Author Archives: Patric

Happy Hump Day – Let the Holidays Begin! Black Friday Edition

“Back in the Day,” (when TSTOAddicts, TSTOFriends, TSTOTips, and yes…even TSTOTopix) were all struggling to get “audience share” in what was then known as “the Great TSTO Blog-O-Sphere,” I used to write regularly for both TSTOTips (that is a long story of intrigue, mayhem, and backchannel espionage, because 4 years ago today, TSTOFriends hadn’t even launched yet), as well as TSTOAddicts.  For TSTOAddicts, I wrote three regular weekly posts, “ManicMonday,” “HumpDay” and “TGIF.” That was a loooooooooooooong time ago. And of course, we all know the sordid tale of how Alissa ended up being the “Godmother of TSTO” and TSTO Addicts came out on top as the de-facto “Legit Leading Syndicate” of TSTO Blogs. We are all better tappers for the journey…The right blog came out on top! 

If you don’t know all of the history…tough beans.  We aren’t going to rehash it all again.  Most of those who were in the middle of the “Great Blog-O-Sphere Wars of 2013″ are swimming with the fishes, or have skulked off into some corner of the ” TSTO Dark Web” (TSTO message boards, Facebook pages, Reddit, the Forum, or in the case of Ryan, got a real life!).  They now spend most of their time talking among themselves, to further mythologize their roles in the early TSTO history, or whine (through text messages or subtle comments on blog posts), when one of us who was actually on the inside, gets too chippy. But, I digress…

It’s HUMP DAY (also known as Wednesday…the day you get over the hump for the work week), and I am here to offer some helpful tips in making your Black Friday Sales Shopping EAsier!

I bring up the “history” of the “Blog-O-Sphere” because in TSTO terms, we have been tapping and blogging FOR AN ETERNITY.  If a human year equals seven “Dog Years,” then there has to be fifteen TSTO years in a human year…which means in TSTO Years, we have been blogging for well over 60 years (which ironically, crosses over into my human age, of “soon-to-be-64”).  What any of this means, is that we have been around the block for ALL of the TSTO Black Fridays and know our way around the BEST DEALS, that offer the BEST VALUES, for the BEST PRICES!!
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Friday Filler – Thanks for Thanksgiving…Hold the Turkey

Thank Grog It’s Firday!!

Yep. Been “one of those weeks” when the combination of work, tapping, charities, and volunteerism has colluded to make my life a bit insane. And then…there was the whole iOS debacle with the Thanksgiving takedown/launch.

I’m not going to take the blame for this. Even though, there was a part of my paranoid “lizard brain” that immediately seized upon the “EA is doing this to me because of the things I have said about their lazyassprogramming (EALP) in the last event!” But, would they penalize an entire subset of players (millions of others who use iOS padular devices) just to get at me????   Well…like I said…it was likely just my “lizard brain” talking.

But, this time of year, due to a wide range of reasons, I prefer to admit to calling my “lizard brain” my “turkey brain.”  It’s not that great a leap, as I’ll explain.

But with the NEW THANKSGIVING MINI-EVENT gobbling up our tapping time, it is not so much  a question of IF we are going to succumb to turkeys, but how MUCH turkey we are willing to endure? And do we really want a Turkey NPC roaming our towns?

And…perhaps Lisa is on to something!  Maybe it’s time to Turn Away From Turkey, and look for an alternative. If for no other reason, than to help stem the rising Rural Turkey Invasion!
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Friday Filler – The Final Word on Donut Farming…Nooooooooooooooo!

Thank Grog It’s Firday!!

Before any of you start lining up your pea shooters to cover me with spitwads from the peanut gallery…let me start with an apology. Mostly.

Holyfreakinshirt!!!  Why do you DO that?  (the voice of reason in my head screams loud enough to make the wild turkeys milling about in the front yard startle).  “If you are going to apologize, then DO it!! Don’t always say you’re sorry, with an explanation…that is insincere!!”  (Man…the voice in my head is really on  guilt trip now!).

The fact is…I had been warned. Alissa had actually told me, “Don’t go there! The farmers are very protective of their farms!!!” But, did I listen?  Noooooooooooo!

Even when I thought I was being “non-judgmental and inclusive” by actually trying a week of KEM farming, and reporting my personal statistics, and even going so far as to see the value of “Team Safi” casual donut farming (CDF), it really wasn’t enough.

The backlash was instant…huge…and bordering in insane (as far as anyone can actually declare anyone to be insane, in a world that is clearly off its hinges). I kid you not…there were calls for my banishment…and worse (sorry…but, it isn’t cool to suggest doing harm to my nether regions…even if “nether regions” is a metaphor for Krustyland…at least I think that what they were implying).

It is clear…that this is simply a topic that can’t be dealt with on a public forum
–no matter what the intent–if you want to avoid a very divisive, and dangerously fractious argument. And calling any action “obsessive” in a game that requires obsessive grinding to succeed, was off base.

And so….I will apologize.
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Friday Filler – Reality -vs- YOUR Reality In the XP and Real Worlds

Thank Grog It’s Firday!!

The entire debate about donut/vehicle farming comes at a really ironic point in my life. I am a little more than two months away from my 64th birthday. Yes. I am THAT old. Too young to get full Social Security, and still a year away from Medicare. But, one of my marketing clients, who is a financial planner, had me do a series of podcasts about “planning for retirement.” Man…did I learn a lot.

Mostly, I learned that I am NOWHERE NEAR being able to retire anytime soon. I won’t bore you with the multitude of reasons, but suffice it to say, that being self-employed for most of my life has been a roller coaster, and “pension” is a word that never really entered the equation. So…I will do everything I can now, to maximize my earning/saving potential (after I pay for two more weddings…), and hope that I live long enough to benefit from my work.

That’s kind of like the whole recent debate about XP Bonuses and Donut/Vehicle farming. The analogy is really a good one. The earlier you start, and the more disciplined you are, the better your “golden years” are going to be. Which of course is all relative, as none of us knows how long we will actually live, or how long TSTO will actually continue…rendering either argument or game plan completely moot!

That said…Here is my rough take on the best way to “Play Either Game.”
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In Defense of KEM and Vehicle Farming – Kinda…The Results and Conclusion

As promised, I have now completed a week of KEM farming, doing my best to follow Safi’s system…which you can find here.  

I begin, by once again stating that I have never really been a donut farmer of any sort, whether it be KEMs or Vehicles (Rat Trap Trucks/Bloodmobiles). I just never thought it was worth the grind, when you consider the value of the time spent.  As I have written about in the past, Life Currency (time) is more valuable than almost anything, especially at my advancing age. And even in my current state of semi-semi-semi retirement (I would retire if I could, and didn’t have another wedding to pay for in February…but still find enough time to golf and tap), I find that I need to affix SOME monetary value on time spent grinding…whether it is for Bonuts (bonus donuts) or the “incredible prizes” offered during the latest TSTO events. (spoken with tongue planted firmly in cheek).

I have to admit…I was surprised by the results. I was equally surprised by how the “new normal” has changed my view on what the term “grinding” means.

In the end…there is a recent change in the game, that may make Donut Farming a thing of the past…or at least not as attractive.
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THOH 2017- Act III Calendar and Targets

Look. I’m kinda done trying to “make happy” about this update. I think even the most ardent “Potter-Heads” are feeling like they are stuck in a Ground Hog Day version of the Harry Potter ride at Universal Studio, and can’t get off…while it loops endlessly…until you want to shove your magic wand deep into your eye sockets.

Ok. Maybe that is too harsh. But, I am really, really, really, really bored with the “EAsy” version of a major update, that simply requires you to log in every 4 hours…clear the slate…and go back to your life. *POOF!* Magic. Meh. Whatever.

But…you will still want the numbers you need to hit to “get it all,” which you should with days to spare. Here ya go!
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Friday Filler – The Value of Our Most Precious Currency and Giving Back

Thank Grog It’s Firday!

There is nothing like an insanely busy fall season to bring home just how important our most precious TSTO currency really is.

This term was coined in some sense by Frink, although I can’t remember exactly when and where in the game dialogue. It had to do with time/space and how important time is to everyone in the game…and the game of life. And it stuck with me. Life currency…what a concept!

Certainly, nobody knows the expense of this valuable commodity like our Founder and Leader, Alissa, as the stats of reaching 100 MILLION hits, and being involved with moderating almost a half million comments would attest. The old saying, “that’s an hour of my life I won’t get back” never rang truer than than the hours, and hours and hours that she spends keeping this place alive for the rest of us, every single week. Yes…we all do “a part.” But, it is really a “one woman show” with a handful of bit players.

That said…she has always referred to TSTOAddicts as “her baby,” and judging by the amazing Mom she is in real life with her daughter, Riley, you can only imagine how dearly she protects and manages the moment-by-moment goings on that happen here.

Can it go on forever?
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In Defense of Donut Farming…Mostly.

We are a whiny lot…those of us who have played this game for half a decade.

Yes. We have reached that point in the game, and our lives, that admitting that HALF A DECADE of tapping is a reality. Like many of the true Addicts, I started playing in the first week of October of 2012, and have run the full gambit of emotions as the game has evolved.  And before I start whining (this is a warning to the bliss-ninnies), I am going to begin by saying the game HAS evolved.  It has become amazingly more interesting, more complex, and in some ways, a lot more rewarding for the effort we spend to play each day. Mostly.

There. See? I can be something other than “Cranky” about TSTO and EA.

But, what does that have to do with Donut Farming? (I hear the donut farmers say…they are in impatient lot).  Plenty.
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Friday Filler – Becoming a Scofflaw With TSTO Item Limits

Thank Grog it’s Firday!

I have to admit, that when I saw that EA had raised the limit on items you can place in your town, froqm 10,300 to 10,400, I laughed. As in laughed out loud…LOL!

I had just received a “BUILDING WARNING” that I currently had 9,800 items, and that it could create “performance issues” with my game. Pfffftttt….

Come on. I’m old…but, I’m not so old that I have “performance issues” with any part of my game!

Oh. Wait. That’s right…they were talking about TSTO.

But, even as it pertains to TSTO, I have been around the block enough to know that they always raise the limits…because they HAVE to. Why? Because they keep giving us so much clutter in every update, that we are forced to “place or store” countless digital baubles, and if they don’t raise the limits…the truly dedicated players would simply quit.

I have to admit…knowing this has turned me into a bit of a TSTO Scofflaw! (one who scoffs at the law).  But, this isn’t the only aspect of my life where I am prone to ignore the rules. I’m a renegade…a rule breaker…a guy who lives on the edge!
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THOH XVIII – Act II Calendar

I have to admit… I was a bit like Charlie Brown this morning as I opened my game up, knowing that a new act was starting.  Like Charlie at Halloween…I was hoping for a full-size premium chocolate bar, and instead, appear to have received another rock.  One click…and BOOM…we are back to grinding.

I’m not really sure what to tell you, except that this act seems to be as easy as the last act, if you “want it all.”  But, like last act, we are left with the same “meh” and redundant craftables…along with some pretty uninspired “Main Prize Track” prizes.

But then…just as I was typing that last paragraph…I got a message from Alissa, that EA had changed the numbers again…upped them to make them a bit harder. This was AFTER I had spent 2 hours doing the math, and making the new calendars. Yes…EA is currently on my Sh*t list. Not a fan.

I’m not against the Potter-esque event….I’m just still waiting for the magic.

But…here are the numbers…all a couple of hundred higher than the originals that were in the files…just because EA apparently wants to prove “who is in charge” and is being Richard-ish…even though we have established that this update is anything but Hallow-Richardy in its execution.
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