New Year, New Musings…

Happy Musings Thursday my friends!  I’m back with another musings post.  I’ve got some thoughts, so let’s get to ’em…

Happy New Year friends!  I hope you all had a safe and enjoyable New Year’s celebration, and I wish you all nothing but health and happiness for 2020 (and beyond)!

A new year often brings new resolutions.  For some, they’ll make a list of resolutions…that they won’t keep.  Others will make resolutions that they will keep.

Personally, I don’t make resolutions.  Just like I don’t give things up for Lent.  I feel like making resolutions (or giving things up for Lent) is just setting yourself up for failure.  And the list is just a constant reminder of your failures.  So instead, I just try every day to be the best version of myself I can be.  Sometimes I succeed…and often I fall flat on my face.

No matter your stance, or feelings on resolutions the new year is a chance for a new and fresh start.

And it’s the perfect time for a new fresh start in TSTO.

This February will mark 8 years of TSTO.  This game was released on “leap day” in 2012…February 29th.  How fitting it would be, that as we’re approaching another “leap day” if TSTO returned to its former glory?

You guys have been around here a while.  You know we’re not asking EA for the moon.  That’s George Bailey’s job.  No, we’ve all been asking for the same things over and over.  In some ways, they’ve listened…and in other ways they’ve taken giant steps backward.

Let’s take a moment to see how EA has listened to us over the past year…

-4-week Events

Let’s all acknowledge that 6 weeks was WAY to long for an event.  Despite the format, I think we can all agree that 4 weeks is the way to go.  And I for one am grateful EA listened to us on this one.

No More Crafting

Guys, I hate crafting.  And I know some of you love crafting and that’s ok.  The reason I hate crafting so much is because of in-game cash.  We have millions upon millions of useless in-game cash just sitting there.  I’d much rather have items I can buy for in-game cash, then grind for a specific event for crafting currency.

EA shifted away from crafting in 2019, and I’m grateful for that change.

1 Prize Track, with no timer

Ok, so we technically have more than 1 prize track for events.  4 to be exact.  BUT each prize track has a timer the length of the event.  Which is nice. It’s fun because you had an entire event to work on the overall prize goal, and allows you to miss a day without worrying about getting screwed by the Act Timer.  It’s a fair way of doing things for players new and old.

Collect All, Sky Finger

This is one of my favorite 2019 additions to TSTO.  I love the collect all button.

Town Portrait

This would be my second favorite addition to TSTO in 2019.  I love the ability to easily take a photo of my entire Springfield in one shot.

Now here are the areas they haven’t exactly listened to us on…and we really hope they will in the new year…

– Stick to a cohesive theme, and forget the multi-event format

I think we can all agree that we love the 4-week length for major events.  It’s not too short, and not too long.  But I think we can also agree that the multi-events have lost their luster.  They lack a cohesive theme and get boring quickly.

It would be great in 2020 if EA picks a theme and sticks with it.  Find characters/buildings/decorations that work together…don’t just throw crap against the wall to see what sticks.

– Bring Back Community Prizes and not in the half-assed way they were done for Tap Ball.  The REAL Community Prizes we saw during Halloween and Christmas 2013. 

There’s not much else to say about these other than they were awesome.  Kept everyone tapping with a specific Community Goal in mind.  Everyone worked together to unlock prizes as a group.  It was fun and it kept players engaged.

– Better Neighbor Interaction 

In the past, we were able to do things like egg a neighbor’s brown house or TP their elementary school.  Now we just tap and run.  Really, it’s gotten to a point where visiting neighbors is almost pointless.

TSTO is different than other games BECAUSE of neighbor actions.  It’s what has allowed for the community feeling in TSTO.  Those other games, from that miniature company, don’t allow for neighbors to interact the same way.  Visiting neighbors in those games, if you can visit them, literally means nothing.  In TSTO it used to mean a great deal.  For Halloween 2013 you could possess their buildings and they’d earn Goo.  For Christmas 2013 you could leave them presents for more event currency.

Make Neighbor’s important again. Bring back fun ways to interact, like leaving gifts (that are easy to find…some of the stuff recently has had a timer and has been difficult to find.  I’m talking about you, stupid lawyers).  In today’s world, we could use to be closer to our neighbors, not further apart.

-Bring Back Hidden Easter Eggs

Finding free donuts in TSTO because of a hidden Easter Egg is a blast.  We’ve had a few during events in the past…during Halloween 2013 there were donuts rewarding for correctly guessing who should confess, during Stoneutters they were awarded for tapping the Stonecutter table 10 times while the appropriate Stonecutters were signing and there have been others.  This has always been a fun scavenger hunt way to get players engaged in various things while playing an event.

– Bring Back Riddles/Puzzles To Unlock Bonus Prizes (ala Stonecutters)

This was one of the coolest things EA ever did, answer a riddle (by sending a character on a task) to unlock bonus prizes.

Bring this back.  Players really loved it and still talk about how awesome it was today.

We’re not mindless idiots, we grow tired of “tap and wait, tap and wait”…puzzles/riddles/other challenging elements give an element of fun and excitement to the game.

Bring Back Characters Being Possessed/Attacked/Zombie’d  etc by Neighbors When You’re Away From Your Town

These were great.  For various Halloween events, characters would get bitten by Zombies (2012), possessed by ghosts (2013) or attacked by an alien (2014)…while these were only done for Halloween somewhere along the line they stopped.  Bring them back.

Oh, and while you’re at it…bring back trick or treating costumes…


A Search Feature In Inventory  AND A Way to Delete/Sell All Items In Inventory

Let’s face it, we’ve been playing TSTO for a LONG time.  So naturally, we’ve accumulated a lot of stuff from our TSTO adventures.  Who could forget those pink fountains or that construction yard or even that larger than life gingerbread mansion?

I love the memories made in TSTO over the years, but they’re just that, memories to me.  Some items are better off as memories than features in my Springfield.  It would be great if there was a way to sell some of those old items to keep my inventory down.  So when I look for items I really need that I’ve stored away, like those special fences or trees, I can quickly find them. Of course, a search feature (where you can type in what item you’re looking for, not physically scan for it) would be handy for this as well.  If I can’t have both, I’ll take either.

In the end guys, I’m not asking EA to make silly resolutions that likely won’t be kept.  Instead, I just want them to put the best version of themselves into this game with every update.  The updates may be great, and the updates may fall flat on their face…but if they put the best version of TSTO out, that we all know they’re capable of, then we all win.

Thoughts?  Ideas for EA?  Do you make resolutions?  Stick to them?  How do you plan to make a fresh start in 2020?

41 responses to “New Year, New Musings…

  1. Please EA BRING BACK GOLDEN GOOSE REALTY. We want to play this game. Without land and GGR, it’s pretty much pointless to play. It takes the joy out of playing because you can’t expand every time there is a new event. No one wants to start storing buildings.

    Please bring back GGR, EA. It would be the best New Years present and I think all the players would agree.

  2. I would love the return of The Golden Goose Realty – fingers crossed!

  3. All I want is a way to get land tiles, whether by buying them, earning them by regular tasks, or the rerelease of GGR.

    I’ve completed the yearbook, and have some of the items in storage, with the rest just crammed in as close of possible without any design elements at all, and its looking a mess in places.

    I am just accumulating cash, (nearly 2 billion) and donuts, (over 1,500), with very little I can do with either as I don’t have any space for new items.

    I can’t convert the cash into donuts as I have no space for farming, and any new buildings go into storage. It’s getting a bit meh.

  4. I reckon this may be going the same way as the Futurama game, fillers until virtually nothing. Futurama just got a new character to add to the game after probably 6 months. Shame, I love this game.

  5. I would like to tap on a building and be able to send anyone with a task there.

    At Christmas bring back building lights/decorations. Maybe have someone design the event who doesn’t hate Christmas.

  6. Let us be able to get all missing items we need again. I have been playing since May 2013 and still not get Respectable Moe, Christmas Volcano, and Zombies, trolls, etc from past Halloween events. Nor certain character combos after the event ended. I would love to complete my character collection with the missing NPC’s.

    Also please stop only offering premium combos. Luckily EA has always giving me the item in the combo I do not have. I see lots of readers having this problem every time a combo is offered. Example: This year a combo was offered for the Nightmare House and Bart the Raven. I was not offered this combo as I owned the Nightmare House. I had to contact EA had a long drawn out process just to get my character collection complete for the Bart Raven. They should just offer Bart Raven to me at the same donut price as the combo. just think of the players who did not know something they wanted was released and they need or want one of those items and never get a chance to purchase the item because they own the other item in the combo.

  7. I agree with much of Alissa’s post as well as many of the earlier comments.

    EA needs to drop the stale multi-event format and introduce a better inventory/storage option. This Xmas event has been totally lame, worse than last year’s Xmas event (which began the string of endless multi-events). For the first time ever, I used donuts to speed up an act (the final one) out of pure boredom. I only use donuts if I have only a few event currently left (i.e. 89 event currency out of 100) and the leftover currency doesn’t count for the next round. I did get Aaron Burr though but still I sped through the act. I miss shooting elves out of cannons, the Casino mini-games, Stonecutter riddles, and all the other unique features that once made events interesting.

    A few more options EA could do to improve Tapped Out this year:

    – instead of just giving characters 4hr tasks during events, they can have additional 8hr, 12hr, and 24hr tasks that earn event currency. Let Tappers tap on their own time as not everyone has the time to login every 4hrs.

    – have other characters participate in events instead of just the main Simpson family/Flanders/Milhouse/Moe/Apu/etc. I get helping new players but there are other freemium characters in the game like Chalmers, Martin, Nelson, Lenny, Carl, Mrs Krabappel, Dr. Hibbert, Janey, Dolph, etc. It’s always 7-8 characters plus 1 Premium character that is never used again for major events.

    – better Town Census (I’ve said this countless times, scrolling A-Z for characters is tedious especially with more characters being added)

    – Do something about those “Send All Springfielders to…”tasks, EA!

    – “Select All” for character tasks

    – could EA reduce the size of the “Thumbs Up”, “XP”, and “Cash” icons? Maybe that help reduce the lag since it takes forever to collect every XP/Cash icon with so many characters/buildings.

    – Maybe give each character 16 hr or 20 hr tasks? Oh and no more “Joint tasks” (requiring another character).

    – no more 4hr tasks in buildings (there’s more than enough of them; maybe change it up here and add 3hr, 6hr, 8hr, 10hr, etc building tasks.)

    – Upgrade the Sky Finger statue so the player can tap it every 4 hrs (or every 1 hr). The IRS building was similarly upgraded.

    – Human skin outfit for Maude (how she appeared during the 1st 11 seasons). Other Premium characters like Otto and Barney have an alternate skin. No excuses Simpson writers/EA!

    – fill in the missing tasks for certain characters (i.e. Gummy Joe finally getting a 24 task, C.H.U.M. gets 12 hr and 24 hr solo tasks and no longer requiring Martin, etc)

    – More land for Springfield Heights

    For all of my complaints about this game after 5+ years of playing, I am grateful that EA finally did something about the Bart Screen of Death. Otherwise, I would have quit the game for good.

    • fill in the missing tasks for certain characters (i.e. Gummy Joe finally getting a 24 task, C.H.U.M. gets 12 hr and 24 hr solo tasks and no longer requiring Martin, etc). And Oh and no more “Joint tasks” (requiring another character).

      Thank you. I highly agree!!!

  8. It has been a long time since I made a new years resolution. (I cant recall how many years). Oddly enough I have been able to keep that one. Compare that to all the preceding resolutions that I failed to keep.

    You would think that with that success I would be eager to try more.

    However, if I were to try to keep a new resolution my streak of keeping that lasting resolution would come to and end.

    Puzzled? My resolution was to not make any more new years resolutions.

  9. A New Year for me ….. means prepping for / working at C.E.S. (where future technology gets debuted and either succeeds? or disappears!) 🌐

    Looking back on 7+ years of TSTO, it means I feel fortunate that we still have the Game App (free to download, minimal in game purchases – not always required, more Levels then any other Game App that is similar, no in-advertisement load screens) 🤔

    I am in agreement that 4 Weeks is better then 6 Weeks (it’s less burn out for me, it’s less likely EA is going to pad Event Prizes with crappy ones).

    I’m 50 / 50 with Crafting – I’m fine when given the option only if I’m allowed to Craft what I want vs having an Event require me to Craft something that’s going to end being Stored. Yes, the option to purchase what typically required Crafting with Simpson’s $ is the best option (why bother to accumulate Simpson’s $ if we can’t use it?), but I noticed Buildings we originally would Craft now going for 🍩’s as a Premium (sometimes worth it, sometimes not).

    Not having a time restriction is nice, as we still have plenty of options on how to play TSTO (you don’t get such options with similar Game Apps). Yay Sky Finger – wouldn’t it be nice if it was every 12 hours? Town Portrait is something I haven’t had time to play with …. but I do appreciate EA giving Tappers this option.

    Cohesive Theme – yeah it’s missing and needs to come back (vs. the cut and paste throw in a menagerie that doesn’t make sense). Boredom occurs for Long Time Tappers when we get random 12 🍩’s vs an Event Prize and / or dumb Prizes that don’t make you want to participate in any Event.

    Community Prizes / Neighbor Visit Prizes – I sure miss those (especially when they were Great Prizes). That sort of engagement (interaction) where visiting Neighboreenos was rewarding …. well, back when EA’s Network allowed it to happen. Easter Eggs, Riddles, Puzzles, logging into your Springfield to find your Characters (or Buildings) were zombified, toilet papered, etc – all of these got huge 👍🏻 on TSTO’s Facebook Page (for EA to cease with these was further proof that EA wasn’t listening and / or began to gut it’s TSTO Staff!)

    There needs to be a better way of navigating our Inventory / Storage (enough agree we have Content that we’d like to delete if we can’t sell it). Most of all? There needs to be a better way of getting suggestions, thank yous, constructive criticisms to EA so that their impact is immediate.

  10. I would happily abide another prize track if it featured community prizes. At least during Xmas. I would also like to see the return of difficulty (in achieving prizes, not logging in) and event tasks of differing lengths.

    Alissa, did you ever make a resolution in the past?

  11. SKY FINGER??????? The Sky Finger is a way to be cheated out of money, XP and eventually Donuts… and YES I have stored the sky finger and placed it back, still no change.. it cheats you out of money and XP.. I only use it after I clicked all my high value items and have a few left…
    — other than that, I agree with you on the other points.. lol… More ICE Tiles and Troy McClure !!!!!…

  12. Sky Finger was a good start, but the 24-hour cool-down period means I get to use it, at best, only once every two days (because of “time slip”). Even just changing it to 16 hours would mean I could at least use it every day (like the Maggie game). We also desperately need something similar for character task collection….years ago, I would have said that these “collect all” features were against the point of a game, which, by its very name is all about tapping, but that was when having 100 or 150 characters seemed like a lot. Now that we have well over 400 of them, it’s a different ball game (well, mobile game….)!

    I strongly agree that we also need more interesting game play for events and, for the love of god, stop using the prize track to give newbies old content, sticking us long-timers with free donuts or tokens for free donuts….most of us are either farmers, or, like me, former farmers who have a high enough bonus multiplier now that we no longer even need to farm to bring in tons of donuts each day just by collecting buildings and tasks and doing other routine stuff (I haven’t farmed in about a year). I’m all for giving newbies old content, but maybe make it available for cash during the event or something?

    I also agree that the inventory has become almost unusable….sometimes I find it easier to buy a new copy of something I need from the store than to try to find the copies I already have stored in my inventory, which is kind of a sad state of affairs. And, if EA could come up with a search feature for the inventory, it would be great if that functionality could be applied to Town Hall, too.

    Thankfully, I purchased the GGR, but I wish EA would make it available again for folks who, for one reason or another, weren’t able to get it the first time around. (I feel considerably less sorry for those who were able to, but chose not to, get it the first time around and are now regretting that decision, since it seemed like such a glaringly obviously necessary thing to buy if you could at the time.)

    I’d also love it if the Unemployment Office offered more time options and if, once you sent the requisite five characters to do a daily task, you could use the Unemployment Office to send everyone who’s left on a task, even if they meet the criteria for the daily task.

    And here’s an oldie but a goodie…. Pick a scale and at least come close to sticking to it! Sometimes you can’t even put buildings from the same event close to one another because they are of such different scales!

    I could name a bunch more oldies but goodies (like I’d like to be able to lay out roads and such starting in whatever spot I choose, rather than having to stick to the predetermined four-squares-apart “lanes”), but I have to start work now. So, instead, I’ll end on a positive….I do appreciate the often funny dialog and animations that keep me coming back, and especially the Collider, which made it possible to eventually lead life like a rich person in my Springfield (cash/donuts being no object to doing whatever I want to do)…if only I could live that way in real life!

    And thanks to you, Alissa, for keeping this site running all this time….I know it’s a lot of work, but it really is a vital resource for the TSTO community!

  13. The biggest request I have, and one they SERIOUSLY need to consider is to fix the item limit problem. The solution would be to create a hedge that is 1×16, so it takes up the footprint of eight hedges but the game only has to render one item. They can do this with walls, fences, clusters of trees, flowers or anything else people place multiples of next to each other. Could divide the number of hedges and trees in peoples towns by 4 without hurting anyone’s designs, freeing up item space. They could even set them up to be pressable e.g. types of trees could change with a click. For me it’s been a complete no brainer for some time now but still not implemented.

  14. Search (inventory, characters, and game board) – yes, indeed!
    One thing I’d add is the ability to get some old limited time items I haven’t seen re-offered (perhaps some were crafting items?): spotlights, rickety bridge, cane fields, and the Gas & Grub…. Greedy me, I know!

  15. Rusty Shackleford

    Great list Alissa, I agree 100%…especially your thoughts on New Year’s resolutions.

    I look at it this way: If these resolutions are so important to you, then why wait for the new year to start? Why not start today?

  16. In addition to alissa’s list I think they should also add a character name search to the town hall so we don’t have to scroll every time for one character. this would be particularly helpful for me as I’ve been playing with the rollback glitch so the character button doesn’t work when tasks are completed and you can’t remember where in your town they are.

    • Same and I totally agree! Are you still able to send all characters on 4, 8, 12, or 24 hour tasks with the rollback glitch? Have been afraid to try it

      • I can although and if I do its usually via the unemployment office. Although after clearing the main central areas of town it is a pain tracking down the last few characters 1 by 1 using the town centre particularly if they’re a more obscure character and you can’t remember their name so you end up slowly scrolling to see whose not on task. So I rarely ever send all of my characters on task unless I know I’m going to have a fair bit of free time for when they finish.

    • Yes! This!
      I have over 400 characters, so scrolling through the list takes forever. A search, or some kind of quick jump for each letter of the alphabet, or something.
      I think people have been asking for this for a while. I can’t believe they haven’t done it yet.

  17. I need to know: Do you still love hearing from us?

  18. Perfectly put and I totally agree, more interaction and puzzles yes sounds like a fun game, were can I download it lol, happy new year 😁

  19. New Neighbour interactions are at the top of my list. Last event was something to do with lawyers. All we could do was click on them. Not anything fun like______.fill in the blank lol

  20. Crafting: I was always kind of in the “meh” camp here… I didn’t hate it, I just hated it when the crafting materials dropped at an absolutely pathetic rate and required an awful lot to craft anything.

    Tap All: Definitely a good item to get, only real thing I’d like is if it were a 12hr cooldown instead of 24hr.

    As for things i’d really like? I’d absolutely love to see either a new item or an update to the Tap All item where it collects characters who are done with tasks as well as building income. When you’ve got less than 100 characters it’s not a massive problem, but at 400something it’s beyond annoying to tap everyone.

    A return of Friendship levels or whatever they were would be nice instead of just ditching it with a “MORE COMING SOON!” blurb that’s thus far a lie.

    And by far the biggest “Dear Sky Finger please let them do it” for me is easily the inventory. A complete overhaul where you can actually separate things not just by category of what it is (house, “wall”, etc), but by theme as well as a search function. Maybe even include an option to look for items that have a bonus income % associated with them.

  21. I truly get a sense they have been working on stabilizing the game and in so doing they took out all the things that made the game interesting. I’m not sure how this game goes on and we add all the cool stuff back without creating TSTO V2.0. Maybe they are working on that and we get migrated? Here’s to hoping.

  22. About those neighbor interactions – not sure where best to post this, or if anyone else has the same problem. Lately some neighbors appear to have nothing to tap. Which seems unlikely in many cases. And (I’ve verified this with my B game), there actually ARE buildings available. And (again, verified with B game), in many (most?) cases I can tape the “vandalize” buildings even though the spray can isn’t visible. The grafitti appears, the corresponding game shows a broom. But all I can tap is the grafitti buildings – can’t tap any regular buildings. It’s weird, and seems un-related to whether the neighbor is playing actively or not.

    • diane

      it’s a continuous issue that EA kinda acknowledges depending on who you get to reply to your inquiries regarding Help in the Game App (my opinion, EA knows but they don’t have a solution for this glitch).

  23. Merry new year, tappers. May your 2020 be shiny

    Two things I would like to see, in addition to much of what is written above:

    a) if a daily task says send x number of Springfielders to do y, once I have sent x to do it that should be it; all others revert back to being able to sent to jobs from the unemployment office or sent to’ work’ as I see fit.

    b) bring in whatever’s next in the Road to Riches. It’s been so long a time with that ‘Coming Soon ???’ space that I’m beginning to suspect that something is not, in fact, coming soon.

  24. I’d love to search the character list !

  25. I think the addition of Aaron Burr during Christmas is a sign they don’t care anymore. He’s still listed under 4th of July.

  26. I want to thank EA for fixing the Bart screen during 2019 which had been driving many players to the point of quitting the game. (I’ve only seen it only once since the fix was made – hope I didn’t jinx myself.). Happy New Year to all!

  27. Yes, please re-do the Inventory feature, EA…! Maybe even more defined / more granular “buckets” (and a careful, thoughtful reclassification of ALL items in the database, so they fit the right “bucket”), or else a search feature (that may be tricky though if it wasn’t a fuzzy-logic search — ie, if you had to know precisely the exact text name EA gave each item, it would become a useless feature…!) But yes, Inventory has become unmanageable in the current format, as game content has grown.

    I’d like to see the Sky Finger Tap All feature move to being available every 12 hours. (Perhaps give us a quest or mission which, as a reward, gave you a 12 hr cycle instead…) Or perhaps give us an increase to the existing “blast radius” when manually tapping…

    I’d also like to see (from the Unemployment Office tool) a means to send characters on their animated-only jobs of 4, 8, 12 hours etc.

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