The Sims: Livin' Large Preview - Part 2: Careers

The second installment of our Livin' Large preview takes a look at the game's new careers.

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Livin' Large: Part 2

The information overlord

Last week we kicked off the first in our three-part preview coverage of Livin' Large, the official expansion pack for Maxis' extremely popular and successful real-world simulator, The Sims. When it releases this September, Livin' Large will give The Sims players a wide range of new gameplay options that include ten new neighborhoods to cultivate, three new interior decor options, and more than 120 new simulation items like furniture, lighting, and electronics. Additionally, the add-on also features five new careers that span 50 different jobs, giving you and your Sims hours of additional playtime. In the second installment of our Livin' Large preview, we take a look at these new jobs and careers and detail what it takes to climb the executive ladder in Livin' Large.

The UFO investigator

The build of Livin' Large given to us by Maxis is still not feature-complete, but it does contain several of the new career paths in their entirety. The final build of Livin' Large will have a total of five new careers that your Sims will be able to explore. Each of these five career tracks - musician, slacker, paranormal, journalism, and hacker - contains ten different jobs that vary in pay, skill requirements, and hours. In the paranormal field, for example, your Sims will start off as a psychic phone "friend," working rough hours and making next to nothing. Eventually, however, you'll be able to move up into the wonderful world of conspiracy theory and then become a tarot card reader, a hypnotist, or a medium in your ultimate goal of reaching the top of the paranormal ladder: becoming a cult leader. This same brand of humor is found in the other four careers as well; our favorites are the permanent celebrity party guest, which is the highest rung on the slacker ladder, and the information overlord job in the hacker career track.

As in the original game, you'll find your first job in the newspaper. Once you decide on a job, a carpool will take you to work in the morning and bring you back home in the afternoon. Promotions are given to you once your Sims reach the minimum skill requirements for that particular job. Provided that your Sims generally have high morale throughout their workday, these promotions come about every week or so. With promotions come pay increases, which in turn let you buy more goodies to outfit your houses with, which is always a great way to keep your Sims happy. In the current state of the game, your Sims' first job will almost always default to the journalism career. Let's take a detailed look at the ten jobs in this career.

The Journalism Career

Like the four other career tracks in Livin' Large, the journalism track has ten jobs that start off with minimal requirements on your Sims' part, but the requirements get progressively harder to fulfill as you move upward from job to job. The added benefit of getting promoted, of course, is better hours and a much higher salary. Here are the ten jobs you'll find in the journalism career path:

Typesetter: Historically, a typesetter was responsible for individually placing the proper letter blocks in a printing press. The work was always tedious, especially considering that typesetters had to spell out every word in a newspaper using individual letters, much in the same way letters are put in the marquees outside of movie theaters today. In Livin' Large, the typesetter is responsible only for making sure that the fully automated printing press is running smoothly. Since newspapers are printed and delivered before most people even wake up, the hours for the typesetter are a bit brutal - work starts at 4am. Thankfully, your Sims will be back home by noon, and since this job doesn't require any of your skills to be above 0, a promotion is relatively easy to come by. This position pays 120 Simolians a day.

Game reviewer: The second rung up on the journalism ladder is the game reviewer. According to Maxis, this job doesn't require you to improve any skills whatsoever to advance to the next position, and work doesn't start until 11am - it looks like the designers at Maxis have done their homework. At 200 Simolians per day, the game reviewer is the highest paying second-rung job of any career in Livin' Large. However, like the typesetter, you're still picked up by a junky car in the morning.

Tabloid writer: Once you've worked as a game reviewer for a while, your next promotion will move you up to a tabloid writer. Hopefully your Sim didn't get too accustomed to waking up at noon as a game reviewer, because this position requires you to be at work by 9am (the work day ends at 3pm). Your Sims will be picked up by a school bus in the morning, which is a small step up from the junky carpool provided to you in your first two jobs. Also, unlike the first two jobs in journalism, this one actually requires you to improve some of your skills before advancing: Your Sims' creativity level has to be at least two, and the friends level has to be at least one. The tabloid writer earns 230 Simolians per day.

Paparazzi: While not really a part of traditional journalism, the paparazzi job is best suited to this career in Livin' Large. By the time your Sims reach this level, the pay scale will have dramatically increased. In the case of the paparazzi, however, not only will your Sims be making a lot of money, but their skill requirement will remain relatively low, as you need only your charisma, creativity, and friend levels to be at two. Differentiating this job even further from the others is that it doesn't start until 5pm, and it ends at 1am. Picking your Sims up from home in the afternoon will be a staff sedan, which is a definite step up from the car and school bus provided by the earlier jobs. This position pays 350 Simolians a day.

Newspaper reporter: The newspaper reporter is a tough job. You not only have to maintain and improve a lot of skills for your Sims, but you also have to get up at the crack of dawn. A staff sedan will pick you up at 3am and bring you back home at 10am. In addition to keeping your Sims' morale high after waking up so early, you have to make sure that their charisma, logic, and friends skills are at least at level two and their creativity is at level four. You're well rewarded for this sacrifice, though, as this job pays 420 Simolians a day.

Weatherman: When your Sims become meteorologists, you'll have to constantly worry about keeping their skills at the minimum level for that position. This job calls for high levels of creativity, logic, charisma, and friends, and since your Sims will be on TV day in and day out, their body level has to be at one point as well. The job starts at 5am and pays 510 Simolians a day.

TV reporter: Once your Sims have fulfilled their duties as a weatherperson, they'll have the opportunity to move up to a daytime TV reporter. This job requires the same skills as the meteorologist but at much higher levels. Your body level, for example, has to be at two points, while your friends and charisma have to be at six at the very least. Like most Sims in the field of journalism, the TV reporters will be picked up in a staff sedan. You'll be putting in an eight-hour workday starting at noon and ending at 8 o'clock in the evening. The TV reporter job pays 660 Simolians per day.

Investigative reporter: As an investigative reporter, your Sims will be working fairly regular hours, as the job starts at 10am and ends at 5pm. However, this position has steep requirements, including maintaining your Sims' charisma level at eight and your friends level at nine. You'll be picked up and dropped off in a swanky SUV, and you'll receive 850 Simolians for a hard day's work.

National news anchor: As you progress through Livin' Large's journalism career, you'll be able to transform your Sims into veritable Katie Courics and Matt Lauers. Even though this job doesn't start until 11am, you'll still receive all the benefits and be showered with all the money that real-world national news anchors get. You do have to work incredibly hard to maintain nearly all your skill levels. There's plenty of incentive to do so, though, since you're picked up by a limo and get paid 975 Simolians a day.

Talk show host: The final rung on the journalism ladder is the talk show host, which is very demanding in terms of your Sims' skill levels. You'll need to maintain some levels well into the double digits, like friends, which requires 14 points, and charisma, which requires ten. The payoff is certainly worth it, though. Your Sims will work a grueling four-hour workday starting at 1pm, will be shuttled in a limousine, and will get paid 1,200 Simolians a day.

Just like in The Sims, to advance through the jobs we just listed, you'll need to make sure Sims are constantly improving their social skills. Try throwing parties to advance your friends skill, or learn to play the guitar to improve your creativity. There's no set way to go about increasing your skills; that's why Livin' Large has so many new items. And remember, this is just one-fifth of the total number of new jobs that will be found in the expansion. There are 40 other jobs ranging from a CEO of a software giant to an exorcist. There's no doubt that Livin' Large will keep fans of The Sims busy for months on end.

Next week, we'll present our final preview installment of Livin' Large with an interview with the creator of The Sims, Will Wright. In the meantime, go to the screenshot gallery to take a look at some all new Livin' Large career skins.

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