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Christmas2014official

Official Christmas 2014 Update artwork from G5e

The second Christmas update was released on the 9th of December 2014 for iOS players; 13th December 2014 for Kindle devices; 17th December 2014 for Android devices, with release still pending for all other platforms.

The Christmas 2014 update introduced 2 new pictures, Excavations and Winter Street, 16 new collections, 100 new quests, and finally fixed the Collection Tab sorting problem introduced by the Treasure Island Update.

The Christmas 2014 update also introduced a new set of holiday challenges, which gave players a second chance to win the Pyramid of Wonder desktop award (originally up for grabs in the first Christmas Update in 2013). Players who already have the Pyramid of Wonder on their Home Desktops from last years Christmas timed challenges have the opportunity to increase the Pyramid of Wonder desktop award to a new award level.

The Christmas 2014 Timed Challenge Edit

The Christmas 2014 timed event had 3 challenges. Players had a set number of days to complete the following tasks:

Christmas2014 challenges

The Christmas Challenges and timer, accessed by tapping the Snowman icon on the left hand side of the Home Desktop

  • Achieve 'Academic level in Winter Street to win an unique game avatar.
  • Collect 500 Snowflakes by winning games of the Gem Match puzzle to either earn the 'Pyramid of Wonder' desktop award, or increase it to the 2nd level if you won it last year.
  • Complete 30 holiday quests to win a special Holiday Talisman that increases the rate of energy restoration by 5 times for 24 hours.

For the duration of the Christmas challenge, Christmas ball special items were needed in addition to energy points to play Winter Street. Christmas balls were given as rewards for every successful investigation for every picture, but not for playing puzzles, nor as a reward for banishing anomalies. Christmas balls cannot be gifted between friends, however they are given as rewards for combining some of the new Christmas 2014 collections.

Note: The amount of time available for the Christmas timed challenges varied across platforms. iOS players had 27 days to complete the challenge. The update is still pending on all other platforms but typically they have less time to complete the challenges due to the delay in the release of the update. It is important to note that the Challenge timer begins counting down from the moment the update is released in a devices appstore, and not from the moment a player downloads the update.

The Pyramid of Wonder Edit

How to Win the Pyramid of Wonder Edit

Snowflakes1

Snowflakes can be won as a reward for successfully winning a game of Gem Match

Players can win the Pyramid of Wonder desktop award by collecting 500 Snowflakes. Snowflakes can only be won by successfully completing the Gem Match puzzle. For each successful win of Gem Match, you can potentially win between 1-5 Snowflakes as one of the rewards for completing the puzzle.

When you open the Research Window for Gem Match by tapping on the Gem Match puzzle icon on your Home Desktop (note: Gem Match has moved to a new location with the update, it is now in Block's old position, on the far left of the puzzles) you will see Snowflakes listed as the first item in the 'Can be found' list for the puzzle. Snowflakes are available to win for every play of the puzzle at every puzzle level.

You must keep playing (and winning) Gem Match until you have collected 500 Snowflakes in order to Win the Pyramid of Wonder or increase it to the second level Pyramid of Wonder.

Note: Just because an item is on a picture/puzzles 'Can be Found' list, it is not guaranteed you will win that item every time you play that picture/puzzle. There is an element of chance in the game that determines what items you will win when you successfully complete a picture/puzzle. All items are weighted based on their value in the game. Higher value items, like the Snowflakes needed to win the Pyramid of Wonder, are weighted in such a way that they are less likely to be won than low value items such as some low level collection items and most combining elements. This means you will not win multiple Snowflakes every single time you win a Gem Match Game. However, all of the Holiday Challenges are designed to be completable within the given time limit, so it is possible to collect 500 Snowflakes. The task is designed to be challenging, but it is not impossible!

Hints/Tips for Winning the Pyramid of Wonder Edit

Although it will take many plays of Gem Match to win 500 Snowflakes, there are things you can do to make the challenge easier:

  1. Read the Gem Match article on this wiki for tips on playing Gem Match, including how to make special gems and combine them to create special moves to clear the board faster.
  2. Use tools when playing Gem Match. You can use Explorer's Eyes and Time Machines when playing Gem Match. Using a Explorer's Eye will remove one yellow border from the game board at random. This can be particularly useful for tricky corner pieces. However, since you cannot control which border is removed by the Explorer's Eye, it is better to wait until you only have a few left to remove to increase the chances of it removing the difficult one. Time Machines add 45 seconds to the puzzle timer, which can be a great help for the more difficult board configurations.
  3. Don't just play Gem Match over and over again; try to play a variety of pictures and puzzles as much when possible. The more you play a single picture/puzzle repeatedly, the worse the rewards for each win gets. In order to keep your chances of getting many Snowflakes per play high, try mixing other pictures/puzzles into your playing rotation.
  4. Don't rely on Luck Talismans/Artefacts. Luck talismans (e.g. Horseshoes) and artefacts (e.g. Symbol of Success) do not increase your odds of winning a particular item, such as Snowflakes, i.e. they do not change the weighting of items. However, they do increase the number of items you will win for each successful play of a picture/puzzle. Because you can win more items for each play, you essentially get more rolls of the dice each time you win. However, since Snowflakes are rewarded using the same mechanism as Christmas balls (with the number of Snowflakes awarded for each play) instead of using the same mechanism as collection items/combining elements, Luck talismans and artefacts will not affect the number of Snowflakes won per win of Gem Match. Since the game is coded to give out Snowflakes for each play, increasing the number of items won per play will not change anything. The number of Snowflakes given is also based on chance, with higher numbers weighted to appear less often than lower numbers, but Luck talismans/artefacts cannot help with this since they do not affect weighting.
  5. Use the Time Talisman artefact. If you are struggling to win Gem Match in the time given (particularly at lower puzzle levels, where less time is allotted to each play) then try to use a Time Talisman artefact. Once activated, this artefact adds 1 minute to every picture/puzzle for 24 hours.

The Pyramid of Wonder Desktop Award Edit

  • Pyramidlevels2

    The Pyramid of Wonder desktop awards. Left: Award level 1 of the Pyramid of Wonder, won by completing either the original Christmas (2013) timed challenge or the Christmas 2014 timed challenge. Right: Award level 2 of the Pyramid of Wonder, won by completing both the 2013 and 2014 timed events.

The Pyramid of Wonder desktop award sits in the centre of the top row of player's home desktop. The Pyramid gives out rewards on a 12 hour timer. The first 12 hour timer starts from the moment the Pyramid is won, and after that the 12 hour timer resets every time the award is discharged.

When discharged, the Pyramid of Wonder gives out a number of one of the game's special item (e.g. fireflies, ladybugs, carrots or cupid arrows) at random. During Holiday challenges the Pyramid may also reward special items needed to play the holiday picture, such as the Christmas balls needed to play the picture Winter Street. This means that in normal play, there is a 1 in 4 chance of receiving any one of the regular special items every time you discharge the Pyramid, but during Holiday challenges there is a 1 in 5 chance of getting a specific special item when discharging the Pyramid.

The Pyramid of Wonder was originally offered as part of the 2013 Christmas update. Players who have already won the Pyramid of Wonder during the 2013 event have the opportunity to increase its level to the 2nd award level.

Level 1 Rewards every 12 hours: Edit

  • Regular reward - 5 items of 1 special item type (e.g. 5x fireflies or 5x ladybugs etc.)
  • Rewards when award charged by any visiting friend - 10 items if 1 special item type plus 100 coins

Level 2 Rewards every 12 hours:

  • Regular reward - 7 items of 1 special item type
  • Rewards when award charged by any visiting friend - 14 items if 1 special item type plus 100 coins

The Unique Avatar - Getting Winter Street to Academic Edit

Players can win the Unique Christmas Avatar by playing the new picture, Winter Street, until they increase its scene progress level up to Academician Level during the Christmas 2014 time sensitive challenge (during the first 27 days after the update is released for a platform).

For the duration of the Christmas 2014 update, Christmas ball special items were needed for each play of the Winter Street picture. Christmas balls were given as rewards for every successful investigation for every picture, but not for playing puzzles, nor as a reward for banishing anomalies. Christmas balls cannot be gifted between friends, however they were given as rewards for combining some of the new Christmas 2014 collections during the update.The number of Christmas balls needed for each play of Winter Street increases as you increase the picture's level.

As a guide, in order to reach Academician Level on Winter Street, and win the new Avatar, you will need to play the picture approximately 165* times, which will require approximately 3,500 Christmas balls!

Hints/Tips for Winning the Unique Avatar Edit

  1. Try to play a variety of pictures as much when possible when collecting Christmas balls (if you have enough energy to do so). The more you play a single picture/puzzle repeatedly, the worse the rewards for each win gets. Additionally, the bigger variety of pictures you play, the bigger variety of collection items you can potentially win. This will greatly increase the number of regular collections you will be able to combine, which will potentially give you more tools, energy items, talismans and artefacts that will all help with completing the quest.
  2. If you are low on energy, play Buddha's Square to collect Christmas balls. At higher picture levels Buddha's Square potentially rewards a cappuccino for each successful picture investigation. Cappuccinos restore 30 energy points when used, and Buddha's Square only requires 31 energy points at most to play (at professor level). This means you can play for free or next to free if you have a good success rate of winning Cappuccinos. Using Luck talismans and artefacts, like horseshoes, while playing Buddha's Square will increase your odds for winning Cappuccinos.
  3. If you are low on energy, avoid playing the newest pictures in the game too often (Tavern, Treasure Island, Theater, Forest House, Excavations) as these pictures do not reward combining elements and usually have a high energy demand (except for Forest House). Although some of the collections rewarded by some of these pictures (especially Tavern) are tempting, the lack of combining elements means you will struggle to combine the collections they reward, and the majority of collection items they reward are for collections with lesser rewards than the original pictures in the game.
  4. Use the Amulet of Santa artefact to decrease the number of Christmas balls needed to play Winter Street. The Amulet of Santa artefact reduces the number of special items needed to play paid scenes like Winter Street by 20% per 24 hours once activated. The Amulet of Santa can be won by combining the collections obtained by completing 30 holiday quests. All the items for these collections can be won by playing Winter Street, so the more you play Winter Street the more Amulets of Santa you may be able to combine. You can combine the artefact many times. Once you have an Amulet of Santa in your inventory, wait until you have built up a stockpile of Christmas balls to activate it. This way you will be able to get the most out of the 24 hours it is active for. Using Amulet of Santa artefacts when playing Winter House could potentially reduce the total number of Christmas balls you need to find to reach Academician level from 3,500 to 2,800.
  5. Use luck talismans and artefacts, such as horseshoes, in conjunction with the Amulet of Santa. This will increase your chances of finding all the collection items needed to combine another Amulet of Santa as you play.
  6. Five of the new collections added by the Christmas 2014 update give Christmas balls as rewards for combining them. Although the items belonging to these collections do not have green plus signs and therefore cannot be gifted to friends, they can be won by playing Winter Street. As you progress through the picture levels for Winter Street more of these items will become available to win for each successful picture investigation. This means as you play Winter Street you will be able to gather more of these collection items and combine their collections multiple times, getting Christmas balls.

The Holiday Talisman and updated Amulet of Santa Edit

The Holiday Talisman can be opened once a player completes all 30 of the special Christmas quests introduced as part of Christmas 2014 update. The quests must be completed within the 27 day time limit of the Christmas Challenge in order to unlock the Talisman. Once the quests are completed, the Holiday Talisman automatically goes your inventory, and can be activated from the Talisman tab of the inventory like any other talisman/artefact. The Holiday Talisman increases the rate of energy restore 5 times for 24 hours once activated.

A special Christmas wreath decorative border in the quest list marks the 30 quests needed to win the Holiday Talisman. Other quests added by the update, with regular gold borders, do not count towards the 30 when completed. The special 30 quests consist of 5 collection sequences of 6 quests each. The first 5 quests of each sequence are to find each of the 5 items belonging to one new collection added by the update. The 6th quest is to combine the collection.

Christmascollections-0

Some of the collections that make up the timed Christmas Quests

The 5 collections players gather as they complete the 30 quests are:

    1. Christmas cake (combines to create "Panforte")
    2. Christmas ornaments (combines to create "Christmas bird")
    3. Christmas candles (combines to create "Santa Claus candle")
    4. Dancing elves (combines to create "Elf with harmonica")
    5. Gingerbread ornaments (combines to create "Gingerbread star")

These are the 5 collections needed to combine the updated Amulet of Santa artefact, so once a player completes all 30 quests they are automatically able to combine Amulet of Santa artefact as a bonus reward in addition to the Holiday Talisman.The Amulet of Santa artefact itself is the same artefact that has been in the game since the Christmas 2013 update, however the collections needed to combine it have been changed to the new quest collections (from the last Christmas quest collections). The items for these collections can all be won in the Winter Street picture.

Christmassantaamulet-0

The updated Amulet of Santa artefact in artefact tab of the Collections area screen.

The artefact reduces the number of special items needed to play paid pictures by 20% for 24 hours once activated. Once combined, it can be found in the Talisman section of the Inventory and can be activated any time by tapping on it there.

Note: The Amulet of Santa was originally introduced in the Christmas 2013 update. The updated Amulet of Santa is the exact same artefact, but the collections needed to combine it have changed with the Christmas 2014 update to new collections. Any original Amulet of Santa artefacts (recognised by the old Santa Head symbol) already combined are still available to use in the Talisman Tab of the inventory. They can still be activated and can still reduce the number of special items needed to play a paid picture by 20%. However, you will no longer be able to combine any more of these original Amulet of Santa artefacts using the original collections (combined from items found in the Christmas Eve picture). Instead you must collect the new collections to create the updated Amulet of Santa (recognised by the new Christmas bells symbol). The items needed to combine the new collections can all be found in the Winter Street picture. One big difference between the new collections and the old collections is that the new collection's items do not have green plus signs next to them in the Collections tab. This means they cannot be put on player's wishlists and cannot be gifted between friends, unlike the original collections.

The Halloween 2014 Pumpkin Lanterns and Forest House Edit

As part of the Halloween 2014 update the picture Forest House required special items called Pumpkin lanterns, in addition to energy points]], for each play. The Pumpkin lanterns were removed as part of the Christmas 2014 update and Forest House is now a regular picture that just requires energy points to play. The Halloween 2014 collections that rewarded Pumpkin lanterns as rewards for combining changed to reward regular game items such as tools and items to banish anomalies.

At the beginning of the Christmas 2014 update, any remaining Pumpkin lanterns in a players inventory are converted into equal parts Fireflies, Ladybugs, Carrots and Cupid arrows, the 4 main special items needed to player the regular paid scenes in the game.

Christmas2014 pumpkinlanterns

The Halloween 2014 Pumpkin lanterns being converted into the standard 4 special items at the beginning of the Christmas 2014 update!

The Christmas 2014 Christmas balls and Winter Street Edit

As part of the Christmas 2014 update, the picture Winter Street required special items called Christmas balls, in addition to energy points, for each play. The Christmas balls were removed as part of the Spring 2015 Update and Winter Street is now a regular picture that just requires energy points to play. The Christmas 2014 collections that rewarded Christmas balls as rewards for combining them were also changed to reward regular game items such as tools and items to banish anomalies.

Other Changes Made by Christmas 2014 Update Edit

Using the Magic Crystal Talisman with other Talismans Edit

Prior to the Christmas 2014 update, it was possible to use other talismans with similar functions at the same time as the Magic Crystal Talisman. The Magic Crystal Talisman increases the odds of finding objects by 12% and adds 12% to coins received from exploring pictures for 10 days. Other talismans and artefacts that either increase luck (e.g. Horseshoe talismans; Symbol of Success artefact) or increase coins earned (e.g. Money Bag and Leprechaun's Pot o' Gold talismans; Money Tree artefact) can no longer be used at the same time as the Magic Crystal Talisman. This means you should not use this talisman if you have stronger talismans available, even if they do not last a very long time, as once you activate the Magic Crystal Talisman you will not be able to activate a similar for 10 days.

Glitches Fixed by the Christmas 2014 Update Edit

Collection Tab Sorting Edit

The issues with the sorting of the Collection Tab when sorting is enabled, introduced by the Treasure Island update, have finally been fixed.

Collection sorting when the 'Sorting enabled' check box is checked now utilises the same 3 criteria as prior to the Treasure Island update:

  1. First the collections were sorted based on how many items from that collection a player had. Collections that a player had all 5 items for were listed first, collections that a player only had 4 of the 5 items for were listed next etc. and the collections a player had no items for were listed last.
  2. Within in this sorting by number of items, the collections that a player had all 5 items for were arranged based on whether the player could combine them when they opened the collections tab (or clicked the sorting check-box). That meant collections where the player had enough of each combining element required to combine the collection were listed first and collections where the player did not have enough combining elements to combine were listed next. Note: this sorting was based on the moment the collections tab was opened or sorting check-box was pressed, meaning if a number of collections required the same combining elements to combine they would all be listed first together if the player had the right number of combining elements for each of them before they started combining collections. If the player used up all of the required combining elements for one collection while combining another, it would not automatically move to the end of the list with the other complete collections that could not be combined yet, but instead the combine button would change from green to brown to indicate that the collection could not be combined. Scrolling past these collections, a player might still find more collections ready to combine (green combine button) if they required different combining elements that were still available to the player. If a player exited and the collection tab and re-entered, or toggled between "sorted" and "unsorted" using the check-box at the bottom of the tab, the collections would be resorted, and those collections that could no longer be combined would then move below those that could be combined.
  3. Finally, within the groups of collections (collections with all 5 items that can be combined; collections with all 5 items that cannot be combined; collections with 4 items etc.) the collections were sorted in the order they were introduced to the game, with lower level collections listed first.

Sphere of Miracles Level 2 in Top 1000 Glitch Edit

After the introduction of the Level 2 version of the Sphere of Miracles in the Halloween 2014 update, a glitch occurred in the Top 1000 list that caused games to crash. The game was unable to display the Level 2 version of the Sphere of Miracles next to a players name in the Top 1000 players list, which caused games to quit unexpectedly when tapping on a player with that version of award.

The Level 2 Sphere of Miracles image did not appear next to a players stats in the Top 1000 list (or when looking at the Top 1000 using the 'Friends Only' option). Instead, there will be an empty spot where the original sphere icon used to exist. This empty slot looks exactly like the empty slot that appears in the Sphere's position of a players awards list if that player has never won a Sphere of Miracles (in either Halloween event). However, tapping on this empty spot in the stats of a player with the Level 2 Sphere will cause a players game to crash, bringing them to their devices desktop.

The game did not crash if a player tapped on any Level 1 Sphere icon or any empty slot belonging to players who have never won a Sphere. The crash only happened when tapping the empty slot of a player who has a Level 2 Sphere of Miracles. This crash appears to be similar to the Tavern update's Facebook avatar crash, where the game crashes if it cannot display a picture it is being asked to display. The Top 1000 list's small icon version of the Level 2 Sphere picture does not appear at all in the Top 1000 area of the game, suggesting that this version of the picture either does not exist in the game files, or is damaged.

The Level 2 Sphere does appear properly on the Home Desktop of players, and tapping on its icon on your own Home Desktop or on the Home Desktop of a friend while visiting them will not crash the game.

This glitch has been fixed in the Christmas 2014 update, and now all Level 2 Spheres appear correctly in the Top 1000 list. Tapping on the Level 2 Sphere of Miracles will bring up the information box about the Sphere as normal, and games no longer crash.

Empty Wish Lists (???) Edit

It is possible that the Christmas 2014 update has fixed the wish list problem that occurred during the Halloween 2014 update.

A day after the Halloween update was released for Android devices, the wish list feature of the game was partially disabled. This meant that although players are adding items to their wish lists, they are not showing in all of their friends games. This makes gifting incredibly difficult, as there is no way to tell what a friend is asking for in their wish list. The wish lists are more likely to appear between two friends if they are using the same localised servers. Visiting a friend after you change your wish list forces the servers to update your game files, which can increase the chances of a wish list showing to at least some of your friends (if they are on the same servers).

Note: Since wish lists are visible between friends when they are playing at the same time, it is also possible that the glitch has not been fixed but more wish lists are currently visible due to the fact so many players are currently playing because of the new update. This entry will be updated as more information becomes available.

Problems with the Christmas 2014 Update Edit

Server Problems Gifting and Visiting Edit

As with all large updates released for the game, the Christmas 2014 update will cause an overload in the games servers during peak times for a couple of days immediately following the release of the update on any platform. During this time players may encounter problems visiting and gifting and be given a "Failure to connect to the servers." error message when trying to interact with the Friends portion of the game. The servers normally go back to normal after a couple of days once all players on that platform have downloaded the new update.

More coming soon.... (there are always new problems!)

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