Friday Filler – When the Best Update of the Year Wasn’t

Thank Grog It’s Firday!

I want to start with a disclaimer right away.  This entire post may have been influenced by the fact that I have been inhaling epoxy fumes all week.  Kitchen counters and a host of detail additions to the new kitchen remodel will do that. I also admit it. I like the smell.  I used to build a lot of model airplanes when I was young. I never huffed…but certainly got happy once or twice putting the clear “dope” sealer on my balsa wood planes. But, I digress…

The real reason for this post should be obvious.  It is a clear and pointed op-ed on the state of TSTO, as it appears to signal in this most recent update.

I know I am not alone. But, after trying for months to put on my “happy face” about the game, it is time to be honest…and pragmatic…and serious.

I’ve made mention on a few of the most recent “Addicts Live” episodes that I think the game is in “Hospice Mode.”  The patient is most certainly circling in a death spiral, kept aloft by a handful of occasional thermal blasts from the writers, that give the impression of life, while remaining firmly in a coma and waiting for the plug to be pulled.

As of this year, we have had absolutely nothing worthy of the title of “TSTO MAJOR EVENT.”  They have all been multi-part snooze fests (which actually began during the Winter/Christmas event in 2018).  They have been four mini-events, rolled into one over-arching theme…that may or may not hold together…and have for the most part, been a balance of new (and not that exciting) content, along with a TON of old content.

This is fine for players who have played for less than three years. But, for many of the longest-term players (I just crossed 7 years), this is just a tad-bit insulting.

We are stuck in a “Catch 22” of a situation, in that many of the long-term players have reverted to Donut Farming as the content and game-play became boring and predictable (at least two years ago…and maybe longer).  The “Catch” is that if players stop giving EA money…there is no real reason for them to invest in programmers and graphic artists.  And, it is clear they have stopped.

Hell, even “TSTO John” has left the building…to be replaced by Abby…who sent us “insider info” that was rife with errors. John skeedadled…or simply got tired of being bothered by the morons on the TSTO Forum and Discord, and got Abby to do it. But, I digress…

I get the retread syndrome.  It gives newer players a chance to get items they missed in other updates.  But, that’s what the YEAR BOOK and the MYSTERY BOXES are forNOT THE MAIN PRIZE TRACK!!!!!

When I look at the list of “new” prizes that I can win by playing this event…it barely comes out to 50%. I have so much of this content from past THOH events, that there is little motivation to play.  So, I most likely won’t… very much.

I mean…YES…being able to buy a ton of Wailing Walls to increase your bonus is great (while it lasted) …if you could actually put them somewhere, without decimating your landscaping…due to the fact that they DIDN’T RAISE THE ITEM LIMIT!

I actually decided to sacrifice a ton of my bridges and highway water borders…so I could raise my Bonus %.

It left my town looking horrible…without real character.

But, I was able to increase my bonus % substantially…which means I can get more donuts faster.

I am doing this for one reason… I want GOD.

But, I’m not wiling to pay money for him (just as I don’t believe you need to tithe to be a good Christian).

So I will farm…Get God…and then store my walls, and replace my waterworks and bridges.

Yep. It’s time to talk about the most expensive Premium Item in the history of TSTO.

God Almighty.

So…do you think that EA is sending us a message?  Does a patient “see God” right before they pass to the other side? I’m not sure about that.

As many of you know…I had an NDE in the mid-1990s…and got the distinct impression that most of the “God” stuff was not exactly as we have been taught. I came away with an amazing amalgamation of Quantum Physics, Religion, and more questions than answers. I became aware of the fact that the terms “God” and “Heaven” were profoundly insufficient to explain the totality of what I experienced. It pretty much made me look at “God” and religion more closely, along with science, and a whole new appreciation for the phrase, “God is Everywhere…and in Everything.”  I’ll stop there…for now.

But, what I also have come to realize in the 20+ years since my experience, is that you get joy by giving the same. You experience the best of life, when you learn to appreciate the little things, which are often as miraculous as the big, obvious things.

So…let me temper my TSTO rant, with the appreciation that the game still exists at all.

But, like watching someone you love age, lose a step…and then lose a lot of steps, and a lot more…you have to appreciate what they were, along with whatever is left of their current selves.   People, like almost everything in existence, have a cycle.  And it is clear that we are watching the final gasps of a game that used to be great…gave us infinite joy…and now, is simply suffering from a lack of sustaining resources. They pulled the feeding tube a while ago. The writers are just working and reworking the eulogy.

Yes, the writers still write. Some would argue that this is some of the best writing of the 7 year history. But writing alone does not a great game make. It takes twists, turns, clever programming, and challenges that are worthy of our time.

Bliss-Ninnies be damned. It is almost cruel to watch a once great entity be forced to keep “getting out of bed” only to repeat the same sad, predictable soft shoe shuffle, over and over and over. Left, right, count to four…repeat.

I loved this game. I truly appreciated the untold hours we have spent together in this strange “relationship.” And, like a good friend…I will continue to visit and support it until someone else pulls the plug.  But, I don’t think we are too far off.

When God shows up…that can’t be a good thing.

So…this “faceless” bearded dude…who simply proclaims “I am,” has a way of making even the most agnostic person among us take pause.  The fact is, we really don’t know all of the answers…and likely never will. Creation is such an amazing miracle, that it all but laughs in the face of anyone claiming that it is all just a series of random sequences, started by a singularity.  The math involved to get from point Alpha to point Zed (or whichever point we currently inhabit), to become who and what we are today…INCLUDING the infinite number of single cell, and even sub-atomic particles with sentient properties…is beyond our ability to conceive or believe.  But, that doesn’t stop us.

So full of hubris is mankind, that we think we are the dominant factor in this universe. We are, in fact, more fragile than the smallest bit of bacteria floating across a seemingly infinite expanse of space and time.

But, because of our hubris…we also feel entitled to be entertained. After all…didn’t we take the time to download and throw a few bucks at this thing we call TSTO?  They OWE us something better…right?

Nope. We have all received our just reward several times over. We chose to invest the time. We chose to vest in the possible outcomes, all outside of our control. And we all chose to make the game something more…

If the game comes to its logical conclusion…I will mostly miss the community of friends that it created as a byproduct.  We are now, in many ways bigger than the game itself. It brought us together. It made us care. And for that, I will always be thankful.

So…I’ll play.  I’ll farm to get God. And I’ll simply keep visiting. Until they pull the plug.

And for those of you interested in why I was inhaling fumes all week…the Kitchen Project is coming along.

Gone are the horrible press-board cabs with their weird plastic laminate coating and hideous Formica counter tops.

In their place…new full wood construction cabs…with quartz counter tops and an island (Mrs Miller’s suggestion). 


PHASE 3.7…cutting a hole in the wall for the French Doors…
Bring on the Saws-All! Then flooring…and crown molding…and loads of trim. 

And…if you rattle enough walls, large, hairy visitors come out to see what’s going on.  This guy (a giant house spider) or gal…mostly likely a gal actually…was captured and released in the shrubs across the street. We don’t kill spiders in our house.  They eat the bad bugs…right?

OK. Back to Grinding for God…and then I’ll take a rest. I have flooring to do…and trim…and moulding…and lighting. No time to play a “silly game” that has all but croaked right in front of us.

Keep on Tappin’!  Or don’t…

101 responses to “Friday Filler – When the Best Update of the Year Wasn’t

  1. Patric,
    I also thought getting God was a waste of donuts, but I broke down and got him. After TSO made the mistake with the wailing and gave me 2100% bonus I can farm 1000 donuts a day at least. God pays 777777 per 24 hours times 2100% gives me crazy amounts of money with my xp multiplier on.

  2. Your house is really going to look great when you cut that large doorway! What a difference it’s going to make. Great job! 👍👏 RachelS

  3. I don’t want the game to end and because donut farming is so easy, EA needs to make a few new items premium, as in straight cash Homey, for a couple months before opening it up to purchase via donuts. People who have expendable cash and love the game can keep that revenue coming in.

  4. I will say this particular event is good so far to me. Several items you were limited in getting in prior events (walls, spooky forests and trees) can now be purchased in abundance with get this… normal currency. I experienced the donut glitch issue myself for a few days but that was cleared up by EA earlier today so I have indeed purchased GOD (seems immoral in a way to say that). I already have the Devil and Jesus so why break up the set. I am also good with the fact events have slowed down, seems like you were always jumping from one event to the next and not being able to catch up with using items and creating a city. I agree the app is certainly on the downswing but its been around for a long time and we have had some great events. I will continue to support the app til the final nail is in its coffin because it still gives me a reason to visit and characters to collect. I’m only missing Dr.Terwilliger and Barbarian so to those contemplating a character purchase I would say do so if you have the donuts because some of the characters have not returned.

  5. Nice work on the kitchen.
    Before the event hit my second game hit the max $ amount. I had stopped charging the colliders on all my games.

    With the wall glitch I up my five games to at least 5000, some close to 6000%. I turned the collider back on. But the downside is when I hit “the finger” it can take a few minutes as I collect between 30 to 50 donuts.

    You know the game is ending when they add Muhammad.

    • I didn’t mention the “faceless” part randomly. Seems they are afraid to upset those who would seek revenge for showing God’s face.

      Weird world.

  6. I bought this one because it will make me look for God everyday…

  7. I have been playing for almost 7 years so I remember the Golden Years of Tapped Out and it is barely a shadow of what it once was. Yet I continue to play, if not as frequently or fervently (which has lead to my missing the Golden Goose and the recent accidental Wailing Walls deal). I have bought donuts occasionally the whole time. I understand the mechanics of “farming” and have done it to a limited extend with Rat Trap Trucks, but it seems like the whole process makes the game more work than play. There’s also something to be said for not having everything. Still, I wanted God and only had about 500 donuts, so I decided to buy the Spooky deal to have enough to get God and to support the game a bit. Thanks to the glitch, I’m still waiting for my donuts and I resorted to farming to get the donuts I needed for God (what a drudge). The inept handling of my case has me on the verge of simply cancelling the purchase through Apple, but I want to support the game even though this update is rather bland. I’ve watched as the vast majority of things I love slowly decline into mediocrity, so perhaps I’ve come to accept disappointment as continual part of life. Sure, Tapped Out it isn’t as great as it once was, but what is?

    • So many things… Netflix has changed TV/Movies…Amazon has changed the way we shop. And all of it gives me far more pleasure than spending money on a game that is clearly “phoning it in.”

      It really is sad. The golden era is long gone…

    • After four correspondences with three different customer support people, I requested a refund through Apple. I foresee Tapped Out joining the Family Guy game (and Futurama) in my discard pile.

  8. We may never know but is it possible that the changing of seasons, tappable NPCs for resources, and the friend town actions were all causing major issues on the backend and so they did away with it? So we got vanilla tsto…

    The bart screen seems to happen to me when there is too much floating stuff on my screen and a donut round kicks in. Rather than handle the transition, their servers just boot you off.

    They will have to make a tsto V2 if they can’t fix this game engine which is ancient in game terms.

    • My guess, is that the servers were downgraded…and they simply can’t handle the load of bouncing back and forth between the data servers and the origin servers. Load balancing is clearly not their forte.

  9. So… like most of us here, I have always feared the BSOD to the point where I just expect it. I can always count on being kicked out multiple times as I collect from my massive KEM farm. But, today, amidst my collecting I didn’t see the screen once. Not. One. Time.
    I know the word “literally” is kicked around a lot these days and people only use it to emphasize a point, it drives me nuts.
    But I, LITERALLY, can’t remember the last time I didn’t see the bsod. Sign of good things to come? Not holding my breath, but I am crossing my fingers . 😀

  10. Does anyone know if the $19.99 donut buy glitch has been fixed?

  11. Currently farming 202 KEMs per cycle to get to the 777 donuts!

  12. Who remembers that bygone era when updates came with seasonal changes to the game too.? I miss the ghostly, eerie Halloween vibe and I guess Christmas will have blazing sun……..🍁🧡X

  13. ditto.

  14. I think there should be a separate section of this blog for people to discuss the “game is ending conversation” because sometimes it seems that’s all I read! Maybe it is maybe it isn’t! I do see everyone’s view point but it’s hasn’t ended yet. I get older players are frustrated maybe it’s time for them to take a break. As a relatively new player having to hear the game is ending constantly gets frustrating. I know everyone is entitled to their opinion, but sometimes its annoying to constantly read. This is not directed at anyone it’s just a general statement. Maybe I’m cranky today or maybe I’m just tired of reading the game is ending and want to play and have some fun hear how people’s games are going, designing, what characters you like and don’t like, how many pumpkins you have did you design for Halloween etc. Thanks for letting me get that out. Happy Day Friends and Happy Tappin! 🎃👻💀☠️😈🧟‍♀️🧟‍♂️

    • Unfortunately some people will always be chicken little… until they get eaten by foxy loxy.

    • “Ending” is a relative term. It’s why I keep using the expression “hospice.“ A patient can be in hospice, and alive, for a very long time… Beating the odds. And in fact that person can survive much longer statistically, if they have a small but loyal group of people who continue to support their extended existence.

      But quantity of life versus quality of life, is exactly what’s at stake here. Anyone who denies that the game has been lackluster, repetitive, and unimaginative, over the last year and more, clearly didn’t play the game four years ago. The game can stay in this static repetitive mode for months, and maybe years. Certainly, it may stay “alive” as long as the Simpsons TV show remains on the air. But don’t get me started on this year’s THOH episode… It too was really lacking.

      Maybe this is just me and old age… But I don’t want to be one of those old people who gets up… Has coffee… Walks outside to feed the pigeons… Goes home… And goes to bed, only to repeat the cycle the next day until I croak. Quality versus quantity. Sometimes there’s no dignity in quantity.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        I’m hoping Disney breathes new life into the game. I may be proved wrong, but I’m going to keep positive for now.

        Yes, life is about quality over quantity. That’s why I always use all of my vacation time to travel with my wife. And on our trips we don’t rush here and there, we take our time and savor. We were just in San Francisco last week and met wonderful people from the UK, and another couple from Sacramento.

        • Nice!! Deb and I like traveling on the “blue highways” (non freeway) when we drive to new places. You see the REAL people in a place…not just the crabby, aggressive types looking to zig and zag for an extra slot in the lemming line.

          • Rusty Shackleford

            Yeah, I was driving on the 101 to head North and I got rudely cut off by someone in a huge SUV with a prominent “coexist” bumper sticker.

            We got a good laugh from that. Luckily it was my only day to drive. For the rest we used Uber or Muni to get around.

            It’s great meeting nice people. For me it restores my faith in humanity. Better yet, we now have invites to our new friend’s homes in the UK and Lake Tahoe.

            We once met a couple in the airport who happened to be from our hometown. That was 7 years ago and we still get together with them twice a year for dinner.

            It’s nice knowing people can still come together and get to know each other, learn new things, and really talk —without staring into phones!

            • And…there is tons of research that shows those who build relationships live longer. So keep chatting up strangers who become friends. It’s all good!

    • Too right Snugs. I’ve been playing for years and the “game is ending” stuff does my head in Particularly when it comes from people who say “I don’t know why anyone would spend money on this game anymore”. Its not rocket science.

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