Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Rotation 12: Winchester

It's finally time for some university gameplay! I bought this pack on release back in November, and while I've spent a lot of time playing, it's taken a while to get around to posting it all, mostly due to how I've had to alter my rotations for university.

But, more on that later.

Polly and Cas were still in their teens when I left off, which worked out quite well, since teens can apply to scholarships (and I think university itself) at the end of their lifespan.

Proud dad Alec watched on as Polly went through all of the new computer options, and looked up some information on going to university. 

I went for the Super Scout scholarship for Cas, which only required him to be in enrolled university to maintain, and the athletics scholarship for Polly, which required her to hold a spot on the soccer team, in addition to being enrolled.

Since the twins still had one day left as teens, I decided to send them over to Britechester with Jeff, to tour the campus.

I bought some school swag for second proud dad Jeff, because he would.

Back at home, I scrambled to get Cas started on some of the writing skill, along with the new research and debate one, because I realized he was going to need it to get into the major I wanted.

Once Alec got back from work, it was time for the twins to finally become adults, so I had him whip up a cake for them.

They get one cake to share, because making two cakes just takes too long, and then I have to babysit Jeff to make sure he doesn't eat the first cake while Alec's making the second. :P

Polly ages up and receives bro as her final trait, to go with active, and dance machine. She also gets a little wardrobe makeover with some stylin' new university clothes.

Cas gets the neat trait, to go with geek and perfectionist, as well as some Britechester swag, and a new aspiration! I've switched him over from renaissance sim to academic.

I still have plans for him to switch to another new aspiration once he's done with that one, so he won't actually be finishing renaissance sim for quite a while.

Now that Jeff and Polly are both bros, they can give each other bro hugs, and they get a lil moodlet from spending time together. It's very cute. :)

I also noticed that upon aging up to young adulthood, sims get a little note in their relationships panel about their relationship with each of their parents. Most of my sims were able to get happy childhood ones, but Polly got a 'daddy's girl' one with Jeff, and it's just so fitting.

I tried to have the two of them become bros, but I quickly discovered that lists them as 'bromantic partners' in their relationship panel and that's just... no thanks. :P Luckily I saved before making that mistake!

Oh, and if anyone's wondering - yes, Jeff and Alec are still trying to convince me to give them a third baby, despite the fact that they're aging up to elders as soon as the twins are done with university.

I do not give into their demands, but I do allow them to try out the new shower woohoo, just for fun.

Of course.

And on the topic of romance, it's time for me to move Polly and Cas' partners in! I wanted to send all four of them to school together, and I figured it would easier if I moved everybody into the Winchester's apartment, and had them all apply to school at the same time.

Having learned what the 'become bros' option does, I had Polly and Morgana take their bromance to the next level, because it was much more fitting for these two to be 'bromantic partners'.

Jasper moved into the apartment as well, and I discovered that thanks to his vampiric powers, he was the one sim who would not get stuck in Cas' bedroom corner of doom, so I used the fantastic new bed options to assign him that side.

I had Jasper celebrate his birthday before moving him in, and his new trait is erratic, to go with hot-headed and loner. 

Morgana was promptly abducted on her first night in the apartment, possibly because she just moved in with two aliens, but I like to think it was Polly's mom checking up on her new girlfriend.

They had some time to kill before their university letters came in, so I sent them on a morning outing to Geek Con the next day.

Polly got to squeeze in a bit of last minute rocket science-skilling, while the other three played a couple of games.

After that, they travelled back to the spice district to shoot a few hoops.

Alec also did a little bit of skilling, because he was only a few logic skill points away from finishing his nerd brain aspiration.

Their university letters roll in halfway through the week, along with their scholarship letters!

Cas was awarded the Super Scout scholarship, and was accepted into Briterchester's distinguished language & literature degree.

Polly and Morgana were both accepted into Britechester's physics degree, and while Morgana didn't earn any scholarships, Polly was awarded the athletic one.

Finally, Jasper was accepted into Britechester's psychology degree. He also earned himself a rising star scholarship, because he's decently skilled at the guitar.

I realize that 3/4 of them could have gone to Foxbury for a distinguished degree, but my heart was set on sending the twins to Britechester as soon as I saw the campus, and I really wanted all four of them to live in the dorms together. Cas strikes me as the most likely of the group to go for a distinguished degree anyways, because he's a little nerd.

And with that, it's time to get into some university gameplay! I was too eager to start playing to do any major renovations on campus, so I just downloaded a made over version of the dorms from the gallery.

I did a quick bit of decorating to customize the dorm rooms, (and spruced up the common areas a little), so here's a quick peek at those.

I was very pleased with how they set up dorms to work in 4, because it meant sims could actually room together. The door-claiming system in TS2 was cool, but a little impractical for having shared dorm rooms.

Cas and Jasper are sharing the first dorm room, while Polly and Morgana are splitting the second (although I'm sure the decor made that fairly obvious.)

Now, I was going to write up a whole explanation of how I decided to make the university terms work for rotational gameplay, but it was really fucking long, so I'll condense it down into two paragraphs:

It's safe to switch households in-between terms, but not enrolling your sims means losing out on any scholarships, and having to move out of the dorms. I really didn't want to give up their scholarships, so I decided to just play through all of university at once, and then switch over to my next household.

I did four terms per sim, so for the sake of these updates, I decided to cover two university terms per rotation. This rotation will cover the first 2 terms, and next rotation will cover the final 2. I wanted to mimic the seasons that university terms usually take place in, so I played my students through fall & winter this rotation, but my regular households will just be played through winter.

Hope that makes sense!

There was some sort of spirit corps event going on in the quad during their first day, which thankfully gave them something to do while they were waiting for the first term to start.

They played a bit of juice pong, while some of the students fought each other, and then took a selfie with the mascot. Not super exciting, so I was a little concerned about the rest of the club activities.

Polly eventually ditched the event to practice some soccer, because she had her first game that night!

I don't really mind the soccer team, or the classes themselves being rabbit holes. I'd rather have full control of the rest of my sims back in the dorms than follow one of them to class and watch them sit through a lecture. I sat through 5 years of lectures already, thank you very much, I don't need to sit through them in the sims, too. ;)

I do like the addition of presentations though, because combined with being able to take multiple classes a term, it gives you the potential to set your own difficulty for university!

Back in 2 I could send a full household of sims to university and have them earn straight A's every term, but playing just these 4 through university was much more challenging.

I also like that these work similarly to the projects from parenthood, where you have different quality levels to the projects, and that university is actually tricky enough that I could see myself letting a sim submit a subpar presentation or paper if there wasn't quite enough time to refine it.

The debate team was the next club to have a meeting, and I was far more impressed by this one than the spirit corps' activity.

Cas was able to join right away by asking Becca Clarke - and look at him holding up his little homework book, that's adorable.

Cas is able to jump right into debating, and his first opponent appears to be my simself. Neither of us appear to be wearing our glasses, so I expect this debate to go poorly. Maybe its actually a clever strategy, though - can't properly see the audience if you don't wear your glasses?

Cas appeared to be doing well, but somehow my idiot simself won the debate, which is absolute bullshit because I am a terrible public speaker.

I was once made to participate in a speech contest in elementary school, where I fumbled my way through a speech about squirrels (I was a very hip and cool 10 year old), and the memory of it has haunted me ever since.

Cas does get some club points for participating, at least, so he doesn't walk away with nothing!

I did give the spirit corps another shot with their next activity, but again, kinda lacklustre. It might be better if I actually had one of my sims join the club, so that they would be given taks to complete, but I thought Polly and morgana woul have enough on their plates with the soccer team.

Instead, I had Polly buy a bicycle to ride around campus for a bit, and it didn't take very long for her to almost run her girlfriend over with it.

I love the bikes. I think their usefulness for travel definitely depends on how far your sim has to go, but they're great for big neighbourhoods like Windenburg, and just giving your sim soemthing to do in their freetime.

There's also a lot of potential with the vacation hoods - 'mountain' biking in Granite Falls, or a speedier way to explore the jungle in Selvadorada. Definitely looking forward to playing with them more, I just hope they eventually patch these for kids!

Plus, I love seeing the npcs bike around. I found Morgyn Ember riding a bike next to a lil white cat in another save, and it was the greatest thing.

It just makes neighbourhoods feel a little more lively. :)

Back to the club activities, Cas has some new tasks to complete in order to earn some more club points, so he practices his debate skills against one of the dormies.

He manages to win this one, and then he dashes off to his first class, because he's a big nerd.

I like seeing them pull out their books in-between classes to do a little homework, and that they carry their books to class (when they're not running)!

I know sims 3 had backpacks, and while those look very cute, I think the books were a good choice because they'd be way less prone to clipping through hair/clothing.

The bandages your sims can get from training too hard are also a nice detail. Poor Polly got them a lot

I tried giving her some medicine the next day to see if that would help, but all it did was give her a dazed moodlet for taking drugs. Oops.

A poor decision, but not quite as poor as Jasper's decision to shower in the rain.

The communal showers weren't quite public enough, I guess?

Jasper's the only one without some sort of club activity, so I decided to send him over to the Foxbury campus the next day for a bit of mischief.


He gets away with TP-ing the statue, but the lunch lady is not impressed by his spice shenanigans.

The first semester comes to an end, and everyone manages to get an A+... except Morgana, who fails one of her classes, dragging her GPA down to a B-.

Honestly, I'm not sure what happened here? I must have forgotten a term paper, or something.

After their first term I learned it was best to do all of the presentations and term papers at the beginning of the term, before their classes even start.

It's a little backwards, but unless you can get the semester to start halfway through the week so they have a weekend in the middle, it's the best time to get it done.

Of course, I still had to babysit them to make sure they were actually doing their work, because whenever I left these two alone, they'd start chatting each other up instead of focusing on their papers.

The debate team had another meeting, and Cas managed to win his first official debate! I noticed that this time he was actually wearing his glasses, so I'm not sure why he was missing them the first time.

I also wanted to try throwing a keg party before their first "rotation" was over, so once once they'd all finished the first drafts of their papers and presentation, I had them throw one.

Cas attempts to help Jasper do a keg stand, but Cas is a weak lil booknerd, so Polly has to step in to help. 

I'm not sure if the fitness skill actually plays a role here, but he managed to pull off a successful one with Polly.

After that it's time for a little juice pong, Polly and Morgana vs. Cas and Jasper. Team Casper ended up winning, which was a little surprising considering Polly and Morgana both have very high fitness skills.

I was expecting them to crush the boys.

They managed to throw a gold medal keg party, and once that was over it was time for them to finish their term projects.

I was very focused on their studies the next term - I didn't want poor Morgana to fall behind - so I didn't end up taking a lot of pictures. Luckily, I think this update was long enough without them, so I'll leave off here. :)

The gang managed another round of A's this term, and Morgana was able to pull her GPA up to a B+ with a much better report card. 

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