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Author Topic: Aaroc's Learnings. Various Skilling tests.  (Read 12937 times)
Aaroc
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Aaroc's Learnings. Various Skilling tests.
« on: 2009 July 21, 05:07:37 »
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Volume 1: Gym bonus is borked
Volume 2: Library skill gain is overpowered.

In the first test, a sim who worked out at the Gym took twice as long to max his Athletics skill as it did for another sim to maximize his Athletics skill at home. Both test subjects had the Athletic Trait, which seems to be the only trait which affects Athletic Skill gain, aside from Grumpy or any other trait that can boost or lower mood through a trait specific moodlet.
« Last Edit: 2009 July 22, 18:33:56 by Aaroc » Logged
Motoki
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Re: Do not Work Out at the Gym, it gimps your Athletics Skill gaining.
« Reply #1 on: 2009 July 21, 05:20:44 »
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Hmm, I never noticed that, but I never really paid attention either.

Perhaps this file from Mod The Sims would help remedy that?
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Aaroc
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Re: Do not Work Out at the Gym, it gimps your Athletics Skill gaining.
« Reply #2 on: 2009 July 21, 05:44:32 »
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Meh, when I'm not testing stuff, I'm playing a Legacy or some other sort of challenge. I was just now drooling over This Mod that I can't have either. Tongue

Of course it could also have something to do with the fact that I made motives static with the testing cheats. I doubt it, but it's always possible. And I will be running further tests, mainly to check the effectiveness of the different stances.
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J. M. Pescado
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Re: Do not Work Out at the Gym, it gimps your Athletics Skill gaining.
« Reply #3 on: 2009 July 21, 06:04:07 »
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That is very interesting. I know why this bug occurs, too. What's SUPPOSED to happen is that it grants a kAthleticSkillMultiplier. It does so by AddToSkillGainModifier'ing "BuffFitAtmosphere.AthleticSkillMultiplier - 1f". The HARDCODED value is "2.0", which means this value would be 1.0, which theoretically should result in a rate of about double the gain.

In the tuning files, however, some hamtard has changed it to "0.5". Apparently, the goal was that they wished to nerf this value to a +50% bonus instead of a +100% bonus. Unfortunately, if you then run this value through the math above, the result is that after subtracting the 1.0, the result is -0.5. This matches your reports of "twice as long".

The "Athletic" trait is implemented similarly. The hardcode value is "1.5", meaning that a 50% boost would result. The tuning XML reduces this to 1.2, which is a 20% boost. So, basically, this is a bug. Fixing this can be trivially accomplished inside an XML, by fixing it so the value reads 1.5. I could also fix it, so as not to trample the XML, by implementing a horrible hardcoded kludge to fix an error in a configuration file, something I'm sure makes every programmer recoil in disgust. Alternatively, I can just throw up my hands in disgust at this entire mess.
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HazelEyes
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Re: Do not Work Out at the Gym, it gimps your Athletics Skill gaining.
« Reply #4 on: 2009 July 21, 09:49:37 »
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Does this mean that the gym environment only handicaps Sims with the athletic trait, because instead of stacking, the lesser boost overrides the greater one?
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J. M. Pescado
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Re: Do not Work Out at the Gym, it gimps your Athletics Skill gaining.
« Reply #5 on: 2009 July 21, 09:56:33 »
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No. They both stack.
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Re: Do not Work Out at the Gym, it gimps your Athletics Skill gaining.
« Reply #6 on: 2009 July 21, 14:17:26 »
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For those of you who don't know how to modify XML.

This sets the values of the experience multiplier and the fitness multiplyer to "1.5" instead of the (as Pescado explained) wrong default values of "0.5".

The previously linked to mod sets the experience multiplier to "2.0" on all versions, even the ones that claim to set it to 3 or 5, and it doesn't even touch the fitness multiplier.

* gymbufffix.rar (0.36 KB - downloaded 489 times.)
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Re: Do not Work Out at the Gym, it gimps your Athletics Skill gaining.
« Reply #7 on: 2009 July 21, 15:05:22 »
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Thank you for the fix.

I know EA is full of f-tards, but really, can they not do basic math?
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Gus Smedstad
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Re: Do not Work Out at the Gym, it gimps your Athletics Skill gaining.
« Reply #8 on: 2009 July 21, 16:01:33 »
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It's almost certainly an internal communication problem.  The programmer who implemented this detail and the designer who altered the XML thought the variable meant different things.  This is common in game development.

 - Gus
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Motoki
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Re: Do not Work Out at the Gym, it gimps your Athletics Skill gaining.
« Reply #9 on: 2009 July 21, 16:40:22 »
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Has anyone verified whether the library bonus is similarly borked like this or not?
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Aaroc
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Re: Do not Work Out at the Gym, it gimps your Athletics Skill gaining.
« Reply #10 on: 2009 July 21, 17:17:01 »
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That was actually part of my test. reading a book at the Library is indeed Superior to reading a book at home. the test subject at the Library was even grumpy, sitting in a 10 mood chair and missing out on a Beautiful Vista Moodlet. He still maximized the test skill, Logic, before his brother at home did, and by quite a margin. 41.5 hours vs. 51.5 hours.
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Gus Smedstad
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Re: Do not Work Out at the Gym, it gimps your Athletics Skill gaining.
« Reply #11 on: 2009 July 21, 18:12:57 »
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I'm curious how mood effects skill gains, if at all.  Sure the games says high mood improves skill gains, but we know EAxis lies.

Possible answers:
1. Not at all.
2. In a granular way.  I.e. being in the "elated" zone gives a bonus, but anything less does not.
3. In a formulaic way, so every point of mood counts.

 - Gus
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Aaroc
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Re: Do not Work Out at the Gym, it gimps your Athletics Skill gaining.
« Reply #12 on: 2009 July 21, 18:29:29 »
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I did a test once, to find out if skilling bonuses stacked, like bookworm and green thumb green thumb, for example, and found out that yes, mood does affect skilling, and it seems to be granular formulaic.

Most of my data for that test was faulty because I did not realize that mood affected skilling, so my sim with all of the test traits inexplicably skilled better than his siblings because they all had grumpy in place of one of his traits. And one of the grumpy siblings skilled faster than the others because he was in a slightly more comfortable chair.

Mood is one of the things I plan on putting a definite test on, however, using Static Motives, which is the best way to test skilling, causes all test subjects to automatically get a beautifully decorated moodlet, which cannot be removed. I suppose the best way to counteract this would be by having unfinished/messy/smelly rooms for some of the subjects, and chairs of differing comfort.

Editted because I forgot which term was which.

ETA: I'm off to test the effects of mood on skilling now.

ETA: So far my tests seem to conclude that out of bubble skilling results in normal skill rate. 6 hours for first skill, reading a Logic book with no other skill enhancing traits or bonuses. 3 different sims, 3 different mood levels, all the same traits. All the same moodlets, aside from varying levels of comfort.

The three sims who were in bubble, however, all gained skill at different levels depending on how "In the bubble" they were. For instance, the sim who was at the top of his bubble, gained his first skill twice as fast as the sims who were skilling out of bubble. The other two who were skilling in bubble seemed to gain skill at an appropriately proportionate rate as to how in bubble they were.
« Last Edit: 2009 July 21, 20:03:15 by Aaroc » Logged
J. M. Pescado
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Re: Do not Work Out at the Gym, it gimps your Athletics Skill gaining.
« Reply #13 on: 2009 July 22, 00:47:36 »
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It's almost certainly an internal communication problem.  The programmer who implemented this detail and the designer who altered the XML thought the variable meant different things.  This is common in game development.
He changed a value that said "2" into a value that said "0.5". I dunno about you, but that is STUPID. It should be OBVIOUS when you are altering some kind of floating point multiplier value that inverting things below a value of 1.0 tends to invert the meaning of the function, and that changing something from a 2 to a 0.5 is a kind of drastic change. Even without knowing WHAT you are modifying, it should be obvious that making such a change represents a very drastic alteration of the original function.
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Re: Do not Work Out at the Gym, it gimps your Athletics Skill gaining.
« Reply #14 on: 2009 July 22, 01:15:22 »
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He changed a value that said "2" into a value that said "0.5". I dunno about you, but that is STUPID. It should be OBVIOUS when you are altering some kind of floating point multiplier value that inverting things below a value of 1.0 tends to invert the meaning of the function, and that changing something from a 2 to a 0.5 is a kind of drastic change. Even without knowing WHAT you are modifying, it should be obvious that making such a change represents a very drastic alteration of the original function.
Designers are, by and large, stupid and innumerate.  I speak from first hand experience.  Even ones who are famous seem to have no grasp at all of basic concepts like this, unless they come from a programming background.  Which almost none of them do, particularly the underling assistant designers who are almost always recruited out of QA.

I'd lay very long odds indeed that the idiot in question saw the 2.0, thought it meant +200%, and then changed it to 0.5 thinking it meant +50%.  And then never tested the change.  Besides being innumerate, the concept of testing fixes tends to escape them as well.

Programmers make hideous mistakes as well, usually out of laziness.  Like creating a fixed-size array to track objects which do not have a defined upper limit on the number than can appear on a map.  But they're far less likely to make this particular kind of mistake.

 - Gus
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Re: Do not Work Out at the Gym, it gimps your Athletics Skill gaining.
« Reply #15 on: 2009 July 22, 01:49:25 »
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That was actually part of my test. reading a book at the Library is indeed Superior to reading a book at home. the test subject at the Library was even grumpy, sitting in a 10 mood chair and missing out on a Beautiful Vista Moodlet. He still maximized the test skill, Logic, before his brother at home did, and by quite a margin. 41.5 hours vs. 51.5 hours.

Each book you read increases the speed in which you read the next book. If this applies to skill books too, then switching to books after using the telescope may not skill as quickly as in your test.
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Aaroc
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Re: Do not Work Out at the Gym, it gimps your Athletics Skill gaining.
« Reply #16 on: 2009 July 22, 02:11:03 »
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That is something I have not tested yet. I have, however, just completed a test in which sims skilled by reading books at various stages of "Being in the bubble" as well as various stages of mood not being "In the bubble"

Through my tests I have concluded that at all stages of being not in the bubble sims skill at a flat rate, I will call that the base. The max attainable skilling rate that can be acquired at home is double the base skilling rate. This is with a completely full mood bubble. Being in the bubble at any stage in between empty and full will affect your skilling rate at percentages depending on where in the bubble your sim is.

The minimum rate of skilling by reading a book at the library is double the base rate, and is multiplied by your bubble rate. Thus, if a sim skills at the library while at max bubble, they will skill at four times the base rate.

I wish there was a way to use cheats to add on to a sim's book read count so that I could easily test how quickly a sim skills depending on how many book they have read.

ETA: I will be doing more tests to figure out if all skills are affected by mood and the library bonus.. The only problem I foresee is Painting since it cannot be skilled indefinitely, as you must stop and sell or otherwise get rid of the paintings when they are completed. I'm not entirely sure if this can be accomplished at the library.
« Last Edit: 2009 July 22, 02:16:19 by Aaroc » Logged
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Re: Do not Work Out at the Gym, it gimps your Athletics Skill gaining.
« Reply #17 on: 2009 July 22, 02:15:59 »
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This is good to know as well.  So there's no point in trying to make a Sim happier if it won't bring the mood over 100, but there definitely is a point once you can push it that high.  Since you also start to accumulate Lifetime Points once you're over 100, this is just another reason to shoot for that mark.

Couch Potato may be one of the most powerful traits out there, since it's pretty easy to get +40 mood from comfort if you're a potato.

 - Gus
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J. M. Pescado
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Re: Do not Work Out at the Gym, it gimps your Athletics Skill gaining.
« Reply #18 on: 2009 July 22, 03:40:07 »
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I'd lay very long odds indeed that the idiot in question saw the 2.0, thought it meant +200%, and then changed it to 0.5 thinking it meant +50%.  And then never tested the change.  Besides being innumerate, the concept of testing fixes tends to escape them as well.
That still does not explain the abysmal stupidity. The person who wrote the tuning file ALSO commented in what the value actually MEANS. There is simply *NO* way to misinterpret a label whch explicitly states "2.0f means double the rate". The person actually WROTE that into the tuning and then STILL made it that way, so either they are simply mindbogglingly stupid, or this was deliberate. It's really hard to say at this point.
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Re: Do not Work Out at the Gym, it gimps your Athletics Skill gaining.
« Reply #19 on: 2009 July 22, 07:47:48 »
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Good catch on both the testing and the borked mod on MTS. I highly recommend anyone who downloaded the fitness multiplier mod to pry it open and tune this themselves. It's a short piece of xml:

Code:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" standalone="no"?><base>
  <Current_Tuning>
    <kFitnessMultiplier value="0.5">
      <!--Range:  Multiplier.  Description:  Additional body shape multiplier when in the Fit Atmosphere (gym).-->
    </kFitnessMultiplier>
   <kAthleticSkillMultiplier value="3.0">
      <!--Range:  Multiplier.  Description:  Additional athletic skill gain multiplier when in the Fit Atmosphere (gym). 2.0f means double the rate.-->
    </kAthleticSkillMultiplier>
  </Current_Tuning>
</base>

edit: I just noticed the other piece in that mod:   <kFitnessMultiplier value="0.5">  <!--Range:  Multiplier.  Description:  Additional body shape multiplier when in the Fit Atmosphere (gym).-->

Is that another situation where the wrong multiplier was applied?
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Re: Do not Work Out at the Gym, it gimps your Athletics Skill gaining.
« Reply #20 on: 2009 July 22, 10:55:13 »
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ETA: I will be doing more tests to figure out if all skills are affected by mood and the library bonus.. The only problem I foresee is Painting since it cannot be skilled indefinitely, as you must stop and sell or otherwise get rid of the paintings when they are completed. I'm not entirely sure if this can be accomplished at the library.

The the "skill - paint" task from Supreme Commander on AwesomeMod. The painter will automagically take the painting and put it in inventory and start a new one. The only control is that you can't pick the size, but that wouldn't affect the rate of skill gain.

I seem to recall (at work and don't have all my files, sorry) that painting at the gallery sped up the skilling for painting. Maybe a 3-way test - home, library, gallery all identical traits and moods as close as you can get? I'd run this for a test but I won't have time until Friday. Stupid that I let work get in the way of my fun.
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Aaroc
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Re: Do not Work Out at the Gym, it gimps your Athletics Skill gaining.
« Reply #21 on: 2009 July 22, 18:30:55 »
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Testing with static motives makes it retarded easy to make sure they all have the same mood. it's using static motives and trying to get varying moods that was a problem for me, lol.

I'm wondering if I should just rename this thread and use this thread to post the links to my learnings.
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