September 24 - Everyone ready for the Friday Highlight? It's ready for you here!

The unfortunate increase in Rabbit holes

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Hey guys,

So one thing I don't understand about the Sims 4 is its use of rabbit holes lately. Personally I never had an issue with rabbit holes in the Sims 3, since we had such a huge world and tons of community lots to visit and explore that rabbit holes didn't turn me off as much (maybe only the restaurants which I really wanted my sims to go in).
However once the Sims 4 got released and it had neither an open world or open districts but just one active lot and its surroundings the team justified their decision to do this by saying that it's just a trade off for being able to do more things with the active lots.
Even though we can argue if the team managed to compensate the removal of the open world by creating more interactive and complex active lots (which I don't think is fully the case), the rabbit holes have made a return in the last few packs.

In particular the Sims 4 University features tons of rabbit holes. All the buildings except for the dorms, houses and one cafeteria are rabbit holes. That is the case for both universities. But shouldn't there be some trade off for that? I cannot find almost anything to compensate the fact that we suddenly have both rabbit holes and loading screens and the active lots we have aren't necessarily more complex or interactive than any previous games. It's all the same things we could do in the Sims 3 but there were no loading screens there.
There is also a big decrease in lot numbers. Britechester has probably the least amount of things to do in any University pack so far. There were tons more things to do in The Sims 2 University. So in what way does the game make up for the removal of the open-world and increase in rabbit holes? What did we even gain from that apart for just more sims being on the lots? And shouldn't the addition of rabbit holes as university classes give them more freedom to create more active lots to go to?

The same applies to the Sims 4 Journey to Batuu. This place is filled with rabbit holes and has like 3 active lots in total. But there is still no compensation for that. Even when the sims go into the woods to fill their bladder or when they get in that rocket thing they just dissapear, no ability to follow them and not even an animation. Shouldn't the removal of the open-world and addition of a crazy amount of rabbit holes give them freedom to do more stuff? Why aren't they doing more stuff then? I just cannot see the reason why there are so many rabbit holes. They say they wanted to avoid having to many loading screens. My answer is since when? We've had loading screens in all other worlds so far and it was super annoying sure but why are they changing their minds now and saying they don't want us to sit through loading screens? Maybe they should have thought of that while making the base game and just include open districts?

Building a game full of loading screens for the sake of having more active lots but then removing the active lots for the sake of less loading screens results to packs with both loading screens and rabbit holes.

This is not what they promised us in the beginning. Now we have not just loading screens all the time but also nowhere to go in the active lots.
Where's my Sims 5 squad at?

Comments

  • amberlunezamberlunez Posts: 27 Member
    Well said. This is something I find immensely frustrating, particularly in University. While I appreciate the University area being a bit more open/travelable, nearly all of the things that make it a university are...inaccessible. What's the point? I was disappointed in that, as well as a lot of the 'explore' mode options (using the rocket, going through caves in Sulani, etc). I get that seeing everything is not feasible, but it's like every cool thing in a new pack is something that you only experience through really basic text notifications. The only lots that have anything to offer are like...bars.
  • SERVERFRASERVERFRA Posts: 2,146 Member
    I so agree with SimmerGeorge, we need more playable places.
  • ChazzzyChazzzy Posts: 6,203 Member
    I adore the rabbit holes. The last thing I wanna do is control my Sims at every single moment. I very much like that I can send them off somewhere and do other things with other Sims.
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  • knuckledusterknuckleduster Posts: 1,257 Member
    This is not the Sims. It is laziness. It is not gameplay. It is staring at the screen while watching a bar rise - no brain activity on a simmer's part. No creativity. Nothing.

    This is progress after 20 years in a game series?
  • CAPTAIN_NXR7CAPTAIN_NXR7 Posts: 1,522 Member
    edited September 16
    amberlunez wrote: »
    I was disappointed in that, as well as a lot of the 'explore' mode options (using the rocket, going through caves in Sulani, etc). I get that seeing everything is not feasible, but it's like every cool thing in a new pack is something that you only experience through really basic text notifications.

    I don’t mind rabbit holes so much, including the rocket/ space ships. There is a chance the rocket will send you to Sixam if you have GTW installed.

    I very much agree regarding the explore cave mode options, like the one in Sulani and Batuu. It’s the inconsistency that I don’t like. I find the ones that do not ‘chance card’ you to a hidden lot to be rather anti climatic. It defeats the purpose of ‘exploring’ a cave in the first place and getting nothing but a moodlet does offer minimal to no reward. If one explorable tree or cave can send a sim to a hidden lot, than all explorable caves should do so in the same manner.

    In fact the cave in Sulani is a huge disappointment to me because I thought the unfinished mural right at the entrance of the cave was part of a puzzle that needed to be solved. It’s highlighted when you hover the mouse over it so I naturally expect it to offer some sort of gameplay surrounding that cave. And yet there is nothing about the entire ‘explore’ experience that fulfills any of those expectations only than a low chance of getting Mermadic Kelp. It’s not enough. It’s too easy. That cave should lead someplace, like the one in Oasis Springs, Granite Falls, the mystery tree in Willow Creek and the jungle portals in JA.
    In sims 3 I was able to unlock entire islands, so it’s no wonder that I believed that after saving the island on Sulani, the mural would be finished and I’d be able to explore the cave once again. But this time it would lead to a subterranean area where those merfolk dwell, because they now accept you as their island savior. The beautiful surroundings and that should have been the ultimate reward on Sulani. Most logical thing for an island pack that includes Merfolk. Instead the cave does nothing. Nada. Except for kelp that is.

    Same with the cave in the forest in Batuu. A cave should lead to somewhere. Not to nowhere and back.
  • SimmerGeorgeSimmerGeorge Posts: 1,428 Member
    Chazzzy wrote: »
    I adore the rabbit holes. The last thing I wanna do is control my Sims at every single moment. I very much like that I can send them off somewhere and do other things with other Sims.

    @Chazzzy We got the option to send the sims off on their own in GTW we can get it again.
    Where's my Sims 5 squad at?
  • SimmerGeorgeSimmerGeorge Posts: 1,428 Member
    amberlunez wrote: »
    Well said. This is something I find immensely frustrating, particularly in University. While I appreciate the University area being a bit more open/travelable, nearly all of the things that make it a university are...inaccessible. What's the point? I was disappointed in that, as well as a lot of the 'explore' mode options (using the rocket, going through caves in Sulani, etc). I get that seeing everything is not feasible, but it's like every cool thing in a new pack is something that you only experience through really basic text notifications. The only lots that have anything to offer are like...bars.

    Even the graduation is a freaking rabbit hole
    Where's my Sims 5 squad at?
  • SimmerGeorgeSimmerGeorge Posts: 1,428 Member
    amberlunez wrote: »
    I was disappointed in that, as well as a lot of the 'explore' mode options (using the rocket, going through caves in Sulani, etc). I get that seeing everything is not feasible, but it's like every cool thing in a new pack is something that you only experience through really basic text notifications.

    I don’t mind rabbit holes so much, including the rocket/ space ships. There is a chance the rocket will send you to Sixam if you have GTW installed.
    Chazzzy wrote: »
    I adore the rabbit holes. The last thing I wanna do is control my Sims at every single moment. I very much like that I can send them off somewhere and do other things with other Sims.

    I find it great that you guys like rabbit holes. I personally don't but this is not why I made this thread. I wrote this because if you remember when the Sims 4 was released the team promised us that since they have reduced to amount of openess in the game and included the loading screens they will be able to do so much more in the active lots than in previous games, make them more interactive and complex.
    A rabbit hole unfortunately doesn't fit the definition of interactive, so my question is why aren't we getting what they said we would?

    I made this thread not as a why to ask people if they like the rabbit holes or not (which of course everyone is free to express anyway, I have nothing against that) but I would also like an answer as to why, in a game so restricted (loading screens), are we getting more restrictions (rabbit holes) as well?
    Where's my Sims 5 squad at?
  • MidnightAuraMidnightAura Posts: 5,674 Member
    I agree with the original post. I don’t like the extended use of rabbit holes. University and island living have a lot of rabbit holes and for me, it’s not good gameplay. I don’t want to sit and watch a buoy whilst my sim is diving. I know the world is pretty but I didn’t buy a video game to look at.

    I don’t mind getting rid of my sims for work and school. I quite like those being rabbit holes but things like diving, university graduation, volunteering with family, exploring a cave should not be a rabbit hole.

    It’s clear to me that the sims 4 is struggling on the engine it is using. The open letter to the community confirmed that. I expect to see a lot more rabbit holes and set dressing moving forward sadly.
  • crocobauracrocobaura Posts: 1,603 Member
    Same with the cave in the forest in Batuu. A cave should lead to somewhere. Not to nowhere and back.

    I explored that cave for the first time yesterday and I was disappointed to find out that it does nothing. My sim got lost in it and then she came out. I wish all these caves would lead to hidden lots. Would love to have my sims live in them, like cave people.
  • CamkatCamkat Posts: 2,043 Member
    I don't mind the rabbit hole classes for university. I think that's fine and it works well if you have a lot of students in one household.

    The Sulani cave and pretty much all of Batuu was a disappointment. As much as I love both of those packs, I really wish with the Sulani cave had at least some chance cards... but really would it have been too much trouble for just a little hidden lot like the tree in Willow Creek or the cave in Oasis Springs? Batuu... again... same thing for the cave. I don't mind the rabbit holes for the missions on the ships, they have chance cards and the choices can depend on your droid and upgrades it may or may not have and your inventory items. That at least makes sure you can upgrade and replay. The vendors though... They all could have been city living style without too much trouble surely?!

    For some things it's fine and can make sense, some of this though does feel like it was just the easy way out.
    Origin ID: Peapod79
  • logionlogion Posts: 1,708 Member
    edited September 16
    I don't understand the usage of rabbit holes in their latest packs lately either. As you said, I assumed that they are made so that they can have more activities on the active lot that the player can use while sending other sims away to a rabbit hole.

    However lately their packs have not involved much reason for your sims to stay on the active lot, in fact. The rabbit holes have become the activities. Unless you play with multiple sims while you are on the university, there is nothing you can do while your sim is attending class. You can only do one mission at a time in Journey to Batuu and the cantina, resistance base and the first order base does not involve any major activites, the activities are the missions, which forces you go away from the lot or leave the lot or go to a rabbit hole.

    Why don't they focus on activities on the active lot? Why do we have to go away to another lot or go to a rabbit hole? Why are they making their zones so huge? Why don't they make them smaller and focus on the active lots? This is why I like the Spice District in San Myshuno, you have your apartment, you have other apartments that you can visit, you have the basketball yard, you have food stands, you have places where you can draw art, you have musicians playing, you have a mime, you have people walking in and out of the zone, you have festivals that spawn there with more activities.

    I agree that loading times are not the most fun thing to watch, but I would rather have more zones with activities than a huge zone with just rabbit holes.
  • NushkaNushka Posts: 105 Member
    I wouldn't mind some rabbit holes but I've got two huge problems with them in Sims 4:

    1st, I often get this bug that, when I've sent one of my household sims into a rabit hole and travel to a different lot with another sim, bothe sims will appear on the new lot. It has made my sims miss workdays, lessons and I absolutely hat it.

    2nd, I can't do almost anything when all my sims are in rabbitholes. I can't see their inventory, can't jump time straight into when the first sim aerives back home, using BB pauses the game, so I'm just stuck watching a screen.
    Happy simming!
  • SimmerGeorgeSimmerGeorge Posts: 1,428 Member
    Camkat wrote: »
    I don't mind the rabbit hole classes for university. I think that's fine and it works well if you have a lot of students in one household.

    The Sulani cave and pretty much all of Batuu was a disappointment. As much as I love both of those packs, I really wish with the Sulani cave had at least some chance cards... but really would it have been too much trouble for just a little hidden lot like the tree in Willow Creek or the cave in Oasis Springs? Batuu... again... same thing for the cave. I don't mind the rabbit holes for the missions on the ships, they have chance cards and the choices can depend on your droid and upgrades it may or may not have and your inventory items. That at least makes sure you can upgrade and replay. The vendors though... They all could have been city living style without too much trouble surely?!

    For some things it's fine and can make sense, some of this though does feel like it was just the easy way out.

    @Camkat You can like them or not but how do you justify them is what I am asking. Especially since the game was designed in a way (as the team said) to allow for more freedom to do things, they couldn't before due to the open-world.
    Where's my Sims 5 squad at?
  • CAPTAIN_NXR7CAPTAIN_NXR7 Posts: 1,522 Member
    edited September 17
    Wrong thread.
    Post edited by CAPTAIN_NXR7 on
  • crocobauracrocobaura Posts: 1,603 Member
    Camkat wrote: »
    I don't mind the rabbit hole classes for university. I think that's fine and it works well if you have a lot of students in one household.

    The Sulani cave and pretty much all of Batuu was a disappointment. As much as I love both of those packs, I really wish with the Sulani cave had at least some chance cards... but really would it have been too much trouble for just a little hidden lot like the tree in Willow Creek or the cave in Oasis Springs? Batuu... again... same thing for the cave. I don't mind the rabbit holes for the missions on the ships, they have chance cards and the choices can depend on your droid and upgrades it may or may not have and your inventory items. That at least makes sure you can upgrade and replay. The vendors though... They all could have been city living style without too much trouble surely?!

    For some things it's fine and can make sense, some of this though does feel like it was just the easy way out.

    @Camkat You can like them or not but how do you justify them is what I am asking. Especially since the game was designed in a way (as the team said) to allow for more freedom to do things, they couldn't before due to the open-world.

    I think with Journey to Batuu, the issues are due to the fact that they were constrained by the pack theme and also, couldn't add restaurant or shop gameplay to other lots because those are from another pack. But at least the dwelling could have been an open lot as gameplay related to that is entirely basegame (with the exception of replenishing vampire needs). But they should have allowed occults to manifest freely in Batuu, there are other sims to eat from and plenty of water to fish in.
  • CamkatCamkat Posts: 2,043 Member
    Camkat wrote: »
    I don't mind the rabbit hole classes for university. I think that's fine and it works well if you have a lot of students in one household.

    The Sulani cave and pretty much all of Batuu was a disappointment. As much as I love both of those packs, I really wish with the Sulani cave had at least some chance cards... but really would it have been too much trouble for just a little hidden lot like the tree in Willow Creek or the cave in Oasis Springs? Batuu... again... same thing for the cave. I don't mind the rabbit holes for the missions on the ships, they have chance cards and the choices can depend on your droid and upgrades it may or may not have and your inventory items. That at least makes sure you can upgrade and replay. The vendors though... They all could have been city living style without too much trouble surely?!

    For some things it's fine and can make sense, some of this though does feel like it was just the easy way out.

    @Camkat You can like them or not but how do you justify them is what I am asking. Especially since the game was designed in a way (as the team said) to allow for more freedom to do things, they couldn't before due to the open-world.

    I didn't say I liked them except for university and space missions... I justified with more than one student in a household... I guess I didn't justify it for the missions, but I can see how that could be a rabbit hole because I can't see them making multiple scenarios and worlds for missions where we travel to other worlds. I agreed with the caves and the vendors. :/
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  • CinebarCinebar Posts: 32,042 Member
    You make excellent points OP, if we traded open world which might have required some places (career buildings) to be rabbit holes, why in the world in a closed world system with just an active lot are there even rabbit holes in TS4. None of it makes sense to me. A load screen to enter a rabbit hole. Whaaat? People can say they don't mind rabbit holes, then why aren't they playing TS3? None of this makes any logical sense at all.

    A closed world system filling with rabbit holes.
    "Games Are Not The Place To Tell Stories, Games Are Meant To Let People Tell Their Own Stories"...Will Wright.

    https://forums.thesims.com/en_US/discussion/958714/cinebar-custom-content-clothes-updating-links/p1


  • CinebarCinebar Posts: 32,042 Member
    Camkat wrote: »
    Camkat wrote: »
    I don't mind the rabbit hole classes for university. I think that's fine and it works well if you have a lot of students in one household.

    The Sulani cave and pretty much all of Batuu was a disappointment. As much as I love both of those packs, I really wish with the Sulani cave had at least some chance cards... but really would it have been too much trouble for just a little hidden lot like the tree in Willow Creek or the cave in Oasis Springs? Batuu... again... same thing for the cave. I don't mind the rabbit holes for the missions on the ships, they have chance cards and the choices can depend on your droid and upgrades it may or may not have and your inventory items. That at least makes sure you can upgrade and replay. The vendors though... They all could have been city living style without too much trouble surely?!

    For some things it's fine and can make sense, some of this though does feel like it was just the easy way out.

    @Camkat You can like them or not but how do you justify them is what I am asking. Especially since the game was designed in a way (as the team said) to allow for more freedom to do things, they couldn't before due to the open-world.

    I didn't say I liked them except for university and space missions... I justified with more than one student in a household... I guess I didn't justify it for the missions, but I can see how that could be a rabbit hole because I can't see them making multiple scenarios and worlds for missions where we travel to other worlds. I agreed with the caves and the vendors. :/

    Why? one could say WA is sort of multiple scenarios and worlds for 'missions'. where we travel to other worlds.
    "Games Are Not The Place To Tell Stories, Games Are Meant To Let People Tell Their Own Stories"...Will Wright.

    https://forums.thesims.com/en_US/discussion/958714/cinebar-custom-content-clothes-updating-links/p1


  • CamkatCamkat Posts: 2,043 Member
    Cinebar wrote: »
    Camkat wrote: »
    Camkat wrote: »
    I don't mind the rabbit hole classes for university. I think that's fine and it works well if you have a lot of students in one household.

    The Sulani cave and pretty much all of Batuu was a disappointment. As much as I love both of those packs, I really wish with the Sulani cave had at least some chance cards... but really would it have been too much trouble for just a little hidden lot like the tree in Willow Creek or the cave in Oasis Springs? Batuu... again... same thing for the cave. I don't mind the rabbit holes for the missions on the ships, they have chance cards and the choices can depend on your droid and upgrades it may or may not have and your inventory items. That at least makes sure you can upgrade and replay. The vendors though... They all could have been city living style without too much trouble surely?!

    For some things it's fine and can make sense, some of this though does feel like it was just the easy way out.

    @Camkat You can like them or not but how do you justify them is what I am asking. Especially since the game was designed in a way (as the team said) to allow for more freedom to do things, they couldn't before due to the open-world.

    I didn't say I liked them except for university and space missions... I justified with more than one student in a household... I guess I didn't justify it for the missions, but I can see how that could be a rabbit hole because I can't see them making multiple scenarios and worlds for missions where we travel to other worlds. I agreed with the caves and the vendors. :/

    Why? one could say WA is sort of multiple scenarios and worlds for 'missions'. where we travel to other worlds.

    Fair enough and I had thought about that too. The difference for me being that WA is a full fledged expansion pack for $40, Journey to Batuu costs half of that. They could have gone the WA route and made it a full expansion for TS4 but if the people complaining it's a GP that even exists is anything to go by, I doubt an EP would have been better received. That's probably an entirely different conversation though, but I do think for a game pack we can't expect WA level of game play.

    Like I've said before though, that cave could have been a little open secret, maybe like the cave in Oasis Springs and maybe you need a skill level to open it or like the hermit in Outdoor Retreat. The vendors definitely could have been stalls like in City Living or Seasons. I'm just not as upset that the missions are text based rabbit holes, especially since depending on your inventory and droid upgrades, you actually do get different texts to read, unlike Strangerville where the story is the same story no matter how many times you do it.

    All of that aside though, just because I don't find this one particular use that bad, doesn't mean that I think they can now actively look for more ways to incorporate this type of game play. I think in this one situation (the missions) and in the case of classes in DU, it's acceptable but I hope for the future they keep steering away from that kind of game play and more onto the open lots, since as the OP stated, we have loading screens to have active lots, not loading screens for rabbit holes.

    I also forgot about the rabbit hole in DU that was supposed to be a soccer game? That shouldn't be a thing either, it's so forgettable that it hasn't been brought up here at all yet. It should at the very least be a quick way for a student to get some fun back but nope, that fun bar just tanks while they're in there. They could have just made that into something else, anything else.
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  • OnverserOnverser Posts: 965 Member
    I like rabbitholes. It gives more options of things to do without a loading screen. The alternate would be fake buildings, no thanks. I'd be happy if they turned every fake building into a rabbithole
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  • SimmerGeorgeSimmerGeorge Posts: 1,428 Member
    Onverser wrote: »
    I like rabbitholes. It gives more options of things to do without a loading screen. The alternate would be fake buildings, no thanks. I'd be happy if they turned every fake building into a rabbithole

    @Onverser Yeah but the question is why not more active lots we can go to? Shouldn't the team take advantage of the fact they have a closed world and do more with it than rabbit holes, like they said they would? That's what I'm asking.
    Where's my Sims 5 squad at?
  • SimmerGeorgeSimmerGeorge Posts: 1,428 Member
    Also y'all in DU they didn't have to necessarily make the university classes active lots. They could just create new lot types like a comic book store like we had in the sims 3 or put more lots down for us to make our own stuff. Making rabbit holes isn't that difficult, they could have increased the world by one district, they could have made the graduation active. They could have done so much more but decided to call it a day after a cafeteria, a library and a bar.
    Places around a university campus have much, much more things to do than just that.
    Where's my Sims 5 squad at?
  • bookish_sammybookish_sammy Posts: 43 Member
    I stopped buying packs and playing Sims 3 because of rabbit holes. It was my biggest complaint about that game. The open world was cool, but I hated not being able to go into restaurants and other locations. The only rabbit hole I don't mind is the one for attending lectures. I usually play a single sim household because I like to build their families using NPCs they meet along the way, so it is super boring to sit there and wait for them to come out of places. I spent most of my game play with the clock sped all the way up. I spent more time watching people walk around, cars drive by, and my sim sleep than anything else. I went back to Sims 2 pretty quickly.

    One of the only reasons that I gave Sims 4 a chance is because the loading screens were supposed to allow us to enter more lots. What they did with Batuu is unacceptable. I won't buy a single pack from this point forward if they continue to give us worlds where we can't enter more buildings. I'm still mad that they couldn't even bother to give our sims a vacation house on Batuu that isn't a rabbit hole. There is no excuse for that. It is one of the many reasons I won't buy that pack.

    If the engine really is the problem then it is time for them to move on and start the next installment. I have no idea what my computer can handle. It's a 10 year old laptop, but it is currently running Sims 4 just fine with all the packs (except the ones released in 2020) and a bunch of mods and CC. I love the Sims, so I don't want to see the franchise end. I want to see it improve.
  • JACKIEJOYJACKIEJOY Posts: 786 Member
    My opinion, the engine is overloaded/cracking. Some how I don't think that 6 years ago when they repurposed this engine that they planned on so much content over such a long time, or that they coded for all this stuff. Its just going to get worse until they hit the wall. Same reason for all the bugs we deal with.
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