Thursday Wednesday my friends! With the holiday tomorrow, I still wanted to write up another musings post for you. So this week I’m back with special Wednesday musings post. I’ve got some thoughts, so let’s get to ’em…
I want to do a few things with this post. And, like most of my musings lately, I may be a bit all over the place with my thoughts. So bear with me.
Let’s kick things off with my thoughts on All American Auction and Black Friday 2019. I’m going to separate the two because I think they both deserve equal attention and different grades. So let’s start with All American Auction.
I know we’re still a week away from the mini-event officially ending, but with the holiday here tomorrow and the intense likelihood that something will hit next week I wanted to get my thoughts out about this mini-event…while it was still going on.
I don’t want to have another THOH issue. You know waiting for the event to end to wrap it up, only to have EA drop another event in our laps before I could do so. Then we’re talking about Halloween in the middle of Thanksgiving and it’s a whole big mess. Kind of like the mess that happens when you leave the carved jack-o-lanterns outside until Thanksgiving….but I digress. (see Pat’s not the only one who can digress around here)
Back to All American Auction. I wrapped up the event myself, playing in real-time, last night. So I feel like I’m well equipped to write about it. Guys, I loved it. It was a top-notch mini-event, by mini-event standards, for EA. Great prizes, great dialogue, and good premium combo. Plus, it took a little longer to complete than some of the multi-events have. 200 point prize goals weren’t easily achieved when you could only earn 48 at a time (and that assumes you purchased the premium item). That little bit of stress/difficulty is what makes this game exciting.
So let’s break each of those areas down…
Prizes 1 Building, 1 Decoration, 1 new Animated task, a full character, and a mystery prize (or donuts)
The “building”, Swap Meet, which works nicely with some of the other street fair/booth type items we’ve gotten recently. (County fair, Chili Cookoff, Taste of Springfield, etc.) No permanent tasks there, which dings it a bit in my opinion, but still a fun item. Nice design work as well. Lots of little details that are fun to pick out.
The decoration, Swap Meet Stage, works well with the Swap Meet…obviously…and hosts the next prize.
The animated task…y’all the B Sharps are back! Yes, you could always send them to the Open Air Stage to do their Barbershop Quartet, but there’s something about the B Sharps Reunion outfits and performance that makes it feel extra special. I wish there was an easier way to send the 4 guys on the task, like tapping on the Swap Meet Stage (similar to Moe’s Express), but it’s still great!
The Character…Paul Bunyan. A FULL character for this game. Even if he looks just like Homer, anytime we get a new full character via a mini-event I’m happy. I love the attention to detail as well. Paul Bunyan is larger than everything else in Springfield. His task with Big Blue KILLS me. And he’s voiced. You couldn’t ask for more in a FREE character!
The mystery prize. Well, I’m not going to get too much into it here. Basically, it’s great if you’re missing items in the Gold Box. Otherwise, it’s a bit of a throwaway.
Guys, we all know this. The dialogue has been 🔥🔥🔥 all year. 2019…the year the Simpsons Writers gave a crap about TSTO again! 👏👏👏
CJ Pro Bidder (and the Storage Locker) is a fun addition. A bit of a “huh” character, but sort of makes sense in the scheme of things. (most of those Storage Locker guys sell their items at Swap Meets. In particular, Darrell (who I think CJ is based on) from the Original Storage Wars. He’s always talking about Swap Meets. And YES…I’ve watched a lot of Storage Wars in my day. You guys know I’m a reality TV Addict…)
Also, CJ is voiced. The standard price, voiced, fun animated tasks, decent building…you can’t ask for much more in a premium combo these days.
Overall, I give this mini-event a solid B. It gets dinged a bit from me because of the B Sharps task not being easily accessible, lack of a permanent task at the Swap Meet, and the Gold Token. And NO event gets an A from me until they fix that freaking noise at startup! I’m getting really annoyed hearing the birds chirping (and other noises) when I launch TSTO…with the freaking sound off! EA if you want an A from me…FIX THE DAMN NOISE!
If you wanna hear what I’m talking about, I played it on the last Addicts Live. Here’s the video…queued up to the point of the sound…
It should start at the 39:00 mark…
Now let’s jump the Black Friday 2019.
This aspect I’m not as fond of, so you’ll see why I wanted to separate the two.
First, let’s talk about the non-gold token mystery boxes. 15 total boxes and the VAST majority of the items were available in the Yearbook Mystery Box. Not much of a sale or deal to me. I get that they’ve done Black Friday boxes in the past…and these are the same boxes they’ve done for the last (at least) two years! So this was an easy “switch” to hit. I get it. But come on. A little creativity? Change it up at least a little bit! Have 1 or 2 boxes available for donuts, just full of items NOT in the Yearbook mystery box.
With regards to the Gold Mystery Box…the one available for tokens only. Come on EA. You want people to spend cash to get tokens. That’s the whole idea, right? I get it. I have zero problems with you trying to make money. I’m all for it. Incentivize those that will actually pay for this game to continue. But don’t fill the freaking box with items that are mostly available in the Yearbook Mystery box!
If you want people to drop cash, you’ve got to make it special! Throw some new items in there. Items that are unique only for cash purchases. Stuff you can only get if you spend money in the game. That will actually incentivize people to take a chance and drop some money in the game! Put the cash-only items from Black Friday 2018 in there. Put the other cash-only items in there. Add a couple of new ones.
Marketing 101…it’s not that difficult.
Onto the NEW Black Friday items. The cash-only prize track. This is the one element of Black Friday I liked. I appreciate when EA incentivizes and rewards players for spending money in the game.
With donut farming being widespread in TSTO, at this point, donuts are essentially a devalued currency in TSTO. So it’s nice to see a little incentive/reward for those who spend actual money in the game.
I know some of you will say “it’s not fair!”. Remember, EA is a business, not a charity. Before donut farming, you had to buy donuts. If you wanted something you could either save up a couple donuts at a time and use those, or you’d buy donuts.
Overall, I’d give Black Friday 2019 a D+. Really unimaginative and lacked appeal for players to dive into the Mystery Boxes. I hope EA retools it for next year and puts a little thought into it.
Wow, this post has gotten long…
I won’t take up too much more of your time reading this, but I wanted to take a minute (or several) to talk about Thanksgiving. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the US. It’s a time when we gather with our families, eat way too much food, and really just give thanks.
So in that spirit, I wanted to take a moment to give some thoughts about YOU. Yes, you the readers of TSTO Addicts.
I say it every year, but in this 7th year of TSTO Addicts (yes, this is the SEVENTH holiday season we’ve covered in TSTO), I’m truly grateful for all of you. Those of you who have been around since the beginning, those who hopped on at some point after that, and for those who just started reading…I’m truly grateful for each and every one of you.
Every day you give me an opportunity to do something that I love to do, and that’s writing and be creative.
It’s not always perfect, and I may complain about it from time to time, but deep down I love it. I love having space and platform to be creative, write down my thoughts, and share them with all of you. You’ve given me the opportunity to not only write, but run a website, host a podcast, create t-shirt designs, and really just have fun writing and talking about a silly little game.
I’m so grateful that you guys have allowed me to be a small part of your life over these last 7 holiday seasons. So thank you. And know that I love each and every one of you for being here. This site and all of you hold a special place in my heart now and forever.
So, even if you don’t celebrate it tomorrow, Happy Thanksgiving guys. Know that I’m eternally grateful for all of you and the opportunities you’ve given me through this site!
Thoughts? How would you grade the events? Sound off below, you know we love hearing from you!