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SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand

A post to the EA Forums from SimCity senior producer Kip Katsarelis explains the measures they are taking to address launch issues with the new SimCity, which include a server hotfix and a version 1.2 patch, but apparently no refunds (contrary to an early statement that said these would be offered). Word is they have temporarily cut off some features to help their servers cope with demand:

Server capacity is our biggest obstacle. We launched in North America on Tuesday and our servers filled up within a matter of hours. What we saw was that players were having such a good time they didn't want to leave the game, which kept our servers packed and made it difficult for new players to join. We added more servers to accommodate the launch in Australia and Japan, and then more yesterday to accommodate the launch in Europe. As of right now, we are adding even more servers which will be going live over the next three days. And, our plan is to continue to bring more servers online until we have enough to meet the demand, increase player capacity and let more people through the gates and into the game.

Earlier today, we released a patch that temporarily cut off some features including leaderboards, achievements and Cheetah Speed to reduce data stress on the servers and effectively free up space so that we can let more people into the game. These are great features that we're proud of and we'll turn them back on soon, but our number one priority is to bring stability to our servers. This update also resolved some of the bugs and issues that have been frustrating players. You can read all about it at http://forum.ea.com/eaforum/posts/list/9341807.page

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88 Replies. 5 pages. Viewing page 4.
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28. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 7, 2013, 22:35 Verno
 
As a consumer I'm pretty insulted that they're stripping out the features they claimed were necessary for the games online requirements. We all knew it was a DRM justification anyway but it's still stupid. This is just an epic clusterfuck, most MMOs launch better than this. I can't believe this is the future they're trying to sell people with traditional games going online.

This is really the kind of thing where people post "durrr Blues is so biased about EA" and you can just point to this whole episode and not even say another word.

Probably all of it is done on their server, your CPU/GPU just renders it. No wonder online is required, it's not just DRM, it's big brother. They know every click you make. That has to be be worth money to someone.

They made some very dumb design decisions to justify their online DRM, like giving each individual citizen its own subroutine and so on. I can't imagine the server farm that's required to support even a few hundred thousand players when you think of the scale involved, let alone a million.
 
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27. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 7, 2013, 22:22 RaZ0r!
 
EkimDeLhi wrote on Mar 7, 2013, 22:13:
And the fact that they could try to turn off cheetah speed to resolve the connection issues makes me wonder how much of the calculations are being done on the servers.

Probably all of it is done on their server, your CPU/GPU just renders it. No wonder online is required, it's not just DRM, it's big brother. They know every click you make. That has to be be worth money to someone.
 
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26. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 7, 2013, 22:21 jdreyer
 
NKD wrote on Mar 7, 2013, 20:34:
Like I said in the other thread, I can't think of excuses for why putting more servers online seems to be a huge struggle for them. It doesn't take 3-6 days, even if you have to order new servers from IBM or Dell or whoever the fuck EA uses.

And like I said on the previous thread, I find it hard to imagine that they'd need to buy any new hardware. There should be plenty of unused SWTOR servers hanging around.
 
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25. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 7, 2013, 22:18 Hudson187
 
I had ordered my retail copy from Amazon -- came in on Tuesday. I got around to installing it last night and tried to play it tonight. I first sat in "queue" for 45 minutes... yes... 45 minutes. Then, I got into the title screen where the game "tried" to load the tutorial, but never loaded the map as I kept losing connection to the server. I have just requested a RMA from Amazon so I can send them back this POS. Yes, the key is connected to my account, but I can assure you I'm also uninstalling Origin since BF3 has turned into a cheatfest anyway. I'm truly disappointed in Maxis; I will NEVER give either Maxis or EA my $$ again. I'm still extremely bothered by the fact that a SP game REQUIRES a constant internet connection -- that requirement alone should have been enough to warn me, but I put faith in Maxis and the SimCity franchise. At this point I'd rather play SimCity on SNES.  
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24. Re: More Big Picture Details Mar 7, 2013, 22:16 HorrorScope
 
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Mar 7, 2013, 21:31:
Also, why the HELL did so many people buy this game if it has always online drm?

Because they feel it's not a big deal, since many games are always online. Not withstanding their current blunders, lol.
 
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23. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 7, 2013, 22:13 EkimDeLhi
 
Yes, am glad to have avoided this as well. Personally, I would use cheetah speed all the time in past versions. To have that feature that's been in every Sim City I can remember stripped away suddenly due to server issues is just ridiculous.

And the fact that they could try to turn off cheetah speed to resolve the connection issues makes me wonder how much of the calculations are being done on the servers. If it's the case that the game actually does a lot of that on the EA server farm it's no wonder it crashed their shit. Also, if that's the case, it feels like some smoke and mirrors. So like, if everyone in the Sim City "world" starts cheetah (refuse to capitalize) mode'ing, that could just crash the entire game for everybody? At any time?
 
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22. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 7, 2013, 22:08 nin
 

I'm just going to play SC4 and pretend this never came out...

 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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21. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 7, 2013, 22:07 Redmask
 
Panickd wrote on Mar 7, 2013, 22:05:
Why does a SimCity game need leaderboards in the first damn place?

You just don't get it man. SimCity is a connected social experience and there is no way the game can operate without features like leaderboards, achievements and..wait a fucking minute.

Welcome to the internet web 2.0 connected social experience. What could go wrong with a game that requires internet access? I can't imagine what could ever go wrong there, I'm always on the internet and nothing ever goes wrong on it. People making a big deal of this are obviously just whining or a vocal minority because everyone has the internet and so a game requiring it isn't a problem, people just need to get with the times.

Except for uh all of this shit.

EA finally got over DRM then decided to start experimenting with it again. SimCitys leaderboards and neighbor cities beside your small shitty ones are their excuse why you can't just save the fucking game on your hard drive. It's also why you need to sit in a damned login queue to play a singleplayer game.

This comment was edited on Mar 7, 2013, 22:15.
 
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20. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 7, 2013, 22:05 Panickd
 
Why does a SimCity game need leaderboards in the first damn place?  
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19. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 7, 2013, 21:57 NKD
 
PHJF wrote on Mar 7, 2013, 21:35:
Because it was a SimCity game. Had I a shred less composure I might have purchased it, myself. Maybe tomorrow I'll start up another round of 3K or 4... the SimCities which are actually functional.

That'd be nice. I can't get 4 to run at an acceptable level of performance on my machine at all. Weird problems with custom regions not lining up, and five minutes to pop in textures when changing zoom levels. Problems I don't remember having a billion years ago on a much shittier PC.
 
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If you don't like where gaming is heading, stop giving your money to the people who are taking it in that direction.
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18. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 7, 2013, 21:40 Pete
 
Boy am I glad I avoided this one.  
Doin' it Big
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17. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 7, 2013, 21:35 PHJF
 
Because it was a SimCity game. Had I a shred less composure I might have purchased it, myself. Maybe tomorrow I'll start up another round of 3K or 4... the SimCities which are actually functional.  
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Steam + PSN: PHJF
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16. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 7, 2013, 21:31 MoreLuckThanSkill
 
Hrm, I had not been paying much attention to this Sim City game... who the hell thought it was such a great idea to have always online?

Also, why the HELL did so many people buy this game if it has always online drm?

On the plus side, sounds like a lot of customers are getting a rough experience with said DRM, hopefully this will help in the long run.

 
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15. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 7, 2013, 21:22 xXBatmanXx
 
Shok wrote on Mar 7, 2013, 21:15:
This whole fiasco just makes me realize how obsolete this game will be in a few years when EA turns off the servers when incremental_2015_version_with_new_sims comes out.

By the way, when is the Taylor Swift(tm) SimCity DLC coming out??? I totally want to see how many boyfriends I can give her in my city.

That is the only thing I can think of. Same with their annual games. I am sure it bothers them to no end we are still playing *gasp* prior SimCity games that don't require a connection.
 
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14. Re: More Big Picture Details Mar 7, 2013, 21:17 HorrorScope
 
NKD wrote on Mar 7, 2013, 20:34:
Like I said in the other thread, I can't think of excuses for why putting more servers online seems to be a huge struggle for them. It doesn't take 3-6 days, even if you have to order new servers from IBM or Dell or whoever the fuck EA uses.

eMachine Servers.

Did you see EA's new slogan?
EA in the entertainment business to piss you off!
 
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13. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 7, 2013, 21:15 Shok
 
This whole fiasco just makes me realize how obsolete this game will be in a few years when EA turns off the servers when incremental_2015_version_with_new_sims comes out.

By the way, when is the Taylor Swift(tm) SimCity DLC coming out??? I totally want to see how many boyfriends I can give her in my city.
 
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12. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 7, 2013, 21:10 Rain
 
EA to big to fail.  
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"Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae..."
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11. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 7, 2013, 21:08 Angrius Maximis
 
KTR wrote on Mar 7, 2013, 20:53:
LOL..."Disabled Cheetah speed. Cheetah speed is now the same as llama speed."

edit: This is getting better and better! Polygon drops their review score of SimCity from 9.5 to 8.0...and again to 4.0.

http://www.polygon.com/game/simcity-2013/2630

Too late, EA has already taken screenshots to paste on the boxcover and website of when it was an 8
 
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10. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 7, 2013, 21:03 Slashman
 
Are they actually serious? Turning off stuff in a game that people paid for expecting to have that stuff available so some other folks can play too?

What exactly could make this any worse?

This goes way beyond retarded. Dunce
 
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9. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 7, 2013, 20:53 KTR
 
LOL..."Disabled Cheetah speed. Cheetah speed is now the same as llama speed."

edit: This is getting better and better! Polygon drops their review score of SimCity from 9.5 to 8.0...and again to 4.0.

http://www.polygon.com/game/simcity-2013/2630

This comment was edited on Mar 7, 2013, 21:01.
 
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88 Replies. 5 pages. Viewing page 4.
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