Thank Grog It’s Firday!!
So, it turned out that it wasn’t time for another Major Event…so we got another Mini-Event…which was proceeded by another Mini-Event. And in both cases, they are 2 week events, that barely stretch a week in real time. Which leaves a lot of down time to do what you want. Play. Don’t play. Stockpile. Design. Or just gnash your teeth that the events aren’t longer…or shorter…or more complex…or less complex.
But, this time, they have added an AMAZING twist on the Mystery Box. It is kind of a SUPER Mystery Box…with More than 700 items available!!! It. Is. Overwhelming!!!
Until you look more carefully….and actually play the thing to see if you can “beat the odds to get what you really want on the first try!!”
Hint. You really can’t. I’ll explain in a bit.
Here’s the deal about Mystery Boxes -vs- The Vault. With the Vault, you have a limited number of items…many of them with Bonus XP %, sold at a reduced (rebated) price. You know exactly what you are getting, and for how much.
With the Vault- There are some legitimately good deals…and all of these offer Bonus XP % Multipliers…at a discount.
With the Mystery Box, you are playing the “odds” (not really, it’s an algorithm) that you are going to get a GREAT DEAL on a Premium Item for just 30 Donuts. Or you may not…
The other aspect of both of these, is that the items are things that you have most likely already passed on. However, there may be a handful that you might have missed for one reason or another. In that case, you may want to “try your hand,” at gaming the Mystery Box. Or getting gamed by EA’s system.
Case in point. There were only THREE items out of the entire advertised list of “More than 700 Items” that I wanted. Three.
First of all…many of the 700 items are duplicates of things I already have…and very likely have placed into storage. But, in every case, as I “Refreshed” the Mystery Box to bring up the items I wanted, I was aware that for the most part, all of the good stuff (Premium Character/Building Combos) had at least 4 items of little worth…or, out and out crappola.
Come on! I’ve seen a ton of these over the months…and haven’t bit once. Not gonna bite now…just because I MIGHT get one for 30 donuts. Yes. The 3-eyed whale, even for 15o donuts would be a deal…at half of the 300 donuts they wanted when it first came out. But, I don’t want the thing. Never did. Never will. So…no thanks.
The fact is…I very quickly started feeling like a kid with a pocket full of Birthday Cash, who doesn’t get to go to a real toy store, and instead is taken to a TJ Maxx to try and find things he wants, from all of the cast-off crap that other people didn’t want last year. Wandering the aisles….looking at stuff with the, “well…it’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick,” kind of lackluster attitude that makes consuming, just for the sake of consuming, so unfulfilling.
And what’s with that saying anyway? It’s one of those old-timey sayings that my grandfather used to say, that made me think that in his day, people just wandered around poking one another in the eye, randomly…for no real reason. But, I digress…
So….after “wandering the aisles of the Mystery Box for a few hundred “refreshes,” I settled on THREE Things I wanted.
1. The Fortune Store
2. Classified Records
3. The ESBN Desk with Anger Watkins.
I had various reasons for wanting these…especially now that I am KEM farming, and not spending real money, But, I wanted them…and had 422 donuts burning a hole in my pocket. Like I said… free money in TJ Maxx.
When I went after the first item I wanted, I was forced to take Stacey’s Dream House, The Star Spawn, and the The T-Ball Stand, before I finally got The Fortune Megastore. So…120 donuts for my shot at making the homage to Richard Branson come alive in my town. OK. Fine.
My next attempt was for the ESBN Desk and Anger Watkins. I got 4 crap things…before I got Anger. 150 donuts…which is what he cost in the first place, and my storage had new items in it.
The final run was a true gamble…as I wanted Classified Records…but only had 122 donuts left. After getting the Land Octopus Pen, I suspected I was hosed. But, ended up getting Classified Records on the next flip… making the cost just 60 donuts. Which was a good deal.
Net result… 3 items that originally cost a total of 450 donuts, for “just” 350 donuts…plus a storage locker full-0-crap that I didn’t want.
Of course…ironically…if EA would just Bring Back The GOLF HOLES, so I could really finish off my golf course in style, I would have spent twice that much or more.
But that brings us back to the part about actually finding ways to gain TSTO Happiness…by essentially not playing the game.
The fact is, I don’t care that much about this update. Although seeing Barney run naked is going to be epic. I don’t want a young Arnie. I am not a fan of OLD Arnie.
However, with the recent HUGE jump in the Item Limit…and ton of free land (yes my Golden Goose is still laying Land Tokens), I was able to expand my new “Executive Golf Course” into something of beauty, with nine, very challenging holes!
I have a soft spot for these kinds of golf courses. Executive courses are usually very short courses, near downtown, where people can get away for a quick nine holes, without much effort or walking. I started my golf “career” at one, where the first year I started playing, I played 277 rounds in 10 months. Yes. I was obsessed. Executive courses are usually comprised of short, part 3 holes, with a handful of par 4 holes thrown in, so you can use most of your clubs.
With my course…I have nine, heavily bunkered holes, with a lot of water. It features nine holes, with 7 par 3s and 2 par 4s.
Take a tour with me…
Hole #1. After warming up on the putting green, and grabbing a little “Aiming Juice” at the Tiki Bar, the First hole is a challenging Par 3, that requires a shot over water, while being able to stop it on the green, before it rolls into the bunker at the back. You better be a great wedge player to make this one in three.
Hole #2- After navigating a tough first hole, Hole #2 is pretty straightforward. But, it features a postage-stamp-sized green, protected by two bunkers. Another great shot is required for this one.
Hole #3 again requires good iron play over the water, without rolling off of the back of the green into the bunker. Harder than it looks.
Hole #4 is the first Par 4. The Pros and big hitters often try to go for the green with one swing. But, stopping on the green is difficult at best with that kind of club and ball speed. It’s better to lay up, and then take the short wedge in.
Hole #5 looks easy…but again requires the ability to stop the ball on the green with your tee shot, or risk rolling into the water behind the hole. Many a player has become lost in the quagmire bushes behind the green, adding stroke after stroke, trying to hack their way out.
Hole #6 is a short, and should be relatively easy par 3. However the building to your right, while trying to carry the concrete bridge, has been a true test to anyone with a tendency to slice their tee shots.
Hole #7 is the easiest hole on the course A short lofted wedge shot from the tee, will carry the water, and onto the green easily.
Hole #8 is the second Par 4. However, many a “big hitter” tries to cut the corner to the green, instead of laying up and wedging it onto the green with the second shot. Heavily protected by water and bunkers for those trying to cut the corner, you really have to hit a perfect shot to make this “shortcut” work. It rarely does.
Hole #9 is a relatively easy finishing hole. Carry the bunker, make your putt, and head to the Tiki Bar to celebrate!
So. No. None of this is in your standard “How to Play TSTO” manual. And that’s the point. We often get so wrapped up with ‘getting the next thing,” or “racking up XP, Donuts, and game cash,” that we simply forget the very best part of the game; our own ability to create something out of the bits and pieces we are given to play with.
This golf course used up at least 350 Items of my remaining Item limits. But it is now one of my favorite features….because nobody else can have it. It’s mine. It makes me laugh. And no matter what else EA throws at us, it will be a protected feature on my layout.
As the great minds at Van Camp’s Pork and Beans say…”Simple Pleasures Are The Best…”
Have fun. Stop stressing about “the next thing EA is giving us.” Create your own, “Simple Pleasure.”