The Sims 3 Guide - Life Guide
Every single person in Sunset Valley has their own unique character. You can befriend them, fall out with them, or use them to help get you through each day. They may be a mechanic, your boss, or just the guy who sells you tomatoes at the grocers. Relationships, no matter how trivial they may seem initially, can flourish into meaningful and very personal bonds. Or, the guy who sells you tomatoes could just stay as a guy who sells you tomatoes. The world is your oyster. There are many reasons for investing some time in learning the best ways to succeed in relationships in the Sims, as well as the skills required to do so most easily. From the first time you set eyes on someone, a slider is created – get to the end, and you've got yourself a love interest. Go too far in the other direction and it could be an enemy for life.
Below are all the different stages you can reach on the slider:
Best Friends Forever
Most of these are self-explanatory. Some depend on certain conditions being fulfilled (such as having a divorce with the person, or an engagement). Others just vary based on the quality of your relationship. After each day that passes without some sort of relationship building, the slider will move towards the middle. So, for example, if you are trying to maintain a negative relationship with one of your Sim's enemies, ignoring them for a week will actually improve your relationship; they'll eventually end up as your Acquaintance again. The same goes for Friend – don't pay them enough attention and they'll stop considering you as their chum.
The game provides lots of information regarding relationships (using the Relationships tab at the bottom right of the screen).
Every conversation is a social interaction that could start a new blossoming relationship, or, in some cases, even lose your Sim their job! The extremes of socialising in the Sims 3 are stark. Each Trait that your Sim possesses effects what they will talk about in conversation (as indicated by the little icons that pop up above their heads). Skills too allow for new conversation interactions. Picking the right thing to say obviously has a big effect on what is said and how the target Sim will react to it. You can pick for your Sim to talk about an interest, such as Books or Art. They could Flirt, or tell a joke. Conversations are a tricky balancing act and the personality of the target Sim is even more important than that of your own – putting on a different face for different Sims will be crucial, particularly for Sims whose jobs require strong relationships.
If, for example, you tell a Joke to a Sim who has no sense of humour, the result is clear. Some Sims hate being flirted at, while others lap it up. Some are obvious and do not vary, while others certainly depend on who you are talking to.
Conversation options depend completely on your Sim's traits and skills.
Look out for a Sim's reaction to the conversation path that you have picked. Usually you just won't get the symbol to show that you have improved a relationship if they are a touch incompatible with your line of enquiry. Persist though, and they will get bored and it will negatively affect your relationship. You can basically try everything once to boost a relationship, and when something works, don't be afraid to keep at it for a while. You will see the 'So-and-so thinks this Sim is boring' text in the top left hand corner of the screen – at which point you should probably change tact.
As mentioned above, the foolproof and easiest (though fairly laborious) way to make friends is to find someone you like the look of, and try every possible conversation branch (only the positive ones!). Use common sense. If your Sim is interested in books, try to talk to people outside the bookstore or in the library – and talk to them about books if you have the option!
Winding people up in Sunset Valley is both satisfying and easy. The actions you need to take are fairly commonsensical, and you get the bold red minus signs above both Sims' heads when you're doing it right. There is little to be gained from having enemies, except for the fun of annoying people in a virtual game!
A double-team effort to make a new enemy. You can even have a physical fight – just make sure your Sim wins...
Why Relationships are Important
Unless your Sim has specific traits, such as being a Loner, they will get a great deal of happiness from their friends.
Keeping on the good side of co-workers and bosses is vital for advancing in most careers too.
TIP: You can have too many options on the interaction menu – this will remove some of the less important ones (often moving them to a 'More' option in the menu). The fact that the game willingly does this perhaps shows you how little they really matter: most do a very similar job to the rest.
TIP: Keep an eye out for the Trait icons on the conversation actions. These show you that something your Sim is interested in has contributed to the option, and is often a good choice to further a relationship.