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Opinion: TSTO Will Not Innovate & Should Die

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I'm sure that this topic is polarizing. Let me start off by saying that I like this game. I'm not sure why as I do not find it "fun". In a way it's relaxing like a sort of virtual zen garden. I've been playing the game since it's launch and I feel like it's winding down. Instead of a slow, sad death would it be better if EA pulled the plug?
The game launched in 2012, almost 6 years ago. In all that time I can not think of a single interesting innovation added to the game. As far as core mechanics it has worked in a similar way through much of its history. Either pay for donuts to buy premium items for a world building sim or farm virtual currency to make it a free to play experience. I'll come back to this topic. However the core experience has not changed. Small quality of life measures have been implemented. The city hall was granted the ability to find particular citizens, the unemployment office lets you send all springfielders on jobs at once (at the cost of virtual currency). Let's keep in mind these changes were not introduced to make the game more interesting, but with increasing characters just to make it playable. As far as gameplay very little has been attempted. "Mini games" like the rocket, digsite and submarine were added as chance games to win a prize. The monorail was added and provides another way to farm donuts. Springfield heights was added to increase space and make a portion of your town look awful. The single biggest attempt at expanding the scope of the game was also the biggest disaster: krustyland.
In all of this where is the real innovation people have all but given up even asking about? Day and night cycles, more impactful ways to interact with neighbors, real mini games, more control over animated tasks, how about a storage system in which you can actually find things?
While the gameplay is business as usual (stale), the business side has become much more aggressive. While donut prices for cash have always been ridiculous, for example $10 buys 132 donuts which is not enough to buy even a single premium character in many cases. $100 buys you 2400 donuts which seems like a lot but will not go very far. The unspoken promise to the player however is the multiplier. By investing enough into premium items with multipliers the farming can become efficient enough to make paying for donuts obselite. In order to do this the player must invest countless hours or thousands of dollars. I only recently reached this level after having played six years and spending somewhere between $300-500. However this model which has been in place almost 6 years was attacked last year by the advent of pay only prizes. These erode the concept of investing in multipliers and donuts and have made an appearance in every event since. In the latest event land, traditionally available for in game currency has essentially become locked by a new form of currency that the player has not even been informed as to how they may be attainable in the future. These practices are putrid and undercut the original promise of the game. This is after the designers have already made farming a more difficult task for the player.
The most efficient way of farming is to send springfielders on jobs to earn cash. The cash is used to buy Kwik-e-marts or KEM, which gains experience. When enough experience is reached the player has a chance win donuts,1-3, from a level box. There are only a few ways to reduce the progress from this and most are very evident, one is not. 1. Decrease $/xp from character jobs 2. Decrease xp gained from KEM 3. Increase xp threshold before awarding level box. These three have been implemented to some extent and faced community backlash. Only 1 remains to some extent in the reliance of the unemployment center. Here's the solution they went with: 4. Reduce the donuts given in the level box. How is this done? The box awards either 1,2, or 3 donuts. The player has an offer to spend a substantial amount of in game currency to have another chance at increased donuts. However with a high enough multiplier you are spending to much for this chance to be worth it. Thus you either lose time wasting currency or building more and more KEMs with lesser rewards. Here's the catch: the Level boxes are rigged to give 1 donut over 60% of the time. I've found this from play testing over 10,000 times. Now this may not be the same for everybody. I believe the game uses advanced algorithms to determine the payouts based on various factors such as how many donuts you have and how many real world dollars you've spent on the game which can help predict how much more you would be willing to spend if consistently given a lower outcome. I have several friends working for the games industry, especially in mobile and believe me this is not a crackpot theory, it's business.
So where does this leave us? Do we hope for the game to get better when it looks like it's only getting worse? Do we nuke our towns, uninstall and try to forget? Do we send developers suggestions on improvements? I don't know. But I haven't been able to stop playing, so for me, now, I hope they pull the plug.

Replies

  • When you haven't been able to stop playing than the developers must have done something right ;);)
  • TLDR, if it ain't broke don't fix it.
    But my mum says I'm cool
  • Maybe this is just a stupid idea...but they can easily make a brand new game with day/night cycle and sweeping changes to item limits, friend visits, KEM farming and the whole bit. Charge $25 for it and allow you to transfer items to new town. 1 million people buy it the 25 million earned pays for the whole new and revitalized game. I'm sold
  • Given that more and more players have high multipliers, and thus have easier access to more free donuts, combined how easier in general it is to earn donuts these days, the inflation of premium items was totally expected. It sucks that $10 not even a premium character buys nowadays? Sure it does. But virtually everyone can get at least a couple of free bonuts per week. In the beginning of the game, you would get a free couple of donuts every couple of months. It isn't inconceivable to be totally freemium these days, do no farming, and still be able to buy a premium item every now and then. I spent the first years playing without ever having more than 10 or 20 donuts at a time.
    The creation of real-money-only premium items is actually a great innovation from a business perspective, as it attracts the "completionists" to spend real money (most of these people probably don't need to spend money anymore given their high multipliers).

    In general I think is very selfish of you to say that just because you can't stop playing, everyone should have to stop playing.
  • tldr.gif
    ;;;;;
  • Tsto forever! :#
    Be a part of another EA endorsed TSTO fan site at www.tapped-out.co.uk :)
  • Think the next thread from the op might be I’m quitting the game
  • Well, sure that was a lot of text, but op makes some good points re: the lack of innovation.

    EA would win a lot of points in my book if all they did was let me offload those stinkin' Lard Lads.

  • 0Brooders0 wrote: »
    Tsto forever! :#

    I will cease to exist without this game so TSTO forever. :)
    TOUK is the best also have you considered Nuking
  • Here's the catch: the Level boxes are rigged to give 1 donut over 60% of the time. I've found this from play testing over 10,000 times. Now this may not be the same for everybody. I believe the game uses advanced algorithms to determine the payouts based on various factors such as how many donuts you have and how many real world dollars you've spent on the game which can help predict how much more you would be willing to spend if consistently given a lower outcome.
    Advanced algorithms in TSTO? Probably not! :wink: Many people have proven many times that the bonus boxs are random, ie. 33.3% for each out come.
  • Castiel19x wrote: »
    0Brooders0 wrote: »
    Tsto forever! :#

    I will cease to exist without this game so TSTO forever. :)

    AGREED! :D
    Be a part of another EA endorsed TSTO fan site at www.tapped-out.co.uk :)
  • Wow that was a lot of words. Let me know when the Cliff notes are available :)
    I do not accept unsolicited friend requests! PM me and say hi first.
  • My thoughts are:

    Yes - agreed it needs improvement.

    No- disagree that it should die. Despite some shortfalls, TSTO is in my opinion still the best mobile game around.

    Have tried others TSTO is the only one I’ve stuck with.
  • asiafinest
    126 posts Member
    edited February 2018
    I am just suprised that they let kem farming go on for so long. Its costing them so much potential real money since people dont have to buy donuts.

  • asiafinest wrote: »
    I am just suprised that they let kem farming go on for so long. Its costing them so much potential real money since people dont have to buy donuts.

    I can see where you'd be misled to think that. But farming is part of their buisiness model. This was never a mistake, and it made them money and still does. You and I both consume items we want or that have a multiplier. We care about the multiplier why? You can't just pick up the game and get everything for free.

    Any player who gets everything for free now (myself included) 99% of the time paid in enough to EA to earn that status
  • Really surprised there are people too lazy to read through somebody's suggestions to make a game feel fresh, I mean you literally read in this game or tap on them purty pictures. Then again I like to read, so I am a certified nerd. String me by the hem of my underpants at your local flagpole.

    Joking aside, OP makes valid points. This game needs a revamp in certain areas to hold people's interest and bring back (and get new people,) players to make the game feel as innovative as the show again. However, and a big one is in consideration of the programmers and their limit with working with the interface of the game. Creating a better storage system is probably something they can work with - a day/night system that everyone has been asking for since the dawn of this game will be harder and more taxing on the data depending on how they want to utilize it (and if just like the winter set, it takes new custom sprites.) Still, no matter the difficulty there has to be more, innovative methods to this game to make it feel fresh.

    Out of all of the EA games, this one to me has always felt the least money grabbing (lootboxes be gone) with the exception of certain events when they decided to bundle exclusive skins with donut lots. I know you are a business, but just...stop. That makes me less likely to fling a few dollars your way.

    I disagree the game needs to die instead of fading away a long, slow death. I do agree heavily that this game needs to innovate to make it feel fresh and fun.
  • The unspoken promise to the player however is the multiplier. By investing enough into premium items with multipliers the farming can become efficient enough to make paying for donuts obselite. In order to do this the player must invest countless hours or thousands of dollars.

    That's your experience, but since the introduction of the XP Collider and the fixed 1 million XP threshold for bonus levels (remember when it was 10 million?), it really hasn't been necessary to spend a penny or devote huge hours.

    I have a secondary town that's a little over a year old. I've never spent any money on it and typically spend a few minutes a day on it, yet its bonus is around 450% and it produces around 40 donuts a day.

    If I were to consistently invest those donuts in increasing the bonus (I don't; for example I've bought all 13 Doomsday Mystery Boxes and several other premium items that are suboptimal for bonus), I'd be able to add around 40% every ten days (initially; after a short while it would be more like 50%, 60% etc). Guesstimating, I could get that town to about 1000% in three months, and at that point it makes sense to switch from KEM farming to occasional, as-needed bloodmobile grinding.

    My main town's bonus has been over 2000% for about a year, and that one is swimming in money or donuts that have little value and almost no use. There's no need to bother with any kind of farming at all, and even setting tasks and collecting income are really just pointless habits. All that's left is decorating/designing... isn't that what we want?

    IMO the introduction of the 1 million XP bonus round and XP Collider (introduced together, if memory serves) turned this from an expensive game with painfully slow accumulation of free in-game donuts into one that's truly free for anyone willing to learn how to optimize their grinding and apply that knowledge consistently. And in the scope of a game that many of us have played for 5 years or more, a few months to a year of consistently using in-game mechanics to generate ample donuts is not all that bad.

    I do agree on some points. By making it so much easier to earn donuts, donuts have been devalued and new forms of monetization inevitably emerged. That shouldn't surprise anyone. The land tokens are weird and a little disconcerting; I also want to know if there will be some way to acquire them other than winning 6 per event.
  • Counterpoint: no.
  • "You have to spend money to make money."

    To really get anywhere in this game, you needed to spend money. I spent a few hundred dollars to buy XP items and Premium characters. I'm at this point where I KEM farm every 4 hours and haven't spent a dime on donuts in a few months.

    This game is going to keep going, that's not a bad thing. There are many ways to get to the end point; being level 939, but it's not the destination, it's the journey.
    Trying to control the horizontal & the vertical. Do not adjust your TV.
  • I want a remake.
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