG as an “illness” and not a fatal disease. and realized that going back in time, (while losing time and effort spent along with a bunch of free items), isn’t really as bad a “pulling the plug,” on the game altogether, maybe we can all just hang in there while the “research team” continues to look for a solution.


Real life has a way of offering perspective. When a dear friend loses a child in an accident, or others talk of losing parents or siblings to real life disease…it’s hard to be too jacked up over being “inconvenienced” by the RBG.  When everyday life seems more and more split between the “haves and have-nots” and horrible headlines play out on an almost daily basis…the RBG starts to take on a new level of silliness.

Yes. I get it. It’s annoying. But compared to cancer? Or the real death of a loved one? Pfftttt… Not so much.

This is the perspective that aging brings about. Because the fact is, aging is one compromise after another.  Your body and mind start misbehaving in ways that you simply couldn’t imagine. You find yourself moving from the “Not me…knock on wood” camp, to the, “oh…so this is what they meant by getting old” reality. And through it all, you learn to compromise, and roll with the punches, and just adapt to your “new reality.”

Over the past year, I have had myriad blessings in my life. I have also had a ton of random aging issues that seem to revolve around my early life with contact sports. Add to this old eyes…a penchant towards crankiness and impatience…and an abject distrust and disgust with government, and I could be a “chuck it all in” kinda guy. But, I’m not. I never give up. Ever.

What keeps me going? Getting out of my own “needs filter” and engaging in solutions for the needs of others.

This game…and the blogging about the game over the years, has taught me that change is inevitable. But, more important, it has taught me not to make TSTO the key focus of my existence.  Blogging, and the TSTO community have done amazing things for the town in Uganda we have adopted. Amazing things.  We got off to a good start with our hope to build a new dormitory.  But, now we need to take a pause to get back to our core mission…education.

We have just 2 weeks to raise Book and Supply money for this term.  Education continues to be the lynch-pin of our work there, helping to insure hope and an opportunity to escape a life that is simple survival.

Take the time to donate today. Every dollar helps.  Every single dollar.


As far as the RBG?  Take a breath. Realize that any investment of time or treasure is your choice…and keep perspective on the value of your actions. You do have the choice to “pull the plug.”  But then ALL of your work is gone…not just a snatch of time.

If you choose to roll back...did you lose the experience of earning and playing? Or did you just lose the “trophy.”  It is an interesting question to ask. I have boxes of awards and trophies from my life in sports and production arts. But, they sit in boxes. Why? Because it wasn’t the reward…it was the experience that mattered. Creating…doing…achieving is its own reward. If I had to roll back…I’d just take it as a chance to do something differently, and experience the joy of accomplishment all over again.  We’ll see if I feel the same way if I get the RBG.

It’s the same way that I can be cavalier about death…or life choices that may or may not extend my life. Quality -vs- Quantity. It’s the same with TSTO.  Sometimes just going with the flow…adapting…and enjoying the journey is just a better way to live life.

Unless you spent a bunch of money. Then you sure as hell better have your receipts!!!  That is another great lesson for life…that TSTO and EA seem to be teaching us all.  But, that is for another post.

Have a great weekend.  HELP US BUY BOOKS! And keep in mind the value of perspective, as we celebrate Memorial Day Weekend.  Right?

55 responses to “Friday Filler – When Life Gives You Lemons…Dealing With Glitches

  1. I got hit at the end of Feb when the St. Patricks day event started. I didn’t realize just what the glitch was and figured it was just an issue with the St. Patricks day update. Then after a week of living with it I saw some discussion about it and realized how serious it was so opened a ticket with EA. The first person was very helpful, confirmed I had the problem…but said they had to elevate it to get me rolled back.

    At that point I would have been fine with a rollback – I probably wouldn’t have been able to finish St. Patty’s day but I could live with it. Except after 4 days they still hadn’t gotten back to me, I initiated a follow up and it took them another 2 days to get back saying they could do the rollback. At that point it was 2 weeks and I had completed St. Pat’s and didn’t want to loose it all as there was no chance of redoing it in the time left.

    So I asked if I could get reimbursed with enough doughnuts to make up for loosing 2 weeks of work before committing to the rollback. I got a reply back saying “hold on, we’re working on a proper fix if you can be patient.” Great I thought, I can be patient. Except again it was over a week before they got back to me and now the Heist event had started. It was near the end of the heist event when they finally did get back to me.

    The reply this time was “We’re still working on the fix but it should be out any time now. We’re giving you 50 doughnuts as thanks for your patience at this time, but hang in there.”

    And I’ve been hanging since. At this point neither of the two options listed above are attractive. Give up over 3 months of progress – including a number of vault items I may not be able to get again and 2 events (now into a 3rd) I can’t get back? Or essentially start over while having to take 2 days out in an event I kind of almost like and will now loose as well? Uh…no.

    Honestly I have no interest in starting over. I’ve been playing since the game came out for Android and after this long I’d rather walk away than start over. Doing it again holds no interest for me – I’ve got better ways to spend my time.

    And that’s what really burns me up. The lack of respect for my time that both options show. As Patrick keeps saying that’s a very real cost. I’m not as old as he is but I am old enough to value my time (I’m already regretting spending as much as I have to type out this comment!) And since Feb I’ve put a lot of time into earning things for my town that I’d loose with either of the 2 options.

    Though now with KL and IS land I really want to expand my monorail – but can’t since the bug makes that impossible. Playing the last few months has been incredibly tedious without the tap radius I earned and the character button. (though on the plus side it does seem that the IS update made it so I can now send way more of my characters on the same “get motion sick” task at the walking KEM since I’ve yet to complete it’s quest – and that does help speed things up.)

    So…I’ve got no good choices left so just stumble along with what I’ve got. I don’t want to loose the memories my town brings me (though I know eventually they’ll all disappear in the cloud when the game goes belly up and the servers shut down.) but I can’t bring myself to toss away 3 months of effort either. It’s not about the money, it’s about my time which is far more valuable. I’ve already given that time to EA…I don’t want to loose it twice.

  2. I’ve had this glitch several times. Never been offered donuts, but I won’t even go there. I roll back each time. Last week, it didn’t work. I called again today. It still doesn’t work. So I can’t play this event and as a premium player… I’m really sad. Been playing for several years, and this is how it ends. With No fix for this, my game is unplayable. Even if it does go back up, I won’t have the prizes from this event and I’m a completionist. Sigh. Like I said: sad.

  3. Keith1Roon991

    Holyfreakingshirt, theres loads of bugs about

  4. So, to follow up – I opted for the roll back. I had been dealing with the glitch for almost 2 months and was “rewarded” with 550 donuts (plus, all the golden scratchers I had purchased, without having to provide receipt). The upside is, my game is fixed. The downside of the option was I lost everything from the Heist event (all characters and all casino box purchases which I can’t go back and rebuy). I also lost the short mini quest items from Who Shot Burnsie pt. 3. I loved the post and the bottom line here is, anything that’s out “online” has the potential to go away at anytime. Here’s a great example. I play golf and had been using Yahoo’s handicap tracker for 16+ years…I had over 200 rounds/scores saved. I went to enter a score this weekend and *poof*…the service has been discontinued. W/o warning to the consumer, no emails, nothing…data just gone! So, in the end, regarding TSTO…I feel like a new player. Yes, I lost everything from Heist and Burns but I have a more donuts than I ever had and there’s a new horizon with the potential to buy stuff I would have never been able to afford. I’m sticking around for now…now that I have a new lease on life. Thanks again for the post and all you do here at TSTO.

  5. I had a roll back when the glitch first hit me in April. All was fine, until the VERY next day when the glitch happened again. They never offered to roll back again dispite many cases opened with them. I’ve hit the end of the road with this game.

  6. I created a thread on the TSTO official forums titled

    “WARNING……..EA’s New Solution for The Glitch? ….MUST READ BEFORE ACTING ON EA’s OFFER”

    (link here….. )

    It walks you through warnings you must be aware of before deciding to accept EA’s offer of a template town. They do not share the fine print when offering it.

    That thread also shares strategies on how to hopefully get EA to replace items lost during a roll back.

    And offers a 3rd solution with a guide to help those that chose to decline both the roll back and the (horrible) template town and simply continue to play with a broken game. If you do, please do not expect a fix to your game ever…..never….not gonna happen. With that said I have played with a broken game for 4 months and it is doable, though a lot more time consuming. If you chose this option I have a link to my guide on “How to play your game while broken by this glitch”

    • Thanks Hobbes. I’ll elevate this to a post when a get a minute.

    • GodlessSquash

      Thanks for all your efforts on this issue. Your tips helped me re-learn how to play without certain features and I got through the last event just fine. That’s why I am leaning towards choosing neither option. It seems very lazy of EA. I wonder if they still haven’t found the problem or if they have found it and decided these two options are the cheapest ways to cure the bug.

  7. You may be able to put a ‘perspective spin’ on it, but at the end of the day these ‘fixes’ are quite lazy options for a tech firm to roll out, I can’t believe there isn’t someone clever enough at EA to build an algorithm that compares your last ‘good’ town to where are are now, work out the differences and repair your build back to former glory. That sort of comparing and updating (at high speed) is what computers are really good for and is something they’d run in the background, it wouldn’t need any update to the app, surely.

    If they had no reference to look back at then I would agree we’d all just have to grin and bare it, but this is nothing short of laziness from my point of view. One thing in the post I do agree with though, it is time for a change though, I’m making the decision to change and not waste hours on this game any more, as much as I enjoyed the past 4 or 5 years this was the kick I needed to log off.

    Thanks to TSTO for all the help in the past! Best wishes to all.

    • That is also a logical, valid option… one that I support if it is just no longer fun, or worth the brain damage. And for the record? It is me who coined the term EALP…for EA Lazy Programmers. I still stand by this assertion…four years after I coined it.

  8. Have to say Patric that this did kinda put some perspective on my game too. I had the RBG and was seriously thinking about giving it all up after EAs ‘solution’ . Reading this gave me some sound reasoning and I decided because I do enjoy the game and I enjoy this site that I had to rollback. So I did. I’ve lost 6 weeks of stuff but my game plays as it should and I can still feel involved in this incredible site and game. Thank you I don’t think I have chosen wrong ☺️

  9. My wife has this problem she said she wanted roll back but customer service told her new patch was coming to fix this has anybody else been told this also said if she roll back could happen again

    • GodlessSquash

      This is what some have been told for months. Then we got this email from EA with the two options.

  10. Do you think the boat in the vault that gives a 2% bonus for 30 donuts is a good deal?

  11. onerandomshoe

    is anyone else’s neighbours all gone? i’ve just gotten back into the game and all mine are gone and there’s nowhere to add anyone

    • Try logging off and on again, that fixed that problem for me.

      For me, all neighbours were gone from the friend screen, but when opening the friend list they were still there, I just couldn’t visit them. Logging off and on again solved that problem. It did happen a few times more, but now everything seems to be OK for me.

  12. Great read and an even better perspective!

    I got hit with the RBG, and had 2 cases open with EA, but since no email was forthcoming, I started a third case, and finally got the email with the 2 options. Chose Option 1. Little disappointed that I lose over a month’s worth of “stuff”, but it’s not even really stuff, right? The 48-hour wait after the rollback is almost over, so I’ll be curious to see what state my town is in, but it will be nice to finally get the character selector (among other things) back.

  13. Keith1Roon991

    Anyone notice “To much junk” railyard dialogue box crashes my game, no biggy but just another bug in the game, hard close seems to solve it and the log in bug

  14. I think the frustrating part for me is that I’ve been hit with this bug twice. Once in November – which they mostly fixed, and once in march, which they said they would fix. Now I’m left with rolling back to March, which I can accept but I will still have issues or I can roll back to NOVEMBER which will seriously set me back. It’s taken a lot of work, but I’m finally at a point where my doughnut farming is keeping pace with my spending and I’m getting every premium item.

    I’m going to trying calling repeatedly for US/UK support. I don’t care if a I get all the even rewards (I will eventually be able to buy them) but I don’t want to have my game “rolled back” but still be somewhat broken.

  15. I’m not sure what happened but since the update yesterday I cannot sign in. At all. I logged on to tap yesterday morning and was logged out of my account, so I signed in like you would normally, I get the message “an error occurred processing the log in” I figured maybe I forgot my password so I went through the steps to change my password and I still cannot sign in to play.

  16. This was an awesome post. You have hit the nail on the head. I have been a gamer since I was a kid and the Atari 2600 came out and am now going to be 65 in Dec 2018. I have been a gamer all my life, MGG, YGO, etc, Tabletop like battletech, 40k and fantasy by games workshop and other tabletop miniature games, board games and console games which I still own all including the Atari I had as a kid. I remember when players were comitting suicide over the death of their character in in the LARP D&D. I had a friend that almost died because he sat at the computer indefinitely with eating and drinking little and no sleep for days. REAL LIFE comes first people. I am disabled and have been on my death bed 2 times since 2009 and my gaming friends I have made have kept me going even though I have been out of Star Wars Galaxies back in the day for a year and WOrld of Warcraft for a few months in the past my friends and I kept in touch and celebrated when I was able to play again.

    Games are technologies and there will always be problems, so please have patience.
    Everyone please have a save Memorial Holiday weekend. Thanks to all the military and 1st responders for all they do for us from a family of military vet and 1st responders.

  17. Keith1Roon991

    Agree, real life is more important than this game, if ea turned it off due to the problems then we would find other real stuff to do, it’s a habit that can be broken, life’s to short to be bothered by a mear game, grief has taken me to a new way of thinking and more important things, other pastimes available!!

  18. I haven’t had the glitch, and I feel for those who have. However, something is really confusing me about this “fix”. So I’m freemium plus. I casual KEM farm (but I’ve only got about 350% bonus, so i don’t get loads) and every so often I spend £2-£3 on a couple of golden scratch cards. Which brings me to my question.

    So they will only refund doughnuts for receipts. My receipts show a 99p transaction. What are they doing in this situation? If they only give 6, that doesn’t seem right, as I might have won 100 which I spent on something. So I can’t get that something back?

  19. Bangles Dupree

    Great post! We are lucky to be so sheltered from harm if the RBG is the worst thing going on. Patric, thanks for all you do to help others! Wishing everyone a a happy and meaningful weekend. 🙂

  20. I am playing with the RBG for six months now and it somehow works. I asked for a rollback when it first hit my town in November but it failed. But then they actually FIXED (!!) my game im January – at least some functions like character button and Friend Points. In March the RBG hit my town again and all fixes were gone. So I relax and play on… but what I find really weird is that EA now says that there is no fix. There is one! But as it is currently only a manual one they do not do this anymore.

  21. Only thing that sucks is the amount of donuts vs what we received from playing PLUS the donuts we may have used. The donuts they are offering me hardly cover my character cost. So it doesn’t cover at all what I “won”. I know it’s just a game and there are way more important things in life but I feel they could have done better. The best would have been to offer the roll back up front but I’m note a programmer, so I’m hoping there was a reason it took so long (since apparently some have had this glitch for way longer than me: last event)

  22. onerandomshoe

    i haven’t suffered the RBG. i’m still stuck in the glitch that started back in december where every time i open the app, it needs to download 780mb of updates that take about 30mins to download and it’s not a problem with my internet connection, tapped out has become the slowest game/app. a few days ago, i did get hit with the login error glitch with the randomised letters as a name and that too has become consistent with every attempt to open the game. as an every 4 hour player, my routine now is: open game, login, login error, hard close app, login attempt #2, error, delete game, reinstall game, update 780mb for 30mins, login, set character tasks, go back an hour later to collect metal and login error… i’ve heard back from EA this morning that reinstalling is the only way around it but this problem has been around since december 2017. before then, in 4yrs i hadn’t had any bug or error issue. now with the RBG and login error, how did this happen to this game? seems like it’s just going to be errors that’s never fixed and events are continued being rolled out but glitches are preventing them from being played properly and having to redownload updates with each play wastes our data and there’s no reward such as spending real money gives us donuts, now i’m spending money on more data that i shouldn’t have lost because of a glitch that’s not been fixed in over 6 months.

    phew, for a minute there i lost myself. rant over. hope everyone can avoid further glitches

  23. I’m just waiting to get my summer tip from my Greek whale at work. As soon as that money is in the bank, Buyijja will have their share. It normally happens Memorial Day weekend, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Lord knows I got plenty of other bills to pay with that money as well, but I promise a nice donation. And when it comes to Memorial Day, if the readers are lucky enough to not have friends or family to remember on this day please feel free to give veteran’s charities as well.

  24. I also have not suffered from the dreaded RBG and feel sorry for those that have. What I have noticed is that a number are giving up the game, but are still going to keep visiting your site. You guys have helped create such a great community and I am so grateful to you for all you do for us.

    Six years ago today (26 May) my mum passed away and I will spend a lot of time thinking about her. I will play my game and watch your live episode and it will help me deal with the day by taking my mind off sad thoughts for a while.

    If only you could turn the clock back in real life there would be so many things you could do or say that would make things better, but you can’t and life goes on.

    One thing that you can do is look forward being part of making a better future for those that need help. This is why I am supporting the campaign to educate the kids in Buyijja. Who knows, maybe one day one of those kids will be the doctor that saves your life after an accident or finds the cure for cancer!

  25. Glitch? While playing today’s daily challenge, which involved sending characters to Krusty Burger, when finshed i could not release them, i had over 100 assigned to the task. After several attempts I stored the Krusty Burger. All the characters were free but stuck in one location. I started to send them one by one to different jobs, this worked. This was taking too long. Send all on 4hr task. Most were froze in the same location. Has this happened to any one else? I will send screen shots to tsto

    • Yes, I’m having this too. What are we supppsed to do with this? Is this *the* glitch?! Or another glitch?

    • Hi Mike, try storing the Krusty Burger all the Characters are doing the task in. When I stored mine, it released all the characters, and I got my daily challenge reward. Hope this helps! MsBenson91 (my player name)

      • Thank you, looks like the characters are back to normal. Now I need to get rid of the RBG. I think I will do a new Springfield. If I do, will I lose characters or buildings?

        • Glad that worked. I don’t seem to have the other glitch. Hope you get it fixed. The options didn’t seem great…

  26. Yes life gives me lemons 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭

    • 🤘😆🤘

    • Tracy-1ltwoody920

      I say,
      “When life gives you lemons, bake chocolate chip cookies.”
      Or pizza, or go to the movies
      Or, if you want, make lemonade.
      Y’all don’t HAVE to use those lemons. Go where you want, do what you want.
      Hell, I just finished my second colonoscopy in a month and am looking forward to another within the year. It be wose — I could actually have a problem rather than being on a precaution watch list.

      Until then, remember:
      Don’t sweat the petty things, AND,
      Don’t pet the sweaty things

      Tracy “ 🎶 Life can be a beach, sha-boom, sha-boom 🎶 “. Woodard

  27. Long time “TSTO Lurker”, but this post was great, and I had been feeling the same way. I personally have the RBG, and EA is rolling me back to 5/3. So I will ‘lose’ a few weeks, which is really nothing compared to the years I have have been playing.

    My dose of perspective hit me yesterday when I took time from my work day to place a call to EA. Initially I was mad at the 2 fixes being offered. Thinking .. how could they? They will fix it, just keep holding on….

    Then as I talked to a real person about it, asking for help, perspective hit. Here I am a 44 year old man with kids calling some guy making his living taking calls from people like me, who are all “mad” at EA for some glitch in some game.

    I became much more accepting of the reality. Face it, playing in a glitched game that was impossible to navigate, (and missing my ability to generate pride cross walks at One Night Stans) was far worse than than losing a few weeks of progress. Did I even care about missing the “prizes” from the heist event? What even were they? Sure I had KEM farmed 100s of donuts, but I already have ample, and can make more. I have more characters than I can count, and maybe I will get a chance to get them in the future.

    So I told them to go ahead, and the flipped their switch. EA has told me not to log in for 48 hours, and I have about 36 to go (even though i may not need to, i am going to)…

    Because heck, my kids are laughing in the other room, and its Friday before an awesome 3 day weekend. I think I can find something else to do 🙂

    When I log back in I will take a magical time machine ride way back to May 3rd. Wish me luck! Have a happy and safe weekend!

  28. Perspective and moderation.
    Two important lessons life has taught me.👍

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