Achieving the new beginnings ambition unlocks ‘imperial domination’, which is all about annexing foreign territories, ‘no quest for the weary’, which focuses on quest performance, and a sandbox mode called ‘an eternal kingdom’, which I might explore once I’m done with the other ambitions I want to fulfill. I selected imperial domination.
As I said in the first part, I’m going to be using this method to carry my kingdom over between ambitions – although I might make a few exceptions later on to experiment with a kingdom that’s very low in one or two or the four aspects (knowledge, culture, well-being, and security).
I do understand that the imperial domination ambition is all about accumulating enough resource points both to unlock the necessary heroes and to form foreign alliances before your quest points run out, and that playing an already developed kingdom will suck a lot of the challenge out of that balancing act, but that’s just not as important to me as being able to carry on where I left off.
The instructions for keeping the same kingdom were very detailed and easy to follow, and I was able to jump right back in to Halfred’s realm. I had enough resource points to form alliances with all the available territories right away, unlocking their annexation quests. Two further territories, Effenmont and Gastrobury, were not yet shown on the map; you have to buy maps from the village shop first.
Most of the annexation quests are fun and well-written, but since they’re all so text-based the idea of just summarizing what my game is telling me at every step doesn’t sound like a lot of fun to me, so I’m going to continue to focus mostly on what my sims have been doing in their downtime.
Quite a few of the buildings I’d added during the last ambition still stood empty, so I set about creating hero sims for a couple of them. I’ve started selecting their traits myself now, to avoid repetition. Here are my Jacoban priest Clement and my spy Eika. Clement’s traits are dedicated and vain, and his fatal flaw is insecure.
Eika is adventurous, eloquent, and licentious, which is definitely one of the more high maintenance flaws.
I find the spy’s daily responsibilities among the most fun to fulfill because of how varied they are. Eika can gather plants, craft nasty poisons, press sims for information, fight in duels, eavesdrop on conversations, pick pockets, steal from the pigeon post, free criminals from the stocks, and propose edicts.
And of course, thanks to her fatal flaw, Eika has other needs too. Surprisingly, the first sim she pressed for information, Dirk, had similar thoughts on his mind.
She recruited Dirk for the militia she was assembling for her quest – a squirrel hunt in one of the territories – before starting to flirt with him.
But he really didn’t like it when she tried to ‘compliment [his] ankles’. (Apparently it only works on vain sims.)
The spy can be a dangerous profession because you risk being put in the stocks if you are caught performing some of the available activities. As with the merchant’s sales interactions, the base chance of success is quite low during the earlier levels. Here Eika is about to pick a lock with only medium odds of succeeding (while getting distracted by thoughts of a man you can see from her relationship panel she hasn’t even met).
Luckily, she managed to get away with it.
The man Eika had been thinking about turned out to be the town crier, Richard, with whom she shares the eloquent trait. I tried to invite him back to her place but he was too busy.
Eika sought out other thrills instead, making the very gutsy move of pick-pocketing the kingdom’s resident executioner. Hey, look over there!
The next morning, Eika woke up with a ‘dry spell’ negative moodlet from her fatal flaw. Kissing will alleviate this, but only for a very short period of time; woohoo works much better. I had difficultly getting other sims to a location with a bed, so I decided to have Eika chat up one of the palace guards.
You okay there, Halfred?
You don’t mind if we use your bed for a moment, do you?
Oh right, pregnancy’s a thing.
One day later, Eika gave birth to a little boy I named Maedhros.
The babies can be breastfed by their mothers and also cuddled. Their traits are randomized; Maedhros rolled the rather unusual combination of fun-loving, chivalrous, and cruel.
They grow up into children just one sim day. Eika spent some time with her son before getting back to the quest she was on.
Apparently Maedhros sleeps in Eika’s bed now. I guess I should redecorate at some point to give him somewhere of his own to curl up. Also, as cute as Maedhros is, I really need to find a way for Eika to satisfy her woohoo needs without filling the castle with hundreds of children.
In case you didn’t recognize her in her nightclothes, Eika’s new love interest is the royal adviser Michaela. They share the eloquent trait, and she’s conveniently based in the castle, so maybe this could even become something more serious.
I continued to work through the annexation quests, and was happy to find one – for the territory Snordwich – that would allow me to try out my Jacoban priest Clement, alongside my old favourite Susannah. I redecorated Susannah’s house.
PLEASE LET ME USE THIS SPACE!!!
What was nice to find out was that a large area in front of the merchant’s house can be edited. I haven’t done anything with it yet, but as soon as I have the funds and some idea of what objects I want to to put there, I’ll try to make her stalls look nicer.
Among Clement’s responsibilities is the delivery of sermons. As with the operating table, the aim is to get the meter into the middle (light purple) area, although it’s not really possible in the early levels.
The congregation actually sits down to listen to what he has to say.
There are various other measures Clement can take to raise the populace’s fear of the Jacoban church, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to explore them properly during this quest because Susannah got cursed by a sort of sleep demon thing and passed out, with her hunger motive dropping critically low.
I got really worried about her and ended up having Clement rush through the quest to banish the demon as quickly as possible so that she wouldn’t die.
Because Susannah was unconscious, Clement was rushed off his feet, and I was kind of freaking out, this was definitely the least enjoyable quest I’ve done so far. And I was only able to get the gold level on it.
Fortunately, I was soon able to team Clement and Susannah up again for another annexation quest. Her most time-consuming responsibilities are definitely the ones that require her to sail to Crafthole or Tredony for wood or gems, but I’ve figured out that, if she stockpiles those items, sailing to any territory will fulfill the first part of the responsibility, allowing her to deliver the wood or gems she has saved up to whoever wants them.
This strategy frees up the spare hours Susannah needs to perform more varied and rewarding trades. I’ve been having her supply: cheese, mushrooms, wildflowers and nightshade to Crafhole; goose feathers and wood (both from Crafthole) to Yacothia; fancy clothing (from Yacothia), phosphorous, and barley to Tredony; magical powder (from Tredony) to Ticktop; mysterious machine parts (from Ticktop) to Burdley; and unicorn meat (from Burdley), boar meat, and watched water to Gatrobury. I do enjoy the trading, but I wish there were more things to do with the rare items it yields. Still, I’m looking forward to obtaining enough mystical metal fragments from Gastrobury to have a blacksmith craft the best weapons and armors in the game.
Clement converted some sims to the Jacoban faith, which is a kind of scary looking process. I see you there looking smug, guy in the background, but you’re next.
To help raise (or, if ever necessary, lower) the population’s fear of ‘Watcher’ (that’s me!), Clement can post various proclamations outside the church. One I saw cautioned that sims should not hope to evade the Watcher’s judgement by wearing false mustaches; another, that anyone who tried to defy his (her!) all-powerful will would be struck down by syphilis. Their content made me reflect, as I have before, that, tone-wise, this game is the true successor to The Sims 1.