I want my drama back

OK, so why haven’t I been posting AGAIN? Here’s the rundown of the last few days:

I spent entirely too much time tweaking Avalon. The problem with a labor of love is that it’s hard to stop laboring over it. Then I settled down to actually play. It was so nice to have everything working and running smoothly. We threw a big party for Shanni for reasons that will be revealed in the story.

Then I saved and shut down to go to bed. When I ran the game the next day, my game refused to load with the error, “The game process could not be started.” Huh?

A Google search indicated that this error was usually caused by file corruption and that my best bet was to reinstall the entire game. That’s almost an hour-long prospect with the base game and (only) five expansions, but I’d been meaning to do it because it’s really a good idea to do a complete reinstall after a certain number of incremental patches.

So I reinstall and the error comes back. I reinstall two more times was various different tweaks on what I did in what order. Then it WORKED. I breathed a sigh of relief and started playing.

Then I got a notification that about two dozen sims had gotten new jobs — including Morand Cagley, who Redhead designed to be the ultimate firefighter, but who now was getting a job as an athlete. Huh? Veronica didn’t have a job either, which is a bit of a problem considering it’s her Lifetime Wish. I checked, and NONE of the Ambitions lots were working. It turns out that somehow I failed to install Ambitions at all. ARGH.

So I decide I don’t need to spend my last half-hour before bed installing more Sims stuff. I quit out and go to bed.

I reinstall in the morning. The error is BACK! Holy crap, it’s Ambitions! How can I play without Ambitions when it’s integral to my story right now?

I BitTorrent a new installer for Ambitions and reinstall the game from scratch again. No dice. I try a bunch more stuff that’s not worth sharing, and it still doesn’t work. I even try to run from my Windows virtual machine, but for some reason, now a graphics somethingorother setting is causing my entire computer to hang when I try to run the sims there. That can probably be troubleshot too, but I am seriously burned out.

So I face the fact that I might not be able to play any more. I am very, very mad.

Then just in case, I do a second Google search on the problem. In the last 36 hours, messageboards have exploded.

It turns out that on September 25, EA did something to its servers that caused Mac clients to get this error. If you had a game installed from disk, the game would still load. If you have (legal) downloaded games, it crashes out entirely. I didn’t even know that my game was touching the EA servers when I loaded if I wasn’t logged in. I’m not currently using any of the social networking features because I don’t like that stupid prompt it puts on top of your screen.

It briefly got fixed for about half a day, during which time I played and discovered I forgotten to install Ambitions. The next day it was broken again. It had NOTHING to do with my installer.

And about two hours after I read the messageboards, my game ran again. EA fixed the problem.

This was a waste of perfectly good drama.

And the moral of the story is: If everything breaks and you really didn’t change anything, the odds are high that there’s nothing wrong with your system.

I need to take a great big breath and do something else for a few days.

0 thoughts on “I want my drama back

  1. Wow, I have disc copies so I know that is not what is making it impossible for me to play and I am pretty sure it is the operating system in my case, but wow!

    I know EA doesn't care one wit about the Mac community of players, if they did Create-A-World would be available to us, and they wouldn't have a patching system that they know causes problems for the launcher if you patch the way I imagine most players would patch, meaning through the launcher, not searching for a direct link because if you patch through the launcher you can never load the launcher again.

    I am going to hope this was truly an honest mistake on their part and not just being lazy with maintenance and then trying to doing it all at once and failing horribly at it.

    Hopefully at least your world tweaking didn't get messed up and you don't have to redo anything.

  2. I have been reading your exploits/trouble on EA MyPage, Eppy, but I hadn't really processed that you couldn't play at all this time. What Mac OS are you running? I have some trouble with Launcher patches, but not as bad as what you're describing.

    We Mac users really are always the redheaded stepchild. When I installed the game on Windows in order to use Create-A-World, I noticed just how much better the Launcher works in Windows. I've always complained that how the game in general is pretty well thought-through, but the Launcher runs like it was written by a separate team of high school students locked in a dungeon with only one programming manual to share among them. Apparently that's only true if you have a Mac :-p.

    I don't think I lost anything in my world, though I am going to back up a couple of saves to be sure I am not using one where I was playing with no Ambitions.

  3. Wow. All of that time and stress, only to find out that it wasn't your problem at all? That's terrible!

    I love my Mac, but I never could get any version of Sims to run on it very well so I use Hubby's Windows box for my game. (And I resent it all of the time, why can't it just work on my Mac?)

    I guess the bright side is that everyone gets their jobs back?

  4. I don't know what 10.5.8 is but that is what it says when I check it. Kevin is going to be updating the operating system for me as soon as he can get a copy of the one that came out between the one I have and the current one because he doesn't think my laptop is strong enough to run the new one, but at least then I will be able to bring things like flash up to date on my computer and play YouTube videos again (we realized the problems were probably the operating system when YouTube stopped working for me).

    I am not sure what I am going to do once the laptop goes completely out of date again even for the internet as that is my primary use for it (I don't like putting the desktop online because I have had that cause problems in the past and I am a pretty careful internet user) and I don't see the point of getting another laptop if we really don't need one. What will probably happen is Kevin will give me his laptop which is newer and stronger because he does video editing on it and he will get a newer stronger one for himself to do better video editing on it, but hopefully it will be a long time before that happens.

    Glad it looks like everything was saved, I am sure world building is a lot of work and I would not want you to have to go back and redo a lot of it.

  5. Poor you 🙁

    EA seems to be rushing out with all these expansions and not spending enough time fixing the bugs that are caused because of it! And people keep asking about Sims 4?! Ridiculous! I've always wanted a Mac, but I'm kind of glad I haven't got one now! My Asus laptop runs the game perfectly *touch wood*

  6. Well, the real problem is that our household loves Macs SOOO much that we currently don't have a PC. I used to have a computer from work that I could use for emergency PC stuff, but I left that job. Macs are awesome, but it's very nice have a PC someplace in your life for software that is not produced or supported on the Mac.

    So I'll never say don't love a Mac, but I might say don't JUST love Macs :).

  7. Seeing your story and Eppy's, it looks like I should count my blessings that this is the only Mac-specific problem I've ever had with Sims. It's always installed and run fine for me, other than the even-worse-than-PC launcher.

  8. Holy cheese, Susan, this was the most terrifying update ever…for a minute there, I thought the Samples were lost forever, and it was awful!! I'm so glad that you were able to get all the issues resolved and that we can keep watching those cute kids of C&V's grow up!

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