So many stories, so little time

I wanted to write a post about my Simself family moving to San Myshuno, but then I realised I’ve got too many other stories to tell.

You see I’ve been playing rotational, and a lot of the households not only have familial ties, they also affect each other’s outcomes. Seems like I’ve finally uncovered the games strength, and it’s compelling draw. There really isn’t enough time in the day to play all the story lines, and swapping between the households creates even more 🙂

Installing the preceding update filled me with horror because I’ve been enjoying the game so much, the list of update fixes is massive, although I was somewhat irritated by the fact that a lot of them won’t show unless I start a new save. That to me kind of sucks because I am sure that most if not all Sims players, play legacy games – and you simply can’t start a fresh every time fixes are delivered. I’ve been grumbling about it for years now but it seems that play tests are still being done in a new game environment. I think if I was a developer I’d have a couple of trusty old machines that are loaded up with the complete game, and running a saved game from the start. That way I’d be able to see and be able to deal with the conflicts. However, I am not a developer! And that’s probably a very simplistic view, there are probably good reasons why they don’t do it that way.

So most of the fixes don’t make any difference to a legacy save, it’s frustrating but so are a lot of other things…

There was no horror at all with installing the City Living EP, there’s so much good stuff in there. So much that I’ve been waiting for, it’s a massive expansion for the game. There’s tons of stuff I haven’t found yet, but so far the futon bed (I like the used, uncomfortable version best), the little karaoke machine, food booths, chopsticks! Talking toilets, suitcase side table are my favourites. But as I said, I’ve barely scratched the surface and all of the beaten up, flea market furniture recolours fill me with joy.

Best of all?

Travelling with my Sim to the bakery lot that gave me so much grief, and seeing the npc’s not only cleaning but also restocking autonomously. And when my hungry Sim bought a tray of cupcakes to take home, he stopped off to eat one at the counter. Oh happy days 🙂

So here I am, Saturday morning and I am sitting in my office, staring out through the window. I’ve got a list of jobs that need doing as long as both arms, the stables need mucking out, dogs to bathe, house work, gardening, maintenance, blah, blah… Still I am watching the wildlife. Outside my office window there are pheasants, rats and rabbits picking at seeds fallen from the bird table beneath a magnolia tree, it’s a beautiful autumn morning and I could watch all day. But then instinctively my finger reaches for the blue power button on my PC and wooompth I am back in Simsville.

Once a daily fix was enough, every evening I would load up the game and play for a few hours – some of those sessions were lengthy, depending on the story and what I wanted those Sims to achieve. But that was enough, I could put it down as easily as picking it up. And even though some times playing against the frustrations left me wiped out, and with a head full of plans for the next evening’s session, it wasn’t completely ruling my life. Now though with a head full of stories and a web of effortlessly connected households compelling me to play on, two or three lengthy sessions a day is not enough! I actually woke up at 4 am today wanting to see what would happen with a storyline I’d been playing. And I am far too old for that kind of nocturnal awakening!

First of all there’s a long running saga with Malcolm Landgraab and my Simself’s daughter Amber. Amber has just given birth to their second daughter (Matilda), but it’s Malcolm’s relationship with his mad scientist friend Clarke Spencer that’s tickled my fancy. Malcolm is working his way through a career in crime. Although he’s the most unlikely big bad around, I have a feeling he’s going to be good at it.
Clarke Spencer is working his way through the science career, he was in danger of becoming a dull little Sim until he met Malcolm, now the two are as thick as thieves and Clarke is kept busy inventing and upgrading the gadgets and gizmos that Malcolm needs to run his evil empire. It’s not all hard work though, Clarke gave a slimming formula he’d created to a heavy weight alien and then promptly fell in love with her.
So now somewhere out there he has an alien love child. Playing at the science career lot is OK, it gets a bit repetitive sometimes, but mostly the challenges are good fun. He’s already built the space travel machine, though I’ve yet to use it. And even now after all this time I’ve yet to see anyone travel to the alien world.
Malcolm meanwhile spends all his free time cultivating Cowplant Berries. There’s a tuning mod Long-Lived, Peace-Loving Cowplants by coolspear1 at MTS that I am eager to try out, but growing the seeds is not a quick process. I’ve also built a locked cellar beneath the cellar where Malcolm grows his cowplants. Eventually Clarke is going to deliver a cloning machine, though I think it’s going to be Malcolm’s teenage son Trent who’s going to head up Evil inc and create a (small) clone army.

*edit Nov/16 So everything worked well enough, Clarke built and upgraded stun guns, a space travelling portal and a cloning machine which he delivered to to Malcolm’s house. And Malcolm was able to put the heavy machinery in his inventory and then install them in his locked bunker. But, the stun guns and tested potions were next to useless as no one in Malcolm’s household could pick them up! I had an idea already planned though that eventually fixed the problem (more about that here soon!)

Another lively household is that of Ellen Mireles and her three teenage sons David, Brayden and Ralph.
Ellen was a homeless townie for a long time, regularly popping up and I never felt the need to change her because there was something about her personality that other Sims seemed to like. So when I had the idea of my Simself family moving to a penthouse and needing live-in help, she seemed like a good place to start. I moved her into an empty property and used the genetics to create a son, he looked cool so I created a twin, then I couldn’t help myself and created another twin. They aged up to teens by themselves but then I had to start playing the household because I wanted the boys to be skilled up before moving into the penthouse.
Two of the boys already had part-time jobs. Ralph is a construction site labourer (I think) so he’s concentrating on handiness. And Brayden is a childminder so he gets to work on his wellness skills, David seems to like cleaning! So he’s learning to cook and bake. All of them are cool, especially Ellen, I decided she should be an internet personality and has just been promoted to ‘Cat Video Editor’ she’s out and about all the time, and seems to have a thing going on with an Indian guy in San Myshuno – which could get interesting because I am sure he’s married.

Playing this family alerted me to changes made to autonomy settings. It’s great to see adult Sims helping their kids with homework, and Sims with the tidy trait are more likely to clean sinks and bathtubs without being told to. I’ve even seen one fix a broken computer all by himself! (Although that was at the science lab so maybe it doesn’t count). On the other hand though, I’ve had to remove all the woodworking benches from their homes. Because every idle Sim in the world wants to craft knife racks!

Something else worth noting, I am keeping their grades at B level, because I am not sure if there’s still a problem with the autonomous extra credit action. I know before the recent update that teen Sims would cause the world to freeze when they chose to study, and keeping them below A grade should remove that risk – it’s just a theory!

Best of all!

Another pat on the back for the developers, because the boys have different hobbies and lifestyles their body shapes are different. They started out identical, except for hairstyles, but now the two Sims with active lifestyles are different, one is slim and the other more muscular. While David who spends all his free time cooking (and eating!) is piling on the weight and looks a lot chunkier compared to his siblings.

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