Sims 3 vs. Sims Medieval


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Okay, I have been playing the Sims 2 for a while now and I am considering upgrading my Sims experience, however I am not sure if I should move up to Sims 3 or Sims Medieval. So I am looking for advice, which one should I move up to?

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I'm a huge Sims fan (though really fed up with EA's business practices) so these are my thoughts:

If what you want is more or less a similar experience to Sims 2, i.e., playing through Sims lives freeform, building things, etc. you definitely want Sims 3 (if anything at all). Sims Medieval is very story based, playing out the life of the kingdom, with no building and more limited customization. While some of that might "unlock" with expansions, it's more of a Sims/RPG mesh than the more freeform simulation of the core game.

I've only played Sims Medieval on a friend's computer, so beyond that I can't speak that much more about it. It is cool, the quests are neat, but it definitely more of a different animal than the Sims core game. There are a lot of reliable reviews which may also help influence your decision.

I can speak a lot about the Sims 3, and because there are a lot of people who prefer to stick with the Sims 2 for a number of reasons, I figure I'll go into detail in case it's useful to you:

Pros
- Sims 3, engine wise, I prefer vastly to Sims 2. I once had Sims 3 installed on a computer I actually bought to run Sims 2, and Sims 3 actually ran better (even if graphic settings were turned way down)--much lower loading times and so on. Plus I personally love the integrated neighborhood, with everyone's lives moving on at the same time as your own (i.e., your neighbors age and die), and being able to quite literally walk out of your house, down the street, and into town with no loading screen in sight.

- The custom colorization for every item of clothing and furniture is also awesome. Makes the in game items much easier to fit your design elements.

- Traits are fun and actually do help make Sim personalities more distinct.

- Sims are better about taking care of their own needs (you don't need to tell them to pee and go to bed, they will do that themselves usually, and these needs kick in less often). USUALLY. There is a big "but" to this (see cons).

- The World Adventures add on adds basements and dungeon crawling, more or less, including a lot of awesome tools to add to your own building creations. There's also Ambitions which adds some professions you can actually play through rather than see your Sim disappear for a few hours.

- Skill challenges and opportunities which constantly pop up add a lot to gameplay.

Cons
- Sims 3 often feels incomplete. While I feel like Sims and the Sims 2 each felt like a total game, to which expansions simply added more, Sims 3 is designed intentionally to leave new material and objects and interactions to a minimum, hoping to get you to buy more from their download store and/or buy expansions and stuff packs. It always feels like there should be more options than you have in the core game, and expansions after Ambitions have felt especially lacking (I stopped personally after Night Life, as that itself felt like it was half the expansion it should have been, and I was further dissuaded by reviews of Generations to go further). Don't get me wrong, there is tons to do even with the base game, but the design intent to push people to add more with DLC and expansions is much much more transparent than it ever was before (even if it always existed).

- Sims 3 is buggy, expansions come out with big technical issues, and some major issues from early on have yet to be addressed. MIND: My game runs basically fine, but I have hit certain problems that are obvious bugs, and they're bugs that have been around for a long time, even though patches have since been released (for example, a World Adventures bug that doesn't track your vacation time properly--which in some people's games have caused corrupted save files). I've actually been afraid of getting the latest patch based on certain issues reported (although this is as of about three weeks ago, they may have "patched the patch" since then; I've been playing other games for awhile). It seems they work so hard on pushing out more expansions and DLC they don't take the time to fix all but the most game breaking of issues. Something to be aware of (and sadly, a trend that's been getting bigger starting with Sims 2 expansions).

- The controversial rabbit holes. Remember the fun in the Sims and Sims 2 of taking your Sim to a restaurant, seeing the chef and waiters at work, going through the fun of a whole meal and using that as time you could use to chat up your dining partner or whatever? In the Sims 3, your Sim goes to the diner, disappears inside, time elapses, and they come out full. That's all. Likewise for most of the stores (although the market and consignment shops don't work that way, but are only available with the first two expansion packs). Jobs work this way too, though it's less of a change from the previous games, and it's actually cool that rather than your Sim disappearing off into the sunset, they disappear into an actual building where they work. But a lot of the shopping and eating and other events are also rabbit holed whereas in previous games they were animated and played through, which feels like a downgrade.

- Sims 3 is less moddable/customizable with external material than Sims 2. There are still a lot of mods out for it, but if that's your thing, you might want to stick to Sims 2. If it's NOT your thing and you don't care a whit about custom content, it shouldn't be an issue for you.

And now a word about DRM and other EA issues that may affect your game
EA/the Sims franchise uses various forms of DRM. For example, if you buy the digital download version of the Sims 3, I think you need online authorization to play the game.

EA also often likes to use SecuROM, a program which while runs fine on the majority of machines, digs deep into your registry and causes enough problems that EA has actually been successfully sued for its use (unfortunately, they were not completely stopped from using it, they just have to note more clearly that they do use it). If you have Sims 2 Bon Voyage or any expansions afterward, you have this program on your computer which could cause potential problems. Sims 3 disc version does not have SecuROM but the download version does. Sims Medieval added SecuROM in a stealth patch. Something you might want to read up on if such things concern you (Reclaim Your Game is a good source of information). If such things do not concern you, I just want to be sure you're informed. What you choose to install on your computer is of course ultimately up to you.

EA also has added Origin as its download service which some folks feel very sketchy about. It temporarily broke the Sims Launcher (people affected had to dig up the exe to start the game directly) and I think it is required if you want to download stuff from the Sims 3 store (I am not sure, as I have chosen not to install Origin and stopped buying stuff from the Sims Store because I hit an earlier pre-Origin bug that kept me from downloading items I have purchased, and EA's customer service response was basically, "Sucks to be you." So I decided if they weren't interested in taking my money, I wasn't going to make any effort in trying to give it to them. Which is of course another issue--EA's customer service can leave a lot to be desired. Again, something you need to be aware of; not saying don't buy, just saying be aware.

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Sorry for all the TL;DR but the Sims is a complicated franchise. I'd rather feel like I'd provided helpful information than not. Good luck on whatever you decide to get--or stick with the Sims 2, or whatever.


Compared to Sims 3, Sims Medieval offers less activity; it fills a void, but that's about it. This is the first time since The Sims (original) that I've skipped a Sims add-on/expansion pack. The parent-friendly, content-sterilized, neutered approach to the Sims franchise has pushed me away from the series, so I'm likely a biased source.

After playing 1-Medieval, I'd recommend the original with everything (minus the online pack) installed plus a few useful 3rd party additions. Sure the graphics improved, but I'd be willing to put up with the polygonal eye-cancer if it meant I could return to Magic Town and buy property. Nostalgia overload.

Dark Archive

Modding is a big part of the fun for me. However, I also spend a lot of time on the Sims wikis looking for Sims 3 families to recreate and add to my neighborhoods so it is kind of a toss up.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Sims 3 is just harder to mod--although in fairness it's doable. I do think they did a good job of designing the neighborhoods and the pre-gen characters in them. I tend not to play pre-gens but they are really well thought out.

Oh, also, Sims 3 has the Create A World free download which is a custom world builder/editor. It's got a bit of a learning curve for it, but very cool.

I forgot one of my cons -

- There are a few activities that once Sims start doing, Sims don't want to stop (this is always been an issue to a degree though). Reading and playing a musical instrument are the biggest offenders, and they are things which Sims will often autonomously choose to do--everywhere you go, there will be a bunch of Sims playing guitar or reading no matter where or when. I've seen Sims decide to play a guitar starting with full needs, and--with Free Will on, mind--stand their and literally play all day until they either piss themselves or pass out from exhaustion. Similar with reading books. It's like all Sims are bibliomaniacs or music obsessives.

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Necromancer, I don't know. I don't blame them trying to keep their T for teen rating, and honestly.... I find it very ironic that if I want to see an intimate romance scene in a video game, Sims is the most likely place I'll see one that's well played out and animated. The making-out anims are pretty steamy, and even if "WooHoo" is well, called "WooHoo" and involves some fireworks over the bedcovers, it's still a much better and sweeter nod to the deed done than say, for example, the boring lie-down-and-fade-to-black "sex scenes" you get in the rated M Fallout series. And then Sims Medieval has some violent swordplay and the like as well. Not bloody and gory, but I don't equate bloody and gory necessarily to a better game (if anything, I find that many games which revel in their bloody goriness seem to have a childish attitude about it, enjoying that they're doing something naughty rather than displaying a dangerous situation).


DeathQuaker wrote:
Necromancer, I don't know. I don't blame them trying to keep their T for teen rating, and honestly.... I find it very ironic that if I want to see an intimate romance scene in a video game, Sims is the most likely place I'll see one that's well played out and animated. The making-out anims are pretty steamy, and even if "WooHoo" is well, called "WooHoo" and involves some fireworks over the bedcovers, it's still a much better and sweeter nod to the deed done than say, for example, the boring lie-down-and-fade-to-black "sex scenes" you get in the rated M Fallout series. And then Sims Medieval has some violent swordplay and the like as well. Not bloody and gory, but I don't equate bloody and gory necessarily to a better game (if anything, I find that many games which revel in their bloody goriness seem to have a childish attitude about it, enjoying that they're doing something naughty rather than displaying a dangerous situation).

When I said 'content-sterilized', I was probably a little unclear.

Explanation incoming...

With the release of Sims 2, the neighborhood felt like a suburb for the first time...and I wanted to corrupt it. Fighting the urge to waste all of my time corrupting sim families all for the sake of a few insane, twisted NPCs to complement my central character, I tried to set up house in the urban areas. I still felt homicidal towards the NPC sims.

I gave in and returned to Leave-It-To-Beaver-land and began creating and ruining families, but the game itself revolted. Happy-go-lucky NPCs continued to dominate the town areas and my handcrafted psychopaths would only show up rarely and briefly before dashing back to their homes. Eventually, I had to make almost everyone a zombie just to stabilize their low motives and sad existences.

Then the pets expansion came out and the pets didn't like the zombie neighborhood and their miserable dispositions left me equally depressed (well sad enough to quit the game anyway). I created another neighborhood and left that suburb happy and annoying and continued to add expansions. The problem was my happiness was capped.

Sims 3 had a few nice diversions and Medieval allowed control of a mage for the first time since the first game (the witches from Apartments don't count for obvious reasons). The problem with these two is that Medieval wasn't gritty and realistic enough (why couldn't we simply hang our subjects instead of maintaining a blatant Star Wars reference?!) and Sims 3's focus on maintaining families over single-sim households drove me up the freaking wall.

The Sims franchise simply does not want players to enjoy a bleak world.


If only singles hadn't been garbage. A more 'adult' people sim would be a huge hit.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Necromancer, I get what you're saying, but Sims marketing has also been pretty clear that they're largely out to design a happy-go-lucky suburbia. Even with people trying to drown and torture their Sims, the actual marketed and designed goal of the game is to make the Sims happy, not anything else. There is some crazy, mean-ish stuff you can do (and I do like putting some Mean Spirited Sims in the world and watch them walk around picking fights), but it is going to be kind of goofy. They've always made it clear that's the tone they're aiming for. I can totally understand you wanting something different, but I don't see them advertising one thing and offering another. The upside is there's an tapped market for a darker human life sim, maybe we'll see that someday.

Although I am trying to build a Fallout-style "Wasteland" in Create-a-World. If I ever get it playable, it will be without school and police and some other things--any food has to be planted from scavenged seeds, no grocery store or bookstore or whatever. Doubt I'll get it very dark but I'm curious to see how much I can reflect that type of world. And I gotta finish building it first anyway. I'm having enough trouble getting sidewalks to work properly....

A tiny sidenote on one of your comments that I will disagree with--I don't see Sims 3 focusing more on families than single Sim households. Some of the most fun I've had has been playing a single Sim household (my fisher-gardener outdoorswoman who later became an adventurer).

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