Completing Whims, Accumulating Satisfaction, and Purchasing Rewards
by Tom "Metro" Schlueter
Combining Whims is key in building Satisfaction quickly, such as reading a book (#3) at the museum (#1).
Nearly any type of game has currency - whether you're talking about Candy Crush and Angry Birds, or World of Warcraft and League of Legends. The bottom line is you accomplish certain things in a game and are doled out a certain amount of currency to spend on rewards to better prepare your toons for tougher times ahead. It's totally addicting and developers know this. We all want our game characters to be as awesome as they can be.
In all the Sims games of course there is the system of Simoleons. Sims 4 also introduces another currency called Satisfaction. In Sims 3 you gained Lifetime Happiness Points by fulfilling small Wishes and the one main Lifetime Wish. Then you spent LTHP on rewards. So, in Sims 4 it's the same book with just a new cover: you complete Whims and various Milestone components to earn Satisfaction and then purchase goodies in the Reward Store with that Satisfaction.
Learning how Whims are chosen for your Sim can help you to keep the list clean and focused on what you really want to do. This can help you to earn more satisfaction while working on aspirations.
Playing on a Whim: Racking Up the Satisfaction
Whims and Aspiration Milestone components are your only two sources to accumulate Satisfaction. In Sims 3 you could increase the amount of Lifetime Happiness Points you received by staying in a good mood to get that steady stream of points in the background as well as choose the Ambitious trait which provided a completion bonus. Those mechanics have been removed in Sims 4, but the bare bones of how you earn "currency" is the same: in Sims 3 you had four Wishes that could fire. Now you can have up to three Whims that provide Satisfaction.
The Whim in slot #1 is tied to Emotion and can change when the Sim's Emotion does. If that one appeals to you, it should be prioritized, as if your Emotion changes it will disappear to be replaced with a new one. The second and third Whim slots are static and more under your control. These Whims will stay until you've completed them, unless you delete them in order to allow for others to come up.
So, how are the Whims that come up determined? They can relate to your Sim's emotional state, such as taking a shower because they are Tense, giving someone a hug because you are Happy, or going to the museum because you are Inspired. Whims can be general ones like purchasing an item you do not have. They can trigger from a Trait you have, such as making a new friend from being Outgoing, and they can fire because of a certain Aspiration or Career. Whims are based on what your Sim has been doing in the past couple of days as well; focus on a Skill and you'll get Whims for that one. Socialize a lot, and you'll get more whims to befriend Sims. So, there are lots of ways to get a steady stream of Whims and Satisfaction. Do different things - get in different emotional states, pursue different skills, etc and you'll be guaranteed lots of Whims.
Obtaining lots of Satisfaction in a short period of time all comes down to micromanagement and hitting the pause button regularly to assess what needs to be done - should I cancel this 100 Satisfaction Whim that will take awhile to finish in hopes that a couple easier ones will take its place? Is this Whim going to move me closer to finishing my current Aspiration Milestone? Regularly cancelling Whims that just sit there uncompleted is always a good idea. And that skill will develop for you in time - you'll learn how long certain Whims take to complete and if they are worth it. Always be on the lookout for doubling up on certain Whims. For example, Make Something of Excellent Quality (from being a Perfectionist), and Make a large Gourmet Meal (from your Gourmet Cooking skill). So, bingo - you make a large gourmet meal that is of excellent quality and you kill two birds with one stone.
Hopping between the Knowledge Aspirations is easy because two of them require building Logic.
One more tip is to take advantage of "Aspiration hopping" and the easy way you can build Satisfaction by completing various early Milestones. It's really nice that now when a Sim finishes an Aspiration they can move onto working on another one. But, even better is they can flip flop between Aspirations. It just makes sense to do so given how easy it is to complete some of the early Milestones. Just take a look at the components for some of the first Milestones and select one based on what your Sim is doing at that time. If you're making Friends, select a Popularity Aspiration. While cooking, pick Master Chef. You will sometimes earn progress on these, and that will give you Satisfaction while getting you closer to Milestones with larger amounts of Satisfaction to reward you.
Some of these Milestone quests are duplicated (Editor note: some aspiration goals were changed with patches, but this is still useful for the sake of giving an example). In the Knowledge category of Aspirations you have Renaissance Sim and Nerd Brain both having the same first Milestone - finish reading 3 books and having level 4 logic skill. Completing one will earn you progress toward both, but you'll only get the Satisfaction once. The other one is the Popularity Category. All three have the New in Town Milestone which tasks you with making 5 friends and introducing yourself to 10 Sims. While those with identical requirements will not give you Satisfaction multiple times, you can cross those requirements off the list and get to the Milestones that have higher Satisfaction rewards earlier in your Sim's life.
The Reward You'll Never Get Tired Of...
So, with practice you get better at completing Whims - chaining them together like a pro. You're Aspiration hopping like a seasoned veteran and now you have gobs of Satisfaction inside of your first week. It's time to think about rewards. Press G and open up the Rewards Store. Some rewards are not that expensive (ignore the potions and do not be suckered into buying them). For example, Morning Sim and Night Owl are only 1000 Satisfaction each and will give your Sim nice skill gain boosts. The thing to ask yourself is do I want a minor boost to my Sim now, or do I want a bigger boost in power later when I have more Satisfaction? The bigger rewards = more power. If you can delay your gratification a bit I recommend waiting.
The king of all Rewards is Never Weary. You are gaining hours every day to do other things besides sleep.
So, what reward is best and worth waiting for? Of course "best" is quite subjective, but in my opinion if you are talking about what reward will translate into your Sim being able to do more - i.e. has the most global impact on any given Sim, then it's Never Weary. At 4000 Satisfaction it's very expensive, but the impact cannot be underestimated: if your Sim is pretty tired (yellow or red plumbob), depending on the Energy value of your bed it takes approximately 6+ hours to attain a fully green Energy bar. The reason I put Never Weary above another 4000 Satisfaction reward, Savant, is because Savant has one benefit - faster skilling. When you essentially gain 6 hours from not having to sleep, then you can have your Sims skill, build relationships, prepare for a career's daily tasks at a more leisurely pace, go out and find collectibles, or whatever it is you want to do.
One of the great triumphs of a sandbox game like Sims is you can push your characters as hard as you want. You can casually have your Sims go about their days and complete Whims here and there in a relaxed approach, or you can grind them into the ground, fulfilling nearly every Whim that pops up, jump around the various Aspiration milestones and have a ton of Satisfaction to purchase really powerful rewards. It's all up to you.
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