Ulveskaret: How quickly they grow up!

Amanda ages up to teen!
Gretta: "How did you manage to stay so thin??"
Quite a contrast there. And I rather like the everyday clothes she aged into. Kind of subdued and not too feminine. She's like 13, guys!

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Technical note: I finally got my home network to function with different versions of Windows, and have moved the Ulveskaret family from my old Win7 PC to my newest Win10 PC. The good news is that I can play and write in parallel again! The bad news is that Win10 introduced a bug where a sim may lose all motivation without warning and just stand there. With a family of five I may not notice this until their portrait changes color. On the plus side again, saving to the main menu and reloading will motivate them again, and takes very little time now that I have an SSD instead of an old laptop harddisk.

Cheatlike skills and traits

Gretta at the Electromagnetic Research Archive Machine. It looks almost like a computer, but it is actually a separate object without any overlap in the menues. Also, it costs like §12000, so families without a Dragonfruit garden may prefer to use the one in the university library instead.

Gretta is in her late teens and preparing for university. One new skill that came with this expansion (but can be used everywhere) is "Research and debate". It is not cheatlike on "Realm of Magic" level, but still pretty habit-forming. Collapse )

Sims 4: Discover University - child's play?

Those are not out kids! One of them is a Landgrabb. In addition to a wide range of kids from different neighborhoods, I saw two of the three sages from Realm og Magic, as well as a couple other familiar faces from different neighborhoods. OK, I can see Eliza Pancakes becoming a student. Maybe the kids belong to other students there, I do have a story progression mod (MCCC) that lets adults and young adults marry and have kids. Or maybe the game is just weird.

Now for the important part: GRETTA IS NOT GOING TO LIVE ON CAMPUS. Seriously, the Sims 4 design for Uni and ageing is the worst possible if you care about your sims.
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University is a great start for a sim fresh out of CAS (although I am not sure the career boost is worth the lost years). But this is not the story I want to tell.

More about University later, if my own Creator allows. (I have a novel to finish as well - it is November again.)

Short visit

It seems someone has been dieting and running marathon while we weren't looking. Honestly, I have no idea when this happened, but look at Gretta now. She is just skin and bone and some muscle. Mostly her glutes, which is the only part left of the chubby rear we all knew and loved. Really, some people just can't keep to the middle of the road. Go eat some cakes or something.

Meanwhile, Discover University is out. University was my favorite expansion for Sims 2, and University Life was a pretty good addition to Sims 3 as well. Admittedly both of these gave more slots (wants in Sims 2, traits in Sims 3) while Discover University for Sims 4 seems to mostly boost careers. And who wants careers in Sims 4? They suck. They are boring, advancing in them is tedious micromanagements, and you don't need them for money.

What is more worrying is that no one seems to know whether time runs at home while you are in university. In The Sims 2, you could switch between the two. In Sims 3, time did not move at home. In both, you did not age in university. But here we don't know for sure either of these. Or at least I have not heard any mention of them in the reviews and guides that were out yesterday. So I have to play another family with two members to find out, and first I have to play them up to a level where I can send one of them off safely and see what happens to the other. I don't want to risk playing Gretta in university for a week and find that Mass and Amanda have lost a week of their limited time as a teen, just laying around doing nothing worthwhile beyond surviving, as sims tend to do when left at home.

Non-story post: Interruptions by immortality

Norwegian text: Eldre som dør = Elder dying.

Sims 4 Realm of Magic has an Immortality potion. Unlike the Age Freeze in Sims 3, this one does not stop ageing at all, it just prevents your sim from dying from old age. And sometimes, I am told, it doesn't even do that. There are several threads online already about how the supposedly immortal sims still die from old age. Some say it doesn't work at all. So naturally I made an elder sim and played as a spellcaster. On normal lifespan, it so happens that I finally got hold of the Immortality potion on the last day before the age bar was full.

It's now been about a sim week, and old Testify Watchman is still hanging on. However, several (or even numerous) times a day, an "elder dying" action will show up in the action que, then quietly disappear when it is time for it to execute. However, it can insert itself into a multi-part activity. Several times I have seen Testify bringing a meal to the table, put it down and forget about it while quietly clearing this activity. Well, that is the kind of thing you half expect from the very old, even if they otherwise seem present most of the time. Conversations may also grind to a halt. So, unexpecte realism there.

I noticed that several of those who had tested this before me explicitly mentioned that they gave the potion to an adult or young adult. The effect of the potion appears as a bonus character trait, and they say that this was still present when the character died. But I wonder if the potion was coded relying on some stat unique to elders, and becomes inactive if given to anyone else. I could make another character and test, I suppose. Or I could just give it to elderly only, seeing how it has no effect whatsoever until your age bar is full for the last time.

It only prevents death directly from old age, by the way. Other sources of elder death, like jogging or woohoo, still require other remedies. There is a potion of prompt resurrection that lasts for a sim day, and of course there is the good old death flower.

Just that random

I don't know if I'm going to stick with Sims 4 but the chance increased just now because my Sim randomly started singing "Twinkle twinkle little star" in Simlish at the kitchen table in the Magic HQ, and the other people in the room came over and donated §4 each. It is the kind of randomness i love in life simulator games.

Non-story post: Brooms and other fast travel

Looks like the magical family will be on hold for a bit, as I was just informed that there is a severe bug affecting second generation and later spellcasters when they reach max level. What surprise! I am sure they will fix it in time, as usual.

Let's talk about BROOMS. Broomsticks were the favored vehicle for witches for centuries before Harry Potter, back when witches were all female. (Guys, I recommend not trying this at home, especially if you plan to have children in the future.)

In The Sims 2, there was not enough room to ride a broom, so you only had an animation before and after zone transition.

In The Sims 3, brooms were basically reskinned motorbikes, just cheaper and faster. They followed the roads, which makes no sense from a lore point of view. They should have been all-terrain. At least they should have been able to cross all ground terrain, like the hoverboards in Into the Future. (These still could not cross water, which brooms should have.) In all fairness, Supernatural was a very large expansion pack with many different occult races, so a shortcut like just re-using the motorbike system is understandable. That said, the fastest broom was both much cheaper and much faster than the fastest motorbike. It was the fastest transportation except teleportation. In the final pack, Into the Future, jetpacks were faster - but they were teleportation, just with custom take-off and landing animations.

In The Sims 4, brooms are the new jetpacks: Teleportation with custom take-off and landing animations. So that was a disappointment. On the bright side, they now give spellcaster xp. So you can level up and get better at spellcasting by zipping around the neighborhoods harvesting and collecting, as long as you pick targets far enough apart that your sim takes the broom. Just remember to set "Always use broom" for this to happen automagically.

Once you get the actual teleport spell, trasportalate, you should set "Always transportalate" instead, this can be used over shorter distances (less animation time) and also indoors. If you have a large hourse, sims will be teleporting around the place and level up like wildfire. Now that the Ulveskaret house is spread across three floors, the adults and teens pop in and out of existence all the time, only Amanda still takes the elevator. The rest also pop around on the same floors if talking takes longer than casting the spell. Can't blame them, I would have done the same thing myself. Plus it is idiotic that you would spend half an hour or more getting from second floor to the curb when going to work. The couple minutes it takes to cast the spell is more realistic. Realistic time instead of realistic visuals is what I bought this pack for anyway.

Imagine Fantasy World with Siblings

As promised, picture of the kids' rooms: Gretta to the left, Mass in the middle and Amanda to the left. Also, proof that Amanda has not yet been carried off by the social worker! Largely thanks to me, I still suspect. But I may be wrong. Maybe I am just a perfectionist when it comes to my sims, unlike in Real Life (if any).

Speaking of which, I am currently testing MC Command Center with my self-sim on my Norwegian-language machine. The closest thing to NRAAS for this game, it has options to decrease or increase autonomy of specific sims and specific objects, which hopefully means an end to the cycle of drinking and peeing for whichever sims are out of view and out of mind at the moment, and also allowing a computer in the house without sims going into needs desperation from playing Bitblock for a full workday.

There are still things I feel this game does worse. For instance, with my selfsim, I will often accept invitations to visit friends or attend a part or go to a convention. But with a family, that would mean leaving four family members to the mercy of Artificial Stupidity for the duration. I would then come home to find them on the brink of needs desperation, and without having made progress on homework, skills, magic, garden maintenance, arts or crafts. In Sims 3, they were in the same world so I could check in on them and redirect them as needed. In Sims 2, time did not pass while I was outside home so no loss. This game seems to have the worst from both its predecessors: Needs go down but little or nothing useful gets done.

I totally understand that you would not make the Artificial Intelligence too awesome even if you could, as that would deny players a sense of accomplishment. But there is not much accomplishment in having to turn down invitations or come home to desperate family members. (Well, I suppose some working women would have opinions on this, but probably not in extreme disagreement.)

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I may or may not make an update someday about MCCC and/or my first Sims 4 selfsim. Not sure. But this is all for now.

My sims go New Age

Yoga: A spectator sport for men.

I have been on a break from the Ulveskaret family while experimenting with my newest game pack, Spa Day. It costs the same as Realm of Magic with a tiny fraction as much content, but I suppose it appeals to people who don't aspire to multiply food, resurrect their friends, come back from the dead and live forever. This is more EAstern inspired, I guess, with yoga and meditation and werid massages. Well, not THAT kind of weird, but...
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Next time, if any, hopefully we will see Amanda again. Also see the new kid bedrooms, and find out whether Gretta and Mass will ever sleep in their own beds.

Bed and breakfast

Last we saw this room, it was Gretta's new room as a teen, after she had shared a double bed with her brother for some years. It still is her room and her bed, but evidently nothing less than locking the door will keep her brother from sleeping in it. Perhaps he just likes the smell of her pillow, I've heard that is a thing. OK, that may have been an anime. Anyway, a bigger change is coming.
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