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The Ups And Downs Of My Shiny New Digital Dollhouse

This next entry will bear a lot of similarities to a comment I just left on RPS, but I realized it was basically what I was up to this weekend when I wasn't Hack N Slashing or Space Running.  (I have actually had fun this week, which is sort of a bummer considering the acts of desperation the weeks before had very nearly lead me to doing something truly productive.)

Apparently I am at 41 hours played in Sims 4 now, a number that surprises me considering I don’t consider myself all that much of a Sims fan. In general, I’ve been enjoying it, even if it is lacking in a whole lot to do without the massive slew of content that the predecessor had.
Windows are hard to come by when you're scraping the bottom of your finances.
Yet, Sims 3 needed a successor because Sims 3 was not merely long in the tooth: it was on its death bed.

There are people who can not get past The Sims 3′s launcher on a fresh installation, and there are no solutions for them: thanks for the money, suckers.  My personal experiences were just that my saved games would inevitably corrupt.

There were mods that would make them corrupt _less_, but the problem remained: After so many expansions, EA Maxis was unable to handle the Sim 3's spaghetti code anymore, or else modern OS were introducing too many incompatibilities.

Like it or not, it was time for a sequel, and time waits for no sim.
The main improvement in Sims 4 is solid: the emotions are essential. The old “moodlet = positive or negative” system ended being too simple for meaningful gameplay; it was just too easy to placate your sims with positive moodlets.  The new emotions system is different, as emotions are not purely positive or negative, they go in all sorts of directions.

In practice, having emotions means that you do not want your sims to be just be generically happy (which is easy enough to accomplish).  Instead, you want somebody to feel inspired (to create art/write) or focused (to program/ect). Being happy means that these particular flavors of emotions are stronger.

They need to ditch the mood auras on props, though, as you end up just creating specialized rooms for each emotion for instant cheerful/focused/ect.   The rapid shifting between different emotions also leads to losing the emotional-tied wishes.  It would be better to have to trigger these via instructing your sim to contemplate the item or their surroundings. 
The main thing The Sims 4 has lost was the ditching the world map.  Indeed, this is a massive step backwards, and impacts the game in many facets:
  • In Sims 3, when somebody goes to work, somebody goes to work: you can witness them working. In Sims 4, you can only imagine it. 
  • In Sims 3, when somebody wants to hit the gym or the library, this is something they can do while the simulation at home continues. In Sims 4, doing the same means your home simulation is GONE, anyone who did not go with you accomplishing nothing but basic survival.
  • In Sims 3, you have a whole world map to forage for adventure.  In Sims 4, your neighborhood's resources will rapidly dry up.  Perhaps this is to encourage players to be mobile and visit venues.
I think I understand why they gutted the world map: because simulating an entire world is a lot harder on system resources than one lot at a time, but they lost something irreplaceable in the process.

At the very least simulate where your active household is at.  If EAMaxis tweaked the engine so it loaded the lots each household sim was at, and allowed the player to switch between them quickly, they could salvage the lion’s share of what they lost.  It is a fairly major change, but hopefully Origin was not boneheaded enough to lay off the people capable of doing it.
This is missing about three or four things needed to be a reasonable facsimile of Nui Harime from Kill A Kill.  Simply tweaking the colors of the dress would make a big difference but, without "create a style," I can't.
Another vital thing lost in the transition was the “create a style” function; this omission horrendously kneecaps your ability to customize the appearance of clothing and furniture.  It might have been removed just to increase the value of future DLC, but that's a tad overly misery and I hope they will reconsider.

That said, if the 41 hours I played the game are of indication, The Sims 4 is enjoyable enough.  It does, indeed, introduce a compelling narrative in the ways I've been craving for quite some time.  Granted, it does not go quite as far as I would like, and there are many things I would do differently... good thing mod support is in, I might just try my hand at that.


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