Archives for posts with tag: mystery box

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.

GilBadBack

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A few new players have asked whether all you get from the Mystery Box is decorations. So here’s a repost of something from March on those Mystery Box odds.

While the Mystery Box is a premium item, you also get one for free every 5 days. While it no longer promises premium items (see here), there are still premium items in there. And, of course, a Mystery Box is the only way that you’re currently able to get one of those coveted, income-earning Lemon Trees.

There’s a game going on behind the scenes every time you either buy a Mystery Box for 6 donuts or collect one as a daily reward. The game first internally generates a random number between 0 and 1. Each item available through the Mystery Box has a number assigned to it and you win the item that has the first number that’s greater than the random number generated.

So, what are the chances, then, of winning anything really good? Here’s a list of what you can win and the probability that it will be inside any given Mystery Box:

Mystery Box – 10.983% (strangely, the item you’re most likely to win)
Lemon Tree (or $250 if you have one already) – 10%
Parking Lot – 10%
Brown Fence – 10% (although some additional calculations apparently boost the probability that this is what you’ll get)
Tree – 10%
Large Hedge – 10% (although some additional calculations apparently boost the probability that this is what you’ll get)
Newspaper Dispenser – 10%
Picket Fence – 4% (although some additional calculations apparently boost the probability that this is what you’ll get)
Gazebo – 4%
Angel Topiary – 4%
$500 – 4%
Bench (with towel) – 4%
$1000 – 4%
10 donuts – 2% (the first thing the Mystery Box every gives you!)
Squeaky Voice Teen (or 30 donuts if you have him already) – 2%
Homer Buddha – 1%
$2500 – 0.01%
30 Donuts – 0.004%
Tire Fire (or 40 donuts if you have it already) – 0.002%
Lard Lad – 0.001% (there appears to be no donut alternative, probably because you can have multiple Lard Lads in your town)

So, it’s all a matter of luck – and I was lucky enough to get my Squeaky Voice Teen this way!

Acknowledgements to j_3xx9 at http://tstappedout.proboards.com for the information used in this post.

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While the Mystery Box is a premium item, you get for free every 5 days, which makes itv very different from the Homer Buddha. While it no longer promises premium items (see here), there are still premium items in there. And, of course, a Mystery Box is the only way that you’re currently able to get one of those coveted, income-earning Lemon Trees.

As with the Homer Buddha, there’s a game going on behind the scenes every time you either buy a Mystery Box for 6 donuts or collect one as a daily reward. The game first internally generates a random number between 0 and 1. Each item available through the Mystery Box has a number assigned to it and you win the item that has the first number that’s greater than the random number generated.

So, what are the chances, then, of winning anything really good? Here’s a list of what you can win and the probability that it will be inside a Mystery Box:

Mystery Box – 10.983% (strangely, the item you’re most likely to win)
Lemon Tree (or $250 if you have one already) – 10%
Parking Lot – 10%
Brown Fence – 10% (although some additional calculations apparently boost the probability that this is what you’ll get)
Tree – 10%
Large Hedge – 10% (although some additional calculations apparently boost the probability that this is what you’ll get)
Newspaper Dispenser – 10%
Picket Fence – 4% (although some additional calculations apparently boost the probability that this is what you’ll get)
Gazebo – 4%
Angel Topiary – 4%
$500 – 4%
Bench (with towel) – 4%
$1000 – 4%
10 donuts – 2% (the first thing the Mystery Box every gives you!
Squeaky Voice Teen (or 30 donuts if you have him already) – 2%
Homer Buddha – 1%
$2500 – 0.01%
30 Donuts – 0.004%
Tire Fire (or 40 donuts if you have it already) – 0.002%
Lard Lad – 0.001% (there appears to be no donut alternative, probably because you can have multiple Lard Lads in your town)

So, once again, it’s all a matter of luck – and I was lucky enough to get my Squeaky Voice Teen this way. What’s the best item that the Mystery Box has opened up for you?

Acknowledgements once again to j_3xx9 at http://tstappedout.proboards.com for the information used in this post.

mysterybox

The Homer Buddha has come up a lot in search terms hitting my blog – and that’s probably due to the release of the Springfield Buddhist Temple. That means it’s probably time to update this post from a couple of months back:

The Homer Buddha is not an object you can place in your town and has nothing at all to do with the Springfield Buddhist Temple. What you get for your 15 donuts is really a Mystery Box that gives you a premium item every time, as the information says:

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You’re much more likely to get some great buildings and characters from the Homer Buddha than you are from a Mystery Box. 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). There’s no guarantee of exactly what that premium item will be.

And you’re also likely to get a Mystery Box, which is itself a premium item. And while the Mystery Boxes themselves are premium items, the things they contain usually aren’t. That means it’s more than a little disappointing when you buy a Homer Buddha and it contains a Mystery Box that contains a Brown Fence, a Dumpster or a Newspaper Dispenser.

Basically, the Homer Buddha, like the Mystery Box, is a gamble. You may get something good – but you may also get something you don’t want and don’t need.

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Another small but significant change in the level 27 update was in the wording of the Mystery Box. This is what it used to say:

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And this is what it now says:

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I think you’ll agree that this is now no longer misleading – and prepares you rather better than before for Newspaper Dispensers and Brown Fences instead of creating the expectation that you’ll get Moleman, Squeaky Voice Teen or another premium item every time.

Fredie, commenting on one of today’s threads, drew my attention to the wording above the Mystery Box. I’m not sure if it’s new (I haven’t paid attention to this for a while):

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Whether or not it’s new, it’s certainly a little misleading. I tried it out for you and, although I have all the other items mentioned, I could have won another Lard Lad. Instead I got an Angel Topiary.

Maybe it’s just trying to tell you the premium items you could possibly win.

Update: Thanks to everyone who confirmed that this isn’t new – it definitely needs a wording change though. It makes a picket fence so much more of a disappointment! 🙂

I posted this back in the early days of the blog, but with new players joining all the time, I think it’s worth a slightly revised re-post…

The elusive Lemon Tree is only won from a Mystery Box – you can’t buy it with either cash or donuts, which is why you can’t find it in any of your stores. It gives you a cash and XP bonus every six hours when you click on a basket of lemons.

Until October 2012, if you saw a Lemon Tree in a friends’ town you could steal it from them and plant it in your Springfield. Then, after 24 hours any of your friends could steal it from you!

As of 15 October 2012, however, the Lemon Tree was disabled and couldn’t be stolen. EA describes this as a glitch and say that they hope to get this ability restored in the future, although they also say that they can’t estimate when that may be. I suspect that, as the only way you can get a Lemon Tree is through a Mystery Box, and a Mystery Box is a premium item, no longer being able to steal the Lemon Tree might have more to do with players complaining that something they paid good money for was stolen from them than any technical issue!

Personally, I’m glad this aspect of the game is gone. I like my Lemon Tree. It took months to get, and I would hate anyone to steal it!

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The Homer Buddha is really a premium Mystery Box – it’s not an object you can place. Check your inventory and that’s where it will be. All you need to do then is tap on “Use” to see what’s inside.

The last time I got a Homer Buddha in a Mystery Box, there was a Mystery Box inside it, which I then had to look for in my inventory. And that’s where the Mystery Box that was inside the Mystery Box, too.

After all that, all I got was a Newspaper Dispenser!

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Buying donuts pays for the game and that’s why EA doesn’t just give them away or let you buy them with game dollars (with one exception). Despite that, though, you can pick up a limited number of free donuts as you progress. The current count is 70-ish. I’ll explain why I can’t be precise in just a moment.

First, you earn donuts for levelling up. At the moment, you can earn 30 that way. For most of leveling up you do, you get just one donut. For some levels though, you pick up an extra donut: your level 8, 11, 13, 17 and 24 promotions all earn you two donuts.

For Apple players, signing up to Origin (2 donuts) and adding friends (5 donuts in total) nets you at least 7 donuts. The friends donuts are earned by completing the “I Choo-choo-choose You” task, not simply the act of adding friends. When Origin finally comes to Android, Android players will be able to earn these, too. For the moment, though, they’re only available to players on Apple devices. That’s 37.

Tapping on Homer 10 times while he’s in task doesn’t just get you the Jebediah Springfield Statue, it also gets you 10 donuts. And the first Mystery Box you get in the game also surprises you with 10 (making you think that this happens every time) – although you have to pay 4 donuts to get it. That’s 53.

There are at least 4 donuts hidden in the trash to be collected by Homer or Lisa and, during the tutorial, you’re given 4 donuts to speed up tasks (which apparently you don’t need to use – I haven’t tested this). You also get 5 to buy Homer’s Hammock (I bought it and I’m not sure what happens if you don’t). That’s 67, unless you felt obliged to spend the last 9.

The arrival of the bonus levels mean that it’s quite difficult to give a definite total number. After level 26, you get the chance of 1,2 or 3 donuts every time your XP bar fills up – and you can pay 50,000-100,000 game dollars to make sure that you get three if you’re not lucky first (or second) time around. That makes around 70 free donuts by the time you complete level 26 and get lucky.

So, 60-70 free donuts. And more every time you hit a bonus level. Has anyone managed to save them all?

LardLadDonuts

It’s the premium items that pay for the game and its development and many people don’t mind paying for these when the game has given them months and months of enjoyment. That means, though, that free premium items are hard to come by in the course of the game.

Sadly, the only free premium items given away in the game are the three burning bushes, worth 20 donuts each, that you get through land purchases. If you imagine your town as a grid, you’ll find them in D1 ($610), A7 ($35,000), and L10 ($95,000). And apart from the occasional premium character or item in a Mystery Box, that’s all there is.

I doubt whether we’ll ever see any more than this – it’s part of the freemium nature of the game. I do hear that Gil will be back soon with some much better deals, though!

P.S. Thanks to daan for reminding me that I hadn’t mentioned this before.

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Buying a Homer Buddha can be confusing if you’ve never bought one before. That’s because it usually works a little differently from other things you buy in the game. (Although, as you’ll see in the comments section below, that doesn’t seem to be the case for Gil’s sale!)

Like the Heart Grinder, the Homer Buddha isn’t a decoration that you can place in your town. It’s really a Mystery Box in disguise – but one for premium items.

You won’t receive a Homer Buddha decoration, which is a bit of a shame because it would make a great item to put on display in your Springfield. Instead, you’ll get the character or object that it contains. You’ll be able to find it in your inventory. If you missed the notification, look out for something that wasn’t there before. (And if you see a Homer Buddha in your inventory, it will transform into something else as soon as you click on it!)

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Early in February, EA posted the following on Tapped Out Help page:

ATTENTION: The Lemon Tree is currently disabled and cannot be stolen at this time. Sorry! We do hope to get this ability restored in the future, but at this time we cannot estimate when that may be. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, and we greatly appreciate your patience.”

My guess is that this has less to do with technical issues and more to do with Apple. After all, the only way the Lemon Tree could be acquired in the first place is through a Mystery Box. And while some people may have been lucky enough to get their Lemon Tree through the free Mystery Box that appears every 5 days, others would have bought one or more Mystery Boxes hoping to acquire the elusive Tree. And, under those circumstances, that makes stealing a Lemon Tree akin to real life theft, something Apple may not have been happy about.

So, perhaps the loss of the ability to steal Lemon Trees together with the promise to restore it in the future is really all about finding a way to distinguish between free and paid-for trees. And that’s likely to minimize complaints to Apple that something that people had paid good money for had been stolen by another game player.

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Unless you’re desperate for a Lemon Tree (the Mystery Boxes are the only way you can get one of these), I really don’t think so – and there’s no guarantee you’ll get a Lemon Tree anyway. You may also get donuts, but this only seems to happen with any regularity when you play the tutorial at the beginning of the game (perhaps to keep you trying again and again in the hope that there will be more donuts).

The Mystery Boxes contain a variety of items and cash – and sometimes those precious donuts. But you only get one gift in each Mystery Box.

While there is a slim chance you may get something good (this is how I got the Squeaky Voice Teen), more often than not they contain decorations you could easily buy with cash, like car parks, benches and brown fences. Donuts are so precious that to spend them getting non-premium items seems a bit of a waste.

If you’re a gambler, you may like to take the chance. If not, the Mystery Boxes can be a bit frustrating and likely to promote buyer’s regret. And, after all, once the Valentine’s event is over, you’ll go back to getting one of these for free once every 5 days – so why take the chance?

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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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The elusive Lemon Tree is won from a Mystery Box – you can’t buy it with either cash or donuts. It gives you a cash bonus every six hours when you click on a basket of lemons.

Until October 2012, if you saw one in a friends’ town you could steal it from them and plant it in your Springfield. Then, after 24 hours any of your friends could steal it from you!

As of 15 October 2012, however, the Lemon Tree was disabled and couldn’t be stolen. EA describes this as a glitch and say that they hope to get this ability restored in the future, although they also say that they can’t estimate when that may be.

I kind of hope they don’t fix this particular glitch – I like my Lemon Tree. It took months to get, and I would hate anyone to steal it!

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