.dbc mod merging support thread. by Anach
***Please note that support for s3pe package merging has now moved to http://tassyp2p.optikal.net/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=5298 - Inge***
Please keep your questions and bug reports relating to the mod merging feature of s3pe to this thread.
Merging multiple .package mods into a limited number of larger packages will considerably improve game performance and reduce load times, as well as fix some unreadable .packages (extracted and edited TSR .packages) and help to reduce conflicting and duplicate resources.
A quick step-by-step guide:
1. Get latest test version of s3pe
2. Sorted your .package files into categories that suit your method of organisation. This is what you should used for the basis of creating separate .package archives (for me it worked out to 6 total merged packages - Buy, Build, CAS, Clothing, Patterns, Tweaks.)
3. Open up s3pe, selected File>New.
4. From the "resource" menu of s3pe and go to "Import" then select the "as .dbc..." option. This will bring up a window to allow you to locate and choose your files from your previously setup categories.
5. Once you have located your packages to be merged; Hit CTRL+A to select all the .package files in the import dialogue box.
6. You will be presented with an option to "Auto-save current package after each packages imported?". If you have a large amount of packages (over 50Mb) or limited RAM, then you MUST select yes to this option as it will keep you from running out of system memory during import, which will result in an error during import or save.
7. Once the import is complete, hit CTRL+S to save the final merged .package.
8. Place the freshly merged .package into your The Sims 3/Mods/packages folder.
Additional notes and troubleshooting
- New packages can be added to an already merged package by opening up your merged package and then repeating the steps above (except step 3). However, you will need to re-merge your packages each time you wish to change or remove an already merged .package. For this reason you should limit your merged packages to a maximum size of around 250MB, as anything too large will be very time consuming.
- This is a one way process, You cannot remove merged packages from the newly merged file. Keep your individual files somewhere else in case you wish to remove something and re-merge later.
- You may also like to run delphy's Sims 3 Dashboard tool to make sure the new package is readable and check for mod conflicts and other issues before running the game.
- Before merging new untested mods into your package files, I would suggest first trying every new mod in-game via a probation folder within your mods folder.
- If you are wanting to extract .sims3pack into .package (official or otherwise), then you will need this Delphy's sims3pack multi-extractor
- You can also safely delete THUM file types from the merged package in s3pe. Thumbnail images will be re-generated by the game. Deleting of THUM files is handy in cases where you don't like the custom Thumbnails provided by the mod author.
- If you are extracting official store items from .sims3pack, run the extracted .package through s3rc.exe before attempting to merge with s3pe, or you will get errors.
- There is a known issue where Windows will not clean out the .tmp files used by s3pe from the "Username\AppData\Local\Temp" folder. I would recommend either using CCleaner or manually cleaning out this folder from time to time to preserve disk space.
- aikea_guinea was kind enough to make up this visual guide with some handy screen-shots for those of you that find the text version difficult to follow.
- shanty_mcdermot also made a visual guide over at the Sims Cave forum. However, you will need to register there to see it.
Many thanks to Peter and Inge for the mod merging feature which made this process a whole lot easier and safer.