Posted in Gaming

SIms 4 Karaoke, Part 2


Sims Amanda Westfall and Akira Kibo sing a ballad together, both with singing skills of 10.

Compared to before, they are so much better!

Oh and for a little extra, here they are singing a pop song duet! It doesn’t sound that much like pop to me, but that’s what the game calls it.



Posted in Gaming, Sims 4

Sims 4 Expansion: A Young Woman in City Living

While I’m still in the middle of a new game of Civ 6, and I started a new game of Skyrim for the new Special¬†Edition release, I did break down and pick up the new expansion for Sims 4 – City Living. This is exactly what I knew was going to happen, but oh well. Hopefully I can rotate between games and still cap Tomes in FFXIV in my spare gaming time!

For this expansion, I decided to create a brand new Sim. I wanted the feeling of being a struggling newcomer to city life, and the only way I was going to get that was to start with limited funds and work my way up.

So here’s my new random Sim, Amanda Westfall.


Apartment Life

I looked around the new city map that came with the City Living expansion,¬†San Myshuno, and chose my Sim’s first apartment from one of the lower end complexes in the Spice Market. It’s all she could really afford. This took me a bit more time than I expected due to the new Lot Trait feature that was patched in free to all players.

I really like the idea of Lot Traits. It gives places more personality. For example, if you can now have a true haunted house by giving a lot the Haunted trait. Or if you live in a lot that’s on the Quake Zone, you can experience occasional tremors…

The low end apartments had the more undesirable traits, of course, like haunted, cursed, or gremlins. I almost went with the haunted/cursed lot, but after reading about it, I’m glad I didn’t. Instead, I chose one that Needs TLC… which warned me that it would raise my Sim’s handiness skills.

Oh boy, did it.

So, the apartment had worn down furniture, and the landlord had the Evil personality trait (for whatever that means). Also, somewhat often, Amanda would have her daily life interrupted by a roach infestation, or a mouse in the walls, noisy neighbors, leaky pipes, bad smells and the occasional ooze seeping up from the vents.


Yeah, that’s probably not good.

Also, from time to time, the circuit breaker would go on the fritz and if it wasn’t attended, Amanda would lose power to the apartment. I did hit a bug where even after this was fixed, the apartment remained without power, no matter how I logged out or traveled to other lots. The only fix I found was to delete the old lights¬†and install brand new ones.

You can either have your sim handle the incident, or complain to the (evil) landlord, who will come and usually fix it for you. Also, in the case of loud neighbors, who will actually prevent your sim from sleeping and spark them in a flame of anger, your sim can go and beat on the door to tell them to cut it out.



Amanda’s neighbors were the overly annoying type. They were always knocking on the door asking for food or wanting to hang out while she needed to be doing her work. Speaking of which…

New Careers

Amanda handled this in stride being a young adult with a promising new career in social media. I have to say I really enjoy the new jobs that give a halfway point between traditional careers and the Get to Work babysitting. You can send your Sim to the office to work like normal, or you can choose to work at home. Working at home assigns a few goals to achieve, and doing those give a bonus on top of your daily pay.

It’s fun helping Amanda with her struggles to earn followers, start that perfect meme, or livestream gaming sessions. Especially since she doesn’t really have a geek personality. In fact, I made her a more social sim, with goals around leading a fun club… since I still haven’t experimented with clubs from Get Together at all.

Amanda founded a successful club called Hippie Gamers who play video games, practice yoga and hug people.


Open Neighborhoods and City Festivals

New festivals are another feature of City Living, made possible by creating a more open and social base for each neighborhood. Because all the housing is contained within the apartment buildings, that leaves the rest of the neighborhood as an open area for activities. It’s sorta like a neighborhood square where festivals are held and you can go down and socialize anytime you like.


These areas tend to always have food vendors and plenty of other sims to associate with, even if there isn’t a festival going on. I see this as an experiment in trying a more open design, since that is one of the big complaints players have when moving from Sims 3 to Sims 4. There’s still a lot of restrictions, but it gives the illusion of freedom.

Festivals are pretty easy to attend. You’ll get a pop-up notification that lets you know something is going on. If it’s in your neighborhood, you can just walk down and have fun. If it’s somewhere else, clicking a button gets you to the hosting neighborhood quickly. You can also bring friends… or sometimes they invite your Sim to come.

Lessons in Love

That’s what happened when the Romance Festival came around.¬†Arun Bheeda, a nice guy who came to welcome Amanda when she first moved in, invited her to the festival.

He was also a member of Hippie Gamers, has a key to Amanda’s apartment, and they had a strong friendship developing. I wasn’t in a rush to get Amanda hooked up in this play through, but¬†since they were both in the mood at the festival, I thought this might be her¬†chance to make some moves on Arun.



It was all actually going really well and they were hitting it off in the romance department… until I realized Amanda had never asked him if he was currently involved with someone else. Come to find out, not only was Arun married, but he had a newborn son.

Oooops! Failtime.

Arun, man, you needed to make your intentions clear!

Amanda is not a home breaker, and let that catch get away. Arun, however, remained a close friend and gaming buddy, even as the romance bar began to fade with time.

Though her prospects were low for a while as she met other guys in the city who didn’t mesh well, she finally found the one –¬†Akira Kibo. He was also a member of¬†the Hippie Gamers,¬†worked as a level 1 Tech Support, and has a singing¬†voice like a dream. They gamed together for a while, then she gave him her apartment key.

Akira is a bit of a romantic with a jealous streak, but that only made it easier for him to fall for Amanda. In fact, he was the one calling her on dates. Like this one… to a haunted location.


Thankfully, Arun and Akira get along well, and when Amanda finally proposed to Akira, Arun was the first to congratulate her.¬†That’s true friendship.


Akira also has a much nicer apartment, which he shared with two roommates. It has a balcony and a lovely view of the Fashion District…. though it does have a trait of being on a quake line…

Seeing that I’d played about 10 or so hours in a leaky, smelly, infested apartment, I decided it was time for Amanda to move on up. So she married Akira, moved in with him, and I moved his two roommates into the open apartment next door.

Happy times are coming for the karaoke geeks!


Posted in 7 Days to Die, FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs, Sims 4

Weekend Gaming: FFXIV, Sims 4 & 7D2D

Farewell Zero Fortune, my first racing chocobo!
Farewell Zero Fortune, my first racing chocobo!

This weekend was a mish-mash of gaming, which was actually quite a nice, relaxing blend. Despite piddling around in various games, I even knocked out some of my FFXIV goals.

Sims 4

One of the things I wanted to get done before it vanished for good was this year’s Sims 4 Spring¬†challenge. Like last year, there are Easter eggs to find from gathering and harvesting. Two new ones are added to the collection this time, and new colors to the bunny plushie you get for completing the set.

Cute new bunny plush colors!
Cute new bunny plush colors!

There’s also a new Growfruit Challenge that rewards two new gardening planters. I fired up the game and focused on playing a family that has the Sim with the highest gardening skill I could remember, and got right on that. The first planter is rewarded for growing 20 Growfruit and turning them into the NPC. The second was much more involved and required you to evolve the Growfruit trees to Perfect quality and turn in one Perfect Growfruit.

New Spring Challenge planters obtained!
New Spring Challenge planters obtained!

I did complete them both, but it took a number of game hours to finally evolve the tree in the end. So, I got a good bit of Sims 4 time in.


Last week 7D2D released¬†Alpha 14, so the Zombie Hunting Crew has been testing and playing that quite a bit. They’ve had some trouble with the build that’s caused some CTDs, but we’ve found some work-arounds for it through installing the 32 bit version on those PCs.

I found a creepy floating graveyard, complete with raining zombies and floating coffins.
I found a creepy floating graveyard, complete with raining zombies and floating coffins.

Overall, the game’s introduction has improved a lot, and the beginning experience is much smoother and kinder to a new player. We’ve been building up a new fort and having a lot of fun fending off the hordes. I wish I had more pictures to share – like of our base and how incredibly real the skybox in the game looks now – but it seems the screenshot key is on the fritz, too, since¬†the last few patches.


Though I haven’t made FFXIV my focus this weekend, I still got a good bit done in the game. First, I finished my first goal of leveling my Culinarian to 60, which pretty much entailed me making massive numbers of Ishgardian Muffins. I suddenly¬†realized that this means I only have 3 crafting jobs left to level to 60. That’s pretty crazy!

The FC has also been running the Crystal Tower raids over and over this week, due to the fact that the queue times are much better now that there’s a relic item reward for finishing the weekly quest. We helped some newer folks through for their first time, and other FC members are practicing new level 50 classes in the raids, just like we used to do when CT was all the rage.

I’m using it to practice my monk rotation and level the job some.¬†The experience isn’t overwhelming, but it’s there.¬†I hit level 52 without doing much else, so my goal of leveling monk past 50 is well underway.

Chocobo breeding for the first time!

My sister and I spent some time trying out the newly revamped Chocobo Racing in the Gold Saucer as well. I originally raced a bit when the Gold Saucer first came out, but the whole racing/training/breeding thing was so expensive that I gave up before I ever retired my first chocobo. Now that racing is much more profitable and the cost of training/breeding is more reasonable, we dove into learning about the whole system and raced into the early morning hours, a lot like we used to play old Mario Kart games.

It was good times!

I finally raced my first chocobo, Zero Fortune, to rank 40, retired him, and bred him for my first tier¬†2 chocobo to produce my newest chocobo, Ghost Odyssee. I also won my first chocobo challenge race, which had a really nice payout in the end. I’m enjoying these new changes and was happy to find a racing buddy who was enjoying them too! ūüôā

Coming in first and second in the races.
Coming in first and second in the races.

The rest of this week I’m going to focus on getting my writing for Camp NaNoWriMo done. I’m sure I’ll be gaming some, but blogging might be a bit more sparse this month, or at least, a bit shorter. We’ll see!

Posted in Blaugust, Gaming

#Blaugust Day 9 — Monetizing Sims 4

This is part of the Blaugust series!

sims4gettogetherThough this post came hot on the heels of the newly announced expansion pack, Sims 4: Get Together, it’s actually been on my mind for a while. I’ve been a Simmer since the original Sims 1 hit the shelf back in 2000. I’ve been a pretty loyal Simmer, too.

I own every Sim game and every major expansion for each Sim game, most of them bought on release day. I remember back when the Sims website would give away a fun little downloadable game item for free once a week Рwas it every Tuesday? This included everything from decor to that awful little guinea pig that could bite your Sim and cause them to die.

But, then things started to change, especially when Sims 3 started throwing their online store in our face. It got as far as them actually patching store items into your inventory, which I found as distasteful as any MMO cash shop move I’ve ever seen.

The Sims 4 hasn’t slapped us with a cash shop yet. However, they are pumping out stuff packs and game packs like there’s no tomorrow. Seriously, like once a month, we’re seeing either a stuff pack or game pack. And while I can generally ignore stuff packs (as I always did in Sims 3), it’s hard when normally expected¬†game items, like a hot tub, are locked behind a $10 tag.

Now, that’s not to say that Sims 4 hasn’t given us a lot of stuff for free in patches since the release. I acknowledge that and appreciate it. Ghosts, pool, outfits, and just this past week, dishwashers. Finally dishwashers.

So why were hot tubs locked behind a stuff pack and dishwashers in a free patch for everyone? Maybe there would be a much larger uproar about dishwashers being behind a paywall when they’ve always been a part of the normal game. In fact, I noticed quite early on they were missing and wondered why.

I’m ambivalent about how Sims 4 is approaching DLC. On one hand, I can’t complain too much because free stuff! On the other hand, man, they are releasing this content fast and furious.

You could argue they’re providing content on the basis it’s something you are interested in picking up, so you don’t have to buy it all. And I agree, I’ve only purchased one game pack out of the four (going on five) packs they’ve released. Well, plus the first expansion. So the upcoming expansion will make the second expansion for the game this year.

At $39 for each expansion, $10 for stuff packs, and $20 for game packs, this is not a cheap game series to follow.

Man. That’s a lot of DLC in such a short time. I just don’t know.

Posted in Gaming

The Sims 4 Spa Day: Official Trailer 

I really am interested in getting this game pack, but I just don’t think I’ll find time to play it due to Heavensward. So, putting off picking it up for now (maybe catch it on a sale).

Think the yoga and wellness levels would be awesome fun for Zento and Tai, though. Especially the teleportation! ūüėÄ

Posted in Gaming

The World of Newcrest is Coming to The Sims 4 

Simmers have created millions of Sims since The Sims 4 released last September, and many of our players have been asking for more space to move them into. Next week, we’ll answer that request by adding a new World, free* for all The Sims 4 owners!

The World of Newcrest will be joining Willow Creek and Oasis Springs next Thursday! Everyone playing The Sims 4 will be able to start building right away in Newcrest, a completely empty world ready to be settled by your Sims.

Source: The Sims – The World of Newcrest is Coming to The Sims 4 – Official Site

Yay!! We really, really need this!