SimCity Offline-Mode Patch Won't Be Arriving "Any Time Soon"

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SimCity Offline-Mode Patch Won't Be Arriving "Any Time Soon"

Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw admits there's no offline mode patch planned, but says the team will "look into" it to earn back gamer trust.

The coverage of SimCity's launch failures is nothing short of discouraging: EA and Maxis have struggled to control the situation, from deactivating game features to improve stability to suspending SimCity marketing. Both companies are attempting to manage the fallout by offering a free PC download in return for the troubles experienced by players. But is there any indication that gamers will be able to run SimCity without needing to connect to EA's servers? According to Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw, it looks like this won't be happening in the foreseeable future.

In a Twitter Q&A session, someone posted a query asking whether an "offline mode" patch will be made available in the event that SimCity's servers are deactivated in the future. Bradshaw responded by saying there are currently no plans to do so:

When a user called out that EA's "bad business practices" have negatively impacted the game, Maxis responded by saying that the problem was its fault alone:

Bradshaw followed up the session with a blog update, saying that Maxis has made "huge progress" by improving server response times, reducing server down times, and doubling the number of concurrent players in the game.

She also indicated in the post that further updates are going to be carried out on the original servers to match the performance of new servers that are being rolled out, which means that players should expect some additional downtime while these changes are being made.

Source: Twitter, SimCity blog

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Well, when that offline patch gets around to getting made, then they can have my money, not a moment sooner though.

Since Diablo 3 was such a giant commercial success, and has had such a positive impact versus PC internet piracy, it's no surprise that EA has adopted the always online DRM.

EA Maxis is working/updating/changing things, in such an aggressive way, that PC gamers should be thankful.

The numbers have spoken, and this much care (after launch problems) is truly a step towards the right and only direction.

EDIT: Before you troll me: Look at the companies that are currently being pirated the most... Square Enix, Bethesda, Mojang, Ubisoft, hell, even Valve games are more pirated than Blizzards Diablo 3... lol

I like how they will say they 'will look into int to regain gamers trust'

they could look into it and then decide not to.

this is what happens when you make a game series that has been primarily single player, force it to be multiplayer with no offline mode, and expect everyone to be happy when your servers bite it when the demand was too high.

NotSoNimble:
EDIT: Before you troll me: Look at the companies that are currently being pirated the most... Square Enix, Bethesda, hell, even Valve games are more pirated than Diablo 3... lol

#1 pirated game: Crysis 2 (EA)
#2 pirated game: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Activision)
#3 pirated game: Battlefield 3 (EA/Sega)
#4 pirated game: FIFA 12 (EA)
#5 pirated game: Portal 2 (Valve Corporation)

Would you like to rephrase your statement?

I suppose you could look at Diablo 3 specifically, but that's a niche game that only a tiny portion of gamers would even enjoy. I haven't even once been motivated to look at Diablo 3, and none of that has anything to do with it having online DRM.

Edit: The above list are PC piracy stats from 2011. Similar results are found on other platforms and other years.

Then I hope they won't mind if I have no plans to give them my money anytime in the foreseeable future.

Sidney Buit:

NotSoNimble:
EDIT: Before you troll me: Look at the companies that are currently being pirated the most... Square Enix, Bethesda, hell, even Valve games are more pirated than Diablo 3... lol

#1 pirated game: Crysis 2 (EA)
#2 pirated game: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Activision)
#3 pirated game: Battlefield 3 (EA/Sega)
#4 pirated game: FIFA 12 (EA)
#5 pirated game: Portal 2 (Valve Corporation)

Would you like to rephrase your statement?

I suppose you could look at Diablo 3 specifically, but that's a niche game that only a tiny portion of gamers would even enjoy. I haven't even once been motivated to look at Diablo 3, and none of that has anything to do with it having online DRM.

Edit: The above list are PC piracy stats from 2011. Similar results are found on other platforms and other years.

Diablo 3 doesn't have the always online DRM? The games you listed do?

Eh?

EDIT: Tomb Raider, Crysis 3, Farcry 3, and Skyrim are at (mostly) the top today lad. They don't have the DRM. Or am I wrong about that? I admit, I could be. I only hear about Diablo 3 and Sim City being the devil.

There are more sure, but even Minecraft is currently being pirated more then Diablo 3.... so is Assassins Creed Revelations.... REVELATIONS for damned sake!

Boarderlands 2, the Japan graphic novel where you try to score with cripples, a lot of games that were released well before Diablo 3. Left 4 Dead 2... Amnesia the Dark Descent, Batman Arkham city, COD MW2, CIV V, Total War Shogun 2, Mafia 2, ect ect

But NOOOOOOOO

It's always online DRM that makes people pirate.... lol

People don't pirate games made from good devs right?

Tell that to the thousands of people right now pirating The Witcher 2!

*giggles

You can almost hear the gun pointed at maxis's head being cocked by EA. So yeah sure EA has no driving interests behind making all their games more and more Multiplayer reliant, next you'll say that EA actually thinks DRM is a terrible idea and is begging Maxis to take it out.

Scorpid:
You can almost hear the gun pointed at maxis's head being cocked by EA. So yeah sure EA has no driving interests behind making all their games more and more Multiplayer reliant, next you'll say that EA actually thinks DRM is a terrible idea and is begging Maxis to take it out.

Maxis isn't even referring to it as DRM, but as a gameplay decision (albeit a bad one), which would make the DRM a side-effect.

Not that I necessarily believe them. Maxis doesn't exactly have a history of hideously stupid decisions outside of those that are clearly EA-influenced. But a small part of me is almost willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and believe that it really was Maxis being stupid. Almost willing, but not quite.

P.S. Thanks

NotSoNimble:

Sidney Buit:

NotSoNimble:
EDIT: Before you troll me: Look at the companies that are currently being pirated the most... Square Enix, Bethesda, hell, even Valve games are more pirated than Diablo 3... lol

#1 pirated game: Crysis 2 (EA)
#2 pirated game: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Activision)
#3 pirated game: Battlefield 3 (EA/Sega)
#4 pirated game: FIFA 12 (EA)
#5 pirated game: Portal 2 (Valve Corporation)

Would you like to rephrase your statement?

I suppose you could look at Diablo 3 specifically, but that's a niche game that only a tiny portion of gamers would even enjoy. I haven't even once been motivated to look at Diablo 3, and none of that has anything to do with it having online DRM.

Edit: The above list are PC piracy stats from 2011. Similar results are found on other platforms and other years.

Diablo 3 doesn't have the always online DRM? The games you listed do?

Eh?

EDIT: Tomb Raider, Crysis 3, Farcry 3, and Skyrim are at (mostly) the top today lad. They don't have the DRM. Or am I wrong about that? I admit, I could be. I only hear about Diablo 3 and Sim City being the devil.

There are more sure, but even Minecraft is currently being pirated more then Diablo 3.... so is Assassins Creed Revelations.... REVELATIONS for damned sake!

Boarderlands 2, the Japan graphic novel where you try to score with cripples, a lot of games that were released well before Diablo 3. Left 4 Dead 2... Amnesia the Dark Descent, Batman Arkham city, COD MW2, CIV V, Total War Shogun 2, Mafia 2, ect ect

But NOOOOOOOO

It's always online DRM that makes people pirate.... lol

People don't pirate games made from good devs right?

Tell that to the thousands of people right now pirating The Witcher 2!

*giggles

Number of D3 purchases at the game's Debut: around 3.5 million

Number of Battlefield 3 purchases at it's Debut: 10 million. Gee, the game more people have heard of/care about, with more brand recognition is pirated more often? YAH DUN SAY!

Really all you've said is a whole lot of nothing. More people know what Battlefield and other such Triple A releases are so naturally they are pirated more often than a Niche title like D3.

Edit: Also, it's worth mentioning that partly due to the On-line DLC controversy, the D3 player base may have dwindled pretty significantly. Now it's difficult to guess just how much of an impact that the always online bit had to do with this is difficult or if it's even true, this is something that's actually pretty hard to find info on, but the fact that you haven't acknowledged or even seemingly considered this is a sure sign of confirmation bias.

The heavy online factor was their idea? Yeesh, that's actually worse. Obviously one can see EA's perspective - they want people to make Origin part of their gaming lives, they want to reduce piracy, and they want to be evil be able to upsell users with future DLC (which is facilitated by having SimCity users online w/ Origin). As a publicly traded company, these are all reasonable, if potentially naive, goals.

For Maxis, they're a wholly owned studio. They should be focusing on making a great game. A game that is literally unplayable is, of course, an awful one.

Also the D3 player base dwindled because the game just wasn't very fun. It was cool for Normal and Nightmare, but by Hell it was... eh. Torchlight 2 was pretty much the same game with fewer warts, and for me Borderlands 2 was just leagues better.

"We'll look into it" is the perfect non-answer answer.

Devoneaux:

Number of D3 purchases at the game's Debut: around 3.5 million

Number of Battlefield 3 purchases at it's Debut: 10 million. Gee, the game more people have heard of/care about, with more brand recognition is pirated more often? YAH DUN SAY!

Really all you've said is a whole lot of nothing. More people know what Battlefield and other such Triple A releases are so naturally they are pirated more often than a Niche title like D3.

Edit: Also, it's worth mentioning that partly due to the On-line DLC controversy, the D3 player base may have dwindled pretty significantly. Now it's difficult to guess just how much of an impact that the always online bit had to do with this is difficult or if it's even true, this is something that's actually pretty hard to find info on, but the fact that you haven't acknowledged or even seemingly considered this is a sure sign of confirmation bias.

How about the fact that Diablo 3 just plain sucked?

We've got the Free2Play game, Path of Exile, basically remaking Diablo 2 and improving upon that formula, and from my chair it seems like people who either disregarded Diablo 3 or stopped playing it rather quickly, are flocking to PoE, simply because it gives them what D3 failed to.

Edit:

Also, the Torchlight series, that's probably yanking some people off the Diablo bandwagon too.

The same cannot be said of games like Battlefield, which have no real competition on the market.

It's funny that they just can't say no.

I respect Lucy Bradshaw and Maxis for owning up and taking the blame instead of taking the easy way out and shifting the blame onto EA. It would be nice to see if they did put in an offline patch.

I may look at simcity with other eyes if the always online is lifted. And of course, if the game doesn't lose half of it's features in offline mode.

This would be the smartest thing to do actually. Both for simcity, and all other EA games to come. No always online.

NotSoNimble:
Since Diablo 3 was such a giant commercial success, and has had such a positive impact versus PC internet piracy, it's no surprise that EA has adopted the always online DRM.

EA Maxis is working/updating/changing things, in such an aggressive way, that PC gamers should be thankful.

The numbers have spoken, and this much care (after launch problems) is truly a step towards the right and only direction.

EDIT: Before you troll me: Look at the companies that are currently being pirated the most... Square Enix, Bethesda, Mojang, Ubisoft, hell, even Valve games are more pirated than Blizzards Diablo 3... lol

Why should I be grateful? They create a product, and I give them money. It's a mutually beneficial arrangement...

Except for when publishers/developers implement draconian DRM schemes like SimCity is... then they get no money from me. I'm doing just fine without Diablo III and suspect that I will have no problems getting through the day without playing Sim City. If Maxis/EA wants to change that, they can throw in an offline mode patch to earn my money. But even then, I won't be "grateful." I'll just be a customer.

If they want me to be grateful, they can stop treating me like a criminal in the first place.

EA has openly stated that single-player games are dead, and that they would be focusing more heavily on multiplayer. They want more social activity and interconnection between players. Seems like a perfect segue into implementing always online DRM.

Therefore, I'm calling bullshit. There's plenty of blame to go around Maxis. Trying to take this debacle solely upon yourself seems more like an attempt to draw attention away from EA, in order to protect their next game's sales. Maxis. You are EA.

So yeah. Gun to the head.

NotSoNimble:
Diablo 3 doesn't have the always online DRM? The games you listed do?

Eh?

Eh?
Where you get this from? Sense made: 0

EDIT: Tomb Raider, Crysis 3, Farcry 3, and Skyrim are at (mostly) the top today lad. They don't have the DRM. Or am I wrong about that? I admit, I could be. I only hear about Diablo 3 and Sim City being the devil.

Crysis 3 has Origin, Farcry 3 has U-play, Skyrim and Tomb Raider have Steam. Not as intrusive as Always Online DRM, but for examples of that look at the earlier Assassins Creed games.

There are more sure, but even Minecraft is currently being pirated more then Diablo 3.... so is Assassins Creed Revelations.... REVELATIONS for damned sake!

Lets see...
FPS, FPS, FPS, Heavily Marketed RPG and Hilariously popular Indie game that the owner encourages pirating if you don't have the money at that time, vs third instalment in a series that was dead for 10 years, and which far fewer people were interested in. Its like saying "Look, Duke Nukem Forever was pirated less than these games! Therefore Always Online DRM is pointless 'cause people didn't pirate it"
Yeah, less people pirated it, the reason for that isn't necessarily the DRM - its that people don't like it.
Granted always online DRM does slow piracy rate temporarily, however it also kills your sales as there are a LOT of consumers against the practice, largely because they don't have a good enough internet connection to be able to play the game, and others because they have Internet caps they have to stay under, or want to be able to play whilst travelling, or they are against the practice purely on principle. It helps, but it also hurts. A lot of people stay away from otherwise great games because of Always Online DRM, and don't miss out on anything as odds are they wouldn't have been able to play it anyway - or it would have been a broken mess if they had - as shown by this incident, and pretty much every other always online game launch ever.

Boarderlands 2, the Japan graphic novel where you try to score with cripples, a lot of games that were released well before Diablo 3. Left 4 Dead 2... Amnesia the Dark Descent, Batman Arkham city, COD MW2, CIV V, Total War Shogun 2, Mafia 2, ect ect

But NOOOOOOOO

It's always online DRM that makes people pirate.... lol

Strawmanning.
Otherwise;
image

DRM DOES make people pirate. You will find numerous people that will admit to pirating games simply because the shitty DRM meant they couldn't play the game otherwise.
DRM is not the ONLY thing that causes people to pirate, however, and nobody ever said otherwise. There are people who will pirate 'cause they can. There are those that'll do it to save money. There are the try before you buy sort. Multiple reasons for pirating, not just DRM, and hence games other than DRM ridden ones are pirated too.

People don't pirate games made from good devs right?

Tell that to the thousands of people right now pirating The Witcher 2!

Again, strawmanning, or completely missing the point.
Nobody has ever said that nobody pirates from good devs, merely that good devs are likely to receive less piracy than bad devs were they to release the exact same game. Were Ubisoft to have released TW2 with always on DRM, it would be pirated far more than it has been. That is the hypothesis made by people, not "If Ubisoft released the game people would pirate it and if CD Projekt Red released it they wouldn't". SOME wouldn't, some still would.

Honestly, is simple logic that hard these days?

While I'd like to believe them, it wouldn't be the first time a studio has taken the fall for EA's decision making, so I'll reserve my judgement for the outcome.

CCountZero:

Devoneaux:

Number of D3 purchases at the game's Debut: around 3.5 million

Number of Battlefield 3 purchases at it's Debut: 10 million. Gee, the game more people have heard of/care about, with more brand recognition is pirated more often? YAH DUN SAY!

Really all you've said is a whole lot of nothing. More people know what Battlefield and other such Triple A releases are so naturally they are pirated more often than a Niche title like D3.

Edit: Also, it's worth mentioning that partly due to the On-line DLC controversy, the D3 player base may have dwindled pretty significantly. Now it's difficult to guess just how much of an impact that the always online bit had to do with this is difficult or if it's even true, this is something that's actually pretty hard to find info on, but the fact that you haven't acknowledged or even seemingly considered this is a sure sign of confirmation bias.

How about the fact that Diablo 3 just plain sucked?

We've got the Free2Play game, Path of Exile, basically remaking Diablo 2 and improving upon that formula, and from my chair it seems like people who either disregarded Diablo 3 or stopped playing it rather quickly, are flocking to PoE, simply because it gives them what D3 failed to.

Edit:

Also, the Torchlight series, that's probably yanking some people off the Diablo bandwagon too.

The same cannot be said of games like Battlefield, which have no real competition on the market.

What's interesting is that PoE doesn't have an offline mode either, yet nobody really complains about that. However we can extrapolate that many people have left D3 for other games (Probably PoE/Torchlight 2) on that merit alone.

Point being, comparing a (relatively speaking) low profile niche title like D3, to a high profile shooter aimed at a general audience in terms of pirating is simply rediculous.

I don't think an offline patch will fix this game anymore, people are starting to see the cracks in the design already :\

Devoneaux:
What's interesting is that PoE doesn't have an offline mode either, yet nobody really complains about that.

People are willing to let you do a lot of things in a free-to-play game that you can't get away with in a $60 game.

Since when did Diablo 3 become a low profile niche title. it has sold 12 million copies.

"We're being sold this lie that SimCity is 100% dependent on "online" for play, which is crap. After logging in (authenticating that you own the game), selecting a regional server and game to play (so it knows which "city" data to send you) and entering your city, you can disconnect your computer from the internet and play perfectly for 10 minutes.

At the 10 minute mark the game gives you an error about being offline, and closes. This is enforced in the game's code as, literally, an "always on DRM". Ironically, or coincidentally, your city with all changes that you made in this time will be synced to their servers the next time you are online (so it's basically saved offline anyway), and can then be resumed."

This is an extremely curious testimonial from a thread on Reddit. If it turns out to be true, then Maxis is going to have a lot to answer for. And them jumping in front of the bus for EA is stupid of them - they'll just get shafted alongside EA, not instead of. This has been a bizarre and depressing turn of events.

I find it somewhat amusing how many companies owned by EA have practices consumers despise, and all claim that it's their idea and not EA's.

I am sure it's a coincidence.

NotSoNimble:

There are more sure, but even Minecraft is currently being pirated more then Diablo 3.... so is Assassins Creed Revelations.... REVELATIONS for damned sake!

That's because, to an extent, Diablo 3's online DRM WORKS. It's very hard to get the damn thing to run and I've yet to see any torrents for private server emulators. So the reason most people don't pirate Diablo 3 is because they can't.

(and before some mod gets the wrong idea, I own D3 since day one)

So yes, this is sadly the way things are going atm. Heavy online DRM stops piracy in the same way most MMOs do. Not to say there won't be any emulators up, but the ones that will be will have major problems for a long time unless the server files are leaked somehow. This is why it wasn't such a strange move that EA started adopting it.

NotSoNimble:

Sidney Buit:

NotSoNimble:
EDIT: Before you troll me: Look at the companies that are currently being pirated the most... Square Enix, Bethesda, hell, even Valve games are more pirated than Diablo 3... lol

#1 pirated game: Crysis 2 (EA)
#2 pirated game: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Activision)
#3 pirated game: Battlefield 3 (EA/Sega)
#4 pirated game: FIFA 12 (EA)
#5 pirated game: Portal 2 (Valve Corporation)

Would you like to rephrase your statement?

I suppose you could look at Diablo 3 specifically, but that's a niche game that only a tiny portion of gamers would even enjoy. I haven't even once been motivated to look at Diablo 3, and none of that has anything to do with it having online DRM.

Edit: The above list are PC piracy stats from 2011. Similar results are found on other platforms and other years.

Diablo 3 doesn't have the always online DRM? The games you listed do?

Eh?

EDIT: Tomb Raider, Crysis 3, Farcry 3, and Skyrim are at (mostly) the top today lad. They don't have the DRM. Or am I wrong about that? I admit, I could be. I only hear about Diablo 3 and Sim City being the devil.

There are more sure, but even Minecraft is currently being pirated more then Diablo 3.... so is Assassins Creed Revelations.... REVELATIONS for damned sake!

Boarderlands 2, the Japan graphic novel where you try to score with cripples, a lot of games that were released well before Diablo 3. Left 4 Dead 2... Amnesia the Dark Descent, Batman Arkham city, COD MW2, CIV V, Total War Shogun 2, Mafia 2, ect ect

But NOOOOOOOO

It's always online DRM that makes people pirate.... lol

People don't pirate games made from good devs right?

Tell that to the thousands of people right now pirating The Witcher 2!

*giggles

Always online DRM clearly reduces piracy - at the expense of harassing paying customers. Those companies are making you pay for their problem.

More important, it is not clear if piracy even reduces revenue for the companies, because most pirates would not buy the game anyway. The extra cost with servers and maintenance (and free games and law suits and returns) might not be worth it.

On top of that, companies are losing their good will. Diablo 3 only sold its millions copies because of the name alone. I, for one, am not willing to ever pre order a game from Blizzard again, and gave buying the next Starcraft.

Atrocious DRM can hurt your business a lot and, most importantly, hurts the consumer - the game is not yours anymore and this is simply terrible.

Bat Vader:
I respect Lucy Bradshaw and Maxis for owning up and taking the blame instead of taking the easy way out and shifting the blame onto EA. It would be nice to see if they did put in an offline patch.

If you want a really good laugh

http://www.ea.com/executives

Not a single one of their own executives are even playing that shitty game they released :3

And I wouldnt be so quick to praise her
http://www.lead411.com/Lucy_Bradshaw_7812370.html

She is a Vice President In Charge of Production for EA, shifting the blame onto Maxis

"Trust efforts"? What the hell does that mean? I hate corporate-speak...

It's all fluff anyway because, as the second tweet said, it's not possible so the offer to look into it is as hollow as the inside as Anne Coulter's head!

I really do feel sorry for those that paid for and want to enjoy the game - this sucks!

Poor EA. Even when Maxis officially states its their fault, a large chunk of the gaming community insists its still EA's doing.

And so begins the process. Maxis has now been hung out to dry. Taking the fall. EA will drop the hammer on them soon. It was a long slow death Maxis. A damn shame really.

When will EA and its susidiaries learn that trust is earned, not bought. You can give away free games all you want, the problem is you have spent a long time losing the trust of your customers because you never listened to us before. It's going to take more than a free game to win those people back.

Try learning from your mistakes and proving that you can deliver reliable, working products in the future and I may consider to stop boycotting your products.

If you're only holding on to your money until an offline mode for Simcity arrives- you're not doing enough. You should still hold on to your money until they promise offline modes for ALL of their future games.

NotSoNimble:

the Japan graphic novel where you try to score with cripples

Classy... real classy...

OT: An offline patch would help, but that's just one of many problems the game has.

I'm sorry, that's the wrong fucking answer.

No, really. This should be seen as the last straw, final, definitive proof that always on drm does not work in a satisfactory way, and never has worked. There should be no fucking question behind this. EA, maxis, whoever the fuck's fault it is, you fucked up, there is no way this can not be seen as a fuck up, you better fix it.

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