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Author Topic: Pinstar's new Apocalypse challenge  (Read 353250 times)
Alvaron
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With OFB, Culinary+Military is very very fast
« Reply #450 on: 2006 November 09, 07:17:26 »
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I completed the challenge in 45 Sim-days using an initial unlock pair of Culinary (founder) + Military (spouse). Unlocked Medical (first 2nd gen heir) then Science with her husband, choosing the elixir as the aspiration reward. The other of the first pair of twins unlocked Slacker. The remaining tracks unlocked in the following order: Slacker, NatSci, Athletics, Politics, Life of Crime, Show Biz, Business, Law Enforcement, Art and Paranormal.

Reducing the number of required pregnancies by using cheesecake is a boon. I had studied the Culinary track in detail and decided to place a driveway and purchased a car for my founder. That was the correct choice as she topped out the track very rapidly with three doubled promotions, allowing a quick start to the family. To be sure, NatSci+Military or Medical+Military or Show Biz+Military might be less stressful simming as each offers a method to raise hygiene but none of them can compete with cheesecake-powered pregnancies. The first generation spouse took a job in Athletics for a punching bag and all of the heirs max'ed their body skill as children so the Body 10 requirement was never a problem.

The three spouses provided auto-unlocks for Military, Science and Business (Joe Carr, Benjamin Long and Ivy Copur) and only five pregnancies were required in total. Having four toddlers to care for was stressful at times but an efficient 8x8 layout made coping not too bad. I batched the heirs through university in three clumps, the first set of twins, then two pairs of twins and a final two pairs of twins. As usual, University was mind-numbing and not terribly exciting. Money was never really a problem either at home or at university. The founder had 39k when she returned from college (it was quite tedious working as barista before she began skilling toward permaplat, LTW Max 7).

I never did manage to get anyone abducted so the only aspiration reward available was the elixir. The founder's carryback of two Smart Milk dispensers and her diploma was perfect. Other than the rare kitchen fire, one burglary at college, and one electrocution during computer repair, the play was uneventful. Having food available on demand more than compensated for being stinky early in the challenge as it made managing the pregnancies much, much easier.

It's an interesting challenge and I enjoyed it.
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Re: Pinstar's new Apocalypse challenge
« Reply #451 on: 2006 November 16, 08:10:29 »
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I found out that with snapdragons my founder and spouse managed to max their motives easily plus got my heir/esses and spairs to unlock restrictions plus a good combinaton for unlimited travel is military and law enforcement as you don't have to worry if you're teen or elder is 10 body points inorder to go to work!
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Re: Pinstar's new Apocalypse challenge
« Reply #452 on: 2006 November 16, 09:32:19 »
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Anybody know where to get the safehouses mentioned in the rules?
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Re: Pinstar's new Apocalypse challenge
« Reply #453 on: 2006 November 16, 16:49:56 »
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The original Rules page had this link, which I used to get the houses.  Don't know if they're still there, can't access the site from work.

http://thesims2.ea.com/mysimpage/mysimpage.php?user_id=131247
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Re: Pinstar's new Apocalypse challenge
« Reply #454 on: 2006 November 16, 17:31:08 »
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They are. Thanks for that.
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sheetmason
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Re: Pinstar's new Apocalypse challenge
« Reply #455 on: 2006 November 26, 15:44:31 »
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I really loved this challenge, though I failed it the first run-through.  I may have bit off more than I could chew by starting with an adult.

Looks like culinary is a better strategic starting profession than medical, but I have a question about autonomous sponge-bathing -- are neat or messy sims more likely to do it?  My sims waited for a really long time before heading for the sink even if they were miserable.
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J. M. Pescado
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Re: Pinstar's new Apocalypse challenge
« Reply #456 on: 2006 November 26, 16:21:13 »
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Sponge-bathing is too unreliable, just go with primping, grooming, or permaplat which renders even red hygiene largely irrelevant.
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Re: Pinstar's new Apocalypse challenge
« Reply #457 on: 2006 November 26, 17:21:03 »
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I liked your story, very grim.

You are supposed to start with a YA, why did you choose not to?
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sheetmason
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Re: Pinstar's new Apocalypse challenge
« Reply #458 on: 2006 November 29, 02:47:46 »
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Thanks for the hygiene tips and the compliment on my story.  I think I'm gonna try to start another run-through of this challenge tonight.  It's really nice to play with sims who live in a larger context than just whatever happens in their house.
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Alvaron
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Pinstar's Apocalypse Challenge for Seasons
« Reply #459 on: 2007 August 29, 10:16:38 »
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With my last pair of twins at University, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it's not an onrushing freight train!  Cheesy

It's Day 68, and I expect the last two siblings of my founder to complete the challenge in another sim-week or thereabouts so about 75 sim-days to do Seasons Apocalypse with the strategy I used. I enjoyed the challenge very much and learned some things from doing it which is IMO the mark of a good challenge.

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of this challenge follow.

The Good
It's... um... quite challenging which good challenges should be. I would not recommend this for the casual Simmer, and if micromanaging isn't your thing, I'd advise skipping this challenge. In Pinstar's description, these rules are termed playtest rules. They are certainly that. The multiple interlocks on the abilities and objects you need to make rapid progress in solving the challenge make it extremely difficult to get off the ground and get going. The constant winter weather is grim and depressing, and you will likely grow to hate sim-snow. I know I did.

I do not have the Pets expansion so none of what follows applies to those rules. If you analyze what must be done to solve the challenge, you discover that there are twenty (20) career tracks total that must be unlocked. 10 of those are the original careers, four are from University and six are from Seasons. What you also discover is that no NPC will ever have a University career nor will they have a Seasons career. The only career an NPC (and thus a spouse) can ever have is one from the original set of careers. This leads us to the first strategem: if the founder and the siblings all do University + Seasons careers while their mates do original careers, the maximum number of children required to complete the challenge is nine (9). Unlocking Culinary relatively early makes cheesecake available, and using it to force twins gives the likely number of required pregnancies as six. Assuming you unlock access to college first (see below), that bounds the total number of sim-days required to approximately 4 x 6 = 24 child-bearing days. Other factors such as lot crowding, difficulty of conception, etc. will make your mileage vary.

The Bad
In one respect, Pinstar's Seasons Apocalypse rules are bad because they eliminate multiple paths to victory. Any solution which does not begin with Education + Military as its initial pair of unlocks is non-optimal. Simply put, if you do not gain the ability to launch Sim teens off to college ASAP, you cannot solve the challenge in the minimum number of days. If that's not a problem for you, do as you will but for those of you who wish to test themselves against Pinstar's challenge, this pair of careers is your starting point.

From a challenge design standpoint, that is an unfortunate outcome because good challenges encourage multiple paths to victory and promote multiple strategems in so doing. Pinstar does a fine job usually but, in this case, he blew it. The real challenge as the player in Seasons Apocalypse is to figure out how to proceed from this initial point. Your founder does Education and their spouse does Military but where do you go from there? All you've managed to do at that point is get your Sim kids eligible to attend high school and go to college (iff they have Body 10). Your Sims still stink, their food supply is severely limited, their phones and computers don't work, career rewards are useless, and they're stuck in an 8x8 floating dung-heap of a house in the middle of a never-ending blizzard. Grin

The Ugly
So much rides on the townies and downtownies that to succeed in this challenge, you must carefully inventory each and every one of them, even the butt-ugly ones (isn't that most of them? Smiley). You must find those who are L9 or L10 in their careers and befriend them before your founder leaves college. Previous experience with the Apocalypse Challenge has taught me that a Female Knowledge Sim with LTW Max 7 Skills is the ideal founder because it's easy to permaplat her before the Apocalypse begins. Being permanently platinum is invaluable since stinky is irrelevant, fun isn't absolutely necessary and she never blows a Smart Milk feeding.

To inventory the available NPCs, take your founder downtown and interact with townies and downtownies. Ignore service Sims, elders, young adults, teens and children if any are present; you only want adult townies and downtownies. Once the short term relationship hits 20 or so, ask them what their job is. Make a list and check it twice, recording gender, career and level. Level 9s and 10s are preferable but keep track of the male and female with the highest career level in each job track. Be prepared to move on to the next lot when you've interacted with each adult Sim present. Rinse and repeat until you have at least one Level 9 of each gender in each career. This process will take a long time so don't be in a hurry to finish it. Befriend any Sims that qualify as spouses for your founder and her children.

Choosing the order of unlocking careers is where the challenge gets interesting. Without Culinary, it's difficult to keep everyone fed. Without Medical, the lack of hygiene causes difficulties, particularly with Sim kids. They can wash their hands until the hide comes off, and it doesn't help. Their hygiene desperation move is to wash their hands. It's useless. The best thing to do is keep them in platinum aspiration as best you can, and keep them busy skilling. Without Science, your computer is useless except for writing novels. Even with Science, if you haven't unlocked Gamer, the phones and computer are only useful on Tuesdays between midnight and noon. Note: this is the only day of the week that Sim teens can legally depart for university until Gamer is unlocked so plan ahead. Moreover, it's the only day of the week you can use the computer to search for jobs.  All other days of the week you must use the newspaper, and without unlocking Journalism, you may only take the first job offered.

I have no certain answers as to how to proceed. Each solution has its advantages. My preference is to unlock Gamer + Science next followed by Adventurer + Culinary then Art or NatSci + Medical. Here's why: without phones and computers, you're screwed. You can't find the jobs your Sims need nor can you maintain your friendships. But most importantly, you need to be able to "Find New Place" to move Sims out of the house, and you absolutely must have the Elixir of Life to keep your founder from aging. If you keep your founder young and healthy, she can bear every sim child you'll need to finish the challenge. No other Sims will need to permaplat and no other Sims will be required to stay in the family home after unlocking their track. They can move out right away to make room for more siblings.

After getting the computers and the phones fixed, Adventurer + Culinary is good. Unlocking the Adventurer track is very nice since the career reward acts like a snapdragon but better still, now you can use the Super Bookcase from Hell. Your founder can teach using any career rewards she has access to, and your Sim teens can make use of the Sensotwitch Lie Detector as teens to gain creativity (they're still prohibited from using the super bookcase to gain creativity by the Artist restrictions). Best of all, you get a second aspiration reward for unlocking Adventure. Eclectic Energizers are the obvious choice since they fix all manner of problems (like hygiene) though Thinking Caps aren't bad either. Unlocking Culinary is a stress reliever. It's stressful simming when you have to constantly watch their food supply though saving leftovers has made this much easier. Tip: buy an early fridge and grill if you can afford it and grill a batch of burgers every day even if your founder isn't hungry. Stash the leftovers in the fridge and build up a stockpile of extra food for the lean times when she's pregnant and needs extra portions to keep fed. As always, meditate when she has nothing better to do to save on food.

My fourth unlock pair is less certain for the sibling. Medical is the obvious choice for the spouse but NatSci, Music, and Art all have positive benefits. Music breaks the grip of permanent winter but NatSci enables gardening underneath the house on the land not used by the driveway. Fresh produce and juice have positive benefits so NatSci is a good choice. Art stomps the creativity problem once and for all. It makes the simming less stressful, and you can't go wrong with that choice. Music is perhaps the weakest of the three choices but then again when you've endured endless days of blowing snow, maybe it's not such a weak choice after all.

Managing the Household
With the Pets expansion, the limit on the max number of Sims per household increased from eight to ten (10) but it's a spongy ten. The two slot increase is intended to be used for Sim pets. If you have eight Sims in the house, you can't add another non-pet Sim until someone moves out. If you have seven Sims in the house, you can add up to two Sims by pregnancy so cheesecake-created twins will work just fine. Plan for the slots needed to bring the siblings' spouses into the house via marriage and make certain that you leave adequate time for them to unlock their tracks before launching another round of pregnancies. For those who wish to experience true Sim hell, download J. M.'s "harder jobs" hack and install it. It'll make you ponder the joys of dropping out of university early. Wink

What I do is batch my sim kids through University in groups of two or three. This helps pay the Mob protection money on their stuff, and minimizes the total amount of time I have to spend at University. I find the time spent at Uni to be mind-numbingly boring so I want as little of it as I can manage. With 9 sim kids, three batches of three isn't too bad though the early unlocks are so important that you'll probably end up doing a batch of two, a batch of three and two more batches of two each.

In conclusion, I get the sense that not many Simmers have tried this challenge. Perhaps that's because Pinstar labelled his rules as "in playtest" or perhaps it's because this is a gonad-masher of a challenge that's not for the faint of heart. I've seen a couple of variants on this challenge on the TS2 boards (the Jericho challenge in particular) but few people have had the urge to try Pinstar's version. If you do, I'd love to see what you come up with.

Happy Simming!
--Alvaron

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Zazazu
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Re: Pinstar's new Apocalypse challenge
« Reply #460 on: 2007 August 29, 15:07:24 »
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For even more fun, try with the required degree hack. Business and Medical will then require Uni.

Female knowledge w/Max 7 skills is not the only option. Actually, a male sim works better because he has more breeding time and therefore the time that you spend getting to top career level is moot, plus you have a good 20 extra days of fertility at the end of the cycle. If you marry in a townie female at level 9 of her career, you could possibly wait either one or no days to get her on the baby track, depending on work schedule. Also, any of the non-career, non-baby/marriage LTW's can be done beforehand. Ok, that's really not many. Popularity's "Have 30 best friends", Romances "Have X simultaneous loves" or "Woohoo with X different sims" or  Pleasure's "Have 50 Dream Dates" can work.

I've done Apocalypse in the intended style and honestly I didn't care for it. Stink annoys me and the restrictions and their unlocks don't always make sense to me. Plus, I can't see how you could possibly have a medical profession before educators or how there can be enough running water for sinks but not for the bathtub. I have modified and bastardized it to merge with other challenges, though.
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Re: Pinstar's new Apocalypse challenge
« Reply #461 on: 2007 August 29, 20:38:11 »
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Female knowledge w/Max 7 skills is not the only option. Actually, a male sim works better because he has more breeding time and therefore the time that you spend getting to top career level is moot, plus you have a good 20 extra days of fertility at the end of the cycle. If you marry in a townie female at level 9 of her career, you could possibly wait either one or no days to get her on the baby track, depending on work schedule. Also, any of the non-career, non-baby/marriage LTW's can be done beforehand. Ok, that's really not many. Popularity's "Have 30 best friends", Romances "Have X simultaneous loves" or "Woohoo with X different sims" or  Pleasure's "Have 50 Dream Dates" can work.

Yeah, actually this surprised me, too.  Many choose a male founder for exactly the childbirth reason; he can still have kids even if he's an elder.  From what I understand, it's even more important with the Seasons rules before Gamer is lifted, because you can only move Sims in on a Tuesday.  If you lift Hopelessness on Wednesday and it isn't Gamer, you're stuck for six more days.  The people I know who have done/are doing it (admittedly not too many) have chosen Popularity, Romance switching to Popularity at the sophomore year, and Knowledge switching to Popularity sophomore year.  Twenty Best Friends and Fifty First Dates are also really doable (and I suppose you could even do Make 100,000 Simoleans). 

If it were me, I'd pick Romance or Popularity + car.

PB
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Re: Pinstar's new Apocalypse challenge
« Reply #462 on: 2007 August 29, 20:48:42 »
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I started this challenge before all the INSANE rule changes, with a Romance female who wanted to woohoo 20 sims. It was easy to get her platinum before the aspiration deadline change, at which point I switched her to Knowledge. As far as I can tell, the pets rules made this challenge impossible because there was some cyclical rule about "you can't have a pet before X, but to achieve X you need a pet".

I liked the idea of the challenge before the apparent point of the challenge became about how Pinstar could tweak the rules to make it impossible.
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Re: Pinstar's new Apocalypse challenge
« Reply #463 on: 2007 August 29, 22:08:31 »
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The pet crap is idiotic, IMO. No way does my pet reaching the top of their career have anything to do with teaching a kid to do their homework. Most of it (and the Seasons rules, really) fall under the "throw in some restrictions to make it look like I considered all the EPs" category. I changed some when I did it. I have a spreadsheet at home with the revised rules, but I think basically it was that food delivery couldn't be unlocked before business, military, and culinary. Crops had to be used as the only food source until then, and had to be kept inside until Environmental Science was unlocked. There was a whole lot of other stuff I tweaked just for common sense reasons.
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Alvaron
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Re: Pinstar's new Apocalypse challenge
« Reply #464 on: 2007 August 29, 23:24:04 »
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Female knowledge w/Max 7 skills is not the only option. Actually, a male sim works better because he has more breeding time and therefore the time that you spend getting to top career level is moot...

Since success in the challenge is measured by the number of days required to complete the challenge, the time you spend getting to the top of a career is never moot. If the number of sim days you take to do the challenge isn't important to you, so be it.

With regard to male pregnancies, you must be using a hack that I do not use because the only way my male Sims can become pregnant is alien abduction. That's hard to do with little or nothing unlocked since telescopes aren't available unless you unlock NatSci. I have no hacks that increase the chances of alien abduction so males conceiving that way is a very low probability event. If you unlock NatSci with your founder instead of Education, you're screwed because your Sim teens cannot go to high school. How does one grow them into adults if they flunk out first?

I do all Knowledge Sims since they routinely spin up wants to gain skills, do homework, write term papers and do college assignments, all things I want my challenge Sims to do. If you want to make friends or woohoo 20 or whatever for your permaplatness, have at it. I don't consider those options better nor more useful than LTW Max 7.

professorbutters commented on founder gender and aspiration switching in college:
Aging isn't a problem if you take the Elixir as the aspiration reward for unlocking Science. It allows you to leverage the time investment made in the founder and ignore the Paranormal track, unlocking it as the last career done. Insofar as switching aspirations in college, it's not necessary. You can spend all the time you want downtown with your founder doing every social interaction you wish, building friendships and establishing relationships, without the college clock ever moving. What's the point of changing aspirations when you can have as many dates with your founder as you want to get all the aspiration points you'll ever need? There is no point to that. You can make all the money you'll ever need as a barista even though it's mind-numbingly boring at 16 simoleons a pop. I usually call a halt at 30K or so before I yank out the rest of my thinning hair.

Your point about the car+driveway is well taken. Leaving space underneath the house for the obstacle course used to be a viable alternative but the Adventurer restriction killed that strategy.

rohina pointed out the brokenness in the Pets Apocalypse rules:
Unleashed didn't light my fire in TS1 so I skipped Pets in TS2. I don't have that expansion so I ignored all rules dealing with pets in the challenge. It's too bad that Pinstar hasn't fixed the Pets rules.

I agree that his Seasons rules lack that special something. They make the challenge incredibly difficult but I wouldn't say that they make the challenge more challenging. That's the point, after all, isn't it? It has to be more than an exercise in Simmer stress testing; the challemge should be enjoyable, with multiple paths to victory. After 50 days or so of staring at blowing Sim snow, you begin to ask yourself just how much fun is this? I do hope that Pinstar will spend some time polishing his rules and bringing some fun back to his Apocalypse challenge.

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Re: Pinstar's new Apocalypse challenge
« Reply #465 on: 2007 August 30, 00:30:10 »
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The music restriction is incredibly retarded in my opinion. Should I get around to this challenge (someday Tongue) that is one rule that I am skipping/changing.

"Oh hai guiz. letz hav a consert."

"woah dood, the snoe is meltin."

"hurrrr, kewl."
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Re: Pinstar's new Apocalypse challenge
« Reply #466 on: 2007 August 30, 01:25:00 »
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Where are these new Seasons rules? They aren't at the top of the link. I want to see if the 0day exploits are still valid, heh.
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Re: Pinstar's new Apocalypse challenge
« Reply #467 on: 2007 August 30, 02:39:49 »
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Have a go at it.
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Re: Pinstar's new Apocalypse challenge
« Reply #468 on: 2007 August 30, 05:57:58 »
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Female knowledge w/Max 7 skills is not the only option. Actually, a male sim works better because he has more breeding time and therefore the time that you spend getting to top career level is moot...

Since success in the challenge is measured by the number of days required to complete the challenge, the time you spend getting to the top of a career is never moot. If the number of sim days you take to do the challenge isn't important to you, so be it.
Time spent is never moot, true, but reproductive time is. Children can be used for unlocks, as well as the spouse of only the heir. Restrictions for moving in a sim is that they are used for breeding. So, Sim A is a male. He moves back from Uni and takes, let's say 8 days before he can move in another sim (unlocks the hopelessness lock & it's Tuesday--stupid rule--). He still has 22 days of adulthood + 20 or so days of elderhood of fertility for creating spawn. He moves in Sim B (at level 9 of career), she breeds until elderhood. She meets with an early demise. He moves in Sim C (at level 9 of her career), she breeds until enough children have reached adulthood and unlocked their restrictions.

Unless you are Pescado and somehow have discovered the super secret zero day method, it's going to take you more than the one sim's lifetime to complete. More children = more consecutive work on unlocks = less days.
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Re: Pinstar's new Apocalypse challenge
« Reply #469 on: 2007 August 30, 06:09:25 »
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It was my understanding that only the spouse who was the parent of the next heir could unlock a restriction.  So while a second spouse could continue to breed more sprogs, she couldn't unlock any restrictions although her offspring with the founder/heir could.
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Re: Pinstar's new Apocalypse challenge
« Reply #470 on: 2007 August 30, 07:07:13 »
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It was my understanding that only the spouse who was the parent of the next heir could unlock a restriction.  So while a second spouse could continue to breed more sprogs, she couldn't unlock any restrictions although her offspring with the founder/heir could.

This was a rule change, but yes.
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Re: Pinstar's new Apocalypse challenge
« Reply #471 on: 2007 October 19, 23:28:10 »
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I was planning on starting this challenge, but have only just realised there were Seasons rules as well. They look like a pain in the arse for the most part. Can anyone tell me how much worse the challenge is (bar the secret 0 day method).

Though I did have a quick go earlier on with a CAS Adult because I couldn't be bothered going though college. Upgraded him with the Debugger... and he died in a fire. Making his first meal, no less.
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Re: Pinstar's new Apocalypse challenge
« Reply #472 on: 2007 October 19, 23:48:24 »
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Upgraded him with the Debugger... and he died in a fire. Making his first meal, no less.

Tell me, did that happen before or after you chose that avatar?  Cheesy  I'm wondering if you jinxed him...
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Re: Pinstar's new Apocalypse challenge
« Reply #473 on: 2007 October 20, 00:49:55 »
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Happened after Tongue It's entirely possible that I jinxed him since that's the first fire death I've ever had. I didn't even have any in the I'm Surrounded by Idiots challenge!
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Re: Pinstar's new Apocalypse challenge
« Reply #474 on: 2007 October 20, 01:41:41 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

How did he get a stove? Stoves have to be unlocked with culinary.
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Capitalism, Ho!
"Continue to beat it in masturbatory ecstasy if you like, but only Pescado can make it go away." - Lemmiwinks
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