Tag Archives: TSTO

EPPP Confidential – IV – The Reckoning


So who could possibly know what Jeanene was up to?  I know that as I wrote this chapter, I continued to be surprised by her unbelievable hubris and lack of common sense.

But, power does that to people.

It’s somewhat similar to the power to “mess with people” that huge gaming companies sometimes do to their player, throwing curves, delays, and giant changes into play, without explanation. But, I digress…kinda…

Again, A Warning… This Chapter is DEFINITELY RATED M for Mature Audiences. PG has been thrown to the wind…
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EPPP Confidential- Part III – Looking Back Before the Before for Explanations

I admit it. Back in 2014, when things started going off the rails with TSTO, and there was some downtime that made people nuts, this series I wrote was initially just for the hardcore followers who knew I was capable of going off the rails myself.  But, reading it now…I have to laugh at just how far the train wandered into the deep speculation of EA corporate life.

But, another warning…this episode takes a very weird (even weirder?) twist, that even I didn’t see coming, until it was there on the page.  I try to remember if I had a flip phone that showed up on my own desk…but, realize that I didn’t need someone telling me what to write, when I had my own, addled, imagination running freely during downtime.

Kinda like some of our current readers when they start speculating about the future of the game.

Again…this chapter is for Mature Audiences only (as in those mature enough to understand it is pure fiction…and not a statement on current society).
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When Fate, Timing, and Questions of a Lull Get Answers From “The Source.”

There are times in life, when all of the stars align, and some amazing “no way!” situations, turn into “Holyfreakinshirt I can’t believe that happened” reality. This weekend was exactly that kind of a weekend. And no, I’m not talking about the amazing “Lazarus back from the dead,” return of Tiger Woods…but that was cool too.

But Friday night, my stars were working overtime, and the timing could not have been better.

I reluctantly agreed to attended the 150th Sesquicentennial (150th) celebration of my wife’s high school, Lincoln High School, in Portland, Oregon. From the aspect of a “reunion” of living class members with ages ranging into their 90s, down to current kid performers (yes…the choir and the dance team performed) it was predictable in it’s overpriced finger food and drink, long list of former teachers and administrators, as well as local celebrities.

You have to know that Portland has always been a bit “weird” and actually takes pride in that title. Before the “surprise guest” was announced, the  biggest alumni names were a handful of current mayors (Lincoln has had a bunch), and one of the most infamous cross-dressers in the country, the irrepressible Darcelle, who is 89 years old, and still looks “fabulous!”

But then, the night, and all of my prospects changed, when the “Key Note Speaker” was announced as, “Special Guest, Cartoonist, Matt Groening.”

Deb grabbed my arm. I grabbed my cell phone. She said, “Oh my God! You have to get a…” But, I was already snapping pics and video, while working my way toward a place where I could get close to his stage exit location for a chat.

Yes. I was “fan geeking.” But, I didn’t care. This was Matt freakin’ Groening, and I was going to ASK HIM THE QUESTION…
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Friday Filler – Making the Most Out of Meh…

Thank Grog It’s Firday!

So… this was it? rEAlly EA?  Way to alleviate the speculation about the game winding down and going away.  Not!

All this silly retread did was increase the speculation that you are “outta gas” in the idea department, and are too timid to just be honest enough about where you are leading us.

We haven’t heard “peep one,” out of our so-called Game Engagement Liason (you know who you are, John).  We see him hovering on the forum, and in the “secret chat rooms” where all of the TSTO Illuminati hang.  But, no emails. No returned messages…just complete “radio silence.”

So, we wait around for weeks…after a couple of relatively lame mini-updates, for this? Come on. This COULD HAVE BEEN GREAT!  The episode on which it is based is beloved. It was even entered into the Baseball Hall of Fame!

This update will get no such accolades. Trust me on that.

But, there were a couple of minor perks that made at least the first couple of days endurable. Let’s take a look at what you could do to turn “Meh,” into “S’allright.”
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EPPP Confidential – Part II – Jeanene’s Revenge

OK.  So…there are a couple of reasons we are posting this.  First…as a reminder that long breaks between updates used to be far more the “norm” than the exception. And secondly, to remind people just how far a lull can push someone into doing something he may or may mot regret… like writing this very odd series about the inner workings at EA.

This was written back in April of 2014, (a the old graphic of CrankyOldGuy implies) and was meant entirely for the entertainment of readers who were starved for content from EA and TSTO. It was written around the time that the game saw HUGE upheaval, from a couple of really bone-headed moves by EA and pricing, as well as the introduction of the Family Guy game from Tiny Co.

WARNING… this gets a bit saucy, and would certainly be rated at LEAST PG-13, if not M for mature. So…be forewarned. Jeanene uses all of her talents to get her way in this chapter.
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EA Confidential: The Secret Behind Chester Dupree

Back in the spring of 2014, when we were doing our first fundraising efforts for what would become Friends of Buyijja, I was not beyond holding the readers hostage for a small donation.

In this case…I was happy to share some “Insider Information” about a very random, and seemingly Non-Canon character, in the form of one, Chester Dupree.

In this case, having friends in high places paid off. Mostly.

As we have now been doing fundraising for Buyijja for almost 5 full years, and the majority of the funds raised have been through generous, unconditional gifts from Tappers, I feel it is time to share this story with everyone!

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Friday Filler – When to Go and How

Thank Grog It’s Firday! 

It has been an interesting week. And by “interesting,” I mean the kind of “interesting” that one says when asked how a crappy week went, without wanting to “bum out” the person who asked.

But, I’m not going to lie. “Interesting” doesn’t really cut it…

Life is full of inevitable avoidance with inevitable consequences.  There is no doubt about it. The “cycle of life” has a conclusion, and the fact is, it is rarely when, or how we expect it to happen.

We have been speculating all week about the “death of TSTO.”  Speculation runs wide and wild, from “This is it…the game has been put on life support and is sliding into a coma,” to, “They will never let this die! It’s too important to too many people…and it is still vital!”

The fact is, I’m really not sure what to expect, or how I feel about it. Because, after spending the last couple of days looking back at countless posts from the past, there is little doubt that TSTO will never see the “glory days,” again.  We have slid into the same weird predictability as a modern day Rolling Stones concert tour.  The kind of thing that leaves you saying, “Man…I saw them when they were great…for a whole lot less money. Keith looks like the Crypt Keeper, and Mick is gonna break a hip trying to prance around…he’s too old!” (And had heart sugary this week).

OK. That was kinda mean.  But, the fact is…TSTO hit its peak for all practical purposes a couple of years ago.  Now, just like hearing “Honky Tonk Woman” played by a high school marching band, you get the sense that “Yes…that’s the song…I recognize it…it’s kinda the same…but, it isn’t as good as the original.”  The game (when there IS a game to be played) has been reduced to 4-hour chunks of grinding, and a plethora of items and characters that definitely feel like they belong on the clearance table at a “Ross Dress for Less” store.  “Brand Names…at Clearance Prices!” Out of date, and presented without much flair.

The question needs to be asked, “It is time to let TSTO go, before all sense of dignity is lost forever?”
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The Man Who Prices The Premium Items for EA Revealed

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.

Now…I know…
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The Death of TSTO…Redux

There are so many theories floating around right now, about the death of TSTO, that one has to ask, “What the???”

OK. So, I realize that isn’t much of a question or an answer. But, you have to admit, that it is a bit early to speculate, when the game continues to chug along, working just fine…but without new content.

The servers are still on folks!

In the 7 years of this game’s existence (that’s 91 years in Mobile Gaming Years), TSTO has been pulled, almost pulled, and pretty much written off for dead several times.

The first time, was when EA actually pulled it off of the App Store.  The first release in Feb 2012, had loads of issues and server problems…prompting EA to finally pull it in August of that same year.  The game didn’t come back in it’s relatively present form, until late September of 2012. But even then, it was plagued by server problems, and glitches that would often take the game offline for days at a time.

After a few great updates and relative stability, many of the TSTO faithful, including me, thought the game was definitely giving us signals that it was coming to an end. 
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Friday Filler- Casual Bonus Farming During Downtime

Thank Grog It’s Friday!

Let’s be honest about it.  We’ve been waiting for a very long time for some fulfillment.   And when we finally get the  answer, and it’s not what we were hoping for, you can do one of two things.  Lament, or just roll with it.

And no… this is not a political post. It is the simple admission that while we were CERTAIN that an update… something really great…something that would answer our prayers would finally drop (and I’m STILL not talking about politics) it didn’t.  The answer to our prayers was actually just another “sorry…no real answers yet” that leaves us having to come to our own conclusions while we wait for the REAL answers. And yes.  Maybe this time I’m talking about TSTO and maybe something else.

So…when there are more questions than answers, and you have loads of time on your hands to burn, you might as well be productive, and get to  work making it EAsier to be happier in the future…when the real answer drops.  And at this point, I’m not really sure what the hell I’m talking about anymore.

Wait.  The headline.  That’s Right… increasing your Bonus XP to increase your Farming Yield! Making it EAsier to get more of what we don’t know we want yet!
In other words…improving your ability to earn more while doing less, by working a bit more now.
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