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Test Subject
Original Poster
#1 Old 3rd Jan 2011 at 11:23 PM
Default Going to community lots is irritating.
I really hate that when my Sims go somewhere, the time changes. Well, it's kinda hard to explain. The time can be 01:00 and when they go somewhere and come back the time is the same so it kinda messes up their sleep schedule. It's not a big deal. I find it funny and relaxing when there is a vending machine outside and they decide to buy a soda when I tell them to go inside. lol.
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Inventor
#2 Old 3rd Jan 2011 at 11:47 PM
I like sending my sim to community lots. I build fairly simple houses for them, so they don't have luxuries like pool tables, swimming pools, card tables, pinball machines, etc. Sending them to community lots allows them to have fun.

There are mods that allow sims to learn while on community lots, so they can go there to study, relax, make friends, do some fishing to build up their fridge supplies (very little money spent on groceries!), exercise, etc., without aging. They can even go to community lots to earn money.

I build my own community lots so they can even make coffee or juice, shower and take baths while they are there, and go home refreshed. My sims cook burgers, hot dogs, fish they have caught, etc., to build up their cooking skills. If there are trees on the lot, they can rake to gain cleaning skills. The community lots allow my sims to have some variety in their lives instead of hanging out at home doing the same stuff, especially when they don't have a lot of money. If they stayed at home day in and day out I would be totally bored with the game, so I make a bunch of different lots with different themes and activities.
transmogrified
staff: retired moderator
#3 Old 3rd Jan 2011 at 11:59 PM
There is a mod -- the Community Time Project, in the Peasantry at MATY -- that addresses the clock issue. (ETA: oops. It's now in dead creators: http://www.moreawesomethanyou.com/s...pic,7462.0.html )

I usually prefer the loophole created by the game's native programming. It enables me to send a Sim out for a busy day at an owned business, then recharge their needs in order to socialize in the evening.
Mad Poster
#4 Old 4th Jan 2011 at 12:30 AM
All you have to do is learn to use the community lots to your advantage. (I think this is true of most of the major features of the game that people don't like - we just haven't learned the best way to use them.) Neither my Hawkins kids (the first four growing up without any access to aspiration rewards at all) or the Newsons would have survived to University if I hadn't been able to take them to the park after school. Going to community lots allows them to have fun, eat if I've planned the lot right, meet other sims in the neighborhood with whom I'm trying to build a community, get fit in the pool and skating rinks even without the mod that allows learning on community lots, buy groceries so they don't have to pay an extra $50 to do the delivery dance on the porch, buy clothes and electronics and magazines; I even have showers at the community pool (very handy if one of the teen or adult sims gets hit by lightning in the hot tub). Outings on community lots are great connectors of people who might otherwise take a long time to get together.

At University, where the semester clock keeps ticking and skilling is always available, students who go to community lots get all of that plus the ability to write term papers and keep up with e-mail and play computer games without the expense of a computer, fish, and woohoo even if they live in the dorm (all hail the hot tub at the top of Sim State Tower!). You have to take care or the semester for that particular sim goes by really fast and they get out of synch with their agemates, but that's all part of learning to master the game. If I send all the sims in a residence, whether dorm, Greek, or off-campus housing, they stay roughly in synch and make BFF even faster than they do living together without becoming too isolated.

Of course if you don't like 'em you don't have to use them; but once you master them you'll probably like them fine. Don't be afraid to build your own or tweak the ones that are there.

Ugly is in the heart of the beholder.
(My simblr isSim Media Res . My most recent book is Sullivan, That Summer. Widespot and Widespot RFD: The Subhood are both available here. In case you care.)
Inventor
#5 Old 4th Jan 2011 at 1:09 AM
Definitely try and use the time difference to your advantage.I like to send a well rested sim downtown let them make friends without tiring themselves out too much, get them home and let them go to work this way they can get their promotions that much faster. A day within a day is good thing, but if it bothers you so play sims 3.
Test Subject
#6 Old 4th Jan 2011 at 1:52 AM
I really like having the extra "time" on community lots. However if you want to sync the time more realistically, you can have your sim meditate until the actual time they were supposed to return home is reached. All motives are stopped during meditation. That is, if your sim can meditate (3 Logic, and less than 8 Active points, I think?).
Mad Poster
#7 Old 4th Jan 2011 at 4:46 AM
I really recommend using the community time hack Mangaroo linked to. The same thing that bothered you about community lots time was bothering me as well until I found that mod and after I tried it for the first time, I knew I just couldn't even think of going back to the default way.
Field Researcher
#8 Old 4th Jan 2011 at 10:29 AM
I love going to community lots! Of course, it requires certain mods (like Numenor's sleep on community lots, the Blender and the visitor controller by TJ/Simbology, and the teleporter cat by Inge at Simlogical), so my sims can relax and take care of all their needs while being away from home and stay as long as they/I want. I don't mind the time thing, when I can control their motives so their energy etc are on the right level when they return (no biggie though, I just use the testingcheats to adjust their motives if they're out of sync).

One of my favorite commlots is a huge park/forest (Sherwood), where I've built small rustic cabins "for rent". There is also a camping area with tents, a maintenance building with toilets, showers, trashcans, sinks for doing dishes, stuff like that... and tables and a barbecue outside, to cook the yummy fish they catch in the lake in the middle of the forest.

I also love my Downtown nightclubs, they're kind of combined nightclubs/"hotels"; they have a hotel area with bedrooms upstairs, and the dance floors, dining areas and other fun stuff downstairs. So after a night of dancing, drinking and fun, they can go upstairs for a quickie with their hot date or some shuteye before they either start over or go to another community lot for some different activities.

For a more tranquil experience there are hotel/spa lots as well.

I do have Bon Voyage, but I like my sims to be able to take a "mini vacation" right there in their own neighborhood. Just like I do IRL .
Instructor
#9 Old 4th Jan 2011 at 2:29 PM
Wow! You have all persuaded me to give these community lots another look. I've never been very interested in community lots. There are probably a handful of reasons for this--I am a homebody myself (if I weren't I wouldn't be sitting at home in front of the computer) and like to make comfortable homes for my sims where much of what they want to do is on hand. This means that my sims are usually good at one or two things, and I don't bother with trying to make them good at everything. The whole dating thing in the sims bores me. I could go on here, but why? Further, there are several things that community lots all have in common, which I find bothersome and annoying:

Lots of pointless townies are spawned on them (not anymore, mind you, after I've created a clean template nh, but they did in my old nh ...)

The spawning of a combination of sims who will create "drama" (=fighting, arguing, jealousy), which I can create on my own if I want it (thanks anyway Maxis)

Community lots take for-ev-er to load

Sims get tired on community lots and I am constantly having to max them to keep them going long enough to make it worth the load time getting there. (I know there are hacks, but ... I dunno waiting around while my sims sleep on community lots seems worse than pointless, so I just max whatever needs are low. Plus, the one time I tried a hack for this the sim in question had z's over his head for weeks. That was a kind of charm on its own, but not worth subjecting the whole nh to).

Group outings are better with multiple community lots, but ... going to multiple community lots feels akin to climbing Mont Jura considering the load times involved.

The calls for "do you wanna go downtown" always come at inopportune times, just when everyone is settling in for a good bit of skilling or family dinner.

Community lots feel like idle time since the clock resets back at home--I realize this might have some hidden merits, but it's still rather a drag since my own perception of passing time is not reinforced by the in-game experience. It just never felt right to have a sim return from a community lot and have the clock ten or twelve hours off, and everyone else in the house stuck back on yesterday. I always felt like there was a serious jet lag. Shouldn't my teen return from a date to find it be midnight with only his mom waiting up instead of his kid sister capering about asking to play red hands? It makes the whole community lot experience feel like a day dream or some sort of hallucination. Not satisfying.
Test Subject
Original Poster
#10 Old 4th Jan 2011 at 5:16 PM
It's not that I really really hate it, it's just the fact that their main motive energy goes down, especially when they are on a date or outing. I want my Sims to interact with others. I can't do that If they are always waving their cute little hands at me saying "shoo flee!" I do like community lots. I build one almost everyday so that the game never gets boring,hardly ever.
Test Subject
Original Poster
#11 Old 4th Jan 2011 at 5:20 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by mangaroo
There is a mod -- the Community Time Project, in the Peasantry at MATY -- that addresses the clock issue. (ETA: oops. It's now in dead creators: http://www.moreawesomethanyou.com/s...pic,7462.0.html )

I usually prefer the loophole created by the game's native programming. It enables me to send a Sim out for a busy day at an owned business, then recharge their needs in order to socialize in the evening.


That's what my husband did to his game. He debated for awhile on it because the creator didn't really make it simple. I agree. I was reading it and I was like "what?" I think he took it out of the game since it didn't really make any difference.
Top Secret Researcher
#12 Old 4th Jan 2011 at 5:28 PM
If you don't like the load times of the community lots, you can always make your own, and probably a lot smaller. I have a few that are no more than 2X2 and they load fairly fast.
I've found that it's preferable to have just a single use on the lot, such as a basketball court, or a soccer field.
As for townies, they're always going to spawn, no matter how you don't like them..part of the pain of the game, I guess.
Test Subject
Original Poster
#13 Old 4th Jan 2011 at 7:02 PM
My lots, well anything in my game loads very fast. Very surprising. That's not my concern.
Inventor
#14 Old 4th Jan 2011 at 11:09 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3g7e
Wow! You have all persuaded me to give these community lots another look.

Sims get tired on community lots and I am constantly having to max them to keep them going long enough to make it worth the load time getting there. (I know there are hacks, but ... I dunno waiting around while my sims sleep on community lots seems worse than pointless, so I just max whatever needs are low. Plus, the one time I tried a hack for this the sim in question had z's over his head for weeks. That was a kind of charm on its own, but not worth subjecting the whole nh to).

Group outings are better with multiple community lots, but ... going to multiple community lots feels akin to climbing Mont Jura considering the load times involved.


Sim's can drink coffee, espresso and juice (if you put juicers on the lot) to replenish their energy levels. They can buy espresso from the espresso bar. There are vending machines with snacks and energy drinks you can download.

The only time my sims sleep on community lots is when it is a business lot and I have the owners sleep on the lot until the first crops grow. Otherwise the crops won't grow while the sims are at home.

I like the fact that I don't have to watch the clock on the community lots. Teens with jobs don't have enough time to spend with their family, so I might have them visit a community lot with one or more family members after school. While there, they get to have some fun, eat, and replenish their energy levels without time restrictions. When they get back home, they can be in a great mood when they leave for their evening job.

I've even gathered up the family first thing in the morning, had them out the door before any of them would normally wake up, and onto a community lot so they can have time to make friends or gain a skill needed for a job promotion that they didn't have time to work on at home. When they get home, they can get their beds made and do other simple chores until time for the school bus/carpool to arrive. And do all those things at a leisurely pace because they have eaten and taken care of their hygiene and energy needs at the community lot.

Visiting a community lot can be a very advantageous pocket of time. Especially if you make your own community lots that have what you most want your sims to have to make the visit worthwhile. All of the maxis lots are lousy. I either remodel them or ignore them. One of the main things I change if I remodel them is to add showers or bathtubs to the restrooms. I also get rid of the male/female doors for the restrooms. Sims won't use a restroom with another sim in it, so why bother with the segregation. Using stalls just encourages sims (non-playables) to hang out in the restrooms. Usually while your sim is in desperate need of using the one and only restroom provided for your sim's gender. Unisex is the best way to go.

I rarely go to multiple community lots in one trip. I build my own lots, and do so to make sure the lot can meet ALL their motive needs, and there is a good variety of activities on each lot to make it interesting for my sims and for me. That doesn't mean you have to use large lots, but visiting a lot that only has a single pool table is quite boring. You won't have your sims visit for long, and then you feel the time pocket more acutely when you rush them back home, or shuffle them off to another community lot.

I put ponds on many of my lots. Along with the other activities, they can also snag some supper before they return home - much much cheaper than spending a lot of money on groceries. If I could have a community lot that has my sim go hunting for wild game, I would definitely be all over that! It would be awesome to have a hunter/gatherer theme in my hoods.

Sims can also make friends while fishing, by asking another sim to join while they are fishing. It doesn't interrupt their fishing for their supper and is extremely relaxing for me. Hehehehe.

Making sims exercise at home can be so frustrating for me. Sims with low aspirations are always canceling what I queued for them to do other stuff. I like small home lots and having a variety of exercise equipment and toys takes up too much space. I prefer to use the space for them to have gardens to grow their own produce. Much better to have them go to a community lot to socialize a bit AND get in shape.

When sims have cell phones, they can call their friends from the community lots instead of using up home time to yack for several hours - especially the popularity sims that always seem to have several dozen friends to keep in touch with. They replenish their motives before returning home.

If you want your sims to eat on the community lots, don't use that cheap bbq grill because it doesn't fulfill much of the hunger need. If I want my sim to earn some cooking skill points, I have them cook and serve several plates of food to the other sims on the community lot. That way they don't burn down their house trying to cook when they have no cooking skills. Although, I keep the stoves in inventory and only let them grill fish outside at home until they have higher cooking skills.

I've never thought of visiting community lots as a chore - it is an integral part of my game play. Some lots load slower than others, but I do have other stuff to do instead of staring at the lots loading. But using the community lots is worth a few moments of waiting. Especially when the family has a bunch of babies, toddlers and children on the lot. I can't wait to get away since my sims are not allowed to hire nannies.

I agree that hating the comm lots just means that you haven't learned to make them a useful part of your game play. Don't use the pre-made community lots as a model, because they suck. Many of those lots would be boring for humans, but especially for sims that seem to have very short attention spans. And when they do enjoy some activities, like dancing, it makes sense that they should be able to take a shower since their hygiene and other motives decay so quickly, no matter what they do.

I rarely get invitations to go downtown because I don't let my sims answer the phone every time it rings. If the hour is late or my sims are doing stuff, they don't answer the phone. Just like in real life, I certainly don't feel obligated to answer my phone each time it rings. Especially when I am in the middle of something because you can bet that if I rush to the phone, just to hear a telemarketer on the other end. Let it ring.
Mad Poster
#15 Old 6th Jan 2011 at 8:35 AM
As for community lots...a dream date can be a great pick-me-up for a teen. They're a bit tired and hungry and they need to give their Fun and Social a boost after work...send them out on a date, when they come back, they're ready to do homework. I'm pretty good at dates...no Sim has a horrible date unless I do it on purpose.
Theorist
#16 Old 6th Jan 2011 at 9:06 PM
The new "wants" that roll when you go to a community lot, expecially on a date, are what I go for. I also have the skilling CC - they just seem pointless without it. I have built a lot of community lots, but the big square "mall" is still my favorite. Of coarse, I've completly redone it; there is a cell-phone kioske, a place to buy groceries, pets, clothes, & magazines. There is a restaurant, and DJ and coffee bar (good for earning some money, too). I put some instraments on the stage, good to earn money, gain skill - and I just like to create a band! I also have a CC "job board" - absolutely required with all the jobs now available. And the hot-tub and photo booth...

ignorance is not stupididity
Mad Poster
#17 Old 6th Jan 2011 at 9:40 PM
Recently, I've kind of become fond of not allowing my Sims to personally own/use skilling objects outside of a piano if/when they can afford one (as a pianist in real life, I have to have my Sims own pianos. *laughs* ) and stuff that they have to have that incidentally build skills, like stoves and toilets that need to be cleaned and showers that need to be repaired. They can own a bookshelf, but they can only read books, not study skills. They can own a mirror so I can change their appearance, but they can't use it to build Charisma. Etc.

Instead, I've been having fun building community lots for my Sims to skill at. It's added a level a challenge, which I'm always looking for. If a Sim needs a Mechanical point for a promotion, they can't just pull a book off a bookshelf. They've got to get up off their duff and walk to a community lot, and usually they have to wait for a day off in order to have the time to do that. Having to wait for a day off to build skills feels more realistic to me, and as a result my Sims don't max out their skills and/or careers as easily (which I like). And since they have to go out and about to skill, they don't feel so much like housebound hermits anymore.

Of course, I don't think I'd do this if I didn't have Community Time; the "living time over again" thing feels like cheating to me and nullifies the fact that I'm trying to make things harder. Living time over again also used to annoy the heck out of me before I got that hack, because of the out-of-kilter motives (I don't want my Sims to sit and meditate for 8 hours, durnit! ), so I hardly ever sent anyone to a community lot because of it. But once I learned of that hack, I kind of fell in love with community lots. Of course, what I do wouldn't work at all if I didn't have a hack that allows for skilling on community lots... So maybe hacks are required to make community lots non-irritating? Or maybe that's just me...

So I'm taking another stab at documenting a neighborhood. This one stars Benjamin Long. Pathetic attempts at humor can be found here.
I caved and made myself a Simblr. Woe is me. But hey! There's already stuff there that isn't here at MTS. :)
Mad Poster
#18 Old 7th Jan 2011 at 2:33 PM
I don't mind the time distortion because time is already distorted. The way I think of it, a day is equal to three months to a year of a sim life (varies with stage of life and conditions; obviously a pregnant sim's day is not a year long), and all the things you do with a day are "highlights" of that period of time. Oh, yeah, that was the year that seemed to be one long summer and I went fishing all the time...so much nicer than that year it always seemed to be cold and I did nothing but work for my promotion and sleep. So anything I can do to cram more bang into one actually decreases the sense of distorted time. A sim who doesn't go to community lots isn't living life to the fullest.

And yeah, you do have to pay attention to the motives and find ways to compensate, but that's part of the game challenge, isn't it? I wouldn't have any fun using a cheat like maxmotives as opposed to figuring out how to play the game's limitations, and I wouldn't improve my gameplay either. The only motive that's really tough, because it's the only one that cannot be meaningfully addressed on a non-hacked community lot, is Energy (the coffee bar takes too long compared to the amount of energy you get), and that's why coffee, espresso, pepper juice, and naps are available at home.

I've thought for a long time that the Maxis lots, and pre-made characters, were deliberately created with flaws so that noob players would learn to recognize certain obvious mistakes before making them themselves. So, there's no sink or dishwasher at FM so that we'd recognize the problems caused by the waitstaff having to clean dishes in the restroom, fix it, and take care to look out for that sort of thing when we build our own lots. And the pre-made characters are jackasses so we'll learn right away how jealousy, fighting, and so on work. As a strategy, it leaves a lot to be desired - but I for one did learn from these things.

Ugly is in the heart of the beholder.
(My simblr isSim Media Res . My most recent book is Sullivan, That Summer. Widespot and Widespot RFD: The Subhood are both available here. In case you care.)
Inventor
#19 Old 7th Jan 2011 at 2:49 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peni Griffin
I've thought for a long time that the Maxis lots, and pre-made characters, were deliberately created with flaws so that noob players would learn to recognize certain obvious mistakes before making them themselves. So, there's no sink or dishwasher at FM so that we'd recognize the problems caused by the waitstaff having to clean dishes in the restroom, fix it, and take care to look out for that sort of thing when we build our own lots. And the pre-made characters are jackasses so we'll learn right away how jealousy, fighting, and so on work. As a strategy, it leaves a lot to be desired - but I for one did learn from these things.



Its good marketing strategey to make your customers feel smarter than you. I often think that maxis may have intended to do just that with the design on some of these lots and so forth.
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