Archives for posts with tag: Frink’s Lab

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!

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Just a reminder of one of this week’s polls – even more relevant thanks those 12 free donuts from EA. The poll asks what building/character combination would make the best first donut buy (and, yes, it probably should have included Squeaky Voice Teen and the Aztec Theater as, even though they’re separate items, they work well together)?

As you’ll see, Duffman is in the lead, at least in part due to his new Duff Stadium task (which I’m pretty sure he’ll get to keep after Whacking Day). But, there’s also a groundswell of support for Otto and Frink.

If you haven’t voted yet, choose your favorite and help those first-time buyers of premium characters decide what they should do. And if you want to see how the voting turned out on the cheaper premium characters, take a look here.

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A number of people through the comments and on Twitter have reported some lucky wins through the Golden Scratch-R – with the result that they would like to know what to spend their donuts for their first ever premium purchase. It’s a very good question (although I am a little envious!).

A while back, I ran a poll on which of the cheaper premium characters was the best buy (and you can see the results here). So this time, I thought a poll on which is the best building/character combination would be a good idea.

So, premium buyers, place your votes. And non-premium buyers don’t need to feel excluded from all the polling action – there’s also a poll running this weekend on whether or not you’re on track to win the whacking day prizes (and you can find that one here).

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Gil is a temporary character in the game and only ever appears for a few days to offer special deals on promotional items that will help him feed his kids. He first appeared in the game back in December last year and, since then, he’s been back only 3 more times. So, in answer to a question from Jess, here’s the history of Gil’s deals:

1. Christmas Special – 19-22 December, 2012
Santa’s Village and Santa Homer for the standard price of 200 donuts, but with a Holiday Tree worth 75 donuts thrown in.

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2. Donut Offer – 23-28 December, 2012
Up to a 25% discount on day-old donuts. You can read all about this particular deal here.

3. A Sign and Doom – 11-14 January, 2013
The Volcano Lair and the Springfield Sign for 250 donuts. As the normal price of the two combined is 370 donuts, this was probably one of the best of Gil’s deals to date.

4. The Nerd Farm – 22-25 February, 2013
Frink’s Lab plus a Homer Buddha and $50,000 bonus for 250 donuts, which Gil claimed to be have a 490 donut value. You can see my thoughts on this here.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Gil, and I fully expect him to return before long. (In fact, with no update, this would have been a great weekend for him to return, but I’m sure EA has its reasons.) At the moment, though, there’s no indication of when his next appearance will be or what he will offer. But with an episode promotion possibly on the way next week, though, I don’t expect him to be back very soon.

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Frink and his Lab have been on my list to write about for a while – but Gil’s current offer has finally made me get around to it.

Frink first appears in your Springfield as a visitor from another dimension to point you in the direction of Other Springfield, so it’s nice to have him as a permanent part of the game, even if it’s as a premium character. (That he returns as a character at all means that there’s also hope for Sideshow Bob.) He was among my first premium purchases and I’m still happy I have him.

Here, then, are some reasons why he’s worth your donuts:

1. A premium character and building combination is difficult to pass up – you get the rent bonus from the building and the XP and cash premium on Frink’s jobs, giving you the best of both worlds.
2. Frink’s Lab is a convenient size and shape, so it can fit easily into a town of any size.
3. He can carry out most of his tasks as soon as you place him in your game, making him a good purchase regardless of the level you’re at.
4. He’s a Mensa member, so you can have him hold meetings in the Gazebo with Lisa, Principal Skinner, Martin, and Comic Book Guy (and Sideshow Mel, too, if you have him) – that’s quite a brains trust. Of course, you’ll need to buy a Gazebo for this, but it’s a dollar purchase, not something you need donuts for.
5. He has a really cool flying machine for his 1-hour task, as you can see here:

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6. If you buy him through Gil, Gil’s kids get to eat.

And here are a couple of reasons why not:

1. He costs about $US12 – which means that if you would think twice about a meal for 2 at McDonald’s, you probably should also stop yourself before spending your hard-earned real-world cash on a virtual item.
2. You can play the game perfectly well without him, as is the case with all the premium characters.

On balance, whether you buy him through Gil’s sale (which ends on February 24) or separately at 150 donuts, he’s a character worth having, particularly if you spend a lot of time playing Tapped Out!

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Gil Gunderson, Springfield’s worst salesman, reappeared with yesterday’s update to ask you to buy the “Nerd Farm”. If you already have Frink and his lab, you won’t have seen his latest offer, though – Frink’s Lab, $50,000 cash, and a Homer Buddha for 250 donuts. So, is it worth it and should you do it?

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First, Gil claims that you’re getting 490 donuts value for just 250 donuts – and he’s right: Frink’s Lab is 140 donuts, the Homer Buddha is 15 donuts, and $50,000 is 325 donuts when you buy each one separately. So, there’s no question that the deal is what Gil says it is. And while Frink’s Lab is a great addition to the game, the problems with the deal lie in the other elements.

The first problem with the deal is the Homer Buddha. It’s a risky item – and while it sometimes turns out some great characters or items, it can also give you picket fences, dumpsters, and Mystery Boxes containing non-premium items (you can read an earlier post on it here). If you feel lucky, it’s worth a shot – but if you’re risk averse, there are safer bets for your precious donuts.

The second problem is in using donuts to buy cash. At the earlier stages of the game, when it can take days and days to build up even a modest amount of cash, this can seem like a good idea. But why spend real world money on something you can get anyway with a bit of time and patience? And with the Heart Grinder giving everyone a cash boost at the moment, there’s even less reason to exchange donuts for cash.

If you’re very close to finishing the Valentine’s Day quest, though, you might consider Gil’s deal. The extra cash could come in useful if you need to buy the buildings prior to level 15 so that you can also get Sir Putt-a-lot’s before February 28, when the Valentine’s event finishes.

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The Homer Buddha costs 15 donuts but gives you a premium item every time – and that’s what makes it different to the Mystery Box.

You can get some great buildings and characters from the Homer Buddha. People have reported getting Hans Moleman, the Squeaky Voice Teen, and Frink’s Lab. But you’re just as likely to get a picket fence (worth 1 donut), a dumpster (worth 10 donuts), or a burning bush (worth 20 donuts).

You’re also likely to get a Mystery Box (or, currently, a Mystery Love Box). While the Mystery Boxes themselves are premium items, the things they contain aren’t – and they can all be bought with game dollars (or hearts). That means it’s more than a little disappointing when one of these turns up.

Thanks to scotticusofsparta for the question.

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