EA Readies Big SimCity Patch

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So wait you need to take a game that requires you to be online all the time offline in order to patch the thing? EA at this point just patch out the online requirement and you might just be able to save it, otherwise I fully expect a story in a years time saying the servers for Sim City are being shut down.

Rogue 09:
The DRM is still why I refuse to buy this game. Once EA (and other developers) realize that this is costing them legitimate sales, maybe they'll go back on this insane idea.

Even without the DRM it would still be an extremely weak Sim City game, its just not good. At all.

The always online thing aside, in this huge update with the horrible pathin be fixed in this patch or is a fundamentally broken aspect of the game?

I have an idea to fix the processing issues and trouble in picking a suitable update time - remove the always online 'not-DRM'. I just hope that if they make a Civilization 6 that it won't have this trash in it. :(

EA, you can patch, patch and patch 'til the end of times, but while SimCity are in your hands, It will never reach mine.

Karathos:
MMO's go offline for large updates and maintenance all the time, but hey - you never want to miss an opportunity to bitch and moan about EA no matter what the situation right? Classy stuff.

Especially glad to see they're tweaking tourism and casinos. Just felt like transportation from other cities wasn't bringing anyone in no matter how many tourist attractions I put in.

Akexi:

Yep! The glories of always on DRM (no it's not an MMO)...

Seems we posted at the same time. I'm curious to know why you feel it doesn't count as an MMO. Granted if we want to go in on technicality you're not playing with MASSIVE amounts of people at the same time, but it's still a "Multiplayer Online" game.

I know you didn't address me specifically but: MMO's are not meant to be played singly. They have a world of content that is geared towards working in groups or the biggest most bad ass things done in MMO's are group activities such as large team raids and team vs team battlegrounds. But, SimCity is, at best only meant to be played with a small number of people. Just like you wouldn't consider CoD games to be MMO's, you couldn't really consider this game to be an MMO. Also, there is the compulsory nature of the online in this game. If you want to not play with anyone else (something the game is totally made to be able to do), you still must be online. If the game did not have a mode that let you play by yourself, it would be one thing. Then you could argue that the always online is to support this functionality, but then they would have limited their sales base drastically. There is also the fact that you can change the games config file and play offline without any change or shortcomings. The game functions completely right never having connected to the server, so that makes downtime due to server maintenance unreasonable and unnecessary. That also means it's also not an MMO by design because the servers don't do anything except exchange information. In an MMO, the lions share of the processing such as drop rates and enemy spawn, even world functionality, is handled by the server and only mimicked on the end users system. Essentially, what I'm saying is, while they call it an MMO, it is not an MMO in anything but name alone.

Baresark:
SimCity is, at best only meant to be played with a small number of people. Just like you wouldn't consider CoD games to be MMO's, you couldn't really consider this game to be an MMO.

I can think of at least 2 (maybe 3) MMOs that can also be described in such a manner yet are still unquestionably referred to as MMOs. Heck, I can name at least one MMO that is still classified as such despite having offline singleplayer.

Aeshi:

Baresark:
SimCity is, at best only meant to be played with a small number of people. Just like you wouldn't consider CoD games to be MMO's, you couldn't really consider this game to be an MMO.

I can think of at least 2 (maybe 3) MMOs that can also be described in such a manner yet are still unquestionably referred to as MMOs. Heck, I can name at least one MMO that is still classified as such despite having offline singleplayer.

Do you mind posting up the games you are thinking of. I am not "having a go" I am curious how a game with only a few people playing it can be seen as an MMO.

OT: The reason I have not bought this game is because of the lack of promised "mod-ability". All that fantastic user created content (that would be great for a single player game) floating about in genuinely creative minds around the world, being stomped into the ground so that EA can sell "skin packs" and players can send each other vans full of money and unlocked buildings. Woooo the multi-player possibilities are endless......

Aeshi:

Baresark:
SimCity is, at best only meant to be played with a small number of people. Just like you wouldn't consider CoD games to be MMO's, you couldn't really consider this game to be an MMO.

I can think of at least 2 (maybe 3) MMOs that can also be described in such a manner yet are still unquestionably referred to as MMOs. Heck, I can name at least one MMO that is still classified as such despite having offline singleplayer.

I would be interested to know what these games are. I'm not trying to be a dick, I just don't know the games your talking about. Also, the only reason anyone would ever consider this an MMO is because the developer came out and said it was an MMO, despite all evidence otherwise. And I don't really personally approve of the idea that because the entire industry has not come together and defined what an MMO is, that the idea is really open to interpretation. People have a concept of what an MMO is, and that usually comes from the first games that labeled themselves as an MMO.

Karathos:
MMO's go offline for large updates and maintenance all the time, but hey - you never want to miss an opportunity to bitch and moan about EA no matter what the situation right? Classy stuff.

Not an MM-

Akexi:

Yep! The glories of always on DRM (no it's not an MMO)...

Seems we posted at the same time. I'm curious to know why you feel it doesn't count as an MMO. Granted if we want to go in on technicality you're not playing with MASSIVE amounts of people at the same time, but it's still a "Multiplayer Online" game.

You just answered your own question there.
It's not massive, so the first M doesn't belong. It's barely even multiplayer, so that doesn't really belong there either.
And it works perfectly well when offline if you disable the online check, so I don't quite see how it's even an online game when it's really just a singleplayer game with forced online and shoehorned multiplayer elements that are in no way worth it or even a true part of the experience. Well, positive experience anyway.

No problem, I'll just play in offline mode for those two hours... oh...

Chessrook44:
No offline mode then?

Right, still not buying then.

Basically my opinion in a nutshell. I will not be touching this (Not even the less than legal version) until offline mode is added

i wanted to buy this game really bad, i still do. i bin a huge fan of sim city since the first one. to sell me, all they would have to do is offer an offline mode. /crossing fingers for offline mode.

I didn't see an offline mode there.

EA, this is like treating a person who just lost a fucking limb by disinfecting the wound, but forgetting to patch the damn stump or stop the bleeding. I think he's still gonna die, but just not as horribly.

Chessrook44:
No offline mode then?

Right, still not buying then.

Pretty much this.

I like SimCity as a franchise, but refuse to support Forced-Always-On gaming for a single player game. I'm fine with it for games that actually require it, like MMOs, but not for a bloody single player game.

the best time to do this ...

is 9pm?

o.o that seems like it should be peak time to me ....

I'm so proud of you lot. With this much aggression and sarcasm I doubt online DRM will take over, and hopefully in future they will release a game without a shit load of bugs either.

MorganL4:
Anyone else just go and check, only to find that the escapist STILL hasn't put out a review for the game... Did they just forget? Anyone know?

Theirs Yahtzees "review". Or maybe they're waiting for the game work properly so they can give a fair review.

Any word on patching out that coding bug?

You know, the one that breaks the game if the EA servers aren't contacted every 20 minutes?

TKretts3:
I have an idea to fix the processing issues and trouble in picking a suitable update time - remove the always online 'not-DRM'. I just hope that if they make a Civilization 6 that it won't have this trash in it. :(

Why would Civ VI (6) have this in it? Civilization is made by 2K not EA, different companies. It would probably use the same DRM Civ V uses, steam (sofar the best DRM if it must be in there as steam gives compremises and doesn't treat legit customers like thieves).

Having re-read the headline, I am now picturing a metaphor: a large man with the EA logo for its face in a fancy suit getting ready to take a massive dump into a toilet marked "SimCity".

And that about summarizes my thoughts about what EA has done to SimCity.

Chessrook44:
No offline mode then?

Right, still not buying then.

Whats the bet the patch disables the fan made offline mode?

Please tell me they've at least fixed the traffic bugs that cripple cities later on, regardless of how efficient their systems are.

Chessrook44:
No offline mode then?

Right, still not buying then.

Yup. Same here.

Saw the headline, skimmed over the text, brain told me it's recognized 'offline' somewhere, went for a cup of coffee, sat down, read it... yeah. Still always-on crap. Oh, well. It sure made me revisit and enjoy Sim City 4. That's a very OK game right there.

Andy Chalk:
[b]SimCity will be offline for about two hours tonight

No changes there then.

1337mokro:
It seems they just don't quite get it.

The only patch that can fix SimCity is an Offline mode patch.

I'm going to have to disagree there. Sure, there's no reason for SimCity to force you to be online. But ultimately, if the game actually worked and was actually fun, that wouldn't stop an awful lot of people playing it. For all the complaints Diablo 3 gets it's still a very successful and popular game, not least because Blizzard actually listen to their customers and try to fix the real problems. The main problem with SimCity is not that you need the internet, it's that the game is just fundamentally broken. Cities are far too small, resources are bizarrely finite, sims don't even have assigned homes or jobs, the pathfinding is somehow worse than in previous games, and so on. And EA/Maxis just don't give a fuck, and instead just focus on telling us it's all fine and trying to flog ever more pointless micro-transactions. A version of SimCity 4 that forced you to be online would be a good game that happened to have a bit of an annoyance tacked on for no good reason. A version of SimCity 6 that allowed you to be offline would still be shit.

Kahani:
Snip

I'm going to have to disagree there. Sure, there's no reason for SimCity to force you to be online. But ultimately, if the game actually worked and was actually fun, that wouldn't stop an awful lot of people playing it. For all the complaints Diablo 3 gets it's still a very successful and popular game, not least because Blizzard actually listen to their customers and try to fix the real problems. The main problem with SimCity is not that you need the internet, it's that the game is just fundamentally broken. Cities are far too small, resources are bizarrely finite, sims don't even have assigned homes or jobs, the pathfinding is somehow worse than in previous games, and so on. And EA/Maxis just don't give a fuck, and instead just focus on telling us it's all fine and trying to flog ever more pointless micro-transactions. A version of SimCity 4 that forced you to be online would be a good game that happened to have a bit of an annoyance tacked on for no good reason. A version of SimCity 6 that allowed you to be offline would still be shit.

Don't you mean SimCity 5?

I don't think they counted Societies.

However MOST (read most not all) of SimCity 5's problems and horrible design are endemic to the online features. Why are our towns the size of a sand grain? Online features! Why are services so expensive and why is SimCity akin to a nightmare version of Soviet Russia where nobody pays for any public service? In reality that sewer system I built would require a tax to use, literally called sewage tax. The answer is Online features so you are more motivated to centralize a single resource or service in a single city and share it. Why do factories offer so many jobs? A few simple factories could offer work to a town of nearly 100'000, perhaps because only 1/8 people actually works, I guess the SimCity devs are stuck in the 1950's housewive mentality, but the answer is again obvious, so that cities could again be specialized to house only one type of building and they even made a great work based exactly on that. The Arcology(yes I know it was in earlier games) is basically a giant worker hive that will send out workers to other cities. Not to mention that they freeze the city when you leave which is perhaps the cheapest and stupidest way to encourage multiplayer play.

So for MOST (read most not all) of SimCity 5's many many many problems I can find a direct link back to the online features.

Now other things like the Resource-Sink system, the drill to the forehead stupid AI, the ridiculous tax system where anything above 11 will force Sims to leave. Welcome to the real world SimCity devs I pay 18% and when I work fulltime I pay 41%. Both have not yet caused me to leave my town.

Those are just built into the hardware, however these could also be fixed with separate patches.

Also I am a huge Diablo fan. The words Always Online, means that I have NO idea how Diablo 3 plays because I did not buy it. Don't be mistaken I did not buy SimCity myself, it was a birthday present because my friends knew I loved to play the previous games. Can you imagine my face when I opened up the package to find the game that I had shunned for so long?

Andy Chalk:

I've stayed as far as humanly possible away from the whole SimCity fiasco (except to point and laugh)

haha! Well at least you're honest, Andy.
+ Hmm... Sounds like they're at least trying to fix this mess, but same time, what'd be wrong with, say, delaying release, allowing pre-orders early access as a final beta

Kahani:
For all the complaints Diablo 3 gets it's still a very successful and popular gam

Last I heard, the Diablo 3 population was circling the drain; to the point where they basically threw up their hands and stopped developing PvP, because there wouldn't be enough players to justify it.

Since the PS3/PS4 version of the game is going to be strictly better (it has offline mode), I'm guessing that's where their efforts are going now.

Well, they'd have to actually make a localized save-game system, which I suspect would be a bit of work, so yeah, don't expect that from EA anytime soon.

The Modding community, however...

238U

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