I was wondering if anyone had bought the new expansion pack for The Sims 2. It’s called “Freetime”, and looks to be centered around giving your sims hobbies and new aspirations.
Are there any new careers? Is it worth the money? I know some pack are better than others…I loved Open For Business and I was hoping this one could coincide with that EP. I didn’t give much thought to the Stuff expansion packs and didn’t even bother looking at the Pets.
From what I’ve read, FreeTime is a huuuge EP. There are tons of new types of gameplay in it. There’s the ability to add a secondary aspiration, so you can create say Pleasure/Romance Sims, or Family/Friendship Sims, etc., which could radically update the way I play the game.
The hobbies sound pretty in depth, with levels of ability and ways to improve. There are also a lot of hobby-oriented new objects (including, from what I understand, a basketball hoop - finally!)
I will be buying it, but of course, I buy every EP that comes out (even Pets).
Free time looks like it will have a lot of great stuff in it, but I’m going to wait until I get a new computer before I get it (or Bon Voyage). My current PC already has to chug along for at least 10 minutes to load everything, two more expansion packs may be more than it can handle.
Another feature that I just remembered that made this a must buy for me is the ability to have three friends age with a Sim, so if, for instance, a Sim is about to transition from child to teen, up to three of his child friends can also become teens - which makes it much easier to have those lifelong friendships.
Well, as usual when I start up the game, I spent two hours creating a new family and hardly any time playing the game, so I can’t say that much about it. However, it looks so far as though they’ve done a really, really good job integrating this EP with what you already have in-game. There are a ton of new things you can do (play soccer/basketball/toss football, sew, make pottery, birdwatch, bug-catch, restore cars, etc), but what really impressed me is that the things you could do before also are considered hobbies.
For example, my dude goes and sits down on the couch to watch TV like he normally does, and it happened to be on the sports channel. (I also noticed when I turned the TV on that there is now the option to “Tinker” with it.) After he turned off the TV, he had a little thingy over his head with a sports jersey and “+11” above it, which I take to mean he’d earned that many enthusiasm points toward the Sports hobby. When the family ate a home-cooked meal, all the family members gained a similar indicator for the Cuisine hobby. The manual informs me that the more points you get in a particular hobby, the better you are at it and the more enjoyment you get out of doing it. I think that’s pretty cool. Also, it seems that each Sim is particularly inclined toward a certain category of hobbies, which they discover through experience… after watching TV, my dude was all like “Man, I really enjoyed participating in that Film & Literature activity! I’m glad I did that!” and then when I looked in his little “hobby” tab, Film & Literature was all glowy. According to the manual, that means he has an “innate talent” for hobbies in that category… presumably he’ll get better at it faster/enjoy it more than other hobbies.
OK, I am now tired of saying the word “hobby”, so that’s all I got for now. Good impressions so far, though.
I got this two days ago and have had a little play.
The hobbies are pretty fun. Your sim can gain ‘enthusiasm’ for any hobby but it has one area in which it has natural talent. You don’t get to pick the area (though there are already mods out to change it) and you have to experiment a bit to find out where their talents lie. They gain enthusiasm by doing the hobby (so if they’re into music and dance they can play instruments or learn ballet) and once their enthusiasm reaches certain levels they get more options (talking about their hobby, sharing tips, blogging about it etc). Enthusiasm is kind of like skill points in the way you build it up, but if they don’t do their hobby for a while it will start to ebb back down. Reaching about level 6 enthusiasm in a hobby will give them membership to a secret lot where they can go and meet with like-minded individuals. They can also take a friend, even if the friend isn’t a member. Children can get membership cards, but they can’t go to secret lots unless an adult member takes them. As far as I can see, you can have as many membership cards as you want.
When you max out your enthusiasm for something you can get ‘in the zone’ which makes them glow when doing their hobby and their needs decay a bit slower.
You get some new toys for them to do their new hobbies with. You can buy a broken car and fix it up, enter cooking competitions, play the sims 3 on the computer, have the toddlers play with building blocks and tons more. The old equipment (the tv, piano etc) also counts towards your hobbies.
There is also a new system for aspiration points. In addition to the old way, you have a second meter (which looks similar to the influence meter) and filling that will gain you bonuses. You earn points which you can spend to slow down the decay of your needs, give you work-related bonuses (like a higher chance of winning on the random chance cards), give you bonuses related to your personality (for family sims you can have soup that cures illnesses and increased chances of twins, knowledge sims get random ‘eureka’ moments which speed up study etc) or you can chose a secondary aspiration (as someone already said, that means you can get romance/knowledge sims etc). I really like this.
There are a couple of new careers which I have yet to try, and the usual spattering of themed outfits.
As for problems, I’ve run into two bugs so far. Some of my sims get negative effects from the aspiration rewards even in platinum mood (the energiser zaps them, the thinking cap makes them lose skill points etc). It doesn’t affect them all and I can’t see any pattern to who it effects. Quite annoying though. The second bug just makes some household objects flash blue at night time. I can live with that one.
All in all, one of the meatier expansion packs that certainly adds enough to the game to justify the price. Can’t wait for a patch though - looking at the ea forums there’s apparently dozens more bugs waiting to get me.
Not if you still have the game installed on your HD it’ll only want to check the latest XP you have installed when you run it…Personally I do a no CD patch on most of my games anyway so I don’t even have that hassle.
I’m a little on the fence about this XP since it’s the sims I knew my wife would get it and it does seem to add a worthwhile amount of content I’m still a little confused about the Life Time Aspiration points I haven’t quite figured out what milestones you have to cross before they’re doled out and the free abilities you can purchase with them seem a little uneven from extremely useful to totally useless.
Like most EPs, Free Time has a LOT of bugs. You may be lucky and avoid most of them or unlucky and be plagued by the worst of them.
I have a clean install of all EPs and SPs - no custom items and no hacks. The two biggest problem I’ve run into are that (1) the nanny won’t use the new cribs or changing table and (2) the service NPCs you are supposed to be able to call are missing from your phone book and the new hobby NPCs who you aren’t supposed to be able to call are in your phone book but don’t have phones.
There are at least 3 threads of bugs at the sims2 site and as some are rather serious, I’m sure there will be a patch out soon.
If you are contemplating buying FT and have a lot of custom content and/or hacks, you might want to wait until it’s patched because, quite frankly, some of the bugs will make your games unplayable (e.g., salary as a negative figure).