MTS2 has grown from a small site that intended to be mostly about hacks and modding the game, into a huge multi-server sprawling experience catering to all manner of Sims 2 players - from hardcore veterans and BHAV hackers to those with Excessive Downloading tendancies. Throughout the growth and change of the site over the past 16 months we've stayed free and have seen some amazing quality work from the community. We strive to be one of the best in Sims 2 sites, and so we proudly present to you: MTS2 v2.
You may have noticed that the downloads have been restructured, and other changes have taken place. You may have heard of a new style to be put that makes using the site even easier. A very select few of you have tried this out and given us your feedback. Finally, it's here.
Here is a full list of all the changes:
Home page and styles
The first thing you'll notice is the colour scheme. We've gone for a pleasing pale blue style, and named it "Blue Skies". There is also a slighter darker theme available, and for all those cuteness fans, a Hello Kitty theme too. (Hey, we threatened to do it! )
We've split the site into 6 core "sections" which we think cover the majority of things you want to do with the Sims 2. These are:
- About MTS2, which includes news, polls, rules, Creator Guidelines and the Introductions forums.
- Game Help, which showcases our excellent Help faqs and well maintained support section run by the dedicated staff.
- Create, which highlights the tutorials on how to build, modify and Create anything your hearts desire, if it's feasible...
- Download, for all those with EDD.
- Test Ground, where we have moved modding tools, hacks and those things which can be "dangerous" to some degree if used on your game. Hacks would be found here too.
- Requests, which is where you'll find people asking for new stuff to add into the game. If you have a cool idea for something, check to see if hasn't already been requested!
You'll notice the rounded corners and smoother look to the "core" pages as well as the front page. If you want, you can turn these off and use a more boxy style (my personal favourite, I really wrote it for me :D). To do this, go to User Tools -> Edit Options and scroll all the way to bottom and select the alternate style sheet.
Finally, you now have the ability to skip the front page entirely. Only interested in the Create section? Start your http://www.modthesims2.com/ directly at that page. Again, this is found in User Tools -> Edit Options.
As per the news a few days ago, we've restructured downloads to closer mimic the way the game plays and to allow easy adding of future expansion packs to our growing quality selection.
The old "Latest Downloads" view has been replaced on the new page with a paginated style, with thumbnails, details, filters and sorting available right there on the main page.
Please note that thumbnails are currently available ONLY when you get down to forum level and are turned off on the upper levels (ie when you first go into downloads).
We've added in MTS2 v2 the ability to filter by Game Compatibility, so you can search for only downloads that work with your game without searching. You can also search only for new meshes, maxis recolours and mesh recolours. You can also show only updated downloads. Above all, all this is done across the entire section.
What does this mean? Well, previously, to see the thumbnails and details about a particular set of downloads you had to go all the way down into the section you wanted (Body Meshes, Female for example) just to see that. Now this is available at all levels. It really has to be seen to be believed, but we think it'll enhance and improve dramatically the ability to search for what you want.
Another big change is in the way downloads are presented. It may look cluttered at first but it's very simple and presents the important information at a glance. You can see immediately what game the item is compatible with, creator details, thanks, screenshots - all in a much easier format.
We've also added the ability for recolours to be linked directly to meshes here on the site. Let's say you did a recolour of the excellant Grand Trianon set by the Dream Team. You would specify the URL of the GT set and it would automatically link both the recolour and the mesh together.
You are then 1 click away from the mesh, from a recolour, and indeed if you then looked at the GT set, you would see all the recolours of that mesh automatically listed. No more hunting about for recolours!
To ensure that your items come up in the new filters, we've added to thread creators the ability to specify Game Compatibility, Download Type and if you use any meshes these can be specified too. We ask that ALL creators and people who have uploaded items add these into their downloads. This can be done by editing the first post of your thread, selecting the relevant options and saving. If some aren't relevant, leave them blank.
On the front of the new downloads page we've added in a new "Featured" section. Each week, the staff will get together and discuss our favourite items across the site, and submit them and they'll automatically appear on the front page of Downloads. More slots = more chances for your item to shine, and we hope you enjoy it.
You can now find the most viewed tutorials as well as easy links to all the tutorial sections right on the create page. However one of the biggest changes is in uploading your creations to MTS2.
We also have links to the guidelines right from the upload page, if you need to check on a quick point or get great advice on how to take screenshots.
One caveat at the moment - this only works in Internet Explorer. I am working on a Firefox compatible version but it was felt that in order to not delay the re-launch, we put that project on hold. It'll be up soon though.
Finally, you now have the ability to specify which thumbnail picture you want to use are your "preview" for the downloads section.
People often say "I downloaded something from MTS2 but now I can't remember what it was...". To help with this problem, we've added a "My Downloads" section, available in the User Tools menu, that lists everything you have downloaded from the site, in a sortable, paginated list. Never lose another download again.
I'd like to also highlight the revamped IRC Live Chat pages we have now, so why not pop and say Hi?
Don't like the new front page? We've kept the old one if you still want it. You can also continue to browse using the Site Map should you so wish.
We've made some bits smaller, some bits larger, but overall we think you'll love the new changes.
As always we are open to feedback and as with any major project, although we can test as much as possible, there are bound to be bugs that you experience in your usage of the site. Please report these as soon as possible and I'll work on getting them fixed.
I'd like to thank the staff: daysies, CynicalChick, Faylen, tkdjunkie, LyricLee, bairy, ElPresidente, BlackKat13 and Angel f for working flat out to produce this version. I'd also like to thank Frumph, kathy, nebulosa, binkley, tiggerypum and everybody else who gave us feedback, and hemi2k and The Pookinator for the 2 logos and banners without which we wouldn't have picked the colours.