NightLife, without doubt. It excels in most categories, even to the point of being too good for the series. NightLife's features could be seen in most game scenarios, without visiting a specific remote area (college or vacation). Most content was detailed, life-like and practical.
Cars and improved lot switching allows to closer integrate a neighborhood and more frequently extend play beyond the current lot. Compared to taxis, cars allowed sims and the player controlling them to feel in charge, unlike all the instances when he must wait for a script from a higher authority to push him around (carpool, taxi, vacation taxi/plane). Cars were almost non-simmy.
The best and most detailed neighborhood of all in my opinion. All community lots were different from one another. Precise construction elements have been used like sunken floors, most lots are well lit and some sport a perfect environment score. Even the more colorful lots seem realistic, unlike OFB fairy tale themed ones.
The highest number of custom sims. Many of them have custom faces, rather than copies of a template, only wasting memory. The Downtown introduction invites to meet these new people, which is truly possible. This category is important.
Practical clothing including unlocking of some teen outfits for adults, which allow teens to continue their lives. Most other EP clothing was impractical and ridiculous.
Well designed, practical and affordable residential housing, much better than those of previous game versions. The residential lots had clear borders and seemed finished.
I've been with all expansion packs for a while and can no longer tell which object came with NL. But I think it also introduced a number of brown/wooden furnishings and fences, not what you'd expect to find in a city. I could be wrong about this. These again can be used both in the well build residential homes, or in an upper class hood.
Dating, which was well guided with restaurants, which is the best and most organic method of eating out, beating the ubiquitos hot dog grill. I just can't court a mate or earn aspiration in college before the road to Downtown becomes repaired again.
Many, again practical, NPCs, which were always present Downtown, and filled it with life.
Few annoyances. Vampyres can be avoided, but it wasn't explained that they must not be allowed to bite, or the hood would turn to the usual random, unscripted chaos. Vampyres are completely avoidable unlike plantsims, lightning or wolf dogs digging holes.
Other expansion packs sorted by decreasing value: FreeTime, University, Voyage, Pets.
My biggest gripe with Seasons is that it doesn't fit into the sims model, which allows for many activities and delicate machinery to exist under an open sky, and its home design, where heating is not modelled, where occasionally walls do not fully enclose indoor space, and where routing and find best object () does not account for precipitation and the possibility of it.
Pets receives special points from me ranking higher than Seasons only because it had cute cats! Cats are the secret overlords, but I'm glad that Eaxis didn't approach this idea for the team would have made it ridiculous. Pets at times semed forced to the player, and weren't well integrated into the neighborhood. When a pet was on screen, it had the focus and showed everything it could do in a short period of time. I felt that I must have a pet house or a pet comm-lot or avoid them. The pet characters underutilized the potential of their modelling engine. As far as I understand, the entire pet body could be adjusted, unlike humans, but few or none or the premade pets had custom bodies. In this aspect Pets were the complete opposite of NL. The wolves all looked the same and were all too common. Kobe the cat receives a 10 out of 10 ofc.
I would have all expansion packs at all times, because even OFB unlocked some interactons, and others brought at least a few usable objects. The biggest disadvantage of having an expansion pack would be the catalogue cluttered with ugly items. Some expansion features broke the game, but it happened infrequently, (santa cookies being baked out of place, vacation greetings being performed in the city, hobbyists walking in a private home out of nowhere). Those could be modded out.
I haven't played Apartments long enough to rate it. Its few people didn't have as smooth faces as downtownies, and witches were a cheap rip-off Harry Potter with humour driven to 11 as usual. I can't rate the home design, and uncontrollable NPC roomies, well, is not my approach to play. Disappointingly, the pack didn't include a Universal Rentable Lot to model hotels, dormitories and apartments to allow more flexible designs (say, expensive dormitory with hotel doors). Some essential construction elements were added, to ease object alignment. Apartments broke portait generation, forbidding a sim to have a specific portrait and causing performance issues. Unless a major problem is discovered, I would rate AL together with University among the decent lesser value packs.
All stuff packs are a rip off. On a separate scale, the best SPs are Kitchen and Baths, which brought more variety to the common refrigerators and toilets and realistic, practical and expensive (at the same time) kitchen counters, and IKEA for more spartan designs, fitting cheaper lots, which must exist for variety and contrast.
I just read this thread, and realized I don't really like any of the EP's....how sad is that? I've got Uni, NL, OfB, and Pets, and all are considered useless to me, except the few interactions that are kinda cool. I don't bother making businesses, vampires, zombies, graduates, animals, or even aliens anymore. I may as well just unistall all of it and keep the base game, if it weren't for all the CC that requires certain EP's! :laugh:
Believe it or not, I almost agree. That's why I'm working on a little project, but I'm not telling anybody what it is and am not releasing it (note: not the big boss)
After all this time, I'm still on the fence about Apartment Life. I see that some of my favorite mods don't play nicely with it, though it seems that one or two sites have similar mods that may be just fine.
As I think I wrote before, I read all these horror stories about AL installation and gameplay problems. Someone wrote that the game needs to be online, and has limited amounts of installs. (I believe that is false now) Others wrote of baby-stealing butlers, disappearing furniture and CC problems. (Most likely, patching and mods can fix all of these issues, correct?)
I've left my decision in the hands of fate .... I am bid-watching right now on an auction site. If I get this, I'll play it. If not, I'll wait.
You folks here didn't seem to have that many problems with it. It seems that a whole lot of people like this EP, so it shouldn't be THAT bad ... right?
If I don't get AL, I'm debating between two SPs right now as a stocking stuffer: Celebration Stuff and Glarmour Life. I'm getting H&M and Ikea for Christmas, already have TS and K&B (really like the latter, BTW), don't see the point for M&G if I don't get AL, and have no interest at the moment in FFS or the holiday SP. Of Glamour Life and Celebrations, which is the one you folks prefer?
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30th Nov 2013 at 11:07 PM
Last edited by gazania : 4th Dec 2013 at 1:50 AM.
My mods and hacks are in their own folders, ready to test.
Of course, I would back up my current game and put it on disk, just in case something goes wrong. I know the mantra: "Back it up, back it up, back it up." patches would be scouted here immediately if I got the game. If I'm waiting for it to arrive, I suppose I could start finding known-incompatible mods and noting them as well.
If I don't win the game, yes .... those two SPs are pretty cheap used via the half/Amazon/auction route. I could get both.
So now, it's wait and see to see if I get this EP.
EDIT ... Didn't win the game, but got it even cheaper off Amazon. I got M&G and GL as well. The latter was selling for a really good price on half.com. I think I'll have to wait for any other SPs for a while, though .... I kind of overdid it. However, my family now has some perfect holiday gifts for me, whether they know or not. Let the fun begin come the end of December! (I hope!)
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