Jimquisition: SimShitty

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hahaha waiting a few weeks is a partial stick-it-to-the-man method if any I suppose lol...sigh

Wenseph:
I don't even buy games from EA, and I'm hoping that they will get what they deserve one day soon. They're probably the company that deserves losing customers the most. I liked Sim City 4, but I will never buy this game. Also, the always online does make it harder to pirate. I think it took quite some time before they managed to make a working version of Diablo 3, at least more than it usually takes.

I think it took around... two to three weeks or so before it was stable enough to say there were relatively few issues, but D3 had a lot of other problems on top of it beyond that due to the RMAH. As it turns out, the entire AH aspects screwed the game over big time as the game was set up with that aspect in mind. Didn't help that drops weren't balanced either. So in theory the game ain't that good yet, it's just that the always online part is not the only big issue with it anymore.

Also on a sidenote: Where is that creepy cat chick from? I swear I've seen it somewhere before.

EDIT: Wow this thread exploded in size faster than I had noticed.

The thing is if they could see this coming, and every chimp and his dog saw it coming, why didn't they go for a paid beta before moving to the full release?

Why did anybody who thought that those three "beta weekends" would be sufficient to test the servers on release day? I don't like always on DRM but I've gotten used to a connection being a requirement for so many games that I wouldn't mind so much as long as it worked.

But the utter negligence of not doing enough beta-testing of your net-code so that those who pre-ordered the game and those who bought on day one can actually play should be unacceptable. Get rid of pre-orders and get all that buy early to help you test your code in exchange for a discount and being able to play early. Don't release until the game consistantly works for all testers at peak periods.

Halyah:

Wenseph:
I don't even buy games from EA, and I'm hoping that they will get what they deserve one day soon. They're probably the company that deserves losing customers the most. I liked Sim City 4, but I will never buy this game. Also, the always online does make it harder to pirate. I think it took quite some time before they managed to make a working version of Diablo 3, at least more than it usually takes.

I think it took around... two to three weeks or so before it was stable enough to say there were relatively few issues, but D3 had a lot of other problems on top of it beyond that due to the RMAH. As it turns out, the entire AH aspects screwed the game over big time as the game was set up with that aspect in mind. Didn't help that drops weren't balanced either. So in theory the game ain't that good yet, it's just that the always online part is not the only big issue with it anymore.

Also on a sidenote: Where is that creepy cat chick from? I swear I've seen it somewhere before.

EDIT: Wow this thread exploded in size faster than I had noticed.

I meant it took more time for the pirates to make a working version, not that it took longer than usual for the game to work in a good way.

Does EA even own anything decent anymore? It depends on taste, but aside from Sims is there anything else? We all know Dead Space is either dead or screwed, so that isn't an option. The few IP they had that showed promise seem to have shriveled after being drained of all creative life-force.

Meh, Jim you're preaching to the choir, at least you should add something new to the discussion. Another rampaging rant about 'always online DRM' is hardly what we have been lacking this past week.

I'm sure I'm not the only one here who has a router that likes to conk out at least once every few days & needs to be reset, right? So we have our own connection issue on top of their servers.

Wenseph:

Halyah:

Wenseph:
I don't even buy games from EA, and I'm hoping that they will get what they deserve one day soon. They're probably the company that deserves losing customers the most. I liked Sim City 4, but I will never buy this game. Also, the always online does make it harder to pirate. I think it took quite some time before they managed to make a working version of Diablo 3, at least more than it usually takes.

I think it took around... two to three weeks or so before it was stable enough to say there were relatively few issues, but D3 had a lot of other problems on top of it beyond that due to the RMAH. As it turns out, the entire AH aspects screwed the game over big time as the game was set up with that aspect in mind. Didn't help that drops weren't balanced either. So in theory the game ain't that good yet, it's just that the always online part is not the only big issue with it anymore.

Also on a sidenote: Where is that creepy cat chick from? I swear I've seen it somewhere before.

EDIT: Wow this thread exploded in size faster than I had noticed.

I meant it took more time for the pirates to make a working version, not that it took longer than usual for the game to work in a good way.

Ah in that sense. I didn't really pay attention to what pirates were doing with Diablo 3 as it didn't really catch me as a game they'd even particularly care about after I finally got to play it during the launch week. I was too busy wondering what the writers were smoking. Whatever it was, it must've been some dang effective stuff given everything came across as if having been written while high on cocaine, LSD, PCP and a bunch of other stuff.

Game mechanically I didn't have many issues beyond drop rates and item quality being crap, forcing me to look at the gold AH for anything decent(but you've probably heard that one a thousand times already, once already from me).

Yoshi Dragon:

uh no they probably wont. D3 continued to have connectivity and lag issues weeks after launch and according to some (wouldnt know dont play it myself) still does.

I can't remember exactly when they solved it, but they solved it in around 2 or 3 weeks from launch. After that the connection was as smooth as their world of warcraft servers and I and everyone I know/heard of never had any problems with it anymore.

Entitled:

And are you sure that EA should be happy about that?

I didn't say EA SHOULD be happy about that, I said they have a reason to be, I'm not defending EA's business practices. And how many people will buy the next Sim City? If this online DRM thing gets implemented successfully a few times, people will mellow out. So the answer is a lot of people. Of course that's just my assumption, as the opposite is yours.

Treblaine:

Uhh, the difference is you've found one crack that isn't updated as if it's the only one on a site that is blocked in most countries now.

The pirated version I found is currently the best and most fully functional pirated version that exists on the internet. Prove me wrong please.

Yoshi Dragon:

no it's basically the same issue with a twist.

how long would it really take for them to acquire and put in some new servers. it -shouldnt- take a week. what they ought to do is publicly say oops we're fixing it pull out some of their backup servers hook them up and then order some more servers.
the whole thing from the players point of view would be wrapped up in 72 hours. instead they arent apologizing and instead everyone else is excusing them

you are assuming 2 things that are incorrect:
1) the servers aren't 2-3 pc's standing in a room that to upgrade they would need to go to the local PC store to buy more RAM or something. We are probably talking here about a PC farm with hundreds of CPUs, possibly even in custom made setups . So to make any significant difference in performance they would need more hardware that any average pc store ever had in its lifetime. Aquiring that much HW on a short notice can take some time. (I assume they have some in stock themselves, but maybe not enough)
2) That the problems they are having can be solved by adding more hardware. Some computational problems aren't linear. most have polynomial complexity, some are exponential. Meaning that if you underestimate the amount of players by a factor of 2, you might need to increase your computing power by a power of 2. So if they have a server farm with 100 CPUs to solve the problem with HW, they would need to buy 9,900 more to solve this. That's not feasible, and even if it were, it wouldn't solve the problem, because with such a dramatic increase new bottlenecks will appear.

I am not making excuses for their failure. From the consumer point of view - this should have never happened. A consumer shouldn't wait 72 hours to play a game he bought. He shouldn't wait at all.
But from their point of view, it might take weeks before the game is fully playable. It's not as simple as most people imagine it to be.
TLDR: you over-simplify the problems.

Yes yes, we suspected that these Servers will have difficulties on day 1. Well, day 1 is over and the game is still in a rather sorry state.

You all know this state but frankly, no one has the right to complain anymore. You have bought a Game from Electronic Arts.
I grow tired of listing all the Reasons why one should not expect acceptable customer service from EA; enough to say that this charade is just the last piece of questionable business politics.

We should all know by now that EA is not someone any prudent Person should do any kind of Business with.
And yet, quite a lot of People do.

TL;DR: Stop whining about EA screwing you over, it's what they do. If you buy something from them, you will be screwed over and it will be your own fault.

dubious_wolf:
So it's mostly EA that puts this shit together.... What are the options for class action suits?

Don't blame EA for that. That shit sits right in the lap of the US Supreme Court. Bullshit laws are bullshit, there is no-one who hasn't jumped on that particular bandwagon.

crimson sickle2:
Does EA even own anything decent anymore? It depends on taste, but aside from Sims is there anything else? We all know Dead Space is either dead or screwed, so that isn't an option. The few IP they had that showed promise seem to have shriveled after being drained of all creative life-force.

BF3 is still a world class multiplayer team based vehicular shooter. Sure Planetside is challenging it, but Planetside (as much as I do love it) just isn't as fun as BF. It remains to be seen what will happen to BF4. Plus you know FIFA...love it or hate the yearly instalments it is a top notch game and a huge seller in every market outside North America.

Wow I didn't expect an FU like that from you Jim. Well played.

Halyah:

Wenseph:

Halyah:
I think it took around... two to three weeks or so before it was stable enough to say there were relatively few issues, but D3 had a lot of other problems on top of it beyond that due to the RMAH. As it turns out, the entire AH aspects screwed the game over big time as the game was set up with that aspect in mind. Didn't help that drops weren't balanced either. So in theory the game ain't that good yet, it's just that the always online part is not the only big issue with it anymore.

Also on a sidenote: Where is that creepy cat chick from? I swear I've seen it somewhere before.

EDIT: Wow this thread exploded in size faster than I had noticed.

I meant it took more time for the pirates to make a working version, not that it took longer than usual for the game to work in a good way.

Ah in that sense. I didn't really pay attention to what pirates were doing with Diablo 3 as it didn't really catch me as a game they'd even particularly care about after I finally got to play it during the launch week. I was too busy wondering what the writers were smoking. Whatever it was, it must've been some dang effective stuff given everything came across as if having been written while high on cocaine, LSD, PCP and a bunch of other stuff.

Game mechanically I didn't have many issues beyond drop rates and item quality being crap, forcing me to look at the gold AH for anything decent(but you've probably heard that one a thousand times already, once already from me).

I think it's pretty safe to assume that most, if not all, games get pirated, so it would be weird if they weren't interested in one of the bigger releases.

I've not actually played the game yet, and I probably won't either. I don't like the always online, unless it's a game where it makes sense and is part of the gameplay, like GW2.

poiumty:
I didn't say EA SHOULD be happy about that, I said they have a reason to be, I'm not defending EA's business practices. And how many people will buy the next Sim City? If this online DRM thing gets implemented successfully a few times, people will mellow out. So the answer is a lot of people. Of course that's just my assumption, as the opposite is yours.

That's not really the opposite of my assumption, my point was exactly that even if you ignore the fan outrage, and even fix every potential technical fiasco so they can comfortably have DRM with no consequences, the concept of locking out pirates is in itself a harmful financial result that they have no reason to feel happy about.

Just like there are plenty of MMOs that are already pirate-proof, and they are respected for what they are, but most of them struggle to get the same kind of public recognition or growth as single-player games with the same consmer base would, as long as they lock out everyone else.

cynicalsaint1:
Jim - you live in a country where until fairly recently it was perfectly kosher for credit card companies to set your minimum monthly payment lower than the amount of interest charged to your account for that month, and you're asking why videogame companies are allowed to pull this kind of BS without being held accountable?

It's called negative amortization and private student loan companies still do it sometimes, mine does.

"And what do you do in the interim ye gamer who may like playing video games but not agree with DRM? Well one thing you can do is not buy it at launch. I'm not suggesting a boycott, just wait a week. Wait two weeks. They're the most important weeks to a games sales, they're the most important weeks to a publisher... So just wait. That way you'll still be able to buy and enjoy the game while sticking it to the man and safe in the moral superiority of having not pirated it."

Thank fuck this point has been made. It's one I've made numerous times. Every time a group of gamers gets annoyed about something the developer is announcing pre-release be it DRM or diminished features or having to buy it on fucking Origin. I always make the point, especially when the word "boycott" is brought up, to just wait a little while before you buy.

Don't say you'll boycott. That word has no meaning and those who shout it loudest are generally those with no resolve to stick with it. And don't boycott something because you're angry and want the company to, boycott it because you don't want to spend your money on a rubbish product. If enough people feel the same believe me they'll get the message. Companies don't really care if you're happy with their service or your products, they only need you to be just happy enough to continue parting with your money.

Do cancel your pre-order. Even if you buy it on release anyway, people cancelling en masse after a company announces something gamers don't like is the kind of thing that companies pay attention to.

But more effective, as Jim said,

Don't by on release. Honestly I'm seeing less and less reason to buy on release regardless of the product. You avoid the hype, you get the benefit of learning about what the game is actually like as opposed to what it was advertised as, you learn whether it actually works. Look at what we've had recently:

- SimCity. Unworkable mess due to DRM and EA's failures.
- Aliens Colonial Marines. Awful game, poor quality, did not match game advertised etc.
- The War Z. I weep for anyone who spent money on this failtastrophe.

Even waiting a day can avoid these steaming turd mines. Word of mouth travels very fast. Sooner or later release day is actually going to start meaning something again. They can spend millions on advertising and promotion but if it sputters on release they are going to find that they will lose thousands of prospective customers.

Gamers have been trained to accept that "You're either getting what we give you or you're getting nothing". And we can compromise. And we have. Constantly. We can't turn our back on an enjoyable hobby and producers know that. But we can still give them a scare.

Wenseph:

Halyah:

Wenseph:

I meant it took more time for the pirates to make a working version, not that it took longer than usual for the game to work in a good way.

Ah in that sense. I didn't really pay attention to what pirates were doing with Diablo 3 as it didn't really catch me as a game they'd even particularly care about after I finally got to play it during the launch week. I was too busy wondering what the writers were smoking. Whatever it was, it must've been some dang effective stuff given everything came across as if having been written while high on cocaine, LSD, PCP and a bunch of other stuff.

Game mechanically I didn't have many issues beyond drop rates and item quality being crap, forcing me to look at the gold AH for anything decent(but you've probably heard that one a thousand times already, once already from me).

I think it's pretty safe to assume that most, if not all, games get pirated, so it would be weird if they weren't interested in one of the bigger releases.

I've not actually played the game yet, and I probably won't either. I don't like the always online, unless it's a game where it makes sense and is part of the gameplay, like GW2.

True true. They probably are working on it somewhere if they haven't succeeded already.

If you weren't invested in the diablo series beforehand then I'd say it's probably not worth it as there's probably far better hack and slash titles out there which aren't burdened by always online. If that had been removed and they'd hired writers that were at least competent then I bet people would be singing their praises right now rather than the "meh" which pops up a fair bit nowadays. So I agree that the always online bit should actually solely be used for mmo's where it actuall makes sense and not for games where it wasn't needed nor wanted.

Azaraxzealot:
Or you don't have to buy the game at all. If you wait a few weeks and still buy it they'll still get the money and no lesson will have been learned.

I think Jim has a point though. It's true they're going to get the money but if you wait a bit longer than a few weeks it could be the difference between them getting $39 instead of $59. The way I see it, the most important sale to a publisher at this point isn't the sale at all but the pre-sale which brings me to...

...Stop pre-ordering. We all knew this was going to happen after all and, we saw this coming so why then didn't the people who have already pre-ordered cancel that pre-order? Don't feel bad when Gamestop-Greg begs you not to cancel that pre-order, he didn't make a commission when you did pre-order.

EA has recently got some of my money but it's been limited...$20 for a bargain basket Bulletstorm and, $10 for a clearance Alice: Madness Returns and, $5 for a clearance copy of Crysis 2 and I guarentee they didn't give two shits about any of those when compared to the $5-a-pop people gave them for their latest games.

taciturnCandid:
https://twitter.com/simcity/status/310490053803646976

I thought it might be interesting that Maxis takes the full blame and says the DRM is not the fault of EA. I wonder why they would take the blame?

The person who is saying those things is Lucy Bradshaw, who is a senior vice president of EA, who oversees the production at Maxis.

So its EA saying its Maxis's fault with a Maxis twitter account.

When Maxis takes responsibility for all the problems it is EA holding a sock puppet up and taking responsibility, as EA has owned maxis for almost 20 years now.

Sim City is hosted on EA servers, through Origin an EA service, both of which are failing, it may have been 'maxis' decision' (pro tip: it wasnt http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/119449-EA-Turns-Its-Back-on-Single-Player-Games even if Maxis wanted to make it single player EA wouldnt have green lit it) but even if Maxis DID decide to go multiplayer, it is EA who fucked up the server side stuff.

Lmao did anyone catch the south park city wok reference? Shitty chicken shitty pork sim shitty!lmao I wonder if that was intended!

Jim, you have your shit so together, you best be careful you don't turn into a fecal black hole.

It's nice to see someone, someone in the media, not afraid to put a middle finger up to these shitty practices. If only a few more echoed this, maybe the filthy masses of the public would take heed.

I did my part. I didn't buy it. I will never buy it. I have never bought anything with always online DRM ever. I learned from the PSN outage a long time ago and from never buying Xbox Live subscriptions. Do not rely on the internet to always be there. The idea of cloud gaming is truly a farce and if the industry really tries to move in that direction, they will be in for an unpleasant surprise. People like things. People like to have things and don't like buying things that aren't physical things.

You have put in to words the problems of this game and the game industry as a whole, quite expertly, sir. Thank you for another enjoyable and informative episode.
PS: All I can think of now is: "Tear down the wall! Tear down the wall!".

Each episode Jim resembles more and more one of those insane pirate broadcast DJs from speculative political fiction. Any day now he's going to call forth the armies and declare revolution in the streets.

JudgeGame:
Each episode Jim resembles more and more one of those insane pirate broadcast DJs from speculative political fiction. Any day now he's going to call forth the armies and declare revolution in the streets.

They will call it the great Stirling revolution of 2013

now I feel a shamed for buying the game day 2. Publishers aren't willing to take the risk that there would be millions of players and when suprise there are only has room for a few thousand. I was bored as hell when I bought this game. it was this or spec ops: the Line and I don't like shooters in general. Never play a CoD so I wouldn't understand the subcontext so the srt would have been watsted on me.

TheMemoman:
Yes, most gamers eat up corporate bullshit with a shovel

This just kills me. Sure all the gaming sites and forums are up in arms but when they release the sales figures all the corporates are patting each other on the back for another successful release.

Love the House of Cards reference. Always awesome. Also agree the revolution is definitely due.

dbenoy:
This sort of DRM is the solution to "piracy". It's the only truly effective scheme. They take a significant chunk of the game (in this case, the actual town simulation algorithms), and don't actually give it to you in the box. They keep that part on their own servers where they can control it.

No way to 'crack' that. Perfect protection from copying.

Until a disgruntled employee leaks the missing code.

Any lawyers here from the UK. Sounds like Jim says some pretty libelous stuff here.

I'm sure he doesn't have proof for a lot of the accusations he makes against EA.

Waffle_Man:
but if you had told me just five years ago about some of the video game controversies of today, I wouldn't have believed it.

There's a very famous saying that "nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people."

If you told me five years ago that we'd still be buying this crap, I'd be surprised. But then, people have an amazing threshold for crap.

While I agree the current practices are unsustainable, I don't think that means a crash. It means that EA/Activision/whoever have to further tune their practices, as they've been doing for years. History shows that we as a community will buy a new game with always-on DRM, knowing both that it has it and that historically it won't work near launch. They don't even need to fix this problem, unless there's a major sea change.

I'm sure that EA has probably made it's money back on SimCity by now. However, is someone who buys SimCity and left unable to play it going to be a repeat customer.

Yes, but you aren't representative of the whole. Further, while I hear the sound and the fury from the internet, this is the same outrage we got last time and the time before. The internet is full of people who scream "BOYCOTT!" who then silently buy up the game anyway. If I had a nickel for everybody who 'boycotted' Mass Effect 3 but was playing it onXBL or Steam, I'd be rich enough to start up my own publishing company. With blackjack. And hookers.

I'm not saying you are or aren't sincere. I try and believe the best in people, but the flipside is that I'm aware of the disconnect between the individual and the whole.

"It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

It loses a little bit when translated from the original Klingon, but still.

I'm betting the next game will also more than make its money back. And the next one. I don't even know what the next high profile releases are, but I'm betting there will be issues there, too.

As such, I will leave you with the words of the great philosopher, Peter Townshend:

But the world looks just the same
And history ain't changed
'Cause the banners, they all flown in the last war

Meet the new boss....

Do4600:
Looking forward to voting EA worst company again this year.

Oh, they are running strong to keep their title. It's a good bet they will be the 2013 champ as well.

I.Muir:
YAAAAARRRRRRR
In any case I wonder how this will go down when consoles too have always online DRM

Well then I for one will not be buying any consoles.

I mean I don't even buy any DLC since I think that it's a pile of poo.

Hellfireboy:
What is really the most amazing thing about this is that EA, in an effort to stop piracy, has in fact made piracy the most convenient method of playing the game. Brilliant!! Actually you should all go to Amazon and look at the positive reviews of the game. Yes, the positive ones. They're amazing.

OMG! That is so absolutely hilarious! Thank you for mentioning the reviews on Amazon.com. Those are the best, most epic reviews I have ever seen for a game. [Spoiler: People are actually happy they can't play the game because it's given them an excuse to reclaim their lives from gaming. Good job EA! You'll get the industry to crash, yet. Of course, you lost my dollars long ago.] I think it would be awesome for the Escapist to reprint some of the reviews (if that is possible and legal) just to show how much people really love not playing SimCity.

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