EA Removes Forum Posts for SimCity Offline Mod

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Davroth:
You literally just have to remove a line of code that kicks you out of the game after 20 mins of lost internet connection. That is all. In what world is that "significant engineering"?

Depending on how they do the server checks, it can actually be fairly significant.

Of course, if that were the case, their programmers would have to have been pants-on-head retarded and/or pumped full of hallucinogens when they first wrote the code, but it is possible.

cynicalsaint1:

Under what laws?
Lying in and of itself isn't illegal.

There really isn't an angle for false advertising here seeing as saying they can't add an offline mode isn't really advertising and even if it was "significant engineering" is a phrase thats vague enough that you'd have a hard time disproving the truth behind it.

Claiming that the "Always Online" totally isn't mostly about DRM when it clearly is? Again - how are you going to prove anything? Its all subjective - you can sit there and go on and on about how important the region BS is to the game's experience all day. Even though its clear to us how much BS this is - its still your word against theirs and they made the game.

It is clearly a case of false advertising. They advertised that they would compute major parts of the game for you, so your computer didn't have to. This could be considered an advertised "service". Seeing as it's been proven that they compute nothing server side (aside from authentication), they are not delivering what was promised to their customers.

This is shocking, people use a forum run by EA? I imagine there is more freedom in North Korea than on those boards.

SomeLameStuff:
So basically they're going, "OH SHIT! We're made! DELETE EVERYTHING AND HOPE THEY FORGET IT!"

I think the only thing that can save them from the shitstorm is if Bioshock Infinite crashes and burns. Which is unlikely.

Unless you're talking about EA's idea of success (we already got all their money from preorders and day-1 sales. WE HAVE VICTORY!), never assume that a game won't crash and burn until the public gets a chance to play it for themselves. A:CM, ME3, D3, and now SimCity should be proof enough of that.

I think all this debacle is being much more fun than the game itself. Single player games shouldn't be on-line only, unless there's a good reason that benefits players for that (DRM it is not).

I hope this hurts EA so badly that they re-think how they approach their whole business. The costumer is always first.

so, they go on record saying its impossible to play SimCity offline, then that lie falls flat when the developer admits that the servers dont do shit except for authorization.

and here I am, enjoying SimCity 4.

Adam Locking:
It is clearly a case of false advertising. They advertised that they would compute major parts of the game for you, so your computer didn't have to. This could be considered an advertised "service". Seeing as it's been proven that they compute nothing server side (aside from authentication), they are not delivering what was promised to their customers.

I think we're all forgetting that there was a team of lawyers behind their comment.

The server IS performing processing. It's just that the processing is verifying that the copy is valid and verifying that the person is not cheating. As sneaky as that is it puts them in a safe spot.

That being said, they didn't advertise that the server's processing relieved any of the load on your machine. They didn't tout it as a selling point they said it to explain why they couldn't remove the always online structure. They are entirely safe in this regard albeit with a completely tarnished reputation.

It's remarkable that they decided to take the silent route. Guess they plan to just wait it out.

IamLEAM1983:
Pirates cheer, Corporate weeps.

It's a shame that these groups are inversely related.

theultimateend:
It's a shame that these groups are inversely related.

I'm not sure how the people who want things for free and the people trying to sell their wares can ever be on the same page.

I say, blame it on the East India Company. If only they hadn't killed so many pirates...

Lightknight:

theultimateend:
It's a shame that these groups are inversely related.

I'm not sure how the people who want things for free and the people trying to sell their wares can ever be on the same page.

I say, blame it on the East India Company. If only they hadn't killed so many pirates...

Given how much you oversimplified I can't possibly help you.

But in general I find it sad that consumers and businesses have shifted models to being antagonistic instead of (in theory) symbiotic.

theultimateend:

Lightknight:

theultimateend:
It's a shame that these groups are inversely related.

I'm not sure how the people who want things for free and the people trying to sell their wares can ever be on the same page.

I say, blame it on the East India Company. If only they hadn't killed so many pirates...

Given how much you oversimplified I can't possibly help you.

But in general I find it sad that consumers and businesses have shifted models to being antagonistic instead of (in theory) symbiotic.

Symbiotic relationships require trust, and with businesses pulling shit like this trust is a rare and valuable commodity.

image

are they even going to have a real official answer to say about this?

theultimateend:
Given how much you oversimplified I can't possibly help you.

But in general I find it sad that consumers and businesses have shifted models to being antagonistic instead of (in theory) symbiotic.

It looks like you consider pirates and consumers to be the same thing. That is incorrect as the two are mutually exclusive per transaction. Either the person paid for their license or they stole it/copywrite infringed it/got it for free.

Being correct definitionally isn't oversimplification. Consumers buy, pirates take, companies sell.

Mr.K.:
I wonder how many people lost their Origin account due to those posts... completely accidentally of course.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL of them. Just a guess, I have 0 proof of this I am just guessing. And now that there is a mod I expect the torrent of SimShitty will shoot through the roof.....

DISCLAIMER!
DO NOT PIRATE KIDDIES!! IT IS WRONG BECAUSE YOU WILL KILL 1 TRILLION KITTENS WITH EVERY FILE YOU DOWNLOAD!!

lancar:
Seems fairly straightforward, really. If EA want to define mods as hacks (imho, the terms are fairly interchangable) and block discussion about them on their own forums, it's their prerogative. It changes nothing and doesn't really put EA in any worse light than they already are.

Aye, but that's mainly because they're already knee deep in slurry, with lies making up the majority of the currently floaty bits. I really wonder if Bradshaw doesn't know any better (which would be bad all by itself) or if she's doing her best EA drone impression (which is just as bad, really).

I'll tell you what: Aye, I have severe, probably irreconcilable issues with EA. I started buying their games when they were still ECA and their games came on 5.25in floppy disks, wrapped in an abundance of cardboard. I really thought they could do no wrong for a while, but I am well past that now. I really want to own and play this latest Sim City. But I want to play it the way that makes sense to me. I want to be able and allowed to play it offline. I want to be able to spontaneously come online with it and do some merry cooperation with friends and family if I feel like it. If EA does not deliver that, and at the same time resorts to bullshit me with, well, lies and some semantic padding, I really just don't feel like throwing money at them. Come a patch/hack that does allow me to do my thing, I'll gladly buy their product. If not, well, too bad.

Turner Shanks:
quite clearly told everyone NOT to stop using the offline mod but to instead just talk about it somewhere else. It's very nearly official approval of the mod.

Or am I just reading this whole thing wrong?

could you imagine how it would go if they HAD said to stop using it? sounds to me like a very good way for them to make this situation even worse for themselves, which means before this is all over, it will probably happen.

also the term "official approval" suggests that they wouldn't remove it from their forums. this response is nothing but a clumsy attempt to hide their incompetence/lies and cover their asses

This would be why I did not buy Mass Effect 3 on the PC and will be getting zero games on the PC from EA. On the other hand the fact that they deleted the threads talking about the way to play offline is hardly news. I suppose the news is Maxis is trying to keep a reputation. After this and Spore I am done with Maxis and I am doubly done with EA. Not even Plants vs. Zombies 2 will sway me.

They are dead to me. Plenty of other games to support with my money.

My best guess is that there's an exec high up somewhere at EA who got really angry with an exec even higher up, and is intentionally working to squander their reputation and destroy them piece by piece. It's the only explanation, they can't have failed to notice that we already know and are talking about their bullshit DRM.

P.S. Thanks

This makes perfect sense.

The game requires a constant online connection. This 'news' is no more shocking than a gaming forum deleting posts that promote how to pirate it or exploit the game mechanics.

We see this all the time in Diablo's forums and it's funny how people think Blizzard is going against their rights of free speech by moderating the forums.

You see, this is why I play obscure, little known games. The companies I buy from can't AFFORD to pull shit like this.

I'd be interested to see their stock value by the end of this whole SimCity bomb.

Now you can add outright lying (possibly even false advertising) on top of everything else they did. It's amazing the shit EA pulls and every time there's a moment when I go "oh come on, even EA wouldn't do that". This was one of those moments.
There was no way a lie this blatant wouldn't get caught eventually so either they're incredibly stupid and thought they'd get away with it, or they knew they'd be caught but didn't care because they already got the money.

Covarr:
My best guess is that there's an exec high up somewhere at EA who got really angry with an exec even higher up, and is intentionally working to squander their reputation and destroy them piece by piece. It's the only explanation, they can't have failed to notice that we already know and are talking about their bullshit DRM.

P.S. Thanks

I just assumed that somewhere along the way EA got soooo big that they started hiring execs that know how to manage businesses but don't understand games or gamers. At some point one of those idiots poked their head into the product side of things and didn't like the way things were being done and not all super optimized for profit without realizing that the customer base may just hate that.

The mod in question did not operate the game in full offline mode... at least if we're still talking about the news story from yesterday. It put the game into Debug Mode, which allows full editing of all elements (including region specific space) and no internet connection to perform those particular things to be done, because the region is a locally saved file.

However, all the calculations that were going on involving that region, in the video, were broken. IE: Communication of Region based pollution was completely and totally off kilter.

Could they possibly fix that with a mod? Sure. Could EA Possibly move those calculations to the local client? Yeah... at what hit to performance? I have no idea.

But was that particular mod doing that? From the video I saw, no.

Though i'm sure people will still take the first opportunity to flame me for this...

Davroth:
So.... companies are just allowed to lie into our collective faces and get caught red handed and face little to no legal consequences? Cool. Cool cool cool.

I'm so glad I resisted buying SimCity.

Lying is not illegal, even when corporations do it.

OT: We all saw this coming I hope. I also wouldn't place such a large distinguishing difference between hacks and mods. A mod, modifies for game files. A Hack modifies game files. It is a slippery slope trying to distinguish the two. Usually a hack is referred to bypassing security, but it's still just modified game files. It's dangerous because any developer can come along and argue that a mod changes game files in such a way that makes it play not as intended, then they are calling it a hack, essentially.

Censorship. In this age? Never!

So EA was caught blatantly lying (again) and reacts by threatening and banning people (again).

I'd say it's just EA being EA.

DRM turned out to be a failure, so they must pretent it's not DRM but a remote service. Pretty shortsighted since everyone with an absolute minimum of knowlegde about the business knows that people will temper with the code and try to bypass the requirement for the remote service. And when said bypass is that simple, people will wonder why they can't play the game they just paid 50 bucks for while everyone who not plays by the rules can enjoy the game. No matter if they paid for it or not.

And to make things even better, they mess around with paying customers because they want to play the game they paid for in spite of EA's mess of a (supposed) client-server system.

In the end it's just another valid reason to pirate the game rather than paying for a copy that will randomly stop working because EA tried to outsmart its customers. Again.

I think I'm seeing a pattern here...

Davroth:

So wait, there aren't already laws in place to protect the public from snakeoil salesmen? What strange times we live in...

There used to be. However, one thing EA does do is employ an army of lawyers. And after all, EA provides a 'service' not a 'product'. Different set of laws.

itsthesheppy:
Well of course EA is all going to be for a modding community that are essentially unpaid content designers for their game, but will nuke anything that threatens their bottom line of controlling customers through their iron-fist always-on DRM.

To be expected. Reviled, but expected.

I think you have that the wrong way round there mate, they don't want people modding and adding content for free because then they can't sell sell you content themselves for €9.99 a go.

Consumer modding would not work on this game anyway if they insist on keeping it on-line only because of balance issues, on the other hand the mods could be purely cosmetic, but then that is EA's cheapest and easiest revenue stream gone, and that is not going to happen (Different country tile-sets anyone?).

Earlier in the week, Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw said that an offline mode for the game was "just not possible" as the entire region is simulated on the server. A Maxis developer debunked the claims, saying that the servers do not handle any computation in regards to simulating the city.

So, the take home message is "We could do an offline mode if we really really wanted to, but we won't because fuck you." I bet EA is fuming that the truth actually slipped through the cracks.

idarkphoenixi:
I'd be interested to see their stock value by the end of this whole SimCity bomb.

Their stock prices are down by roughly 3% since the start of this whole debacle

Are you worried that the truth is coming out? Are you worried that your investors might see this as ANOTHER PR fiasco? Are you ready for the end, EA?

I am ready for the game to be over. Behave like a fair and reasonable company, or fail into nothingness.

I agree, you need some DRM, but "always on" is a horrible idea. It will never work because bandwidth is quickly drying-up and many of us do not want to be online all the time. Not too mention, the fact that it requires so much more work on your end. Just go back to CD keys. Just write off that some people are going to pirate no matter what you do. BUT PLEASE stop embarrassing yourselves.

PS: I wish I had money too invest so I could go to the stockholder meetings and ask some questions.

Give up the illusion of control EA
Embrace the risk of providing a quality service without additional charge
and watch your stock prices soar once more

Well this is getting entertaining, it's like watching the overthrow of a brutal tyrant. My only question is whether EA will ever actually acknowledge that their business practices are anti-consumer and manipulative or just continue playing innocent till the very end.

Is EA close to just disappearing? I know it's gotten bad PR after bad PR, I believe its stock is going to shit, but I have a hard time imagining a company that big dying.

LetalisK:
Is EA close to just disappearing? I know it's gotten bad PR after bad PR, I believe its stock is going to shit, but I have a hard time imagining a company that big dying.

THQ was a really big name in the industry, one bad year and a really shitty product took them down. You would be surprised how fast a big name can collapse in upon itsself.

And this last few days EAs stock prices have droped over 2% alone thanks to their horrid PR

18.88-0.46‎ (-2.38%‎)
image

Will they collapse soon? Probably not. But if they keep making stupid decisions it will likely happen eventually.

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