The Sims 3 Island Paradise - Scuba Diving SKill
Guide to Snorkeling, Scuba, Dive Spots, Caves & Treasure Chests
|Scuba Diving||Resorts||Mermaids||Discovering Islands||Map Fragments & Bottles||Lifeguard|
The Sims 3 Island Paradise Expansion Pack introduces the Scuba Diving skill, which will let your Sims Snorkel and deploy scuba gear to use underwater dive spots where they can collect shells, explore caves, capture fish, and allow you to enjoy the scenery and sense of exploration. This guide will teach you all about Scuba Diving, from raising the skill to what you can do with it, and finally give you the locations of all scuba-related caves and treasure chests.
While Snorkeling is a feature of Scuba, the main attraction here is the ability to dive underwater and explore an area with collectibles on the ocean floor, caves to enter, and treasure chests to open. Caves may whisk you away to another dive spot if you have a high enough level, and you may encounter other divers and Mermaids. You can socialize underwater, but will want to conserve your air for finding items on the floor, catching fish, and delving into caves to gather collectibles. You have a limited amount of air, and upon returning to the surface, your Sim will need some time to decompress in order to dive again.
Scuba and Athletic
Some players report that their Athletic skill rises while using the Scuba skill because of the time spent swimming. For me, this did not happen until I took a class in Athletics - running on a treadmill would have accomplished the same. I think swimming doesn't really raise athletic until you've 'unlocked' the skill by gaining experience in Athletic first. Some say their Athletic skill builds up constantly, but mine only rises while the actual 'swim' action is taking place, when going to a Snorkel/Scuba destination. Swimming underwater while Scuba Diving doesn't raise Athletic for me, nor does Snorkeling.
Air, Decompression, and Death by Drowning
Sims need air to scuba dive. Your Sim will automatically wear their wetsuit and oxygen when diving below the ocean surface. They'll start with a breathing comfortably moodlet while underwater that gets longer each time you level the skill. For details on that, read the Leveling guide on the next page. You'll start with about 3-4 hours of air, depending when you first dive. When that runs out, a more dangerous breathing shallowly moodlet appears for a couple hours, before gasping for air. At that point, you have 1 hour to return to the surface or the Sim will get a visit from the reaper and die by drowning.
Self Employment and Scuba Diving Opportunities
I highly recommend you register as self employed at City Hall. That way, you'll get the Simoleon rewards you'll be given at the later levels of the 'career'. During the daytime, you can use the 'Check for Diving Work' interaction at the Science Facility, Restaurant, and City Hall. All will ask you to collect various types of items for them. They'll request messages in bottles, eel, sea shells, octopus and various other sea life that you can collect while diving. As you continue with the skill, you will sometimes be able to turn in these opportunities instantly and collect the reward.
When you're first getting started with Scuba Diving, Snorkeling is your only option. It's a bad choice for leveling the skill at later levels, but Snorkeling is the best way to collect sea shells and other collectibles. This will allow you to more easily earn the Savvy Snorkeler Skill Challenge. At the first level of Scuba Diving, your Snorkeling will only find items at an 8% rate. By level 10 it nearly doubles to 15%, bringing in items much more often. It is best to snorkel out in open water, as the random paths Sims take may lead them to walk to shallow water on the shore and need to dive again, causing some downtime. Worse, they may even get confused and stop snorkeling after attempting to swim up to the beach. So, choose a spot out in the center of a nice clear area and your Snorkeling experience will be much better.
As you level Scuba Diving, you will gradually unlock the four dive spots Island Paradise offers. Each one has one or more caves, treasure chests, and random spawners for sea shells and various sea life that your Sim can catch, sell, and use to gain Self Employment levels. Rocky Reef unlocks at level 2, Davy Jones' Locker at level 4, The Mermaid Grotto at level 7, and Pearl's Deep at level 9. Check the Dive Spot Treasure Chest and Cave Exploration Guide to learn more about the four Dive Spots.
Collecting Fish, Sea Shells and Messages in Bottles
You can find the above collectibles swimming around and resting on the sea floor while Scuba Diving. Sea Shells and messages in a bottle are hard to spot and very random in their spawning. You will also find Octopus on the bottom, with sea urchins and fish floating around. Keep your eyes open but if an area looks to have few spawns, then go on to the next and hope for better luck next visitig when the sea shell and message in a bottle spawners reset. These types can also be found along the beach, washed up on the shore and just waiting for your Sim to collect them. Unfortunately, these pickups do not count toward the Scuba Diving Skill Challenges.
In each Dive Spot there can be found a cave. Inside is a rabbit hole adventure that can lead you to many underwater collectibles. If your Sim is high enough level, they may be offered to use a Cave to travel on and see where the exit leads. This sometimes takes them to another location altogether, like the next level dive spot, a random spot on the shore, or even the Uncharted Island you can discover at level 10. Your Sim may be attacked by tentacled monsters and suffer a nasty moodlet. You can usually stay in these caves for a long time, or deliberately visit them to extend your stay, as finding an air pocket will reset your air moodlet to full.
Sharks may also be present at a Dive Spot. Sometimes you can watch them as they swim while your Scuba Diving skill increases. If they get aggressive, your Sim may end up in a fight for their life. Sims who lose this fight can die. If you want to be super cautious, bring a Death Flower with you or take the Loves to Swim trait to hopefully help your odds of winning. If a shark defeats your Sim but doesn't kill them, you'll get a harsh 8h -35 moodlet. A shark attack happens only 5% of the time, but the shark may get multiple chances at this roll to attack your Sim. When watching a shark, this chance jumps to 25% as you're more likely to draw attention by swimming around it.
Shark Attacks grow 2% more likely for each raw meat that you have in your inventory. You may not be carrying many raw steaks, burgers, hot dogs and eggs, which will attract them, but many Scuba Divers will gather fish while under the sea. Those raw fish are edible to werewolves and shark, and the Shark are predators that will take it to mean you're a floating buffet. Offload fish you collect in your diving adventures to prevent these attacks growing more likely.