The developers of The Sims 4 Paranormal Stuff held a small Q&A over on Twitter and SimGuruConor even posted a developers blog on the official Sims forums. I’ve gathered all the important titbits about the upcoming pack, so let’s go over everything together, shall we?
Scaredy Cat or Brave Sim, it is up to you!
With each pack EA releases a pre-expansion patch will update the game to steam it ready for the new content a couple of days prior. On the 21st of January the game will receive a completely new emotion: Scared. If this means Sims can get into a more extreme state called Terrified or something similar is not clear yet. The Scared emotion has replaced multiple other emotions such as Tense or Uncomfortable where it suited the moodlets’ description better.
If your Sim is done being Scared of everything in their surroundings, you can buy a bit more courage in the Aspirations Reward Store. The new trait Brave will be added to the store, which will help Sims get less Scared easier. Your Sim will not be immune to fear though, they’ll just calm down a bit faster than other Sims. Both the Scared emotion as well as the Brave trait will be base game content.
Sadly it has already come to the attention that there is not a new death included with the Scared Mood. A total oversight if you ask me, as being “Scared to Death” is one of the most obvious choices EA could have made here.
Haunted House Residentials
Turn any home into a haunted house with the new lot type: Haunted House Residential. The lot type is different from the Haunted lot trait from The Sims 4 City Living, but more on that later. Maxis will be uploading one of these haunted houses to their own gallery, as part of the packs promotional content. The build is made by content creator Doctor Ashley, as she partnered up with EA to create this amazing house for the community.
Using the Haunted House Residential lot type will trigger certain gameplay features in and around the house after nightfall. You will have to maintain the spiritual serenity of your house, because if you don’t your Sim might encounter possessed dolls showing up out of nowhere, hear creepy noises coming from rattling pipes and witness their lights flickering on and off. And let’s not forget about ghostly creatures showing up unannounced either!
Perform helpful rituals to keep your house clean
As mentioned above you’ll need to keep the serenity of your haunted houses, or else you might get in trouble. To do these rituals you’ll need a séance table. The table will be one of the new items of the pack, and can be decorated like any regular tables. You can choose to put a crystal ball or enchanted set of sacred candles on top of it to make your séance that more impressive! Plus, these items can keep your Sim safe when they’re in the midst of a ritual.
Sims who perform séances will develop the Medium Skill, even children. You’ll be able to perform all kinds of mystical cermonies as you discover more rituals when developing the Medium Skill. Eventually you can host group séances the better you get and later on you won’t even need the table anymore. Instead your Sim will draw a chalk séance circle which bursts into blue flames when used.
With séances your Sim can also commune with Sims in the afterlife, but just like when they’re living not all who are summoned will be great company. SimGuruConor called it a “ghostly grab bag”, which is utterly hilarious and probably the best way to describe it. Speaking of communicating with the dead…
The return of Bonehilda
Old school players and Plumbella stans already know her: Bonehilda. This fan-favorite NPC is manifesting back into the franchise and she’s here to stay! This skeletal maid will help you with all sorts of chores around the house and will work pretty similarly as the butler NPC’s from The Sims 4 Vintage Glamour Stuff, but unlike butlers Bonehilda won’t be hired by phone… nay nay!
Bonehilda will need to be summoned with a séance ritual, whether by table or by circle it doesn’t matter. This means she won’t have her usual coffin in which you normally would purchase her in previous games. I’m honestly not sure if she’ll need a bed, but perhaps we can set one of the coffins of The Sims 4 Vampires as her bed? As she’ll stick by your side until she’s dismissed by a Sim of your household, it only seems fair to me that she has a place to rest. 😉
Ghosts & Specters, what’s the difference?
So it’s clear that at least one ghost will be visiting your Haunted House Residential lots, but you might have noticed some other creatures floating about in the trailer of the pack. These little guys are called Specters. There will be different types of specters, recognizable by their colors. Collect them all in little jars, which you can acquire during the Paranormal Investigator career. You’ll be even able to name them!
To maintain a somewhat-normal livingspace your Sim will have to keep these little apparitions as happy as possible. If they like your Sims they might reward you for your company. However, there seems to be a bit of a language barrier between them and your Sims so handle with care.
On the contrary to the interactions with specters ghosts are a little bit easier to predict. They are just a bunch of Sims after all. As far as I could tell the only real ghost to pop up in Haunted House Residentials seems to be Guidry the Ghost.
Get help from Guidry the Ghost
Among the ghostly roommates of your Sim is the ghost Claude René Duplantier Guidry. He’s a friendly ghost who’s there to guide you with your newfound paranormal lifestyle. He can offer you advice on how to handle your haunted surroundings and might even offer you useful objects to get things done.
One of the mentionable things about Guidry is that he used to be a Paranormal Investigator himself. It makes you wonder how he died so young, but either way it’s beneficial to your Sim that he shows up when you need him, I guess.
Become a Freelance Paranormal Investigator
To get started on the new career, you will need to obtain your Paranormal Investigation License from no other than Guidry the ghost. Remember? The ghost we spoke about earlier? Yeah that guy! You will have to ask him permission to start as an official P.I. for hire. However, your Sims will need a certain level of Medium Skill to be qualified for the license. But if you can’t be bothered with Guidry you can also just buy a license in the Reward Store, whichever floats your boat!
After you got yourself a license from Guidry it is time to look for some Freelancer Gigs. The gigs will be part of an active career, meaning your Sims will need to go to haunted places and perform tasks to cleanse the neighborhood. By the looks of the trailer the tasks seem to include mopping up some ectoplasm puddles and fighting off cursed dolls. Yikes! It’s not all fancy séances and rituals, but hey… someone’s gotta do it.
Three gigs will be available to your Sim at a time, an Easy, Normal and Hard Investigation. Once you’ve selected a gig your Sim will be sent off into the dark, literally… Gigs start at 9:30 in the evening! Any house can become a haunted mess, so you might even end up in on of your own households while on the job.
Will Paranormal Stuff affect other Packs?
One of the biggest things I always look forward to when playing a new pack is seeing how well it integrates with previous content. The Sims 4 Paranormal Stuff as well as the pre-expansion update seems to go together with older content flawlessly. Moodlets where Scared seemed to be the appropriate response have been altered for previous packs too. This means Sims can now be Scared of Thunderstorms if you have The Sims 4 Seasons, instead of being Tense about it.
Talking about altering things… The old Haunted lot trait from The Sims 4 City Living has now been altered to the Spooky lot trait. If you put this trait on a Haunted House Residential lot it will actually enhance it’s gameplay by making it even spookier!
Other than that Spellcasters from The Sims 4 Realm of Magic have an advantage when it comes to the paranormal. Because of their familiarity with the supernatural, they’ll be able to gain the Medium much faster than other Sims.
And last but not least: let’s talk about The Sims 4 Cats & Dogs. Your pets will react to their haunted surroundings too. If their personality traits affect the way they react to accursed objects isn’t known yet, but at least we got to see this cool GIF of a dog reacting angrily with one of these creepy dolls.
The official The Sims YouTube channel will be showcasing the pack during a livestream on January 22nd starting around 8PM CET (11AM PT).