Free Donuts! A TSTO guide for cheats and cheaters

Cheaters

It is funny how synchronicity in life works. Often, when you are facing indecision over which way to go, events come along and make the decision for you.  No…seriously…it is REALLY funny.

It’s time to deal with this issue once and for all…

There are so many convoluted issues revolving around TSTO donut cheaters and the uncomfortable reality of working in an environment that is “owned” (as much as a TSTO community can be owned outside of the readers and contributors) by one of the most notorious donut cheat exploiters in TSTO history…is…well…an understated ambiguity of the highest order.

I am not going to give any real attention here to those who have offered, sold, or promoted cheating in the game. The facts are pretty clear, and it is equally obvious by recent game dialogue that EA is FINALLY doing something about it.  How this all turns out remains to be seen…but at the very least, it appears that at least some of the software exploits have been patched.

No…what I want to talk about is the way in which cheaters in TSTO, and for that matter in real life, diminish the value and quality of the game, as well as our existential existence, by their actions.
The dilemma of playing TSTO the right way is much the same as the dilemma of being an honest citizen in the United States tax system. While MOST people pay their taxes, under the convoluted and ever-changing rule set of the US tax code, there is a large contingent of people who “make money” at the game of cheating on their taxes. In fact, most major corporations have huge legal accounting departments set up for the express purpose of finding corporate loopholes that allow multi-million/billion dollar companies to pay less Federal tax in some cases than the average combined-income household. They do it because they can. The system is broken, and without throwing out the entire tax code, and going to a flat tax (not likely to happen, because the same huge companies also have loads of lobbyists), those who play the game correctly will always pay more than those who find ways to cheat.

Oh…wait…we were talking about TSTO. Actually- this is the perfect analogy. Because just like the game of life, the game of TSTO has all sorts of “loopholes” built into it (bugs and vulnerabilities in programming parlance), that blatantly allowed people to cheat the game, as well as cheating EA out of revenue. How blatant? Gosh…let’s ask Homer and Lisa!

Cheaters-dialogue

Now onto the PRAGMATIC part of the new position EA is very visibly stating…as well as a POSSIBLE warning shot being fired across the bow of hackers and users alike.

I am the owner of an Internet services and applications company for broadcasters. I state this, because I am vastly familiar with what it takes to build, launch and administer an app, or content management system that isn’t loaded with bugs…especially one that uses an associated Database like the Origin servers that EA employs.  The downside, is that the programming for multiple devices (and their idiosyncratic needs) is a nightmare…there is no solid standard. This creates bugs and problems for each device. Major bugs, especially in the base code (the code on which the entire game is written), can be difficult to repair, especially after the game has several updates. BUT…EA left a HUGE hole in the code with the backdating ability, and hack/server code nesting, that allowed not only loads of people to “crack/hack” the game for free donuts (and violate the game’s user agreement), as well as others to turn the exploit into a side business of SELLING the hacked result as a “Discounted Donuts” Scam. And it was a scam. They were (are?) selling donuts, and outdated items, by hacking the game, backdating devices, and then SELLING them (by having you give them your game username and password) so they could pose as you…and you can get the items. Kinda…mostly.

There are countless pending and unresolved PayPal tickets open over this. Many people lost money, to these guys…and even those who “Did it for FREE” just to “help” others play the game more easily, are of the same ilk as the sludgeballs who SOLD the same information.

There are loads of real world examples to make my point…but let’s cut to the chase, and call the hacker/cheaters what they are…creeps. They are NOT “helping” the TSTO game community any more than the lobbyists and lawyers who help major corporations cheat the tax system are helping the average middle-class taxpayer who pays more than their fair share.

The fact is…EA is LIKELY charging more for Premium Items, and making it more difficult to earn donuts through legitimate means, BECAUSE these assclowns (sorry…but it fits) who simply refuse to work within society, choose to mess the game up for everyone else.

I am not a super-fan of EA (as my writing reveals). But, they have a rule-set laid out within which to play the game. Their programming is buggy…and annoying at times…but they are a FOR PROFIT company that exists by offering OPTIONAL premium items for sale…and it is up to YOU to decide if there is value in what they offer.

VOTE WITH YOUR WALLET… if you don’t like something, or think it is overpriced… then don’t buy it. If enough people DON’T buy it…EA will get the idea and lower the prices. Or at least they should. After all, we are talking about FAKE digital real estate and items…and the ones that come with characters (requiring more programming and investment of staff/pay) should be more than just a casual decoration.  But again…it’s your FREE WILL that makes the call.

When you choose to cheat…you are cheating everyone.  Not just EA, but everyone. And…please don’t forget that you are handing over your login information to an admitted cheater/criminal. You might as well be handing your bank account information to one of those Nigerian email phishers who are trying to get you to “help them move money to a safe bank account, and will reward you with a large percentage of the money moved!” Come on. You KNOW better. Don’t do it.

The fact is…business spends loads of resources on thwarting those who hack. We spend tens of thousands a year, keeping hackers, phishers, and malware Trojans from our broadcast clients. Hackers are the lowest form of sludge in my book. Most of them are social misfits who have no other means of self-gratification than playing the “Look what I can do!” game, in an effort to try to impress others.  Bah… you aren’t special. If you are REALLY the hotshot programmers you say you are…BUILD YOUR OWN GAME and take it to market…and then let people decide how good you really are.

In short…there are a handful of people that I truly hope get burned when/if EA actually fixes their exploitable code holes.

Here are just a few.

http://www.reddit.com/r/FreeDonuts
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=tsto+donuts&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.Xthe+simpsons+tapped+out+donuts&_nkw=the+simpsons+tapped+out+donuts&_sacat=0

ONE FINAL WORD OF WARNING…

If EA can patch the bug for backdating your device, or stealing donuts (AND IT IS STEALING…the same way downloading other copyrighted material is stealing), they can also run a DB query that matches the number of donuts in an account…to the number of donuts earned/bought…and NUKE the accounts of those who cheated. SO…AGAIN…is it worth it?

When you “buy discounted donuts” or use a game cheat to get free donuts, you are willingly making the choice to do the wrong thing. It is no different than looting a store during a natural disaster or riot. There is no “nice/legal” way to paint stealing as anything but the crime it is.

IT’S YOUR CALL… you have the option to play the game of life the right way…harming no others, and playing with a sense of Compassion, Communication and Cooperation… OR…can be just like the sludge-buckets who make cheating others just “part of the game,” no matter who they hurt.

And it’s all because most of these lowlifes couldn’t get a date if they paid for one…with ill-gotten donut earnings. Frustration and the need for validation is a dangerous thing in the hands of the lazy and amoral.

In the end, the way I play the game is the way I try to play my role in life. I try to live as an example to others who seek my opinion, as well as the person who got me into the game in the first place. I don’t want to have to tell my nine-year-old grandson, “Sure…it’s OK to steal donuts!” Because stealing, is stealing, is stealing…and I want him to respect me.

Free Will. It’s the greatest gift of this life. The right to CHOOSE to do the right thing…even when it is easier to take a shortcut, should be an easy choice every time.

Keep on tappin’
CrankyOldGuy

400-Promo-ani

All rights reserved Gimme 20 LLC
All game graphics and dialogue ™ and © FOX, EA, Gracie Films

78 Responses to Free Donuts! A TSTO guide for cheats and cheaters

  1. I was only looking for info on the Elf House, yet here I find y’all! I haven’t been blog-searching much as of late, but I did see a suspicious lack of Duck pride when I swung by my old Tips haunt. I found you guys and I saw the Elephant in the room post and both my jaw and stomach dropped. I swear that I am an ordinarily fairly savvy individual– that was utterly duped. A mixture of faith in the “original owner” and a moderate due-diligence google search (that apparently yielded exactly the results the unknown new owner wanted me to find) got me past my, “wait, really?” reaction. If it had actually been free, I would have scoffed with as much derision as I regarded the “unlimited donuts” videos on YouTube. But “discounted” is a much more cunning cloak than “free” or “unlimited”. I had recently gotten a boatload directly from EA, so it’s not like I haven’t actually supported them but I genuinely did, naive as it sounds now, think EA was getting that money. Unfortunately, my delight at having found you here at this site is tainted with shame at being taken in, regret that I inadvertently supported crooks, fear for my paypal and the game I’ve lovingly cultivated and invested in, and horrid guilt about the two friends of mine who bought on my recommendation. I guess I’ll break the bad news tomorrow. Thanks for all your hard work and honesty. Go Ducks.

    • WOW!!!!!!!!! So people are still finding their way over from Mipps?? Very good to know.

      Here’s the good new…Confession is good for the soul. You will find a goodly number of former donut sinners here…you will find them painting the bathroom wall of our new restaurant in penance. SO nice to have you…really! Take some time to poke around…you will be blown away by the difference in our new place! Honesty….what a concept!

    • First let me say that the sheer amount of time you put into such a thoughtful response indicates you have a solid conscious and understanding of things. You also seemvery intelligent and thoughtful: In short, welcome home.You’re amongst friends here, and we understand.

      We all make mistakes, and whether witting or unwittingly, it’s about what we do today that matters. You can’t change the past, and you should neither ignore it nor dwell on it. You’ll find a way to pay it forward, it’s the holidays. Do some good outside of the game, for someone who really needs it, and you’ll be just fine.

      I’m quite glad you’ve found us. We’ll have some fun together and here you can move past that ugly chapter, just like we did.

  2. I have pretty much spent a lot of money on this game. Why? Well two simple reasons: first of all it’s a free game, and secondly there are hard working Simpsons Tapped Out guys and girls at EA who are bringing us new content when they can. Premium items and characters are there so they can maintain the servers and keep it running for the peeps like us to keep playing and enjoying the game. I do admit I’m not a fan of large corporations but when something is huge and enjoyed all over the world then just try and give a little back.

    There is no way could I ever think about hacking my account, even though they are asking you to give money to them it sounded to good to be true and it’s backfired on a lot of angry fellow Tapped Out Springfielders

    By my reckoning EA are probably giving everyone a warning for future, if you try to hack there will be consequences, and for those who have been conned by that website it’s more of a lesson learned, and just maybe EA are letting that be punishment enough for you. Who knows!

    But fellow Tappers if you enjoy the game so much, even if you go for the Scrathcard now and then, that’s 69p towards help keep the game running. I’m recently unemployed so thank god I bought a whole load of doughnuts before it happened and Xmas is coming up in Springfield :D

    Happy tapping.

    • A very thoughful and well reasoned comment. It’s true that such a massive freemium game depends on the “mium” part to maintain it for free and premium players alike. Who knows how EA will handle the past, but tehy’ve made a clear point about the future. PAtric and I have also made a firm announcement of our stance. Nice to have like minded people with us. Happy tapping to you as well, and all the best on the job hunt whenever you resume it.

  3. Sideband Samurai

    I have come from the other site. I watched the whole thing going down. I even visited the lamezinio site and thought wow this is cool. In the end I did not buy anything.

    Why you ask? Deep in the back of my mind something told me it was too good to be true. The thing that bothered me was the “purchase of itunes cards”. I thought .. how do they deliver this to you? Then I remembered in World of Warcraft the gold farmers and how they sold gold to you for real cash. Since there is no interaction with other players like in WOW i figured they were hacking your account by asking for your username and password. I am sorry but I NEVER and I repeat NEVER give away the keys to the kingdom.

    I was also suspicious about people completing their orders and getting more doughnuts than asked for. That really made me wonder.

    I am glad to be here but I admit I visit the other place because I have always loved a good bonfire. And Cranky made a big one over there. I have some marshmellows the size of small pillows. Anyone care to join me in a marshpillow roast?

    • Wise you are… Whoa. I think I just channeled Yoda! The guy is getting what he deserved.

    • You should never give away “the keys to your kingdom”…which sounds like advice a father gives his teenage daughter.

      Things that seem to good to be true often are, and people who cheat in life often get theirs in the end. Karma’s a female dog.

      Save me a s’more buddy.

  4. My stars… What a bunch of pearl clutching Schoolmarms! You can’t possibly believe that EA actually HAD TO raise their prices because people found an exploitable loophole in a video game due to EA’s design laziness. You can’t possibly be that naive. EA charges what it charges because they want to charge that much because it’s pretty great when people give you lots of money! (Not because their stock of imaginary Thanksgiving balloons was being depleted by “doughnut thieves.” Good grief.)

    I haven’t taken part in any of the rock-bottom priced doughnut sales I’ve seen online because I was unsure about trusting anyone with my precious game but I wish I had because it would be a lot more fun to play the game with unlimited reasonably priced doughnuts and items I missed out on… (Actually, what would be more fun would be if I could spend, oh say, $19.99 and just have a game where everything is available to me for earned in-game currency as I unlock it by leveling up but that’s not how you earn the BIG BUCK$ with iPhone games at the moment.)

    That being said y’all remind me of the kids in school who tattled when smarter, craftier children got away with something fun or the teacher who told cheaters that by cheating on a meaningless arbitrary test they were really cheating themselves… Rii-ight, because having ones cake and savoring it too is just, like, the worst. But, by all means enjoy your sanctimoniousness.

    Ultimately, if EA wants to prevent hacking they can and they will. I hardly think the rest of us need to have a “come to Jesus” moment about the evils of free imaginary doughnuts.

    • WHOAAAAAA there girl… so much to digest… so much “sanctimonious” use of the word sanctimonious.

      Let me make a couple of points clear. First- that wasn’t random chatter. I am, and have been in touch with EA, as part of the book, and as a chance for future cooperation in helping to keep lines open between users and the company. So…the bit about them raising prices over loss, is not idle. It is common sense. EVERY retail business has a factor built into pricing for “theft loss” and this is likely not any different.

      That said…As I have stated in an exhaustive piece on the old site, as well as in the book we just published, there is a logical marketing method to EA’s pricing strategy that is driven by simple “supply and demand”- they will charge as much as the market is willing to pay.

      Your “Smarter,Craftier Children” reference is really the downfall of your post. Many of those SCC (because typing those words makes me throw up in my mouth a little) turn out to be scofflaws, and criminals…oh…which they are. Digital property that is marketed as an asset for the exchange of currency, is as protected as a pack of gum on a grocer’s counter. The SCC who sneak a pack of gum off of the counter, and then make up excuses for why they are “justified” in doing so…are still breaking the law. This has nothing too do with a “Come to Jebus” moment…and everything to do, with making sure that people understand that we do not agree with the concept…and are in fact, more than willing to help expose the SELLERS of hacked items.

      Do you ALSO have no problem buying stolen or obviously fenced items in the “REAL world?” Or is that just another SCC “cool kid thing” that I don’t get?

      Sorry to be harsh…but holyufreakinshirt. You sound kinda like a fake donut user/buyer/supporter who is trying to justify your actions.

      If I missed the intent of your post…sorry about that. But, this is OBVIOUSLY a touchy item for many who were caught up in the “Sh*#-storm” of the Tips world.

      • Yeah I never understood why tattling was such a bad thing. In the case of the pack of gum it may be small but if stolen someone loses a profit. I grew up in a poor town and people would want to steal items from the gas station store (mostly lowlifes). Even if it were small, people who stole said why this big corporation already makes all kinds of money. THAT IS NOT JUSTIFIABLE. Stealing one donut is stealing.EA does lose profit. At my job if profits go down pay goes down. Those packs of gum add up.”victimless crime” right….

    • Smarter, craftier children? Are we talking future Robin Hoods here? Or the ones for whom it really was just a phase and who do grow up and lead productive lives?

      Or are we talking the person who burgles your house ten years down the line to buy drugs? Or the person who happy slaps your child? Or even the one who isn’t really a bad person but drink drives one day and hits a pedestrian?

      People who break the rules because it spoils their fun tend to be pretty selfish and short-sighted in my opinion. I might not have told tales, but I always saw those kids for exactly what they were.
      I didn’t think they were cool. Just a little pitiful.

  5. I never bought any doughnuts, never cheated for doughnuts, and always accepted that the prenium stuff is a bonus. Sure I looked for ways to get doughnuts easily, but I stayed away from anything that went beyond just playing the game. I just wish EAcwould do the ‘bonus doughnuts’ thing more often, rather than during holidays and whatnot. In fact, after learning about the ‘tapping Homer constant,y’ Easter egg, I tried it on every character…to no avail sadly. But the matter stands: only people like Fat Tony are allowed shortcuts in life

    • Well put and I respect your stance. EA should even the plane a bit by giving more chances to earearn donuts…lets see if they listen to us.

      And yes a little part of all of us wants to be that gangster…but their stories rarely have happy endings.

  6. I thoughts guys posted the hack to the TSTO FB page? I saw it on there.

  7. Didn’t do the cheat, but I’m not judging those that did. Sure, it screws with the in-game economy a bit. But EA was charging monstrous prices for donuts before the cheat was found (partly motivating the search for a cheat), so I’m not blaming high prices on the cheaters. EA is a business and they factor in contingencies like hacks — Tapped Out is making them gobs of money, I’m not worried about EA.

    And lolz to all the “I didn’t know I was cheating :(” posts. Please.

  8. There is a bit of a catch 22 here. Let’s face it, the donuts are not cheap and thus the temptation for people to cheat the system to get cheaper donuts is pretty big.

    I don’t agree with point that the premium items are expensive now because of Lamezino etc. I think EA are exploiting a gullible audience to the maximum and also using techniques that the gambling industry use to tempt people to part with cash (e.g scratch cards for heavens sakes) I am lucky I can afford to spend money on this game, but many others and especially kids are not in such a position.

    It would be nice if EA introduced a business model of rewarding loyal EA customers for their other game purchases with reward points that could be used on donuts, leveraged advertising (e.g watch an advert to earn a donut), and do this alongside the buy a donut mechanism that exists today. It would make the game more affordable whilst maintaining their revenues in other ways and probably grow their customer base.

    EA are not a poor company by any stretch of the imagination

    • You are right for the most part, Rusty…but, EA is a for profit company. They will figure this out…when the point of resistance is met by the consumers. You know about that… when you price a new dish, you are going to maximize the profit, until people stop buying it at that price…then you back it off a bit.

      Like EA did with donut pricing… It was $120 originally for 2400…now 99.99 (the advertising agent’s favorite ploy…JUST under a big bill).

      There is a science to pricing, which I cover extensively in THE BOOK! (shameless plug)

  9. HI guys… until I read this post I had no idea about the Gamezino story… TSTOTips was a really trustworthy site, or at least seemed to be, and it’s really terrible to learn now that I payed for someone to cheat for me. I thought it was strange, but coming from the TSTOTips it seemed really hard to believe it wasn’t trustworthy. I mean, the site owner helped a lot of people for no money at all when there was all the trouble with the Harp of Death… but did I understand right, by following the comments, that who posted on “Mr. T”‘s name about Gamezino was a fake person, is that it? I thought I was following the site, but I don’t read any other source of information about TSTO and don’t often read the comments, so I’m really lost in this discussion.
    I feel really bad about this! The thing is, if someone finds a bug that gives them free donuts and decides to use it, whether that’s right or wrong is not really my problem, I won’t judge. But if someone profits from it, that is terrible, and I’m really disgusted to learn that I helped someone profit from it. I guess you can’t always only do the right choices, even if you want to.

    • You are right… it’s always about Free Will…
      Glad to see you over here in a more happy, transparent place!
      We started right off by SHOWING you who we are…that was important.

    • A LOT of people were in the dark. That’s mostly because the wrong people had the ability and the voice to keep it in the dark, or just spread false information about it.

      Cranky’s right. We’re here to be in a transparent place, open about ourselves and who we are, what we’ve done and what we’re going to do…and bring everyone along for the fun of it.

  10. Fully agree with the principle of this post, that cheaters are the lowest of the low, but
    the same way downloading other copyrighted material is stealing)
    is not legally true, downloading copyrighted material illegally is not theft or stealing, but infringement of copyright, a different offence to theft.

  11. I’m just thankful we are in an age where we can enjoy this FREE app on our phones. Been saving my donuts because my little sister wants the springfield sign…..9 donuts to go!!

  12. Gosh! You start playing a seemingly mindless carton based game, and next thing you know you are in moral dilemma territory! I started playing just over a year ago, and will admit I googled regularly to see if I could find a way to get extra doughnuts……and apart from the bash Homer trick, I failed miserably. Then I saw that EA might block me if I got caught, and I decided it was not worth the risk. I resolutely played on a freemium basis, cursing every time I lost doughnuts accidentally (until I saw your tip on how to stop that!) until Halloween this year, when I decided to reward myself with a few goodies.

    Personally, I am not too bothered about people who have cheated to get everything – I don’t particularly like house farmers or people that just dump all their buildings in a ghetto like heap, simply because it makes them hard work as neighbours – and equally I will have absolutely no sympathy for them if (and it us a big IF) EA ever gets around to blocking them – hey, you knew you were bucking the system, and you can’t complain if it bucks you!

    My intention is to be more choosy about my neighbours; we all need good ones to get the best out of social updates and I am going to focus more on people who choose to play like me.

    It takes a while to understand how things work….it took me almost a year to stumble across this haven, but it is now my first port of call before I log in to tsto (best to catch up on the news BEFORE I set my tasks!)

    My thanks to Ryan and Patric – you illuminate my days with your insights! Good luck with the new home and the book (can I send my kindle over to have a signed inscription from the authors?).

    Cheers and happy hols

    • Graham… we are the ones that wrote a book…but you have lived through the game in a way that merits the rewards that your efforts will bring!

      We are more than happy to figure out a way to do DIGITAL copies… AND…we will be launching a contest, as planned at the end of the week, where you can win an autographed print version or maybe even iTunes gift cards. WATCH THIS SPACE!

    • Yeah Patric has a marketing streak in him. Of course he wants to talk about the contest…

      I’ll autograph anything: books, e-books (it’ll ruin your kindle in the most priceless way), t-shirts, body parts…let’s go nuts.

  13. Like I said on another thread, I got taken in. Wouldn’t have considered it apart from the endorsement. That said, when something is too good to be true, it’s because it usually is. I should have known better.

    I have spent real money on buying legit donuts, but will have to take it on the chin if my account is blocked. EA, for all their flaws, are a business that make a great game. They didn’t tell me to buy from an unofficial source, but I made a decision to.

    You make your bed and you lie in it.

    • That is perhaps one of the most mature views I’ve heard taken on the issue. That being said we’ve all lived and learned and I hope we can all get back to the love part…and the laughter (that’s my favorite “L”)
      What happened happened, wat comes next is up to all of us.

  14. EA should track those down who cheat the game. The game is offered for free an of course we pay for the option of premium items. I started playing three months ago and have played daily. (broken leg – lots of free time) I have purchased donuts just because I wanted to add to the character of my town even though the price was a little high. I played continuously throughout the Halloween campaign and did gain many donuts but still I have no where near the needed donuts to get all or even half the premium items. So, when I visit one of my neighbors/friends towns and they have everything including hundreds of fruit trees, planters balloons etc it sort of rubs me the wrong way. Hey, great if they have the extra cash to invest in buying donuts but really, who’s gonna invest that much in a game?. Why doesn’t EA fix the holes, an offer a premium version of the game to buy that has better options for donuts and premium items. As is, I’m waiting for the xmas update and saving my donuts for something I deem worthwhile.

    • EA is kind of like the Microsoft of Gaming companies. They only fix bugs when their users find them…and it starts costing them money. But…I guess, at least now, one of the major exploits is finally patched.

      They have a new divisional VP (since August) and I suspect a lot of things will change soon…

  15. I have been reading around your blog today, and my education has commenced. I don’t consider myself an idiot, but I was fooled into thinking the ‘discount donut site’ mentioned on the Tips site was legitimate enough to use. And now I see that it was cheating. I am very angry with myself. I have been reading Tips since Jan/feb- and I was not aware that the “original owner” was not a member of the group that I was listening to- the group whom I considered a ‘quality reference’.
    I don’t know what to say besides I hope EA keeps their focus on fixing the holes in the code, and not punishing those of us who jumped into those holes.
    On the other hand, having a few donuts to spend has converted me into a completist (isn’t that the word?) I am saving christmas gifts for itunes credits so I can begin the $100 a year that I think is a fair price for software that I use EVERY DAY. I think now I need to buy a book too, to support the blog that I (will now) read everyday.
    Thanks again for the work that you have done for us. Keep up the good work!
    Thanks for the new blog, and thanks for the “Elephant in the Room” entry. I was a huge fan of the original owner, and it pained me to read the comments during the time of Herman’s Military Antiques. At the time, I knew it must have gotten bad, but… wow.

    • So glad to see you here, I recognize and appreciate your input from back at the old site. It was an education for a lot of people, even Patric and I walked into it without being fully aware…then we had to double back and figure out just what we were doing.

      We knew there was a community worth saving because it is such a lively one. Lots of people were duped, it’s time to put the past behind us. This site is about having a clean slate for all of us to just get back to enjoying the game and each other.

      Please don’t start thinking of yourself as an idiot, and don’t be angry with yourself either. Just come, have a seat, and enjoy the new place.

      Glad to have you along with us.

    • April,
      We are so glad to have you over here where the air is clean, and the shackles are forgotten. The story is far more sad and convoluted than even played in the story…but everyone is really doing what they should. The “Fill in Chef” has his own blog site…and they are doing well. We communicate regularly, and he is really glad to have the story out, finally… The original owner has communicated with us, and has started a completely unrelated business. He seems like a really nice guy…but certainly could have handled things better. The Fake Chef is off hiding somewhere…still hasn’t surfaced. This is bound to be an interesting week!

  16. Honestly, this is the kind of hogwash I have come to expect from the Crankyoldguy.

    SORRY that we all arent loaded and ready to drop wads of cash on something. Everyone always tries to find loopholes.

    But thats not my point. My point is that WE DID NOT KNOW GAMEZINO WAS A FAKE. or that tstotips was ran by somekind of EA backstabber. We trusted tstotips for good information. Gamezino seemed legit (not everyone is proficient at creating and monitoring websites). The fact is that no one should be disattributed to the game because of Gamezino. We thought it was a real thing, turns out we were wrong, but WE WERE DUPED. we were not the ones duping of EA

    • First of all lay of Cranky. He and I don’t always agree but “hogwash” is a little strong.

      Look I see where you’re coming from. At the time everything Tips had said was legit and incredibly helpful…that’s how scammers work, they take advantage of trusting and trustworthy people to do their dirt. I feel for you and know what it’s like to have trust broken. I’m also not one to walk around with my “scam radar” on full throttle at all times. I WANT to trust people.

      Our point is to leave the past behind us. With this post and this discussion in the comments to lay it to reast for all of us. Let’s all get back to the game.

      • I agree wholeheartedly with you. You both are great. I think cranky is a good guy who is sick of all the people who think they are better than the system. I just dont much like extensive ranting. A quick rant is better! Plus i did not like the idea of losing an account cause we got duped. That being said im going to buy your book this afternoon. Cheers and happy holidays

        • I had a feeling we were on exactly the same page…I also had a feeling you were a Brit so cheers to you as well! I wish no ill on anyone who got duped by the scam. Like I said I just want our community to get back to having fun together, as it used to be and always should. Thanks for your support and for the intelligent discourse. We’re not here to have everyone agree with us, or even agree with each other. I just hope everyone takes a cue from you and writes what they feel in a civilized manner so we can discuss it. You are truly helping us set the tone we wanted to. Thanks to you for that.

      • That said, lay it to rest, why did Cranky post the subject? Don’t get me wrong, nothing like a little rant to generate a good conversation!

        • There were people out there who weren’t going to let this rest until the story was out there. In the end, the community deserves to know. Lies were told, people were hurt, and the uncertainty drove some nuts. We wanted to do one definitive “Here it is, and there it goes” moment. Something to refer the detractors to as it will now live on this site as a reference…so that this can be the last time we have to have this conversation. Interesting as it may be to many, it’s one we’re sick of having…and sick of having someone else’s BS taint our actual hard work.

          • LOL… so, Ryan. Tell them what you REALLY think! I love anything that has the terms BS and taint so close together in one sentence. I am reformed…I don’t rant anymore…I am just the voice of quiet and businesslike pragmatism. Which is actually a bit scarier.

            Let’s tell it like it is… we are JACKED to finally be free. And it looks like a ton of people are coming along for the ride! Whoooooooohooooo!

    • Hogwash???? BALDERDASH I say!!!! I am not going to go into huge detail here…but as a father of five, and grandfather of four, I always like to teach my kids the value of free will. You can say you were duped…I’m fine with that. The creeps who pulled that one off had help, and took advantage of the reputation of someone who had built a following based on fairness and NOT cheating the game. So…as many of us did, we suspected something was weird.

      But…GAMEZNO (which I will mention by name, as you already have done so), had accomplices in those who knew in their hearts that something wasn’t right about getting discounted donuts from anyone except the maker of the game (it’s in the user agreement, and posted on their forum), but you just “went along for the ride.”

      My kids are the kind of people who when given too much change by a harried cashier, will return it and point out the mistake. They turn in wallets they find, and take lost cell phones to someone who can keep them safe until they are found. They are honest as the day is long…because they found out that they never have to worry about “who might punish them for doing something bad” when they had the choice not to participate.

      I AGREE that the lowest form of slime. pretends to be someone else…and lures people in. But, in the end, it takes “two to tango” when it comes to doing something sneaky, and against the fabric of the game.

      EA charges too much. PERIOD. BUT, part of that is because they are trying deal with a never-ending list of people perpetrating a “victim-less crime.”

      You are probably safe. I have no idea. But there are LOADS of people who knew better…or simply didn’t feel right about the “DISCOUNTED DONUTS” scam…if it wasn’t directly from EA.

      Here is the link to the EA forum…. NOTICE THE PINNED item that has been there since late July.

      http://forum.ea.com/eaforum/forums/show/4128.page;jsessionid=28EE1E843482B839C388E74D147B8A05

      • I agree. See above. Its tough navigating this world of ill intentions. Hopefully we can all become more upstanding citizrns by having these discussions.

        • Thanks so much… it is a world FULL of ways to make a poor choice…especially when someone is wearing a fake mustache and name tag.

          I hope you didn’t get suckered…or were you one who actually received their donuts? Actually…I don’t want to know. Thanks for your support…and making your way over to this place… we ARE different.

        • Amen. Once again I see that you really get us, and couldn’t be happier to have you here.

  17. I love that you guys are taking a stand against this, it is cheating so it’s wrong! People trying to defend this are just trying to feel better about themselves because they’ve done it and don’t want to admit it’s not ok! I’ve been playing tsto since it first came out but just recently started reading this blog (since Halloween) and by this blog I mean the one before haha the thing is, this is the first time I hear about people hacking the game for free donuts and I think it does affect other players because it’s not fair! I’m on level 37 and every premium item I have (not many) I’ve gotten with the donuts I’ve accumulated thru my time playing and it’s not been easy because I’ve decided not to spend any real dollars on the game, so it has taken me time to have the items I have and it’s just not fair that other people cheat and steal to get them faster ! I hope EA does start blowing up the accounts of the cheaters!
    P.S. Love your blog guys! Keep up the good and entertaining writing

  18. Is it possible that if EA didn’t charge so much for certain things like $100 for 2,400 donuts, people wouldn’t be as inclined to hack their way to easy donuts? I was a little surprised to see they did lower the prices, because when I started playing, they charged around $120. I thought that was rather excessive, seeing as how you can buy a platform game for $60+ lol. & as with those games, hackers are gonna be everywhere and all EA can do is keep them to a minimum as much as they possibly can. I’m not intelligent enough to hack, so I’m not trying to say I’m a hacker lol

    • Dear God (sounds a little ominous),
      Yes…EA charges a TON for Fake Stuff that only exists in the ether… Just like the IRS and throwing money into the huge national deficit. But, in both cases, we have to play under the rule set, or pay the price.

      We are all playing under the same rule set…how one does it, and another does it is up to them. Free Will as I like to say, is our greatest gift…just depends how you choose to play.

      I PERSONALLY think EA would be miles ahead of retaining people and getting them to tap even more maniacally, if they had a way to earn donuts by buying them with game cash. Even a ridiculous amount like !,000,000 for 100 donuts. People would actually play more…and be LESS inclined to cheat.

      • Yes! Why don’t they do cash, tap into donuts? I have wondered. You are so right..people would be tapping their a**es off like me! Ha!

  19. A lot of the excuses sound like the ones thrown around during the Napster era — and let’s take a look at how that turned out for people.

    • BINGO!
      I am also an ASCAP music writer/publisher…who hates the old system…but understands it. The solution to all of this of course is, “If you don’t like the game…don’t play it, or make one of your own!”

  20. Nuclearvideoshd

    Oh c’mon, why are you bashing me?

    • Nuke…EA already did the bashing. We are just reporting it. It is just time that the whole sordid story be told… I’m sorry that you were part of it, but we didn’t decide to endorse hacking. Just sayin’…

  21. At best, EA can make assumptions as to who is cheating their system. There is no way they can link apple or android email addresses to origin accounts, mainly because they don’t have access to this! They can make assumptions, but they cannot be sure. Given their history at maintaing server stability, I highly doubt they will focus on this. Even if they ban someone, what gain is that for them? It makes much more financial sense to just pile all their resources into producing more content for the idiots that want to pay them cash?

    Cheating doesn’t affect other players. And even if they patch the game, hackers gonna hack… I’ve found bugs in this game without trying before. Anyone remember the -1 donut hack?

    • John- I would like to agree with you…but really can’t. First of all, as I said, it is a VERY easy DB query to match earned/sold donuts to what has been inventories and spent. It is also allowing someone to “steal” Premium items, without earning them.

      I agree…there is gray area, in that like the current Boardwalk glitch, or the “clean up trash” glitch, there are ways that EA brings it upon themselves. That is not the same as what we are writing about here… which is blatant hacking, and prospering from those hacks.

      Again…there are LOADS of ways to play the game. We just don’t endorse hacking…or those who SELL the hacks to others under the guise of discounted donuts.

      • Very logical. Nicely reasoned.

      • It’s only easy to query this if EA has planned this from the start. You’re making an assumption that they are storing every single action that the user is doing. While it’s nice to think that this is the case, just think about the additional storage costs involved here. For a small project this would be nothing, but for TSTO the storage would be massive. And storage will cost EA money and this will all have been part of their business plan.

        Given EA’s previous incompetence at keeping this game running, and the blatant security flaws regarding hacking for donuts, I highly doubt that they have *all* of this data. And even if they do, it will cost them a hell of a lot of money and time to run automated searches to find the cheaters. Again, all of this will just affect the genuine paying user as EA take resources away from them – so why would they do this?

        Then there’s the question of did the user hack the donuts, or did it happen via a glitch? When the -1 hack was possible, I could buy anything I wanted and it didn’t affect my donut count. This was not my fault, but now you’re grouping me with users who have actively looked into cheating the game? When the android-origin release came out, there was a glitch that happened when logging into origin on the android and then logging back into iOS – it would randomly give me free donuts instead of money on tasks (I’m not sure how many people knew about this one as I kept it quiet). Am I a hacker? It was innocently motivated…

        I’m not condoning cheating (although why people pay for in game items baffles me), and I’m not saying that EA will not put preventative methods going forward but it just seems like a very expensive task for them to retrospectively look for people who have cheated. It benefits no one.

        • Thanks for taking the time on this… it isn’t difficult to run a query…because it has to have your game stored in the Origin DB. That’s why it works across more than one device.

          But…the chances of them going back too far is not likely… now that they have patched the primary hole.

  22. I think that you can get hacks for a fair amount of games (I’ve never tried though, so I don’t know how easy it is) but Tapped Out is one of the most commonly hacked games for several reasons:

    1) It’s overpriced. – For 100 doughnuts, you can get the Museum of Natural History, aka 2 drawings. That is equivalent to $4.16 or £2.91 to $8.31 or £4.98 depending on how many doughnuts you purchase (I didn’t include the ‘Dozen Donuts’ option. This may not seem like much, but when you add in various decorations (15 doughnuts per apple or orange tree!), buildings and characters it can get quite pricey. Don’t forget that the Museum is pointless apart from a bit of extra cash and taking up precious land. Some people cannot afford to pay the amount of money required for them to buy the premium stuff and therefore, hack the game.

    2) It’s easy to hack. – Due to flaws in the programming and the fact that when you earn doughnuts or cash, the Origin servers do not verify that it was earned legitimately. Say someone gets 500 doughnuts. Those 500 doughnuts will not be verified to see if they got it legitimately which they won’t have as you can’t buy 500 and even if it’s a number that you CAN purchase, they don’t check your credit card to see if you actually bought it. I believe that they will do something if you have a town with loads of doughnuts or “unlimited” doughnuts. I can’t verify my information though.

    EA might start dealing with hackers like you said, but they’ll have a tough job, especially as there are so many Springfields and it’s difficult to tell if they are a hacker or not without going through the list of purchases to see if they actually purchased the doughnuts or not. Then again, some automated scans could possibly wipe out hundreds of thousands of accounts.

  23. ♥♥♥:-*

  24. Also, I am crazy about you guys!

  25. Just a thought, I have yet to meet a game that someone doesn’t try to hack. I actually know a couple of folks that did the roll back thing. They still had to pay for some of the things with their donuts..real cash, as just because they rolled back, don’t make it free. They continue to spend money on all the current treats, and I mean ALL. Maybe their are a few folks out there that have never spent a dime and yet somehow are at level 37 with everything, but that is hard to imagine. I personally have spent hundreds, I mean the high hundreds, and I figure for the few who hack, just like the totally freemium players, I have paid for all the “free” stuff given out by EA. My family has played EA for years now on all kinds of platforms. Honestly the biggest complaint I have with EA is customer service. They need to get a phone number. Anyway, I just figure it all comes equal in the end. Look at the boardwalk section glitch. Maybe EA left it that way, since they are so high and take so long..just to encourage getting friends?

  26. notify me of new posts by email.

  27. amen brother!!!!!

  28. You said it yourself in your own article. It’s fake real estate and items that, if bought with real money, would cost hundreds of dollars. Wrap your mind around that scam. It’s also ironic to note that EA most certainly falls under your grand calling out of all corporations who find loopholes in the tax system.

    Ps. Don’t we we individuals try and do the exact same thing as corporations? Find ways to pay less taxes? I could just be speculating but it sounds a bit hypocritical.

    Disclaimer: I’m a self sufficient college student with no ties to any large corporation, nor care about any large corporations taxes.

    • Dann,
      It is just one more way you can try to play the game. The issue really at this point, is that EA is likely going to start tracking down those who cheat,and blowing up accounts. It is much like the digital download fiasco. Almost everyone breaks the letter of the law…but the labels only go after selected “examples.”

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