Note from Alissa: With the downtime right now, we thought it would be fun to revisit some of Patric’s old posts from “back in the day” (circa 2014), when he was much angrier at TSTO/EA. Hopefully, they make you chuckle as much as they make us chuckle. Here’s a look back at one of those posts…
It’s not often that one gets an “insider’s look” at what goes on behind the curtain at EA. I was lucky enough to find out for myself, and have one of my biggest questions finally answered. Namely, “Who Sets the Prices for Premium Items In TSTO?”
The fact is…it always seemed random to me. I never understood how they differentiated between “Premium,” “Freemium”and “Community Prizes” that were earned back in the day by visiting neighbors.
I had to travel more than 3,500 miles to do it. But, I have met the future of TSTO. The future looks bright, hilarious, and a bit drooly!
When someone actually takes the time to stop tapping long enough to take in life, it is amazing how enjoyable life becomes…even while tapping. As I mentioned last week, I did an East Coast whirlwind tour including some great music, a great game (football…not TSTO) and 4 days of complete “full baby immersion” that was better than I could ever have imagined.
Back in 2016, I wrote an article about some of the “Superstitions” I had with my town. Actions that while not being completely OCD, certainly had signs that were tantamount to “rally hats” or “secret rituals” that could/might change the outcome of the game or your day, especially if ignored.
No. Contrary to appearing most often in my “CrankyOldGuy Uniform” for many Addicts Live, I do not have a special outfit that I wear when tapping. In fact, on many days, I don’t even wear pants (do sweats count?) when I am doing my most ardent tapping and designing.
But, I would also like to say that I have overcome my need/fear/obsession with keeping certain tasks running, 24/7. I would like to say it. But, I can’t.
I’m writing this early (Thursday) because I’m going to be on the road Today (not actually today, but Friday…which is when you are reading this…so it’s still today, kinda…). I am heading out to a golf tournament/college reunion with a bunch of my old football team buddies (those who still remember playing before they started diagnosing CTE). It should be a wonderful chance to roll out the traditional greeting for reunions, “You’re OLD! No…YOU’RE Old!!”
I’m old. I don’t mind admitting it. My white hair and creaky body (did I mention I played college football, and then rugby until I was 35?), reminds me every day. But, that doesn’t stop me from being active mentally…right?
And, as it pertains to TSTO…that means being active in the game…active in design…and resolving to keep powering through, no matter what the game throws our way! Unless it makes us grind to a dead halt…which I’ll talk about later.
This whole “KrustyItchyScratchyLand (or KISLand as one of our community suggested) Post Nuke Era,” has people clearly divided into two camps. Those who have attacked the opportunity to put on their Uber-Design-Hats, and those who seemingly have been rendered immobile by the overwhelming possibilities.
It has created a reality of “Designers – vs – Ploppers.” And there is a Whole Lotta Ploppin’ Goin’ On!
I have to admit, I have enjoyed Act II of this over-extended, insanely grind-tastic event. Mostly for selfish reasons. It has actually created some serious conversations between my wife and I about taking a “once in a lifetime” (actually twice) trip to Europe, before we croak.
As of late, the vast majority of our time and treasure has been dedicated to our kids, as in 5 college educations, 4 weddings (one to go) and a ton of travel to “see the kids” who are spread out all over the place, North, South, East and Northwest. Add grandkids (one due any minute!), and you have additional reasons to make your travel time, “family time.” There’s nothing wrong with that. But does lack a bit of variety (even though we turned one into a 9.600 mile, 30-day cross country trip a couple of summers ago).
But…we both did extended trips to Europe when we were young. For me…that was almost 50 years ago. I hear a lot has changed in 50 years… When I went, there was still a Berlin Wall…a Communist help Czechoslovakia, and a ton of debris left over from 2 world wars. So…yes…change is good!
When we began our “world tour” in TSTO, it got me wishing that could go back again, and see some of our favorite spots, as well as check a few boxes off of the “I really want to see that…” list that has grown over the years. I want to return to the British Isles, including Ireland (at least 2 weeks) and Deb wants to return to Spain and Italy, while adding France and Denmark into the mix for extended family. I also want to tour some WWI battlefields in France and Belgium, and want to go to Austria, Germany and Switzerland again. So…yes…this would be a HUGE, long trip, which we will have to wedge in between a trip to Uganda, another wedding, and who knows how many more grandkids. Retirement? Pfffffffftttttttttttt… not gonna happen.
But in the meantime, I can visit the imaginative towns and places that have cropped up as a result of my “Town Tours” feature, started a couple of weeks back. This week, I’m focusing on a couple more “Friends of Ebron,” as well one of my favorite neighbors, and a look at my own English homage. Continue reading “Friday Filler – London Calling and More Town Tours”→
So…here we are again looking at a “grind-fest” for the next 7 weeks. There are a variety of ways to look at it…and yes, my initial reaction is “WTF????” (Why the Face?) EA??? And then, as I look at all of the stuff you can earn, and knowing that after succumbing to Safi’s version of “Casual KEM Farming,” I find myself not being nearly as stressed. The fact is…when you play on “House Money,” you don’t freak out if you “lose.” And KEM farming is definitely “house money.”
Yes. I have argued that the investment of time just isn’t worth the grind to do KEM farming super proficiently. And the fact is, I am still on the fence over a couple of the issues one faces when trying to become a “SUPER FARMER.” But, as you will see…if you want to get more than enough Bonuts to get the stuff you want, over the course of even 7 weeks…EA has made it pretty easy, because THEY have set the grind…but, WE get to set the “how much of a grind.”
Let’s take a look at maximizing your time…and answering the question, “How do I have a life and get it all????”
What a weird week for Nuking. Not that there is any “good” week for nuking. But, Holyfreakinshirt! The number of weird coincidences that happened on Saturday, make one wonder JUST HOW MUCH POWER does Alissa really have???
She had planned our Addicts Live session about Nuking your Springfield, well before the little “SNAFU” that happened on the VERY SAME DAY in Hawaii. So…did Alissa foretell the future? Is the nimrod who sent out the false “You’re All Gonna Die” alert a disgruntled TSTO Player? Did Safi and his Nuking demonstration have something to do with it??????
And most important…Would I Nuke if I could Nuke? And, Why WON’T I nuke???
When and if you succumb to the fine art of Donut Farming (as I reluctantly admit to doing recently), you are going to start also becoming a player that is at least casually obsessed with Bonus Percentages Earned from buying and placing a variety of items in your town, which may or may not be bought for their beauty or intrinsic value, but entirely for what they earn. It’s like the difference between having a nice tile roof on your house, or an array of solar panels. The tile probably fits the architecture and original intent of the structure…but, the panels are EARNING their keep…all of the time.
Or…think of it like fertilizing your crop. When you add items to your town that have Bonus % increases, every KEM you farm, every character tapped, every rent or menu collected, will yield more donuts per square green patch. 30 KEMs with a multiplier of 200% will generate 1.2 donuts while those same 30 KEMS will generate 1.7 donuts with a 600% multiplier (at least according to Safi)..until you reach level 939. See His CHARTS HERE.
Man…OK…so it still sounds complicated. But, using our fertilizer analogy again, your KEM plant will generate way more buds, if you fertilize it with Bonus %. Wait…are were still talking about TSTO? And what kind of plant are you growing there, son??
As a recent convert (I won’t go into the why right now), I also started caring about Bonus % for the first time. The two go hand in hand. If you are going to take the time to farm Bonuts…you better pay attention to the BO-part of the term Bonuts, as in Bonus Donuts. Especially after you crest over the now-storied Level 939, and find yourself having to earn TWICE the number of XP (currently 1M) vs 500K (again currently before you hit 939).
So…Bonus % Items Really Start Mattering…if you want to play in the “big leagues of donut farming.” I’d like to come up with some romantic or cool term for the “Big Leagues of Donut Farming,” like the “Sprinkle Show,” or the “Big Time Donut Duster” or the “Tragically Obsessed Addicts Who Play Too Much For Their Own Good.” But, now that I am aspiring to be one of them, it is a waste of time and space. I’ll just call it, BTDF… Big Time Donut Farming.
And Thank God It’s NOT Black Friday Or Cyber Monday!
I’m writing this early, because I am actually going to be on the road on Friday (today…but not really today). I am still reveling in the reality of escaping Black Friday and Cyber Monday almost completely unscathed.
I had an “insider’s view” of how this all works, as my daughter Ali, who lives in San Francisco, and is in management with Gap Inc. (the online division), was actually working remotely on her Thanksgiving visit. It was amazing to watch…as she checked sales, comparative numbers, and then calmly stated “it’s looking like a record year for sales, and my business (women’s knits and action wear) are up almost 75% over last year.”
Yikes. Now THAT is a turnaround. Gap Inc. also has a ton of other well-known brands, including Old Navy…and there was a huge turnaround in Brick and Mortar stores this past Holiday Shopping Frenzy…with online sales also breaking records on Cyber Monday. Amazing. How “up” can you keep going?
Meanwhile…in our games…Black Friday and Cyber Monday were mostly like shopping at a casino…hoping to get the payout you wanted, when you dropped a few donuts.