The Sims Online was an isometric massively multiplayer online life simulation game developed by Maxis and published by EA Games for the PC on December 17, 2002. It was later discontinued on August 1, 2008, although players can (as of January 2017) use the game's installation files to play a fan-made recreation (titled FreeSO).
A multiplayer spin-off of The Sims, Sims Online allowed players to create customizable Sims (also known as Avatars) and interact with other players using the same interface as the original game. While fulfilling their avatar's needs (similar to the original game), players earned Simoleans by improving their avatar's Skills (such as improving Logic by playing chess) and by performing numerous jobs.
With a player-run economy, players could own properties, which they used to build shops and residences using the Build and Buy modes similar to the original game. Each property lot was put into one of numerous categories, each of which included special objects that can be used in that lot (such as workbenches in Service properties, which can be used to create objects that can be sold in Shopping properties).
On March 2008, the game was re-branded as EA Land and was made free-to-play, replacing the $10-a-month subscription fee and initial retail purchase with microtransactions for in-game currency. Along with wiping all the original server data (which fixed an inflated economy due to an earlier glitch) and reducing the amount of cities, this version also introduced the ability for users to add custom-created objects.
Starting the Game
The player created an account in order to log in the game. The game would also check for updates when they started the game. After, the player was shown a server select screen so the player could choose which server that they wanted to play on. Then, the player chose from one of up to three personal Sims. If they didn't have any avatars on the game they could create one by clicking on one of the three vacant slots.
Avatar creation was very much like the Sim Creation screen from The Sims. The player could enter a bio of the Sim and name. They could choose their clothing and head of the Sim; the player name could not be changed after the Sim was created. Players had their choice of skin color and the gender. Personality points were not inherited from The Sims.
There are thirteen cities in all in the game where the players reside. They are:
- Mount Fuji
- Calvin's Creek
- East Jerome
- Fancy Fields
- Test Center
- Blazing Falls
- Dan's Grove
- Jolly Pines
- Dragon's Cove
- Test Center 3
Each city had their own populations. Alphaville and Blazing Falls were the most populated cities. Some cities even had there own particular rules. For example Dragon Cove was the “hardcore city," meaning the game’s objectives were much harder than the standard game.
Skills and Employment/Money
Much like The Sims, skills and employment were significant parts of the game. With more skills, your avatar a could earn more money in a job, and new interactions. Skill speed was the rate your avatar learns the skill and skill decay is when the skills start decaying. Unlike The Sims, skills went from 0 to 29.9.
Employment was handled differently in the Sims Online, in this game you could actually follow your Sims to their job. There are four official jobs: restaurant, robot factory, DJ, and dancing. These jobs did not offer very large salaries; other alternatives to earn money were item shops and services.
Sim Life and Interaction
Sims had the same lifespan as The Sims and the 6 basic 'needs' returned:
There were also interactions between Sims. In the game, the players could interact with other players by chatting. Players would type messages which would appear to float above their active Sim.