Friday, June 6

TSO Rebooted, Powering Off

At the end of July EA-land (formerly known as The Sims Online) is shutting down and offering consolation coupons for POGO.

I'm a bit sad to see it go. TSO was the first MMORPG I played that wasn't an easy link from MUDConnector. I used to play the original Sims game for as many hours a week as I play SL now. Therefore it was an effortless transition to TSO. 90% of the controls in TSO were the same as the home version.

My primary character was a fuzzy, purple horned Sendak-style monster named Herne, who always spoke in third person. His best friend was a polar bear. They had a secret handshake and they called each other "fuzzbro". He used to scare people just by showing up and threatened to eat people that made him mad. He told people in Grateful Dead themed sims not to worry, that he was just a flashback. Pass the bubble-pipe?

The one thing I miss from TSO is the Pizza Game. Four sims (avatars) would gather around a square table with pizza ingredients. Each player would have three slots filled with dough, sauce, cheese, and/or a topping, in amounts for a Small, Medium or Large pizza. Each player would yell out a code like "LD SS MC" to say what they had and the leader would arrange the ingredients. Screw up or run out of time and you had a burned mess. Make an edible pizza and you earned Simoleans. Make a large Pizza Supremo you got a bonus.

Herne eventually bought a house that turned into the Monster's Ballroom, which became the third most popular nightclub in his city.

One big problem? TSO had a monthly fee, and Simoleans were never exchangeable for RL currency. In fact you couldn't even transfer your Simoleans to your alt in another server-town. There was a thriving black market of halawa style money-changers to do it for you, or just rob you blind. So, no chance of player profit whatsoever.

And they wonder why they failed?

Funniest thing I ever saw in TSO: Fight Club. It wasn't a combat game. That made it even funnier.

Happiest event: Herne got on a game show and won...a wooden chair. He immediately asked for ketchup.

Hmmm...if I put him in a unifom and a schmot hat...*OOF!* (tackled by his avatars)

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