Just a small update!
From today on we are giving away Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff accounts with 300.000 clams and 6.000.000 coins. You can buy them here: https://payivy.com/v/Family%20Guy%20Quest%20300k%20Clams%20%206Mil%20Coins%20Accounts . The delivery is instant and comes with a replace guarantee!

Hello there, slightly late, to my weekly post Outsiders’ Musings. As you’ve no doubt noticed, the site has been undergoing a bit of a transformation over the last few days and some kind of server crash has prevented me from getting onto the blog. But now, I can, so lets get on with the show.

When I’m going about my daily business (the non-playing-TSTO part), it’s quite astonishing how many people you’ll overhear having a conversation. You’ll be a few feet away, minding your own business, but some little words are catching in your ears. Donuts… Springfield Downs… Scratch-R… You finally twig they’re talking about your favourite game! “No, that can’t be!” (You think to yourself.) “I’m the only player around here.” But, there it is. Loads of other people you know are also addicted to the game.

I’m wondering… how many people do you know that are secretly TSTO players? Perhaps they even read this blog. Is it more than you thought? What average level are they up to? Go and have a sniff about.

The best part of overhearing these conversations is when you join in you find they’ve only been playing for a short while, and find yourself boasting about level 29 and high-level buildings, and why did they only get 150 snakes for Whacking Day? Of course, you catch yourself before it gets too carried away and gently introduce them to adding friends, Origin accounts, all of that. Pass on useful tips such as you can use that account for all EA things.

That guy who always sits with his iPod playing something on the train each morning… just think. You might share a passion.

20130528-055247 PM.jpg

There have been one or two problems on the transfer, I can’t access my new site for the moment, so there’ll be some delays in new things appearing and comments clearing. Just waiting for WordPress to sort it out.

Some of you can see the new posts and poll and others can’t (including me!)… please be patient. I’ll try to hold off on the Krustyland post until things settle down. :-)

Update: the blog crashed at its new location just before noon EST yesterday. It’s currently being held hostage at hostgator and I’ve just apid more money to get it back up on a dedicated server. If you see this, I’ve just spent the last 16 hours continuously trying to get someone to do something. I’ll keep everyone posted through Twitter @TSTOTips.com


In the middle of the transfer, so a very quick post- Gil’s back with a donut sale! This is a brand new Gil sale (the previous donut sale had a Christmas theme), so there’s hope for future deals on newer items!

If your game is crashing on Gil’s dialog (this seems to be happening to Android players), try a delete and reinstall. Alternatively, try changing the language of your device to English (US) – bizarrely this seems to help in some cases. A similar thing happened with Gil on Android back in February.

And if you’ve had a receipt, but no donuts, try the same thing. Or, apparently, capture Sideshow Bob if he’s in your town (also strange, I know, but that’s what’s been reported). And if they’re still not there, contact Apple or Google Play for a refund.


Just a quick post before the transfer to WordPress.org begins in a few hours from now…

I’ve covered this question in the most recent post I did on the bonus levels (you can read it here, but be warned that it was written before level 29 came out), but it has never had a post of its own. And it’s important question to address because the release of level 28 changed the way the bonus levels behaved back to the way things were when the bonus levels were introduced at the end of January, a change that remained with the release of level 29.

Once you hit the bonus levels, your pink XP bar maximum increases by 20% each time you pass through a complete bonus level and claim your free donuts. That means:

  • The first time through the bonus round you’re heading for a maximum of 148,896 XP;
  • The second time through, the maximum will is 178,675XP; and
  • The third time through, it’s 226,228Xp…and so on.

This seems to keep going until your XP bar maximum hits 10,000,000XP – something that’s reasonably unlikely while new levels are still being released at a rate of about one every month to six weeks. Once a new level is released, your blue XP bar should return (barring glitches) and once you hit the bonus levels anew, the maximum on your pink XP bar should reset and begin its steady level up all over again.

Throughout March, the pink XP bar maximum stayed at 120,000 each time you passed through a bonus level, but it turns out that this was a glitch. So, this 20% increase in XP per bonus level isn’t really the “new normal” – it simply seems to be a return to the way things were intended to be.


I’m moving the site from WordPress.com to WordPress.org on Friday, May 24, so you may experience a little service disruption (which is why I’m relieved there hasn’t been an update yet). The move is about giving you and me a little more flexibility. While WordPress.com is great and simple to use, I need a little more flexibility (particularly with where things can be found) – and apparently I’ll be able to give regular commenters the ability to have their comments appear automatically without the need for me to manually approve each one.

There’s nothing you need to do and you shouldn’t really notice any difference after the move – all your bookmarks and the web address should still take you where you want to go. And I’m told the move shouldn’t take very long. Any delays will be at this end while I find my way around the admin end of the new home. There may also be a delay in moderating or responding to comments throughout Friday as I have to step away while WordPress’ Happiness Engineers take care of things for me.

Now watch EA release the Squidport expansion! right in the middle of the move!


It’s no secret to most readers of this blog that something new is on the way – an expansion to the water (or on the water – it’s not clear) to include Squidport. Some people had hoped that it would happen today, just before the Memorial Day weekend in the US, which is also seen as marking the start of summer. As you may have read, though, based on file information, my best guess has always been next Thursday (you can see the post where I made that guess here).

The truth is that it could still happen any time before that date or afterwards. Major updates happen most often on Thursdays, but other days of the week have also seen big updates. They never seem to happen over a US weekend, though, and particularly not a long weekend.

The other big question about Squidport is whether it will be a limited-time event or whether it will be a permanent expansion. My guess, based on how much stuff there is, is that it’s very permanent. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be some limited-time items, though. But I would be very surprised if Squidport arrived only to disappear after a few weeks.

So, the waiting continues. And while we wait, here’s another reason why I think it may be permanent – there are more Squiport buildings in the series than we’ve seen in the file information and leaks so far…

And if you’d like to read about the episode of the series where Squidport makes it’s first appearance, take a look here.

This isn’t a big game issue, but in the lull before Squidport, I thought I’d address something that seems to have come up quite a few times in the comments in the past few weeks – and that’s Kent Brockman’s earnings. Now, I know in the real world it’s rude to delve into how much someone is paid or why someone makes more than someone else, but the Springfielders puts their earning power out there for everyone to see. And, for one of his tasks, Kent Brockman earns more than his fellow Springfielders for one task – but for another, he earns a little less:

Jake: I’ve been curious but how come Kent Brockman makes more on his 4 hour task (and perhaps his others) then the other normal non-premium characters? They make $175 and 25XP and he makes $200 and 50XP.

Mike: This is an odd/pointless question, but all 4 hour tasks give $175 and 45 XP, but ever since the latest update, Kent Brockman’s, and only his as far as I can tell, now gives $200 and 50 XP… any explanation for this? Not that I am complaining…

Juliamhefner: I just noticed that Kent Brockman’s 12 hour task only pays out $400, whereas everyone else’s 12 hour tasks pay out $420. Wonder of there’s any particular reason for that?

Minadequate: Why does Kent Brockman generate more income despite not being premium? I have only just noticed it on his 4 hr task ($200 rather than $175 and 50XP rather than 40) so it might not extend to all his tasks, but I just thought it was strange…

And, for both of these, there’s no particular reason for it. It’s most likely to be a coding error that’s never been fixed. It certainly sets Brockman apart from his fellow Springfielders – which is probably how he likes it.


This week, I’ve been posting on the decorations, the level they unlock at, their cost, their XP on placement, the rating they contribute to, and the points they contribute:

  • Part 1, which looks at all the game dollar decorations up to level 14 is here; and
  • Part 2, which looks at all the game dollar decorations from level 15 to level 29 is here.

This post looks at the contribution of the premium decorations. Just a reminder, again, that this post contains the most recent information – I’ll be updating the original posts on Vanity and Tree-hugging soon. The decorations here are set out in the order in which they appear in the files:

Decoration Donut Cost XP Rating Points
Butterfly Tent 20 20 Vanity 200
Springfield Sign 170 170 Vanity 1800
Tire Fire 40 40 Vanity 800
Apple Tree 15 15 Tree-hugging 400
Orange Tree 15 15 Tree-hugging 400
Tree-Swing 20 20 Tree-hugging 400
Burning Bush 20 20 Tree-hugging 400
Bench 6 6 Vanity 200
Dumpster 10 10 Vanity 200
Flower Planter 10 10 Vanity 200
Picket Fence 1 1 Vanity 40
Homer’s Hammock 5 5 Vanity 200
Piece-of-crap car 30 30 Vanity 310
Channel 6 News Van 40 40 Vanity 200
Worldwide Broadcast Dish 30 30 Vanity 200
Ambulance 30 30 Obedience 10
Cannon 20 20 Vanity 200
Burns Limo 40 40 Vanity 200
Tetherball 20 20 Vanity 200
Police Car 40 40 Obedience 200
Mount Carlmore 120 120 Vanity 1200
Hot Tub 60 60 Vanity 600

As you’ll notice, the Police car and the Piece-of-Crap car both make higher contributions to Obedience and Vanity, respectively, than might have been expected. I was a bit surprised, so these have been checked and double-checked. I’ll need to update the Obedience post to reflect this as, initially, I’d read the 200 points for the Police Car as a Vanity contribution. But it looks like buying the Police Car may well solve any Obedience problems you may be having.

Tomorrow – the limited-time decorations…


My apologies to those who saw this post a moment ago and then found it mysteriously deleted. It wasn’t EA – it was me. I realized that it wasn’t protected by the usual spoiler tags when I reblogged it from the original source. And thanks to neoclassic70 for finding it.

So here it is, after the image. It is very, very, spoilery, so continue at your own risk…

image Read the rest of this entry »

As longer-term players know, Gil Gunderson, Springfield’s hapless salesman, occasionally appears to offer an unbeatable deal on promotional items. He’s appeared 4 times so, but we haven’t seen him since February (and, for newer players, here’s his deal history.) For months, we’ve all been expecting him to appear again, but he’s resolutely stayed away from New Springfield. If he does appear, though, what might he have up his rather capacious sleeves?

There are 7 deals in the files that we haven’t seen yet. Five of them are for donuts:

The Observatory plus the Tire Firefor 75 donuts
The Aztec Theater, a Homer Buddha, and Lard Lad for 150 donuts
A Broadcast Dish and a Burning Bush for 30 donuts
Otto’s Bus and $5000 for 75 donuts
A News Van and a Mystery Box for 30 donuts

There are also 2 that are a bit odd in that they have cash prices attached to them rather than donut prices:

Squeaky Voice Teen and a Mystery Box for $4.99
The Duff Brewery and the Springfield Sign for $29.99

So, when will he next appear to offer any of these? Honestly, there’s no indication yet of when that might be. The Observatory and Tire Yard is the next deal on the list after the ones that have already appeared, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the next one we’ll see. But I hope he’ll be back soon – and that EA are busily preparing some slightly less resistable deals that include some of the more recent premium items.


This comment and question came in from Matt:

I read this and other tapped out blogs daily, but one thing I can’t rely on is prices. I play on an android tablet and I am british (I don’t know if this makes a difference) but my prices for loads of things are totally different to tstotips, tapped out wiki and other tapped out blogs… Why?

All the regular building have a base price in the files – the price they will eventually drop to. But the highest 5 levels also have a multiplier at work, which keeps the prices of the regular buildings high until a new level is released. The levels and their multipliers are as follows:

Level 24: 1.3x
Level 25: 1.3x
Level 26: 1.4x
Level 27: 1.6x
Level 28: 2x
Level 29: 3x

That means that buildings up to level 23 are now selling at their base price and shouldn’t drop any lower. But for buildings from level 24 and up, the multiplier keeps the price high until the next level increase. And when level 30 is released, this is what should happen:

Level 24: no multiplier (base price)
Level 25: 1.3x
Level 26: 1.3x
Level 27: 1.4x
Level 28: 1.6x
Level 29: 2x
Level 30: 3x

The idea seems to be to make it more challenging to save up the cash to build the latest buildings, theoretically keeping players busy until the next level is released (there’s currently about 4-6 weeks between levels).

The multiplier has confused writers on some sites, and some have suggested that it creates different prices according to the level you’re at (that is, level 29 players pay more than level 24 players). That’s not the case. Comments through this site clearly indicate that every player gets the same prices. And it’s worth noting that the prices of premium buildings don’t change, though, and nor do decoration prices. What it does mean is that ever-changing prices means that it’s a while before the prices you see in walkthroughs (including the ones on this site) become stable.

If you want to see what the base prices of the newest buildings are and get an idea of where they’ll drop to eventually, take a look here. And if you’d like to check out the current building prices, you can see this post.


Some time ago, Lee sent in this comment (and even further back Schpeen sent in something similar):

How many income-generating characters are there in the game (include all premium characters and those from special events & episode promos)?

Not all characters are income-generating, some are just walking decorations (eg: Mayan God). But I seems to take a much longer time to send everyone to tasks nowadays, with increasing number of characters.

Springfield is certainly getting busy because as of the date of this post there are currently more than 50 playable characters that you need to keep gainfully employed every day (and there are several more on the way). Here’s a list of the characters that have tasks (which means that the Funzos, the Whacking Day snakes, the Leprechaun, some of the Halloween characters, and the Animals and Pets are not included):

The Simpsons: Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Grampa (set full)
Churchy Joes: Ned, Reverend Lovejoy
Villains: Mr. Burns, Hank Scorpio, Snake, the Rich Texan
School Workers: Principal Skinner, Willie, Edna Krabappel, Otto
Civil Servants: Chief Wiggum, Mayor Quimby
Business Owners: Apu, Comic Book Guy, Moe, Luigi, Lugash (set full)
C-List Celebrities: Krusty, Kent Brockman, Bumblebee Man, Sideshow Mel, Miss Springfield (set full)
B-List Celebrities: Duffman, Tatum
Oddballs: Cletus, Frink
Squeaky Voice Teen and Moleman: Squeaky Voice Teen, Moleman
Kids: Milhouse, Martin, Ralph
Toughies: Nelson, Kearney, Shauna
Wiseguys: Fat Tony, Legs, Louie
Barflies: Barney
Doctors: Dr. Hibbert, Dr. Nick
Plant Workers: Smithers, Lenny, Carl
Irishmen: Tom O’Flanagan
Oldies: Agnes Skinner
Halloween: Kang

As you’ll notice, some of the character sets are full. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that there’ll be no new characters for the set. As recently happened during Whacking Day, and with the release of Agnes, all that really means is that the developers may reshuffle the existing sets and create a new one. The bottom line is that’s there are now a lot to characters to organize – which means if you think you’re spending longer on the game than you have been in the past, you’re probably right. You are.

But this is all leading somewhere: who would you like to see added to the existing sets in future updates, and what new sets do you think there should be if they can only go in a set that’s full? We know of at least four main characters and 5 minor ones that are on their way in the Squidport expansion and levels 31 and 32 – so, why not think beyond that to level 32, 33, 34 and 35. Maybe someone from EA will see this and bring your favorite character that not there yet into the game.


There have been a few questions about the Homer Buddha since the Yard Sale update and whether the odds have changed. I’ve checked the files and everything seems to be exactly as it was – nothing seems to have changed. So, here’s a repost on the odds of winning something good (this originally appeared at the end of March).

As the instructions to the Homer Buddha say, your 15 donut spend means that you win a premium item every time. But can you win anything really good, like the Duff Brewery or the Volcano Lair? Well, it turns out you can, although the chances of doing so are actually very, very low.

When you buy the Homer Buddha, your game is doing a little bit of calculating behind the scenes, and generating a random number between 0 and 1 (a bit like a roulette wheel). Each item available through the Homer Buddha has a number assigned to it – a “chance”. You win the item that has the first number that’s greater than the random number the game generates.

So, what are the chances, then, of winning any of those coveted premium characters or a pile of donuts (rather than a fence or a dumpster)? Here’s a list of what you can win and the probability that the Homer Buddha will actually give it to you:

Mystery Box – 9.98%
Bench – 10%
Planter – 10%
Dumpster – 10%
Picket Fence – 10%
Burning Bush – 10%
Orange Tree – 10%
Apple Tree – 10%
Tire Swing – 10%
Squeaky Voice Teen (or 30 donuts if you already have him) – 4%
Hans Moleman (or 60 donuts if you already have him) – 4%
Frink’s Lab (or 150 donuts if you already have it) – 1%
30 donuts – 1%
Tire Fire (or 40 donuts if you already have it) – 0.01%
Springfield Sign (or 170 donuts if you already have it) – 0.004%
Duff Brewery (or 190 donuts if you already have it) – 0.002%
Volcano Lair (or 200 donuts if you already have it) – 0.001%

So, if you’ve been lucky enough to win any of the last 4 items on the list(and I have seen reports), you’ve been very lucky indeed! And if you did, it would certainly justify a bit of Duffman-style partying down!


This comment came in today from Mixy89 about an issue that arose near the beginning of Whacking Day but still appears to be going on:

“Could give some attention to the poor Android users that can’t log in. This has been going on for weeks, and there is still no response from EA. The issue seems to be with Android-Origin logins, as we can play anonymously, but cant log in with our accounts. Logging in to the same account from iOS works fine. See all the people who share this issue here: http://answers.ea.com/t5/The-Simpsons-Tapped-Out/Cannot-Connect-To-Server-on-Android/td-p/1047628 . EA’s only response is on p17 from almost three weeks ago “they are looking into this”

They answered my email about this with “but we have wide-spread reports that the issue was resolved =)” [but] no one in their forum ever reported this problem being fixed by the post-whacking update. Also it’s not a client issue.”

If this issue is still affecting you, please let us know. And if you’ve experienced this but have since found a way around it, let us know as well.


As most readers of this blog know, Tapped Out is a hugely profitable game for EA and this recent post indicates just how profitable it might be. While you can play all the levels for free, it’s the donut items that pay for the game and its continued development – after all, EA is a business and Tapped Out is a product that EA is only likely to continue to support for as long as it’s making a profit.

So, here’s a mid-week poll that looks at how the readers of this blog are approaching the game. Are you taking the completely free route, making occasional small purchases, or have you plunged in feet first like Homer with Villageville and bought everything in sight? Vote and see what others are doing.

Thanks to Fred for the poll suggestion.


With Whacking Day over, the Yard Sale petering out, and the Squidport expansion on the way, many people are considering a New Springfield extreme makeover. Over the weekend, Jennifer sent in this question:

Any good tips for re-designing your town? I am level 29 and am NOT happy about the way it looks. I have been moving some things about and using pavement vs. roads (because I want to keep the characters very accessible). But it seems like, to me, the best way to do things are to put the buildings/pieces into storage. Does anyone have any tips or hints or tricks?

So, here’s the place to contribute your design tips – both on what to do and how to do it. Help Jennifer and countless others looking at how they can make their town exemplars of urban design.

And does anyone else think that “The Squidport Expansion” sounds like a Doctor Who episode? (And with that tenuous link, if you know who created this TARDIS gif in Simpsons style, please let me know as well.)

This post has been a long time in coming, particularly as Otto is one of my favorite characters. At just 120 donuts, he’s one of the cheaper character plus building combinations – and honestly, one of my favorites. And I really don’t know why it’s taken so long to write about him…

Before going through the reasons for and against spending donuts on Otto, here is his task list:

Task Length Dollars XP
Smoke Break (inside the bus) 30 minutes $60 15XP
Work on the bus (under the bus) 60 minutes $105 26XP
Jam on the guitar (outside the bus) 4 hours $260 70XP
Get guitar restrung (at King Toot’s) 8 hours $420 105XP
Sleep it off (on top of the bus) 12 hours $600 150XP
Squat in the Brown House 24 hours $1000 225XP

So, just why do I think he might be worth those hard-earned donuts? Here’s some reasons in his favor:

1. He’s a character with a “building” (and I use the term loosely) – but the School Bus makes a great addition to the game. And as an 8×8 square, the bus is very easy to place.
2. At just 120 donuts, he is really the most affordable of the character and building combinations (except perhaps if you decide to buy the Aztec Theater and the Squeaky Voice Teen together).
3. He earns premium rates for all his tasks. While this is true for most premium characters, it certainly makes him a better purchase than Tatum, Barney, and Miss Springfield, who all earn standard rates due to their legacy as event prizes.
4. He comes with a quest (and I’ll be posting on this in a day or so), adding a little additional extra enjoyment to your game while you wait for the next big thing.
5. He helps you to complete the School Workers character set and gain that set completion bonus cash and XP.
6. He uses King Toot’s and is the only character to do so regularly. This helps keep whoever runs the store from going bankrupt. Otto knows how to support local businesses even if his fellow Springfielders have no clue.
7. You’ve already got the school – you need a School Bus.
8. It’s Otto, man!

And here are a few reasons against:

1. He doesn’t interact with other characters and doesn’t have a role to play in any standard quests or tasks (but that’s the same as other premium characters really, so you can see how I’m struggling to come up with reasons not to buy him.
2. While he has a voice, he’s one of the quiestest characters in the game and can be quite difficult to hear.
3. If you don’t have King Toot’s yet, you may want to put off buying him until you do.
4. If you have strict views on game characters using controlled substances, you may want to pass on him.

On balance, though, Otto and the School Bus is a good, relatively affordable purchase that really adds value to your game.


Yesterday, I began posting on the decorations, the level they unlock at, their cost, their XP on placement, the rating they contribute to, and the points they contribute (and you can read part 1 here). This post takes you from the beginning of the game up to level 15 up to level 29. Just a reminder, too, that what’s in this post is the most recent information – I’ll be updating the original posts on Vanity and Tree-hugging soon.

Decoration Level Cost XP Rating Points
Bench 15 595 60 Vanity 130
Tree 15 270 27 Tree-hugging 80
Flowers 15 325 35 Tree-hugging 90
Shrub 16 220 22 Tree-hugging 70
Barrier 16 760 75 Vanity 150
Flowers 16 270 25 Tree-hugging 80
Tree 17 450 45 Tree-hugging 110
Lamp Post 17 385 20 Vanity 100
Angel Topiary 18 2000 200 Tree-hugging 260
Chain Fence 19 270 27 Vanity 80
Shrub 19 325 33 Tree-hugging 90
Tree 20 675 70 Tree-hugging 140
Broken-down Washer 21 520 50 Vanity 120
Broken-down Dryer 21 595 60 Vanity 130
Pylon 22 135 15 Vanity 50
Gas Pump 22 1300 125 Vanity 200
Patio Table 22 1400 130 Vanity 210
See-saw 22 760 75 Vanity 150
Stop Sign 22 385 40 Obedience 1
Barbed Wire Fence ? 175 17 Vanity 60
Iron Railing ? 270 15 Vanity 80
Weather Station 23 9500 1000 Vanity 590
Volleyball Net 23 4500 500 Vanity 400
Lawn Chair 23 520 50 Vanity 120
Hail Ants Sign 23 450 45 Obedience 1
Red Brick Wall 23 520 50 Vanity 120
Graffiti Walls 23 385 40 Vanity 100
Fountain 25 3500 350 Vanity 350
Swing 26 2600 260 Vanity 260
Rabbit Hedge 25 1300 125 Vanity 125
Springfield Park Entrance 29 595 40 Vanity 130
Cobblestone Wall 29 220 40 Vanity 70

Tomorrow – the premium decorations…


Don’t listen to it whatever you do. You don’t need a new account – the servers are just having trouble.

If you ever get a message that you need to create a new account, back out, hard close your game, and consider a delete and reinstall. If that doesn’t work, it’s because the servers are having bigger problems. Put down your game for an hour or two, then try again. And NEVER create a new account with the same email address as your old one. Doing that may just erase your game.

One more thing – don’t panic. It’s probably not just happening to you, and your game is still okay. This is just something that happens from time to time. Usually it’s just a matter of waiting it out.

Note: if this happens, it’s always a good idea to check the Origin server status, and you can do this here http://www.origin.com/status



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