Toddlers took 2 and a half years to make (or just shy of that), and for a long time had this thread
discussing complaints related to Toddlers. Eventually, we finally got toddlers. It is my hope that people can use this thread as a general hub to stand as a reminder that yes, we absolutely want these issues fixed.
At this point, I do not feel my top request is pets or seasons or hobbies or vacations or witches or anything like that, but general stability. Sadly, as I write this, the last patch that had large, meaningful bug fixes was probably months ago in November. Since then we've had patches that added sizeable new features like toddlers and minor bugs like the Sims' obsession with the woodworking bench, but the problem is that with each new pack and each new expansion, some of the stability issues and game bugs that have existed since release
are gradually getting worse. Despite this, we hear a rather limited amount of feedback about how such fixes are going.
What are the main bugs and the main culprits that affect a player's enjoyment of the game?
All three relate to the flow of gameplay and the flow of time, just in slightly different ways.1) Gameplay slowdown
This is everything from the time it takes to load up a lot, the time it takes to load up the game, the duration of the loading screens and the time it takes Sims to react to orders. As the game goes on, this gets worse. Players who create a new file right now might find the speed isn't so bad, but I feel newer files become slower much quicker than before due to all the extra data we now have via packs. A game file I've played 3 hours is fine, a game file I've played 30 hours is a bit choppy on select lots and scenarios, a game file I've played 300 hours is....well, now I'm back to Sims 3 standards.Perhaps the most obnoxious example of this is when
the game continues to run as normal, but in actuality, Sim brains have "shut off" and nothing is actually happening. This is most noticeable because you'll get a neighborhood of Sims just standing in place or cycling through the same single animation, with either zero or very few actually moving. It's as if the game cannot handle processing the actions of every sim in the neighborhood, so it's now processing them one at a time, wasting ample amounts of time. The common workaround is to either pause the game or open the menu. This allows the game time to "catch up" and start generating actions for Sims again, (usually you can tell when it works because a thought bubble suddenly appears above your sim or their action queue suddenly moves) but is very likely to happen again in another 10 seconds or so of gameplay, rendering the workaround as very, VERY temporary. This kind of slowdown seems to pick on specific lots or households, so seemingly at random, Willow Creek's park might be a place I'll never visit due to frequency of lag, but Oasis Spring's park might be perfectly fine. Still, this delay can be absolutely killer, as I've had sims waste HOURS trying to raise a skill because I didn't realize they weren't actually progressing. For some reason, skill progress and character animations seem intertwined, meaning if the animations start to mess up, so does skill progress.
In many ways, file bloat is natural to a degree. However, lately the rate at which load times seem to increase seems rather excessive, and of course given that it's gotten worse with each new pack release, the worry is this will continue. I feel something needs to be done, or come this time next year, no one will be able to play.2) Input lag
Often times when you give sims orders, the game can have a weird delay with actually providing them. This is especially noticeable while on x2 speed or x3. Infact, I'm pretty sure if your goal is to have as productive of Sims as possible, you should always remain on Speed x1, since they tend to respond to orders slower as the speed gets faster, often sitting or standing around before they finally begin to move. It's also sometimes a matter that certain orders don't seem to cancel as quickly, meaning even if you've cancelled an order to go watch TV for example, your Sim is likely to walk aaaaall the way to the couch before he decides to stop. I once had a household where the kitchen was on the first floor and the bedrooms on the third. The FIRST child to grab food would inevitably get a wish to speak to one of the last children to wake up on the third floor, and even if I cancelled their wish to go speak to them, they'd make it up the third flight of stairs before they finally stopped. Another classic example for me is that sometimes I cancel an order to "order drink" from a bartender, but the sim won't cancel it from their queue until AFTER they've done it. The X is there, the game shows my order has registered, and yet it doesn't respond until it's already done.
This same issue sometimes affects Sims and how they respond to interactions, as if something is wrong with their AI. Case in point, ever told your Sim to introduce themselves to someone else, your Sim goes to where that sim is going
, but then by the time that sim gets there, the action has been cancelled? What's going on here? Did my order EVER register? A workaround fix is to cancel the action and re-queue it (causes the target sim to stand in place), but obviously it's not exactly fun when we have to micromanage our Sims like this.
A last, extra infuriating example is that certain things cannot even be managed at all. At times, Sims will either insist on A) Waving to another random Sim or B.) Sitting somewhere for some reason. In both cases, you have nothing in your action queue to cancel, but the Sim is doing these things anyways. You're helpless to do anything as your Sim wastes time on this meaningless task, and even if you provide new orders, the Sim will refuse to do those until they do their completely unregistered action is completed. This has a couple other examples (Sims wanting to hug you), and all of them are annoying. I once had a Sim take 3 hours to eat a meal because he start wanting to run into the yard or do random stuff like that based on invisible social interactions.3) Time DistortionThis is probably the biggest one, and I'm sure I don't even need to explain it for a lot of people.
Time distortion is when the gameplay and the in-game clock are not actually synched up at all. You might see the clock snap back several hours, you might see skill progress lost, you might see a Sim's needs move back with the clock, and worst of all, it seems directly related to the above two points, as if they all feed off each other and make each other worse. Sometimes it means the clock "spins," though time itself is not actually moving forward, and after enough time, the clock suddenly pops into a certain time in an instant. It has been advised by a SimGuru (don't have the quote on hand) that you can avoid this and the other problems by doing things like NOT HAVING CHILDREN or never using the Speed x3 option at all. The more you use Speed x3, the more time in your game will distort. I've had files where in one household I had used x3 Speed liberally, thus that lot and that household were fairly distorted. For another household, time was more or less fine (unless on select commercial lots). I've heard several people comment this exact time distortion is practically a guarentee feature of living in San Myshuno, though I can't speak on that note. I can say I feel it fairly regularly on Windenburg's island. While the suggested workarounds are nice, the problem itself is ridiculous. This is the first Sims game ever where I cannot use the x3 Speed button.
The moment I do, my game will be subject to Time distortion, input lag AND additional Gameplay slowdown.
It's really starting to feel like something is fundamentally
wrong with the game engine or the like, because something as basic as time just shouldn't be this unreliable and this screwy. I recall one error we had
that was patched (thank you) where the game would give you an error 22 or 23 or something, and it meant the game was incapable of saving and you were forced to lose progress. I remember testing with that a bit, and the telltale sign that this glitch was coming...? Time distortion. You'd go to a lot or the like and lose several hours or a day, and that's how you knew that glitch was absolutely about to hit you.
I just have a very difficult time believing this isn't a huge issue. Even if I got used to the time snapping back and forth all the time, I really do feel like something as fundamental as time jumping about is just a great way for new bugs to spawn. This one is absolutely at the top of my requested fixes.Honorable mention: Musical Chairs
At this point I feel like somewhat of an "expert" on this bug. It's existed since release and once again, has never been addressed. Super infuriating, yet super consistent.
Based on my observations, it seems like Sims have AI telling them to always always always multitask and always always always always. The multitasking hurts in the sense a Sim can ALWAYS socialize, almost always watch TV, and can often drink alongside their given task, too. This means Sims are constantly seeking new tasks to juggle, which can result in finding a new seat. Great example, I grab breakfast and sit at the dinner table, but THEN my Sim decides they could be building fun too (even though it's maxed), so they want to sit in front of the TV. They'll get up and walk that way. Or maybe they're at the dinner table with their brother, but their brother is ACROSS the table from them, so for some reason they insist on sitting directly next to him. Additionally, that brother might have the same concern and want to move next to your sim, meaning both have moved but neither solved the problem.
A classic example is this: I'm at the bar, I order some food, my Sim goes to sit at a table where another sim is because omg socializing opportunity!!! My sim sits down and the two begin socializing, but now that sim wants a drink from the bar. That sim gets up to order a drink at the bar, and my sim - in his desire to be RIGHT NEXT to his speaking partner at all times - follows that sim and sits himself down at the bar. Once the target sim gets his drink, his AI may not correctly update and think my sim is still at the table, then desire to move there so they're as close as possible to each other. He moves that way, and only AFTER he's briefly sat down does he realize his error, gets up, and comes back my way. My sim might likewise be relocating to that table again since the target sim did so, and on an especially bad day this can go on for a bit.
The moral of the story is kill the AI telling Sims they have to sit right next to each other. (and tone down multitasking
Every single action a Sim does means they're seeking out the most optimal seat possible. That might sound great from a realism perspective, but it's abysmal
from a gameplay perspective. Because these very same Sims have overzealous desires to multitask as much as possible, they seem to have ADHD and constantly seek out new tasks to juggle. But while they do this, they're ALSO causing their desire to sit next to a speaking partner to have to re-adjust itself. It's not just speaking partners either; say my Sim is watching TV from a dining table. That won't last: he'll recognize the sofa is more optimal seating and insist on getting up to sit over there instead of just accepting that he can watch the TV from further away.All of the above problems have existed since release, but I can only name one patch update that did anything to try and address them. (early last year)
These problems are not getting better, they're getting worse.
To make matters worse, look at the state that EA left Sims 3 in.
Isla Paradiso remained laggy and choppy, the Ghost Hunter career remained non-functional, travel to World Adventures worlds continued to have potential to break family trees and relationships. No, Sims 3 did not exactly finish it's race in pristine condition. This is not a time for optimism. I understand some people might be optimistic by nature and might think "no worries, EA will fix these issues for sure! They'd never leave us with a buggy product!" History says otherwise.
For all I know they could be working on addressing these right now, sure, but I also have every reason to be paranoid this will never get fixed. They could
be have zero current plans to address these issues, content to wait and see how long they can go before these DEMAND a fix for the game to even function.If you experience any of the bugs above, please speak up and please let them know how bad it is for your game. I feel it's important EA understands just how many people are affected and just how many people would describe this problem as getting worse rather than better.
And if any SimGuru reads this, I would love to hear ANY general input about what's going on in regards to these issues. Any fix planned? Any progress being made? Not enough data or input to pinpoint the problem? No current plans? Throw us a bone here, some of us are quite annoyed with these little instabilities and really want them fixed so we can actually enjoy the game. As it stands, any file I start inevitably gets slow, choppy and unresponsive with certain actions, and that's even when I avoid Speed x3. As I said above, this is my #1 request for Sims 4 right now. Not an expansion, not a game pack, just a sizeable patch focused on bugs and instability.