The Mountain Vacation update was released on the 9th of March 2016 for iOS players and android devices; with release still pending on other platforms.
Mountain Vacation Challenge Edit
The Mountain Vacation timed challenges begin when a player reaches game level 7 in the game (or automatically after downloading the update if the player is already above level 7).
The Mountain Vacation timed event contains 3 challenges. Players had a set number of days to complete the following tasks:
- Collect 500 souvenir balls by winning games of Gem Match to win a lunch chest.
- Complete 30 holiday quests to win the once-off Mountain Skier Talisman which increases the rate of energy restoration by 5 times for 24 hours.
- Achieve 'Academician' level in Mountain Resort to win a unique avatar.
For the duration of the Mountain Vacation challenge, Snowdrop special items are required in addition to energy points to play Mountain Resort. Snowdrops are given as rewards for every successful investigation for every picture, and as rewards for banishing anomalies, but not for playing puzzles. Snowdrops cannot be gifted between friends, however they are given as rewards for combining some of the new Mountain Vacation collections, and they can be given as rewards by the Sphere of Miracles and Pyramid of Wonder.
Important: The amount of time available for the Mountain Vacation timed challenges will vary across platforms. It is important to note that the Challenge timer begins counting down from the moment the update is released in a devices app store, and not from the moment a player downloads the update. If an update with a set of timed challenges is released in your app store with 20 days to complete the challenges and you wait 15 days to download the new update, when you download it you will only have 5 days left to complete the challenge, not 20.
iOS and Android players have been given 23 days to complete the challenge, however extensions are normally applied to timed challenges.
The Gem Match Challenge - collecting Souvenir Balls Edit
Players can win the Lunch Chest by collecting 500 Souvenir Balls. Souvenir Balls 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 Souvenir Balls 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 you will see Souvenir Balls listed as the first item in the 'Can be found' list for the puzzle. Souvenir Balls 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 Souvenir Balls in order to win the Lunch Chest. Once you win the Lunch Chest it will automatically go into the 'Special' tab in your inventory. To open the box, open the inventory section and select the 'Special' tab. Tap on the Lunch chest to bring up a window with details about the chest, and press the green 'use' button at the bottom of this window. The chest will disappear from the Special tab of the inventory and the items it contains will be added to your inventory.
Once opened, the Lunch Chest will add the following energy items to the 'Energy' tab of your inventory: 2x Cappuccinos (2x 30 energy points); 1x Ice Cream (1x 50 energy points); 1x donut (1x 100 energy points); 1x Lunch box (1x 150 energy points) and 1x energy drink (1x 250 energy points).
You can use these items any time you want by going to the energy tab of your inventory and going to the 'Energy' tab.Tap on any item you want to use and a window giving details of the item will appear. Tap the green 'Use' button at the bottom of this window and the energy points will be added to your total.
You will also automatically be offered to use these items if you try to play a picture/puzzle that requires more energy than you currently have, which means you do not have to go through all the steps in the inventory tab if you wish to keep playing.
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 Souvenir balls needed to win the Lunch Chest, 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. Since the mechanism that rewards Souvenir balls is set up so that they are always included as one of the rewards for winning games of Gem Match, it is the number that you win per play that is weighted (with low numbers more likely than high numbers). This means you will not win a high number of Souvenir balls every single time you win a Gem Match Game, often you will only win 2. However, all of the Timed Challenges are designed to be completable within the given time limit, so it is possible to collect 500 Souvenir balls well within the time given. The task is designed to be challenging, but it is not impossible!
Hints/Tips for Collecting Souvenir Balls Edit
Although it will take many plays of Gem Match to win 500 Souvenir Balls, there are things you can do to make the challenge easier:
- 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.
- 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. Use the List of Collections, List of Collection Items and List of Collection Item Locations pages here to find out which collections give out these tools when combined, and where you can find the items needed to combine those collections.
- 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 Souvenir Balls per play high, try mixing other pictures/puzzles into your playing rotation. Perhaps rotate trying to get the lunch chest with the other challenges in the Mountain Vacation event (playing Mountain Resort and completing the 30 challenge quests). This will also help avoid feelings of frustration with the game and challenge.
- 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 Souvenir Balls, 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. Since Souvenir Balls are rewarded using the same mechanism as Christmas balls/Pumpkin Lanterns/Tokens special items etc during holiday themed timed challenges (i.e a number of Souvenir Balls are awarded for each play, it is the amount you win that is weighted not whether or not you win them) instead of using the same mechanism as collection items/combining elements (i.e. you may or may not win the item each play, it is whether the item will be won or not that is weighted), Luck talismans and artefacts will not affect the number of Souvenir Balls won per win of Gem Match. Since the game is coded to give out Souvenir Balls for each play, increasing the number of different items won per play, by using luck talismans, will not change anything. The number of Souvenir Balls 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.
- 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 Unique Avatar - Getting Mountain Resort to Academician Level EditPlayers can win the Unique Skier Avatar by playing the new picture, Mountain Resort, until they increase its scene progress level up to Academician Level during the Mountain Vacation update's time sensitive challenge (during the first 23 days after the update is released for a platform).
For the duration of the Mountain Vacation update, Snowdrop special items were needed for each play of the Mountain Resort picture.
While the Timed Challenges are active (before you complete all three, or the timer expires, whichever happens first), Snowdrops were given as rewards for every successful investigation for every picture]] in the game. At least one Snowdrop is given for every game you win, but winning 2 or 3 Snowdrops at a time is also possible.
Snowdrops are also given as rewards from banishing anomalies, but not for playing puzzles. Snowdrops cannot be gifted between friends, however they are given as rewards for combining some of the new spring 2016 collections. Players with the Pyramid of Wonder or Sphere of Miracles also have a 1 in 6 chance of receiving Snowdrops from these Desktop Awards when collecting their rewards every 12 hours. The number of Snowdrops needed for each play of Mountain Resort increases as you increase the Picture Levels of Mountain Resort (+5 Snowdrops per Level increase), starting at 5 Snowdrops per play when the picture is opened at Novice Level and increasing to 40 Snowdrops per play when the picture is at Professor Level.
You will win an average of about 1.8 Snowdrops for every play of other Pictures during the challenge so will need to play roughly 1,825 other pictures to collect enough Snowdrops (or 1,571 other pictures to collect enough if using the Amulet of Santa when playing Mountain Resort). This works out at 79 plays of other Pictures per day over the 23 days of the challenge. A simple way of looking at this challenge is to aim to play all non-special item pictures (26 total) 3 times each day, if possible.
Hints/Tips for Winning the Unique Avatar Edit
- Try to play a variety of pictures as much as possible when playing, instead of just playing Mountain Resort over and over again. 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.
- If you are low on energy but close to leveling up (at which point your energy will restore), play Buddha's Square until you level up. 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. This also means that Buddha's Square is a great picture to play when collecting Snowdrops, as by winning cappuccinos and restoring the energy you are using to play, you are basically collecting Snowdrops for free in terms of energy costs.
- If you are low on energy, avoid playing the newest pictures in the game too often (Tavern, Treasure Island, Theater, Forest House, Excavations, Winter Street, Flower Shop, Observation Deck, Banquet Hall, Spooky Yard, Wonder Shop) as these pictures do not reward combining elements and usually have a high energy demand (except for Forest House and Winter Street). 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.
- Use the Amulet of Santa artefact to decrease the number of Snowdrops needed to play Mountain Resort. The Amulet of Santa artefact reduces the number of Special Items needed to play paid scenes like Mountain Resort by 20% per 24 hours once activated. See note below about the new collections needed to create this artefact if you do not already have one in your inventory to use for this challenge, as they are now harder to obtain. Using Amulet of Santa artefacts when playing Mountain Resort could potentially reduce the total number of Snowdrops you need to find to reach Academician level from 3,285 to 2,628.
- Use the Valentines Amulet artefact to decrease the amount of energy needed to play every picture/puzzle when you are ready to Mountain Resort a number of times. The Valentines amulet reduces the amount of energy needed to play by 10% for 12 hours, so will enable you to play Mountain Resort (and other pictures) more times with your available energy.
- Use luck talismans and artefacts, such as horseshoes, in conjunction with the Valentine's Amulet, and make sure to play Tree of Dates in rotation when you are playing the pictures. This will increase your chances of finding all the collection items needed to combine another Valentine's Amulet as you play.
- As you play through the 30 challenge quests to win the Mountain Skier Talisman, you will be able to combine 5 new collections added as part of the update. These quests will reward Snowdrops once combined.
The Challenge Quests and the Mountain Skier Talisman EditThe Mountain Skier Talisman can be won once a player completes all 30 of the special Mountain Vacation challenge quests introduced as part of Mountain Vacation update. The quests must be completed within the 23 day time limit of the Timed Challenge in order to unlock the Talisman.
A notification screen will appear to say that the 30 challenge quests are complete and you have won the Mountain Skier Talisman, but you must go to the Talisman section of the Inventory itself to see and use the new Talisman.
Once activated, the Mountain Skier Talisman will increase the rate of energy restoration by 5 times for 24 hours.
Winning the Mountain Skier Talisman Edit
A special decorative border in the quest list marks the 30 quests needed to win the Mountain Skier Talisman. Other quests added by the update, with regular gold borders, do not count towards the 30 when completed.
Note: the very first quest that displays the special decorative border is the quest to find the picture pieces needed to unlock and open the Mountain Resort picture. However, this quest does not count towards the 30 quests needed to win the Mountain Skier Talisman. This means there are actually 31 quests that display the decorative border, but only the last 30 of them count towards the challenge. But importantly, you will need to complete this first quest in order to complete the challenge as the 30 quests that make up the challenge will not start until this quest is completed (there is only ever one quest with a special decorative border active at any one time) and the other quests require you to play the picture Mountain Resort (which this quest opens).
The special 30 quests that must be completed in order to win the Mountain Skier Talisman 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.
The 5 collections players gather as they complete the 30 quests are:
- Cozy fireplace (combines to create "Fireplace bellows" and rewards 10 Snowdrops when combined)
- Fun in the Snow (combines to create "Inner tube" and rewards 15 Snowdrops when combined)
- Cheese fondue (combines to create "Fondue" and rewards 20 Snowdrops when combined)
- Mountain peaks (combines to create "Alpinist diary" and rewards 25 Snowdrops when combined)
- Dog sled (combines to create "Dog sled" and rewards 30 Snowdrops when combined)
All the items that make up these collections cannot be gifted between friends (they do not have green plus signs to add them to your wishlist and they will not appear in the 'Send a collection item' tab when sending gifts to your friends.They are all also 'Quest only' items, which means that they cannot be won normally by playing pictures/puzzles. They are only available to win in pictures while the quest for the particular item is activated and will stop being available to win in that picture once the quest is completed. They may also drop as random items when you are visiting your friends and charging their desktops; from the Collectors Desktop award when collecting its rewards; and from opening Pandora's Chests, however whether or not you get any of these items in those ways is completely up to chance.
This means that the only way to complete these quests is to follow the quest instructions as you get the quests. This makes these 30 challenge quests slightly more difficult than the challenge quests in some other Timed Challenges, all of which could be gifted between friends or won in regular play of certain pictures.
The Challenge Quests Edit
The 30 quests that are needed to win the Mountain Skier Talisman are:
|Quest Number||Quest Name||Quest Instructions||Item Won||Collection Sequence|
|0||Hidden in the fireplace||Investigate the photo in Text mode to find an object||Pieces of Mountain Resort Picture||N/A|
|1||Repairing the Fireplace||Investigate the 'Mountain Resort' to find the object||Chimney||Cozy fireplace|
|2||Fireproof materials||Investigate the 'Mountain Resort' to find the object||Calcium silicate bricks||Cozy fireplace|
|3||Facade||Investigate the 'Mountain Resort' in Silhouette mode to find the object||Red Brick||Cozy fireplace|
|4||Fireplace screen||Investigate the 'Mountain Resort' to find the object||Fireplace screen||Cozy fireplace|
|5||Helpful tool||Investigate the 'Mountain Resort' in Text mode to find the object||Fire iron||Cozy fireplace|
|6||Firestarter||You must gather (combine) the collection to obtain the object||Fireplace bellows (collection)||Cozy fireplace|
|7||Call of the mountains||Investigate the 'Mountain Resort' to find the object||Skis||Fun in the Snow|
|8||Traversing mountainsides||Investigate the 'Mountain Resort' to find the object||Ski poles||Fun in the Snow|
|9||Ice rink||Investigate the 'Mountain Resort' to find the object||Ice skate||Fun in the Snow|
|10||Extreme downhill||Investigate the 'Mountain Resort' in Night mode to find the object||Sled||Fun in the Snow|
|11||Scouting||Investigate the 'Mountain Resort' to find the object||Snowboard||Fun in the Snow|
|12||Hearty welcome||You must gather (combine) the collection to obtain the object||Inner tube (collection)||Fun in the Snow|
|13||Alpine kitchen||Investigate the 'Mountain Resort' to find the object||Emmental cheese||Cheese fondue|
|14||Aroma of hot cheese||Investigate the 'Mountain Resort' to find the object||Gruyere cheese||Cheese fondue|
|15||With a crispy crust||Investigate the 'Mountain Resort' in Silhouette mode to find the object||Baguette||Cheese fondue|
|16||Taste of onion||Investigate the 'Mountain Resort' to find the object||Onion||Cheese fondue|
|17||Lost dishes||Investigate the 'Mountain Resort' to find the object||Fondue pot||Cheese fondue|
|18||Gourmet dish||You must gather (combine) the collection to obtain the object||Fondue (collection)||Cheese fondue|
|19||Unexpected event||Investigate the 'Mountain Resort' in Pairs mode to find the object||Note from Everest||Mountain peaks|
|20||Search on the peak||Investigate the 'Mountain Resort' to find the object||Note from Aconcagua||Mountain peaks|
|21||The top of the world||Investigate the 'Mountain Resort' to find the object||Note from Denali||Mountain peaks|
|22||Legends of the peaks||Investigate the 'Mountain Resort' in Morphs mode to find the object||Note from Kilimanjaro||Mountain peaks|
|23||Elusive aim||Investigate the 'Mountain Resort' to find the object||Note from Elbrus||Mountain peaks|
|24||Habit of losing things||You must gather (combine) the collection to obtain the object||Alpinist diary (collection)||Mountain peaks|
|25||Presistent Explorer||Investigate the 'Mountain Resort' to find the object||Sled runners||Dog sled|
|26||Hold on!||Investigate the 'Mountain Resort' to find the object||Brush bow||Dog sled|
|27||With the speed of the wind||Investigate the 'Mountain Resort' in Night mode to find the object||Dog harness||Dog sled|
|28||Rescue equipment||Investigate the 'Mountain Resort' to find the object||Dog sled bag||Dog sled|
|29||Gangline for the dogs||Investigate the 'Mountain Resort' in Silhouette mode to find the object||Gangline||Dog sled|
|30||Sled with a living motor||You must gather (combine) the collection to obtain the object||Dog sled||Dog sled|
Hints/Tips for Winning the Mountain Skier TalismanEdit
- Use the strongest Luck Talismans/artefacts you have available whenever you are playing. This will increase the number items you win for each play, which will increase you chances of winning the quest item. Diamond Horseshoe talismans (+90% chance of winning items for 120 minutes) and the Symbol of Success artefact (+50% chance of winning items for 24 hours) are the most powerful luck talismans available in the game, so when playing other pictures choose pictures which award items needed for collections that reward these talismans. You will need to play other pictures during the challenge anyway to collect Snodrops to play Mountain Resort, so by making sure that Tavern (rewards items for collections that reward Diamond horseshoes) and Venice; Buddha's Square; Throne Room; Mayan Temple; Ghost Town; Joy Cafe; Amusement Park; Bungalow; Misty Shed (rewards items for collections needed to combine Symbol of Success) are in your rotation while you increase your chances of getting more of these powerful luck talismans to use for the quests. Note that using powerful luck talismans will not guarantee that you win the quest item on your first attempt, as all they do is give a percentage increase to the coded 'chance' of winning the item in the game. If an item normally has only a 10% chance of being won per play of the correct quest requirements, then using luck talismans that give you a 100% increase will not give you a 100% chance of winning the item. It will just increase the 10% by 100%, giving you a 20% chance of winning the item. Hard to get items will still be hard to get.
- Use your Magic Crystal Talismans during the challenge. The Magic Crystal Talisman works as a luck talisman (it increases your odds of finding objects by 12% when activated), and the Social Events Update has fixed the problem where no other luck talisman could be activated while using it, so now you can use them again together again. This means you can add an additional 12% increase in odds of finding objects to other Luck Talismans that you use during the challenge. You can only use one other Luck Talisman once the Magic Crystal Talisman is activated (as you cannot use more than one Luck Talisman at a time), but you can use one of any other Luck Talisman or the Symbol of Success Artefact at the same time as Magic Crystal Talisman again. The Magic Crystal Talisman lasts for 10 days.
- The Challenge quests usually ask for you to play Mountain Resort, so it is best to continue to work on Mountain Resort as normal when playing and not to worry too much about the quests themselves, they will be completed as you go. That is, it is better to concentrate your resources just working on the Avatar challenge - getting Mountain Resort to Academician level. You will complete the quests naturally as you increase the picture to Academician level. The hints/tips for that challenge will therefore also aide in completing this challenge.
- Read the quest instructions carefully. Most quests just ask you to play Mountain Resort, but some will specify a mode. The item will only be available to win when the picture is in the correct mode. Most modes cannot be 'forced', which means you cannot make them appear in rotation. However, 'Text' mode can be triggered by banishing (not playing) an anomaly in the picture. If the quest asks for Text mode in Mountain Resort, then play other pictures until an anomaly appears in Mountain Resort. You can then banish the anomaly, making the next mode Text mode. (Make sure the picture is not in Night mode while waiting for an anomaly, play it to change the mode if it is in night mode).
- The items needed to complete the quests cannot be gifted between friends. However they may drop as random items when you are visiting your friends and charging their desktops; from the Collectors Desktop Award when collecting its rewards; and from opening Pandora's Chests. Whether this happens or not will be completely up to chance, but in order to increase your odds it is a good idea to visit your friends every day when doing the challenge.
- You can complete a quest by combining the collection involved in the quest. E.g. if you already have all 5 items for a collection and are currently on the quest for the 3rd item in the collection, then combining the collection will automatically complete the quest. The next quest to start will be the quest for the 4th item in the collection and you will have to find both the 4th and the 5th item in the collection as normal, but the 6th quest in that sequence - to combine the collection - will also complete automatically when it starts. However, it will be rare to be able to complete any of these collections early since the items do not have a regular play location, so do not rely on being able to do this to skip difficult quests.
After the Challenge is complete Edit
Once you complete all three Mountain Vacation Update Challenges, or after the challenge timer expires, Snowdrops will be restricted so that they will only be won in Japanese house and Amusement park (instead of in all the Pictures like during the Timed Challenges).
This restriction of the challenge quest special items after completion has been a feature of the last few timed update challenges (e.g. Christmas 2014, Halloween 2014), Travel Time Update) and is designed to allow players to collect enough to complete the challenge within the short time frame but not amass a large quantity after the challenge is over in the months leading up to the next update. The game does not want players to have an excess of these items as they would give an big advantage in the game after the update.
Typically, one of two things may happen to the Snowdrops when the next update is released:
- The Snowdrops may be removed from the game by the future update, and any remaining in the players inventory could be converted to other special items (such as Fireflies, Ladybugs, carrots, cupid arrows and tokens). In this case, keeping the number of Snowdrops a player can accumulate down will keep the number of other special items the player can win down, since these items are meant to be rare.
- The Snowdrops could be kept in the game as a requirement for playing Mountain Resort, like the Cupid Arrows were kept in the game as a requirement for playing Tree of Dates after the Valentines Update and Tokens were kept in the game as a requirement for playing Observation Deck after the Travel Time Update (which introduced them in an identical quest). In this case, the game would want to keep the number of Snowdrops a player can win down after the challenge so that Mountain Resort would work the same way as any other picture with a special item requirement - where the special item is rare and can only be won in a few pictures.
Either way, players being able to accumulate a large amount of Snowdrops (by winning them in every picture) after the challenge is over but before the new update arrives would give them too large a boost in game resources compared to what would normally be accomplish-able in the same time period, which is why recent updates have introduced the restriction after the challenge quests are complete or the timer expires (whichever happens first).
It is worth noting that some of the regular quests that were introduced with the update require you to play Mountain Resort (including some of the very last quests of the new crop you will work through). In order to maximise how many Snowdrops you can earn to aid in these quests, it is best to not complete all 3 of the timed challenges until the challenge timer is nearly finished. Keeping one of the 3 challenges incomplete for as long as possible will keep the time period that Snowdrops can be won in every picture in the game open as long as possible.
The Gem Match challenge of collecting 500 Souvenir Balls for the lunch chest is the easiest of the 3 to leave uncompleted (both of the other challenges require you play Mountain Resort so you will naturally complete one as you complete the other, whereas the Gem Match challenge is kept entirely separate from the others).
Simply play Gem Match until you have 400-450 Souvenir Balls (to allow for winning some while playing other quests) and then stop until the day before the timer expires. When the timer is nearly finished, collect the remaining Souvenir Balls to complete the Gem Match Challenge for its reward.
By leaving this Challenge to the last possible moment, you can complete the other two challenges (the challenge quests, which all require playing Mountain Resort, and the avatar challenge, which requires playing Mountain Resort) and still continue to collect Snowdrops in every picture to build up a stockpile of Snowdrops to use after they become restricted (while still being confident that you can complete all 3 challenges before the timer expires).
The Christmas 2015 Christmas balls and Wonder Shop Edit
As part of the 2015 Christmas Update the picture Wonder Shop required special items called Christmas balls, in addition to energy points, for each play. The Christmas balls were removed from the game as part of the Mountain Vacation update and Wonder Shop is now a regular picture that just requires energy points to play. The Christmas 2015 collections that rewarded Christmas balls as rewards for combining them were also changed to reward regular game items such as Talismans and items to banish anomalies.
At the beginning of the Mountain Vacation update, any remaining Christmas balls in a players inventory are converted into equal parts Fireflies, Ladybugs, Carrots, Cupid arrows, and Tokens, the 5 main special items needed to play the regular paid scenes in the game.
Other Changes Made by the Mountain Vacation UpdateEdit
Changes to hiring friendsEdit
When hiring a friend, the hire button becomes faded indicating that you already hired this friend today
Changes to Collection RewardsEdit
A number of Collections in the game have had their rewards downgraded from high level energy items into considerably less valuable game items.
This is due to the removal of 'Holiday Themed' Energy Items from the rewards of the Collections. Holiday Energy items are equivalent to regular energy items in the game, except they give 20% extra energy than their regular energy item counterpart. A number of collections, left over from previous holiday themed updates used to give these items as rewards for combining.
The Mountain Vacation Update has removed the Holiday Themed Energy items as potential rewards from the Collections sections, and replaced them with other rewards:
|Collection||Old Reward||Old Reward Energy Value||Mountain Vacation reward||New Reward Energy Value|
|Storage of grimoire||Candy cane||60||Time Machine x2||0|
|Family doctor||Gingerbread cookies||120||Lantern x2||0|
|Varicoloured sticky notes||Christmas pudding||180||Torch||0|
|Magical Ink||Gingerbread house||Fully restores all energy points and increases maximum energy by 15 points||Cappuccino||30|
|Mad Tea Party||Cocktail||36||Lantern||0|
|Mountaineering Equipment||Zephyr Cake||120||Time Machine||0|
|Beautiful Flowers||Roll Cake||180||Torch||0|
|Valentine's Card||Cake||60||The average weight||0|
|Long Awaited Date||Zephyr Cake||120||Much weight||0|
|Enamored Presents||Roll Cake||180||Hand Fan||0|
|Hearts||Sponge Cake||Fully restores all energy points and increases maximum energy by 15 points||Mystic Mirror||0|
|Total||Old energy Total:||1,188 energy points plus two full restores of energy plus 30 added to max energy||New energy Total:||120 energy points|
The logical and fair thing to do would have been to replace the holiday themed energy item with its regular energy item equivalent. However, this is an update all about wasting players energy for little return in order to encourage them to spend money, and so instead of using the regular energy item equivalent, random new rewards were used instead.
This is most noticeable and unfair when it comes to the Magical Ink and Hearts collections, which used to reward Holiday energy items that are equivalent to a Dinner, which would fully restore a players energy and add +15 energy points to their maximum when used. Instead of replacing these items with Dinners (which also fully restore energy but only adds +10 to a players max energy), which would have been the logical and fair thing to do, they were replaced with a Cappuccino (+30 energy) and a Mystic Mirror (+0 energy since not an energy item) respectively.
There are regular energy items that are similar in energy value to all of the holiday themed energy items that could have easily been used. But weren't.
Problems with the Mountain Vacation UpdateEdit
Keyboard function issuesEdit
The space key does not appear to work on the device keyboards used in certain parts of the game - e.g. when using the search function in the Collections section or in the Friends section. The has been reported on multiple platforms, so even though each version of the game uses the on-board keyboard function of the device, the problem is related to the game itself.
Server Problems Gifting and Visiting Edit
As with all large updates released for the game, the Mountain Vacation 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.
The Mountain Vacation is exactly the same as the Travel Time Update and the Social Events Update, that were released in July and September 2015. All of the timed challenges are the same, and all of the rewards are the same. It is also very similar to Halloween 2015 and Christmas 2015, although at least these updates gave slightly better rewards for the same challenges.
There is nothing unique about this update that will interest players who played or completed any update released in the last 12 months.
This is a copy and paste update, that should not be celebrated but rather condemned as unoriginal and mundane.
Disproportionate work for rewards in Timed ChallengeEdit
As part of the timed challenges, players are asked to collect 500 Souvenir Balls by winning games of Gem Match. In order to do this, players must play Gem Match at least 100-500 times, assuming the player wins the puzzle every time they play it. This could cost the player up to 36,000 energy points, depending on how many plays it takes them and what Level their Gem Match puzzle is currently on (Gem Match costs 30 energy points per play at Novice level and costs 72 energy points at professor level). The reward for this challenge is a single Lunch Chest.The Lunch Chest contains the following energy items: 2x Cappuccinos (2x 30 energy points); 1x Ice Cream (1x 50 energy points); 1x Donut (1x 100 energy points); 1x Lunch box (1x 150 energy points) and 1x energy drink (1x 250 energy points). Using all these items would give the player a total of 610 energy points.
Assuming a player opened Gem Match for the first time to start the challenge (starting at 0% Novice Level) and completed the challenge in exactly 100 plays. It would cost them 4,842 energy points. Which is nearly 8 times the amount of energy they will get back from the Lunch Chest they are rewarded with for finishing the challenge.
The Lunch Chest itself is not a particularly special item in the game, nor is it something unique that was introduced with the update in order to entice players to complete the challenge. It can be won in other ways in the game, such as by completing the following rewards: 'Specialist'; 'The Professional of Photos'; 'The Lord of Photos', 'The Adept of Photos'; 'The Master of Photos'; 'Traveler'; 'Great One'; 'High Explorer (Level 5)' and by combining the gift-able collection 'Animal Tracks'. The items needed to combine the Animal Tracks collection can be found in the game by either banishing or playing the Anomaly 'Lost Time'. These items can also be gifted between friends.
The only reward for the biggest challenge of the update - getting Mountain Resort to Academician level, is a new Avatar. Players will need to play, on average, 1500 other pictures in order to collect enough Snowdrops to play Mountain Resort enough times to reach the Academician Level. Which again, may not really reflect the amount of work that is required to complete the challenge.
This means that the only reason to do this challenge is for the enjoyment of playing the timed challenges and for the sense of accomplishment in completing them. These reasons should not be under-estimated. The timed challenges really are fun to play and it does feel amazing to finish them. But be warned that the rewards you receive will not reflect the work needed to complete the task. And if all you really want is the Lunch Chest itself and not the sense of achievment of completing this particular task, you would be better off putting the Animal Tracks collection on your wishlist, as your friends could probably just gift the items to you.
Lack of diversity in 'Unique Avatars' rewarded in Timed Challenges Edit
Once again, the main portion of the Timed Challenges introduced by this update is to play a new picture many, many times in order to win a 'Unique' avatar to use in the game. And once again, this unique avatar is an image of a skinny white woman.
The Mountain Vacation update is the 11th Update to introduce a new avatar as a reward for completing challenges within a certain time period.
|Avatar||Timed Challenge||Requirements to win|
|2013 Halloween Update (Oct-Nov 2013)||Reach Academician level on Witch's Hut within a certain time frame|
|2013 Christmas Update (Dec 2013-Jan 2014)||Reach Academician level on Christmas Eve within a certain time frame|
|Valentines 2014 (Feb-March 2014)||Reach Academician level on Tree of Dates within a certain time frame|
|Treasure Island (Sept-Oct 2014)||Collect 400 butterflies within a certain time frame (one of many rewards)|
|2014 Halloween Update (Oct-Nov 2014)||Combine the 5 Halloween collections to create 'Witch's Talisman' artefact within a certain time frame|
2014 Christmas Update (Dec 2014 -Jan 2015)
|Reach Academician level on Winter Street within a certain time frame|
Travel Time Update (July 2015 - August 2015)
|Reach Academician level on Observation Deck within a certain time frame|
Social Events Update (September 2015 - October 2015)
|Reach Academician level on Banquet Hall within a certain time frame|
2015 Halloween Update (October 2015 - November 2015)
|Reach Academician level on Spooky Yard within a certain time frame|
2015 Christmas Update (December 2015 - January 2016)
|Reach Academician level on Wonder Shop within a certain time frame|
Mountain Vacation Update (March 2016 - date)
|Reach Academician level on Mountain Resort within a certain time frame|
Although these avatars are advertised as unique, they are often very similar in appearance with just hair colour and outfit changing between updates. The striking attribute they have in common is a complete lack of diversity in terms of appearance and gender. Most shockingly, none of these unique avatars have ever used an image of a person of colour, completely alienating a large proportion of players. This lack of diversity in the avatars completely fails to reflect the great diversity of people who are actually playing the game, and completing the challenges. Many players feel that these avatars, which they have worked hard to win access to, simply do not represent them and are not desirable to use as their actual avatars in the game.
Since these unique avatars are not useful or desirable as actual avatars for many players, they have slowly turned into simple devices used by players to announce that they have completed the challenge in question, and are just used by players to announce that they have completed the challenge for a short period, before returning to an avatar that better represents them.
This leads to a large proportion of players using the same avatar for a couple of weeks at the end of each of these timed challenges, removing all uniqueness from lists of players in the game (either in Friends lists or the top 1000), after which most of these avatars are removed by these players, never to be used again.
A simple solution would be to offer a small selection of avatars that players can choose from when they win the Avatar challenge. All options could have a theme or type of outfit in common that would easily indicate which timed challenge the avatar represents.
Glitches added by the Mountain Vacation UpdateEdit
Snowdrop item in Wonder ShopEdit
Possibly due to the use of the term "snowdrop" for the special items in this update, when solving Wonder Shop in text mode, the item snowdrop is listed as "error". This may be a device dependent issue.
Space bar not working in searches.
Friends Section Access Issues Edit
Click here to go to a separate page where impacted Wiki users can notify their friends in game and on this Wiki as to the status of their Friends tab issue.
Glitches fixed by the Mountain Vacation UpdateEdit
Facebook avatar functionalityEdit
The Mountain Vacation update has solved the issue with Facebook connectivity, and now players can once again use their Facebook profile image as their in-game avatar.
- SS Home
- Holiday Updates
- Halloween Update
- Christmas Update
- Valentines Update
- Tavern Update
- Treasure Island Update
- Christmas Update 2014
- Valentines Update 2015
- Spring 2015 Update
- Travel Time Update
- Social Events Update
- Halloween Update 2015
- Christmas Update 2015
- Spring Festival Update
- Celebration by the Bonfire Update
- Harvest and Halloween Update
- List of Artefacts
- Mountain Vacation Update/Players whose Friends tab is blocked