Last week (March 5, 2013) EA released the latest expansion pack for The Sims 3 franchise: University Life. A lot of fans have been waiting for this for years. Since I wasn’t hooked on The Sims 2, for me it was just another EP — but just a few days before the release I found a gift card that I didn’t know I had and… well… it was just meant to be. I pre-ordered so that I could have the Limited Edition version with its bonus party pack and patiently awaited its arrival. The day before the big release I received an email telling me that it had been shipped. So I waited some more. When my daughter checked the mail the day after the release, there it was! I think she was more excited than I was and she doesn’t even get to play. (I’m mean… I know… but it’s my computer and she’s not a teen yet. So there. 😛 )
Since twallan had already updated most of his mods to be compatible with Patch 1.50, and only a few were left in need of tweaking after the actual game pack was released, I went ahead and installed the expansion (removing my mods folder and saved games folder beforehand just in case). Played the game for a short time in vanilla mode (no mods). Since I didn’t encounter any issues I reinstalled the mods, all except for the few that I knew could run into trouble,and started a new game in Barnacle Bay. I figured Moe would make a lovely college student in a test game. I still haven’t reinstalled my saved games folder. There have been a few issues, some involving the mods, so I’ve stuck with my test game — plus I fell in love with Moe all over again.
Playing the game was a bit challenging. It’s been a long looooooong time since I’ve only played one sim with no way to control any of the others. I was also playing with a handicap since a few of the mods that had been updated for the patch still seemed to be causing some problems. Removing them was easier than going back to the beginning time and again whenever Moe would get reset and lose his ability to go to class, or lose all his skills that had gotten him his scholarship and “life experience” credits. So no Woohooer and its add-ons (some of the errors caused sims to be reset which could cost them their enrollment). Moe had to work for every woohoo he got.
The fact that being reset meant a sim would lose their academic performance bar and ability to attend class also meant that ErrorTrap had to come out. MasterController Integration also got left out because it hadn’t been updated to include the new types of parties. StoryProgression couldn’t be enabled in the University world, and eventually I got around to turning off Relativity because the pushes for sims to get to class came two hours before classes started and by slowing down the passage of time Moe would arrive an hour early — and automatically go inside the rabbithole… where he would stay until the appointed hour for the class to be over. Instead of two hours in class he’d be stuck there for three. Unfortunately for him turning off Relativity didn’t seem to help. When the weather got bad during his second term, he’d ride his motorcycle to class rather than his bicycle and still get there an hour early.
So Monday/Wednesday/Friday classes were fairly simple — show up, wait for the green bar to fill up, move on to the next one. Tuesday and Thursday were days for “activity” classes. In Moe’s case, on Tuesdays he was supposed to have a lecture in the Student Union and on Thursdays he was to stand outside the science building memorizing anatomy with his skeleton. The lectures were a bit odd since he was the only one who showed up. I was determined that he would graduate with top grades so he sat there by himself for two hours. All the while his academic performance bar was climbing.
Evenings were reserved for parties. During his first term Moe typically had two parties to choose from on any given night. Since he was living in the frat house there was always something going on there, plus the sorority girls down the street always had an event scheduled as well. Thankfully good relationships can be built in this game without having to spend the entire night partying, so Moe was still able to get in some studying. (And did I mention I used a lot of cheats to keep his motives filled so he didn’t have to waste too much time eating, sleeping, or taking care of other needs.)
Many of the guys in the frat house were members of the jocks social group, so it was very easy for Moe to move up the ranks. As a Science and Medicine major, he also had an “in” with the nerds. Progression in the rebel crowd was a little slower since I didn’t see any need for him to be painting the streets, tagging walls, or launching protests. A few dumpster dives were enough to get him a megaphone and street art kit. Since one of the ways to move ahead in the social groups is by befriending other members of the group, Moe set out to become friends with Ashley Corono. She quite simply had the cutest map tag portrait on campus.
I had given him a new trait — irresistible — before sending him off, not knowing that the trait unlocked a couple of new romantic interactions. The first is the “heat of the moment” kiss. Moe first tried this with one of the nerd group girls and didn’t get far. She was not pleased in the least. While he was getting to know Miss Corono he decided to give it a try with her. Whoa! Totally different response. Unbeknownst to either of us, Ashley also had the irresistible trait and she was apparently no stranger to the heat of the moment. Friend made. Soon afterward Moe was able to propose going steady. Sadly though, the term was coming to an end and Moe would be heading back to Barnacle Bay.