Friday Filler – Dear EA – An Argument for a Premium Plan

Thank Grog It’s Firday!!

Dear EA,

I did my best. Even though we get nothing out of this one-sided relationship with you (no money, no donuts, no credit for our work), we continue to hope and support the future of TSTO.  I made an attempt to bring “reasonable minds” to the fore, and come up with some solutions that would help you do a better job of maintaining and fixings some of the game issues we face. However, the reception of my “chip in $1.99 for every 500 farmed donuts”  concept fell a  bit flat. People understood the problems created by taking for free what others pay for (at least some understood), but most said, “when you fix it, I might start paying!!”

OK then.

So, I am going to propose something that makes a lot more sense to me. Something that really cuts across all sorts of players…but mostly the “Super Players” who log in repeatedly, have huge towns, and are the largest drain on the server resources.

It’s not that unusual…especially in the face of successful franchises like Netflix and Amazon Prime. It’s one, short, solution…

Create a TSTO Premium Benefits account.

OK. Hold on! Hold on!  Hear me out!

As we have determined, there is a very specific type of user/player who really plays the game not so much “to get the next bright shiny thing,” but to actually design with the items we win/buy.  I have never understood the kind of player who simply grinds their fingers off, in order to maximize earning, and increase bonuses, and earn boatloads of free donuts from farming, and then does nothing substantive with their earnings.

It’s like a smoker who smokes more, but enjoys it less, the more they smoke.

But, for me…and for many players…design and the FREEDOM to design, is what keeps us playing.

There are more and more of us who are coming out from under our “designer bubbles” to complain that both Item Limits, and the “New Land Tokens” are restrictive and killing the game for us.  I am right up against those limits (though admittedly still have loads of land left to buy with game cash).

But, it was the knowledge that Ebron (remember Ebron? The designing gold standard?)…who had one of the best, most amazing deigns ever, decided to NUKE, rather than keep cannibalizing large chunks of her work.  I noticed one day that she had “mini-nuked” a huge portion right in the middle of her town. And today, just saw that she had indeed SUPER NUKED her Springfield, while I was doing a round of neighbor visits.  My heart sank. So much amazing work…gone.

I don’t know if this is an act of bravery, protest, or desperation. Perhaps a combination of all three. Or maybe, she just likes designing so much, that the restrictions drove her to a “clean start” due to the limitations.  But, I know I can’t/won’t be doing that. I love certain parts of my design.  After almost 6 years of designing…there are aspects that feel like “home.”  Sure…you can trash a house, and re-do it. But, it is never the same. Ever. No matter what HGTV tells you.

And, I have to ask, as long as I have your attention, is YOUR idea of a “great Springfield” that of the “Other Springfield” that I see in my list of neighbors?  If so…I guess Item Limits make sense. Because this is a seriously lazy design…bland…meh…boring.

This is the kind of town that would never worry about Item Limits. Whoever it is that made it…can do better.  And YOU can do better EA!  All it takes is a little effort, some creativity and some money to pay for the programming.


What I am proposing is a Premium Plan that offers two things.
1. No more Item Limits
2. Unlimited Land (up to whatever is released by the EA “GridMasters” as it’s released).

That’s all. It’s pretty simple.  Kind of like instituting term limits for congress, and eliminating lobbying donations from special interests. But, I digress…

For those two things, I’d be more than happy to pay a Premium Subscription of $99 a year. Heck….I’d even pay $120 a year…like Amazon Prime or Netflix.

And I KNOW people would gobble it up…and add real bottom line dollars to your coffers. It would allow you, EA, the creator of the game, and all of it’s current Fustercluck of issues, to invest some resources into the game again.

Please. Think about it. I don’t even want a cut of the action, even if it is my idea!  It will just allow me to start enjoying the game again.

Respectfully Yours,
Patric (AKA Crankyoldguy)

136 responses to “Friday Filler – Dear EA – An Argument for a Premium Plan

  1. I really don’t have the money to spend on a game, no matter how much I love it. When I started playing, up until a few years ago, playing freemium worked great! I remember trying to save up to get Santas Little Helper, an I finally bought him yearsater an a Black Friday sale! But I didn’t have to use donuts, as there were things to by using in game cash. Now we only get boring half forgotten characters during events, and all the characters we want, we have to pay for with donuts… That’s why I KEM-farm, and happily so. The way I see it, all the time I spend grinding for those donuts, and all the time I actually spend playing and having fun designing, makes me deserve the dounuts I grind for. I really hope EA don’t stop allowing us to farm, unless thay make the game freemium the way it used to be again. At least farming means that they keep players tapping, every four hours….

    • I realize there are many typos in my comment. I wrote it on my phone and it’s difficult to see what I’ve written until I post it😅

      • I should also add that off course I could spend a small amount of mony, and I would, but to me it seems I would have to spend quite a bit more than I’d like if I actually want to get a decent amount of donuts.

  2. Maybe I missed a comment of this sort or maybe I’m just a little late to the thread but I feel a good system would be a daily bonus club. I played another game that was phone based and they offered a package you would pay 19.99 or a fee and would get a subscription that would allow you to gain items for each day you log in. Example 10 donuts every Monday. 2 land tokens every Tuesday etc…. and every 5 days there is an amped up bonus for loyalty.
    That coupled with a no item limit would make it worth it.

    • It is interesting. Of course, the main difference here, is that the players have already invested in an Xbox Live Gold in order to play Battle Royale/Fortnite.

      But yes…there are loads of ways that “Free” isn’t really free.

  3. As a player since 2013 was that the wa king day event? i have hit the item buffer and cannot design the way i want to and though i loved KL move to SF the dreaded item limit has hit again and my awsome KL design is a distant memory. I dont heavily farm for dohnuts only at time of events i sometimes spend real money and % is only 570.

    it is a split why i play between designing the dialogue and addiction to complete each event.

    Would i pay a premium well i probably would £10 @ month sounds a lot but i think the high % players wont why should they. Its a game play issue and i think a solution is the recent development to tie characters etc into purchase of dohnuts it hits the completio ist in us all

    • Well…again…my proposal was dealing with just two things… Hard Item Limits and the limitation of land available.

      If a player has unlimited donuts through farming and a high % bonus…they should be the most likely candidates for wanting increased item limits and unlimited land. But, as I said…ironically…a lot of the %/Farmer types have pretty lame designs. So…who knows?

      • the high rollers arent really designers in the main but completionists with some looking to earn a billion $ or 2000 % bonus and unlimited dohnuts for free now each to their own but it does impact on the gameplay i am sure.
        On a technical issue would this work?
        oh ive hit item limit so maybe my view on tnis has softened.

  4. I haven’t paid money in this game since the Pagan event years ago and I never will again. I farm like a mad man and have more than enough doughnuts for the rest of my playing days.
    I’ve been playing since 2013. If the game ended tomorrow it would probably be a relief, as I can’t seem to quit on my own lol. Though, I barely log in once every day now

    • So…my guess…is that Item limits don’t make a bit of difference to you…because you don’t spend much time designing. So…no…not something you would opt in for.

  5. My version of Premium Plan –

    1. No Item Limits (allow selling of EVERYTHING in Storage)
    2. Unlimited Land (with 6 – 12 free Land Tokens)
    3. Half Off All Premiums (Existing and New)
    4. Fix ANYTHING Wrong

    $1.99 a Month Or $20 Year
    I’d pay that ! 👍

    • Sorry for my lack of tech knowledge, but would being able to rid our inventories of unwanted items that the game doesn’t currently let us sell for game cash make a dent in any of the issues we experience and/or allow for at least slightly higher item limits? If so, why on earth wouldn’t EA let us clear out as much of our inventories as we want? Love that suggestion! My inventory is full of items I will never use.

  6. I would love to see ebron’s town! Any chance I could be a neighboreeno? A lot of different people pop up when I search the name…

  7. I am a veteran player ….started 5 yrs ago….and have grown enough where farming can give me around 30 donuts per log in which means up to 120 donuts a day if I bothered to log in 4 times a day (but outside of events I usually only log in 2-3 times a day and will skip a day or two regularly if busy in real life).

    BUT…..even though I have a profitable farming game I will still buy $20 to $30 of donuts a year to continue to support a game I still enjoy playing. I usually wait till there is a bonus w donuts like a special character an/or bonuts w the purchase.

    That averages out to $1.66 to $2.50 a month. There is no one else EA would need to pay out of a premium service, i.e. royalties that something like Netflix or Amazon Prime would have to budget into the customer service fee monthly price……it would be pure internal profit. So it MUST remain reasonable. $100 a year for a service that only costs EA to flip their own virtual switch with no license or contract or royalty fees to anyone else is outrageously WAY WAY TOOOO much.

    I think if it ever came to a need of premium accounts I think it should be done in one of two ways….

    (1) If a player purchases $20 (or $30) of donuts in a single purchase then they have 365 days of unlimited items and all land is able to be purchased with in game cash.

    (2) Buy a single Scratch-R Ticket and get 30 days of of donuts in a single purchase then they have 365 days of unlimited items and all land is able to be purchased with in game cash.

    Both would not cost EA anything and give players actual donuts, which they may already are buying, plus extra bonus of maximizing limitless designing abilities.

    In either case above if someone has premium access and designs beyond the item limit they can keep their design if their premium time runs out but then obviously add any more unless they go premium again with a Scratch-R or Truckload of donuts.

    • Sounds much more reasonable than $100, unless of course you’re a tool for EA, pitching expensive plans and trying to collect some kickbacks.

      • LOL… I love the way the conspiracy wackjobs create their own realities.

        FACT- we do not, nor have we ever received a single benefit from EA. No money. No free donuts. No anything. But, I get it…anything that seems like it would be remotely “pro-EA” would be suspect to some.

        But, hey…I have always had a healthy suspicion about people named Wade. I am relatively certain that they are trying to bring down the mobile gaming community, and their leader (Wade Boggs) began infiltrating our ranks as early as Season 3 (Episode 17 to be exact) of the Simpsons. The Wades are everywhere now…creating alternate universes of truth. Everywhere I tell ya!!

      • Wade92 — perhaps you aren’t familiar with Patric’s past TSTO site or even many of his posts on this site because if you were, you would never ever think that he is a tool for EA. Why make ugly insinuations at all, least of all when you clearly don’t have much background about the person you are pseudo-accusing? We addicts benefit greatly from the time and effort Patric puts into his posts. I don’t know about you, but the last I checked, he had charged me exactly nothing for his work. He deserves better than your insinuations/trolling.

        • Awww, you guys are so cute, standing up for each other and whatnot. Truth: Wades are the future of gaming. So glad this is *finally* being recognized. I really have only one question: What would Bunny think of this plan?

          • LOL! Nice. Ordinarily I would blow this comment up. But, as you FINALLY made it clear as to who you really are (one of the Bunny Brigade), I am going to pass it along. It’s been 2 years. Get over it. And, looking at your profile, I am guessing that you belong to all sorts of covert groups who spend the majority of their days trolling sites. But, then again…I’ve always wondered what NASCAR in miniature would look like… Maybe you can share some screen shots!

          • Bunnies have no thoughts. So I don’t know why you think we should consult one on this particular topic…

        • Thanks for the support, Pickles. But the Wades of the world rarely know the facts, and prefer to drive their points with rumor and innuendo. No worries…the Wades are on my watch list! LOL!

  8. Despite the misplaced animus that seems to have bubbled to the surface – who thought that would occur when people ask for money – I do enjoy this discussion.

    Still, I have to say, whatever EA’s flaws – yes there are many – figuring out how to make money isn’t one of them.  It’s a Wall Street darling of a $45B money-making machine, and they already found the solution to KEM farmers.

    Prior to the introduction of Donut farming options, true premium rested on purchasing one of the following Donut options:

    12 for $1.99 – 16.6 cents per Donut
    60 for $4.99 – 8.3
    132 for $9.99 – 7.7
    300 for $19.99 – 6.7
    900 for $49.99 – 5.6
    2,400 for $99.99 – 4.2

    So what happens when applying 100 Donuts as an average cost of a premium Item/Combo, and adding the Item to the Donut offers they’ve opted for…

    232 for $4.99 – 5 cents per Donut
    400 for $19.99 – 5

    Notice the value for these today in the post-farming TSTO is similar to the pre-farming values of the larger buys.  I don’t like it but I have to admire it.  EA crunched the numbers and realized the way to entice people to spend real money is to provide them the same Donut value return the larger offers always provided.  Also, by using the smaller purchases, they can justify adding more super-premium Items.

    My guess, it’s working.

    Why?  We’re buying them, and now some here, myself included, are advocating people spend more money.

  9. I’ve been thinking since yesterday about the possibility of keeping the XP bonus % on items, even if they’re not placed. Once you buy something in SH, the dollars earned remain even if you store the “whatever”. Once you buy it, you own it, and you keep the value to help make you a billionaire. Where is there any difference in XP items…you bought it, you own it, the % should be there whether it’s placed or not. EA is causing stress on their own servers by insisting that everything is placed…it makes no sense🤔.

    • Another good idea! Especially for high bonus players, that could save 3000 or more items. A lot more if you have a lot fences.

    • Another alternative is to exchange bonus items. Like exchanging 10 Itchy and Scratchy billboard for a billboard A with 10% bonus. And 10 billboards A for billboard B with a 100% bonus. Same with the vans. Maybe just change the colors of the vans, white for 2%, red for 10%, blue for 50%, black for 100%, gold for 1000%, platinum for 2000%. Then you can wow you neighbors with really premium items.

      • Cool…bonus items could be their own currency…buy a 20% item with 20 – 1% items. But, it’s too logical…EA will never go for it😁.

        • This is the best idea I have heard in a long time, but I think EA would likely take a commission off the top for the bonus of freeing up your space—say 30% or so. So trade in 10 of the same 1% items to receive an upgraded 7% version for example. Worth it in my opinion to have the option to rid your town of dozens of the same items.

    • So spot-on Ebron. I have stupid love trains, melted snowmen, and the like hidden behind buildings counting against the item limit just for the bonus. If we pay the money, we should get the bonus even if the items are in storage. And while we’re at it, does it still matter how many training walls we have in our towns? I have those hidden all over too.

      • If no one is tagging your town, probably not. I’ve used some as actual walls in some of my designs, but I’m proud to say…no more hidden items in my town!
        I pulled all the hidden bonus items out and group-stored them…it took 4 groups to get them all. Since there’s no reason to be piling up so much cash anymore (into the hundreds of millions at last count…sheesh), now I can just pull out all my bonus items (as groups) when I farm RTTs for donuts. I’m not too worried about my everyday bonus percent for now, have even stopped using the xp collider 24/7 and will only use it on RTT days. I’ll see how long it takes to use up all the excess cash and then maybe re-assess if I need to pull some things back in. Already back up to over 500% bonus with just the stuff out now, so I’m just putting out what I like, not what “needs” to be used for it’s bonus. Will certainly help keep my items count a little lower…hooray!😄

        • LOL! Nice! I am proud to say that once again, as of this morning, tagging from my friends has made me “UnRighteous” (4.5 stars). I love the tagging…and miss it when my friends don’t do it. But, I get it…in this world, it seems that a sense of “righteousness” is much coveted, which of course, kind of misses the point.

          • I enjoy it, but so many of my neighbors were found originally on the “no tagging” add friends page, I’m afraid to tag anybody. Any of my neighbors who don’t mind El Barto showing up on their towns, let me know and I will spray paint with glee!

            • Well…you know what camp I’m in. Spray away…

            • Spray away! Oh, you need to move in to the neighbourhood first. 😉

              I don’t see why people get so up in arms. How much % does a star actually take away from your bonus?

              • I agree. It is kind of a hangover when 1/2 or 1% bonus represented 10 to 20% of your bonus. With the ability of buy “training walls” (if you really don’t like seeing 1/2 star) and the ability to generate thousands of bonus %, it seems quaint to worry about your stars.

  10. Why are we even talking about this? E.A hasn’t said or done anything to suggest that THEY are unhappy about the arrangement of the game as I said E.A will be just fine…. don’t give them any ideas to charge us more for no reason. Only if E.A starts to hint that they want more money then we should suggest a way to do it fairly.. but as of now let’s not give them a reason to ask for more money with all the problems and complaints that the players have.. My point is if E.A wanted that money they’d ask for it, if they know people are willing to give them more why wouldn’t they take it? Thx.

    • Slow news day…

    • BINGO! Did it ever occur to anyone that sometimes I write stuff on Friday’s just to rile up the masses? It’s like being “Comander in Tweet.” It’s mostly to keep people reading…writing…and riled.

      Affter 5+ years…I’m kinda like EA and coming up with characters…. I get bored. I don’t really give a flying fig… I’ve enjoyed the down time this past week. Easiest mini-event ever. But the reaction to this post has been hilarious. Chillax folks…as one of our old mods used to say, it’s just a “silly ‘lil game.”

      • Mission accomplished. Lol.

      • Nothing like heli-dropping a boulder in the middle of a deep lake.

        E=MC². It is all relative.
        How do you enjoy the game? What works better for you?
        I cut my electronic teeth programming a Commodore 64 every month with the new Compute! magazine, but now I don’t have so much free time, but I have a good job, so I don’t mind paying a little each month for my video gaming habits rather than farming.

        Events are the grist of this mill, so again, what works better for you? Personally, the recent events have worked well for me. I have video cameras all over work, but they don’t mind me taking five minutes to myself as long as I don’t let customers wait more than 20 seconds from the time they stop. So I can log in, tap the hub, assign the characters, and shut it off without being derelict. The old comic book events where you had to spend 5 minutes per character, for 5 or 6 characters, made it impossible for me to even try.

        As to limits? I play the game to the fullest. So I am two Tokens-only columns of land into it on the right, and I only have two rows of cash-purchaseable land left on the bottom. I still have 61 land tokens left since I play to the fullest and maxed out KrustyLand. I have 15 million in-game cash, so really soon here I can eliminate my neighborhoods of cash generators, (PINK, BLUE, BROWN, ORANGE, AND WHITE. You need one brown and one orange for quests.) My advice? Minimize the animated items.

        I buy donuts for cash because I haven’t got time for the bullsnot. I use those donuts to buy new content that, like all of the old west event, MOVES me, MEANS something to me, or else it fits in to my DESIGN, which, because THAT is my enjoyment, is in constant flux. I do NOT appreciate having to grind the events so that I may make enough CRAFTING currency to earn the three new items offered through crafting, and I will NOT PAY FOR SPEED-UPS!

        Designing, and REdesigning my Springfield, is what I prefer to spend my in-game time doing, rather than grinding events.

        Anyone named Fred Rogers out there? Won’t you be my neighbor?


  11. $10 a month for what Patric mentioned plus extended event play, let’s say 3-5 days after major events. That would draw people in who can’t play every 4 hrs and may throw in some bonus characters or prizes not open to the free event.

    • $10 will only get you a 132 donuts. So I would suggest if you are having a hard time completing events is to invest into farming donuts to speed up the tasks.

  12. I know that this isn’t what you’re intending, but I would support a premium plan with a variety of payment currencies; more specifically, real life, human world cash ($60/year?), tapped out donuts (5k?) and tapped out cash ($2 billion?). Additionally, I might participate in an exchange of real life, human world donuts.

    • Mmmmm….Maple Bacon Donuts….😋

      • Ebron, what are you implying? 12 addicts agree to buy a dozen of their favorite local donut and overnight mail them to each other? That’s crazy! I love it.

        • With my luck, I’d get back a dozen jelly filled…yuck!
          I keep waiting to see a “key lime pie” filled, with lime rind shavings on the glaze…never seen one, but it would have to be wonderful.
          I mentioned it once to someone I know who owns a bakery (and makes excellent donuts), but he was less than enthusiastic about the idea…oh well…😋

  13. One way to handle the item limit. A variable item. It would be similar to group storage in that it would include multiple items. It would be only items that don’t “interact” (i.e. not buildings (rent), benches (characters sit on), nor roads). You would group all those items into a variable item. Then if you move, store or sell you would be given the option to work as a group or as individuals (ungroup).

    If my assumptions about the programming are correct it wouldn’t be too hard. They already have the grouping code. They just need to add visual representation that combines all the pixels. It would be no different than handling a lake or mountain or other large items that don’t interact. And thus Patric could combine all his flowers into a single item and not reach his item limit.

    • That would be nice…I could add all the decor to a building, remove the building, store the decor as a “set” that counts as one piece, then replace the building. Sounds to good to be true, but I like it👍😊.

  14. talon8770 // rick

    $99.00 per year isn’t so bad as long as maybe a massive discount on buying in game items happens. As it is I usually spend at least $20.00 per month on the truckload of donuts. so my $99.00 is already paid up then some. The item limit is just annoying as I’m always getting the notice. ( I have every item out in the town I’ve ever gotten I put nearly nothing in storage except all the excess crafting pieces Since I started playing during the stone cutters event.) One greatly needed update which I would happily pay for would be a collect ALL rent button as my town is so big it takes me 15 minutes to collect it all and sometimes I don’t even bother.

  15. Just curious in why people object to Patric’s OPTIONAL plan.

    First, EA has made it easier to complete events. I have a non-premium game that has completed all the quests with days to spare.

    Second, EA has made it easier to obtain most premium items for free. With the exception of a few cash only items, if one is willing to put the time in one can earn the donuts to buy almost all the “premium” items. So if you are making a lot of money IRL you can buy donuts, if you a lot of free time you can earn donuts.

    Third, EA has shown a propensity to extend the game. Thus if a few people pay cash for increase item limits and more land, EA will probably extend these benefits to the masses in a few years for “free”. It is similar to “early-adopters” who paid thousands for HD TV sets that can now be bought by the masses at Wal-Mart for $100 on Black Friday. A few people support advances that eventually trickle down to the masses.

    Fourth, I understand the some people are upset they can’t buy new land with in-game cash (especially when you have billions). This is no different than Springfield heights. New currencies are created to keep people interested, giving them a new challenge. Many addicts can generate donuts like in-game cash and SH currency. The earning of new land only through “free tokens” by doing quests is just another currency.

    The game has evolved over the years, but EA has made things easier for old and new players alike to play.

    • I agree with everything you said except for the Land Tokens. That’s a pet peeve of mine. EA released about 200 Land Token-exclusive parcels with the ISL update, yet we can only earn about 25 Land Tokens per year. At that rate, we will have to grind for 8 years to have complete access. That rate makes no sense. A change of some sort must be inevitable.

      Plus, if players are earning hundreds of millions, they are clearly already quite interested. There appears no logical reason for EA to make that Money useless, particularly when they still haven’t added to Road to Riches.

      • They may just be saving land tokens for big events. If they continue with the large building mode, they might hand out 16 (4×4) tokens at the beginning of new events. They were getting pretty high in cash with each new rows, I think there were worried people might see $20 million for a square as a turnoff.

        Of course if may depend on the servers, but if Moore’s law still applies, in a couple of years the servers should be able to handle a lot more (assuming they are near their limits now).

  16. I wouldn’t give EA the steam off my poo on a cold morning until they start to treat their customers with some respect and start releasing decently written code!

    • Perhaps your generosity is inversely proportionate to the help you receive? It sounds like your customer service experience might be better if you gave more than smelly steam? I get pretty good results with a Jackson once in a blue moon.

  17. EA already has enough pay to win and games. This doesn’t need to ro be one of them. What drew me to the game was that it was compmetely free to play rhe game and comolete tasks and ‘quests’. Syre there are/were shuny things available if I paid for them, but they weren’t nexessary to get the full experience.

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