sErin's Stuff

In Honor of Sims 4 Outrage - A Look at the Lacking Sims 3 Base Game →


I decided to go over this list more thoroughly and point out some of the issues with this list and how it relates to TS3 vs TS4. Most of the things listed have been cut from TS4 as well, some have been made WORSE by TS4, some weren’t even in TS2 base game, some WERE in TS3 base game or had something similar that was equivalent or even an improvement from TS2.

Missing Gameplay Elements:

  • No restaurants - Weren’t in TS2 base game and not in TS4 either.
  • No grocery stores - There actually were grocery stores in TS3, yes they were rabbit holes, but in TS4 they were removed completely, along with bookstores.
  • No clothing shops - Not in TS4 either.
  • No aspirations - These were replaced with a combination of traits and lifetime wishes, a much more robust system that allowed you to make more nuanced and varied sims. While there is something called an aspiration in TS4, it is a completely different system from either previous game. It might be better, worse, or not significantly different.
  • No lifetime aspiration meter or anything to show how fulfilling your sims life has been - Lifetime aspiration wasn’t added until the Free Time expansion. In TS3 there is lifetime happiness instead. In TS4 I’m guessing that the equivalent system will center around emotions. It might be better, worse, or not significantly different.
  • No fears - Not in TS4 either.
  • No private schools and wooing the headmaster “minigame to get into private school” - Not in TS4 either.
  • No dating system and dating “minigame” to get a perfect date - Dating was added in expansion packs in both TS2 and TS3. You can go on dates in TS4 base game.
  • No interests - Not in TS4 either, and was repaced in most ways by a combination of favorites and traits in TS3.
  • No turn ons and turn offs - Not in TS2 base game and not in TS4 either.
  • No memories - This sounds like it might actually be an improved system in TS4.
  • No aliens - Not in TS4 either, TS3 had playable ghosts instead.
  • Hedges, flowers and trees never require maintenance (trimming, watering, etc.) and they never die - Not in TS4 either, TS3 didn’t have this, but did have an extensive vegetable gardening system and skill in the base game.
  • Environment and comfort needs removed - Replaced with moodlets in TS3 and emotions/moodlets in TS4.
  • No illnesses - Not in TS4 either.
  • No inheritance when family dies - Rumored to not be in TS4 either.
  • No need to buy clothes - Not in TS4 either.
  • No cockroaches for dirty homes - Probably not in TS4 either as there’s no exterminator.
  • No zodiac signs - Not in TS4 either.
  • Can’t bathe babies and toddlers - Can’t bathe babies in TS4 either, and toddlers don’t even exist.
  • No cleaning skill - Not in TS4 either, in TS3 the skill system was greatly enhanced to be more similar to the talent badge system that wasn’t introduced until OfB in TS2, and cleaning didn’t really fit into that system as it’s not really that interesting or impressive of a skill.
  • No yoga or meditation skills - Probably not in TS4 either as nothing has been mentioned about them. TS3 had fully fledged gardening and fishing in base game instead, as well as breaking up the creativity skill into separate, fully featured writing, painting and guitar skills. These were all more robust than the hidden skills they replaced.
  • No car animations or interactions - Not in TS4 either because cars don’t exist. Ownable cars also weren’t in TS2 base game, only carpools and taxis, which also don’t exist in TS4. 
  • No unlockable secret lots - These weren’t in TS2 base game either.
  • No basements - basements could be made in unpatched TS3 using foundations in a similar way to TS2, the basement tool that was added to TS3 later made making basements easier and made it possible to go down multiple levels
  • Teens don’t get acne - not in TS4 either
  • No need for friends to get promoted - TS3 careers require you to fill up a performance bar instead, allowing them to make careers have a greater variety of requirements. Some of those requirements include raising charisma skill, which requires friends, but it also allows the careers to specify particular relationships, such as with your boss, teammates, co-workers, accomplices, partner, etc., as well as add other requirements that didn’t exist in TS2, such as writing reports, fundraising, and holding meetings, adding more variation to how the different career tracks play out. TS4 will hopefully be closer to TS3 than TS2 in this regard.
  • No chance cards at work - These were replaced in TS3 with the opportunity system and the ability to choose tones for your sims at work. TS4 has chance cards again.
  • No lifetime relationship bar - Not in TS4 either, although they do have a separate romance bar, which is nice.
  • Less control over inactive families because of story progression - Story Progression was implemented poorly in TS3, and instead of trying to fix it, they decided to just get rid of it altogether in TS4.
  • More difficulties in rotational play - This is because of the less control over inactive families due to story progression, it’s not it’s own separate point.
  • No personality points - this was replaced with the trait system, which allowed for much more variety in sims’ personalities, and those traits had much more of an impact on gameplay than personality points. Was anyone ever actually upset about the trait system replacing personality points?
  • Only one world - There were two, if you count the free download of Riverview, and they were much larger and more detailed than the TS2 worlds. TS4 also has only two, with much less available space than either of the previous two games, whether you count Riverview or not.
  • Cartoon charm graphic style lost and replaced by more realistic graphics
  • Sims have “pudding face” which a lot of people don’t like - graphic style is a preference and there will always be people who prefer one style over another.

Missing Items:

  • No pianos - TS3 had guitars in base game instead.
  • No recliners - Haven’t heard of them being in TS4 either.
  • No diving boards or pool slides - Not in TS4 either since pools don’t exist in TS4.
  • No hot tubs - Not in TS4 either.
  • No magazines - Not in TS4 either.
  • No wedding arch - That’s one for TS4.
  • No changing tables - Not in TS4 either because babies are objects and toddlers don’t exist.


  • No cinematics for moving, woohooing, etc. - Not in TS4 either
  • No underwear clothing category - Not in TS4 either, in TS3 your sims could wear underwear as sleepwear instead, as the underwear category was rarely used and didn’t add much to the game. In TS4 you can wear underwear in any category.
  • Missing NPCs: Exterminator, headmaster, social bunny, therapist, gardener, butler, or nanny - Not in TS4 either, with a sort of exception for the gardener, which only goes around the public area. Nannies were replaced with babysitters in TS3. TS4 also does not have burglars, repairmen, repo men, fire fighters, or police officers.
  • No body shop application - Not in TS4 either.
  • Can’t create new neighborhoods in-game - can’t in TS2 either, and you needed to buy a completely different game, SimCity 4, instead of using the freely released CAW tool eventually released for TS3.
  • Each job doesn’t have a career reward - Okay.
  • Most community lots are rabbit holes that you can’t see your sim in - That was frustrating, but TS4 in some cases seems to be taking this even further, for example replacing the bookstore rabbit hole with magic bookshelves that you can buy books from. They didn’t get rid of the movie theater or spa or bistro rabbit holes in TS4 to replace them with open versions of those things, they just simply don’t exist anymore.
  • Hair doesn’t move - Not in TS4 either.

In short, here are the things from this list that TS4 base game has over BOTH TS2 and TS3 base games:

  • Dating
  • Unlockable secret lots

And here are the things that TS4 is bringing back that were in TS2 BG but not TS3 BG:

  • Memories
  • Chance cards at work
  • Wedding arch
  • Every job has career rewards (unlockable objects)
  • Pianos

Everything else isn’t going to be in TS4 base game either (or actually was in TS3 or had an equivalent or improvement), and this time we’re also losing the following that have been in both previous base games:

  • Toddlers
  • Pools
  • Teens with different heights
  • Babies that aren’t objects
  • NPCs: burglars, repairmen, repo men, fire fighters, police officers
  • Dishwashers, Trash compactors, Fire & Burglar Alarms
  • Ghosts
  • Carpools, Taxis, School Buses
  • Family Trees
  • Foundations separate by building
  • Terrain height tools
  • Pond tools
  • Foundation basements
  • More editable lots
  • More floors/stories for houses

These things are not like putting guitars in the base game instead of pianos, or replacing personality points with the entire trait system which was one of the major selling points for TS3, these things are just GONE. Removing changing tables is not equivalent to cutting out an entire life stage and all of the skills, interactions and objects that went with it. Removing diving boards is not equivalent to removing the diving board, swimming, swimwear and the entire pool itself. Adding cars in the base game but removing their animations is not equivalent to removing every single form of transportation that has ever existed. Not being able to bathe babies is not equivalent to making babies into objects that can’t leave their bassinette, much less the house. Replacing nannies with babysitters is not equivalent to not being able to hire any sort of child care. Turning stores into rabbit holes is not equivalent to removing all shopping from the game entirely and making even more objects into magical vending machines. Replacing landscape gardening with a robust vegetable gardening system and skill that works together seamlessly with cooking is not equivalent to removing the ability to adjust the height of terrain or add natural bodies of water at all. Some of these I might be able to excuse or be okay with on their own, but all of them together show a very worrying trend in their priorities.

Yes, TS3 had it’s problems, but TS4 is not fixing them. TS4 is taking things that I was already disappointed about in TS3 and taking them even further in the direction away from what I’d want. Some of the big additions to TS3 like CASt and Story Progression had their problems, but instead of improving them, they decided to just get rid of them altogether. That doesn’t give me faith in the new systems they’re implementing this time. I’ve purchased every other base game in this series full price, but I’m not going to be doing it this time. They have repeatedly proven that they are not interested in making the game I’m interested in, or fixing their bugs, despite me constantly waiting and hoping and giving them the benefit of the doubt. If other people like it as-is, that’s great for them, but the problem is there’s nothing else out there for those of us who want a game like this that focuses on different aspects of life, and until there is I can’t do anything but voice my frustration and hope that maybe someday EA will decide to take a different approach or that someone else will come along and actually give them some competition.

Previous comments moved to below the cut since this got way longer than I expected:

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My sister had a mommy that slept in the floor in a sleeping bag with her kids… but once they were children she stopped doing it… lol Oha looks a little scary though… lol
I’ve seen people in like, Nanny 911 who sleep in the same room or bed as their kids until their like… actual kids. And the nannies have to pry the parents away.
Ona did look scary she stayed there for over 4 hours until I forced her to move.