The last base game ambition I had left was ‘Best in Show’, which, to complete at platinum level, requires you to raise all kingdom aspects to twelve. Obviously I’d done that already in Arcadia, but I thought the tally might continue past twelve, and allow me to progress through the ambition by gaining additional levels. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.
Grim’s mod does let you to set kingdom aspects to any level, so I tried lowering them all zero to give myself room to raise them up again, but, since I’d started the ambition with everything already maxed out, the tally registered them as all now being at minus twelve! Realizing I had to go into the ambition with everything already at zero, I went back into the save file I’d left at the end of ‘Efficient Expander’ and fixed the kingdom aspects there. This extra step finally allowed me to restart ‘Best in Show’ with the tally working correctly.
Of course the now very low kingdom aspects meant I had to deal with bandits again. Here’s Cristopher getting mugged.
He was able to make friends with the bandit to stop him attacking again, and even converted him to the Jacoban religion.
Back the cathedral it was time to lay down the law. This proclamation said, ‘The Jacoban Proxy wishes to remind you that medical science has been completely unable to prove there isn’t a connection between skipping church and chlamydia.’
But the increased fear of the Church among the general population didn’t keep Cristopher safe from more bandit attacks, and there were just so many of them that it was impossible to befriend them all.
The security aspect was so low that the bandits even started coming into sims’ homes to steal from them.
If you’re wondering why those last two were wrapped up in bandages, it’s because they kept trying to mug Shady Amalthea, a thief introduced in the fountain of legend quest, and losing the resulting fights.
I retired Brother Martin and had his son, Johannes, take over his ministry. He had rolled jokester, unkempt, and misanthrope. (That’s an annoying fatal flaw for a priest so I immediately took him out on a fountain of legend run.)
Johannes’ father took too many liberties with his newly freed up schedule by flirting with the Queen Mother! I missed the interaction itself, but I managed to capture the aftermath.
Only a few moments later, I found Martin’s wife cosying up to one of the other priests.
I don’t think Johannes approves of the open marriage his parents seem to have.
At the castle on questing business, he took a little break from his duties to share his concerns with Queen Vana. She was very understanding.
Thanks to completing most quests at platinum level, I finished the ambition very quickly, unlocking some really nice outfits and a few other bits and pieces.
Although I’d now achieved all of the base game ambitions, I decided to stick around in my ‘Best in Show’ save for a while longer to prepare myself for my play through Pirates and Nobles’ ‘Peacemaker’ ambition.
The adventure pack includes a few further traits that I was keen to try out, but I didn’t want to leave Arcadia behind or create a whole new set of sims, so I settled on a compromise: I would play through the new quests in the same kingdom but with a new generation of sims.
I did go ahead and install the adventure pack at this point, though, so I could familiarize myself with some of the features before starting the quests themselves. It seems there’s quite a lot to explore, and I haven’t been able to find a comprehensive online guide, so please do let me know in the comments if you have any tips or if there are features you’re keen to see me cover.
There’s a new intro video with actual game footage. I think I prefer the original, more stylized one, but it’s still nice to have a change.
Ooh, a new loading screen too! And, yes, like an idiot I left a core mod in while I installed a pack for a sims game. I don’t seem to have broken anything major though.
I noticed Magihya had a few new potions available. I don’t know what they all do yet. Some of them are probably for quests.
When I had her try out, ‘the motion of the ocean’ potion, this happened.
But she was solid again by the following day.
She and Todd got married and had a little girl.
Their daughter, Vairie, got her granddad’s hair colour. It’s interesting that the genetics system is set up to allow that to happen, even though the game is not otherwise really designed to accommodate multi-generational families.
I had Vana buy a shovel and map from the village shop and sent her out treasure hunting, one of Pirates and Nobles’ main features.
She dug up a better shovel and a map piece, which will lead her to rarer treasure once she’s collected a few more and assembled the full map. She also gained a treasure hunter’s certificate, which allows her change her title to ‘treasure hunter’. That seems more like the sort of option I’d want to use for someone’s spouse or a retired hero rather than my active monarch; at some point, I might use Grim’s mod to make one of them selectable and have them search for buried treasure full time.
Vana and Lockehart have been trying to have a baby for quite a while now but with no luck. I think there’s something wrong with her. I know, it could be him, but she’s just been so glitched in so many ways since she first became Queen. After three nights of non-stop woohooing, I gave up.
Vana actually has a younger brother, Prince Orlando, so my plan is to have her temporarily adopt him, retire her, let him succeed her as monarch, and then put the family relationships back how they were. Maybe he’ll be less messed up than his sister.
Continuing to play my different heroes in rotation, I noticed quite a few new daily responsibilities that required hero sims to interact in specific ways with Tredonian merchant guild members (the ‘nobles’) or Aarbyvillian pirates. Some of these, unlike base game responsibilities, have multiple steps. For example, Vana every now and then has to read a list of war crimes, sign an arrest warrant, and finally send the offending sim to the stocks; and one of Fyana’s new staples is befriending a pirate or merchant, then making ‘war faces’ at them, followed by a brawl, followed by a duel.
I do enjoy seeing the different factions going about town, and some of the new clothes, like the black outfit the sim Fyana fought was wearing, are among my favourites in the game. Pirates and merchants often argue or even get into fights with one another, which really makes the kingdom come to life.
Sometimes you even see pirates hunting for buried gold! I would have loved more adventure packs to add other professions and interest groups.
The only problem with the new responsibilities is that a good number of them tend to take a little longer to fulfil than the base game ones, and, since there’s no way to turn them off, they can take over game play a bit. That’s fine for now, because they actually help me learn how things work, but I imagine they might get annoying after a while. I guess that’s just another reason why further adventure packs would have been a real boon, to dilute the responsibilities pool a bit.
Seeing those sims fighting made me eager to spend some time with Bethany checking out the new equipment. There were a lot of new swords. Several of them shared the same models, but they all looked great.
Fiery versions were available of a few of them too!
This one, ‘Frostfang’, had the same effect on Bethany when she wielded it as Magihya’s potion.
Bethany had new responsibilities too, to craft various armours and swords for pirates or guild members. The orders can be much larger than the base game ones, but they are handled in a slightly different way that seems to prevent the ’empty box’ bug (where the customer denies that you’ve given them the goods for which they asked, and the you fail the responsibility), so I’m all for them.
Back at her forge, I saw there was also a new staff Bethany could craft and a few other things too (a ‘mechanical bird brain’??), but I didn’t have the ingredients yet. I think I’ll have to do some more treasure hunting first. To help out with that, I had a look at the different shovels she could make. Here’s the most powerful of them, ‘The Silver Eye Shovel’, in action.
It has an effectiveness of ten, but I think that maybe just means it lets sim dig more quickly, because the loot Vana unearthed using it was roughly equivalent to what she’s come across before. Sorry, I’m kind of ill-informed about this adventure pack.
Alysande had some new bits and pieces available too. I had her craft the only one for which she had the ingredients, the ‘citrus infusion potion’, but, disappointingly, she wasn’t able to drink it. She did roll the responsibility to make a couple of these a few times, so I think it’s just exists for those.
Martin and Wanda’s marriage seems to have survived their infidelities. Hmm, I should really decorate downstairs at the clinic. Next generation, for sure.
Speaking of which, I decided it was time for Alysande to start a family. The husband I chose for her was Scallywag Bran, a jokester like her. His other traits are drunkard and adventurous.
I think he’s a pirate. His idles are pretty funny.
Alysande makes some great faces herself.
I have no idea what’s going on here but the horrified Jacoban priest in the background made me laugh.
Yep, definitely a pirate.
I know you’re bored, but maybe keep that sword a little further away from the baby?
Over the next few quests, three more of my heroes had weddings. Fyana married Darryl, Mercenary Lord of Advorton, with whom she shares the dedicated trait.
For Elric, I chose Barmaid Ismay, because her good and friendly traits seemed a nice match for his good and famous ones.
Finally, Maedhros was wed to Alexandra, who is fun-loving like him. I think she might be a pirate, just from her name and outfit, although I haven’t seen her doing any of the tell-tale idles.
But, while settling into married life, my heroes still had quests and responsibilities to complete. I found one of the new spy daily responsibilities impossible for Maedhros to fulfil because it called for him to use an elixir that had ‘ancient powder’ as one of its ingredients, and that seems only to be obtainable as random loot from treasure hunting. I had Maedrhos buy the starter map and shovel from the village shop and get digging.
Although he dug for treasure once a day for three quests, he only got the ancient powder once, whereas the responsibility to use it comes up every couple of days, which, even if you want your spy to be really into treasure hunting, seems very unbalanced.
I decided to get Maedhros a parrot to aid him in his search for ancient powder, as they can be sent out to hunt for treasure. The parrot didn’t bring back any powder, but it did find a couple of other rare collectables and map pieces, and I had fun playing with it.
The other bird type, falcons, are similar to parrots, except they usually bring back meat from their hunts instead of treasure.
Both can be used to attack sims around town. If a hero owns a parrot, they may roll a responsibility to set it upon a guild member; if they have a falcon, it will be a pirate. Here is Vana unleashing her bird on a Tredonian merchant.
There are some features I haven’t taken a proper look at yet – the interrogation chair, the new traits, becoming a pirate or guild member, further craftables and collectables, and of course the new quests themselves. You’ll be able to see all of that in the next part, when I’ll be starting the ‘Peacemaker’ ambition, to bring the war between Tredony and Aarbyville to an end.