Long-period EUV pulsations, recently discovered to be common in active regions, are understood to be the coronal manifestation of thermal nonequilibrium (TNE). The active regions previously studied with EIT/Solar and Heliospheric Observatory and AIA/SDO indicated that long-period intensity pulsations are localized in only one or two loop bundles. The basic idea of this study is to understand why. For this purpose, we tested the response of different loop systems, using different magnetic configurations, to different stratifications and strengths of the heating. We present an extensive parameter-space study using 1D hydrodynamic simulations (1020 in total) and conclude that the occurrence of TNE requires specific combinations of parameters. Our study shows that the TNE cycles are confined to specific ranges in parameter space. This naturally explains why only some loops undergo constant periodic pulsations over several days: since the loop geometry and the heating properties generally vary from one loop to another in an active region, only the ones in which these parameters are compatible exhibit TNE cycles. Furthermore, these parameters (heating and geometry) are likely to vary significantly over the duration of a cycle, which potentially limits the possibilities of periodic behavior. This study also confirms that long-period intensity pulsations and coronal rain are two aspects of the same phenomenon: both phenomena can occur for similar heating conditions and can appear simultaneously in the simulations.