EA was kind enough to give us an early access review code through the EA Game changers program.
Our views are our own. We hope you find them helpful in deciding whether to buy this pack.
The Sims 4: Eco Lifestyle is a big pack – far too big to cover in just one post – so over the next few days we publish a series of posts which cover the various aspects of the pack. Check here for a list of Eco Lifestyle posts.
This post discusses Neighbourhood Action Plans.
Sims can now influence the progress of their neighbourhoods through Neighbourhood Action Plans, or NAPs. Each neighbourhood in Evergreen Harbor will have at least one Community Voting Board. Existing worlds will not be automatically fitted with boards, but boards can be placed on community lots via Build/Buy mode
This board is where your Sims can see the proposed action plans, or they can access them through their home’s mailbox. Sims will also be able to suggest action plans from a list – there are no custom action plans. Sims can also request that active plans can be repealed, for a cost of 10 influence points.
Voting is from Friday at 8am to Monday at 6pm, and the winning N.A.P is enacted when voting is closed and lasts until it is repealed. There are a max of four active action plans at any one time. If your Sims’ neighborhood has four active plans, then voting will be closed until at least one action plan is repealed.
Voting costs 10 influence points per vote, and your sim can vote as many times as they like, provided they have enough influence points to do so. Each vote does reduce the amount of influence they have. The game defaults to NPCs in the neighborhood also being able to vote and request that N.A.P.s be repealed, but that can be disabled in game options.
You can also disable whether the N.A.P.s affect the Eco Footprint in your neighborhood. Note that the Destination Worlds, which are Granite Falls and Selavadorada, do not have an Eco Footprint or Neighborhood Action Plans – none of that matters while you’re on vacation, after all! Strangerville also does not have an Eco Footprint, but it does have Neighborhood Action Plans.
Influence is a new “currency” that comes with Eco Lifestyle. We say “currency” because influence is earned and spent like Simoleons, rather than just earned and lost like reputation or fame. Sims earn influence by performing various actions, such as friendly socials and successful events. They can also get influence from job promotions and from actions that are rewarding influence because of the current Neighbourhood Action Plan. Sims spend influence by voting on Neighbourhood Action Plans and can also convince others to vote on their favoured NAPs by spending influence.
What is the point of these Neighbourhood Action Plans?
Action Plans have various benefits and consequences, such as influence rewarded for certain actions, or increased bills to fund a specific project.
We have compiled a list of all the possible action plans we have seen so far and their descriptions, which we have detailed below. Let us know if you find any more!
Have you grown too comfortable with things just the way they are? Don’t be caught N.A.P.ing on your community’s technological progress.
Working with Programming, Rocket Science, or other methods, we can continue to make our world a better place through technology and boosting our influence while doing it.
As an added bonus, Sims working in tech-related Career fields such as Astronauts, Tech Gurus, Scientists, Freelance Programmers, and Civil Designers will also have increased pay if this initiative gets voted in.
Neighbors, I think we could all benefit from a good N.A.P. One that promotes even the smallest changes to help make a difference.
Together we can push to fix our neighbourhood one appliance at a time. Let’s take action into our own hands by making Handiness skill and influence easier to get by using green-upgraded appliances or by repairing any appliance
Have you always had the yearning to start gardening but never quite had the gumption to do it?
Well this fresh new N.A.P. might be just the thing to push you over that figurative mound of procrastination soil.
Grab your snips, cast your vote, and you’ll get influence for flexing your mighty green thumb. Growing a garden is beneficial for you, the community, and the planet. Let’s all dig in!
Green Initiatives in [Neighbourhood]
Sometimes Green doesn’t mean completely green, but at least a step towards it. It’s time to blanket [Neighbourhood] with luscious plant life.
With this Action Plan in place, we can expect to see not only trees and bushes sprouting, but we’ll also see [Neighbourhood’s] Eco Footprint become more Green as well. All it takes is a small donation from residents in the form of a weekly bill increase. Simple!
Modern Development in [Neighbourhood]
Feeling down about the state of our fair [Neighbourhood]? Vote on additional funding for development projects to help this area live up to its name. By putting in hard work and funding, mainly funding, together we can work on some much needed upgrades to the area.
Don’t be put off by the increase in your weekly Bills to help pay for these improvements. We’re pushing to ensure residents’ career pay goes up to help offset the added costs. Make this promise to [Neighbourhood], won’t you?
Energy isn’t free, so what can we do on our part to help conserve? The Power Conservation Action Plan helps to answer that difficult question.
Step 1: Limit your household’s overall consumption of Power by avoiding overuse of electronics.*
Step 2 – Sacrifice one teensy weensy day per week without power. The Landgraab Power Company even agreed to give a discount on utility bills for this.
*Failure to conserve a satisfactory amount of Power for your household size, as defined by the Board of N.A.P. will result in a daily fine. Please thoroughly enjoy your day.
Have you ever heard another Sim’s opinion an thought, “I should be polite but I really thing this conversation would be better if I asserted my stance, refused to back down, and ultimately engaged in a full-out neighborly brawl”?
We’re with you.
Sometimes we believe there is such a thing as being too polite. We should band together to make this world better, one fight cloud at a time. A world where we can speak our minds without any hurt feelings or bruised egos. Vote for the Roughhousing Encouraged N.A.P and you can gain influence by using Mean interactions on other Sims. If that’s the kind of Sim you want to be.
Sharing is Caring
Some Sims own a lot of things. Some Sims own just a little bit of things. But what if everyone could just own everything?
See that bike sitting there? That could be your bike! Or anyone’s bike! With this initiative, everything you see can be yours. You see something, you take it. No questions asked, no repercussions. Just don’t get too attached to anything you already own.
Fun Loving Community
Recreation should be celebrated, not stifled! It’s time to eradicate boredom and embrace having fun.
Vote for this N.A.P. and not only will we be able to let loose as a whole, but residents will also be rewarded with influence for doing activities that involve Comedy, Mischief, and even Video Gaming!
Support the Performing Arts
There are some who say Music is healing for the soul and Performing is healing for the heart.
Uplift our community and gain influence by not only sharing the melodies of the instruments that you play, but also by expressing other forms of Performing Arts.
Professionals working in Entertainment-related Careers can also enjoy increased pay while this N.A.P. is active.
Neighbors, let’s get cooking! There are so many fabulous organic, non-organic, home-grown and freebie ingredient options out there. Crack out that cutting board and start experimenting!
Under the Foodies Unite N.A.P., members of the community will be rewarded influence by exercising their tasty sills in home-style, Gourmet, or any other type of cooking.
Let’s admit it. The water isn’t quite flowing with the flow with which it used to flow. How can we all chip in and help to conserve? We believe that with the pairing of a weekly Water Shut-off Day and an organized effort to Consume Less Water*, this community can really make a difference!
*Failure to conserve a satisfactory amount of Water for your household size, as defined by the Board of N.A.P. will result in a daily fine. Have a nice day.
Get ready to get JUICED! In support of all things fizzy and funky, this N.A.P. wants to get everyone juiced up.
Gain influence by using the practical Juice Fizzing and Mixology skills to make concoctions for the entire neighbourhood.
Rock Your Body (and Mind)
What better way to care for oneself than with the accountability of a whole community?
This initiative puts the “Action” back in Neighbourhood Action Plan.
Together we can make sure all Sims in the neighbourhood are practicing their Fitness, keeping up on Hygiene, looking after their overall wellbeing, and boosting their influence while they’re at it!
Why keep feeding the corporate beast and continue spinning on this degrading hamster wheel on consumerist shame?
We can rise up and maintain a perfectly good community ourselves!
We can live in a community where things like Fishing, Gardening, and Handiness are rewarded with increased influence, as well as a sense of accomplishment.
Clean Energy Production
We have the luxury of living in a world that provides us with everything we need. We just need to learn how to harness that energy!
With the Clean Energy N.A.P. in place, members of the community will be rewarded with influence for owning functionally clean energy producing objects like Solar Panels, Wind Turbines, and Dew Collectors.
Who needs negativity when you could be drenched in love?
Who needs jealousy when you could be embraced with understanding?
Vote with your heart and we can transform our community into a butterfly of love for all. Whether Single, Married, or just open, we embrace loving each other in all of its beautiful forms. When Free Love reigns, you can gain influence through Romance interactions.
We Wear Bags
Our community values reducing and recycling. But – has anyone else noticed that the paper bags are starting to pile up? We wouldn’t dare throw those away! They could come to good use some day!
Don’t you think every last one of those 8,346 neatly folded pieces of untapped potential have finally earned their time to shine?
With the We Wear Bags Action Plan, we can proudly wear our bags as a mark of our Eco Lifestyles.
Why spend your Simoleons on something you could create for yourself?
Why do we throw away so many materials that could go into making something special and new?
With the Upcycling Initiative, we are giving influence to everyone using Recyclers to get materials and Fabricators to turn those materials into something responsibly wonderful!
Promote Creative Arts
– The mark of a true artistic community is a shared passion for the Creative Arts. Support his maker mindset with your vote, and you’ll be rewarded wnot only with the pride you get from creating, but also with influence from doing Painting, Photography, Writing, Fabrication, and other artistic activities.
Professionals working as Painters, Style Influencers, Freelance Crafters, or Writers will also earn increased pay while this N.A.P is active.
Back to the Old Days
I remember the good old days. We used to play board games and read books. Nowadays, all anyone can think about is their phone and their TV.
They’re juicing it up, chugging all their wretched…juice.
And what’s with this obsession with woohoo? Woohoo in the bed, Woohoo in the Rocket Ship, Woohoo in the hot tub, Woohoo in the observatory, and if that wasn’t enough, now you delinquents are woohooing in Dumpsters? Gross.
With this initiative, those who live a wholesome lifestyle of reading books and playing board games will be rewarded with influence. And those who indulge in technology, drinking juice, and woohoo will be properly fined for their woeful deeds.
Wow that’s a lot of Action Plans!
As you can see, there are a wide variety of possible Neighbourhood Action Plans. Some of these seem great and some…not so much. If an Action Plan gets voted in and you and your Sims don’t like it, then you’re stuck with it for a week (unless you cheat – if you shift-click the mailbox with testingcheats enabled you can repeal or enact Action Plans.)
Three neighbourhood NPCs, a Master Crafter, an Entrepreneur, and an Eco Master (these can also be playable sims – you can give them the trait with testingcheats enabled and then shift-clicking) will be going around the neighbourhood and influencing other households to vote on the proposed initiatives that are most agreeable to their preferred Eco Footprint. For example, in the Port Promise neighbourhood the starting Eco Master is Knox Greenburg, and he, or his counterpart in your Sim’s neighbourhood, will likely eventually show up at your Sims’ home, pushing his agenda.
The Entrepreneur and Master Crafter will also be convincing Sims to vote for their preferred plans, so it’s possible that none of the plans you and your Sims want will be enacted. To combat this, though, your Sims can keep earning influence and can vote on an action plan (or plans!) as many times as they can afford to. Be careful, though. Once you have placed your vote and clicked the check mark, your votes are locked in.
Overall, I really like the idea of these action plans. This feels like a really nice addition to gameplay that will take the neighbourhood in some interesting and unexpected directions. My concern is, however, in the execution of the idea. It’s too soon to tell how these Action Plans will affect Sim neighbourhoods over the longer term. If a playable household will always be able to outvote the other Sims in the neighbourhood, that could be good or bad. If you always get the action plan you want, where is the challenge? By the same token, if you never get the action plan you want, then you either have to live with it, spend all your Sims’ time grinding influence points so they can lock up the vote, or cheat, or disable NPC choices via the options, and that isn’t really fun, either. We will be interested to see how this plays out.
Interested in more facets of Eco Lifestyle? This is a huge pack, far too big to cover in just one post, so we’re doing a series of posts on different aspects of the game. Check here for more articles on Eco Lifestyle!