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Sims 3: installing, settings, PLAYING!

Playing without ads

Or, with fewer ads, at least. (The Sims 4 one in the launcher I don't know how to remove - luckily I barely use the launcher)

Store adverts

There's a setting in the game to not see adverts for store content, which works, but it still incessantly downloads these adverts in case you change your mind later. They're in your FeaturedItems folder in the documents location. Empty the folder and change its permissions - you can use this post as a guide if you're not sure what's best. Some people say this doesn't work (I wonder if they're actually using a different read-only setting?) so they delete the folder and make a dummy file with the same name, which prevents the game making its folder and filling it.

Tips and tutorials

Removing bloom

In the base game Game/Bin folder, open GraphicsRules.sgr, search for "option AdvancedRendering". We want bloom to be off even when advanced rendering is on, so copy the line prop $ConfigGroup RenderPostProcessEnabled false from the "on" section into the "off" section. Save and you're done!

There's a way to edit the bloom itself per world, but it is fiddly and has other graphical side effects. If there is anything else covered by the specific AdvancedRendering setting then I don't miss it!

Lifespans, seasons, etc.

Something I've spent hours making spreadsheets for is seasons and sim aging. Elders have a (flat) daily chance to die after the end of the elder lifespan you've selected, and I had all these charts for how many would survive to what age...

Everything seemed easier this time. I probably only spent half an hour on it (well, I thought "10 mins", but you know what, it was probably an hour...) I guess I've been around this block enough times!

My priorities are: long seasons you can sink your teeth into; sims don't live hideously long; life stages are in proportion to real life; children have a bunch of xmases, school holidays etc. Here's the table I made :)

real adjusted merged /2 x20 day
per stage
range total range total
baby 0 0 1 0 0 1 4 2 40 10
toddler 1 2 2 1 3 3 30
child 3 12 10 4 11 8 14 7 140 80
teen 13 17 5 12 17 6 60
young adult 18 30 13 18 35 18 18 9 180 180
adult 31 65 35 36 69 34 34 17 340 340
elder 66 100 35 70 99 30 30 15 300 200

Though a baby is only a baby for 6 months, it's in proportion to the lifespan, because it's basically twice as fast. And though babies aren't guaranteed a xmas, baby-toddlers get 2 - and child-teens get 7, and the same number of summer holidays :)

Past max elder lifespan, on epic lifespan (which I think this should count as), the daily chance of dying is 3%. 97%^100 is just under 4%, so if they start dying at 200 days/90 years, 4% will make it to 1000 days/100 years. Neither of those - dying of old age only past 90, 4% living to 100 - is remotely realistic, but it's the best I can easily do with the system I've got (and it's not terribly far from what I'd like, which is 70 and 1%, which also isn't realistic). Anyway, life in the sims can be a little idealised, right? When you're not being burnt to death in an enclosed room, surrounded by chairs that weren't there a minute ago.

I remember it being a pain to set the ages precisely in game, so for reference, in the documents location, Options.ini, search for the various agingstagelength values. Pet values auto generated from sim values, but can be changed here too manually if I want to (idk what to, so I will leave it, unless my pets seem to die too soon) The autogeneration seems to be from the aginginterval, which got set to 4 from 2 when I changed lifespan to epic.

I care more about the feeling of pet lifespan than the reality. Apparently, horses are foals until they're 1, but not fully grown until about 4. That seems like my impression of kitten which is 6months and 2 respectively, convenient :) And horses should live to 25 and can often be 30, also about twice as much as my impression of a cat lifespan of ~15. Hmm... there's no need for pets to die often - it's sad and also more sims is worse for a save. Also, I can be lazy and have them all live the same time, if it's not realistic any more. So... baby for 20 days, which is a sim-year but 2 real years; adult for... ugh... 10 sim-years, 200 days, and elder for 100 days just because it's half that? This is 320 days, 16 sim-years, 32 real years. Okay for a horse, towards the very top end for cats, and extremely unusual for dogs, but whatever, I'm the fairy godmother here. Actually, whilst I'm being beneficient, I'll x1.5 all those for horses.

Because my sims are adults until age 69, I want to make sure they don't get pregnant at that stage. A cut off of 50 isn't realistic in terms of sims having full fertility then, but it's not like the game has either declining fertility or menopause, so that's what I'm using! In NRAAS StoryProgression, I'm going to set Near Elder Limit to 300 - sims can't get pregnant once it's 300 days until elder.

And, pregnancy itself needs altering, to 15 days instead of 3. I can do this with a tuning mod - 10 days is a popular one, so I'll just x everything by 1.5 :)