Nightmare mode impossible?

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Nightmare mode impossible?

Postby pheonix » Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:53 am

I completed the other strategic modes without much difficulty but nightmare mode seems to be near impossible.

I have read most of the strategies in the forum, but I cannot seem to get a society going. The primary problem is that I cannot keep my sims happy. The venue effects seem to last only till the end of the day and the sims cannot make it to work and venue in the same day, even if the buildings are adjacent (it doesn't help that it takes them an hour to walk a block). Additionally I have to build high upkeep buildings like the clinic and firehouse early in the game, since illness and fires seem to be rampant.

My current strategy is using townhomes, reality offices, elder council, communal gardens and movie theatres (see photo below). I do fine for a while but sim happiness seems to slowly degrade (they never make it home in time) and usually by wednesday of each week they riot. This shuts down buildings preventing happiness and profit so I eventually run out of money and have to start over.

Any starting tips would be most helpful.
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Postby Cheiromancer » Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:33 am

You might try venues that provide items. These give the sims happiness for longer. More (cheaper) venues is a good idea. General Store is nice. And a Gazebo. Also, if you begin with Monasteries there will be a +1 happiness modifier per night built in.

Start out with 4 missions and a religious bookstore. This will reduce the cost (and upkeep) for your Monasteries. Build a realtor to get the prosperity for the bookstore. Build a few other realtors then one or two televangelists. The missions reduce the cost of the televangelists. They use up a lot of power, though. Put a coal plant far off somewhere.

For layout, try an "H" layout. The homes are on one vertical stroke of the H, the workplaces on the other. The venues are on the horizontal stroke. The Missions are only visited 3 times a week, so they can be further away.

Good luck!

edit: I got the Jack of All Trades in Hardcore mode, and tried the televangelist strategy for nightmare. It works great. Only 4 monasteries so far (and 3 televangelists), but I'm earning 4000 a day, and everyone is content or better. Mostly elated, in fact.

I think your problem might be in venues. You might not have enough venue capacity, and the venues you choose might be too expensive. My sims seem to like religious bookstores, general stores and flea markets. I've given them a soccer field, farmer's market and fish market too. The monasteries are on the left, then there's a stretch of road with venues, then the workplaces. The televangelists are all in a row so they enhance each other.

I don't bother with elder councils and town halls and such. Not if I have televangelists: televangelists earn more and have a wider boosting aura. If I need authority I just build iron fences. Low upkeep, and no employees.

edt2: Midwife is cheap help against illness. Faith healers are only good on week-ends, but help against injury, too. When I have fires I usually just demolish the burning building. If it's a mission, realtor, religious bookstore or something it is cheaper to rebuild than to mess around with a fire station. Even a monastery once a week is better than paying for a fire station's upkeep and the venues and housing for their employees. But crime prevention is definitely a good idea. If the sims get unhappy, they spawn criminals. Criminals pick-pocket other sims, making *them* unhappy. Next thing you know, half the town has gone rogue. Building lots of rock gardens (to make the monasteries spawn masters, who fight criminals) doesn't quite seem to work. Maybe if I had interspersed the monasteries and town houses. But masters don't entertain people the way the fighters do.

It's not a bad idea to have a vocation school or two in town, and have more people than there are jobs. And have some tool sheds built around your power plant or something. If you don't pay upkeep on nightmare, the buildings get damaged and they don't recover. You can easily get into a downward spiral. But a vocation school will spawn repair workers. As long as it isn't damaged, of course. Those workers could help you out of a sticky situation. A stone church is also good to have in case things start going badly. The church closes at noon, but a hooky playing sim who isn't at work will be able to attend, for +10 happiness. That could help make him content again. Much better to avoid getting into such a situation, though.

I don't know how best to use conditioning buildings. Is there any advantage to having conditioning on both workplaces and homes? Do they stack? Is the patriotism bylaw very effective? The conditioning venues are very expensive. I tried it with my televangelist strategy and went broke. It wasn't pretty.

Oh, when a building is required for a bylaw, you can tear down the building and the bylaw stays effective. It's often useful. The overseer bylaw (I forget its exact name) is useful for all kinds of non-factories. Metal club, for instance. Overseer is one of the better bylaws, in fact.
Last edited by Cheiromancer on Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Karstedt » Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:35 am

Having achieved everything in nightmare, it's not impossiible.

Firstly though, your town is waaaay too expensive for the beginning.

Cost and happiness are the two big factors that plague nightmare. You must use the cheapest buildings that do not spawn bad things (like criminals). Trailer parks are good, slum housing is bad; because slum housing requires a police station which is VERY expensive.

Then you have to make sure your venues are enough to keep the sims from going rogue and spawning criminals. 7 day workweeks are bad for a starting city. It makes it harder for the sims to get to venues. You should also try to have one retail venue and one +5 venue, that way the sims can get the daily bonus from retail and be able to visit the +5 venue often. As soon as reasonable, getting a venue that sells home boosters is great too.

Remember that a sim needs 5 happiness per day to break even on nightmare. If you are using cheap -1 housing like trailer parks, that means they need 6. They can usually visit 2 venues on days they don't work so a +3 retail and +5 venues can provide them with a net gain of 6 over the weekend which will offset the usual -1 you will get each workday. Watch out for venues that will caus injury though, you'll have to factor in the cost of a clinic to get their real cost. Stuff like the soccer field is dirt cheap for a high capacity +5, but you must build that clinic (the soccer field is still a pretty good choice though).

Using cheap buildings will negate the need for a fire department. You can just demolish most burning buildings. You'll eventually want to budget in the fire brigade and repair buidling to protect your handful of more expensive buildings. But it's usually going to cost you nearly 1k to dispatch a fire fighter and repairman, as well as the high upkeep the rest of the time. That's a real budget crasher.

And make sure that your income will cover your upkeep and let you save a little for further building. This is the hardest part to get the hang of. And it's not made easier by the workplaces listing income by the week, while everything actually gets calculate daily. You will most likely make $0 on the weekends so you need a surplus to get through it.

Also, watch out for kids. They will drag you into the gutter if you don't get them venues. Their venues are usally cheap, but kids seem to be prtty bad about route planning. Since they walk everywhere they will start picking far away venues that they can't get to some times... dragging the entire household into the gutter when they don't make it. So keep early child bearing housholds in a small cluster with the child safe venues next door. Do not make a second child bearing neighborhood until you've got money and can afford to ge the hang of how the kids will often decide to goto the child safe venue in the other neighborhood that they can't reach in time.

As for conditioning, yes it stacks. If you have at least light conditiong both at work and at home and use patriotism, sims can almost go without venues. If you have enough retail so everyone always has an item, you can just about eliminate the need for other venues. The Corp R&D center is super usefull with conditioning, because you can make all of your venues sell cell phones. So even if a sim only get to a venue every 3 days, he will remain sad/content indefeninitely.

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Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:35 am

Figured it out

Postby pheonix » Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:01 am

Thanks guys, the advise has been very helpful. It seems the key to surviving nightmare is retail. Buying stuff allows sims to go home late and miss venues on occasion while still keeping happy. Also the synergy effect of +$ buildings gets ridiculous later on and allows you to build the really expensive buildings like government, healthcare and education.

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