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Ships Ahoy - SimCity; Refunds Offered for Launch Issues

EA announces that the Windows edition of SimCity is now available in North America, saying the OS X edition of Maxis' urban planning reboot will follow sometime this spring. The SimCity Website has a blog post from Kip Katsarelis where the Senior Producer on the project offers some thoughts on what to expect. The first review scores are up on Metacritic, where it has so far received much acclaim from critics, while the user score scrapes along the bottom, as many gamers are using this opportunity to voice disapproval of the game's DRM, which requires it to be played online. On that topic, the Origin twitter account has a steady stream of tweets explaining delays in distributing and unlocking the game though the Origin service, which is struggling with the demand, at various times saying the delay to unlock the game would span 90 minutes to as much as four hours. Polygon has word from Origin global community manager Marcel Hatam that the service is still struggling, and they note a post on the EA Forums sympathizing with frustration at the delays, and offering refunds for unhappy customers. They explain that they understand how important pre-loads are to a smooth launch, and apologize that they could not put this knowledge to use in this case, saying: "This didn't come together for SimCity unfortunately, for which I again apologize." Here's part of the release announcement:

Everything is intelligently simulated in this new SimCity, from all of the Sims in a city, to every kilowatt of power pulsing through a region thanks to the powerful GlassBox Engine. It is the most expansive city management game yet where multi-city gameplay across regions delivers a larger playing field. No longer are players relegated to playing one single city, now they can manage and play up to 16 cities at once. Each city can have different specializations; they can share services and trade resources; they can help or even hinder each other; every decision a player makes in each city has impact in the broader region. Its up to the player to decide where and how they play.

For the first time in the series multiplayer is added to the gameplay giving players a new dimension to the game, as decisions impact both the city and the region, creating new ways to play by collaborating or competing to earn achievements. Underpinning SimCity is a live service that simulates real-time updates and pushes them to players in the form of new challenges and achievements. Players will track their progression alongside their friends and the world for the most polluted city, the richest city and more. Whether players play by themselves, with their friends or with the rest of the world, SimCity will challenge players to create the city of their dreams answer the question what kind of mayor will you be?

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120 Replies. 6 pages. Viewing page 5.
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40. Re: Ships Ahoy - SimCity; Refunds Offered for Launch Issues Mar 5, 2013, 12:31 Verno
 
Quboid wrote on Mar 5, 2013, 12:26:
ASeven wrote on Mar 5, 2013, 12:13:
Also, the true sequel for SC4 can be found here.

That looks interesting. I'd like to see more about the game, with videos and screenshots of work in progress. They seem more focussed on what EA are doing than their own project.

I guess I must be looking at a different page because I see a single text section out of several, its just explaining the genesis of the project and their ideals for the end result.

I agree though they need to show off more of their work before people will commit funding. They're also coming at a bad time, I think people are waiting for the first wave of game projects to materialize before they start dumping money into others.
 
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39. Re: Ships Ahoy - SimCity; Refunds Offered for Launch Issues Mar 5, 2013, 12:26 Quboid
 
ASeven wrote on Mar 5, 2013, 12:13:
Also, the true sequel for SC4 can be found here.

That looks interesting. I'd like to see more about the game, with videos and screenshots of work in progress. They seem more focussed on what EA are doing than their own project.
 
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- Quboid
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38. Re: Ships Ahoy - SimCity; Refunds Offered for Launch Issues Mar 5, 2013, 12:13 ASeven
 
Also, the true sequel for SC4 can be found here.  
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37. Re: Ships Ahoy - SimCity; Refunds Offered for Launch Issues Mar 5, 2013, 12:12 ASeven
 
http://i.imgur.com/vV8PLqv.jpg  
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36. Re: Ships Ahoy - SimCity; Refunds Offered for Launch Issues Mar 5, 2013, 12:11 Primalchrome
 
Origin only...not on Steam... Looks like they lost my $50, just like Mass Effect 3.  
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35. Re: Ships Ahoy - SimCity; Refunds Offered for Launch Issues Mar 5, 2013, 11:58 Quboid
 
One of the guys on that ArsTechnica was responsible for this nonsense so I'm not sure how worth listening to they are. Creston, who is on the EA-sponsered list?

I've yet to get any kind of unlock, although possibly the VPN method just doesn't work and it doesn't officially unlock here in the UK until Friday.

Going by reviews and reports (TotalBiscuit's review is interesting) it's very good. If it wasn't always online and the cities could be 4x the size, it might have been great. As it is, I still regret preordering it but I might as well enjoy it if I can now.
 
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34. Re: Ships Ahoy - SimCity; Refunds Offered for Launch Issues Mar 5, 2013, 11:33 ExGemini
 
Mikus_Aurelius wrote on Mar 5, 2013, 10:15:
I may have to cave and get this after watching some let's plays. I'm a sucker for building games and even with its flaws it looks better than anything I've seen in years.

Does anyone know the latest on how to block Origin from scanning your system and phoning home? I've never installed Origin before. My own googling gave some suggestions, but many were over a year old and perhaps outdated.

you have to use http://www.sandboxie.com/
 
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33. Re: Ships Ahoy - SimCity; Refunds Offered for Launch Issues Mar 5, 2013, 11:28 Creston
 
I loved this particular line from some Swedish review outfit (GameReactor):

EA has listened to the community, improved, brought back what was good, improved again and made the most marvelous city creator you could ever imagine.

I guess EA spends a lot of marketing dollars in Sweden? Seriously, GameReactor? EA has listened to the community? The community which, by and large, has continuously said they want MUCH bigger city sizes than this, and has said they don't really care about the social aspects?

And they brought back what was good? What exactly? There is no terraforming, there are no subways, there are no highways?

They only gave it a 90, though. I guess EA should have given them the same check as they gave Eurogamer Sweden, who gave it a 100 and basically calls it the best game ever made.

Creston
 
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32. Re: Ships Ahoy - SimCity; Refunds Offered for Launch Issues Mar 5, 2013, 11:22 Creston
 
nin wrote on Mar 5, 2013, 11:07:
Enough monkeys have pre-ordered this that it's already a success.

Yes and no. I'm sure they thought Dead Space 3 was a hit on launch day, too. But you also have to factor in how many people are buying this next week or next month. And the more word of mouth gets out about the various issues, the more it's going to hurt that (hello, A:CM).


That's true, but even so, the Sim City pre-order/day one buy people are turning Origin into an absolute crawl, so I imagine that we're talking about a fairly significant amount of people.

(Btw, great job releasing your final ME3 DLC today, Bioware. It'll be fun not to be able to play it for five days because other people are swamping EA's horrible download service.)

Creston
 
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31. Re: Ships Ahoy - SimCity; Refunds Offered for Launch Issues Mar 5, 2013, 11:08 Verno
 
Creston wrote on Mar 5, 2013, 11:04:
That's a pretty damning interview, I'd say. And Ars isn't on the EA-sponsored review list, so I'd trust their review over the majority of all others.

Not that it matters, really. Enough monkeys have pre-ordered this that it's already a success.

Yeah that was my thought as well. Kyle is really forgiving of game flaws and PeterB is picky as hell like me so when they more or less agree on something it gives me pause. It sounds like the game is SimCity lite and that's just not my cup of tea.

Yes and no. I'm sure they thought Dead Space 3 was a hit on launch day, too.

Indeed, I recall EA saying it was the most "preordered" Dead Space game in the series in one of those "reasons to have a press release" things.
 
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30. Re: Ships Ahoy - SimCity; Refunds Offered for Launch Issues Mar 5, 2013, 11:07 nin
 
Enough monkeys have pre-ordered this that it's already a success.

Yes and no. I'm sure they thought Dead Space 3 was a hit on launch day, too. But you also have to factor in how many people are buying this next week or next month. And the more word of mouth gets out about the various issues, the more it's going to hurt that (hello, A:CM).

 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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29. Re: Ships Ahoy - SimCity; Refunds Offered for Launch Issues Mar 5, 2013, 11:04 Creston
 
bhcompy wrote on Mar 5, 2013, 10:04:
Verno wrote on Mar 5, 2013, 09:48:
I wish the critics were taking less EA ad money and the users would ignore the DRM for 20 seconds and comment on the actual game quality. It's difficult for the average user to find a reasonable in between these days.

Ars Technica has a moderately scathing review. Cities are too small, lack of save/restore limits gameplay, traffic simulation sucks as always, bugs galore, upgrading roads destroys surrounding buildings, etc.

That's a pretty damning interview, I'd say. And Ars isn't on the EA-sponsored review list, so I'd trust their review over the majority of all others.

Not that it matters, really. Enough monkeys have pre-ordered this that it's already a success.

Creston
 
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28. Re: Ships Ahoy - SimCity; Refunds Offered for Launch Issues Mar 5, 2013, 11:01 Creston
 
Mikus_Aurelius wrote on Mar 5, 2013, 10:59:
I don't mind always on DRM that much. I probably won't play til the weekend anyway. I know some people do and they're welcome to that opinion. I'm not trying to start a fight there.

I do mind a program scanning my hard drive and sending the info to EA. I was under the impression that there are ways to make sure Origin doesn't see anything on my HD and reports back a blank to EA.

You can add the origin servers to your host file, but that obviously negates downloading. (so you'd do it after the download was completed) Plus, you have to play on EA's server anyway, so I'm not sure that blocking Origin is really going to make much of a difference.

Creston
 
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27. Re: Ships Ahoy - SimCity; Refunds Offered for Launch Issues Mar 5, 2013, 11:01 InBlack
 
Verno wrote on Mar 5, 2013, 10:52:
InBlack wrote on Mar 5, 2013, 10:47:
I guess I just got baited into overkill, but fuck it if everything I said isnt true.

You didn't get baited, you launched straight into hysterics. It is ok if other people don't care about online DRM as much as you, life moves on. It sounds like the game has many legitimately bad qualities, no need to sit there calling people cunts and bringing Diablo 3 into it.

And why not bring D3 into it? I mean its the exact same situation, and should have been a lesson learned. A hugely popular IP gets an online component (for whatever reason) and on launch day has severe server side issues.

So now we have a game, that for whatever reason DOESNT have an offline component and yet is for all intents and purposes a single player game and people cant play it.

You might think its hyterics, but its not, its a simple smackdown.
 
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26. Re: Ships Ahoy - SimCity; Refunds Offered for Launch Issues Mar 5, 2013, 10:59 Mikus_Aurelius
 
I don't mind always on DRM that much. I probably won't play til the weekend anyway. I know some people do and they're welcome to that opinion. I'm not trying to start a fight there.

I do mind a program scanning my hard drive and sending the info to EA. I was under the impression that there are ways to make sure Origin doesn't see anything on my HD and reports back a blank to EA.
 
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25. Re: Ships Ahoy - SimCity; Refunds Offered for Launch Issues Mar 5, 2013, 10:53 Creston
 
Launch issues? Who'd have guessed.

I hope it takes 900 years to unlock.

Creston
 
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24. Re: Ships Ahoy - SimCity; Refunds Offered for Launch Issues Mar 5, 2013, 10:52 Verno
 
InBlack wrote on Mar 5, 2013, 10:47:
I guess I just got baited into overkill, but fuck it if everything I said isnt true.

You didn't get baited, you launched straight into hysterics. It is ok if other people don't care about online DRM as much as you, life moves on. It sounds like the game has many legitimately bad qualities, no need to sit there calling people cunts and bringing Diablo 3 into it.
 
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23. Re: Ships Ahoy - SimCity; Refunds Offered for Launch Issues Mar 5, 2013, 10:47 InBlack
 
I guess I just got baited into overkill, but fuck it if everything I said isnt true.  
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22. Re: Ships Ahoy - SimCity; Refunds Offered for Launch Issues Mar 5, 2013, 10:44 Verno
 
Briktal, I couldnt log into D3 for three days straight!

And since when is NOT Preordering boycotting, you corporate shill?

Oh and I just read the Arstechnica review of SimCity, you just got burned A:CM style! Yeeehaa! So keep on preordering if you like people, keep on buying into those glowing reviews and supporting the hype machine. Thats the way to go Yessir!

Briktal isn't a shill and you need to dial down the madness, jesus you're overdoing it.
 
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21. Re: Ships Ahoy - SimCity; Refunds Offered for Launch Issues Mar 5, 2013, 10:43 Panickd
 
After the game refused to let me actually play beyond the beginning tutorial during the beta, I pretty much saw this coming. It's kind of sad that companies that really, really want you to be connected all the time to play their games cannot hold their end up server-wise. If you expect your users to be logged into your servers all the time you had better make sure your servers are capable of handling it even if that means going well over normal capacity on day one until things die down. In a day and age when we can have cloud systems that can spawn virtual servers on demand and load balance across them there isn't any excuse for having such a poor customer experience out-of-the-box on day one like this.

But at least they're offering refunds.
 
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