Electronic Arts is disabling leaderboards, achievements and other functions in an effort to alleviate the strain on overloaded SimCity servers.
The launch of SimCity, if you've somehow managed to miss it, has not gone well. It's not exactly a surprising development, given the disastrous launch history of games that require always-on internet connections, but it's still an ugly scene. Players can't connect to the servers, can't access their cities, can't make contact with friends; right now, the game is like a box of chocolates, all of them filled with crap.
EA is struggling to get things under control, naturally, but its latest move makes the situation sound pretty dire. "We are continuing to do everything we can to address the server issues. In the meantime, so that we can give you as good an experience as possible, we are in the process of deploying a hotfix to all servers," Community Manager LadyCoconut wrote on the EA forums. "This includes various improvements and also disables a few non-critical gameplay features (leaderboards, achievements and region filters). Disabling these features will in no way affect your core gameplay experience."
EA did not indicate how long these features will be disabled, but the simple fact that it's willing to cripple the game to make the "core gameplay" work speaks volumes about its desperation to get something going. The company also announced earlier today that it will be adding more SimCity servers over the next two days and as always, thanked gamers for their patience.
Source: EA Forums
UPDATE: The SimCity 1.2 patch is now available, promising to fix crashes caused by lag, broken server select dialogs and other issues. But it also disables "Cheetah speed," which is apparently a pretty big feature of the game - Cheetah speed is now the same as Llama speed. Less crashes are definitely a plus, but it's utterly mind-boggling that EA is cutting back all these features just to hopefully bring some semblance of stability to the basic gameplay. This is an absolute debacle.
Have any of you tried the game with the new patch? Does it actually fix things - and, perhaps more importantly, how is the game without Cheetah speed?