Maxis Developer Denies Need For Single-Player SimCity Servers

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I can't wait until the offline patch shows up. If this is true then it won't be long till we get one.

The sad thing is, they could have avoided all the controversy and launch day failure if they only allowed the people who PAYED FOR THE GAME to actually play it offline.

DVS BSTrD:
When are people going to decide enough is enough?
Oh right, never. Because every idiot is entitled to their opinion and standards

I dunno.

This particular idiot could get the game for 10 bucks but I've chosen not to. I think that says something about the sheer devaluing nature of their decisions.

Had it had offline single player I'd have pre-ordered their most expensive edition :x...

theultimateend:

DVS BSTrD:
When are people going to decide enough is enough?
Oh right, never. Because every idiot is entitled to their opinion and standards

I dunno.

This particular idiot could get the game for 10 bucks but I've chosen not to. I think that says something about the sheer devaluing nature of their decisions.

Had it had offline single player I'd have pre-ordered their most expensive edition :x...

Had it been offline single player in would have been worth their most expensive edition. But you really shouldn't pre-order, especially from EA.

Ahahaha! HAHAAA! Oh this just keeps getting better each day. Tomorrow we will find out that the SimCity servers are powered by burning bunnies.

I hope people do not pirate it, it does not discourage EA. In fact it does the opposite, instead of wringing their hands asking "how have we failed, what did we do wrong?" the suits at EA will think "look see there is demand for our game after all, now all we need to do is find a way to make sure people pay for the game instead of pirating it!"

Piracy shows demand for the products, publishers then get desperate to make people pay instead of fixing the shit that caused the piracy.

In other words... EA doesn't want my money. I'd gladly buy it without the DRM or the NEED to play with other people. I am disappointed people are okay with being slapped around and still defending EA.

Seriously EA just release a evil villian song and dance number, we might start enjoying this.

I knew it, not that it really matters. Even if the servers did handle calculations it would not be hard to implement most of the same code into the client.

As for lies? Maybe it's more likely the Manager thinks it would cost a lot.

Andy Chalk:
but I have a hard time imagining a major game publisher - yes, even Electronic Arts - flat-out lying about this sort of thing.

Maybe they've been drinking so much of their own kool-aid that they really believe that their DRM is so important that it cannot be removed. Because when they aren't just deceiving others, but deceiving themselves, is it even a lie any more as they are as much the victim as the one lied to.

But either way, add it to the pile of evidence in the upcoming kangaroo court of Internet Justice where it doesn't seem to be a case of "guilty or not guilty" but are they malicious or "diminished capacity by means of stupidity".

"What? EA lying to us, grasping at any reason they can to try and keep any scrap of control over the customer? I can't believe it!" said no one, ever.

They moment they cut out the crap and let me play my single player experience the way I want it, saving games locally, I'm really all too willing to throw some cash at them, despite EA.

DVS BSTrD:
Had it been offline single player in would have been [b]worth,/b> their most expensive edition. But you really shouldn't pre-order, especially from EA.

Yeah I stopped preordering games a few months ago. I just wait for them to go down now. I don't respect developers that don't respect me :p.

Saves me on cash too.

And reiterating pointlessly again:

Charli denies need for Sim City constantly online or desire to give EA/Maxi's money.

I'm reminded of Hanlon's Razor- Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity, but I have a hard time believing it with EA's track record. Maybe Bradshaw is simply misinformed and I've noticed a lot of her quotes that I've read sound kind of strange but I can't quite put my finger on it.

It sounds like to me that they are trying to save face. They caused this fiasco with always on DRM and now they're trying to justify that the DRM had a point other than to just authenticate and send some other trivial data. Plus, added to that they don't want their game pirated so they feel they need it.

Stormtyrant:

Andy Chalk:
"It wouldn't be possible to make the game offline without a significant amount of engineering work by our team."

Sounds a lot like designing a game feature. Shocking.

bear in mind this is coming from the pretty much same people that said that implementing coop in Dead Space 3 was "hard work", while borderlands 2 laughed at them from the corner

Is there a competitive nature to simcity that necessitates cheat checking? All I ever wanted to do in that series was quickly make a city and spam disasters(I really sucked at the actual game) so I would cheat for the cash to build. The premade maps didn't feel as satisfying since I didn't make them.

Evil Smurf:
snip

I refuse to believe the kitten in your avatar is real, this world cannot contain that density of cuteness.

it doesn't need it? or y'all just don't want to do it :/

and as I type my stupid router drops the Internet lol...

Ix Rebound:

Stormtyrant:

Andy Chalk:
"It wouldn't be possible to make the game offline without a significant amount of engineering work by our team."

Sounds a lot like designing a game feature. Shocking.

bear in mind this is coming from the pretty much same people that said that implementing coop in Dead Space 3 was "hard work", while borderlands 2 laughed at them from the corner

That said Borderlands 2 could have had a better loot sharing system other than 'first one to grab it, gets it.'

One could also beg the question of why Dead Space 3 needed co-op in the first place.

I was initially supportive of offloading some of the pathfinding computation onto mystical cloud computers.

Like the idea. Not a bad one. Gives me a chance to have a little more city, right?

I started getting skeptical before release, when little information on this tidbit had come out. You start thinking about the logistics-- every agent in a city being a unique entity that has to then upload information and download information from the central server in order to find his way around town... every time they move. I thought thats why they shifted to smaller cities.

BUT NO, no, it doesn't make sense at all to do it that way. And it doesn't do it that way at all.

thiosk:
I was initially supportive of offloading some of the pathfinding computation onto mystical cloud computers.

Like the idea. Not a bad one. Gives me a chance to have a little more city, right?

I started getting skeptical before release, when little information on this tidbit had come out. You start thinking about the logistics-- every agent in a city being a unique entity that has to then upload information and download information from the central server in order to find his way around town... every time they move. I thought thats why they shifted to smaller cities.

BUT NO, no, it doesn't make sense at all to do it that way. And it doesn't do it that way at all.

After reading some things from people who played observed and dug into the game the 'agents' pretty much dont do jack

About as advanced as they get is wondering around, then they go to work at the first workplace in need of employees they find, then when they leave for the day they go into the first home they find that has room, so it is rare that a sim will ever work at the same job two days in a row or live in the same house two days in a row.

Games from ten years ago had better AI agents than the new Sim City :P

Evil Smurf:
I can't wait for EA to crash and burn. It would teach other publishers not to fuck with their customers.

If or when that does happen I hope that all the developers they own either get to stay open and go their seprate ways or get picked up by better publishers like 2K Studios or CD Projekt Red. I would love to see CD Projekt Red purchase Bioware and Obsidian and hire all the old staff for those two developers back.

On Topic: I have seen my sister and her boyfriend playing the new SimCity and while it does look interesting and a bit fun and I do want to play it. I refuse to purchase it until they add in an offline option. If people want to play online with others that is fine but that should be a choice players are given instead of everyone being forced to play online.

Desert Punk:

About as advanced as they get is wondering around, then they go to work at the first workplace in need of employees they find, then when they leave for the day they go into the first home they find that has room, so it is rare that a sim will ever work at the same job two days in a row or live in the same house two days in a row.

Sim ALIEN HIVE MIND much?

Desert Punk:

thiosk:
I was initially supportive of offloading some of the pathfinding computation onto mystical cloud computers.

Like the idea. Not a bad one. Gives me a chance to have a little more city, right?

I started getting skeptical before release, when little information on this tidbit had come out. You start thinking about the logistics-- every agent in a city being a unique entity that has to then upload information and download information from the central server in order to find his way around town... every time they move. I thought thats why they shifted to smaller cities.

BUT NO, no, it doesn't make sense at all to do it that way. And it doesn't do it that way at all.

After reading some things from people who played observed and dug into the game the 'agents' pretty much dont do jack

About as advanced as they get is wondering around, then they go to work at the first workplace in need of employees they find, then when they leave for the day they go into the first home they find that has room, so it is rare that a sim will ever work at the same job two days in a row or live in the same house two days in a row.

Games from ten years ago had better AI agents than the new Sim City :P

Took the words out of my mouth.
But to illustrate, check this shit out:

(ABOVE):Glassbox AI "First come, First serve".
Combined with...
(BELOW): "Shortest Path, no Weighting"

These create a scenario that is completely batshit insane....and quite hilarious to watch.
But the point is: These are some of the biggest computations (not?) being made on their servers, and they're both being done on what appears to be the simplest and sloppiest algorithm possible for the job.

And EVERYTHING that travels uses that same algorithm.
Cars. Pedestrians. Garbage. Sewage. EVERYTHING.
You will watch conga-lines of buses do donuts constantly recalculating routes.
Lines of garbage trucks all fighting over the same route while leaving most of the city unserviced.
Cop Cars swarming out from ALL stations to the first crime on the map regardless of proximity, while letting all others go uncontested until the first criminal is brought in.

Biblical Traffic jams causing Firetrucks to literally get stuck for hours while the city burns.

Now I don't know about you, but none of this particularly screams "WE NEED EA'S SERVERS TO DO THIS!" to me.

EDIT: Oh, and just as a bit of trivia I dug up: Most Sims don't keep their Education level when they travel inter-region. So don't plop down any Nuclear Power Plants until you can get the city's HIVE MIND up to snuff.

Atmos Duality:

But the point is: These are some of the biggest computations being made on their servers, and they're both being done on what appears to be the simplest and sloppiest algorithm possible for the job.

Actually, people have done network snooping on what kind of info the game sends back and forth between the server and yyour computer, all those algorithms for the hive mind are run locally, the only thing the server does is a connection check about every 5 minutes to make sure the game is legit, and depending on speed it will dump a save and city connections onto the server.

Yep, thats all, DRM and telling other cities nearby what you are importing and exporting from your lil town.

Desert Punk:

Actually, people have done network snooping on what kind of info the game sends back and forth between the server and yyour computer, all those algorithms for the hive mind are run locally, the only thing the server does is a connection check about every 5 minutes to make sure the game is legit, and depending on speed it will dump a save and city connections onto the server.

Yep, thats all, DRM and telling other cities nearby what you are importing and exporting from your lil town.

Wow. That is...impressively lazy.
Not only did they use the worst algorithms for the job (which would make sense if you were trying to save processing on the server-side), they exaggerated the necessity of their cloud system (and thus, the DRM).

Every time I learn some new fact about SimCity, the worse it gets.

Well, at least some calculations must be done on the server service because otherwise a pirated version would be out already, and its not. Heck, they cracked AC2 on day1, and that one used online checkups. there certainly are some calculations that they still need to clone, and possibly cant because the servers are down :D

porous_shield:
I'm reminded of Hanlon's Razor- Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity, but I have a hard time believing it with EA's track record. Maybe Bradshaw is simply misinformed and I've noticed a lot of her quotes that I've read sound kind of strange but I can't quite put my finger on it.

when you lack knowledge, always attribute it to malice. thats how our brain works, and thats what allowed us to survive. thinking its malice and finding out stupidity has far less consequences than thinking its stupidity and finding out its malice.

theultimateend:

DVS BSTrD:
Had it been offline single player in would have been [b]worth,/b> their most expensive edition. But you really shouldn't pre-order, especially from EA.

Yeah I stopped preordering games a few months ago. I just wait for them to go down now. I don't respect developers that don't respect me :p.

Saves me on cash too.

Me too. I wait till games are out now. A:CM and now Simcity are like consumer trainers, teaching you the folly and the short sightedness of pre-ordering.

EA are the one of the biggest cancers in gaming after Ubisoft and Activision.

Strazdas:
Well, at least some calculations must be done on the server service because otherwise a pirated version would be out already, and its not. Heck, they cracked AC2 on day1, and that one used online checkups. there certainly are some calculations that they still need to clone, and possibly cant because the servers are down :D

I am far from an expert at such things but if I had to hazard a guess the real thing holding up the crack would be trying to redirect the save location and to get cities owned by you in your own region to talk to one another without the EA server there.

Chaos Marine:
EA are the one of the biggest cancers in gaming after Ubisoft and Activision.

I would say thats not quite fair, atleast Ubisoft listened to their customers and apologized to them after trying the always online thing.

Or are you referring to Ubi and Acti's penchant for putting out increasingly high numbered games? Because if thats the case I think EA is still worse, as those two just keep going with the same franchises instead of trying to shoehorn other properties into a particular mold... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syndicate_(2012_video_game) *Cough* :P

I always wonder just how much of these kinda chenanigans are because of the publisher and how much the developer, and exactly what their agreement is when everything goes tits up.

Still can't stop imagining Maxis employees with explosive collars on, though.

Combustion Kevin:
I always wonder just how much of these kinda chenanigans are because of the publisher and how much the developer, and exactly what their agreement is when everything goes tits up.

Still can't stop imagining Maxis employees with explosive collars on, though.

Its pretty much all EAs fault. Afterall, http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/119449-EA-Turns-Its-Back-on-Single-Player-Games

"We are very proud of the way EA evolved with consumers," Gibeau said. "I have not green lit one game to be developed as a single player experience. Today, all of our games include online applications and digital services that make them live 24/7/365."

So yeah, EA forced the decisions on them.

And before anyone goes "But Lucy Bradshaw said..!" You have to remember Lucy Bradshaw is a Vice President of Electronic Arts in charge of production. So when she takes responsibility as part of Maxis for the fuckups, that is really just EA trying to brush some of the blame off on someone else for PR reasons.

Desert Punk:

Strazdas:
Well, at least some calculations must be done on the server service because otherwise a pirated version would be out already, and its not. Heck, they cracked AC2 on day1, and that one used online checkups. there certainly are some calculations that they still need to clone, and possibly cant because the servers are down :D

I am far from an expert at such things but if I had to hazard a guess the real thing holding up the crack would be trying to redirect the save location and to get cities owned by you in your own region to talk to one another without the EA server there.

They didnt have much problem redirecting save files from online in games like GTA4, so unelss this saves games in some strange way (like copying whole city and keeping it alive in the server like a MMO client that never shuts down) this should not be much problem. the biggest problem with such cracking is to make your computer sumulate the calculations that are done server-sided as the client doesn ot have them and there is no basis for creating new calculations that work the same. of course the simplest way is to ahck into the servers and take a look, something that Ubisoft had to deal with (whole Ubisoft serverside was copied at one point, though that is long outdated now) but it is very likely EA wont allow a all-in hackers here. so we are left with the hardest part, trying to force the game to ask the server for enough information to be able to simulate the result accurately (or accurately enough, like i saw some formulas in MMOs that players determined from thousands of trials and they would be around 0,1% incorrect with developer formulas, but that was good enough for players to plan their actions). however if the servers are crashing as it is, you can spam the server by asking it to perform same operation 100000 times, especially of the server is smart enough to realize its a request spam and ignore all but 1 request.

Strazdas:

Desert Punk:

Strazdas:
Well, at least some calculations must be done on the server service because otherwise a pirated version would be out already, and its not. Heck, they cracked AC2 on day1, and that one used online checkups. there certainly are some calculations that they still need to clone, and possibly cant because the servers are down :D

I am far from an expert at such things but if I had to hazard a guess the real thing holding up the crack would be trying to redirect the save location and to get cities owned by you in your own region to talk to one another without the EA server there.

They didnt have much problem redirecting save files from online in games like GTA4, so unelss this saves games in some strange way (like copying whole city and keeping it alive in the server like a MMO client that never shuts down) this should not be much problem. the biggest problem with such cracking is to make your computer sumulate the calculations that are done server-sided as the client doesn ot have them and there is no basis for creating new calculations that work the same. of course the simplest way is to ahck into the servers and take a look, something that Ubisoft had to deal with (whole Ubisoft serverside was copied at one point, though that is long outdated now) but it is very likely EA wont allow a all-in hackers here. so we are left with the hardest part, trying to force the game to ask the server for enough information to be able to simulate the result accurately (or accurately enough, like i saw some formulas in MMOs that players determined from thousands of trials and they would be around 0,1% incorrect with developer formulas, but that was good enough for players to plan their actions). however if the servers are crashing as it is, you can spam the server by asking it to perform same operation 100000 times, especially of the server is smart enough to realize its a request spam and ignore all but 1 request.

Holy god man, paragraphs! :P

But yeah if you check out this thread
http://www.reddit.com/r/SimCity/comments/19yoxk/simcity5_does_not_have_to_be_online/

People have run Traffic sniffers while playing, and not much goes back and forth, all your calculations are done client side

if you run a traffic sniffer on your computer hardly any data is sent back to EA at all... where are these "vast amounts of simulation data"? All this GlassBox simulation happens locally, on your machine, as it could/would if you were playing offline.

As I said though, it probably also has to do with getting city saves to talk to eachother locally, though I suppose THOSE calculations that happen on the server could be the hang up, but not for individual cities

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