Greetings from Henford-on-Bagley
June 10, 2021 9:41 AM   Subscribe

The latest expansion pack for The Sims (Cottage Living) appears to place you in some kind of hypercoloured bucolic rural English village. You can grow vegetables, enter them in the village show, milk a cow, have chickens, get your children to bake a cake, do some embroidery, socialise in a pub garden and, of course, groom your llama. The trailer also features Agnes Crumplebottom.
posted by Wordshore (56 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
(nb to reply to message, this post is Safe For Work and 'groom your llama' is not innuendo)
posted by Wordshore at 9:51 AM on June 10 [10 favorites]


Are there any geese in this bucolic rural English village?
posted by RonButNotStupid at 9:54 AM on June 10 [29 favorites]


I have played the Sims for 21 years and until this moment I never realized the one thing it was missing in all that time is chicken sweaters.
posted by phunniemee at 9:54 AM on June 10 [14 favorites]


Oh no, I was so close to getting out! So close!

This looks adorable. I can't wait to see all the hilarious bugs the pack brings in (I still occasionally get the "Sim becomes obsessed with making cakes and literally won't do anything else" bug from a few updates ago).
posted by fight or flight at 9:57 AM on June 10 [2 favorites]


Can you still construct your own house or has that been deprecated? That was pretty much the only enjoyable bit for me.
posted by JustSayNoDawg at 9:59 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]


..."Sim becomes obsessed with making cakes and literally won't do anything else" bug

Is that an actual bug, or did you accidentally toggle a Mary Berry switch without noticing?
posted by Wordshore at 9:59 AM on June 10 [10 favorites]


JustSayNoDawg, you can absolutely still build your own house/mansion/cabin/beach hut/nightclub/Cube From Which Nobody Will Escape etc. If anything, there are even more options now to customise things. They recently added the ability to create platforms and sunken elements and ladders!
posted by fight or flight at 10:01 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]


So wait, I can feed a well dressed rabbit to a fox? Ah, finally my dream of operating a slaughterhouse in the Sims. Also... how much was that llama enjoying that grooming?
posted by Nanukthedog at 10:02 AM on June 10 [2 favorites]


Can you mix and match expansions? Can you be a nice rural vampire now?
posted by Going To Maine at 10:06 AM on June 10 [2 favorites]


Can you still construct your own house or has that been deprecated?

This has big is this something I would need a tv to understand energy. Every version of the Sims from the very beginning of time has let you build your own house. Some people play the Sims for years and literally only build. It's a major functionality of the game.
posted by phunniemee at 10:06 AM on June 10 [7 favorites]


Wordshore, it's a bug! Documented in one example here.

I also get a bug where random neighbours will come into the house and act like it's their own, sleeping (or having sex) in the beds, hanging out on the couch, etc. And then my Sims will get a sad/angry moodlet from having their space invaded and having to tell them to leave.

The Sims is still a lot of fun, but there are a ton of little things like that still hanging around.
posted by fight or flight at 10:06 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]


Will my 30+ year career of very much wanting to play the Sims but being unable to figure out how on any level continue? Sources say yes.
posted by bleep at 10:08 AM on June 10 [8 favorites]


Can you mix and match expansions? Can you be a nice rural vampire now?

Yep, the expansions come with their own unique neighbourhood that fits the theme of the pack but their individual elements are available everywhere. Though it might be interesting figuring out how to work on the farm or in the garden during the day. You might have to invest in a really big sunhat or a parasol.
posted by fight or flight at 10:10 AM on June 10 [2 favorites]


MODs are asleep. Start an allotment war.
posted by srboisvert at 10:16 AM on June 10 [3 favorites]


bleep what are you looking for? Sometimes my favorite way to play the Sims is to create a few people (good traits? shitty traits? a mix?) and move them into a house (an empty lot with a bench on it?) and watch them autonomously go about their lives (die in a fire).
posted by phunniemee at 10:27 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]


you can absolutely still build your own house/mansion/cabin/beach hut/nightclub/Cube From Which Nobody Will Escape etc.

The Inspector Barnaby expansion does interfere with this somewhat.
posted by zamboni at 10:35 AM on June 10 [8 favorites]


Yes, but will there be a baffling set of murders tied to old grudges nursed in the dark that can only be solved by a crusty Detective Inspector who's exasperated by the foolishness of their Detective Sergeant?

jinx!
posted by drewbage1847 at 10:36 AM on June 10 [12 favorites]


Bleep, if you want to play it's actually pretty easy - you can install Origin (EA's game client) and purchase and install the game through it. You should check to see if your computer has good enough specs, but it's pretty likely since The Sims 4 was released back in 2014.

There's a whole world of custom objects and mods out there, but you don't have to fuss with that if you're just getting started.

I'm ethically obligated to point out that EA is a trash company and is the poster child for bad digital rights management and nickel-and-diming their customers. A lot of content that should have been in The Sims 4 is instead in extra dlc that you have to pay for. it's worth waiting for a sale if you want to buy that extra dlc.

(There is a console version but it's vastly inferior.)
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 10:49 AM on June 10 [3 favorites]


I mean on the most basic level every time I try to find out, how do I acquire "the sims" it seems to be some kind of ancient obscure secret I need to go on an Indiana Jones type adventure to figure out and then I give up. I have gotten some other things that are like "the sims, but on your phone" and then the people just kind of walk into walls and I can't make anything happen. I should do an ask me.
posted by bleep at 10:49 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]


Origin (EA's game client)
Oh yes I'll just ... [extremely loud static fills ears]
posted by bleep at 10:50 AM on June 10 [8 favorites]


Download origin
https://www.origin.com/usa/en-us/store/download

Create an origin account

Buy The Sims 4 base game for origin it costs 5 bucks
https://www.ea.com/games/the-sims/the-sims-4/buy/pc
posted by phunniemee at 10:55 AM on June 10 [5 favorites]


Beneath the earth, the beast turns. The hapless many shudder in their homes. A bedraggled supplicant speaks the thrice damned script and gazes into the deepest chasm. A single drop of blood falls from his pierced palm.

The dread cyclopian gaze of the beast EA turns toward the waning sun and shriveled cultist and speaks the next incantation in its ever-unraveling ritual of ascension. An utterance that makes trees shiver, crops die, and far flung newborns squall in befuddling displays of agitation.

“Stardew Valley.”
posted by Ephelump Jockey at 11:05 AM on June 10 [9 favorites]


The trailer also features Agnes Crumplebottom.

Okay, this just makes no sense. Player-named characters can be whatever the player wants, but why would there be an Agnes Crumplebottom? They don't speak English, they speak Whateverthefuck. Mumblish. Why on earth would a sim have a personal name common among Anglophones and a family name composed of two common English words? Is she the daughter of anglophone immigrants, implying that there's actually a wide anglophone community and we just happen to be looking at a nation who speak Mumblish? If they're going to give sims a fake alphabet, why not name her something sensible and not completely anti-immersive like Snert Trallo?

This enrages me. I can see how you'd have sims that don't know how to go to the bathroom without being prompted by their to-them-supernatural master -- that's just science. But Agnes Crumplebottom... I don't get it. All I can tell you is that it gives me a powerful urge to acquit OJ.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 11:23 AM on June 10 [2 favorites]


Oh yes I'll just ... [extremely loud static fills ears]

What is it that you would like more explanation of? Origin is just a computer program, and "game client" is just the type of program it is - game clients allow you to purchase, download, and play games. (In Origin's case, specifically games published by EA.) If you're able to install a computer program, you're able to install Origin. They want your money, so they haven't made it a difficult or obscure process.

https://www.origin.com/usa/en-us/store/download

If you don't want to go to the trouble, that's fine, but we're just trying to help you since you seemed to want to play.

Why on earth would a sim have a personal name common among Anglophones and a family name composed of two common English words?

Huh? The Sims has always used real-world names instead of Simlish names. This isn't new.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 11:27 AM on June 10 [4 favorites]


Sorry, I was just joking around and this is a derail. I'll take it to Ask. I appreciate everyone's help!
posted by bleep at 11:31 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]


will there be a baffling set of murders tied to old grudges nursed in the dark

I’m hoping for the expansion to the expansion in which a dozen scholars with backhoes descend on the village for the weekend, dig trenches looking for a hypocaust, and discover Iron Age pottery instead.
posted by clew at 11:34 AM on June 10 [5 favorites]


“When only a few Sims are left, we will feel an irresistible pull towards a far away land, to fight for The Prize.”
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:41 AM on June 10 [2 favorites]


I’m hoping for the expansion to the expansion in which a dozen scholars with backhoes descend on the village for the weekend, dig trenches looking for a hypocaust, and discover Iron Age pottery instead.

Only if I can lovingly recreate Phil Harding down to the pint of bitter and jaunty hat.
posted by fight or flight at 11:43 AM on June 10 [4 favorites]


Yes, but is building and otherwise just creatively mucking about in The Sims as satisfying as building and otherwise just creatively mucking about in Minecraft?
posted by Quasirandom at 11:55 AM on June 10


'Henford-on-Bagley' really annoys me. It's precisely the sort of 'Hey, that sounds English' that the whole of the expansion is trading on, but without the benefit of any research or a moment of thought. Someone clearly started with Henley on Thames and mixed up the syllables with some bollocks chosen at random, without understanding that 'on' means the place is on a river, or occasionally something like a headland (Walton on the Naze).

But Bagley doesn't sound like a river, or an English place name, and it isn't--there's a Baguley in Manchester but presumably that's not sufficiently twee. On the other hand there are Bagleys all over America, (WI, MN, TX) and also in a recent AAA game, Watch Dogs: Legion, which isn't even an EA title.

If they'd specifically decided to use a name that was Englishy but a bit shit, it's hard to think how they could have done better.
posted by Hogshead at 12:00 PM on June 10 [11 favorites]


When does one of the Sims stockpile an unreasonable amount of cheese?
posted by nat at 12:00 PM on June 10 [20 favorites]


"The greater good!"
posted by SPrintF at 12:03 PM on June 10 [8 favorites]


"The greater good!"

It's been a very long time since I last played The Sims, but have there been any more celebrities since Drew Carey showed up in the original? This would be the perfect expansion pack to have Nick Frost and Simon Pegg show up as their characters from Hot Fuzz if your sims party gets too loud or if someone meets an unfortunate end after the ladder is removed from the swimming pool.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 12:10 PM on June 10 [6 favorites]


Why on earth would a sim have a personal name common among Anglophones and a family name composed of two common English words?

Bella, Mortimer, and Cassandra GOTH
Michael BACHELOR
The PLEASANT family
The NEWBIES
Chris and Melissa ROOMIES

Yup absolutely no precedent for real names in the Sims nope none at all this is an entirely new and unfounded convention the game is RUINED.
posted by phunniemee at 12:21 PM on June 10 [11 favorites]


Just when I think I'm out, they pull me back in!

I'm actually totally on board with the vaguely English environs that aren't actually traceable or facts-based. Those kinds of mumble and wave generic attributes seem like a safer way for the Sims franchise to operate, especially since their expansions include cultures that appear decidedly non-Western.
posted by redsparkler at 12:38 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


Yup absolutely no precedent for real names in the Sims nope none at all

For real words used as sim names, see also: Jeong, Capricciosa, Mahi'ai...
posted by notquitemaryann at 1:09 PM on June 10


You can absolutely download celebrities and plonk them into the world and they show up like any other NPCs. I used to delete all the premade ones and replace them with celebrities; it's a lot more fun when Doctor Strange and Dean Winchester and Tahani Al-Jamil come bring you fruitcake and hog your couch.
posted by The otter lady at 1:18 PM on June 10 [5 favorites]


Agnes Crumplebottom is a character from previous iterations of the Sims and putting her in the game is a nostalgia thing. She hasn’t been invented just for this version.

I’m looking forward to this. Chickens and llamas and vegetable judging contests!
posted by andraste at 2:09 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]


Where is the horrible goose
posted by teferi at 2:27 PM on June 10 [6 favorites]


I used to fill my neighborhood with artists, characters from books, celebrities, people I knew, etc.
In one delightful example, Dawn from the Babysitters Club got married to Ad-Rock from the Beastie Boys, and they moved into the house where the Golden Girls lived until they all died and turned into ghosts.

I am going to purchase the Sims again and download this expansion SO FAST that those little rabbits in sweaters heads are going to spin round.
posted by Gray Duck at 2:29 PM on June 10 [5 favorites]


regarding the cultural sensitivity or lack thereof: I cannot possibly be the only one here who recalls the Sims 2 vacation expansion with the vaguely Japanese-ish destination, or the Sims 3 expansion World Adventures where your Sims could visit China, France, and Egypt, explore various ancient structures including burial sites, and rob the shit out of them.

No seriously a ton of my Sims were essentially awful, filthy grave-robbing imperialists who broke into pyramids and monasteries and so forth and took everything that wasn't bolted down hard enough.

Sims 4's existing locations include Windenburg (sorta Europe-y), Sulani (more or less South Pacific), Mt. Komorebi (Japan but snowy), Selvadorada (South America probably), and an area from Star Wars.

All of which is to say I expect Henford-on-Bagley will not be a nuanced or respectful depiction of the UK, given how the Sims have been treating everywhere else on Earth for decades now.
posted by All Might Be Well at 4:11 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]


I hadn't realised how much I needed to hear a Japanese Breakfast song in Simlish. Excellent.
posted by pipeski at 6:27 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]


Does it cost extra for the Wicker Man and ritual costumes?
posted by emjaybee at 7:17 PM on June 10 [3 favorites]


Where is the horrible goose

Out back, engaging in some light llama grooming.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:20 PM on June 10 [4 favorites]


Tahani Al-Jamil come bring you fruitcake and hog your couch...

Wait... Is The Good Place a Sims village?
posted by The otter lady at 7:34 PM on June 10 [4 favorites]


"The greater good!"

That's what I was hoping for. Bring on the swan and the crusty jugglers!
posted by Ber at 8:54 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]


I am still just stubbornly playing Sims 3, since I cannot justify the endless DLC cost, currently sitting at US$359,91 for the full game. 😐
posted by Phalene at 8:57 PM on June 10


Sims 3 is more fun anyway. Save your cash.
posted by flamk at 9:05 PM on June 10


This is incredibly cute, but I'm horrified/delighted to find out that the Sims 4 came out 7 years ago and is so affordable.
posted by Braeburn at 11:58 PM on June 10


But does number 6 ever get to leave the village?
posted by mbo at 1:29 AM on June 11 [4 favorites]


Sims 3 may be more fun, but it runs like a hog, even on my Uber-Powerfull SuPeRfAsT GAMURZ PC!
posted by Pendragon at 2:45 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


the Sims 4 came out 7 years ago and is so affordable.

The base game is affordable. That's how they get you.

I know it's been the hot thing to speculate about for years, but with this particular pack I think we are probably pretty dang close to a Sims 5.

A farming pack is long time wish fulfilment for the Sims community, and coming off the back of a decor pack with sectional couches just last week and the recent bunk beds, a lot of people are getting things Sims 4 players have been asking for for years. They also have dangled out these new $5 "kit" packs, which is a great way to continue providing new content to Sims 4 players without heavy investment in creating new worlds or gameplay.

Sims 3 used to be extremely cheap (on sale) on Steam, but the Sims 4 very recently got added to Steam. Sims 3 hasn't gone on sale since, probably to encourage new Sims buyers on Steam to go ahead and pick the latest edition. But Sims 4 was a loooong holdout to get on Steam in the first place.

My gut says this will be the last true expansion pack before the Sims 5. I could be wrong, we've been wrong before, but farming just feels way too much like here, you have everything you want now, it's time to move on.

So that brings me to the next thing. I went straight from playing the original Sims off CD on a creaky old laptop to playing the Sims 3 in 2016 when I could afford a new laptop that would run things on Steam. I could have hopped right into the Sims 4, but it was still expensive then without the DLC, they didn't even have Seasons back then, and on sale I could get nearly the entire Sims 3 run for like 50 bucks. So I've been playing the Sims 3 mostly ever since. Dipped my toe in the Sims 4 base game when it got real cheap, but I have everything I need/want to enjoy the Sims already in Sims 3.

But the reality is that Sims 3 is unlikely to go on sale again for a long, long time. And yes it does run like crap (those open worlds tho). And since Sims 4 is still active, that DLC is unlikely to go on sale for a long time, too. So I think, if you're getting into the Sims for the very first time, unless you have a burning, aching desire to play in this charming Engl-ish village, get the Sims 4 base game, learn the mechanics and see if you like it. And then sit back and wait for them to launch the Sims 5 before you invest a ton of money in DLC.

I spend a lot of time thinking about the Sims.
posted by phunniemee at 5:05 AM on June 11 [3 favorites]


It's funny, literally four days ago I just reinstalled Sims: Medieval and am really enjoying that, and I was just saying to my wife that at this stage in my life it works much better for me to have a game that has discrete gameplay units of half an hour or so rather than open-ended gameplay that I can sink 16 hours into without getting up to pee. But I watch this trailer and I really kinda wish I still had that much free time.

(I'm not sure you can still *buy* Sims: Medieval, but I have the original CD keys and you can unlock it on Origin and download a version that runs on modern versions of Windows, even though the CDs no longer work.)
posted by restless_nomad at 8:32 AM on June 11


I expect Henford-on-Bagley will not be a nuanced or respectful depiction of the UK

Robbing the English countryside of its historical relics would be deliciously ironic
posted by LindsayIrene at 8:36 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


get the Sims 4 base game, learn the mechanics and see if you like it. And then sit back and wait for them to launch the Sims 5 before you invest a ton of money in DLC.

Other things to do -

* Pick and choose your DLC. There's no rule that says you have to own all the DLC to enjoy the game. Some packs will be less interesting to you than others, just based on what you like to do in the game.

* Buy DLC on sale. EA doesn't like to announce their sales in advance, but sometimes they have pretty steep sales and you can get things for 50%-80% off. If you want some particular DLC, try to be patient until a sale comes around.

* Learn how to add custom content and mods. A lot of the appeal of the DLC isn't so much what it does specifically but that it just makes the game bigger. It's a highly moddable game, and there are some great mods out there that give things like more objects, more outfits, more career options... the gameplay mods can be a little bit more finicky than custom items, but seriously, it is impressive how much work people have put into them and how good some of them are.

(I'm kind of afraid they'll realize the last point and make it harder to mod, hoping it will encourage people to buy more DLC. But that would make a large number of the most active, profitable community members leave.)
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 1:14 PM on June 12


I'm kind of afraid they'll realize the last point and make it harder to mod

I mean, folks have been able to mod the Sims for a long time, and instead of shying away from it there has been content from cc creators and YouTubers who are heavy mod users in recent packs, really leaning into the backbone of the Sims community. When it comes to the greater sins of EA, I have to really hope this is one place where they've leaned not to transgress.
posted by phunniemee at 3:37 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]


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