yeah, their attempt at user retention for next year. kicked everyone in the nuts all year long and finally making the game fun again when there's *gulp* 4 weeks or so left before they move onto 2020
To clarify the above - my understanding is that VIP status is NOT automatically triggered by reaching the magic 8270 ticket amount (the 90 free tickets from reaching S1 and G1 don't count) - the tickets are actually irrelevant - its the cash spent of $818 that is the triggering event. In my case I'm sitting at 8820 tickets without making VIP because I believe I've only spent about $760. A few months back CS "recalculated" my tickets and gave me some extras. The extra tickets are worthless because they do not count towards the cash spent target of $818.