Laura Geneneder Gives Us a Look at The Sims... Online
Editor's Note: At a Glance is a new feature at MMORPG.com that asks our writers to examine their first few hours of gameplay within an MMORPG's free trial.
When I first found myself in the world of The Sims Online, I wasn’t really sure what to do. There were so many options, and so little guidance. My little experience in The Sims (offline) over two years ago gave me a small idea of what I needed to accomplish – as did the falling Needs meters.
The first thing to do was to find a home. Most of the servers had the same ghost townish population, with 20 to 100 people online (depending on the time of the day and the server) at any given time. Once picking a city (server) to live in, I bought a small plot of land in an inexpensive but not overly hilly area. New players start with 10,000 Simoleons, and with this I built an extremely modest home.
Most of my time was consumed with taking care of my Needs meters, and to be honest, I really couldn’t keep up with everything, let alone think about leveling my skills up to progress my character. My money didn’t go far in buying good furniture and equipment to keep my character full of food, rest, comfort and fun, and even then, I had to venture outside of my home to find other players to raise my Social with.
I ended up visiting some of the more established households, with expensive high end furniture which I could take care of the basics with. Multiple long-time users offered me gifts of money or a slot in their home as a roommate, but I was stubborn to try and experience the gameplay as it was meant to be played.
After a day or two of setting up, I tried out a few of the job options. My first job as a dancer at a club was fairly boring; players compete with each other (or NPCs) by vying for the crowd’s attention through the use of dance moves. There were many different options of dance moves but it seemed fairly basic and random to me. My next job as a waitress was a little more fun and skill based. As a waitress, I would take orders from customers, deliver the food/checks, and yell at the bus girl to stop being lazy. A couple of times I actually got to work with other live players, and coordinate to cover more tables in less time.
Socializing in the Sims mostly consists of dancing with/serenading other Sims users. It serves two purposes: Firstly, to “green” or fill up the Social Need bar, and second, to advance in your respective line of work. As I didn’t want to work at the frumpiest of Diners until the end of my days, I started to meet and interact with other Sims. With all the emoting, though, I had very little time to actually communicate with my new “friends.”
While the waitress job was fun at first, it got old fast and I decided to look for an easier way to make money. Some establish household offer other commercial opportunities: job objects that pay out based on your skill in several different fields; the most common stations I found were Preserves(cooking), Garden Gnomes(mechanical), or Painting(creativity). Cashing out on these items earns money for the working Sims and the property owners. While this in itself was no more lucrative than working at the Diner or the dance club, property owners often give out extra bonuses for each item made. While in-game mechanics rewarded only 100 Simoleons or so, players would hand out paychecks of up to 2 grand!
Some creative entrepreneurs also set up “Painting Poker” stations. When painting, your Sim can create three different picture images. At the Painting Poker stations, Sims would paint 5 different pictures and collect based on how many were the same picture. Two of a kind paid off c. 5 grand, while five of a kind got a whopping 20!
With this money I spruced up my home a bit and bought myself an in-game dog. To be honest, this was probably my game highlight – the pets are adorable and well worth the money spent!