Sunday, 8 January 2012

Personality points that make sense

At N99 recently, I was talking about my method of assigning personality points to my Sims. Some found it very helpful for their own games, so I decided to take Starr's suggestion and make a dedicated post about it here. Maybe it's something you can use in your own games or maybe you just want to sit back and marvel about just how nerdy I can get!

Way nerdier than this!

Before I started Sullivan, I never paid much attention to Sims' personality points (or much else about my Sims, but that's beside the point). After a generation or so in this hood though, I noticed I was getting a lot of one nice point Sims. I was under the impression that Sims' personalities were based on their parents' personalities and seeing these mean Sims were often produced by two nice parents, it didn't make sense to me.

I did a little digging and found out that the way the game assigns personality points is quite flawed. The game decides on the total number of points first (in CAS, you can only have 25 but you have may have noticed that most of your born-in-game Sims have more than this) and then distributes them among the five traits, always ending with Nice. So by that time, there are often not many points left!

Adrienne thinks this system sucks. Because it does.

To me, this seemed like a fairly rubbish method of assigning personality points, so I devised my own system. It allows me to have Sims with varied personalities that are influenced by the personalities of their parents but still with an element of randomness thrown in. It's based on how personality points were (apparently) assigned in TS1.

To use this method, you'll need Hook's Random Stuff and a way to change your Sims' personality points manually. I use SimPE but you can just as easily do this in game with SimBlender or Insimenator.

For each of the five personality traits, I roll this file, which has four different options. The options are as follows:

Father - if I roll this, I match the baby's points in that trait to whatever the father has.

Mother - if I roll this, I match the baby's points in that trait to whatever the mother has.

Average - if I roll this, I average the mother and father's personality points and give the resulting points to the baby. So a father with two outgoing points and a mother with seven gives me a baby with 4.5 outgoing points. Round up or round down - it's up to you. SimPE lets you enter the points as decimals, so you can do that too (though it would display in game as 4).

Random - if I roll this, I usually just leave the trait with whatever wacky number of points the game has assigned. Or I roll my own random number. Or I just decide how many points I want to give. It's kind of a wild card, if you will.

Just so you can see it for yourselves, here is an example for you. This is Rob's personality:

This is Patience's personality:

And this is the new Baby Ashton's personality:
Seriously, every time a baby is born in my game, there is a better chance than not that it will be born with only one nice point. No matter what the personalities of his/her parents are like.

I'm going to reassign Baby Ashton's traits. I always re-do all five traits, just because I like knowing that everyone's personality has been assigned the same way. If you decide to use this method in your game, you might only want to do it on babies with wacky personalities, or clones, or only on some traits. Up to you.

Anyway, when I rolled Baby Ashton's traits, this is what I got:

Neatness: Random
Outgoing: Father
Active: Average
Playful: Random
Nice: Mother

I'm happy with Baby Ashton's neatness, so I'm leaving it. Outgoing is now 4, over the 10 inherited from Patience and Active is now 2, the average of Rob and Patience's Active points. I'm going to leave Playful as is as well and this baby now has plenty of nice points - 7, just like his/her relatively nice mama! So Baby Ashton is now 7-4-2-7-7, as opposed to 7-10-1-7-1.

This only takes me a couple of minutes per baby to do and I find the results are really worth it. I'm much happier with the personalities my Sims have now. This is hopefully as clear to you as it is to me, but if not, as always please feel free to ask any questions you like!


  1. Wow Carla I absolutely love this idea, and plan to use this right away! Thanks for sharing this...and as for the random rolls I plan on using this:

    for whatever trait that needs to be rolled random. I really like this program and it has helped me assign traits for my founding sims.

  2. Thank you so much for posting your method! I like it much better than mine (just hitting randomize personality on SimBlender) because this way the baby will most likely inherit something from his/her parents.

    I'm going to snatch that file of yours and start using it from now on. Thanks again :)

  3. Makes a lot of sense, thanks for sharing!

  4. How do you insert the mother, father, random and average into the text file?

  5. Nicky, sure, whatever works for you! It looks like that site would work as well as anything else. Hope you enjoy using this system!

    Sari, you're welcome! Like you, I prefer having my Sims inherit at least part of their personality and I've found this works very well for me. I hope it works for you too.

    Apple Valley, you're welcome!

    Juliejaz, I'm afraid I'm not sure what you're asking. "Mother", "Father", "Random" and "Average" are already in the provided text file. If you could explain your question a bit more, I'd be happy to try to help you.

  6. I'm glad to see this again, so I can bookmark it. I don't have the nice issue as you have, I can't believe how often you seem to get it! But I will use it when someone isn't quite right. Thanks!

  7. I love this idea! I haven't noticed a big majority of grouchy sims born in-game, but it may be that the nice ones are lucky(?) to have low points in the other traits and therefore some left over for nice. I'll be using your method in future, it seems much more fair.

    Nicky, thanks for the link - quicker than opening up my randomiser to roll an aspiration for teens!

  8. I am going to bookmark this as well. Like Maisie, I don't have the same issue very often either - I usually only get super grouchy sims if one or both parents have low points for nice, and then it makes sense. But I'm going to adjust personalities some more any way, I think.

  9. Maisie, which reminded me to add it to my side bar, for easy reference! And yeah, the 1 nice point thing is rampant in Sullivan! I wish I'd paid more attention previously. I wonder if it changed with an expansion or if it's always been this way.

    Blackcat, I guess some of us are just lucky! I know I've come across other bloggers/players with the same problem. Glad you like my method of dealing with it. :)

    simnovoris, the 1 nice point problem is just the only one I've noticed. It's possible that there are other quirks in the way the game distributes points, so adjusting them anyway would get rid of it, if so. Have fun with it!

  10. Sorry! I didn't understand how to add the text file to the random stuff file. I figured it out though. Thanks for this:0)

  11. No problem, I'm glad you've figured it out now! Have fun with it. :)

  12. OMG! This is so great!! I completely understand creating your own way to determind personalities seeing Maxis didn't do a great job here!
    I can't believe I never thought of doing something like this myself!

    I have the same problem with my sims not beeing nice at all, when I can't see them as mean myself, and I hate to have to make everybody 'mean', that's not real!
    And I really have no much variaty in aspirations because of it!

    I think I'm going to use your system on every child, toddler and baby in SimsVille! :) Thank you so much for sharing this!

    Do you mind if I link to this in my sidebar?

  13. Tanja, I'm glad you like the system! All the one nice point Sims just started to drive me insane, so I had to do something.

    I definitely have "mean" Sims who I don't really see as being mean. But it's nice to have the personality points actually match the Sim once in a while. ;)

    Have fun with this, if you decide to use it. Go ahead and link it in your sidebar too, if you like. :)

  14. This makes a lot of sense. There are only so many Caligula children you can spawn without thinking, wait a minute, this is ridiculous. The outgoing points also come out sort of wrong, too.

  15. S.B., Caligula children! Yes, that's quite an apt description of a lot of them. I haven't noticed it so much with outgoing but I've definitely had some wonkiness with all the traits. I have no idea what EA was thinking when they programmed parts of this game. Or were they even thinking at all, lol?

  16. Don't mind me and my drive-by commenting. I haven't been to n99 in quite a while so I missed the whole talk about the personality assignment but I really do like this idea. And now thanks to this post, I will mostly likely be revamping my tracker sheet and assigning personality points to the newly born sims in my game.

  17. rome_raven, I'm glad you think you might get some use out of this. I think it might be the only idea I've had that I didn't adapt from another blogger, lol! Have fun!

  18. I am going to be doing this from now on, me thinks! Thanks!! :)

  19. the_mctavishams, you're welcome! Enjoy it! :)

  20. Your system is great.
    I'm going to use it on children, toddlers and babies too.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Miss Essa

    1. I'm glad you like it. I hope it works out well for you!

  21. Oh, Carla, that's so great to read!! (I love nerdy posts!!! :D)
    It's nice to mix up randomness and heredity. I don't like randomizing too much my game, so I also give a personality to my Sims depending on their parents, or of their life (when they age up to young adults or teens)
    That's great to read, really. I'm linking this to TSD where we had been discussing about traits & random.

    1. I love a good nerdy post too and from the number of replies this post got, I guess I'm not alone! I haven't yet tried to apply any sort of genetic personality to TS3 but if I ever get a proper hood off the ground, I'm going to try to rig something up with it.

      I went and added a little to the thread at TSD. ;)

      Thanks for reading!

  22. This is way better than the EA system.

    1. I would have to agree, at least for my own gameplay. I've been using this system for a good while now and it's working out pretty well.

      Thanks for reading!