The Last of the Preparations*

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Any of you who have been following this site for the last month or so are probably wondering when exactly I am going to get around to the first posts dealing with the Taylors. The answer: this week! 

I spent yesterday evening building the Taylors’ house and was so pleased with how it turned out, I had to test it out straight away and see what they got up to. So far, I’m quite impressed; Robyn is still very much a character, Reid is a true social butterfly (although Alexander might not agree!), Sienna still adores Reid, is besties with her sister and kind of a sweetie, Katya is exuding quiet confidence despite their meagre beginnings and Anthony…. well, as you’ll see later in the post, has been making himself right at home! The whole family also seems to be getting in on Reid’s comedy act.

In order to get some things out of the way before the first real post, I wanted to provide a quick update on a few things, including the newly updated family tree page, the house and my opinion of the game. With apologies, this is going to be quite a long post so I am making use of the “read more here” tool – that and I just really want to test it out and see how it works with my site! Open-mouthed smile

So back to the Taylors – the result of all this playing was that I finally got to bed at 4:30am this morning. I haven’t quite finished the first 7 day rotation so I’m not yet in a place to post pictures but I didn’t want to keep people waiting for the family tree and house pics, I am well aware that for some people nothing is more important than the house! So without further ado:

The Family Tree

With the Taylors officially in my game and added to a hood (Willow Creek) I have finally managed to put together the beginning of their family tree. Sorry for the wait but I will be using the relationship panel pictures to put this together so it had to wait until they were in a hood.

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I have therefore updated the family tree page in the menu bar. This now contains not only the new Sims 4 family tree for Anthony, Katya and their children but also a simplified Taylor Family Tree with their direct ancestors from Sims 2 and the in depth Huntingdon Hood family tree for anyone who is interested in their enormous extended family.

I hope you like the layout of the tree as this is pretty much how I want it to look, although there may be some additional tweaks to things like the ‘key’ going forward as I start needing more symbols (such as for twins and triplets).

The House

As you may have guessed, the picture at the top of this post is indeed the Taylors’ new house in Willow Creek. I was quite worried about creating a starter for a family of 5 that would need 3 bedrooms but the extra §8k bought in by the additional family members was a life saver. It meant they not only got all the basics they needed but there was a little bit left over for some decorations to make the house feel a little bit more lived in. I am really pleased with how it’s turned out though I am so far undecided on whether to share the house or any individual rooms.

Entrance:

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Open Plan Living Area:

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There are 2 bathrooms as 5 sims cannot live with only 1 bathroom – it is known!

Downstairs Bathroom:

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Upstairs Bathroom:

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Master Bedroom:

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Kids Rooms:

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There is also an entrance hallway and a landing which are not shown above but which you can see in the layout of the house below:

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The Game Itself

The last thing I want to get into today is my feelings about the game. I have seen a lot of criticism levelled at the Sims 4, some of it is, I think, justified (CASt removal could have been handled better), some of it isn’t (they’ve removed everything from Sims 1, 2 and 3) and some of it I really don’t care about (Toddlers Schmoddlers).

So far, I am really enjoying my experience with the Sims 4. I was a huge fan of Sims 2 and I felt a bit like the game lost its way with Sims 3 – it tried to do too much too quickly. Given all the instability and glitchiness that accompanied open world, story progression and CASt, it seemed to me that Sims 3 was aiming to be what Sims 6 should be. I have an extremely high end gaming machine and even it struggles to render a fully CASted Sims 3 house, not to mention all the issues with story progression which had to be fixed by modders. I feel for those people who were trying to play the game on less capable computers or without access to the community.

So you know what? I don’t mind that CASt is gone and I don’t mind having pre-sets back. Saying that, I do think EA could have done a better job of ensuring that the pre-sets were more easily match-able. Allowing us to pick separate channels e.g. frame colours separately to duvets on beds(like Sims 2) would have helped, as would making sure that items of the same style came in the same colours, and maybe even making a few of those colours available across all styles. I also don’t care about the load screens – it used to drive me crazy that my sims ended up 2 hours late for work because it took them 3 hours to drive across town! And that was if they even went to work/school instead of auto cancelling the action.

I accept that some long standing base game features have been removed and that people are upset about that (although I don’t agree with that list of over 89 things missing from previous base games). However for me, those features are not the be all and end all of the game so I am not currently too bothered about their removal. Give me some adorable toddlers and I’ll be happy, put the family tree back in and I’ll be ecstatic but I am not going to not play the game just because they aren’t there yet. From a building perspective, the removal of CFE must also be extremely frustrating for those who used it in the past but given there are now only 3 floors to play with, I am not sure what use it would be anyway. MOO could certainly be a bonus if added back in, though only if it is used in such a way that routing does not become an issue again.

With all that said, I’m really happy with this game. I don’t yet love it in the way I did Sims 2 but I see the potential for me to do so and I am happy with it as a base for EA to build on, as we all know they are going to. It has so far been very stable for me – I’ve encountered a couple of bugs (speed keys not working for instance) but they have mostly been easily fixed by saving and reloading the game. My only annoying bugs so far are with the maid – first they keep glitching and each Monday I have to cancel and re-schedule them or they’ll stop turning up and second, every time I leave the house to do something (build mode, manage world etc) when I come back, I am charged for a maid who hasn’t been because no time has passed.

Some of the little features I love include:

  • Friends coming over to visit autonomously.
  • Parents autonomously scolding their children for bad behaviour (you do not tell toilet jokes at the dinner table!)
  • Romance is much easier than everyone was making out from the EA twitch feed.
  • The children are ADORABLE!
  • Sims do so far seem to have independent personalities when you don’t micro manage them.
  • Sims are autonomously far more romantic with their partners than I’ve seen them before.
  • Facial genetics FTW!
  • I think this is the first sims game ever where I have liked more of the clothing choices than I have disliked.
  • Emotions – they are fun to play around with even if they do seem to need to be slightly micromanaged as sims cannot autonomously choose a lot of emotion inducing actions.
  • Traits impact on personality more than in 3
  • Bills! OMG it is so nice to have bills which are actually a challenge!
  • Socialisation is amazing (though sometimes I would like a sim to just get on and do something and NOT talk to the 2 other sims in the room).
  • Wall heights and adding foundation post build.
  • Room exchange/gallery
  • Alt movement on walls including with windows!
  • Different shapes for kitchen cabinets and counters.
  • So many interactions with babies! (I don’t care that they’re objects, it means my sim can no longer lose them in the garden!)

A special mention must also go to my amusement that there are 19 stove hoods and only 6 stoves! (Though I accept some of those hoods are replicas for the different wall heights).

As a balance, there are also some things I am not so keen on:

  • No name change on marriage (?!?!?)
  • Save game is in the options menu but Load is only on the main menu (this confused the hell out of me when I first started up)
  • Sims sometimes react to fire and death but it is inconsistent and if a relative dies while a sim is not on the lot they basically don’t seem to know it happened!
  • There appears to be no system of colour genetics inheritance the way there were in Sims 2 so children still get completely random hair colours some times – still testing this.
  • The in game lighting needs an overhaul – for the sake of players, creators and story tellers everywhere!
  • Children’s aspirations seem too hard – you can complete an A grade or the aspiration but you can’t easily get both unless you micromanage 100% of the time. I can’t currently work out a way to complete more than one in 13 days!
  • And more generally, the arbitrary goals (aspiration, promotion, school grade) which can’t be completed without extreme micromanagement. I haven’t even attempted to get a teen a part time job yet!
  • Sims who hug while eating are driving me nuts!
  • Objects and sims fading when you get too close to them – I need them in my pictures!
  • No speech or thought bubbles in screen shots unless you also show the UI ?!

And an honourable mention to the fact that even though sims can multi-task, they apparently can’t drink while they are on the computer *Sparkle stares at the cup of tea sitting in front of her* really?! They can’t drink and game?!

Overall though, as I said, I see potential and I am looking forward to seeing what we get next!

You’ll be glad to know my post is now at an end (and if any of you actually read all the way here then you are amazing wonderful people and please have some tea and crumpets!!). I have a couple of posts I plan to put up this week including the first Taylor story post but as a bit of teaser (and a warning!) you will need to get used to Anthony in a certain, shall we say, state of undress! I know he loves the outdoors but I think he might be getting the terms naturist and naturalist mixed up:

Get used to this

Keep simming!

*Pictures of the Taylors’ house have been slightly brightened with Photoshop.

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2 Responses to The Last of the Preparations*

  1. linday says:

    *grabs tea and crumpets and sits down to comment* I absolutely love how much you have done to the house on a starter budget! The entrance is adorable, I love the neutral color scheme, and I am absolutely crazy about the interior brick accents (you notice the builder in me coming out here, I guess)! All your thoughts on the game and its workings are also major input for me in my constant battle of deciding whether or not to get it now, to wait for the price to drop or to just not get it at all. But most of all I am excited to see that finally something is happening, and I will soon get an update on the Taylors!

    Liked by 1 person

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