Some Notes on Playing

I have no idea where my Muse is — but she isn’t here tonight. Probably off on some tropical island, suntanning, drinking those little umbrella drinks. While I suffer in the cold New York winter and use up probably a small rainforest’s worth of tissues. (Yes, it’s been that kind of week.)

But I still kind of want to post something. So I’ll just blather on a bit about my thoughts on playing this challenge. If you’re not interested, feel free to skip and do something … interesting. I won’t mind. 😉

Thoughts on Extending my Gameplay

Ok, if you all read this post, you know that I’m now playing a highly extended version of Sims’ lives. The long and the short of it is, I’m playing seasons as “years,” meaning that my Sims are going to be around about 5x longer than they usually would be.

Maxis so did not intend for it to work this way. Which makes things interesting.

For starters, toddlers … maybe it’s because I’ve just finished up playing a house with two of them, but seriously, I don’t even want to think about all the skills my toddlers are going to be racking up. Little Thorn Michaelson has, I think, six each of Mechanical, Charisma, Logic and Creativity (or somewhere in that neighborhood). And he’s only spent one round as a toddler! Granted, it was a round in Fall (which means super fast skilling), and I think some Smartmilk I fed him at the beginning of the round ended up sticking … but if this is what he’s like after one round, what’s it going to be like after the other two? Am I going to have a four-year-old who’s mastered all the skills toddlers can learn?

Well, no, no, I won’t. Because eventually I will tear him away from the activity table/charisma bunny/logic playset. But still. It’s the principle of the thing.

And on the other hand, I’m also encouraged by the child stage. Because I just finished playing both sets of Thatchers (Jeremiah and Ash Thatcher’s families), and neither of their sons-and-heirs managed to rack up a lot of skills. Which, since this is Fall, is saying something. Granted, Billy Thatcher did get his gold gardening badge, and Bran did get a silver … but honestly, I’m not too worried about that. A Gold gardening badge is pretty much a must for my peasant/outcast Sims, and the sooner they get it, the better.

Teenage … I think it’s going to work. Teens have so much more to keep them busy (dating, friendship-making, badge-building, an after-school job, plus school) that I’m not worried about them skilling or badging too much. And younger adults are busy making babies and toddlers and caring for them. By the time adults get into “middle” age, I’ll probably be prodding them to skill so they can get to the tops of their careers already.

By the way, I broke down and got Pescado’s harderjobs (available at MATY if you care to get it for yourself). Not sure if it’s working — both Mordred and Dindrane have gotten promoted right on schedule — but, in theory, this should slow down the promotions and make things a tad more realistic.

And — while I’m thinking of extending my gameplay — what about pets?!? I’ll admit that I’m a horrible Sim pet-owner, half the time I ignore the poor things. I mean, as long as the food dish is full, the litter box & beds are clean, and the dog isn’t stinking up the house I figure they can fend for themselves. (They can’t. Really, they can’t.) But how the heck am I going to keep track of when they’re supposed to age up and eventually kick Ye Old Bucket? I mean, I guess I could add them to my charts, but ARGH … one more thing to keep track of. Do Not Want.

Death and Taxes

Or really, just taxes and other financials.

I’m not sure how happy I am with my tax system. For starters, there’s this huge problem with apartment-dwellers, in that the game doesn’t keep track of the cost of their furnishings — which means I have no idea what their net worth is. Which makes it hard to tax, since my taxes are based on net worth.

Second — not sure I’m happy with my numbers. Frankly, it’s my merchants who are getting hit the hardest, my peasants (with the exception of a couple families) can pay their taxes rather easily. I have a feeling that the dole that the Church gives out every week has something to do with that. Plus, let’s face it, it isn’t as if their stuff is worth a whole heck of a lot, which means that it’s easier for them to raise the cash.

By my merchants … well, the Ferreiras own a really nice house and five businesses. The Wesleyans also own a nice house, though they only have two businesses. Plus both families generally have a good amount of cash on hand, since I know they’re going to be hit with a ginormous tax bill.

To wit: Last tax day, the Ferreiras paid $154,187 in taxes. Now, they can continue to pay taxes like that — I have to earn, like, $50,000 every day from their various businesses, but it is possible. Especially since I cheat like crazy in businesses.* But those sorts of tax bills have this nasty habit of trickling up my economy. For instance, Sir Bors’s money troubles are largely a thing of the past in game-land. And Arthur … oh, lord, I don’t even want to think about Arthur. Last tax day he had a net worth of over one million simoleons. Now, granted, that sort of went away when he actually paid his taxes, but I have very little doubt that he’s going to break the one-million mark again. And while I’ve got apartment buildings/barracks for him to buy (and thus get rid of some of that huge wad o’ cash he’s sitting on) … he’s going to be wealthy beyond belief.

So maybe some adjustments are in order.

But to what? I mean, part of the reason I implemented a tax system was to keep my lower-class Sims’ take-home pay down. But the thing is, I’ve made other adjustments to do that, for instance, my rules about how much Peasants are allowed to earn while working in others’ shops. And those are working. The Pelles’s income, for instance, has gone way down since I switched Martin from the military career to working for Lot. (That might have been pre-blog, though … hmm.) And I hope to get most if not all of my Peasants working in someone else’s shop, eventually.

 Like I said … it’s the merchants who are giving me problems. Maybe I should just lower taxes for them, since the system seems to be working out fine for everyone else. If I, for instance, lowered the rate merchants pay to the nobility from 5% to each of the “main” families to 2.5% … they would only pay 30% of their net worth in taxes. And let’s see, if I’d have done that for the Ferreiras last round, they would have paid … *runs numbers* $115,640. Still a hefty chunk of change, almost $40,000 less than they were paying otherwise.

I think I’m going to do that. 🙂

Fun Stuff

I know it sounds like I was … well, bitching a lot in the last couple sections, so I don’t want you all to think that I’m not having fun. Because I am. Lots of fun.

And while sometimes, I think that I have so much going on in my hood that it frankly boggles the mind … then I think of all the other stuff I could do and think, nah, I’ve barely started. I mean, yeah, the Ferreiras have five freakin’ businesses, but I don’t have a chandler’s (candle-seller’s) shop yet, or a potter’s, or a cooper’s, or a blacksmith’s, or a jeweler’s (though I think I’d need some new CC for that, not that my downloads folder needs ANY MORE reason to expand), or a butcher’s, or a toymaker’s, or a tavern that’s actually Sim-run, or a regular furniture shop (as opposed to the ridiculously expensive foreign finds in Richard Ferreira’s Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe) …

I could go on, but I think y’all get the point. 🙂

And while I do have ideas to add some of the above in the next generation or so, I don’t have any idea who would run some of the other stores I mentioned. Which, on the one hand, is encouraging — plenty of ideas for future generations — and on the other hand, makes me wonder if I’m ever going to get this hood off the ground.

Oh, well, it’ll all come eventually.

But there are also the nobles. Now I know that nobles weren’t much involved in business, they thought it was dirty, common and beneath them, but … I’ve got four nobles families, each running a “lands” type of business (basically a farm combined with a farmer’s market) … I don’t know, four families each running IDENTICAL businesses on IDENTICAL lots seems a bit … well, dull. So I’m thinking to change things up a bit.

But how?

One of the ideas I have is a mill of some sort … I know the lords used to run the mills and then charge the poor peasants to come there and bake their bread there, or something like that. And I’d love to replicate that sort of idea for my hood. If nothing else, building a mill sounds like an awful lot of fun.

But what would I put in it?

If you have any ideas, feel free to comment. 🙂

Ok … it’s late, and I’m running out of steam. So I think I’m just going to wrap it up now.

For those of you who made it this far, a cute pic:

I just lurve the penguin. 🙂

Happy Simming!

*I play this game to have fun. If I try to build up all those businesses, no-cheat, and earn all that money, it will not be fun. And it’s not like I’m playing for points or anything.

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3 thoughts on “Some Notes on Playing

  1. Instead of basing taxes off total lot value or cash on hand, I made a flat rate for each class based on how much $ they would start with. Like $20,000 for peasants, $70,000 for merchants, $120,000 for noble, and $170,000 for royals to start with. Then I took a percentage off of each starting amount and that’s how much they owe, be they rich or poor. It takes care of the apartment thing.

    Now I know that bigger families would have started with more $. But I decided to go with this amount so it’s the same for every family of that class.

    I also made up a nifty chart for rents using a smaller percentage, and one for tythes for an even smaller percentage. But those are more complicated. Those 2 charts are based on the gender and age of each sim in the house. Following the medieval value system, the boys are worth more, as are sims old enough to earn $.

    So there are a couple ideas if you get annoyed with the apartment thing.

    I’m curious, who does King Arthur pay his taxes to? Or does everyone just get their taxes taken with familyfunds cheat? I like the simwardrobe checkbook. It lets me send $ all over the kingdom. I also let sims pay with objects in their inventory, usually seasons produce.

    • At this point, it’s been so long that I don’t even remember what all my families started with — or how many people they had when they started! 😆 Besides, the percentage system is working pretty well. Cutting the merchant tax rate down to 30% worked wonders for the Wesleyans’ and Ferreira’s bottom lines. The people who struggled were the newly-minted merchants who don’t have a Thriving Business Deduction to fall back on, but that’s just par for the course.

      As for apartments, I just tack on a not-so-arbitrary amount to the cash on hand — $20K or $35K or whatever my best guesstimate is of what the stuff inside the apartment is worth — and tax using that amount. Since this amount won’t go down (while the value of items in Sims who own houses will), I figure it’ll even out over the long run. *shrugs* Or at least, I hope it will.

      Arthur pays a (ginormous) tithe to the church — 10% of his net worth. That’s why, nowadays in Albion, the church is sitting on the biggest pile of cash. I have no idea what they’re going to do with it all. But that’s ok — I finally got around to building a school last round, and the nuns will buy it this round. Someday I’m going to build a hospital, too. So at least I have plenty of cash on hand for projects.

      Thanks, Chicklet!

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