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The Sims Online

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The Sims Online
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Sims_Online_box_art.jpg
The Sims Online box art

Developer: Maxis
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release date: December 17, 2002
Genre: MMOG
Game modes: multiplayer
ESRB rating: Teen (T)
Platform: Microsoft Windows
Media: CD

The Sims Online (TSO) is a massively multiplayer online variation of Maxis's highly popular computer game The Sims. It was published by Electronic Arts and released on December 17 2002 for Microsoft Windows.

Contents

Overview

The Sims Online is a massively multiplayer online game, allowing thousands of players to play together simultaneously. Players are in complete control of a Sim. This variation allows a player to create up to three Sims, each on different servers, but control only one at a time. Because the other characters are played by real people, TSO is less a game and more a social environment than the original Sims. While often called a role-playing game (making it an MMORPG), it has as much in common with socially-oriented virtual worlds. After buying the game, players pay a monthly fee to play online.

With The Sims and its numerous expansion packs being the best selling computer game of all time, many experts predicted that TSO would become the most popular massively multiplayer game. As of early 2005 this is not the case; TSO has seen only a fraction of the subscription numbers aimed for by the game's publisher, Electronic Arts. The reason for this poor performance may be that the players fail to cooperate as the beta testers of the game did; another reason may be that one of the major attractions, for some players, of The Sims was creating and using custom objects, which is not possible in The Sims Online. As a result, many reviewers described the online game as dull and was more like the world's largest chat room instead of a vibrant MMORPG.

Technically notable is that the Maxis servers behind The Sims Online run the open source software JBoss.

Server cities

Each server is packaged as a separate city. As of May 2005 there are 11 cities:

  • Alphaville
  • Betaville - Free Will City
  • Blazing Falls
  • Calvin's Creek
  • Dan's Grove
  • Dragon's Cove - Frontier
  • East Jerome
  • Fancy Fields
  • Interhogan
  • Mount Fuji
  • Jolly Pines
  • Test Center

Employment

There are three jobs available: a restaurant job, a robot factory job, and a nightclub job with two different positions. As in the offline game promotion depends upon skill levels and number of friends. Many players use group job objects such as a pizza machine or core business unit to make money at their convenience. Still others will use non-interactive solo objects which rely on a single skill to determine payout.

Frontier Cities

These cities are based on a "hardcore" variant of the basic ruleset. Noteworthy features include less starting money, more time between deleting and recreating Sims, more expensive items (typically twice their value in other cities), and adjustments in payouts for work. Dragon's Cove is the first such city and as of this writing has attracted most of TSO's player base.

Scandal

The Sims Online has recently been victim of a scandal (also known as a scammer) over content occurring on their Alphaville server. A number of players who were participating in the game for the purpose of psychological research discovered a layer of seedy semi-legal criminality occurring within the game. As of yet Maxis's only response has been to ban the researchers from the game.

External links


Template:SimUniversept:The Sims Online

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