orikes: (fairy)
[personal profile] orikes


So, the Maxis Store, which is already a sore point with many in the Sim community, recently included two 'exclusive' items among its latest releases. One is the baby floor mat seen above, and the other is the Baby Bouncer, seen below. For those paying attention, both of these items were initially sneak previewed with Apartment Life sneak peeks, but disappeared from play testing almost immediately.



When that happened, there was quite a bit of grumbling about how mean EA/Maxis was to tease us with something like that. How evil of them! As I usually do with those type of arguments, I rolled my eyes and pointed out that it was more likely that the developers decided the items weren't ready or they were having some sort of problem with the items. I highly doubted that anyone employed by EA/Maxis was cackling evilly in their lair, rubbing their hands together because they were screwing the players over yet again.

At the time, someone on one of the boards I follow threw out the conspiracy theory that they were pulling them so they could sell them in the store and make even more money off of them! Because that would be truly evil.

Well, now they've appeared in the store, and I still don't think EA/Maxis is evil. Incompetent maybe. Short sighted, probably. Hardly evil.

As with all store items, I snagged them from MATY. (Just because I don't think EA/Maxis is evil doesn't mean I'm going to give them more of my money for items they should be handling differently. I've paid for every stuff pack and every expansion pack. The store goes beyond my limits.) After seeing them in my game, I can see why they were pulled from AL. They're not done. They're cute, but they feel unfinished. The meshes look kind of blocky and the textures are half assed. They have some unique animations which are very cute (and why these items still require FT,AL or MGS), but they're limited.

My hunch is that the developers pulled these to work on other aspects of AL that were more integral to the EP. Because of the sneak peeks, though, people kept demanding them, so someone pulled them out and dusted them off for the store without really polishing them up like the original developers probably wanted.

Short sighted? Yeah. Evil? Not really.

I get really tired of all the grousing about how evil EA/Maxis is. There's definitely things they could and should be doing to better improve their relations with their customer base (getting rid of SecuRom, porting things to Mac faster, doing more thorough bug testing), but I just can't assume there is malicious intent behind stupid moves like this one. The mob starts carrying their torches and pitchforks and I just start rolling my eyes. If the company was as bad as some people make it out to be, the game wouldn't be worth anything and I'd have left it behind a long time ago.

Anyway, that's my mini-rant. The items are cute for what they are, so download them if you want. Just don't expect something as polished as what would come with an EP.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-14 08:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hurrisims.livejournal.com
Where on MATY can I find those things? Because freaking adorable and whatnot.

People in all fandoms have a tendency to overreact to stuff. While I hardly agree with some of the business practices of EA I'm not going to go around screaming and flailing my arms at everything they do.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-14 09:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] orikes13.livejournal.com
I think this is the most up-to-date link: http://www.moreawesomethanyou.com/smf/index.php/topic,13036.msg423554.html#msg423554

With the store stuff, the folks at MATY have to kind of do it clandestinely. They can't actually host any of the items on MATY, so individual users will upload stuff to media fire and box net and stuff and offer them that way. It saves MATY from having to deal with an angry EA/Maxis for redistributing their store items, but it also makes it harder to find stuff. Whenever something new comes out in the store that I want, I just peruse the store threads in the Peasantry section.

And yeah, it's a fandom thing. The whole entitlement issue. "I love this, so they should do it the way I WANT!" :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-14 09:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] silverselene.livejournal.com
I'll just wait for a little bit for one of the far better meshers/artists/modders out there to take this and make it better. :) They are cute items though, glad to see more stuff for infants.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-14 09:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ndainye.livejournal.com
There have been infant items available from the modding community for years, they are less well done than these by EA and throw errors continually. None of the better meshers/artists/modders out there have taken it upon themselves to improve those items.

At this point the modding community is just barely dipping it's toes into custom animations and 90% of those created are for xrated mods. You can dislike EA's style all you wish but they are years ahead of the community when it comes to improving the game they created.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-14 10:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] profbutters.livejournal.com
I suspect the animations issue is one reason that custom wedding cakes don't work. They look simple, but they are probably very hard to code.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-15 02:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] orikes13.livejournal.com
I hope somebody decides to pay a little attention to these as well, but folks seem leery of doing much with items from the store. Maxis tends to be a bit protective of the meshes.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-14 09:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] simgaroop.livejournal.com

My issue with EAxis, respecting these baby items, is that they obviously released a half done product, yet they expected people to pay for that. As you said to me when I posted my pics, the textures on the bouncy chair look very very blurry, and not even the recolors look clear, unless they are solid. And the sounds won't work unless you get the fix from MATY.

I don't know how much does 225 Simpoints mean in US currency, but paying 450 for just two objects seems expensive, so the product should be at least working as expected.

I admit I'm not very happy with EA for their recent actions. Suckurom messed up my laptop big time, for example. If there's no way to get a working no-cd patch for the sims 3 (in the case it also contains this nasty piece of software), I'm definitely not going to buy it.

Other than that, I love the games very much. I just wish their quality control was better (and that they stopped supporting TSR, but that's a topic for another day).

And I agree that all fandoms are full of people like that. I remember the people who "returned the books" to JK Rowling because "she wasn't wrting the characters correctly" (can't remember if this was with book 6 or 7) and in the mere months I watched the official Fairly Oddparents forums, I got sick of all the whining because the new episodes promoted "marital abuse" and who knows what else O_o.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-15 07:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] orikes13.livejournal.com
You can get 500 points at the store for $5, which isn't too bad except for the fact that items are more points than they should be. The store is a nice idea that's executed poorly.

Before I was involved with the Sims community, I was pretty heavily involved in Everquest, so it's hard for me to take the grumbling too seriously when I heard the exact same tone used towards Sony and Everquest. Ultimately, the game is owned by a corporation that's trying to make money. Sometimes, they're going to make decisions that seem like a good idea at the time. I'm sure someone pitched SecuRom to them as a great security alternative, and the suits bought it. From what I've heard of Sims3, they are heavily modifying the security software from what was shipped with Spore.

I guess I'm just too pragmatic to get too worked up about stuff. :}

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-14 09:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ndainye.livejournal.com
After having them in my game for the past few days I'll say pretty much the same thing I did when AL was first previewed with them. Animated infants are freaky.

I agree with your reasoning on why the items were originally pulled and why they were eventually added to the store.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-15 02:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] orikes13.livejournal.com
I do like it when the baby tries to suck on his/her toes while in the playmat. That's pretty cute. It does take a little getting used to, though. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-14 09:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] profbutters.livejournal.com
Fandom entitlement drives me crazy, too; simgaroop's example of people returning their copies of books six and seven of *Harry Potter* is a good one. I wouldn't describe EA as evil. Incompetent, yes, stupid, yes, evil, no. I'm a bit fed up with them for screwing with the Body Shop engine in an EP or an SP they *never intended* to port for Mac, but it's not their fault that Sim PE isn't available for Macs. That's got nothing to do with them, unless you want to argue that exporting Sims is something you ought to have been able to do in-game.

There's a thread on the Mac section of the BBS about Sims 3 called "Are you being won over or are you still bitter?" I don't think people understood what I was trying to say there. There are a lot of "Get over it! Suck it up! AHHAHAHAH!" posts, and I just said that I'm not bitter, I'm just not interested in Sims 3. I'm not much of a gamer, so persuading me to buy a game takes a little more than "but you bought the last one." If I were an investor, I would have pulled my money out a long time ago, but that's not because I hate them. I just think they have been making some really bad face palming business decisions which might have been ok in a good economy, but in a bad economy, they can't afford to piss off or ignore customers who don't fit their narrow demographic.

Actually, the Sims Store idea might have been a good one--buying just the items you really want for a small amount of money, instead of a whole stuff pack. That might have been smart: keeping the Sims 2 franchise afloat and appealing to people who were being careful about money. It's just that the copy protection on it and the bloatware and not making it available for Mac turned a decent idea into a dumb idea.

Sorry, tl;dr. It's just that the business decisions interest me, in a train wreck kind of way.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-15 01:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fireflower314.livejournal.com
(Talking about book returns, though, I totally would've taken Breaking Dawn back had I been one of the people who bought it when it came out and then read it without knowing what it contained. Hell, I still haven't been able to bring myself to read past part one. Bella being all "WAIT THIS BABY IS PART OF EDWARD I MUST HAVE ITTTTTT" was the last straw I guess).

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-15 01:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] profbutters.livejournal.com
That, though. That's the exception that proves the rule. Especially for those conservative parents who had been telling themselves, "it's ok, those books are good for Suzy-Q because there's no sex before marriage." Whoa. But I don't think I would have bothered sending it to Stephanie Meyer. I might have asked Borders or whoever if they would please take it back.

The blood in the sippy cup is just one of many details you can't forget and wish you could.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-15 01:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fireflower314.livejournal.com
Oh I wouldn't send it to SMeyer. That's a waste of postage. I'd take it back to the store. *nodnod*

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-17 10:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tyjet92.livejournal.com
..I liked Breaking Dawn =/

I don't think it was the fact that the baby was Edward's that made her want to keep it. It was probably more the fact that it was a..baby. I'm guy so obviously I can't really say for sure, but maternal attatchments can form that early on. My sister got pregnant young, and she refused to get an abortion at even at the very early stages because she had grown to love the baby overnight. It happens.

[/ramble]

ANYWAY, I actually hate the Store. As well as stuff packs. I don't mind paying good money for Expansion packs but buying clothes and outfits is beyond ridiculous, which is why I loathe paysites, apart from the fact that they are technically, illegal.

And these don't look too bad, once you get used to the icky mesh and textures. I might get it for the cuteness and lulz =]

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-17 10:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tyjet92.livejournal.com
Omg fail ¬_¬ I meant clothes and objects, not clothes and outfits. *hides*

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-17 09:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fireflower314.livejournal.com
No but that wasn't it at all with her, at least not right away. Her kneejerk reaction is "THIS IS PART OF EDWARD".

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-15 07:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] orikes13.livejournal.com
You can always tl;dr all you want. :)

Like I told Simagroop above, change the company from EA to Sony and the noun in some of the complaints, and there's not much difference in the bitching I hear in the sims community compared to what I used to hear in the Everquest community. Second verse, same as the first. I'm too pragmatic to get too worked up about things like this. I'll get righteously indignant about things that I think are truly unjust and I'll fight like tooth and nail against that, but in the grand scheme of things, I can't get too angry about this type of thing. Doesn't mean I'll pay for them, but... cest la vie.

I am curious about Sims3, and I may pick it up this summer to see what's what, but I'm enjoying the story too much to give it up just yet. There's no way they'll have the tools to do stories in Sims3 that exist for Sims2 right now. Not for a while yet.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-14 10:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lauriempress.livejournal.com
Yeah people get a bit carried away, especially in most sims commuinities with so much anonymity and generally speaking enough people to induce a mob mentality. I agree with what you said, they made bad decisions, but I don't see any malicious intent. Oh well, we just have to shake our heads and wonder what they're going to think of next. ;)

Lauri

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-15 07:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] orikes13.livejournal.com
Honestly, it's the same thing I saw in the Everquest community, just targeted at a different company and complaining about different things. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-14 11:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] penguingirl03.livejournal.com
Well I have stopped paying attention to the store and completely missed that these were up. I might have to let Ferd and Mag's new babies play with them.

I agree with your assessment of the situation Ori. The only thing that really bothers me about the store is that I would much prefer to have the items available for purchase on a SP disk. That way they are always available for me to re-install as I see fit. Basically, I don't trust paying for digital downloads-I don't even download mp3 files-because I don't want to pay for them and then have my computer eat them later and EA lose the files that said I really had purchased them. It is too bad that these items didn't turn up in the last EP though, it would have been nice to see them in a finished, polished form.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-16 04:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] orikes13.livejournal.com
I only notice store stuff when it shows up on the front page of the Sims2 site. Someone, maybe Simagroop, posted about these and so I checked MATY for them. I go to MATY for all my store needs. ;)

The store is very poorly implemented. There is so much more they could have done with it and the things they've done wrong just irritate most people. People can pass along the items just fine with the security they have, so there was no reason not to just provide .pkg files without the DRM mess they have with it. They also need better preview pictures - I would never buy anything based on the images they share. They also need to figure out a way to include Mac owners and overseas customers. It still has the beta tag on it, though. My guess is that they're perfecting it for Sims3 which causes another round of grumbling from most people. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-15 04:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] snootcb.livejournal.com
Of course Eaxis isn't actually evil... they just act that way sometimes. JKJK, it's not really as serious as the mob makes it out to be. Really I think it's kind of a vicious cycle at this point; Eaxis sometimes unfairly treats its customers like whiny babies, and the customers (myself included) sometimes overreact like whiny babies. I've never been a part of any other "fandom" so I'm kind of enjoying the ride.

As far as the store goes... well, it sounded like a good idea on paper, and I'm sure some people really like it, but it just sucks that (a) it's basically bloat and (b) Mac users- who don't have the SPs or more recent EPs and who would be more than willing to use the store to get those items- CAN'T use it. Stupid decision, that.

Anyway, I've acquired most of the exclusive store items and I do like them. For the most part they're well-made, and the bits that aren't well-made can be fixed by people more awesome than me. I do like the baby items even though the textures are crap. They are SO CUTE OH GOD MY EYES. It is a little weird that the otherwise slug-like babies have animations now, but they are SO CUTE it makes up for the weirdness.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-16 04:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] orikes13.livejournal.com
THE CUTENESS IT BURNNNNNSSSSSS

I do hope some more awesome people get in there and tweak these to make them a little prettier. It's nice to be able to get some additional pictures of babies. They're still lumps and I'd rather have toddlers around, but still... :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-15 03:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] traciandrus.livejournal.com
I love these new items. I'm alittle disappointed that they waited this long to release them, and they still don't work right.
I've been making nice bright recolors, so thats been helping. I love how they look in nurseries now.

EA evil... Slightly, but they still have all my time and money. lol

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-16 04:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] orikes13.livejournal.com
Honestly, that's the general consensus that probably got them released unfinished. The developers pulled them because they weren't 'right', but people saw them and demanded them, so eventually they caved and put them up.

I am excited to see your recolors, though. :) I loved what you did with the toddler tables.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-15 06:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dicreasy.livejournal.com
I agree with a lot of what you have said. EA is after all a company and so makes decisions based on what they feel will be in their best interests. Some of them work, some don't.

I have downloaded the baby items through MATY. Actually that leads me to something that EA has done which I do believe is very short-sighted: the store is open to residents of North America only. Those of us who live elsewhere have to find somewhere else to get the items and then Maxoids throw hissy fits at MATY over posters there offering links to the items.

I digress though. Having seen the items (albeit briefly) in game I agree that they aren't as polished as items I would expect to find in an EP, and I'm glad I haven't paid for them. They probably were pulled because they weren't finished enough/wouldn't be finished enough before the deadline. They've now been put on the store because of public demand.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-16 04:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] orikes13.livejournal.com
I think they're still clinging to the 'beta' title on the store, which is why they haven't opened it up to Mac users or overseas users. It's rather silly to limit it that way. I have quite a few issues with the way the store is implemented, but I'm not going to hate a whole company for shortsightedness.

Your last statement is probably the truest thing about the issue. They weren't finished, but people kept demanding them. So.. there you are.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-15 10:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] legionary27.livejournal.com
Everything everywhere is a conspiracy to rip you off. And you know what, half of the times, companies are just trying to make a dollar. But here's the catch; no one is forcing anyone to buy that stuff. If you see it, think it's worth your time, then spend the cash. If you think otherwise, don't. And even if your complaint is that it could have/should have been in AL, what was your enjoyment of the expansion pack before? If your enjoyment of the pack tanked just because you found out after wards those items were pulled, then I don't know what to say for you.

Again, EA isn't evil. They're a company that puts out a product that you choose to purchase or not. Nobody is making you buy the Sims 3. You can continue to play the Sims 2. But they'd be idiots not to put out a new game. They also put out a brand new Madden game every year which sells millions of copies, but I don't buy it every season. This doesn't make me a better person; it just makes me 60 dollars richer than I would have been otherwise.

But unfortunately there are a lot of people who think companies exist for them. No, companies exist to turn a profit. One of the ways they do that is by tricking you into thinking it's all about you. This is how the world works.

(Obviously I'm not talking "you" as in you Orikes. I thought your post hit it right on the mark.)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-16 04:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] orikes13.livejournal.com
I figured you weren't talking to me. :)

In some ways, the entitlement people feel towards companies like this is very similar to what they feel towards authors and other creators. I like what you made, so now you need to do it exactly the way I want you to. It's really frustrating to watch.

If you don't like what the company/author/creator/artist/whatever is doing, then stop following it/buying it/bitching about it. (And no, I'm not talking to you. ;)