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Test Subject
Original Poster
#1 Old 15th Oct 2017 at 3:55 AM
Default I'm Thinking of Getting the Sims 2...
Hello!
I started my sims experience with the sims 3. I was crazy in love with it. Then I got the sims 4, and I adored it as well (pre and post toddlers). Now, I'm thinking about getting the sims 2 (I probably will no matter what anyone says), but I have two questions.

What, in your opinion, is the best expansion pack and the best stuff pack for the Sims 2 and why?

What, in your opinion, is the worst expansion pack and stuff pack and why?

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Link Ninja
#2 Old 15th Oct 2017 at 4:02 AM
Here are years and years worth of players opinions on the best/worst EPs for sims 2. I think mine is in there somewhere around 2012.

Uh oh! My social bar is low - that's why I posted today.

Mad Poster
#3 Old 15th Oct 2017 at 4:03 AM
This is the equivalent of kicking a hornets nest in the TS2 forums (as I imagine it is for TS3 and TS4 too)... I'd say look at the stickied thread on the subject, since you'll get the most opinions from it, but since you asked, and since I have the opportunity to put in my opinion first, I'd say the best EP is, by far, Apartment Life, and the best SP is probably Mansion & Garden stuff (although Kitchen & Bath can certainly give it a run for its money!) The worst EP'd be Pets, in my not-so-humble opinion, and the worst SP would be Family Fun (though that's just because of how little it brings with it, not because it's really "bad," per se)

EDIT: Ah, sniped by Charmful! Alright... I guess I'm putting my opinion in second.

Welcome to the Dark Side...
We lied about having cookies.
Link Ninja
#4 Old 15th Oct 2017 at 4:06 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zarathustra

EDIT: Ah, sniped by Charmful! Alright... I guess I'm putting my opinion in second.


Nice try, Zarathustra. Is your view based on a playing or building perspective? I want to assume the latter but you know what they say about assuming...

Uh oh! My social bar is low - that's why I posted today.

Mad Poster
#5 Old 15th Oct 2017 at 4:12 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charmful
Nice try, Zarathustra. Is your view based on a playing or building perspective? I want to assume the latter but you know what they say about assuming...


You would be correct, although if I was answering based on the infrequent times that I've played the game, rather than just using it for building, my answers would still be the same for all of them except changing my favorite SP to Happy Holidays, since it's the one that adds the most from a gameplay aspect...

Welcome to the Dark Side...
We lied about having cookies.
Needs Coffee
retired moderator
#6 Old 15th Oct 2017 at 4:18 AM
@SorryHeather I would suggest you buy base game off ebay then go into Origin chat and ask someone for the UC. The UC is all EP's and SP's for free, but most techs want you to show you have at least a base game copy first-hence the tip to buy one second hand first. Since you are a sims 3 and 4 player you would already have Origin.

As to what is best, all of them. If pushed I would say pets was the least well fleshed out. If you play sims 2 you want the full experience. Also because the game is so old we have tons of CC, not just hair and clothes but added game play items.

"I dream of a better tomorrow, where chickens can cross the road and not be questioned about their motives." - Unknown
~Call me Jo~
Mad Poster
#7 Old 15th Oct 2017 at 4:31 AM
Doooooo iiiiiiiitttt! You waaaaant them aaaaaallll!

Jo is giving you good advice, but hang on to the BG disk once you've got the UC, because there are certain kinds of Custom Content you might want to have only the BG for, or which require utilities that don't work well (if at all) with the UC; or you may have to travel with an underpowered laptop and find you can't bear to go without the game for the duration of a trip, in which case BG may be all your laptop can handle. Best to be prepared for contingencies.

Ugly is in the heart of the beholder.
(My simblr isSim Media Res . Widespot,Widespot RFD: The Subhood, and Land Grant University are all available here. In case you care.)
Scholar
#8 Old 15th Oct 2017 at 6:07 AM
Not in order of preference, but my feelings about the EPs:

University Life - good for getting Sims into relationships, especially those who are teens at the start of the game; also good for playing in a few townie teens and getting to know them before marrying them to your playables. Can get boring because semesters are long and there's not much variation.
Open for Business - personally, I hate this one, but others love it. It really depends how much time and effort you're willing to put into learning how it works. Gives 'shopping district' subhoods.
Pets - cute, but if I were just picking one EP this wouldn't be it - it doesn't really add anything in terms of play; in some ways, it's more of a stuff pack.
Nightlife - adds a downtown, useful if you run out of space in your original neighbourhood. Also adds vampires.
Seasons - adds weather, plus the ability to fish and grow food.
Freetime - I can't even remember what this adds! Hobbies, I think? It's okay, but like pets it doesn't add much of a new dimension.
Apartment Life - allows you to have poorer Sims living in apartments until they can afford to buy a place of their own. Not really necessary since Maxis give each Sim enough money to buy a house when they move out, but if you prefer to give them a share of the household funds (there's a mod for that, no20khandouts), chances are they'll only be able to afford rent.
Bon Voyage - allows Sims to go on vacation.

My personal favourites are Seasons and Apartment Life, because they open up a lot of options, followed by University, but it's worth having either Nightlife or Open for Business in order to have subhoods.
Mad Poster
#9 Old 15th Oct 2017 at 6:44 AM
You're leaving out so many things added by each EP, there!

University Life: University is as fun as the player makes it (it's my own favorite EP). Adds new musical instruments that can work in concert so you can play a band! Graduates get more wants slots and locks! Influence other sims to do your bidding! Each sim gets a Lifetime Want, a goal to work toward so they can be Permaplat! A career reward that can resurrect the dead! Pool tables! Zombies!
Nightlife: Dating! Social group outings! Cars! The Tricous! Ghosts! The Chemistry system of romantic attraction! Vampires!
Open For Business: Run a business! Craft benches! The Badge Skill System! Cheesecake for twins! Malcolm Landgraab's eyebrows! A really cute hair! Handmade toys, including Evil Kites! CHILDREN DANCING ON FEET!!!! Seriously, I didn't think I'd like running businesses (I was wrong) but I decided to get OFB because I was jealous of everyone else having that animation.
Pets: This goes at the bottom of everybody's list, not because it's a bad EP, but because it didn't give them everything they wanted. But we have dogs, cats, womrats, and birds; birds provide a fun way to skill charisma; shy sims loving on womrats are Squeeable; cats and dogs CUDDLE TODDLERS! Toddlers can share food bowls and beds with dogs and cats! Werewolves!
Seasons: Spring, summer, fall, and winter! Catch! Snowball fights! The Ottomai! (Don't believe anything people tell you about the Ottomai being glitchy and ugly. They are unreasonably prejudiced.) More Badge skills! Gardening! Fishing! Evil Snowmen! Snow Angels! Plantsims! Mouthwatering produce with special qualities! Season-dependent skilling and interacting bonuses! Ice skating! Wishing Wells!
Bon Voyage: WALKING TO LOTS! A long-overdue improvement on driving or taking a taxi to visit the park across the street. Beaches! New dances! Vacation benefits! A camera that lets sims take photos and get prints of them! Sandcastles! Shells! Jewelry! Camping! Voodoo dolls! Bigfoot!
Freetime: COMFORT SOUP. Cure that damn plague before it infects your whole neighborhood. Secondary aspirations! Aspiration perks! Sports equipment! Hobby lots! New crafting stations - make your own clothes, throw pots, restore old cars at absurd profits! Cooking and dance contests! Movie channels on TV! A new musical instrument that kids can play! A new toy that allows them to play together and skill mechanical! A new toddler skill that can be taught by older siblings - Nursery Rhyme! Summon Aliens!
Apartment Life: Apartments, duh. Witches! Secret doors! New Life Skills! Tooth brushing! Ask Neighbor to Watch Kids! Networking! A magic trash chute! Vending machines! Playground equipment! The Newsons! Landlord Vests! New performance options! Break Dancers! MORNING CUDDLES!

There's lots of stuff in each EP, is the point. Don't believe any sentences that start with: "All it has is -" All it has is new animations, new objects, new outfits, new hairs, new turn-ons/offs, new interactions, new sources of drama, new careers, new goals to work toward. Not everybody likes all the new stuff, not everybody likes how the stuff we get is implemented, and lots of people are disappointed that they didn't get something they'd set their heart on - but that's the nature of the beast, and why mods exist. Anything you don't like about any of the EPs can probably be modded out. A lot of what you want and didn't get can be modded in.

Each EP has strong bones. You'll at least want to try them all.

Ugly is in the heart of the beholder.
(My simblr isSim Media Res . Widespot,Widespot RFD: The Subhood, and Land Grant University are all available here. In case you care.)
Mad Poster
#10 Old 15th Oct 2017 at 7:13 AM
Note that a lot of the features of different EPs mesh together rather nicely too. You can grow fruits and vegetables in Seasons (which increases the Nature hobby enthusiasm from FreeTime) and then run a grocery store with Open for Business. I would argue that you theoretically won't get all the benefits of one EP without some of the others.

I'm secretly a Bulbasaur. | Formerly known as ihatemandatoryregister

Usually hanging out in Sim Crafters these days. | Looking for SimWardrobe's mods? | Or Dizzy's? | Faiuwle/rufio's too! | smorbie1's Chris Hatch archives | Welcome to Oakbrook.
Mad Poster
#11 Old 15th Oct 2017 at 8:01 AM
Peni is right.

And she still left some things out.
Mad Poster
#12 Old 15th Oct 2017 at 10:21 AM
Everyone hates Pets, but I wouldn't be without it! It just seems unnatural to have a neighbourhood without animals. And everyone saying it doesn't bring anything good with it. What about the animals?
Needs Coffee
retired moderator
#13 Old 15th Oct 2017 at 11:21 AM
I never said I hate pets, said it was the least fleshed out. I would not be without a single EP or SP!

"I dream of a better tomorrow, where chickens can cross the road and not be questioned about their motives." - Unknown
~Call me Jo~
Theorist
#14 Old 15th Oct 2017 at 12:08 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charity
Everyone hates Pets, but I wouldn't be without it! It just seems unnatural to have a neighbourhood without animals. And everyone saying it doesn't bring anything good with it. What about the animals?

I have to disagree. I'm not everyone.
I'll say that Maxis dealt better with pets in TS1 than in TS2.

And OP, stop thinking, just get it!
Forum Resident
#15 Old 15th Oct 2017 at 12:37 PM
As much as I hate this type of answer, I'm going to have to say, "it depends on you and how you want to play." I've never played Sims 3 or 4, but hopefully your experience with them will give you an idea of what you want to get out of Sims 2. I would recommend browsing a few of the currently active Sims 2 blogs and the links in the next two paragraphs to see what interests you and go from there.

http://sims.wikia.com/wiki/The_Sims_2:_Seasons
http://sims.wikia.com/wiki/The_Sims_2:_Pets
http://sims.wikia.com/wiki/The_Sims_2:_FreeTime
http://sims.wikia.com/wiki/The_Sims_2:_Nightlife
http://sims.wikia.com/wiki/The_Sims...en_for_Business
http://sims.wikia.com/wiki/The_Sims_2:_Bon_Voyage
http://sims.wikia.com/wiki/The_Sims_2:_Apartment_Life

http://www.medievalsims.com/
http://modthesims.info/t/516259
http://modthesims.info/t/forumdisplay.php?f=560

Personally, I could not live without Seasons, Free Time and Open for Business. ihatemandatoryregister is right, many of the EPs mesh well together, especially these threee. Strangely enough, I hated Open for Business when I first got it. I could not figure out how to operate a thriving bakery or nightclub (a couple of the premade businesses in the game). And then I discovered some FABULOUS user-created mods (employee time clock, packing stations & more) that allowed my Sims to operate a thriving farming or crafts business with employees on their home lot. (You'll find a link to this stuff by SimWardrobe in ihatemandatoryregister's signature. Sadly, the original site is now defunct.)

Other players are right about Pets not adding much to the game, but I'm with Charity on this one. For me, dogs and cats add an important aspect of the game. I have a senior Sim who gets the majority of his socialization from his cats. In another game, the family dog went to work to help his struggling family pay their bills. And you've not had the full experience until you've watched a toddler snuggle their pet or sleep in their bed.

Even though I don't regularly send my Sims on vacation, I love Bon Voyage. That pack adds a lot of great things -- like the ability to have a beach lot, a honeymoon, and more. There is a built-in scavenger hunt type of game, where the Sims can collect memories of doing different stuff on vacation. None of my Sims ever filled their suitcase with all the memories, but it's still fun to try.

While it seems to be a favorite among many players, Apartment Life it is my least favorite of all the expansion packs. I don't like the neighbor noise, the needy apartment manager who always wants to "hang out," or the glitchy stairs in some of the apartments. And I hate that when I ask my Sim to serve a meal, she/he feels the need to deliver plates to areas where other apartment residents will eat it. (I like to have my Sims make a group meal, serve their household and put away the rest as leftovers. Also, at $1,000 to $4,000 a week for rent, it doesn't make a lot of sense to have the Sim live in an apartment when they can buy a house outright for $20,000 or less. I usually have my Sims rent an apartment if I want them to stay poor and continue to struggle paying their bills each week. That said, I do think the Witch (magic) aspect of this EP can be lots of fun. I especially love it when a witch hops on her broom to go to her owned business. Also, I think there are mods to take care of some of the more annoying aspects of the EP.

So many things to learn; so few brain cells to process the info needed to learn things!
Shipwreck Island
Inventor
#16 Old 15th Oct 2017 at 12:39 PM Last edited by Sketching : 15th Oct 2017 at 6:23 PM.
The base game alone is enough for some people (and it was for me when I first started) but the expansion packs really live up to the name - they open whole new worlds, dazzling places I never knew. Each one has its merits and gives an indescribable feeling, soaring, tumbling, freewheeling through an endless diamond sky...

I'll get this off my chest because it's the first thing I thought of when I read your question - I LOVE the IKEA and Kitchen and Bath stuff packs. Just about all of my modern houses have their items.

Gameplay-wise, not in order of preference, the EPs that see the most use in my game are Nightlife, OFB, Seasons, and Apartment Life. I won't list all of its features so that you'll be enticed to try them yourself but since you asked, I'll say why I like them. Again not in order:

I like Nightlife for the chemistry system, my love-hate relationship with the Pleasure and Grilled Cheese aspirations, and the downtown. A grumpy old hag attacking your sims for PDA may or may not be a source of amusement, and if you like vampires, you might want to give this a go.

OFB gives business districts, which is the biggest draw for me - no more being stuck with one town, I can have as many towns as I want and can handle in one file. If you like, you can own businesses and community lots now, and I'm fond of the workbenches. I don't use Servos though because I don't usually do sci-fi in the Sims; if I do they're turned into homunculi.

Seasons gives the weather that was supposed to be in the base game, but gardening and fishing are my favorite part of the EP. If you have OFB, you can try your hand at fruit, vegetable, and fish markets. You may or may not find Plantsims interesting - I just give my storyline "Plantsims" a custom plantsim skin and play them my way because by golly, I'm still sad that they don't get to experience all of the life stages!

Apartment Life, naturally, introduces apartments. I don't usually have the social group townies, but I've always liked the concept of living in apartments as some of my sims can't afford houses yet or just don't want one of their own. I wish the witches were more like the ones in Sims 1 though I'm content with what we have. The Apartment Life bookcase skills are also nice, as well as the spiral staircases and playgrounds.

Pets would have been higher on my list but I'm biased towards marine life - where are my turtles and functional fish ponds? Ah, that's what I have ABZU for, but anyway, I like the concept of the EP yet find it somewhat lacking in implementation. I want them to be able to do more - same with the werewolves! Some of the furniture reminds me of The Jetsons and I can't understand why they chose the aesthetic but it's useful for certain neighborhoods. I think pets are the most appreciated in my Apocalypse hoods where they're vital for progressing!

I do have University but I mostly play them for the story-value of sims attending them and not the default gameplay itself (don't kill me!). Those who do stay in the main neighborhood and I haven't used the university subhood in years. To shake things up, I implemented strict entrance requirements, shortened their length in university, and added more objectives for them to pass - it's fun for me but not for others. I like the LTW system though and it gave me my first "pet" in cowplants. Zombies are the dominant species in my Apocalypse hoods and I definitely like the items too.

Bon Voyage is a life-saver for allowing us to walk to lots. I'll leave the others to discuss it since I don't use its features as much - too much of a workaholic in real life to even go on a vacation in-game! I'm not a beach person either, I'm afraid.

I'll be shot for this, I'm sure, but Freetime is my least favorite expansion pack, mainly because the as-shipped hobby system wreaked havoc on my sims, making them forget their families and friends in favor of chasing butterflies and watching movies for hours on end. Mods and practice have helped me make my peace with it, thank goodness, and I like the items that came with the EP.

One thing to note about EPs though - my opinion is that each one has ways to make your sims' lives easier and this may or may not be a bad thing depending on your playstyle. FT has several aspiration perks that don't see any use in my games at all - except for the secondary aspiration. LTA permaplats and reputation rewards have been banned as well, among other things.

I don't have a strong opinion about the other stuff packs. I never got Happy Holiday stuff because I don't need or want most of its features. I think I mostly use the CAS items for Celebration, H&M, and definitely a bit of everything from Teen Style Stuff, and not much of anything from Family Fun Stuff and Glamour Life Stuff. Mansion and Gardens is practically an expansion pack disguised as a stuff pack and contains more than standard stuff pack fare, like added gameplay and animations, and that's always a good thing in my book.

Possibly the greatest thing about Sims 2 is its flexibility - a lot of the features we mentioned may be enhanced or completely removed based on your preference. It's your world after all so it should be catered to your liking.

Edit: I also like Nightlife's soundtrack and the radio stations that came with University (Jazz and College Rock), Seasons (New Age), FT (Indie Wave), and OFB (New Wave). There's a reason the radios are typically on in my houses.
The Great AntiJen
retired moderator
#17 Old 15th Oct 2017 at 1:50 PM
Peni's right about each EP - and even SP - bringing something but my personal opinion is Nightlife and Seasons bought the most to the table though much of it is 'under the hood' - game systems added, rendering and graphics and so on. Seasons was amazing when it was released - the game came alive. Having said that, I didn't think I'd particularly like OFB but I use it all. the. time. I mean all the time - not just for running businesses - a sim being able to own another lot opens up fantastic gameplay opportunities. I also use AL a lot and I like M&G. I would not be without dogs (or cats). Say what you like about Pets, I enjoy the emotional content it brings to the game. There's a lot to be said for the others too (I still have a soft spot for Uni).

I think Jo is right though - get a copy of the BG and then go after getting the UC.

I no longer come over to MTS very often but if you would like to ask me a question then you can find me on tumblr or my own site tflc. TFLC has an archive of all my CC downloads.
I'm here on tumblr and my site, tflc
Mad Poster
#18 Old 15th Oct 2017 at 3:29 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peni Griffin
Bon Voyage: WALKING TO LOTS! A long-overdue improvement on driving or taking a taxi to visit the park across the street. Beaches! New dances! Vacation benefits! A camera that lets sims take photos and get prints of them! Sandcastles! Shells! Jewelry! Camping! Voodoo dolls! Bigfoot!

You don't have to have Bon Voyage If you have later expansion packs in order to have your sims walk on foot.
Mad Poster
#19 Old 15th Oct 2017 at 3:52 PM
Yes, and in fact I did that for a long time. But BV's the one that brought it, that's the point. BV has more to offer than just "taking your sims on vacation."

Ugly is in the heart of the beholder.
(My simblr isSim Media Res . Widespot,Widespot RFD: The Subhood, and Land Grant University are all available here. In case you care.)
Mad Poster
#20 Old 15th Oct 2017 at 4:05 PM
Digging for treasure!

I'm secretly a Bulbasaur. | Formerly known as ihatemandatoryregister

Usually hanging out in Sim Crafters these days. | Looking for SimWardrobe's mods? | Or Dizzy's? | Faiuwle/rufio's too! | smorbie1's Chris Hatch archives | Welcome to Oakbrook.
Inventor
#21 Old 15th Oct 2017 at 4:14 PM Last edited by Sketching : 15th Oct 2017 at 4:27 PM.
My most used BV features are the objects - especially the tents, saunas, hammocks, tea tables, and massage tables. Sometimes I use that giant, overpriced ship to simulate ruins. The game, however, likes to use the Charlatan on me...
Mad Poster
#22 Old 15th Oct 2017 at 4:16 PM
Ah yes, SorryHeather will soon learn the importance of New Woohoo Locations! BV has the hammock and the sauna. Not the mineral springs, though. That was a bit of a disappointment. On the other hand, you can socialize with more than four people in.

Ugly is in the heart of the beholder.
(My simblr isSim Media Res . Widespot,Widespot RFD: The Subhood, and Land Grant University are all available here. In case you care.)
Inventor
#23 Old 15th Oct 2017 at 4:27 PM
@Peni Griffin caught my drift.
Instructor
#24 Old 15th Oct 2017 at 6:40 PM
Honestly, as far as Stuff Packs go, M&G has the most to offer. Many SPs are just a bunch of items, but M&G features new gameplay. Something that rarely appears in the other SPs.

Pets, i believe, is the most disappointing EP. In every iteration of pets in the sims universe, they never do the "pet experience" any justice. I get SO much enjoyment from my little pup, (who is going to be 5 next Sunday!!) but my sims hardly get any pleasure from their animals. I bought my first bird last month. DULLSVILLE! I dont own any cats. Dogs are more work than fun. Too damn needy, not enough in return. The exact opposite of REAL LIFE pets, in my opinion. I get WAY more back from my dog than i have to put in. And breeding pets is a NIGHTMARE!


As for EPs the one that offers the most different gameplay is easily University. Plus, it adds a simlish version of Kajagoogoo's "2 Shy". 80s ROCK!! hahahha... But seriously, it's the most unique of the EPs, for better or for worse.

One of the BEST things about Bon Voyage was the ability to use THIS mod by MSD! Omigosh, why the EAxis people didn't include this as standard gameplay is beyond reason!! But thanks to MSD -- i'm his #1 fan! ...in the creepy Kathy Bates kinda way -- this EP gives you the ability to use it.

There's something for everybody in every EP, and not really anything i've found to hate... more often it's just a matter of liking it a little more or a LOT more. But the best way to find out is to get it and play it til your eyeballs fall out!


-grinEvilly
>=)
Inventor
#25 Old 15th Oct 2017 at 6:49 PM Last edited by Sketching : 15th Oct 2017 at 7:15 PM.
@grinevilly In my opinion, at least the the worst pet wasn't in the Pets expansion. That Apartment Life dog pen is absolutely heinous!

Also, BO's Moody Birds gives me something else to do with them at least.

Edit: Cute dog, by the way.
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