Fear Not: Maxis Planning To Expand SimCity’s Cities

By Nathan Grayson on March 4th, 2013 at 8:00 am.

Ocean Quigley / Your name is so very much fun / Refrigerator.

Well, OK, maybe fear a little. The news that SimCity‘s massive metropolises have gone down a couple belt sizes didn’t exactly sit well with longtime fans, but Maxis does have plans to do something about it. Eventually. At this point, it’s all in the cold, soon-to-be-cybernetic hands of technology, because ultimately, SimCity’s casting its net wide. You and I might have the hardware to handle a sprawling, nicely detailed building forest, but others aren’t so fortunate.

Creative director Ocean “Best Name In Games” Quigley explained the situation to IncGamers:

“We need to keep in mind that Sim City is a mainstream game, it’s not a game that is only going to run on high-end gaming PCs, it has to run in your Dad’s PC as well. That is just a performance decision. Given that was the performance constraint we decided to work under, we built a larger region environment and a bunch of the multiplay to work with 2km cities.”

“We’ll eventually get around to expanding the city size, but I can’t make any promises as to when.”

All told, it makes sense – although we’ll have no proof for our pudding until the game’s final version launches and we can see how it performs on lower-range machines. But still, I can’t fault the intention, given that any game with the proper noun “Sim” attached is destined to spread like a brightly colored, gibberish-spewing plague.

It’s a shame, though, that we can’t just have some kind of unlocked mode that’d remove the limits for those with properly hefty hardware. But then, that’d unbalance the scales of online multiplayer, which part of me would like to declare yet another needless consequence of constant connection requirements. That said, having not played the full game, it’s tough to say for sure. Plus, Cara came away with relatively positive impressions of the resulting focus on regions and specialization of cities. So I’ll reserve judgment for now – in spite of the fact that not judging everything constantly is the hardest thing in the world for me.

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116 Comments »

  1. Stardog says:

    “It’s a shame, though, that we can’t just have some kind of unlocked mode that’d remove the limits for those with properly hefty hardware”

    Because it’s probably not really a hardware issue. It’ll be some game system issue where it’ll be slow even on better hardware.

    If it was really just a hardware issue they would have a little toggle in advanced options.

    • Thomas says:

      Yeah, i’m guessing that is the main issue as well.

      It’s probably an issue with the scalability of the simulation engine itself, not uncommon for these types of simulations to grind to a halt when it reaches a certain point.

    • Strabo says:

      The problem seems to me that your cities can be accessed by others too if you choose so – meaning that the city not only has to run on your machine, but also on those of the others you’re playing with – basically the always on “shared world” screwing us over. Of course, they could simply solve this with a “Warning: This city will run like a asthmatic dog on your computer. Do you really want to load it?”

      • Thomas says:

        The other cities aren’t really run during gameplay, they are just simulated for the region/global market stuff.

        The cities don’t run unless the user is running it. (not even when other users are viewing it)

        • ItalianPodge says:

          they could also resolve this by dividing the server farms into low, medium and high performing machines. If the local user on the machine chooses that they want to run big cities then they connect onto a server farm with other computers configured the same way.

    • BrightCandle says:

      Tests in the beta showed the game engine was running on a single thread. There likely is a real limitation to going larger, mostly because the game fails to utilise anything above 2 cores. this is the sort of fix that will take a while.

    • Hahaha says:

      That must be it instead of you know the fact they can’t be arsed and have decided to pull a skyrim (remember that texture pack)

  2. amateurviking says:

    Big city mode, only $19.99. Buy buy buy buy!

    Edit:

    Disclaimer: Extreme cynicism warning. I really shouldn’t comment on Mondays or in the morning or before my first coffee. I am actually looking forward to Sim City.

    • J_C says:

      Don’t forget the microtransactions EA wants in every of their games.
      +1 km city – $2.99
      +10.000 population – $3.99

      • zakihashi says:

        When did EA actually do this?
        I can’t remember they having some DLC’s that effects your core gameplay. Mostly just crap I dont’ care for at all.

        • J_C says:

          Umm, I just made a joke about microtransactions, nothing more. But nice job coming to EA’s aid.

          • Stijn says:

            “Coming to EA’s aid”? What’s that supposed to mean?

          • tyren says:

            Umm, I think he was asking that question sincerely and looking for a serious answer because not everyone keeps track of every single game EA makes. But nice job being a dick in response.

        • Lemming says:

          They haven’t yet, J_C is referring to the fact that EA are on record as saying this is the kind of thing they plan on doing in the future. It was in last week’s gaming news on various sites.

          Everyone below zakihashi: contribute to the article or STFU.

          • Vorphalack says:

            Well, they HAVE done DLC which affects the core game play. Examples include the Dragon Age DLC vendor, the cut Prothean squad member from ME3, map packs in Battlefield 3, the entire business model for Warhammer: Wrath of Heroes (before it was shut down). I also feel SWtoRs crappy freemium model deserves an honorable mention. In all of those games you find additional purchases that will affect every player in some form, regardless of weather or not a purchase was made. All signs point to them becoming less consumer friendly over time.

        • Carr0t says:

          Well first of all there’s Dead Space 3 having the ability to buy better guns/crafting materials via a microtransaction system, to make the game easier:

          http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-01-22-dead-space-3-includes-micro-transactions-for-buying-better-weapons

          (admittedly from reading that article it doesn’t seem quite as bad as some people are making out. You can get all the MT elements through in-game play, it just takes longer and maybe requires a bit of grinding)

          And then there’s the “That worked really well. Microtransactions will be in all our future games using the backend system we designed for Dead Space 3″ article:

          http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-02-27-ea-putting-micro-transactions-into-all-of-our-games

          I don’t see larger land masses being a microtransaction thing though. It’ll be paid DLC I can pretty much guarantee, but that’s not the same.

          • Stromko says:

            “Coaltown just ran out of coal, do you want to buy technology for deeper coal mines (Usable On One City Only, Limitations Apply) for 50 EA points?” or “You don’t have any friends playing with you, do you want to work for 3 weeks or just buy the parts for the Arcology now you poor loser?”

            I really hope not. It’s bad enough I’m going to be shunted out of the game every 1 – 4 hours when my internet hiccups, I don’t want Zynga-style money grabs on a game that’s pre-ordering for 80$.

        • bit_crusherrr says:

          In SSX on the PS3/360 you can buy in game currency with real dosh.

    • Phenomen says:

      so.. SimCity is now CityVille?

    • alilsneaky says:

      Garfield is right:
      Was there really any doubt as to why terraforming, metro systems and large city squares aren’t in?

      One need just look at the sims and battlefield 3 to see how much ea likes to split up their games behind multiple paywalls.

      The alternative raised above: technical issue, isn’t much better.
      Incompetence or greed, pick your poison fellas.

  3. J_C says:

    Lets turn back time a few months, shall we? EA and Maxis told us a bullshit excuse about the need of constant internet connection. It was obviously a lie, but let me repeat: the game needs constant connection, because the servers will handle some of the computing, and will help in the calculations of the game.

    Now tell me EA, why do you still limit the game, if your servers can help our PCs to run the game?

    • czc says:

      If the game is limited so that my dad’s PC will run it, they should also realise that his internet connection is flaky at best.

    • CMaster says:

      No, it’s almost certainly true that some calculations will be done on EAs servers.

      But that isn’t to actually take the strain off your PC in any way. It’s just to (try to) stop damn filthy Pirates.

      • mr.ioes says:

        It annoys me that you think what you just wrote. It’s 100% bs, no calculations aside from making sure DRM works can and will be done on EA, because it can’t be feasable for them or any other company.

        It’s like saying D3 had some of it’s processing outsourced … sure, monsterspawns and map “randomization” is done remotely… Blizzard just never called it “outsourcing some of the computing needed”, because that’s not what it is.

      • Lemming says:

        The best way to stop piracy is to release your damn game on time, globally, with all features. But tell game companies that and you’ll get the confused dog look.

        This is what’s always been about: data mining and marketing. Full access to your customers gaming habits. Piracy has made a convenient scapegoat.

    • maximiZe says:

      Funny how forgetful people get about these things in order to clear their conscience.

    • Thomas says:

      It’s not the city that is being simulated on the system, but the region and global economy.

      While it may be a poor excuse to try and help towards piracy, the 2 explanations are definitely not mutually exclusive.

  4. Dermott says:

    as long as this is not for sure, i wont buy it. Please give us bigger cities (and not as DLC…)

  5. Paroxysm says:

    I might eventually get around to purchasing this game, but I can’t make any promises as to when.

    • MacTheGeek says:

      Exactly what I was thinking when I read the article.

      By November or so, it should be possible to judge the game and its ecosystem based on fact, rather than conjecture. Right now, I think they made some questionable design decisions (read: decisions that make sense from a business perspective, but not from a fun perspective). But I want to see how those decisions actually play out before deciding whether or not to add SimCity to my Christmas list.

    • zbeeblebrox says:

      Pretty much. History has shown me that Sim games are best purchased 6 to 12 months after they release, bundled with all the DLC and stability patches that have accumulated over that time. Then thumbing my nose at all the suckers who had to wait for this crap and buy each bit individually, like the fools who buy their food a la carte at restaurants.

      Buying any Sim game day-1 is basically proclaiming to the world that you’re a masochist.

  6. GeminiathXL says:

    Meh. I’lle simply play and enjoy the game and leave the bullshit complaining to other people :).

    • RedViv says:

      Somewhere in the caves under the town of Grumpington, alerted by the BAAAH signal in the skies, the most pathetic of vigilantes prepares to ride out. Fear the Sheeple-Caller!

      I tire of arguing about apparent vs simulated depth over and over again, so I’ll just do the same. ^^

    • Low Life says:

      How dare you! You get out of here with your enjoyment of games, this place is for complaints only.

      In all honesty, I think I’m better off not reading the comment section of any SimCity related article. From what I’ve seen the game seems really great, with no apparent dumbing down. And no, smaller scale for cities does not equal dumbing down (but of course it’s still a valid reason to not like the game).

      If you want a good long look at the game, Totalbiscuit streamed the press version (i.e. no silly beta restrictions) for a few hours last weekend: http://www.twitch.tv/totalbiscuit/b/373197925

    • noodlecake says:

      I agree. It looks really fun :)

  7. Samwise Gamgee says:

    So back in the early 1990′s the average PC was powerful enough to handle a large city but now in 2013 they are not. Ok, that makes perfect sense, thanks for explaining.

    • CMaster says:

      Have you seen anything about the “glassbox” engine at all? The depth of simulation they are aiming for is way, way beyond what the older Simcity games went for.

      Whether it is a worthwhile trade to make…

      • J_C says:

        Oh come on. It is 2013. Mainstream games become less and less complex, not the other way around. I have to see with my own eyes, before I believe a word about this magic glassbox system.

        • Tyrone Slothrop. says:

          You know there’s tonnes of gameplay footage you could avail yourself of before speaking out of ignorance yet with a pretence of some knowledge others lack.

      • Samwise Gamgee says:

        Even if the depth of simulation they are aiming for is way, way beyond what the older Simcity games went for, PC’s are infinitely more powerful than they were back then. I don’t believe for a second that it is not possible to optimize the engine to make larger cities possible, it just doesn’t make any sense.

        • Rikard Peterson says:

          You’re not a programmer, I take it?

        • aepervius says:

          It is diidicult to type witha cat on my lap but i’ll try to explain why it might not be that simple.
          Simulation engine can break down in the weirdest way. Here are a few way they can brek down :
          * scaling. If for a size N they scale the computing power in N^3 (similar reasonning with N^2*LOG N or N^2 or whatever their glassbox scale in), doubling N means you need 8 time the power. So if, say , a 2 km*2km city works at 50% of the PC power for the best processor in market (pulled out of thin air) then using the full processor would only rise scaling by a cubic root of 2 : about 25%. Meaning you go from 2km * 2km to 2.5 km * 2.5 km and teh engine can chocke the processor (we are at near limit). They might simply have decided to set the scalling so that the processor is not fully used but still not chocking.
          * scaling again but memory this time. Take the same as above scale N means Memory needed is ay M^2*LOG M (or anything M^3 , M^2 or whatever) and since memory is expected to have a limit on most consumer PC they might have est the limit so that the simulation don’t chocks, but even high memory system would not help if you have a high enough exponent in your M^n
          * Sims approximate. That approximation can be small enough that for a scale of N it does not matter. But it could very well be that for a higher scale, the simulation engine quickly runs into unstable or broken state due to the approximation. Granted it certainly was more a problem for my Quantic Mechanic sims than glassbox, but izt could very well be.
          * boundary condition. It might be that with a certain scale the simulation reach some boundary condition breaking it down and giving meanignless results. For example the engine unable to properly (pulled out of thin air again) calculate city value if the number of fire station is above 20, or popul<tion above 1000000 or whatever. Their glassbox engine might have boundary value for certain parameter which might be reached with big city.

          My take is that it might very well be a limitation of glassbox.

          Or it could be a backend limitation on their server so taht the exchange with player is still smooth and small enough. Which arks back to goddamn stupid idea of not having single player.

          Fact is, only the glassbox guys can answer that one.

          • warsarge says:

            I think the point at which I’m smelling a rotten fish here is that the computation resources you’re talking about don’t change just because it’s being run on a server. The computers in the rack aren’t somehow superior in processing power to the one’s in the desktop*. If the game beats up your local computer’s CPU, it’ll do the same to computer in the rack.

            If it takes this much, PER PLAYER, to run the game, than there is no server architecture that would support this and be financial viable for a one time $60 per player purchase. And for me, that’s where the smell comes from.

            * To forestall the obvious; yes, if you are running a 386 without the math co-processor on the desktop, it’s probably not going to do very well compared to a modern CPU in the server. The argument assumes that we’re talking about generally similar desktop and server CPU’s. There isn’t a magic server CPU that does things automatically faster than their desktop brethren. If there was, every gamer on the planet would be using them.

        • Thomas says:

          The previous versions of simcity were probably not simulated to the same extent, if at all.

          They probably made use of formulas which are less intensive as they usually just require some calculation, in terms of simulation on a city there are basically entities that represent a certain way of behaviour, this makes it a lot more intensive on computing than simply using formulas and other math tricks.

          • FriendlyFire says:

            The past SimCity games weren’t simulated at all. They used statistical analysis with a lot of simplifications. They weren’t CPU-intensive games at all. GlassBox is the very opposite. Of course it’s going to be more computationally expensive, but damn if it isn’t a marvel.

      • Stromko says:

        Tropico 3 had much of the depth that the new SimCity is promising, but then again it was set on small islands where the populations would generally top out in the low hundreds (for any practical purpose), and also lacked any real terraforming.

        It really seems to me like the new SimCity is aping Tropico more than the previous Sim games, in terms of simulation detail and the subsequently smaller scale. It does have more things, like water, electricity lines, and possibly more specific tracking of pollution, garbage, sewage, etc. I’m not yet convinced that the ‘more’ is going to make it a better game in the long term.

        Tropico does lack depth once you get the hang of it, but whether they’re adding the right kind of depth I’m uncertain about. Tropico 4 was an example of adding the wrong kind of depth to that formula; just adding more mindless steps toward the same end. Oh now you need a minister to enact policies, gee what a meaningful change: >build ministry, >click hire foreign expert, >wait, >enact policies. It didn’t add real depth because you followed the exact same steps on every island to solve it.

        I guess my point is that comparing SimCity to the old SimCity titles is less accurate than comparing it to the games it is more similar to now, and figuring whether it’s superior to them or not. What’s in a name anyway? Is this thing going to be better than the Tropico series or not, are the changes it introduces going to be refreshing or tiresome. That’s what weighs on me and whether or not I’ll want this game, not how it compares to the old SimCity games that it barely even resembles.

    • J_C says:

      Don’t forget that this game will have better and more detailed simulation than SimCity 4…oh wait, it probably won’t, because it must be a mainstream title, so everyone can play it.

      • FriendlyFire says:

        Okay seriously, fuck off. You have apparently no grasp of what is being done here. This game is probably the most PC title of the last five years, if not more. It’s a city builder harnessing the hardware of our PC to simulate thousands if not tens of thousands of individual, interlinked agents as they interact to form the closest a game has ever come to really imitating a true system.

        If this were some kind of indie developer, people would be lavishing over the possibilities and the breadth and depth of what’s on offer, even with the current city sizes.

        The bullshit is really getting tiring. If EA decides to screw up over publishing the game, bash on them, but don’t bash on Maxis or the game itself for doing something new and exciting which happens to be the first time in a long while a so-called “mainstream” game actually harnesses the power of your computer to do more than pushing shiny pixels.

        • Sparkasaurusmex says:

          “If this were some kind of indie developer, people would be lavishing over the possibilities”

          This is spot on.
          Also if this were some kind of indie developer most of the things people are ranting about wouldn’t be in the game.

    • Strabo says:

      It’s however completely different from the old Sim City. Every thing on screen is simulated. Every person in your city, every car, every lamp post exists as object in the game world, not only as graphical indicator like in the games before, but as object with input, output, movement etc, interacting with a dozen systems (waste, water, traffic, power, crime, happiness…) at the same time. It is very, very complex, far more sophisticated and “real” than in old games. This takes it’s toll on the hardware. However, the toll isn’t so big that a beefy PC would be limited to the tiny city size.

      I suggest to listen to the last two Idle Thumbs podcasts, where they talk a bit more in depth about Sim City and the video where they play the beta:
      http://www.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/c/1945667
      http://www.idlethumbs.net/idlethumbs/episodes/babywall-the-horse-armor
      http://www.idlethumbs.net/idlethumbs/episodes/h-d-cool-spot

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      I doubt they’re dedicating much CPU/memory to each user, it would be way too expensive. If you have a quad-core of some description, you probably have much more power at your disposal than what they’re willing to afford to keep your city running.

      The issue here IS computer power limiting city size, but it’s not about the limits of your home computer, it’s about their server costs.

  8. rustybroomhandle says:

    Sim City: Cow Edition, meticulously engineered for maximum milking potential.

  9. Jediben says:

    Sadly for EA, my dad trusts my opinion more than any PR vomit, so that’ll be one less purchase. If Dad-gang are interested in playing this then they almost certainly have previous experience with the series. Wh do EA think these people will have lesser standards than teens/twenty somethings?

    • Archonsod says:

      They don’t, they just know those people are more likely to look at what’s actually there prior to whining rather than jumping straight in and sounding like a snivelling brat.

      • beekay says:

        Sadly, what’s there is “not a lot.” The cities really are absolutely tiny, there’s a link somewhere in these comments to TB’s stream – he runs out of space to put things before he’s even able to build one set of higher-end buildings. Is the idea that you need to build nine other cities to supply your tenth proper city where you can actually do interesting things? Why would anyone find that fun?

        edit: oh, by the way – for someone who’s confident they’re not a snivelling brat, you sure sound like a confrontational asshole.

        • Synesthesia says:

          this. Are people really not noticing this? Go give simcity 4 a spin, try to fill you city. Then take a look at that stream. Then activate your brain functions. Congratulations!

  10. crinkles esq. says:

    We wants it, we needs it. Must have the precious. They stole it from us. Sneaky little developerses. Wicked, tricksy, false!
    No. Not EA!
    Yes, precious, false! They will cheat you, hurt you, LIE.
    But EA is our friend!
    You don’t have any friends; nobody likes you!

    • Samwise Gamgee says:

      beware crinkles esq., EA have many spies with many eyes

      • crinkles esq. says:

        I really don’t hold any ill will towards Maxis/EA on this — if they want to make a casual SimCity, that’s their decision. In my opinion a poor one, but theirs to make. But they must think the rest of us are dumb as rocks to believe they designed a super-complicated simulation targeted at casual gamers, and with no ability to scale city size. In any case, I won’t have anything to do with their SimVillage game.

  11. OutrightErrant says:

    So the requirements for this are a 2Ghz Core 2 Duo/Athlon x64 4000, 2GB RAM and either a GeForce 7800, Radeon X1800, or an Intel 4100 integrated graphics card.

    So they’re building this game for mid-range OEM PCs from 2005.

  12. SAM-site says:

    Still very much looking forward to the game, but then I’ve evaluated what I’ve seen so far based on what it does do rather than what it doesn’t.

    A less popular opinion certainly but DRM doesn’t bother me, Origin is cumbersome but not satan, optional extra add-ons are a good thing, I rather like the notion of playing a connected city and smaller cities aren’t terribly disappointing.

    Good day to you all!

  13. JuJuCam says:

    So much anger. So so much anger.

  14. CaspianRoach says:

    I would love for it to spread on Steam.

  15. kafiend says:

    On Earth, which is where I live. When our computers struggle to run things properly we turn the shinies down a little in the place we like to call “graphics options.”.

    • Sam says:

      Sim City has plenty of graphics options. But I’m pretty sure the aspect they’re worried about hitting performance limits on is the decidedly CPU-bound simulation system.

      In a departure from previous SimCity games, this uses an agent based model. Where individual sims “really” exist within the simulated world, moving about, going to work, etc. This is in contrast to previous games where it would model the statistics of the population as an amorphous mass rather than as a gaggle of individuals. The agent based approach is almost inevitably more taxing on the computer’s hardware. If the fancy new way of modelling the world will pay off with a more interesting game is yet to be seen. It’s something that’s key to Dwarf Fortress producing interesting situations, but I doubt that Sim City gives its sims nearly so much opportunity to hilariously destroy the city. Will the ability to follow an individual sim around as he lives his life make for a better game? A strong maybe.

      What is disappointing is that they don’t just give us the option to make larger cities. I understand why of course, that they don’t want less experienced computer users to make a massive city, have it run terribly and blame the game. But really I think they’re underestimating their players. It’s not a terribly hard concept to grasp that the city is simulated on your computer, so a less powerful machine can only handle smaller cities.

      • Lanfranc says:

        My impression from playing the beta is that whilst the Glassbox engine is certainly very impressive, I’m not sure it’s actually a good concept for a Simcity game. In fact, I’d say that it is rather this focus on the individual citizen that makes the game feel somewhat small and constrained, much more than the often-mentioned physical size of the cities.

        In previous Simcity games, the city population have been modelled statistically, which is of course how you deal with large numbers of people in the real world. But with Glassbox, all you get is a bunch of individually identifiable people, which gives the whole thing much more of a village/small town feeling. You lack the sense of being in charge of the destinies of a huge mass of people, rather than of Bill who lives down on the corner and all of his neighbours. It doesn’t really work, unfortunately.

        • SuperNashwanPower says:

          So, here’s a question. Does anyone know if the engine takes advantage of multi-core CPU’s? Its been a long time coming for games to truly take advantage of them, and I would kind of not be surprised if this game, somehow, managed to overlook them. No proof, not looked it up. Just a hunch.

  16. MeestaNob says:

    No thanks EA.

  17. Meusli says:

    What I don’t like is the price. I think £45 for a digital download game that the servers can be switched off at any time is very steep. Hell the digital deluxe edition is a whopping £65.

    • Low Life says:

      You can get some of that off if you buy from Green Man Gaming, 20 % off with the coupon code GMG20-P4DLK-FKYRS and it comes down to £36.

      I also found it for 33 euros on OnlineKeyStore, just don’t know if their business is completely legit..

      • Meusli says:

        A bit better, but why can everyone sell it cheaper than the people making it? I still fear that if this game does not sell well they will switch off the servers after a couple of years leaving you with nothing though.

      • mwoody says:

        To save others from trying it: that code doesn’t work on SimCity in the ‘States, sadly. Instead, you can get a $7 cash refund, which is very meh.

      • Lanfranc says:

        Or it’s £34.99 w/ free shipping at amazon.co.uk.

      • Fiatil says:

        They key to getting it cheap is ordering from Amazon and waiting for them to mess up. After someone accidentally cancelled all of the pre-orders for the digital version, a call to customer service got me the game for $35. Hooray!

  18. Bork Titflopsen says:

    I thought we already played SimTown in 1995…

    In all seriuousness, if they crank up the regions to a decent size I’m going for it. As it stands now, from what I’ve seen, if you want to build anything other than a grid of roads you’ll run out of space to build really quickly.

  19. j3w3l says:

    I just going to keep saying.. La la la la la la la la from now until I start playing in a days time..

    • maximiZe says:

      La la la la la la la la let me consume and support horrible business practices in peace, haters!

      • j3w3l says:

        Is it really so bad that some people are actually excited for this product. I know a large subsection here is stuck in the last decade of pc gaming and it’s apparent golden years but others are moving on.

        I can’t deny the effect that always online has had, it has definitely been used for evil (d3) but it can also be used for good. This new simcity isn’t just the basic game repackaged with an online component gating it it is actually a new progression for it. The social sharing aspects of it do actually excite me, I guess because I have been playing mmo’s for awhile that I’m used to it but the social aspects of a game really add a lot to the experience.

        So yes at the moment your snide comment is actually very apt. The word haters sums it up at this stage since your blindly chanting the evils of online while ignoring the many people that enjoy such things and games that can and are enhanced by it. “the times, they are a changing”.. Maybe it’s time to move on from that antiquated view a little. If not, we’ll there is a plethora of older games for your enjoyment on places like gog.

        • maximiZe says:

          Does this actually make sense in your head or have you simply gone into full defense mode by default?

          Aside from Always-on not being the only issue here, two – I repeat, two – titles forcing it down the willing customers’ throats hardly define the future of gaming. Maybe it rather is the time for you to move on from the joys of eating up anything a nice PR guy tells you, because including a single-player option for this game would have changed nothing about the social features you appear to be so excited about.

          And yes, there really is a plethora of games for me to enjoy without giving away my full customer rights and control to a company which it should never have, I don’t have to go to GOG for that, though – while I do agree that it is a very nice site.

          • j3w3l says:

            Yes, I did go rather on the defense but looking at you post you can see why, it was a tad rude.

            I am hardly one to be coddled by the usual pr dribble, if you noticed I used D3 as an example of things gone wrong. I was never apart of that media hype and never played it as to me, the always online never added anything to it that a co-op function couldn’t. Simcity doesn’t feel like that to me, there is far more interconnectedness and code pen dance in play that highlight the social aspects.

            There are a lot of things wrong with it, I am a regular reader here so I am well aware of that but I’m hoping that the positives of play outweigh these negatives. In the end mist of our gaming purchases come down to faith as you will never know what a game will be like untill you play it. I I may be wrong and in all honesty I probably am and if that’s the case I’m willing to right any apparent wrongs for defending the evil of online.. But I’m still willing to give it a shot. I have my own opinions as do you but untill now I thought I was able to voice them here, of all places without being belittled.

            And no 2 big name games are hardly indicative as to the direction gaming is taking but then they aren’t the only ones now are they.. The ps3 announcement made the direction towards social aspects rather abundantly clear to me.

          • j3w3l says:

            well damn..=(

  20. SandmanXC says:

    I demand a daily login bonus. Otherwise it’s back to Cityville for me.

  21. Arithon says:

    With a £45-65 price point ($67-$97) and their “always on” DRM, I cannot see any reason to buy this game.
    The very nature of the DRM means you can never own the game. When EA decide to switch off the server next year when the DLC fails to meet sales targets, you’ll never be able to play the game again!

    Either charge a low price for “subscription” (because that what it is) or lose the DRM.

  22. Fatrat says:

    I don’t know about his dad, but mine has a rig comprising of an i7 2600K, 8GB RAM, MSI 670. If it can’t run well on my dads PC, then it won’t run well on mine either! :p

    On a more serious note, why not just give us the option of sizing our city as we please? Just put a warning message saying “your game will run slow because your computer sucks” if you select a large(r) map size. That’s how it tends to go in other PC games and with graphical options.

    Does EA think gamers are too thick to work these things out by themselves? This may as well be rhectorical, i guess.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      Lol yeah same here. Not to engage in Whose Dad Is Most Awesome, but mine has got a massively overclocked Phenom II, 16GB RAM and dual 7800 series ATI’s in crossfire. That would be great if crossfire wasn’t buggier than the Dakar Rally (Har …. buggy) of course, but still. It beats my gaming laptop with its i7-2630QM and GTX460M, so yeah Sim City guy, you are forgetting that DADS ARE TECHNICAL GENIUSES

  23. quijote3000 says:

    Sounds good, as long as I don’t see any DLC or microtransactions crap

  24. sharkh20 says:

    I’ll just wait for offline big city mod

  25. Bugamn says:

    So, I heard that there are people that want something like SimCity without always on:
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1584821767/civitas-plan-develop-and-manage-the-city-of-your-d

  26. fish99 says:

    Not gonna support such horrible business practices.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      Definitely. I love the Crysis series but have stopped buying EA games. I used to have so many EA games when I was little, on my C64 and Amiga, so I grew up with them. I loved their logo on my little tapes and discs! But more and more they’ve done things that just eroded all that. They prioritised profit too much over making truly awesome, ground breaking games.

      I don’t like the way they operate, I like the direction they are heading in even less, so despite wanting Crysis 3 quite a lot, I’m happy to go without. It may do no good at all, but I do not want to be one of the crowd that is giving them the message that their “business as usual” is OK.

  27. pbnjoe says:

    Hey, any other of you folks out there sitting quietly in the middle of all this debate just wanting to play some good ol’ Simcity 2000 SE, but have a 64bit computer so haven’t been able to save (though the first edition works fine under DOSbox)? Well, just found a patch that was released recently by a lovely gent that allows you to do it:

    http://www.sevenforums.com/gaming/45438-simcity-2000-w7-x64-2.html#post2026527

    If any of you don’t have it installed and can’t run it because of the registration issue, just say and I’ll upload the registry key needed.

  28. karisu says:

    SimExit 2 – Now you can build on the OTHER side of the freeway!

  29. Branthog says:

    Smallest fucking “cities” ever. These aren’t even large enough to be considered “towns”.

    “Buy our shit for $80, today! We promise that we will maybe someday figure out a way to make cities as big as they were a decade ago, but we don’t actually promise that so whatevs – fuck you, gamers!”.

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