Author Topic: Discover University - First Impressions  (Read 743 times)

Offline MrsFlynn

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Discover University - First Impressions
« on: November 14, 2019, 07:17:59 PM »
What's your first impression of Discover University? Was there any surprises for you?

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Offline MarianT

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Re: Discover University - First Impressions
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2019, 08:48:27 AM »
I haven't fully gotten into this pack yet, but one warning -- your currently played Sims will have to wait to be accepted to University. Also, if you create a Sim in CAS, that Sim will have to apply to University and apply for scholarships and...wait.

I do understand -- my Sim had a tense moodlet, and waiting to hear is very realistic. But if you're looking forward to diving into classes and keggers, etc., you need to pick one of the pre-made Sims in the game. I'm thinking of it as being like pregnancy -- you have to wait those 3 days whether you want to or not.

That said, I do like the hair and clothes that come with the pack. It's great to have jeans that don't have holes in them, and I like the dresses.
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Offline Playalot

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Re: Discover University - First Impressions
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2019, 01:44:38 PM »
So after a day or so playing with this pack I think I can share my first impressions. Remember because of time zones I've had this pack for well over a day at this point.

I've always been a huge fan of roommates in Sims games and up until now I had been using a mod to allow me to have roommates in my game. So I love this feature. There is a RNG sort of chance as to what type of roommate your Sim will get and weirdly my first experience with roommates was 9 very well behaved  neat polite Sims that cleaned, repaired and baked their way through life. I was a little disappointed. I had been having visions of fires and filth and all the plumbing broken and trash and fights and general chaos. However over in his game Carl was having a nightmare. His sims were causing filth, puddles, broken plumbing but most importantly were driving him insane with their noise and constant 'being there'. I was delighted! I started another test file and got lucky this time, disgusting filthy roommates were now living with my Sim. Bliss. So I guess if you've liked roommates before then you'll probably like them now. If you've never understood the point of them and you get a "bad" roll of them like Carl did, then you are simply going to hate them. For me they are a big win and the item I was most looking forward to, oh that and individual inventory storage, can't forget the new storage chests.

I started my Sim in Britechester with 3 classes and 1 elective, the Research and Debate skill elective as at L3 your Sim gets a boost to how fast they can complete their uni homework. The lack of a weekly planner is a huge mistake and a major distraction from playing at uni. Having to keep scrolling through the 'work panel' list of classes to check which class is next is ridiculous. I gave up and literally wrote out my Sims timetable in a Mon-Fri planner which made playing at uni much easier. Your Sims will auto go to class if you are not micro-managing them to death but if you cancel the prompt then you'll have to walk your Sims down to the rabbit-hole buildings and wait outside as the button that appears to click to send your sims to class, only appears when the class starts. If you are still in your dorm at that point, you'll take a big hit to the scoring that is happening behind the scenes for missing class making A+ all that harder to get.

Getting a perfect GPA isn't hard but it is demanding. You can't miss completing homework and you'll need to re-edit and practice your sims class work to outstanding for the writing and excellent for the presentation board. With the classes that have an exam you'll need to study at least once from the course textbook. And if you take 4 classes in total so your sim can complete their degree in the shortest amount of time possible (3 weeks) then you will be busy. Not because it is difficult but because of the class scheduling structure. It is designed to keep your sim busy, tired and under pressure. Make your own timetable like I did and it will be much easier to get organized and at a glance will be able to see how to direct your sims time to get the best out of their busy days. Overall getting a degree can be a massive time sink and a game play grind. I am mixed about this, not sure if I like it or am annoyed.

My sim joined the Painting Organization and the Secret Society, not their correct in-game titles but close enough. The Painting Organization gave a nice boost to creative skills when in a meeting but tbh not enough really to worry if you can't find the time to manage the extra meetings and tasks your sim will need to complete on top of everything else. The Secret Society is another thing altogether. I won't go into great detail as that would spoil the fun in discovering this for yourself but the extra 'work' this places your Sim under is worth it for a specific focused moodlet that can occur. Eventually when you make it to the top rank within the society you can call this moodlet on your Sim whenever you need it - but it does have a huge cool down so you have to use it wisely. The 30% boost to career and uni performance is well worth it if you want that perfect GPA though, there's nothing else in the game that gives that kind of boost. I enjoyed the challenge of being a member and there are some quite big push-backs so it is not all secret midnight clandestine meetings under the stars, there's some good game play to managing the down sides of it all.

I haven't dabbled with servos, it doesn't interest me. I'll have to eventually so I can understand the game play surrounding them but for now I am simply enjoying living in a dorm, managing my Sims schedule and am keen to do it all again but with 8 active Sims the next time. I think there are some great opportunities for an 8 Sim Uni Challenge with this pack.

Unlike it seems, most people, I am not a fan of the CAS items. The clothes seem quite flat and texture-less but then again I always dress my Sims in cc jeans etc so no big surprise there. I like the dorm furniture a lot, the clean pale wood tones are really attractive and despite not sparking my interest until late last night when I was just about to close my game, I actually really like the bike animations. I'm not sure how useful they will be in such tiny, closed neighborhoods but biking around Britechester campus late at night was really atmospheric and showcased what TS4 does best, make beautiful worlds. 

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Offline Kamxam

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Re: Discover University - First Impressions
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2019, 09:33:51 AM »
Played for a few hours and here are my impressions so far.

You can apply on the computer and at the mailbox for grants/scholarships, and also research the schools on your computer to see what one would suit you best. As someone mentioned, once you apply it does take 2-3 days to see what you get. (You can also check the status on your computer)  Once accepted it will show you what's available for your scholarships and grant and then you can apply to enroll at whatever school you choose. It took me like an hour to figure out how to enroll and actually get to the school.. lol

In my case just before I left for the school it showed a screen where I could add whoever I wanted to come with me from the family but as I was going solo I just kept what I had. I then went to a few screens where I could see the grants/scholarships, pick the classes I wanted, where I wanted to live, How much money to bring for funds, etc. If you live on-campus in the dorms you cannot go into build mode (At least not yet?)  so if you have stuff you'd like it would be better to bring it with you in inventory. Haven't lived off campus so probably it would be editable I presume. The campus does have a kiosk where you can buy a small fridge, microwave, swag, portable computer, school clothes, decorations, etc if you like.

As for classes you go into the place where you'd normally  see your work or career status and it will show you a list of your classes along with what's needed in homework, term paper or presentations along with the times or day when you need to go. You will be given a presentation board if needed (Think board on an easel) and a homework binder you can find in your inventory. Can also go to your computer and look under the University tab for it also.

As for the dorms you can lock, unlock set doors for your room and assign yourself to an available bed. (I had a roomie at first but they moved out after a while) As in the other packs, you'll have friends and family visiting on occasion.

The classes are rabbit holes so you'll go to class and reappear outside when it's done. You can also tutor for a little extra cash on skills you might be good at. They also have classes for raising skills that you might like. (Price was 250s the first time for skill to 2 but not sure if it goes higher the better the skill) You do have guest lecturers but at the moment i'm using them mostly to gain the University aspiration.

Have not done much on the extra activities but did join the secret society. Did notice school spirit and a robotics competitions so they are out there. Also visited a few of the hot spots and they are what you'd expect.
I'm current on my second of my 3 terms and concentrating mostly on doing the school stuff first and the rest second. (A+ Baby!)

I'm enjoying it so far, but as I have all the packs, expansions and stuff i'm a hopeless sims addict. lol Hope this helps out a little.

NOTE: Graduated with a distinguished degree in physics from Foxbury.  Went into the Mechanical Engineering branch career and started at level 8 with a sign-on bonus so is a nice jump with the degree imho. Just a FYI.

Offline Highlander

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Re: Discover University - First Impressions
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2019, 11:46:42 AM »
Played a good bit this weekend. Things are a bit buggy. Started with one guy and noticed some whims weren't giving me credit. He also had the Nerd Brain aspiration and once he started College, he got stuck at 2/3 books read. I also had a tough time figuring out where to eat. The Commons serves meals, but only at specific times. Dropping in after midnight leaves you hungry. I have also been there when the cook will lay out meals, but you can't buy the food until a specific time. Eventually I scrubbed that and started over.

Second try I was a little more prepared. Bought a mini fridge and microwave, although my roomies got more use out of it than I did. I changed dorms, but picked the "Best of Friends" one and ended up controlling two more sims. Really didn't want that.

Once I learned  to go to the commons at 7AM, Noon or 5PM,  food was no longer an issue. They also serve a Holiday menu on Harvestfest and Winterfest, so you can complete those holidays. Spent a lot of time in the library studying and doing homework. Made good use of the research station. I kind of messed up my term and thought I had more days than I did. I got an A+ in all 4 classes even though I never wrote 2 term papers. I guess all the extra studying made up for it. Still seems a little off.

There are some strange things. Even though you have toilet stalls, the open showers lead to some embarrased sims. Not sure why they did that. The animations for getting the bicycle out and putting it away seem to negate any time you save by using one. I went to the commons one night to eat, but there was a juice kegger going on. I couldn't get food because the cook kept leaving his post to cheer then on. One night I went to the pub to get a snack, but my sim spent so much time complaining about a cheer squad guy, he never ate.

My advice. Buy what stuff you need at the Kiosk. Fridge will help out in a pinch. Laptop is invaluable as computers get a lot of use. They always seem to be full when you need the. Textbooks are expensive, but it's very useful. And the Research station is very handy. You not only gain Research and Debate skill, but you also get some progress on another skill as well.

Offline eaglezero

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Re: Discover University - First Impressions
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2019, 03:45:16 PM »
I'm getting a lot more bugs than usual. Couldn't play at all on my laptop, which is apparently a common problem for my particular setup. Opened it up on my husband's laptop, where I have no mods and only a couple expansions installed, and the bugs, the bugs!

I played a sim I already had, who was at level 8 in the Patron of the Arts career track, so I had her major in Art History at Britechester, but live at home.

I thought the magic system from the previous pack was pretty overpowered initially, but being a witch REALLY makes uni easier - needs potion so you can take a full load of classes AND have time to socialize, and copy spell so you can get all your eighty million robot parts. Boom, done. I used the time after applying to college to level up the research skill and become a witch, because my sim works full-time and ain't got no time for that.

I don't really understand how to get my sim to class? They need to have a better option for this because my sim kept getting docked for being late. I also don't understand why the Responsible trait doesn't change the class tone like it does the work tone - that's not well-integrated. I would also think the "speed reader" reward trait should help with studying but it doesn't seem to, and that "professional slacker" should help with skipping classes. I did however find it useful to be able to keep my sim's job while she was in school, since she missed half the workday several days a week.

My sim was abducted by aliens Thursday night before her finals. I haven't had a sim abducted in ages (the last time was probably three years ago? in real-world years), so that was fun. Thank god it was a female sim rather than a male sim, because I can just imagine having that happen and having to do the rest of your schooling with alien toddlers.

University appears to be a place of experimentation, as my sim who had previously only had romances with men suddenly developed pink bars with women all on her own without my direction. I don't have any mods or CC in this game. Wasn't keeping an eye on her while she was socializing so I don't know exactly what happened.

I hadn't realized Angela and Lilith Pleasant were in the game until I saw them on campus. Love it.

eta: My sim got abducted AGAIN. Also Thursday night before finals, of her second semester. So. I'm guessing this might be another bug... gotta see if it happens next week too.

Offline Kamxam

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Re: Discover University - First Impressions
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2019, 06:30:25 PM »
The commons can be edited so I added a fridge and stove behind the commons food person so my sim could cook her own "Healthier" meals rather than doing the microwave/Quick meal route all the time. As for going to class, the place where you normally see your job or kid's school info will have the start times for your classes. Should have a go to class option when it is time for you to go if they don't do it automatically. Notice that if your sims are doing something else they may keep on doing it unless you manually quit it.
Once I got my degree I brought the home in the college area so if and when I go back to college I should be able to live there. (Hopefully)



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Offline eaglezero

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Re: Discover University - First Impressions
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2019, 05:04:14 PM »
Ok, now that my sim has completed their degree, a second first impression:

What's up with the term length!??! I play on normal lifespan and I had to use a potion to reset my sim to the beginning of the young adult stage. With a day to hear from scholarships, a few days to hear back after applying, and four regular weeks of classes, my sim would have become an adult before she finished university. It would make much more sense if the entire university experience was 12 days max.

Offline Heart Foam

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Re: Discover University - First Impressions
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2019, 01:51:07 PM »
It's been pointed out to me that not everyone who reads here frequents the story boards, so as suggested I'm copy/pasting a post I've written on my current story. If this is useful to anyone, thank @oshizu. For context, Kari is my starter sim who has completed a distinguished psych degree with honours (though I haven't uploaded the chapter in which she graduates yet). (But I'll do that now.)

-----

Some Discover University Thoughts.

I enjoy the time-management part of it. I enjoy the fact skills are tied to classes, and by extension the elective system. Spoilers, but Kari has level 5 Selvadorada Culture. She can already rumbasim, and if she goes to the jungle, she can already eat all the food. Taking a narrative view of a sims life, it's more interesting to say "my sim studied archaeology at university, and that's why he can establish dig sites" than "my sim read a book".

I'm no party animal, I wasn't, and my sims aren't. They *always* do the homework, because in doing the coursework and sitting in on lectures, the associated skills are improved. And that feels right. Seeing Kari improve like this has been satisfying. But I'm that person who feels any sim that isn't a top-notch toddler is incomplete. Any sim who isn't all kinds of gifted as a child is incomplete. Any sim that isn't a gold scout is incomplete. It'll be hard for me to forego homework and lectures and just throw parties, because isn't a sim without a distinguished degree with honours incomplete?

But I'm also curious to see if I can not do any homework, not go to any lectures, plagiarize essays, low-effort presentation, but just cram for the final exam and what grade that'll get? Like with Sims in general, the fun is what we make of it and limited to our imaginations. And I'm going to have a low-effort sim in this save...

The UI.

I think the classes *wouldn't* fit in the Seasons calendar (those blocks are pretty small, and some days there are 3 classes) (and not everyone has Seasons), and taking over the "work" tab makes sense because those classes are the daily grind. The calendar is for special events to stand out upon a quick glance. And it would be no easier to read, and involve no fewer clicks. "Oh use the calendar" is, to me, such a low-effort thoughtless complaint.

And the food thing... you'll never run out of food with the amount that roommates bring over. And in U Brite (if not Foxbury) there are outdoor grills, and I was preparing 'outstanding' quality food and putting it in the mini-fridge. I was scanning around the Foxbury world hoping to find a grill and didn't, but my sim was still eating lobster thermidor.

Gameplay consequences:

If you have a large family... with aging on, stuff is going to happen while you're at uni that you'll miss. I know there'll be simmers who won't want to relinquish control of the mum and dad and goldfish and weird uncle, and going to uni forces one to do that. (I'm not sure if one sends Humphrey off to uni, what would happen to him if you switch back to playing the rest of the family? does he go on probation after the first semester and just live in limbo?)   

That said, it's a really good and natural bridge between generations, which I've felt the game has lacked until now. Humphrey goes to uni, then moves to a lot of his own. (Or back home where everyone has died of old age, because that's how long uni takes.)

If sims, with normal aging, have child #1 immediately after 3 weeks of uni, 21 days, ... I'm not sure it's possible to have 3 generations alive simultaneously. The parents would be aging to adult at about the time the baby hatches into a toddler. YA is 24 days. That's entirely taken up by uni and pregnancy (but it's worse than that because you can't start classes on day 1 of a new save, you have to apply and wait). What a life. Then gen 2 goes through Toddler+child+teen = another 24 days, by which time the parents are elders. If the gen 2 child goes to uni too, the parents will die during those weeks. -- Perhaps leaving behind an empty house that the newly-minted graduate can't buy back.

DU could play havoc with some family-oriented, generational game, normal lifespan simmers who will tear their hair out and... maybe like the idea of uni, even like the gameplay of it... but would not want the Unintended Consequences. And such a simmer might well end up not going to uni at all, or getting a degree from home. I can understand that. It'll take planning, it'll take potions of youth.
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Offline scoed

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Re: Discover University - First Impressions
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2019, 03:43:03 PM »
I know this is kinda late for me to be doing my first impressions, especially since I preordered it. But here is what I think anyway if anyone cares. I like it. it isn't the best EP but it is in my estanation a worthy pick up if you enjoy the school scene in your sim games. I will break it down into good and bad points.

THE BAD

The schooling and athletics are rabbit holes. This means all classes, all lectures and all sportings are rabbit holes. While papers, homework, studying and presentation prep are not, the actual schooling is 100% a rabbit hole. Also everything related to soccer and esports other than the daily activity is also a rabbit hole. Going to games, play the games, practice, everything is a rabbit hole besides a daily activity. The hole uni experience is many ways is a rabbit hole career experience with a new shell.  Give the packs name sake is a rabbit hole the pack could of just as accurately be named "Discover Rabbit Hole" as the universities are in essence a rabbit hole career much like sims elementary and high school. Well except one thing....

Which is the classes are broken down into smaller individual classes with varied class times. This would not be an issue if there was an easier way to keep track of your classes. As is classes are tracked like careers in the same panel unsorted so you have to constantly look over the whole list to plan anything even in dorm activities. This is made worse as my sims would not go to class on there own. I am having to manually send them each and every time and there is no pop up warning like other careers like activities. Extracurricular school clubs are even worse. Until you join you have to find the info at a kiosk. Then after you join they are tracked similarly to school but in a special tab with clubs. But every issue with classes are also present requiring you to check two locations to know where you need to be when. The UI is a mess. If Sims only used that calendar they made things would be so much easier.

Bikes are pointless, especially in Foxbury. Bike are little more than reanimated jogging except you can't bike stairs. Foxbury campus has tons of stairs. This kills biking. But even if it was stair free, given there are faster means of travel in sims 4 all they end up being is a way to raise fitness and we were not lacking on means to do that.

The game play is limited to sims in uni. There is little if anything for a sim that isn't going to uni in this pack. This is doubly true for toddlers and children. Children can't even use bikes. Most of the gameplay is situated in Britchester and outside of that this pack has minimal impact.

Dorms don't have and can't have stoves or outside cooking devices like cauldrons or grills. This means loading screens each and every time your sim wants a quality meal. Yes there is microwaves you can buy, but the food will give bad moodlets over time. Yes roomies litter food everywhere but since most of it is spoiled, it ends up being more of a health hazard then a food source in my opinion. Also this make bribing sprites with fresh high quality sweets a real pain. Forcing loading screens on a several times a day bases is not good game play for no other reason to feed ones sim this is especially bad.

Bugs. Like all sims packs this came with bugs. There are threads on them so I will skip the list. Plus maybe someday they will fix them.

THE GOOD

It is a rare thing to have some degree of difficulty in the Sims 4. Discovery University does that. I find to get "A"s and "A+"s while doing an extracurricular activities an/or a sport with a full load, while keeping my sim happy a test in time management and requires good play. This is huge. The game needed something that wasn't easy, and Discover University delivered. This makes for good gameplay despite the constant rabbit holes and loading screens.

I like the look of the new world. Yes it is mostly there to send sims to uni, but I think that will happen quite a bit. And it is the second world with non-pool swimming. Little things like that matter. Yes some lots need redos but overall I am happy. Look there isn't a single stairs to nowhere, all the kitchens work, and nothing is so ugly I want to rip out my eyes. I can happily play the world as shipped. There has been packs where this just wasn't the case.

I love the new skills. I love messing with townies and research and debate lets me. It is so fun to make someone clean up the countless piles of trash and spoiled food lying everywhere in the dorms. It also make school so much easier. But the real winner is robotics. It isn't easy to build the bots but they pay off in time savings in the long run. Plus I find watching my sims get shocked a bit funny. About time sims had some risk somewhere. I also love new lifestates, You can make a Simbot to join your family. I haven't played one but I am excited to.

Over all I like this pack. It is far cry from perfect but I an glad I bought it. I will give it a "B-" If they made the UI better and let something pertaining to the actual class work not be an empty rabbit hole it would have jumped up quite a bit. It does something the game sorely needed, provide some degree of challenge. This makes me happy.


 

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