December 31, 2013

Misc tips – gardening like a boss

One of the lifetime aspirations is for sims to grow eight different types of plants to perfect quality.  There are the obvious steps to this, including leveling up the gardening skill, fertilizing the plants and starting plants from the higher-quality output of previously grown plants.  But there are a couple other steps that I have my sims take when they are building the perfect garden.


The first and most obvious tip is to leave some room between the plants as you place them in your garden.  Sims won’t walk through plants that are spaced directly next to each other, so plants that are in the middle of clumps like that might wilt and die from neglect.  It doesn’t seem to matter which plants are near each other, there just needs to be enough space for a sim to get in to tend the plants.

I always install sprinklers in my sims’ gardens, and I have the sim with the highest handiness skill upgrade them to auto-water sprinklers.  With the now automatic sprinklers, my gardening sim won’t have to water the plants when she goes out to tend the garden.  Place the sprinklers so that their 5x5 coverage area (which is shown when you’re placing it in buy mode) covers as much of the garden as possible.  The garden shown here is 10x10, so there are four sprinklers.  Besides watering the plants, the sprinklers can also provide some fun as sims play in the spaying water; don’t worry, though, they play carefully enough that they don’t stomp on any of the plants in the garden.

I also always build a fence around my garden and lock the gate to everyone but the sim’s family members.  This will keep the zombies out when they spawn next to the garden on the full moon.  Zombies like to eat harvestable plants whenever they can get to them, and the fence will block them.

Whichever sim is going on adventures should also take some time to harvest the plants that are specific to those locations and then give the produce to the gardener.  With a wider array of plant types, it’s easier to find eight different species to use for your sim’s target perfection count.  Also don’t forget to go to the Fall festival to get some pumpkin to add to your garden.

As your sim’s garden grows higher quality plants, put the surplus produce in the fridge so the chef in your family can use them to make higher quality meals that will keep your sims satisfied longer.

Finally, when your gardener isn’t actively tending the garden, have her learn the fishing skill.  Fish make excellent fertilizer.

Oh, and yes, the seed for the money tree also counts toward the eight different species of plants, so if you find that seed, use it.

An imaginary imaginary friend

So I know that the imaginary friend doll eventually comes alive and is only visible to the child who befriended it, but when the child is still a toddler, it’s still supposed to be visible.


Lexie is getting some quality time with her imaginary friend, but when her father sim reset himself (I still don’t know why he did that), her doll turned invisible.

December 30, 2013

Not quite doing his duty

Jarret wants to be a super lifeguard.  His lifetime wish is to rescue 50 sims.  But he’s not going to do it this way.


Yeah, that’s the “I’m waiting for another sim to move out of my way before I can step forward” pose.  There are two sims in need of rescue but because they’re positioned in the exact location where Jarret needs to be to pass the floatation device to the drowning sim, he route fails and then waits in this pose to see if one of them will move first.

December 29, 2013

Standing at attention?

About half the time that I have my parent sims try to teach their toddler sims to walk, they step back and take this position.


It seems to be a default soft reset pose, and is probably something that the animators start with when they create motions for the game.  It looks like the animator who made the “teach to walk” animations didn’t clean up his work properly before exporting it to the game.  So I’d call this a bug because sims are not generally supposed to take this pose during gameplay.

December 28, 2013

He could use a phone book or two

The Sims 3 Fast Lane Stuff pack added a bunch of new cars to the game. Some of them were higher-end luxury cars, and others were more everyday cars and roadsters.  This hot rod, however, makes it look like the sim has lost a foot in height.


I think it just looks wrong to be that low in the cab.  How can he see past the hood of the truck?

December 27, 2013

Well, it’s not cooking bacon…

Malissa is pregnant with her first child, but it seems to be going to her head.  When she showered recently, she chose not to put anything on before moving on with the rest of her day.


I guess this way she won’t get any stains on her clothes when her elixir ingredients splatter.

December 26, 2013


NPC sims always seem to pick the most inappropriate clothing, like Holly Alto did for going out and making snow angels…


Well, at least she’s happy.

December 23, 2013

This ghost might slip

My sim went to the graveyard late one winter night recently.  After spending some time skating around on the pond then chatting with another visitor, this ghost appeared and walked out onto the ice.


He walked very carefully across the ice as if he would slip and fall.  Now, ghosts float around the sim world everywhere else, why don’t they float across frozen ponds?

December 22, 2013

Preserving the bunny

It seems that the freezer bunny pops up in the most unusual places these days…


Earlier today I found two of them in a jar on the counter at Aleister’s.

December 20, 2013

Sims and their costumes

It seems like the most common costumes that sims choose for costume parties are either the tiger or the hot dog.  At my sim’s most recent costume party, she went in a white formal dress with some facial makeup (I’m guessing that this costume represents a good witch or something of the sort), while another guest showed up in a costume I hadn’t seen before.


He’s a cow plant!

December 19, 2013

Misc tip – get started with cooking

When sims are just starting out, one of the first skills that I usually have them work on is cooking.  Sims with no cooking skill are more likely to start a fire when they use the stove (unless they’re using a stove that has been upgraded to fireproof or someone in the family has the fireproof household lifetime reward), so it’s best to start sims either reading the beginning cooking skill book, or by practicing making foods that don’t require the stove.


Sims can usually prepare autumn salads or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at lunch or dinner,  Since the sim won’t use the stove to prepare it, there is no chance of starting a fire while making these meals.  If you’ve got World Adventures installed, you might see the option to prepare sushi, another dish that doesn’t require use of the stove (the cooked rice they use must be leftover from previous meals).

December 15, 2013

Misc tip: turn on the radio

When you direct your sims to work on skill building, have them do it in a room that has a radio.  Then turn the radio on.

In the martial arts academy in Shang Simla, there’s a stereo in the upstairs workout room, so I’ll usually send my sims there to get started building this skill.


Sims that are in a room with music playing get a positive Enjoying Music moodlet to go along with whatever they are doing at the time.


Setting the radio to my sim’s favorite channel will usually increase the moodlet’s effect, and the sim’s preference will often dictate what channel the radio is set to when she turns on the radio autonomously.

December 5, 2013

Building up the Martial Arts skill

Sims that go on adventures to Shang Simla, Champs Les Sims or Al Simhara will need to level up their martial arts skill if they ever hope to complete the more difficult tombs.  In fact, there are a couple of quests in Shang Simla that flat out require specific skill levels before your sim can complete them.  So, when you send your sim there, buy both a board breaker and a training dummy from the general store.  These two items will be placed in your family (build mode) inventory; when your sim gets home, place them on your lot and practice with them.

You’ll have to start with the training dummy first, because the board breaker requires at least skill level 2 before your sim will be able to use it.  When I train my sims, I have them switch to the board breaker as soon as possible because there are more wish opportunities for breaking specific numbers of boards, and these are generally quicker to achieve than the skill level wish opportunities.  But, don’t discount the skill opportunities because there is nothing to prevent you from achieving both types of opportunities with the board breaker.

There are five types of boards your sims can use on the board breaker.  In increasing order of difficulty, they are: foam board, balsa wood board, oak board, thin stone board and space rock block.  One your sim is able to use the board breaker by reaching level 2 with the training dummy, your sim can break the foam board.  For each of the first four board types, sims start with one board.  As they become more skilled at breaking that type of board, they will add one more board to the stack on the board breaker for each attempt.  The maximum number of boards to be broken at any one time is five.  Although the number of boards broken may vary, a sim will always start with one until that level of board breaking is mastered.  You cannot direct your sim to break any specific number of boards at a time, your sim will automatically place the maximum that his current skill level will allow.

When I have my sims use the board breaker, I will usually direct them to increase the difficulty by changing board types as they level up the Martial Arts skill itself.  Usually your sim will be able to break a space rock block at martial arts level 9.  Once your sim can do so, switch to the space rock.  Your sim will often break a gem out of the space rock that can be collected like any other gem in the world.


The gems that appear from this interaction can be any gem type that is available, from the most basic quartz to the extremely rare tiberium.

Increasing Martial Arts skill will also increase the Athletic skill at the same time.  Although your sim doesn’t need any specific athletic level to begin training, building athletic skill first can help speed up the martial arts skill building.

December 4, 2013

Gem jumble

Whenever I have my sim cut more than one gem at a time with the gem cutting machine, the pile that she drops into the hopper just doesn’t quite look right.


It doesn’t matter what kind of gem it is or what cut she chooses, the gem pile always looks like this jumbled mess.  The only time that the gem looks right when she’s adding it to the hopper is when she’s only cutting one gem.  So this bonk is definitely a bug, but unfortunately it isn’t a bug that I can sell at the science lab for extra cash.

December 1, 2013

A new kind of mystery machine

When I send my sims to adventure locations, I always try to ensure that they bring a car with them to get around more quickly than the bicycles or scooters that they get there by default.  But if my sim has earned enough lifetime happiness points for it, I will have them buy the Motive Mobile van and set that as their default car.  The advantage, of course, is that sitting in it will instantly fulfill all of a sim’s needs bars, so I don’t have to have them return to base camp to sleep and wash up between tomb explorations.

But there’s one spot in Shang Simla where driving the Motive Mobile is a little more difficult than I’ve seen at any other location.  When my sim drives this vehicle up the hill to the main residential area, she will sometimes pop out the side of the van.


Something just isn’t right with this mystery machine, and it’s not just that Casey Kasem isn’t doing Shaggy’s voice any more…