Gameplay Variety in Sims Fan Videos

One of the things that I’m curious about is how people talk about their gaming differently, and today I thought I’d look at it through fan videos on youtube for the Sims 4. The Sims, as I’ve mentioned before, is an awesome series because you almost cannot play it badly, and there are so many different ways to play it and every one of them is legit. Sometimes in, say, WoW, people argue about what is legitimate or “real” play, excluding things like role playing or pet battles, or any raiding below mythic level. I find the Sims community much more open (although don’t get me wrong, there are still arguments!) and accepting of different types of play – some prefer to play families, some prefer immortals, some create stories, some build – and every type is legitimate.

Some videos are a bit NSFW with language (but personally, I love that. Shows they are passionate players!)

A Sim playing the Sims - Simception!
A Sim playing the Sims – Simception!

Continue reading Gameplay Variety in Sims Fan Videos

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Agents, avatars, bodies and evolution, OH MY!

For the current expansion of World of Warcraft, Warlords of Draenor, the dev team decided that the character graphics needed a bit of an upgrade. There had been a lot of innovation and progression in graphics in the past ten years since WoW originally hit the shelves. They took on this incredibly daunting task with one idea in mind, to keep the “spirit” of the original:

With the revamp, we’re completely overhauling every aspect of the player models, but our goal is to do so while retaining the core look and feel that has always made them your character. We’ll feel like we’ve succeeded if you see the updated version of your character and it still feels like you’re looking at the character you’ve been playing for the past however many years—only someone has finally focused a lens. ~ Chris Robinson, Artcraft – A First Look

Now I was hugely invested in this change. I take so long to decide on a look for my avatar, not to mention the time invested in her (them – I’m an altoholic), their transmog, their general attitude and what titles and non-combat pets suit them best (no, I’m not on a roleplay server 😛 yes, I still consider all this anyway). For some classes, even their spec is taken into consideration when deciding on these things. leia

My Frost/Arcane mage in her Leia outfit … not sold on the staff mog or the belt, but when I get time to play I’ll look at getting more matchy ones!

Continue reading Agents, avatars, bodies and evolution, OH MY!

Micro-Transactions

So this is a topic everyone else weighs in on totally, varying from fans ‘I hate all micro-transactions, everything should be included IN the game’ and to EA’s ‘Consumers are enjoying and embracing that way of the business.’ If you read gaming blogs, you already know all the pros and cons, this is just my little rant about my favourite games and how they approach micro-transactions.

I’m a fence-sitter. I think micro-transactions for a game like World of Warcraft works well. It doesn’t affect gameplay, the mounts aren’t faster, the pets aren’t better, the new transmog items have no stats. It’s really just vanity. Another side of WoW’s system is to pay real money for what I think is a bit more ‘changed my mind’ service, race-change, name-change, server-change. Server-change would have the most affect on game play – each server has unique community interplay, auction houses, guilds, and also size (which affects world PVP). For example, on my horde server, transmog items are usually in the thousands, on my alliance server I can’t even give away the most popular sets. Depending on how you play, this would change the game for you, and costs a lot at $25 per character (I have two full realms). There are free server changes sometimes, from full realms to not-so-full realms, but the common complaints are about the sparsely populated realms. I don’t know what is technically involved for moving a character across servers.

izzanha helmMy problem is with something like the Sims 3, where not only are there expansion packs and stuff packs already with unique items Sims can interface with, but there is the store as well. Much of the store is hair and clothes, and frankly a lot of user-created content is just as good (or sometimes, better *cough curly hair cough*). The problem comes in the objects that create new play, and sometimes well desired play. On the forums, there is always a lot of talk about the previous Sims 2 expansion pack Open for Business, where you could own and operate a car sales place, a restaurant etc. This hasn’t happened in expansion packs (closest is a Family Day Care centre that you operate in your own home).

ofb_bistroblog_02But now it’s being released as something from the Sims Store. This is classed as premium content, which often only appears in item packs or sets – all hidden by costing Sim Points rather than a dollar value that shows that the set costs just as much as an expansion, but with only one or two unique objects instead of many new objects and interactions, jobs, buildings, towns, supernatural states etc.

pointsThe overall cry is ‘It is a business’. Yes it is! The point is to make money. I’m not going to say it’s not in the company’s best interest to make you spend as much money as possible (although I do think that if Foxtel allowed you to pick say, 5, 10, whatever channels rather than giving everyone useless sports channels, then more people would sign up). But given how much I already spend on the Sims for both expansion and stuff packs (except the Katy Perry one. So many bad reviews!), I don’t want to pay more. And since the Sims 4 is so close with less a year to go, I’ve given up on buying anything Sims 3 anyway. There is the choice not to pay for these extras, but I do feel that if it affects game play, it should be in the boxes/downloads of expansions (or even stuff packs!) we already pay for. For Free-to-Play games, like Star Trek Online, the line is a bit more blurred since you aren’t paying for it in the first place, but personally, I don’t even consider spending money on it.

 

 

Casuals in Games

I like playing games. My favourites and most played are World of Warcraft and The Sims 3. I often see and read attacks on people not only for the games they like, but how they like playing. It’s pretty sad.

What I love about The Sims 3 community is that you can play any way you want and it’s legit! You can make machinima, stories, architecture, custom content, fashion shows, creating worlds, creating self-sims and living out their lives. My thing is creating every single family in town and then playing to watch them all grow and change. Changing the content is easy – you can turn off seasons or change average life span. I do have mods to make the game a bit more challenging. I like the lifespan as is, but have a mod to make the bills 2.5 times higher. I wish I could change the lifespan of vampires, ghosts and fairies though. Vampires learn so fast, they can max a skill in a few sim-hours, and that’s boring to me, so I don’t play vampires.

In WoW, the community is very different. Rated pvper’s say that raiding is ez-mode, and it goes the other way. They are all that matters – but this locks out a lot of other things. What about people who focus on lore (ignoring various people’s opinion on how much/good that lore is. I love Sylvanas! For the Dark Lady!). Personally, I love leveling. I have two of most characters, over 12 characters that are 85 or higher. Only 3 level 90’s at the moment, but working on the mage next. On my hunter, I love PvP, but I don’t do rated. My shaman is geared for raiding, but our guild is working up to raid level (although quite a few have done LFR so far). I just go and play with my guild, how does that affect you?

Some people complain about the raid buffs that increase your damage and such to help some guilds get through the content. This can be turned off, and it’s never offered at the start but much later in the expansion. What does it matter to others if more people can get through content you’ve already done and expert at months ago? I’m working through old raid content at the moment for the story and transmog gear, and that makes me happy.

Sure this is comparing a solo game versus a MMO, but either way – my gaming doesn’t concern you.