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* The Sims Online, an extraordinary flop ...

october 2002

that's a quote of a quote
the original was written by in the TSO message board
& was quoted in The Gamers HQ TSO forum by mango, where i cut it from:

"What Is Wrong With This Game? Everything.

Where do I begin? There is so much wasted potential with this game that instead of sitting here feeling overwhelmed with all the things I can do in the game, I feel overwhelmed with things I need to complain about.

Let me put them in numbered form.

1. The lots. Why does everyone have to have the same basic square of land? Everyone I know envisaged a real "neighbourhood" where I could look out the window and see my neighbours etc. As it is now it doesnt matter where anyone lives, we're all the same. I want to be able to walk to my friends house. I want the positioning of my lot to matter. If I live on an island or in the middle of the city it makes no difference to anything. You may as well do away with the entire "world map" screen because it serves no functional purpose.

2. Gameplay. This game is not what I thought it would be. It's not what anyone thought it would be. This is basically the single player sims with a few laughable "job objects" thrown in and some netcode slapped on top. Yeah im sure there's a lot of work gone into it and I appreciate that, but when the foundation is flawed it doesnt matter how much you've worked on it. It still sucks. "The Sims" is a cool single player game, but in the transition to online the only thing that should have stayed the same was the name. The way you have to click and then select "walk here" is completely stupid. The way you have to look after your sims needs all the time is completely pointless and detracts from actual gameplay, the only thing to actually "do" is make money which is self defeating because all you can basically do is buy items which have no purpose. The skill system is completely flawed with too much "passive" skill earning going on (ie: staring at the screen watching your sim type or whatever). The game still feels like you're frustratingly trying to control some 3rd party around a world they don't want to exist in. I dont feel like "I am" my character because he still wets himself and or falls asleep when I obviously am doing neither of those things. The chat system completely sucks, the speech bubbles clog up the screen, there needs to be a chat log of some sort at the very least. The friends system also sucks, you should be able to add whomever you want whenever you want. There's no proper "jobs". People thought you'd be able to open a real shop and make and sell things, you can't. People thought you could actually "be" a cop and not just play dress ups. People thought they would have a role in the world and not just play a dumbed down version of "dollys". People aren't stupid, we can see that all you've done is take the existing sims engine and add in some new items that do things in semblence of actually creating a real "job" system. Frankly the entire game is shallow and boring. If it weren't for the need to get money there would be no need for anyone to play this game. If you gave a new player a million simoleons he or she could build/play with all of the items in TSO in a day and then uninstall it.

3. Forced socialization. It's the endless irony, why do people who want to be left alone play online games? It's simple - we want to be able to socialize when we want and be alone when we want. I dont like how the game forces you to have room mates in order to get the most out of your land. I want my own place by myself and not feel penalized for living alone. I dont like how the game forces me to have to play stupid cooperative games in order to make some money. I spend half the time trying to explain to the other people how to play and inevitably they get it wrong and cause me to rip my hair out in frustration. I want to be able to make money based on my own skills and not have to rely on some 14 year old girl to tell me what ingredients she has while she brushes her hair in real life or whatever. I dont like the friends system which also forces you to "socialize". The Sims Online is barely a "game" - it's more like a glorified chatroom and because of this you guys have tried to push the forced socialization to the fullest extent in the hopes that people will make friends and get hooked on the relationships and thus turn over their monthly subscription fees. Reality Check: They won't. Stop forcing the players to socialize & cooperate with each other. People who use the internet are "loners". We dont like other people and we've generally grown up with the fact that the only person you can rely on in life is yourself. Stop forcing us to "play nice" with strangers that we don't like. It wont sell the game for you.

This is generally everything I think. I won't go into the bugs and the crashing and the extremely slowwwwwww gameplay and the clunky unintuitive interface and the poor graphics and poor performance even on a top of the range computer since I know this is a beta and apparently those things are being worked on.

My gripes are with the gameplay. You guys had real potential for a bestselling game of massive proportions, all you've done is take the sims and add on some very basic shallow "job items" and packaged it as the sims online. People are expecting so much more than this. We thought there would be proper neighbourhoods with shops and malls that people could run and own. Proper parks and police stations that people could get jobs at. A proper neighbourhood to take a walk or drive around in. And none of the tedious ridiculously frustrating micro management of your sims needs.

Sadly The Sims Online is none of these things. It had so much potential that's been completely wasted. Games like Ultima Online are more of a virtual world than TSO will ever be. You guys better pull something extraordinary out of the magic hat in 1 month or this game is going to become an extraordinary flop.

The Gamers HQ - TSO

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