Monday, June 30, 2008

relax | TirNua's Premiere Magazine

After thinking over it, I've decided that I will have a site dedicated toward TirNua and it will cover much more broad subjects than what we covered at the EAL Herald. The site will be a magazine and will have weekly PDF publications to go along with the daily updates.

We will start looking for reporters and freelance writers this fall. We predict that the game wont be released (for beta) until Winter 08/09. This will give us much time to prepare.

Until then, check out these TirNua fan websites:
TirNua Game
TirNua Naucht
TirNua: luceat lux vestra
TirNua Central

See you this winter!
Xander Hill

Friday, June 20, 2008

TirNua Times?

Since we've closed we've had a good amount of traffic from those who didn't know EAL is closing or are just checking up for any new happenings. I'm glad that you may still come to this site for news, but there's been no big news stories in a while. Until now...

On June 5, 2008, Luc introduces us to TirNua, a new MMO game being developed by himself and many of the old TSO-e team. You may even remember their names:Audrey, Cort, Greg, Larry, Laurent, Lee, Margaret, Sarah . They've shown their compassion and love for making games in the TSO/EAL days, now they're making TirNua from the ground up and want your input! They'll be updating their blog constantly(so they say) to get input from gamers on different aspects of the game.

One aspect that Luc already revealed, and may be a big one, is enviroment.
"As some of you have already guessed from just the lovely image above, one subject of interest in Tirnua is the environment.

Next week, when the blog opens, I will start collecting your thoughts on how we could impact our real world environment, while having fun in our virtual world."

- Luc,

We will be bringing you up-to-date news on TirNua. It is unclear whether or not we'll actually make a newspaper/blog dedicated to TirNua. Make sure you add us to your RSS feed to get the updates fast.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

EAL Herald Closed

Because of the stymied growth from EAL and the lack of communication between players and devs, the EAL Herald has decided to shut down operations. We feel that EAL is on the end of it's rope and there's no where else to go but down.

We would like to thank all of the hundreds of people who visited our site daily and we hope to see you again someday.

EAL Staff

Monday, April 7, 2008

Friendliest Sim in EAL: An Interview w/ Debbie Simth

Meet Debbie Simth, she is the friendliest sim in EA-Land and has over 300 friends to prove it.

EA Land Herald: Tell us a little about your sim and her simmy ways
Debbie Simth: Well, I came back after a two year absence. And I'm SO glad I did.

EALH: What made you return?
DS: I just really missed it. I went to EA to find out if the discs were still available and found the downloads. I was VERY fortunate to have come back at the perfect time.

EALH: So, did you ever think you would become the nicest sim in EAL?
DS: LOL - I think what I actually am is the most compulsive avatar in EAL. I decided about two weeks ago that I needed more friends, and I just haven't' been able to stop.

EALH: Haha, I noticed you're not that old (46 days old), must have been alot of work.
DS: It probably has, but I play a lot of hours a day. It's been so much fun, though, it just doesn't seem like work. If it weren't for the fact that I'm trying to carry skills without locks I could probably have more. But I keep a careful eye on the skills

EALH: Was it ever your goal to be the nicest sim?
DS: No, that just happened when I couldn't stop LOL. It was my goal to be on all 3 of the lists, though

EALH: And are you?
DS: Yes, I'm proud to say I have reached that goal.

EALH: How do you stay in touch with 300 sims?
DS: I spend at least 2 hours a day making sure the links don't drop below 75. After that, I spend another hour serenading people I havn't previously met. Finally - I check the people in the room I am near to being friends with, and finish the link. That takes about another hour.

EALH: It sounds like a chore?
DS: Well, I'm having so much fun with it, it doesn't seem like a chore : ) So it's good. When it start feeling like work I'll find another goal to work on.

EALH: What perks, if any, do you receive?
DS: Hmmmmmm. I guess you could count this interview as a "perk". Other than that I haven't really noticed anything. I have my personal sense of accomplishment and that makes me happy: ). It is really amazing to me that behind all these avatar friends are real honest to goodness people- from all over the world. WOW

EALH: Do you ever try to use your status to your advantage? lol or flaunt it to your 300 friends? lol
DS: LOL- I have no extra time for that! I hope I haven't flaunted it - but I AM human. I guess you'd have to ask others about that.

EALH: What feature would you most like to see added to EAL in the future?
DS: I hadn't really thought about that. I like the new features ( I get to see Jack Sparrow in the house I'm in now!), but as for new things I guess I'm not creative enough to "dream" what could be. I just roll with the flow.

EALH: Thank you so much Debbie for agreeing to this interview :)
DS: Thank you for asking! It was fun : )

Friday, April 4, 2008

Player's Choice - Part 1: Our Voice

(Because some players complained that the Special Reports are too long, I'll be breaking them down into 3 parts for this month, Enjoy)

As EAL is starting to form together as a big post-merge community, we're finding that our choices for sources of news and feedback is not only limited but also discouraging.

The Sims Online(older EAL) used to host it's own message board at it's older site "". There, players could discuss problems and have actual one-on-one interactions with Maxis devs. With the major overhaul of the site in 2003 came the termination of the Official TSO boards. Players were left to scatter across the internet and find sites that had TSO boards. Stratics has been, since 2003, the most popular TSO/EAL message board for players to voice their concerns and feedback. Parizad comments that "Stratics is not the official EAL board" and that "EA and Stratics have no relations". Meaning there is still no one site for players to gather all of their information. Because of Stratics being the largest EAL fan community, it is dubbed by players as the "unofficial EAL boards." But posting at Stratics brings new TOS rules that were never present at the old TSO boards. Rules that deny you of helping others and protecting the community.
One TOS from Stratics states,

"C. Personal attacks are prohibited. This specifically means any text/post that is blatantly attacking another person on or off the forum, especially in a personal way. This includes accusing anyone of cheating, using exploits, or scamming. Stratics does not have the ability to follow up on these claims to verify their validity, therefore they are not allowed. "

The advocates for the rule say that it protects the misaccused or innocent. But how many times has a player cried wolf over scams? For a recent example, I'll use the Bradleys. The Bradleys are the most well-known scammers in EAL. A few weeks ago the EA devs finally took care of the problem by terminating their accounts. The EAL Herald reported on it(exclusive ;) )and it so happened that we had a link on the Stratics board. The link did not even lead directly to the article. We were instantly messaged by Stratics to take down the article or remove the link from their site. We found that the truth should remain lit so we deleted our link on the Stratics site and parted ways. Stratics dosent realize how many sims.....avatars will get scammed in EAL because of the rules that restrict us from protecting other players. Even when the scammers are well-known and the EA devs took serious action because of their scammings.

Players are starting to stop and stare at Stratics's TOS and reevaluate their choices. Players have started to create their own sites with boards on them for other players to talk and discuss EAL topics freely without having to limit their speech or thought. A few examples of these sites include EA-Land Mania, EA-Lander, and EA-Land Forum. Players see are starting to see how unfairly Stratics is treating the EAL players and how they will take advantage of their high membership for their own benefit. Players are also starting to see their choices grow from one to many, as we continue to grow as a community and keep our bond strong.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Parizad Speaks, "A few people came in to do nothing but bitch and moan..."

The following is a comment made by Parizad when the topic of the EA Town Hall Meeting schedule came up on Stratics.

"I'm going to wear my heart on my sleeve in this post.

We (the whole team) works crazy amount of hours each week. We try to make it to the Town Hall whenever we can. In the past, we tried to be there religiously. As time went on, we got busier and busier. I don't know if you guys noticed that I cut back the hours posted? We'll probably cut it back some more.

The last couple of times I was there, I was so busy that I knew, absolutely knew I'd have to work until 9 p.m. or later, but I went anyway. You know what happened? A few people came in to do nothing but bitch and moan about how much we sucked. They did not have any questions or issues. They only wanted to form a mob. They kept keeping the players that actually had questions from asking them.

You have to understand, the stuff you guys post about and the feedback we get in-game... the bugs, exploits, etc, we take those very seriously. We're keep pushing ourselves to make this game better for you guys. When people come in to do nothing but whine, and do not have any suggestions on how we can better this game, it really takes a toll on me. Like I said, we're stressed, working tons of hours, and often times these people are the straw that breaks the camel's back.

Often times, it is easier to just close down the Town Hall than it is to play into their hands by reacting to their diatribes.

I can help you guys, the community, sooooo much more with the things I do behind the scenes. Whenever I can, I'll go to the Town Hall. The times posted are more of a suggested schedule"

Well we brought the heat, they ran like hell from the kitchen.

-Via Stratics

Monday, March 31, 2008

First Look: City-From Gifts (Cont'd)

Here are a few more detailed pics of the City-From markers.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

First Look: City-From Markers

The EA-Land Devs announced a few days ago that they were working on giving us "City-From" gifts for our sims that merged/moved to EAL from an original TSO city. EA-Land Herald had a chance to take a first look at the markers and we have the pics here for you.

The bottom three markers are for TSO Founders, EA Land Founders, and EA Land Explorers.

More detailed pics will be posted tomorrow.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

"Party Time!", Skill Speeds Raised

It’s only midday Saturday and there has already been two periods of increased skilling so far this weekend. In addition to skilling, payouts were raised significantly yesterday.

What is the cause of all this? Some speculate that this is some sort of minor compensation for the extended downtimes users have been experiencing lately. There is another promised timeframe for “Hyper skilling” later tonight with the possibility of more tomorrow. Be ready and keep an ear open as the sun goes down for another chance at increasing your skills at record speeds.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Scammed, Stolen, Trashed, Gone: The Bradleys

Many of you many already know of the Bradley's. We had an interview with them earlier this month titled "Famously Infamous". If you're new to the game, the Bradley's ran a scam house titled Free Money For Newbies that dared newbies into doing ridiculous acts for a promise of large sums of money that was never given. The well known family recently had a run in with EA staff. Their past incidents finally caught up with them when the EA staff took actions to make sure the Bradleys left the game forever.

One of the most recent attack the Bradley's orchestrated was against a roomie at the "Tonight-Show with ED" lot. The roomie, who has now left the lot for security reasons, will be known in this article as Anon. About 2 years ago, the Bradley's downloaded a keystroke program onto Anon's computer to steal the email account information. Yesterday, we learned that the Bradley's kept Anon's email account and just recently logged into the email to request the member name and password from After requesting the information, the Bradley's deleted the email so Anon wouldn't see it. The Bradley's then logged onto one of Anon's accounts and completely destroyed and trashed the lot.

After a few minutes of investigation, Anon logged into another account and then caught someone else on the account she just got off of. Anon confronted them, but they logged off and then Ophelia IMed Anon. Anon then realized the situation and contacted EA staff. But it isnt the first time Anon contacted EA about the Bradleys.

Prior to the whole trashing and stealing situation Anon and a few other anonymous sims contacted EA devs about the Bradleys. The complaints ranged from being scammed to being harassed. Sources report that the EA devs have been collecting enough complaints against the Bradleys to justify a permanent termination of their accounts.

Along with the termination of the Bradleys, the Vontrells were also terminated for very similar reasons. Major scammers have finally been taken care of thanks to the players of EAL, Anon, and the EA devs.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Fixing Bugs and Exploits

The EA devs have had EA-Land down for almost 24 hours now due to the excess of bugs and exploits found in the game. The exploit found was a simolean granting exploit that has gone unnoticed by the Devs for some while now. But they assured us that they're #1 issue is to get us back into EA Land.

We also asked about if there was someone working on fixing the roof bug and Parizad replied "Yes."

EA-Land should be up by 3PM EST.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

All Merged!

It's been a bumpy ride from the start of the merge to today, but we got through it! Through all the lag, bugs, and glitches, we're finally all together(except TC3). Blazing Falls and BetaVille were finally merged today. Welcome to EA-Land!

According to our poll, the majority of you would like to see all bugs fixed before EA hands out any other features. I hope they take note and fix it all. It would be nice to finally have a roof, the blue tarp isnt cutting it.

Already Merged: IH, JP, DC, MF, EJ, DG, CC, FF, AV, BV, BF

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Master In the Art: An Interview w/ Thrill

We were first introduced to Thrill through the TSO-e website. He was the one responsible for publishing the helpful custom content tutorials and taking hundreds of sims step-by-step through the CC process. He was then recognized again by TSO-e because of his clever 'Car Chairs' that he uploaded. Now he's being dubbed the "Top Earning Sim in EA-Land". Thrill seems to be aiming for the stars and there's no one in the way to stop him. We wanted to get an interview with Thrill and talk about his success and his future. With so many acclamations from TSO-e and the TSO community I'm sure he wouldnt mind us calling him a Master in the Arts.

Thrill: hi Xander
EALH: Hello Thrill

EALH: How did you get your start in customizing Sims objects?

Thrill: well, i first started customizing Sims objects a few months ago, when Luc mentioned on his blog that he will allow us to upload those files

EALH: So prior to his announcement you had no experience in customizing sims objects?

Thrill: correct, i never did any customizing before that

EALH: I take it that it was easy to pick up? seeing how far you got today

Thrill: yeah, once you understand how the items work, it easy to make your own unique items

EALH: What made you want to make customizing a sim career?

Thrill: I had look forward to doing this since Luc first appeared again in TSO and offered to included custom content. At that time, I had been looking for a game to express my creativity online.
Thrill: *include

EALH: So I take it that expressing yourself drives you to create items?

Thrill: yeah, pretty much. Plus the challenge of creating new items that other sims find interesting and can add to their enjoyment

EALH: What's your favorite creation so far?

Thrill: i like the Tree Swing so far
Thrill: i'm looking forward to scripting it to make it move

EALH: Do you have experience in scripting?
Thrill: I'm a programmer in rl...
Thrill: and have done some UI work for Warcarft and scripting in Second Life

EALH: wow, so you pretty much know what you're doing

Thrill: pretty much, but everything has a certain learning curve to it
Thrill: dont mean that to sound arrogant lol.. cause i'm sure i'm not nearly as good as many others are at scripting

EALH: You said you played Second Life, how does TSO and SL differ on the creation of items? Is one easier than the other?

Thrill: TSO and SL are very different, SL has it's own in game tools where TSO you really on outside programs like 3D Studio Max and Photoshop
Thrill: *rely

EALH: What other CC uploader do you admire the most?

Thrill: there alot of CC creators that are doing cool things, some of my favorite so far are Toby Maxwell, Harley Ryder, and CntryGirl

EALH: Do you find yourself competing to create the "next big thing"? I'm sure the car chairs were a hit
Thrill: ah, yes and no... Thrill: i'm not really trying to compete with any of the other CC creators,..
Thrill: but I do try to "compete" with myself to continually try and create better objects
Thrill: I encourage all CC creators to make the best objects they can, and offer my if they get stuck. And also provide tutorials to aide with those who want to learn more

Thrill: *help

EALH: After being recognized by the TSO-e team several times do you believe the extra popularity helps your business?
Thrill: i think it has
Thrill: i find people like to stop by our shop to see what new objects we have to offer

EALH: What are your future plans for TSO?
Thrill: so far it is to just keep up with the new CC items that Maxis will allow us to create
Thrill: and try to make items that everyone will enjoy

EALH: Which future TSO feature do you look forward to the most?
Thrill: i look forward to the Scripting the most
Thrill: followed by Animations

EALH: Which current object do you look forward to the most for adding animation?

Thrill: probably sculptures, with that we can make cool fountains or aquarium type objects

EALH: I look forward to them

EALH: Thank you Thrill for letting us interview you
Thrill: ty Xander, I'm glad you had me to interview

Note: This was a "Flashback Article". Because of the recent move from one site to this one, we left behind a few articles. We still want those articles to be viewed so we're bringing them back. A few details in this article may seem irrelative or wrong. Please note that this article is old.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Custom Content Showcase 3/14

We are starting a new weekly article here at the EA Land Herald. Our reporters will scourer the cities for the best looking custom content available and bring it to our readers’ attention. We have two lovely pieces to showcase today.

This lovely piece is a Mahogany Cabinet uploaded by Rayne Morgan which can be found at CC and Household. It is made with a deep, richly colored wood along with realistically displayed items complete with reflection.

This handsome chair was uploaded by xSweet-Viviex and is entitle “Bulk Arm Chair.” I found it at Shopping MallTWO while browsing around late at night. The texturing done to this chair is gorgeous and could be proudly displayed in many home decors.

Stay tuned for future Custom Content Showcases

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tonight Show with Ed: Premiere Show

I'm sure many of you have seen the advertisements the right for upcoming entertainment lots. Well one of those lots, Tonight-Show with ED premiered yesterday to a packed house.

EA Land Herald was there and we took a few pictures for you. The talk show consisted of interviews of very well known sims in EA Land and audience giveaways. One of those guests, Tinny (CC maker), gave away some of his own CC to lucky audience members!

If you didn't get a chance to check out the premiere show make sure you check for upcoming shows!

Monday, March 10, 2008

USG White House Releases Statement Regarding Bradleys

In response to the recent article posted here on the Blog and recent skepticism surrounding the Bradley Family and the "USG Capitol", the United Sims Government has come out with an official Press Release.

"To all Citisims,

The United Sims Government is aimed at protecting all of EA Land's citisims. In recent time, local residents have filed complaints of the property in EA Land known as, "The USG Capitol." The building run by "President Bradley" is a fake. Although our offices have been initially flattered by the imitations, we in this case are not. The imitating property is NOT affiliated with USG nor is its owner, President Bradley.

We warn all citisims not to enter this property due to numerous scamming concerns. We take our reputation and safety of EA Land's citisims seriously. Therefore we ask citisims to report any suspicious activity to the Police Department. If you have been scammed, know someone who has been scammed, or have any concerns please contact, Commissioner Peglin, head of the USG Police.

In regards to who are members of the United Sims Government and those who are not, please visit our website at, or visit us at the USG White House, located under the Welcome Category. Thank you and we hope you have a pleasant, safe, and a fun day in EA Land. Happy Simming!

- Alexander Hayes, Director of Community Affairs.
- United Sims Government White House."

Famously Infamous: An Interview w/ the Bradley's

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Mrs Ophelia Bradley and Mrs Fiona Bradley of the well known Bradley family. I asked them about their history in TSO and their plans for the future in EAL. They had very interesting answers to the questions.

EALH: How did the Bradley's get their start in TSO?

Mrs Ophelia Bradley: "Well... we started by doing a few other things. We got aggravated with the AVG. It was just.. you know, stupid.
Mrs Fiona Bradley: "Formality in a game, bad idea."
OB: "So we decided to start a counter to that - Operation Opposition."
FB: "Thus, the Royal Opposition was formed."

EALH: Bradley is a well known name in TSO, why do you think that is?

OB: "Originally when we started to play, we decided on Bradley. It kind of went in hand with us from then on. I think that it's infamous because of thing that have happened.. And it's always been a very respectable name in the game."
FB: "People just...know us."

EALH: Do you think people's perception of the Bradley's being griefers is misconstrued?

FB: "Sean, I would go as far to say it is outrageous. We have always been in The Sims Online to help others."
OB: "That's really an unknown fact."
FB: "Some people see it the other way unfortunately."
OB: "People dont like to make newspaper articles about how we help the game and love to help people."
FB: "If you ask some of the veterans of Alphaville, those who dont play anymore, most would say they loved us."

EALH: An example of how you help the game and people?

OB: "Well Sean.."
OB: "Im sure you have been to several of our properties throughout our lifetime. We use to give out money by the boatloads. Just recently, we gave out sex."
FB: "We actually had a boat once"
OB: "I was going to say that Fiona. Thanks dear"
OB: "Do you remember our house boat, Sean?"

EALH: Hm, can't remember.

OB: "We gave free cruises away all of the time."
FB: "Sean, let me ask yo a question. What is your fondest memory or our family?"

EALH: Well I dont think I ever really interacted with the family back then. I just knew of you.

OB: "Im sure some of your friends interacted with us, however."


EALH: What are the Bradley's up to today in EAL?

FB: "Well, actually we have exciting news. Mother has just received word she has been appointed President of the USG!"
OB: "Isn't that fantastic, Sean?"

EALH: Yes. Where have you heard that from?

OB: "It's all across the news."
FB: "MSN most recently reported it. We really want to change EAL."
OB: "The voter that I campaigned in front of told me they were tired of Mr Sim and Jack...the"self-appointed."
FB: "It seems that to be in a position in USG, you just have to think of a clever name! Be honest Sean, how ridiculous are those police officers? They aren't even roommates!"
OB: "I like how Jason Sim is also his secret service agent"

EALH: True mostly new sims. But you are President of USG cant you change that?

OB: "Ofcourse"
FB: "Have you seen the Star Wars trilogy, Sean?"
OB: "That's why you see some people living in this house that arent Bradley's. We are here for the people, Sean. You know that."
FB: "Mother will have royal imperial guards guarding her, not Secret Service agents!"
OB: "And to top it off.. I wont play as President and Secret Service Agents, like Mr Sim."

EALH: Do any of you have anything to add?

OB: "I would like to add.. I want to thank all the sims that voted for me as President. I want to invite everyone to the Capitol.. and.. I want to give Mr McKinley-Sim and Mr Whiterstien a message.. They know who runs this town..and if they aren't careful, they wont be in this town. Fiona do you need to add anything?"
FB: "Very profound mother. Yes. I want to send this message to all those who really arent familiar with us. We are a family that has earned its reputations through our trust. We encourage all of the newbies to experience us, first-hand. That is all.

EALH: Ok. Thank you both for letting me have this interview :)

Correction: EA Land Herald checked with the United Sims Government Founders and discovered that contrary to our interviewee's response, the the USG has not yet held elections. The USG Interim President is still Jack Whiterstien. They also add that elections will take place once all cities have merged.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

This is Why EA Land Will Fail

The good ole' days in TSO, remember them? You know the time where you were still a newbie but so was everyone else? New adventures around every corner, new friends to give balloons to, and a couple of annoying people to slap around with your black leather glove? Yep, those were the golden days of TSO. It ended pretty quickly, but it'll always stick around in our memories. Now fast forward, pass the time where EA abandoned us, to today. Things look the same, we have new items and new features, but essentially things are the same right? No. This is why EAL will fail.

Bugs/Glitches. If you were apart of the TSO beta I'm sure to quite used to the bugs and glitches. But for us who joined a few months, or years, later this is something new to us. We never experienced these many bugs in our simmy lives. Roofs aren't there, lights give off a striped ambiance, random crashes to desktops, glitches that take away our items, and lags that could kill. There's no doubt that EAL is still in beta, but beta shouldn't always be hell. Beta is meant for there to be testing and a quick fixing of the game so it can go gold. Remember people, devs had 5 years experience with TSO, yet EAL is in "beta"? Sure, we know that the devs are doing "all they can" to fix our problems, but what impressions do these bugs make on new sims and especially returning sims? It tells them that this game is not a finished product so why waste anymore money? During the long break between moving EAL to the East Coast Server and merging EJ they should be quickly dealing with all of the bugs. In a recent town hall meeting, Greg told us that there's "No one working on roof bug yet."EAL will fail due to the lack of response by devs and the growing frustration from players.

New Economy. I'm sure that you know by now that there's a new "Dynamic" economy set up to mirror that of our real life capitalist economy. There's a system of "supply and demand" that raises retail prices of objects when alot of people buy them and decreases prices when no one buys them. The same "Dynamic" system is in play for real estate and payouts. It's been a little over a month now and we can clearly see that this new economy is not what we need right now. In EAL you're either rich from CC/Shops or just getting by. Sadly, not all of us can own a store or create Custom Content so what is there to do? Skill and make money through money houses! Grand idea, spending over 25 real life hours staring at our computer screen and then going to a money house to receive 52 simoleans a painting (on a good day). This economy is not meant for EAL. It only benefits the shop owners and their 20 accounts. Welcome lot owners have it the worst. We need an economy that rewards you for opening a Welcome lot and rewards you for cooking and giving advice to new sims. How can welcome lot owners benefit financially when their primary guests are newbies who have no game experience or job? This economy isn't even stopping botters from soaking up all the simoleans. Botters are still active and well. They may not be getting all the money that they were previously getting but 50k+ simoleans a day isn't that bad. EAL will fail due to the economy punishing sims with little to money and rewarding sims that use 3rd party programs to get money.

Botters. In EAL we refer to those who use 3rd party programs to gain simoleans as "botters". They've been around since the start of TSO. Always figuring out ways to exploit the system and succeed. During that time when EA abandoned TSO (2004-2007), which I will refer as the "Great Depression", botters ran rapid and we all thought they were ruining this game. When TSO's "savior" Luc showed up he pledged to restore TSO to it's full glory and get rid of the botters. A year later botters are still present and we're still paying the price for it. It seems as if the devs see the botters as clever, because in the 5 years TSO has been running, they have yet figured out a way to stop them. The devs thought the new economy would stop them, it only slowed them down. Now we're all waiting for the devs to present us with some unstoppable plan to defeat the botters. As we wait we're paying them 10$ and barely getting 3$ in payouts a month. EAL will fail due to the devs not being able to stop the botters. Today, we're still waiting...

ATMs. We've all seen these green blocks around on properties. They were introduced to give players a choice to buy simoleans with their real life currency, known as "cash-in". They're also designed to be able to transfer your simoleans into real life currency, known as "cash-out". I'm not saying that the physical ATM objects will make EAL fail it's the cash-in and cash-out. Ever since they introduced the idea on their blog there has been alot of controversy on the subject. Many think its a good idea for sims to buy simoleans to make a business of some sort and then cash-out to make a real life profit. While the majority of players believe that this system will only deepen EAL's grave. When people buy simoleans it isn't coming from EA's wallet, ATMs allow people to "buy" simoleans out of the economy. Not only do we suffer from this, but EA profits from it because they inject a ATM fee for themselves. With cash out, people are not putting the money back into the economy but instead putting it into their bank account. Win-win for EA, lose-lose for us sims. EAL will fail because of the burden of EAL's new economy and the ATM system.

EA Land. Yes, we all know the name is dumb and they could've been a litte bit more creative. Sims World, SimsVille, any thing but EA Land. But there is a specific reason why they chose EA Land. In the future they plan on bringing other EA games into EAL, a game mentioned by Parizad was "Need for Speed". Another reason is because they're moving EAL as far away from The Sims franchise as possible. TSO was huge for a few months and then turned out to be a major flop. The Sims franchise is known for having the top selling PC game and introducing a new brand of simulation to the market. There is no way they could continue to have TSO in their portfolio. That's why you'll see in the coming months the devs rename simoleans and will try to further separate The Sims and EAL. Ever since Maxis stopped having control over TSO in 2004, EA has ran TSO into the ground. EA has been against TSO ever since Will Wight introduced the concept. Don Hopkins, The Sims development team member, said in a past interview, "I recall that one of our most difficult accomplishments was convincing EA not to cancel the project". Luc was the one that let TSO live a little longer, but it seems as if that came to an end quick. EAL will fail because it's not the original concept of TSO.

In another quote by Dan Hopkins he says,"I don't think the lack of user created content is the only reason The Sims Online is a failure, but I think it's an extremely important one that EA went out on a limb and promised, but never executed on."

TSO used to be Will Wright's(The Sims creator) favorite game. A joyful game to played by all gamers. The good ole' days, remember? That's all we can do, just....remember.

Drop us a comment! Be sure to keep checking out the EAL Herald for "How EAL Can Survive".

Saturday, March 8, 2008

A New Beginning

Not long ago Ace Reporter, Hook, interviewed Jack Whiterstien about the prospects of there being a government formed. After the article was posted it seemed as if there was a spark that ignited a new beginning to the United Sims Government. Jack Whiterstien, now United Sims Government Interim President, and Jason McKinley, USG Interim Vice President, have led the charge of a new government focused on helping the sims of EA Land.

I was honored to be chosen as one of the select few to attend the meeting and help set up the USG's foundation and structure. The chosen "delegates" conversed about the future of USG and it's sole mission in EAL. They also decided on the Interim President, who later chose his Interim Vice President, to lead the set up the government.
(USG Interim President Jack Whiterstien with USG Interim VP Jason McKinley)

Because of the USG's potential to become one of the largest organizations in EAL, we decided to cover any news and happenings within the USG that may affect the sims of EA Land. We will make sure to keep everyone in the loop as we always do.

If you havn't already, make sure you voice your vote in our weekly poll.

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Insider - EA Town Hall Meeting 3/5

This is the first semi-Town Hall meeting since before the merge started. Parizad was trying to multitask by hosting the "Street Fair", answering questions, and solving bugs/errors. We could barely get in any questions concerning the future of TSO and EAL. But the few questions that we did get in might be helpful to some of you.

- Owning multiple lots: Parizad told us "Not any time soon." Larry was working on owning multiple lots and they kept crashing in his sandbox game. "Alot of bugs to fix."

- Cash out: "Soon." Parizad reminded us about how much she hated timelines by simply guessing. I reminded her about her statement on 1/30 when she stated that cashout would come "within a month". She said responded by saying that they "found bugs" and are still "working them out." She also reassured us that the "Webservices team is working hard on it."

- TS3 Graphics?: "Possibly." Parizad gave us something new to ponder about as we get stuck at 50%. She then quickly added "I cannot deny nor confirm." But she was very clear about the TS2 client by saying that its "moving along nicely."

- Expansion Pack Objects: They're already very quietly filtering into TSO. She said that there are chairs in the game that were recently added from the expansion packs.

We hope to get more for you in the future. We asked Parizad about the Town Hall meeting schedule and she said she will try to be on more and answer more questions in the future. With the merge coming to an end we're starting to run out of questions. Got any? comment below!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Street Fair a Success

Starting around 3pm PST yesterday the EA Town Hall opened but not for the usual question and answer session. No, it opened for its first ever Street Fair. This Street Fair, presumably to be followed by several more, was to provide a quick and easy way for procrastinating sims to find matching laval cards with Parizad’s help.

Parizad began by putting out her inventory of cards and from there the trading happened naturally.

During the trading frenzy, Parizad did have this to say in regards to sims worrying about accidentally trading away rare lava cards.

If that is the case, this reporter has one question. What exactly is the point of rare lava cards?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Sim Government Possibility in EAL

With the opening of EA-Land has come an influx of new and old players returning to the game. This revitalization has many sims looking for something to do within the game world. Skilling and money objects don’t seem worth it for the time investment required to get anything out of them. To be successful with custom content you must be creative and have some know-how involving graphic design. So what is a sim to do? Start a government, that’s what!

Sims have been known for their love of drama filled, disorganized, and often times crooked governments. What causes the fascination involved with governments though? Is it the role playing, the feeling of power over others, or is it just the entertainment of ridiculous “wars” and conflicts with the mob?

No one may have better insight into this than EA-Land’s own Jack Whiterstien a veteran of the Test Center, Jolly Pines, and Alphaville Governments.

EALH: Greetings Mr. Whiterstien and thank you for allowing us time for an interview.

Jack Whiterstien: You’re very welcome. Thank you for allowing me to be here.

EALH: Where and how did you get your start in sim government?

Jack Whiterstien: Well, that would be in Test Center. I joined their army as a Ranger.

EALH: And how did you progress from there?

Jack Whiterstien: Well, I stayed with them for a few months until it started to go downhill. I started up another sim in MF and joined their government as Secretary of Defense.

EALH: Do you know what drew you to these organizations?

Jack Whiterstien: Hmm, in my earlier days in TC I had seen a house trashed. I can’t remember if it was by a mafia or not but knew that it was something that I would like to help prevent.

EALH: Do you think this feeling of public service and help is what generally brings people into a government in TSO?

Jack Whiterstien: I would say a few, but most would probably join just out of curiosity for it.

EALH: Have you tried to contact any previously involved high ranking government members to see what interest they might have?

Jack Whiterstien: I’ve spoken with a few from my time in the Jolly Pines Republic. One had sent me a message when I got on today.

EALH: What would be your intentions or goals for a government in EA-Land? Would it be for entertainment or would its purpose be a more noble endeavor?

Jack Whiterstien: I would like to see something that people can get behind and unify EA-Land. I hope for participation from every city in EA-Land. I would like it to be something people can have fun in but at the same time can have a serious role in helping others.

EALH: Thank you for your time Mr. Whiterstien and the EA Land Herald would like to wish you the best in your endeavors.

Jack Whiterstien: Thank you for this opportunity

EA Land Show of Lights Tonight!

Get ready for the fireworks! Tonight will be a celebration with lights and fireworks over EAL! The Light Show's organizer is asking that everyone turn on their spotlights at 11PM EST on March 5.

"What will happen, with over 1,000 active players all turning on spotlights at the same time a massive fireworks show will be broadcasted on the city view!"

EAL Herald will be there to cover the event. Remember it can only happen if you participate. Tell a friend!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Hot Lot: Jolly Pines Police

On my daily stroll of EA Land I unexpectedly stumbled upon a Police station. While most people would quickly turn and run, I bravely entered the unknown. To my surprise, the Jolly Pine Police station was actually quite pleasant. Officer Peglin, the owner, was quick to greet me and let me know that HC was up in the cafe (Yes, cafe). As I looked around at the cold dungeness cells I was reminded of my simmy's troubled adolescent years (I was holding those for a friend, officer!).

I also noticed that Officer Peglin was generous and helpful to those coming in and out. After looking at the great creativity of the house's design and the helpfulness owner and roomies, I knew that this was a hot lot!

I got a chance to sit down with UPD Chief Officer Peglin for an interview about the police station and the whole idea behind the police.

EA Land Herald: What was your reason for starting the Jolly Pines Police?

Officer Peglin: The UPD (Utopian Police Department) was established back in 2003 I believe, in Jolly Pines. It was started to maintain peace between mafia families. Crime as decreased extremely and now we are just around for general help and awareness.

EALH: Does it have the same functions today?

Officer Peglin: In EA Land, there are currently no mafia families that have been brought to my attention as a threat. But I do believe we are still helpful with general awareness

EALH: Does the UPD also deal with griefers and scammers?

Officer Peglin: There is not much we can do physically. But we plan on having information on scamming, who to look out for. And how to report it.

EALH: What kind of services do you offer at the Police station?

Officer Peglin: Groups are able to hold meetings at our Station. We also offer Call in services, If you have an emergency, call an officer and we will see what we can do to help.

EALH: Do you enforce any laws, or just try to keep the peace?

Officer Peglin: I have know real ability over anyone else. I just like to try and keep the peace.

EALH: What do you say to those who automatically see you as someone trying to take over and enforce?

Officer Peglin: Um, I would say that its obvious that I have no intentions of no such thing, and if I ever felt that I was out of line. I gladly get back to my boundries.

EALH: Have you ever encountered those who see you like that?

Officer Peglin: Not yet. I believe everyone see's it as role playing. If they do not like it. They Don't pay attention to Us.

EALH: What feature would you like to see in TSO in the future?

Officer Peglin: I would love to see exciting things that apply to each lot catagory, that will help people populate more than just Money and skill lots.

EALH: Thank you officer for this interview

Officer Peglin: No. Thank you!

Check out this Hot Lot located in Jolly Pines, EA Land!

Monday, March 3, 2008

EA Land, Get Ready to Rock!

At almost any skill house you go to you'll see a DJ for an online radio station asking for requests to play on the radio. But for the first time in TSO history there will be a musician performing their music live! That's right ladies and gentlemen, EAL will experience it's first live concert on Thursday, March 6th.

You'll be able to hear the live performances through WinAmp, Windows Media Player, or Quicktime. Ictus Belford' will be the first musician to grace the stage. They're looking for other talented players who want to perform at their arena. The lot is called Live Concert Arena. If your interested in participating as a musician contact the owner, Carrie Laysan', or Ictus Belford'.

EA Land Herald will be covering the first live music performance in a special live blogging event this Thursday. Hope to see you there!

Friday, February 29, 2008

TSO Gets its Second Wind

We’re all used to our old, deteriorating, production cities; they were always slow, lacking people, places to visit, and fun a lot of the time. Now, we’re overwhelmed! The population seems to be exploding in this five-year-old game and not from returning players but from new ones. It’s a blessing and a curse. A younger and more robust user base brings more activity and innovation but also server overloads and the dreaded rude newbies. New players require education and tolerance from older sims. Our TSO community has always been known for its reception of newbies. For the most part we’re kind, friendly, and extremely helpful, but we have never needed to be this way so often!

With many news sites such as Kotaku and Gamespot reporting the recent change from paying subscription only TSO to free play EA Land, new users are signing up left and right. The learning curve for the game isn’t all that steep even if you have been on Mars, in a cave, under a rock, with your fingers in your ears missing the best selling PC game ever, The Sims. Regardless, newbies still have plenty of questions they want answered and some sims are feeling the pressure. It seems every lot has turned into a welcome one with new comers wanting to learn the ropes and many aren’t happy about it.

Putting up with goofy behavior and the repetitiveness of their questions is not worth it, especially in the absence of visitor bonus. Many contend it should be Maxis’ job to provide a 24 hour welcome house that could provide tutorials for most game play aspects. However, some people enjoy helping newbs. They say it’s very similar to real life. There are people who are only concerned with themselves and their money and those that enjoy public service and volunteering.

In either case, after the buzz dies down from all this change, the amount of new players joining should drop into a more manageable region. But for the time being, we are experiencing exponential growth.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Founder & The Lamp

If you don't already know, TSO-e (Dev team) started a mini-game for founders. It's called the Groovy Lava Game.

It's very simple to play: Your oldest EAL Founder will receive two puzzle pieces in their inventory, you have to buy/trade/barter for an identical pair, and you wait til maintenance on the day that that round is over with for the next puzzle pieces.

<- Identical Puzzle Pieces. More Here.

Each week the contest will get harder and harder. But your prize will be a lava lamp that will forever display the color of the puzzle you solved.

Now for a quick Q&A:

Will all my sims get the puzzle pieces?
No. Only your oldest sim in EAL will get the pieces.

Can I play the game even though I'm not a subscriber?
Yes. Everyone is allowed to play, even sims that don't receive the puzzle pieces from EA.

Is it possible to win each color of the Lava Lamp?
Yes. You can win all the colors ranging from white to rainbow!

I live in Interhogan, can I still play?
Absolutely. Remember, IH and all other "legacy cities" are now known as EA Land. TC3 is the only city not in EAL.

I'm a EAL Founder but I'm homeless, can I still play?
Yes. You don't have to have a lot to play the game. You can simply have your identical pieces in your inventory at the time of maintenance.

Tip: Go to a store and see if they're doing free match trading.

If you have anymore Q's just comment. Good Luck!

We're Back!

Relax the...EAL Herald has been on a short hiatus as we settle in new writers, reorganize, and plan up for new stories. We've missed alot of new things that happened in EAL in the last few days but we'll be catching up. Look forward to stories about the huge surge of newbies & oldies and the new merges. We'll also have a new Insider story posted by this Friday. I'm currently working on the Special Report for March.

We would also like to introduce our newest Staff Writer, Myth! She has a story coming up soon about a hot lot in EAL. Stay tuned for more news!

Also! We're still looking for Staff Writers and Freeland Writers for the newspaper and the SimsWeekly Magazine! Staff Writers get a weekly salary plus benefits while Freelance Writers get higher pay per story. Simsweekly magazine will be launching some time in March, stay tuned in to the EAL Herald for more news about that.

The Insider - EA Town Hall Meeting 2/14

This time around MaxisGreg hosted the EA Town Hall meeting and we received alot of great information that'll clear up the cloudy future of TSO, EAL, and 'The Merge'. He gave up some information about the 4th and 5th anniversary gifts that'll get you all giddy! He also coughed up information about the next bullet train and how the merge tests are going. And we say goodbye to Betaville.

- Sims will continue to age and gain skill locks when productions cities close. Many of you know that the production cities (all cities except TC3 & EAL) will be closing next Wednesday. He said that they need to shut down west coast servers. What that means exactly, I dont know.

- Skill locks will soon be based on account age and not sim age. Good news for all the oldies who quit but are now returning for EAL and the merge.

-The Graphics team has already started on the Sims 2 characters. For more information about the new graphics skim down this page to the story called "Planning for the Future: Graphics".

- Referral program almost ready to launch.

- Neighborhood search coming, with a search/filter overhaul. This should improve our searches and property filters. I suggested that they also add a "Bio Search". My suggestion was then gobbled up by nonsense and chatter.

- Merge test are "looking good". Greg reassured many sims that he's 100% we will be merging. It's finally good to see some positive news about the merge.

- "No one working on roof bug yet". A quote that contradicts what Parizad told us at the 1/28 EA Town Hall Meeting. I'll take Greg's word.

- Fourth and Fifth anniversary gifts are done! He then added "Not 100% sure". Parizad already told us that the fourth anniversary gift will be a plaque commemorating the 4 years we've been on TSO and colored canons for our 5th year anniversary gift.

- They will be extending founder period "a couple months". This was an unexpected surprise. I always felt that the beta tester weren't the only "founders". What about the people who bought the game the first day and went on to be more successful then the founders and actually made the game what it is today. Kudos TSO-e team!

- Next bullet train Mon (2/18) or Tues (2/19) Now we know...kinda.

- Crafting prices to become 'Dynamic' EAL, New and Dynamic! It seems like everything is starting to go 'dynamic'. It may turn out to be a good thing. It'll create challenges and bring strategies to the game.

- Skilling speed and money payouts will continue to fluctuate up and down. At the time of the meeting the max skilling speed was 99%. Yikes! I predict that skilling houses' hours will go down and we'll start to see more diverse lots. Oh, and alot less AFK sims.

- Betaville closed for good. Greg told us that Betaville is not going to reopen to prepare for merge. Goodbye BV, I never liked ye. (didnt try to rhyme)

- Working on 8 sim slots for EAL. Alot of people angry because they already deleted their sims to make sure that their production city sims will make it into the 6 sim slots. EA changed it to 8 slots and players cant get their deleted sims back.

Greg gave alot more information than I thought he would. Some of it useful, and the rest not so much. It's good to know that there is some kind of work being done at the TSO-e Headquarters. Here's to hoping that we merge by Christmas!

The Insider - EA Town Hall Meeting 2/7

Parizad answered the same questions today that she has been answering for almost two months now. You know, the "when is the merge?", "when is the move?", "why didn't my CC get approved?", "when will male bears get creme color fur?". Between the pointless and mindless blabber we recieved a few good hints and answers at what TSO-e has in store for EAL.

- We'll be able to play more than one sim on the same account at once time. Great news for those who own more than one account, now you can save those 10 bucks and buy simoleans or something useful in real life. :D

- You wont get money from Maxis when you sell back property/lot. They will be underlining the importance of the real estate market in the new economy. The lots, like the items, also fall under the new 'Object Economy' where lot values will increase as more people buy lots and vice versa.

- We'll be able to make our own CC clothes. This was an obvious "duh", but Parizad finally confirmed it. She said how it's difficult for them to make clothes for sims and how they'll let us make them instead. Who's going to make me some MC Hammer pants? You'll have to give them to me through trade because you can't touch this!

Anyway, another informative meeting for those who couldn't or didn't want to attend. Remember we'll always be there getting the news you want and the commentary that you couldn't care less about!

The Insider - EA Town Hall Meeting 1/30

This was probably the worst Town Hall meeting in a while. Throughout the whole session there were people complaining about the whole window mode and full screen mode. But we were able to get a few good answers from Parizad.

- We can expect to see Cash-Out in EA-Land withing the next month

- Bullet Train arrives 2/1 ("In theory")

- Active Sims stats: AV-110, BF-93, EAL-571,TC3-90, DC-0, FF-7, EJ-0


Also there was a TSO-e guy there named MinkzN or something. I was surpised he's even on the TSO-e team, he barely talked about TSO and didn't even know how to operate the Chat History window.

The Insider - EA Town Hall Meeting 1/28

Parizad gave a lot of good hints and clues of what to expect to see in the future on TSO. She commented on the merge saying it'll come "soon". She also liked a few suggestions that sims told and said she would like to see them in the game. Not only did she receive praise, but she also received some flack about the abundance of bugs and errors in EA-Land. All answers to the questions are below.

- They were able to fit over 130 sims into the EA Town Hall but only 70 actually showed in the lot. Because they'll be raising the sim limit they're also working on ways to raise the object limit to accommodate more sims.

-When asked about letting stores sell wallpapers, flooring, and build items she said "Awesome idea! I hope we can do it by the end of 2008". Hey, atleast she didn't blow the idea off.

- She confirmed that the EA-Land team will be bringing objects from ALL seven of 'The Sims' expansion packs to the game soon.

- The team is currently working on fixing the roof bug. It will go through internal testing, then TC3, and then EA-Land

- When asked about bringing aspirations with the TS2 graphics she was unsure if they would.

- Free green will be gone forever with the merges. She commented that Free Greening was an economy drain.

At the time of the meeting she gave us two interesting stats on the active population in EA-Land. She said that there were 657 sims logged into EA-Land and 14 in EJ.

The Insider - Planning for the Future: Graphics

(1/24/08) EAL- Today in the EA Town Hall we got a very special visit from a TSO-e newcomer, Vishwa. Vishwa is currently on the TSO-e team working on visual appearance and new graphics slated to come to TSO. Vishwa (accompanied by Parizad) answered a good selection of questions that may be important to some of you. relax the blog was there to ask a few questions and record the answers.

The current plan is to have a mix of both TS1 graphics and TS2 graphics in TSO. There will be a TS2 specific client for those who choose to run the TS2 graphics. They also plan on having separate lots containing different graphics and specs. For example one lot can have TS1 graphics while another can have TS2 graphics. Vishwa explained that TS2 sims may be able to land and interact on TS1 lots, but doubts TS1 sims can land and interact on TS2 lots. All of these plans are being tested and no decision has been made final.

Concerning graphics, Vishwa told us that they're currently working on fixing bugs and creating an option for players to choose whether or not to upgrade their TSO visuals according to their PC specs.

Parizad mentioned that they're working to "upgrade to Direct X9 in the next month or so." An upgrade that will leave many people out in the cold because of their PCs not being powerful enough or not being up to date on hardware specs. We hope that they atleast give us the option to upgrade, if not there will be many veterans and oldies leaving the game for a short period. Atleast until they gather 50$ to upgrade their PC.

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