here is my EP top that nobody will read:
1. >.> university; it's just so original(the jobs that come with it)
2. open for buisness; nice overpowered bonuses =)
3. free time; more annoying popups for my sims woot...
4. seasons; except for weather effects, everything unbalances the game
5. pets; a nice editor, that's all...
6. bv; nope... not my cup of tea
7. nightlife; i HATE it... it pales in comparation with hot date;
as you may see, remakes suck... a MM remake would be the only one that dosen't suck
my sp top that nobody will read:
<...> stuff packs are too insignificant to make a top for them... the only noticeable ones are happy holiday(build mode spam and santa outfits that lags when i pass near it in cas), h&m(CAS clothes spam) and K&B(good for themed houses =) )
family fun, glamour and teen style don't make such a blast in my game... only with themed rooms
I haven't posted in this thread in over a year now, and I just thought I'd come back and do a final run over my favourites again.
I have all EPs and this is how I would now rank them:
1. Open For Business.
5. Bon Voyage.
OFB just has to be my favourite now because I am always playing businesses, whether its home shops or community restaurants, I just enjoy it not having to make every single sim get a career where they vanish off screen for several hours every day.
Seasons is number 2, because I have always wanted weather since Sims 1 days and then we got it. This was deffinitely the most exciting expansion pack for me, I could not wait to get it! Had a countdown timer and everything, just dying to give sims rain and snow. As sad as it sounds, thats what I was like. It would come second now, because we've had 2 EPs since it, and now the weather effects which used to be totally amazing every time I saw them are now, well, I'm used to them being there. "Oh, another rainstorm. Cool." It's no longer exciting, but still an amazing EP for the game.
The most recent EP, Freetime is my number 3 because it gives sims so much more to do with their free time. While I like the idea of the talent thing, I am not so keen on how it decays over time, especially if the sim has maxed the talent. If you were a world class pianist, you wouldn't just start to forget everything you know slowly over night? Hmm maybe it is a little realistic and I just want it to be simple. I have a hack for it anyway so that stops this EP from sucking. The nuisance phone calls about magazines are annoying though.
Nightlife, for many people, is considered to be totally amazing. And, it was, back in 2005. Wow! Cars! Holy Moly! Yeah, they were exciting, but like weather, the fun factor has been taken out of it. It's just a common thing in my game these days. And, with EA offering a driveway and car online for free too, this makes Nightlife pretty obselete. The dating system is great, but since cars can be downloaded for free now, the whole EP just doesn't stand out anymore. Attraction was added into every other EP anyway, am I right?
The 5th position was a tough choice. I decided on which EP I use most, which is Bon Voyage. Going on holidays/vacations in real life has always interested and excited me, and I though in the sims it'd be just as good. Vacation in Sims 1 was pretty fun. I liked the music. This time round, however, I wasn't that fussed. Each area just feels like another subhood. Nothing made them special. Yeah, we got beach lots, but I'd have prefered fully themed areas to visit. Instead, the island resort just looks like my home neighbourhood but with a few beaches and a pirate ship. The mountainous area is also just a snoozefest. I would have prefered a snow/arctic resort. The Far East location is alright because it had the special roofs (can't remember their name) and all the right decoration. However, the locals just looked like regular Goopy's wearing dresses (forgot their name too).
University comes 6th in my rank of things. Yeah, it sounds lame, but the EP is still amazing. I'd be doomed without the drums, guitar, and snooker table. The objects from this pack were fantastic, and the new careers were great. The cowplant is deffinitely exciting every time but the whole university feel of things can get really boring at times. I find it alright with just one sim, but trying to play a whole group just baffles me. Trying to keep them entertained but make sure they've all studied enough, and keeping track of all their classes and exams was just a challenge in itself to me. Many people say they'd like having young adults in the normal hood, without college, but I disagree and think I'd get bored really quick and age them up. Young adults are just adults, they just can't propose marriage and have kids.
Pets was last on my list. I was hyped for this EP, I really was. Even told my cats how much I couldn't wait to make them in my game. But, after the whole cutesyness of the animals, I got bored. They annoy me, they dig holes in the gardens, tip over trash cans, and just destroy everything. That annoys me. Oh, and the fact that once all the sims have gone to sleep, EA expect me to sit here and watch the pets every move since it doesn't speed time up. I know I can do it myself, but then I always miss when a sim wakes up and they all go and die before I can slow the game down. Basically, I need the auto-speed-thingy. And with pets, it's not possible without cheats, forcing the pets to go to sleep at night too.
Since I have all the stuff packs (besides Kitchen and Bath) I thought I'd quickly sum them up too. Here they are in order:
1. H&M Stuff.
2. Glamour Life.
3. Teen Style.
5. Family Fun.
6. Happy Holidays.
H&M was a stuff pack, that at first, I thought was a little odd. All about clothes? Wtf? But, it turns out to be an amazing stuff pack and well worth the £10 I paid for it. All of the clothes are great (well, most) and the objects to make your own H&M store are also pretty good to use on community lots.
Glamour Life (does it have life in the title? cannot remember lol) is a stuff pack I like because I pretty much ALWAYS use the bedroom set. The living/dining room sets are kinda meh in my eyes but the bedroom is always a favourite. Expensive style, and my sims like it. Great stuff pack, once again, worth the money.
I'd say I like Teen Style stuff because it has great clothes for the teens, particularly the lads, there's finally some stylish stuff for them to wear! And the themed bedrooms based on stereotypes are pretty cool. Means my sims can express themselves during their teenage years. Another great stuff pack.
This is where stuff packs kinda go downhill. Celebration stuff was kinda lame to be honest. The stuff used hideous colours nobody would ever use for everything. The party stuff was lame, and I never bother with cakes, so they were useless. The clothes were ok I guess, but I can't say I liked the women's wedding dresses that had manky purple/green/whatever color stripes going down the back.
Family Fun Stuff is another wierd stuff pack. Firstly, and I'm sure somebody out there has noticed this, it's initials are FFS. And to me, this is an abreviation of For **** Sake. Not that this affects the game in any way, I just like to point it out. The clothes are disturbing. I hate when a toddler grows up and gets a horrible rubber ring as a swim suit and some disturbing dinosaur outfit for their PJs. The themed bedrooms were cute at first, but lost appeal. Not too fussed on this pack.
And finally, to end my ranting, Happy Holidays stuff. As HP said earlier, this SP does well and truely suck. Being honest, yeah, Christmas can be fun, but after trying it once in game, it just sucks. What annoys me is that the trees/windows all have seperate objects. It'd rock soooo much more if they were recolours. The silly New Year party is lame, and causes my game to create two "throw a party" pie menu's on my phone. Whether thats meant to happen or if it's just my game, I don't know. The flooring and wallpapers were not neccessary. Like HP said earlier also, who redecorates their bleeding walls for Christmas? Nobody thats who. And you wouldn't want holly on the wall all year round, it's just stupid. Would have been better with more wall decor and rugs to decorate the rooms sensibly, rather than literally make over the house for one day.
Well, that sums up the SPs and EPs in my game. It's just my opinion in the end, and though I'd recommend people to buy the best EP's in my list (*cough* OFB, Seasons, Freetime, FTW!*cough*) it is totally up to them. Stuff pack wise I'd recommend Glamour and H&M and if you have any money left, Teen Style. =]
2.Open For Business.
Seasons- Adds real life weather effects
OFB- Adds great building nessesities
FreeTime- Adds more fun for your Sims.
NL- Adults go out!
BV- Adds oceans/beach lots!
Uni.- Adds University and YAs, but Uni takes too long
Pets- Adds great Deco., but nothing else, but Pets...
So long, my luckless romance
My back is turned on you
I should've known you'd bring me heartache
Almost lovers always do
My list from favorite to least favorite, along with reasons.
1. Nightlife: This EP brought a much needed dose of reality to the game with more active community lots and turn-ons. It came with some nice clothes and the ever amusing vampires.
2. Open For Business: This EP extended the realism of NL with the choice to work from home, adding elevators, allowing Sims to purchase community lots, and giving each Sim its own inventory. With the right hacks installed, the Servos are very useful. Out of all the Maxis clothing in the game, I liked the outfits that came with OfB best of all.
3. University: I think I'm the only player who adores this EP. Uni gives Sims an extra life stage and a college neighborhood. This neighborhood comes with free places to live (dorms), free food that your Sim doesn't have to prepare (cafeteria staff), and community lot skilling. Your Sims can spend this entire life stage building up their skills with expensive items that they don't have to pay for! During this time, you can also rack up a lot of aspiration points by fulfilling simple Wants, like "Go to Class" and "Do Assignment." Combined with the inventory feature of OfB, your college Sims can buy stuff that they'll need after graduation, store it in their inventory, and use it when they get their first real home. Overall, this EP makes your Sims' transition into adulthood 100% easier.
4. Seasons: Farming ftw! The new option of Sims growing their own food is a lot fun. And remember all of those useless ponds? Now you can catch fish from them. Combined with OfB, your Sims can have their own fish market or farmers' market, and can also buy a community lot to build a farm on if their Residential lot is too small for one. The transformation to a Plantsim is pretty neat too, especially for Family Sims who don't want a partner of the opposite gender.
5. Pets: I feel odd about calling this my "least" favorite. I love this EP. Having pets in the game is fun and useful, especially for loner type Sims who don't have many friends, but still need a way satisfy their Social need. Breeding puppies and kittens provides Sims with both a hobby and a secondary source of income. Plus, they're just plain cute.
I think I would sooner just stop playing Sims 2 altogether than part with any of these EPs.
I refuse to purchase Bon Voyage as a matter of principle, and the descriptions I've read of the Free Time EP don't sound very interesting. I am, however, looking forward to Apartment Life.
1. Seasons. The weather is awesome, as are the objects that come with it. I love the gardening.
2. Free Time. The clothes are fab and quirky, and I love how you can develop a sim's personality with hobbies.
3. Nightlife. One word: VAMPIRES!
4. Pets. I actually love the pets that my sims have, plus the atomic range is quite snazzy.
5. Open For Business. I've never really used it to its full potential. I think that the worst thing about these are servos. SO pointless and annoying. I do like the craftable objects though, especially the toys.
6. University. If it wasn't for Lifetime Wants I'd uninstall this in a heartbeat. Thank goodness for the college adjuster!
I don't own Bon Voyage, I never got round to buying it. Plus I think that it'll lag my game and I don't think that I'd use it much anyway.
I have a few stuff packs too..
1. H&M. Love the clothes, and there sre some nice recolours out there too. Most of my sims wear H&M!
2. Kitchen & Bath. Again I love the clothes but I also like the bathroom stuff. The kitchen stuff.. not so much.
3. Teen Style. I love the furniture, most of it I use for kid's bedrooms too. The clothes are awesome too.
4. Family Fun. I like the objects to create unique children's bedrooms. The clothes are just ICK. I love the kid's PJs with the bear feet, they're my favourite!
5. Glamour Life. I don't really use the items or clothes from this stuff pack.
my favorite handsdown is Seasons. ever since ts1 ive always thought how cool it would be for the sims to have weather. i love all the fun interactions that come with it like gardening and fishing. i also love that sims are affected by seasons (higher romantic relations in Spring, fast skilling in Fall, high family relations in Summer). it makes the game more realistic.
my second favorite is of course Freetime. with hobbies, sims can become more of their own person with their own interests instead of just cookie cutter personalities. it definitely adds some more realism to the game. i hoping ts3 will enhance this with the vast choices of personality traits ive been hearing about.
my least favorite would be University. i hate sending sims to college because it takes forever for them to graduate. its fun to make them have parties alot i guess, but it gets boring fast. i own Uni but i dont have it installed just to avoid the annoying no college memory. the only part i like about Uni is the instraments that come with it (guitar, bass, drums) but i can live without those.
1. Nightlife: I don't know what I did without it, honestly. The dates, the chemistry, the entire downtown area... everything about it added SO much more to my game and gave me an entirely different way to play. Plus there are vampires, which are awesome.
2. Freetime: SECONDARY ASPIRATIONS! That's seriously the entire reason I bought it, it's something I've wanted for so long. The hobbies are nice too, gives my Sims a wider variety of things to want to do. Plus it added a ton of stuff to my game that came with other eps that I don't have, like leftovers.
3. University: I don't dislike this expansion but it's not as great as the first two are. College is fun, I love the evil mascot and all the random violence that happens there, but it gets really old fast, I'd never be able to stand it without the college adjuster. Plus I hate how my Sims cry for AGES if, for whatever reason, I decide to just let them grow up without going to college. Not everyone has to go to college. For me, the best things in this ep are the cowplant, the resurrection thing, and the zombies.
If I were to ever get another expansion, it would probably be Seasons... I like the idea of being able to harvest your own food, and I'd like a Plantsim, but I have a feeling the temperature meter would annoy me slightly. I'm too used to not having to worry about hot or cold.
I've also thought about getting Pets before, but I think the animals would get on my nerves eventually. No desire for OFB or Bon Voyage, nothing about them appeals to me, and I've never bought a stuff pack.
the only EP I have is NightLife (as it came with Sims 2 Deluxe) I can see that the overwhelming favorite EP is Seasons, but the idea of attics getting too hot or cold, and basements flooding, just seems to add a little too much realism to me. I want my Sims to be happy!
I love having a car and visiting community lots. Is there an EP that lets you visit other residential lots?
What I really want is for my Sims to be able to make things like they could in Bustin' Out for xBox. In Free Time can you make vases, statues, new paintings, or other decorations that you can keep and place around your house?
The only stuff pack that looks worthwhile to me might be the new IKEA one, but do I really want to pay for stuff when there is so much free cc on MTS2?
the only EP I have is NightLife (as it came with Sims 2 Deluxe) I can see that the overwhelming favorite EP is Seasons, but the idea of attics getting too hot or cold, and basements flooding, just seems to add a little too much realism to me. I want my Sims to happy!
Attics specifically don't get too hot or too cold, unless for some reason your sims have an attic with a wall missing.... In fact any indoor area will always be at the perfect temperature, its only when your sim is outside (defined as a place not completely encircled by walls and a roof) that temperature affects them. And even outside its not that big of a deal, unless your sims spend five hours at a time outside. Which can be taken care of by making the seasons only spring and fall when the temperatures aren't extreme enough to cause your sims problems.
Basements don't flood as long as they have a roof over them, rain doesn't fall in roofed areas, the only way to flood an enclosed roofed area is with the toilet.
The humor of a story on the internet is in direct inverse proportion to how accurate the reporting is.
I got Seasons with Sims 2, and I bought Pets as well, I love the rain and snow and thunder and lightening in Seasons, I enjoy having cats in my Sim houses, I give them the toy that sticks on the wall and watch them batting it about like mad!! I think the cats are very realistic especially when a sim plays with them using the cat teaser. They earn money for the family going out to work too!
Having read [most] of this thread I think I'll get OFB and Holiday EPs as well
Ohhh, this'll be fun to post... I've got most of the basic EPs. University-Bon Voyage, nothing extra... I'll post them in the order of most fave-least fave.
Bon Voyage- You finally get to go to exotic new places. New NPCs, new clothes that really helped make most of my sims, and cool new furniture. It's also the one EP that I started using mods on, and it's really a cool game now.
Nightlife- Cars? Vampires? Downtown? New and amusing items to use, plus the karaoke machine that I love? AWESOME!
Seasons- There's weather, which really rocks my socks. Also, being able to have scarves is awesome. (I wonder if someone could mesh one?) And the furniture, wallpapers, and such is nice.
University- They say college life is the best years of your life. That could or could not be the case here... Parties, college, careers, and all the good stuff are just wonderful here!
Open For Business- Owning a business was excellent. It brang home the bacon when I really needed it, and throwing garage sells when I was bored was fun.
Pets- It was okay, owning my own pets and having cool new furniture and such. But I got bored of it in like two seconds...
Free Time: LOVE this EP. It added a new dimension to my game. I always felt that my sims were missing something from their lives and hobbies was that. Plus with secondary aspirations, something I never thought would be included in the game, and many other things, FT makes up for the half-arsed ideas EAxis comes up with sometimes. The things I don't like about FT are the wacky, costumey clothes and the annoying phone calls.
Seasons: Weather and gardening. Nuff said.
Nightlife: I occassionally let my sims go on dates, put cars in almost every household but rarely use them, hardly ever go downtown, and never had a main household with a vampire. So why do I like NL? I feel it's necessary. I wouldn't have made sense to have pets, weather, vacations, ect. without cars and remaking Hot Date. Plus, I'm trying to use NL more by going Downtown more often and having my first vampire in a main household soon. The clothes that come with NL are nice too.
University: I like Uni because it gives my sims so much to do. University, new careers, instruments, cool decor. I let all of my teens go to university since it's a tradition in my game.
Open for Business: Even though I find running a business a bit too hard for my taste, the open-endness usually beats it. Plus, the craft stations are a nice touch.
Pets: Finally broke down and got it and, surprise, I actually like it! The dogs and cats are great for my childless sims and are really cute. Still wish EAxis included more animals to make the thrill last longer. A lot of times, pets are like animated objects instead of mini simmies.
Bon Voyage: IMHO, the worst EP yet. Vacations are so boring, 90% of the outfits are cheesy and incredibly out of place in a normal neighborhood, and objects like throwing axes and hot springs doesn't fit within a normal household of mine. The only things I liked about BV is the new Turn-ons/offs (included in Free Time), massage tables, and the beaches. Plus, it made my game move a lot slower, so I had to uninstall it. If you want to buy Bon Voyage, I think you should save your money for Apartment Life.
Can't say I particularly have a most favorite or least favorite EP... I love aspects of each one of them, and have problems with each of them, so they're all kind of equal in that way. If I had to say any one of them honestly enhanced my gameplay the most, though, it's probably Seasons because it was the first one that really gave me something for my Elder sims that honestly fit to a retired lifestyle (otherwise, they tended to just sit around all day, watching tv or playing chess and making frequent trips to the bathroom).
University . As long as I'm not playing it for the sake of grades, it's actually really interesting to play through a sim's college years. I have a lot of fun making the frat boy who's constantly going around to the community lots or throwing parties, neglecting his classes and classwork until right before the final exam, when he realizes, "Oh crap! I'm going to get a D!" and does an assignment at warp speed. Or the artsy kid who spends most of the time painting and going off to cafés. Or the group of friends who decide to start a band in their downtime, playing at parties or school amphitheaters. Basically, any little things that honestly let them live a college life. The objects are both cute and quirky as well as practical; I loved the addition of handheld electronics, the Groovy theme is versatile in that it could work in dorm rooms as well as in kids' rooms (or if you feel like putting together a Bohemian-themed household... or feel like making some hippies), and the Medieval theme works very nicely in some more gothic-themed homes or if you want to put together a chapel or graveyard. New careers made for nice choices, and the addition of lifetime wants was cute (although I never bother with them anymore). The downside, of course, is all of the NPCs who just waltz on in at any hour of the day. Cheerleaders and mascots coming up in your face, trainers waltzing in (and then congregate at your bubble blower) and yelling at you until you drop and give 'em 20. Well, that and it can get tediously boring if you just play it to everyone a 4.0.
Nightlife . Without a doubt, added some of the most fun things to do when taking your sims out and about. Nightclubs were possible before it, but not as practical and certainly didn't have their own flavor and ambiance. Restaurants and diners were a very welcome change, particularly for any of my sims who 'don't bother' learning how to cook (I do have a couple of them who subsist on pizza, Chinese food, and instant meals). Dates and outings are particularly interesting, especially when you're not trying to constantly get perfect ones (I do kind of love the flaming poobags when you've had a disastrous date), and chemistry added an interesting twist to getting sims to like each other, and fury is always kind of amusing to me (I kind of laugh at sims stealing your newspaper, or kicking over your trashcan, just to get revenge on you). On the other hand, I don't particularly enjoy the vampires, especially since they always tend to start brawls in the middle of dance clubs in my game, and it can be too easy to get rich just by going on a few dream dates because of surprise gifts (and the post-date bonus if you have a good or dream date is way too good; in a test once, I managed to have a couple go on five dates in a row, with the controllable just asking for a new date again and again at the end of each one before the other sim could leave, without either needing espresso or passing out). The objects added were pretty awesome, loved the addition of cars (they turned out to be a godsend for some Captain Hero or other who missed his 'carpool' due to a traffic jam of kids at the doorway and couldn't get to work any other way), and a lot of the clothes were really nice... but others were very touch-and-go.
Open for Business . This one added a nice dimension to the game. I liked that it actually took children into account, honestly, by giving them the lemonade stand as well as having craftables for them to use. The floral arrangements, I felt, were nicely done, and while snapdragons make things way too easy in a household, they do work nicely in a restaurant or bakery's kitchen, if only to keep the chef from quitting on you really quickly. I like the challenge that small businesses provided, the struggle to stay afloat with having to restock, pay employees well, keep customers happy, and hopefully get a good review. Talent badges were a nice change from standard skills, as well, and I was really, really happy when I saw the bay window. Also, the ability to lock doors was a very neat idea. My only real complaints about it are that a lot of items are too specialized (it's tough to find too many places outside of toystores to use the Storybook build objects sometimes, in spite of how beautiful I feel they are, for instance) and the customers can get too whiny sometimes. Also, the differently-shaped roofs, while cute, are hard to work with. They don't subject themselves to the same standards of other roof types (for instance, placing a roof on the floor above where a conical roof is doesn't remove part of the conical roof, so it'll cover inside of a room) and, unless I'm remembering wrong, roofslopeangle does not apply to them, making them difficult to fit in.
Pets . The builder in me loved this expansion for a lot of the different features that it gave. Also, the more sleek, modern look of the Atomic Age furniture was a nice addition to give different flavors to homes. As for the pets... I really think they're pretty adorable. I love when a mama cat will nuzzle one of her kittens, for example, and the way that the sims talk to them. That they're uncontrollable can give an extra element of surprise, and I even kind of like the strays (even when they tear up the yard), because it was something unexpected. Also, pets really do help out with single sims who can't seem to find time to make friends to keep their social levels higher, and even in families, the kids really seem to love them. However... the novelty wears off way too quickly a lot of times and then you're just left with sims who only want to do things related to their pets, or to strays that they happened across once in the park.
Seasons . Weather was a fabulous touch to the game, as well as any unexpected issues that it causes. Walking around outside in a rainstorm? Suddenly, bzzzzzt, lightning strike. I've had a lot of unexpected deaths due to weather-related accidents in my game, and it really makes for a more interesting change. As I noted above, I loved the addition of gardening and fishing to the game because it gave something for my elder sims to do with their time that really fits with the whole retirement lifestyle, but also because it gives you the chance to play families that don't get jobs and instead have to make their way with a tiny little home and a garden, growing their food themselves and surviving just with that. Winter's coming? Let's hope you've got a good stock. Fishing was also cute as a family bonding method; I know that, when I was growing up, my father taught me how to fish, and even though I never really went fishing with him for real, he'd take my brother with him, so I tend to have Family aspiration fathers take their sons with them to fishing lots that I create as a little Saturday trip. It's a cute way for them to spend the day. The seasonal activities were also a really nice touch (jumping into leaf piles, marco polo in the pool, roller skating and ice skating, snowball fights, snow angels, and snowmen... it's all stuff I remember doing as a kid). I even like most of the seasonal bonuses, and the Country furniture is beautifully done (and the racecar set is adorable for little boys' rooms). I loved that there were new careers; it'd been a while since we'd gotten any new ones, after all, and it filled some of the gaps and voids. However, I find that autumn can make things way too easy (the only thing I like going faster is homework for the kids, so that they can go off and do their own thing). Also, the penguin was cute the first two times he came around. Coming into the houses regardless of locks (I've had him get past every single one) whenever he pleases is annoying at best, especially when he sits there thrilling at your fish hanging on the wall for hours.
Bon Voyage . I actually really like the vacations, as long as I stick to shorter ones. A nice beachside getaway as a reward for a hardworking family, or a family camping trip up to the mountains, or spending those simoleons on exploring the Far East...I liked the different touches that came with each place. I love having sims start to learn some of the vacation habits, but not complete learning them, because then they go and spread them around town and you've suddenly got a townfull of wobbly people attempting to bow or hang loose, every last one of them doing it wrong; it gives me a little chuckle. And, yes, giving them bad vacations can be just as amusing as giving them good ones. (Also, I particularly like that you can go along for honeymoons now.) I've had sims 'give' vacations to their family for special events, like a husband booking a trip for the family because his wife got promoted to CEO, or one of the kids grew up from a toddler into a child or child into a teenager, so let's all celebrate. I've even had retirement vacations. Also, the beach lots are stunning, jewelry was a nice addition, and the new objects are beautiful. On the other hand... there can be too many vacation wants sometimes, long vacations become tedious to the point of ending the vacation early (I attempted one seven-day-six-night vacation, never again), and I'm not too fond of Big Foot. I'm also yet to run into the Unsavory Charlatan, which kind of upsets me.
Freetime . Very, very fun, I have to admit. I love all of the new interactions that were added, the objects are fantastic, and it gives the sims a little bit more personality of their own. The idle animations are superb, I love when artsy sims pause to size up an area, or musical sims start whistling or drumming on their legs or doing ballet stretches (I've got one teen girl who spent most of her time on the ballet bar, so it's really adorable when she starts doing those stretches). I love the career additions again, I'd been wanting dancers and architects for a long time. I do, however, have a little problem with the amount of hobby-obsession that they have (watch a movie once, and they'll want to watch one constantly), and I'm at the point of never choosing Knowledge as a secondary aspiration ever again if it takes over one more sim's primary aspiration (I've got Family sims who just had kids, are spending all of their time with their family, I keep trying to get them to roll wants off "play with (child's name here)" or "talk to (child's name here)," anything involving the children, and all they ever roll up since picking a secondary aspiration is "reach Cooking level 8" or "maximize Cleaning," or something therein). Also, hobby enthusiasm decreases way too quickly. I could have someone with max arts & crafts, she'll paint three pictures in a day, and then the next day she'll sleep in, make herself a salad in the afternoon, and suddenly, "_____ is losing enthusiasm in Arts & Crafts." Bwuh? Also... lifetime aspiration benefits come way too quickly unless you purposely keep their moods down; I personally hate permaplat (part of why I don't pay attention to lifetime wants anymore), and I've had sims reach it in their early teens because their parents paid attention to them as toddlers, and once a child gets an A+, they're never out of platinum, so their LTA meter just keeps going up and up and up and up and up.
And as for Stuff Packs, I've got all but Family Fun Stuff (considering just grabbing it at some point, though, if only for making more kids-themed bedrooms), and I'm really glad that I did; the objects and clothes are usually pretty nice, and they fill in some niches that are otherwise left out. Kitchen & Bath was a godsend, because those are two sections that usually seem left out in the expansion packs. I honestly kind all of them for the little bits they add; Celebration Stuff was great for me because my sims are always throwing parties for things, so it gave me some more ways to decorate. I admit the Holiday pack (I've only got the first one from '05, never got the mini-pack add-on in '06 to complete it) was mostly ignored for me until I got Seasons... now I decorate their houses up for the holidays in winter. Teen Style is fantastic for me because I love playing teens... Glamour Life had a lot of more modern-style objects that I love to use in a lot of homes... they all have their uses for me, so I'm pretty happy with all of them.
OMG! I just got FreeTime this weekend, and it is awesome! The only other EP I has was NightLife (as it came with Deluxe) so this my first "new" EP, but it is still awesome! Leftovers are great! So when the nanny spends all day swimming, practcing at the ballet bar (new in FT) and making lobster for HERSELF! the children get leftover mac and cheese and feed themselves. I usually have such big families, that there are no real letfovers, but having mom cook 3 or 4 lunches on her day off so the children can feed themselves a meal is great! The mirrors now have the option for adults to change the appearance of toddlers. Thumbnails of little girls in tuxedoes bugged me, espcially after I had gone out to buy them sundresses. You can now change the hairstyle for each type of outfit. Yay! I love all the new clothes, very loud and colorful! The new kitchen appliances are great. Finally a GOOD stove that comes in rainbow colors! (with a whole new set of coordinating appliances) The desk accesories are fun. You need a desk for the kids to do homework, but then adult always put the mail and paper there. I was getting tired of all these desk lamps, so desk accesroies are great to fill the second square! I can't wait until the Sims get skilled enough to make their own clothes! :spin:
Oh! and some random guy leaves a computer on the porch the first or second day in a new house!
Seasons . Weather was a fabulous touch to the game, as well as any unexpected issues that it causes. Walking around outside in a rainstorm? Suddenly, bzzzzzt, lightning strike. I've had a lot of unexpected deaths due to weather-related accidents in my game,
University. This is a nice, but not critical, addition to the TS2 experience. I personally enjoy playing university students, but it clearly isn't to everyone's liking. A Sim will spend roughly 3 - 4 Sim weeks in college, which I know some people consider far too long. If you have other EPs, you'll probably want to either create custom colleges or update the Maxis colleges so that your college Sims don't have to leave campus to take advantage of more of the community lot features added later. Some of the nicer objects added to this game were the new musical instruments (though Sims are a bit obsessive about these without the behavior adjustments introduced in FreeTime) and the espresso bars (a nice way to keep your Sims energy up on community lots, but they do tend to draw visiting Sims away from any other features on the lot).
Nightlife. This is the one EP that I would consider absolutely critical. Not only does provide a broader array of community lot activities (most notably restaurants), but it introduces the ability to group which is pretty much a must-have feature if you want Sims to do anything together away from home. Vampires are also a nice addition if you are into that sort of thing.
Open for Business. This is a particularly useful EP that provides your Sims with a whole new way to earn money without pursuing a career ladder. One of the nicest touches is the ability for Sims to run a business right out of their home (just make sure to take advantage of the door locking feature to keep your customers from inviting themselves in to your living areas to watch TV and play video games).
Pets. I absolutely love this EP, but would consider it entirely optional. If you want cats and dogs, get it. Otherwise you can take a pass. Most of the new objects introduced in this EP are centered around pets. The animal animations and the new Sim-to-pet interactions are really fun. Pets can even get jobs to bring in more simoleons, though the time required to train them up doesn't really seem to be worth it.
Seasons. Though it is not an abosolute must-have like Nightlife, I would consider this to be the best of the EPs to date. This EP probably enriches the game more than any other with the introduction of seasons and weather. It also introduces gardening which provides your Sims with a whole new time-consuming activity while at home. It also includes some nice new objects, including the roller and ice rinks which have some really fun animations. Hint: Sims get excessively excited about new weather. When they autonomously queue up the action to check out the weather, just let them do it. After doing this a few times, they will finally get over it.
Bon Voyage. This is another really nice, though not critical, EP. A bunch of cool new objects are available, though some of them are themed to the various vacation destinations. The vacation hoods are a nice change of pace. Like University, this EP provides a chance to play your Sims for an extended period away from their base neighborhood, providing a somewhat different feel to the game.
FreeTime. This is my second favorite EP after Seasons. I would almost consider it a must-have (it certainly is for me). The hobbies provide your Sims with a whole new range of activities and goals outside of the usual skilling and career climbing. This EP probably has the best selection of new objects out of any of the EPs, most of which are hobby oriented, but which are also just nice additions to the game. This EP also tweaked the Sims behavior some so that (in theory) they behave more age appropriately. In other words, adult Sims don't spend all their time on community lots playing on the swings anymore. Also, if you have University, another nice feature about this EP is that Sims hobby interests seem to influence the objects they are attracted to, so now it is more likely that the random Sims who head off for the musical instruments on a lot will actually know how to play them. Unfortunately, this was a pretty buggy EP, and even with the patch a few minor, but annoying, glitches remain.
So I'm like, "Cool! What should I get? Brain in a jar... monkey's paw... ooh, pie!"
I tend to have very unlucky (or very stupid, take your pick) sims who like to go run around and splash in puddles during thunderstorms with low needs. If I'm busy paying attention to a different sim in the house, I don't always catch them in time, and then lightning-death. The most heartbreaking one was with a single father of four.