The Sims 3: Ambitions Mini Guide
Released second of the new expansion packs, Ambitions focuses on elements much closer to home when compared to World Adventures. The expansion pack's main additions come in the form of career paths and new gameplay elements surrounding Sims' working lives.
Sims can participate in all new career paths, including that of the Firefighter and Stylist.
Architect: The new Architectural Design profession allows your Sim to basically become a designer, both interior and exterior. You will visit the houses of fellow Sims and be responsible for redesigning or adding rooms to their specification. You have to meet the spec and bear in mind the traits and personality of the Sims that you are designing for.
It is helpful for creative, artistic and charismatic Sims to focus on a career in architecture.
If your Sim likes to paint, they will be able to go through the Architectural Design levels far quicker. Being able to sculpt unique works of art for clients' homes certainly adds to your designing credibility and earns you more money too. Similarly, levelling up in photography allows you to place your photos in clients' houses for extra points.
As part of the Architectural Design elements, you have the Home Design Hotshot Lifetime Wish to aim for. To get this, you need a whopping 100 good reviews of your projects from clients to get it. This will take a seriously long amount of time!
There is another element to being an architect. You need to be able to converse with clients and ensure you meet their needs with each project. As a result, keeping your Charisma skills finely tuned is necessary for fast progression in this field.
To take the job, visit City Hall and sign up. You need an easel or preferably a drafting table to be able to level up in your career while at home.
Below are the levels available for the Architectural Design profession:
Level 1: Fabric Fetcher - Stipend: $272
Level 2: Pattern Spotter - Stipend: $336 - Also unlocks Freelance Soliciting (where you can find jobs on your own as opposed to looking for them on the map).
Level 3: Placement Planner - Stipend: $400
Level 4: Feng Shui Fiend - Stipend: $560
Level 5: Decor Debutant - Stipend: $584 - Unlocks Measure Property (allows you to take measurements at the location - important to increase review scores).
Level 6: Furniture Fashionista - Stipend: $800
Level 7: Regent of Rugs - Stipend: $1120 - Unlocks Increased Homemade Object Review Value
Level 8: Aesthetic Architect - Stipend: $1440 - Unlocks Discuss Renovation
Level 9: Sultan of Style - Stipend: $1520
Level 10: Dictator of Design - Stipend: $2480
It is easier to get good reviews at higher levels in the Architect profession. Use custom artwork and objects as these will always boost your review score. Another tactic to get better reviews is to speak to the client and see what traits they have. If they are a Bookworm, for example, give them plenty of bookcases! Artists love decorations, Computer Whiz Sims love computers, Couch Potatos love comfy chairs, Evil Sims want less windows, as do those who Hate the Outdoors, while those who Love the Outdoors want more. Frugal Sims want you to underspend, while Snobs need you to max-out the budget. Cooks appreciate a fully-fitted kitchen, and a Party Animal will want Bars for alcohol. For Technophobes, avoid too many electronics, while for Virtuoso Sims you will want to add items such as guitars and hi-fis to the house.
Don't just add lots of objects, as Sims don't like clutter. If you are on a tight budget (and the Sim is not frugal), you can go over budget at your own expense, which can occasionally be worth it to get a good review.
As with real architects, it is important to have a good portfolio behind you. Once at level 3 you can find your own work, so make sure you get good reviews and take a photo using the in-game cameraphone to add it to your portfolio. You will then be able to solicit services.
Doctor: As you will no doubt be aware, in the main game of The Sims 3 you are able to take on a medical career. The Doctor profession of that path has been updated which allows you to do home-visits, vaccinations and attend clinics during the working day.
The obvious Lifetime Wish for this career is World Renowned Surgeon.
You join the Medical Career, as before, via the Hospital. While your Sim is out and about, you may now be required to intervene to help Sims in trouble, acting effectively as a paramedic. Keep an eye out, while at the hospital, for notices about the Vaccination Clinics that occur every so often in the game. You have to then leave work to be able to visit the clinics, which bizarrely reduces your performance - something to bear in mind when considering whether to take it or not.
Firefighter: One of the most exciting and diverse of the new professions, Firefighters are obviously responsible to tackling any outbreaks of fire throughout your town. Your Sim will benefit from being Athletic when taking on this career. Its highlights involve turning your home into a virtual fire station later on in the career path when you are given your own fire alarm and even a fire engine!
Other useful traits for firefighters include Handiness, Bravery and Daredevil, so that they have the guts to take on the flames. To get started, visit the Fire House. You should focus on incrasing your Handiness skill, as this will allow you to do work on the Fire Engine.
A day in the life of a firefighter involves waiting at the Fire House for something to happen! This means you have plenty of time to increase your fitness, social and other skills during each day.
Level 1: Water Boy/Girl - $276 - Unlocks Firefighter Social
Level 2: Soot Stripper - $340
Level 3: Fire Safety Instructor - $400
Level 4: Hose Handler - $520 - Unlocks Axe Wall Decoration
Level 5: Fireman - $640 - Unlocks Fire Extinguisher
Level 6: Fire Sergeant - $840 - Unlocks Fireman's Uniform Sculpture
Level 7: Fire Captain - $1132
Level 8: Backdraft Specialist - $1480
Level 9: Assistant Fire Chief - $1840 - Unlocks Immunity to Fire
Level 10: Fire Chief - $2480 - Unlocks Personal Fire Engine/Personal Fire Alarm
As well as battling fires, the game throws adventure-style tasks at you, where you have to do some more unique tasks, like battling evil gnomes. It is possible to get a heroism trophy for solving such an emergency, namely the Racetime Rift one at the Science Facility.
To do well in the Firefighting career, expediency is vital. Putting out the fire as quickly as possible will get you better grades. To get to the job quickly, make sure you upgrade the fire engine and keep it in a good state of repair.
Ghost Hunter: In the tradition of The Sims games not taking themselves too seriously, Ghost Hunter Sims are required to attend the houses of other Sims and, in true Ghostbusters style, take out any resident ghosts using a ray gun. Eventually you will be able to capture them to earn more money.
Good tratis for ghost hunters include Genius, as the Logic skill is important in the career, while Eccentrics are able to get the Paranormal Profiteer Lifetime Wish.
To sign up for a career in ghost-busting, go to the Science Lab. Your initial tasks will probably include Spirit Invasions, where you can go to collect spirits, as well as more general non-interactive tasks. Having collected a spirit, you can then sell it to the Science Lab. The quicker you do this, the more money you get.
Something to watch out for is the 'Spook-o-Meter' which you can unlock at level 5. This helps you detect hidden spirits in the area. There is also a new job type attached to this where you have to find a specific hidden spirit. Upon locating them, you can even talk with them! Once you get to level 10, you unlock the Spirit Positioning Device, which allows you to see any spirits on the map.
Level 1: Tarot Card Reader - $280
Level 2: Ectoplasm Cleaner - $344
Level 3: Spooky Noise Silencer - $400
Level 4: Spirit Sweeper - $520
Level 5: Seance Holder - $640
Level 6: Ghost Grabber - $840
Level 7: Creep Seeker - $1140
Level 8: Rare Medium - $1480
Level 9: Outstanding Occultist - $1840
Level 10: Paranormal Expert - $2480
Inventor: Possibly one of the coolest new professions, the Inventor career is one of the self-employment strands and skills. You can make useful objects, as well as decorations, all from parts picked up from the new Junk Yard area. As well as all of this, you can construct an excavating machine so that you can drill in most lots in the game. This allows you to find treasure and use the tunnels to transport around the game world! Pretty neat. Last, but not least, once you master the profession you can build your own robot.
Valuable traits for inventors include the Eccentric trait and the Born Salesman trait. The former helps with the inventing, while the latter increases the amount you can get for your wacky creations.
To get going with a career in inventing, you need to visit the Science Lab and take a class in the new Invent skill. You will also need to purchase the Scraptronic Workbench for your home. Note that once you have the workbench, you can begin the skill on your own. Once you have begun the skill, you can sign up for a career in inventing by going to the town hall and registering as self-employed.
Once you have registered, you need to get your hands on some scrap metal. This can either be purchased directly through your workbench, or by visiting the junk yard. The latter is the best way to find cool bits and pieces, and it also helps complete the Scrap Collector Inventing Challenge.
With the Inventor career, your money depends on the amount of inventions you create, and their quality. This obviously increases as you level up.
Level 1: Electrocution Victim
Level 2: Nuts and Bolts Combiner
Level 3: Duct Tape Rigger
Level 4: Whatchamahickey Designer
Level 5: Experienced Innovator
Level 6: Hosebeast
Level 7: Father of Local Ingenuity
Level 8: Feared Techie
Level 9: Robotics Dealer
Level 10: Fourth Dimensional Architect
Some of the items you can make are really useful in your Sims' everyday lives. Initially you will just be able to make widgets and toys, but eventually your Sim will invent the Floor Hygienator. It basically gives your Sims positive mood bonuses by making your house smell nice and fresh. The Harvester, another invention, helps with collecting scrap metal - you can activate detonations at the scrap yard and the Harvester can be used to collect the strewn pieces. Using the Miner invention you can tunnel between areas, while the Time Machine lets you travel to strange places back or forward in time, which serves to unlock some secret historical costumes. You can't actually interact with anything while time travelling, unfortunately. The ultimate invetion is the SimBot, which is a robot that can help you around the house.
Private Investigator: This is quite a fun profession for people who enjoy detective novels and mysteries. As well as the simple solving of cases, you can stake out other Sims' houses and sneak into their houses to look for clues.
It is useful to have the Perceptive trait for investigators, as it permits the Pervasive Private Eye Lifetime Wish. Genius, Computer Whiz (for hacking) and Logic skills are also useful, as well as social traits like Charismatic.
To begin a career as a Private Investigator, simply visit the Police Station.
Level 1: Eavesdropper - $275 - Unlocks Caped Crusader Costume
Level 2: Small Claims Investigator - $340 - Unlocks Magnifying Glass (allows you to find clues)
Level 3: Wrongdoing Analyzer - $400 - Unlocks Professional's Frosted Door (like a PI office door out in a film!)
Level 4: Community Crime Solver - $525 - Unlocks Fingerprint Kit
Level 5: Obscure Clue Summoner - $650 - Unlocks Flatfooted Investigation Specialist Outfit
Level 6: Gumshoe - $850 - Unlocks Investigator's Case Board
Level 7: Licensed Snoop - $1125 - Unlocks Sneak Ability
Level 8: Community Sleuth - $1475 - Unlocks the Yomoshoto Evasion (an incredibly good car)
Level 9: Flatfooted Investigation Specialist - $1850
Level 10: Private Eye - $2475 - Private Eye Outfit
Sculptor: Sculpting is also a skill in this expansion pack, and is good for creative players. The finished sculptures can be used to furnish buildings and is useful in the Architectural Design profession.
The best trait for sculpting is the Savvy Sculptor trait (fairly obviously).
Once you begin sculpting, which is a new option from the action context menu, all you have to do is visit city hall and register as self-employed in this particular discipline. You can then start breezing through the Sculptor career levels.
Level 1: Questionable Potter
Level 2: Cro-Magnon Clay Creator
Level 3: Sculpting Gozer (you can now craft with Wood)
Level 4: Block Buster
Level 5: Obelisk Architect
Level 6: Ice Guy (you can now craft Ice Sculptures)
Level 7: Renaissance Sculptor
Level 8: Chiseled Chiseler (you can now craft with Stone)
Level 9: Topiary Tantalizer (it is now possible to make masterpieces)
Level 10: Master Sculptologist (you can now craft Topiary sculptures)
What sculptures your Sims makes is completely random and you can't specifically set out to create one thing in particular.
Stylist: As explained above, Stylists are able to use Create-a-Sim style tools to change the appearance of other Sims (hoepfully for the better!). It extends from clothing to make-up and, much like the Architectural Designer, you have to bear the individual Sim's needs in mind when doing the makeover. There is a hidden Stylist skill to level up too, which will govern your Sim's effectiveness in this career path.
To become a stylist, simply visit the Salon. You could also purchase a Drafting Table or a Fuss No Muss Styling Station to practice at home.
Level 1: Fashion Fledgling - $182 - Unlocks Discuss Fashion
Level 2: Taffeta Trainee - $240
Level 3: Polka Dot Specialist - $298 - Unlocks Freestyle Makeovers
Level 4: Houndstooth Soothsayer - $444
Level 5: Trendsetter in Training - $458
Level 6: In Vogue Virtuoso - $700 - Unlocks Give Fashion Advice
Level 7: Haute Hot Shot - $984
Level 8: Couture Connoisseur - $1310
Level 9: Fashionista - $1352
Level 10: Fashion Phenomenon - $2306 - Unlocks Permanent Stylin Moodlet
Like the architect, stylists should have a portfolio, and can take a picture of their clients at the end of a session to place in it. Once at Level 3, you can style anyone while out and about. It is important to socialise and learn about your clients so that you can do a good job on them. The nature of the business is also such that some people go to Stylists for a chat as much as anything else.
Teacher: This is for Sims who want to impart their knowledge to others and have a role in raising the children of your Sims' respective towns.
It is like the more old-fashioned jobs in that your Sim goes to work and you have to wait for them to return, as opposed to the newer versions where you have an impact on their occupational activities.
Ideal traits for teachers are the Charismatic and Bookworm traits. It is important for your Sim to be a good public speaker. Also, the Genius trait is useful, as it helps with developing the Logic skill.
You can get a job as a Teacher by visiting the School.
Level 1: Playground Monitor
Level 2: Teacher's Aide
Level 3: Substitute Teacher
Level 4: Elementary School Teacher
Level 5: Middle School Teacher
Level 6: High School Teacher
Level 7: Department Head
Level 8: Assistant Principal
Level 9: Principal
Level 10: District Superintendent
Skill Careers is a new feature that allows Sims to be self-employed. This means they can focus on their actual skills and try to make enough money to earn a living from it. Once you reach the first level in a skill, you can visit City Hall to register as self-employed in that particular area.
To compliment this, as well as the Inventor and Sculptor skills mentioned above, you can level up in Tatoo Art. This obviously allows you to effectively become a Tatooist if you choose to become self-employed in this skill. You can buy a tatoo chair and then either work from home or in the town's Salon.
EA have added the first new Neighborhood since The Sims 3 launched. Called Twinbrook, it is characterised by two rivers that pass through the town.
The Consignment Store is a new addition in this expansion pack and there is now one in each town. This is the location for creative Sims, such as the new Sculptors or Inventors, to sell their works. You are likely to get a much higher price than you would do through selling the items, which can be prety much anything, in your inventory.
Ambitions allows you to become a more involved property developer when compared to the main game. You can buy pretty much all the properties in the town, including public places. You are then able to improve them and sell them on. Improvements may include adding functional objects to businesses such as the Salon so it can facilitate more customers. Of course, there are also a few requirements to meet which will allow you to get greater rewards.
There are lots of new traits in this expansion, mainly linked to each of the new job-types. The Born Salesman trait is focused on maximising income, which is great for the self-employed and regular users of the Consignment Store. Other highlights include the Dramatic trait, for Sims who are very emotive and like to make the most of life.
New Lifetime Wishes:
As with the traits, there are new Lifetime Wishes in Ambitions that are related to the new career paths, such as the Descendant of da Vinci Lifetime Wish.
New Lifetime Rewards:
One of the new Lifetime Rewards in Ambitions is the My Best Friend reward, coasting 40,000 Hapiness Points. With this, you can get a robot helper. Note that you can also get one from maxing out the Inventing skill. The robots, or SimBots, help around the house and have inventing skills of their own.
You can also get an Entrepreneurial Mindset which increaes the experience you gain from your profession while the Profession Simoleon Booster increases the money you get from it. If you get the Suave Seller reward, you earn more money through Consignment Store sales, while the Fireproof Homestead reward prevents any outbreaks of fire on your property - otherwise a risk for inventors!
Something you will notice in Ambitions is that your Sims now leave their clothes on the floor after washing. New items are available with this in mind, including a Hamper, to put the clothes in, as well as Washing Machine and Dryers to get them cleaned up. There is also a Laundromat in every town, but obviously doing the washing at home will save you time and money. Wearing clean clothes gives your Sims a 25 moodlet for much of the day.
Children can use the Bakers Half Dozen Table to bake cakes that they can then sell on in a Bake Sale.
If you see a shadow appear above your Sim, run! They can now be crushed by falling meteorites. You have to be pretty unlucky, and you should be able to move out of the way in plenty of time.