Friday Filler – The Secret of TSTO Happiness? Play the Game Without Playing the Game

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.

After scrolling through the entire offering…I mostly remembered why I hadn’t bought this stuff in the first place.

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.”


107 responses to “Friday Filler – The Secret of TSTO Happiness? Play the Game Without Playing the Game

  1. OK, I had to have my own 9-hole course. I’m sure it could use some spiffification ™, but it’s playable, and a solid 36 par, with a couple of “reachable” greens for the big hitters. Like Patric, I got no new “Golf Course” choices in my Yearbook. And I only have ONE of those in my town so far! 🙁
    For fun, I modeled several holes after ones at my local course, and one after a hole at the Pristine Course up in Lake Placid, where one tee is immediately adjacent to a restaurant patio! So all the diners can watch you flub your drive! ACK! Worst. Placement. Ever.

    • OK… You HAVE to make me one of your neighbors! Email me your username so I can invite you….

      Played golf Sunday…after weeks of sub-yuck weather and snow…it’s been almost 70 all week! More golf this weekend…a lot of catching up to do.

  2. How does one get the most donuts by farming? I mostly do the recycling and find Maggie to accumulate donuts. Are there better ways? haven’t been on this forum much but have played the game for years and am getting a little bored. Don’t seem to have much to buy with cash anymore so have accumulated a lot. Was spending on land but now can’t with having to use land tokens which seem to be hard to come by? What is the golden goose I see mention of to get land tokens and how do I get? Nice golf course!

  3. I have no donuts left …period. I do have the stations that I was missing and some things which have bumped up my %. I’m wishing I hadn’t emptied the last mystery box to get all the presidents! I’ll better keep farming.

  4. I cant get the event to start. Tried updates and reinstalling the game!

  5. @Patric: why don’t you like the 3-eyed whale? Super cute imo and also gives you 7 % bonus…I even spend 333 donuts on it when it was initially released. The animation is cute as well.

    • As I have said before… it represents what EA thinks of the players. And the the one with three eyes makes light of the plight of radiated whales worldwide.

      Kidding. Just don’t like it.

  6. Can you believe after posting on here about my golfing experiences and saying due to them there would be no golf course in my Springfield I open the mystery box and get the golf hole…. would give you it if I could Patric 😅😅😅

  7. I have the golf holes in my mystery box. I’m going to try for them as soon as I farm more donuts.

    • I can only try to imagine that the reason I don’t have any, is because I already have four in my game. Hard to tell. But just ran the whole cycle again. Not a golf course in the bunch.

  8. I want Anger Watkins too cause I love first take on espn and for him first roll

  9. Just wanted to say, Pat, that I appreciate you and your writing style. Thanks for a good read.

  10. I see the Golf Course in my Yearbook Mystery Box. Did you mean this item?

  11. Question. How did you get the bridge to go across water like that in your golf course layout? Thanks in advance.

    • That bridge goes across water. No trick. You just have to have the right bridge.

      Or do you mean tgd cintrete one?

      There…you just place water first…then place road over it. Boom. Bridge.

  12. I can see these boxes being a dud for the player that has everything. But as someone that only recently got into farming, never dropped much dough into the game, and has a lot of catching up to do I am stoked! Got Barney on the first try, what a steal!

  13. I am loving your golf course and hope EA listen to you and bring the golf hole back so you can complete your design. I know they are available in the Mystery box , but how much crap would you have to buy in order to get enough?!

    We have been friends for nearly a year and, thanks to your persuasion, I became a donut farmer. Since that time I have purchased everything I wanted as it has become available in the game.

    However, there are so many items I could not afford to buy before farming so I am using this opportunity to get some things I have really wanted for years.
    I am refreshing until I get at least 2 or 3 things I want and then buying until I get them. I am very happy with what I have so far. My problem is that I now have to find somewhere for it all to go and it might take some time as I don’t want to just put in anywhere.

    I understand your point of view, but for me this is a really good thing as there is a lot I want and I am enjoying redesigning a little bit at a time to make things fit in as if they had always been there.

    Lastly, EA if you are listening; PLEASE GIVE PATRIC THE GOLF HOLES!

    • Does the new mystery box ever manually refresh? Because I currently have a donut boat in mine.. tried twice to get it no luck, so am farming to get the required donuts.
      What I’m worried about is it manually resetting before that happens.. otherwise I’d buy 60 donuts right now to avoid that 😮

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