Replies: 10 (Who?), Viewed: 696 times.
Instructor
Original Poster
#1 Old 6th May 2020 at 4:50 PM
Default An idea to salvage the University Life Social Groups.
This is something I've been tossing around for a while now. I'm one of the weirdos that doesn't really tend to shut off entire features of my game. Yeah, a lot of times EA just has really silly ideas for content. Other times, I feel they have the right idea, it just ends up being half baked. I was probably one of the five people in the Sims community that liked the concept of Social Groups, I enjoyed the idea of school "cliques", but having it applied to any and everyone for doing the simplest things, not to mention the overlap that could occur for things that don't even make sense. Playing video games one time does not make you a nerd, playing pool certainly doesn't make you a jock, etc. So, I got to thinking, what if instead of trying to shut it off (which really isn't feasible anyway in the strictest sense) what about trying to make it better? Keep in mind that this is just conceptual. I'm no good at scripting (yet, hoping to change that eventually) but if there's one thing I'm good at, it's ideas. Wanted to see what others thought.

So, the idea here is to make social groups an entirely voluntary process. Instead of becoming a part of one the instant you do a single interaction related to a particular group, you have to ask to "join" a particular group, with nothing contributing to a particular group until you actually "join" them. Not only does this allow you to take part in more activities without becoming a "Nerd" or "Jock", but it also just makes sense for it to be a process. Think of it as a bit like TS4's club system, joining one anyway.

You go up to a Sim already a part of the group you want to join, lets say Jocks. And have an interaction to join that particular group. Possibly set it up even as an opportunity based scenario, where the reward is influence with that particular group, "joining" them upon completion. Something like this:

Ask to Join Jocks

-Opportunity- "Join the Jocks"
"Before you can join the jocks, you need to prove you've got what it takes. Complete _____ (certain number of interactions) and you'll be on your way!"
Possibly even have a second opportunity where you have to become friends with at least a few people in that group before joining, having "connections" or something like that. This is used elsewhere, think of freeing Genies from a lamp, a multi opportunity event.

At this point, I could see interactions "counting" towards the pertinent social group at this point. With the choice to join now being up to you instead of automatically, there's a lot less headache involved. One thing to consider is that this will essentially "lock" social groups to the University World since that's the only place premades exist that are already in a particular group. I don't see this as a problem though, the groups as they are by default are already annoying to most people so having it stay at University seems like a good compromise. Plus, it fits the style of other content. Like having to travel to the WA worlds to get certain items.

This is the gist of it, what do you guys think?

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Lab Assistant
#2 Old 6th May 2020 at 8:01 PM
I definitely agree that it should be optional, but I wouldn't want it to be restricted to university. To get around that, sims could apply from their phone as well.
And about the counting; it would be more realistic if even before applying the required actions are counted. Because what if a sim already has great relevant accomplishments in life that would instantly get them into a group? Or what if they are best friends with a level 10 member? This way they wouldn't have to start from level 1 as well.
Also, taking self portraits... Everyone should be able to take selfies. Idk if this would be more appropriate for a separate mod that just enables it for everyone.
Instructor
Original Poster
#3 Old 6th May 2020 at 8:24 PM Last edited by Jathom95 : 6th May 2020 at 8:34 PM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slamyy
I definitely agree that it should be optional, but I wouldn't want it to be restricted to university. To get around that, sims could apply from their phone as well.

That's a fair point. I'd actually thought about how a lot of people would still like to choose to join when they wanted, which makes sense. The main reason I noted in my proposed method that this would be restricted to University would be the need for some kind of "middleman". The restriction mostly comes from University being the only world with premades that have social group status. You could add it to Sims in other worlds through MC, but it wouldn't be entirely "seamless" or standalone since it's no longer acquired automatically.

Asking to join through someone already a part of a group makes sense, because like I said in a way it's like reality, where you make connections with particular groups. I didn't consider the phone, but it does seem plausible if you consider the social groups to be like Meetup groups or something. Where you have like-minded people with common interests spending time together. Even the computer could work I think.

The point you made about counting does make sense, I do believe though that it's best to leave this hidden until you actually join the group. The constant notification spamming is why a lot of people get annoyed by this feature in the first place. But it does make sense starting higher if you are already friends with high level members or have done related things already, since this would all be in the player's control. A bit like how getting completing your major lets you start a career at a higher point and get opportunities more often.

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Mad Poster
#4 Old 7th May 2020 at 5:52 AM
Honestly I think the social groups would be really good analogues for cultural subcultures/cliques that would make the game more interesting.

There should be some things to edit:
- Maybe rename the groups to something more mature and universal? The 'Nerds' could be the 'Intellectuals', the 'Rebels' could be the 'Subversives', and the 'Jocks' could be the 'Leaguists', or something like that.
- Reduce or eliminate the anonymous social group interactions- no more berating ignorance or doing school cheers. The group status should be a more neutral status symbol, except when interacting with sims outside the group- that's where the drama should happen!
- Expand the range of actions that allow your sim to gain social points. You sim should naturally gravitate towards several social groups through their lifestyle- you shouldn't have to spam a number of specific interactions to build up your status.
- As such, an artistic sim will naturally become a 'Subversive' by just making art, a writer might become both a 'Subversive' and 'Intellectual' though writing (writing + being on a computer), and so on- these groups should be considered gradients rather than strict identities to allow for more types of personas.
- Gating entry to the social group through a sim with that status might be a good idea if it's possible- if you don't want other specific sims to join those groups.
Instructor
Original Poster
#5 Old 7th May 2020 at 4:42 PM Last edited by Jathom95 : 7th May 2020 at 5:51 PM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jje1000
Honestly I think the social groups would be really good analogues for cultural subcultures/cliques that would make the game more interesting.

There should be some things to edit:
- Maybe rename the groups to something more mature and universal? The 'Nerds' could be the 'Intellectuals', the 'Rebels' could be the 'Subversives', and the 'Jocks' could be the 'Leaguists', or something like that.
- Reduce or eliminate the anonymous social group interactions- no more berating ignorance or doing school cheers. The group status should be a more neutral status symbol, except when interacting with sims outside the group- that's where the drama should happen!
- Expand the range of actions that allow your sim to gain social points. You sim should naturally gravitate towards several social groups through their lifestyle- you shouldn't have to spam a number of specific interactions to build up your status.
- As such, an artistic sim will naturally become a 'Subversive' by just making art, a writer might become both a 'Subversive' and 'Intellectual' though writing (writing + being on a computer), and so on- these groups should be considered gradients rather than strict identities to allow for more types of personas.
- Gating entry to the social group through a sim with that status might be a good idea if it's possible- if you don't want other specific sims to join those groups.


That's a lot of good points! I agree that the social groups, as I like to view them as well, should be something a Sim will gravitate towards because it fits their personality and whatnot, not simply from "spamming" the particular group's interactions.

Regarding the last one, I do think having it gated will mitigate a lot of issues with the system overall. As I said, a couple of interactions here and there should not have an impact on your Sim unless you want it to. Why does my Sim playing juice pong constitute becoming a jock, y'know? Plus, it integrates much better with certain traits. Why would a Loner sim want anything to do with a -social- group, lol. Bottom line, I always think more choice is always better.

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Lab Assistant
#6 Old 21st Nov 2020 at 9:05 AM
I’ve been doing some thinking lately about this thread and I think I may have an idea of how to gate off social group influence.

Could interactions that award social influence have prerequisites? Take playing video games for example. Would it be possible to have the influence point gain require that the sim already have a skill point in ‘Nerd influence’?

If a sim is level zero of the ‘Nerd influence’ skill then they wouldn’t gain social influence from that interaction. But if they were level one or above they would. Basically, the only way to gain ‘Nerd influence’ is to already have some.

From there, a new interaction (on the phone or computer) once completed would award your sim with level one of the corresponding social influence. This way you have to opt-in to the influence skill. Maybe this could just be applied to the active household so inactives can still gain influence the old way?

Also, I do like jje1000’s idea of changing the names of the social groups to something more broad. It reminds me a bit of the social classes from ts2. Is this something that could be done through editing strings?
Instructor
Original Poster
#7 Old 22nd Nov 2020 at 6:18 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alunn
I’ve been doing some thinking lately about this thread and I think I may have an idea of how to gate off social group influence.

Could interactions that award social influence have prerequisites? Take playing video games for example. Would it be possible to have the influence point gain require that the sim already have a skill point in ‘Nerd influence’?

If a sim is level zero of the ‘Nerd influence’ skill then they wouldn’t gain social influence from that interaction. But if they were level one or above they would. Basically, the only way to gain ‘Nerd influence’ is to already have some.

From there, a new interaction (on the phone or computer) once completed would award your sim with level one of the corresponding social influence. This way you have to opt-in to the influence skill. Maybe this could just be applied to the active household so inactives can still gain influence the old way?

Also, I do like jje1000’s idea of changing the names of the social groups to something more broad. It reminds me a bit of the social classes from ts2. Is this something that could be done through editing strings?


I like your thought process on this, with the added point that it might work best if the influence gain was tied to an opportunity. Basically, it's what you presented. The Sim has zero influence, then no interaction that normally gives them will do so. However, completing enough opportunities to get them enough for that initial level would be much more organic I think. It would make the whole thing opt-in, and feel much more natural than "you played one game, now you're a nerd."

It wouldn't even have to be a completely new one. UL already has the dares and such that could function as the way to opt in so to speak. The only problem is it means you'd essentially have to travel to university to do this. I'd personally be fine with it, but I know some probably would like the option in home worlds too.

As for the strings, that should be simple enough. The only issue I see there is that it wouldn't be as simple as changing one instance. There's multiple instances, particularly in the level up influence strings, that likely reference the social groups. It would take going through it and changing each one to the new one, but I'd say it's possible.

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Lab Assistant
#8 Old 24th Nov 2020 at 5:22 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jathom95
I like your thought process on this, with the added point that it might work best if the influence gain was tied to an opportunity. Basically, it's what you presented. The Sim has zero influence, then no interaction that normally gives them will do so. However, completing enough opportunities to get them enough for that initial level would be much more organic I think. It would make the whole thing opt-in, and feel much more natural than "you played one game, now you're a nerd."

It wouldn't even have to be a completely new one. UL already has the dares and such that could function as the way to opt in so to speak. The only problem is it means you'd essentially have to travel to university to do this. I'd personally be fine with it, but I know some probably would like the option in home worlds too.

As for the strings, that should be simple enough. The only issue I see there is that it wouldn't be as simple as changing one instance. There's multiple instances, particularly in the level up influence strings, that likely reference the social groups. It would take going through it and changing each one to the new one, but I'd say it's possible.

I did some brief skimming of the code today and had a peek inside this tuning mod to help me get a better idea of how things are set up. I'm still not too sure how to go about gating off all social influence points when the sim has no social influence skill, only to reintroduce them later without hiding those interactions for every sim.

But it would be fairly simple to remove the social influence point gain from object interactions (like playing ping-pong or video games) and keep the point gain for social interactions with other group members. Though that would still leave the scenario where your sim might gain jock influence for trying to woo a particular sim. Maybe this has to be done with a script mod?

Side note: It should (emphasis on the should) be possible to unlock the selfie interaction for everyone via a tuning mod like Slammy suggested. As for changing the social group names, would changing the strings also change the notification strings or do we have to dig for those?
Lab Assistant
#9 Old 24th Nov 2020 at 6:20 AM
Maybe you could change the skill threshold tuning of the interactions that add social group influence so they're only available to sims who already have some influence in the group, and then also insert clones of those interactions that are the same as the originals except that they don't add social group influence and are only available to sims who don't have any influence in the group? That way it would seem as if the same interaction worked differently depending on sims' social group status, even though it would actually just be two separate nearly-identical interactions.
Lab Assistant
#10 Old 24th Nov 2020 at 8:19 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by lizcandor
Maybe you could change the skill threshold tuning of the interactions that add social group influence so they're only available to sims who already have some influence in the group, and then also insert clones of those interactions that are the same as the originals except that they don't add social group influence and are only available to sims who don't have any influence in the group? That way it would seem as if the same interaction worked differently depending on sims' social group status, even though it would actually just be two separate nearly-identical interactions.

I see, I had no idea you could clone interactions. But at that point all you’d have to do is set the social influence skill threshold to 1 to keep the duplicates from showing up in the pie menu. Thanks for the info Liz!
Lab Assistant
#11 Old 24th Nov 2020 at 3:44 PM
Yeah! Or you could make it so the influence-gain versions of different interactions are unlocked at different levels, so the higher your influence gets the more options you have for increasing/maintaining it; or do the opposite, unlock all the influence-gain interactions at level 1 and then pare them down as you advance so the social groups get harder at higher levels.
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