Electronic Arts Disables "Non-Critical" SimCity Features - UPDATED

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I've purchased SimCity like a blind moron that I am, and even I find the whole situation quite entertaining.

Genocidicles:
Excellent. Maybe this will make people think twice about purchasing games with always online DRM in the future.

Yeah right, who am I kidding. People will still come back for more even after this debacle. No self control whatsoever when they could get a shiny new game.

Yeah, they are like sheep. Plenty of game launches have had problems and yet people still preorder and support terrible DRM schemes.

For the short amounts of time I've been able to play, its been a really fun game.

The server connection bit is what's annoying me. I was booted out of the game last night and I have no idea if my city even saved.

Didn't they promise that exactly this wouldn't happen?

You'd figure with major releases like D3 having suffered this that companies would learn to not do it.

Oh wait...no, those games that had these problems still sold insanely well and in general companies are fine with screwing the customers.

Silly me for thinking they might actually care.

KelDG:

Capitano Segnaposto:

Bernzz:
I am in shock.

Nobody saw this coming, especially after Diablo 3's stellar launch.

Oh wait.

I love how people can't seem to wrap their heads around how hard it is to organize, set-up, protect, and keep hundreds of millions of people on servers at once.

Nope. It is all easy. Simple as flipping a switch.

/facedesk

Are you being sarcastic with the hundreds of millions thing? I honestly can't tell.

PS: BTW I am not being sarcastic with this post.

PPS: That last statement also was not sarcasm.

It is an exaggeration. Or it is now as I am too lazy to go back and fix the typo. Trying to get these last few Dog Tags in MGS2.

You know what is the funny part? This will only increase piracy because pirates will soon make an offline server for the game and let people play offline. Offering better service than the producer.So good job you have just had caused the greatest backfire in the gaming history, as this continues the number of pirates will grow and so will DRM's untill we git another gaming crisis

Obligatory, all launches for online games always fail to some extent no matter how the developer prepares. Other then that, Yeah this DRM doesn't work very well.

They are still having problems and the European launch is just around the corner i think EA is beyond serious trouble.

Jaegerwolf:
Anyone else want to play "Guess if Adrian is his/her real name and what country he/she is actually from?", cause I would be shocked, SHOCKED, if they weren't reading from a script during that conversation.

That was exactly my first thought reading this, it definitely looks like a script.

dragongit:
Please enjoy your always on DRM, and micro transactions. Leader boards and other minor services will be released as future DLC. A functioning game will be released as an expansion: It wont be a new game, it'll just work.

Seriously, I just read that they are blocking people who ask for refunds and other stupid crap. I'm surprised if EA still had legs, I've lost count on how many times they've shot their own feet.

Falcon123:
So, no word yet on how they justify threatening to ban people's accounts for trying to claim the refund EA offered? Awesome. I'm so glad EA are such good guys like CliffyB said. Otherwise, everyone involved in this wreck would look REALLY dumb and at least a little evil...

Sean Strife:

dragongit:
Please enjoy your always on DRM, and micro transactions. Leader boards and other minor services will be released as future DLC. A functioning game will be released as an expansion: It wont be a new game, it'll just work.

Seriously, I just read that they are blocking people who ask for refunds and other stupid crap. I'm surprised if EA still had legs, I've lost count on how many times they've shot their own feet.

*Image snipped to save space*

You mean stuff like this?

Hate to burst your bubbles, but that was already proven false. This very site already has at least two articles about that being disproved. As much as I like seeing EA getting flak, I'd prefer it if we did so with accurate info.

cerebreturns:
Didn't they promise that exactly this wouldn't happen?

You'd figure with major releases like D3 having suffered this that companies would learn to not do it.

Oh wait...no, those games that had these problems still sold insanely well and in general companies are fine with screwing the customers.

Silly me for thinking they might actually care.

The thing is most people and companies realise that a while the severs will be crappy the first couple days after launch its not really an issue. The whole issue will have blown over in a week and pretty much everybody who bought the game will be happy.

I should note that since the patch, while this is all unconfirmed, multi-city play also appears to be broken. Cities do not commute to each other, share resources and the like.

I'm not sure if they stealth disabled this or I'd it's just a bug, but there's been no confirmation one way or another and it's a pretty widespread issue that didn't exist over the last couple of days.

It's is hardly a non-critical feature. Arguably much more important than cheetah speed. My mining and power city is virtually worthless and my gambling city isn't getting the electricity it needs and has nowhere to send its sewage. Pretty terrible actually.

This gives me hope that one day they'll drop the forced servers, so I can buy it. With luck, it'll even all be patched by then.

The always on DRM seems to be working out a treat for EA. Still, I suppose that's good news for us the consumers. All it takes is a screw up like this (and lets face it, a few more) to convince the industry it's a bad idea. At least we get to chant "We told you so!" when the company comes out and admits it was a bad idea.

I literally lol'd that cheetah speed is now disabled.
I just imagine a bunch of people running around at EA HQ with Yakety Sax playing.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! NOT THE CHEETAH SPEED!!!!

How much does it take to use that? Are they ACTUALLY offloading work to the servers rather than using the claim that they do so an an excuse for DRM up the everything? Can anyone verify that any work is offloaded to remote servers and if so; how much?

This is just weird. The issue for me is that other companies take steps, prior to release to test their game, especially if it's online. I Can't remember the last big MMO release that didn't include several stress test weekends where they just gave out ridiculous numbers of invites to get as many people playing as possible. It doesn't usually alleviate problems, but it sure as hell helps the release. it was just really poorly thought out, really poorly. And all those stress test weekends would have increased sales even more.

Little Gray:

cerebreturns:
Didn't they promise that exactly this wouldn't happen?

You'd figure with major releases like D3 having suffered this that companies would learn to not do it.

Oh wait...no, those games that had these problems still sold insanely well and in general companies are fine with screwing the customers.

Silly me for thinking they might actually care.

The thing is most people and companies realise that a while the severs will be crappy the first couple days after launch its not really an issue. The whole issue will have blown over in a week and pretty much everybody who bought the game will be happy.

This is exactly true. Everyone thinks that this will make a difference in the long run. They say, "now everyone will have learned". But no one will. And in a week or two, all the kinks will be worked out and there won't be any server issues. This isn't going to stop anyone from buying games that have this "feature" they call always online.

You know, I actually kind of feel bad for EA right now. They're like a dog that buries every bone you give them instead of taking time chewing, and enjoying what they have. Then one day you come around back and find that the dog starved to death because it couldn't remember where it buried its bones.

Notsomuch:
Companies don't want to buy servers for the release week that wont be utilized for the rest of the year. With this happening for the Majority of popular games that utilize this always on DRM people need to realize that they are not buying a working product, they aren't even buying a product, they are basically renting. Everyone should boycott games that use this type of DRM.

I wont be buying this and as someone who will be responsible for selling this and other games I'll be sure to inform consumers about what they're buying if they are looking at these games.

Abso-fucking-lutely! This idea that you own a product is a mere facade. In essence, you are renting/leasing the abilty to play it. If this is a road that developers want to go down, great, I just wont be renting your product ever. If you feel the need to charge $20 more for a version where I completely own it, I'll happily pay that. I can still plug in my copy of SC4, SC300, etc, etc, because I own that product.

The cheetah mode thing is a BIG DEAL by the way. At the early stage, you have a pretty slow cash flow, so you need to speed the game up to get some cash. This essentially makes you wait around more. It basically just makes the game less fun overall

porous_shield:

Genocidicles:
Excellent. Maybe this will make people think twice about purchasing games with always online DRM in the future.

Yeah right, who am I kidding. People will still come back for more even after this debacle. No self control whatsoever when they could get a shiny new game.

Yeah, they are like sheep. Plenty of game launches have had problems and yet people still preorder and support terrible DRM schemes.

It is because most people are insane. They keep hating these practices yet they expect things to change while supporting these horrible practices. That is full on insanity.

If the market changes to always on DRM with pay up front, pay for DLC, pay for microtransactions to be competitive, and fuel the fire then gamers have no one to blame but ourselves for our lack of willpower.

have they started selling reskinned buildings for the game yet for 30c each yet?

Genocidicles:
Excellent. Maybe this will make people think twice about purchasing games with always online DRM in the future.

Yeah right, who am I kidding. People will still come back for more even after this debacle. No self control whatsoever when they could get a shiny new game.

Some of the comments have been the sweet, sweet icing on this delicious cake.
"If this isn't working next week, I'm going to get a refund and never touch this game again! (..until next year, when the issues have been fixed, the servers are quiet and there's more stuff available)"
"I'm not going to buy this until it's heavily discounted. Fuck EA." Yeah, that'll learn 'em!
and in similar news: 'Man, I'm done with Bioware. I only have to get DA3 and then that's it!'

Man, this is the gift that keeps on giving. US servers might start getting pieced together but then we have the EU launch soon don't we? Between that and watching the Torment kickstarter climb into the stratosphere I think I'm done for entertainment all weekend.

The biggest problem with this: yet you all STILL bought it.

Capitano Segnaposto:
I love how people can't seem to wrap their heads around how hard it is to organize, set-up, protect, and keep hundreds of millions of people on servers at once.

Nope. It is all easy. Simple as flipping a switch.

/facedesk

And that is why they hire professionals and not farmers to do the job, do they not? or do you claim that there are no professionals at EAs employment and all they can do is flip switches.

Face it people. This is nothing more than a little setback. In a few weeks it will most likely all be smoothed out. Maybe a bit more than a few weeks due to Europe release. But after that it will mostly be smooth sailing. I myself have logged 15 hours into this game. Heck i got it up and running before most of the pre-order guys did (heh heh) And honestly. I'm having tons of fun. Yes the inability to connect to the server is frustrating as hell but its still a great game. Addicting one at that. All my cities are awesome.. well trying to be. Cities...y u no work without bankrupting me!

Anyways. The game itself doesnt deserve the bad reviews. Its EA and their drm that deserves the criticism. Dont punish a good franchise for the mistake of its idiot owner. If anything it might make it so that EA never releases another simcity game due to this last ones bad reviews. And then guess what people. All this bashing of the DRM and servers and whatnot will have caused the simcity franchise to die. Unless of course EA sells the rights to simcity... like thats ever going to happen.

Dont hate the player. hate the game.....

er.. Dont hate the game. Hate the owner.

Hmmm. I wonder what could ease server load?

An offline single-player mode, perhaps?

...no. That's stupid. DISABLE THE LEADERBOARDS!

knight4light:
Anyways. The game itself doesnt deserve the bad reviews. Its EA and their drm that deserves the criticism. Dont punish a good franchise for the mistake of its idiot owner. If anything it might make it so that EA never releases another simcity game due to this last ones bad reviews. And then guess what people. All this bashing of the DRM and servers and whatnot will have caused the simcity franchise to die. Unless of course EA sells the rights to simcity... like thats ever going to happen.

Dont hate the player. hate the game.....

er.. Dont hate the game. Hate the owner.

If a reviewer legitimately hates a game, then of course that game deserves the bad review it gets. With regards punishing a good franchise, likewise don't support what you see to be a bad entry in a series for the sake of the name of the franchise alone. For example I love me some Half-Life; if Episode 3 comes out and is crap I'm not going to support it for the sake of its name alone. Judge the entry on its own merits and failings.

If a bad game, unpopular DRM or server issues results in the death of a franchise - that's not the fault of the community complaining about the issues or refusing to support the game; that's the fault of the developer/publisher for screwing up the game, shoe-horning in unpopular/unwanted elements and not providing the support required for the game to be playable.

You've kind of said it yourself though.. don't blame the player.

The worst part is that soon players will 'expect' this type of launches, I mean not that long ago buggy launches was scorned at and the developer ridiculed as poor programmers, now its normal to have bugs at launch and patch it post launch.
Granted games business has changed considerably and pressure is much more intense to get products out but the point still stands... we as consumers got used to buggy launches.
Will we get used to server queues in our single player games now ?

EA was well aware it structure was not capable of coping with the numbers at launch, but they also know (or hoped) that the numbers will smooth out over time so why invest in structure that will only be used at launch and during special occasions (major patches, popular DLC packs)... that is the accountants talking here.
The ones who get the most stick are the customer service section... and when the numbers do smooth out, EA will claim it put in fixes and added hardware to fix the issue, but at the moment its merely riding the wave.

I hope players will learn the most important lesson : DO NOT BUY PRE ORDERS!

Dont give them cash until the product is there and proven to be worth your cash... not boycotts, not meta critic review bombing ... just bloody wait until the game is out and reviewed, wait till more facts are out before buying the game.

Capitano Segnaposto:
I love how people can't seem to wrap their heads around how hard it is to organize, set-up, protect, and keep hundreds of millions of people on servers at once.

Nope. It is all easy. Simple as flipping a switch.

/facedesk

The only thing you can't test at full load in beta is the signup/login servers ... the game servers being instantiated can be tested at production loading during beta.

They did shitty testing, even the shitty testing was enough to tell them the launch would be a disaster, they launched any way ... EA can not be dependent on to make an always online DRM game.

I am dissapointed that another otherwise good game suffers bcause of poorly setup DRM.

I have a feeling that TOR influenced this situation. They anticipated a metric shitload of people for that game, and had an abundant amount of servers for it. They very quickly were in a position where mergers had to happen and had to foot the bill (though I can't imagine why you couldn't re-purpose those servers for something else). I bet it made them try to go for what would be the projected minimum to handle the launch buyers, and well...

This may also be a "beta" to test out potential DRM and other associated bullshit for the real moneymaker, Sims 4. But I am a speculator.

I really can't believe that the basic very small 3-4 city zones can't be run on any given computer.

Those big 8+ city area's, sure, make those mandatory to go online with, but do you know how many people would just be happy to fuck around in a 3-4 city zone (off-line) for the first week.. perhaps 90% of your customers.

I'm still baffled D3 doesnt have a off-line mode yet, the only limit is you wouldn't be able to visit the AH (or it would be a buy only mode to prevent cheating...)

No Cheetah speed? but that was a stable since at least SimCity 2000 :/

Also all that "ohgod we don't have any servers prepared for this, how could anybody know that people like SimCity?" plus the whole motion of that kind of DRM really sucks, which is a shame, because the game itself, if it works for once, is really, really good

Didn't we see a post a week or two ago that said that they couldn't possibly include a delete-your-city-and-start-over feature because that would interfere with the all-important leader boards? Guess that feature wasn't as important as all that after all, huh?

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