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Off the Grid - Tips & Tricks Compilation!

MorriSanMorriSan Posts: 410 Member
Dear fellow Sim addicts, I'm having lots of fun building and playing off the grid but we all know that it isn't working as intended (yet) -or that it works in a way that is dissimilar from how we are used to play our Sims.
I want to share and hopefully hear from other players how they deal with the challenge of this special gameplay. Feel free to post your observations and tips, I will add it to the list!


Explanation for those who haven't tried that playstyle: Off The Grid (lot trait!): no electricity, no conventional plumbing/running water:
What it means: nothing in the buy catalogue that depends on above amenities will work and there's an extra note under the item descriptions, mainly in the appliances, electronics and lighting categories, that tell the player what 'works off the grid'
Note: some items aren't labeled correctly and a lot of activities items (some obvious, some less obvious), depend on the grid!

List of items that should work but don't (but hopefully will be fixed):
+ Washtub for clothes from the Laundry Day gamepack (you can use it once, then the water is dirty and you can't change it. Which I count as NOT working). Until this is resolved it is better to play without producing dirty clothes.
+ Various oil lamps and some of the candles, especially in the ceiling category.


Items that work but in an unusual/puzzling way:
Well, most of them!

+ The stoves that do work aren't working like they would on a regular lot, there are restrictions. Stoves run on gas or wood but the baking part of the item is non functional and the food is poor quality.
There are only two stove meal options: grilled cheese and eggs with toast.
The grill offers eight (!) options.
There is (according to the bug report forum and my own experiences) a known bug that can occur with Herbalism: it is an option, not greyed out; the Sim will start to cook, it's on the stove and uses the ingredients but they do not finish and whenever the Sim is commanded to resume the remedy the action discontinues and only throwing it away works to get rid of the pot and free the stove.
Edit to stoves: the stoves won't work without a refrigerator to supply the ingredients. None of the refridgerators are labled to work OTG - found out the trial and error way that the 'ICEBox Vintage Refrigerator' does work - they forgot to add that helpful little hint in the descirption. @CelSims added that ALL fridges should work - probably another bug. It's an infestation^^
Improvement: Handiness skill is key! If your sim has the skill or you have them learn (level 4 is required for most of the needed upgrades), they can update the item which will improve the quality of the food and keep the item clean(er); additionally the oven does not break as often if you take the third option as well.
+ Some of the (mostly cheap) showers, sinks and toilets work but require extra steps to operate like flushing them with as little water as possible and they get subsequently (less water -> less cleanly) dirty - and can't be cleaned! Again, this can be solved/lessened by updating the item with handiness skill.

+ Your cell phones (and why are they working at all long term, how do the sims reload them without electricity?) while they have the basic talk/messsage options - they lack a connection to the internet!
You can't buy the parts you need for handiness as a result.
You cannot apply for a job.
You cannot update your social status and related actions.

Solution: Visit a library for a computer or a community lot to mooch off the web! BUT: tuning/electronic/plumbing parts and other order options like the crackers are still not available - They appear on your own business lot again.

+ Dirty dishes can't be cleaned in the sink. It seems to be a feature that emphasises the lack of available water. The Sim has to be asked to throw them away, otherwise they litter the house. Which.... hm, creates lots of trash instead, doesn't it? Instead of reusing - not environment frienly at all.
Update: (Thank you @CelSims for the info): "You can wash dishes in the sinks labelled as off the grid. If you cannot there are two reasons. One, the sink is dirty. Two, there is a bug that lots with the trait dont recognize there is a sink available. I got this bug on one lot but not on others."

Gameplay strategies, tricks and work arounds:
Main strategy: It's unavailable - search for it somewhere else in the SimWorld! Some of these kind of solutions feel natural -like visiting a regular lot for services you don't get on the home lot. It's a little bit like visiting the public pool because you can't afford or have the space to build one on your own lot. How often this happens is a question of play style authenticity. It might look riddiculous to travel somewhere else every evening before Simbedtime because your Sim wants to soak in a tub, hm? Unless your Sim is a professional mooch^^
Or, buy a business and use that lot on the grid for everything your home lot lacks. This is a strategy that may feel like cheating because it goes against either the ingame story financial restrictions of the philosophical lifestyle of the character you play.

+The appliance related restricted meal options cause trouble with fullfilling holiday requirements BUT: Info by @LadyKyn: the BBQ pit makes it possible to create feasts and they count!

Handiness skill: very helpful but a lot more difficult to accomplish than on a regular lot. Learning by reading the handiness books is easy and don't forget the woodworking table (@plainevil pointed it out). You can't order parts on your OTG lot and it is not available on a community lot on laptops there either. It is on your own business lot, but that requires simleons your sim might not possess or might not want to spend for soleily the purpose of getting plumbing parts. Buying and taking apart items to gain needed repairparts is equaly iffy and time consuming. Other sources for parts are rummaging in rubish and 'stealing' via demolishing on community and business lots.
There are a lot of roleplay options to get around this restrictions: for example: move in a new houehold member temporarily who has stockpiled the needed parts before the move and play it like they are a hired handiman or a friend visiting and delivering asked for resources and placing them in a chest. Or have your Sim plan ahead with a pitstop on a regular lot before moving on to his OTG destination.
Or (thank you @Plainevil) you might remmeber that your laptops are portable and carry them to a community lot, where it will work perfectly!

Generally this sort of playstyle requires more patience and forces you to plan ahead. It takes more time out of the Simday to accomplish goals than usually. It is great for immersion but can be frustrating because sometimes the restrictions hit out of the left field and it is harder to keep the character satisfied.

Items that are very handy on a second look:
+The cooler boxes aren't refrigerators but they look appropriate if you go for the survivalist and/or poor look and they provide some nourishment like yoghurt.
+The vendor table from the Jungle Adventure Pack works as storage for everything - and as someone who has done the fleamarket routine in real life, I know that a tiny cooler box can fit underneath easily. The tables are fairly big items, but feel more appropriate than stuffing meals & produce into a wood chest. They also keep the meals and fish fresh - instead of hours it will take days for them to spoil.


Wish list and ideas for the Gurus and Devs:
1)Updated/correctly labeled off-the-grid items in the buy catalogue
2)A search function for all items with the off the grid label
3)Laundry Day items working like they logically should! Or give us the tools to create laundry saloons with the ability to carry the dirty clothes to a community lot.
4)Add baking, maybe as an additional handiness update; I have baked with a wood/gas oven, it is possible.

Items that would either look great with the theme or even might provide some additional/restricted functionality (maybe these can be added in form of a stuff pack, pretty please?)
1) solar panels
2) functioning wells
3) windmill
4) handheld juice maker
5) nektar making! It would fit the theme perfectly.
6) free standing bike to create a little bit of electricity additionally to fitness

Purely cosmetic touches/inspirations/ideas:

+Add a well to create the illusion of Sims being able to collect clean water.
+We can build our own water reservois! The new elevation option for individual (free standing and not connected to other buildings) allows us to create convincing ones (more or less ^^). Add some pipes and you can create the illusion of rainwater being used.
Pic of the lot I'm playing atm:
1zppn39.jpg

Separate list of bugs that interfer a lot, especially with OTG gameplay, that might occur:
+Sinks: no washing the dishes option (seems to vary from lot to lot).
+Sinks: get dirty and subsequently unable to be cleaned despite selfcleaning update.
+Stoves: herbalism may not be working correctly, the Sim starts to brew but does not finish and can't resume the task.



I'm looking forward to other players' experiences and ideas!

Post edited by MorriSan on

Comments

  • somewhsomesomewhsome Posts: 25 Member
    Your lot looks so cool! :) water reservoirs are great, I love this idea :)
  • invisiblgirlinvisiblgirl Posts: 1,074 Member
    Thanks for the tip on the JA vendor tables - I'd never thought of them for storage. And they also keep food fresh? That's a bit unexpected.
    I just want things to match. :'(
  • MorriSanMorriSan Posts: 410 Member
    edited July 4
    Thanks for the tip on the JA vendor tables - I'd never thought of them for storage. And they also keep food fresh? That's a bit unexpected.

    I remembered vaguely that I've read about that somewhere and tried it out, so it is not my own discovery. I had my sim grill sausages. No idea if it is a bug or feature but it is put in the inventory directly now and the description said it would stay eatable for about 7 hours. Then I put it in the vendor table - 7 days and change! I can explain the logic with assuming that it comes equipped with a little icebox hidden under the tablecloth like in some real life versions ^^. Guess my Sim travels to a community lot for the ice or has it delivered when I'm offline.

    I did not pay enough attention to be able to say if my Sim took out cooking ingredients - but I doubt it. I guess I will have to remove some manually into the personal inventory if I want him to use it for his meals.

    Thank you @somewhsome. I thought it looked cool and my Sim loves to float, it was a win-win. I'll share the lot on the gallery when it is ready.
  • MorriSanMorriSan Posts: 410 Member
    edited July 4
    Multple days playing OTG but this escaped me because my Sim was not starving. Well, now I've found out why my Sim has become a huge BBQ fan - the stove might technically work, it showed the option when I installed it, but I did not click further down the options tree and overlooked that it needs a refrigerator. And there isn't one that works!

    Anyone here who knows a work around that does not involve mods?

    Edit: typical. I tried to solve the problem, finally posted a cry for help and five minutes later I found a solution. I've edited the main text to reflect this light bulb moment: the 'ICEBox Vintage Refrigerator' works but misses the lable in the description.
    Post edited by MorriSan on
  • babajaynebabajayne Posts: 237 Member
    The Cru Cabinet Sink works off the grid for washing dishes. The galvanized one from Laundry Day works, too.
  • MorriSanMorriSan Posts: 410 Member
    babajayne wrote: »
    The Cru Cabinet Sink works off the grid for washing dishes. The galvanized one from Laundry Day works, too.

    I use the galvanized one in my game, it looks so fabulously shabby and I do not get the option to wash the dishes, only bin them, when I click on empty plates. Thank you for the feedback, I'll try it out, maybe I've overlooked something ^^ like the snafu with the fridge.
  • TiarellaTiarella Posts: 642 Member
    @MorriSan - I'm not in-game yet so haven't checked your gallery: have you added your off-the-grid lot to your catalog? I've had to stop building while my shoulders heal (I hope they heal!), so whenever I get IL, I'd love to use your build, if it's available. :love: Thanks! :smiley:
  • CelSimsCelSims Posts: 188 Member
    MorriSan wrote: »
    babajayne wrote: »
    The Cru Cabinet Sink works off the grid for washing dishes. The galvanized one from Laundry Day works, too.

    I use the galvanized one in my game, it looks so fabulously shabby and I do not get the option to wash the dishes, only bin them, when I click on empty plates. Thank you for the feedback, I'll try it out, maybe I've overlooked something ^^ like the snafu with the fridge.

    You can wash dishes in the sinks labelled as off the grid. If you cannot there are two reasons. One, the sink is dirty. Two, there is a bug that lots with the trait dont recognize there is a sink available. I got this bug on one lot but not on others.

    I'm not in game to double check but I believe all the fridges work, I'm using a different one than you are and I have seen someone mention they are using the cheapest one and that works too.
  • MorriSanMorriSan Posts: 410 Member
    edited July 4
    CelSims wrote: »
    MorriSan wrote: »
    babajayne wrote: »
    The Cru Cabinet Sink works off the grid for washing dishes. The galvanized one from Laundry Day works, too.

    I use the galvanized one in my game, it looks so fabulously shabby and I do not get the option to wash the dishes, only bin them, when I click on empty plates. Thank you for the feedback, I'll try it out, maybe I've overlooked something ^^ like the snafu with the fridge.

    You can wash dishes in the sinks labelled as off the grid. If you cannot there are two reasons. One, the sink is dirty. Two, there is a bug that lots with the trait dont recognize there is a sink available. I got this bug on one lot but not on others.

    I'm not in game to double check but I believe all the fridges work, I'm using a different one than you are and I have seen someone mention they are using the cheapest one and that works too.

    Thank you, I included htis info in the text! That's great to know, hopefully those bugs will meet DevTerminator soon. I have to say that I did not try the fridges because they lacked the 'hint' in the description until I ran into the stove issue. I tried the cheapest one first - nope, not working! And then the one that looked similarly in style to my stove because that seemed logical to me and then was happy as a clam when it worked. My Sim will mostly grill because there is more variety but it annoyed me that he lacked the option to use the stove.

    @Tiarella Thank you! I'll share the lot (I hope without the bugs) soon, it's still not to my satisfaction. I hope your shoulders heal fast *hugs* Gute Besserung!
    Post edited by MorriSan on
  • MorriSanMorriSan Posts: 410 Member
    Added a section on handiness:

    Handiness skill: very helpful but a lot more difficult to accomplish than on a regular lot. Learning by reading the handiness books is easiest. You can't order parts on your OTG lot and it is not available on a community lot either. It is on your own business lot, but that requires simleons your sim might not possess or might not want to spend for soleily the purpose of getting plumbing parts. Buying and taking apart items to gain needed repairparts is equaly iffy and time consuming. Other sources for parts are rummaging in rubish and 'stealing' via demolishing on community and business lots.
    There are a lot of roleplay options to get around this restrictions: for example: move in a new houehold member temporarily who has stockpiled the needed parts before the move and play it like they are a hired handiman or a friend visiting and delivering asked for resources and placing them in a chest. Or have your Sim plan ahead with a pitstop on a regular lot before moving on to his OTG destination.

    At least those are my experiences with upgrading. Do they match yours?
  • PlainevilPlainevil Posts: 199 Member
    I found the handiness skill quite easy to level since my Sims cheap shower and toilet, where constantly breaking. I also used the woodworking table to make all my Sims own plant pots, so levelled very quickly. If you have a laptop, you can use it on a lot that has power like the library to order upgrade parts.
  • MorriSanMorriSan Posts: 410 Member
    edited July 5
    Plainevil wrote: »
    I found the handiness skill quite easy to level since my Sims cheap shower and toilet, where constantly breaking. I also used the woodworking table to make all my Sims own plant pots, so levelled very quickly. If you have a laptop, you can use it on a lot that has power like the library to order upgrade parts.

    Ah, I forgot that laptops are portable and if you use your own on a community lot it will work perfectly... thank you! I'll alter the text.
  • Patient0Patient0 Posts: 8 New Member
    Hey,

    I'm not sure if this is the right place to as this but I'm too new to the forums to make my own posts.
    I'm having a problem where my sim can't take a shower without getting the negative "brackish water" moodlet.
    I know that in Island Paradise and Seasons you can shower in a waterfall and in the rain respectively, but I don't have those packs. The only packs I have installed are Get Together, City Living, and Outdoor Retreat. So, at the moment I'm not sure how to take a decent shower without leaving my lot. Does anyone one have any suggestions?
  • FairyGodMotherFairyGodMother Posts: 7,108 Member
    Patient0 wrote: »
    Hey,

    I'm not sure if this is the right place to as this but I'm too new to the forums to make my own posts.
    I'm having a problem where my sim can't take a shower without getting the negative "brackish water" moodlet.
    I know that in Island Paradise and Seasons you can shower in a waterfall and in the rain respectively, but I don't have those packs. The only packs I have installed are Get Together, City Living, and Outdoor Retreat. So, at the moment I'm not sure how to take a decent shower without leaving my lot. Does anyone one have any suggestions?

    I would suggest taking your sim to the gym to shower.
  • StutumStutum Posts: 548 Member
    It's getting ridiculous when you can't sing in the shower without proper plumbing.....
  • Patient0Patient0 Posts: 8 New Member
    @FairyGodMother

    That's what I've been doing. But I was hoping there was a way that my sim could have a decent shower at home.
  • JojoMOMSTERJojoMOMSTER Posts: 590 Member
    @MorriSan Have you figured out how to wash toddlers on off grid lots other than the Admiral’s wreckage? Other lots will not allow the use of the DIY shower tub or the off grid lights. Toddlers do not get clean playing the ocean as do other SIMs.

    If anyone knows how to wash a toddler on an off-grid lot other than the Admiral’s Wreckage, please help!
  • PlainevilPlainevil Posts: 199 Member
    @MorriSan Have you figured out how to wash toddlers on off grid lots other than the Admiral’s wreckage? Other lots will not allow the use of the DIY shower tub or the off grid lights. Toddlers do not get clean playing the ocean as do other SIMs.

    If anyone knows how to wash a toddler on an off-grid lot other than the Admiral’s Wreckage, please help!

    https://sims4.crinrict.com/eng/2019/06/off-the-grid-living-bathing-toddlers-and-pets/

    Try there for help, Also add your me to, on the official answers HQ site.
  • JojoMOMSTERJojoMOMSTER Posts: 590 Member
    Ohhh 😮!!! So the plumbing doesn’t exist but adults and toddlers can will water into a tub by asking and consenting to a bath . . .

    @MorriSan thank you kindly for the workaround
  • CommaSpliceCommaSplice Posts: 158 Member
    Trying to play with this lot but I have some questions:

    1. My sim still has bills. I didn't question this at first, but then someone said we're not supposed to have bills with off the grid?
    2. My sim seems unable to put out fires. Is this is a problem specific to off the grid?
  • JojoMOMSTERJojoMOMSTER Posts: 590 Member
    That is so interesting @CommaSplice , I am on round three of play testing a variation of the Off-Grid Challenge Island Living so am really grappling with and pushing the aspects of off grid.
    In my first play through the rock benches around the campfire kept catching fire. Other Sulani residents would come to try to help put it out but they kept saying they could not reach the fire. This happened several times the same sequence. Now I’m really curious if that is a glitch of off grid also. Currently the family does not have fire, it is summer, but I may put down a fire when it cools off to see if campfire and bon fire have the same trouble. I hate to cut into their money before they have the 10k to build but I do want to see if both campfire and bonfire have this trouble. Nothing snaps to a bon fire as chairs do to a campfire so maybe it’s safer? Can a SIM extinguish themselves in a brief tepid shower or in the ocean? Also good to know but maybe I don’t want to kill the family to test this!
  • CommaSpliceCommaSplice Posts: 158 Member
    That is so interesting @CommaSplice , I am on round three of play testing a variation of the Off-Grid Challenge Island Living so am really grappling with and pushing the aspects of off grid.
    In my first play through the rock benches around the campfire kept catching fire. Other Sulani residents would come to try to help put it out but they kept saying they could not reach the fire. This happened several times the same sequence. Now I’m really curious if that is a glitch of off grid also. Currently the family does not have fire, it is summer, but I may put down a fire when it cools off to see if campfire and bon fire have the same trouble. I hate to cut into their money before they have the 10k to build but I do want to see if both campfire and bonfire have this trouble. Nothing snaps to a bon fire as chairs do to a campfire so maybe it’s safer? Can a SIM extinguish themselves in a brief tepid shower or in the ocean? Also good to know but maybe I don’t want to kill the family to test this!

    I have tried a couple iterations of the campfires. The benches would catch on fire. I would move the benches. I got rid of the benches. Every time there's a fire, she freaks out and runs away and I cannot seem to get her to extinguish the fire.

  • GalacticGalGalacticGal Posts: 14,236 Member
    Trying to play with this lot but I have some questions:

    1. My sim still has bills. I didn't question this at first, but then someone said we're not supposed to have bills with off the grid?
    2. My sim seems unable to put out fires. Is this is a problem specific to off the grid?

    Well, it stands to reason if you can't replenish your water, and your lights don't work, what on Earth would your Sims be paying for? :open_mouth: I'm very glad this thread was started. I was overjoyed at the off-grid Trait as it should make playing my ancestral save a bit more authentic. (We're talking 18th century colonial America — and whilst they learned about electricity, they hadn't yet harnessed it.) They could forge and make things out of metal, but they still had to draw water from the nearest creek or river to wash their clothing. This shall make for an interesting gameplay, to be sure.
    You can download (free) all three volumes of my Night Whispers Star Trek Fanfiction here: http://galacticgal.deviantart.com/gallery/ You'll need to have a pdf reader. New websites: http://www.trekkiefanfiction.com/st-tos.php
    http://www.getfreeebooks.com/star-trek-original-series-fan-fiction-trilogy/
  • JojoMOMSTERJojoMOMSTER Posts: 590 Member
    I have play tested and figured out the extinguish self in shower and extinguish self is ocean do not work on off grid lot
  • Rhiannon1307Rhiannon1307 Posts: 131 Member
    I have play tested and figured out the extinguish self in shower and extinguish self is ocean do not work on off grid lot

    ha3ije526ck21.jpg
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