Ambitious

I do have lots of pictures I can post to get you up to date on where I’m currently playing in the Sunset Valley neighborhood, but I’m going to take a break for a moment to talk about the new expansion pack, Ambitions. I was way late with World Adventures and actually only just got it LAST WEEK (along with High-End Loft Stuff, all three are my anniversary present from my husband). But I had pre-ordered Ambitions, so I got it the day of release and have been playing the last couple of nights.

I thought World Adventures was okay. Love the scenery in the foreign neighborhoods, so pretty! The adventures are okay, it gives something to do and a break from just going to work/school. I sent one of the Goth daughters on a “study abroad semester” trip (not actually part of the game, just what I called it in my head) to China during high school (the Goths need something to do with all the money they have!) but I was disappointed to find out that the other family members were in exactly the same positions and actions when she returned as they were when she left. I had hoped time would pass for them while she was gone so it could actually be like she was gone for this certain amount of time. But anyway.

Ambitions, however, I am really enjoying! While I wait for my critical mods to be updated for the new expansion, I created a new Sim in the new hood, Twinbrook, to play around and try out the new features.

This is Sasha Mooring (some of these pictures were taken before I put my custom skins back in, so she has the EA default skin here). Her traits are dramatic, eco-friendly, friendly, slob, and…I think loves the outdoors was the other trait I gave her. Dramatic and eco-friendly are both new traits included with Ambitions.

Her hairstyle is one of the new ones that comes with Ambitions. It has a headband and flips out a little a the bottom.

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Growing Up Goth, Part 2

Her parents had the picture-perfect romance. The quick, head-spinning kind of love that causes you to jump right into things before you’ve even caught your breath.

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Thoughts on playing

(If you follow this blog through a feedreader, then you may have seen a partial of this post go through before I was ready for it to! Stupid finger hit publish instead of save draft!)

I’m not to the point that I’m playing an entire neighborhood yet, but I have been playing a couple of households and figuring out how to get the game to work for me, while also adjusting my playstyle a little. I accept the fact that TS3 isn’t TS2 and I’m learning to work with it. It really has been growing on me and I find myself actually wanting to play it now when I haven’t even touched it in months. (My last update before these recent ones was in November, which is also the last time I had launched TS3 before now.)

This post will probably be a bit random because it’s mostly just sorting out my thoughts and trying to figure out solutions to current needs I have. So I apologize in advance! 🙂

There are some mods that are essential for my playstyle. Twallan’s mods are at the top of the list. I recommend grabbing Story Progression, Careers Mod, Super Computer, and the Woohooer. Also I recommend Absimiliard’s Realistic Aging Mod. This changes the number of days that each age group gets. Right now, I’ve been playing with the AbsimiliardsRealisticAgingMod (AbsRAM) version on the long setting. This is the comparison between the EA default and the AbsRAM age mod:

Original EA Long setting:
Infant: 6 days; Toddler: 15 days; Child: 15 days; Teen: 30 days; Young Adult: 45 days; Adult: 45 days; Elder: 34 days; Total: 190 days

AbsRAM Long setting:
Infant: 3 days; Toddler: 12 days; Child: 21 days; Teen: 18 days; Young Adult: 66 days; Adult: 75 days; Elder: 15 days; Total: 210 days

The AbsRAM long letting divides time up so that each day is equivalent to 1/3 of the year.  So every 3 days is one year, if you want to play with defined ages and years in your game. I know that when you look at the list it seems like 21 days as a child is an eternally long time, but if you plan to play more than one household and allow your other households to keep aging without you, then you don’t have to play those entire 21 days for each child in each house because time continues on in the background for everyone. I already currently play TS2 on a two year basis and skip around households, imagining that everyone ages in the background without me. This method would be similar, except that they actually would age without me and I don’t have to manually advance their age bars. I decided on the long setting from this mod because I felt that the number of days provided in each age group would allow me to skip around among households without missing too much in my other houses.

Based on the AbsRAM aging mod on the long setting the ages work out to this:
Infant: newborn to 1 year (3 days)
Toddler: 2 years to 4 years (12 days)
Child: 5 years to 11 years (21 days)
Teen: 12 years to 17 years (18 days)
Young Adult: 18 years to 39 years (66 days)
Adult: 40 years to 64 years (75 days)
Elder: 65+ years (Remember that the 15 days assigned to this group is the minimum number of days your elder can live. They could live longer!)

For my own playing, I try to make sure that my playable Young Adults look different at 18 than they do at 35 through the use of hairstyles and clothing choices. I also try to make 5 year old children look different from 11 year old children. A stretchskeleton cheat would be nice though!

Twallan’s Story Progression mod has a lot of pop ups throughout the day, but I don’t mind them. I like having notices about what other Sims throughout the hood are doing. It will tell me what’s happening in other households that I control so if I get a pop up about something I don’t like, such as January Goth getting a job in the sports career even though one of her traits is couch potato, I know to jump back to that household and fix it. The Careers Mod is awesome because it opens up a lot of new career choices–one of the Goth daughters has a before school job as a paper deliverer!–and if you don’t want your Sim to get a job and want to keep the story progression from giving them one while you’re playing another house, you can have your Sim register as “unemployed” with City Hall. This tells the game that they have a job–Unemployed–but they have no pay and no hours, so you don’t have to worry about a car pool. This is what I did for January, after I had her quit her job in the sports career that the game had given her while I was playing the Sekemotos. Now the game thinks she has a job so it won’t try to give her one that doesn’t even make sense for her. She’s a full-time author anyway, so I didn’t want her working outside of the home.

Another awesome thing about the Careers mod is that it makes some of the businesses into trade schools for your teens. One of the Goth daughters wants to be a forensic investigator, so she currently attends the Science Academy. The other daughter wants to be a journalist, so she attends the Arts School where she studies writing. You don’t have to do anything extra to set up your businesses as these special schools, just install the mod and your teens will have the option to enroll in the school at some of the lots. There is also an option for homeschooling, which your students register for at City Hall and then download their homework from the computer each day.

I was feeling sad about the loss of Autonomous Casual Romance that I depend on so much in TS2, but then I found TwoFtMama’s mods. You can use either Teen Autonomous Woohoo/Try For Baby or Adults Only Autonomous Woohoo/Try for Baby. The difference being that the teen version affects both teens AND adults, and the adults only version affects just adults. So with this we can still let our Sims decide if they want babies. 🙂

One thing I still have to work out is how to work around not having chemistry in the game right now. I know the base game TS2 didn’t have chemistry either, but we’ve had it since the second expansion pack so it’s hard to remember playing without it. I’m still trying to figure out a good solution for pairing up Sims without a chemistry system in the game to guide me.

More babbling thoughts coming later. 🙂

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Growing Up Goth, Part 1

Her parents met one quiet afternoon, almost accidentally. Well, maybe “met” isn’t the right word. Sunset Valley is a small town and they’d known of each other for a long time, but had never even spoken until that day she passed by him, saying a quick “Excuse me” as she went on. Just a flash of blonde hair and sweet perfume that captured his interest for a moment, but not enough to distract him from the book he was about to read.

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Actual pictures

I played Sims 3 last night for the first time in a long time. I’m not entirely attached to it because I get frustrated by not being able to do all the things I’ve become so used to doing in Sims 2. Also I just find it harder to keep track of everyone’s lives since they keep doing things when I’m not looking.

But I did save a few pictures from the game. Mostly things that have amused me, but also a peek into the lives of the Sims I’m playing with.

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This is when I really miss all the mods that I have in Sims 2

I have a weird problem in my game right now. I had Mortimer Goth get married to a Sim he had met and developed a friendship with. He even waited for her to grow up from a teen so he could romance her, LOL. So they had this beautiful beach wedding and now…she won’t move into Goth Manor. I know the household isn’t full because it’s just Mortimer and his parents there. She’s listed as his wife and if I go into her household, she shows that she is married to him. But she’s still living at home with her parents. I know that a spouse should move in after the wedding because Hailey moved in with Leighton Sekemoto after their wedding in the park with no problems.

I think maybe my game is mad at me for not following the rules and having Mortimer marry someone other than Bella. 😉

If this was Sims 2, I would just grab Inge’s teleporter and move her in. I really, really miss all the mods that let me fix little glitches during gameplay. So tonight I’ll have to try again manually, having them talk and build their relationship way up and see if I can ever get the move in option to come up.

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Mods I use

I’ve been playing Sims 3 a little more lately because I figured out a family that really captures my interest: the Goths. This is surprising in that I’ve never liked playing the pre-made families, in either Sims 1 or Sims 2. I’ve never liked the stories that Maxis sets up for us and was never interested in following them through. I played the Goths only a little bit in Sims 1 before I grew bored with them and focused on my own creations, and I never played them at all in Sims 2. In Sims 2, my only contact with the Goths was that I had Dina Caliente get pregnant by Mortimer. She had twins. The bad thing was, Nina was also pregnant (by one of my self-Sim’s grandsons) and she had twins also within a day of Dina. It was crazy. So that was the end of my gameplay with Maxis-made families, LOL!

Anyway, while I was playing my Sim Hailey, who married Leighton Sekemoto, helped raise his son Sam, and had a daughter named Abigail (who is evil), I kept zooming over to peek in at the Goths and see what they were up to. I found myself feeling a bit intrigued and developing a soft spot for Mortimer. I mean, here’s my chance to rewrite Goth history. Mortimer no longer has to marry Bella, watch Cassandra stupidly fall in love with Don Lothario, have Alexander who doesn’t seem to have a plotline of his own, experience Bella’s disappearance from his life, or get involved with Dina. The weird thing is, I don’t have a soft spot for Bella, just Mortimer. I don’t really know why, but he piques my interest.

And he’s great for pictures.

I have something percolating in my head focusing on the Goths, so I may start writing about it here. I don’t know when or if I actually will do it, but I’m enjoying playing Mortimer’s life in a different way and seeing how it goes.

Okay, now, as promised, the hacks I’m using so far that I consider essential:

  • AwesomeMod with IndieStone Mod. Absolutely necessary to prevent craziness during gameplay. I don’t like families moving out of the neighborhood and disappearing, so this stops that. They can still get married and have kids and move into homes on their own, but I don’t allow them to move away. Also, I like that it gives me pop ups to let me know who in the neighborhood is getting married or having babies or moving in together.
  • Autonomous woohoo with pregnancy. Just to give me back a little feature of ACR that I like, the ability to let my current household decide whether or not to try for a baby.
  • Faster Novel Writing
  • More Fun Activities. Apparently, there aren’t a lot of activities that by default give your Sims fun. This fixes that.
  • Higher bills. Just to keep my Sims from getting rich too quickly. I use the 2.6% version, but am considering switching to the 5% one.
  • Faster Gardening

I think that’s all I have so far, but I may have missed something. If so, I’ll update again in another post.

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