Monday, April 1, 2013

Break the EA Games Monopoly, PLEASE!

I realized something today.  EA Games will continue to schlep Sims content to us like overpriced cafeteria food until another game company comes out with a life simulation game people want to play.

Competition is good.  It gives the players the power.  Remove EA Games' monopoly on life simulation games and they'll be forced to cater to us not just with content but with reduced prices and improved quality.  Many Sims players haven't played anything other than Sims games and don't realize that it could be so much better if EA Games only gave their staff more manpower and time to do the job right.  Those of us who have played other games, great games, undermine any protest we might make by continuing to dump our money into the Sims franchise.  (Guilty.)

We do it because there is no current, notable rival if we want to play a life simulation game.  Even if we're displeased with the level of game quality and want to protest, there's nowhere else we can go for the same service.  So we put up with their bugs and bloated files and grumble while we fork over handfuls of cash for expansions.

Me, I want an alternative.  I want a real game company to give the Sims franchise a run for its money.  Not because I want the Sims to go out of business but because competition will force EA Games to improve the Sims if they want to keep us.  They've never had to sweat over a rival.  They've never had to work or worry about our patronage.  I want to see that complacency broken.

I want players to have the power and reap the benefits.


Monopoly (definition)
  1. exclusive control of a commodity or service in a particular market, or a control that makes possible the manipulation of prices. Compare duopoly, oligopoly.
  2. an exclusive privilege to carry on a business, traffic, or service, granted by a government.
  3. the exclusive possession or control of something.
  4. something that is the subject of such control, as a commodity or service.
  5. a company or group that has such control.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Moonlight Falls Special Seed Locations





Supernatural & Moonlight Falls (New Traits, Collectibles, Plants, etc)

After the break, find the new traits, lifetime wishes, rewards, bugs, plants, and ore in the Supernatural Expansion.  Before the break, two of my favorite changes:

I keep squeeing.  You can now turn off the autonomous spreading of creatures & celebrities, which is something I've been dying for.  Also, you can just turn off celebrities for your current household.

Another awesome thing is the planter -- grow garden plants on your porch or indoors.

Will I have a map of special seed locations?  Yes!  It will be in a different post, just as soon as I get the collection helper on one of the Crumplebottom sisters.  :)


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

SimCity Social: Basics

Liking it better than "Sims Social."  It still relies on friends, but not as much, and there aren't (currently) weekly races to complete objects for prizes.

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Energy
Max energy goes up per level.  You get __ more from daily visits to your friends' towns, randomly when you perform an action, and leveling up refills your energy bar.  You can give and get energy with friends.

Simoleons
Reap from businesses, spending energy in your town, leveling up, or visiting friends' towns.  Use to build, upgrade, etc.

Materials
Reap from factories, spending energy in your town, leveling up, clearing land, or visiting friends' towns.  Use to build, upgrade, etc.

Fame
Get by spending energy in friends' towns.  Use this to purchase certain buildings, particularly Friend&Foe items.

Diamonds
The real-money cash cow.  You also get them from leveling up until level 10.

Backpack Items
Use to unlock upgrades.  Another post listing these soon.

Population
The number of people in your town.  It goes up by the number of houses and attractions you have.  This number unlocks more and more impressive buildings in your Build panel.  Maximize your population by positioning upgraded attractions to influence the greatest number of houses.

Attractions
Increases population.  Attractions have a zone of effect.  You put them near houses and those houses upgrade so they can hold more people.

Upgrading
You manually upgrade buildings to improve their performance.  Attractions attract more people, fire stations have more fire trucks, production buildings produce more, and everything has a wider zone of effect.

Factories
Reap materials every x minutes.  Time and quantity vary per factory.  Upgrade to reap more materials.

Businesses
Reap simoleons every x minutes.  Boosted by attractions.

Facilities
Police, firemen, and hospitals.  I decided to fully upgrade my firehouse before expanding my city further.

Farms
Plant and reap on a timer.

Train Station
Send out trains for materials on a timer.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Sims Social: Don't Start Playing

The Sims Social is plagued with bugs. These aren’t average bugs, like when you have to reload every once in awhile, or where your character temporarily gets an apron and a different haircut while doing some painting, or how the top half of your character’s body disappears on the yoga mat. That stuff is noticeable but harmless.

It’s the kind of thing where you start playing the game and you find out after 6 days of constant work that the Theme of the Week it’s showing you is the Theme from two weeks ago. A Theme you can’t complete because (for example) you need to pluck actual blooming Lotus Flowers to complete it and there aren’t any anymore. There are Red Monsters instead. But the Red Monsters don’t matter because the REAL Theme of the Week? You can’t actually get the quest for that. Because your game is borked.

It’s the kind of thing where you’re running on a deadline, you’re in the home stretch, you go to “Ask Friends” for car parts through a news feed but close the dialog before you post so you can note the number of items, only to realize the game doesn’t care if you posted to your feed or not. It’s still counting it, and you can’t post another until the timer for that one runs down.

Days of work and stress to get one carrot at the end of a very long stick.

Ruined.

You think maybe the Help forums will throw you a bone. Maybe reset your news feed timer, or give you the four lotuses you need because it’s not your fault your yard is flooded with Red Monsters or the game started you on a Quest that’s been over for ages. Heck, you can’t even get that Week’s REAL Theme Quest! The game owes you! But the Help forums simply point out that with SimCash™, you can finish EVERYTHING, even if it’s all borked! Easy! Just pay real money to get what you worked days for.

I understand SimCash. It preys on the addictive quality of games and the addictions of gamers, but I understand it as a working company model. If I want certain in-game luxuries, I have to pay for them. With cash. (Major credit cards and PayPal also accepted.) I don’t, but that’s my choice, and I’m glad I have a choice in this. Or, at least, I thought I did.

The only attitude I’ve gotten from the Help forums is that, when the game itself is the thing tripping me up, my only recourse is to pay real money to fix my problems. Specifically, “It costs 20 SimCash to get that Lotus thing. Just decide how much you want the sauna!”

There is no way in which that is okay.


A quote I want you to think about, one that I hope every gamer takes to heart:

“When I find that more of my time on a game is spent being mad at it than enjoying myself, it’s time to quit.” (My Husband)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Glitches in Translation

It can be difficult to understand download rules in other languages. Here are a few phrases that Google translate doesn't have trouble with:
Правила на других языках может ввести в заблуждение. Полезные фразы:
在其他语言规则的理解是非常困难的。下面是翻译:
Il peut être difficile de comprendre les règles de téléchargement dans d'autres langues. Voici quelques phrases qui se traduisent bien:
Puede ser difícil de entender las reglas en otros idiomas. Estas frases se traducen bien:
Può essere difficile da capire le regole in altre lingue. Questi si traducono bene:

Russian | русский
Free to share. | Бесплатный поделиться.
No pay sites. | Нет на платные сайты.
Do not share. | Не делитесь.
Link, if shared. | Ссылка, если совместно.
Just download it here. | Только скачать отсюда.
You have the right to include it only in what you create. | Вы имеете право включить это только внутри того, что вы создаете.

Chinese (Simplified) | 中国的
Sharing good. | 分享好。
You can share my work. | 你可以分享我的工作。
Only free sharing site. | 仅免费共享网站。
You can distribute only free site. | 你可以分发,只有免费的网站。
You do not distribute. | 你不分发。
To share with others, you give the link. | 与他人分享,你给的链接。
Just download it here. | 只是在这里下载。
You do not ask for money for my work. | 你不问钱对我的工作。
You may not upload my work to another site for any reason. | 你可能不上传我的工作,以任何理由到另一个站点。
If you create a house or a person, my work can be included. | 如果您创建了一所房子或一个人,我的工作可以包括在内。

French | français
Free to share. | Libre à partager.
Only free websites can share. | Seuls les sites web gratuits peuvent partager.
Link to this site if you use my work at all. | Lien vers ce site si vous utilisez mon travail à tous.
Do not include my work in yours. Provide a link instead. | Ne jamais inclure mon travail dans le vôtre. Donner un lien à la place.
You can include my work with objects that you create. | Vous pouvez inclure mon travail avec des objets que vous créez.

Spanish | español
Free to share. | La libertad de compartirla.
Only free websites are allowed to share my work. | Sólo los sitios web gratuitos están autorizados a compartir mi trabajo.
Any use, link back here. | Cualquier uso, vincular de nuevo aquí.
Do not include my work with yours. Provide a link instead. | No incluir mi trabajo con el suyo. Proveer un enlace en su lugar.
You can include my work with houses and people. | Puede incluir mi trabajo con casas y personas.

Italian | italiano
Free to share. | Liberi di condividere.
No pay sites. | No pagare siti.
If you use my work, add a link. | Se si utilizza il mio lavoro, aggiungere un link.
Do not include my work with yours. Provide a link. | Non includere il mio lavoro con la vostra. Fornire un collegamento.
You can include my work with your download. | È possibile includere il mio lavoro con i vostri download.

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This list was created using Google Translate. I typed a sentence in English and received a "translation." I then asked the system to translate it from the resulting statement back into English. If it didn't make sense, I'd tweak the original sentence and try again. The key is to see how the translation translates back into English.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Screenshots

Teen Sim: Renee McKnight
Blaise Harman (LJ Smith's Spellbinder)
Thea Harman (LJ Smith's Spellbinder)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Victorian Bay: Observations

I've been on a neighborhood download kick.  One of the better neighborhoods I've come across has been Victorian Bay by ruthless_kk.

If you like ruthless_kk's Victorian-style houses (which I love to pieces), then you'll like this town.  It holds the same attention to detail and engaging charm that you find in her lots.

TL;DR - This town is Eye Candy.  *pink sparkles*

My only complaint is that the town is really quite small.  It's difficult for my Sims to find many friends (or prospective mates) -- particularly since the game's basic Story Progression driver only moves one person at a time into some of those huge lovely houses.  To balance the town out, I recommend making large premade families and sticking them in various of the houses, but that still leaves the problem of "Where can grown Sim children move so that they can start their own families?  Nowhere!  Ack!"

I'd like to see ruthless_kk update her town for Pets and would recommend that she include something like a large boarding house (apartments) to generate more townies.

I like having a small town, since everything is a lot easier for my Sims (and myself) to find and reach, but the limited housing and subsequent limited population keep this town from being truly excellent.

Should ruthless_kk expand this town or create a slightly larger one, I will be delighted.  In the meantime, I'm going to grab Twallan's Story Progression Mod and go (back) to town.  :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Unicorns: Finding & Befriending

I don't have all the unicorn data, but here's what I've read and experienced.

You have a hidden "Wildlife" skill that can get up to level 6.  Your easiest way to level this is (I'm guessing) finding the Wild Horses and hanging out with them.  Make them your friends.

After petting maybe 3 deer and befriending 2 wild horses on my Sim, I ran into a unicorn.  He appeared in a shower of rainbow sparkles in the middle of the wild horse herd at around midnight (they seem to congregate at public fishing spots, i.e. Appaloosa County Water Treatment), and when I went into Map View, a big old rainbow cloud hovered over that lot while showering (you guessed it) sparkles.  So, when a unicorn appears, apparently it's really easy to spot on your map.

See?  Easy!

My wildlife skill was apparently high enough that he's willing to hang out with me (I've read that it needs to be at 6, but I don't know how high mine is/was).  Once you're Best Friends, you'll get an "Invite Unicorn to Join Household" option.  :)

"Be my unicorn?"
"Sure!"

Named him Shadow Dancer.

Only complaint is that I wish you could tell the gender of wild/stray animals before you adopt them.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Appaloosa Plains Special Seed Locations

  • Cinnamon Crest Falls
  • Small Brownish Clearing -- (identifiable by huge rock & hollow tree stump with eyes inside) -- NE of "Adventure Landing" if Water = South
  • At back of the Equestrian Regional Training Grounds -- (on the assumption that the road enters at the front)
  • The walking path that cuts through the mountains from the crossroads to end at the water tower behind the Appaloosa County Water Treatment lot.
Since I just got the xpac, I'll add to this list and make photo maps later. Right now, I'm focusing on playing and not seed locations.