Friday Filler – Why Do You Still Play the Game?

Thank Grog It’s Friday!

I have to admit, I was happy, and a little heart-broken when Alissa sent me a text message late Tuesday night. It read, “An update was released. You’ll have to let me know if they upped item limits.”

Oh ye of bliss-ninny faith…

I affectionately call Alissa a “Bliss Ninny” as she always wants to believe that EA is going to listen to us, and TSTO is going  to return to its former glory. I love her for that. We need bliss-ninnies in the world right now. It’s no wonder that Disneyland (either coast) is her favorite place to be.  I can see her teaching Riley and Sammy that if they “clap loud enough” they can save Tinkerbell and the rest of the fairies.

But, unfortunately, I had to be the bearer of bad news, with a simple reply of “Nope.”

It’s been almost a year and a half since the last time EA upped the Item Limits by even a handful.  And yes…it sucks.  And yes…it greatly impedes my “joy of designing.”

SO…WHY DO I STILL PLAY? (as  more than a few of you have asked, when I hold EA and “Bob’s” feet to the fire).

The answer is pretty simple.
I’m sentimental.

Like so many things in life when you get older, you find that certain aspects of your life become markers for other things in your life. And the growth of my town…is almost like one those pencil marks on the wall you make for your kids’ heights. They mark the basics…but not the actual events that make them special.

That isn’t the case with my Full Town Snapshots.  I started capturing them back in 2013, when I started seeing the need to share my handiwork with readers. And unfortunately, now the same kind of effort shows how little I have been able to do since EA stopped upping the Item limits.

“Back in the Day,” the only way to do a full town screen shot, was to capture loads of loads of individual screenshots, then trying to use an app called “Stitcher” (which always had weird results) or piecing it together by hand with PhotoShop (which took hours and hours to get just right).  But, I did the latter a handful of times…until EA gave us the amazingly handy “Town Portrait” tool, which allows you to easily capture your entire town (in a slightly grainy, pixelated manner).

Looking at some screen shots, I realized just how far we had come…and why designing in my town was the main reason I played.  It also made it very clear when Item Limits became a true hindrance. And admittedly…if I am to be honest…coincided with when I started Donut Farming. I’ll get to that in a minute…along with my new resolution for game play. 

First…a Full Town rendering (created from a gazzilion screen grabs and Photoshop) from 11-14-13.  (click to enlarge any photos)

If I look at that same rough segment of my current Snapshot, very little has changed.

Yes…the boardwalk, harbor, and a ton of Monorails have appeared…but the core of my original town still remains intact.

Now…if you take a look at the screenshot I did of this week, you’ll see some marked differences in design density.  (again…click to enlarge)

So..yes..the first thing to realize, is that I still have a ton of unused/un-purchased land. But, because of the Item Limits, there is really no need to buy more land. I can’t really do much with it anyway.

But, because I was finally convinced to Donut Farm, (because of Safi’s Post on how to do so in moderation), I began to be more and more obsessed with Bonus % Multipliers…and succumbed to the knee jerk reaction created when EA would mess something up and offer something with a TON of bonus, for super low prices.  This created a very LARGE area of tennis courts, as well as a ton of Wailing Walls…simply to Boost My Bonus % up to around 1500%.

This has created a gigantic segment of my town, that is almost entirely the result of my chasing Bonus %…but at the cost of being able to actually DO anything with what I “win” in the event updates.

All of the areas in Red are simply a new version of “Plopperland” or some aspect of Bonus % increase items…or Donut Farming.

Plopperland is a complete embarrassment for someone like me, who loves to design.  I stored tons of clutter…and kept just buildings and decorations that I “might want to get around to designing” for when they INCREASED THE ITEM LIMITS.  Which I now realize they are never going to do.

And no…I don’t want to hear from a bunch of you telling me how you can “hide your bonus % increase items.  I’ve done that. I have TONS of stuff hidden…but, it’s pretty damn hard to hide 100 wailing walls, and who knows how many tennis courts. And that also defeats the purpose of Freeing Up Item Options with the Item Limit Cap.

So…….I am left with a decision. One that I came to pretty easily, once I stopped playing the game regularly.  And here it is…

TURN BACK a time when you could design how you wanted to design…with loads of trees, and decorations, and roads, and things that made your town look REAL! 

I want to return to a time of “design density.”

That’s right.  I’m going to store all of the tennis courts, and wailing walls, and take my lumps with how it changes my Bonus %.  I don’t care anymore! 

What good is it being able to farm a ton of donuts…if you can’t place and decorate what you BUY with those donuts.  I’m going back to the good old days of grinding…and decorating..and using land and trees and water…and just farming enough donuts to keep me interested.

BOOM!!!!!!!!  A mini-nuke, without destroying the designs I have come to love.

I’ll keep you posted on how this turns out…and share some of my new designs. Who knows? I might actually start enjoying the game again! 

37 responses to “Friday Filler – Why Do You Still Play the Game?

  1. Irene García Muelas

    A question I’ve asked myself more than once. In fact I quitted the game twice for months… but reinstalled it again.

    We want novelties, more events, more characters, more buildings, more decorations, more more more… but that just means more time to manage it.

    Tempted to press the nuke button and crush capitalism in several occasions!

    But then I notice some corner I decorated with care time ago, I remember that specific moment and my circumstances… and refrain from pressing.

    Guess I’m a sentimental too.

    • You have hit the nail on the head. There are loads of aspects of my original design to which I hold dear. So…I will just “Nuke” with pinpoint weapons and discretion.

  2. I was looking at my games recently and noticed that most had more than 10,000 donuts (the other 8000+). Nothing left in the yearbooks, only one item in this events mystery box in two games. A standard event uses about 600 donuts (4 weeks, 150 donuts for premium item). I haven’t farmed for donuts in over a year (two?), the daily collection more than enough to run the collider and no need to speed up the game most of the times (maybe use two donuts to go to the next level). I was tempted to nuke my C games, but decided to slowly redesign. Taking out all the wailing walls and hidden bonus items. Getting rid of most to the moving stuff: mono-rails, Krusty-land. Will see what happens.

  3. Why do I keep Playing? Because Candy Crush still sucks xD

  4. I play the game because am an addict.. “hello my name is k00lviruz and I am an addict…. to… to video games, selective video games, for not all games are created equal, or treated equal by their developers, and I promise that I will keep on playing.. I am not a quitter, and my quarters are giving me extra lives”. that sir is my stand…

  5. I play out of reflex. The game feeds my OCD tendencies. Lather rinse repeat. Part of me hopes that they will kill the game and free me from the tedious boredom the game has become.

    No haters please. It is what it is.

  6. Hi Patrick, thank you for your suggestion, I agree that the design should indeed prefer above the bonus percentage hunting. Can you see somewhere in the game how many items you have placed and what the maximum is? My last warning I think was on 10,750 items but can still place new items. My tactic later on, besides making my Springfield beautiful, is to replace the items with a low bonus percentage for a ‘better’ item. An Itchy & Scratchy billboard for a Channel 6 News. So, I’m keeping Plopperland:-) as long as possible (still want the donuts, mjam). But for the time being I can still expand.

  7. The Simpsons: Tapped Out — LIFE-RUINGINGLY FUN!

  8. I got rid of my bonus % area and stopped KEM farming. Just do blood mobiles whenever my cash maxes out. I still have over 600% bonus without the abundance of tennis courts, wailing walls, etc. I’ve stored all my heights buildings and beach house items. Turned the heights into my Krustyland. It looks so much better up there as a dedicated theme park area like when it was a separate “zone” to visit.

    • Bobothy Gerfy Jr.

      OMG why didn’t I think of that!! I’ve been looking for a good space for KL and IASL ty sooo much

  9. Thanks for all this insight. I like repeating my favorite tasks; interrogate Mr. Bont, Francesca on stage, Ms. Springfield like cat another Ms. sunbathing, Moe asleep in horror house. The game is best when tasks are needed! Though I don’t like losing sleep accomplishing them…
    Previously I actually had EA help advise me to remove my boardwalk railings! Imagine walking on wood over the sea without fences?!!?I
    I farm my KEMs on empty land to harvest after dropping 5 donuts to increase multiplie r for it looks to be EA has learned to require more premium currency. Remember 700 for God?
    TSTO is an entertaining site and Tapped Out is an entertaining game!.

  10. Oh TSTO, I can’t quit you, let me count the ways:
    While it’s true your lustre has faded, no other mobile app has offered the ease of acquiring the familiar character comfort you do.
    While my land and item space indeed grow short, you still give so much more design options.
    Whilst once I was content to spend many dollars on premium currency, you carelessly gave me options to acquire them freely- no Ad watching required.
    While one time events such as Tap ball allowed friendly competition with neighbors, Neighboreeno’s cannot come into your town while you’re offline and steal what you grinded for.
    While at times I’m frustrated with load times, servers down, glitches etc. Reading reviews of other apps. have the same problems and more- mainly You bettah pay $$$.
    Since late 2014 this game, my pocket sized Springfield, this blog, Alissa, COG Patric and later Safi have been a part of my life I’m not ready to give up yet. It’s not such a bad thing that TSTO isn’t as all consuming as it was. I tinker around on the inside of my town now rather than work on the outskirts. Like another commenter also observed, my neighbors seem to be the same. Not inspired for big projects out of town. So maybe small decorations to incorporate into existing scenarios are the better way to go.
    Still love you TSTO!

  11. I wish they would fix the little character button. So I don’t have to have one long straight road with all the 8hour jobs. I’m not rolling back over 3 years.

  12. Hahaha, that’s the big question, why do we play this game, and as usual the post is to long 😉, can’t answer that but I still play, I live in hope that an event will come were I don’t have to do a 4 hour tap but want to play every hour in case I miss something, just doesn’t happen and one day I will cease to exist in the Simpsons world and move on. Tbc

  13. Congratulations, Patric – a very wise decision. Maybe it’s actually a good point of time to let go of some things you cannot change anyway and enjoy the game again for what it once was – a nice way to pass some spare time without the struggle, anger, despair and frustration about the incompetence of people who could do a better job, but don’t. Sad but true.
    I play the game for 8 years now (my hubby is kind of amused how long I cling to it), 10 minutes twice a day – with my morning coffee and before we go to bed. I loved the early years when there was so much more creativity in the events, and I designed and decorated my town with much more heart and soul than nowadays – but I still refuse to let go, partly out of nostalgia, mostly because it has become a part of my daily routine for so long. As you said, we are getting older and tend to stick to certain things, even if it might be better to let go.
    However, lets try to get some positive energy out of it and focus on the (few) good aspects instead of nagging about the bad ones. There is enough to worry about in the world right now…

  14. How do you place buildings on water?

    • There are a few buildings that can be placed directly on water. However, most buildings need to be placed on either a Boardwalk Tile or Ornate Pier piece in order to give the illusion that they are being placed on water.

  15. I find that tapped out is one of the few freeium games that is actually playable with spend real money to actually play the game. Almost every free game out there is so broken that you need to keep paying just to play the game. Simpsons is one of the few games that you can actually pick up and play when ever you want then stop when ever you want. You can also generate premium currency in game which is very rare for free games. The only down side I find is the large number of decorations I end up with from the events or yearbook.

    • TSTO is still one of the few Mobile Game Apps out there that’s

      Free to download
      (lots of similar Apps want $2.99)
      Free of advertisements
      (too many Apps rely on pop-up ads)
      Free to play
      (no need to spend real 💰 to pay or level up)
      better uses of intellectual property under license
      (see those numerous bad Disney Game Apps)
      Play in numerous ways
      (exploit, or not, what you can do)

      It’s just painful to see EA is no longer devoting enough to TSTO, but that’s not the only Mobile Game App their contractually giving up on (an EA isn’t the only Game Company that slowly retreating from Mobile platforms).

    • I agree…More characters…fewer decorations. They take up less space and don’t count against your Item Limits.

  16. Like a lot of Tappers, I was both surprised by this unannounced Event (EA is late in updating their social networks) and the fact that Alissa actually got Content info from EA (could it be that small dedicated staff actually cares?) 🤔

    More Land, increased Item Limits, new Event platform – wishful thinking (I guess it’s time for me to stop wishing and thinking about it)! 😂

    I can still be creative in my Springfield, it’s just carefully removing Content that offers No Character Tasks, No Simpson $ + XP, No increased Bonus % (what’s the point of Leveling up if you can’t take advantage?) 🤷🏼‍♂️

    1.5 years – 2 years since we’ve seen any real changes to the TSTO Game App. I can still design, but not as much, and I haven’t quit playing …. because I cannot find a Mobile Game App on par with TSTO. If this Mobile Game App loses me? It’s probably going to be for a Console / PC game such a Cyberpunk 2077 –

    I was convinced for 3 years there would be seamless gameplay between your Console, or PC, and your mobile devices …. that never occurred (in fact? Mobile Game Apps are slowly disappearing). I was hoping that EA would take advantage of The Simpson license and come out with another Console / PC for The Simpsons (hasn’t happened, not even a high def polish of an old existing Game!) I will probably keep playing TSTO to the very end …. it’s an Addiction (or was that a Distraction? (lol) 😂

    As I continue to remodel my Springfield, I have sections – a traditional Downtown, whatever’s left of Springfield Heights, Krustyland, Springfield Zoo, Squidport Pier, a Halloween Town, Future Springfield and of course a Plopper Town (yeah there’s a Stonecutters area, etc – but I have a large plot of Land devoted to Plopping what I tried to get back to later). I still have a Monorail with several Stations, but it’s been forever since I actually created a new Section (and that’s probably never going to happen!) 🤔

    I miss being able to truly design down to the detail, I know I’m not the only one (I can visit Neighboureenos and see others have given up, too). Some of you are doing a great job using new Content to create a new Section. 👍🏻

    I will end this by saying I truly don’t want to try and inventory what I have in Storage (that would take too much effort – lol!) I may only Tap 3 to 4 Days a week, I thought about “turning back time” ….. I may store certain Content, but for the most part? It’s going to be less decorating (I’ve kind of accepted it, just like I accept the fact this Game App will eventually cease). it’s a symbolic is realizing I am coming to the end of what’s left in the Mystery Box (I definitely won’t nuke my Springfield, but I won’t be devoted to it like I was years ago). 😂

    Play this Game App however you choose, an every way that EA allows (we still have choices and I think that’s great!) 😊

  17. I can’t play more than 20 minutes before the game disconnects and I get the Bart screen. So it kinda bums me out.

    • Yep

      This happens to me as I try to edit my Springfield …. it’s a BIG reason why I don’t Tap that often during the week (I take weekends off).

      EA has several Networks to maintain globally, you can keep an eye on EA Help and you will be notified whenever they have a technical (it could be, as kids go back to school online? our internet’s not going to be as strong – it’s going to lag just like when everyone was quarantined at home watching on-demand content).

  18. I wonder if any of the Van Houten’s will play Spijkerpoepen in this event. It was depicted in the Annika episode. 😆

    • I was hoping at least Milhouse (as a Visual Task) an I like to pronounce Spijkerpoepen like it’s farfegnugen (VW Commercial) 😂👍🏻

  19. Up item limits
    Up Springfield Heights land
    Or, dear EA
    Up yours!

    Gee, back to farming tokens for SH
    Grab more, more, MORE LAND.
    And I’ll move my Beverly Hills there

  20. Do some bloodmobile farming first. Rack up some extra donuts for retirement lol

    • Farming…no matter how you do it, is futile if you can’t place what you win. So…taking all of my multiplier dump areas, and BOOM!

  21. I totally agree Patric. I just started the new update with the inability to add one single tree. I like detail, trees, flowers, etc, and remember the fun of 2013 when you could design to your heart’s content! I still play due to sentimental reasons which has always overridden my irrational regular thoughts of nuking my town. To stop logging in and trying to care for my town would remove something which I have invested time into. So I shall soldier on for now and hope the items limit may change soon, anything is possible in 2020!?

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