Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Thaumcraft Part One

Or: Suddenly Magic

My game starts pretty much like any other minecraft experience: I'm in a savannah, with a few pigs nearby. I look for a tree, and, finding one, I punch it down and make a workbench, an axe, and a pickaxe.

Pretty standard stuff, all in all.

My mod list follows:

Ex Nihilo
and Voxelmap.

The first thing I come across from Thaumcraft: An obsidian totem. I'm not gonna let that stand.

No, but seriously, I'm not. Those things spread taint, and this close to my original spawn, I want nothing to do with that. I immediately upgrade my pickaxe, therefore, and get to work.

My sacred work complete (I don't like taint), I head onwards. The next thing I come across of any value are some sheep, so I put them to death on the spot and get enough wool to make a bed.

Before long I find exactly what I'm looking for - a swath of magical forest.

I've found three different obsidian totems by now and dismantled all of them.

Oh hello.

I don't like these trees, on the one hand - on the other they're useful. Think of them as cave spider dungeons with some decent loot underneath.

Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope.

This also goes to the axe. Pick-axe, that is.

And here's my winnings.

I decide to dismantle one of the three silverwood trees I've spotted. I left the node block in place - we'll see later if the node survived - and I replanted the single sapling I retrieved, because who doesn't want more silverwood, really?

Here's my take from the forest:

Next Up: Mining and gathering.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Neko Powergames The Sims 3: Trivializing Everything Else

Starting with relationships:

People seem to love to rave about the Social Networking skill. So I decided to give it a whirl, leveling it in roughly the same fashion as Science.

The good news is, once I finally max it, I'll have enough LTR points to buy Fast Learner, since maxing Social Networking came up as a wish. Plus, the relationship transmogrifier is, indeed, quite powerful.

The bad news is - well, actually there isn't much for bad news there.

I clone plasma bugs periodically now - I hardly need $200k, though that's my goal.

And, unlike in the Apocalypse Challenge, I don't need to get rid of any of it. Susan's going to be living in a mansion by the time she gets out of college.

Any time Susan meets someone new, I just throw the transmogrifier on, and they're best friends now. She could also choose anyone to be her romantic interest, and with the Sim Finder app, she's guaranteed the best possible mate.

By the end of her third semester, she has $242,089. Which, incidentally, nets me two legacy points all on its own, since the points for money are calculated at 1 for every $100k.

I've also been leveling alchemy, because when I originally created Susan, I meant to make her a witch. I could cheat that on, but it's quite possible to 'catch' witchitude from a potion.

I use the remaining time to level various skills, including Charisma (as though making friends weren't easy enough), Inventing (for the fun of it), and Gardening (for the grades).

I also grab a couple of points in athletics and handiness, because why not.

Total stats by the end of college:

10 Inventing
10 Charisma
10 Science
10 Social Networking
10 Alchemy
10 Logic
8 Gardening
6 Athletic
4 Handiness
1 Writing
1 Cooking

1 Legacy Point for the Founder generation
1 Legacy Point for 100k Total Lifetime Happiness
2 Legacy Points for cresting $200k net worth
1 Legacy Point for LTW fulfilled: Perfect Student


Evil (Family Trait, Social Trait)
Brave (College Trait)

Friday, May 2, 2014

Neko Powergames The Sims 3: Trivializing the Money Problem

So someone asked about the Legacy Challenge - or any other challenge for that matter - and it inspired me to start up one of my own. I don't know how long I'll stick with it - as I mentioned, they tend to bore me - but it sounds like an amusing diversion for at least a couple of days.

This is Susan Beckett. She's a Leo. She likes Mac'n'Cheese, Electronica, and the color gray.

I did the absolute minimum to ensure she had clothing on and looks reasonably cute.

This is a power-gaming entry, not a story or 'spend three hours on clothes' entry.

The traits, therefore, are the most important thing.

I went with:


With plans to get Evil and something else later on. Maybe Irresistable.

I gave her the wish to become a Perfect Student, and away we go.

From the Legacy Challenge, you're supposed to select a lot valued at $14,700, but most newer neighborhoods just don't -have- that kind of a lot. So I'm starting on a 64x64 lot in Lunar Lakes (the one stolen by the equestrian center, thanks Mr. Bulldozer!). 

A quick trip to TestingCheatsEnabled True, and a FamilyFunds Beckett 1300, and we're totally legit and ready to go.

Now, the legacy challenge rules as they stand don't incorporate University Life - or at least, I couldn't find a version that restricts it in any way.

So I'm going to set some personal restrictions.

One: I'm only going to allow myself to apply for extra funds once a semester, on Thursday, after the activity but before finals.

Two: I find it entirely reasonable to limit myself to only three skills on the Brain Enhancement Machine, and five points each, so as to maintain some challenge. It's not going to be much of one, as we'll see.

Three: I'm only taking four semesters, total. I could finish college in one with the right traits - but that's exhausting and gives me no time to get money!

Susan spends the first hour or so waiting for the Uni Mascot and chatting herself up, which improves both her social and her fun. She's having the time of her life by the time the university goods show up, which, combined with her over-emotional trait, means she's quite happy indeed - and racking up those LTR points.

I don't really expect to get a scholarship off the traits I picked, and in fact she gets a disappointing 683/2400 on the aptitude test. I set her up for a single semester at twelve credits, which empties out most of her starting budget. $1,150 is most of $1,300, though she recoups $100 of that for the opportunity, and I'll be selling the cheap camera she got for fast cash - since there's no reason not to; no restrictions prohibit things you got because the game says so.

As always, I start on the central dorm.

Now, if I really wanted, I could sell everything in the dorm but the essentials - or even those - and be obscenely rich. But that seems - against the spirit of the thing. I won't need to, either, as you'll see.

Instead, I buy a Book Corral bookshelf - one of the ones with all the skill books in it - and a dragon egg.

I won't hold it against you if you didn't buy Dragon Valley - and the Renaissance Faire. It's real money, after all, not everybody wants to spend real money.

But I did, so I'm exploiting it, hardcore.

Now, I get the bug where sometimes the job board just doesn't have jobs. Frustrating, but I can deal, and that's not going to be my main mode of money anyway.

I have Susan pose nude at the art center, donate saliva, plasma, and giggles - enough to get her that writing class she really wants to do. My plans involve getting her as many LTR points as possible so that she can net some of the better LTR's early. Since her Lifetime Wish is - not exactly impressive - I'll need to make up the difference somehow.

This little guy is the key to my success here. He means that she won't have to eat or sleep at all for her entire college career - freeing up boatloads of time to do everything else. I'm going to have her only real interactions with him be to talk to him about logic - it's free skill points. I also loot the bookshelf of all the Science books - which is key to my strategy.

Then it's off to the library for some quality study time!

Being a bookworm, she skills up by reading really quickly, and the library boost helps dramatically.

By two AM (roughly six or seven hours after I had her start on it), she's got level 3 in Science - absolutely fantastic for a first night's work. Her first class starts at 8 AM, giving me roughly four hours. Considering my options, I decide to have her study from her course materials, which fulfills a wish she's had since getting to college.

Then I set her to studying Science a little longer, and she's ready for class.

I have her work hard throughout her first class, then queue up flying charcoal for the half an hour or so that she has between classes to raise her fun enough to work hard for most of her next class. Then I have her suck up to her professor - whoever that is - before sending her back to the library.

Yes, she's smelly, but as any veteran of the apocalypse can tell you, smelly is hardly worth noting.

She wants to read three total books, so I set her to reading her course material, which makes her happy. I don't let her finish though - once she's not stressed anymore, I set her right back to studying Science. Since she's a Science/Medicine student, this even improves her grades!

I needn't have bothered with making her happy; she freaked out due to the full moon and became tranquil immediately. Oh well.

A lecture comes between Susan and her studies - fair enough, that brings me to the only place on campus with a free science machine (of doom).

So by now you've probably guessed my plans.

Yep, just like I did in my apocalypse, I'm going to clone these little guys until I'm richer than God. They're worth at least $3400 a pop, probably more. 

Now, I initially planned to get Fast Learner, but that desire seems rather silly - at least right off the bat. I'm instead going to buy my way up the Nerd social ladder - since, that's a thing I can do. Dropping 6k LTR points into the social group nets me rank six, not bad at all.

Susan gets singed on her first attempt to clone, but manages a successful cloning on her second shot, netting her an easy $5072 (total). I use it to buy a brain enhancing machine and a (home based) science lab. She won't stay singed long, this way.

She has to go to class before I can clone too many more bugs, but that's fine, since I have to go to the academic center anyway for my free ~$5000.

After nine bugs, total, have been sold, I'm sitting pretty on a nice $51912. Certainly nothing to scoff at, but let's see if I can do even better!

So the second round of plasma bugs - selling off six of the seven - brings me up to $87618. Not bad.

I spend another 2000 LTR points on getting my next trait - Evil, so that she can feed off the suffering of others. Yay, suffering! In total, that means I spent 10k on a new trait, with basically no time investment. I find it to be an equitable trade; YMMV.

So that's how you trivialize the money problem within the first week of classes.