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I have always played my Sims the same way, I even played all of the Sims in the original game the same way, they skill, skill, skill, and then die eventually. Because this is pretty much all I do, most of my Sims don't live that long with EPs installed, and the ones that do make it don't have much of a life unless they are Knowledge Sims, which is primarily what I play. I am attempting to change that by playing with just the base game for The Sims 2. My goal is to master the different aspirations and personality types available in the game and also try and be a little better at building since all of my homes and community lots all tend to look the same. Below is a list of goals that I want to achieve before I install University and and try to master that.

Create community lots that are functional and look at least sort of nice (not box stores). I need to make lots for each of the main activities currently available on community lots:

  • Grocery store
  • Park with swimming pool
  • Clothing store
  • Video game store / aracde
  • Dance club / bar
Note to self: All lots need at least one grill and a bathroom.

Try and use different lot sizes, they don't all need to be 5 x 5 (this is true for homes and community lots.)

I will try and take Sims to community lots at least once a week.

I will try not to just flatten lots as soon as I set them. If the lot is on the side of a mountain then flattening part of it is okay so long as the edges are softened to look more natural.

In regards to Sims:
In order to learn more about the aspirations and astrological signs I am going to try and play through each aspiration 12 times, one for each astrological sign. I'll alternate between male and females on the astrological signs as I make them. This will give me plenty of time to learn the aspirations and see how the different personalities work with each aspiration and have a better idea of what works best with what. This does mean playing 60 Sims eventually.
  • Aspiration is considered mastered when I get a platinum gravestone for the aspiration (because I never get platinum gravestones).
  • Use a different head for each Sim (there are 29 heads per gender so only one will be repeated.)  All of my Sims end up looking the same normally.
  • To begin with each Sim will live alone for at least the first week (because my houses always end up full too quickly.)
  • Children cannot be born in until at least the second week (see item above.)
  • Sim families created in game should only have one child until I can consistently have all of the toddler skills learned and they grow up well through adulthood. Private school will be attempted.
    • Will repeat that process with two through six children
  • Once I have mastered single Sims I can start creating Sim couples or moving Sims in on the first couple of days.
  • I will try and skill only when they roll the want to skill (Fortune and Knowledge Sims usually want to learn skills, just for different reasons).
  • I will try and actually achieve the wants of my Sims instead of just making them skill all day long (unless that is what they want to do because they are Knowledge.)

In regards to the objects, I will try and use each object in the game at least once, this includes career and aspiration rewards that I normally ignore.

Finish playing through one generation of the Maxis pre-made Sims since I generally don't get past one week.
I think a lot of it comes down to if you feel anything is missing from your game play or if you feel like your Sims die a little too easily (which is the main reason I am doing this, that and all of my Sims have the exact same life story).

The fact that you have two Sims trying to start a restaurant and another possibly becoming a witch is well beyond anything I have done with my Sims. So if you want to see if there is anything you are missing from your game play, either take the instruction books that came with the disks, or the Prima guides if you buy them, and thumb through them and see if anything jumps out at you as something you have never tried. Make a list, note the page and what book the thing is mentioned on, and then (if you are like me) prioritize them. This will give you a guide, and remember, it's not like you have to do everything so if you find you don't really care for a feature you haven't tried before, at least you now know and you can mark it off the list.

Hopefully that was helpful :-)