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.