Sims 4 Get to Work Expansion Pack Initial Thoughts

The amount of gameplay content in Get to Work is at least on par with, if better than Open For Business. It not only adds the ability to open businesses, but the interactive base careers (ala Ambitions), Aliens, etc. One of the great things about the new career paths is that you are given the option to either join your sim or not. If you want to interactively partake in their career, you can or if you feel that it’s just too much micro management or have other things in mind, just let them vanish for most of the day like any other sim job.

There are a couple of irritating differences between Open for Business and Get to Work. First and foremost, it is not currently possible to create a true home business because the residential and retail lots are separate. In order to purchase a retail lot, you must own a residential lot. If is possible to add a bed, fridge, and all living necessities on the retail lot but the game still does not consider it your own. It’s not that big of a deal, but my original plan was to start a home business themed legacy challenge. Not being able to start a business on the legacy lot puts a small wrench into my plans. Doors are also not lockable. Even though you can create a bedroom, employee kitchen/bathroom, customers will still wander behind the counter.

All that said, it’s a pretty solid expansion pack.

“The Sims 4 Has Stopped Working” Crash Fix

When I had attempted to load my legacy save this morning, I was unable to do so because it would crash to the desktop after spitting out the error pictured above. I was able to fix that corrupted save, but my crash symptoms were very specific so the fix provided in the steps listed below many not apply to other saved game crashes:

  • I was able to successfully load The Sims 4 without any issues.
  • I was also able to load all other saved games as well as a new game without any issues. Whatever caused my crashed seemed to be isolated to a specific household at a certain point.
  • I was able to even successfully load the corrupted save without any issues, but upon loading the save in question, it would load into the Manage Worlds screen.
  • The game would crash after attempting to resume play on my legacy house. It would load for a few seconds and then sit out the error pictured above.

I had tried moving my “The Sims 4” out of C:\Users\<username>\My Documents\Electronic Arts and only the desktop, loading the game to create a freshly generated “The Sims 4” folder and then manually copying over the corrupted save, but that also resulted in the same crash. Repairing The Sims 4 from origin did not help. The crash would by the way, literally only happen to that specific family so I suspect that the corruption was either with a specific sim, an item on that lot, or with the family itself. This is what I had to do:

  1. Load the corrupted save to the Manage Worlds screen. As mentioned above, you should be able to do this when loading the save. If your saved game won’t even load to this point or if the game won’t even load, then your issue is different than my issue.
  2. Instead of loading the corrupted family, load any other house in that world (I am pretty sure that the corruption in my game was with a specific sim in that family).
  3. You should be able to successfully load that family.
  4. Go to the menu and click “Save As..” just to make sure we save a new copy of the game instead of writing over the old one.
  5. Go to Manage Worlds.
  6. Load the previously corrupted family.
  7. As a precaution, I saved a NEW game at this point.

The odd thing is that after performing the fix, I had tried loading the corrupted save again for the sake of taking a screenshot for this article but was actually unable to get the game to crash again. The only way I was able to recreate the crash was to use the old “The Sims 4” folder that I had backed up to the desktop before attempting to fix the corruption.

The Sims 4: Review and First Opinions

The Sims 4, from what I can tell so far is pretty stable. I played for several hours on Monday evening, about an hour Monday morning, and all of last night without even a single crash, hang, or game breaking glitch, which I find fairly impressive based on my experience with the previous games. I know that clipping was a huge concern to many people who have been watching the pre-release live streams, but to be honest I haven’t noticed it all that much. If a sim absolutely cannot find a path around an obstacle, they will clip slightly. I don’t really see it as all that of a big deal as it does not really break game immersion for me.

The load times don’t suck: I know that there was a lot of buzz about having to between areas but honestly, it is not that big of a deal given that loading and saving takes all of about 3 seconds to do (in comparison to The Sims 3 where loading quite frequently would take over 5 minutes for large neighborhoods…). From desktop to playing a saved game takes about 1 minute tops. Awesome.

WINDOWED. FULL. SCREEN. MODE. All games that don’t explicitly need to be locked into one monitor (first person shooters primarily) need this option. I prefer playing most games in windowed full screen mode so that I can access my second monitor without having to tab out and minimize the game. At the same time, I really don’t like seeing bordered windows, particularly when there is no option to maximize them.

Good Things That I Liked

  • I really like the new look and art style. It’s smooth, vibrant, and polished. As mentioned before though, my tastes lean in the favor of stylized cartoony aesthetics and away from pseudo creepy realistic character designs.
  • I like the new UI, it is slick and unobtrusive even though it does take some time to get used to. Also, being able to finally search for items in build mode is a very useful feature.
  • Gameplay is pretty solid. Multitasking is fantastic and plays a huge role in not having to constantly cancel actions in order to engage in specific social interactions with people. An entire group for example can sit at a bar, watch TV, drink, and talk amongst different group members all at once.
  • The genetics are better than The Sims 3. The children produced, at least in my opinion, look quite a bit better.
  • The emotions are a great addition and really do add personality to the sims in my opinion. It feels more realistic and natural playing with a sim’s emotional state in mind and working around that. By the way, don’t mind the marketing. The emotional doesn’t really make sims all that smarter in the AI sense, but it does add an extra layer of strategy and depth to the game, which is really what I wanted from it.
  • Build mode and create-a-sim tools are fantastic. I won’t go into too much detail because I am sure everyone has seen them by now.
  • I like the overall early game difficulty: bills have teeth, if something breaks you have to repair or replace it before using it again  (such as the toilet), pregnancy test vs instant indication jingle

Not So Good Things

It’s difficult to judge a new sims game based off of the number of items in the new base game in comparison to its predecessor, mostly because it’s been so long since The Sims 3 was released that I do not remember what was or was not in the base game; And it is very much a base game, so if you are judging this game based upon the fact that it did not come preloaded with seasons or supernatural content, that is an unrealistic expectation.

All that said, there really are quite a few basic items missing from the game. Despite all that is good about this game, as I play it is pretty apparent that many features aren’t present most likely because the game was rushed out. It is not only the much aforementioned toddlers and pools, but also the fact that there are for example, no dishwashers in the game in addition to just about all NPCs are mysteriously absent from the game: No firefighters, babysitters, firemen, policemen, robbers, etcetera. Independent of not having any expansion pack content, The Sims 4 does feel stripped down and partially finished to a large extent.

The towns are nice, but they do feel small and limiting. Genetics are improved but they are still not true genetics as there are no dominant or recessive traits for hair, eyes, etc. At least none that are passed down through create-a-sim genetics based off of limited testing.


In any case, the general flow of gameplay and design of The Sims 4 is inherently different than The Sims 3. In truth, it is probably safer and more accurate to view this game as a sequel to The Sims 2 than the 3rd installment in this series. There is a taste of open town gameplay in the form of being able to explore each neighborhood (if you visit a neighbor’s house, it will incur a loading screen), but the game is obviously designed with rotational gameplay in mind whereas The Sims 3 was more geared towards one family per town. Even though this change aligns rather well with what I was specifically looking for from The Sims 4, it may not align well with what you want. So in that sense, The Sims 4 is and will most likely remain a polarizing game amongst fans, at least until it has a few expansion packs under its belt.

As a side note, if they release an Open For Business expansion pack along the same lines as The Sims 2 expansion, then all transgressions will be forgiven.

Updated Sims 4 Wishlist


In lieu of the post embargo Sims 4 news influx, here’s a an updated list/commentary on things that I would like to see in The Sims 4. First and foremost, despite the lack of swimming pools, toddlers, and the other numerous features that were cut, what I really really want from The Sims 4 above all else is a more stable base engine. By stable I mean, a game engine that doesn’t corrupt saves or critically glitch out regularly and with every expansion pack.

If EA/Maxis can release a game that isn’t plagued by constant technical and memory issues (like The Sims 3 and predecessors), that’s a major kudos in my book even if it comes at the expense of other features. Along the lines of performance and more intelligent sims, I would love it if The Sims 4 had better pathing so that half of the day isn’t spent resolving a conflict between two sims attempting to pass through the same door or stuck elsewhere in the neighborhood.


I would love to see genetics return to The Sims 4 (to my understanding, it has). The Sims 2 had an actual simulated genetics system in which dominant and recessive phenotypes were passed down from parents to children for hair, eyes, and skin tones. If I recall correctly, personality traits could also be inherited as well. Genetics in the Sims 3 were grossly simplified. Instead of using a genetics system, randomly chosen characteristics were chosen from the parents as well as previous generations. There is unfortunately, a fairly high chance of mutation, 10% if I recall correctly. I would for example, receiving blond haired children from a family of brunettes. That’s not to mention odd problems such as dyed hair being passed down to children.

Unique/distinct personalities

Looking forward to playing with the emotions system. I did see one gameplay video however (forgot which one, my bad) stating that Maxis had put a lot of time and effort into the new emotion facial expressions and animations that were unfortunately, often missed given that many simmers tend to toggle between pause and max speed.

Better town customization tools

It does not appear that we are going to get any sort of official world building tool any time soon but from the previews that were just released, it appears that you will be able to edit public lots on the fly without having to exit out into town edit mode, select a lot, etc. Kind of similar to how you would enter build mode on your own lot.

The return of in-game storytelling tools

If I recall correctly, one of the previous sims games (it was either the first or second) had an in-game photo album that would allow you to select screenshots, annotate them, and even export/upload the album to the sims exchange. I would love to see a feature like that return in The Sims 4.

Sims 4 Neighborhood Details

Cautiously excited about The Sims 4 as it seems to be, at least according to the limited information that they have released so far, a blend between The Sims 2 and The Sims 3 which was exactly what I was hoping for. Each world will be divided into 5 neighborhood, each neighborhood having a distinct feel and characteristics. I think the example given during one of the interviews was somewhat akin to Hollywood and Bel Air being neighborhoods that are fairly different than each other but exist within the same city.

Each neighborhood with have up to 5 different lots which can either be residential or commercial. Public spaces are not considered lots and are persistent in that sims will continue to simulate even if you are not present. From my understanding, a public space would be something like an outdoor park whereas a commercial lot would be something like a gym. There will be a “short load” between words, neighborhoods, and lots. Really pretty interested in knowing how short.

Though 25 lots seems like a pretty small size for a world, sims will have the ability to travel between words while retaining personal information (such as belongings, relationships, etc). So, that is actually seems pretty nifty. On the other hand, it sounds very similar to what they did with Sim City in terms of scale: Multiple small cities on a single map for the sake of improving simulation. Simulation appears to be persistent across all zones within a world (world -> neighborhood -> lots and spacing between lots (public places). I am not sure if simulation persists between worlds.

Apparently for jobs, sims will walk off the neighborhood and come back later that night. There was something about a “big surprise” that they weren’t ready to announce so I guess careers and rabbit holes are up in the air at this time.

My Sims 4 Wishlist

A preview video and a few new features have been announced this week (news here). The Sims 4 Create-a-Sim looks really slick and way less cumbersome than having a hundred sliders. In a perfect world, I would love a game that’s a blend between The Sims 2 and The Sims 3 as both games had various elements not present in the other. Here’s my wish list for The Sims 4:

  • Hair customization: I can see why height is a huge point of contention for technical reasons relating to sim animations but, why can’t we have more hair customization? I would love for example, CAS sliders for hair length, bangs, curliness, etc (all factoring into genetics as well). Having a small handful of hairstyles makes everyone in the town look the same after a while.
  • Actual businesses: Less rabbit holes, specifically, the ability to run businesses ala The Sims 2: Open For Business. I am really surprised that this feature hasn’t yet been added into TS3 via an expansion pack…
  • More distinct personalities: The Sims 2’s trait system helped a little bit in terms of actually adding personality but sims as a whole still behave pretty similarly. I would love to have dynamic traits and habits that develop over time as well as the ability to set relationship related goals (perhaps a CAS option) instead of relegating that to traits. Have these goals factor into the AI behavior. The AI should actively seek to fulfill goals
  • Better town customization tools/more flexible neighborhoods: After 5 or so expansion packs, older neighborhoods start getting a little crowded after adding in all of the new lot types. I like playing only one or two neighborhoods; It’s fun expanding them, adding families, and watching the town grow. It would be nice to have the ability to build and modify neighborhoods extensively within the game client instead of having to load a separate tool. It would also be nice to be as to expand existing neighborhoods with new regions (like adding a downtown area TS2 style without the loading screens).
  • Better family trees: At minimum it would be nice to enlarge the window to viewable families. Ideally, I would like to be able to export Gedcom files as well as click on portraits to view information, memories, and sim statistics.
  • Apartments a la TS2: Apartments that aren’t just glorified rabbit holes. The apartment buildings obviously, should have the ability to hold multiple households. Individual apartments should be able to hold multiple households via a roommate system.
  • Per household/per sim story profession options: It sounds kind of sad, but I want the ability to shove a dozen sims in an apartment complex and not have them move around or do anything. I also want the option to keep certain lots “in the family.”
  • Sim hot-switching: I want to be able to click on a household and start playing it without having to load the town editor etc etc. The one playable household per neighborhood design doesn’t work all that well for my style of play.
  • Better pathing
  • Seamless aging 

I know this one will never happen but: More features added into the base game. We almost literally have the same expansion packs being released for each game…

October: Games Played and Time Lost


Happy Halloween. By the way, most of my WoW gametime has been more or less pushed to the backburner until Cataclysm comes out. This is usually about the time that I take an extended pre-release WoW break anyways, but to be honest, there’s just not a whole lot to do at the moment. I guess I can PvP or run dungeons, but the two big things that I really wanted to complete before the expansion (Loremaster and Kingslayer) have been finished. Besides, it’s gaming season and all of the new shit is starting to come out. Come early December it’s not like I’m going to do anything else on my computer for X months other than play WoW.

I posted a series of Minecraft videos on YouTube. The original idea was to narrate them, something that I still might do. I was going to do a Keiya’s adventures sort of continuous story bit but, eh. The problem with that is Minecraft is one of those games that I am usually playing while either half-watching or half-doing something else. It’s relaxing (when not in dark areas at least lol) and I like it that way. These videos are ultra crap-ass but I had fun recording them and hope that at least at least one person enjoys them.

I haven’t had much of a chance to play the Minecraft update in depth, just in small spurts; Partially because I was busy this past weekend and partially because a new Sims 3 expansion (Late Night) pack came out. I caved in and bought it after work on Friday; Obsessively playing it for a good portion of the weekend, which means that it probably warrants a review post. It’s a fairly standard expansion pack for better or for worse. I’d say that it’s probably my favorite out of the three that have been released, but much of it seems half-assed compared to the corresponding Sims 2 expansion features. The implementation of apartments in particular are pretty lame.

Wow is it really November already? Hey, CoD and AC:B are coming out soon…

The Sims 3: Ambitions


Job related content or rather, the distinct lack thereof has traditionally been a huge gaping hole in every single Sims game. Normally your sims choose a career path: Medical, business, food, whatever. In terms of gameplay, that career consists of little more than vanishing into a building for about 8 gameplay hours 5 days a week. Assuming that all of your sims have a regular job/school, that is almost a fourth of the game per sim spent doing almost nothing.

Ambitions is good because it allows to you to actively control your sim at work. I won’t bother explaining the details for all of the new professions because that has already been done and uuuh I haven’t played them all to be honest. The new profession objectives are fun, though fairly typical in what you would expect from the Sims style click based gameplay (run around, click, do something, repeat). I like the stylist and the architect professions because they affect the outward appearance of the town and its people (it is fun giving people pink mullets :P).

Twinbrook is the new town set in a half-flooded southern swamp-ish area. It’s well designed with a lot of atmosphere and character and show cases some of the new graphical effects. My one complaint is that it is very limited in size to the point where there is absolutely no where to place a 64×64 lot to start a Legacy Challenge.

I am going to hold my tongue on this one, but I haven’t encountered any serious glitches yet. I am sure though, that the serious game breaking bugs will surface in time (like the World Adventures family tree glitch which to date has not been fixed or really discussed much at all). By the way, I repeated the exact same thing from this post on the Ambitions executable to enable large addresses. My game has not crashed yet.

Ambitions isn’t a radical addition to the Sims 3. Even though the professions are fun to play and do actually add core gameplay to the franchise, they generally fail to integrate into the old career paths (with the exception of the medical career), to the point where there is a stark contrast. The old careers are boring in comparison to the new professions and I don’t really see myself ever going back to them. But, ultimately, Ambitions only adds 6 professions to the game which isn’t that much content for a long term play sort of game. Still, it is nice to see an expansion that isn’t based off of adding another loading zone ala World Adventures.

UPS and Keiya’s Sims Crack Habit


Where the hell is my package going? Why did ship from Oklahoma to Kentucky when I live in California? Furthermore, why did I bother with one day shipping on Amazon instead of just running over to Best Buy to purchase it after work QQ. I ordered the newest Sims 3 expansion pack, Ambitions on Sunday. I feel obligated to write a semi-review or glitch (go go EA QA) guide at some point. Actually, I am looking forward to playing this expansion quite a bit because it changes core gameplay. World Adventures was interesting, but allowing sims to travel to other load zones broke time continuity (among other things).

Other than the three new load zones and a couple of other things, not a whole lot was added into the game. The ability to control sims while on the job, as opposed to them just vanishing into a rabbit hole for 8+ hours has been on the top of most player’s wish lists since uuuh the first game?

Oh And: Come on EA; would it have hurt you that much to roll out some of the Sims 2 expansion pack functionality into the Sims 3 base game? (like apartments). Or at the very least, some fairly significant additional content in the form of a free downloadable patch instead of pushing everything into DLC on your stupid store. I know that I will still end up purchasing every single expansion pack like an addict but still. T_T

I MUST GET BLIZZCON tickets tomorrow. Watch me get held up at work or stuck in traffic on the way home though :/. Oh and, I went a whole week without playing WoW, playing any games (iPhone games on the plane don’t count), or sitting in front of (my) computer because I *gasp* went outside! Might post about my vacation if I ever get around to sorting through photos.

Update: More Sims Crap, WoW, Twitter

image_4Sorry, totally not related to anything but, some dude is totally recreating a Sims 3 version of Vice City (as in the city from GTA) using the Create a World tool and that is just pure awesome in my books. Said world needs to include the strip joints somehow.

Speaking of the Create a World tool, I keep meaning to play with it a little more for the sake of creating a custom neighborhood so that my little people have somewhere fun and original to run around. Actually, I kind of want a custom neighborhood to start yet another legacy challenge. If you look hard enough, a couple of really bad half-assed legacy blogs are still buried in the bowels of this site.

The tool itself really isn’t all that difficult to use. I am fairly surprised at that given my experience with world editing tools. They are usually just so…obtuse when it comes to the interface and what not. But then again, I’ve never been willing to soak in enough time to properly learn how to use any of them. I can’t think of anything cool to model a neighborhood after. Maybe I will just create an island with a giant mountain in the center or something? Wait no: I will create “Pen Island” except that, it won’t be shaped like a pen at all and only a small portion, the tip of the peninsula, will be visible on the in game town map (so that it doesn’t get banned off of the exchange :P). The base of the island will contain a massive forrest.

Random WoW bits:

  • The paladin class changes were bumped up by two days. As in, they are tomorrow. I smell all around nerfs and a few shiny new spells.
  • Did this happen to anyone else? I updated Pitbull 4 recently, logged in and all of my settings had been reset to the default. I tried restoring the lua file from a UI backup, but that didn’t work? Do you know how long it takes to redo all of the UI bar settings? Pain in the ass.
  • I wonder if I should go *gasp* holy in Cataclysm? Actually, most of my main spec changes have revolved around guild need. I enjoy playing any of the three specs really, though facerolling has been pretty damned fun. I think I may have found my true calling as a paladin 😛
  • FINALLY WON Bryntroll, the Bone Arbiter. It’s not that it doesn’t drop; Oh it’s dropped around 5 times. I’ve just consistently rolled shittely.
  • Also picked up the tier-10 pants and a few other things. Ugly skirt is ugly.

FYI: I have a Twitter feed, if anyone cares about that sort of thing. It pretty much mirrors anything posted on my Facebook wall +/- a few things. Okay well, it’s little more than a well of boredom as well as a dump for random iPhone pictures.