After almost 6 long weeks of supernatural scares and out of this world experiences, it’s all over, and hey, we all survived didn’t we. Victory was ours!!!
Now that my jangling nerves have settled I thought I’d share my thoughts on what I liked about The Hauntening, what scared the hell out of me and of course what I’m still trying to make sense of. And yes I’ll probably ramble on about a few other things. So with that in mind I guess I’d best get on with things before you pass out from hunger, exhaustion, or maybe both, whilst you wait for me to get to the point.
Let’s start at the very beginning when we were teased and toyed with as we waited for the Halloween event to hit, and when it did finally make an appearance it certainly wasn’t what we’d been expecting. TinyCo really know how to put the trick into trick or treating, but you know what it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the event in any way, shape or ghostly form.
In fact when I saw we were getting Rocky Point, I was literally bouncing off the ceiling, and that was before I gorged on any Halloween candy. Why was I bouncing, well quite apart from fact I’m a Tigger, it was immediately obvious The Hauntening was going to be based around one of my favourite episodes, And Then There Were Fewer.
I love this episode for quite a few reasons, firstly it’s based on one of the best mysteries ever written, Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. This novel in turn led to one of my favourite childhood games, the quintessential English board game, Cluedo (known as Clue in the U.S.and other countries).
So The Hauntening concept was always onto a winner with me as it took me on a little trip down memory lane to my childhood when the film adaptation of And Then There Was None was a regular Christmas occurrence on TV and to the fun I had with family & friends playing Cluedo. Although I should tell you my love affair with the game ended abruptly after a younger brother hit me over the head with a candle stick and put me in hospital. That attack on my brain cells has long been forgiven but believe me it will never be forgotten. Lol.
Anyway where was I, oh yes, I’d just been hit over the head not once but twice actually, once many years ago by my brother and then again last month by TinyCo with the news The Hauntening would follow a new format involving timed cases. This new way of setting out an event was being trialed as a result of feedback from players who were falling behind and weren’t getting to the final phases of events.
Looking at Cases as a solution to this seemed at first sight a great idea, a similar format has worked over at the other game I play for a long time, but would it be an easy transition to bring it to the more complex gameplay of FGQFS. The answer to that became apparent during The Hauntening, no, it’s not going to be that easy.
In a way it did what it was intended to do in that it helped those players who wanted to see every phase of an event, but in granting these players their wish it left players who play at a slightly slower pace but who did arrive at the last phase, albeit a day or two late. Suddenly they were going to forced to up their pace as finishing a case a day or two behind wouldn’t be possible, as the content would have been removed from the game. The new format also upset players who were happy just to unlock what they could early on and didn’t care if they made it to the final phases. Now these players who were happy with their long-established way of playing had this snatched from their grasp and felt the pressure of not only the end of event timer, but also the new case timers. So in order to please one type of player, two other types of player were impacted. So it’s starting to look like one of those damned if they do, damned if they don’t scenarios for TinyCo with regards to keeping us all happy.
Now I personally managed to complete each case within the allotted time but I play a lot due to chronic insomnia which allows me to do tasks day and night. But I know that kind of play is not possible for everyone, and neither would I ever recommend anyone give up a minute of sleep for a mobile game. I also should point out that I also didn’t spend a ton of clams, I only bought Area 51 and Ash Williams. But even although I completed the cases I don’t know if they are the way forward unless TinyCo makes some changes. And the changes I feel are necessary if cases are to be successful would be releasing all the content at the start of the case or reducing the amount of content released per case, and having always drops on crucial materials. Releasing new content halfway through a case combined with a game of chance with drops doesn’t work well with the short cases where a timer is ticking down.
The other issue that haunted players was any failure to get a character in one case could impact the next case, for example failure to unlock Exorcist Mort in Case 2 saw many freemium players without Meg in Case 3 as she was possessed with no way of exorcising her. This impacted on their ability to use her on tasks and complete any Questline tasks she was needed for. Another example was the Frankenstein Boss, if you didn’t bring him into your game in Case 2 you faced not having him in Case 3, where he was essential for unlocking Egon Spengler. This is something that needs addressed if this format is going to be used in future.
I’m not saying make the game easy, I like the challenge, but knowing exactly what I need to do at the start of a case lets me strategize my gameplay. I hope going forward TinyCo will choose one format or the other, Cases/Acts or Weekly Phases, not the hybrid of both they trialled in The Hauntening. And for me cases could be the way forward if TinyCo make the changes above, as it was lovely to read comments from players delighted they were not only seeing but playing through the final week of an event, some for the very first time. But we can’t ignore the fact for every comment like that there were many more from those disappointed they had been unable to complete cases, especially the content heavy Case 1 where the chance to unlock Carl, a much desired character was lost.
But I like the fact that TinyCo are showing with actions what they’ve been saying recently, that they want to re-engage with the Community and keep improving the game. If they didn’t care they wouldn’t have bothered to even try out the case format, so I applaud them for that. And it shows that when we ask for your thoughts and feedback that TinyCo is open to what you’re saying. I’m not saying they can take every suggestion and make it happen, but in this event I saw them respond to the following requests I’ve seen made by players.
As a result of feedback regarding players not getting to or seeing the final weeks content in events they tore up their usual way of doing things in an attempt to fix this. Yes it still needs a few more tweaks but they at least they’re trying.
More Family Guy TV show linked content. Well The Hauntening has fulfilled that with the release of Rocky Point, Carl, James Woods, Peter James Woods, Condom Chris, Exorcist Mort. All have appeared in the TV show so plenty of Family Guy content to keep us happy.
Also in the past their has been complaints the big Boss we need to battle is impossible to defeat at the higher levels, well Frankenstein certainly wasn’t. Not only could you reach 3X or 4X within 24 hours, his drops were extremely generous.
In the first few weeks there was plenty of feedback regarding the previous week’s materials not having an exchange, well TinyCo listened and in Case 3 there was a very wide range of exchange options that did not require that weeks Blood Bags. Yes they weren’t as high as the Blood Bag exchanges but they were there. Again it shows TinyCo is listening and delivering.
Another clam generating building was released in this event in Area 51. We asked for them to appear in every major event and TinyCo seem to be making it happen. The only thing I’d like is maybe an extra clam added to every collection so 15 clams every 24 hours rather than 14 and have the building stop dropping when the event ends. That way we can plan our collections knowing exactly when the clam drops will end.
There has been definite improvements in this area, yes more work needs done, but for a small company they are trying hard to have a good system in place. I mean compare it to the other game I play, they are a massive company but it’s taken over 3 years for them to even add an in-game contact option. TinyCo has had this from the start.
Now before you accuse me of being too nice to TinyCo there are a few problem areas that still seem raise their ugly heads event after event.
Many come about due to the Uncommon drop in my opinion. TinyCo please look at this, there is something very wrong when Super Rare items drop more frequently than Uncommon. Too many times progress is stalled by one item not dropping.
But it’s not always the uncommon to blame sometimes it becomes obvious there is just an issue with a particular item, in this event I’m talking about Spacemen, Alien Bobbleheads, Latin for Dummies, Mutton Chops. If timed cases or similar are going be used in future, we really need see a quicker reaction from TinyCo when it becomes apparent players are falling behind due to a drop misbehaving.
Still too expensive with the low chance of winning the coveted prize. My personal thoughts bring the cost down to 75 clams and remove the materials and replace them with returning characters only. If you want to include non-repeatable materials make the boxes 50 clams per try. Players like to feel they are getting value for money.
So fellow addicts, that’s some of my thoughts on The Hauntening, but before I ask for your thoughts I want to say one last thing about the event and that’s how fantastic the animation has been, really top work from the guys at TinyCo. The buildings etc being released in the other game I play don’t even come close to what these animators are delivering and I’d imagine on a tiny portion of the budget available elsewhere.
Anyway that’s my ramblings, now I want you to tell me your thoughts. But please don’t turn this into a What the Deuce post as Bunny will lock me in her basement if you do. Please give us your feedback and thoughts in a nice shimmery and glittery manner. Tell us what you like, don’t like? What you’d like to see more of, what you’d like to see less off. What your thoughts on Cases are? Share with us everything and anything you think would improve FGQFS, as TinyCo do read this blog and of course Bunny also takes your feedback to TinyCo. And if you can please take a minute to complete the end of event poll at the end of this event I’d be very grateful.
Now before I go there’s another couple of things I’ve got to say. Hey did I just hear you snore? No, okay then, well firstly here’s the results of my favourite holiday event poll.
Halloween WON, Halloween WON. La dee da, la dee dee. But it was close:
WHICH HOLIDAY EVENT DO YOU LOOK FORWARD TO MOST?
Poor Easter didn’t get a single vote, I dread think how Bunny’s going to react to that. Oh no wait, it’s ok she’s the Halloween Bunny, not the Easter Bunny. phew!!!
You can read the full post on Halloween here: Halloween
And last but not least don’t forget the most recent Showoff – there’s still a few days to send us your spooky screenshots to firstname.lastname@example.org
Full details here: Showoff
And just incase you can’t see the poll, here’s the direct link:
~ Russian Tigger