Category Archives: Friday Filler

Friday Filler – The REAL Importance of Everyman

Thank Grog It’s Firday!!

Whoa…it’s been “one of those weeks.”  Wall-to-wall-to-wall work commitments and launching new “re-wirement” projects.  And in the middle of it all, I had to sit back and chuckle at the timeliness of receiving one of my favorite “Super Heroes” in our game…Everyman!

Wait…hold on…I hear you rolling your eyes.  And yes…you have really loud eyes!

I have seen the comments.  You were all a bit disappointed that this “mini event” was so mini! You didn’t want another Super Hero event, unless it was truly SUPER!

But for me, there is simply no doubt that Everyman may be needed more than ever.  And in fact, it may be when we keep relying on “heroes” to get the work done, instead of relying on an Everyman, we may be dooming ourselves to failure.

While it’s easy to discount or forget Everyman when someone like RadioActive Man is flying around, when push comes to shove, and it’s time to get things done, give me Everyman, every time!

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Friday Filler- Using Your Own Super Powers to Maximize Your Donuts!

I am always excited when we have a “Super Hero” event…even a mini-event like this one!  You see, I too have super powers.

I’m sure many of you who have been following my posts for years already suspected as much. But, it’s true…I really do.

I can’t move things with my mind (yet), or see through walls (although I can usually figure out if someone is wearing Spanx).  And yes, I have a very clear power of intuition as to the overall human condition worldwide (you don’t want to know). And, as a result of an NDE in the 90s, often have revelations of how the universe is wired at the quantum level (you really don’t want to know).

However, my real super power, as it pertains to TSTO, is that I almost ALWAYS know where the 3-Donut tile hides when I get a chance to pick!

Call it intuition, or some sort of EDP (Extra-Donut-Perception)…but I have it. And through my ability to understand the inner workings of RDD (Random Donut Disbursement) I can help YOU become better at improving your DPP (Donut Picking Percentage)!
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Friday Filler – When Time/Space and Multi-Characters Bring Up BIG Questions

I realize that I continue to whine about the “Time/Space Crashers” that EA introduces into the game.  Whether you are a fan of “Back to the Future” or any other number of time travel movies and books, the fact is…the way time travel is portrayed in popular culture just isn’t real. Altering events from the past…even the smallest diversion from a chance interaction, can have untold ramifications on future events that could be mind-boggling. But time flows forward…not backward. And this is a good thing.

I got the “Younger, more attractive version” of Homer Wednesday. And now, being free of the “Daily Grind” of this event, I have plenty of time to ponder bigger questions…

Looking back, with an option to change something. The that’s a big one.

Yes…there are countless daily decisions that “could/woulda/shoulda” been better choices. But to the contrary, you never know when leaving a few minutes earlier or later to work, may have resulted in you missing getting nailed at an intersection by a driver who is playing TSTO on his phone, while trying to drive (Don’t Tap and Drive!).

So when someone like “Teenage Homer” shows up as a permanent alternate Homer…to wander around interacting with the rest of the “here and now,” it makes me cranky…and makes me look back at my own life in ways that may cause regret or recrimination…
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Friday Filler – An Alternative Method of Play and Creation

Thank Grog It’s Firday!

There is a Buddhist art form of creating amazing sand sculptures over time, and then wiping them out of existence after they are finished. These tapestries of color are called “Mandalas” and a source of endless fascination to me.

In practice, the exceedingly complex and beautiful sand paintings are meant to represent the universe.  The process helps them organize what we understand about creation, but when each mandala is finished, they are destroyed in a way of representing the transitory nature of existence.  In short…nothing stays the same…as evolution and change are the only constants in creation (and physics).

But…a real conundrum happens when they are photographed. And in many ways, our TSTO games face the same conundrum of existence…especially in light of Item Limits and EA dictating where we can create through Free Land Tiles to expand our “creations.”

But…there IS a solution!
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Friday Filler – Bliss Ninnies -vs- Pragmatists…Which Team Are You On?

I have to admit it…I often forget that TSTO is not a way of life, but is merely something we do while the rest of our lives are happening.  There are times, like right now, when it feels a bit more consuming, because the “fun factor” gets over-run by the “grind factor,” and I lose sight of some of the good things that EA has done in an event, that are actually designed to provide entertainment, and not grief.

Yes…they killed crafting. Mostly. Yes, there is now far more content to buy with game cash…but that is offset with the Item Limits, and a dearth of room around our Zoo. There are loads of new characters, including Sarah Wiggum…but most are one-offs that nobody has really heard of, or can’t remember.  There are loads of new decorations and animals, but it really is an entire event based on just smidge of an idea.  They are giving us more free land tokens…but we can’t use them around the Zoo Zone.

In the last paragraph…we see examples of the classic “Everything’s Great!” that a Bliss Ninny (not a derogatory term) may portray, along with the overly Pragmatic, “BUT!” that seems to come with every positive being offered.

The fact is. I wish I WAS a Bliss Ninny.  It is the sad irony of being a crankier-by-nature kinda person, that we often wish we were not so.

But, telling us that we are being cranky doesn’t help…trust me on that.
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Friday Filler- Jumping the Shark with Zooaligical Profiling

Thank Grog It’s Firday!

Once again, I am writing this early, as I will actually be in Alaska the day you are reading this…Friday…which may be Saturday for some…but because of the header, is mostly Friday…except when it isn’t, like today.

That last paragraph makes about as much sense as this event.  Perhaps EA is going to figure out a way to pull it together somehow with the dialogue. But, it is going to take a rope the size of a galaxy, and a giant Holy Lion to pull together.

And, frankly, I think this a case of “jumping the shark” in TSTO that is both troubling and was likely born out of the same kind of staff meeting that the original “Jump the Shark,” episode came from.

Not familiar with the term? Read on…
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Friday Filler – Deja Vu All Over Again

Thank Grog It’s Friday!

Yes. As the song by “The New Pornographers” says, “We’ve Been Here Before.”

For many of us, this feels like “Deja Vu all over again…”  I love the phrase, which is attributed to Yogi Berra, my favorite Yankee of all time, on and off of the field. He was famous for his mangled use of phrases, (see some here) which always made sense….while being hilariously ambiguous. Two of my favorites are, “Always go to other people’s funerals, or they won’t come to yours,” and “nobody goes there anymore…it’s too crowded.” But I digress…

But, if it feels like we have seen “Moe’s Ark” before….it’s because we have. Kinda…

If you played the the “Christmas/Winter/Solstace” (it was convoluted) update in December 2015, then you likely already have “Moe’s Petting Zoo” in your Springfield.

So this entire event, may feel a bit like, “We’ve done this before.” Because, we have…kinda.  But, in many respects, I’m going to have to say that like it or not (I’m not a huge fan), EA is listening to us once again, at least about a handful of things that we were complaining about. In this case, it’s not so much the content, as the way they played their hand(s) at placating some of the problems.
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Friday Filler – Looking Back…Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay Back

Thank Grog It’s Firday!

In the spirit of the TSTOAddict’s 5- Year Blog-O-Versary, I dug waaaaaaaaaay back into the annals (please note the two “n’s) of my archives and found some of my very first TSTO Posts Ever…including a “Hump Day” post (it’s not what you think it is), from one of my first posts with the Addicts Team.

What I found truly interesting, is that in some ways, “the more things change, the more they remain the same” (their have always been glitches, and people complaining about them).  What truly made me laugh, is that there were so many references to being “inundated with updates”…which were happening at a clip of one every two weeks.  Oh…good player…be careful what you wish for, right?

It’s kind of like a version of “Remember land lines? Remember Blockbuster Video?” while pointing out some of the incredible advances the game has made over the past 5+ years since we have been blogging about it.
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Friday Filler – Dear EA – An Argument for a Premium Plan

Thank Grog It’s Firday!!

Dear EA,

I did my best. Even though we get nothing out of this one-sided relationship with you (no money, no donuts, no credit for our work), we continue to hope and support the future of TSTO.  I made an attempt to bring “reasonable minds” to the fore, and come up with some solutions that would help you do a better job of maintaining and fixings some of the game issues we face. However, the reception of my “chip in $1.99 for every 500 farmed donuts”  concept fell a  bit flat. People understood the problems created by taking for free what others pay for (at least some understood), but most said, “when you fix it, I might start paying!!”

OK then.

So, I am going to propose something that makes a lot more sense to me. Something that really cuts across all sorts of players…but mostly the “Super Players” who log in repeatedly, have huge towns, and are the largest drain on the server resources.

It’s not that unusual…especially in the face of successful franchises like Netflix and Amazon Prime. It’s one, short, solution…
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Friday Filler – Are We the Cooks or the Frogs In The Pot?


I woke up this morning to another email update from MoviePass, the “seems to good to be true” service that works kinda like NetFlix, but with real movies. I am hopeful that they are able to figure out a model that works, because Deb and I see a ton of movies with MoviePass, now that we are done with weddings and are true empty-nesters.

But, like so many other great deals in life, they are changing and tightening their service process, because a few (maybe a lot) of people have apparently cheated the system, and found out ways to get more advantage than they are due.  This seems to be the norm these days. Great deals, slowly defray into deals that aren’t as good, or simply flip on a dime with little warning. Sovin so many ways, TSTO is a great educator about life in general. In short…”Don’t think that this is the way it is always going to be…because we know you will adjust, as long as we do it slowly.”

As a guy who can take the time to think about such things…I started adding up the number of ways this kind of thinking has slipped into my daily life over the past few months. I was kind of shocked when I started realizing how many things in my life were changing…slowly…and not for the good. And how I was just like the frog in the pot…kind of ignoring the heat, until I reached a boiling point.

There are so many examples of this in modern society, and not surprisingly, so many of them are mirrored by the changes we have seen in TSTO. 
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