Sepharo wrote on Mar 11, 2013, 12:20: It's not as simple as he's making it look but he's right about it probably being coded in way that should've been "easy" to switch offline. I'm imagining there is a region service interface on the client which is implemented on the server.
They could take that service and instead implement it on the client and I see no reason that most home machines couldn't handle simulating the traffic/commerce in a single region. The cities don't run when you aren't playing them so they essentially just become an assortment of stats that govern their interactions with the currently live city.
I'd say the reason they're doing it on EA's servers (other than DRM/DLC) is not so much for the region simulation (well they'd have to for public/MP regions) but for the "world" components like leaderboards and commodity prices.
There's almost definitely no reason why they couldn't handle it. But coding something for a server and coding something for a home system tends to be very, very different. It isn't as simple as just flipping a switch.
If you never intended to turn off server-side calculations, why have someone put a few weeks into putting that ability in?