Sunday, July 6, 2014

Baker - The Young and the Old

Welcome back to the Baker household. Last time we were here Malcolm finished his LTW, retired, and married his long time fianceƩ Madison VanWatson. She joined the household then died the next day. His step-mother Bebe died a few days later. Topher worked on his LTW, completing Sculpting and Painting. He just has Inventing left to master. Becky retired from her job, Felix aged from baby to teen and Carly gave birth to Radana just before we left them. Moving forward I'll be working on completing Topher and Carly's LTWs.

It's perhaps worth noting that I do have Late Night installed now, though it probably won't have any immediate impact on my game play here. I'm still thinking about whether I want to create a new sim for Bridgeport or move an existing sim there. Until then, I'll carry on with my families as they are.

It was early on Friday morning when I rejoined the Bakers, and most everyone was asleep. Felix was the first up, but didn't do much except get ready for school before the bus came for him. I had Topher start working on Inventing once he was up and had eaten. He was doing ok until suddenly there was a large explosion and he caught himself on fire. Luckily for him there was a shower installed right next to the bench precisely so he could extinguish himself quickly in such an event.

Meanwhile Carly spent most of her afternoon outside in her garden. While she was out there, Donnell Andrews came by to reject her. I wasn't aware they were a thing before. She's been married to Topher for quite awhile now, so Donnell took his time about "breaking up" with her if they had been a thing in the past.

The only other thing of note was that there appears to be some kind of continued glitchiness going on with using a laptop at the dining room table. For some reason they'll put the laptop at the middle chair, then sit in the end chair and reach their arms over at a strange angle to use it. Bebe did it in the past, and now Felix was doing it both while playing games and then afterwards while trying to fix it after it broke.

On Saturday Becky got invited to a friend's party. It was a small affair with just his family and a few other friends. She went swimming in his pool and then played with his grandson, who unfortunately did not have a crib so he'd been left on the kitchen floor. Also unfortunate was the fact that his parents had named him Brain.

On Sunday it was Radana's birthday and Topher decided he wanted to throw a birthday party for her. He invited over a few of their friends, and once they had all arrived, Carly took Radana out to her cake. The guests were all too busy upstairs dancing by the stereo to come down, but the family gathered on the porch to watch Radana transition to Toddler.

On Monday Carly went down to the shore and spent the day fishing. Not only did she need the skill for her job, but she was going stir crazy after so many days cooped up in the house while she was pregnant and after Radana was born. Topher went to the consignment store to sell some of his inventing products then headed over to the junkyard to stock up on more scrap. After he came home, showered, and had dinner, he took Radana down to the library to read the toddler books to her just like he had with Felix.

Tuesday went by fairly uneventfully. The main thing of potential note was that I finally decided to take a more active role in having Becky and Malcolm become a couple. They've been doing romantic interactions on their own, but I decided to push it a bit more. Strangly, messages popped up about them getting cheater reputations as I did so. Becky must have had a romantic interest I'd forgotten about. I thought all her old flames had died...oops. Ah well, she always was a free spirit anyway.

Wednesday was Carly's birthday. She wasn't interested in having a big party, so once Felix was home from school, she simply blew out the candles on a cake with the family gathered around. She transitioned to Elder. Odd to think that she was still on her last day of maternity leave as well. At least there won't be any other kids here for awhile.

The clothes got changed right away
On Thursday Becky was feeling the need to get out of the house, so she took Malcolm downtown for a tour of the theatre. After they had finished, she decided to put on an impromptu performance for the citizens of Sunset Valley, so she set out her tip jar and got out her guitar and started to play there in front of the theatre. It was just like old times, only this time she was doing it just because she wanted to and not because they desperately needed the money.

On Thursday Felix went over to a friend's house after school. While there he got a phone call from Helen Marabel asking if he'd like to go out on a date. He accepted, and the two met outside the consignment store downtown. They talked for awhile, getting to know one another, and then he offered to help tutor her on their assignments. She accepted and they sat down there in the grass to work. I wouldn't mind making a match between them since she's the granddaughter of my sim Eileen Marabel that we saw pass away in the last Baker update. Would be nice to incorporate part of the Marabel line into the Bakers, but we'll have to see how things go between them I suppose.

Unfortunately for Felix, he got so caught up in the study session that he forgot to pay attention to what time it was and he ended up staying out after curfew. The cops were quick to notice the two teens and showed up to escort them to their homes.

Friday was a fairly normal day. Topher spent most of the day sculpting while listening to a tabcast about inventing. When the tabcast finished that evening he'd finally mastered the craft and thus had completed his LTW. His points will now count for the challenge. I'll most likely have him focus on sculpting to get to the top of that career as well as hopefully complete the skill challenges, or at least some of them.

On Saturday Felix spent much of the day searching the galaxy for new stars. He had already found a couple and was keen to find 5 if he could. That evening, he decided he wanted to be a scientist like his mother, though with a different twist. He wanted to become a Forensic Specialist in the Law Enforcement career.

Sunday was Radana's birthday. The family all slept in a bit late, but once everyone was up and had eaten, Carly took Radana to the cake so she could blow out her candles. She transitioned to Child and picked up the trait Star Quality.

That evening, to help him get started with the athletic skill he'd need in law enforcement, Becky trained Felix on the weight bench for awhile, helping him to get several skill points.

Monday started out as another normal day. Radana had her first day of school, Topher went to put some of his sculptures on consignment, and Carly went to work. When she finished the day she received a promotion to Creature-Robot Cross Breeder which completed her LTW. Her points will now count for the challenge (except then there was that awkward moment where I went to update the spreadsheet and realized she hasn't scored any points for the challenge yet).

Tuesday passed uneventfully, then on Wednesday it was Felix's birthday. Once everyone was home, they gathered out back and he blew out his candles and transitioned to Young Adult. He gained the Ambitious trait.

Wednesday was also Topher's birthday (actually I think I may have read the alert wrong and thought it was Felix's then aged him up a day early, but whatever). Since it caught me by surprise, he didn't have his own cake and aged up on his own in the kitchen after the mini-party they'd had for Felix. He transitioned to Elder.

Thursday passed rather ordinarily. Felix had his first day at work, Radana went to school, Carly spent the day fishing, and Becky spent the day collecting seeds. That evening Felix invited Helen Marabel over to see if they still had a spark going. They were fairly good friends now, but apparently she hadn't aged up yet. We decided to remedy that by getting out a cake and sending her to blow out the candles.

After she had aged up, Felix started flirting with her a bit, with mixed results. Since it looked like she would take a bit of wooing, he asked her to move in with them so there'd be plenty of time to win her over. She agreed.

Helen Marabel
Traits: No Sense of Humor, Great Kisser, Loves the Outdoors, Coward, Easily Impressed
Favorites, Kids music, Mac and Cheese, Black
LTW: World Renowned Surgeon

As it turned out, the Romantic interactions went much smoother when I had Helen do the initiating. Unfortunately she had a boyfriend I hadn't known about, but that was easily dealt with when she agreed to break up with him. A few more interactions and Felix had her agreeing to marry him.

She got a makeover after this - new outfit is shown in the picture above, though her hair also changed after that pic was taken
On Friday after a couple days of working really hard, Carly got to the top of her career. Upon returning home she promptly made the call to retire. She'll now collect her pension and devote herself to fishing in hopes that she'll be able to complete the Commercial Fisherman challenge and at least bring in one point before she dies.

That evening after they'd both rested up after work, Felix and Helen decided they didn't want to wait for a formal wedding (and I decided I didn't want to bother with one). They had their own private wedding and exchanged rings in the foyer while the rest of the family was busy with other things. Helen took Felix's name and became Helen Baker.

On Saturday Topher sold some more sculptures which earned him a promotion in the Sculptor career. He received notice that he was to come by City Hall to collect a service award as well. He headed down there right away, and found that there was a protest of some sort going on. Apparently people were protesting unicorns? (No clue on this one...I don't have Pets installed so far)

Sunday turned out to be a notable day. First of all Topher completed his 35th sculpture and his 25th ice sculpture and thus fulfilled two different skill challenges for Sculpturing. It was also Radana's birthday. They had a small party for her out back with just the family. She transitioned to teen and picked up the Unlucky trait.

Sadly, Sunday was also the end of the road for Becky. She passed away at the age of 93 (I think) while attending Noel Keaton's party. Malcolm came and crashed the party when he found out so he could pick up her tombstone to bring it home to rest beside her parents', his stepmother and his wife. Becky contributed 2 points to the challenge in her lifetime (yeah, I probably should have pushed more on at least one of the guitar skill challenges for her, but I was too busy with the others in the household most of the time to pay much attention to her).

The next day Felix saw a meteor crash down while he was searching for more new stars through the telescope. It landed in the neighbor's yard and he ran over to collect it before returning to his galaxy searching.

Not sure whose tombstone that is
Monday night Malcolm finally got around to doing an opportunity he'd had for awhile that wanted him to jog for an hour while carrying some monitoring device. I guess they wanted to see how well someone his age would do jogging. When he went to turn the device in and complete the opportunity, his contact was invisible.

She is there, and he was able to talk to her, but she never was visible
On Tuesday Radana brought an acquaintance home from school with her. She then took off to the science facility to complete an opportunity. Felix chatted with the girl and then offered to tutor her for awhile.

While Felix was still busy tutoring Radana's friend, Helen decided to get to know Malcolm better. As they stood chatting in the living room, Grim came for him. Malcolm died at age 103 days and contributed 3 points to the challenge. Truth be told, I'd been waiting for Malcolm to kick it for ages and had thought he would go before Becky since he was older.

And that seems like a decent place to end this visit with the Bakers. It was a reasonably productive round I think. Here is a look at the score at the end of this round:

Next up I'll probably be visiting the Britt family again unless I decide to start someone in Bridgeport instead. Until then, Cheers!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Fraser - Further Adventures in Egypt

Welcome back to the Fraser household. Last time we visited with them Anya and Maximus took an extended vacation in China, during which Anya completed all of the tombs and notable adventures for that country. She also became the Grand Master in Martial Arts by defeating all challengers and making it to the top of the tournament circuit. After returning home, Anya finally became pregnant with their first child and later gave birth to a boy they named Beli. Maximus continued to receive promotions in his sports career and completed his LTW just before we left them. Looking forward, I plan to take Anya to Egypt so she can finish the tombs and adventures there.

First on my agenda for the Frasers was moving them to a new house that I built for them. I used blueprint mode for this one, with liberal tweaking and redecorating, and am reasonably (though not completely) happy with how it turned out.

Street view
Rear view
Basement (under garage)
Ground floor (front of house is at top)
2nd floor
3rd floor
Roof top room and patio

I gave them one day to settle into their new house and get a garden going and such after moving. Maximus had to go to work that evening and Anya finished up working in the garden before working on the board breaker for awhile to fulfill a wish she had. The next morning I had her make the call to head to Egypt for 11 days.

Anya didn't waste any time getting busy with her adventures once she arrived in Egypt. First she spent some time talking to people regarding a quest she'd started in France, and then she set about doing some more work for the locals. Sometime in the midst of doing this she completed her level 3 visa for Egypt. After checking the adventure board at camp, then talking with a few people and handing over a few bribes, she was assigned to enter a secret base. She found the entrance to it inside the household of her last contact--a stairway down opened up in the bedroom when she turned the radio on.

After finding a code stuck to the underside of the toilet handle, Anya headed downstairs and was able to unlock a series of doors to head to the next level down.

She proceeded to unlock the next two levels with a bit of trial and error. I should note here that I had to cheat a bit and look up the codes for this as I had a) cancelled out of whatever message came up when I turned off the radio, so missed that code, and b) wasn't able to read a book from the bookcase to get the code hidden there because there was nothing on it she could read--her skills are already too high. So, if you're working on this one (Black Bag Job is the name of the adventure) yourself, Google is your friend if you find yourself unable to get one or more of the clues for some reason. Just be aware that the codes apparently vary a bit so you might have to just experiment with it as well.

Finally she was able to make her way down to a hidden command center and hack into the main computer there. She collected the contents of the hard drive for her contact and then left to return to him.

The next day was spent talking with several of the locals to convince them that maybe resistance against MorcuCorp wasn't such a good idea. After that, she spent some time gathering turquoise for the relic merchant so she could produce some "relics" for the MorcuCorp representative. After telling the representative the good news about the steady shipments of "relics" he'd be receiving, she headed back to camp to get some sleep.

Anya checked the Adventure Board when she got back to camp and was able to once again obtain the mission that asked her to bring a plate of Shawarma to one of the locals (she'd had this mission before but it canceled for some reason when she returned to Egypt). She ran back to the market, but it was too late to purchase it so she went back to camp again and got some sleep. The next day she decided to head over to the Copper Mine to explore it while waiting for the time when the merchant would be selling Shawarma again (it's only sold at dinner time). Going down the stairs into the mine, she saw lots of rubble piles so she set to work clearing them.

The day passed quickly, and before she'd finished exploring the mines it was 6PM and she had to take a break to go check the market. Unfortunately the food merchant didn't have any available to purchase, so she went to a nearby friend's house to see if she could use their kitchen to prepare some herself. Her friends were agreeable, so she quickly worked some up, leaving the extra in their refrigerator for them. (Note: Some of you may remember that she'd tried this before and it didn't work because she couldn't pick it up after she made it. I researched the problem a bit more when it wasn't available at the vendor and discovered that what you have to do is make the item, put it on the counter, then Put Away Leftovers. Once it's in the refrigerator you can Open the fridge and Take All to get it into your sim's inventory.)

Upon taking the food she'd made to the Relic merchant as requested, she was given the further assignment of going into the Pyramid of the Wind to retrieve the Relic of Eternity. Instead of heading straight there she decided to go back to the Copper Mine and finish up there first, or at least to finish as much of it as she could. She made her way to the end of one tunnel to find a chasm she knew she'd have to zeneport across to get to the chests she could see on the other side. She was getting pretty tired by this time though, so she went back to the surface and pitched her tent to get some rest first.

She faced a problem after crossing, however, in that she didn't have a star keystone to open the last chest. After giving it some thought, she used some of her Escape Dust to get back to the camp quickly, then went to the market to see if the relic vendor had one. She didn't, but the Special Merchant had skeleton keystones that she figured would work just as well. After making her purchase, she headed back to open the last chest after spending time to meditate and zeneport back across the chasm.

Once again she used the Escape Dust to pop back to the base camp after collecting the sigil inside the chest. There she decided to go ahead and get some sleep before embarking on her next tomb adventure. The following morning she headed off to the Great Pyramid to find the tomb she was supposed to enter.

Anya spent some time working her way through the Pyramid, solving various puzzles, unlocking locked and secret doors, and finally made her way up to a sort of balcony area where she found a few chests, the sigil for the tomb, and a mummy! Even though she was getting pretty tired by this point, she still managed to defeat the mummy quite handily, and even was able to take a picture of it first.

Going back down to explore areas she hadn't gone to yet, she came across another mummy hidden away in a small room behind a secret door. Again, she defeated it quite easily (with maxed Athletic and Martial Arts, it's very unlikely she'll fail to defeat any mummies now).

 It took her a few days, but she finally made her way through the rest of the tomb. While nothing was particularly difficult, it did get confusing at times trying to keep straight where she'd already explored and where she needed to go back to. Finally she arrived at the last room where the chest with the relic she was seeking was located. Two mummies sprang out of their sarcophagi when she entered the room to defend the treasure. She was well rested, however, and they didn't worry her. She dealt with them quickly and then collected her loot.

At this point I took a break from playing for several months while moving to a new house, settling in, and then getting distracted with other things and other games. I'm finally attempting to finish playing this round because I'm eager to install Late Night and get moving on this again. Anyway, back to the action.

As it turns out, Anya was close to the end of her trip to Egypt. I did take her back to the board to get another adventure...twice...but ran into problems trying to complete them as they both involved having to go to people's houses who weren't home. Finally I just took her back to camp again and had her read recipe books until she got sent back home. Hopefully whenever I get back to this house and can send her back to Egypt to keep working on the tombs there she'll have better luck catching people at home. Here's a look at how my score stands at present.

As I mentioned, I'm planning on installing Late Night now. While it's true that I've only done a small portion of the Ambitions content, I feel that I've completed enough to have gotten a feel for what the EP added and I want to keep moving forward with adding things in, especially with Sims 4 right around the corner (which I may or may not get as soon as it's released -- I haven't decided yet). I'm thinking I may well move one or more of the Medina "extra" kids to Bridgeport to start up a new line (and free up space in that house). Whether that will happen for the next update or not I'm not sure yet. Until then, take care and happy Simming to all :)