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I guess I just like liking things

I said I wouldn’t do it, but I did: I bought virtual donuts with actual money. I spent $20 to get 300 Donuts for The Simpsons: Tapped Out. There were two main contributing factors:

  1. Whacking Day – The current month-long even has you whacking snakes around town, and there are prizes for whacking certain amounts of snakes. So far I’ve earned two buildings, a new outfit for Lisa, a pet snake and some scenery. One of those buildings is Duff Stadium, and a friend of mine who bought Duff Brewery a while back showed me that Duff Man gets a new task where he jetpacks around the stadium if you have it. I already wanted Duff Man (I don’t drink beer, but Duff Man amuses me greatly), and seeing him jetpack around was just too much temptation. Duff Brewery and Duff Man together are 190 Donuts (math bits coming up in a little bit).
  2. Guilt/Peer Pressure – Not an active pressure, more of a “I hadn’t considered that” factor. The aforementioned friend has spent many, many dollars on donuts, and his town is filled with most of the premium items. It’s cool to visit and see, but that’s not the pressuring factor. I asked him why he’d spent so much on the game and he said, “I really enjoy playing it and have spent a lot of time on it. I’ve spent $60 on Xbox games I’ve played less, and this is also a way I can support the game creators and thank them for making something so fun.” While I think the Simpsons empire is doing fine without my $20, his dual points of time spent/dollars paid and thanking the creators made sense.
The irony of Barney performing his "Sober Up" task in front of the Duff Building and Stadium had escaped me until just this very moment

The irony of Barney performing his “Sober Up” task in front of the Duff Building and Stadium had escaped me until just this very moment

Aside from all that, I’ve long wanted Duff Brewery and a few of the other premium buildings. My top two desired items were the Springfield Sign and the Duff Brewery. The sign bumps up XP and dollars earned from tasks significantly, and I’ve already explained why I wanted the Brewery.

But there’s a problem: I didn’t do my math correctly.

I bought the Brewery, as you can see from the screenshot included. It was 190 donuts. I currently have 141 donuts (those figures add up to more than the 300 I purchased because the game has given me some here and there, but only enough to tantalize). Here are the costs for some other things I”d like to have:

  • Springfield Sign: 170 Donuts
  • Frink’s Lab (comes with Professor Frink): 150 Donuts
  • Krustylu Studios (comes with Sideshow Mel): 140 Donuts
  • Volcano Lair (comes with Hank Scorpio): 200 Donuts

In order to buy all of them, I’d need 660 Donuts.  I could buy 900 for $49.99. I could also buy 2400 for $99.99. These are not things I’m prepared to do. I already feel a little bit bad about spending $20 on the 300 I bought, as there are plenty of other things I should/need to buy, like, actual physical things.

There is a random gift mechanic in the game, something that could get me a couple of those things. If I spend 15 Donuts on a Homer Buddha statue, it will contain a premium item. I have, in fact, purchased a couple of these over the course of the game, figuring that I’d never have enough Donuts for the major items, so I might as well gamble with the few I had gotten. From those Buddhas I have received fences, hedges, and the Squeaky Voice Teen. I have no use for fences and hedges, but have enjoyed SVT, I guess.  The odds of me getting the Volcano Lair or Frink’s Lab are very, very small, and I’m guessing I’d be wasting Donuts trying for them, even though I could buy 9 Home Buddhas with the Donuts I have left.

At this point I have a couple of options:

  • But Krustylu Studios and get another character I like okay
  • Wait a couple of months and see if I get 9 more Donuts randomly given to me, enough to buy Frink and his lab
  • Buy more Donuts (I do not want to do this)

The real shame of it is I could have bought the Sign and Frink’s Lab with the Donuts I bought and would have had two of the three things I wanted the most, instead of having now the one I wanted the most and (possiblech) some other thing that I’m okay with having even if I didn’t really want want it.

And, yes, I realize that if this is the most difficult decision I have to struggle with this week then maybe things are pretty good and I should stop whining.


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