Page 6

Independent Sim vs. A Sim Group
By: Joe Ferguson, CO-Editor

In this months edition of 'This vs. That' we are going to examine the pros and cons of being on an independent sim or belonging to a sim group.

Being an independent sim has its advantages as well as its disadvantages to both the simmers and the host(s). I am going to examine with you 8 aspects of this 'This vs. That' segment. We will look at the good side of independent sims for members and the bad side for members, the good side of independent sims for hosts and the bad side for hosts; then we will look at the good side of sim groups for members and the bad, and the good side of groups for hosts and the bad.

For members joining or thinking of joining an independent sim, you can almost guarantee that you won't get lost in any crowd. Members of independent sims tend to have a voice in the things that happen on the sim. For inexperienced members, hosts of independent sims usually have more time to help train you one on one on how to sim, and you may find that an independent sim is just less intimidating than a sim in a larger group. Trouble spots to watch out for in independent sims… maybe to look at the quality of the hosts. Many hosts of independent sims are inexperienced or troublemakers kicked out of larger groups. They may also be power hunger and ego satisfying hosts that only want to host to fuel their ego… this is defiantly a sign of a host that either was unsuccessful of obtaining the title of host in a large group or become a host only to be fired. These kind of hosts that have been kicked out of larger groups tend to do the only other thing they can do… create an independent sim. Now please note that not ALL independent sims are hosted

by bad hosts… but you do run the risk of these types of hosts more with independent sims because they have no one supervising them… so be careful.

On the hosts side of an independent sim. Not having larger groups rules dictating how to run your sim can be an advantage to a host that just wants to provide a fun game without the mess of a large group. Not having to do weekly / monthly reports to a supervisor means you can give more time to your sim and its members, and also not having your sim measured to the success or failure of a sister sim as it may be done in larger groups can help keep morale high on your sim if its independent. With this perks, there also comes disadvantages. Without a large group, most independent hosts have to host their sim websites on free servers that usually have pop-up ads or ads on the actual sites. These sites are usually quite simpler than a larger groups and do not have a lot of features. Usually independent sim sites have long addresses that can be difficult for people to type in correctly, making it hard to get people to your sim website. This makes it hard to recruit for your sim, and you don't have the name recognition of your mother group or sister sims to help pull traffic to your sim. Now, as with anything, there are exceptions. I have seen wonderful independent sim sites on their own servers that get tremendous traffic, but for the most part… the above is the norm.

Larger groups today have more elaborate websites with more resources for a new simmers. This side of things may attract new members to the larger groups. It may be that larger groups are all the new members

can find if using a search engine to find games... Larger groups also tend to have more resources for training members how on how sim. A larger group setup also ensures that if a sim host leaves, the sim will most likely be able to support receiving another host and the sim continuing without many problems… this is especially important to any member who wishes to remain on the sim for a long period of time. These are just some important things to consider when looking at what type of sim you want to join.

As we said earlier, large groups may be intimidating to members. Most groups want you to take part in their group community or events, or they may want you to take part is message board discussions outside of your sim. This quiet frankly could scare new and inexperienced simmers away from larger groups. Members who join larger sim groups run the risk of being treated as just another simmer, not as the individual that you are, and hosts in these larger groups tend to host more than one sim, which means they have less time to focus on your sim and you as a simmer. I suggest, before joining any large sim group… look into what are expected of the members, talk to the sim hosts and see if they care about the individual simmer like yourself and see if you will be treated the way you deserve to be. Larger groups also have more than one genre of sim, which may lead to a lot of confusion on someone new to simming. The complexity of the group may just be too overwhelming to a new member who is trying to grasp the concept of simming for the first time.

Hosts in larger groups do tend to

(See THIS vs THAT on page 8)