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The Sims Online
The Sims Online Coverart.png
Developer(s) Maxis[1][2]
Publisher(s) Electronic Arts
Series The Sims
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) NA December 17, 2002
Genre(s) MMOG
Mode(s) Multiplayer Online
Rating(s) ESRB: T
OFLC: E
Media DVD, Digital Download
Input methods Mouse/Keyboard

EA-Land (formerly known as The Sims Online) was a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) variation on Maxis' highly popular computer game The Sims. It was published by Electronic Arts and released on December 17, 2002 for Microsoft Windows. In March 2007, EA announced that the product would be re-branded as EA-Land and major enhancements would be made. About a year later, Electronic Arts announced the game would shut down all activity on August 1, 2008.[3]

Contents

Name change and closure

When the product was re-branded as EA-Land, players were able to purchase properties and submit custom content, similar to Second Life. After stating that it would be rebranded and there would be many changes, it was then announced that it would be shut down weeks later. They referred to this day as the "EA Land Sunset." Maxis stated that the development team would be moving onto other projects. [3][4][5]

"Since 2002, EA-Land / TSO has attracted a very special group of players and we certainly appreciate your participation in the community. The lifetime of the game has drawn to an end, and now we will be focusing on new ideas and other innovative concepts in the games arena. We would like to thank everyone who has taken part in this online community as a unique experience in the virtual world."|Electronic Arts|[5]}}

In March 2007, an Electronic Arts employee Luc Barthelet stopped by the official forums after years of ignoring the game. Luc had left The Sims Online production team after the game went live and hadn't contributed to the game environment until March 2007. After returning to development of The Sims Online, he assembled a team of seventeen people in order to continue development and updates to The Sims Online. Since the game has shut down, Luc has started his own company, and began developing a new MMO, codenamed TirNua. [6]

Gameplay

Cities

Before the production cities closed, there were thirteen cities in which players resided. These cities included: Mount Fuji, Calvin's Creek, Interhogan, East Jerome, Fancy Fields, Test Center, Blazing Falls, Alphaville, Dan's Grove, Jolly Pines, Dragon's Cove, Betaville, EA-Land, and Test Center 3.

Population sizes fluctuated, but for the most part Alphaville and Blazing Falls were the most populated towns with a big city feel. In contrast, cities such as Dan's Grove and Calvin's Creek had a more close-knit small-town feel. Mount Fuji was targeted at the Asian market, but it also had a small contingent of English-speaking citizens as well.

Four cities had special rules: Dragon's Cove was known as the "hardcore city," as there were a number of harder game objectives to consider when playing here. For example, a Sim would lose energy when traveling long distances, and the virtual costs for items were doubled. Betaville was a city that was created for the purpose of testing new features. A few of these features were the ability to create a family of up to four adult Sims, with adjustable free will levels; bills and a repo man; fires and firemen. Another was Test Center, where the player could never move out of the city. Test center sims also started with 3 times the start-up money of other cities.

Along with the announcement to rename The Sims Online to EA-Land came a city merge. At this point, all of the existing cities were merged into one megacity known as EA-Land. Test Center 3 became the city in which new items were tested before going live into EA-Land for the greater community.

Skills

Skills were an important aspect of gameplay. They were necessary for getting more money from paying objectives, doing well in the offered career tracks, and occasionally were needed for special interactions with other players, such as serenading. Skill could be increased at a faster rate when multiple Sims work on the same skill simultaneously.

The game had six core skills

  • Mechanical
  • Cooking
  • Charisma
  • Body
  • Creativity
  • Logic

A skill level for any of these skills was determined by how many skill "points" a Sim has. These points ranged in number from 0 to 20.99.

In-game employment

There were four official jobs available in The Sims Online:

  • Restaurant
  • Robot Factory
  • DJ
  • Dancing

The in-game jobs did not offer a large salary, causing many players to seek out other sources. Popular methods included opening item shops and offering services to users such as food and lodging.

Economy

The Sims Online simulated a working economy. It was completely ran by players. The largest and most active market in the game was real estate, players would buy, sell, and rent property to other players. However, due to not having a proper deed trade system in place until the start of EA-Land, many players faced security issues such as scamming.

There were many categories for player's properties: Welcome, Money, Skills, Services, Entertainment, Romance, Shopping, Games, Offbeat, and Residence. Each of these categories has special items that could only be used in that specific category, for example the service category players could use a workbench to craft items for other players, these items would often then be sold to the Shopping category which would sell these items at a retail price.

In early 2005 The Sims Online faced an exploit, this exploit was discovered and quickly spread throughout the game. A clothing rack that normally players would sell clothes to other players with, would duplicate the profits several times these would then be deposited, this exploit could be repeated as often as they wanted until it was fixed. After a few days of this exploit in game, it was fixed, however the game's economy was completely destroyed, massive amounts of inflation and plenty of land and items lost value. This economic problem was not resolved for three years until late 2007 when EA-Land was formed and the game faced a huge wipe.

Once EA-Land was in place the economy was fresh and completely player run. Players could create custom content and sell these items to other players, skills were a higher priority due to in-game jobs and money objects -- and the real estate market in the game was revived.

Custom content

A major update to the game was user custom content. Luc was also interested in any user-submitted ideas on how they could maintain a stable economy to negate the gains players made illegitimately through exploits.[7] Custom objects were enabled within TSO in late 2007, allowing players to upload .bmp and .jpg images as well as .iff files. The uploadable furniture was tiled tables, chairs, and single tiled sculptures or decorations, as part of the TSO-E project, led by Luc Barthelet.

Awards

References

External links


Gaming

Up to date as of January 31, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

The Sims Online

Developer(s) Maxis
Publisher(s) Electronic Arts
Designer(s) Will Wright
Release date 2002
Genre MMORPG
Mode(s) Online
Age rating(s) ESRB: T
Platform(s) Windows
Media CD-ROM
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

The Sims Online is a MMORPG game released in 2002, released by Maxis and published by Electronic Arts. It is the online variant of the smash hit The Sims.

Although the game is technically considered an MMORPG due to its persistant world and style of gameplay, the game is more similiar to a social "virtual world". There is very little actual "gameplay" compared to other MMORPG's. Initially expected to become the largest MMORPG game ever, sales were slow and the game never reached the popularity hoped by EA and Maxis.

Each server is its own city (there are 11 currently), and there are 3 different jobs for a Sim to hold.

External Links

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This article uses material from the "The Sims Online" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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