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 canโ€™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

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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

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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

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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 ๐Ÿ˜›
  • 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.

The Sims 3: Constant Game Crash Fix

If you are running a system with more than sufficient memory, are absolutely positive that it isn’t a hardware issue, yet your game is still crashing/save crashing out every 30 to 45 minutes, read this blog post and then download/run this tool. Just because it worked for me doesn’t mean that it will work for you, so make sure to backup the executables before patching them just in case. I Sims 3 binged for a good portion of Sunday and did not crash out once.

Neither The Sims 3 forums nor the crash logs within The Sims 3 directory were all that useful. By the way, the “DasmX86Dll.dll not found” error message isn’t all that relevant to the actual cause of the crashes (confirmed by SimGuru; It is a red herring). It’s a file that was used as a part of the debugging process and was removed when the game went live. So it is more of a catch all than anything else.

I was actually pretty fortunate and never had a game crash problem until I installed the High-End Stuff Pack (I know that was totally a waste of cash but I needed my Sims crack fix). Apparently, one of the suspect causes of the crashing is the 2GB virtual memory limitation. The patcher will let you modify The Sims 3 executables to use more than 2GB of memory. Or something like that.

So yay, I can play this game once again without it shitting on me.

The Sims 3

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You know, I had these grand plans of actually posting and updating this on a regular basis throughout the month of June; I even typed out a few post drafts. But then The Sims 3 came out (as well as several other things) and I started semi-obsessively playing it. As such, I feel obligated to post about it.

The Sims 3 in a way feels fundamentally different than The Sims 2, though at heart, the same. For one, sims aren’t trapped on their lots anymore. The entire neighborhood is one seamless area, allowing sims to visit neighbors and go into town without having to load areas. Time also progresses universally throughout the neighborhood, so no more going out for a full day, only to return to a lot that hasn’t changed since you left.

You now live in a persistent world. It’s fluid and growing; the new Story Progression feature keeps it as such. Sims outside of your active household will also grow up, fall in love, have children, live their lives and die. Gone is the need to micromanage every single household in order to avoid the awkwardness of being the same age as your great great great uncle (accidental incest is bad).

Story progression though does have strange moments: Computer spawned babies apparently need only one parent. For example, I created a small family consisting of a father and son, moved them into their own house and then left them to their own NPC devices (I wanted interesting neighbors). Several days later, a baby popped out of nowhere. I guess this is the way that the game balances itself, which is alright though someone artificial feeling.

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The game feels geared towards a single family play. You can swap households, but doing so feels a bit cumbersome in that it requires quite a few mouse clicks (go to the edit neighborhood screen, click change active household, choose the household, etc). When you swap households, short term wishes are reset and you run the risk of story progression doing something negative to that family unless you toggle it off. If you were one of those Sims 2 players who insisted on having absolute control over every household, this change mightfrustrate you somewhat.

Daily life feels like much less of a grind, much of the sim needs and daily micromanagement has either been streamlined or reduced, leaving more time for storytelling and antics. Yours sims don’t need to pee or shower as often and you are able to throw out trash and put items away yourself, rather than having to wait for your sim to do it.

Your Sim’s current ‘state’ is based off of a new moodlets system. Certain activities and conditions will give a buff or debuff to your mood. Each moodlet lasts for a certain duration; Being in a good mood positively influences work performance and social interactions.

You can also change the color and texture of virtually every surface and clothing item in the game. Even so, there is a distinct feeling that EA is holding back on items for the sake of eitherre-releasing them in an expansion pack or on their online store. Where’s the piano and hot tub?

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The Sims 3 also runs notably smoother than The Sims 2, even on very large lots with a surplus of items. Keep in mind though, that this is the base game, minus any expansion packs. We will see if this performance improvement holds up in a year or two…

Anyway, there are dozens of fun changes and game mechanics that I skipped over (the traits system, collectibles, body shapes, etc). In short, it’s fun. So fun that it has ate up my urge to do much of anything else during the period of free time that I set aside for gaming and stuff like that. If you enjoyed the other Sims games, you will most definitely enjoy The Sims 3.