Sims are able to buy pre-made and pre-programmed Plumbots. There is a "Create a Bot" feature, accessed through Reventlov's Bot Workshop, which allows players to create Plumbots and customize existing ones. Plumbots can have up to seven "trait chips", which allow them to have a variety of features, abilities and skill sets. The number of trait chips a Plumbot can be equipped with depends upon its creator's Bot Building skill. Any Sim with high enough skill can upgrade a Plumbot to give it more trait chip slots. Sims are able to buy trait chips, or design and make them; and are able to buy materials needed to make them Sims are able to build a Bot Building skill which allows them to make better Plumbots, upgrade existing ones, and make more advanced trait chips.
Plumbots can also scan Sims or other Plumbots. This has a small chance of revealing their traits or trait chips.
A Plumbot's Simology panel will show the bot's name, gender, and quality (on a scale of 0 to 10). It will also show which trait chips are installed.
A Plumbot can gain Lifetime Happiness points from high Mood if the Simulated Emotions or Sentience trait chips are installed. They may also have wishes, even without specific trait chips, which can be promised and fulfilled for happiness as normal.
In the Q&A on July 30, 2013, it was mentioned that Plumbots do not age, but can have accidents. It was implied that Plumbots that are kept maintained will last indefinitely, which is true, as a Plumbot can only die by being crushed by a meteor or falling from the sky. A bug causes some Plumbots to actually have a birthday and age up, causing their bodies to disappear. A guide for restoring them if this happens is here.
Plumbots have a quality rating that ranges from 0 to 10. Skilled bot-builders can increase a Plumbot's quality by tuning it up or by upgrading its trait chip slots. Increasing a Plumbot's quality increases the amount it can be sold for, and higher quality Plumbots lose Battery Power and Maintenance more slowly.
A Plumbot is unable to increase its own quality level, though with sufficient skill in Bot Building, it is able to randomly increase the quality of other Plumbots just as a normal Sim can.
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Like Servos from The Sims 2: Open for Business, Plumbots have 4 needs. Those needs are: Battery Power, Maintenance, Social, and Fun. Whether or not Social and Fun are greyed out depends on which trait chips are installed. Plumbots have a mood meter, but it will be greyed out unless an appropriate trait chip is installed. Plumbots do not need to eat, and will not want to eat.
This is the Plumbot equivalent of energy. The quality of a Plumbot affects how quickly this decays. The higher a Plumbot's quality is, the longer its battery power will last.
Plumbots can recharge at the Nexus-9 Non-Organic Charging Station, which can be bought in Buy mode for §710. They can also syphon power from electrical appliances, though this will greatly deplete their maintenance need and sometimes break the appliance. Plumbots can be shut down, and will replenish power while shut down.
The Solar Powered trait chip allows a Plumbot to use solar power when outside during daylight, and the Efficient trait chip lets Plumbots use power more efficiently.
Unlike Servos and SimBots, Plumbots will require maintenance. The quality of a Plumbot affects how fast this decays (the higher the quality the slower it decays). If a Plumbot's maintenance bar is empty, it will begin to malfunction. Plumbots are able to maintain themselves. When a Sim or Plumbot with a medium or high Bot Building skill tunes a Plumbot, its quality may rise. The Plumbot's quality can only increase if it was lower than the tuner's Bot Building skill. A Plumbot that accrues 15,000 Lifetime Happiness Points can purchase the Maintenance Master reward, which slows down the Maintenance motive.
Plumbots do not have traits as Sims do. Instead, they can be equipped with special chips, called trait chips, which give them various skill sets, abilities, and features. A Plumbot will have between 3 and 7 trait chip slots, depending on its quality, and players can fill as many slots as they wish. Unlike traits, trait chips can be removed and replaced at any time, though there is a chance that removing a trait chip will damage it, when removing one from a Plumbot not in the household. When this happens, it will also make the Plumbot dislike the Sim who removed the chip, if the two are not already friends or better.
Create a Bot
The announce trailer suggested that it would be possible to create Plumbots inside a special machine. The live broadcast from July 30, 2013 indicated that clicking on the machine would allow the player to enter Create a Bot, which is similar to Create a Sim, but oriented toward building robots.
This machine is Reventlov's Bot Workshop. It can be purchased in Buy mode for §1,750. In addition, the Bot Emporium in Oasis Landing has a Bot Workshop that Sims can use. Access to Create a Bot requires at least level 2 of Bot Building skill, and is not free. Creating a Plumbot costs §250, and customizing an existing Plumbot costs §100. Create a Bot creates Plumbots with no programming. Trait chips must be bought or made separately and installed after the Plumbot is created.
Create a Bot allows the player to customize the Plumbot by choosing a head, body, arms, and legs. The player can color the parts with Create a Style. There is a "randomize" button, as there is in Create a Sim.
Basics (Name, Gender, and Voice)
The very first of the five tabs is Basics. This is where the player chooses the Plumbot's name and gender.
Name: Type in the Plumbot's name. Players can have up to 13 characters.
Gender OS: Choose either Male or Female. The Male (♂) or Female (♀) will be used as an icon for Basics
Voice: Choose one of three voice types. A slider and buttons indicates the controls the pitch of the Plumbot's voice.
The player can choose a head from the collection. The color and pattern of the parts can be chosen by the player with the Create a Style tool.
The player can choose a torso from the collection. The color and pattern of the parts can be chosen by the player with the Create a Style tool.
The player can choose arms from the collection. The color and pattern of the parts can be chosen by the player with the Create a Style tool.
The player can choose legs or a hover bottom from the collection. The legs is used for walking and running while hover bottom is used for floating in the air, however the movements are much more like the legs. The color and pattern of the parts can be chosen by the player with the Create a Style tool.
Selling a Plumbot
Unlike activated Servos from The Sims 2: Open for Business and SimBots from Ambitions, Plumbots can be sold. Selling a Plumbot requires a TechnoTycoon Plumbot Stand, which is available in Buy mode for §1250, or going to the "Nuts n' Bolts Bot Emporium" in Oasis Landing. A Plumbot cannot be sold unless it is present.
- Plumbots were originally called ServoBots during development.
- Some of the parts are from Servo in The Sims 2: Open for Business.
- Plumbots' voices are just like regular Sim voices, but robotized.
- One of the Plumbot heads looks similar to a Geth head. This could be a possible reference to another game published by EA, Mass Effect.
- Another head looks like EDI, from the same game.
- The name "Reventlov's Bot Workshop" may be a reference to R. Giskard Reventlov, a robot character from Isaac Asimov's Robot series.
- There is a Plumbot by the name of KH-48, this is likely a reference to HK-47 a Hunter-Killer assassin droid from the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic series.
- Some pre-made Plumbot models at the Bot Emporium will have the name Elita, which could be a reference to a female robot named Elita-One from The Transformers: Generation One cartoon.
- Plumbots may have Sim-like names (for example, 4NN4 for Anna) if the randomizer is used.
- Plumbots have their own gravestone and urn. The gravestone has a holographic plaque of spinning gears.
- The name of the "Steel Chef" trait chip may be a reference to the Iron Chef cooking shows.
- Plumbots sometimes speak like normal Sims while choosing body parts in Create-a-Bot. Their pose and posture are also similar to Sims'.
- There's a glitch when the player creates or edits Plumbot from the future. When arriving in their home world, their body or head change back to the original ones. This also occurs when moving the Plumbot's family into the library and putting that copy in a world.
- It appears that sometimes a glitch will occur that will result in the Plumbot aging. (See the gallery for screencaps.)
- Plumbots will trigger the Technophobia moodlet on a Sim with the Technophobe trait.
- Plumbots, like Sims, can obtain degrees. This can give them a headstart in whatever the player aims to do with it.
- Unlike Sims, Plumbots can never be stung by bees, thus making them perfect beekeepers.
- A Plumbot with both the Office Drone and Efficient trait chips equipped does not require any skills or extra necessities for their chosen career as they always operate at maximum efficiency. This is a useful way to gain large sums of money by employing them in a lucrative career, as they will advance quickly and earn more simoleons in a smaller amount of time than a Sim. This is also a good combination to use with the Law Enforcement career for households that lack a vehicle; the Plumbot can advance quickly through the ranks to obtain a squad car.
- Having the Limitless Learning trait chip equipped, nullifies the need for skill trait chips, as the Plumbot can learn all skills. However, a Plumbot with a trait chip that maxes a skill (like Algorithmic Artist), cannot access the related skill challenges. This may make the Limitless Learning chip more desirable to the player, depending on their goals.
- They do not suffer from the hygiene drop caused by martial arts and can break space rock blocks indefinitely for gems.
- Plumbot couples choosing to adopt a child are referred to as "Family Plumbot" in the relationship panel, and not "Mother" or "Father".
- Plumbots with the Sinister Circuits trait chip equipped may not allow a bot builder Sim to adjust trait chips or tune up the Plumbot and instead will shout at the Sim and lose relationship points with them.
- Plumbot stands in bot emporiums will automatically restock new Plumbots once per day, so if Sims do not have the funds to purchase a Plumbot the player wants at the time, they must earn enough Simoleons to purchase it before the restock period.
- When a Sim is doing a tune-up on a Plumbot, the Sim has a chance of saying "Time for buzip!", hinting that "buzip" could be the Simlish word for tune-up.
- If the player kicks a Plumbot out of the household, they will automatically have the Limitless Learning trait chip.[confirmation needed]
- The duration of the Power-Down function for plumbots can be modified with Nraas Retuner. Plumbots will by default boot-up by themselves after 480 minutes of being turned off. You can change this editing the value found in the route General-XML-Sims3.Gameplay.Actors-Sim-Powerdown.
- Plumbots cannot pick the forbidden fruit.[TS3:UL]
- August 13 blog post by SimGuruBritt.
- The Sims 3 Live Broadcast - July 23, 2013 on "The Sims" YouTube Channel. Mention of Plumbots starts at around 25:00
- The Sims 3 Live Broadcast - July 30, 2013 on "The Sims" YouTube Channel
- The Sims 3 Into the Future: Trait Chips at Carl's Sims 3 Guide.
- The Sims 3 Into the Future: Bot Making at Carl's Sims 3 Guide