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 for. NOT 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.
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.
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…