Story Progression - gets things moving a lot better than EA Story Progrsssion. But you can control immigration, balance the population, control how often certain situations happen like break ups, marriages, pregnancies, deaths, etc.
I probably wouldn't play the game without these three mods: Master Controller - pretty much lets you edit the entire town.
The exceptions should be obvious - you need OFB for servo mods, Nightlife for dating mods and so on.
I don't bother specifying Mansions and Gardens - if it says OK for Apartment Life, it is OK for M&G.
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