Relativity FAQ


What is Relativity ?


The mod alters the flow of time in the game.

Reducing the relative speed in the mod will increase the real-time length of a sim-minute in game, while leaving the animations that sims perform unaffected.

This gives the sims more time to perform their interactions within the span of the sim-day.

To compensate for the change in the length of the day, all motive increases are altered in an inverse proportion (make the speed slower, all motives will increase faster), ensuring that they continue to raise at the same speed relative to real-time.



How does the mod work ?

anchor: [[Relativity FAQ#How]]

The World Adventures Patch added coding to alter the flow of time, to handle the way the game operates while on vacation.

Relativity uses this functionality to change how many game-engine ticks go into each game clock sim-minute
  • Doing so makes the game appear to run slower or faster, without actually affecting the operation of the engine itself.

Since the engine that operates the animations for the game does not run off the game clock, changing the length of a sim-minute does not alter the speed of the animations.
  • This means that the length of the sim-day can appear to lengthen or shorten, without changing the speed of the animations themselves, giving your sim more or less time to perform their actions

By default, there are 37 game-engine ticks for each sim-minute. There is no way to process half a tick, so all speeds are integral values.
  • A speed of "0" ticks would mean that time would not progress at all, and is therefore invalid.

There is no means to run time in reverse.
  • Any attempts to alter time in this manner would produce adverse effects on the alarm system that operates most of the simulation.



What are Relative Motives/Skills ?


By changing the relative speed, you are altering how slow or fast the in-game speed flows relative to real-time.

However, the deltas applied to motives and skills are still based on in-game clock speed, not how fast time flows in real-time.

To compensate, a factor is applied to those deltas to make them appear as if they are changing at the same rate relative to real-time.

So, if you reduce the relative speed by half, all the deltas are multiplied by two.

The "Relative Motives" and "Relative Skill Gains" options in the mod determine which elements are adjusted in this manner.

By default Energy is not a relative motive. This means that energy does not increase faster when you are running on a slower speed. The sim will therefore sleep for eight sim-hours regardless of the relative speed you are running.



So what are the other factors you can apply ?


Phase Three of the mod introduces the ability to directly alter the factors applied to each motive and skill.

You can now increase or reduce the delta change for any element on an individual basis, providing a greater flexibility.
  • Entering a value of 1.5 for "Skill Gain Factor \ Athletic" will make the Athletic skill accumulate 50% faster than EA Standard
  • Conversely, entering a value of 0.5 would make the Athletic skill accumulate 50% slower than EA Standard

These factors are applied over and above the factor applied for relative speed, as noted in the previous question.



How do I add a new factor to Motive Decay or Motive Deltas ?

anchor: [[Relativity FAQ#AddingNewFactors]]

As of Phase Five of the mod, it is now possible to fine-tune motive delta and decay factors to provide a different value to a subset of your population.
  • In prior phases, the delta factors applied to every sim in the game, regardless of age/species/occult

When you display the "Motive Delta Factors" or "Motive Decay Factors " list, you will find a "(Add New Factor)" option listed at the top.
  • When you click that option, you will be prompted to specify the "Age", "Species", "Occult", and "Commodity" for the new factor you wish to add.
    • You can choose any number of entries for any of these criteria, but you must choose at least one from each.
  • Once you have selected your set, use the "Apply Value" to set the factor and save your changes.
  • You will be returned to the master list, where you should see your changes included amongst the others.

Note if you wish to remove existing factors, set the value to "0", and the mod will erase any factors that match the criteria you have specified.

You can change the values individually via the master list, just as you did in the past, or change them en-masse via the "(Add New Factor)" option.
  • Any existing factors that match the criteria you provide will be overwritten by the new value you specify.



Are there are limitations to the mod ?

anchor: [[Relativity FAQ#Limits]]

Certain types of skill gain are not handled by this mod :
  • Namely, reading skill books, or any gain received through the use of Career Tones are not relative. They will progress at a reduced rate relative to real-time, when running a slower relative speed. (Namely they are Absolute speeds).
  • Several types of interactions have hard-coded durations, and therefore do not change with the relative speed.

Due to the method this mod alters the flow of time, it is possible to see graphic oddities, especially when viewing the progress of the sky (which obviously operates based on the in-game clock). The sky move jitter back and forth slightly as time is pushed back or forward to fit the new speed.