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Author Topic: Visitor in CAS!  (Read 8800 times)
Ambular
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Visitor in CAS!
« on: 2007 February 22, 21:57:59 »
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I found this highly amusing and thought I'd share.  Ever since I finished my custom CAS, I've been having random strays wander through and peek in from time to time, and earlier this evening this fellow stopped by:



Has anybody else seen this happen with a custom CAS?  I wonder if it happens in the normal one when Pets is installed but you don't see them because there's no doors.  :)
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spookymuffin
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Re: Visitor in CAS!
« Reply #1 on: 2007 February 22, 22:03:57 »
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This has happened to me a few times, and only after I made my custom CAS screen.
The master wolf frequently walks through my CAS, and even tries to interact with my sims waiting to have their picture taken Shocked
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SaraMK
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Re: Visitor in CAS!
« Reply #2 on: 2007 February 22, 22:21:08 »
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Yeah, something about custom CAS lots is screwed up. When building a custom CAS, you could add something that spawns an NPC, and then when you are using CAS that NPC will be there.

I consider this a VERY BAD THING. Think of what is happening to your neighborhood file if you create a sim, it interracts with the walk-by/visitor/NPC, and then you don't save the sim. Those relationships are two-way, you know.
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Ambular
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Re: Visitor in CAS!
« Reply #3 on: 2007 February 22, 22:26:34 »
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Yeah, something about custom CAS lots is screwed up. When building a custom CAS, you could add something that spawns an NPC, and then when you are using CAS that NPC will be there.

I consider this a VERY BAD THING. Think of what is happening to your neighborhood file if you create a sim, it interracts with the walk-by/visitor/NPC, and then you don't save the sim. Those relationships are two-way, you know.

Yeah, I saw an NPC spawn when I was playing around with building mine.  I don't see how it could damage a neighborhood, given that the CAS house isn't in any neighborhood and AFAIK suffers no ill effects if transplanted to someone else's game, and Sims being made in CAS don't appear to be able to interact with anything.  I'm assuming the strays and NPC's are discarded after you exit CAS.  Maybe someone more awesome can confirm or deny this?
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SaraMK
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Re: Visitor in CAS!
« Reply #4 on: 2007 February 22, 22:34:46 »
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As soon as you start to create a sim, a character file gets created in your Characters folder. If you don't save, it vanishes. But, those CAS NPCs seem to be pulled from the actual pool of the neighborhood NPCs. So it stands to reason that if you create a sim, cause it to have a relationship with an NPC, don't save, then create another sim and do save, the relationship between the NPC and deleted sim might result in crap being left over in the NPC's file, which means also in the neighborhood file.

It all sounds iffy to me, so I'm not touching any custom CAS lots.
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J. M. Pescado
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Re: Visitor in CAS!
« Reply #5 on: 2007 February 22, 22:57:32 »
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The reason this happens is that custom CAS lots tend to begin their lives as normal lots. The game thus spawns controllers for various activities, like NPC visitation. When the lot is turned back into a CAS lot, those controllers remain and continue to function, and since they are invisible, offworld objects, there is no simple way to remove them. I suppose you could try methodically "force error on all, delete, delete, delete, delete" on everything before saving and exiting for the last time and turning it into a CAS lot.
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Ambular
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Re: Visitor in CAS!
« Reply #6 on: 2007 February 22, 23:01:06 »
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The reason this happens is that custom CAS lots tend to begin their lives as normal lots. The game thus spawns controllers for various activities, like NPC visitation. When the lot is turned back into a CAS lot, those controllers remain and continue to function, and since they are invisible, offworld objects, there is no simple way to remove them. I suppose you could try methodically "force error on all, delete, delete, delete, delete" on everything before saving and exiting for the last time and turning it into a CAS lot.

Noted, but in your opinion, is this in fact a dangerous phenomenon?
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J. M. Pescado
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Re: Visitor in CAS!
« Reply #7 on: 2007 February 22, 23:02:00 »
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My opinion? Very. BFBVFS-inducing, even. But I've never even tried such a thing.
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LadyLiberty
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Re: Visitor in CAS!
« Reply #8 on: 2007 February 23, 01:13:20 »
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Yikes!  This gives me the heebie jeebies. 

Would this hold true with a custom CAS made before Pets?  I haven't seen any visitiors in mine, but that doesn't mean they aren't on the outside, I suppose.  Would meetings and relations show up in NPC data a body could check out?
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SaraMK
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Re: Visitor in CAS!
« Reply #9 on: 2007 February 23, 01:17:28 »
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I haven't seen any visitiors in mine, but that doesn't mean they aren't on the outside, I suppose.  Would meetings and relations show up in NPC data a body could check out?

If you aren't seeing them, it probably isn't a critical issue. The person who said their walk-by/visitor/NPC tried to interract with the sim they were creating is the one who should be most worried.

On the other hand, now that Pescado has confirmed my original suspicion that custom CAS lots are a VBT, I would stay away from them.

What exactly is the purpose of a custom CAS, anyway?
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spookymuffin
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Re: Visitor in CAS!
« Reply #10 on: 2007 February 23, 01:18:50 »
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I haven't seen any visitiors in mine, but that doesn't mean they aren't on the outside, I suppose.  Would meetings and relations show up in NPC data a body could check out?

If you aren't seeing them, it probably isn't a critical issue. The person who said their walk-by/visitor/NPC tried to interract with the sim they were creating is the one who should be most worried.

That would be me  Undecided
I haven't had any problems though....yet
« Last Edit: 2007 February 23, 01:37:12 by spookymuffin » Logged

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Re: Visitor in CAS!
« Reply #11 on: 2007 February 23, 02:05:28 »
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Well, neighborhood death from an overload of crap is generally a slow process, and symptoms might not be noticed for a while. Moving a single occupied lot into the bin might not immediately blow up the neighborhood either, it just puts you considerably closer to the point at which your neighborhood is no longer playable. Remember, when we say "blow up" we don't generally mean that the neighborhood somehow combusts out of existance (that is, that something dramatic occurs that renders it suddenly unplayable... though this can happen). Usually what happens is you get so many glitches that it becomes impossible to play without suffering incredible frustration, and eventually you come to the miserable realization that the neighborhood must be abandoned. Since we KNOW a lot of the things that cause this slow neighborhood death, it's silly to not try to avoid it. Obviously we can't prevent things that we don't know about, like for example the "visitor in CAS" thing. I'm not sure that I have ever actually read  anything about it being bad, so how are you supposed to have known? I just assumed, based on my knowledge of how similar things can affect the neighborhood, that a visitor/NPC in CAS would be potentially a very bad thing. I could just as easily have been wrong, and could still be, since there is no actual proof besides Pescado's opinion, and he said himself he doesn't actually know.
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maxon
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Re: Visitor in CAS!
« Reply #12 on: 2007 February 23, 05:52:17 »
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What exactly is the purpose of a custom CAS, anyway?
The purpose of a custom CAS is to get away from the boring Maxis one.  If you're playing hoods with specific themes (like say Victorian/Edwardian or Fantasy), it can be a nice touch. 

On another note, I was wondering whether Disappearing Hood Syndrome (of which you hear quite a lot of on the BBS - 'my Pleasantview has disappeared' - my personal response would be 'good' but that never seems to go down well) is related to increasing hood corruption and potential BFBVFS.  In that, that isn't an explodie-firey dramatic event either, more like a winking out of existence.
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Re: Visitor in CAS!
« Reply #13 on: 2007 February 23, 06:04:34 »
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I use a custom CAS by Gunmod, which basically removes all the items and puts mirrors in place. Far easier building Sims this way, no need to spin them around all the time.

It works just fine placed in Downloads by the way, as long as I do not change the filename. I never needed to replace the base game file (at least since NL).
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Re: Visitor in CAS!
« Reply #14 on: 2007 February 23, 06:09:10 »
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Yes, that's right, CAS!.package and YACAS!.package just go in Downloads and get used in preference to the game version.  Makes it easy to swap them out.
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Re: Visitor in CAS!
« Reply #15 on: 2007 February 23, 06:15:55 »
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On another note, I was wondering whether Disappearing Hood Syndrome (of which you hear quite a lot of on the BBS - 'my Pleasantview has disappeared' - my personal response would be 'good' but that never seems to go down well) is related to increasing hood corruption and potential BFBVFS.  In that, that isn't an explodie-firey dramatic event either, more like a winking out of existence.

I haven't heard about a specific cause of vanishing 'hoods being discovered.

I do know that the ever-so-great Enhancer program is capable of corrupting a neighborhood and causing it to vanish (and that there is no way to fix it once this happens). I also know that SOME vanished 'hoods can be recovered with SimPE, since I have had it recover vanished 'hoods for me, but that some 'hoods are not recoverable. I have also heard of 'hoods apparently vanishing after the user merely looks at it in SimPE (though I'm not entirely sure I believe those accounts). A number of vanished 'hoods seem to vanish soon after an EP or stuff pack has been installed, but many happen outside of this scenario. No definitive "big event," such as a game crash or error, that signifies an impending winking out of existance has been found as far as I know.

I had a personal theory that attempting to renumber 'hoods or to forcibly add another 'hood to an existing set, can cause them to vanish due to a conflict between their Number ID's, but I haven't found this to be the case in most, or even very many, cases of vanished 'hoods.

As far as the BBS, I would not pay much attention to what they have to say about the subject, since they're just as likely to have deleted the 'hood themselves and forgotten they'd done it. Or done something equally idiotic. Yes, vanished 'hoods are a real phenomenon, but not all cases of vanished 'hoods are actually an unexplained event, which is what we are primarily concerned about here. We don't care about 'hoods that vanish because the user opened them in SimPE and started deleting stuff at random.

Unfortunately, I have not had an unrecoverable vanished 'hood happen to me in quite some time. I have been pondering whether my discoveries in the field of 'hood editing/merging could be applied to fixing a 'hood that has clearly suffered some sort of internal malfunction. Unfortunately there is no way to test anything without having such a 'hood at hand, and as we all know, once you want something to happen, it becomes that much rarer an occurance.

EDITED to say that I can't say I particularly want it to happen, really.  Lips sealed
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Re: Visitor in CAS!
« Reply #16 on: 2007 February 23, 06:28:17 »
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Yes, I've heard many times of hoods going AWOL with the install of a stuff pack or EP.  It does look like the game simply ignores them if it once discovers a problem - I'm assuming their existence gets erased from the neighbourhoodmanager.package once this happens.

I've never actually had a hood vanish on me (touch wood) but then I've been carefully managing my hoods for a good long time and haven't allowed any crap stuff in - you kow the sort of stuff that causes problems.  I'm forever cleaning up the neighbourhood files too - bad memories, SRels with no connection and so on.  I've been running Little Carping since day 1 - well actually something like day 5 - it took me that long to decide I wasn't playing the Maxis way.

I've often thought the BBSers have so much trouble with this kind of thing because they do all sorts of mad things like download lots from the Exchange and move families from one neighbourhood to another ('ooo put the Strangetown families in Pleasantville, wicked').  That always makes me use a sentence involving the words 'not', 'touch', '10'', 'barge' and 'pole'.
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SaraMK
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Re: Visitor in CAS!
« Reply #17 on: 2007 February 23, 06:36:58 »
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Well, the reason the vanishing 'hood problem is so "interesting," is that it can happen pretty much anytime (or so it seems). I guess it is possible people are not posting minor details when they complain about the problem, and that those overlooked details are the inexplicable key. In any case, it always seems kind of random to me.

I have a neighborhood that I started shortly after Uni was released, and it's still going strong with no errors, and is one of my most-played 'hoods. I have several others that are also very old. Yes, I take good care of them and use all possible means to stop unnecessary NPCs, bad memories, etc.

I have had several go missing and be unrecoverable. Unfortunately in all cases I either didn't care about the neighborhood and so didn't give it another thought, or it was long before I had the kind of knowledge that might have actually helped in trying to figure out why it happened. I'm not sure I'd be able to figure it out if it happened now, either, but at least now I would be willing to give it a shot, rather than just shrug and go on with my life.
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Ambular
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Re: Visitor in CAS!
« Reply #18 on: 2007 February 23, 10:54:32 »
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I had a thought regarding the CAS visitors...would locking any doors added to the CAS house and/or adding a gateless fence prevent (in theory) problems by keeping any visitors who do show up at a distance?

ETA:  Whoops, just realized doors can only be locked in live mode, so revise that to just the fence idea.  *Facepalms*
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Ambular
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Re: Visitor in CAS!
« Reply #19 on: 2007 February 24, 17:46:27 »
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Well, I forced errors and stripped controllers as per Pes's suggestion and also fenced off the lot, and I haven't seen any strays the past few times I've run CAS, so hopefully between those precautions any potential problem has been solved.  Also, I checked out the neighborhood in SimPE, and to the best of my limited ability to judge, it isn't loaded with junk files.  So, with any luck, that's all she wrote...
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