Many players who moved quickly into the Whacking Day event had a shock yesterday when they noticed that their total whacked snake count dropped throughout the day. There are a couple of reasons for this, but the most significant reason is Lisa’s Whacking Day task. It turns out there’s a less friendly side to the Whacking Day event (and before you go deleting friends, please read all the way to the end – because there’s a really good reason why you shouldn’t!).

Lisa’s Whacking Day task to “Release Snakes from Another Town” runs for 5 hours and earns you 3 snakes and 50XP. When you tap to start the task, this is what you see:

The screen gives you a choice of towns to send her too – and the choice comes from those of your friends who have got through Whacking Day Part 1 and started to whack snakes. And the important thing is to look at the numbers below each town. As the maximum number of snakes that can be randomly slithering around someone’s town is 50, this has to refer to the number of snakes that your game has registered your friend as having whacked. Now, these are not necessarily the actual numbers your friend currently has as everything to do with the social part of the game can take from 1-3 days to update – but for the purpose of this part of the game, it’s seen as close enough.

The town you send Lisa to will lose snakes if you send Lisa there – the 3 snakes that are added to your own total actually come from that other town. Lisa, essentially, steals someone else’s whacked snakes and gives them to you. Again, due to server delays, you may not see the impact immediately – and, indeed, all those visits may even come through at once and register as a dramatic drop in you snake count.

So why were so many players affected so dramatically? Because not all of your friends had started to whack snakes yet. In fact, 24 hours ago, I had a choice to send Lisa to the Other Springfield or the towns of only 2 other friends – as of 30 minutes ago I have a lot more choices (and it may be why the friends list is random, rather than alphabetical – to avoid players at the start of the alphabet from losing lots of snakes just because their name is on the first page of your friends’ town display!). As more players join the event, then, it’s likely that you won’t feel quite so victimized. It also means that one way to be a good neighbor during Whacking Day is to send Lisa to the Other Springfield if you choose to send her on this task (which always seems to keep its 20 snakes).

So why not just delete friends and avoid the social game altogether? That’s because when you get to 400 whacked snakes, you get a license to whack snakes in friends’ towns – and using the license doesn’t appear to have any impact on your friends’ available or whacked snakes. More on that soon – but it’s this that will really help you meet the prize targets.