The Sims 3 Into the Future: Plumbots
Guide to Plumbots, their Needs and Features
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Plumbots are probably the most interesting addition to come with The Sims 3 Into the Future. Several gameplay features revolve around them, and they represent a good portion of the population of Oasis Landing, the Future World. This Guide to Plumbots will teach you all about this new type of "Occult, how to make them high quality, their various functions and how they can serve your Household. Without Trait Chips, You can even give a Plumbot Sentience to make it self-aware and capable of accruing Lifetime Happiness Points.
You can learn in-depth information about making, buying, and selling Plumbots in the Plumbot Making Skill Guide. This article focuses on the Robots' features. Detailed information on all Trait Chips can be found in the Trait Chips List.
Create-a-Plumbot and Getting Your Own Robot
You can buy or sell a Plumbot at the Bot Shop in the future by clicking the Robot Display Pedestals in the store, but it's best to make your own with the Bot Making skill as they are usually at least $1,000 Simoleons, although they can come cheaper depending on the Trait Chips installed. The Developers added a Create-a-Plumbot extension to Create-a-Sim that allows you to customize the look and gender of your Plumbot. Gender and look of a Plumbot can be changed at any time with a Bot Making station for $100.
About Plumbots: Programmable Helper or Sentient Robot
Plumbots do not age and start with very limited functions and many of the normal areas (Skills, Careers, and Lifetime Rewards) will be inaccessible to them. You unlock these functions with Trait Chips. Each Plumbot can start with anywhere from 3 to 7 Trait Chips, which are designed with the Plumbot Making Skill or purchased at the Bot Shop. These are placed into the slots by clicking the Sim. Ultimately, it is up to you how your Plumbot behaves and what it can do gameplay-wise, based on the Trait Chips you install.
With High Free Will on, your Plumbot will do things depending on what Trait Chips you've put in. Handy Bots will automatically repair broken things around the home and have a Max Handiness Skill. Bots that have the Cleaner or Nanny Chips will automatically be able to take care of dirty homes and babies/toddlers. You can even make your Plumbot capable of earning money by giving it the Office Drone (for a Career) or various Skill Chips. Sentience is the ultimate Chip, but Plumbots will still need others to have certain functions programmed into their Operating System, allowing them to do those things. A Sentient Plumbot still doesn't know how to clean house or learn to Garden.
Customize your Plumbots' Trait Chips to suit what you want them to do just as you would a Sim. You may make the ultimate butler/assistant Sim or a jokester that's always entertaining the family with goofy jokes or music. Certain Trait Chips can make them better overall, such as Efficient (which lowers Maintenance/Battery Power drain) or Solar Powered, recharging their batteries during the daytime -- an excellent choice for a Plumbot with the A.I. Angler Trait chip installed so they can catch some free energy during the day to stay up and fish all night long with a little maintenance. It's all up to you.
Trait Chip Slots and Plumbot Quality Levels
As stated, Plumbots can have from 3-7 Trait Chip Slots and fitting them with the best may require you to catch rare nanites. These can be upgraded by clicking the Plumbot with at least level 5 Bot Making skill, which allows 4. The others are unlocked at level 7, 9, and 10. Plumbots also have a Quality Level which affects their sell value and how quickly their Battery Power and Maintenance needs decline. There are 10 levels of Quality, from Fragile all the way to Future Tech-level. Future-Tech Plumbots with the Efficient Trait Chip will have their Battery Power fall at about half the rate of a normal Sim's, so they can go about their duties much longer. A high-level Bot Maker can upgrade a Plumbot's Quality level by performing Tune-Ups repeatedly. The Bot's max Quality level from this work will match the Bot Maker's Skill level.
Plumbot Needs: Battery Power
Plumbots have two basic Motives, expandable to four with Trait Chips. Battery Power is the first and foremost, as it governs how long the Plumbot can stay active. If Battery Power is ever fully depleted, the Plumbot will suffer a -40 8h moodlet for Forced Shutdown (which may not matter if they are not Sentient). With the various techniques to restore Battery Power, you should not have this problem often.
Plumbots can restore their Battery Power by using the $710 Nexus-9 Non-Organic Charging Station which is found under Appliances > Miscellaneous in Buy Mode Sort by Function. Plumbots can be assigned Charging Stations, much as Sims can claim a bed, simply by clicking on the Station. The Bot can charge to full power or do a Quick Charge, which is much like a Sim Nap only restoring much more energy. Additionally, Plumbots can siphon energy from any electrical device in the game world. Plumbots that are told (or choose to) shut down will also replenish energy.
With full Battery Power, a Plumbot gets a +10 4h moodlet that actually lasts longer than stated if it is fitted with the Efficient Chip or is a high Quality Plumbot. Any Plumbot that is told to shut down will need to be told to boot up by a Sim to resume its normal functions.
The Maintenance Motive
Maintenance is the second motive Plumbots have. Low Maintenance causes a Plumbot to smoke, short out and overall malfunction, causing it to fail and interrupting interactions. This is permanent until the Plumbot receives maintenance and will incur a -40 mood hit until fixed. You can fix the Sim by clicking it with another Sim or itself. Tune-Ups performed by the Plumbot will not grant the Well-Tuned moodlet that a competent Bot Maker can provide (I guess there are hard to reach places). You may need to do this interaction twice to get a Plumbot fully tuned if it's doing it itself. The Charging Station will provide a little Maintenance, though Tuning Up is much faster. Plumbots may request a Tune-Up from a close Acquaintance/Friend and benefit from another's assistance, while also getting the moodlet.
Unlocking Fun and Social Needs
Plumbots can only have fun if they have the Sentience Trait Chip installed, which will let them begin to accrue Lifetime Happiness Points toward a LTR. The Social Need is unlocked through a variety of chips: Simulated Emotions, Friendly Functions, Mood Adjuster, Sense of Humor, Sinister Circuits, Capacity to Love, and Sentience. Simulated Emotions is the best means of this, and may be installed along with Sentience, as it gives them the ability to choose between Happy/Sad/Angry modes that all affect its Mood. Being in Happy mode will give a mood boost that can make the Bot happy enough to get Happiness Points.
Plumbots that have Fun unlocked can grow bored or stressed out, and Plumbots with Social Needs can be lonely, so there are certain drawbacks to unlocking these functions, but they allow the Plumbot to pursue opportunites that would not otherwise be available to them, particularly getting Lifetime Rewards.
Unlocking Other Functions: Careers, Skills, and Opportunities
Plumbots can only enter a career with the Office Drone Trait Chip installed. The Opportunities tab is opened with Sentience, but I have not yet received an opportunity for a Plumbot, nor the ability to select a Lifetime Wish. The Skills tab has more options - you can unlock this one with Limitless Learning, which lets them learn any Skill, or max out a select number of skills automatically by installing one of the other obviously-named Trait Chips for Handiness, Fishing, Gardening, Cooking (which will also let them learn all recipes including Ambrosia), Guitar (and other musical instruments), and Painting.
Plumbots with no skills do not have access to the Skill Journal. If you give a Plumbot the Limitless Learning Chip or it takes a Skill-specific Chip and completes Skill Challenges, it will retain those skill levels and accomplishments when you reinstall the chip.
Interacting with Plumbots
Plumbots have few social interactions at first. You can talk to them like any other Sim, but they are unable to get jokes or romantic interactions without the right chips. You can fall in love with a Plumbot if it has the Capacity to Love Trait Chip (but not Sentience). From their end, Plumbots can only do a few interactions and not enough to really make friends. They can explain function, scan Sims (no apparent use yet) and Plumbots cannot reproduce, however. Given you can make one for $250, that doesn't seem to be a big deal but there won't be any Plumbot babies.
Plumbots with Capacity to Love will let your Sim or other Plumbot fall in love with them and the 'Get Frisky' interaction will be available once you've gradually turned up the Romance and fallen in Love, distinct from Woohoo but just as fun and only for that purpose but not making Plumbot Babies since that's impossible without mods installed (assuming someone makes one for that).
From the Plumbot social interaction menu, your Sim has a few options without any chips:
- Explain Function - the Plumbot tells you its Quality, number of Trait Chips and the Trait Chips it has installed.
- Entertain Me - The Plumbot will play some music, which your Sim can dance to. You may upgrade this with the Musical Machine Trait Chip.
- Power Down - Tells the Plumbot to shut down until needed. You'll need to click it again and select boot up, for the Plumbot can do nothing for itself without Sentience.
Plumbots can do a bit more for your Sim directly if you install the Mood Adjuster Trait Chip. This enables you to order the Plumbot to give your Sim a full-body massage (+10 3h moodlet) or try the effective Happiness Beam, which will give a +40 4h moodlet!
Lastly, Plumbots outfitted with the Holo Projector are able to allow you to communicate with a Sim from another Time (Present or Future), socialize, and build your relationship with them.
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