Category Archives: annoyances

Tiny Farm: The Event Lucky Bag Draw

Whoops. I meant to come up with something before September ended but forgot.  The silly thing is that I always have a lot to write about! However, they always end up as snippets on Twitter.

I probably mentioned it before, but one of the biggest deterrents in writing a blog post is that I feel the need to think up a theme or two and then write a few paragraphs based on that/those. Composing a blog post takes up a good part of the day too.

With Twitter, on the other hand, I can just toss up anything at the spur of the moment without worry that it has to be some sort of short prose. I like that sort of freedom.

Anyway, let’s talk about the pesky event lucky bag draw from Com2uS’ free-to-play mobile game, Tiny Farm, and how using it can get expensive.

Continue reading Tiny Farm: The Event Lucky Bag Draw

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App Developers, Stop Asking for 5-Star Reviews!!

Back in 2012, I wrote a piece about the dos and don’ts of requesting and writing reviews on both Google Play and App Store. Nothing’s really changed from 5 years ago; people are still writing shitty useless one-word “reviews” and developers still put those prompts for a 5-star rating in their apps.

Once again, I will explain why I take issue to the latter:

  • The developer only has one thing in mind: A 5-star or perfect rating means better visibility in search results in the application’s store which ups the chances of it being downloaded. It doesn’t matter if the app is not right at the top of the results. The chances are many users LOOK for 4 or 5-star ones as it gives the impression that it’s a good product.
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  • Developers use the bullshit excuse that a 5-star rating will better motivate their team. If you actually valued user feedback, you’d be asking for critiques without tossing in the specific rating suggestion and incentive (or bribe as I like to refer to it as) to review.
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  • EVERYONE WANTS FREE STUFF — especially when it’s premium currency so of course most people will bite. Developers know this and they also know that they’ll fall for the following point.
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  • Users do what they’re asked to despite how they actually feel about the game.
    Poor user is made to think that the only way to get the gift is by giving the app full stars. :(
    Poor user is made to think that the only way to get the gift is by giving the app full stars. 😦

    PRO TIP: I’m unsure how it is with Android apps but with iOS, you don’t NEED to even rate or write a review to get a gift/bribe. Simply tap on the prompt box and allow the device to automatically switch to the app’s store page. Once there, don’t do anything! Just immediately go back to the app.
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    I believe this can also be applied to sharing on Twitter or other social services where you can just cancel the post and still receive the review incentive.

I leave 1-star reviews for companies that practices this sort of shit and call them out. I actually received a reply from one for a game I like playing which stated that players are free to give whatever rating they feel appropriate.

Well, gee. No shit. But as that example screenshot I provided showed, people a) rate 5-stars because they are told to, and b) believe giving a full rating is the only way to get the gift.

I’m not saying developers should outright stop asking for reviews and ratings or giving incentives. I’m only wishing they’d stop being dishonest and deceitful with the review prompts. Users will, in all likelihood, give the full rating and write positive comments if they’re happy with what they’re using. I think that should motivate the team more than all the blind & thoughtless 5-stars.

Tiny Farm: Forever Incomplete Collections

In 2013, Com2uS, the game’s developer, introduced the Heroic Animals. They’re the fifth and final animal needed to complete a regular (re: not event-specific) collection. Unfortunately, even after 4 years, only 14 out of the 60 collections waiting for a Heroic type can be completed.

Tiny Farm - Rabbit Collection
These bunnies have been around since the beginning of the game 5 years ago and, like many collections, are still missing their Heroic companion.

For some reason, there are also these impossible achievements that no one can fulfill because the requisite fifth animal doesn’t exist:

Tiny Farm - Rabbits and Hare Achievement
Collect them all … somehow!
Tiny Farm - Cat and Dog Achievement
Imaginary cats and dogs are needed for this.

Perhaps they’ll eventually be doable but it would be nice if they could remove these in the meantime. 😛

I believe Com2uS didn’t consider the bigger picture when they created the Heroic Animals since, unlike the typical ones that just roam around the map or fill speech balloons popping up above their heads with inane statements, they possess skills that can usually help gameplay aspects such as allowing animals to instantly level up or increasing the chances of successfully obtaining a higher tier animal through breeding.

Inserting a bit of a tangent here: There’s one oddity among the Heroic types. The Heroic Bearded Pig, also known as The Crazy Doctor, can actually harm crop efficiency by tacking on a negative percentage value to crops causing the player to lose out on profit and experience. Thankfully, its skill effect can be cancelled before any damage can be done. However, this would mean that the player wasted Hearts on the Heroic Bearded Pig for nothing. 😐

It could be my luck but I do end up with the negative result more often than the positive one. :/ Unless you have Hearts to spare, I advise against gambling on this nutty pig.

Here’s an image of it, by the way. 😀

Tiny Farm - Heroic Bearded Pig
One of my favourite heroic animal designs, but it also has one of the most annoying skills.

Anyway, new  Heroic Animals used to come out on a consistent basis, but it’s not surprising that this stopped a few years ago. After all, it takes time to think up useful abilities that will keep the game in balance. Still, this lull feels rather lengthy. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt since they did eventually come up with third dog for the Dog collection years after the first and second ones. (It’ll probably take another couple of years before the Talking Dog shows up. :P)

In the interim, Com2uS has opted to keep churning out new limited time and event-based collections with increasingly insidious money-making ways.

On Cables and Tablet Stands

There are two kinds of cables I despise: 3 feet cables and ones made of cheap plastic and wires that break apart.

I know short cables make a lot of sense if you’re using the device in a car or if you don’t plan on using your device while it’s charging. However, 99% of the time, I want to use it and in some cases, the power outlets in the house aren’t close enough to a table for me to place my tablet or phone on. Heck, even worse is when an outlet is near a chair or sofa; the pathetic length means I won’t be able to sit comfortably anyway.

For example, here’s my computer desk. Please excuse the terrible terrible mess. XD I’ll be getting a desktop in the near future so hopefully, the next photo I take won’t show the network cable goofily dangling about:

Power outlets in my computer room
A reason I despise 3 feet cables for my portable devices.

By using the power bar on the right side, I CAN put a device near the edge of the desk. However, I CANNOT make use of the power bar under the central opening or the wall outlet on the left the same way. In either case, if I use a 3 feet cable, I have to set the device on the floor.

But look! I have a 6 feet cable plugged into the wall outlet! I just received that today. :3 It’s the Anker 6ft Nylon Braided USB Cable with Lightning Connector and it works as intended so I don’t have much to say on that. I do hope it lasts longer than the cheap Monoprice cables. I went through 2 of those because of the following problem:

Monoprice 6 feet Lightning cable
If you read reviews of any cables with plastic jackets, you’ll see that this is a common issue . 😐 But the bigger issue is that the wires within the insulation are frayed which makes the cable impossible to use.
Monoprice 6 feet Lightning cable
It’s a piece of shit. :/

The residue on the jacket near the connector is from the electrical tape I put on it. Unfortunately, tape doesn’t help with BROKEN wires. =__=

The first Monoprice Lightning cable I had lasted about 7 months. The second one, which I got as replacement thanks to the lifetime warranty, worked for a bit over a year. Incidentally, I take it that “lifetime warranty” refers to the lifespan of the first cable so if the replacement goes kaput, you’ll have to buy a new one? I wrote to Monoprice to see if I can get a third cable last week but I’ve yet to hear back. 😛 It doesn’t matter if customer service ever replies though because I’m done with the company’s cheap crap. (The cable’s only $6 US so I’m sure you can imagine the quality that comes with that price.)

For the record, I did use the cables frequently since I charge the tablet everyday; I plug it in once the battery goes down to ~69%. I always grip the connector when inserting or removing it and never once pulled on the jacket.

I’ll be sure to update this post if the Anker cable suffers the same or similar problem some time down the road.

Now on to the tablet stand! Continue reading On Cables and Tablet Stands

Freedom Wars – Suggested Improvements That Should Have Been In the Game From the Start

I’m almost 130 hours in. It’s kind of funny considering I haven’t even finished the story yet. 😛

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about how my experience of the game could have been better had the developer done the following: Continue reading Freedom Wars – Suggested Improvements That Should Have Been In the Game From the Start

Freedom Wars Last Boss: If At First You Don’t Succeed, You’ll Have to Replay Missions Before It Again Because the Developer is an Asshole

One of the most grating things about the last part of the game is the LENGTH of it. Under the list of missions, you’ll only see one operation, but in reality, it’s THREE FUCKING CONSECUTIVE BATTLES.

Final story mission
Whitewater consists of 3 consecutive missions. =__=

There’s the usual set up screen before each fight though so you can change loadouts, replenish combat items, and switch out party members, BUT! Should you fail in any of these three battles, you’ll have to start from the beginning again. I’m unsure if you even keep any resources you get from the missions you successfully completed.

The biggest offender, however, is the difficulty of the final fight. It is fucking dreadful and because losing here means starting from the top again, it really discourages players from replaying it to figure out what the hell to do. Instead, unless you’re masochistic and want to redo everything over and over for the sole purpose of figuring out the strategy, you will most likely just go to a message forum or Google for advice.

Of course, even with an idea of how to go about fighting the last boss more or less effectively, you still have to hope that you won’t lose all sustainability. :/ And with AI allies falling unconscious left and right, and you becoming the main target of the enemies, the possibility of not surviving until the end becomes pretty high.

I don’t get why anyone should be punished for not defeating the final boss the first time. Why the fuck should I need to redo the first two missions? It’s a sadistic and terrible design. Admittedly, the second last boss isn’t all that difficult but the stupid Abductor has high defense and HP on every bloody part of its body so the battle can drag on. But again, who WANTS to redo this fight over and over involuntarily?

I haven’t read any interviews with the developer but I get the feeling this game was made for multiplayer in mind so solo players like me and probably many others out there are shit out of luck when it comes to tougher operations, or the final battle in this case. >_> (Yeah, I know there are people that completed it without enlisting the help of other players, but skill isn’t the only factor in success. The weapons, modules, and other things come into play too.)

iOS 8.x Apps Not Updating in App Store

Please refrain from making “This didn’t work for me.” comments since this is not a sure-fire solution. It was one that solved the issue for MY device (which, for the record, is an iPad mini 2 running iOS 8.3 on jailbreak) so I figure I’d share this.

About 2 days ago, all the buttons for the apps waiting to be updated in the App Store flickered from Update to Open the moment I switched to the Updates screen. Some Google searching yielded results that suggested to move to another menu, turn off wifi, return to Updates and quickly tap on the Update button next to an app immediately before it changed back to Open.

While this did work, the apps refused to update; the usual circle with a blue square in the middle that should have appeared just ended up as an empty circle that wouldn’t move. To make matters worse, after I closed the App Store and re-opened it, the apps showed they were updated. However, looking at their version number in iFile (a file manager app for jailbroken devices) showed that no update actually occurred. :/

Other suggestions like turn on automatic updates, log out and log back in either App Store or iCloud, rebooting the device all DID NOT WORK.

What did work was changing the system language to another language and then back to English. It’s crazy, I know, but I verified the version number of the app I selected to test after the update and it was correct (re: most recent version).

Settings menu in iOS 8.3

See also: https://koukoupuffs.net/2014/10/12/problem-apps-on-ios-app-store-wont-update/ and its comments from other users for potential solutions if the above doesn’t work for you.