EA Admits That SimCity Could Have Been Offline

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CardinalPiggles:

bringer of illumination:
Uh huh

And tell me, is there ANY reason that you couldn't have provided both?

It would literally take NO work on your part, none what so ever.

I want ONE reason that we couldn't have had both

I imagine it took more time to make it always online than it would have to allow both, ironically.

I could see that as true, sadly.

Zachary Amaranth:

Evil Smurf:
Did'n't we know Sim City would be always online a year ago?

Yes, but do you expect gamers to actually not buy a product, just because of known and expected flaws?

I expect people to research the product before they buy it. Then they will know what to expect, I do. I'm never disappointed.

Evil Smurf:
I expect people to research the product before they buy it. Then they will know what to expect, I do. I'm never disappointed.

Unfortunately, this is an unrealistic expectation.

Lvl 64 Klutz:

saintdane05:
snip

Just saying it could easily just be her repeating something EA's PR team told her to say.

That's exactly what it is! EA & Maxis are doing major damage control right now. My only wonder is how much longer things like this will go on? I mean, we can either reject or adopt, and I sure hope we don't adopt this new "artistic vision."

"But we rejected that idea because it didn't fit with our vision."

Wait a minute then, what was that talk yesterday about how the game was for the fans then? And if it was for the fans and they voluntarily rejected it because of their vision, why lie about the necessity of it being always-online? And if it's for the fans and you know some of the fans want a single player experience, why wasn't online connectivity optional?

Ms. Bradshaw, you've been caught lying, and you are still lying, and your lies have, for a few days now, been so dense and contradictory that the only thing you can say anymore and have people believe is the truth that your lies have revealed: You made it always online because either Maxis or EA wanted it to be always online, it was never about what the customer wanted, and you still do not give a damn what the customer wants.

Who are these people who they're hearing from ("thousands of people who are playing across regions, trading, communicating and loving the Always-Connected functionality")?

Seriously, who are these people?

ScrabbitRabbit:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't SimCity have a single player component? If so, then how would making that offline affect the multiplayer game? You could have had both!

No, it would be difficult to pursue the post-purchase micro transaction monetization with offline players.

AC10:
Why couldn't I just have an offline region where I control all the cities in it?
You could have your "connected vision" and I could have my offline game.

If I ever get SimCity I won't let someone else in my region.

That's basically what I was thinking the whole time I was reading.

They can still have their vision by having the one player make and run all the cities, people can do that now with a private region but making it offline means shit works better and doesn't fuck up EA's servers. Hell they could even improve the 'connected vision' of the cities by making switching quicker or seamless.

The only reason I can see to not have it single player is control and to sell DLC.

Hat Man:
"It's not our place to question Maxis' artistic vision"

No, it is exactly the place of the paying customers and fans to question it's "artistic vision"

ok, i think ive found my new soul mate

"We recognize that there are fans -- people who love the original SimCity -- who want that. But we're also hearing from thousands of people who are playing across regions, trading, communicating and loving the Always-Connected functionality."

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAhahahahah.
Ahaha....
Haaa....

ALT TEXT:
Yes, you are hearing thousands saying they like the always-connected features. While MILLIONS are complaining about those same features.

"We also heard about millions who enjoyed the always connected functionality" I play games to be enjoy and play by myself, and there's a lot of people that do the same. Does that mean that every game should be singleplayer only? Not really.

But making it "process" on a server, especially if it's EA, that is know for having little to no consideration for those who use those, it was a bad idea since the beginning, no game "NEEDS" to do that, and not having that function doesn't make a game use a huge amount of space on a HDD, There's no point to have a cloud "only" functionality if only to force FRM on the people that bought the game.

Zachary Amaranth:
[

Not G. Ivingname:
You know what you can do?

Turn it off.

I am sure you could patch in no always on DRM within a week, or ask the modder what he did.

Otherwise...

Well, if the modder can figure out how to turn off the DRM, the pirating sites will be flooded with the game by tomorrow.

Isn't this "mod" admittedly incomplete? If so, that kinda puts a damper on circumvention.

Honestly, the better solution for gamers would be to, as you put it, "turn it off." Whatever the intent, torrenting the game sends the message to EA that you want to game and only won't pay because you don't have to.

Yes, I know this isn't "the" reason people pirate a game, but that's their takeaway.

What would be awesome is if people decided not to buy or pirate a game. To send the message that they aren't going to put up with this, and that there's no excuse. EA will have trouble continuing this sort of practice if the message is unambiguous.

But alas, that kind of wishful thinking is as likely as John Riccitiello being visited by three ghosts that show him the error of his ways, so he decides to change EA's business practices out of the kindness of his heart.

You misunderstood me.

The point of DRM is to prevent piracy. I am saying that DRM is going to cause what would of been paying customers TO pirate the game. Once this mod is complete or the game is cracked, which will be sooner than later, it will be on torrents. How many people, seeing the screen shots of 30 minute wait times, memory being destroyed, and the removal of features just to take a load off the servers, many people will just say screw it, this is not worth it, let's get it off pirate bay.

I am not saying people SHOULD pirate this game. I am not planning to. My computer couldn't even run the game if I wanted to (stupid mac >_<). I am just saying, because of DRM, more people would of bought this game than if there was no DRM.

And as such, I'll leave you with this haunting tale...

God bless us, everyone.

Ok... your kind of creeping me out... >_>

Everyone should VERY happy that a fuck-up like this happened on such a grand scale, that too with an EA title. After the massive success of Diablo 3, did you guys know how many developers were planning always-online DRM for their games? An uncomfortably large number. Error 37 was an acceptable calculated loss and it worked out in the end, other developers saw it as a huge success.
The prospect of a whole bunch of franchises switching to always-online DRM was scary as fuck...but now we have less to worry about thanks to EA. They just showed the world how badly, badly wrong something like always-online can go. Unfortunately Ubisoft's mess-ups with DRM didn't make a big-enough impact, but someone finally helped drive another nail into the coffin - Maxis+EA!

To genuine SimCity fans who were hurt in the process, yeah sorry about that, but you were a much-needed part of this event. This wouldn't have been possible without you...you are helping save the others from getting their favorite franchises cannibalized by the worst kinds of DRM! Thank you!

And thank Maxis's "vision". I don't know whether that was just something Lucy Bradshaw pulled out of her ass, or whether she is genuinely that stupid, or whether she's just a female face for the company.

image

Alright folks, for a bit of added entertainment; It seems that EA has cut Rock Paper Shotgun off from stuff thanks to their coverage of the SimCity disaster.

Edit by John: It's also worth nothing that despite repeated requests, and even at one point a promise of a reply "shortly", we've been entirely ignored by Maxis. Now we're not even getting replies from EA's UK PRs.

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/03/15/simcity-hack/

I've recently got into the CBs with Tropico 4 and loved it. I was really looking forward to Simcity - but I didn't buy it on launch as soon as I heard the Always Online and Multiplayer aspects.

CB's are not, or ever had been good for multiplayer. Particularly not this 'Farmville'-esque multiplayer imitation. I just wanted them to give me a block of terrain, a bunch or pretty things to plop down and thousands of people to do my bidding and/or die horrible deaths depending on my mood.

But I could have accepted all this jarring MP bullshit I was just going to ignore anyway, even the always online (I have a decent connection) if they could manage a launch right. Why is it when a game with always-online comes out everyone is so damn surprised about the server load? You know what? Buy 10 X the servers your internal beta and market researchers guesstimated. Then you got no issues and you can always trim them down once the post-launch surge drops off. Then you could repurpose those servers for your next game launch. An expensive capital cost but you prevent everyone hating you forever.

As for me now, just waiting for an offline patch or crack and to buy this when it comes down on a steam sale when they start trying to shift copies before the next shareholders meeting at EA...

Artistic vision is all well and good and i respect it, i do. However, forcing always online is not part of the artistic vision. You envisioned a multiplayer focused simcity and rather putting in any extra effort to accommodate larger, single player offline cities (something that WOULDN'T have touched your artistic vision of multiplayer, as it would be a separate option), you've forced players to learn about the regional city integration. something that, in my experience, DOESN'T WORK and is bugged to high hell and back. Rather than offering the classic experience as an option, you shrunk the city size down, but that's ok because you always have to be online so you'll always be able to play multiplayer. Yes, i'm always able to play multiplayer games, but then why do i own Skyrim and other single player games?

In Simcity, i loved tweaking with every aspect of the city and expanding it. but i've hit the city boundary so fast, i have to move on. my regional cities don't feel connected. i don't feel invested in it because of how fast i can reach endgame stuff.

I'm seriously questioning my long term enjoyment of this game without larger city sizes, something that was compromised by your artistic vision.

Oh you can go to hell ea using "artistic vision" as a excuse even if it is true(which it isn't) it's still incredibly stupid why would you alienate your old fans for people who most likely find SimCity too complicated.

And it backfired spectacularly since any non fans who picked up this game will get frustrated by the connection issues quit playing and never pick up a SimCity game again.

If I ever do buy the game I'm going to use a mod to play it offline.

themilo504:
Oh you can go to hell ea using "artistic vision" as a excuse even if it is true(which it isn't)

I am really tired of the "Artistic Vision" argument in conjuction with games turned out by folk like EA and Activision.

A game from them has no more Artistic Vision than a fucking McDouble does at McDonalds, it was designed to be consumed by the masses just like a damn cheeseburger.

Simcity was designed by a committee to get as much profit as possible, green lit by a president who just wants the money, and then made in the laziest possible manner.

Well another game EA dumped out i have little to no intrest in touching..its a shame relly it would of been something good to play when im at work with no internet... ah well.. back to Minecraft

Her statements are as misleading as ever.

There's nothing that prevents an implementation of that design with peer-to-peer connectivity for region sharing, where those computations they now do centrally would have happened on each players client. That's also "always-on", but it doesn't have a single point of failure.

The fact of the matter is that it is the authentication that needs to be centralized. All else is bullshit.

mfeff:

Akichi Daikashima:
EA has no artistic vision; all of their recent games were churned out to make money, not to inspire someone.

EA is now a company, and have long since abandoned their roots, so they shouldn't hide behind weak-sauce excuses like the ones in the article.

It makes me both angry and sad when I hear the *challenge everything* jingle at the beginning of SimCity 4.
Also it makes me laugh because I imagine that "challenge everything" nowadays includes bad business practices.

Here ya go guy... try these out...

http://community.simtropolis.com/files/file/26793-network-addon-mod-for-windows-installer/

http://community.simtropolis.com/files/file/28544-sc4-launcher/

imageimage

Challenge everything? Yeah... maybe a couple years ago... now I just turn it off.

Umm, thanks for the launcher(though I don't understand why you linked those mods) as I've just started playing SimCity 4;I thought that this year's release would be my first intro to the game series, but I don't need to explain why that's no longer a desirable option.

Though I have to say I'm terrible at SimCity 4; I only made one city in which my residents were happy AND I was making money, at all other times, I spend way too much money on amenities and I barely have any high-income housing.

saintdane05:
If Maxis says that they put it in, then you might want to not put EA in teh title.

Maxis is a wholly owned subsidiary of EA. They are no less a part of EA than any other development studio EA owns. The only reason it even kept the name it originally had is probably because there was too much recognition of it for their previous Sim games before EA bought them.

My apologies, Maxis. My vision is too compromised by the bullshit you've been flinging for me to see your point now. Try honesty earlier in the conversation next time, please.

Hat Man:
"It's not our place to question Maxis' artistic vision"

No, it is exactly the place of the paying customers and fans to question it's "artistic vision"

That is exactly the argument that many fans in favor of an easy mode for dark souls used, then they got bashed for not respecting artistic integrity. Of course the difference being that this game is shit, and DS was great (in my opinion).

OT: I am with the crowd here. I don't normally partake in the EA bashing that goes on around here. I do, however, always wait for their games to get reviewed properly before I buy one. Lucky for me I didn't waste my money on this flop (too bad this was actually one of the better looking EA games this year). As for Maxis' statement... I have to call BS. This is just damage control. They know that many gamers are trying to push video games as art, so they think they can muscle a bit of quiet out of the artistic crowd. You can't call artistic vision on DRM Maxis... On the game maybe, but if that was an artistic choice for the game only, you wouldn't have lied about the servers needing to do the calculations.

This is just one big cover-up fiasco and it won't work.

MiskWisk:
Slight problem here, if it was part of their "vision" and not a shallow and poorly disguised attempt to control players, why did they repeatedly state that they couldn't make it single player as the game required their servers to do a large portion of the calculations which has now been proved a colossal lie?

Exactly! That's what gets me - why bother lying?

If it really was just due to their 'vision' for how the game should be - they should have been upfront about it. "This is what we wanted to make, you can choose to play it or not". I'd have to respect that (though I'd still be disappointed of course).

That's not what they did though. They lied about it - for reasons best known to themselves. I honestly can't think of what they thought they'd accomplish by saying they "couldn't" change Sim City to have an offline mode. Were they trying to defuse the wave of gamer-rage? It didn't work - people didn't care about why there were limitations - just that the limitations existed at all.

And now everyone knows it wasn't even true...

Wow.

Well done Maxis, well done.

You're a guiding light to other game developers - showing them all exactly how it should be done.

No wait, the opposite to that.

"But we rejected that idea because it didn't fit with our vision. [Our vision being EA's vision. Their vision being money.]"

That's all this fucking is, "vision" has nothing to do with it when you can easily build something that's just as functional offline, and especially when this sort of dichotomy about online only or offline only is completely false.

Way to answer a criticism with a different criticism.

Imagine going to a pizza joint and ordering a nice cheese pizza, and the waitress comes back and gives you a pepperoni pizza. You complain, "Hey, I wanted a cheese pizza!". The waitress tells you that lots of people like pepperoni, that is what people want. You say, "Well that's fine, i'm sure pepperoni is great, but I'm a damn vegetarian, all you had to do was NOT put it on mine and everyone else can enjoy there pepperoni". As you go to pick off the pepperoni, she slaps your hand away. Confused, you go to pick the pepperoni off again, and she flips the table, sending yours and many other people's pizza to the floor. Apologetically, she says, "Sorry, your going to have to wait a while until we bring you more pizza. But we will bring you free breadsticks". Then she looks at you and says, "It will go well with your PEPPERONI pizza".

Online in Simcity is great. You can create a massive, interconnected ecosystem that is fascinating to explore, and the design is wonderful. I got it and let me tell you, the dynamic between my friends city and mine is one of the most fun things ive seen in a game in a while (Periodically, I complain that all his low educated, high density industrial laborors keep coming to my city as theifs and arsons and lower my property values, and then he points out that he occasionally throws me half a million dollars or so so I can make cool stuff that also helps him. I also rely on him to fill the lower income jobs. It's downright topical.) But it would have taken little effort, or probably even NEGATIVE effort, to include a feature that people want, and that would have made the Simcity release disaster seem much less awkward. All they had to do was periodically point out that certain services could be provided by neighboring towns. That could have pushed people to try the multiplayer without jamming it down their throats

Akichi Daikashima:

Umm, thanks for the launcher(though I don't understand why you linked those mods) as I've just started playing SimCity 4;I thought that this year's release would be my first intro to the game series, but I don't need to explain why that's no longer a desirable option.

Though I have to say I'm terrible at SimCity 4; I only made one city in which my residents were happy AND I was making money, at all other times, I spend way too much money on amenities and I barely have any high-income housing.

The traffic network simulator in SC4 is terrible without NAM - almost as braindead as the agents in Simcity 2013. NAM also expands the variety of roads, has curved road puzzle pieces, trams and now includes the Real Highway Mod(RHW) (showcased in the screenshots) and a huge amount of stuff originally written as addons for NAM. In short it expands Sim City 4 incredibly and is really cool.

Even if you don't use anything else (because it can be quite difficult figuring out how to use all the bits properly (I basically just use the roundabouts)) the upgraded traffic simulator makes large cities a lot better as the traffic works more realistically, makes the sims more likely to use mass transit more than they do in the basic game and doesn't get artificially bottlenecked.

I don't understand how, if it was possible, then giving people the option to play offline would in anyway affect the desires of these thousands of people who wanted to play an MMO.

Ah, artistic vision: The last bastion of the developer with no leg left to stand on.

Not G. Ivingname:

Zachary Amaranth:
[

Not G. Ivingname:
You know what you can do?

Turn it off.

I am sure you could patch in no always on DRM within a week, or ask the modder what he did.

Otherwise...

Well, if the modder can figure out how to turn off the DRM, the pirating sites will be flooded with the game by tomorrow.

Isn't this "mod" admittedly incomplete? If so, that kinda puts a damper on circumvention.

Honestly, the better solution for gamers would be to, as you put it, "turn it off." Whatever the intent, torrenting the game sends the message to EA that you want to game and only won't pay because you don't have to.

Yes, I know this isn't "the" reason people pirate a game, but that's their takeaway.

What would be awesome is if people decided not to buy or pirate a game. To send the message that they aren't going to put up with this, and that there's no excuse. EA will have trouble continuing this sort of practice if the message is unambiguous.

But alas, that kind of wishful thinking is as likely as John Riccitiello being visited by three ghosts that show him the error of his ways, so he decides to change EA's business practices out of the kindness of his heart.

You misunderstood me.

The point of DRM is to prevent piracy. I am saying that DRM is going to cause what would of been paying customers TO pirate the game. Once this mod is complete or the game is cracked, which will be sooner than later, it will be on torrents. How many people, seeing the screen shots of 30 minute wait times, memory being destroyed, and the removal of features just to take a load off the servers, many people will just say screw it, this is not worth it, let's get it off pirate bay.

I am not saying people SHOULD pirate this game. I am not planning to. My computer couldn't even run the game if I wanted to (stupid mac >_<). I am just saying, because of DRM, more people would of bought this game than if there was no DRM.

And as such, I'll leave you with this haunting tale...

God bless us, everyone.

Ok... your kind of creeping me out... >_>

was lurking around TPB last night.

SimCity 2013? already on there, with an Origin rip.

1530~ seeders.

cue 'that was fast'.

still though, dont see the point of pirating a shit game at all. When they release a offline patch, I might consider buying it, until then, my city in SC4 needs me, evidently meteors are bad.

Captcha: It is different

yea, no shit.

"But we rejected that [subset offline mode] idea because it didn't fit with our vision."

Can't decide if your "vision" is clouded by your greed or your stupidity...probably both

"But we're also hearing from thousands of people who are playing across regions, trading, communicating and loving the Always-Connected functionality."

Can't decide whether to say "LIES!" or "*cough* *cough* bullshit *cough*"

Show me THREE people who enjoy being forced to stay connected to the Internet to play a SINGLE player game

The only way this article could me more hilarious is if the meteors in the graphic were replaced with feces

FANS: "There's no reason for SimCity to be online only!"
EA: "Phah, what do you know, you're only fans and we're game developers!"
-Now-
EA: "Erm, don't take this the wrong way, but maybe you were kinda right about that whole 'doesn't need to be online only' thing? Maybe we can agree to disagree on a few things?"

Akichi Daikashima:

Umm, thanks for the launcher(though I don't understand why you linked those mods) as I've just started playing SimCity 4;I thought that this year's release would be my first intro to the game series, but I don't need to explain why that's no longer a desirable option.

Though I have to say I'm terrible at SimCity 4; I only made one city in which my residents were happy AND I was making money, at all other times, I spend way too much money on amenities and I barely have any high-income housing.

The launcher will save you the trouble of editing the .ini to remove the "intro movie". It also allows for 1080p resolution. The NAM mod is such a major improvement to the roads that no game is complete without it.

CrimsonBlack:
Who are these people who they're hearing from ("thousands of people who are playing across regions, trading, communicating and loving the Always-Connected functionality")?

Seriously, who are these people?

I'm guessing they're EA employees.

I thought this would be a rather boring year because we wouldn't be able to top last year's awful Diablo 3 release and the ME3 outrage, but EA seems to be well on the way to surpassing both of those with this hideous tale of inept management, terrible coding, and corporate lies, and it's only March! EA never disappoints in the drama, because they always disappoint in the games.

Let me preface this with this. The first Simcity game is the first video game I ever purchased for myself and I have played every iteration since. I have also put in about 23 hours into the new Simcity 5 since it came out. Stick with me on this.

I actually like the small city size and the online functionality. I like the fact you have to plan cities and that you can't just expand willy nilly; you need to be smart about land usage as it is a resource much more precious than money. I like the social aspects and the regional play.

What really bothers me is that this game is a Beta. The traffic is broken. The simulation is not as deep as they advertised. The game shipped broken and they did not plan for success (as a small business owner I see this as ridiculous but whatever).

In the 30 years I have been playing video games I have never had to wait a week to play one. What really bothers me are the apologists in every forum I have been trolling (isn't controversy fun) who have been berating people for being angry at EA. The day we don't expect a full priced product to at least function out of the box is a sad day. We don't owe the developers anything, they owe us. When we give $63.70 USD (or whatever you paid in your country) for a product you are damn right we are entitled to a working product. This isn't 1850 and we aren't buying snake oils from a passing salesman. This is 2013 and we are purchasing a product from a billion dollar company that has been around for a lot of years.

I really wanted to believe in EA. I wanted to believe that they actually could justify the always on DRM and forced online connection, and that the online only was an upgrade. I think it can be. I also think this game needs another year in development and we paid full price for a beta.

With that said, anyone want to join my region on US East 4?

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