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Simport
Simport or SimPort is a feature which was introduced with The Sims 3: Showtime. This feature allows you to send your Singer, Acrobat, or Magician out "on tour" to perform at venues in your friends game. Since participating requires both the Showtime professions and the new venues that came with it, you cannot take advantage of this new gameplay feature unless you have Showtime installed. You must also have at least 2 Sims in the household to send a Sim on tour, and your performing Sim must be the appropriate level to participate at the venue at which they're performing. This means that your performing Sim must be at least level 2 in order to Simport.

When you send your Sim out on tour, he/she disappears into a rabbit hole building for a period of 12 hours. After that time expires, they'll receive a payment to their household funds immediately. Once another person on your friends list accepts your tour request, you'll receive a report on how well the show went. There is also a chance that they'll receive some of the objects that were thrown at them (except for fruits/vegetables) at this point. Your friend does not have to be online at the time you send your Sim on tour, and you do not need to be online at the time they accept the tour. SimPort requests remain active for 24 hours, or until accepted. You can only have a total of 4 SimPort requests active at any one time.

Completing or accepting a tour gives you a "stamp," which is essentially a marker that shows that you sent or hosted a performer of a certain level or higher to perform at a specific venue. Each performance profession has 15 tour stops that you can make, and each venue has 9 tour stops to accept, for a total of 90 stamps. These stamps are applied across all games, so you'll only have to unlock them all once.

It's a great way to unlock some really neat content. It offers new outfits and stage props to buy for obtaining stamps. Going on a tour also offers a great deal more job experience than simply performing in your own town. Hosting a Sim will also add some simoleans to your household's family funds.

Invasive. You and your friends will only receive an in game notification when a request is made available and when you log in to a game. Aside from that, the requests will only show up in the SimPort window.

Tips: Your SimPort progress is only stored on your hard drive, so it isn't a terrible idea to back this file up every once in a while in case something catastrophic happens to your game or PC. It's located in a sub-folder titled with a long string of numbers inside your Downloads folder, and is named "PassportData.package". Also, certain mods that recover missing Sims will recover your Sim if the process occurs while they are on tour. You still get credit for the tour, but it creates a situation where your Sim has two cellphones when they return. If you send a Sim on tour, you should temporarily disable the recovery function, and re-enable it upon their return.

Player WallEdit

This connects you directly to your player wall on the Sims 3 official site. It works like Facebook in that you and your friends can post status updates and share memories, as well as see any recent achievements that have been completed. Through this panel, you can communicate with your friends in real time as you play the game.

There is a tab in the right hand corner of your game screen where you can make instant updates to your wall. When your friends make an update to their walls, you will also receive an in game notification in the same place. Under these updates will be a text window where you can reply to their updates without opening up the Player Wall panel. Through this process, you can effectively communicate with your friends while you're all playing the game! The Wall panel is useful for seeing what happened before you logged into the game to allow you to catch up if you desire. On this panel, you'll also find a button that will allow you to share a memory from your scrapbook or search for a new friend.

What it is: It's a wonderful resource for getting questions answered without minimizing your game window to do a web search. It's also an incredible amount of fun to chat while you're playing the game and to share your accomplishments and congratulate your friends for theirs.

What it is not: An instant messenger. There's no way to have any sort of private conversation this way.

Tips: There is content to unlock by posting a lot of memories, however posting a lot of memories in rapid succession is spammy and is a great way to get you removed from someone's friends list and blocked. There are two ways to avoid this. The first is to simply be patient, and only post significant memories. The content will come. However, if patience isn't one of your stronger suits, set your wall to private while you're grinding memories so your friends don't have to spend two thirds of their playing time closing a bunch of notifications about your Sims visiting the park or making a new wardrobe. You can easily change them back when you're done.

AchievementsEdit

Another great feature for the more obsessive-compulsive of us that added by the Showtime patch is the new Achievements system. The Achievements system gives you a shiny e-badge for accomplishments in the game. These range from unbelievably easy to insanely difficult. Like your SimPort progress, your Achievements span all your games...but unlike your SimPort progress, your Achievements are not stored exclusively on your computer. There is a file in the folder with your PassportData.package file related to Achievements, but it only stores your off line achievements so your game will update your player profile the next time you're online. While you do not need Showtime for many of the Achievements, there are some that you won't have access to if you don't have it installed.

Each Achievement tells you exactly what you need to do to complete it, and the Achievements panel has several filters where you can display the different Achievements by category, difficulty, completed, incomplete or all. EA says that new achievements will be added from time to time, and the categories may even be expanded as they release future expansions. They also said that there would be rewards for completing Achievements, but as of this writing they were unclear as to what they were.

What it is: It's a great way to challenge yourself. Some of these require some extremely specific circumstances which are not entirely easy to fulfill, requiring an incredible amount of effort. And who doesn't like Achievements?

What it is not: Easy. Some of these Achievements are over the top, and if you prefer a more causal play environment this may not be for you.

Tips: Knock out the easy ones first. Some of these you'll complete accidentally as you play normally, so getting them out of the way first will make it easier for you to filter out the completed ones in order to find the ones that will require a bit more effort. Click for a Full List of Achievements

Player ProfileEdit

This panel shows your official site profile. It allows you complete control to change your "My Story" information, register games and alter your privacy settings. In the window at the bottom, it filters your wall to display only the entries you have made. There is also a button here to allow you to share a memory from your scrapbook.

What it is: A very efficient way to access your profile and change information and settings while you play.

What it is not: A place to post personal information. This really should not need to be said, but you shouldn't put anything in your profile that could allow someone to steal your identity...even if you trust your friends.

Tips: If you care enough to add people to your friends list, you should care enough to post at least a little something here about yourself (see my profile information for what I'm talking about). If you know someone from another website, this would be a great spot to identify yourself by listing your user name if it's different from the site in question. Some people are understandably a little leery of adding people with empty profiles and/or people who might be complete strangers.


Friends ListEdit

This is where you can view the list of people you've added as friends on the official Sims 3 website. These are the people you'll be able to communicate with while playing and will be able to SimPort with. From this panel you can view their profiles and walls. While viewing their profile you can post directly on their walls, or remove/block them if you feel the need to do so. You can list your friends in alphabetical order or reverse alphabetical order, and you can filter your friends list to show all of your friends, your recently active friends, pending friends requests that are awaiting approval/denial, or friends you have temporarily blocked. There is also a button to find random friends or search for people you know. This search can be filtered to only include people who have Showtime installed.

While you will receive in game updates on what your friends post on their friends walls, you will not be updated on any response unless that person is on your friends list, too. You can occasionally see some one sided conversations taking place, and this could be a bit confusing.

Blocking a friend automatically removes them from your friends list.

What it is: A way to manage your friends list and quickly view their profiles.

What it is not: A race to get the most names on your friends list. There are no Achievements or rewards for having more names on your list than everyone else.

Tips: Remember that the more friends you have, the more in game messages you'll be receiving about their updates. If you find that you're getting more updates than you can handle and comfortably play the game, you probably have way more people on your list than you should have. Turning the social features off would solve this problem, but if you do that there isn't much point to having a friends list that size. The best answer is to simply remove people you don't really communicate with.

Sims NewsEdit

This panel shows the latest news updates from EA. While this is where they'll list all the new Achievements they implement, it would not be unexpected to find other important news articles here as well.

What it is: A way to keep yourself informed on the latest Achievements.

What it is not: Interactive. Aside from a button to "Like" a post, there isn't much else you can do here besides read.

Tips: This one is pretty straightforward, but you should check this panel every now and then while you have the interface open to keep yourself up to date on the latest Achievements, if that kind of thing appeals to you.

Turning The Social Features On and OffEdit

The social features are engaged by default, so turning them on for the first time is extremely simple. At the main menu, you will be prompted to log into your Sims 3 official site account. Simply enter your e-mail address and password and as soon as you start any game you'll be ready to go! There have been some minor issues logging in, but this is fixed by making multiple attempts at it. If you're faced with this, you should completely clear your e-mail field and completely retype it. Once you're logged in you'll remain indefinitely logged in on that computer so you'll only have to do this once. However, if you're playing on a computer that is not yours or regularly used by other people to play the game, you should log out in order to protect your account. There isn't much that someone could get out of your account in this state, but your profile information can be changed, posts can be made to your and your friends' walls, and your friends list can be tampered with. There's a lot of potential for malicious mischief.

Despite all the wonderful aspects the social features add to the game, some people could understandably just not want to bother with it. They might consider gaming their "me time," and view regular updates from other players as invasive, regardless of how infrequently it happens or how much they like the people on their friends list. It's nothing personal: some people just prefer to play like that. As such, there are a couple ways to turn them off.

If you like the features, but just don't feel like dealing with them temporarily for some reason, one way to achieve this is to simply log out from the main menu. You will play the game offline, and your Achievements will be stored so they can be updated the next time you log in.

But if you prefer a more permanent solution, there's a new panel under options titled "Online" where you can set all of your privacy settings and disable the social features. To disable the social features, simply uncheck the box next to "Disable Online Notifications." You will still be able to post to your wall or upload memories as you see fit, but you will not receive in game updates from anyone else. Since you'll still be logged in, your Achievements will still be updated as you complete them. Likewise, your friends will still receive notifications from you, but you will be unaware if they respond unless you check your player wall panel.

However, it's not recommended that you play strictly offline if you're just trying to completely avoid the social features altogether. While this might seem effective, your Achievements will never get updated, so if something happens to that file, you'll lose all of your progress. You also have to log in to access the Sims Store to download new content. The Sims Store panel also accesses your purchase history, allowing you to download things you've already purchased after a reinstall with a lot less effort than accessing your purchase history on the official website and using the launcher to install it.

NotesEdit

  • There was initially a glitch where SimPort was allowing unwanted custom content to be transferred to the host's game. This has been confirmed as 100% fixed.
  • It is possible to have a Sim from SimPort to move in with the active household if the player gets their relationships high enough. However, this can lead to a glitch where the game still thinks the SimPort Sim is in town, and the player won't get the reward anymore.

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