Dear EA and Maxis

You suck.

BB: When you play The Sims 3, you play as one household. However, you can choose to change the household that you are playing. What’s different about The Sims 3 is that when you are playing one household, the other households in your town will develop intelligently: other Sims will age, get married, have children, go to work, et cetera. This means that the world is changing around you and no game will ever feel the same. If one of the Sims in your household moves out, you can choose to follow them and control a different household, or you can continue to play the same household.

Um, hell no! I do not want to be stuck with an either/or situation. I especially don’t want Sims reproducing on their own (and with ugly townies to boot!).

BB: There will still be plenty of ways for devious fans to play in The Sims 3 — including removing the pool ladder! Anything can happen in this new open neighborhood environment; we can’t wait to see what players come up with. [Editor’s Note: During GFW’s visit to see the game earlier this year, design director Matt Brown dropped this detail: “Though if you do try to drown your Sim in a pool, he can realize what you’re trying to do, because it’s pretty clear that you’ve put him in a pool and then taken away the ladder… And now he can just crawl out of the pool, which he couldn’t do before.”]

So now I can’t drown my Sims. That was the fastest way of killing, and yes Sims were rather stupid to fall for it, but still! It’s a classic Sim-killing technique and you’ve done away with it?! This is why I like my Sims to be semi-stupid!

Don’t get me started on the aging neighborhood thing.

Honestly, I’m afraid Sims 3 will end up another SimCity Societies. I’d probably enjoy it just until the kids move out, at which point my fun factor will drop. Unless I keep everyone in the same house, which, uh, yeah no. Yeah, there are good improvements to the system and the A.I. but that doesn’t change the fact that they seem to be determined to take away a lot of the micromanagement features. On the flip side, Sims 2 EPs and Stuff Packs will be going for cheap!

Speaking of which, they have decided to release an eighth expansion pack, instead of sticking to their guns about only seven. It’s pretty obvious this is for money purposes, because an EP about apartments? Are you kidding me?! They better have something major planned, otherwise it will feel just like it is: a quick chance to make money this fall.

Bon Voyage caused huge amount of issues with players’ computers and CD drives thanks to SecuROM, the Free Time patch was pulled off the site after it made issues worse, not better, and now they are adding another pack onto what is clearly a too buggy game?

On the official BBS there are thread after thread of people debating the future of the Sims. When someone referred to The Sims as an RPG I had to step in, but that right there tells you how far Maxis/EA have changed the gameplay and marketing.

25 thoughts on “Dear EA and Maxis”

  1. Noway! Niklas decides that it is a simulation… But, a simulation should be a simulation too. And it should be a social simulation game and not a doll house simulation game. So the fact that the simulation keeps simulating the other sims while you play with yours is a good thing! It has Niklas’ seal of approval and anyone challanging any of Niklas’ approval animals will be tickled!

  2. Wait…I can’t even tell if you are agreeing or disagreeing with me! About it being a simulation that is.

    The thing is, though, is that EA wants there to be goals and quests in the Sims 3; that’s more RPG than simulation. The Sims do need to get smarter, but making the gameplay being dumbed down is a different matter.

  3. It could not! There really isn’t any game as it is! Just a dollhouse that you move stuff around in. Well, I suppose you get points and money for playing your dollies well… but that doesn’t make it a simulation! That’s just like picking up coins in Super Mario…

  4. Well! it says: Life simulation games are about “maintaining and growing a manageable population of organisms”[2]. Games may involve a population or one or many organisms. Games may simulate animal or human intelligence.

    Just what about sims makes them seem like living organisms? I call them dolls because they appear completely lifeless… They dont even do anything if you aren’t there! So that’s why Niklas thinks sims 3 will be nicer when other sims actually acts on their own.

    So ha! Take that!

  5. Jan’s Blog Rule#1: Ignore Niklas.

    πŸ˜›

    Now to get to the point. Yeah, I share your concerns about Sims 3. I do not want my Sims reproducing on their own, I do not want them to choose their own jobs, or direct their own lives. What’s the point if they do? It’d be a movie, not a game.

    I do NOT like the fact about not being able to make your own neighbourhoods either. It just appears more restrictive to me. Yeah, the improved AI would be a nice change, but not so improved that they mate with ugly townies!

  6. @Buggling: Hey! I’m not the one going all “Look I posted on my blog! Go comment!”

    “they mate with ugly townies!” and “and with ugly townies to boot!” should be proof of how shallow the game is. It is like playing sim city and deleting houses when they grow into a certain design.

  7. Yes you are right *ignores Niklas*

    Considering the issues neighborhoods had in Sims 2 if you had too many character files, I’m not sure I trust Maxis’ coding abilities in handling exploding populations in Sims 3. That and I just plain don’t want townies mating. Good god!

    As of now I play Sims 2 with clean templates: no Maxis made lots OR townies and hacks in place to keep it that way. The only thing I let the game generate is weather and NPCs, because, well weather is obvious, and I just can’t be bothered to make the mailman in CAS. In other words, I like having lots of control, and EA all but says outright they want to minimize the control features in order to attract more gamers like Niklas because they are more “hardcore”.

    Which makes no sense to me, since what is so “hardcore” about watching a computer play itself?

  8. *is reminded of fanatics who ignores reason altogether rather than to accept other’s viewpoints* But you are girls after all so I guess it cannot be helped. πŸ˜€

    If you don’t want a simulation when things play themselves, then what you want is an RPG. When the player is in centrum and everything happens as reactions to the players actions. Niklas prefers single player RPGs because he likes to be in center.

  9. RPGs have an overarching story. They have an ending. Sims is a sandbox where you can be god. There is no beginning, middle, and end. It can be what you want, and you know, you get out of Sims what you put into it. I know you think Sims is boring, but that doesn’t change that it is a simulation game.

    My sims can live on their own if I wanted them to. Give them a fridge, a bed, a toilet, and they are ok. They are not the smartest things, but they can live out their lives. So I have no issue with improved AI. What I have issue with is EA deciding how I should play.

    If I want sims to be childless, I should have that right as their god. If I wanted a company to tell me how to play, then I’d buy a RPG.

  10. I donno… some RPGs are very free. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Elder_Scrolls_IV:_Oblivion#Gameplay says: “Oblivion is a fantasy-based role-playing adventure game and an example of open-ended or sandbox gameplay. The main quest may be delayed or completely ignored as the player explores the expansive game world, following side quests, interacting with NPCs, and developing a character according to their taste.”

    So, sandbox gameplay wouldn’t be something strictly belonging to simulations. But on the other hand, maybe you could call games like Oblivion a fantasy world simulation?

    And they can’t live on their own unless you are there to watch them! That’s why Niklas thinks sims 3 will be a better simulation because they’ll be able to live on their own without you.

  11. By your logic Sims 3 isn’t a simulation because they can’t live unless you have your computer on. My Sims are just fine if I leave the room and go eat. I’ve done it before and nothing tragic happened. Unless you mean them not being able to marry, etc? Well then, those city building simulators aren’t real simulators because they don’t build new buildings/temples/monuments, without you there watching them telling them too.

    It seems you are willing to have a very fluid definition of a RPG but a very rigid one of simulation, which to me speaks of heavy bias. Especially since your source, Wikipedia, lists Sims as a life simulator game.

  12. I’m not saying sims isn’t a simulation! Just that it is more of a doll house simulation than a social simulation and that it’ll be lots better if they make the simulation element properly. And, in sims, if you play one household, and is there, then all other households stands still. That’s what I meant with that. Not that you have to belp them with everything…

  13. But it is a social simulation, just a different kind. You call them dollhouses, others would call them god games.

    I don’t have an issue too much with Sims doing things when I’m not around, assuming those things are mundane OR I’ve told to the game to play them for me. I want the option to have extreme control or none-at-all.

  14. I’m sure there will be settings and hacks to customize the game play… And anyways! Niklas is right because the EA people are of the same opinion. And they make sims so they knows best… after Niklas.

    Besides! It isn’t as if people have already played it… I bet people were all “Water damage!” and “the dog will drink out of it!” when people first invented toilets. *likes comparing sims to toilets* And just yesterday Marie was all “Ehh, sim people are stupid” when they were accusing each other of being boys on that forum. Soo… Yeah, I can imagine people like that would be very puffy over the smallest change.

  15. Maxis makes Sims, EA just collects the money. πŸ˜› Of course now that EA has bought out Maxis the lines are a bit blurred.

    Frankly, considering how badly EA messed up SimCity I am not sure EA knows “best” about anything in regards to Will Wright’s legacy.

  16. *comes in late*

    I usually just play one to two households at a time in Sims2. That hasn’t changed since I played the original Sims, and probably won’t if I play Sims3. So, as far as that goes the new way of game playing won’t effect me as much as some others. However, I very much dislike townies and the fact that I couldn’t build my town the way I want.

    I’m laidback when it comes to controlling my Sims’ actions, but I like my neighborhoods to have specific themes, and for those themes to be cohesive.

    It’s really annoying that it might not be possible to do that in the next game. >:(

  17. Aside from the horror that was Cairhien, I usually focus on one or two families. Maybe add a third I never play for variety. However, sometimes I like to make a family of Sims for the purpose of marriage, but the sims they are marrying aren’t grown yet. In Sims 3 I’d have to plan a heck of a lot more carefully and even then, if I’m not watching they might marry someone else before I get a chance to stop them.

    If I play Sims 3 I’m going to need a lot of hacks.

  18. I see what you mean. :/ I wish Maxis would give some kind of an option as to which families would be playing live. It could be in the performance tab.

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