Upon announcement of The Sims 4, we asked the BeyondSims team to share their general thoughts and opinions about The Sims 4’s announcement and what they want to see from the next generation of The Sims.

First up from the staff team is our editor, MapleSim! Check out what he had to say below:

Please note: These are MapleSim’s views and do not reflect other staff members views or opinions.

With all of the rumours and conspiracy theories floating around these past couple of months, I guess it was only a matter of time before EA/Maxis announced the official successor to The Sims 3. It’s hard to believe that just under 4 years ago this generation of Plumbobs launched, and by the time it comes to an end we will have 11 Expansions, 9 Stuff Packs, and 9 Store DLC Worlds.

Am I excited for The Sims 4? Certainly! I’ve found this last series to be everything I wanted in a procrastination-enabler and more. I’ve been able to plunge the depths of Ancient Tombs, build Robots Whirlygigs and Air Fresheners, Juggled Flaming Batons on a stage in front of a crowd, and so much more… things I could never even dream to do in my real life (hell, I couldn’t even find a space in my one bedroom apartment for those nifty batons).

I feel like customization was one of the foremost ideas prior to the launch of The Sims 3. With neat tools like Create-A-World and Create-A-Pattern, and pretty decent support for Modders and content-creators,  the team behind the scenes sparked a generation of simmers to think outside the lot and dream of what happens across the street with those kooky neighbours, cycle along the pagodas of Shang Simla, or play hide-and-go-seek with Fairies, Zombies, and Aliens (Oh my!).

Midway through (I think around Pets or so), I had to take a break from The Sims 3 as school papers took precedence over my simulated life, and took a specific toll on my aging Laptop. Shortly thereafter we said goodbye to it and laid it to rest. One of the goals of The Sims 3 was accessibility, making the game available to a much larger group than other games on the market at the time. Surprisingly low system requirements meant that almost anyone with a computer or (indeed) a laptop could run the simulation at least relatively well. Being able to do so and offer new innovations like NO LOADING SCREENS was impressive, but did so at the cost of some of the immersion… enter the dreaded Rabbit Hole.

While annoying and potentially out of place, they are necessary to ensure that one’s lower end netbook will not implode and yet not impact the Alienware’s or CyberPower’s experience too much. So many issues can be easily avoided with an upgrade of one’s computer, and to some extent people have to decide if they want to continue on with the world into a new age or stay safely behind on the classics. If there isn’t somewhat of a rise in system requirement over this generation, I would be surprised if Rabbitholes weren’t included in The Sims 4. Those of you who are joining us on the ride into the future might just want to pretend we’re all heading to Wonderland and get with it J (For the record my replacement was a pretty sweet desktop that glows blue!)

My one over-arching criticism with this generation? Too much fan input is not necessarily a good thing.

Yes, I know, drawn and quartered and all of that. Here me out though:

How many times have you or someone you know (online or otherwise) said “I’m so excited that they made this expansion, now I only need (insert Sims 2 Expansion here), (insert Sims 2 Expansion here),and (insert Sims 2 Expansion here) and I will be able to keep playing!! LOLSMLFODLLMERL!!!:)JJJJ

I know people dearly enjoyed The Sims 2, and yes many a memory could hardly compete with the experiences had now in The Sims 3. In truth, quite a lot of simmers still play the last generation regularly (many of the BeyondSims staff included). What seemed to have happened is that the Team tried some brand new ideas toward the beginning of The Sims 3, and were quickly shot down by players who wouldn’t hear of anything but their Sims 2 equivalents. They were either for or against (with many falling into the latter category), potentially in part due to their desire to play the same families and the same story as their beloved Sims 2. In a way The Sims 3 didn’t seem to happen; only a sequel to The Sims 2 instead of a new edition to an established series.  An easier way to explain my outlook: I find it hard to find a forum that doesn’t contain posts about how The Sims 3 sucks because there isn’t Open For Business or Freetime.

I would rather have creative people come up with fantastical ideas than bend to the will and sacrifice their artistic vision to redo the same game over and over. First Person Shooters do that and I didn’t sign up for it here. Ask as many questions in community polls and surveys as you’d like and I’ll gladly answer them. But I’d like that to be the fun little additions instead of the entire premise. I’m not sure how much additional gameplay Farming could insert in a game that has already had Gardening for a pretty long time.

I’m not at all against the community as they do bring up really good points that I feel should be looked at with The Sims 4.

Seasons and weather would be an excellent base game addition, as would a robust assortment of careers/jobs, social outings, pets, and some really neat Build/Buy assets. Let’s take it one step further though and include extensions of those ideas that Simmers have never dreamed about (I’m still holding out for an Event Planner/Wedding Coordinator position… cough..my background.. cough..).

Will there be a Store for The Sims 4? We would be silly to think there wouldn’t be. Do I mind? Not so much… but I would prefer less of a presence if that makes sense. I would like the opportunity to buy a complete Expansion or Stuff Pack that includes a large number of “Premium Content Items” rather than have to rely on a DLC version. I don’t particularly hate DLC as a lot of Simmers have voiced, but I would prefer that it be practical and reasonably priced. Given the stance that EA has taken the last couple of years I am sure a large emphasis on micro-transaction type indulgences would be given, and that our beloved Guru’s would have zero control over.

That brings me to a rather big final point; Internet Connectivity. There are chasms wrought over this topic, and while a good number of the voices come to the party ill-informed, there are quite a few bad things to be said about it. While it has been announced that The Sims 4 will be an offline, single player experience, it can’t be expected that in this day and age a game would not be wired to some degree. I’ll leave it with this: I bought SimCity and lived to tell the tale. I really appreciate the notion of connecting like-minded gamers from across the world in an easy, non-threatening way. That isn’t to say that I don’t like penning my own stories. If SimPort was a test-run, we can only hope that they’ve gathered what they needed and will improve from there. And from the looks of that funny little Blue Plumbob, myself, Spon1Player, theblackscorpion and the rest of the team here may be visiting your living rooms while we pen our Sims Stories together, and hopefully it will be with an invitation instead of a battering ram.

Sul Sul! -MapleSim