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STBL Change in Today's Patch (April 16, 2019)

The new patch has broken the string tables for many mods. It was quickly found by roBurky that the issue occurs with any mods which use group 0x80000000 for their string tables. Setting the group number for those strings to 0x00000000 resolves the issue.

Comments

  • SimGuruTwoLegsSimGuruTwoLegs Posts: 17 SimGuru
    edited April 16
    Thanks for reporting. We are currently investigating.
    Post edited by SimGuruTwoLegs on
  • _orangemittens__orangemittens_ Posts: 505 Member
    This issue is not just affecting mods. As EA instructed in their TS4 Custom Content Guide "Resource Key Best Practices," most CC is made using the 0x80000000 group number. At this point, almost all CC anyone has in their game is showing a debug catalog entry. We're hoping you will fix this problem on your end. :)
  • SimGuruTwoLegsSimGuruTwoLegs Posts: 17 SimGuru
    edited April 17
  • _orangemittens__orangemittens_ Posts: 505 Member
    Excellent. I don't think it's a good idea to advise impatient creators to use a temporary workaround that does not conform with the way EA wants people to do things in the long term (as the rep did in the linked post). Some creators will go with the temporary workaround and never update to the preferred long term format. Even if the creator does update, people who have downloaded the short term fix will not go back to download the long term update. My personal feeling is that EA should select the format that will work best for the community and stick with that. If there is a good reason for creators to avoid using the 0x00000000 group number, then EA should not tell creators to use it, even in the short term. There is no such thing as a short term when you are talking about downloads that go into the mods folders of people who have no idea what "high bit" means - if the item works, they will see no need to update it.

    We have counseled people to wait for direction from EA on this issue. Now EA is telling people to ignore the best practices tool makers were told to use. It's more than a bit confusing. Is EA suggesting that this fix is going to take so long that we should update Sims 4 Studio to use the 0x00000000 group number? We could also issue a batch fix to change all the broken group numbers and all other instances of the high bit for that matter. Is that what we should do? Are we going with the high bit and the problem will be fixed promptly or are we going with 0x00000000 embedded in a lot of custom content? What is the plan here?
  • TriplisTriplis Posts: 2,891 Member
    @_orangemittens_ I could be way off here, but it's my understanding that the best practice in question has to do with hash collisions and is more a matter of long-term probability than anything else. The general idea being that by setting the top bit, it reduces the chances of Maxis resources and modder resources conflicting, whether now or later in the game's life. So when Graham talks about a temporary workaround, I don't think he is endorsing poor practices; I think the point is more that it's a possible way to temporarily get around the issue. it's not likely going to cause any damage in the short-term and were a mod to conflict at some point, it would probably be relatively easy to fix, especially for strings.

    It's probably not advisable to change a tool like Sims 4 Studio to use 00000000 since so many modders rely on it, but a few individual modders using 00000000 in cases where they have 80000000 is probably not going to be a big deal.

    Personally, I've been doing 00000000 on most of my string files for the entirety of my time modding and didn't even know better about the 80000000 group thing. I've never heard of any string issues with my mods relating to that and I don't think it's likely there would be. It's more a thing of reducing odds of issues over a long period of time, with lots of Maxis content and lots of custom content. As I understand it, naming (the string used to generate the hash) also makes a big difference in reducing the odds of collision.

    Just spitballing here, but perhaps Sims 4 Studio could make a batch fix for changing strings to the 80000000 format and release it after the fix is out. That way when the fix is out, if people who jumped at a temporary workaround wish to switch back to best practices, they can do so easily and those who weren't using best practices before will have an easy way to switch to them. In the long-term, this issue could be to the advantage of best practices in the modding community, if we use it as a way to make people more aware of what is best practice for strings (like myself).
    Mods moved from MTS, now hosted at: https://triplis.github.io
  • SimGuruTwoLegsSimGuruTwoLegs Posts: 17 SimGuru
    Excellent. I don't think it's a good idea to advise impatient creators to use a temporary workaround that does not conform with the way EA wants people to do things in the long term (as the rep did in the linked post). Some creators will go with the temporary workaround and never update to the preferred long term format. Even if the creator does update, people who have downloaded the short term fix will not go back to download the long term update. My personal feeling is that EA should select the format that will work best for the community and stick with that. If there is a good reason for creators to avoid using the 0x00000000 group number, then EA should not tell creators to use it, even in the short term. There is no such thing as a short term when you are talking about downloads that go into the mods folders of people who have no idea what "high bit" means - if the item works, they will see no need to update it.
    In a more ideal world I'd agree that everyone should adhere to best practices and wait for the update. Unfortunately, the first steps toward that ideal world involves not mass breaking string tables for following said best practices to begin with :|. My take is that the workaround has enough value, both for local testing and for publishing working mods immediately, to at least offer as a possibility and leave the choice up to individual modders. I do get your concern here with fracturing best practices though. We did mention the risks of running with group id 0 -- do you feel this wasn't emphasized enough?

    We have counseled people to wait for direction from EA on this issue. Now EA is telling people to ignore the best practices tool makers were told to use. It's more than a bit confusing. Is EA suggesting that this fix is going to take so long that we should update Sims 4 Studio to use the 0x00000000 group number? We could also issue a batch fix to change all the broken group numbers and all other instances of the high bit for that matter. Is that what we should do? Are we going with the high bit and the problem will be fixed promptly or are we going with 0x00000000 embedded in a lot of custom content? What is the plan here?
    Our strong recommendation remains to use 0x80000000 and above for group id, and I sincerely hope the update hits soon enough to make any changes targeting this string table issue a waste of Sims 4 Studio development time.
  • _orangemittens__orangemittens_ Posts: 505 Member
    If we were talking only about individual modders, I would agree with you. The amount of content affected would be low, and most modders (the post in this thread indicating not all modders, unfortunately) are aware enough of what they're doing to later back out any short term fix. However, we're talking about everyone in the community with a custom content item in their mods folder (e.g., any object that was made before the last patch). These players want their items to work properly, and some will not understand that the advice given shouldn't be construed to mean that they should go into their folder and change all the group numbers manually or come to us requesting a batch-fix to do this for them.

    While it would be great if mass breakage did not occur, any reasonable person understands that unintended consequences can occur in the process of updating a huge mass of code like the Sims 4. The fact that it happened isn't as important as how soon it is fixed. In the past, incidents like this were resolved promptly, and we're hoping the same is true this time. :)

    If EA's recommendation is to use 0x80000000 and above for the group id, we will not make changes to Studio targeting this issue. I hope that the problem can be prioritized on your end so that players do not have long to wait before things are working smoothly again. I know that the company and the community have the same goal - a game that runs well.
  • _orangemittens__orangemittens_ Posts: 505 Member
    Sorry for the double post, but please note, people in the community are now telling one another that according to SimGuruGraham, going forward, everyone in the community should use the "new" convention (all zeros instead of starting with eight). That post is causing a lot of confusion, and I recommend that EA's position be explained far more clearly than it is in that message. Please keep in mind, that many of the people reading that message do not understand coding at all.
  • simgirl542simgirl542 Posts: 715 Member
    I guess since this is a known issue I'll be going back to sims 3 for a while longer.
    Celebrating 8 years on Thesims.com. Simming proudly since 2001.
  • SimGuruGrahamSimGuruGraham Posts: 1,131 SimGuru
    Thanks @_orangemittens_ - I've edited the original post to hopefully address your feedback. Regarding timing of a release to address this, I shared more recent information on my twitter regarding a tentative ETA for the update:

  • _orangemittens__orangemittens_ Posts: 505 Member
    Thank you for editing the post. I think that should help people who don't know what top bit means. I hope you are also aware that a lot of people don't necessarily want to look for game information on Twitter - do you look there for info on all the products you buy?. Why have an official forum if you aren't using it to release the current information about the game that people need? It might be a good idea to cross post so everyone stays in the loop. :)
  • ClaimingTheFifthClaimingTheFifth Posts: 395 Member
    Cripes! And I just d/l the update before coming to the forums. dumb, dumb, dumb %$#@!! I have no - absolutely NO - understanding of this except that my game is going to be messed up again. Is it even safe, now that it's d/l, to enter my game ? I haven't played it yet. I can't tell you how sorry I am to decide to update without checking first.....when will I ever learn? :s
    That light at the end of the tunnel? It's a train.
    The five-second rule does not apply when you have a two-second dog.
  • ClaimingTheFifthClaimingTheFifth Posts: 395 Member
    edited April 18
    Whoa! patch to the patch already released? now I'm truly impressed...lol
    Ooops...someone suggested in another forum that it was for the modders/creators....we'll get ours Friday? I'm closing down for the evening and reading. This plum is a bit too much for the kind of week I've had already.
    Post edited by ClaimingTheFifth on
    That light at the end of the tunnel? It's a train.
    The five-second rule does not apply when you have a two-second dog.
  • LuvMySimzLuvMySimz Posts: 401 Member
    Thanks @_orangemittens_ - I've edited the original post to hopefully address your feedback. Regarding timing of a release to address this, I shared more recent information on my twitter regarding a tentative ETA for the update:


    Why you guys are assuming that everybody‘s using Twitter??? *SMH*
    orangemittens is right, why having a forum if you are not posting the needed infos here at first anymore?? I‘m getting really tired of EA/MAXIS assuming that everybody of all ages is technically connected to the whole world. Some of your older customers and others who do not want to use all those chat hype Apps just use the forums. It makes me really sad to see how care less the Sims team became.



  • EA_MaiEA_Mai Posts: 712 EA Community Manager
    edited April 18
    Hi everyone,

    I’m going to ask you to remember what this thread is about, and keep your comments on topic. If you have constructive feedback about the forums that you would like to share that’s great and very welcomed - but please, use the proper category for it, keep it polite and don’t derail other topics.

    Thank you
  • SimGuruTwoLegsSimGuruTwoLegs Posts: 17 SimGuru
    This issue should be resolved with today's update.

    For more details: https://forums.thesims.com/en_US/discussion/958547/april-19th-2019-patch-notes
  • _orangemittens__orangemittens_ Posts: 505 Member
    Thank you :)
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