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About rsc204

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  1. Using original CDs on Windows 10

    It appears I'm not the only one with a domain for this purpose. I picked up the tip many years ago and like jeffyfisher, I just divert all crap into an old hotmail account I never bother to check. Mostly I like knowing, provided I keep the registration, I'll never have to worry about changing my e-mail address. But the filtering and use of a unique e-mail for any annoying sign ups is a great way to avoid SPAM and know where it came from too.
  2. AndisArt's BAT cookery

    I think a case could be made for that argument, since I'm not sure having multiples of them appear would really work. But then, everyone plays differently, some may prefer the option, which in PIM-X is very little additional work. Another factor for the growables is the lot size, if you get beyond 6x6, it's usually not really worth it, since they can be very hard to grow in-game.
  3. AndisArt's BAT cookery

    ... Seriously mate, that's like one week!, your talents are attracting my envy, that would take me a year and look crap by comparison! Oh well, not complaining, I guess it just means we'll get more delightful new and interesting BATs from you than we otherwise would . I think I've stated before I'm not a huge fan of big skyscrapers, but this one is so much more interesting than the usual box towards the sky. Looking forward to seeing your progress with it, it's a great choice of model.
  4. Aarsgevogelte BAT's

    Personally I'm glad you found the motivation to work on some of these models and thank you for sharing them with us. Those you have released are generally of a very high quality and whilst clearly very Dutch, they fit well in other environments also. I've certainly been excited to see your recent releases on the STEX.
  5. Show Us What You're Working On

    Could well be. For starters you want to be sure you are using DirectX rendering, it gives the highest quality experience. What really makes the difference however, is adjusting the "3D Settings" of your GPU, using either NVidia's Control Panel or ATI's Catalyst applications. I think there is something similar for Intel cards, but it's way less useful. The main thing you'll want to enable is Anti-Aliasing, which uses post-processing techniques to sharpen up the image. You need to force or "enhance" this to override any application settings, since SC4 wasn't designed with it in mind. Of course, you need sufficient resources to handle the extra workload, but it's rarely a problem given SC4's age if you have reasonably modern equipment. Here's my personal settings for SC4: I use a GTX750ti card personally. Bear in mind not all cards/drivers will work with these settings. Some settings can also cause issues too, so whilst a bit of trial and error can really improve things, best to keep a note of what works and doesn't as you go through the process.
  6. MGB Lot and Mod Shack

    Just a quick update to the RRW Reskin that better supports NAM36, you can find an updated version linked on this post:
  7. Too Much Money bug?

    Bear in mind it's basically a more advanced Lot Editor and Plugin Manager too. It replaces the two with one application. But the real benefit is that it was made based on an understanding of how the community would use it, which the Maxis tools fail miserably with. That said, if you're not into lotting, PIM-X doesn't replace iLives Reader, there isn't a lot of properties you can edit for example. For that I'd use SC4 Tool, which is like iLives with a GUI and a host of useful features to boot. That said, if you know what you're doing in iLives, you'll probably find it quicker to work with. Although you can never have enough tools, I'm at around 30 just for SC4 currently!
  8. This is a well known issue, but you've done a fine job of explaining it. FYI for non-steam users, the same commands can be added by right clicking the SC4 shortcut, selecting properties and adding them to the "Target Line". Whilst we're at it, you may want some more commands, I'd recommend: -intro:off -CPUCount:1 -f -CustomResolution:enabled -r1920x1080x32 Each command is separated by a space and a hyphen. So the entire string above (in order): Disables the intro video Sets the game to run on a single core This prevents random CTDs on multi-core systems - almost everyone will want to add this!! Set's full screen mode (alternately use -w if you prefer Windowed mode) The last two (treated as one) adds a custom resolution. This is necessary to display in widescreen format. Replace the numbers in orange with your display's supported res. Note SC4 can go to 1200 width without issues. Not all resolutions are supported, but generally you should start with the one your desktop is set to. One thing I would advise, you really don't want to be using software rendering. People shout it like it's some sort of magic fix, when what it really is, is a when all else fails compatibility mode. Provided your Graphics Hardware/Drivers support the necessary legacy DX7-9 modes SC4 needs, you should be able to run in DirectX rendering, which is vastly superior. However, sometimes it might take a bit of nudging to get it working:
  9. Should the 5 Star Rating System be Removed on ST ?

    Only if you are cherry picking the intentions of my words. I never said low reviews didn't have a place or that we should abolish the ratings system. Please could you state exactly where my current postings conflict with that post? Maybe I'm just missing something, but it would seem to me you've taken something out of context. I stand by what I wrote, that we as staff should step in on occasions where it's necessary, which is exactly what we've be doing since. The problem is, and this comes from what has been a learning experience since this started. It's a very difficult balance. We could just outright remove reviews, then some are up in arms over their freedom of speech. Or we could try to work with users, to persuade them to be more fair in their comments/reviews. Sometimes it's all a matter of intent and interpretation, we try not to assume the worst in every case. This sort of misunderstanding seems to come up again and again recently, I grow weary . Seriously, do I want to spend my time trying to defend myself to those who won't listen? Why am I bothering to type this? Maybe I should just run away too and to hell with it all! However, I don't believe that anything I've said recently actually contradicts my previous words, but yet here you are, implying I'm a liar. Now that's a pretty big statement to make and hardly befits the ideology of treating others how you wish to be treated. And this is where my "Damned if we Do, Damned if we Don't" statement can be typified by your reaction here... No it's not "You" as in the Staff, it's "ME", I did it, me personally. I don't have to tell you this, but I am willing to stand by my actions as well as my words. I took care of this incident, albeit with the input of others, but one could argue I was running the show. Have you considered, and this is the third time I've had to state this, some actions require time to resolve. This was one of those cases. I'm sorry if you feel otherwise, but I do not feel that the method used to resolve this problem was the wrong one. No one took any fall, the matter was dealt with. That it didn't happen instantly, was because of due process. We'll always been seen to be doing things wrong in the eyes of some, despite the best intentions. *sigh* Again, you simply have made the assumption that two similar situations were identical. Let me tell you, they were not and again I know you simply don't have all the facts. I can't defend myself, since doing so requires I talk about private site matters, which I'm not at liberty to discuss. So here I am again, damned if I do, damned if I don't. It's quite depressing having spent much time, trying my best to sort these problems out, in the best way possible for all involved. That someone not in possession of all the facts, then uses it to attack me, but hey it's not a review, so that's fair game, right? Why? I thought the work in question deserved 3 Stars. I've never suggested, not even in the post you quote, that lower ratings don't have a place. Also, not one of the reasons I posted why I felt it would be unfair to provide a lower rating was any part of my rating these files 3 stars. But, when taken out of context, i.e. ignoring the actual feedback I left, including providing some texture samples and advice too, maybe others may see it your way. But if you look at the overall picture, that hypothesis doesn't fit so neatly does it? No, let's ignore that, because it doesn't fit your narrative and instead focus only on the fact I gave their works 3/5 ratings. Why is this in poor taste? Seriously, why do you feel that work specifically deserves higher than a 3? I was trying to be nice, so I didn't dissect every flaw, I concentrated on some pretty obvious ones. I feel with some tweaks, such works could merit a solid 4, but as released, these BATs simply weren't quite there yet. In the view of those who would abolish the ratings system, I guess this could never be considered reasonable. But I stand by my reviews personally. I felt that this user had been given a hard time, yes me personally. Why, because it was me who dealt with the whole incident. Having done so, I wanted to review their works to provide balance. This action took up yet more of my own time, but I didn't feel I could just move on, I felt it was the right thing to do. I didn't rate the content based on screenshots, I checked the lotting/modding and buildings, then made a list of things that I fairly took into account, when reviewing them. My intention was to try and show the user, that not everyone was jaded and spiteful. To provide some useful feedback and support. Are we all so blinded that none of that counts, because the actual review score was only 3/5? Pish! This is why I support keeping the reviews, because I don't think giving any of the 5 star ratings is of itself a problem. Yes, there are issues with some specific scenarios and we're trying really hard to address them. But a review score that has to always be above a certain level, well that doesn't really work for me.
  10. Using original CDs on Windows 10

    Yes, but I suspect the objection is with signing up for another account to purchase it.
  11. Should the 5 Star Rating System be Removed on ST ?

    Whilst I sympathise with your experience, the problem with a free vote is that we can not force people to vote based purely on an item's merits. What exactly could we as staff have done to prevent people from voting based on their own set of reasons? Reviews are opinions and while seeing 1 star and 5 star reviews, with nothing in between would suggest a bias, it's not possible for staff to intervene and decide which is correct. This affects all such open-systems, want to be depressed?, take a look at my YouTube channel and see the downvotes vs upvotes I get, just for trying to provide some tutorials that took many hours to put together. This is a fact of life and the idea that all such issues can be managed, whilst keeping a system of feedback is simply unrealistic. Where there are obvious cases of abuse, we have a proven record of taking action. Some users seem to ignore this and only focus on the fact such abuses occurred. Honestly, what more are we supposed to do, it's not like we can predict and prevent such people's actions in advance. Similarly, those who wilfully continue to do such things, will find themselves warned or removed from ST. But if we rush in with size 9 boots on, every time something looks suspect, we'll drive people away en-mass. Such interventions are a delicate balance, especially when it's all to easy for some badly thought out wording, often done in a hurry, might not reflect it's authors intentions. Something I think far few people give us fair credit for, is the difficult job of neither over-reacting nor under-reacting. I fear it doesn't matter what I say, some simply refuse to believe or accept the reality of the situation. We aren't going to publicly deal with such matters, that's simply uncouth and not in anyone's interests. It's therefore impossible to discuss all the ins and outs of how we deal with potential abuse of reviews and comments. But, deal with them we do and we treat each case on it's own merits. What I see is a fair system that tries time and again to gently nudge people to do the right thing. Sadly, not everyone wants to be nudged, so we have to get the stick out on occasion. Yes and no, I agree a creator's morale is affected by certain actions, I've been there personally although I'm not such a prominent figure, which I guess has shielded me from the worst of it. However sad it is though, I think it's something you sometimes have to deal with. Systems exist if you have a clear case of someone not treating you respectfully, you can report it. We as staff will then look into the matter and where we feel necessary, take appropriate action. Not all such action is instant, but we don't ignore these problems either. I believe the lack of activity overall in the community has the effect of making one or two negative reviews/comment seem more prevalent. Simply because there is less good feedback to balance it out. What once would have been a blip amongst many decent comments/reviews, now tends to stand out. Is the solution to remove the methods of feedback altogether? In principle I believe reviews are a good idea, one also has to accept that it is typically a flawed metric though. Overall though, if all your positive reviews ceased to exist, because reviews we no longer possible, would that make creators feel more valued? Perhaps a simple system of like/dislike is enough? Personally, those reviews where it's writer clearly took the time to understand the download and were happy with it are far more important to me. By the same rationale, if someone clearly doesn't know what they are talking about, I'm less inclined to care about their opinion. But I prefer this system to no opinions whatsoever, just every now and again people say something that makes it all worthwhile. Whilst it might seem to place the emphasis on those impacted by such events, sometimes as a creator you have to rise above such things. Because it's a fact of life that the world doesn't fairly recognise or reward those most deserving. Most things descend into a popularity contest, fair or not, it's impossible to usurp a fundamental human condition. All we can do is intervene in cases where there is a violation of our guidelines. And herein is another example of how people don't really understand what a review score is. Based on your logic here, every item should be a 5, provided it works? I like Double Decker bars (sorry non-UK readers, you may not know what one is), if asked to review one, I'd give it a high mark. I've loved them since I was a young boy, when 16p would get you a decent sized bar. You may not love Double Deckers as much as I do, you may dislike one of the fillings, or have who knows what problem with them. Is a Double Decker bar worth 5/5, because it's a legitimate chocolate bar? Or did I give it a 5 because I like it? That's the point, you can't tell me a download must be rated a 5, just because you think it's worth a 5. Reviews are totally subjective and what right does anyone have to force users to give a minimum score. The minimum score is 1, the max is 5, why... because that's the system we have in place. As has been repeated time and time again, although I fear it falls on deaf ears. If you downrate content for inappropriate reasons, we may intervene. We do not condone a 1 star review because a download has dependencies, or because it has a yellow roof and you wanted red. But, in cases where the reviewer doesn't state that's why they downrated something, how can we infer the reasoning behind the review? Again, if a 1 star review is possible, we can't just remove every 1 star review because we the staff didn't think it was far. If this was our logic, why on earth would there be the option for 1 star in the first place? This system can never be perfect. Once you accept that, I guess the only decision left is, should we therefore abandon it altogether. Well, check the poll results, that's obviously not how the majority feel. OK, we could refine it, but let's be realistic here, if we switched to a system of Like/Dislike, every 1/2 star review is now a dislike, all the 4/5 star reviews are now a like. What would we have really accomplished with such a change? OK, so let's offer 3 ratings, Like/OK/Dislike, I bet most will still use the polar opposites, again we've not fixed it. Some people will never be happy until we remove the ability to not like something. I actually think that would be quite sad. We've been trying ever so hard to make sure reviews are more far and weed out those who aren't being reasonable. There is a limit to what you can accomplish, before you remove the option for feedback altogether, which I think would be a massive step in the wrong direction.
  12. Sounds to me like the fall out from the Meltdown/Spectre patches which would have made a performance hit. So basically lots of new hardware needed to sustain the original service. The timing is certainly right.
  13. Too Much Money bug?

    Using PIM-X or Datanode with Wine, it would be sufficient to load the necessary libraries as part of the process. The game itself doesn't need to be running since these apps simply read/write to the files in your plugins folder. You'd also need to map the location of your installation and plugins folders to the Windows defaults, since both rely on reading the registry to find said folders. The specifics of making this all work in Wine I can't really help with, since as a Windows user I've never had to set it up. This guide should help though: PIM-X would provide a quicker method, since you can specify to only view R$$$ Buildings, where the data you are looking for resides, Building Value (0xe91a0b5f). When you start the application, you can specify which folders to load. If you place all your lots (best to use the non-datpacked versions), into various folders, you can go through more manageable chunks of data. This image shows the loaded data, on the left (Red) you can filter R$$$ lots. Then on the right, the top box lists all the Buildings of this type, you must go through them one at a time. The lower box then lists all the values, the Building Value (Purple) is the one you are looking for. Note the example is a Maxis building, ignore that it has multiple Building Value properties, Maxis content is made uniquely, but you are unlikely to come across this with custom content. If you filter out the Maxis content when loading PIM-X, these Buildings won't appear, I just don't have any custom content loaded right now. Bear in mind also, PIM-X has memory limits, as such, it's best not to load any dependencies during this process. Depending on how many R$$$ Buildings you have, it could take a while to go through all the data. Likely though any faulty values would be stupidly high, given the taxes they are generating. You can do this, but you need to use a tool called iLives Reader to change them. However it requires you to adjust the "Item Order" property of each Building file. I think it's probably best to deal with one thing at a time for now. But I (or someone else) can happily provide you with instructions.
  14. Too Much Money bug?

    With Wine they should. But natively I don't know of any except a few Java-based utilities, none of which really help here. Ah, a testers worst enemy, the randomly appearing bug. If it is a R$$$ lot behind it, probably it isn't always in your city, hence you don't notice it. Basically there are two approaches to such problems: Find the faulty lot by removing/bulldozing content until it goes away, this will narrow down or pinpoint the suspect file/lot. Look through all the properties of the mods for something that's incorrect. The second one is much harder, even with tools, because you can't simply search the data for one insane value. If you've a lot of content, that's going to take a bloody long time to sift through, assuming you know what you are looking at. Logically then, the ideal way is to start with the first option. Hopefully if it is a lot behind the problem, there will be a way to pin-point the problem without too much work. Open an affected city, identify the R$$$ lots, check the name of one before bulldozing all instances of that lot/building. It's probably best to use medium speed during this process, things don't update immediately. When you see the budget return to normal, you've a potential suspect you can look into. Whilst this method is not flawless, I think it's the best balance between time consumption and probability of success finding it. I think you'd need to see the tax revenues somehow. Perhaps a custom query override would do this. The problem being, you couldn't be certain the problem lot was using the original Maxis query. If an altered one was in use, you'd never find the affected lot. What I'm thinking is, could we make a quick and dirty edit to the window shown on the right here. This appears when you select the query tool and hold down SHIFT+CTRL+ALT, then query a lot. (Sorry I forget the Mac equivalent keys). If we can find the UI file that this window uses, it shouldn't be too hard to add in the necessary ID to include an extra line of data that adds the Tax Revenue created. Such a tool would make it swifter to locate any problem content, not to mention it'd be more reliable to boot.
  15. Simmer2's Lots and BATs Lab

    I'm not so sure about that, Jondor found another method which allowed larger HD props to be animated which were used in his Modular RailRoad Barriers mod. Mandelsoft also used HD props with this system in his StopLight replacement mod. But I think something on this scale might be too large, it's certainly very complex and an area I've often wanted to dabble with myself. Thanks though for linking to BAB, I didn't know it existed, that's an interesting little utility I'd like to try someday too.