Weekend Freebies & other Free Content

Lately, the Sims 3 Store has taken to giving away 2 free items, and a discount on a select set. This week it’s going to be the Realtor’s Baggage Prop, and the Retronik Lectronik by Phonokronik. In addition, the Club Vaindenburger Study is 40% off this weekend, unless you’ve already snagged it via ‘Complete your Set’ of course!

Retronik Lectronik by Phonokronik
Realtor’s Baggage Prop
Also,I don’t normally report on weekend set items because it’s been going on for a little while and I’ve actually missed grabbing a few myself. In the meantime, for those of you who know and love pegasas1993‘s thread that keeps track of all free store content, here’s some good news for you! The thread will now report on the free items offered each weekend, in addition to all other known freebies in the TS3 store!

My Experience with Customer Support: Part IV

This past session, I informed the advisor of my previous issue and received an apology for the inconvenience, because while I was waiting for my point balance to be deducted after the refund, the advisor forgot to deduct it. I’m just glad I know what went down, finally. So if you’ve suffered this issue and are still waiting for your points to be deducted, don’t. Try to get in touch with them and let them know that your points were never deducted (especially if you’ve already received your refund money).

As for the issue of the overcharged points on my own account, I’m assuming they’ll just deduct those that are left rather than ‘refund’ the points that didn’t get sapped by ‘complete your set’. although I was only told my issue would have to be escalated, and that I’d receive an e-mail in 24-72 hours (I’m betting on Monday at the earliest). Furthermore, other simmers are having the same issue and brought to my attention the matter of mystery bag items. I didn’t get one either (to my current knowledge), although I’m worried about pushing more than one issue at a time with the help chat, so as not to get too confusing.

My Experience with Customer Support: Part III

I’d been waiting for those pesky glitched points to be recalled to home base, or wherever it is they come from, but a somewhat interesting development has occurred in this little saga of mine. The 5000 points I’d been trying so hard not to touch were partially sapped through a ‘free’ promotion in the Sims 3 store (see: Complete your Set Discount). For a moment I thought I’d actually gained 50 points, because the last two digits said ’56’ and I’d been watching those to make sure the ’06’ never changed. I should’ve been watching the ’50’, because that became a ’20’ when I refreshed the page after a purchase maybe 10 minutes later. That’s an offset of 2950 (nearly 3000) points!

What scares me is that I already have my money back, it’s sitting in my PayPal account, no longer on temporary hold. It was at that point I was lead to believe that the points would disappear from my balance, and I’d only see the 6 that were left of my originally planned purchase. Someone else with the same issue was told by the live chat assistant not to spend the refunded points or they could not refund her.

In a sense, I’m in a position where I committed fraud, although it was only possible due to two instances of technical errors with their site, and their electronic database. Otherwise I only conducted one purchase transaction. Obviously unintentional, but vexing nonetheless. I followed the instructions in their promotion correctly, and obtained the items I was lead to believe were free of charge.

I should’ve clued in when others were being overcharged the same way, but how do you ask for a refund when you’ve already been refunded?

Sims 3 Store Content: Business as Usual Bistro

I may have already said this (if not here, somewhere on the Sims 3 forums) but if I was excited before, now I’m REALLY excited! The open restaraunt venue has been released, and now has a name!

 But that’s not all, have a look at this excerpt from Simguru Graham’s blog entry…

“Design is a lot like shopping on a budget. You only get so many days of development in each department –Art, Audio, Engineering, etc. – to make something really special. Having a Non Player Character (or NPC for short) work on a Store item was always something that was too big for that budget… until now.”

 That’s a pretty bold statement right there! While quite a few simmers have been after the feature, skeptics insisted that the venue won’t even hold a candle to what it could’ve been if it were included in an expansion. And then there’s the matter of servers. Just how do you run a restaurant without employees?

“This is no ordinary stovetop! While you can fix a quick meal here, the magic really happens when you Hire a Chef and Set Your Menu! Setting your menu allows you to customize the type of dining experience you want for your bistro. Do you only serve vegetarian meals or the best cheese steaks in town? You decide!”

 So like we did with Island Paradise, we now gain the ability to hire employees! This is definitely a first with store content, and (hopefully) not a last! Unfortunately your own sims won’t be able to serve, but they can use the oven to practice and gain cooking skill! Furthermore, placing the oven on a residential lot opens up the option of having a personal chef!

But there’s alot more to it than just what I’ve covered here, for more details, check out the full blog entry. I’m anxious to get my hands on this one myself, along with the dance studio venue!

More and more Restaraunt stuff!

Here are some more screenshots, courtesy of Simguru Tatertot! It seems we’re delving even deeper into restaurant territory, and it’s got me wondering just what they’ve got planned. How do they aim to pull this one off when so many people theorized about routing issues making open restaurants effectively unworkable? Will this be something we can use on community lots? do we have to own the lot first? Time will tell!

One of the earlier screenshots, this one suggesting restaurant menus
This reminded me of the front desk seen in IP resorts, but it may be a PC item?
I’m actually not sure about this one…
I’m liking the industrial sink, but what about that stacked oven?

Simes 3 Store Content Reviews: La Cinema Plumbob

I haven’t had alot of time on my hands lately due to a summer internship, but today I finally got to try out the contents of the La Cinema Plumbob set! Quite generously gifted to me by Corettabarajas!

Outside View (It’ll look nicer up against a proper road)

The first step with any new venue/PC items is to set up the lot by either using a premade or building your own. Since this one came with a venue, I figured it’d be best to show you that first.

Top Floor

3rd Floor

2nd Floor (Landing)

Main Floor
Default Bars

 If you have University installed, I’d recommend you replace the bars with Barista bars as they will spawn NPCs and fit exactly into the space left by the regular bar.

 You can also change the colour with CASt so they fit in with the existing counters!

And as you can see, NPCs are spawned…

Sent my sim for a hot drink (typical theatres serve fountain drinks though, so I certainly hope the sims team has that in the works, along with popcorn machines, cotton candy machines, and some candy apples). You could also use vending machines if you want to modify the lot or build your own.

This is a far better use of the bar setup, and because of the NPCs sims don’t wander back behind the counter (as often), although they can still get back there if they’re aged Teen or older. It’d be interesting to see if Twallan comes up with a mod for the system. Next, have your sims buy a ticket, or they’ll complain about being unable to route to the door (mine did)

This machine works like many standard automated ticket machines
And then the ticket is printed
It looks like the typical ‘admit one’ ticket you can buy in bulk
You can watch quite a few movies in that time

Finally, time to watch the movie! The ‘watch movie’ feature from University really compliments this item! (Ignore that, I forgot it was a PC Item… Doi xD) The seats come in single and double sizes (both available in the ‘Living Room’ tab), and look really nice with this setup, albeit a bit chunky.

You may have to tell your sim to take their seat or they’ll just stand in the back and watch. Just click on the spot you want them to take and click ‘Join’ on the big screen to continue watching the movie. They’ll get up and leave when they’re done, especially to fulfill needs. You’ll also get a +20 moodlet for each type of movie you watch.

It’s also worth noting that the lights will actually dim as the film plays! And  unlike theatres in real life (and quite like the lazier ones) nobody will care if you wander into another theatre! Just make sure it’s set to allow the same kind of ticket your sim is carrying.

THAT CLOWN IS SPY!
The aisle carpets look pretty nice

BOOO! THAT WAS WAY TOO SHORT!!
AGAIN!!

And hypnocow for good measure…

The TV screen is actually bigger than the big screens that came with Showtime and the Level Up Collection, you’ll be pleased to hear! It reaches all the way to the ceiling and is at least 3 blocks wider than it’s predecessor!

For a size comparison, I’ve lined up wall mounted TVs from smallest to largest (excluding the one from Late Night), starting with the one from the base game and another from the store. To the right of that is the TV from the Level Up Compilation, and right of that is the TV from Showtime, which actually looks slightly larger due to the frame surrounding it. Far right of course is the behemoth itself! Needless to say, the ability to set up your own open theatre is amazing! On top of that, you get the biggest wall mounted unit in the game to date. In order to top this, I’m pretty sure they’d need a two storey screen.

Setting up the barrier to entry system is really easy!

Set or remove all locks
There are a number of options for restricting and allowing sims, although it’s not limited to just ticketholders. You can even limit entry to certain age groups, genders, non-humans, celebrities by level, your household, current sim, etc.
Age Options
And if you want to be more/less specific
Different coloured tickets (assuming you can set the price of each on your own lot)

You can even define whether or not you need a ticket to get in, and still set these filters!

Also, here’s what I was able to do with my own lot! Albeit I’d forgotten the ticket machine the first time around, so the doors/turnstiles only let them walk through.

Turnstiles…
And doors…

Again, the barista bars make for a top notch snack counter as far as the limitations of the game go. It’d be better if we had an outright snack counter, a fountain drink machine, maybe a slushy machine or two. In the meantime, the waterfall lights from Island Paradise and ocean mural served to decorate my main lobby. The elevator goes to the second floor and arcade!

 

I used a trick from a previous build to create a sunken room for the main theatre, albeit it created graphical artifacts hidden in the walls. I moved that tree when I realized it was an obstruction, don’t worry xD

A major downfall for this set is the lack of a popcorn machine, but with the barrier to entry door/turnstile and the ticket machine serving as a way to set the price of entering a closed off area, there are your two premium content items, even though they’re both downloaded together. For having this kind of game functionality, I suppose it’s worth it but I can’t say I’m not disappointed. Otherwise the set is a little expensive but worth the cost if you really want an open theatre.

I’ve been hoping for popcorn, slushy and cotton candy machines since before Seasons, but thus far it hasn’t happened. I’m just hoping we get those (and maybe a fountain drink dispenser/proper blender) either in the store or in the Into the Future pack!

In the meantime, this set is a great excuse to build an adjoining arcade!