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I'm getting this bizarre glitch in my game where almost no trees or props are present on the default maxis houses. I tried emptying my plugin folder, a somewhat unpleasant experience, figure it was some mod but the problem still occurs. Any ideas?

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Is this in a very large city (population/content)?

You could check the file size of the saved city, load it, do nothing in game, save it again, check the file size and for good measure, do that sequence one more time. What are the three file sizes you get? I hesitate to suggest what I fear it could be, but I'm pretty sure I remember the aforementioned saves and file size compares is the best indication for what I suspect.

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30 minutes ago, CorinaMarie said:

I hesitate to suggest what I fear it could be

Yeah, I remember ticking off another member by jumping to the gun on a similar issue once :(

@coolsim1 Does this only happen on the default game houses/lots? Or does it also happen on custom content? If so it may not be what we think.

If you could post a picture/screenshot of the issue it would also help a lot

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Step one: Check you Graphics Settings in game, is detail set to high?

43 minutes ago, CorinaMarie said:

I hesitate to suggest what I fear it could be

11 minutes ago, Yarahi said:

Yeah, I remember ticking off another member by jumping to the gun on a similar issue once

I know what both of you are hinting at. But frankly from the limited information to suggest prop pox is unhelpful. It's the equivalent of suggesting someone replace their computer at the first sign of the slightest problem. It might be necessary in some isolated cases, but considering it's the worst case scenario, going straight there before looking at other options is ultimately not doing anyone any favours.

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5 minutes ago, rsc204 said:

from the limited information to suggest prop pox is unhelpful

Thus the name of the issue has been muffled until now. Also why I hinted at the previous incident ;)

With the amount of info avaliable at the moment I even hesitated about the graphics settings as even this would affect beyond maxis content

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45 minutes ago, rsc204 said:

It's the equivalent of suggesting someone replace their computer at the first sign of the slightest problem.

I believe my suggestion was a method to eliminate the previously not mentioned potential problem. I see it more like the equivalent of: Is your computer plugged in? for your analogy. *;)

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5 hours ago, coolsim1 said:

I'm getting this bizarre glitch in my game where almost no trees or props are present on the default maxis houses. I tried emptying my plugin folder, a somewhat unpleasant experience, figure it was some mod but the problem still occurs. Any ideas?

Okay so lets troubleshoot.   Remove all and any mods and plugins from BOTH plugins folders that are not part of the game install.  Then start a New Region, then start a New City, then build something and see if the trees are there.   To make it easy you can simply rename the Plugins folders and make new empty Plugins folders.

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1 minute ago, RandyE said:

To make it easy you can simply rename the Plugins folders and make new empty Plugins folders.

Once you have renamed the Plugins folder (the one in Documents) you can just start the game and it'll make a new empty one for you. *;)

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2 hours ago, CorinaMarie said:

I believe my suggestion was a method to eliminate the previously not mentioned potential problem. I see it more like the equivalent of: Is your computer plugged in? for your analogy. *;)

As someone who's worked in tech support, I was taught to always start with the simplest and most common possibilities. Then work your way from there based on the symptoms to the more complicated stuff. In my experience, you'll solve 90% of peoples problems in the most efficient manner this way. Not to mention, for the other 10%, you'll have ruled out the most likely possibilities in the process. If you go the other way round, more often than not you are just taking a guess based on the problems description. Missing props is not analogous to prop pox, there are plenty of more likely causes for this issue. So on this basis, trying to rule out the worst and least likely possibility first, isn't really like checking if the PC is powered, it's pretty much jumping to the worst case scenario before checking the basics.

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@rsc204 Seems like merely a difference in approach. The symptoms could be indicative of the worst case scenario so my philosophy is to check that first. If it's not that then we can say: Good news! It's not fatal and now let's find the cure. However, if it is then why have someone jump thru multiple hoops to finally get there?

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3 hours ago, CorinaMarie said:

Once you have renamed the Plugins folder (the one in Documents) you can just start the game and it'll make a new empty one for you. *;)

I just noticed SC4 also creates an empty Plugins folder in the game install folder.   Without the backgrounds you get a black background in city view.  So that all makes it even easier. *:thumb:

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I guess there's different ways of looking at it, each with their own merits. Since we're a leaning community, I don't see a problem either way.

Tech issues are never easy to diagnose without knowing the bigger picture. With so many variables, there are numerous possibilities, each which can trigger similar signs and symptoms. One way or another, let's first see how the OP responds, and then take it from there... *;)

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Must admit that i wrote a response to this post this morning, but deleted it as it made too many mentions of 'the great darkness' even when stressing that the issues here were not necessarily anything to do with 'the great darkness'. So glad that others have joined in. I experienced something v. Similar with maxis lots in the past, but i don't want to link the thread at sc4d as its all worst case scenario stuff.

Some pictures of the issue i think would definitely be helpful 

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  • Original Poster
  • Sorry was at school can't really send photos now but its only maxis lots that have this issue, custom content still works. Another strange glitch I noticed other day was blue abyss turned black I don't know if this is related. I may check my graphics settings later maybe they were turned low accidentally. Also it did happen in larger cities before I removed the plugins but it persists in Big City Tutorial city as well afterward. 

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    1 hour ago, coolsim1 said:

    ... it persists in Big City Tutorial city as well afterward.

    I believe this is good news. The rare, but dreaded, prop pox isn't likely the cause of your missing props then. (I personally like to get that out of the way first.) So, yes, definitely check your graphics settings next.

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  • Original Poster
  • Well graphics were medium so that can't be issue here is a visual of the issue. Game still runs but gosh is it ugly *:(. Just noticed textures are screwed up too but as you can see custom buildings are fine. 

    Big City Tutorial-Oct. 23, 151491877319.png

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    *IMHO that set of low wealth Maxis houses are only good for creating slums*

    6 hours ago, coolsim1 said:

    Game still runs but gosh is it ugly *:(. Just noticed textures are screwed up too

     

    6 hours ago, coolsim1 said:

    graphics were medium

    Well. You definatley don't have PP:thumb:

    For getting the best visually out of the game, most graphics can be set to high! Only shadows and number of sims/cars should be set to low or medium. Having those on high can cause lag in animation.

    Here's a screeny of my personal settings in-game (although with Norwegian language script); https://www.dropbox.com/s/aduq0q8ctxfoq70/Graphics.jpg?dl=0

    ...and here an english version of the same settings (provided by @CorinaMarie) ;

    Yarahi%20Graphics_zpsklzlscd9.jpg

     

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    On 4/10/2017 at 10:26 PM, coolsim1 said:

    Well graphics were medium so that can't be issue here is a visual of the issue.

    Here're some pics I posted in another thread showing differences in Detail Level:

    City Detail: High

    img0004_zpsffbj1tsw.jpg.712f4e41d95d18508ffa659b421e822d.jpg

     

    City Detail: Medium

    img0005_zpslb8ykwyk.jpg.2381593d5fde53592686e5d743ae300f.jpg

     

    City Detail: Low

    img0006_zpsgdjliydd.jpg.b8ea115fdcd8deefddbc3be5bbc08000.jpg

     

    I notice missing trees on some lots even in the Medium setting. How about trying High as a test?

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    11 hours ago, coolsim1 said:

    Well graphics were medium so that can't be issue here is a visual of the issue. Game still runs but gosh is it ugly *:(. Just noticed textures are screwed up too but as you can see custom buildings are fine. 

    That's easily explained. All props have a property that determines in which levels of graphics settings they will appear. All the default Maxis props are configured in such a way that you only see everything on high detail. But, many of the custom props were not set similarly, as such they always appear regardless. You might think I don't care about graphics and so you don't want to push your machine by running high detail. But that's missing one very important point, that this game is from 2003. Back then, running the game on high might have taxed a low end machine, so such reduction of settings might be necessary. But unless your PC is ancient, it won't struggle to display high detail today and it should be considered the default setting.

    If this changed, it's most likely because SC4 auto-detects your graphics card on startup, a driver update can make this refresh. However, at the same time, a game from 2003 can't always correctly detect modern hardware, so it thinks your hardware is not up to it, simply because it doesn't know what your graphics card is. So I'd set everything to high, but if you are having performance issues, try forcing SC4 to correctly detect your hardware, by simply telling the game about your card. Follow the instructions here to do that:

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  • Original Poster
  • Well changing the graphics worked props and textures are back! But now i'm getting dragging graphics and a crash in game. I suspect maybe software vs hardware might fix this but what do you think?

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    On 10.4.2017 at 4:20 PM, CorinaMarie said:

    @rsc204 Seems like merely a difference in approach. The symptoms could be indicative of the worst case scenario so my philosophy is to check that first.

    Reminds me of 19.century system philosophy. They were in quarrel where to start. Do you have to deviate the world from god our do you have to deviade god from the world?

    If you start with the world, with the 'being', this means to make god dependend on existence. If you start with God it states you have a knowledge of God - which is a little bit blasphemic for a philosopher.

    So they began to think about the meaning of the word "beginning". And how it can be to get from "nothing' to 'something'.

    So they found that to begin - and this was never proofed wrong - to make a first step, to start - it is necessary to believe that nothing and something is the same.

    If nothing and something wasn't the same - it wouldn't be possible to begin something.

     

    And sorry - this was completely off topic. 

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    1 hour ago, coolsim1 said:

    Well changing the graphics worked props and textures are back! But now i'm getting dragging graphics and a crash in game. I suspect maybe software vs hardware might fix this but what do you think?

    Changing between Hardware to Software rendering probably would "fix" your problems. But I use fix in inverted commas because that's really not a true solution in my view. Simply because when you use Software rendering, it's purpose is to be a compatibility mode used as a last resort. In essence this means all the work of the Graphics Card is switched to run off the CPU, which for a CPU intensive game like SC4 is less than ideal.

    If you are seeing problems, my guess is that the game has detected your GPU badly and defaulted to a low spec setup, hence switching off high detail. The better solution is to tell SC4 you have a "fast" card, whereupon it will probably start to run as it did before. I linked to a tutorial on doing that in my last post.

    1 hour ago, Fantozzi said:

    Reminds me of 19.century system philosophy.

    The discussion here is not one of philosophy, but of logic. One reason why computers and I get on (but perhaps less so people and I) is precisely because cold hard logic is sort of how I think/work. Computers don't have any form of deviation from the logic that they were written with.

    The simple reality is that targeted solutions based on how things work, will ultimately be more useful more of the time over a checkbox style approach. Even though sometimes they may look like the same thing, the order of the checks can hugely vary the results and efficiency of the solution. I'm not saying anyone should dismiss Prop Pox as a possible cause for missing props, just that it's the least likely and hardest to accurately diagnose potential cause. If you take the facts for what they are, unless specific information gives reason to think that's the issue, it doesn't make sense to ignore the vastly more likely and simple causes.

    You might think this is all my opinion, but it's not, it's all based on cold hard facts. I'm not trying to be Mr Right by pointing it out, I'm trying to help. Many people though are very stuck on their way of doing things and the more you try to suggest an alternative and better approach, the more resistance you find yourself coming up against. As such, I don't intend to keep dragging this issue out. I've done my best to explain my reasoning, if some aren't willing to accept it, then it's simply not a productive discussion to keep going. Ultimately, however I feel, whilst you can lead a horse to water, you cannot make it drink.

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    4 hours ago, coolsim1 said:

    dragging graphics

     

    4 hours ago, coolsim1 said:

    crash in game

    Dragging graphics?   Crash to desktop?   Can we try the test with no Plugins in either folder?   Start New region, Start New City?   Yes, with graphics settings at high detail.

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  • Original Poster
  • Hi everyone, 

    Its been a little while been busy with life and slowly rebuilding my plugins folder :dead:. But the missing props and textures have been resolved however now I'm dealing with this:

     

    Big City Tutorial-Jun. 29, 181492666487.png

    Big City Tutorial-Sep. 17, 161492664947.png

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    Are you per-chance using an Intel Integrated Graphics setup on your PC? Such glitches are related to the drivers. Thankfully they were updated and this problem was resolved, see here:

    Otherwise again it's related to the Graphics and drivers, if you've followed the guide on how to tell SC4 about your card and this still happens. Either you need to try and find an alternative driver revision that works, if not, you'll need to use the Software Renderer or live with it.

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    There are a number of explanations for that, most commonly Windows Update downloads a new video driver without informing you and installs it. But whatever the cause, it's better to concentrate on the solution rather than worrying about how it happened.

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