Charlie’s Final Wonderchild Scorecard

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The Score

Note: Charlie’s score is unofficial. I made the mistake of forgetting to age Mae and Berry to adults when I began the challenge; they began as young adults: thus, the challenge doesn’t meet the rules. Having the two caregivers start at the young adult stage offers an advantage. So, consider this an unofficial score!

Rules for scoring are found at Pinstar’s Official Wonder Child page.

Days to childhood after earing an  A – 3 for 3 points
Days to young adulthood after earning an A in high school – 11 for 11 points
Silver childhood birthday party – 0 points
Gold young adult birthday party – 5 points

Traits: – 34 for 340 points

  1. Good
  2. Music Lover
  3. Glutton
  4. Physically Gifted
  5. Night Owl
  6. Creatively Gifted
  7. Long Lived
  8. Incredibly Friendly
  9. Gym Rat
  10. Socially Gifted
  11. Mentor
  12. Expressionistic
  13. Speed Cleaner
  14. Free Services
  15. Mentally Gifted
  16. Observant
  17. Beguiling
  18. Natural Leader
  19. Marketable
  20. Speed Reader
  21. Frugal
  22. Piper
  23. Shameless
  24. Savant
  25. Always Welcome
  26. Entrepreneurial
  27. Steel Bladder
  28. Beloved
  29. Independent
  30. Creative Visionary
  31. Great Storyteller
  32. Morning Sim
  33. Stoves and Grills Master
  34. Gregarious

Skills (1 point for each skill, plus 3 bonus points for every maxed skill) – 143 points
Charisma 10 + 3
Comedy 3
Cooking 6
Dancing 1
Fishing 2
Fitness 10 + 3
Gardening 1
Gourmet Cooking 3
Handiness 2
Herbalism 2
Logic 7
Painting 10 + 3
Photography 1
Piano 4
Programming 2
Video Gaming 3
Violin 10 + 3
Wellness 2
Social – 10  + 3
Mental  – 10  + 3
Creative  – 10 + 3
Physical – 10 + 3

Totals:
Skill points: 143
Traits: 340
Grade Points: 14
Birthday Party: 5
Final Total Score: 502

My Response

I’m so pleased with this score! Last time I played, in November 2014, I earned 327 points. Granted, it was much harder to complete aspirations (adult and child aspirations) before the December 2014 patch. I had set my goal for this challenge to have a higher score. I was hoping to beat 420. In review, I think of the ways I could have earned more points, but all in all, I’m really happy with this score–and I’m even more pleased with Mae, Berry, Charlie, their friends and family, and the way that this game and story is developing.

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The Strategy

The strategy for earning a high score rested on a few leveraged points:

  1. The child super-skilling trick
  2. No sleep for the Wonder Child (thanks to Zzz juice)
  3. Aspiration-switching to facilitate the completion of multiple aspirations

The Child Super-Skilling Trick

JordanNicoleJJ and I developed this technique while playing legacies. Think of it as an Easter-egg of multi-skilling. It rests on the bonus of a child being able to quickly max a second skill while completing another skill through a computer activity. Specifically, once a child has gained Level 9 Mental Skill,  playing Arithmetic Attack will allow the child to rapidly max Physical Skill at the same time as increasing Mental Skill. Then, playing Keyboard Commander once the child has reached Level 9 Physical Skill will allow the child to rapidly max Creative Skill while simultaneously increasing Physical Skill.

The trick isn’t 100% guaranteed to work immediately, or (possibly) even every time. Sometimes, the games (Arithmetic Attack and Keyboard Commander) don’t work: in that case, try Research on Simpedia. It will often work. When playing Charlie, the simul-skill of Mental and Physical worked great–but the Physical/Creative didn’t work at first. In the interim, I played my SimKids in New World Symphony. One of the twins was able to simul-skill both pairs quickly and easily. The other ran into the same issue as Charlie: Physical/Creative wouldn’t simul-skill. Since that’s an aging off game, I had lots of time to experiment. I played with using Research on Simpedia, trying multiple times, and eventually, it seemed that if I had the child in the right mood, the simul-skill worked. When I returned to Charlie, I had him browse art on the web until he was inspired, and then the simul-skill worked perfectly. So, if you get stuck with simul-skilling, experiment with different moods: try energetic, if you need to rapidly skill the physical. Try inspired, if you need to rapidly skill the creative. If it doesn’t work the first time, just keep experimenting. It’s worth it! With this technique, Charlie was able to max these three childhood skills within three days, and maxing social skill seems to happen easily through interactions with friends and family, especially if you choose the social interactions that have the mouth icon (the social skill icon).

Here’s the summary of the Child Super-Skilling Trick:

1. Have a child reach level 9 mental.
2. Have the child play Arithmetic Attack to earn mental skill while simultaneously earning physical.
3. Have the child play Keyboard Commander to max physical while simultaneously maxing creative.

Remember: if the games don’t work, try Research Simpedia.

Living on Zzzz Juice

This is a common strategy for Wonder Children. I used it in my legacy, too.  When the child doesn’t sleep, all sorts of time opens up for skilling and completing aspirations. The two caregivers become important in providing the aspiration points to purchase Zzz juice–save the child’s aspiration points for his or her reward traits!

Aspiration Switching

The first time I played the Wonder Child Challenge (and, of course, in the legacy), I had the child complete one aspiration before working on the next. It’s much more strategic to switch often, knocking off milestones in the most efficient way.

I also chose adult aspirations that I find to be easy: Friend of the World; Leader of the Pack; Body Builder; Musical Protege; and Artistic Visionary (or whatever the painting one is called). Within Charlie’s first day as a teen, he was able to complete all except the Level 10 Charisma milestone of Friend of the World. Once the “Incredibly Friendly” reward trait is purchased (which was the first trait purchased for Charlie), making friends is quick and easy.

Leader of the Pack was also a very easy aspiration.

For Charlie, who reached Level 9 violin skill as child, and had already begun three compositions, completing Musical Protege was easy–this was the first adult aspiration he completed.

I was a little worried about Body Builder–in the past, it had taken a while for the Sim to achieve maximum fitness. But Charlie achieved that very quickly, while he was still at Level 8 Fitness. I thank Paolo’s good genes!

Painting was a little tricky–it took a lot of canvases before Charlie completed enough masterpieces! Because Charlie has the “Music Lover” trait, I had him listen to music while he painted, and so he kept his fun level up throughout.

Other Tips

Mentors help a lot! The quickest way to gain fitness skill is by heading to the gym and having a trainer mentor. If I play this again, I’ll have one of the adults master the violin, so that she can mentor the child.

Taking advantage of the charisma social interactions (those with the sunglasses icon) raises the charisma skill much faster than other socials.

Don’t worry about sending the child to school once the A is earned! (I learned this tip from AkramA.) Use vacation, sick, and excuse days! The time is much better spent gaining skills and working on aspirations. Once the student has used up excused absences, then consider sending them to school so the grade doesn’t drop–you will have some grace days before losing that A!

How I could have earned more points

I had forgotten about the points earned for every day before the birthday after the A grade was achieved when Charlie was a child. So I lost about five or six points there. There may have been some compensation through gaining more skills and aspiration points, but next time, I’ll wait and use vacation days after the A is earned. There’s plenty of time to earn the A first and still complete all four childhood aspirations!

I don’t know why I wasn’t able to earn the gold medal party for Charlie’s first birthday party! It may have to do with the household still being fairly new. I remember in the legacy that the first gen had a tough time with parties, and the more established the family became, the easier the parties were.

I ended the game with 2,500 aspiration points that I wasn’t able to spend! Charlie had already bought all the rewards for that amount or less. I tried to gain 3,000 so we could get one more trait, but I ran out of time! If I were to play again, I’d try to calculate the final aspiration points a bit better.

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The Reflections

This has been so fun, so rewarding, and so surprising! I love Mae and Berry, and they were amazing care-givers. It worked really well not to have them have jobs: they earned plenty of money through painting and writing, and having them at home allowed them to stay happy, keep the home functioning, and earn lots of aspiration points for Charlie’s Zzz juice. It worked out great!

I also really enjoyed the story that developed as I got to know Mae, Berry, and Charlie. Charlie is the biggest surprise. When he was a kid, I thought he might fit the traditional gender stereotypes for a boy. I expected him to be into sports, to be a little bit macho, and to be active. I was looking forward to writing a character very different from my usual character types.

Somehow, Charlie developed into this type that seems to be in most of my games and stories: Charlie become very sensitive, very thoughtful, rather religious or spiritual, and quite esoteric! How did that happen? I did not intend that. But Charlie could easily be a Bough!

I have an idea that Sims are shaped through game-play. When I play Charlie so that he develops himself to the height of his abilities, so that he is considerate, kind, thoughtful, respectful, funny, and caring, so that he spends hours playing music and painting, then he develops intelligence, emotional sensitivity, and, perhaps, digital awareness. He becomes amazing.

At the point we’re at now in the game, I am discovering who Charlie is, who he has become. I’m learning from him.

Where do we go from here?

The game and story will continue in the format of “A Day in The Life.” As we’ve done so far, each of Charlie’s days will be a chapter. We’ll still hear from Mae and Berry now and then. I’ll be giving Charlie more autonomy: Wonder children are kept pretty busy and pretty player-directed, and now he’ll get more free time to decide for himself what he wants to do. We’ll be watching and responding to his whims, also. The big life-choices will be left up to him. I’m excited to see what the rest of his digital life will be like!

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Charlie’s Childhood Score Chart

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I’m fairly happy with Wonder Child score of 165 that Charlie, Mae, Berry, and I earned for Charlie’s childhood, and we’ll see how many more points we can earn over his next fourteen teen days.

I can easily identify ten points that we missed out on: I’d forgotten that we earned points f0r every day after the child earns an A in school, and so, because I waited several days to send Charlie to school, we earned three instead of eight points in this category. (Emma, my previous Wonder Child, earned eight grade-related points.)

We also didn’t earn the five gold-medal birthday party points. I’m not sure what it is with Wonder Child birthday parties: Emma and I never scored gold medal birthdays. In my other Sim games,  we nearly always have gold medal birthdays!

I was really happy with the way the skilling trick worked, even though the Keyboard Commander/Creative trick didn’t work at first. It did eventually, so I learned a lot, and that makes it worth it!

Because the super skilling trick worked so well, the aspirations were a breeze to complete–too bad we don’t earn bonuses when they’re completed days before birthday.

I was also happy with the order in which I chose the bonus traits. I used to always purchase Steel Bladder as soon as possible, since it saves so much time. But Incredibly Friendly makes the best first purchase, I feel, because it makes completing the Social Butterfly aspiration a breeze. Friends are made at the introduction or within a few interactions.

Morning Sim and Night Owl are also good investments, as they speed up the skilling and provide positive moodlets. (We’ve purchased Night Owl, but since Charlie will need to go to school for his first few days as a teen, we haven’t yet bought Morning Sim.)

I’m super happy that I chose the glutton trait for Charlie: He learns fast! Most of the other glutton children that I’ve played (Sugar Maple, onezero, and Redbud) were also fast learners. I don’t recall that Ironwood, the first glutton I played, learned all that quickly, but back then I hadn’t yet discovered what a great trait glutton is. (I was thinking more Seven Deadly Sins than Zest for Life back then.) Two of the key advantages with a glutton are that they get good moodlets when they drink Zzz-juice, and they eat so quickly that dining doesn’t take much time away from skilling.

And there’s something about a glutton’s zest that is truly delightful! Perfect for a Wonder Child.

Here’s the breakdown for Charlie’s points (Scoring is found at Pinstar’s Official Wonder Child page):

Days to childhood after earing an  A – 3 for 3 points
Silver birthday party – 0 points
Aspirations – 4 for 4 points

Traits: – 9 for 90 points
Glutton
Creatively Gifted
Physically Gifted
Socially Gifted
Mentally Gifted
Observant
Night Owl
Steel Bladder
Incredibly Friendly

Skills (1 point for each skill, plus 3 bonus points for every maxed skill) – 72 points
Charisma – 4
Logic – 7
Piano – 2
Video Gaming – 3
Violin – 9
Social – 10 + 3
Mental – 10 + 3
Creative – 10 + 3
Physical – 10 + 3

Totals:
Skill points: 72
Traits: 90
Grade Points: 3
Birthday Party: 0
Total: 165

 

So, I could have done better, but overall, we did ok.

And as for Charlie, what a cool Sim he is! Can’t wait to get to know him better as a teen!

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Oh! And on the silly news front: Charlie got a call from his dad the day before his birthday asking if he wanted to join Partihaus. We said yes! 😀

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Wonder: Notes on Skilling and Strategies

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After eight days of childhood, Charlie is making great progress towards the Wonder Child goals. He’s completed three childhood aspirations: all that’s left will be for him to complete Whiz Kid, which requires the availability of new homework so he can “complete homework while focused” twice and the earning of an A. With five days of school, he should be able to do this. Of course, I’d like him to be able to earn the A more quickly so that he can take vacation days and skill.

I neglected to review the rules until now, and I had forgotten about this one:

  • As a child, the moment the Wonder Child becomes an “A” Student in school, see how many days they have until aging up into a teen. You gain a number of points equal to the number of days left as long as you remain an “A” Student (for example if your child becomes an “A” student and has 5 days left until becoming a teen, you get 5 points). If they are demoted back to a B student during childhood these bonus points are lost. These points become permanent when the Wonder Child becomes a teen if they ended childhood as an “A” student.

If I’d remembered this, I might have sent Charlie to school sooner. This might turn out to be a wash, though, because by staying home, he was able to max childhood skills more quickly, and thus earn logic, violin, fitness, and charisma skills. It’s possible these will make up for the few extra days it will take for him to earn the day due to his three-day vacation at the beginning of childhood.

The super-skill strategy worked fairly well, and I learned more about it, so even the time when it seemed not to work provided me with useful information.

In case you’re not familiar with this strategy, here’s an overview:

  1. Have the child play chess to reach one mental skill point.
  2. Once one mental skill point is achieved, have the child build mental skill in any way to reach level 9 mental. (I usually have the child play Arithmetic Attack, as it provides fun and children will not cancel the action once they start.)
  3. At level 9 mental, have the child play Arithmetic Attack. If super-skilling is working correctly, the child will simultaneously quickly gain physical skill, maxing physical before level 10 mental is reached. If this doesn’t happen through playing Arithmetic Attack, then switch to Research Simpedia, and the child should super-skill physical while researching.
  4. Once physical is at level 9 or maxed, have the child play Keyboard Commander. If the super-skilling is working, then the child will max creative very quickly.

Arithmetic Attack and Research Simpedia worked like charms to provide the super-skilling of physical once Charlie reached level 9 mental. As a result, before his second day as a child was over, he’d maxed mental and physical.

We weren’t so luck with Keyboard Commander. At first, it didn’t work to give us the super-skilling of creative. I tried various things: Research Simpedia, Browse Art. Nothing seemed to work. Then, when I was playing with Florinda and Sparkroot Tea in another save, I discovered that while the creative super-skill didn’t work for one of them, it did for the other. This led me to experiment, and I discovered that if the super-skill doesn’t work at first, just keep trying. For it did eventually work. It’s possible that the chances of it working are increased if the child is “inspired,” so Browsing Art might be a helpful way to kick start it. But it’s also possible that simply taking a break and then coming back at it will also work. At any rate, we were eventually able to get Keyboard Commander to super-skill creative, so Charlie had maxed Mental, Physical, and Creative by the end of his fourth day as a child.

Social skill is very easy to max: just choose those social interactions with the social skill icon (the mouth with the speech bubble): talk about school, pop culture reference, and goof-off. Goof-off can have negative relationship consequences if the child goofs off with a Sim that he or he doesn’t have a good relationship with, but Charlie was able to goof-off with his mom and it increased their relationship.

Heading into Charlie’s first weekend as a child, he’d maxed all four childhood skills. By the end of Sunday, he’d completed all three aspirations save for Whiz Kid.

One advantage to maxing childhood skills early is that the child then gains adult skill while engaging in activities: once creative is mastered, playing the violin will garner violin skill points. Swimming will garner fitness points. Chess will gain logic points. Social interactions will gain charisma. For a wonder child, this is useful!

With the aspirations, I switch between them frequently. This allows Charlie to make progress with the activities he’s currently engaging in. I plan to try this technique with adult aspirations, too, once he’s a teen. For example, Friend of the World requires that the Sim meet someone new in three locations: Body Builder requires working out at a gym, and the Painter one requires viewing art at a museum, so I can switch between these three so as to maximize the visits to the other lots.

The first reward trait I purchased for Charlie was “Incredibly Friendly.” I find this to be the most useful first trait to buy because it makes completing the social aspiration a breeze. With this trait, friends are often made after the first introduction or within a few friendly exchanges thereafter. This will also be useful when Charlie works on the Friend of the Word aspiration as a teen. (I anticipate that he should be able to complete this within a few days, depending on how long it takes him to max charisma.)

At this point, my goal is for Charlie as a teen to complete Friend of the World, the Club aspiration, Body Builder, the Painting, and possibly the music aspiration. Five aspirations is a lot, but he’ll have a good head start on the skills, so he might be able to do it! I’m going to be doing some serious strategizing as we get closer to that time.

I’m very glad that I chose glutton as Charlie’s childhood trait: that glutton zest just seems to provide an enthusiasm that makes Sims skill so fast! Plus, it takes less time to eat!

 

For the teen trait, I’m considering (at present) Outgoing, Creative, or Active. All three of these seem to fit who Charlie is, and they all three would provide benefits to completing aspirations. We’ll see what we end up choosing when we do the birthday spin!

It’s been really fun to approach this challenge a second time, especially since aspirations are so much easier than they were the first time I played this, in October-November 2014!

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