(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. 🙂