A Cautionary Tale for Sims 3 Players

Yes, I realise most people are playing Sims 4 by now. I am still on the third game though and this is a tale about how I ended up with this household.

First of all, if you don’t play the Sims games then this post will probably be of little interest to you, although I will try to explain things as clearly as possible so you can have a good laugh at my expense along with anyone who does.

For those who do play the game (or anyone who later might stumble across this post when searching google for help on various game issues) here will be some tips and notes about various issues I have stumbled across and had to go googling myself. They will be in bold.

The Sims, for those that don’t know, is a computer game of life simulation where you create your Sims (the characters) and put them into a virtual world to live.  I have played the game since the first day the first version came out.  We are now up to Sims 4, although I have not actually purchased that one and am still playing Sims 3.

I haven’t actually played the game for a couple of years until a couple of months ago when I decided to get the missing expansion packs and look at it again.  I was lured back by the mermaids.

Normally I play legacy families where you start off with a founder (a single Sim on their own) and play that same family generation after generation.  To keep track of where I am each generation I name the children with the next letter of the alphabet and focus on the oldest child when there is more than one. In Sims 2 I got as far as the H generation before I got distracted by Sims 3.

In Sims 3 I have not yet started a game where I am using the strict rules (the rules for Sims 2 won’t all work in Sims 3 due to differences in game play), but I am still naming each generation with the next letter to keep track.

Now, you might be wondering where the cautionary tale is in all this rambling.  Well, let me tell you. At the time all this happened I was at the D generation in my game where I managed to get myself a household of 11 Sims (13 if you include the cat and dog).  Which has a bit of a problem since you can only see the character panels of 8 household members on the side of the screen.  The game has certain coding in it which is supposed to stop this from happening, but the circumstances I found myself in were rather unexpected.

First of all, one of the things that winds me up about the game is the story progression in Sims 3.  In the first two versions of the game what happens is that only the household you are playing ages up.  In the Sims 3 the whole town evolves and grows with you.  In some ways this is great, but in others not so much.  The playable characters already put in the game by the makers evolve, but I quickly found that if I moved a Sim out of my playable household they would simply move into a new house, grow old and eventually die of old age.  The only way to prevent that is to play that household instead, which leaves the original one in the same position.  So I decided to look into whether there was any way to prevent this.

I ended up downloading and installing Twallan’s Story Progression mod which works wonderfully.

I tested it out with the second generation adults by moving them out with a new baby and leaving their young adult daughter in the playable household to fulfil her lifetime wish of having a large family (raising five children).  If I had kept them in the house with her I would have been stuck with a full house that would prevent her completing this wish.  So they moved out and the new baby grew up (just as she would have done in the non-modified game) but also (thanks to the above mentioned mod) got herself a husband and had a child of her own.  He also grew up and had a child too.  Had I not added the mod to the game the baby would have simply aged and died of old age.  I like this way much better.

Since the mod was working so well I took a look at some of the others on the site.  The Written Word mod was a must – how cool is it for your Sims to write books that are then added into the world?  As a writer myself I had to include that one.  I am even sad enough to be toying with the idea of having them write books with my own titles so I can see them within the game.  But that is beside the point.

Something I had noticed in the Story Progression mod settings was what appeared to be something which allowed same-sex pregnancies.  I decided to look into this further since I have occasionally ended up with gay/lesbian Sims in my games.

For the record, this is something I find is great about the Sims 3.  Your Sims can be gay without you doing anything to encourage/initiate it and without any mods at all.  I found this out by accident when I first installed the game and sent my founder off to university where, on her second day there, she finds two female clerks in the comic book store making out (instead of serving customers!)  There is no homophobia in the game at all.

Looking into the mods I discovered that downloading the Woohooer mod from the site was the one to allow this.  For those that don’t play the game Woohoo is the Sim word for sex.  So you can imagine that this mod is one that does quite a lot in that regard.

Now I should mention here that another thing I like to do in the game is play the supernatural type characters and when you have all the expansion packs for the game, like I do, there are a lot to choose from.  Vampires, werewolves, fairies, mermaids… and a lot more.

I was especially pleased to find I can also use Story Progression to alter the celebrity disgrace options.  My founder ended up a celebrity by befriending one at university and all the children in each generation since have ended up being child celebs as soon as they age up.  With large families all celebs and all befriending each other it seems I can’t stop them from gaining levels without even really trying.  Since one of the disgraces they can encounter is “woohooing with an occult” they were constantly getting this disgrace since it popped up over and over again.  I haven’t had it unset the woohooing in a public place one but after finding out the base camps (hotels) in World Adventures locations and the Community housing option in Oasis landing are apparently public places, even with the doors locked it is very tempting to do so.

In my game the founder had children with a vampire, although unfortunately none of them were born vampires themselves (I believe it is a 50/50 chance).  Generation three (Clarissa, the Sim who wanted a large family) married a fairy.  She got her five children who were as follows:

David – human

Deacon – human

Daisy and Daphne (twins) – both fairies

Danny – fairy

So, as you can imagine I really wanted to keep some of those fairies in the household to play, but by my own self-imposed rules was also obliged to keep David there too.  I ended up moving out Deacon and Daisy (as well as their father – Clarissa had already died of old age).  Deacon had a fiancée who was expecting their first child (they had twins) and Daisy was single.  Thanks to the story progression mod she too got married and had four children (including her own set of twins).

That left me with one human and two fairies in the household.  Fairies, incidentally, have much longer life spans than humans.

Now David had found himself a boyfriend at the school prom – again, totally random and not user directed – so turned out to be gay.  My first reaction was “cool”.  My second was “bloody hell I’ll need to go to Oasis Landing to get the next generation”.

Oasis Landing, for those that don’t play, is the future and is accessed by having the Into the Future expansion pack.  Same-sex couples in the Sims can adopt children, but if you like watching the genetics evolve (and I do) then the future world of Oasis Landing is the only way to get children from a same-sex couple without mods in the game.  Simply put, they go to the future and genetically engineer a baby (at the hospital/science lab building) who they can bring back to the present.

The only problem is loading times.  My game runs fine and loads up relatively quickly.  However, moving between world areas is a nightmare from hell.  It takes forever to load up places like the university, holiday destinations, and Oasis Landing.  I have tried to find a solution to this but to no avail.  It seems that there are a lot of people with the same issue, particularly with regard to travelling to university, but no firm solution.  I suspect in my case it is a computer issue rather than a game issue.  For some reason when it is loading an area within the game like this my hard disk shoots to 100% usage.  It shouldn’t, but it does.  For anyone who has arrived here by googling this problem, it might be worth checking that out as well as the game itself.

I can hear players already telling me it is the mods causing the issue – it was exactly the same before I installed any mods or custom content at all. 

Anyway, this was, at this point, a problem for another day since I had to find David a husband first.  The boyfriend from the prom didn’t last long.  He was an insane, inappropriate, kleptomaniac (not sure what his other traits were because he inappropriately cheated on poor David quite soon into their relationship).

As I said above, I like playing with the supernatural characters and it seemed David was fated to end up married to a genie.  I say fated because this was when the game did something rather unexpected.  David ended up with a genie lamp in his inventory and I have no idea how the hell it got there.  Even more oddly it was called “genie lamp” rather than “dusty old lamp” which is what I believe it is supposed to be called before it is cleaned up and the genie released for the first time.

The inventories in the Sims are pretty much things they pick up and acquire while out in the world.  Harvested fruit and veg, rocks they collect, fish they catch and books that they seem to steal from everywhere!

There are several ways to get the genie lamp in the game.

Firstly, you can buy it with lifetime reward points – this is something only the player can do and I know I didn’t.  This is the easy way.

They could get one from upgrading the PlasmaPunch Gyroscopic Conductor while having a level 10 in the handiness skill.  I don’t even know what this item is and the Sim certainly doesn’t have the right level of handiness for that.

The other hard way to find it is by exploring the catacombs at any town cemetery.  I had not sent him to do that although it is possible he went on a school field trip there.  They can also apparently find it in the tombs when adventuring on holidays.  This Sim had, at this point, never been on holiday.  Due to the aforementioned loading issue, I rarely send them on holidays.  The Sim does have the “lucky trait” so perhaps that is why he found it, though I never got a pop-up about it and never noticed it until much later.

The other, very random possibility is that he acquired it while I was not playing the game but letting it run on its own.  There was one occasion where I was sending David and Deacon to university and the loading issue was particularly bad.  I left the computer to run and went out for the evening.  When I came back it was loaded and played through to the day before their final exams (it had halted thanks to a phone call pop up).  I have no idea what they were doing all week, although they both finished the term with a C grade – not bad, but does show how easy the game can actually be in some respects.

Either way, no matter how it ended up in there, David had a genie lamp and summoned the genie who was male and when asked (thanks to one of the mods) confirmed he was bisexual and just a few days younger than David.  Perfect!  Or so I thought.

You get the classic three wishes from the genie and David wished for a long life, happiness and then used to the final one to free to genie and move him into the household.

The first thing I discovered is that the age of the genie was not a few days younger than David at all.  Something glitched there (either the game or the mod) and he was in fact near the start of the young adult stage while David was part way through the adult stage.  I solved this by having David drink a “young again” potion which the father of the second generation had stocked up on for the use of future generations.  This took him back to the start of the young adult stage and consequently made him the youngest member of the household instead of the oldest.

I carried on playing the game and eventually decided that they would start a family via the same-sex pregnancy enabling mod.  This was reinforced by the stupidly long loading time it took to get the pair of them to their honeymoon destination and back again.

So I tried the mod way, and tried and tried and tried.  I heard the wretched lullaby more times than I can count, but neither of them were actually becoming pregnant.  I figured it was something in the mod’s settings, but could not see what.  Eventually I sent the pair of them to Oasis Landing to get a baby the legitimate in-game way.

Now, something I had discovered about the Story Progression mod was that it was a bit of a pain in the University area.  It seemed to be pairing up all the Sims leaving no one for my playable Sims to date.  So I had turned it off in that area and had decided to also keep it turned off in holiday destinations and Oasis Landing.  Story Progression is town specific and you are prompted whether you want to enable it each time you visit a new destination.  I simply chose to keep it switched off.  The Woohooer mod gives no such prompt and remained on.

So David and his Genie husband arrive in the future and the first thing I do is match the Woohooer mod settings to those in the main town, which included autonomous risky woohoo and autonomous try for a baby options.  I wouldn’t normally have those as autonomous but I figured what the hell with this pair – they were at it like rabbits anyway.  And it was interesting to see what happened.  I would never have known the Genie could woohoo in the fairy house for example.  Wouldn’t have thought of even trying, especially since his husband is human, but it worked.  I actually don’t know if that is something that is in the game or added by the mod, but without the autonomous aspect of it I would never have known at all.

And then I went to check on the descendants of the couple who live in this future world.

It was while I was checking on the descendants that I heard the wretched lullaby again.  I honestly didn’t think much of it and ignored it when it sounded again a few minutes later.  I had been hearing this for over a Sim week with no pregnancy appearing.  This was one of several mistakes I made in this game.

I didn’t plan on leaving the couple in the future for long so they had a bit of an explore, met the descendants and then got the genetically engineered baby they had gone to the future for.  And then I returned them back to the present, cursing the whole time that if the regular pregnancy method had worked the baby would have finished school and graduated in the time it took to load up Oasis Landing and then return to the present.

But they got the baby back to the present and I carried on playing.  I also carried on looking into why the pregnancy wasn’t happening in the game the way the mod said it should since the thought of going through this all over again was doing my head in.  It appears that it was something in the Story Progression mod settings and I tweaked them a little and carried on playing.

Then all of a sudden the Genie was showing as pregnant.  Or more accurately the Genie lost his body since I had foolishly not put into the game the male pregnancy meshes.  I had mistakenly assumed that since I had the Seasons expansion pack they would already be in there.  Seasons, you see, brought back to the alien abduction and male pregnancy from the Sims 2.  There are a couple of reasons I hadn’t chosen this method to continue the line.

Firstly, the child would only be genetically related to one of the parents.  Secondly, alien abduction in Sims 3 is ridiculously hard to get.  At this point I had only seen two abductions in the game, both of teenagers, who can’t get pregnant (or at least not without a mod that I don’t use).  The second time I saw this was also fairly recent as well, and was in fact Danny, the youngest sibling of David.  I figured there was no chance of another abduction any time soon.

This is something I was extremely wrong about because I think every single one of the family got abducted over the next two generations, some more than once. Though apparently supernatural characters can’t have alien births either so this household was doomed from the start in that respect anyway.

Since I have never seen an alien male pregnancy in Sims 3 I have no idea what mesh that uses.

So I saved the game and went to get the meshes as well as the Master Controller mod (also from Twallan) I needed and fix the mess I had made with the bodiless Genie.

This was sorted out relatively quickly and I carried on playing.  Two Sim hours later David switches into maternity clothes too.

I was actually not too upset by this.  Three children (including the one brought back from the future) means less pratting about with going to the future.  Plus, with two of David’s siblings still in the house there are plenty of adults on hand to help with the youngsters.  David is the only one in full time employment.  Daphne is a self-employed painter, Danny works on maintaining the garden and the Genie is going to join the science career later on.  Easy right?

I carried on playing and in due course dad number one goes into labour.  I get the pop-up to name the baby girl and pick the first two traits for her.  Then another pop-up to name the baby boy and pick his traits.  When the third pop-up arrived for another girl I started to panic.

Yes, the bloody genie had triplets.  I have never had triplets in my game before and it picks now to give me them.

For those who were doing the maths here, this meant I now had a full household.

Eight Sims is the maximum

  1. David
  2. The Genie
  3. Daphne
  4. Danny
  5. Echo (the baby from the future)
  6. Evi
  7. Erik
  8. Erin

And David is going to go into labour at any moment. CRAP!

The game has certain coding settings to prevent the houses getting more than eight in them. The “try for a baby” option gets greyed out. You can’t move people in or adopt. The game does not allow it and the mods actually comply with that.  Danny, the last born sibling has a girlfriend in a full house elsewhere in the neighbourhood and he can’t “try for a baby” with her because of that.

Unfortunately something somewhere overrode this.  I don’t know if it was the game itself or the mod.  My speculation on the matter is below.

Since I had no idea what was going to happen when David gave birth I had to make a quick decision as to which of his siblings to move out.  Since Danny had a girlfriend in the neighbourhood I kicked him out of the house in the hope that the Story Progression mod would have them move in together and carry on living their lives that way.  Daphne’s boyfriend is at university and to move him in I would need to be in control of her to do so.

So I breathed a sigh of relief and carried on with the game.  Sure enough, David went into labour and lo and behold, another set of bloody triplets.

I was pretty sure that this was a real glitch since even though I was prompted to pick traits for all three of the genie girls they each had the virtuoso trait locked in already.

I now had a house with seven babies and three adults. Yikes.

I could also only see the panel for one of the adults, the other two having been bumped off the list.  Each additional child shot another one off the top.  Double Yikes.

To cap it off the only one I could access – thanks to the young again potion – was David, the non-supernatural adult in the household.  The genie in particular has some great abilities that would have helped with keeping up with all of them.

Even worse, all seven babies seemed to have longer life spans than normal and I had no idea why.  Yikes, yikes and triple yikes!

I exited the game without saving to get Danny back into the household so at least he could help autonomously in caring for the babies.  Both he and Daphne had already been helping care for Echo (their genetically engineered daughter) without any assistance from me.

Two lots of triplets was the first thing I went to research.  I actually don’t know for sure why it did this, but wonder if maybe it is something in the genie coding.  Combined with the fertility treatment lifetime reward (which I had given both of them in my earlier attempts to get one of them pregnant) and the family-oriented trait the genie had it was a recipe for disaster already.  That being said, I have often had family-oriented Sims with fertility treatment rewards and while it does increase the chance of twins I have never had it give triplets.  To get two lots at once is too much of a coincidence in my opinion and that is why I am wondering whether the genie coding might also have been a factor.

There are quite a lot of wishes you can ask the genie to grant including a “large family” which automatically makes the Sim who asked for it get triplets when they next try for a baby.

My Sim did not wish for this.

Unfortunately, googling to see if this is a possibility only brings results from a lot of players who have got triplets with the genie after making that wish.

The longer life spans for the babies would appear to definitely be a wish related bonus (or in this case curse).  Apparently, David’s wish for a long life passed on to his children (and every generation thereafter it seems).  What this wish does is double each life stage of the Sim who made the wish.  I had no idea the children inherited this.  I spent goodness knows how long trying to figure out if it was the Story Progression mod doing something to alter my game settings.  Thankfully I play on normal aging because if I had it set to epic the double time for the baby and toddler stage would probably tip me over the edge and into insanity.  What I read online said that the hidden trait for a long life “may” pass to the children.  Well, it definitely passed to all seven of these children.

Next problem – not being able to access the extra Sims in the household.  There are actually two very easy ways to do this, neither of which I knew about until I had to look it up.  Pressing the space bar rotates through all the Sims and pets panels, making each one active in turn.  It also includes those whose panels cannot be accessed.  The second method is right clicking on the Sim.  Very easy when you know how, but highly frustrating when you don’t.

Then there was the too many babies at once problem.  Four is bad enough, seven is just silly and I didn’t want to risk any of them getting taken by the Social Worker.  The solution was actually already available to me in the Master Controller mod which can let you either terminate or pause a pregnancy.

Since I had saved the game right after the Genie started to show his pregnancy (due to the missing body issue) the easiest option was to pause David’s pregnancy and wait to see what the Genie gives birth to.

So off I go to play the household through the last few days again.  Naturally it does things differently this time around.  David, who had reached Superstar status and got promoted to the top of his career track didn’t.  What didn’t change was the number of babies the genie gave birth to.  Triplets again, with two girls and one boy again.

That being the case I left David’s pregnancy paused and figured I would restart it again once those that had been born already were at the child stage.  Yes, I could have ended it with the mod, but I preferred not to.

Although my game plays pretty well and is not very laggy generally, I was not sure how it would handle such a large household so I decided to send the first lot of triplets off to boarding school and restarted David’s pregnancy at the same time.

Or at least I tried to send three off to boarding school.  Erik loves the school and stayed.  Erin decided she didn’t like it at all and wanted to come home.  Evi meantime didn’t go to boarding school even though the game says she is there.  When the transportation arrived she was trapped in the bathroom by the family pets who were preventing her leaving.  By the time I had sorted this it was too late.  I can’t re-enrol her since the game says she is there.  I can’t remove her from the school because she didn’t go and is not on that list either.  So she is hanging around the house as a playable character who simply doesn’t go to school.  All right for some!

Apparently this is yet another glitch in the game itself that others have had.  Ending up using the delete objects cheat to get her to go since apparently that is the only way to fix this one.

So back to the second pregnant father.  I played it through to when he went into labour and the first difference I noticed was that he autonomously went to the hospital.  This was different to the previous time and I was hopeful it meant whatever glitch had occurred before was a one off.

Thankfully the virtuoso trait being stuck didn’t happen this time either.  For any of them.

Yes, I got another set of triplets.  In this case there were two boys and one girl, so again it was different to the first time around.  The second time around this set of triplets also gave me a different mixture of human and genie children too.

Now, there is a good chance that the triplets were locked into the game at the point I saved it.  I have no idea where the game decides how many babies are going to be born.

It is also possible that because the two lots of triplets were conceived in the future the game read that there were only two household members (since Danny and Daphne didn’t go with them).  Two lots of triplets would produce eight family members.  Though why it let them genetically engineer a baby when it was (in all likelihood) set for a full household I don’t know.

Since the second time around I didn’t move Danny out it means I now have eleven Sims in the household, albeit one/two are at boarding school.  The space bar and right click works great to access those missing from the side panel. Though it takes a bit of getting used to.

All six of the new sets of triplets also inherited the long life from David’s wish.  That is 13 Sims and in my estimation makes it almost certainly automatic.  Since I have played out several generations in the months this since this happened, I can confirm that every child of every generation descended from David has had the extended life span. I am now on generation H and it is still there.

Oddly, none of them inherited the eternal joy moodlet that is also apparently possible to be passed onto children.  Later, however, I began to wonder if this was a hidden trait.  My thoughts on this are that it might be since one of the children of the genie wandered home from the catacombs one day with a genie lamp.  When she went to make a wish certain ones were not available including the long life and the eternal happiness ones.  It says she is already happy and as a genie with an inherited long life trait she is already going to live way longer than a human would.

And that is how I have ended up with a household with eleven Sims (plus a dog and cat).  And what did the bloody genie and David want when I finally got the house under control?  To have a child!   With seven already I drew the line firmly under that one.

4 responses to “A Cautionary Tale for Sims 3 Players

  1. Nice to see your still cheating your way through sims lol… Are we using the money cheat to look after all these babies? Lol

  2. Never used the money cheats at all actually. By the time you have played through a few generations they are rich enough to buy anything they want anyway. I actually have them set fires so they have to replace stuff, or have frequent expensive trips to the spa to keep their cash down low. Oh and buying the most expensive cars and giving them away as gifts is another I do.

    That generation is actually all dead of old age now anyway.

  3. Sorry if you end up with two comments, I tried leaving one before I login in, only after that my comment seems to have gone MIA so I’m retyping it.

    ~~~~~~

    Really enjoyed reading this, thank you for sharing this family’s story/your experience with them.

    No idea if you still play this family or even still play the sims 3 but give nrass’s portrait panel mod (link below) a try. It fixes the problems that larger sim family’s tend to get with the selectable sims UI options.

    http://nraas.wikispaces.com/PortraitPanel

  4. Thanks for stopping by. I do still play the Sims 3 and yes, this family is still my main game. The I generation is now a teenager and the family is thankfully of a manageable size again.

    Thanks for the link to the mod. I will have to check it out.

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