And admired the work of Will Wright and his Maxis team on it. And its technical implementation. High quality work and a worthy addition to our world. Another toy in our toybox. Another tool in our collective toolbox, perhaps. A tool to let us explore what we want as humans (however insane or impractical, sometimes) -- versus what we Need, deep down (also, however insane or hard, or messy.)
But... the actual *playing* of it? That *frustrated* me to death when it didn't *bore* me to tears. Kinda like my take on Dwarf Fortress! :-) heh. Another *masterpiece* game I've long had a love/hate relationship with, as a player.
Wearing the Game Designer's hat I've always thought the best way to improve on any sim-which-is-too-sim or grinding/crafting/farming game is to give players *more* ways to take *direct* action within the world, via their Avatar. Via the so-called PC, or player character. More freedom of action.
Like how Grand Theft Auto (GTA) is a great pure-driving sim. But you can ALSO just Make Mischief (TM) at will. Hijack cars! Whack NPCs at random, with a bat! Tap the back bumper of a police car in front of you at a stop light (something NO good or *sane* citizen/soul would ever consider doing in their real lives!) Or perhaps... picking up A Lady of The Evening, and going for A Ride, to share some time having Intimate Talk (TM)?