Carl's Sims 3 Guide - Skills, Traits, Careers, Rewards, and Lifetime Wishes for Ambitions and World Adventures

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The Sims 3 Ambitions
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The Sims 3 Ambitions
Descendant of da Vinci Lifetime Wish Walkthrough

By Tom "Metro" Schlueter

The requirement for achieving the Descendant of da Vinci Lifetime Wish in The Sims 3 is maxing Painting, Inventing, and Sculpting. So, it's really not too tough. Given that fact I wanted to approach this as a pure money-making endeavor and hopefully throw a few tips out to aid anyone pursuing a similar path. I was also excited about maxing the appropriate self-employment careers, a nice new feature of Ambitions.

The Sims 3 Ambitions Descendant of da Vinci -

Danielle da Vinci
Traits: Ambitious, Loves the Outdoors, Handy, Natural Cook, Over-Emotional. Lifetime Wish: Swimming in Cash.

Donald da Vinci
Traits: Ambitious, Artistic, Eccentric, Savvy Sculptor, Born Salesman.
Lifetime Wish: Descendant of da Vinci

Without my typical Over-Emotional or Loves the Outdoors traits for self-employed Sims, I'm really going to have to focus on keeping Donald's mood high to maximize skill gain. Turned out not to be difficult at all despite the absence of the One with Nature moodlet or the bonus from OE. He was always Elated from a combination Good/Great Meal, Having a Blast, Well Rested, and Enjoying Music moodlets.

Hello Twinbrook
I couldn't resist trying out the new Ambitions neighborhood, Twinbrook, for this walkthrough. I plopped the da Vincis down at 17 Sweetwater Loop. At $1800, it's very affordable and it's the closest empty lot to the consignment shop which Donald frequented on nearly a daily basis to sell his paintings, inventions, and sculptures.

I pondered for a while about how I wanted to tackle things - i.e. the order I would hit the 3 skills. I finally decided on going painting first because I already knew it really well. Plus, I knew painting was lucrative and when it came time to switch to inventing I had no desire to have Donald waste time rummaging through junkyards for the necessary scrap. All the money earned from painting would easily allow Donald to conveniently buy scrap right at his workbench.

Day 1 saw Danielle cooking up a storm and Donald joining the Painting Career. For any Sim seeking quick advances in Cooking I typically have them make all of the free meals available from the stock ingredients in a new fridge on Day 1 - 3 Autumn Salads from the lettuce, 3 Waffles from the eggs, and 3 Mac and Cheese from the cheese. I usually toss this cheap food and by the time the evening rolls around, the cook is at lvl 4 or lvl 5 and can make things like Sushi or Stu Surprise that will turn out Nice. Kick it Up a Notch for Natural Cooks takes it one step better.

For Donald, as with any painter I start, my strategy is to make a beeline to accomplish the Brushmaster Challenge. That means small canvas size from the get-go. And the way that the number of a given canvas size is figured into final painting value, you're almost better off sticking with small canvas size when you look at money made per hour. Yes, you can make more money per painting with large canvases, but they take far longer and when you would switch to that bigger size you lose all of the bonus experience gained from smaller canvases to quickly get Brushmaster.

Another initial goal for Donald was to get him 15k happiness points very quickly for the Suave Seller reward so he could start taking his paintings to the consignment store. That magic moment came late Wednesday of Week 1 and Donald picked up Suave Seller and headed to the consignment shop. Problem is - it was 9 PM and the shop was closed! Ha ha. So, Donald went home, got some sleep, painted another small painting and headed back to the consignment shop and consigned 2 small paintings the next day, $141 and $161. Within a day I got a notice that one had sold for $330. Basically, double the value! I'll tell you what, consignment is really the way to go. I had my doubts when I first tried it out before this character, but it's a lot of fun. Sure, you can drag everything in Inventory and quickly sell it that way, but the consignment store adds a level of realism to the game that was previously not there- namely, you're NOT going to sell everything in one fell swoop. You'll see some days where maybe only one item sells. Other days will be huge where a ton of stuff sells. It's downright exciting because you just never know.

My next goal for Donald was to get Entrepreneurial Mindset quickly, so that required another 10k happiness points asap. It just took 2 more days to get those points and by Friday of Week 1 he bagged that reward. I had him even buy a Scraptronic Workbench and learn Inventing as a means to get those critical happiness points. He got a wish for a tattoo. Okay, done. Anything for happiness points and that reward. If he could have received happiness points for donating plasma or sperm, I would not have denied him the chance to do so. I don't know specifically the inner mechanics of how Entrepreneurial Mindset benefits a Sim selling to consignment shops, but it does. I noticed painting sale prices spiked shortly after purchasing the reward.

Speaking of Lifetime Happiness Points Rewards, there is the obvious biggie for painters, Super Creative. But, Super Creative is also super expensive at 30k points. I opted at this early point in my game to have that take a back seat. It's not like I could not complete the LTW without it. And there were a couple key Inventing and Sculpting rewards that I wanted to cash in when the time came to do so.

The Sims 3 Ambitions Descendant of da Vinci -

End of Week 1 and a typical setup for my outdoor Sims. Everything is very close to minimize walking. Danielle spent a lot of her time dancing to the stereo and when all else failed, staring at Donald while he painted. Not very exciting for Danielle, I admit. But, by the end of week 1 she was making great hamburgers and was at level 6 in cooking and handiness. Donald was at lvl 5 in the Painting career (Avante Garde Poseur), and lvl 8 in the painting skill.

Donald finished his 30th painting at the beginning of Week 2 to snatch up the Brushmaster Challenge and really speed up his painting. And I mean really speed up. His 30th small canvas took exactly 3 hours. His 31st took 90 minutes. Now, that's what I call a serious time reduction! It's one of the best bonuses in the whole game for a Skill Challenge.

With Brushmaster completed all of Week 2 was cranking out 9 to 10 small canvases a day and making daily trips to the consignment shop. The skill was maxed early in Week 2 (Tuesday) and the other 2 important Skill Challenges were accomplished towards the end of the week.

The painting portion of Donald's LTW all came down to Saturday of Week 2. What a landmark day. It started with Donald turning in an incredible 14 paintings to the consignment shop - more than enough to get him from his current level 9 to lvl 10 in the Painting career. I still wanted to hit lvl 10, but I felt I needed to at least begin Inventing and make some progress in that skill and join that career after maxing the painting career. Well, the next chain of events was incredible. As Donald is walking out the consignment shop he gets a phone call for the Fresco Opportunity. This is the motherlode opportunity for painting because completing this boosts value of all future paintings. And here's what is extra sweet - I have never gotten this monster opportunity. It must be ultra rare because I have played lots and lots of painters. So, I absolutely had to do it and put off starting Inventing a little longer!

The Fresco Opportunity is completed at City Hall and as Donald is walking out the government building upon completing it, simoleans fly up the screen from an enormous sale at the consignment shop. It was way more than what I needed to max out the painting career. Wow. What an incredible day. Donald achieved the Master of the Brush level in the painting career. He was right there on the steps of City Hall, so he promptly turned around and registered for the Inventing career.

First of all, a tip of the hat to John Allen, a forum member who laid it all out for anyone interested in maximizing money in Inventing (me) with this detailed post on the forum Inventing thread. Bottom line is I knew where the real money was - making lots of Flying Fighters. Thanks, John.

I had enough happiness points when Donald began Inventing in ernest to get Artisan Crafter and Efficient Inventor in one go. So, that was a nice bonus.

When I did have Donald go at Inventing full time, he pretty much chose the "Invent" option at the workbench for the first few days. I did fulfill the occasional "Make a crafted toy" or "Build an Improved Widget" wishes just for more happiness points, but I really wanted those schematics, namely, the Floor Hygienator and Flying Fighter ones.

After a few days of Inventing new schematics Donald accumulated enough additional points to grab Meditative Trance Sleep. I love that reward for self-employed Sims. I gave it to Danielle as well so I could keep both on the same schedule. And the benefit for Danielle was now with less time in the sack, she could spend even more time watching Donald create inventions!

The Flying Fighters schematic was discovered, so I immediately switched strategy to accomplishing the Widget Master Challenge (finishing 250 Widgets). It took about 3 days to finish the Challenge as Donald concentrated on making Smashers.

The Sims 3 Ambitions Descendant of da Vinci -

Donald is shown here mugging for the camera and finishing up the Smashers for the Widget Master Challenge. "Hey, Donald, you might want to actually look at what you're working on when holding a blowtorch?" Danielle is praying that I actually instruct her to do something. Anything.

Donald maxed Inventing the last day of Week 3. After one week in the Inventing career I was basically at the same place as I was after a week in the Painting career, lvl 5. My goal was to finish The Inventing career in same amount of time it took me to do painting-exactly 2 weeks. Ummm...forget it. As I slowly climbed to the top of the Inventing career something became painfully clear - there would be no way I could finish that career in the same time I finished the Painting career because the monetary requirements at the high end to get a promotion are significantly greater than those of painting. Don't ask me why.

So, this realization forced me to switch gears and go full force in accomplishing the Master of Invention Challenge just to make the Flying Fighters more valuable and made quicker. And, wow! What a challenge that is to complete. It has to be one of the most stringent in the game - almost a solid week of doing nothing but making Floor Hygienators. That was pretty boring to say the least, but when Donald was done there was a huge boost to the base price of Inventions and the time to make everything was greatly reduced as well.

The Sims 3 Ambitions Descendant of da Vinci -

Donald is putting the wraps on the Master of Invention Skill Challenge with the last Floor Hygienator. He dubbed it the "Tighty Whitey Big Invention."

With the Master of Invention Challenge completed at the end of Week 5 and the Widget Master Challenge already completed (the Detonating and Scrap Challenges I think are pretty worthless), Donald poured all efforts into making Flying Fighters as if there was no tomorrow. By this time, I had also given him additional rewards like Steel Bladder and Hardly Hungry so he could stand at the bench and work like a madman. Flying Fighters flew off the bench very fast. Donald was standing for nearly 15 to 16 hours his final days in the Inventing career. I did have some stuff at the consignment shop, but for whatever reason the sales during the Inventing career paled compared to the painting career. There were quite a few disappointing 2 or 3 Flying Fighter days compared to simply unloading all a day's results for around 12 or 13k in Inventory.

Donald finally hit lvl 10 of the Inventor career on Week 6, Day 4. Whew. That took longer than expected. Time to wrap up the LTW with Sculpting.

As John Allen's info really saved me a lot of time in Inventing, our Supreme Sim Entity, Carl, published a well-timed piece on Sculpting. So, again, I had a roadmap for a skill I was unfamiliar with that was going to save me oodles of time trying to max the Sculpting career. Thanks, chief!

Donald grabbed his chisel and bought the Pedestrian Sculpting Station. He was all set. He started the skill and career on Week 6, Day 4. The final days of Inventing brought some nice wishes, so Donald spent 30k more happiness points on Dirt Defiant and Fast Leaner rewards.

My basic plan of attack is to do 5 Clay, 5 Wood, 5 Metal, 5 Topiary, 5 Ice, and finally 5 Stone to complete the Master Sculptor Challenge. Chiselmaster would also be accomplished on the way. Once I unlocked and started doing the initial 5 Topiaries, I crossed my fingers that the Dragon Dougherty would pop out quickly since that's what Carl feels is the money shot.

The Sims 3 Ambitions Descendant of da Vinci -

In Carl's Sculpting skill article, he mentioned that it took his Sim 437 sculptures before making a toilet. My clay toilet popped out as Donald's 3rd sculpture. Crazy! I felt it was important that you see proof of this fact. Did I mention that Donald had the Steel Bladder reward?

Once Donald maxed out the Sculpting skill (after only 3 days of sculpting) I decided to make daily runs to the consignment shop. I did this routine with painting as well, and I think there may be a connection with a regular flow of items and steady income. I didn't do that with Inventing, mostly because I had to crank out so much stuff for those Challenges. But, it resulted in less money made from Inventions and taking longer to finally hit the Inventing career cap.

Anyway, back to sculpting. So, Donald achieved his LTW on Week 6, Day 7. Now, you may be thinking that's a ridiculous amount of time, but remember the avenue I chose to take - maxing out a given career before moving on to the next skill/career. You certainly don't have to do that, but I found it was a nice, natural stopping point and kind of brought closure to one skill.

I got to thinking about relationship level with the consignment specialist and wondered if there was any connection with price of items sold and quantity of items sold. I doubt it, but it certainly could not hurt. So, with a new gush of happiness points from achieving his LTW, Donald picked up Attractive and Observant and now at least takes the time for a brief chat while consigning his wares.

Donald's first Masterpiece was a Shiny Things Metal Chair. That was actually his 5th Metal sculpture and that was also the item that unlocked the Chiselmaster Challenge. So, that was nice to get out of the way for faster work with Ice and Stone yet to do.

Donald chose Ice sculptures next. He knocked 5 out in a couple days and just sold them outright given they inevitably would have melted en route to the consignment shop.

The Sims 3 Ambitions Descendant of da Vinci -

Donald finishing up the 5th Stone statue to complete the Master Sculptor Challenge on Week 8, Day 1. After this it was 3 more days of continuous Dragon Doughtery Topiaries with going to the consignment store everyday. I didn't notice this until the end of the Sculpting career, but payments from sales at the consignment store actually occur on a regular basis right after 5 PM. So, if your Sim wants regular income, then make sure to arrive no later than 4 PM to have the transaction finished in time.

Donald finished up the Sculpting career and hit Master Sculptologist on Week 8, Day 4 - exactly two weeks. Just like painting and kind of interesting given the two skills have so much overlap. He received his largest single payment from the consignment store to date - 35k in one fell swoop!

So, the da Vinci Lifetime Wish is a wrap. All 3 self-employment careers were maxed. But, Donald's story is not done yet. Part of the reason I took this LTW walkthrough was to do some serious hardcore testing of money-making for all 3 skills. So, that's what I'm going to do.

Show me the money...the Big 100-Hour Test

Here we go. Fun time. And time to really find out how the 3 individual da Vinci Lifetime Wish skills stack up against each other in a pure all-out money making frenzy. Booyah! For the purposes of this test, I did have testingcheatsenabled true on to keep needs at a constant and hammer this out more quickly. The basic setup is I'm going to do 5 20-hour work sessions of painting, inventing, and sculpting. The consignment store is not involved in this testing. All consignments were canceled before starting, plus the da Vincis had the No Bills Ever reward, so all money earned during testing was from items sales. Nice and simple. Here we go...

The Sims 3 Ambitions Descendant of da Vinci -

Sticking with my philosophy of keeping the small canvas size for the accumulated experience with that size, Donald went to work with a massive line of easels to minimize walking. 12 easels was perfect and took exactly 20 hours.

Painting Profit over 100 hours = 82019.

Again, sticking to my money-making idea during the career, I focused solely on Flying Fighters. But, my results after figuring in the cost of the huge amount of scrap necessary for the 425 Fighters made over 100 hours didn't quite measure up to John Allen's stats on the forum:

Inventing Profit over 100 hours = 58887.

The Sims 3 Ambitions Descendant of da Vinci -

This test was fun. Donald had a long line of 10 sculpting stations. Each Dragon Doughtery took exactly 2 hours, so it was perfect - 20 hours per cycle. And I can't believe that when I finished I came up with essentially the same result as what Carl mentioned in his article. However, his monster-sized 8k Dragon never surfaced for Donald. His best effort during the test was a Masterpiece that popped out at $4565.

Sculpting Profit over 100 hours = 89439.

This Lifetime Wish was a lot of fun. I've always thoroughly enjoyed Sims that do their own thing - make money their own way and call their own shots. The new self-employment careers in Ambitions is so sweet and I really like the consignment shop as well.

The strategy used in this Lifetime Wish walkthrough is not the only way to complete it. Share your tips for finishing this LTW with other players below!

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