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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Post by StarkofGenius » September 15th, 2018, 11:29 am

I imagine some people would take being called lazy to heart. But me, well. If I were a sim, it would be my defining trait.

Figured that was what you meant, along with AwesomeMod. In any case, don't think I have much in way of core mods since I try to avoid them. Read somewhere ErrorTrap was labelled one, but if it isn't Nraas then I probably (hopefully) don't have any core mods at all. Or (also hopefully) anything that messes up the save with being removed.

I'll check on the Debugging and let you know. Could be I set it to True while creating my custom career way back when and never set it back to False. And then forgot I could check just that because I'm often sleep-deprived.

I don't actually have an Nraas-only folder in there. But then again, when I want to find one of them in the mass of packages I just press N. They're all neatly named. But I'll do that, sounds easier. Alright, booting up the game (time and again, probably) for testing, wish me luck. Will check back in once I'm done and have something to report.

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Chain_Reaction
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Post by Chain_Reaction » September 15th, 2018, 12:42 pm

The omni plant issue has been reported to be caused by ErrorTrap but I haven't had time to look into and confirm that. What exactly did you do to produce that error?

The careers error is caused by the Modelling career having the same internal ID as another career you have installed, possibly by the same author.

Neither would cause traveling issues though as far as I'm aware.

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StarkofGenius
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Post by StarkofGenius » September 15th, 2018, 2:43 pm

ShowDebbuging for Careers is set to False.
@Chain, thanks for pointing it out. I'll see if I figure out which other career it is and pick one of the two to remove.

As for the OmniSeeds, I'm not sure what made my sims suddenly unable to plant eggs (they had both done the opps up to and including the omniplant one before) - I know I spent quite some time moving inactive families to other homes, assigning the careers I wanted, building on their lots so they had cribs and pet items, etc. Specially on a couple simple households I created myself to populate the world.
I never switched households to do that, I used DebugEnabler's 'Buy on this Lot' and the Add Sim command.

When I went back to actually playing my game, I didn't notice it until I had to replace a barren plant of that kind, saw that they couldn't, went to Opps in MC and manually gave them the opps one after another. It was after completing the last one, when they get a random assortment of the omniseeds, that the errors popped up, once for each sim.

The OmniPlant forgetting what it ate and not being harvestable has always happened for me if I save and exit without it getting to that stage and harvesting it. If I feed and harvest in the same session, everything seems okay.

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StarkofGenius
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Post by StarkofGenius » September 15th, 2018, 2:47 pm

Per Igazor's suggestion, here are the 'tests'. As always, all tips and suggestions are appreciated.

First test: switched household to the newest one (created by me to be inactives), 2 sims, couple of stuff in inventory I didn't even check, arrived safely in Egypt. No other changes made to save. Can take photos without crashing. Returning home early crashed to desktop on load.
Notes: For whatever reason, one of them suddenly had the pointiest chin I have ever seen on a sim. Only the chin was affected. The sim was a very slightly tweaked version of one I downloaded, possible problem with sliders? The other one was fine. Managed to accept opps.
Free virtual memory: 270 of 4095 Mb
[Exception info] [...] type: ACCESS_VIOLATION writing address 0x00000000
address: 0x57fb72d7 "C:\WINDOWS\WinSxS\x86_microsoft.vc80.crt_1fc8b3b9a1e18e3b_8.0.50727.9445_none_d08c58b4442ba54f\MSVCR80.dll":0x0001:0x000162d7

Second test: cleared inventory of original household (items that couldn't be dropped were moved to family inventory with DebugEnabler). Crashed in travel loading screen, same as before the changes.
Notes: Free virtual memory: 68 of 4095 Mb
[Exception info] [...] type: ACCESS_VIOLATION writing address 0x00000000
address: 0x004ebb0f "D:\Games\Steam\steamapps\common\The Sims 3\Game\Bin\TS3W.exe":0x0001:0x000eab0f

Third test: deleted Egypt_0x0859db48.nhd from save folder, no other changes. They managed to arrive in Egypt, and it played out the scenic bit as if it were the first time. Crashed to desktop when trying to enter camera mode (sim's phone camera, photography skill).
Notes: One sim had two opps in Egypt and lost one (started in France, to deliver beetles to someone in Egypt). They both kept their respective opps that took up the Egypt slot. One of them prompted to Report In and move to the next stage on arrival. While loading, RAM usage went up (from ~2gb) to 3.3gb, but eventually lowered to just below 3gb.
Free virtual memory: 210 of 4095 Mb
[Exception info] [...] type: ACCESS_VIOLATION writing address 0x00000000
address: 0x57fb73d0 "C:\WINDOWS\WinSxS\x86_microsoft.vc80.crt_1fc8b3b9a1e18e3b_8.0.50727.9445_none_d08c58b4442ba54f\MSVCR80.dll":0x0001:0x000163d0

Fourth test: no mods except Nraas (and NoBuildSparkles + nointro). No other changes. Sims also arrive safely in Egypt. Crashed again when trying to have a sim take a photo.
Notes: All 3 opps are present and seem to be ready to move forward (including the one lost in the previous test). Sims only seem to be missing CC and items that came from other package files. RAM usage is the same as in test 3.
Free virtual memory: 200 of 4095 Mb
[Exception info] [...] type: ACCESS_VIOLATION writing address 0x00000000
address: 0x57fb73d0 "C:\WINDOWS\WinSxS\x86_microsoft.vc80.crt_1fc8b3b9a1e18e3b_8.0.50727.9445_none_d08c58b4442ba54f\MSVCR80.dll":0x0001:0x000163d0

All photo-related crashes are 'on purpose', as in: when everything else seemed to be working fine, I wanted to see if they could take pictures since that had been an issue before in China.
I can also do 3 and 4 again, wait it out for a sim-day and then see if they make it home too or if it crashes again. Right now, after about three hours of waiting on load screens, I think I've had my fill for the day. Specially with the last one (repeat of n.4 being too dark, no idea what happened with the lighting) crashing on me as I tried to get it back to fullscreen to see if the lighting returned to normal. It hadn't happened the first time, and only after travelling. I'm thinking it might just be too broken, or deliberately messing with me.
Copied the Exception info in each xcpt file generated to avoid uploading them all to be reviewed. But let me know if I need to, I've kept them and labelled them.

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Post by igazor » September 15th, 2018, 8:17 pm

You've successfully ruled out a number of things here. And I believe you have essentially proven that the world you are traveling from is heavier than most, so between that and the mods you are carrying things are going into overload. The question becomes what to do with this information. Of course you can't remove your mods every time your sims travel. But are you still reducing the graphics settings in Game Options to the bare ugly minimum before attempting a transition into or out of this homeworld, and only attempting travel immediately after a fresh loadup of the game?

I wouldn't worry about the pointy chin for such a test, but perhaps should have specified that the external household used for it should have been essentially vanilla sims. The last thing we needed at that stage of testing was adding more variables to the mix.

But there seems to be something missing from your "workflow," so to speak, though it could just be the way I am reading your account rather than what it is you are actually doing.

-- Sims travel to Al Simhara.
-- Hooray, they arrived successfully, celebrations all the way round (on our end, not in the game).
-- They make their way to wherever they are assigned to stay on that trip, probably Base Camp but whichever lot it is, and the arrival animations complete themselves.
STOP
-- Save (As), quit to desktop or Origin and reload (this is the part that seems to be missing, again the way I am reading this)
-- NOW carry on with the other activities.

The travel transition is, as you can see, very jarring to the game and uses up all kinds of resources during the process. Jumping into taking photos or traveling back home within the same game session without exiting out and reloading entirely is only asking for trouble. I imagine that CAS sessions and heavy goings on in Edit Town would do this as well. I would regard the game session as very volatile after a successful travel arrival in either direction and not to be messed with in its current state. And, in my case, after arrival I will want to readjust the graphics settings in Game Options back to where they were anyway and that itself requires saving and reloading. The bare ugly minimum I referenced earlier is not at all fun to look at and if I had to see the game run that way normally I probably wouldn't want to play it anymore.

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Post by StarkofGenius » September 16th, 2018, 8:13 pm

No, you read it absolutely right. I didn't even remember saving and reloading after testing if they could travel. I have to admit I was a bit sleep-deprived and running on coffee and I was mostly focusing on the travel world loading without crashing. My graphic settings are not all to their bare ugly minimum, no. I know how sims look is high, and there's at least another two at medium. Why I didn't lower them all equally is beyond me. I might not have been thinking straight xD Also, probably makes no difference, but the game is run through Steam, and for quite a while now telling the launcher to close gives me a warning saying it's uploading something and hasn't finished. It didn't happen before, but I've just been forcing it to close anyway before turning the laptop off.

The reason I tried to take pictures with the phone once they arrived was because the last time I had issues, that was one of them, and once I resolved the problem I was immediately able to do it. Then again, the last time I couldn't save because of Error12, and though I recalled the crashing with taking photographs I didn't even think of testing if I could save. I really should have slept before trying this, so I'll be doing the tests all over again.

Interestingly enough, last time I could travel to Egypt (and China but not France). But I agree one of the major problems might just be the sheer size of the homeworld, with all it contains: the lots, sims and objects, specially in my active lot, and it's eating up all the resources. As well as the fact that it's IP and it is laggy, not terribly so for playing but it has bouts. Even after removing all the houseboats and moving people to land, sims will do what they want and travel between islands when they feel like. I've read that the fog of the undiscovered islands causes lag too and I haven't gotten them to do that yet so it's there, might add onto the workload. Sidenote: through looking in MC I found a lot off pre-made (according to the wiki) IP sims that I don't think I've ever seen in my game. They're the homeless kind. Where are they all hanging out at that I never see them anywhere? SP is managing homeless I believe, but I don't think it's deleting them and I didn't want it to. Though I don't think I need more sims in that world.

CAS sessions in which I spend a lot of time creating more than 1-2 sims does freeze when I click accept and it shows the family photo - or rather, it never finishes loading. I've taken to blaming it on all the clothing CC, because it's a lot and it takes time to load the list whenever I switch between categories or create-a-style. Specially if I had been playing for a while before going into CAS. Doesn't help I'm a perfectionist and spend even more time tweaking facial features. As for Edit Town, if I'm making a lot of changes I save between every lot I edit, and close and reload the game once I'm done just in case.

Just so I'll understand a bit better what resources are being used, I noticed the successful travels (1, 3 and 4) had a bit more free virtual memory (when they crashed). The RAM usage went up while loading, but that was to be expected - so long as it stays around or below 3gb, I'm not overly concerned with it. So I'm wondering what each of the changes affected - 1 was with a different and smaller household and lot, less junk, much less memories; 3 was with the Egypt world being generated from its original state; 4 was with all the other mods and CC in package files removed; - in terms of the game being able to get through the travel transition. If you have any ideas of what's different, but this more just to for me to understand how it works.

All right. Back to the testing. I'm skipping 2 (since it crashed just as normal), and I'll be sure to make a different save for each so I can exit and reload to see how it behaves.
Yay for another +2 hours of the loading screens parade (probably).

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Post by puzzlezaddict » September 16th, 2018, 8:22 pm

I can't help with the crashing issue, as I think we've seen that it's a bit over my head. But the uploading message is an easy fix. You can either play while your computer is entirely offline (unplugged or disconnected from wifi), or you can bypass the launcher. Playing through Steam, you don't need either Steam or the launcher open at any point; you can launch the game directly through the TS3W.exe inside your program files. This is my path:

C: Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\The Sims 3\Game\Bin

Playing offline will also lessen the load on your game, even if you're already declining to sign in. But if you want to both play while online and open the launcher, there was a discussion last month at AHQ about how to address the issue. Here's the relevant post:

https://answers.ea.com/t5/The-Sims-3/Si ... 61#M231841

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Post by igazor » September 16th, 2018, 10:54 pm

I think you're on the right track here. Yes, I noticed the differences in resources reported among your four tests, but they are pretty small fluctuations relatively speaking. I don't think any of us can pinpoint exactly what each MB of what the game calls "virtual memory" (whatever that is, it can't really be Windows VM/paging) is being used or reserved for.

A few misc. items to note:

-- Homeless sims you have never seen will likely be in the service pools, the adoption and horse breeding rosters, and they could be resort workers that come and go. Depending on the MC filters being used, you may also be seeing taxi, car pool, school bus, and limo drivers. These aren't usually worth stressing over unless you have thousands of them all of a sudden. Homeless NPCs are not progressed by SP (or really by the game itself without SP) and in the case of the unused pools and rosters of sims who never show up on-screen are really only each tiny bundles of data that have no real impact on the game's performance.

-- I prefer to play with SP's Manage the Homeless off, and "manage" them myself. Others have different preferences, but with that on True homeless sims will sometimes be removed from the game only to be later replaced by others more often and will sometimes get moved into existing households thus dropping any service assignments they may have had.

-- CAS category lag: NRaas > MC > Settings > CAS > Show in Compact Form (clothes, hats, accessories) cuts through much of that for us. But of course if you have billions of CC items, the lag will creep back in again. Running the game entirely from an SSD will also help here, but that isn't usually instantly practical if the player doesn't have one.

-- The Launcher stuck running when logged in: This isn't fatal, but is something new that just started happening for those of us on 1.67 (like all Steam players would be) about a month ago. It seems to be a by-product of something having changed on EA's end that was only tested for 1.69 players under the assumption that no one should be playing on the "older" patches (phooey). Changing the permissions on the Sims3Logs.xml file in the user game folder as per the link that puzzlez provides seems to fix that for everyone who has tried it -- we haven't had any credible reports of that trick failing yet.

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Post by StarkofGenius » September 19th, 2018, 1:49 am

@puzzlezaddict - I'll look into it, thanks! I never considered launching the game without Steam or its launcher simply because I'd never read anywhere that I could or should. I think the only game I didn't launch through the normal means has been Skyrim. I was mostly curious though because it hadn't been showing that window and then suddenly it popped up. In any case, I'll look over the link you gave me. The warning doesn't bother me too much, just wondered if it was important and what the heck it might be uploading.

@Igazor: Thanks for the reply, I was really just wondering if you (or anyone) had any insight so I could understand it a bit better, don't worry about it.

1. Homeless sims: the ones I'm talking about didn't have any service/role assigned, and it was out of curiosity that I googled their names and found out a few of them were premade homeless sims. I'd have to recheck to be fully sure, but the only thing I remember the Personal option in MC >> Status (aside from name and age) said was that they were out-of-town. Then there were also those labelled as 'out-of-towners', which I assumed might be a sort of tourists? But that instead of coming from travel worlds, thanks to Traveller (this is pure speculation on my part though) they visited from other town world like Bridgeport or Moonlit Falls at some point. I don't think I have the filter to see if they're any kind of driver active because I don't remember seeing any of them labelled as such, or maybe that would be in the Career Status option. Also, I asked because if they are premade sims that are part of the world (and if they have some sort of family tie to any residents), and according to the wiki 'can be made playable by marrying/asking to move in', I wouldn't mind seeing them around on occasion so my sims know more people. Though if that would make the game lag more, I definitely don't need them =)

SP Manage Homeless: I wouldn't want SP to remove them if my sims know them, unless I choose for those sims to be removed myself. Might turn it off after all, see what happens and manage them myself.

CAS lag: Had no idea about that setting and I'm definitely trying it out. Pc doesn't have SSD memory drives. I wouldn't say I have 'billions' of CC xD but I'll admit it's probably a pretty big number. In any case, just hoping it'll help. Usually though, going into CAS right at the start of the game prevents the endless loading or game crashing problems, so I've taken to adhere to that practice for safety.

And as I replied to Puzzlez, I'm gonna look into that too. It's a tad annoying but hasn't seemed to have had any implications on my game or my saves. The real concern for me was what it might be uploading, since I didn't tell it to upload anything and I'm iffy with information being gathered without my permission (or knowledge - I think that would apply to everyone).

In the end I didn't manage to test anything at the time of my last reply, but I've started now. Next up are the notes on those tests. And I apologise for the likely long post.
All tests have graphic settings at their minimum. I'm keeping the saves I make with each test in case there's anything else suggested I test after reloading the game (like pictures).

Test 1 - NRaas only mods. Loaded fine, no issue with getting to Egypt, and saved without a problem. All opps accounted for, as well as inventory items (unless mod dependent, like the cars). Closed and reopened the new save, RAM usage much lower (sitting under 1.5gb), can follow up on opps and take pictures without issues or crashing. All seems well.
Notes: Just like last time on my repeat of this test, general brightness has gone way down. It's morning time for the sims, but zooming out (just a bit, not going into Town View) shows heavy fog, so much so that I can't see the terrain that's beyond a certain radius. I'm assuming it's the weather from seasons, but the disparity in luminosity is aggravating because I can barely see details (beyond the ugly bare minimum graphics) while outside. Indoors everything is fine. Also, just saw my first lightning strike. And thankfully it didn't hit anyone xD There's a way to disable seasons altogether in travel worlds, right? Because if that's what this is, I'd very much like to disable them. Fog and snow are annoying while travelling.

Test 2 - deleted Egypt nhd file. Slower but loads fine, they arrive in Egypt, saving wasn't a problem. Opp from France disappears, the other two (in Egypt tab) are present. Inventory is fine. Closed and reopened, RAM also below 1.5, can progress opps and take photos, no crashing.
Notes: The opp that vanishes is one with a long chain that will eventually be continued in France again. It didn't disappear in previous test. I found a post in MTS which told me what stage I had been in, however I can't set it through DebugEnabler (as that person had and I have too in other cases). Further testing shows I can't add any opps through DebugEnabler or MC that aren't from either homeworld or Egypt (MC doesn't show Adventures in opp categories unless I don't have any, regardless of location of said opp). No matter what opp I select with DebugEnabler, either from France or China, none of them show up. Wondering if I'd need to delete the nhd files for those worlds too to fix this.

I think there's no need for a third retest with the other household (but I'll do it too if I'm wrong, let me know). So far it seems like there's either something wrong with the worlds themselves, or maybe one of the mods in my Packages folder (660+ without counting Nraas) is conflicting with something else.
Still confused with the fact that no opp disappears in test 1, and I can progress it as normal. I also reloaded my Nraas Only mods save with all mods back in the game and tested both adding other quests with DebugEnabler and that opp progression - no issues came up. Somewhere between being in their homeworld and arriving in Egypt in test 2, something seems to happen to that opp and apparently affects all others from China and France? I don't see why deleting the Egypt nhd file would influence them, though the presence of a mod might. I can't remember all that I've installed in there and troubleshooting this to find the mod causing it will take forever.
Returning game to normal graphics settings has little impact aside from using 300mb-500mb in RAM (and how good everything looks, obviously xD)

UPDATE: Just before posting this, and completely on a whim, I decided to load up my last save from before all the tests. So the one before I tried taking out mods or deleting files or changing households. This time I left the graphics to their bare ugly minimum (just as Igazor suggested) and the travel worked! All opps are accounted for, I can add opps through DebugEnabler, and I can also save. I'm thoroughly perplexed by this. Of course I understand lowering the settings helped with the overload in resource usage, which would be how the travel was successful, but why does it seem like all other problems pointed out through this testing phase suddenly disappeared?
Anyway, since RAM usage is at 3gb after arrival and I'd very much like my graphics settings to be their normal values, I'm going to quit and reload. But apparently for now I won't be needing additional help. Fingers crossed that it's all smooth sailing travel-wise from here on, because all this crashing and loading really frays one's nerves and slowly drives one insane. Thank you for all the help, tips and support, and I'd still like any insight regarding the tests I made (if there's any), or on anything else I might do to improve resource management and/or performance.

And seriously, thank you so much for bearing with me through this, you guys are saints.

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Post by puzzlezaddict » September 19th, 2018, 3:09 am

I'm really glad to hear you've found a way to get your sims through the travel transition safely. Even with all the appropriate NRaas mods installed, travel can still be stressful enough on the game engine to cause all sorts of glitches. Without any technical understanding of what goes on under the hood, so to speak, I'd guess that the transition was originally breaking in some way, leading to the various glitches you were seeing. Or perhaps the travel itself was holding together, but just barely, and things would start to break down as soon as the game increased its demands. But quitting immediately after your sims arrive and then reloading is probably the difference—the game engine doesn't have to maintain data from both the home and vacation worlds at the same time.

Again, just a guess, but when you deleted the Egypt .nhd file and one of your sims lost an opportunity, it might be that the opp wasn't completely dropped, and since it's a chain, its remnants were somehow blocking both the China and France slots. Sometimes an opp will fail to disappear properly in the run of gameplay, for no apparent reason. Right-clicking on the icon corresponding to the opp category (as if to cancel it) a few times often helps—just typing that, I feel like a sim incessantly banging on an appliance with a hammer in order to fix it—but hopefully, this won't be a concern for you going forward.

As to the launcher uploading and/or running in the tray, you won't get either of those messages if you simply delete the Sims3Logs.xml file before launching the game. So it's likely that that file is stuck trying to upload, nothing else. But some people thought it was too much effort to delete the file after each gameplay session, so igazor suggested messing around with the permissions, and it turns out that denying "read" to Admin is enough to prevent the issue. Again, this isn't a problem if you bypass the launcher, or if you play while your computer is offline, which is what I do. But of course this only works if you take Steam out of the equation. I have shortcuts for both Sims3Launcher.exe and TS3W.exe on my desktop and can use either one without involving Steam at all.

And it should be made clear who the real saint is here (or insert whichever term he prefers). I've recently been trying to contribute where I can, but igazor has been at this for years, just because he's an extremely nice and helpful person. In fact, without his expertise, there's no chance I'd be playing TS3 the way I want to, and maybe even at all anymore—you should have seen how inept I was nine months ago. (Or six months ago. Or, um, four months ago.) But he's patiently walked me through everything I needed to do, just because I asked him for help. Point is, we're all extremely lucky to have people like igazor around.

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