Game Help:Avoiding Hood Corruption

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Introduction

This guide, written for The Sims 2 game series, explains how some actions that occur in-game can lead to your neighborhood or game files becoming corrupt. These issues have never been fixed by EA & should be avoided by you, the player, to ensure a longer lasting game experience. Some issues listed below have been fixed or patched by community modders throughout the years to help prevent accidental corruption. This list below may be incomplete. Any new information regarding neighborhood or game corruption will be filled in as new knowledge comes to light.


Symptoms Of Neighborhood Corruption

The following is a list of some symptoms that could occur from neighborhood corruption. Some of these symptoms may not necessarily be signs of corruption, but may be of other types of problems, most commonly bad custom content.

  • Children & toddlers with long-term wants other than Grow Up.
  • Wants that don't fit the age group (e.g. a toddler who suddenly wants to go on a date).
  • Memories & thought bubbles that contain squiggly lines.
  • Memories being lost or totally random.
  • Disappearing Sims.
  • Disappearing lots.
  • Sims losing family members in their family tree.
  • Sims becoming unplayable.
  • Lots becoming unplayable.


To Avoid GAME Corruption

DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES DO THE FOLLOWING...unless you back-up all your neighborhood folders & are willing to re-install your game BEFORE attempting.

  • Interact with Mrs. Crumplebottom, the Charlatan, the Grim Reaper, etc. in any way OTHER THAN their intended in-game purpose.
Why? These characters do not have playable data. These universal non-playable characters (NPCs) are objects associated with your game's object.package file. By interacting in any other way than what the game intends, you will create changes in your objects.package file, & risk a critical game file. Errors associated with changing the objects.package file will effect both your current and future neighborhoods, and could result in needing to re-install your game.
Here is a thread which discusses this issue further
Here is a wiki page on Playing NPCs and Adding them to Households. Some are unsafe & adding them can cause issues.


To Avoid NEIGHBORHOOD Corruption

DO NOT...

  • Delete sims from the Family Bin.
Why? The game doesn't delete the sim entirely. It deletes the effected sim's information and saves as a 1 kb character file in your neighborhood's Characters folder. Other sims from the neighborhood who have memories, who gossip, or who have other links to the deleted sim will spread unknown information to other sims, and could create errors in the long run.
Here is the correct way to delete a Sim from a neighborhood
  • Delete character files (from Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2 <X>\Neighborhoods\<Hood>\Characters folder).
Why? The character files are linked with the neighborhood.package file from your folder's associated neighborhood. Both files share information about the sim's character. Without the character file of the sim, your neighborhood will not work properly.
  • Delete lot files (from Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2 <X>\Neighborhoods\<Hood>\Lots folder).
Why? The lot files are linked with the neighborhood.package file from your folder's associated neighborhood. Both files share information about the lot's information. Without the lot file of the building in your neighborhod, your neighborhood will not work properly.
  • Move an inhabited lot (lot with family) or an owned lot (owned business) to the Lot Bin.
Why? The game transfers the information associated with your lot's sims, but does not completely erase your sims' information from the neighborhood. Sims living in the neighborhood will continue having memories of the binned lot sims, and risk gossiping about them. This will lead to errors in the long run. Also, placing your binned lot back into the neighborhood will create new character files, instead of overwriting the previous ones.
  • Install an occupied lot (lot with family), including packaged lots that you download with families included.
Why? Unless you are absolutely sure that they have been properly cleaned, you risk having the lot's sims spread unknown information from their gossips and memories to other sims in your neighborhood. Occupied lots from EA which are properly patched are safe.
Here is the correct way to move a Sim
  • Use the DeleteAllCharacters cheat.
Why? This will cause shredding of your neighborhood's character files, meaning information will be missing or lost. Memories from existing sims will effect your neighborhood negatively, as mentioned above.
  • Delete lots that have graves present.
Why? Graves are treated as sims, and possess character file data in the neighborhood's Characters folder. As with deleting living sims, deleting dead sims will cause information with other sims to remain and will result in corrupt memories from gossiping. This will also create errors in the long run.
  • Bin lots that have graves present.
Why? As with binning a lot with living sims, deceased sims also contain character file data. Moving the lot to the family bin will not completely erase all traces from the neighborhood about the binned sims, and will create errors in the long term from memories and gossip. Also, as with living sims, deceased sims will create a new character file, instead of overwriting the previously used one.
  • Allow a Sim to die with tombstones or urns in their inventory.
Why? When a sim dies, their inventory items are deleted, as everything is treated like objects. Tombstones and urns are considered sims and have character file data associated with them. As mentioned, deleting a sim destroys the character file data and will cause errors in the long run via memories and gossiping from other sims who encountered the deceased sim.
  • Remove multi-pollination technician or multi-plantsim mods after they have been used in your neighborhood.
Why? Multi-PT and Multi-Plantsim mods consist of one package which affects the selection of the parent and a number of packages which are the new pollination technicians or plantsims. When removing this mod, only remove the package which affects the selection of the parent. If you remove one of the pollination technicians or plantsims, then you are basically deleting their character file, which will corrupt your neighborhood.
Here is a thread which discusses this issue further
  • Put tombstones or urns on any of the shelves that come with Open for Business and are used to sell things.
Why? When a tombstone or urn is placed on an OFB shelf, it will be duplicated. The duplicate tombstone will still be connected to the sim. This may cause the sim to become corrupted.
  • Bin empty lots that have been lived in without getting rid of the Off-World Loiterers.
Why? Off-World Loiterers are sims that present themselves to the lot, temporarily & invisibly. They could appear through phone calls, for example, as the living sim on the lot communicates with the sim outside the lot. As with living sims, binning the lot will carry the invisible sim with the lot, and will cause long term errors. Pescado's Lot Debugger has an option to get rid of Off-World Loiterers, but it will only appear when they are present.
  • Rezone a lot with active Sims living or staying on it.
Why? The game sets different commands for the types of lots involved. Some lots do not allow the lot to be saved, others could make the lot disappear from the neighborhood. Only perform such a task on empty, preferably new & unused lots.
  • Remove custom careers/majors while a Sim is using them.
Why? This will cause an error to the households for the sims who use them. Your household will not load, and could cause problems when the sim visits your other lots.
  • Save with Sims on the telephone.
Why? This will cause problems when the game is reset, for example when installing hacks or a new EP/SP. Sims on the sending side of the phone network are present on the lot temporarily. The sender is invisible and are considered Off-World Loiterers.
  • Save with ghosts active on a lot.
Why? If you save with ghosts active on a lot, the game may delete all of the tombstones on the lot.


THINGS NOT TO DO, unless you are willing to fix them using various tools & hacks...

  • Delete custom or geneticized/townified skins or eyes.
Why? This can cause a corrupted skin tone for Sims using them. Unless you are willing to fix their DNA using SimPe.
  • Delete custom foods.
Why? This breaks want trees for Sims that had it as a favorite food. Unless you install Pescado's1 Lot Debugger and are willing to reset all Sims that had a custom food set as their favorite, and are willing to remove all memories about the custom food using SimPE.
  • Let Samantha Ottomas’ pregnancy come to term.
Why? Samantha Ottomas is pregnant with babies that do not have complete data, unless you fully patched your Seasons game prior to creating the neighborhood using the Seasons EP, or prior to porting your existing neighborhood to the Seasons EP.
  • Delete tombstones/urns.
Why? As discussed previously, tombstones and urns are treated as sims with character file data, and not objects. Unless you have Pescado's1 noUnlinkOnDelete hack installed, you should not delete the tombstone/urn.
In regards to a deceased sim's tombstone/urn being damaged/smashed in-game from another sim, as long as the ashes or damaged tombstone is not deleted or trashed, that deceased sim's character file remains intact. If you do not have this hack installed, DO NOT SAVE YOUR GAME. Instead, quit back to the neighborhood WITHOUT SAVING, and play back to the time before the tombstone/urn was damaged/smashed.
  • Resurrect dead pre-made Sims that shipped with the game.
Why? Most deceased sims have missing character data (e.g. Skip Broke, Darleen Dreamer etc.).
If you fully read and follow the proper instructions in the following guide, you can then perform resurrection of these deceased sims


Suggested Mods, Hacks, & Programs To Help Reduce Hood Corruption

Some actions listed above can be prevented or remedied by using mods created by skilled programmers. The following is a small list of items that are suggested to be placed in your game's Downloads folder for safer & easier game play. Although some items listed may not be needed, they help fight unintentional doings by the player. As an important precaution, always back-up your neighborhood's folder prior to using or testing these mods, in case something goes wrong.

This mod prevents shredding of a deceased sim's information when their tombstone or urn is deleted in-game by the player selling the object, or if the urn is smashed AND swept up by a sim to a trash bin. It is highly recommended to preserve the sim's character file data in the event other sims gossip about the deceased sim, in case of resurrection, or in case of sim DNA needed for future generations of sims born in-game.
This mod will move your apartment lot's graves to a community lot of your choice, in the event you decided to kill off your sim's household in your game's current apartment lot...you cruel, cruel player, you! The program also allows you to keep said graves on the lot, if you choose to do so.
This mod prevents unnecessary quantities of certain NPC sims, such as preventing several Tour Guides, or preventing several Unsavory Charlatans for spawning. Instead, the game will call upon those already made NPCs.
This is an object that can be found in the Miscellaneous/Miscellaneous section of the Buy Mode catalog. This object provides several debugging options that can be used to trash memories, fix off-world loiterers, and can be used for deleting a sim the correct way. The options for the object can be seen in-game.
This is a program created to detect any unusual references & instances in your neighborhood's folder. It attempts to fix most instances relations to Family Ties, Sim Relations (SREL), Sims Wants and Fears (SWAF), and Memories. It also reports missing sim character file data, misplaced graves, and other items of interest, as found in the link above.
This is a program created to properly install lot files packaged as ".sims2pack" files into your game via the Teleport folder. It is used as a replacement to the game's default installer. This program will show you the lot's likeness, any custom content, any Sim family living on it, the family's associated Sims, along with other data that may not be recommended to install to your game.


Other Items Of Concern To Maintain Safe Game Play

You should also be aware that the neighborhoods which are shipped with the game have some problems. Strangetown is particularly problematic. You can solve some of these problems by installing clean templates, such as these clean and fixed templates from Tarlia:

http://meetme2theriver.livejournal.com/63030.html

You may also want to install empty templates for the stealth sub-neighborhoods, to avoid unnecessary townies and Family Bin sims:

http://www.moreawesomethanyou.com/smf/index.php/topic,13382.0.html

The discussion thread for this article can be found here:

http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=394352



1 Pescado's hacks can be found at MATY in the hacks directory under your most current EP: http://www.moreawesomethanyou.com/samples/ts2/

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