There are many new features in The Sims 2: FreeTime but not all of them are large enough for their own article. So this article is for them.
Features from other Expansion Packs
These features were introduced in previous expansion packs and are included with this expansion pack also.
- Influence. In addition to this feature, there are two new influence interactions available.
- Influence to Bathe: 500 points
- Influence to Read Hobby Magazine: 500 points. You can only choose this if there is a hobby magazine on the lot. You may however select which hobby magazine if more than one is there.
- Lifetime Wants. Lifetime wants are also included. There are five additional lifetime wants.
- Become City Planner. Reach level 10 architecture career.
- Become World Class Ballet Dancer. Reach level 10 dance career.
- Become Prestidigitator. Reach level 10 entertainment career.
- Become head of S.C.I.A. Reach level 10 intelligence career.
- Become Hand of Poseidon. Reach level 10 oceanography career.
- Zombies. Zombies are included although they aren't created the same way as with the University expansion pack.
- Attraction and Chemistry. The whole mechanics of attraction, chemistry, turn ons and offs are included.
- Inventory. In addition, the revamps in Pets and Seasons are included.
- Driveways. Driveways are included as with Nightlife but none of the cars are. Without the other expansion pack, the only car that's available is the one you make.
- Grilled Cheese Aspiration.
- Door Locking.
- Renaming Lots.
- Game Tip Encyclopedia. The Encyclopedia is also updated with a section for FreeTime.
- Sledgehammer Tool.
- Revamped Floor Tiles. Rotate floor tiles and have quater tile pieces.
- Flatten Lot Tool.
- Inviting Households over.
- Talent Badge mechanics.
- Revamped Collections.
- New Pool Tools.
- Gift Giving.
- Hair Style Enhancements.
- Walking to Lots.
- Community Lot Weddings.
Advanced Neighbourhood Switching
When you exit a lot, a new button is available allowing you to go to any neighbourhood without loading the base neighbourhood first. This button also lets you create secondary neighbourhoods. For example, if your sims wanted a vacation but there was no vacation destination for that neighbourhood, previously, you would have to exit the lot, load the neighbourhood up and create that neighbourhood. Now with a click of the button, you can create that neighbourhood without leaving the lot. You can also switch between any neighbourhood that exists in your game including colleges, downtowns, shopping districts and vacation destinations.
Custom Radio Stations
Sims love to listen to music and now you have to option to create new stations. To do this, go into audio options and click on the new button. It's a speaker with an asterix. You're now presented with a menu. Click on the new station button to be presented with another menu. From there you can choose a title for that station and the songs that it plays from any existing station. Also remember that you can add your own music to the game by dropping .mp3 or .wav into My Documents/EA Games/The Sims 2/Music. You can then go back into the game and put your custom song in your new radio station. To listen to your new song. Turn on the stereo and select to change the station. Any custom stations appear under the Custom Station option.
Sims have sometimes started relationships as teens. However when it was your sims time to grow up, the other sim got left behind. For players with Univeristy, this wasn't a problem as much. They could simply send the NPC to college making him or her playable and grow him or her up there. However, for the rest of The Sims 2 players, they left those teens behind. Well, not any more. When your sim grows up, they can choose to grow up three NPCs with him or her. The only exception, however is with young adults and elders. Teen NPCs only age into adults and elders can't age any further.
Slowing Need Decay
The Sims 2: FreeTime adds a system whereby having a consistently great aspiration slows the rates at which needs decay. This combimed with the lifetime aspiration benefits allows your sims to spend several hours fulfillng their wants without giving a care for hunger or bladder or any other need. This in turn, makes needs go slower sending your sims into a spiral effect of simply having a fantastic life. So how does it work? It works in two ways. The first way is with weeks. Every seven days, when your sims wants refresh, they tell you exactly what they thought of the week. Note that the start of the 'week' isn't always a Sunday or Monday. Instead it's either:
- When your sim was created, or
- When your sim last grew up
As well, the score at the end of the week is the only one that counts. Your sim could spend half the week in lower red aspiration but if it's platinum at the end of the week, they'll still get the benefit. As well, your sims actually have a pre-written script for this time which corresponds to the aspiration level. The table below reveals what text appears with what level and how slow your sims needs are reduced in decay rate. So if your teen ended the week with platinum mood, his or her need deacy rates would be reduced by 5%. However, if he or she ended it in top red aspiration, it would be increased by 1%.
|Platinum||Booyeah! This week was amazing. Let's make next week more of the same||5%||5%||6%|
|Gold||What a good week it's been! I hope I can keep this up.||3%||3%||4%|
|Green||It's been a so-so week. I want to make this week better!||0%||0%||0%|
|Top Red||It hasn't been the greatest week. Hopefully, things will turn around for me this week||-1%||-2%||-3%|
|Bottom Red||This past week has been terrible. I only hope I can break out of this rut||-3%||-4%||-5%|
So that's how needs are slowed down by living fantastic weeks. There is however another way of slowing down needs. It functions exactly as above but this time, it's growing up that decreases need decay rate. Because it occurs less frequently, this system is more elaborate. The decay rate is the same for all ages but there are more stages. The following table reveals these stages, the text and the decay rate. Note that in it 0% doesn't refer to the very bottom. Instead it refers to the fine line between red and green aspiration.
|Level||Percent Full||Text||Decay Rate|
|Platinum||91-100%||Wow! so this is what being on top of the world feels like! With my current mood, it feels like living life is a breeze||-24%|
|Platinum||81-90%||I'm almost a bit sad to see that part of my life go away. It was so fantastic! Still, I'm ready to face the new day and I couldn't feel better about it.||-18%|
|Platinum/Gold||71-80%||I feel great! If I can keep feeling good about life. I'm sure the sky's the limit.||-13%|
|Gold||61-70%||Not to sound smug, but I think I've been doing pretty well. I feel good and weel on my way to a great life!||-8%|
|Gold||51-60%||My life has been going pretty well so far. Now's the time to step it up and make the future even better!||-6%|
|Green||41-50%||It could have been better, but I think I enjoyed the last portion of my life. Now I just need to keep improving!||-4%|
|Green||31-40%||That ws OK, but I'm glad to have grown. I feel like I'm now prepared to tackle this next portion of my life.||-2%|
|Green||21-30%||I'd like to live more than a mediocre life. Let's hope I can make this next portion of my life better||0%|
|Green||11-20%||If I had to describe that period of my life, I'd have to say it was poor to fair. I'm sure I can make my life better||0%|
|Green||0-10%||I'm glad that period of my life is over. Seems like there's nowhere to go but up.||0%|
|Red||>0%||That was a horrible period of my life. I guess one has to hit rock bottom to really be free||0%|