Sims 3, cc , expansions and stuffs.

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Sims 3, cc , expansions and stuffs.

Post by sylvantos on Mon 23 Feb 2015, 04:40

Do you have a small c:\ only for system files like me? 
You've installed the sims 3 to your other drive, without any problems (I had to make the folders on the other drive, before the installer installed them there, otherwise it would not install correctly), anyway you done that without problem, you decided to add custom content, worlds or other stuff (not stuff packs) and then move your sims 3 from your mydocuments folder to you other drive to.

You then discover to your horror there is some really great sites out there and decided you want to install even more stuff...but you've just moved your folder over to the other drive.

Helpful hint 1: never install your new custom content to the new drive, it will cause you problems and will break your game, you can be sure of it. It has always broken mine. It breaks because the custom content tries to install to the correct place, but ends up in another, the launcher then has a fit and has no idea what to do, it then freezes.  No amount of trying to launch will fix this problem, only a re-install will. see hint 2

Helpful hint 2: you moved your saved and custom content , back up folders to your other drive, you want to install new stuff you discovered, but if you do it will break your game completely.  No problem, just reverse what you did and move the symbolic links back to the original drive and then you can install the stuff, then move it back again.

Helpful hint 3:  Install all the custom content, words etc before moving the folder in my documents.  if you need to scour the internet to find things, do it now, before doing anything else, when you have found everything you want, only then move the folder to your other drive. This way you will never need to change anything again, there will be nothing to install anymore, and you cannot break your game because your not adding new stuff.  Sims 3 is pretty much dead now from a development point of view from EA, but modders and custom content / world makers are still very active, probably because sims 4 stinks in it's current form and because people prefer the superior sims 3 at this point.  Just remember...install content first...then move it all, dont install it, move it, move it back and then install then move it back all over again.

It will save you a ton of time.

Also on my last note. Never try to install all the expansion packs, stuff packs and worlds and then add every last store item. Not only will cause significant problems with stability, your loading screen will take forever to load up, crashes become frequent due to all the bugs in sims 3, and if things do wrong your likely not going to be able to fix them in any usable shape.  The best bet is, to select what ever you want then go with it. There is no reason to download everything or install everything because your never going to be able to use them all.  This is not from a memory or cpu point of view, its from a stability stable playing point of view. 
So how many expansions can you run?  In my experience a pc running a dual core i3 or even i5 is all that is needed, along with 2gb ram (use 4gb patch if using x64 windows only) and any half decent card. Most people can run sims 3 on minimal specc, which is very low, it depends on your video quality..if you play on medium 7 expansions should be the absolute maximum (on windows 7, vista x64 , windows 8, 8.1 x64 ONLY to be able to use the 4gb patch the way its meant to be used) on low settings, which is not recommended you could run all worlds, all expansions and stuff packs and some store items not all of it! 
High settings you might get away with 7 expansions and 4 stuff packs and a handful of worlds.  Sims 3 like many games of its age (32 bit) as incredibly bad optimization, and this is why more expansions and everything else, makes this game very unstable, along with its quirkly bugs.

Finally : experiment with what you like, but remember the more you install, the more unstable the game becomes, crashes become more frequent and loading screens can take a very very long time.  The game is not optimized for x64 bit architecture. How I wish it was, how I wish someone could make a x64 bit sims 3 client .exe that utilized all our machines could throw at it..we'd be able to run everything without the same problems listed...EA could have created a simple enough client well before Seasons but could not be be bothered.

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Re: Sims 3, cc , expansions and stuffs.

Post by The_gh0stm4n on Thu 26 Feb 2015, 01:34

//MOVED


Thanks for the extensive post ! Smile  I'd like to go into more detail though on several things...

@sylvantos wrote:Do you have a small c:\ only for system files like me? 
You've installed the sims 3 to your other drive, without any problems (I had to make the folders on the other drive, before the installer installed them there, otherwise it would not install correctly), anyway you done that without problem, you decided to add custom content, worlds or other stuff (not stuff packs) and then move your sims 3 from your mydocuments folder to you other drive to.

You then discover to your horror there is some really great sites out there and decided you want to install even more stuff...but you've just moved your folder over to the other drive.

Helpful hint 1: never install your new custom content to the new drive, it will cause you problems and will break your game, you can be sure of it. It has always broken mine. It breaks because the custom content tries to install to the correct place, but ends up in another, the launcher then has a fit and has no idea what to do, it then freezes.  No amount of trying to launch will fix this problem, only a re-install will. see hint 2

Helpful hint 2: you moved your saved and custom content , back up folders to your other drive, you want to install new stuff you discovered, but if you do it will break your game completely.  No problem, just reverse what you did and move the symbolic links back to the original drive and then you can install the stuff, then move it back again.

Helpful hint 3:  Install all the custom content, words etc before moving the folder in my documents.  if you need to scour the internet to find things, do it now, before doing anything else, when you have found everything you want, only then move the folder to your other drive. This way you will never need to change anything again, there will be nothing to install anymore, and you cannot break your game because your not adding new stuff.  Sims 3 is pretty much dead now from a development point of view from EA, but modders and custom content / world makers are still very active, probably because sims 4 stinks in it's current form and because people prefer the superior sims 3 at this point.  Just remember...install content first...then move it all, dont install it, move it, move it back and then install then move it back all over again.

It will save you a ton of time.


Theoretically that's a good idea - but in my opinion the vast majority of people don't "think" in that way. They will always find "more cool stuff they haven't seen before", even after they moved the folder to another drive. And the result is constant moving around of that folder. Yes, if you really have a tiny C: drive, there won't be many other practical possibilities. But in that case you should (if possible) pay attention much earlier already: namely when you buy a computer or decide to "switch" hard-drives. If you make sure to use a big-enough C: drive from the start, then that is by far the easiest solution. 

Some people are using tiny SSD drives (for their C: partition), because they heard or read somewhere that these are "much faster than regular HDDs". And when they go to a shop or visit a website they discover with horror that even tiny SSD drives cost a fortune. Worse, some people then end up buying SSDs that only have (maybe) 100GB or so, because they can't or don't want to spend more. Even if you really keep all the things like music, pictures and videos on another HDD drive in your system, the other software will still take a lot of space on your C: drive.

How many GBs does a Windows 7 installation alone take already ? 15-20GB ? Something along those lines. And today's games often need at least 10GB of space on average, often even more (not including any custom content or the like).

Many people may not like to hear that now, but you should honestly save the money (if you can), and then...if you REALLY want an SSD, go for something that is really good. My recommendation is a bare minimum of 512GB for an SSD drive. Even if it's really expensive.


@sylvantos wrote:
Also on my last note. Never try to install all the expansion packs, stuff packs and worlds and then add every last store item. Not only will cause significant problems with stability, your loading screen will take forever to load up, crashes become frequent due to all the bugs in sims 3, and if things do wrong your likely not going to be able to fix them in any usable shape.  The best bet is, to select what ever you want then go with it. There is no reason to download everything or install everything because your never going to be able to use them all.  This is not from a memory or cpu point of view, its from a stability stable playing point of view. 
So how many expansions can you run?  In my experience a pc running a dual core i3 or even i5 is all that is needed, along with 2gb ram (use 4gb patch if using x64 windows only) and any half decent card. Most people can run sims 3 on minimal specc, which is very low, it depends on your video quality..if you play on medium 7 expansions should be the absolute maximum (on windows 7, vista x64 , windows 8, 8.1 x64 ONLY to be able to use the 4gb patch the way its meant to be used) on low settings, which is not recommended you could run all worlds, all expansions and stuff packs and some store items not all of it! 
High settings you might get away with 7 expansions and 4 stuff packs and a handful of worlds.  Sims 3 like many games of its age (32 bit) as incredibly bad optimization, and this is why more expansions and everything else, makes this game very unstable, along with its quirkly bugs.

Finally : experiment with what you like, but remember the more you install, the more unstable the game becomes, crashes become more frequent and loading screens can take a very very long time.  The game is not optimized for x64 bit architecture. How I wish it was, how I wish someone could make a x64 bit sims 3 client .exe that utilized all our machines could throw at it..we'd be able to run everything without the same problems listed...EA could have created a simple enough client well before Seasons but could not be be bothered.


To play the devil's advocate: if you only had 64-bit games, you would (still) exclude a substantial number of players, with older (weaker) machines. Namely those with a 32-bit computer/OS. And traditionally, EA/Maxis try and keep their Sims-franchise accessible to as many players as possible. Which I basically find a good idea.

There are a few games that have both 32-bit and 64-bit launchers, but from what I've seen they are rather rare in numbers. 

However, partly true is the thing with the bad optimization: in TS3 you have the expansions in separate folders and what's more, you have separate .exe files for each expansion. And it seems the game uses all of these .exe files, even if you only start the game from the base folder (with the TS3W.exe). TS4 on the other hand, so far adds the DLC files into the main install location, and there is (still) only one .exe file - namely the TS4.exe. We'll see if EA/Maxis have wisened up and will try to integrate future content better into the base game installation.

Also, my old (!) desktop computer has an i3 CPU, 4GB RAM and a Radeon HD7790. By today's standards an actually outdated system already. And I can play TS3 and ALL expansions/stuffpacks fluently and on high settings. Yes, it takes a while to load up because my "The Sims 3"-folder with mods & store/custom content has around 15GB. Never measured it, but certainly it averages to around 8-9 minutes. But it's definitely worth the wait. Moreover, I'm in the process of assembling a more-up-to-date and stronger system for me.

As for the glitches, they are highly annoying, yes, but you can't just blame weak optimization of the game or (supposedly) high system requirements. I am able to play the game with hardly any glitches. Thanks to a bunch of NRAAS mods and my experience in the game. I've been playing it for a while, and I still play it, so I know my way around most of the bugs.

Some people, on the other hand, somehow "cause" the game to crash all the time. And these people often have much stronger computers than my old machine. I think that part of it has to do with many people buying ready-to-use computers, which are often unbalanced systems. Often they have a strong CPU, but only a very weak graphics card. Plus..overall system performance is determined by a number of factors, like CPU, GPU, RAM, the type of hard-drive (!), background processes running on the machine and a few other things. Many people say just because they have "gaming machines", they don't need GameBooster, but it really depends on the individual's situation/configuration.

And finally, yes, the majority of people don't have the experience or patience in the game like me and the other team members on here. They often insist on doing things that are buggy in-game, and then get frustrated because these can't get fixed. As I said in an internal discussion here once, back then with the other Moderators and the Admins, you cannot learn "how" to play the game painlessly in just a few days. It often takes a long time to get a feeling for this - and as history has shown: most people either don't have enough time to deal with these problems or they are - unfortunately - just not patient enough.

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Re: Sims 3, cc , expansions and stuffs.

Post by sylvantos on Thu 26 Feb 2015, 05:33

good points Carlos.
I would just like to say though, if you had no idea of any mods such as NRAAS mods that do a great job in circumventing some of the known bugs, such as sim being stuck which can be a big game breaker, particularly if you don't have any means to move that sim somewhere else. Especially if you some how forget to save often. There are a lot of very poor laptops out there still being sold today, and in the shops they are being sold as gaming laptops, when in fact they are nothing more that entertainment laptops..with extremely weak discrete graphics cards. 

I made the post for mainly older machines than an i3 really, because there are still a lot of people using old machines, perhaps because they cannot afford new machines for whatever reason. I just wanted to try and help those people out, because its easy to forget they exist, and only us on i3, i5 and i7's with decent cards matter. 

Many mmo's now have 64 bit native support from their launchers, considering most are direct x 11+

Sims 4 certainly is x64 bit, given I can see it using   2 of my cores during game play. Not seen it using more than that yet which is surprising. But it is very smooth and feel very optimized to me.

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Re: Sims 3, cc , expansions and stuffs.

Post by The_gh0stm4n on Fri 27 Feb 2015, 05:36

@sylvantos wrote:good points Carlos.
I would just like to say though, if you had no idea of any mods such as NRAAS mods that do a great job in circumventing some of the known bugs, such as sim being stuck which can be a big game breaker, particularly if you don't have any means to move that sim somewhere else. Especially if you some how forget to save often. There are a lot of very poor laptops out there still being sold today, and in the shops they are being sold as gaming laptops, when in fact they are nothing more that entertainment laptops..with extremely weak discrete graphics cards. 

I made the post for mainly older machines than an i3 really, because there are still a lot of people using old machines, perhaps because they cannot afford new machines for whatever reason. I just wanted to try and help those people out, because its easy to forget they exist, and only us on i3, i5 and i7's with decent cards matter. 

Many mmo's now have 64 bit native support from their launchers, considering most are direct x 11+

Sims 4 certainly is x64 bit, given I can see it using   2 of my cores during game play. Not seen it using more than that yet which is surprising. But it is very smooth and feel very optimized to me.


Actually, TS4 is (still) a 32-bit application:







The *32 next to the TS4.exe indicates a 32-bit application. Yes, TS4 can make use of several CPU threads, but the thing about 32/64-bit is mainly about how much RAM an application can access.

And yes, many people may not know about bug fixes or workarounds in Sims 3, but that's one reason people like us are here. Very Happy  And luckily, it is possible to make TS3 "playable". 

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Re: Sims 3, cc , expansions and stuffs.

Post by sylvantos on Mon 02 Mar 2015, 14:15

i also have some great tips that are not on this board, that will help greatly.
its mainly about trying to keep things optimized for the sims 3. but maybe its for another thread another time Smile

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