Author Topic: Outdoor Retreat - First Impressions  (Read 12123 times)

Offline Carl

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Outdoor Retreat - First Impressions
« on: January 13, 2015, 05:52:26 PM »
As we usually do, I think it's appropriate to have a first impressions thread for this game pack to help people who are indecisive about buying it.

I myself am very pleased with the new area of Granite Falls, which has 2 neighborhoods and a hidden area, although a lot of it is open wilderness it is still nice to explore and hunt down uncommon plants. It's great that we can again catch insects (plenty of variety), 5 new fish, 10 new plants (herbs), and the herbalism skill itself seems to be as well-featured as any other in the game. There are some nice details like woodpeckers on the trees, and I'm looking forward to this Hermit. I've got my Sim exploring a cave and will likely get to update the Hidden Areas page and turn it into a section :) Overall an awesome value when compared to similarly priced products like worlds and stuff packs.

Offline Bri

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2015, 07:13:37 PM »
My time has been limited with it, but I'm enjoying this.  I do personally find it better value than the Stuff Packs from the Sims 2 and Sims 3 era, as well as much of the store content.

Of course, $20 may still be a bit high (and I feel for those in Australia/New Zealand where it is double that), but remember, to compete with the likes of Steam, etc. EA does hold semi-regular discounts on Origin, and I'm sure content like this will also be for sale if you are willing to wait.

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I've got my Sim exploring a cave and will likely get to update the Hidden Areas page and turn it into a section

Yep, there is a hidden area :D  (This was confirmed officially).  I look forward to seeing it ;)



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Offline MarianT

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2015, 08:06:36 PM »
Besides the usual "stuff" (clothes, hair, furniture), and camping goodies, there's a new painting style -- landscapes, medium size but costing $100. There are also new recipes on the grill, and I think some new books that you can buy at the ranger station (I don't know if they're also available on the home bookcase). One book is the Herbalogy skill book, but the others seem to be fiction.

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Offline Lytaren

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2015, 10:10:39 PM »
I'm thinking about it now that they have somewhat fixed the AUS price to $30 instead of $40.  But since I have limited internet does anyone know what size the download was? I cant find it anywhere on Origin.

Offline Bri

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2015, 10:16:54 PM »
I'm thinking about it now that they have somewhat fixed the AUS price to $30 instead of $40.  But since I have limited internet does anyone know what size the download was? I cant find it anywhere on Origin.
I'll try to remember to include the download size for things like this in the future.  And I understand having limited Internet, and not wanting to go over bandwidth. 

Double-checking, it is 660 MB (rounded up)

Offline Lytaren

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2015, 10:29:20 PM »
Thanks heaps. Its really frustrating that they don't say the size until you have paid the money.  No point buying it until you can download it.  But its my lucky day I guess since I have 1gb left and a couple of days in billing month.

Offline Caitie

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2015, 11:30:08 PM »
I'm in love. Seriously, I think this is my favorite of the expansion/game/stuff packs in a long time. I love the camping, I love the exploring, I love everything.

Two annoyances: 1) you can't live in Granite Falls (and I want SO BADLY to have my simmie living in a tiny log cabin tucked in the woods, which isn't possible in either of the residential worlds), and 2) you can't plant the woods harvestables at home (which was surprising and very disappointing, because those harvestables are used in a lot of herbal remedies, which means that whenever you run out you can't just run out to your garden, but you have to go back on vacation).

But it is so easy to make friends camping, and the camping activities are so much fun. Also, roasting things over the campfire = free food!

Word to the wise: go prepared with at least a tent, chair, and shower. The rest you can do without, but those things are absolutely essential. Otherwise you'll be sleeping in the national forest's lounge's sofa, or paying $10 to use the public showers!



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Offline callycat

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2015, 05:29:55 AM »
I'm in love. Seriously, I think this is my favorite of the expansion/game/stuff packs in a long time. I love the camping, I love the exploring, I love everything.

Two annoyances: 1) you can't live in Granite Falls (and I want SO BADLY to have my simmie living in a tiny log cabin tucked in the woods, which isn't possible in either of the residential worlds), and 2) you can't plant the woods harvestables at home (which was surprising and very disappointing, because those harvestables are used in a lot of herbal remedies, which means that whenever you run out you can't just run out to your garden, but you have to go back on vacation).

But it is so easy to make friends camping, and the camping activities are so much fun. Also, roasting things over the campfire = free food!

Word to the wise: go prepared with at least a tent, chair, and shower. The rest you can do without, but those things are absolutely essential. Otherwise you'll be sleeping in the national forest's lounge's sofa, or paying $10 to use the public showers!

I've seen several people on the official forums talking about planting the woods harvestables at home, doing cuttings and grafting etc - maybe your gardening skill isn't high enough? My sim's skill isn't high enough for me to test it myself, as I created a newbie outdoors type.

You can buy a tent and chair from the rangers station, but not the shower, I don't think.
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Offline TheGoat

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2015, 08:07:45 AM »
So far, this "game pack" seems to be put together very well. A few notes that people may find of interest before buying:

1. If you're used to spending $20 on a stuff pack, you will find this to be a great value. If you are used to buying expansion packs, you may find the added content a bit thin, but I think it's worth the money. If anything, this game pack reminds me more of a neighborhood purchase in the Sims 3, but with slightly more robust premium content.

2. Go hiking if you want to explore the area. The trees are too thick to explore with the camera, and you can passively follow your sim to see what's out there, where wild plants might be, etc.

3. During a 2-day vacation, my sim was able to complete the first stage of the new aspiration (10 wild plants, 5 fish) without any skill in fishing, gardening or herbalism to start. And he had plenty of time to do other things.

4. I'm a story simmer, not a power simmer, so I find myself getting bored after a few weeks and starting a new game on a regular basis. I think there is enough content to give my families much richer lives and keep my interest longer.

5. Here's how manage worlds works with Granite Falls. Time runs in both Granite Falls and the home worlds at the same time. You may freely switch between families you have sent on vacation and families back home. You may split up families, and send only some of them on vacation, and freely switch between them and those household members who stayed home. However, the game will also populate granite falls with some other vacation groups. You may not take control of them, even if they are not homeless. You may, however, force them to end their vacation early. One aspect of this I have not tested is whether or not you may switch control to a household that you have previously played, but who have gone on vacation autonomously. Obviously, it will take a little luck for that situation to arise. Addendum: I noticed Mortimer Goth autonomously went on vacation by himself, so I selected Bella to play, and Mortimer came home from his vacation when the household loaded up.

6. You may also invite other sims you know who live in different households with you. I have not done this yet, but a lot of comments out there seem to suggest those other sims will wander off if you do not invite them to spend the night at your vacation lot.

Overall, I like this new game pack idea. I suspect they will end up releasing a lot of them, which will allow us to pick and choose which aspects to add to our games without committing to full-blown expansion packs that may only appeal to us partially. The way this game pack is set up would easily lend itself to other "traveling" packs, such as a University pack. I'm curious what they will do with global additions, however, such as a Seasons expansion - will it be a free addition like pools and ghosts, or a game pack, or even a full-sized expansion? Should be interesting to see how they deal with this in the future.

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Offline RunAmokSims

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2015, 09:37:27 AM »
.

Two annoyances: 1) you can't live in Granite Falls (and I want SO BADLY to have my simmie living in a tiny log cabin tucked in the woods, which isn't possible in either of the residential worlds), and 2) you can't plant the woods harvestables at home (which was surprising and very disappointing, because those harvestables are used in a lot of herbal remedies, which means that whenever you run out you can't just run out to your garden, but you have to go back on vacation).


That seems  odd about your plants. I watched the live broadcast yesterday and SimGuru Sarah said that you could take them home to plant in your garden.

And about staying there. I know it wouldn't be quite the same but she did say once there you could stay indefinitely if you want.  If you're going to have a family any pregnant Sims would have to go back to the "real" world to have the baby though.

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2015, 01:00:14 PM »
I'm going to jump in and assume that not being able to plant these things at home is a bug that will be corrected. I've started a garden on my vacation lot, but am shocked that of all the plants I picked up I only have 3/10. I realize at $800/day it might be hard to survive living there. I see that you can extend vacation,  but I guess the main problem in living in GF is not being able to do your career or raise a family etc. while there.

Offline RunAmokSims

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2015, 01:51:51 PM »
I'm going to jump in and assume that not being able to plant these things at home is a bug that will be corrected. I've started a garden on my vacation lot, but am shocked that of all the plants I picked up I only have 3/10. I realize at $800/day it might be hard to survive living there. I see that you can extend vacation,  but I guess the main problem in living in GF is not being able to do your career or raise a family etc. while there.

It's really $800 a day? Wow things have changed! :D We used to be able to park our RV for about 25 or less.

I do wish that they had made this as an optional livable neighborhood and a vacation one. It would be more tempting for me to buy.

Offline callycat

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2015, 02:49:17 PM »
I'm going to jump in and assume that not being able to plant these things at home is a bug that will be corrected

I've been able to test this now, and I've had no problem planting the new ones at home.

Maybe try a different plant or two, Caitie, and make sure they are identified ones?
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Offline MissZoef

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2015, 08:06:52 PM »
I must say I am pleasently suprised by this game pack  ;D going on vacation wasn't my favorite thing in the former sim games, but I just loooove how GF is put together. I got 3 of my sims camping with tents and stuff. At first I was really confused, but then I realised that you can take a lot of camping items with you in your inventory from home, and then put it there. Also you can buy equipment there if you like.
It reminded me a lot of how my own family goes camping and that made it very awesome to me  :D
I was pleasantly suprised by the amount of content I got for €20. Quite a lot of furniture and stuff, some clothes and new hairstyles, new trait and aspiration and the new world, insects and fish. Yeah, I would love to see more packs like this!

However, I hope they'll still release expansion packs too, because I liked the way they were in the former sim games. 

Offline imayu94

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2015, 01:01:34 AM »
Time runs in both Granite Falls and the home worlds at the same time.

If this is true, this is quite good, personally. One of the things I found weird in traveling in the Sims 3 is that aging stops, and that's so strange, reaiity wise.

I haven't got the pack yet, but I'm excited about it. When they said in-between, they really meant in-between.
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Offline Carl

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2015, 01:18:57 PM »
Yeah I did an aging test and saw that working properly while on vacation. I don't think it should freeze time, and am glad it allows people to use the new area in Challenges, because they must decide if it's worth both paying to go there and the time they will expend.

Offline TheGoat

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2015, 01:53:56 PM »
Yeah I did an aging test and saw that working properly while on vacation. I don't think it should freeze time, and am glad it allows people to use the new area in Challenges, because they must decide if it's worth both paying to go there and the time they will expend.

It does make me wonder how they are going to do other packs. I assume, of course, that there will be a University pack, eventually. Without freezing aging, sims will likely be giving up a good chunk of their adult lives going to school. Maybe they will create a new life stage like in TS2.

Offline Cat_Mom

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2015, 02:33:03 PM »
I too am really happy about Granite Falls. It's fun to have all these new places to explore. I'm so glad about new things to collect too, as I am a collection freak-I must have everything :)

Have fun everyone!

Offline marwolfer

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2015, 02:44:14 PM »
I think it's really beautiful, like the other two worlds we have already. The plants can be difficult to find when you're trying to identify all 10, but overall I think it's a nice addition for $20.
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Offline Nutella

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2015, 03:01:02 PM »
Collecting insects is driving me crazy.

Offline Playalot

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2015, 08:43:59 AM »
I have to admit to not really enjoying the game pack so far. The world itself is quite beautiful with lovely little touches like squirrels and woodpeckers and such. Collecting plants is frustrating me as my sim is unable to identify anything despite having a few levels of the herbalist skill. Not being able to navigate around due to lack of land features and one bunch of trees looking like the next is not particularly enjoyable. I also expected something to change the game play... but perhaps I was still thinking of World Adventures, but I found myself staring at my sims thinking 'well what do I do now'.
I like the new clothes and build items a lot, which is just as well otherwise I would have been 100% disappointed with my new purchase. Maybe I've missed the point of the game pack and a few more days play will get me more enthusiastic, if so I will edit this post, but for now it's a bit of a thumbs down. I just don't see the point of missing out on work promotions for standing around next to a tent for a few days! I think too, to be brutally honest, the high price of the game pack here in New Zealand started the whole experience with a large chunk of disappointment that might be a bit hard to overcome.


*Edited *   ok so now I have played a few more days and a few more trips to Granite Falls the things that make it worth while for me are the benefits that some of the new rewards and plants/recipes give to my sims. I particularly like the new potion Clear Mind which gives a focused moodlet in one sip. I still don't like it particularly from a 'holiday' perspective as the time away from work still bothers me but I am glad that I bought the pack even though I'm still not convinced it was value for money. (As a side note, it took until level 6 of the herbalist skill before my sim could identify all the plants.)
One thing I really like is that the more your sims sing the campfire songs the better they become. My fav sim at the moment has L10 guitar skill and so now he has these new, rather gorgeous sounding, well practised songs to sing, his skill is even more fun to play with.
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Offline Shewolf13

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2015, 10:22:21 AM »
I love the look of Granite Falls immensely.  And being able to camp out, like I did when I was kid on a regular basis; there's just something nostalgic about it for me, so I'm thoroughly enjoying that, though I made the mistake of using the actual campsite and not having the bathroom closer was a bit of a pain (as it is in real life XD).  I had no issue bringing plants back home and planting them.  I did have some issues identifying plants; it wasn't until level 4 or so of herbalism that I could identify all the plants she'd found in her inventory.

Over all, I'm enjoying it, if for no other reason than the nostalgia and the look of Granite Falls.  I have yet to do a lot of exploring just because of time reasons since I only was just able to get the pack yesterday.

Offline dharmagoddess

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2015, 07:04:43 PM »
I didn't spend much time with it yet, but I was a little disappointed that I chose to "take a vacation" as a couple, but only one Sim arrived. Maybe I did something wrong, but I was able to select my Sims and yet only the one who initiated the travel arrived in Granite Falls.
For the very little time I spent there I think it's going to be a nice expansion to explore. I really like the new interactions of stargazing and going hiking. As for identifying harvestables, I bought the Herbalism guide and I'm going to have my Sims read it before returning so I don't harvest a bunch of unidentified plants.

Offline Stormi71

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2015, 01:05:31 AM »
I caved in today and bought it. I didn't get to play it for too long, but it seems fun. My sim invited her boyfriend, her teen daughter, and teen daughter's best friend. They only stayed for one night, as I didn't want to waste vacation days, so they stayed on a Saturday night. I haven't read any guides for it, so it was a little confusing at first. I sent them on vacation without buying tents etc, so I had a bit of trouble finding the rangers station to buy supplies. Plus buying tents was confusing as it doesn't actually say how many sims can sleep in a tent, so I ended up buying four (luckily my sim is rich), when in fact I think the tents I bought sleep two sims.
The non-household sims that came along seemed to hang around my sims, although they did wander off a bit. My teen sim and her friend went to the national park, and when she returned back to the campground, her friend didn't come back straight away, but eventually did and slept in the tent.
I didn't do much exploring, and when I finally did make one go for a hike, she was on her way back when the vacation ended.
What annoyed me was I planned camping outfits, and every time they travelled, it would change back to what that outfit previously was. I saved in outfit 5, and they'd travel and it would be the previous outfit 5, as when I clicked to change it (thinking they went to default outfit 1), it said they were already wearing it, so I would have to change to another outfit, then back to 5 and then it would be the camping outfit again. That is a minor issue, though.
So although I haven't played it much, it seems fun and adds some new gameplay. I'm not sure yet if it's worth the $30 au I paid, although it does have a lot of content, it's mostly camping related.

Offline Cheezey

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2015, 01:30:40 PM »
I just got the Outdoor Retreat game pack yesterday.  I think it's fun. I've deliberately not read or looked up any spoilers (other than LGR's review) so I could try to learn it and discover things on my own.

From playing it a few hours, I think it's worth the price. Those of you who purchased it when it came out and got the discount got a better deal, but even at full price, it's still a pretty good value. I know there's not a direct comparison of Sims 4 game packs to Sims 3 stuff, but to me, the closest in the amount of new game play functionality and items feels like it would be akin to one of the Sims 3 store worlds with a venue and a few items of premium content, and those were generally $20-35.  Being that Outdoor Retreat is on the low end of that cost-wise, and gives a nice new flavor to the game play with more flexibility than a lot of the Sims 3 premium content did, I'm quite happy with it.

My sim is just wrapping up a 2-day vacation and had a blast. Because she's only got 3 vacation days, I'm going to let her go home, work, and come back again for a longer stay after that so I can play with more of the features. 

Edited to add: I forgot to say before that I like how when the vacation ends, or during it, you get the option to extend it if you want to, and funds allow. It's such a nice change from World Adventures in Sims 3 where you had to earn the visa for longer stays through forced questing.  I also like that you can go right away again if you change your mind, instead of having a moodlet that keeps you from traveling for 2 days.

Offline Fran200034

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #25 on: March 05, 2015, 03:34:14 PM »
Im still in 2 minds whether to get this......

Offline beardeux

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #26 on: March 09, 2015, 10:26:32 PM »
I finally got the pack.  I was grateful to see that they can eat the fruit they collect.  If planting goes well at home, I hope they can eat it at home too.  I found the woods eye tiring looking for collectables, (too many trees) so I finally just sent my sim jogging/hiking and as he goes along I find all kinds of things.  So far, I've found all the new fish and plants.  I'm having trouble finding ground insects.  Only the mantis so far.  I've got most of the flying things though.
   I also have not figured out how to move the camping supplies (tent, chairs, fire, etc.) on his camp ground lot.  They are just haphazardly placed and not suited for anything including company.  I ended up selling the chairs and bought a two seater.  I can't put chairs around the game table.  I also don't like that other sims just use his fire pit and his tent.  He can't sleep in it when it's in use.  I saw the video from EA and they were moving furniture all over the place.  I can't remember whether it was a camp site or a cabin.  Can this only be done at the cabins?
   I found the secret cave and the hermit.  My sim is handy so with each visit he's upgrading the hermits appliances etc.  It's still a search for the brambles though.  Tough to spot.
   On the whole, I like it.  The campfire options are nice.  I forgot to set the new aspiration for nature enthusiast, so I have to go back and accomplish that.
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Offline TheGoat

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #27 on: March 09, 2015, 11:11:26 PM »
   I also have not figured out how to move the camping supplies (tent, chairs, fire, etc.) on his camp ground lot.  They are just haphazardly placed and not suited for anything including company.  I ended up selling the chairs and bought a two seater.  I can't put chairs around the game table.  I also don't like that other sims just use his fire pit and his tent.  He can't sleep in it when it's in use.  I saw the video from EA and they were moving furniture all over the place.  I can't remember whether it was a camp site or a cabin.  Can this only be done at the cabins?

You ought to be able to drag them around with the mouse, or go into build mode, perhaps. I can't remember how I did it, but I know I did. I think instead of clicking and selecting "place in world," I just clicked and dragged the item from my Sim's inventory to where I wanted it.

Offline beardeux

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #28 on: March 10, 2015, 01:11:37 AM »
I tried to do that from both dragging from the inventory and build mode.  I couldn't access build mode and the items wouldn't come out of the inventory.
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Offline coolsim9999999

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #29 on: September 16, 2016, 07:55:51 PM »
One thing I really like is that the more your sims sing the campfire songs the better they become. My fav sim at the moment has L10 guitar skill and so now he has these new, rather gorgeous sounding, well practised songs to sing, his skill is even more fun to play with.

My sims have level 10 guitar skill, too, but they really can't sing (I know that's not a skill.)  They have maxed so many skills, so I will have them sing with the guitar now.

About how many songs does it take for them to become better at singing?
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Offline coolsim9999999

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #30 on: September 16, 2016, 11:36:16 PM »
One thing I really like is that the more your sims sing the campfire songs the better they become. My fav sim at the moment has L10 guitar skill and so now he has these new, rather gorgeous sounding, well practised songs to sing, his skill is even more fun to play with.

My sims have level 10 guitar skill, too, but they really can't sing (I know that's not a skill.)  They have maxed so many skills, so I will have them sing with the guitar now.

About how many songs does it take for them to become better at singing?
Tonight, I got one of my Sims to sound really good with 3 songs now.  It took me about 10 times until she was really good.  I think it took about 3 times until it wasn't bad to listen to.
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Offline coolsim9999999

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #31 on: September 28, 2016, 10:31:55 PM »
Tonight the other 5 adult Sims in my main household sang songs around the campfire, and I think it took 5 or 6 songs to sing really well, instead of 10 like the first Sim  in that household who learned to sing.
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Offline Playalot

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #32 on: September 28, 2016, 10:59:30 PM »
Sorry, only just saw your posts.  :) Interesting fact singing is going to be a skill for those people who purchase City Living! But yeah, just singing a few camp fire songs improves your sims hidden singing skill considerably!
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Offline coolsim9999999

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #33 on: September 29, 2016, 02:51:27 AM »
Sorry, only just saw your posts.  :) Interesting fact singing is going to be a skill for those people who purchase City Living! But yeah, just singing a few camp fire songs improves your sims hidden singing skill considerably!
Don't worry about it.  Yes, it did!  Wow!  You can actually listen to their singing now.  It is really cool that City Living will have a singing skill, but this is nice for now.  I hope they can sing well in the shower, too.
Sul! Sul!
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Happy Simming :)!