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

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Don't buy it. There will be other games with no DRM. Don't support terrible business practices.

Wait until a the always online DRM is removed. If that doesn't happen, don't buy it. Save you a lot of grief and frustration. There's always Tropico 3 and SimCity 4, amongst other options, to slate your city building appetite.

AuronFtw:

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

Diablo 3 was hilariously, joke-quality bad. It's not pirated because it fucking sucks. If anyone wants to play a good Diablo game, they either play d2 or path of exile, because D3 was not "a good diablo game."

I'm sure Blizzard's DRM has a little impact on the numbers of people pirating, but the fact that the game was fuckawful contributes far more.

Did you play Diablo 3, or are you just saying this based on what people are saying around the internet?

D3 is not "hilariously, joke-quality bad", not by a large margin. It's a fun, solid game that has a bunch of problems in its game design with itemization and the AH, yes, but it's not "bad" by any stretch of the imagination. The game has sold 12 million copies since launch (which means it has not only sold well on launch itself but kept selling well), a feat few games have managed. Games that sell well tend to be highly-pirated.

No, D3 is not much pirated because it's really hard to pirate. By all accounts, D3's DRM is a huge success. Don't delude yourself that the game isn't pirated because you think everyone agrees with your opinion about D3.

chadachada123:

Besides, the only reason Diablo 3 is taking a long time to crack is because it needs to be 'cracked' like a standard MMO. Considering private servers exist for WoW and Runescape...It's only a matter of time before this DRM fails Diablo 3 as well.

Yes, but "fail" is not a good word for that. Ask any publisher and they will tell you that any DRM that holds up for 2 months or more is a big, rousing success. Every developer knows that any copy protection can eventually be circumvented, but what matters (for the publishers, at least) is that they don't have pirated copies in the first few months, when 80% or more of the game sales are done anyway.

I still don't think it's impossible for them to merge their server-side code into the client.
Yes, it would be a huge pain in the ass and require a lot of work.

Ed130:

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

Antari:
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.

You do both realise Maxis died years ago?

On The Sims boxart the Maxis Logo was much larger than EA's.

On the Expansions EA was larger.

Sims 2 has Maxis relegated to the back of the box and the launch screens. (At this point Maxis longtime studio in Walnut Creek was officially closed).

By the fourth Sims 2 expansion even the launch logo had been omitted.

Yes I know EA has had its hand in the dead body/hand puppet of Maxis for years. But now its on schedule for actual destruction.

evilneko:

Diablo 3 isn't always online because DRM. It's because Diablo 3 is an MMO.

So as long as they reclassify games as online or multiplayer experiences, it'll be okay.

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.

Technically speaking, you're right.

Diablo III still doesn't have a full, working crack, because half of the game isn't run from the player's computer. Seems to be something people often miss.

Granted, while I don't mind the always-online DRM for ostensibly multi-player focused titles such as Diablo III (yes, it was rather multi-player focused) and the new SimCity, I really don't want it working its way into single-player titles like The Witcher 2 or Dishonored. Like it did with, say... Assassin's Creed...

EDIT: Though technically, I don't actually support the use of such DRM. I got Diablo III for free out of Blizzard's World of Warcraft year-long subscription promotion, and I won't be buying SimCity. I don't generally buy multi-player centric games, which is why I don't want more of them becoming as such and thus using such extreme DRM.

Antari:
Yes I know EA has had its hand in the dead body/hand puppet of Maxis for years. But now its on schedule for actual destruction.

I don't really see it as a shame, rather someone putting down a zombified loved one.

Ed130:

Antari:
Yes I know EA has had its hand in the dead body/hand puppet of Maxis for years. But now its on schedule for actual destruction.

I don't really see it as a shame, rather someone putting down a zombified loved one.

True, but I would have much rather seen EA fall to a merciful gunshot to the head. Freeing up all the trapped and scared IP's to be bought up by companies with half a brain.

Antari:

Ed130:

Antari:
Yes I know EA has had its hand in the dead body/hand puppet of Maxis for years. But now its on schedule for actual destruction.

I don't really see it as a shame, rather someone putting down a zombified loved one.

True, but I would have much rather seen EA fall to a merciful gunshot to the head. Freeing up all the trapped and scared IP's to be bought up by companies with half a brain.

One can dream. Who knows? Perhaps EA will fall or at very least start living up to the values it set itself.


https://jobs.ea.com/about/our_values/

I wouldn't bet on it although.

Well, it is a lot better than it was a couple of days ago....
And in the mean time, while waiting for servers to start acting normal, you can go ahead and play diablo 3.....

NotSoNimble:
the Japan graphic novel where you try to score with cripples

What did you just say about Katawa Shoujo.
Okay I know that this is far from the point, however:

Katawa Shoujo is not Japanese
It is not about 'scoring cripples'
It is a free game
The developers released the torrent themselves.

So you can straw man piracy, you can defend EA, but when you denounce KS you have gone to far.
image

When they look into adding it I'll look into buying it, simple as that

Ed130:

Antari:

Ed130:

I don't really see it as a shame, rather someone putting down a zombified loved one.

True, but I would have much rather seen EA fall to a merciful gunshot to the head. Freeing up all the trapped and scared IP's to be bought up by companies with half a brain.

One can dream. Who knows? Perhaps EA will fall or at very least start living up to the values it set itself.


https://jobs.ea.com/about/our_values/

I wouldn't bet on it although.

My vote is for a fall as hard as the disappointment they have dished out over the years. EA can never take my dreams away. They have certainly tried, but I won't let them. As for change, they haven't changed much at all in around 15 years. I won't be holding my breath. I've seen them do this time and time again. The only concern they have now, is the next customer. Not the ones they let down.

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

You realize that Diablo 3 was cracked quite quickly don't you? Always online literally did nothing to stop pirates from playing it if they want. But even assuming your statement that it's not highly pirated was correct, which do you think had more to do with it: always online DRM or the fact that there was a huge community backlash against the game as many felt it just wasn't very good?

I don't know about you, but I can't imagine why pirates would care to play a game that wasn't very well received outside of the press.

As for being a commercial success, that has nothing to do with DRM and everything to do with it being a Diablo game made by Blizzard. Had you (or even better, Maxis) paid attention to it's launch you probably would have found that the always online DRM didn't work out of the gate and actually drove off customers.

And finally, I love that you think gamers should be thankful that Maxis is working to update and fix the game aggressively. Yeah, it's better than them throwing their arms up and saying "fuck it. We're done." But the idea that anyone who paid money for a game that doesn't even work at release and even days later is absurd. Take your corporate apologist attitude somewhere else 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

You mean Katawa Shoujo? The entirely free game that the developers actively put up as a torrent and deliberately made getting it from torrent sites the official way of acquiring the game, that Katawa Shoujo? Seeing as how it's literally impossible to pirate a game specifically meant to be freeware and is officially distributed through torrents, using it as an example of a game that's heavily pirated seriously damages the validity of your argument as a whole and makes you look extremely ignorant, even if you have some otherwise very valid points and examples. Do some research next time before you say something that you clearly don't know much about.

Now if you were talking about some other game that I haven't heard of that has an anime-style and involves having sex with "cripples" as you put it, then I'll take back what I just said. However, Katawa Shoujo became well known entirely for those reasons and is the only game I've ever heard of that fits your description - let alone out of the games released in the past five years - so I can only assume that is the you're talking about.

Captcha: "words of wisdom"

EDIT: I see that I've been ninja'd. Oh well, my point still stands.

I am surprised how many people didn't read the tweets, and just deciced to jump on the "always online drm" bandwagon. Heck, I am surprised that people have not been very well educated on the design philosophy of this game from its very inception.

Here's the fact of the matter. SimCity, from the very beginning, was designed to be an online multiplayer game. They indicated this when they first revealed the game, and again when they tweeted responses to questions yesterday. They have most of the simulations occuring on the server instead of the local client likely because local clients could not handle processing each little individual detail of each and every Sim in the city, and all activity happening simultaniously across a region, a change from the data driven approach taken in SimCity 4.

To say this game should be offline is like saying that Dota 2 and World of Warcraft, similarly, should have full offline modes. Anything else from Blizzard and Valve is DRM in its most heinous form.

That isn't to say that they shouldn't have had their s*** together and had their servers in full working order at launch to handle the load. THAT is inexcuseable.

Nocturnus:
snip

But it has a singleplayer mode. If it's supposed to be multiplayer then they shouldn't have put in a singleplayer mode in the first place.

Genocidicles:

Nocturnus:
snip

But it has a singleplayer mode. If it's supposed to be multiplayer then they shouldn't have put in a singleplayer mode in the first place.

You are ignoring the most important part of my post. One can play solo in Dota (with bots) or in WoW no problem as well. However, all the moving pieces behind those games are done by the server. SimCity is no different due to the change in model from data driven (lots of statistics) to full blown individual and grand scale simulation: each individual Sim rendered and managed as a piece of the working puzzle, and the entire region being run simultaniously with all those pieces interacting.

Managing that on the local client would turn even my really nice gaming rig into a steaming pile of rubble. Making the game manageable offline would require them changing the entire basis of the game from full simulation to data driven, and they aren't going to do that.

Nocturnus:

Genocidicles:

Nocturnus:
snip

But it has a singleplayer mode. If it's supposed to be multiplayer then they shouldn't have put in a singleplayer mode in the first place.

You are ignoring the most important part of my post. One can play solo in Dota (with bots) or in WoW no problem as well. However, all the moving pieces behind those games are done by the server. SimCity is no different due to the change in model from data driven (lots of statistics) to full blown individual and grand scale simulation: each individual Sim rendered and managed as a piece of the working puzzle, and the entire region being run simultaniously with all those pieces interacting.

Managing that on the local client would turn even my really nice gaming rig into a steaming pile of rubble. Making the game manageable offline would require them changing the entire basis of the game from full simulation to data driven, and they aren't going to do that.

If that were the case, it wouldn't work when the server cuts out (it continues for about 10 minutes). From another post on one of the other sim city threads:

The owners PC does all the simulation (hence high CPU usage): the game itself is not "cloud" at all. The parts that time out are the online copy-protection checksum code framework and savegame sync code (both factored into Origin), and the calls to the SimCity Social servers to update your region statistics and get the neighbouring region stats and transfers (that's the "cloud" part, although that could be emulated or removed altogether). These only time out once every 10 minutes or so. All of that could be disable, and leave a perfectly playable single-player game

Nocturnus:

Genocidicles:

Nocturnus:
snip

But it has a singleplayer mode. If it's supposed to be multiplayer then they shouldn't have put in a singleplayer mode in the first place.

You are ignoring the most important part of my post. One can play solo in Dota (with bots) or in WoW no problem as well. However, all the moving pieces behind those games are done by the server. SimCity is no different due to the change in model from data driven (lots of statistics) to full blown individual and grand scale simulation: each individual Sim rendered and managed as a piece of the working puzzle, and the entire region being run simultaniously with all those pieces interacting.

Managing that on the local client would turn even my really nice gaming rig into a steaming pile of rubble. Making the game manageable offline would require them changing the entire basis of the game from full simulation to data driven, and they aren't going to do that.

The thing is, so much of the game is run client side. The only thing done on the server is city to city transfer. The server load of saying "200 sims visited this city to go shopping" is essentially variable addition. Yes, there's more to it, but it's not that much work they're doing server side.

All the logic within the city is run on your own client.
How do I know this?

Well, if your internet goes down or you lose connection to the servers (through fault of EA) your city continues to run and you can play it a bit before you get kicked. When you go back online it re-synchs with the EA servers. The only thing that you DON'T get when you disconnect is the city to city interaction.

In short, the servers aren't doing the simulation for each sim running around, and cars driving, etc. Your computer is.

You know, I honestly can't believe that it's all "on Maxis", especially considering that EA has been desperately pushing for online experiences and microtransactions.

V8 Ninja:
You know, I honestly can't believe that it's all "on Maxis", especially considering that EA has been desperately pushing for online experiences and microtransactions.

Maxis, of all the EA owner devs, has a fairly terrible track record of this. Sims 3 pretty much pioneered the microtansaction as a money earner (for 50 Sim pints you can have a new hat!), Sims 2 (though it was present in Sims 1 too, though perhaps more honestly) the idea of selling a shite game and forcing you to buy expansion packs to make it worth while, and then were the issues with Spore.

Some of it is, of course, EA - the customer service being staffed entirely by what appear to be oppossums , no refund policy, and the servers. The decision not to have a offline mode was Maxis, however.

I'll have to adjust my prediction on when Maxis will get shut down. 1-2 months at best. Taking the blame isn't really a great idea, it just means that Maxis are on record for saying it is their fault and giving EA some justification (not that they would care if they didn't) for closing the studio. It doesn't make people feel better about this, it doesn't make them see the devs or EA in a better light and I seriously doubt it will make people trust either in the future.

I wonder how much EA's value has dropped in the last week?

Desert Punk:
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

LOL that's classic.

Oh boy...regarding to piracy I think pirates can be divided into 2 groups:
- the people who pirate a well-known, well-made game to "try it out" and then eventually buy it.
- the people who pirate a game just because they can with no intention of buying it.

That's the whole point. The more popular the game is, the more pirated it is.

Diablo 3 wasn't pirated simply because it wasn't possible. People who wanted to buy it got it. The others didn't.

Ironically, by unabling people to pirate their game Blizzard left out the first pirate group who might have boosted the sales.

In the end DRM like this is a hassle ONLY to paying customers. Pirates who never intended to buy the game will either crack it and pirate the game anyway or just pass the game entirely. The statistics will look nice, but it won't change a thing.

To illustrate what I mean, let's imagine game X:

No DRM:
-1mil people bought it.
-2mil pirated it.

Always on-line DRM:
-1mil people bought it.
-0 pirated it.

lemby117:
snip]

No, you should have used this one:

On topic:

I don't know who to trust in this relationship, seriously. On one hand, I could say Maxis are relatively human and admitting it's their fault, on the other hand, given history, I'd believe EA was holding a gun to their head when they typed it.

Good to know EA, taking my money elsewhere.

Would EA/Maxis have had this much trouble if they just named it "SimCity Online" or "SimCity MMO" or something? Something to indicate the online multiplayer aspect?

The problem here is when I think of Sim City, I remember the classic games where I built a city, on my own, and could mess around with them afterwards however I wished. That was half the beauty of Sim City: create something wonderful, save it, then see all the different ways I could destroy it. I can guarantee that at least 70% of players enjoyed triggering a natural disaster or plopping a giant monster over their city.
What I don't associate with Sim City is having a town influenced by other people (unless they're in the same room as me, watching me play). I don't associate Sim City with multiplayer or social gaming. I admit, some of the online features they've added to the game do sound pretty cool, provided I could hook up my city up with friends and not total strangers who were likely to troll me.

So I give Maxis props for coming up with the multiplayer aspect, but at the same time all of the blame for not keeping to it's single-player roots. At the same time, as EA is providing the servers for the game, it's their fault the one feature the game needs to work in this fashion doesn't work. Both parties should have known what they were getting in to long before this mess happened.

Sooooo, I'm the only one that had a problem with how Lucy Bradshaw ended her tweet huh?

"...earning back your trust efforts."

Trust efforts? It almost sounds like a french dish. It's gotta be tough being a punching bag for tens of thousands of angry customers.

Well somebody was told by their king to fall on their sword so to speak.

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.

Indeed, owning up to this is definitely the right call here - regardless of whether it's strictly true. The surest way to lose all respect and appreciation from your customers is to start pointing fingers.

Maxis Exec: "Alright, fine, release an offline version, the fans demand it."
random code-monkey points at his explosive collar.

"Oh right."

Desert Punk:

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

Peter Ricitello appears to be playing it now. I also noticed that his sim looks more human than he does.

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