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Re: Phone Calls Are Stopping The Game

by MCA_der_Negus

Original Post

Accepted Solution

Phone Calls Are Stopping The Game

★★★ Novice

Hi everyone, I have the following problem. When I play the game, everything is normal (you got the usual Sims 3 lags here and there) but everytime before the Smartphone rings the game stops, like 30 seconds to 1 minute (It doesn't matter which household and the time varies). I always know that when the game stops that a phone call is about to happen. I turned opportunities off so these calls are from sims that want to chat. What can I do about this? Is there a way to completely turn off the phone or what could cause this problem?


I have some mods and custom content installed but they don't cause any problems, just the phone thing is annoying.


Message 1 of 22 (570 Views)

Accepted Solution

Re: Phone Calls Are Stopping The Game

@MCA_der_Negus  Sorry for the delay; I had to track down an old save with a discrepancy between the total number of service sims and the ones in the categories the game listed for you.  I'm not sure where those extra sims are coming from for you.  Some of them may be sims that have aged out of their assignment, e.g. babysitters or newspaper deliverers, but have not been flushed or reassigned.  Others may have been spawned as drivers for carpools.  There's a bug in Isla Paradiso where resort workers keep spawning behind the scenes, but I don't know if it's caused by the world or the presence of the resorts, or whether you even have IP installed.


At any rate, it's probably a good idea to just get rid of all those extra sims.  While they generally don't take up a lot of resources, 5,000 is too high, and it's possible the game is trying to push them to age up or perform a service that they can't, and that's weighing down your save.


The MasterController command you want Total Annihilation.  This flushes all a sim's data, as if they never existed in the game.  I had to experiment a bit to get a filter that would list all the service sims, not just the ones with a defined assignment (hence my needing to find an old save).  But this worked for me: (click on City Hall) NRaas > MC > Sim > Advanced > Total Annihilation > Town Family > Service.  To the right of "Service," you should see the number of sims; hopefully it says 5,000 and not 20-something.


Once you've selected Service and hit the check mark, the screen should list all 5k of the service sims.  Just click All at the top to select them all for deletion.  If there's a sim you like that's in the service pool, you'll want to move them into a home before running the command; of course they'll lose their service assignment, but at least they won't be deleted.  (To add a sim to another lot, NRaas > MC > Household > Add Sim, then select the sim(s) and the lot to which they'll be added.  MC will allow the command irrespective of money or other considerations.)  The alternative would be to select all the sims manually except for the one(s) you want to keep, which seems like a lot of work.


And, as always, try this on a spare copy of your save, in case it doesn't go well or you decide you did want to keep one of those service sims after all.  The TA command might take a little while to run on so many sims, but the action itself shouldn't harm your save.


I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.

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Message 19 of 22 (474 Views)

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Re: Phone Calls Are Stopping The Game

@MCA_der_Negus  There is probably some mod out there that disables phone calls, since some people like to play in historical or fantasy settings where a smartphone would be out of place.  But the lag you're describing isn't normal at all.  Often, it's a sign of either the game engine being overwhelmed, or an underpowered system not being able to run it properly.  It could also be due to save corruption or your installed content.


First though, try deleting the five cache files in your TS3 game folder in Documents.  They should be deleted regularly anyway, and definitely whenever you add or remove content from your game.  While troubleshooting, delete them every time you quit.  For reference, they are:

  • CASPartCache.package
  • compositorCache.package
  • scriptCache.package
  • simCompositorCache.package
  • socialCache.package

If this alone doesn't help, it would be useful to test without your mods and cc in place, just to see whether it helps.  Pull your Mods and DCCache folders out of your game folder, delete the cache files again, and load your save.  You don't have to save your progress; just play long enough for your sims to get a couple of calls.  If the lag is gone, you can start adding back your mods and cc in batches, testing each time to see whether the calls start producing lag.  (Delete your cache files after every test.)  Any batch that produces lag will need to be split and tested again until you've identified the problem file(s).


If your game lags during phone calls even with no mods or cc, test again, but this time in a completely clean game folder.  Pull your entire TS3 folder out of Documents\Electronic Arts and onto your desktop, and when you launch the game, a new folder will spawn with no content.  Test in a well-made EA world like Sunset Valley or Twinbrook.  If it's easier, you can pick a premade household with enough existing relationships to make phone calls more likely.


Let me know how all this goes, and also what world you're currently playing in.  Some present more problems than others, although the issues are usually not limited to phone calls.


I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 2 of 22 (558 Views)

Re: Phone Calls Are Stopping The Game

★★★ Novice
@puzzlezaddict Thank you, I have to try that later.
Message 3 of 22 (547 Views)

Re: Phone Calls Are Stopping The Game

★★★ Novice
@puzzlezaddict Sorry for the late answer, I did the following: I deleted the cache files but that didn't work. I tried it with multiple families and it's the same result (about 30 seconds before the phone rings). I'm playing Starlight Shores btw.

It can't be a system problem because I have GTX 1080, 16 GB RAM etc.

I tried a save with Bridgeport and tested it with multiple families (with all the custom contend enabled). The weird thing is that I didn't received one call. The calls are always from sims that want to chat or hang out. But in Bridgeport I only got one call from pet adoption notification (there was no game freeze there).

That's weird how nobody was calling in Bridgeport (even though they all have multiple friends) but when I play Starlight Shores, I get calls at least one or two times a day. Could it be a town problem?

I removed all the CC and deleted the caches files again but that breaks my game entirely. I have no Sim panels and I can't do anything. But then again, it only affects incoming phone calls which is really bizarre. Even if I could solve the problem by individually sorting out CC, it would take forever (because I have a lot).

Now I just need to know if there is way to safely reset the town, turn off the phone or something. Fixing all that takes a lot of time so I rather take the long loading times for the phone :/

Message 4 of 22 (519 Views)

Re: Phone Calls Are Stopping The Game

@MCA_der_Negus  Are you willing to try another mod?  If so, it would be interesting to see what NRaas Overwatch makes of your save in Starlight Shores.  Among other things, a huge drag on performance can be the career limos building up in the inventories of inactive sims.  Overwatch has been known to remove tens of thousands of these during its nightly cleanup run.  (There's another NRaas mod, Traffic, that prevents the limos from spawning entirely, but then you wouldn't know if the limos were an issue in the first place.)


Let me know how many Overwatch finds, and then you can try installing Traffic if you want; hopefully it will help.


As always, whenever you install or remove a mod, delete your cache files before launching the game.


There are other cleanup mods too (NRaas ErrorTrap for sure, and others depending on what you're trying to accomplish and which packs you have installed).  I'd be happy to give you a list if you're interested.


If the vehicles aren't the problem, I'd still like to see a dxdiag on your computer.  Your hardware may be over the top for TS3, but there might be a driver issue, or not enough storage, or something else that I can't think of right now.


And don't worry about the delay in responding.  People post when they have time, and I respond when I know what to say.


I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 5 of 22 (511 Views)

Re: Phone Calls Are Stopping The Game

★★★ Novice
@puzzlezaddict Sooooo... first of all, thank you for your help. I did so much experimenting but nothing helps. I already had Overwatch and it removed vehicles daily, it doesn't matter if it's on or off, the Phone bug still happens. I used master controller to reset the entire town, that also didn't do anything. I used nraas debugenabler to simulate a phone call. This didn't cause any lag because the caller just says that they have the wrong number (not a hang out etc. call).

Here is my dxdiag: but I don't really think that the system causes any problems.
This is so weird and frustrating that I just got a mod that disables the phone, so I can activate it manually when I need it. I really don't know what to do anymore.
Message 6 of 22 (480 Views)

Re: Phone Calls Are Stopping The Game

@MCA_der_Negus  Could you please provide the entire dxdiag, not just the first page?  Once it's done running, you can save the whole thing as a text document and then attach it directly to a post.  The other important details like driver info and free storage are further down, and the Windows errors are all the way at the bottom.


I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 7 of 22 (473 Views)

Re: Phone Calls Are Stopping The Game

★★★ Novice

Here it is

Message 8 of 22 (469 Views)

Re: Phone Calls Are Stopping The Game

@MCA_der_Negus  Thanks for the full text.  There's nothing that jumps out at me right away, other than the fact that Sims 3 has been throwing a lot of errors (no surprise there).  Of course, you're two Windows 10 builds behind, but you probably knew that already.  There's also a newer version of your graphics card driver, although this doesn't look like a GPU issue to me.  (Don't take my word for it though.)


I see a whole bunch of files associated with the TS3 errors as well, but in all honesty, I'd need some help to interpret them, or even to know which ones to focus on.  I can ask for that help, and get back to you on that (which files to upload, then what they're suggesting), although it might take a little while.


In the meantime, I'm still wondering what would happen with a new save in a clean game folder, with no mods, and no other files from your existing folder.  I know you tried it once in Bridgeport, but could you try again in Sunset Valley?  You could pick the Roomies or Working Friends household and just run it at speed 3; I think those sims know enough people to get calls sooner or later.  At the very least, it would demonstrate definitively whether this was a system issue or something with your game folder.


I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 9 of 22 (463 Views)

Re: Phone Calls Are Stopping The Game

★★★ Novice
@puzzlezaddict Ok, I tried Sunset Valley and there was no lag at all (with the same cc enabled). I was testing it for multiple days and the phone was ringing immediately. So it has something to do with the town or the save file. I realized that the town was smooth in general. Starlight shores is a bit laggy, maybe because I have made a lot of sims in that town and buildings.
Message 10 of 22 (435 Views)
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