Friday, November 7, 2014

The Sims 4 Challenge: Mental No Buy Mode Challenge!


To read the story I am working on related to this challenge, click here.

This challenge grew from playing the Apocalypse Challenge in the Sims 3.  I had a lot of fun playing through that challenge (well as far as I got anyway), but it was pretty darned restricting what with all the things you could and couldn't do/say.  Not to mention remembering when it was OK to buy a certain item, or choose a specific reward.

This is a more simplified version of that challenge, meant for the sims 4.  It's split into two different parts as follows:

Just like in the Apocalypse challenge, elderly sims are no longer under your control.  The actions and behaviours must be completely decided by the scripting in their programming.  This means that they will need to be able to take care of their own needs autonomously.  Oh, also, any sim born into/ adopted by your family must have the insane trait.  It's up to you to decide WHEN they acquire the trait, but it must be present by the time they are young adult.
Also know that elderly sims must go straight home if their chaperone (child/child's spouse, other family member who is not elderly) goes to work or school.  Elderly sims must be on the HOME lot when alone.
It's your job to provide an environment where these poor sims are able to live a peaceful life to the end of their days.  Sounds simple enough, right?  This is where the next part of the challenge come in.

Now in the sims 4, there is no specified Build Mode or Buy Mode.  So what I mean by this is anything that is NOT part of the housing architecture (Furnishings) are NOT OK to buy.
It may be easiest to explain this by saying that walls, roofs, cornices, spandrels, columns, etc. are OK Anything on that little picture showing the house when you are building, is OK.
You are free to build as much as desired, add any flourishes you like.  Choose the wallpaper and flooring that makes you happy - of course, remember that your bills may be affected by the choices you make, and especially in the beginning, may be difficult pay.

Now, what about the rest?  Things like beds, toilets, showers, etc.
Well, the general rule of thumb is this:  if your sim can earn or make an item in the category, then you may NOT buy one for them.  Once they are unlocked however, you may purchase as many as you like of that specific item at any time for your sims.

An example would be beds.  In the Comfort category there is a sub-category showing all the beds you can normally purchase.
You will be able to see that one in particular, the Rustic Dream Bed, has a different colored background.  This shows that it is available as a special reward.
By hovering over the item in question, you can see that it will become available when a sims reaches level 10 in the Painter career as the "Patron of the Arts".
This means, that if getting a bed is important to your style of gameplay, having a sim reach the top of their career in order to unlock this bed would be a priority for you.

In addition, items that can be crafted (at the woodworking table currently) may also NOT be bought.
Now, these are a little bit trickier, because they don't show up on the menu in the store.
An example would be baths.  At level 9 handiness, your sim can make a wooden bathtub (!).
This means that you are not allowed to buy any other bathtub during this challenge.
You can however have your sim make as many bathtubs as you like.

To make things a little bit easier, I have a list of items that you can make on the woodworking table (courtesy of Carls' Sims 4 Guide)

Woodworking Statue and Furniture Unlocks
Lvl Level Unlocks and Materials Cost
Knife Block ($5), Horse Sculpture ($10)
Barstool ($15)
Bunny, Dragon, and Elephant Sculptures ($10)
End Table ($52)
Large Bear and Lumberjack Sculptures ($15)
Dining Chair ($45) and Dining Table ($157)
Craft Violin ($212), Child's Violin ($45), Guitar ($300). You must have level 8 in either Musical Instrument Skill to see this option.
Craft Bathtub ($377)
10 Craft Toilet ($55)

As you can see, bathtub and toilet will be among the most important for this challenge.  Also of note are end tables, musical instruments, dining tables and dining chairs.  For this challenge, you are stuck with what your woodcrafting sim can make.

Now, what about the rest?  Unique items like the observatory, chess table, etc?
Never Fear!  Your Sims have a Fairy Godmother! (or Godfather, or whatever other story element pleases you)  That means that on certain occasions, you may choose 1 one-time item from the Buy Mode as a Special Gift!  Which occasions, you ask?

Well, it depends on how you want to play.

Easy play:  you may choose any item when a sim is born, when a sim ages up, when a sim gets married, and when a sim dies (or any combination of the above)

Normal Play:  you may choose any item when a sim is born, and when they get married

Difficult Play:  you may choose an item when a sim gets married (or when they are born, not both)

This challenge is meant to be played at Normal life span, but feel free to adjust for a more difficult (short) or easy (long) experience.

I don't have any type of scoring set up, as it kind of defeats the purpose of relaxed gameplay IMO, but feel free to award yourself points as you would in any legacy challenge.

Remember that Special Gifts are meant to be things you cannot make/earn yourself, so no choosing a bed for your wedding gift - that's cheating!

Now, the restrictions present in the challenge pretty much prevent you from being able to have a stylish, magazine cover house, so it may be best to remember that these little sims are starting from the ground up.  Each new item unlocked will be exciting and help create a safe place for your elderly sims, even if they are not fashionable in the least.  
Do the best with what you have, and start a new game if the ugliness of the surroundings gets you down.  Let's just say that having wooden toilets and wooden bathtubs means you'll be incorporating a lot of brown into your bathroom schemes.  (-;

When starting out, bulldoze the biggest lot in your neighborhood, create a Young adult Sim of your choice (be sure to include the Insane trait!) and an elderly parent (also Insane, as well as Childish).  The remaining Trait slots are up to you.  Set them down in the big empty lot and enter buy mode.
Using the cheat Money X, with testingcheats on, change your account to 5,000 total (more than enough - you'll see!)

First, buy the cheapest toy and place it on your lot for the elderly sim to play with (they're going to need all the comfort they can get!).  
Next, if playing in Willow Park, go to the far back corner of the lot near the river.  Place the cheapest grill and a picnic table in the corner.  Choose any trashcan (my favorite is the Nanocan - gives you money when you take out the garbage!).  This is a substitute for the cute little park that is in every other section of this neighborhood.

If you are playing in Oasis Springs then you'll need to add a cheap grill, table and trashcan as well. Place it so it's somewhat public - as though a public park.
For story purposes, this grill can be considered public property, though the price of the items will be reflected in your bills.

Now put some thought into what items you think your sim needs, what order you'd like to obtain them, and how you can best go about making/receiving those items.
Note:  Each sim can only have 1 career - no switching careers back and forth to get the items desired.  If you marry a sim into your household who already has a career, you may quit, or continue the career as desired as soon as the ceremony is complete.

Alrighty, that about does it.  As I stated before, click here to see an account of how my own challenge is going.  The flexibility of Special Gifts allows for more than one style of play, the one I chose is Normal Difficulty and Normal Life span.  Reading my story may give you some ideas about how to proceed, or show you some things that are better NOT done, lol

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