Maxis Adding More SimCity Servers Over Next Two Days

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VanQ:

teqrevisited:
All of these server problems, time and time again, caused by the same thing and still the industry's largest haven't learned. Underestimating demand to save money results in people flipping out.

The only people here that aren't learning their lesson are the consumers that know that these kinds of games with always online requirement never work as intended for the first week or two but continue to buy the games anyway.

You kinda got that wrong, because from that statement you should wait to buy the game for a few weeks.
Apart from that being a totally ridiculous thing it also makes that the few people who actually will buy the DRM games at lauch (say if it goes that way ~20%)will not experience any server problems -->thus EA won't fix the issues ---> still problems after a month when everybody heard it was working great, which it doesn't because: don't fix what aint broke!

They really should have anticipated more that a few servers were necessary for this game. Don't blame it on the consumers just wanting to play the much hyped, super awesome game they made.

Necabo:

VanQ:

teqrevisited:
All of these server problems, time and time again, caused by the same thing and still the industry's largest haven't learned. Underestimating demand to save money results in people flipping out.

The only people here that aren't learning their lesson are the consumers that know that these kinds of games with always online requirement never work as intended for the first week or two but continue to buy the games anyway.

You kinda got that wrong, because from that statement you should wait to buy the game for a few weeks.
Apart from that being a totally ridiculous thing it also makes that the few people who actually will buy the DRM games at lauch (say if it goes that way ~20%)will not experience any server problems -->thus EA won't fix the issues ---> still problems after a month when everybody heard it was working great, which it doesn't because: don't fix what aint broke!

They really should have anticipated more that a few servers were necessary for this game. Don't blame it on the consumers just wanting to play the much hyped, super awesome game they made.

I was mostly implying that we shouldn't be buying these games to begin with but I can see how you came to that conclusion from my post. Always on DRM is always an intrusive means to control a product and we shouldn't be defending it in its current state.

Not to mention that DRM also tends to drain resources from the system that could be used better elsewhere. Like, say, in the game we're trying to play. But oh well, people are content to allow this to continue, there's not much we can do about it.

Desert Punk:

Gabe Yaden:
[quote="CriticalMiss" post="7.402842.16631537"]How long until Maxis get shut down and everyone is fired? A lollipop says two months, maybe three.

There are some "gamers" who cant tell the difference between a studio and a publisher though, and thus why some "gamers" cant comprehend it.

Please dear god, tell me your not inferring that I cant tell the difference between a publisher and a developer..... which has nothing to do with the line of thought posted.

Yet another EA game that I am glad to have not gotten because of some BS that has occurred to screw up what otherwise might have been a pretty decent or fun game to play. >_>

Seriously... when will they finally die, after so many years of murdering good game devs? :(

I've logged 15 hours in simcity. yes i'm annoyed at the roll backs.. the unable to connect to servers ...grr. but tbh. i kind of expected this much. its EA they greatly underestimated how much strain always online is. theyprobably should have asked people like blizzard or any other large mmo company about how much strain everything is on their servers. cuz that is what i think this essentially is. well. more like an inbetween. i have made my world private while i try figureing out how to make cities..

i failed.. so hard.. and the city i did build up to be great started... failing.. i couldnt pay for anything. i had to shut things down. tear down. i built different things. managed to save it a few times but still slipped. i cant imagine how much trouble it would be if it was bigger @.@

OT: i hope they fix them quickly so i can go back to trying to save my cities!

DVS BSTrD:

synobal:
Should of maybe done that before ya know... the games release. Just saying.

Hey, they didn't start the fire.

DVS, Y U NO VIDEO?

OT: Oh man, good thing this SINGLEPLAYER game I was looking forward to playing, you know, by myself, requires a constant internet connection, because as we are all aware connections going out never fucking happens at all, so I can update my mother fucking ACHIVEMENT LEADERBOARDS

[deep breath]

BECAUSE MAKING A BIG CITY ISN'T IMPORTANT, ITS SHOWING PEOPLE ONLINE THAT I DID.

good thing I still have Simcity 4.

.....go ahead and laugh, I cant find my Simcity 2000 disk......

Kalezian:

DVS BSTrD:

synobal:
Should of maybe done that before ya know... the games release. Just saying.

Hey, they didn't start the fire.

DVS, Y U NO VIDEO?

Because nobody saw what I did there until now

PH3NOmenon:
People keep comparing this to error 37... it was my understanding that it wasn't like that. Error 37 prevented people from playing altogether. This is just putting people in a 30 minute queue. No?

Is "boot up game, make a sandwich, play game." an option or isn't it? Because if it is, then I really don't get all the hubbub. The game's just released, bet you a dollar that in two weeks queue times will be under 60 seconds.

Error 37 was "Server unavailable, please try again later".

This is "Server unavailable, we will try again in 30 minutes".

In either case, "the hubbub" is that you paid 60 dollars for a game you're not allowed to play until a server says it's ok.
Making the unnecessary delay all the more egregious is
1)the fact that we live in a society that's increasingly focused on instant gratification
2)the fact that instant SimCity gratification was possible twenty-three years ago.

Sarah LeBoeuf:
Maxis Adding More SimCity Servers Over Next Two Days

image

While you were waiting to play SimCity, other mayors have started over 18 million fires.

EA's long-awaited SimCity reboot launched for PCs earlier this week, and in an unexpected twist, the always-on requirement has resulted in some complications. Technical issues are causing players to encounter bugs, and many are unable to access the game at all. SimCity developer Maxis is well aware of the problems, and according to a forum post, will be adding more servers today and tomorrow that it hopes will fix some of the game's issues.

Additionally, the developer is "paying close attention to all the bug reports," with several game updates already live and more to come. "Our live ops team is working 24/7 to resolve issues and ensure that bug fixes roll into the game as quickly as possible."

Though many players haven't been able to build the cities of their dreams yet, people are playing the game: a Maxis community manager shared some stats about SimCity's first day after launch. "In a single 24 hour period, there were more than 38 million buildings plopped down, nearly 7 and a half million kilometers of roads laid down, 18+ million fires started, and (my favorite fact) over 40 million pipes filled up with poop." Of course, that probably won't comfort the paying customers who have been waiting since midnight on March 5 to fill their own pipes with poop, to no avail.

Maxis thanked fans for their support and understanding, requesting continued patience as the issues get worked out. Hopefully the new servers and bug fixes will result in a smoother SimCity experience so the legions of would-be mayors can get to work.

Source: EA forums

Permalink

Sorry Sarah but this was not an unexpected twist. It was predicted by over half the gaming community. Not being prepared for overload on release is entirely inexcusable in this day and age. Its not like this is the first game with a multiplayer component to be released, hell nothing about it is ground breaking.

I know your trying to be diplomatic, but you have crossed the line into misinformation. I've lost alot of respect for you today. If you want to stand up for someone. Stand up for us, here on the escapist.

Oh boo hoo it's too late,stores started removing the game from their products lists already because they couldn't keep up with the number of people asking for refunds.

http://www.destructoid.com/amazon-has-pulled-simcity-from-its-store-248072.phtml

jetriot:
They don't have a real queue system. The 30 minute timer that looked like a queue is just there to prevent you from spamming the login server. When the timer is up it simply attempts to log you in again. There is no priority system so you were better off spamming the login server for an open slot by switching servers or entering/exiting the game. People that didn't understand that never got in.

As much as it is horrible that they didn't block that or make a queue you do realize it's people like you that make a bad thing even worse. You're as bad as my Wife repeatedly attempting to log into WoW every min after maintenance and are Shocked that the Authentication servers crashed. All your repeated attempts do is keep the server busy handling null requests and when too many people do that they end up DoSing the servers and taking them down.

Or do you not know what this means?
image

From a strictly-business angle, this makes a bit of sense.
Don't get me wrong, Always-Online DRM is indefensible (short of Free-2-Play games, since the risk is entirely on the interest of the consumer, and nothing more).

But consider the purpose and planning for SimCity.

*Always Online. EA knows it's not popular and would have to be utterly detached from reality to not know this (snark aside, there is no possible way they would not know this). However, it could be popular ENOUGH to warrant implementing it and hope that interest trickles up in the long-run; long enough to start another DLC drip feed market (TotalBiscuit's words admittedly, and it fits perfectly) that is secured by the DRM.

(I think the DLC looks grossly overpriced thus far. Before some twat yells "ENTITLEMENT!", I know it's EA's right to charge what they want for their content, and to decide what is "extra" or not, but that does not mean it's above criticism)

So, why do this? What are the benefits?
Answer: This is a remarkably conservative gambit.

Lets analyze the alternative, hypothetical scenario.
Suppose EA commits resources to providing adequate or near-adequate serverspace/bandwidth on launch.
One of many scenarios can occur:

1) Game is successful, and accepted in the long run.
Result: EA made the right call.

2) Game is initially successful, but then falls off sharply. (similar to what happened to Diablo 3)
Result: The extra server-space was not worth the initial investment and is now just a cost. EA already has an exit strategy here in the form of denying refunds via policy entrapment.

3) Game bombs, initial sales and preorders evaporate before entrapment (see #2) can occur.
Result: Worst result for EA in all instances, but made worse by an overcommitment to Service resources that aren't being used, yet still must be paid for.

In comparison to what actually happened:

-)Under-committed to servers to avoid scenario #2 and especially #3 at the expense of possibly #1.
Waited to gauge true consumer response to avoid being clipped by additional costs. Weighed against the risk of bad press.

Results: At this stage, probably #2, sans the extra server cost.

There is one thing I'm rolling around in my head..
Since Origin is required, how many sales did EA know about in advance vs those bought on launch day? This isn't quite like retail where there's a lag time for confirmed sales, Origin handles everything.

Of course, unless SimCity turns around and becomes a booming success, I know EA isn't going to disclose sales data to confirm/deny that.

Atmos Duality:

In comparison to what actually happened:

-)Under-committed to servers to avoid scenario #2 and especially #3 at the expense of possibly #1.
Waited to gauge true consumer response to avoid being clipped by additional costs. Weighed against the risk of bad press.

Results: At this stage, probably #2, sans the extra server cost.

You're forgetting an option. EA uses this to Increase the number of servers. They didn't exactly underestimate the pre-orders. No one in their right mind would have bought enough servers to handle day 1 load knowing that in 2 weeks that they'd only need half of them. The Phone Company is the same way. They only provision enough dial tone to server 20% of the customers because under normal circumstances only 20% are ever making and receiving calls at the same time. An Earth Quake is the exception where everyone picks up the phone to check on loved ones. That crashes the phone company mainframe.

What they're doing here is a slow ramp up for something more sinister.

What they need to do is slowly ramp up the number of servers to handle day 1 launches, but they can't do that with just one game. Over time Sim City attrition will free up the excess servers and they'll be able to be used on the next game. That game will have similar issues be not be as bad since it shared some cost with Sim City. Then the next game and so on.

In the end they're left with a DRM infrastructure like Amazon had to build to handle Christmas Sales. That was actually the basis for Amazon hosting services since they had no other use for the infrastructure after Christmas. After that their won't be any noticeable problems save for the existence of the DRM.

This is only the beginning of EVERY EA game having the same DRM setup.

I blame everyone who kept buying Ubisoft games back when this practice started. I've given up. I ended up missing out on the AC series because I stuck to my values. Now it's too late. I'll just enjoy things up until the Crash happens, and celebrate when the house of cards catches on fire.

wombat_of_war:
on the upside el presidente wombat is building a beautiful city paradise in tropico 4 as we speak :)

I'm already organising a rebellion as we speak. Down with the tyrant!!

Awesome game though, just different theme.

Kalezian:

DVS BSTrD:

synobal:
Should of maybe done that before ya know... the games release. Just saying.

Hey, they didn't start the fire.

DVS, Y U NO VIDEO?

OT: Oh man, good thing this SINGLEPLAYER game I was looking forward to playing, you know, by myself, requires a constant internet connection, because as we are all aware connections going out never fucking happens at all, so I can update my mother fucking ACHIVEMENT LEADERBOARDS

[deep breath]

BECAUSE MAKING A BIG CITY ISN'T IMPORTANT, ITS SHOWING PEOPLE ONLINE THAT I DID.

good thing I still have Simcity 4.

.....go ahead and laugh, I cant find my Simcity 2000 disk......

SimCity 4 is awesome, one of the best IMO. I do have SC1 thanks to gog, which if u really want I suggest going and getting it for a ridiculous cheap price of under $10

This always online stuff is getting out of hand. Why in the actual fuck do I need an online connection to be playing by myself. At least Anno 2070 allowed me to play offline without some perks.

medv4380:
You're forgetting an option. EA uses this to Increase the number of servers. They didn't exactly underestimate the pre-orders. No one in their right mind would have bought enough servers to handle day 1 load knowing that in 2 weeks that they'd only need half of them. The Phone Company is the same way. They only provision enough dial tone to server 20% of the customers because under normal circumstances only 20% are ever making and receiving calls at the same time. An Earth Quake is the exception where everyone picks up the phone to check on loved ones. That crashes the phone company mainframe.

That's a very good point actually. I'm still thinking they should have staggered their registration process to alleviate the load, rather than taking it all on the chin at once (like a lot of fake-queues).

What they're doing here is a slow ramp up for something more sinister.

What they need to do is slowly ramp up the number of servers to handle day 1 launches, but they can't do that with just one game. Over time Sim City attrition will free up the excess servers and they'll be able to be used on the next game. That game will have similar issues be not be as bad since it shared some cost with Sim City. Then the next game and so on.

In the end they're left with a DRM infrastructure like Amazon had to build to handle Christmas Sales. That was actually the basis for Amazon hosting services since they had no other use for the infrastructure after Christmas. After that their won't be any noticeable problems save for the existence of the DRM.

Assuming all the server-space is in-house and not outsourced or for temp-loading (which is a sensible solution employed in other industries, but not really for gaming), that seems likely.

This is only the beginning of EVERY EA game having the same DRM setup.

Of that, I am not entirely sure yet.
Not every game fits the Always-Online DRM mold, and EA has gone out of their way to recursively justify SimCity being Always Online, when up to this point SimCity has been exclusively single-player.

I blame everyone who kept buying Ubisoft games back when this practice started. I've given up. I ended up missing out on the AC series because I stuck to my values. Now it's too late. I'll just enjoy things up until the Crash happens, and celebrate when the house of cards catches on fire.

I know just what you mean. I have given up on Ubisoft, Activision-Blizzard, and EA entirely; simply because I do not trust them enough anymore. I still do follow along, because I enjoy analyzing the business.

And the response to Ubisoft's gambit was overwhelmingly negative; to the point where they have reconsidered it...twice.
It's not worth all the hassle.

RooksEye:

Gabe Yaden:

CriticalMiss:
How long until Maxis get shut down and everyone is fired? A lollipop says two months, maybe three.

Why is it that "gamers" want studios to close I just cant comprehend it. Those are people you know, like with families, kids, etc

I think they meant EA's tradition of closing down studios who don't sell umpteen million copies of a game.

But they are having the opposite problem right now. To many people are trying to play their game and the servers cant handle it.

PH3NOmenon:
People keep comparing this to error 37... it was my understanding that it wasn't like that. Error 37 prevented people from playing altogether. This is just putting people in a 30 minute queue. No?

Is "boot up game, make a sandwich, play game." an option or isn't it? Because if it is, then I really don't get all the hubbub. The game's just released, bet you a dollar that in two weeks queue times will be under 60 seconds.

It doesn't allow you to play at all, not even boot up the game. The queues are so long even if you do get into the game itself, you run into problems like being disconnected, which corrupts your city saves, and not being able to start building a city.

Thank you maxis, for reminding me why i didnt buy this game.

Also, consdiering how many other such problems were around (cought, AC2, cough) they should have put at least twice as much server power as it was needed to make sure to compensate. all servers somehow manage to get overcompensation for usage burts, and yet gaming industry still manages to put it on some singlecore server trying to handle millions of conenctions. i mean, come on, if my 9 year old desktop computer can host a unoptimized fan made MMO server and sucesfully host over 200 people on, surely EA can afford a servers than can run Sim City.

An Earth Quake is the exception where everyone picks up the phone to check on loved ones. That crashes the phone company mainframe.

except that it doesnt. it used to, 10 years ago. now they updated their serivce, and during events such as 12:00 new years time and so on you can easily pick up a phone and call whoever you want. i had no problem in such events to call anyone.

VanQ:

Necabo:

VanQ:

The only people here that aren't learning their lesson are the consumers that know that these kinds of games with always online requirement never work as intended for the first week or two but continue to buy the games anyway.

You kinda got that wrong, because from that statement you should wait to buy the game for a few weeks.
Apart from that being a totally ridiculous thing it also makes that the few people who actually will buy the DRM games at lauch (say if it goes that way ~20%)will not experience any server problems -->thus EA won't fix the issues ---> still problems after a month when everybody heard it was working great, which it doesn't because: don't fix what aint broke!

They really should have anticipated more that a few servers were necessary for this game. Don't blame it on the consumers just wanting to play the much hyped, super awesome game they made.

I was mostly implying that we shouldn't be buying these games to begin with but I can see how you came to that conclusion from my post. Always on DRM is always an intrusive means to control a product and we shouldn't be defending it in its current state.

Not to mention that DRM also tends to drain resources from the system that could be used better elsewhere. Like, say, in the game we're trying to play. But oh well, people are content to allow this to continue, there's not much we can do about it.

It's not entirely DRM, but I'm honestly shocked you people can't realise this http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/12/20/maxis-explains-the-use-of-simcity-always-online-drm/

CriticalMiss:
How long until Maxis get shut down and everyone is fired? A lollipop says two months, maybe three.

It also seems kind of stupid to have not thought that your game, that requires all players to be online all the time, might need some servers. Why didn't they over compensate and put up a metric fuckton of servers so that the launch would be super awesome and everyone would get to play, then reducing the servers if needed. Either they don't think ahead or the game is immensely more popular than they ever could have considered, which is possible since most complaints aren't so much the game as access to it.

You have no clue how servers work; absolutely none.

Desert Punk:

Gabe Yaden:

CriticalMiss:
How long until Maxis get shut down and everyone is fired? A lollipop says two months, maybe three.

Why is it that "gamers" want studios to close I just cant comprehend it. Those are people you know, like with families, kids, etc

EA has a history of killing studios that they bought up, people dont WANT those studios closed. Besides, they want the developers fine, they just want to see the execs, PR, corperate, ect folk from EA to starve. You know, the people that only seem to cause the problems.

There are some "gamers" who cant tell the difference between a studio and a publisher though, and thus why some "gamers" cant comprehend it.

My god: Do none of you people understand how businesses work? You do know of a thing called 'public company'? Where EA has to file 2 reports every year due to being a disclosing entity, and has to meet RoI numbers to please investors if they want to raise capital for more games?

Do you understand businesses not only have to make a profit, but have to minimise opportunity losses? Right? You know all these things right if you're accusing EA of poor financial decisions?

The game's been out a god damn day people, just calm down and wait a few days; no popular multiplayer game (let alone one that's topping amazon's sales charts and has retailers selling out all over the place) has EVER had a smooth release.
They have if they've had dedicated servers which are trivial to setup compared to a game like this (especially when ISPs/privates pay for most of them).

medv4380:

jetriot:
They don't have a real queue system. The 30 minute timer that looked like a queue is just there to prevent you from spamming the login server. When the timer is up it simply attempts to log you in again. There is no priority system so you were better off spamming the login server for an open slot by switching servers or entering/exiting the game. People that didn't understand that never got in.

As much as it is horrible that they didn't block that or make a queue you do realize it's people like you that make a bad thing even worse. You're as bad as my Wife repeatedly attempting to log into WoW every min after maintenance and are Shocked that the Authentication servers crashed. All your repeated attempts do is keep the server busy handling null requests and when too many people do that they end up DoSing the servers and taking them down.

Or do you not know what this means?
image

Obviously but what choice does someone have that wants to play the game? I can not expect everyone to play nice and wait for their timer so my choices are to A. Not play B. Overload the servers and play. Not my fault EA can't design a que system or provide adequate servers at launch. Luckily the game is mediocre and gets old fast because of the map size. I suspect most people will stop playing fairly soon.

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