Thank Grog It’s Firday!
In the spirit of the TSTOAddict’s 5- Year Blog-O-Versary, I dug waaaaaaaaaay back into the annals (please note the two “n’s) of my archives and found some of my very first TSTO Posts Ever…including a “Hump Day” post (it’s not what you think it is), from one of my first posts with the Addicts Team.
What I found truly interesting, is that in some ways, “the more things change, the more they remain the same” (their have always been glitches, and people complaining about them). What truly made me laugh, is that there were so many references to being “inundated with updates”…which were happening at a clip of one every two weeks. Oh…good player…be careful what you wish for, right?
It’s kind of like a version of “Remember land lines? Remember Blockbuster Video?” while pointing out some of the incredible advances the game has made over the past 5+ years since we have been blogging about it.
First…just so everyone is clear… I started blogging for TSTOTips in August 0f 2013. Shortly thereafter, I started blogging in addition for Addicts…doing three posts a week (Manic Monday, HumpDay Wednesdays, and a TGIF Friday post). My cohort in “all that was TSTO” at the time was Ryan Kagy…who was also a co-founder of TSTOFriendsm. and co-author of a book we wrote together. The rest has been re-hashed a ton…and we won’t “go there” as I have been back with Addicts for 2 years.
So…I started with Addicts (mostly) and I will end my blogging career with Addicts (when the expiration button pops out of my neck or EA pulls the plug) and in between was a bunch of unnecessary subterfuge and distraction.
On with the memories and analysis.
First of all…I want to thank Addicts for the “Full Metamorphosis” of the CrankyOldGuy illustrations. While I have had “crankyoldguy” as a domain name and repository for some of my non-TSTO writing since the mid 200os, it really wasn’t until I was added as an “Addicts Version” of myself, that I started to actually resemble me. If you think that last line was confusing for you, imagine how I must feel.
This was not only kinda uninspired, but also undoubtedly broke all sorts of copyright laws.
During the writing of the book…the version of me ended up being my own work…poorly drawn. I’d like to say that it was an homage to Matt Groening’s original Simpson’s drawings, which were very crude in comparison to now, but the fact is, I’m just not that great with pencil and pen.
But through it all…the writing has pretty much been the same. Some of my earliest writing is hilarious in the way that I defended my addiction, while whining about glitches and downtime.
In the “good old days,” it was not uncommon for the “Bart Screen” to hang out for hours/days and even a week or more. They had loads of glitches. In fact, in the very first major update, (Treehouse of Horrors XIII), we were hit with several glitches…the worst of which was one where Homer and Lisa went missing. This was exacerbated by people also losing “Goo” counts…which was something that you earned by popping ghosts in neighbor’s towns.
I had reported that EA had solved the problems…only to have to circle back and eat my words the next post. It also marked my first real “calling out EA support” for being “less than.”
Unfortunately…in part one, I had not only defended EA, but told people to “Grow Up…It’s just a game!!!”
Excerpted from “EA Support is Demonic” – 10-22-13
There is a downside to being opinionated, and vocal about those opinions. And that is of course that every once in a while, you end up having to eat your words, and take something back…and (gasp…) APOLOGIZE!
This is not one of those times. OK…well…maybe it is. BUT even weirder than me admitting that I was wrong (as this post will reveal) is that I have discovered the TRUE nature of the relationship we have with EA…and it is a case of “Truth is Stranger than Fiction!!” (cue the scary music and the wiggly screen effect).
In the last post, I made light of the “Missing Homer/Missing Lisa” syndrome, and told all of you that EA had corrected the problem. It would seem that this is not the case. We got loads….as in several…as in LOTS of replies, that many of you are still missing a character that can’t be fixed by removing the building in which they were associated, placing it into storage, and then putting it back into your town…which by the way DOES seem to work for almost every other character except Homer and Lisa.
The reason for this is that the house, being the very first item placed at the very beginning of the game, is not allowed to be stored. It is part of the basic programming of the entire game, along with the routine “clean up Springfield,” which cleans up the debris from the original nuclear blast. The debris can ONLY be cleaned up by Homer and Lisa, and can’t be “placed into storage.” See the correlation? Me neither…but I’m sure it is part of a basic character routine in the programming code.
BUT…have no fear…there is a solution…but it is not easy. It is tantamount to trying to get someone to come and repair your cable modem, or fix the ice cube maker on your refrigerator. That’s right…you need to contact EA, and then wait for them to get back to you. But they ARE responding.
Witness the letter that was published in the EA forum…
Have you opened a case with EA about it? They very kindly went in my Springfield and freed Lisa for me after I raised a ticket.
They also emailed this to me
My name is Damien and I am an EA Game Specialist. I have received and reviewed your case with regards to your missing character, Lisa Simpson, within The Simpsons Tapped Out.
I was very sorry to hear of the issues you have been experiencing and know how frustrating and distressing this can be when someone is missing. I can only empathize with the inconvenience and disruption that this may have caused to your game play and enjoyment.
Upon receiving your account, I contacted our studio to organize a search party for your character. To make sure we were in tip top shape I also managed to get our best investigators involved, Chief Wiggum. It wasn’t hard to get him involved when I mentioned that he may get donuts and coffee for taking part.
After an extensive search I have since managed to find Lisa. She seemed to have gotten lost in a nearby town called Shelbyville. After a quick rescue I have now returned her to your Springfield and should be visible the next time you log back into the game. However should you have any further issues with this character please don’t hesitate to update your case so that I can give them a good stern talking to and get this issue resolved for you.
In the meantime if you have any other queries please contact your “Neighbourinhos” here at EA Customer Support or visit help.ea.com and answers.ea.com for further information and assistance.
Good response I think
Yes… Good response from a guy named DAMIEN…who can see inside your mind…poke around a bit…and then feed you the kind of result he knows you need, to keep playing the game. Damien…the same name as the Anti-Christ kid in the “Omen.” The same kid whose tricycle “accident” sent his nanny over the stairwell, like the hopes and dreams of those of us who trusted EA as a partner in life.
You don’t think EA has the power to MESS with you? To dangle you like the Freemium Puppet that you are? Well witness my OWN “truth is stranger than fiction moment.”
Last night, while I was doing my “visit all of my neighbor’s towns and drop gremlins” task (which now takes more than 45 minutes…argh) as I was watching the “Boardwalk Empire” that I DVR’d from Sunday night (I want to dislike Nucky…but they make him so conflicted and human!), I realized that I was caught in the very GLITCH/BUG that I had written about over the weekend.
Once again, my primary “Goo Counter” was showing a significant number higher than the “Spooktacular Bonus counter” that promised Donut Rewards every 2,000 donuts. It has been off by around 36 donuts for a bit…but was now 155 Goos past the even 2K marks where you SHOULD be rewarded. I realize that the two are kinda not related anymore since hitting 10K, but they SHOULD be. I mean, 2k, is 2k, is 2k! So…OF COURSE, in a way to mess with me yet again, EA (or should I say Damien) left me hanging, with no more options for goo collecting, right at bed time… 59 Goo short of my FREE DONUTS.
So…imagine my joy as I opened my game, while taking a sip of my morning coffee, and saw that I had earned, 253 Goo Collected from the Gremlins I had placed the night before! WHOO HOO! Which was followed immediately by my “BONUS DONUTS!” WHOOHOO!
But wait…what is the demon chuckling I hear from my head? It’s Damien…
As I reluctantly poked open the “Spooktacular Bonus” counter…I was shocked…appalled…OK…really PO’d, to see that it was now at 3 (I had clicked a couple of haunted locations before opening the counter), making the disparity between the Goo Counter (which is now rendered pretty much USELESS) and the Bonus counter 256 GOO! Holyfreakinshirt! That is a TON OF GOO. In fact…it basically wiped out almost ALL of my gremlin goo from the night before.
I was really ticked…and ready to write a SCATHING report of this to you good readers…and reveal what a terrible “human” Damien really is… I was so ticked I decided to not bother clicking my ghosts by hand…to hear the pleasing “FMUNK” as each ghost is popped. Instead, I just used a Ghost Bomb… WHITE SCREEN…followed immediately with MORE FREE DONUTS (I had just reached the XP bonus level). WhooHoo…
But I was still torqued off…not quite as torqued as before… but still…Damien is a jerk…and I was going to tell everyone!
On my very next tap…and I’m not making this up…on my VERY next tap…I got another FREE donut. One of the random ones that seem to be popping up here and there in the game.
All was forgiven… Damien (EA) and I were BFFs again!
Yes…I am easy. Yes…I can be bought for donuts… am I happy about basically losing more than 250 hard won Goo (or is it Goos? I really don’t know the plural of goo…I should ask EA…but I digress). NO…I AM NOT HAPPY!!
But…in one short cycle of tapping…I am 7 FREE DONUTS richer!!
Oh…dear…Lord…I am almost 60 years old…and I just sold my soul to Damien for 7 lousy donuts…
I need to put something in the coffee… like 6 ounces of whiskey…
I was wrong about the Lisa/Homer thing… I was wrong to make light of the Goo Discrepancy.
There…are you happy now?? I have admitted that I was wrong…are you HAPPY DAMIEN?? Please be happy…please… I am a broken, withered shell of a man who should have known better than to mess with you.
OK…on that note…I am going to add some (flavor) to the coffee, and get back to work.
Keep on Tappin!
So…yes…my relationship with EA and their support team started early…right after I realized that EA releases updates before they are completely tested to scale.
And yes…since I started donut farming, the excitement of a couple of “free donuts” has faded completely from memory. And, had I been able to look into the future, I would not have let EA off of the hook for a couple of lousy donuts. So…the number they give us now, in comparison, is truly staggering.
Like I said…the more things change, the more they remain the same.
5 years of blogging about TSTO. Sheesh. That’s like 50 years in TSTO time.
I will post a few more of the earliest posts…including one of my favorites, that makes reference to some of the most hallowed and nefarious characters in the TSTO world.
It’s been an amazing run. And yes, as long as they keep the game up and running, I will Keep On Tappin’…
I wonder what ever happened to Damien?
How many of you long-time tappers remember the first few major events? How many remember a game that updated almost every 2 weeks with a new level? How many remember the “Harp of Death?” Who remembers “The wHell” or the first introduction for Shary Bobbins?” How many remember when cell phones were actually just phones? OK. Skip that last one. That was before TSTO. And as far as Addicts is concerned…there was no history before TSTO.