Monday, February 14, 2011

There's a Mod for That

It has been a while since I posted anything about video games, largely because I have had less time to play lately and because I tend to shuffle between hobbies.  Last week, my Mom bought me The Sims 3 Outdoor Living Stuff (thanks, Mom!), which got me interested in playing The Sims 3 again.  As far as the stuff pack goes, I am happy with it overall.  There aren't a huge amount of new items, but I liked what was there.  I think this is pointing towards a Seasons Expansion pack.  I guess we'll see.

However, a recurring problem in my town, one which EA has not even acknowledged as far as I know, has been the lack of people in the bars and clubs that were added in The Sims 3 Late Night.  I send my sim to a Hot Spot, only to find two elderly people there.  Maybe.  Rockin' nightlife!  ;-)  Actually, when I first got the game, this wasn't a problem.  But as soon as the first generation of EA-created characters died off, the computer only seemed to generate more elderly people via their Story Progression system.  No children, teens, adults.  My family is a vampire family, so I had been waiting to see how the generations of human sims would change around them.  All that was lacking?  Actual generations.  :-/

I'd read a lot about mods in the official forums but had been hesitant to try one.  I finally got fed up enough to download one (which turned into several).  I picked Master Controller, Overwatch, Story Progression, and TheWoohooer from the excellent mods created by Twallan.  The range of settings you can alter using these mods is amazing, and I can't even begin to list them all here.  I must say that I have been particularly impressed with Twallan's Story Progression.  As soon as I started to play, I got pop-ups about new sims moving to town, getting jobs, getting married, having children.  I sent my sim to a bar, and there were 6 sims there--only one was elderly.  My game experience has improved 100%.

It seems to me that computer games need these types of mods more and more.  Back when I still had time for MMO's, I noticed that it was pretty common for more experienced players to import modded user interfaces that often offered better control.  I used them in DAOC and Everquest 2 and found those mods to be superior as well.  What is up with this?  Why do I need to rely on a third party to make my game a good experience?  Gaming companies like EA need to watch out.  They can only let these kinds of quality issues go on for so long before they lose customers.

In the meantime, there's a mod for that.

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