Friday Filler – When In Doubt…Purloin!

In this week’s edition of DID (Designing In Downtime)  FRIDAY FILLER we are going to cover the age-old designing tool of “borrowing ideas” from others, to spark your own creativity.

OK. Why the cross-out and flip from a DID to a Filler? Because, this is timely and topical…and we GOT AN UPDATE. I truly didn’t have faith in EA (and apparently, the writers) to actually come through, even with the tease.  So…ironically…I am going to be writing about “Borrowing” while doing so from myself!

Borrowing is such a nice way of saying “stealing.”  But, I even like the word “purloined” better, because it is an amazingly obscure, and underutilized word in the English language (that mostly makes people run and look it up when used).

But, as my job here is to serve the community, I will look it up for you.

pur·​loin | \ (ˌ)pər-ˈlȯin  , ˈpər-ˌlȯin\
purloined; purloining; purloins
Definition of purloin – transitive verb
: to appropriate wrongfully and often by a breach of trust

Synonyms for purloin
appropriate, boost [slang], filch, heist, hook, lift, misappropriate, nick [British slang], nip, pilfer, pinch, pocket, rip off, snitch, steal, swipe, thieve

I have to admit, that in the case of what I am going to write today, purloined may be the very best word possible to represent the content. While you have to love a good “filch” or even “filch’s” lesser cousin “pilfer”, purloin, and the whole “breach of trust” bit, just fits best.

A lot has transpired since the last DID post…and purloining seems to be the least of it.

As you may or may not recall, the topic of “Tagging” has been at the forefront of a raging debate over two primary questions; “To tag or not to tag,” and “Should we allow The Tag-Averse”  their own “Tag Free Neighbor Request” zone.

But, we’ll get to that in a bit…as I am as sick of talking about it, as you are of reading about it.

What happened on the heals of this “controversy” was an amazing bit of fun that took place while I was not having much fun (driving to and from my friend’s funeral), in the form of a hilarious TAG-A-THON, that basically required you to tag your neighbors, record the tags, and send “picture proof” of the deed.

People had a blast (not so much the Tag-Averse…but you could have guessed that on your own).

What became evident very early on , was that people jumped into the fun, and a great deal of neighbor interactivity was accomplished.  In short, it gave the game of TSTO, a much-needed boost, during a time when the game was gasping for “update air.”

But let’s be clear…as it pertains to DID activity, it’s important to “stop and smell the spray paint, while you’re tagging.”  This will of course get you high…and make you want to spend a bit of time, actually looking at your neighbor’s towns. Appreciating the very best, even in towns that offer little or no “genius” is easily accomplished…especially if you have smelled a lot of paint fumes.

It is from THERE that you can “Purloin Your Way to New Design Ideas!”

And let’s face it…there are a TON of great ideas that we see, every time someone posts a town screen shot.

My hope is that our overall winner, krustoferson123, took the time to Stop, Peak and Purloin long enough to get some great design ideas.

And in full disclosure, while we work hard to be “the originators,” of great ideas and concepts, there are only so many things you can do during downtime. And I for one, am not above a bit of “Friendly Purloining” from other places…even “The Forum.”

In general, I ignore the Forum, and their darker cousin, “Discord.”  It is for the most part, a place inhabited by folks who are less about community, and more about being part of a “semi-secret community” who fall more into the “True Gamer” mentality than our community here.  While hardcore gamers often have little else in their lives…and forums and secret chat rooms give them some misplaced sense of “being special,” we are who we are, and they are who they are, and never the twain shall meet.


During the raging debate over “Anti-Tagging Territory” we became aware of a couple of regular forum types, who did their best to keep the pot stirred (even going to far as to change their ID’s on a handful of comment posts, while accusing us of deleting comments).  I won’t go so far as to call them out personally, as that would go against the very thing that makes me nuts about the “Anti-Tagging” sub-set.

But, while cross-checking IDs from the accusers, I did find a post on the forum that was “Purloin Worthy,” Which I will post here.

For the sake of not calling out the poster as one of the “cross-posters” I will remove the name from the post.  While some would call this censorship, I call it “protecting the less-than-innocent.”  It also saves you from having to dip your toes into the maelstrom of crazy that is the Forum.

TSTO Forum- May 9th

While we ponder the fate of the game, here’s a starter list of things you can do to keep playing, and hopefully enjoying, the game. While there are lots of long time, high level players here who might have done all this, I bet there’s plenty who haven’t, so here goes:

  • Design! (obviously). This can range from cleaning up a messy town to a total nuke and rebuild. You can also do things you’ve been meaning to for awhile, such as moving everything over that one square to fix your monorail, or finally make it work throughout your whole town after years of faithfully playing the railyard. Are you donut rich now? Maybe swap out some cheaper decorations for more expensive and nicer ones. (I could make a whole post of suggestions on this one!)
  • Also a form of designing: Make a special area or message for a special friend or loved one. Or check out the various guides on 2D or 3D designing and challenge yourself to do something really cool. Add heights and depths to your town, play with perspective, make windy paths in KL, etc.
  • Have you really finished all there is to do in the game? Meaning:
    – Road to Riches
    – Friendship Prizes
    – SH Heights: Do you have Paris Texan? Have you ground your way all the the way to 2B? Have you built and upgraded all buildings, including the beach hideaways? Expanded all the land and water? Stockpiled materials in case of an expansion event?
    – Fully upgraded the Giant Redwood Tree?
    – Full upgraded the IRS?
    – Fully upgraded the Burns Money Mountain and got the gorilla vest skin?
    – Finished all outstanding tasks other than the ones you’re intentionally keeping open?
    – Maxed out your in game cash?
    – Stockpiled enough donuts to survive the next time Homer nukes the town?
    – Expanded every square of land?
  • Empty the yearbook and design or store everything received
  • Buy mystery boxes or other items to boost your bonus %
  • Spend time manually putting characters on all your favourite tasks you may not have seen for awhile, or in skins you’ve been neglecting
  • Play neighbour games. This can be a bit difficult as you need to neighbour up and communicate somehow (i.e. through here), but you can play hide and seek for special items or messages, tag each other’s buildings, etc. Go to each neighbour and post one area of their town you love in a special thread that can be created for this.

While most of these suggestions fall into the Uhm…Well…DUH!! category…it is fascinating to me that one of his suggestions is to Tag Each Other’s Buildings.”

Now…while I am partial to this concept…it is ironic, that the writer of this very post, was one of the loudest, most long-winded detractors during my last post about tagging.  But, I get it. There is a very specific contingent of players from the UK (and  few other places) that simply hate what I write…no matter what it says.  Does this make me Cranky?  Does it make me Growly?  Nope. It’s a personal choice for them to hate indiscriminately…and mine to point it out. But, I digress…

In the end…Tagging is a also personal choice.  But, it would appear that when it comes to the question, “Should We Eliminate the Specific Vandalism Free Add a Friends Page from TSTOAddicts?” the poll pretty much told the story.

Most want this contentious zone removed…while others don’t care.

But…before you assume that it will be removed (and remember what the word Ass-U-Me does to the assume(r).  Read carefully what Alissa wrote before the poll………..”So what about the future of the Vandalism Free Add Friends Page?  Well I’ll leave that up to you…sorta.  Ultimately I’m going to make the call, it is my site, but your voice does matter to me.  So answer the poll question here…and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments…and we’ll decide what to do about it.”

So…it may go. It may stay.  But, the fact is, driving through 900  miles of open desert…on the way to the funeral of my close friend…I realized that there is beauty in friendship. There is beauty in community. There is beauty in design, and the freedom to design as you wish…when you wish…how you wish.

And most important, whether the assclowns at EA/Gracie ever give us another update or not, I cherish the friendships and fun we have had here.

(Yep…this was going to be another taunt to get them to give us an update…which they did…hence the cross-out). 

If tagging or not tagging really is the most important thing to anyone…they have missed the point.

I was TSTO Free from Friday morning thru Sunday night. But, when I came back to find all of the fun I missed with the “Tag-A-Thon,” I smiled.  In the end…it’s all about having fun…and enjoying the wide range of ways to play this game of life.

AND…after watching the E3 interviews with the Simpon’s writers, I have to say, that when it comes to EALPish behavior from EA, apparently, there is plenty of blame to be placed back on the writers, who all but admitted the delays were in part to their own SWLWS.  (Simpson’s Writers Lazy Writer Syndrome).

But, even more important, Matt Selman really put things into perspective in regards to taking any of this too seriously. His quote sounded like it could have come out of my own mouth. He was proud of an update he wrote for the game where he basically made fun of people who spent too much real money on Premium content. He said, “Time is the Ultimate Premium Currency…it’s the Premium Currency of Not Being Dead.”

So…yes…I should  take a lesson from my own book, the next some forum pinhead starts to prattle on about how we should post, deal with comments, or play the game.  Life is just too short for such silliness.

Be happy that the game continues. It is a gift from the writers and EA to keep it alive this long. Anybody with a skewed sense of entitlement to the contrary is really misguided, and missing the point.

Don’t worry about others. Play your way. And, don’t forget to Stop, Peak and Purloin! 

But most important…don’t waste “Life Currency” on things that don’t matter.

20 responses to “Friday Filler – When In Doubt…Purloin!

  1. “el Barto” as a former tagger I love tagging my neighbors… it reminds me of childhood.. lol

  2. Thanks for your thoughts Patric ❤

  3. Is Tagging in your Neighboreenos Springfield silly? Absolutely! But it’s fun (almost as fun as that Halloween Event where we got to Tap certain Buildings in your Friend’s Springfield and toilet paper them (lol!) 😂

    Is there truly anything left to purloin? Well, I agree with Patric in that if I see a great idea in a Friend’s Springfield, that I’m going to purloin that idea (and give credit to the source). 👍

    Am I shocked that Tagging “El Barto” sort of became a hot debate in TSTO Addicts? YES – there’s so much 💩 going on in the real world that needs fixing and that truly deserves more of your attention than what goes on in a Game App – and NO – as that topic basically opened Pandora’s Box (lol!)😉

    I’m just going to wish my fellow Tappers a nice Summer … don’t melt, don’t overheat, have fun, be safe 😊

  4. Or one suggestion that I’ve made several times— there should be a way to message your neighbors. I used to play Mystery Manor, and there was a “wall” where you could write to your game friends. Some of us became friends in RL from that wall. It was so fun to meet people from all over the world. And it was handy to be able to tell people you were going on vacation, and would be back in a week to visit their mansion.

  5. I’m from the UK and I really enjoy your posts, thank you for telling it is it is

    • Thanks, Michael. There is a very small contingent from the UK site, that are pretty much “anti-Patric,” no matter what I write. Must be because my people are from Wales? In any case…it is a very small contingent, and I should point out that many of my favorite neighbors are from the UK.

  6. At some point a long time ago I decided I’d stop setting items down in an aesthetically pleasing way until I had absolutely everything the game had to offer. But now, as I increase my inventory and my town becomes more of a cluttered mess, I’m wondering if I’ve already spent enough “Life Currency” just playing the game… Who knows if I’ll ever finally pull through with one grand design, it’s a daunting task.

    • The “Life Currency” part of things is really starting to play a larger role in my life…so, I’m really liking these kinds of events.

  7. krustoferson123

    I’m a horrible designer. I’m a CPA and my numbers brain is about the opposite of artistic. I saw some amazing Springfields as I looked for Moe’s, S. Elem., police station and town hall in friends I would normally hit the first three houses that popped up and moved on. I’m so impressed with some of the things I saw, 3d in 2d somehow with hedges, great monorails, etc.. It was awesome. So I may be known as the first ever tapathon guy, but I’ll never win awards for my designs, but I enjoy seeing my neighboreeno’s great work, and if I see a spray paint bottle you better believe it’s getting tapped! I leave all four of mine close to where folks come in so they can return the favor. I love mopping up!

  8. There was an event a couple of years ago where we got to visit random, non-neighboreeno towns, and I LOVED it! I *purloined* many a design idea during that event but I can’t recall which it was.
    I enjoy the quests and the characters but my true love is town design. EA if you ever see this, better inventory management and the ability to zoom out a little more would make this tapper so very happy!

  9. Keith1Roon991

    So true, live life, today I brought my wife home from hospital after her 2nd breast cancer op, I have never felt happier to have her home, I alway enjoy your post, brings things into perspective when the road isn’t that clear, tomorrow is going to be a joyous day spent with my wife of 25 years and we are thankfull, I might even tag a few friends and nick a few ideas 😀

  10. Rusty Shackleford

    Awhile back I mentioned that it would be nice if EA updated the game such that we get 10 random neighbors per week. It would make it so easy to steal—er, purloin,—other people’s designs.

    EA, if you are listening, please add this feature!

    • Another idea would be to bring back neighbor interactions during events. Also make them a little more important during events. Maybe make the first event of a multiple event strictly neighbor oriented? Not sure how it would work but that’s the writer’s job lol

Leave a Reply