Friday Filler- Casual Bonus Farming During Downtime

Thank Grog It’s Friday!

Let’s be honest about it.  We’ve been waiting for a very long time for some fulfillment.   And when we finally get the  answer, and it’s not what we were hoping for, you can do one of two things.  Lament, or just roll with it.

And no… this is not a political post. It is the simple admission that while we were CERTAIN that an update… something really great…something that would answer our prayers would finally drop (and I’m STILL not talking about politics) it didn’t.  The answer to our prayers was actually just another “sorry…no real answers yet” that leaves us having to come to our own conclusions while we wait for the REAL answers. And yes.  Maybe this time I’m talking about TSTO and maybe something else.

So…when there are more questions than answers, and you have loads of time on your hands to burn, you might as well be productive, and get to  work making it EAsier to be happier in the future…when the real answer drops.  And at this point, I’m not really sure what the hell I’m talking about anymore.

Wait.  The headline.  That’s Right… increasing your Bonus XP to increase your Farming Yield! Making it EAsier to get more of what we don’t know we want yet!
In other words…improving your ability to earn more while doing less, by working a bit more now.
No matter how you slice it, donut farming, whether it be KEM farming, or Rat Trap Truck/Bloodmobile farming etc. comes down to maximizing your Bonus XP.  If we are using farming vernacular ( and who doesn’t like to use a good farming metaphor?), you are spending the time to fertilize your crop for a higher yield on every KEM/RTT/BMB farmed. In basic terms…for everything you collect, you are closer/faster to getting a chance at three Bonus Donuts (Bonuts).

Now, as I have said before…as it pertains to farming, and building up my XP bonus, I am inherently lazy.  I just don’t have the time, or want to spend my time, doing the boring, grinding, accumulation of Bonus % items required to reach 1,000% or more XP Bonus.  Of course…I was also late in actually starting a retirement fund in my real life…but I digress.

It always just feels like the time I spend on TSTO should/could be more productive if I am grinding for stuff in updates, and building things in my town (like a golf course).  Yes, I realize that those who have huge bonus multipliers are more directed at NUMBERS over aesthetics…and this may come down to some primary personality differences.  While I would rather design, they would rather accumulate…and their towns usually look like it..

However…after weeks of pretty easy, almost grind-less options in the game, and an extended period of time building my expansive golf course, I found myself in the unenviable position of not really having any excuses for NOT taking some time and donuts to build up my XP Bonus a bit.

And, that’s when I noticed something weird (even for EA).

Rather than treating the recent “Yearbook Mystery Box” the same way they do with Black Friday (a limited time offer), it now appears to be a permanent fixture in our “Premium offerings” right along with the REGULAR Mystery Box.  Weird. But, very convenient…as is the Vault, which also usually features items that carry larger Premium bonus XP for a price.

The trick, is really understanding your best use of donuts to buy XP Bonus. And yes…in most cases, you have to invest donuts in order to earn more XP Bonus, so you can earn more donuts EAsily.  Don’t ask me to explain why you have to put money into Social Security and Medicare so you can get it out in tiny drabs when you are older…but the concept is similar.

But, getting back to my story… I had been hovering at around 580% Bonus XP for a long time. And, because I thought we were going to have a major update this week, but didn’t (don’t get me started on how lazy I think EA has become), I had a little over 500 donuts accumulated and ready to burn.  In addition, I had more than $50M in game cash…and was still accumulating more with every cycle of my character/building clearance, and casual KEM farming. Not efficient.

This told me two things. First, I could actually afford to add a few more slots of KEMs in my KEM sludge ponds and keep cycle parity (spending no more than I earn every cycle), and that I might as well spend some of my donuts on trying to increase my Bonus XP up to at least a nice round number of 600%.

Adding just two more land slots gave me 12 new KEM slots, without really costing any more game cash to manage each cycle. 

So now, with THREE ways to easily acquire items that provided good XP Bonus yields (Vault, Yearbook,Mystery Box) I set out to build my XP with the most efficient use of my donuts.

Yes. The Yearbook is great for getting stuff you want, that you may have missed in the past.  But, when it comes to efficiency of building XP Bonus for the smallest number of donuts invested.  It blows.  Even if you are going for something HUGE…with LOADS of bonus XP, like the Murderhorn, it may take you at least 150 donuts to get 5% (5 attempts at 30 donuts each).

The Vault is really one of the most efficient, EAsy ways to get exactly what you want, for exactly what you expect to pay.

But, it only offers up a handful of items at a time. Today for instance, my best offer is 3.75% bonus for Grimey and the forgotten grave.  Don’t ask me why I didn’t buy this when it was offered.

But, at just 120 donuts for a character and a decoration (after the 40 donut rebate), it is a good deal.  Unless you are actually trying to build your Bonus XP. In which case…as I proved to myself once again…the best yield for donuts spent(that same 120 donuts), is still the Basic Mystery Box.

It’s a grind. There is no doubt about that.  You are going to have to collect a ton of random crap that will go right into your storage (mostly ponds, carts, and _ONDAs).  But, even though the return is posted at being just 5% for a Premium Item, it’s return is actually far, far better…at least for me.

Without boring you with details… by spending just over 120 donuts at 6 donuts per try, I earned items that accumulated the 20% of Bonus XP that I wanted. I earned 8 Itchy and Scratchy Billboards (1% each) and 6 Channel 6 News Vans (2% Bonus).  That was helped significantly by being rewarded 6 different Bonus Donut Prizes of 10 and 30 donuts each. CRAZY…and EAsy. EA is really becoming benevolent these days.

And then I stopped. Because I got bored…and tired of hiding my News Vans.

I hid them all over the place behind buildings, because that many news vans in plain site just looks stupid.

I placed the Itchy and Scratchy signs along my freeway that divides my Shelbyville from the rest of my Springfield…and was simply content with an hour well spent.

Yes. The whole thing took about an hour of my time.

But, not surprisingly, between the extra KEMs that I was able to add with the new free land tokens, and additional game cash I was earning, and the added Bonus XP…I was now earning an extra 6-9 donuts per 8 hour cycle. And that adds up.

I know myself.  I will never be one of those people obsessed with a million of this and a billion of that, just to do it.  I like creating too much, and there is only so much TSTO time in a day I’m willing to spend out of the REAL currency of life (time).

But, I do like the fact that EA has forced me into something that actually makes the game EAier…if they ever actually give us a new update worth playing. Downtime and boredom do add up to productivity, if you really are bored enough.

Life. It’s full of compromises…and lowered expectations…and putting up with stuff that you shouldn’t have to put up with.  And yes. I am finally talking about politics. But, not here.

Play the game as you wish. Buy what you want, or take a chance on the Yearbook. But, know that sometimes…the best way to do things, is the old fashioned way that those before you did them. The best known “mystery” is how efficient the Mystery Box is at building Bonus XP.  Just do it.

Have a great weekend. Use your downtime to build more uptime rewards!


40 responses to “Friday Filler- Casual Bonus Farming During Downtime

  1. Great post from start to finish – thank you!

    I stopped (at least that’s what I’m saying right now) at 2402% as this makes four KM = 3 donuts. The far corner of my town, a bit away from the rest, is dedicated to the news vans and billboards that came with moving up to that %. Maybe I’ll turn them into a town border once the land expansions slowly accumulate to allow adding in all the land available.

    Patrick – do you have a full size view if you town available to share with us? It sounds really nice and I’d love to see it. Sorry if you posted it previously and I just missed that post.

    • Eek – sorry for the “k” on the end of Patric.

      • LOL…no worries. People have been “fixing” my name since I was old enough to write it. My first grade teacher insisted that I was leaving off the K, even after my Mom told her that that wasn’t the case. Stubborn old bat….

    • I don’t have a recent one…lots has changed. But, I’ll load one up in the next Friday Filler. I like a lot of what I have done…but I wouldn’t put myself in the top 10% of designers. I’ve seen some really nice designs. I’m stubborn about not messing with my original designs in Springfield proper…so some of it feels outdated. But, like a well-preserved town, I’m not changing it. It has “Hysterical Status.” (sorry for the bad pun).

  2. I have been slowly increasing my XP multiplier for a couple of years. Real slow at first and took a long time. Now I just passed 7000% and I increase by buying 10 items from the vault whenever it possible and with the other multipler running, it is actually 100%. So the multipler is actually 35000% and I collect over 250 donuts a day without KEM or rat trucks.

  3. I’ve been playing for yrs now… how hard is it todo the job ur paid for. Let’s rant…. 1. When I goto the damn job building to send all on tasks, but cant caz of a stupid task that I already got people on but allows all todo and now I have to manually send 190 people on missions, eat me. 2… make all the damn stuff be able to be placed on all, thanks for screwing up my krustyland caz two things cant be placed on fn pavement. 3. Turn things four ways mayb instead of two u know how hard it is to make crap look nice when things only turn two ways… 4.. let cars be placed on the damn road I mean come on. 5. Let me zoom out further. 6.. fix the gosh dang quick k select box or just remove it n remake it so everyone can enjoy it without losing a shit ton of stuff from ur lazy fix of a roll back. If I did su h a half ass job at work my boss would have my head ona fn pike…..

    • So, let me get this straight…you are upset by the game not behaving in a manner that suits your needs? OK then. Rant on.

    • Why are my eyes bleeding?

    • As for your first problem I use donuts to speed up the task and then send all on jobs. I know it sounds wasteful but I have thousands of donuts. I know what a time consuming problem manually sending characters to jobs can be, l have over 300.

  4. I still have plenty in the vault to choose from, so for me right now the mystery boxes aren’t exactly paying off.

    With finals coming up I’m grateful for the break, and had to stop KEM farming.

  5. Thanks for this post, Patric. I’m currently in the descending part of the farming curve, meaning that both KEM and RTT take too much time.
    I managed to reach more than 3000% , but every one of the four logins (now two) was too time-consuming, because of all cash and XP to collect.
    So I stashed hundreds of “bonus” items (mainly jet engine bikes), and now my bonus is something like 1780% (the lag persists though 😂).
    I lost my interest to farm. The Yearbook is empty, and any new content could be bought after 5 minutes of RTT farming, I guess. But right now, farming is something I really have no time for 😊

    • Nor should you at this point. Sounds like your town may look a bit like Scrooge McDuck’s basement. At some point excess anything stops delivering pleasure.

    • I am not sure if you are joking. You reduce your bonus because it took you too much time to collect cash and donuts(i.e. XP)? Then don’t spend time collecting them, I don’t. In my high bonus games I quit farming and “collecting” a long time ago. The incidental cash and xp I collect just playing the game is more than sufficient most of the time.

      In my alpha game I am about to break the upper cash limit and during down times I visit only or two times a day (to collect from the sub/ play the daily challenge). When I needed donuts to purchase all the land tiles I farmed using RTTs, storing (not selling) them because of the cash horde.

      • Uhm…No Charles. What he they are saying, is that they have a LIFE. And that there is mbetter use of time than hitting limits…and accumulating…just because you can.

        • Sure have a life. Cutting your bonus just increases the time you have to spend in the game to collect the donuts you need. Unless your are OCD and HAVE to clear everything the logic doesn’t make sense.

          • A little OCD, I must admit it.

          • I think the point was that doing the things one enjoys in the game takes a long time with a high % – also it takes a lot of items to get there. So setting aside the need for donuts (let’s postulate that you could probably get as many as you wanted from RTT farming after perhaps dumping a bunch of % items in a vacant area), the game flows better and takes less time without a high percentage – especially if you enjoy the various things you do when you check in.

            This is from someone with nearly 3700%, more donuts than I know what to do with, and some empathy for folks who prefer a different flow of the game. I’ve often thought about storing my stuff but the % is just something I’m building because I do random stuff like that in games.

            • Granted, if you have enough donuts, group your bonus items so you can take them out of storage when your RTT farm. But I have found that when entering a game I get a donuts box or two and a daily challenge box and maybe a message or two. But after that I could move around without collecting. Unless you doing quests there is little besides designing that would generate cash and donuts or prizes that you don’t want.

    • Same. After 5 years, I’m about Tapped Out!

      Really like the events still, though.

  6. Well, I have to thank TSTO Addicts for the “should I buy” posts with regards to anything that increases your Bonus XP % over the years (especially when it involves anything that’s not unique, doesn’t cost too many sprinkles, can be purchased in multiple) as my Level is at 458% … and it truly doesn’t take that much effort to increase that more % 😊

    Maximizing your accumulated 🍩’s via weekly / daily Farming (I tend to achieve about 70 🍩 ‘s a Day) is definitely allowing this Long Time Tapper to enjoy the Vault (this time? Dr Knick and Vesuvius Pizza – a Premium Character that’s voiced with funny Visual Tasks and a Building with permanent 2 Hour Tasks for Adult Characters).

    Conclusion? I don’t think about when / if EA will update with a new Event. I appreciate the fact I have plenty of free time to continue redoing my Springfield and Farming for 🍩 ‘s …. knowing everything has an “end date” (and thankful I am able to catch up obtaining Characters I didn’t in the past – some with Buildings, some without – without an Event getting in the way). 🤘

  7. Good to know you can always find new ways to enjoy the game! I’ve been chipping away ay my bonus% since I started and after clearing out the yearbook mystery box, and buying 1000 donuts worth of jetbikes out of the vault (my personal favorite % booster, EAsy to hide and 2% bonus boost per 20 🍩’s) I’m up to 1777% bonus level. Which, for me, means that every hour when I clear and collect I get a chance for bonuts, and always pick until I get three. All that’s before I do any KEM farming!
    As for KEM farming I tend to do it rather randomly. But my KEM farm area has convieniently placed bonzai trees to make placement easy and quick, and I place them in blocks of 9 with 6 rows because that’s the maximum number I can select at once when it comes time to sell them back.

  8. just use the year book, sure you might earn bonus xp slower but you can control it by choosing your items plus you get more buildings and variety. its slower but you dont have to hide a couple hundred news vans and most people are playing for the long hall anyways.

    • Great if you want items. Not as efficient for building XP.

      • I’ve spend quite a lot of donuts on the yearbook box. A lot of things i got was crap, but I was lucky many times and got what i wanted at the first or second shot. My bonus went up 70% now, i still have around 800 donuts, and about 55mil to burn if i really need to get donuts. My town is now a disaster desiging wise.

  9. I do not have the yearbook in my premiums. It has completely disappeared. ☹️

  10. For a while I was buying one mystery box a day, then I upped it to 2. I kept track of each item and determined that I was getting a 1% bonus for every 7.5 donuts spent. After a while I got bored of doing that and stopped. I have Itchy and Scratchy signs and News Vans all over the place.
    I’ve been heavily donut farming for years now. Even buying all the premium characters every event I would earn a surplus of donuts every week. My bonus % recently hit 1000% and I have just over 50,000 donuts. I’ve totally stopped farming at this point, although I’m still running the XP collider because it more than pays for itself.
    I will probably never farm again, because I think I have more donuts than I will ever need at this point and it’s kind of tedious.
    FYI, prior to farming, I did buy a few donut packs, and some scratchers, so I’m not a total freeloader. I even bought the Jedediah Springfield pack (I thing it was $10).

  11. I agree with you, the Burns mystery box does yield the best bonus %. I have invested around 15000 donuts to increase my bonus % to over 3000%. I now KEM farm over 500 donuts a day. I also farm RTT with spare cash. I have around 775 news vans, and around 775 I&S billboards which take up 32 sections of land. I don’t know what to do with my 500+ Lard Lads. Aloha from Hawaii.

  12. I can not see buying anything in the vault that is currently available in the Mystery Box. In your example it would have cost you 120 donuts. With the Mystery Box at most you might have spent is 150, but you would also have 4 other items which is either (1) an item with bonus or (2) a building earning cash or (3) a skin earning Premium cash (and send you on another quest) or at least (4) prevents an unwanted item (e.g. Funzos) from filling your vault. And most items you don’t want in your town can be hidden. It would be a rear instance where you be better off buying the item from the vault.

    • Charles… sorry…but your example doesn’t consider the importance of just being able to get what you want, when you want it. As usual…you don’t factor the time involved…or the clutter factor. The vault allows you to get exactly what you want…with no clutter…on the first tap.

      You are also ignoring the fact that most of what is in the Yearbook, is stuff Inakready passed on for a reason. Your examples usually show signs of a hoarder’s mentality. More is better… no matter what.

      • Time factor? How much time more time does it take to buy 5 items versus 1? 2 minutes? Maybe 5 minutes to hide or store the 4 items you don’t want. If the item has a bonus the time you save earning your next donuts for the rest of the game will far exceed the time you need to hide the item so you don’t perceive “clutter”.

        The vault is limited to 4 items a week. It is great for getting multiples of item you like at a discount (for me it is police cars, ambulances). But even at a discount the whale is way more expensive than in the Mystery Box. Again, you waste time waiting for the items you want to appear when the slots in your vault is filled with items you don’t want. 🙂

        P.S. I know you like to be right. But are you not glad that you changed your mind about KEM farming and increasing your bonus?

        • Also you can always maniupulate the mystery box to give you five items you want, given enough refreshes. That takes a bit of time but for 150 donuts you get five items you’d be happy to have rather than 1 or 2 and a load of rubbish.

          • “That takes a bit of time”… it all takes time. And some of us don’t want any of the stuff we already passed on originally. So…hiding a few billboards or news vans is pretty simple stuff.

      • I leave the clutter in my storage and just try to put out stuff that I enjoy. At times, I’ve been a plopper with event-related stuff but typically I design what I want and when I want. My storage is chock full of characters and buildings and decorations that I just haven’t wanted to put out yet. Sounds stupid for me to be upping my % when I have a ton of % items in storage but I’m a strange bird.

        For me, more at hand is better – despite the probability that I’ll let it sit in storage. I don’t think anything from the Yearbook went into my town immediately (some characters do, I guess, automatically – them excluded). I just like having the legos to play with. To me, there are two sorta games going on: 1) messing around with donut count and %, and 2) using the fruits of those activitiies to do some fun designing. I like them both but 1) tends to be easier at any given time to mess with and 2) takes some creative spark 🙂

      • I got some items i could’t afford before i was donut farming. But a lot of things that are in that box i passed for them before, even if I could buy them. There is (for me) not much anymorei would go for

        • Same here. I did finally pull the trigger on the grave and Grimey. It was discounted down to 120 with the rebate…and offered a 3.5% bonus…and I was bored. But, mostly I was bored. REAlly bored.

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