72 days later

And I am still here, still moaning yet absurdly still enjoying the game!

So it’s summer in wet Wales which means that randomly there will be days of sunshine when I can get out of the office and work in the garden. Enjoying the rarity of long, sunny days is not the only thing keeping me away from the computer this summer, I’ve had my share of grief to deal with too I lost two old dogs, combined with the usual financial headaches, a partner who’s becoming more and more discombobulated with every passing day – he’s just spent £2,600 on two puppies – Puppies 🙂 as if I didn’t have enough going on! – Ahh puppies, you just can’t help but feel good around them…

And so it happened, after feeling utterly miserable losing two dogs in one month. Settling into the new daily routine without the familiar dogs around, then the unsettled chaos (and mess!) of two nine week old puppies, I switched on the computer. This time though instead of typing A into the search bar and going straight to my Amazon shopping fix, I hit the Origin icon and found a new stuff pack to purchase and an update too – lovely!

They’ve fixed the big executive desk chair finally! And they’ve also stopped kids from messing with the makeup, I am not sure if they’ve stopped them from pasting makeup all over their faces at the dining table, because that was getting irritating but I am assuming so. I love the new climbing wall that came with fitness stuff, I really liked the size of the TS3 climbing wall, but I think this one is better – it’s certainly got more animations, although the challenge results are random. And I’ve used a lot of the CAS items.

Dipping in and out of the game is still an enjoyable pastime, more so now that I’ve given up on my quest to put right the glitches. What was I thinking! It’s been a struggle to even switch the computer on recently – I’ve got a Fire tablet for quick & easy shopping – and I was planning a blog to highlight bugs and other issues. Probably that big negative commitment was hamstringing my desire for the game – at a time when I needed a diversion. Putting aside the bugs and glitches, because there’s really nothing I can do about them. It seems the devs are aware and are listening to the grumblings, they’re fixing problems in their own timescale, so there’s really no need for little me to get all bogged down like a game glitch crusader in a game that’s always going to have glitches.

1727 hours of gameplay, or more realistically 103620 minutes because so much Sim activity happens in real time. And three new bugs hit me last night, first my YA Sim had been living in a ‘fixer-upper’ starter apartment, but I was getting fed up with him having to deal with rats, roaches and weird green fumes constantly appearing, so I moved him into the apartment next door. The apartment with gremlins! “You have been warned…” a helpful dialogue box urged me to reconsider, but I thought it might be fun! The apartment was completely empty, so I spent a couple of hours furnishing and redecorating, I even installed the high end ‘unbreakable’ toilet. Playing in the apartment without pests or even an electric box that kept breaking was a joy, and my Sim had his brothers visit for games night and pizza – did they fix the pizza delivery delay too? I remember that used to be more miss than hit. – The Sims had a great evening, although they’re still compelled to draw glasses of water from the bathroom sink, it’s literally the first thing every visiting Sim will do, and the half empty glasses they leave around the place is very irritating! Anyway, game night over the other Sims went home. My Sim thoroughly exhausted after clearing up all of those glasses slumped off to bed. Then in the middle of the night every single electrical and plumbing object in the apartment broke, even the unbreakable loo! There wasn’t enough time in the morning to fix even half of them, so the Sim called up the repairman (and also hired a maid to clean up afterwards). Both of the service Sims turned up and started working, so my Sim left for work. Then it all bugged out, I think it was when the repairman tried to fix the unbreakable toilet, because he just couldn’t and then even though he and the maid left the apartment with most of the objects still broken, he couldn’t leave the building and stood waving beside the mailbox, and persistently knocking on the door!

When my Sim got back from work, the repairman was still pacing around the hallway, and had become very angry by this time. My Sim tried to talk to him, hoping once he was in the apartment he’d start fixing stuff but he still couldn’t and kept leaving – but not being able to. Out of desperation, I had my Sim travel somewhere else, but the repairman was still there when he got back. I also tried switching household thinking that would reset the lot, but that didn’t work either. For two Sim days my Sim had to try to get on with his life, fixing and upgrading stuff, complete daily tasks for his work goals and all the while have a furious repairman pacing around and hammering on his door every so often! Door hammering is actually the second glitch, because it seems the apartment doors or neighbours are animated in such a way that it doesn’t matter what your Sim is doing, they’re going to complain about inconsiderate noise at set intervals – even when the poor guy was reading quietly, his pissed off neighbors would come hammering on his door and when he ignored them, as he was trying to do with the repairman! They would leave cursing and angry too. Eventually! I figured out that he needed to ask the repairman to hang out with him, engage in some friendly chit chat and then ask him to leave – finally he could get some peace!

The angry neighbors is most likely an ill-conceived game feature, the repairman glitch was most probably caused by me putting an unbreakable object in an environment meant to break. But the third glitch took me by surprise, it’s something I’d read about on the bug forum but had never seen it happen before last night. I had swapped households and was playing a Sim who had quit his job and was trying to scratch a living as a painter. Selling paintings directly off the easel is lame, especially since they’ve got the street vendor stuff, so I placed the painting display thingumy and the yard sale table at a little park in Newcrest and had him travel there to test. It’s cool I like the way paintings are displayed and the tables hold a lot of clutter, maybe he’ll try flogging some sculptures one day, but this first time he just had three paintings to sell. But then nothing much happened! He just kind of stood around while a couple of nearby Sims ignored him and his average artwork. Then I clicked the ‘yard sale’ option and he started shouting and waving his arms, soon he’d sold all the paintings and he went to play on a water slide.

Everything was good, there were Sims cooking and eating, child Sims playing in the playground, an old boy playing chess alone, and a couple of teens using the water slide and then playing basketball. All was peaceful and he’d made a couple of hundred Simoleons. Everything as I said was good, it was about to get better when I noticed that a very attractive lady Sim had cooked up a plate of hotdogs (my fave!) and he’s a single male, that needs a lady – he seems more at ease chatting up men, and teenage boy Sims flirt with him, which is not how I imagined his life to go – so, he grabs a plate of hot dogs and sits at the picnic table, I am about to initiate some flirting and witty banter when he (still sitting) spins into his gym clothes and splashes around in water beneath the bench! He’s literally underwater, all you can see is the top of his head and ripples. Then he’s back on the bench eating hot dogs again, although still in his sportswear, which was not so bad as he’s a total muscle mary anyway. I rushed him straight home after that though, so I could quit the game – it’s a habit I have to quit and save on their home lots.

So to round everything up, tidy this rambling post into something worthwhile. I will probably revisit this blog midway through TS5 thinking it wasn’t so bad. And laugh at the frustrating glitches because after all they’re part of the game, just like in the other Sims games. Three and a bit hours played, some progress made with Sims building skills, climbing the career ladder, socialising and developing relationships. And three glitches that just stop me short of total immersion.

Today it’s pouring with rain, the puppies are drying out in front of the fire, the donkeys sheltering in their shed, three cats sleeping on various surfaces around me, what’s a Sim addict to do? Accept that glitches are part of the process and not worth moaning about, and play on!

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