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To iPad players with gift crash - how I clear the gifts
I thought I would share how I have cleared out the gifts for some players and maybe this will help others to do it themselves or brainstorm on variations to find other methods to get this accomplished. Various posts have mentioned some steps that I've had players try themselves and just like my attempts, they were hit and miss. It seems that some gifts from friends (not sure what is the issue) are harder on the game than others. Sometimes I could clean out the gifts on my iPad, but that was rare, most times I would have to put the player files on my Android. Since doing that requires that my Android be rooted it isn't the best solution to share. However, I've tried it on my "virtual" android which is what is created when the program "bluestacks" is installed on my windows computer. That virtual android is rooted already. I just install the SS game and a file browser to transfer the files between the virtual android and my computer. I had 100% success accepting all the gifts on that platform; but then sometimes they would all come back when I exited and restarted the game. In that situation I would accept some gifts, delete the "gifts_list.xml" file while the game was running and then I would interact with the gifts which causes the game to download the gifts list file from the server since it sees that it is missing on the "device" and for some reason it puts, what I'll call a "default", for lack of a better term, gifts file. It usually is full of gifts from friends that the player does not have, sometimes it is a hybrid that contains both those gifts and the player's gifts. Anyway it isn't always the same result and sometimes I have to do it a few times to get the cleared gifts to finally not come back. Once that is done I copy the player's files back to my computer and send them to the player who copies them back to their iPad and viola they are ok (until a few of them got more, for lack of a better/accurate term, "bad" gifts since this does not fix the game problem, it just clears the gifts out). Previously when I posted about using bluestacks to play the game on your computer so you can use a mouse instead of your finger to play it and to play it with a bigger screen, players reported they had to pay. I've installed bluestacks a few times on different computers and have never needed to pay, so I'm not sure how they figured the had to pay, but it seemed like they didn't care at all in that regards; your choice I guess if you go this route. It isn't the most easy program to configure and install SS and a file browsing app. You will need to create a play store account which needs an email which you can create during the account setup, just create a new one just for the bluestacks setup, you never have to use it or check, just have it to download apps from the play store. Search the Internet for help on how to transfer files between bluestacks and your computer. Hope this will help some players and even bring about some new/better solutions to clearing crashing gifts. Good luck.
Answer from: Sue
Hi JJJ - wow you've been busy! Thank you for the information, I will try to decipher it tomorrow - way past my bedtime now :-(
What are your thoughts about working out who the bad/corrupt gifts are coming from and possibly deleting them? (see latest post from Xanthus) Could the same players be affecting only ipad players? I didn't have any problems until Tuesday when the kindle update (or should I say 'backdate' was released - lots of iPads were suddenly affected with gift crashes :-/
Thank you again for all the information you share on this site - not sure when you ever get time to play these days...lol
Answer from: JJJ
There are two files that have the info of your friends and the info of your gifts (this also has friend info). Without getting into the details that is already outlined in my other posts, if players look inside those files using, for instance, wordpad on a windows computer, to see the contents in a formatted view, then maybe a consensus as to which lines are bad can be rounded up to enlighten us all. A few of us have speculated that the Facebook avatar/picture web link is the problem. For some reason the iPad version of the game's programming cannot handle something in those files, whereas the android version of the game can handle the same lines.
BTW, over the last few days I have noticed on my android the contents of those files have new data lines showing up, as well as some of my friends are having their avatar pics turn black (no game avatar or FB pic) and when I copy and paste the FB pic web link into a browser I get the following message "an error occurred while processing your request", when pasting usually will display the FB picture the link points to. Maybe the game programming on an ipad is trying to turn the pic black like it does on the android, but the ipad cannot understand the instructions or the instructions violate reserved memory or guess, guess, guess, and crash the game. Maybe the game's log.txt file or the ipad diagnostic files can give a hint. I haven't bothered to look since I could do nothing about it, that is G5's job. With the changes I have noted, it looks like they are trying things related to the game to server communication that if it works might save them from having to release a game update, again, just guessing.
Answer from: JJJ
Sorry, forgot to answer your question. Since no one knows what the real problem is, everything is worth trying, but who can say if any of those options will stop future crashing. You would think if G5 knew what it was they would let us know to go ahead and do a particular action, such as delete friends with FB avatars, but then I can see they would not want extra backlash for lost friends that had good FB avatars because how can they let you know the difference, so their choices are to say either delete them all or to say nothing, be silent, just like they are doing now.
Answer from: orchidgirl619
JJJ, you are awesome. If the problem may be because of the FB avatars I would hope G5 would at least give the players the option to do something about it. Maybe for those with FB avatars they can remove their fb pics and instead use a SS avatars until the glitch is fixed? I mean, if it's that simple yet causes so much problem why not inform us? If that was me I'd rather use a generic avatar rather than use a personal pic so I can prevent a friend from crashing.
Answer from: JJJ
See my replies in this post: "My 'corrupt' gifts" by Celinda Manley in the Friend to Friend Discussion sub category. I discovered that a friend with a good fb pic line in the gifts list file but instead of that good fb pic displaying an all black picture was displaying was causing the crash. Normally I did not investigate which gifts were causing the crash, I just accepted all the gifts, this last time I only accepted the black avatar gifts and left the rest and the player said that the gifts I left did not crash the game, so it seems to be only gifts with the black avatar regardless of whether the fb pic web link is good or bad.
Posted on: 10-25-2014