Travelling game-breaking bugs

The only mod stopping your Sims from traveling to the abyss. Did you end up there anyway? We'll try to help.
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StarkofGenius
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Travelling game-breaking bugs

Post by StarkofGenius » September 6th, 2018, 1:44 pm

Hello again. Looking for any help I might get for this, since I'm running out of ideas on what to do about it. This might run long but I'm trying to be clear and thorough.

Starting with the game-breaking I branded this as: might not be the most suitable nomenclature, I'll give you that, but it's gotten to a point where it crashes my game immediately to desktop, aside from not allowing me to save, and I still have little to no idea why.

So, the exposé: I've had one household of two for quite a while. Having all expansions except for Into the Future, and being the kind of person who likes dabbling in everything and a completionist on top of that, I send them on holiday regularly to do all the adventures and get all the relics and finish all tombs, etc.
I stopped playing a few months back because I couldn't save after returning home (from France) - I got the dreaded Error 12. Otherwise, everything seemed fine. Since I couldn't save, I had to exit and lose that progress and didn't feel like doing it all over again. Skip forward a couple of months, I'm back, resorted to another save, did all those things I'd done before, got them home, and saving resumed without a problem. Played it for a sim week in their homeworld (the one from Island Paradise), did some stuff, no hitches, no major bugs, just the regular game becoming steadily slower and lagging its bum with everything the more hours I've had it open. Usually fixed by saving, quitting the game, reopening it. No biggie.

I wanted to have them go on holiday again and continue their adventures. They had several opportunities in Egypt between the two of them so I sent them there first.

First problem: One of them had an opportunity in China, the one from the Dragon Cave quest. When I got to Egypt, the pop up told me I'd destroyed the keystone and cancelled that Opp. I'm mentioning this more because that questline seems to be rather broken for a lot of people. I hadn't brought it with me because I wouldn't need it but, in my worry, I closed the game without saving and went back to just before they had travelled (I save before they set the travel, not when Traveller -I think- asks me to just before they leave). Keystone and Opp both present in-game, so I decided maybe it would be better to go to China first and get that done with. I had another two tombs I needed to clear out for relic collections anyway, it was fine. Except it wasn't.

Second problem: I get to China, the Opp is cancelled again. The pop up is different this time though and he still had the key in his inventory, so I gave him the same Opp again. It told me to return to China, didn't acknowledge I was already there, so after poking around with DebugEnabler, I found the right stage for the quest and set it. I went to save, and here starts the error 12, so I couldn't. At all.

Third problem: Crashing to desktop. Now, a few things caused my game to crash to desktop several times on my tries, each with an increased level of frustration tied to it, and none of them are in order.
Once I tried to have one take a photo with their phone, instant crash just as the game was about to switch camera view.
When, after putting up with the worrying inability to save for one sim day and just getting the game to progress the Opp accordingly, then making them return home early, it almost loaded all the way before kicking me out again.
Once was because, after googling for help with the Opp, I read you can switch between worlds with Traveller automatically without going home and waiting two sim days and tried following the suggestion to travel to France first, then China. Crashed before getting to France.
And at least twice it was because of using Steam's overlay to use the browser, and I have no clue if it was because of the specific website I tried to open both times or something else - either way, I got an error message independent from Sims3 saying something stopped working (I'm gonna say it mentioned 'runtime' but I can't be positive, it was a regular windows error pop up message in any case).

To summarise, the latest save I have seems to be perfectly functional, in their homeworld. I can travel to Egypt and China, but not France. Once I get there, I can no longer save. And I can't have them return home because it crashes before they do.
Also another thing that worries me is that Error Trap tells me it recorded a bunch of errors as soon as the travel world loads every time I tried, so there's something definitely wrong with them.

My game takes a bit to load up, even more if I'm waiting on the holiday world to load after sending them travelling, and after somewhere between 5 to 10 tries where I had to boot it up again, I'm bound to be short on patience. It still amazes me the lengths this game can go to just to make itself not pleasurable to play.

EDIT: While writing this, I googled some more and found this How to Overcome Error Code 12 post in the Steam Community forums. Sounds about right from what I'm experiencing and, at the risk of making a somewhat useless post asking for help if I've just stumbled upon the solution, I'm going to try it anyway.

If anyone has any ideas on what's happening or suggestions on what I can do to fix it, please do post them. If nothing else, it will at least be a compilation of possible solutions and workarounds.

If you got all the way down here, thank you so much for taking the time to read it.

puzzlezaddict
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Post by puzzlezaddict » September 6th, 2018, 2:05 pm

I probably can't help with all of these issues, but here are a couple of things you might find useful.

The Error 12 messages are usually (but not always) caused by hitting the game's RAM limit. TS3 is 32-bit and can only use around 3.7 GB before crashing, and it has memory spikes and leaks that make managing RAM use all the more important. You can keep an eye on RAM in the Task Manager and save and then quit (without saving) when you get close to 3.5 GB, as saving will take more resources than regular gameplay. Edit Town and Build/Buy also take more memory to run, so many players build in a new save and then transfer their work via the bin.

One thing that might be driving up your RAM use is playing in an unedited IP. The EA version of the world is so broken that it's almost unplayable, and even NRaas mods can't fully repair the damage. There's a player (ciane) on the Sims forums who fixed the issues with IP and offered her work for download, but that's more for starting a new game. Still, she listed the edits necessary to make the world playable, so you could try copying her work in your existing game.

https://forums.thesims.com/en_US/discus ... ing-ip-lag

I'm not sure why the Dragon Cave opportunity is misbehaving, but you can try cancelling and reassigning it while your sims are still in their hometown. I did have it cancel on me once when I went to China; the culprit was an opportunity chain that started in France and involved convincing locals in Egypt and China to let a French tourist stay with them for free. Since you can't have two opps active at the same time, the game cancelled the dragon cave one. You could always try cancelling the sim's other opps and reassigning them later. By the way, when I did this in China, I got the same "return to China" message that you saw, so I reverted to when the family was home and cancelled the other opp before they left.

Travelling also demands more resources than regular gameplay, so it's possible that the travel transition is pushing your game up against the RAM limit. Besides using Traveler (and ErrorTrap and Overwatch), you can temporarily turn down your graphics options to the minimum before going to France, and then turn them back up if and when your sims arrive safely.

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StarkofGenius
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Post by StarkofGenius » September 6th, 2018, 2:34 pm

@puzzlezaddict: I'm aware of what the Error 12 refers to and that there's sadly no way to make the game try to use more of my 16gb of RAM, but thanks for the reminder in case someone else comes across this thread. I forgot that some might not know what the Error 12 is and didn't define it in my initial post.
The issue I'd like to get to the root of is why the game is suddenly using up all of its memory bank when in the travel world to give me that error when saving, if that is actually what's happening with it. I haven't tried to keep an eye on Task Manager while running it though, as you suggest, so I can't say for sure whether it is using that much at the time or not. I'll check it too, thanks.

I had no idea about that unedited IP issue, or that thread. I'll be sure to read through it since I don't know what exactly you're referring to, and implement it into my game if possible (that is to say, if I'm capable of doing it xD) and if it helps with this or other possible future glitches.

Now the last one I found interesting, because I do have that Opp active as well, and I believe it happens to be on the same Sim and not his buddy though I'm not sure and haven't booted up the game again yet. It's strange that it would only cancel one and not both, but given other EA bugs, who knows what's going on in there.
Is this a regular thing for all Opps? Because I know I have more Opps active for the second Sim, and I think they're both for Egypt (even though one is listed in the Egypt tab and the other one in the France tab, so they were likely started on different worlds - I know one of them is to deliver cerambyx beetles to someone in Egypt) and I didn't check or see it but I don't think either got cancelled when they first got to Egypt. It's all so incoherent.
Oh and as for the Dragon Cave quest line, it's fine either way because I can activate the correct quest stage through DebugEnabler - then the only thing keeping me from completing it is the Sim not being a master at Sim Fu yet, which is the objective I get after reporting to whomever it directs me to. At least that seems not to cause problems, but I can't know for sure if I'm not able to save and progress like normal.

I wasn't aware travelling demanded more resources, but I'd read the tip to turn down graphics before saving or travelling. I have most Nraas mods and modules, including Traveller, ErrorTrap and Overwatch as you mention. Another question, do all graphics options force you to restart the game, or is it just some of them? I recently changed them because my graphics card and laptop can handle it at high or above and it looks great, but lowered the one for lot details from afar, and I can't remember if it was just one that told me to restart so the changes were implemented or not.

Thanks for all the suggestions. One way or another, I'm sure something is bound to help me get back to relatively-smooth gaming.

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Post by StarkofGenius » September 6th, 2018, 2:43 pm

Edit: By IP you meant Island Paradise. I'm such a goof xD sorry about that.
IP is a rather difficult world to be playing in with all the routing problems in water (just to start), but I've managed thus far. Thinking of having MC or SP (forget which one) cap the limit of sims living there to something smaller because there are just way too many people on that island for my liking. And this is without having even started finding the islands (only one and it was on accident) or exploring the scuba diving spots.

Anyway, I'll definitely have a look at it now that I know what it is. Thanks for the link.

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Post by puzzlezaddict » September 6th, 2018, 2:59 pm

I'm not sure how widespread the double opportunity problem is, since I've only seen the issue once. (I haven't played with WA for all that long yet.) Sims can certainly have opps active in different worlds, but not two that are assigned in the same slot. Or the issue could be that the next stage of the dragon cave opp is triggered just by your sim arriving in China, so something about that process doesn't work as intended when another opp requires an action in China. But it's easy enough to address the issue before leaving.

Travel transitions use more memory because it's loading a second world, perhaps before letting go of the data from the homeworld. (Someone else may have more in-depth information.) But the advice for travel is to save (save as) and quit without saving right before the transiton, then turn down your graphics options, then travel when RAM use is at its lowest, then save as and quit again after the sims have safely arrived, then reload and resume play. You might not have to do all of this, but if you're having issues even with Traveler installed, it sounds like your game needs all the help it can get.

I don't know which graphics options require a reload when changed, but you can always X out of settings if you get that message, and your options will revert. Then you can fiddle with the ones that don't require a restart.

Also, the biggest resource hogs among the graphics options are water quality and high detail lots. I keep those at mirrors only and 2, respectively, except on the rare occasion when I'm taking scenery screenshots.

Even with a population cap, IP will still cause problems, including but not limited to higher RAM use, due to routing issues and some very bad builds (think toilet facing the wrong way bad). So unless you fix these issues, sims will constantly route-fail and be reset, increasing the demands on the game engine. Houseboats also cause problematic, and I believe ciane removed most or all of them from her fixed world.

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Post by puzzlezaddict » September 6th, 2018, 3:10 pm

I should add, there are other ways to try to keep RAM down if necessary. In fact, some helpful website made up a whole list:

<a href="http://nraas.wikispaces.com/TIPS+FOR+BE ... ORMANCE</a>

Highlights include playing without logging in at the launcher or Main Menu, or playing offline entirely; turning off memories and the hidden object interactive loading screens; and keeping down the number of items in your sims' personal inventories.

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Post by StarkofGenius » September 6th, 2018, 3:27 pm

So thus far, only encountered with those two Opps, and I can at least confirm that I have the same Sim with both of them. I think I'll save myself the headache and cancel the On the Cheap one (though it's telling me to go to Egypt first, not China, but still who knows what they did with it) and reassign it later on or something.

I always use 'save as' as a rule, even with Nraas reminding me to save every 30 minutes, I think. The two options you suggested I have at mirrors only too, and 1 because I don't take scenery pics xD right now in IP it's using up 2gb of ram, and from how it's running I'm assuming it's close to what it usually uses.

I did read over the thread you linked to and saw her suggestions. I'm just hoping I can sort this out first and then get started on that, like removing some families, houseboats and unnecessary ports or making them NVA. I have no interest to pick up any other family aside from the one I'm playing, and I only really care about the other sims I created to be relatives/friends that are outside of the active household and living where I placed them.

The routing issues abound in IP, I've noticed. To the point of my active sim getting on his jet ski trying to go to another island/beach, only to loop right back to where he started, get off and try again. Stuck without being exactly stuck, but I need to go rescue him anyway (by cancelling the action and sending him somewhere else before telling him to head to where I first sent him. Don't think I could fix that one without editing the world itself though, but if this helps with the bouts of lag at certain hours (because yes, I did notice it's at specific portions of the day unless it's a weekend, or worse yet, a seasonal holiday) I'm definitely making some changes.

Thanks again. I have the game booted up and I'm going to try what I can to get it to either 'fix' the world files that are giving ErrorTrap a field day every time I arrive, or at least enable me to save and travel safely.

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Post by StarkofGenius » September 6th, 2018, 3:31 pm

I'll look over that too for future travels.

As a side note, can anyone direct me to where in MC or SP I can set the maximum number of residents in a world? Read there's that option, but I don't think I've seen it in my dabbling with the mods' settings yet. I do have it to assign residents to roles and I might try to reduce the service pools too (like the ever present and intrinsically annoying paparazzi - whether that's a role or service, I know I've set it down so they stop pestering my sims).

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Post by brappl » September 6th, 2018, 3:55 pm

Hello SoG - Re y our side note: Take a look at <a href="http://nraas.wikispaces.com/Population% ... ement">The Town Management/Population</a> document. There are many tips and links to help you adjust your town population. Also very good clarification detailing the population types.

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Post by StarkofGenius » September 6th, 2018, 4:08 pm

@brappl Thanks for the link, will check it out as soon as I'm back in their homeworld to tweak it up.

Update: Following the instructions on the link I posted when creating this thread (from Steam Community) before travelling, having reduced some graphics settings and keeping the game in window mode so I could monitor the RAM usage, I'm pleased to announce I was finally able to save after getting them to China. Of note: while loading the travel world, my RAM usage went up to 3gb but stayed there, and then reduced to an average of 2.5gb after the world was loaded and my sims arrived. Have not tested travelling to Egypt or France yet.

Oh and @puzzlezaddict, cancelling the other Opp before travelling didn't prevent me from losing it anyway once I got to China. It said 'one of the necessary targets isn't available anymore' (paraphrasing) and he can't complete it, but as I said before, it shouldn't be a problem to reassign it with DebugEnabler since I know which stage it is already.

Not to say that any other suggestions and methods don't have their own merit, but forcing the game to recreate the save files from scratch while it was loaded up seems to have helped me, as well as lowering the graphics settings. Now to check if I can return them home before trying to play the adventures in China.

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