Talk Shoe Transcript

Hello and welcome to another exciting edition of the Sims 2 Challenges Podcast. Tonight we are going to be talking about the Apocalypse Challenge which was also written by Pinstar, and he is famous or infamous for writing the Legacy Challenge and he is actually on the phone with us tonight.

Hello!

Hello, hello

Welcome back

Thank you! Thank you for having me on the show again.

We had a lot of requests for this one.

I’m always happy to come on and talk about any of my challenges. I know there’s a lot of questions out there.

Yeah. Definitely for this one, too.

Yeah.

I have to admit that I have tried to read through the rules for this one but I got a headache.

*laughs*

So, why don’t you go ahead and tell us the basic premise and some of the things that make this unique?

Alright. Well, the basic premise behind the challenge is it starts sort of in the realm of the Legacy Challenge where you take a founder, make them male or female – however you want – customize them with custom content and that sort of thing, but instead of starting them out in the regular neighborhood, you have to actually start them in college. Obviously, you need the University Expansion to do the Apocalypse Challenge.

The reason they start off in college is very important. The storyline behind the challenge is that your founder is sort of just growing up, doing their thing in University. Right as they graduate, due to the simultaneous flushing of a couple thousand toilets, in great Sim City tradition, the nuclear power plants fail and the region turns into an irradiated nightmare, which your new college grad has to now survive in.

Basically, you start the challenge off in a rather barren lot. There’s a little bit of a bonus to joining up with the Secret Society. It lets you use one of three prebuilt lots which actually have been depreciated a little bit so you get a <i>little bit</i> more bang for your buck. Actually, I’m getting ahead of myself.

The main rules in college: there’s actually not too many restrictions there. Mainly that your Sim has to live alone as far as with other player Sims. They need to be the only player Sim on the lot. Generally the best place to move them into is the the college dorm. Let them make friends with all the dormies, get up good grades or not, depending on how you want to. Like I said, you can get them into the Secret Society or not. That affects what they can do when they finally do graduate.

The other thing you need to decide in college is what you are going to take with you. Now there’s a restriction that once you graduate college or leave college, (you don’t necessarily need to graduate) you can only bring three items with you. If you do indeed graduate, one of those items has to be your diploma. With the slew of restrictions that are going to be incoming, your choice of bringing home items is quite important from a strategic point of view.

Now, once you actually move into the regular neighborhood you are immediately inundated with a whole bunch of restrictions. The heart of the challenge is basically taking the Sims and removing any and all easy creature comforts that you’ve come to enjoy and rely upon; where doing even the most simple tasks such as raising your Sim’s hygiene bar becomes a monumental effort in and of itself.

It takes the Sim’s model of having to balance your time and energy between work and skills and friends and whatnot and basically takes most of the time out of it, so you have even less time to delegate to the various deeds. The challenge is unique in that most challenges might get a little harder as you go along. This one actually gets a little easier, so if you can survive the first generation or two you’re pretty well in gear to actually complete the challenge. Surviving that first generation is the hard part.

RACHEL: I’ve noticed that in the blogs that I’ve read. Or, I should say the first one or two chapters which then end because they die!

*laughs*

Yep, yep, yep. This is not a challenge for the faint of heart.

Let me just take a run through the basic restrictions, here. The one restriction that is sort of unique is called the Hopelessness Restriction. This is the restriction saying that you cannot move in or marry in any Sims or Pets until your founder reaches the top of a career. It doesn’t matter which of the careers. Basically, what that restriction does is: you can’t even get supplemented from a spouse’s income or have a spouse start working toward unlocking a second restriction until you can get your founder all the way to the top. So you need to have enough skills to flying solo get your founder up the corporate ladder, which can be a task in and of itself.

For those of you who are not familiar, the challenge is broken to a series of restriction sets. Each of these restriction sets are tied to a specific career in the game. By having a Sim reach the top of that career, you lift all of the restrictions related to that career. To prevent someone from, say, getting a single Sim with a whole bunch of friends and a whole bunch of skills and just career hopping through the computer, you can only lift one restriction per Sim. To prevent you from just marrying dozens and dozens of Sims to just have them reach the top of a career and then move them out of the house, you can only have one moved in spouse per generation. You’re better off having a bunch of kids and having them grow up to lift a restriction, rather than relying on outside help to get the job done.

Going through the core careers in the Sims, first we have Business:

-Your Sims may not start their own business or purchase community lots.
-They cannot sell items via the buy or build tab.
-Your Sims cannot use the “sell” interaction with objects (such as completed paintings, or workbench items)
-Your Sims *are* still allowed to finish writing novels and collect the royalties, however.
-Your Sims may not hire service Sims of any kind.
-You may not invite the headmaster to get your child and teenaged Sims into private school.
-Due to broken supply chains, you cannot use any crafting benches.

This particular point of the rule was actually changed and rebalanced when people were finding that plant, um…

RACHEL: Snapdragons.

The snapdragons. Yeah, they were basically making the challenge a nonchallenge by filling the house to the brim with these things. So, in order to get your snapdragons, in addition to unlocking Natural Science, you also need Business.

-Items crafted in college may be brought back. Flowers and Robots must be kept in inventory until their respective restrictions are unlocked

And then added for Pets:
-You may not buy pets from pet stores
-You may only craft one item per day when you do actually get your crafting benches going

And obviously all of those above are lifted once you get a Sim to the top of the Business career.

Next we have Law Enforcement:

-Your Sims may not purchase smoke detectors, fire sprinklers, burglar alarms or car alarms.
-Your Sims may not use the “emergency” tab on the phones.
-Teenage and Elder sims that have less than a 10 body may not leave the lot for any reason, including going to work or community lots.

The only exception to this rule is that teenaged Sims can go to high school without penalty. Also as a clarification, teenaged Sims may not go to University to become Young Adults unless either this restriction is lifted or they have a 10 body because they need to survive the trip out to college.

-Sims may not call the police to look for runaway teens.
-Only Sims in the Law Enforcement career may use the fingerprint scanner.

New with Pets:
-You may not call adoption services to adopt or give up a pet.
-You cannot call to report a lost pet.

So basically, you can’t call for help. If something bad happens in the house, your Sims are going to have to deal with it. You have zero protection from burglars other than being able to keep at least one Sim awake during all hours of the night. If you have a fire, you better hope that your Sims don’t catch fire as well.

RACHEL: Yeah.

Medical. This one can be kind of cruel:

-Showers and bathtubs of all types may not be purchased or used at home or on a community lot.
-Dish washers (both the cheap and the expensive kind) may not be purchased or used.
-Pools may not be built or used.
-Sims may not use medicine to become well.
-Whenever Sims woohoo, they MUST choose “Try for baby” If ‘try for baby’ is not an option, they may not woohoo. (Unless the they’re already pregnant, too old to get pregnant or the two Sims woohooing are the same gender).

Basically, they don’t have any contraceptives.

-Sims may not purchase or use the changing table.
-Sims may not purchase vamprocill. (They may use it if they brought it back from college)
-Only Sims currently employed in the medical career may use the surgical dummy

Basically, and this was a big complaint in a lot of the early blogs, your Sims are walking stink bombs until you get the Medical Restriction lifted because the only relief to the hygiene bar is if you can get a Sim to do a sponge bath on a faucet.

RACHEL: I see some of the people in the chat are saying, “lots of handwashing, too.”

Yes, lots of handwashing, but handwashing can be pretty inefficient. The hardest part about that is actually with children. Teenagers and older can all do sponge baths which will autonomously raise their hygiene to about 2/3 max. Infants and toddlers can just do the air diaper change which will also bring their hygiene to about 2/3. But children can neither do sponge baths nor obviously have diapers changed because they don’t wear them. So, children actually have no efficient way to become clean without that, which makes getting them in good moods to do homework and go to school a very big challenge.

RACHEL: What about the workbench wacky water wiggler thingie?

You know, I didn’t think of that! Because that is using water; it is very much water restricted. That itself, too, would be restricted mainly because you don’t have to be using a water wiggler when the plumbing is all screwed up.

There’s a lot of items that sort of slipped through the cracks in a lot of my rulings. Even now after a couple of rules updates to patch the holes that I missed, there are still items out there that I haven’t really mentioned explicitly in the rules. Generally speaking, if you go along the idea, the story line of the restriction, in this case the Medical restriction; the plumbing and medical supplies of the region are all screwed up.

Next we have Culinary:

-Sims may not purchase or use anything from the “Ovens” or “Small appliances” category except for the cheapest grill.

The little black one you can see often on community lots.

-You can only prepare food once per sim day. That’s once per day/night cycle. So if a Sim made a meal at 11pm, they could again make another meal at 2am the next morning.
-A sim making a one-serving meal also counts as a whole meal. So you’re certainly going to always want to do a group meal.
-Sims pulling out baby bottles do NOT count against this limit and may be done as many times as needed, otherwise the family would starve just to feed the baby.
-Sims may not prepare food on community lots
-Sims may not eat at restaurants on community lots.
-Sims may not use the “Delivery” menu on the phone to order Pizza or Chinese.
-Sims may not purchase prepared food from community lots
-Sims may not hold food in inventory.
-Sims may not flag any food item as ‘for sale’ with the wholesale tool.
-Sims may not purchase or use birthday cakes, wedding cakes, the bakery display case or any catering buffet tables.
-Only Sims in the culinary career track can make use of the Chocolate maker.

Also as an update for Seasons, you cannot put away leftovers until you unlock the Culinary career track.

Also for Pets, filling any pet bowl, the womrat cage or birdcages counts against the family’s one meal per day limit. So, having pets and having Culinary restrictions can be rather difficult. Although a good workaround especially for sloppy dogs is to just have them put a plate of food on the ground and praise their dogs for eating Sim food. That way you can make a group meal and feed the dog and feed the rest of the family as sort of a workaround.

RACHEL: Maxi says sloppy Sims can eat out of the trash, too.

Yeah, that too. They can feast on that.

Let’s see, here. Ah, the Life of Crime:

Basically, this one takes a little bit of bookkeeping. I’m still trying to tweak it to get it right on the spirit of it. Basically, once per week by midnight, your Sims must sell off all of their items that are worth 100 simoleans or more base retail value and repurchase them. The idea is that your family is paying protection to the mob by having to basically rebuy all their stuff and eat the depreciation cost which, if you don’t have a lot of income, and have a lot of very high end expensive items, can quickly drive you into the poor house. The reason why there’s a one hundred dollar threshold is because it’s a pain in the butt to buy and replace every little tiny light bulb and little tiny cheap chair and potted plant and stuff like that. I figure the mob only cares about the big stuff anyway.

There’s a couple of ways you can do this without having to dread the weekly pay off.

The other restriction is you can only have one of each type of craft item on the lot or in inventory at any time. The mob kind of doesn’t like you setting up any sort of store.

You can also use the second method to calculate this: add up the total of your items that are over 100 dollars and then pay 60% of the total once per week using the Family Funds cheat. Just edit your family funds and negative out the money. That way you don’t have to manually sell and rebuy each of the items out of there.

RACHEL: Wow. Yeah, that would take less time, that’s for sure.

Yeah. Yeah, it’s not perfect. There’s still other ways to do it. If you can think of another way… Heck. If I was a modder, I’d make a Life of Crime calc mod that would make it real easy for you. Either that, or just increase the price of bills through the roof. It’s the same idea.

The other thing that the Life of Crime does is it has a very big impact on the Pet restrictions, which I’ll actually get more into when I get to the Pet restrictions.

Alright, next we have the Military:

Because basically the whole region is filled with irradiated zombies preventing travel from point A to point B. Ding dong it’s dead type of thing.

-Sims may not travel to any community lots.
-You may not invite over any Sims at all … with two exceptions….
-A sim may invite over another sim they are have a red heart with, or are engaged to as (True love knows no fear).
-If your sim owns a car (and has it placed on a driveway on the lot), you may also invite over Sims your sim is best friends with. (Your Sim takes the car and picks their buddies up. They get pretty good at dodging the zombies.)

RACHEL: Hit ‘em with the car.

Exactly. Make a good use for the pick up truck.

-These restrictions also apply to parties, outings and dates if they are available.
-You may still hail and socialize with walk-bys as normal.
-Sims may not be sent off to college. The road to the college is simply blocked by zombies. You need to clear the zombies out before you can get back to campus.
-Teenage Sims may not “ask permission to go out” or “sneak out” as they’ll be eaten by zombies.
-Sims may not “Find own place” or otherwise move out of the house.
-Only sims in the military can use the Obstacle course.

And all right the Athletic, this actually ties into the only bringing back three items from college.
Basically with the irradiated air everyone’s getting really really weak and as such they can’t really move or carry very much. Any item that takes up more than one square may not be moved or placed back into inventory once it’s placed on the lot, with one exception: items that are received as date or outing rewards may be placed in inventory or moved one time even if they are larger than a square. So basically, once you put down a big piece of furniture, your sims are too weak to move it from where you originally placed it. So if you want to redecorate, you’d better work around the big stuff.
Gym equipment may not be purchased or used.
Sims may not perform the “leap in arms” interaction as the ? sim can’t hold them.
The punching bag may only be used by sims currently in the Athletic career.
Sims may carry no more than three items in their inventory, and that instantly applies to your founder once he gets back, hence the three-item limit from college.
Earned but not placed career reward objects don’t count against that limit because they’re in a slightly different inventory location.
For sims with businesses, sims may not restock items or delete out-of-stock items larger than one square.
Sims may not sell buy-mode objects that are larger than one square.
Bear in mind you can still move and delete build-mode objects regardless of size, so if you misplaced that staircase, you can still move that around and delete it because *laugh* that’d be kind of hard.
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Ah, the tricky one, Slacker.
Basically, the standards of employment have gone down the drain as the employers know that they can basically mistreat their employees who are still desperate for what few jobs are left. All right, rules for Slacker:
Sims may not use vacation days.
 If as sim misses a single day of work for any reason whatsoever, including the free ones you get off for pregnancy, they must quit their job. You can still sneak a pregnant, you can still sneak a baby, uh, with a pregnant sim if you are lucky enough to have two days off in a row and they have their second and third days of pregnancy on those, because they have those days off anyway.
If a sim loses employment in a career for any reason, quitting or being fired, they may never take a job in that career again. This cross-applies to teenage, adult and elder careers. So if your sim was fired from the Science career as a teenager, they can’t take a Science career as an adult or elder.
Elders may not retire, they must quit if they wish to stop working.
You may not ignore chance cards. You must select one of the two options.
Only those in the Slacker career may use the Slacker career reward object.
Also, all of the Slacker career rules apply to the Pet careers as well.
So yeah, making that daily car pool becomes a little more important with Slacker in effect.
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Science. Science actually has a little bit of a bonus attached to it when you finally get around to lifting it.
Sims may not purchase or use anything from the Electronics category except a single computer, a single phone or a single boombox.
The one computer you are allowed is nothing more than a typewriter, and may only be used to Write Novel or Write Term Paper.
If I were a modder or knew how to use the Sims programming language to make my own objects, I would definitely just make a typewriter thing that had the same animations as the computer but only have those two options on it. And if you know of such an object or make such an object, then go ahead and use it. But otherwise just use the computer and cancel and only use it for novels and term papers.
Personal electronics, cell phones, handheld games, and MP3s may not be bought. The founder may keep and use personal electronics if they bought them in college, but they can’t give them to other sims, they must take them to their grave as the batteries can only live so long.
Sims cannot purchase robots including Servos. Servos may not be moved in or activated.
Sims may not purchase or use the Non-Lethal Robot Making Bench.
Sim may not purchase or use anything from the Lights category, trash compactors, electric guitar or basses.
Only sims in the Science career may use the Biotech Station.
Now before I mention the special reward you get with that, I actually should mention a special restriction called Alien Technology. Now this one is unique in that it’s not related to a specific career. Basically, the Alien Technology restriction states that you may not purchase any aspiration reward object whatsoever. If you happen to bring one home from college with your founder, you may use that, but once you use up all of its charges or expend it, you have to delete it, and you can’t purchase or use any more beyond that. Now the Alien Tech... there’s two ways of lifting the Alien Technology restriction: one, is to get a sim abducted. They don’t have to have an alien pregnancy, but just getting abducted is enough to lift that and you can use aspiration rewards again. The other way is to have a sim get crushed by a satellite and then have a sim who is in the Top Secret Researcher or higher Science career, take that object to work with them. Basically, they just sort of decipher it from the wreckage. But both of those require a little bit of luck. So, that restriction… I’ve seen from some of the bloggers… I’ve seen people who got lucky enough to have their founder get abducted and get that released immediately, and there’s some people who have been trying for generations. The good thing is you do not need to lift that particular restriction to complete the challenge.
Now the reason I brought that up is, when you lift the Science career restriction, your uh, whoever lifted the career makes an invention and you actually get to choose and unlock a single type aspiration reward object, even if Alien Technology hasn’t been lifted yet. So say you really really really like Energizers and really can’t live without them. Get someone through Science, get them to the top, and boom, you can choose Energizers and use as many Energizers as your aspiration pools allow.
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Uh, let’s see here… ah yes, Politics. This one can be a little tricky.
Basically, there’s a… the town is being ruled by a very crazy mayor who has a strict zoning law, and police around to enforce it.
Sims houses may not occupy any larger than an 8x8 area. The rest of the lot must be unused.
You may not place items outside the 8x8 area, nor modify any tiles outside of it.
The trashcan, mailbox, sidewalk tiles, delivered newspapers and bills do not count for this restriction.
The 8x8 area may be anywhere on the lot, but once designated, may not be moved.
Items dropped off from dates and outings may remain outside the 8x8 area, but if the items are moved, they must be placed in inventory or within the 8x8 area.
Sims may extend the house underground within the 8x8 area. Sims may also build upwards, you know, second, third, fourth floors in the 8x8 area as long as the higher floors don’t overhang outside the 8x8 area.
And lastly, sims may not perform influence actions.
And also, there’s a… I did receive a question a while ago about if a sim dies outside the 8x8 area and leaves a tombstone, do you move that or do you not. You can leave that where it is, if a sim dies outside that. But if you do pick up and move that from its location, it has to be within the 8x8 area. So sort of treat it as a rather grim date object. *laugh*
And speaking of sims dying, let’s go to the Paranormal restriction.
Rachel:  Actually um, I missed… Darby had a question for you back on the last one. She, I’m assuming, said “can we gift future spouse with the three Alien Tech items, which…or while still in college, please?”
Pinstar: Um, no. No, that uh, you’re not uh, I see where you’re going with that, but the only items that you can generally make use of when you move a spouse in is any items that they happen to randomly generate and have come with them. Also to note, if you haven’t unlocked the Athletic restriction and they come to the lot with more than three items in their inventory, just pause the game, place the ones…you know, place enough items until they’re down to that and then continue as normal. Now if… actually bringing in spouses can sometimes be a bit of a liability, because if you have a spouse that comes in and has like six pianos in their inventory, not only do you have a bunch of things…you know, not only do you suddenly have to place at least three pianos, that’s three pianos that you need to pay protection on, and three pianos that you can’t move once they are placed, so *laugh* So inviting over spouses has their own little risks to them. But no, you can’t load up the inventory of a future spouse with gifts before you bring them in. That’s a little, uh, I hadn’t thought of that, but that sort of goes against the spirit of the challenge. So that is my ruling on that.
Rachel:  And so I take it from what you’re saying that they can’t sell, you can’t sell any items that are in their backpack when they come, correct?
Pinstar: Well you can, if you have Business. Remember, you can’t sell… you can sell buy-mode items, but only if you have the Business restriction unlocked.
Rachel: Okay.
 Pinstar: So if they come with a backpack full of pianos, but you have Business unlocked, you can just drop off the pianos and sell all of them. Um, but if you don’t, then there’s no market to sell them to, so you need to do something with them.
Rachel: Okay. Yeah, Darby said, “Dude, you’re relentless.” And Deb says, “Well, evil.”
Pinstar: Oh yeah. No, I… I am very evil. And I’m… you know, while I might be… you know, with the Legacy Challenge I’m very much to like you know okay, that… sort of a quality of life, uh you know, thing. The Apocalypse Challenge, I…  I need to make it hard and keep it hard.
Uh, let’s see here. Okay, ah yes, uh… also bear in mind, since I’m sort of glancing at my notes here, if anyone has any questions on the talk, just interrupt me and pose the question to me and I’ll be happy to answer it.
Rachel:  Yeah, I… I’m trying to listen and I’m missing some of them too, cuz I… I’m not, you know, familiar with it, cuz like I said I got a headache when I tried to read it, so… If uh, I’m sorry if I’m missing anybody’s questions, um, just make note of them, and um, when Pinstar is done you can definitely post them again.
Pinstar: Yeah, I’ll definitely, definitely have a good size Q & A after all this.
Okay, so let’s see. Oh yes, Paranormal

-Sims may not plead with the Grim Reaper
-A Sim’s grave or urn may not be moved from the place it initially appears.
-Graves and urns may not be sold, even if the Sims smashed them and you have a rampaging ghost on the lot
-Graves and urns may not be placed into inventory, and
-only Sims in the Paranormal career may use the Resurrecto-Nomitron

So, yeah. You’ve gotta be careful where a Sim dies before you’ve lifted Paranormal. A good strategy I’ve found, because you don’t have a free roaming ghost handicap to worry about, is to send your Sims that are in their twilight years down the basement, remove the stairs, and let them pass down there. Use the downstairs as sort of a mausoleum. Trust me, especially if you have the Politics career, and you have your Sims all lumped together in an 8x8 area, if you have a ghost roaming around there noone’s going to get any sleep on the nights on which they decide to start roaming around. *laughs*

Next we have Artist:

-No items from the “Wall hanging”, “Sculpture” or “Rugs” tabs may be bought.
-No items that build creativity may be bought or used except for the computer, which can be used to write novels.
-Only the Sims currently in the artist career may use the Camera.There is a shorter list of them, but that creativity restriction is very broad based. Basically, it takes the normally easy skill of Creativity building which almost always builds fun, and restricts it down to the one item that doesn’t build any fun while you train creativity. It also restricts pretty much all of the instruments, so that easy fast fun that the kids can get from piano after school isn’t much of an option until that career is lifted.

Natural Science, often considered the number one restriction to lift before anything else.

Basically, the idea behind it is that nothing in the area is growing. The place is a giant dust bowl.

-You may not place any landscaping items (Flowers, bushes, or trees)
-You may not alter the ground color. That’s actually a poignant point, because when you move from the college to a neighborhood, the neighborhood has to start with a dirt or desert landscape. So, you pretty much have to have the area looking pretty bleak.
-You may not buy or place any items from the “Plants” tab.
-Other than the founder, the colleges Sims attend must be on a desert or dirt tileset. Look for La Fiesta Tech as the default.
-You may not plant the cow plant.
-You may not use Hydroponic planter career reward object. (From the Slacker Career)
-You may not purchase or use the wedding arch.
-“Chef Salads” may not be cooked, ordered at restaurants or bought pre-made.
-You may not order groceries for delivery via the phone or computer.
-Your Sims may not use telescopes (too cloudy to see anything). Actually, this particular restriction, the telescopes and the next one, “Sims may not “watch clouds” or “stargaze” on the ground” - - Those particular restrictions - - If you don’t have Seasons, then those still stay under Natural Science. If you’ve purchased and installed Seasons, those now belong in the Music career, and I’ll explain that later. There’s still a little rebalancing with the new set of careers that made the challenge even harder.

RACHEL: *laughs* Of course they did.

Oh, yeah. More careers mean more restrictions to be lifted.

-Any flowers received as date rewards must be placed into inventory or sold by midnight.
-You may not buy or use the flower-arranging bench, nor any of the flowers it produces.
-You may not use the water tool from the landscaping menu.
-Houses MUST be built on a foundation or deck and/or be built on pillars. Basically the idea is the soil is pretty much sand, now. You have to have something to keep the house still, not sinking into the ground.

Show Business:

-Sims may only use the “Practice Speech” or “Practice Romance” interactions on mirrors, so basically they can’t change their appearance. So, if they grow up fugly with a bad haircut, they’re staying like that.
-Sims may not purchase or use anything from the “Wardrobe” tab, so if they grow up with really ugly clothes you can’t change those, either.
-Sims may not purchase perfume or the Love Potion 8.5
-Sims may not throw parties of any kind.
-Sims may not have “Outings”, casual or scored.
-Sims may not go on scored dates. They can still invite Sims over for romantic interactions, they just can’t use the “Ask on Date” dialogue to get the scores going.

RACHEL: That stinks!

I know. I like to use the dates as well. It’s a bit of a thing, there.

-Sims may not purchase or use the stylist’s makeover chair.
-And the Diva and Mr. Big, my two least favorite NPCs because of the boatloads of cash they bring, may not be moved into the house for any reason. So basically if you want the hundred thousand dollars that these guys bring in, you need to lift Show Business.
-Also, the Show Business career reward object may only be used by Sims currently in that career track.

Okay. That covers all the standard careers.

RACHEL: Whew.

Now, for the three Pet careers. In order to explain these, there's a concept I introduced with these called, "suppression." Normally, once a Sim reaches the top level of a career, that particular career's restriction is lifted permanently. It's gone; even if that Sim quits the job, gets fired from the job, dies, moves out, whatever. Once they reach the top, that's lifted forever. Now, things that are suppressed mean that the restriction is lifted only as long as the Sim in question is still alive and still at the top of the career. Once they cease to be in that position, the restriction comes right back into play.

With that said, the three restrictions for the pets:

The first one is Service career.
-Once any Sim turns elder, you may no longer issue any direct commands to them, nor cancel any of their actions. You can still cancel actions that would break other restrictions, such as playing computer games.
-You can also direct an elder to quit their job if they happen to miss a day of work with the Slacker restriction in effect.

Basically, your elders go senile and you can't control them anymore unless you have a top level Service pet in the household to keep their minds sane.

RACHEL: Okay! *laughs*

Alright. Animal Show Business:
-Children and teenagers may not "learn to do homework"
-Children and teenagers may not skill build with objects that also raise fun.

Basically, the kids become very defiant without some sort of companionship and the Show Biz Pet will help keep their minds occupied and going.

The harshest of the three in my opinion is the Security Animal:
-Sims may sleep in a bed or couch with an Energy rating higher than 3.

It's not that there are no comfy beds available, but that a Sims paranoia interferes with them getting a good night's sleep.

-Beds and chairs with an Energy rating higher than 3 may still be bought and used, with the exception for sleeping.

To help comply with this restriction, you may sell and replace any bed with a different Energy rating when you do the protection payment for the Life of Crime.

-If the Law Enforcement restriction is lifted, the Energy limit raises to 5 or lower as Sims start to sleep better at night with the human police intact.

To truly get rid of their paranoia and get a good night's sleep, they need to have a top level Security Animal guarding them at night.

The other things to note:
-Infant and toddler Sims can still sleep in cribs even though their Energy ratings are higher, because they're too young to be paranoid.
-Werewolf, Vampire, Zombie and Alien Sims can ignore this restriction as they themselves are the things that "go bump in the night."
_Sims with a 10 Body rating may also ignore this restriction as they can pummel any threats that invade the house anyway.

Now, bear in mind that with all three Pet restrictions, when you have a Pet reach the top level of each respective restriction, the restriction only goes away for as long as you have a Pet at that top level and still alive. Once that Pet loses that job or dies, the restriction comes back into play.

There's a way to permanently relieve it. The one thing added to Life of Crime is that once Life of Crime is lifted, Pet restrictions can be permanently lifted instead of just suppressed. Don't ask me why it's tied to Life of Crime. I came up with a really lame excuse. I just needed something to make the Life of Crime a little bit more higher priority.

RACHEL: Because you're not afraid of the big boss anymore. You are the big boss.

Yeah. There you go. I made up something where the local mob boss is afraid of animals and keeps down any higher level attempts to get animals organized. But once you become the big boss, then you don't need to worry about that. That works.

RACHEL: Yep.

Now, if you don't have Seasons installed the challenge ends once you lift all of these restrictions. So if you don't have Pets installed then you obviously don't need to lift the Pet restrictions.

Unlike the Legacy Challenge, this challenge does not last for a specific number of generations. Just as many as it takes. Generally, if you have a lot of kids per generation you can get it done in a shorter period of time than before. If you're sort of poking around for a score for how well you did, there are no points associated with this challenge, but your score is how quickly can you lift all the restrictions. Basically, it's like golf. The fewer, the better.

Now, for those of you who have the fortune/misfortune of purchasing Seasons, let me quickly go over the new Seasons careers and their respective restrictions.

Music:

When you move the apocalypse founder into their home after college, change the weather on the neighborhood screen to Winter/Winter/Winter/Winter.
Sims cannot stargaze or watch clouds (This was the one that was moved from Natural Science)
Sims cannot use the weather control aspiration reward, even if one was brought back from college.
Items may not be placed outdoors. Everything must be covered by a roof.
Delivered items (newspapers, bills, date/outing rewards) do not count for this restriction.

Now you may be wondering, "why is all this weather stuff affected by Music?" The idea being that your Sim raises to the point of being a Rock God. They sort of part the cloudy skies with a guitar riff.

RACHEL: *laughs*

I was thinking of a music video when I was writing that restriction. So, you know, a good guitar riff will part the skies and clear everything up.

RACHEL: Of course.

That's the best I could think of for Music without it hedging in on the Artist creativity sector.

Education:
-Sims children may still attend school as normal
Sim teenagers may not attend school at all.
Sims may not attend college. (This restriction applies even if military is lifted)
Sims may not teach other Sims skills via the career rewards
Sims may not "pass on" learned business perks to other Sims.

The effect of having teenagers basically permanently flunking out of school is that they cannot take teenage jobs because the jobs require they have a certain grade level. Obviously they can't go on to college, so you can't access the college level jobs.

Just as an FYI, we have a storm passing through here, so if I suddenly disappear it probably knocked out the power or something.

RACHEL: Can't you use your guitar riffs to part the clouds?

*laughs* Nah. I need to get a copy of "Guitar Hero" to do that.

Alright. Let's see, here.

Adventure:
This is another one where I had a little bit of a stretch to work that into the storyline of the challenge. Basically, some stone in the city museum is the reason why all career reward objects give Sims skills at a faster rate. The stone was stolen and only a top level Adventurer can get it back. I decided to bring in the nefarious Doctor Vu from Sim City IV fame.

The other effect of Adventure, in addition to allowing you to once again use career reward objects at all, is also like the Science career. Reaching the top of Adventure will allow you to bring back an artifact that will let you unlock a single Aspiration reward object if you haven't unlocked Alien Technology yet. That is cumulative with the Science one, so you can potentially have two different Aspiration objects available to you if you've unlocked both Adventure and Science.

Now the most hated and difficult one from the feedback I've been getting is the Gamer restriction.
Sims cannot use the phone for any reason other than quitting their job.
Sims cannot use the computer for anything other than "write novel" or "write term paper", even if the science restriction is unlocked.
These restrictions are temporarily suppressed between the hours of midnight and noon every Tuesday.
Sims are still allowed to answer phone calls that come through to the house.

Now, why does being a Gamer lift it? Well, to cite a very popular massive multi-player online game, basically this game has all the servers in the region and basically because all the broadband servers were knocked out, everyone's dialed in. It actually ties up the phone lines of the entire region. The only time the phone lines are freed up is when the game goes through its weekly maintenance. If anyone here plays World of Warcraft, everyone knows that the game has its maintenance Tuesday mornings. A little reference to World of Warcraft, there.

A lot of people are complaining because they find you can't call sims to keep up friendships and friends start going stale, and it starts dropping down below the number of family friends needed for promotions. As a little tip, it is still possible.

What you really need to get good at while the Gamer restriction is still in place is being good at the "one and done walkby." Being able to hail a walkby that your sim's never met before and keep them on the lot until you can get friendship status with them. It's tricky and involves feeding them, and making sure you keep their mood and motives up, but it is possible to go from 0/0 to a 100 daily relationship with just a random walkby. That's how you keep your friend count high enough to get promotions until you get Gamer lifted. That, and making very, very good use of the narrow window of time that you do get.

RACHEL: It's between what hours again?

It's between midnight and noon on Tuesday.

RACHEL: Okay. So there are some waking hours.

Yes, there are some waking hours. Only a few. *laughs* You can only get a couple of phone calls in there, but you can get it. Also, if you start a phone conversation at, say, like 11:30 and your sim's still talking and talking, they can stay on the line even past twelve. Once they naturally hang up, obviously they can't call anyone else.

Journalism:
When Sims use the paper to “Look for Job” They may only select the first of the three jobs that appears in the paper that day. The 2nd and 3rd choices may not be taken.
The paper may not be used at all for any purposes other than recycling, composting or turning the paper into an airplane. Basically, you can't read the paper or do crossword puzzles because there's not much of a newspaper at all to begin with.
The jobs listed on the computer are not affected by this restriction assuming you can use a computer to take jobs.

So, getting the Science might sort of let you circumvent the Journalism. It can be a bit of a sting in the beginning when you're trying to plan out what job you want and you can only look at one job per day. It takes a little bit of luck until you get Journalism lifted, or get the computer.

Law:
The one restriction with Law; this is also bring back the idea of suppression. While the Law restriction is still in place, the Slacker, Politics and Law Enforcement can only be suppressed. They are not permanently lifted. The only way to permanently lift the Slacker, Politics or Law Enforcement restrictions is to lift the Law restriction first. You can't have stability without a good code of law in place. Basically, Law just makes it really annoying to get other restrictions lifted beforehand.

And that is all the restrictions unless Maxis comes up with another expansion pack with more careers. In which case, I'll be drumming up even more evil ideas in my brain.

RACHEL: Wow.