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

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wombat_of_war:
to someone who has actually been able to get into the game and play it successfully how does it compare gameplay wise to something like the latest tropico?

Tropico 3/Absolute Power and Tropico 4 (Tropico 3.5 with better roads) are very quality games in their own right. Own them both and have played all the way through them end to end. Tropico 4 feels like a DLC pitched as a game, it is missing some of the nuance of Tropico 3, but the engine/core is easier to work with. At retail it was overpriced, but on sale, it's a solid buy (but not particularly ground breaking).

As far as a comparison? Not really sure that it is fair to compare them too SimCity due to having two very different designs and very different victory or win states.

As an example Tropico uses an edict system that is similar to the older Sim Cities. The map may call for a particular "tourist rating" as an example, you will have a chance to customized a dictator with perks and minuses; and all the while increasing the tourist rating (which normally has events such as oil spills, or military coup) there may be an optional objective to rob the islands treasury.

This increases the difficulty without having to tinker with the core mechanics of the game, which is an interesting approach.

This is similar to how the Railroad tycoon games tended to play out, which would have events such as stock depressions or implied war which changes elements of the game state.

Tropico tends towards a progression from island to island where there will be various factors to consider as well as various objectives to complete, where as Sim's in a neighborhood, the game play quality/feel/decision choice is going to be directly proportional to those that you are playing with at that time. It is also somewhat locked to the region you have chosen, for example if one is in a resource rich area... your likely going resources as a build. This makes the progression very linear.

The difficulty here (for comparison sake) is that the experience will vary from region to region (assuming one gets it up and going at all). Unfortunately there are issues where the agent system bumps up against other systems and causes some management issues. This reflects on the poor play testing and rushed/corner cutting that is under the hood in SimCity.

My issue with SimCity as it stands is that it "feels" like 2/3 of a game, however, taking it "as it's own thing" it is very accessible, though at a cost of being somewhat crippled by it's own design decisions.

Unfortunately comparing SimCity to anything else in the genre would be like comparing Railroad Tycoon II Platinum to Sid Meiers "Railroads".

RTIIP is a classic of computer gaming. Easily one of my personal top 10 games of all time. While SM:R was "serviceable", it really didn't set the world on fire. It was RT:Lite with multiplayer... imagine playing Tron Motorbikes with Trains.

Sharing the name, very very different products. SimCity is like that. Shares the name, but as a "City Sim", I don't have much to say without complaining.

It is a bias that perhaps exist due to having of been a fan of the series since Sim City... the original. That bias is one of constant comparison, I simply "can't" play it without comparing it to the old and familiar. As an example, traffic in SimCity is broken because of how the game handles employment. Traffic in Tropico is bad, because there is limited space for roads and Tropicans take a shortest path from A->B.

Traffic in Tropico makes sense to itself, traffic in SimCity is broken because of two conflicting systems. End of the day, I would buy another Tropico, and CERTAINLY buy another Kalypso published game like it.

To be fair I don't own SimCity (5?), I did play the beta/demo and have played it for a couple hours locally (coworkers place) once the Australian servers came up. It is a game that wants to impress... but fails itself for being just too clumsy.

V da Mighty Taco:
In other words, if your country does not have a law like that in place, then you either need to not accept horrendous terms like that and do the whole "vote with your wallet" crap...

Voting with your wallet is "crap"? WTH?

Aardvaarkman:

V da Mighty Taco:
In other words, if your country does not have a law like that in place, then you either need to not accept horrendous terms like that and do the whole "vote with your wallet" crap...

Voting with your wallet is "crap"? WTH?

The concept of voting with your wallet is flawed. All it tells a company is that they screwed up somewhere, not with what they screwed up on. This often leaves the company to blame the wrong thing for lackluster sales such as a complete lack of interest in a series or genre, rather than a shitty business practice or a wrong turn in direction for a series. Take Dead Space 3 and EA's infamous "five million sales" quote - if the game sells enough, then they continue doing the exact same thing over and over again because in their eyes it worked; whereas if the game doesn't reach the expected sells then the whole series gets canned due to EA thinking that people just don't want Dead Space and thus that it isn't profitable enough to keep the franchise going. Nowhere along the line does EA actually admit that it's anti-consumer practices or sudden shift in the direction of the franchise caused the lackluster sells, with them instead blaming the series or dev as a whole and shutting one or both of them down. All one needs to do is look at EA's history with buying devs and shutting them down a few years later for proof of this. All voting with your wallet will do is kill all of EA and every franchise / studio they own faster, but it won't get them to change their ways beforehand. To put it simply - EA... EA never changes.

Today's lesson: Any game with always-online DRM is not worth pre-ordering. Ever.

V da Mighty Taco:
SNIP

Consumers tell companies what they want all the time. It's very obvious that they don't listen. You can't blame us for their idiocy. If the bottom line is all they see, then the bottom line has to be the line of communication. If you believe that this is crap, then it's because of the dumbass who squints to see only the bottom line while shouting "LA LA LA LA LA LA!!!" with his ears plugged up to ignore everything else.

In short, NOBODY CARES if the company fumbles around blindly and in the dark. When this is what actually gets through, it's better than they suffer and keep on suffering until they wake up. If you don't believe your wallet has any rightful say, you may as well give me your money now. I promise to spend it wisely.

FalloutJack:

V da Mighty Taco:
SNIP

Consumers tell companies what they want all the time. It's very obvious that they don't listen. You can't blame us for their idiocy. If the bottom line is all they see, then the bottom line has to be the line of communication. If you believe that this is crap, then it's because of the dumbass who squints to see only the bottom line while shouting "LA LA LA LA LA LA!!!" with his ears plugged up to ignore everything else.

In short, NOBODY CARES if the company fumbles around blindly and in the dark. When this is what actually gets through, it's better than they suffer and keep on suffering until they wake up. If you don't believe your wallet has any rightful say, you may as well give me your money now. I promise to spend it wisely.

I said it was flawed, not that it doesn't work at all. You're right in many regards, but the fact remains that companies quite often miss the point on why something isn't selling and thus continue to dig their own graves. When this happens in the gaming idustry, it becomes a situation of either letting the company and every franchise it owns die in a blaze of ignorance or save the franchise and encourage the company to continue their horrid practices. There ends up being no positive solution, only a choice between the lesser of two evils. With this in mind, people may feel obligated to buy the next installment of the franchise just to try saving it. That is the flaw in the system.

V da Mighty Taco:

FalloutJack:

V da Mighty Taco:
SNIP

Consumers tell companies what they want all the time. It's very obvious that they don't listen. You can't blame us for their idiocy. If the bottom line is all they see, then the bottom line has to be the line of communication. If you believe that this is crap, then it's because of the dumbass who squints to see only the bottom line while shouting "LA LA LA LA LA LA!!!" with his ears plugged up to ignore everything else.

In short, NOBODY CARES if the company fumbles around blindly and in the dark. When this is what actually gets through, it's better than they suffer and keep on suffering until they wake up. If you don't believe your wallet has any rightful say, you may as well give me your money now. I promise to spend it wisely.

I said it was flawed, not that it doesn't work at all. You're right in many regards, but the fact remains that companies quite often miss the point on why something isn't selling and thus continue to dig their own graves. When this happens in the gaming idustry, it becomes a situation of either letting the company and every franchise it owns die in a blaze of ignorance or save the franchise and encourage the company to continue their horrid practices. There ends up being no positive solution, only a choice between the lesser of two evils. With this in mind, people may feel obligated to buy the next installment of the franchise just to try saving it. That is the flaw in the system.

Ah, well that's where you're wrong. You see, when people decide their vote to be to buy because they want to save the franchise and not to hold back while saying "This sucks! Change it!", the system isn't the problem. That time, the problem is the person IF they are aware of the problem with that intent in mind. Obviously, those who are just average consumers who don't know can't be blamed. The point is that if you have been injured in an auto accident found yourself to be a dissatisfied customer, you should do quite a few things to point out this fact and why. But if the company seems to be ignoring you too, then you have to make it known that they willl not have YOUR greenbacks today. That's the trouble with communication. Sometimes, it fails. And when it does, money talks.

FalloutJack:

V da Mighty Taco:

FalloutJack:

Consumers tell companies what they want all the time. It's very obvious that they don't listen. You can't blame us for their idiocy. If the bottom line is all they see, then the bottom line has to be the line of communication. If you believe that this is crap, then it's because of the dumbass who squints to see only the bottom line while shouting "LA LA LA LA LA LA!!!" with his ears plugged up to ignore everything else.

In short, NOBODY CARES if the company fumbles around blindly and in the dark. When this is what actually gets through, it's better than they suffer and keep on suffering until they wake up. If you don't believe your wallet has any rightful say, you may as well give me your money now. I promise to spend it wisely.

I said it was flawed, not that it doesn't work at all. You're right in many regards, but the fact remains that companies quite often miss the point on why something isn't selling and thus continue to dig their own graves. When this happens in the gaming idustry, it becomes a situation of either letting the company and every franchise it owns die in a blaze of ignorance or save the franchise and encourage the company to continue their horrid practices. There ends up being no positive solution, only a choice between the lesser of two evils. With this in mind, people may feel obligated to buy the next installment of the franchise just to try saving it. That is the flaw in the system.

Ah, well that's where you're wrong. You see, when people decide their vote to be to buy because they want to save the franchise and not to hold back while saying "This sucks! Change it!", the system isn't the problem. That time, the problem is the person IF they are aware of the problem with that intent in mind. Obviously, those who are just average consumers who don't know can't be blamed. The point is that if you have been injured in an auto accident found yourself to be a dissatisfied customer, you should do quite a few things to point out this fact and why. But if the company seems to be ignoring you too, then you have to make it known that they willl not have YOUR greenbacks today. That's the trouble with communication. Sometimes, it fails. And when it does, money talks.

You keep forgetting one crucial point that I've been trying to make - that the companies too often misinterpret (intentionally or otherwise) what the money is saying. Instead of going "This didn't sell. Maybe turning an RTS game into a FPS wasn't what customers wanted from this series", they may very well end up going "This didn't sell. People obviously don't care about this entire franchise in general". In EA's case it's basically their motto to can a franchise that stops selling entirely and axe the developer once it stops selling well, rather than ask themselves what they did wrong and if their unpopular business practices or homogenization of the game drove the consumers away. In this scenario, simply voting with your wallet doesn't stop the series you care about from dying off or being handled incredibly poorly; leaving you with, again, a choice between the lesser of two evils. That's the crux of my argument here - that companies often ignore why sales are dropping until they're already down for the count, with them canning franchises / devs beforehand and then dragging said franchises to the grave with them.

V da Mighty Taco:

FalloutJack:

V da Mighty Taco:

I said it was flawed, not that it doesn't work at all. You're right in many regards, but the fact remains that companies quite often miss the point on why something isn't selling and thus continue to dig their own graves. When this happens in the gaming idustry, it becomes a situation of either letting the company and every franchise it owns die in a blaze of ignorance or save the franchise and encourage the company to continue their horrid practices. There ends up being no positive solution, only a choice between the lesser of two evils. With this in mind, people may feel obligated to buy the next installment of the franchise just to try saving it. That is the flaw in the system.

Ah, well that's where you're wrong. You see, when people decide their vote to be to buy because they want to save the franchise and not to hold back while saying "This sucks! Change it!", the system isn't the problem. That time, the problem is the person IF they are aware of the problem with that intent in mind. Obviously, those who are just average consumers who don't know can't be blamed. The point is that if you have been injured in an auto accident found yourself to be a dissatisfied customer, you should do quite a few things to point out this fact and why. But if the company seems to be ignoring you too, then you have to make it known that they willl not have YOUR greenbacks today. That's the trouble with communication. Sometimes, it fails. And when it does, money talks.

You keep forgetting one crucial point that I've been trying to make - that the companies too often misinterpret (intentionally or otherwise) what the money is saying. Instead of going "This didn't sell. Maybe turning an RTS game into a FPS wasn't what customers wanted from this series", they may very well end up going "This didn't sell. People obviously don't care about this entire franchise in general". In EA's case it's basically their motto to can a franchise that stops selling entirely and axe the developer once it stops selling well, rather than ask themselves what they did wrong and if their unpopular business practices or homogenization of the game drove the consumers away. In this scenario, simply voting with your wallet doesn't stop the series you care about from dying off or being handled incredibly poorly; leaving you with, again, a choice between the lesser of two evils. That's the crux of my argument here - that companies often ignore why sales are dropping until they're already down for the count, with them canning franchises / devs beforehand and then dragging said franchises to the grave with them.

No no no no no... The point YOU are missing is that people have tried and tried and tried and tried and tried and tried and tried and tried and TRIED to get the proper message out and THEY NEVER LISTEN. You think that people can't or won't try to get a point across in every method from subtle to very obvious. You don't seem to understand that WE DRAW THEM A MAP AND THEY DON'T GET THE PICTURE. You can stop trying to pin it on the gamers now, anytime! Because they will not HEAR the message, see the font, notice the flare, watch the skies, or any other sort of sign. They will pay attention to MONEY and only MONEY. Nothing but greenbacks, cashola, mucho dinero, cabbage, moolah, THINE CURRENCY. There is no argument here, because the evidence has spoken. If you believe that you can really, REALLY, get through to them in some other manner, BY GOD GO DO SO, but I do not believe it will have nearly as good the impact.

FalloutJack:

V da Mighty Taco:
Super Snip

No no no no no... The point YOU are missing is that people have tried and tried and tried and tried and tried and tried and tried and tried and TRIED to get the proper message out and THEY NEVER LISTEN. You think that people can't or won't try to get a point across in every method from subtle to very obvious. You don't seem to understand that WE DRAW THEM A MAP AND THEY DON'T GET THE PICTURE. You can stop trying to pin it on the gamers now, anytime! Because they will not HEAR the message, see the font, notice the flare, watch the skies, or any other sort of sign. They will pay attention to MONEY and only MONEY. Nothing but greenbacks, cashola, mucho dinero, cabbage, moolah, THINE CURRENCY. There is no argument here, because the evidence has spoken. If you believe that you can really, REALLY, get through to them in some other manner, BY GOD GO DO SO, but I do not believe it will have nearly as good the impact.

No offense, but have you listened to what I've been saying at all? What you just said is exactly my point - they often do not listen. That very thing is the fatal flaw with voting with your wallet. No matter how much you refuse to buy their products, some companies just will not get the point or even deliberately ignore exactly why they aren't making money. For these companies, they'll first axe franchises and devs because they aren't understanding or are blatantly ignoring the actual reasons why people aren't buying their product (even though people are being very clear about it) and think that customers just don't care for the franchise or that they aren't worth winning over. Afterwards, the decline in profits kills them off for good and every franchise / dev they own. This all stems from the fact that, as we both put it, they just do not listen. Just look at all the companies and franchises EA killed off when they stopped being profitable - instead of figuring out that people are tired of their bs, they blamed the dev or lack of interest in the franchise and axed the studio along with the franchise as a result. No matter how hard people tried to get the point across, EA just flat-out refuses to listen and continues doing exactly the same thing over and over again without any regards to what the loss of money is actually saying.

V da Mighty Taco:

FalloutJack:

V da Mighty Taco:
Super Snip

No no no no no... The point YOU are missing is that people have tried and tried and tried and tried and tried and tried and tried and tried and TRIED to get the proper message out and THEY NEVER LISTEN. You think that people can't or won't try to get a point across in every method from subtle to very obvious. You don't seem to understand that WE DRAW THEM A MAP AND THEY DON'T GET THE PICTURE. You can stop trying to pin it on the gamers now, anytime! Because they will not HEAR the message, see the font, notice the flare, watch the skies, or any other sort of sign. They will pay attention to MONEY and only MONEY. Nothing but greenbacks, cashola, mucho dinero, cabbage, moolah, THINE CURRENCY. There is no argument here, because the evidence has spoken. If you believe that you can really, REALLY, get through to them in some other manner, BY GOD GO DO SO, but I do not believe it will have nearly as good the impact.

No offense, but have you listened to what I've been saying at all? What you just said is exactly my point - they often do not listen. That very thing is the fatal flaw with voting with your wallet. No matter how much you refuse to buy their products, some companies just will not get the point or even deliberately ignore exactly why they aren't making money. For these companies, they'll first axe franchises and devs because they aren't understanding or are blatantly ignoring the actual reasons why people aren't buying their product (even though people are being very clear about it) and think that customers just don't care for the franchise or that they aren't worth winning over. Afterwards, the decline in profits kills them off for good and every franchise / dev they own. This all stems from the fact that, as we both put it, they just do not listen. Just look at all the companies and franchises EA killed off when they stopped being profitable - instead of figuring out that people are tired of their bs, they blamed the dev or lack of interest in the franchise and axed the studio along with the franchise as a result. No matter how hard people tried to get the point across, EA just flat-out refuses to listen and continues doing exactly the same thing over and over again without any regards to what the loss of money is actually saying.

No, you're still missing MY point. There is no viable alternative that works besides money. If they want to wet their pants, shovel sand over their heads, and suffer...then so be it. Companies too dumb to listen SHOULD DIE.

Now, you being someone who isn't very good at listening to me, I am not going to buy any games from you. Heh, get it? Ta-ta.

FalloutJack:

V da Mighty Taco:

FalloutJack:

No no no no no... The point YOU are missing is that people have tried and tried and tried and tried and tried and tried and tried and tried and TRIED to get the proper message out and THEY NEVER LISTEN. You think that people can't or won't try to get a point across in every method from subtle to very obvious. You don't seem to understand that WE DRAW THEM A MAP AND THEY DON'T GET THE PICTURE. You can stop trying to pin it on the gamers now, anytime! Because they will not HEAR the message, see the font, notice the flare, watch the skies, or any other sort of sign. They will pay attention to MONEY and only MONEY. Nothing but greenbacks, cashola, mucho dinero, cabbage, moolah, THINE CURRENCY. There is no argument here, because the evidence has spoken. If you believe that you can really, REALLY, get through to them in some other manner, BY GOD GO DO SO, but I do not believe it will have nearly as good the impact.

No offense, but have you listened to what I've been saying at all? What you just said is exactly my point - they often do not listen. That very thing is the fatal flaw with voting with your wallet. No matter how much you refuse to buy their products, some companies just will not get the point or even deliberately ignore exactly why they aren't making money. For these companies, they'll first axe franchises and devs because they aren't understanding or are blatantly ignoring the actual reasons why people aren't buying their product (even though people are being very clear about it) and think that customers just don't care for the franchise or that they aren't worth winning over. Afterwards, the decline in profits kills them off for good and every franchise / dev they own. This all stems from the fact that, as we both put it, they just do not listen. Just look at all the companies and franchises EA killed off when they stopped being profitable - instead of figuring out that people are tired of their bs, they blamed the dev or lack of interest in the franchise and axed the studio along with the franchise as a result. No matter how hard people tried to get the point across, EA just flat-out refuses to listen and continues doing exactly the same thing over and over again without any regards to what the loss of money is actually saying.

No, you're still missing MY point. There is no viable alternative that works besides money. If they want to wet their pants, shovel sand over their heads, and suffer...then so be it. Companies too dumb to listen SHOULD DIE.

Now, you being someone who isn't very good at listening to me, I am not going to buy any games from you. Heh, get it? Ta-ta.

I already said that. My point was that it's flawed due to company stupidity and that there is no positive way to deal with these companies outside of maybe getting laws passed against some of these anti-consumer practices, nothing more. I agree that there aren't many other options out there, but it doesn't mean that it always actually works. People do get left in a situation of supporting the franchise and the bullshit practices or contribute to the destruction of both, which is a lose-lose situation. Either you love their bs or you don't care for the franchise is sometimes all they see. I listened to you very well, especially since we've both been saying the same exact thing for quite a while now. Now answer me this - when voting with your wallet doesn't work, what then? What do people do when that's not enough to make them heard, especially when the companies are constantly pushing the boundaries of what anti-consumer policies that they can legally get away with?

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