A couple of months ago, Maxis announced that they would no longer be releasing quarterly updates and will instead be focusing on monthly updates, and they have just announced a heck of an exciting update for this month.
Well, if your’re anything like me then all you can say about the recent news of terrain tools in the recent Maxis Monthly Sims 4 October Update is, “It’s about God-damn time!”
Even though The Sims 4 has sold over five million copies, and is a regular (and the current) number one title on PC, as well as it’s expansions, The fourth installment in the massive franchise seemed to go in a different direction from where the series was headed with The Sims 3, and kind of did a U-turn, going back to basics and re-capturing some of the Sims 2 greatness.
However, as good as that was, for some reason EA/Maxis seemed to ditch some amazing features that made The Sims 3 great in it’s own right. Cars were gone, the amazing “Create a Style” tool was nowhere to be seen, there was no toddler life stage, no swimming pools and more. These were all rectified with subsequent updates, but there were still no terrain tools!
This was seen as an absolute betrayal for some The Sims fans who loved to create and build. There have been many rumours and speculation for this, the top one being that there wasn’t actually any plan to create The Sims 4, and that The Sims 4 product we finally got was in fact developed for mobile platforms, which is the reason a lot of features were missing; i.e. the game engine wasn’t actually built to support them.
That being said and rumours aside, The Sims 4 has flourished in to an amazing Sims experience and one that the fans deserve. All the features we were missing have consistently been added (except for Create a Style tool) and, well, finally, TERRAIN TOOLS ARE BACK! RAH!
So, let’s get on with it.
That’s the good news. The bad news… the’re isn’t a date yet for the release of the patch, and there isn’t actually any information that has been given out by Maxis; just a small series of screenshots gathered from a Twitter conversation.
SimGuru Kate also announced that the patch has been delayed!
So, here’s what we actually know about the new patch:
- The update is free.
- Terrain tools are included.
- There’s a new career as a “Style Influencer”.
- Interview Sims about style.
- Give Sims a makeover.
- Terrain tools are expansion pack friendly.
- The October patch WILL NOT be out in October (Lol, typical EA).
Now that the relative details are out of the way, lets take a look at the terrain tools.
It appears that terrain can only be raised from the base lot and now lowered, as none of the screenshots show a ditch into the ground of a lot, however, you can dig a ditch into a raised mound. This a little disappointing as it looks like Sims 2 and Sims 3 style ponds will not be possible, at least not at ground level anyway.
When working on terrain, it appears that you can work on the terrain by tile corners, by whole tile and by area, of which the strength and magnitude of the manipulation can be set. This looks very similar to the terrain manipulation of Planet Coaster.
We can also see that there are many layers of terrain on which we can work, as we can see terrain relief levels similar to topographical information. This will make it easy for builders to work on very precise and accurate heights which will be especially useful when working on a real-life subject.
Terrain also appears to have a very high altitude level, much higher than possible with building height levels, and these higher altitude levels can be reached by the use of stairs. This is going to be very interesting as it is theoretically possible to create castles with winding stairways and rugged/mountainous walkways etc.
Bridged areas also appear to be possible; straight ground tile bridges can be placed between terrain areas of the same height, although if the development team has included “ConstrainFloorElevation” cheat from The Sims 3 then all kinds of possibilities open up such as arched walkways as was possible with clever use of this cheat in The Sims2 and The Sims 3.
Finally, the terrain tools appear to be expansion pack friendly, at least for The Sims 4: Seasons anyway. This is great news for builders who will want to take advantage of the expansion’s weather system to create snowy mountains, stormy hilltop mansions etc.
At the moment, Maxis is keeping pretty tight-lipped on The Sims 4 October update, as they pretty much usually do until near completion.
Being a major patch update, the terrain tools and the career probably won’t be the only features in the update however we can only speculate as what the other features may be.
It may not seem like much of an update but having to completely change the way the game engine works by adding this feature into the game is a mammoth task and I am very surprised that they have bothered to do it all. For me, this is a sign that The Sims 4 is going to be around for a lot longer than previously thought.
The implementation of the terrain tool looks pretty straight-forward, something I love about Maxis; they have a great ability to take tools and systems that for all intents and purposes should be very complex, and make them very simple and easy to use. Perhaps this is why they have taken so long to release this tool.
The inclusion of numerous height levels and visual topographical data will make this tool very powerful for dedicated builders and greatly aid in the task of creating bridges and walkways, and in the hands of a master builder should make for some extremely interesting creations.
Any extra features included for expansions remains to be seen but for now we know that snow does indeed form on hills but that’s pretty much it.
I can’t wait for this patch as it adds a feature that should have been in The Sims 4 since day one. For me at least, this means that the developers are starting to listen to the fans as they are implementing minor updates to the game which have a great impact, as they did with last month’s Sims 4 update which added some much requested items from The Sims 2.
Please note that I have purposefully omitted details of the new career because apart from knowing what the career is, there simply are none.
Whatever you think of the new items please let me know in the comments section, or let me know what you plan to do with them.
Thank you for reading and have fun with these great new additions to your Sims 4 game.
In the case you feel I have missed anything, could improve anything, want to ask a question or you feel you need to comment on anything at all then please use the comments section below.
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Dag, dag and happy Simming,
See other ChartX Games Sims 4 related articles here:
- Sims 4 Guide – How to Install Sims 4 Mods
- Sims 4 Seasons Brings Weather, Botanists and Holidays
- The Sims 4 Custom Content – Sims 4 Seasons Part 1: Clothing and Accessories
- The Sims 4 Custom Content – Sims 4 Seasons Part 2: Furniture and Items
For news and information on The Sims 4 please visit the official Sims 4 news site: The Sims 4 News.
There are also many bug fixes for The Sims 4 and The Sims 4 expansion packs which you can see here: The Sims 4 Patch Notes
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