Well, nargh. Stupid iOS MLP game nicely tuned and correctly designed to make us want to spend money.
Princess Celestia: 950 gems <= Dearest Gameloft? I hate you.
Rarity: 90 gems
Rainbow Dash: 500 gems <= I hate you for this too, 'kay? Just so we're clear.
For references sake, gems can be purchased at about 20 for $1.99, 55 for $4.99, 120 for $9.99, 260 for $19.99, 700 for $49.99, and 1500 for $99.99. I think I get a daily bonus of 1 or 2 gems for playing each day? That'll be... 250+ days for Dashie, and years for Celestia. =.=
There's periodic "sales" in the store that last around an hour or so, despite it saying "2 day" or "3 day" sale. Not sure if that's a typo, or "day" as in in-game "day".
Anyways, I have things set up decently well so that I have three production building that complete at 1, 2, and 3 minute intervals with three ponies in each, netting me about 10k in gold coins per hour, I think. Then there's a few slower building that I rotate ponies through to net the third-pony production building bonus - those complete between 25 min - 1.5 hours. In general, the iPad I'm playing on just sits by my keyboard, with the sound off. When a completed building notification pops up, it gets tapped once (I let the game auto-collect my coins and such) and I go back to what I was doing (usually writing for NaNoWriMo).
I have 16 ponies unlocked at the moment. (Twilight, Bon Bon, Mrs. and Mr. Cup Cake, Cheerilee, Lyra, Braeburn, Big Mac, Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, Pinkie Pie, Snips, Applejack, Octavia, Spitfire, and Fluttershy). I've "explored" to all of the Elements of Harmony locations. I've pretty much stopped playing the minigames to level ponies now, since I've got 4 4 ponies at with 5 stars and 2 with four, and that's generally enough to run my production buildings.
Unfortunately, I only have 5 gems now. I've lost probably half of the gems I've collected to accidentally bushing a "Use gems to speed this up" buttons. Makes me wish I could save and revert sometimes. (Probably could. Should try archiving the save file data sometime, and rolling back / etc. I've looked at the data file. Could not immediately determine format, nor could I find values I was looking for (places to change how much stuff I had))
Most of the gameplay right now is just flat out grinding, really. And if I ignore having to level up ponies, it's pretty pain-free, since the mental cost is relatively low (context switching to tap something on a screen, while distracting, isn't too terrible.)
If only I could convert gold coins to gems. Even at a 10,000 -> 1 gem ratio would be acceptable. 9,500,000 gold coins for Celestia, while being an insane number, is well within the realm of being actually doable.
In other news, NaNoWriMo is past 15k now. (Although I'm supposed to be closer to 22k tonight. Blah. Spent too much time watching older episodes of MLP, looking for character data, and then watching Sword Art Online (anime series where players are stuck in an MMORPG, and death there means death in the real world. With no way to exit the game except by beating it. It's surprisingly well done.).