My Unpopular Sims Opinions

May 20, 2020
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I've been playing The Sims games for literal years, and I've plugged hours and hours into the most recent iteration, my favourite, The Sims 4. However, as I've grown and begun to explore the community more, I'm discovering that a few of my opinions don't seem to align with many other people's. I watch Sims YouTubers, explore the Sims-related hashtags on Twitter, and have recently joined the subReddit for the game, a forum I've really been enjoying. On these platforms I've seen some things I really disagree with, and been able to form some of my own opinions that others seem to disagree with as well. I wanted to use this space to share some of those opinions, so here we go:

 1. Paying full price for DLC is a rookie mistake that I've made and regretted.
Don't get me wrong, I'm aware that the teams making the Expansion Packs, Game Packs, and Stuff Packs have a large task on their hands, and I sincerely appreciate the work they put in to each new addition. That said, there is just not enough content to justify the cost of the packs. The Sims 2 Ikea Stuff contained 76 brand new items. The Sims 4 Moschino Stuff introduced... 38. Literally half.
Some stuff packs contain more than that, for example The Sims 4 Laundry Day had 48, however EA and Origin are still charging £9.99 for fewer than 50 items. It's blatantly overpriced, and a bit embarrassing for the team in my opinion. Expansion Packs usually introduce new worlds, which are beautiful and much appreciated, but very rarely do they directly impact gameplay that's already there; they just introduce an add-on to use if you want to, they don't actually expand and flesh out the game.
The best DLCs in my opinion are the Game Packs, since they consistently add a good number of new items and a nice chunk of gameplay, but I still wait for sales to buy them because I can't justify the full price.
The Sims team either need to improve the quality of what they're putting out (by adding more items, fleshing out the gameplay better, NOT recycling their starter homes), or they need to permanently drop the price of the DLCs they put out so the prices better fit the value of the pack.

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2. People in the Sims community are too quick to complain about new things.
(Yes I'm aware of the irony of this point, but this is my blog and I'm still going to make it!)
Look at the reaction of fans online after the trailer for The Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle was released. We got a 90 second trailer, and already people were ranting and raving about the lack of playability in the pack. You've not even played it yet, how do you know they've not added something innovative, unique, and truly game-changing?!
Something similar happened after The Sims 4 Moschino Stuff was announced; everyone said this wasn't what we wanted or needed. Then as soon as it was released, everyone was saying how much they liked this magazine stack, that new window, the new camera functionality...
Perhaps as a community we need to save our judgements for the content we already have, not exploding with criticism for a pack we've barely seen. There's a lot that needs to be fixed within the existing game, and we're wasting our energy and the attention of the Sims team by complaining about things we haven't properly experienced yet.
 
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3. The team creating Paralives look like they are actively trying to get sued.
I fully appreciate that the indie game currently under development, Paralives, is improving on what the franchise of The Sims has already created. The art style is beautiful, their build and buy mode looks to be really well designed (especially that kitchen designer wow hello), and the videos and screenshots they've released do really intrigue me. But honestly, I'm worried for that team.
In the video 'Meet Maggie' we get our first glimpse at a Parafolk, and see her being designed. Her limbs are altered with a slider, just like The Sims 4, her hair colour is altered with a colour wheel, just like The Sims 3, and someone has clearly put hours into designing her living space, presumably through the use of something akin to a build/buy mode, where I spend every day of my life. We even see in that video that her avatar (and her cat's, hello furbaby) is in the bottom left corner, something we've seen in every Sims game - They didn't even move her to the bottom right to make it different.
I mean this sincerely when I say I'm so impressed with what such a small team has created, and I appreciate how much they care about taking what The Sims franchise has and making it better, but what we've seen so far is so overwhelmingly similar to The Sims that EA could probably shut this down if they chose to. I hope that Paralives develops some more unique stuff such as the counter sliders, because if everything they continue to create is so noticeably similar, I think they could get themselves in serious trouble.

4. I don't want open worlds or create a style.
There. I said it. Fight me.
It is a truth universally acknowledged (name that reference) that The Sims 3 was so ridiculously laggy that it was rendered unplayable for many users. Part of that lag came as a result of everything in the world being loaded at once. I much prefer that The Sims 4 runs much more efficiently, and I enjoy being able to travel between worlds, rather than living and dying in the exact same world the whole time.
I don't think that the number of loading screens in The Sims 4 is perfect. Instead what I would want would be open neighbourhoods. So you don't have to go through a loading screen to pop in to visit your neighbours or the local swimming pool, but the game doesn't became as insufferably laggy as a result of a fully rendered world.
For the same reason, I don't want create a style. It made everything run slower, it took ages to get the results I wanted, and honestly the amount of choice overwhelmed me a bit! I'd love to have matching swatches for things, and I'd love it if the colour of the fabric on things like beds, chairs, and curtains, was separate to the colour of the wood for their legs and railings and stuff, but I don't need a colour wheel or a massive choice of patterns; I'd be happy with pre-designed swatches for those. 
 
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5. The Sims 4 Strangerville is criminally underrated. [NO SPOILERS]
This game pack is something that I see a lot of criticism for online, and I'm taking a stand.
First off: the world of Strangerville is beautiful, and adds to the variety of the environments by giving us another desert-themed world, when almost everything else is lush green. The Victorian-inspired build items are really well designed, and the pale green swatch of them is *chef's kiss*. 
They added something truly unique by creating a storyline for us to follow; I completed the Strangerville mystery storyline within two days because I was so invested I could hardly stop playing. And the storyline is opt-in as well, so if you're not interested in possessing everyone and filling the world with bizarre things, you don't have to play through it.
I would have loved to see them develop this pack further, with the option to have randomly-generated stories that change who the 'Mother' is, and maybe take you to different locations or talk to different Sims depending on which storyline you've ended up in.
However, I do think they did a really good job with this pack and it added some of that 'Sims quirkiness' that I feel we've been missing. This concept for a story-based pack is something I'd really encourage the Sims team to continue developing.

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 Bonus: If the Sims community has been complaining about the same issues for a while, perhaps the Sims team should start fixing them. (I added this as a bonus as I feel it's probably not an unpopular opinion.)
There are things in the game that need a massive overhaul. I would love to see the Sims team dedicate the time to adding wood swatches that match for every wooden item in the game. Don't delete existing swatches in fun colours, but every single wooden item should have a light wood, a medium wood, a dark wood, and a black and white swatch in it. I want this for floors, baseboards and mouldings, windows and doors, counters, bedside tables etc. We've been complaining about things not matching for LITERAL YEARS. Come on now.
I would also love to see them go back to previously released packs and add the things that they skipped over. For example, The Sims 4 Realm of Magic's beautiful counters need a cabinet, and many other packs that added kitchen counters did not add a matching wall cabinet as well. There's no excuse for that; it's just lazy and sloppy. If the pack came with a door and not a matching window in sight, go back and add a matching window, and vice versa if it came with a window and no matching door (Sims 4 Romantic Garden Stuff, I'm looking at you). One thing I would really love would be if they added windows and doors for all wall heights in all packs.
There are also glitches that have never been fixed. For example, if part of your roof intersects the house, it clips away when it goes into a room, which is perfect. However, if you then place a fence around the stairs, or to create a landing that's partially open to the room below, the roof returns and is now inside the house. This has happened since the game released, and I don't think I'm out of order to express my impatience about it. There's another glitch I've noticed where random squares of flooring just disappear out of nowhere, and I've seen other people talking about it so I know it's not just me. If the glitch doesn't have an obvious fix for it and it's taking a while to work it out, then the team should at least tell us that so we know that they're working on it and we're not just being ignored.

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Overall, I honestly love this game. It's been feeding my creativity and keeping me entertained since I was literally nine years old and introduced to The Sims 2. I think the franchise is something unique and I'm a proud fan! But there are things that could be better, and as a consumer and a member of a community, we have the right to offer up our opinions whether they align with the wider community or not.

Do you agree or disagree with me? Please let me know in the comments below; I'd love to continue this discussion!

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