Send News. Want a reply? Read this. More in the FAQ.   News Forum - All Forums - Mobile - PDA - RSS Headlines  RSS Headlines   Twitter  Twitter
Customize
User Settings
Styles:
LAN Parties
Upcoming one-time events:

Regularly scheduled events

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

View
88 Replies. 5 pages. Viewing page 1.
< Newer [ 1 2 3 4 5 ] Older >

88. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 9, 2013, 22:04 nin
 
The whole thing stinks to me.

No doubt. These kind of decisions get made, and then steamrolled onto the customer, under the guise of "this is better, and you guys said you wanted it!". Which is a total lie, and most sane people can see. It's marketing in full force, defending against boneheaded design decisions that benefit the company first and the consumer last.


 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
87. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 9, 2013, 21:42 JohnnyRotten
 
nin wrote on Mar 9, 2013, 21:08:
I don't doubt your information, but it's interesting maxis continues to insist an offline mode isn't possible. Not unlike how blizzard insists D3 can't be run offline, but oh, wait, for PS4 it's suddenly possible (but not for you godless pirating PC heathens).

The whole thing stinks to me. If either item I posted is true (can play without being connected, traffic sniffer shows next to no traffic), then the server requirement thing is just simply BS.

Even without confirmation, I don't believe it.

The TL;DNR version: processing horsepower costs money, if you need so much more then a desktop can deliver, then you cannot run many instances of the game per server, and the upfront server cost alone is ridiculously far past the (instance * $60) price point.

------------------------------------------

Long version: If the game takes more CPU or RAM than the average desktop machine, it'll take up the same resources on the server. Yes, the server can drop more physical CPU's in then a desktop. Yes, you can drop in more RAM then the average desktop. But we're not talking orders of magnitude here. The gap between desktop and server CPU/RAM is not generational.

If this game is so heavy on resources (CPU/RAM), how many instances of it could you really run on a server? How is this ever going to be cost effective for EA based on a single $60 purchase - of which only a portion would be available for servers costs (upfront and long term). CPU and RAM isn't cheap for any platform. High end servers that can take multiple CPU's and dense RAM configurations are very expensive even before you drop the component pieces (CPU/RAM/disk) in them.

No, it just doesn't add up. The bottom line is that if you need more processing power per player then the average desktop can deliver, there is no business or technical model that I can think of that makes this financial viable for a single $60 per player purchase.

I also can't see any argument about scales of efficiency in processing or memory that simply couldn't just be transplanted to the desktop. Nothing is efficient about this arrangement - outside the need for physical servers, you need an expensive internet pipe to them, a place to house them, staff to maintain them, etc, etc, etc.

This stinks to high heaven.
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
86. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 9, 2013, 21:08 nin
 
JohnnyRotten wrote on Mar 9, 2013, 20:52:
Beamer wrote on Mar 8, 2013, 09:11:
So, Cheetah speed is killed to preserve server time.

Which means that processing is at least partially, if not largely or fully, server side. Which also explains why the game goes to title if you get a blip in your connection.
...

I'm not convinced this is true. I've read some comments on Rock, Paper, Shotgun about being continuing to play for up to 10 minutes without an internet connection and the only problem is that the city may not sync up once the connection is re-established. I ran across another site where a guy had claimed that a traffic sniffer had showed almost no traffic between his machine and EA.

I haven't bought the game, so my information is second hand. Can anyone here confirm either case?

- J

I don't doubt your information, but it's interesting maxis continues to insist an offline mode isn't possible. Not unlike how blizzard insists D3 can't be run offline, but oh, wait, for PS4 it's suddenly possible (but not for you godless pirating PC heathens).

 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
85. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 9, 2013, 20:52 JohnnyRotten
 
Beamer wrote on Mar 8, 2013, 09:11:
So, Cheetah speed is killed to preserve server time.

Which means that processing is at least partially, if not largely or fully, server side. Which also explains why the game goes to title if you get a blip in your connection.
...

I'm not convinced this is true. I've read some comments on Rock, Paper, Shotgun about being continuing to play for up to 10 minutes without an internet connection and the only problem is that the city may not sync up once the connection is re-established. I ran across another site where a guy had claimed that a traffic sniffer had showed almost no traffic between his machine and EA.

I haven't bought the game, so my information is second hand. Can anyone here confirm either case?

- J
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
84. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 9, 2013, 09:23 Quboid
 
Creston wrote on Mar 8, 2013, 21:35:
Quboid wrote on Mar 8, 2013, 19:39:
My understanding was that the regional stuff is server side but the city simulation is client side. The city simulation is pretty detailed and is probably a CPU hog, there's no much that can be done about that without affecting everything.

This is what I'd read before launch and it is how it seems to act in-game. I've played about 8 hours and the city stuff has been fine. However, some of the region play is a bit wonky, for example I can't jump into a city, expand the power station, jump out and sell that extra juice as it takes several minutes to update the region.

The actual game is very good, but it's SimRegion rather than SimCity. SimSeveralSmallTowns.

I thought all the underlying "agents" in the city were also mostly done cloud-side?

In either case, the game apparently runs off one core, with some minor stuff handled by another core, so it's never going to win any awards for "well-written software."

Creston

I don't think so. The responsiveness of in-city stuff suggests it's done locally while the main gameplay problems I've had (as opposed to many connectivity issues) is with the region being unresponsive.

It only uses one core because your Dad's PC might only have one core ... is that right EA? It's not as if it's an ideal game for multi-core and GPGPU stuff or anything like that.

At least they're giving me a free game, unless the renegade on that too.
 
Avatar 10439
 
- Quboid
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
83. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 8, 2013, 21:35 Creston
 
Quboid wrote on Mar 8, 2013, 19:39:
My understanding was that the regional stuff is server side but the city simulation is client side. The city simulation is pretty detailed and is probably a CPU hog, there's no much that can be done about that without affecting everything.

This is what I'd read before launch and it is how it seems to act in-game. I've played about 8 hours and the city stuff has been fine. However, some of the region play is a bit wonky, for example I can't jump into a city, expand the power station, jump out and sell that extra juice as it takes several minutes to update the region.

The actual game is very good, but it's SimRegion rather than SimCity. SimSeveralSmallTowns.

I thought all the underlying "agents" in the city were also mostly done cloud-side?

In either case, the game apparently runs off one core, with some minor stuff handled by another core, so it's never going to win any awards for "well-written software."

Creston
 
Avatar 15604
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
82. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 8, 2013, 21:33 Creston
 
Theo wrote on Mar 8, 2013, 19:37:
Creston wrote on Mar 8, 2013, 15:20:
AngelicPenguin wrote on Mar 8, 2013, 14:52:
Don't get me wrong this is obviously a mess and a serious embarrassment, but I thought maybe that was THEIR point anyway with the dad's PC comment.

But then why wouldn't you just lower the graphical fidelity? Like every other game has been capable of doing since really the beginning of time. Why limit it on the one thing that every player and every single preview has been hammering them about?

It seems to me like they were hoping to squeeze by with just a few servers.

Creston

the games a utter mess, but you are way off line man. Its nothing to do with graphics, why to people always assume horsepower is about polygons? its about the simulation its doing; and its not cheating like it used to. simple.

Err, I was responding to AP who thought it was about graphics. And no, it's not, it's about their simulation running behind the screen. Which has obviously been programmed marvelously well...

Creston
 
Avatar 15604
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
81. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 8, 2013, 19:39 Quboid
 
Creston wrote on Mar 8, 2013, 15:20:
AngelicPenguin wrote on Mar 8, 2013, 14:52:
Don't get me wrong this is obviously a mess and a serious embarrassment, but I thought maybe that was THEIR point anyway with the dad's PC comment.

But then why wouldn't you just lower the graphical fidelity? Like every other game has been capable of doing since really the beginning of time. Why limit it on the one thing that every player and every single preview has been hammering them about?

It seems to me like they were hoping to squeeze by with just a few servers.

Creston

My understanding was that the regional stuff is server side but the city simulation is client side. The city simulation is pretty detailed and is probably a CPU hog, there's no much that can be done about that without affecting everything.

This is what I'd read before launch and it is how it seems to act in-game. I've played about 8 hours and the city stuff has been fine. However, some of the region play is a bit wonky, for example I can't jump into a city, expand the power station, jump out and sell that extra juice as it takes several minutes to update the region.

The actual game is very good, but it's SimRegion rather than SimCity. SimSeveralSmallTowns.
 
Avatar 10439
 
- Quboid
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
80. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 8, 2013, 19:37 Theo
 
Creston wrote on Mar 8, 2013, 15:20:
AngelicPenguin wrote on Mar 8, 2013, 14:52:
Don't get me wrong this is obviously a mess and a serious embarrassment, but I thought maybe that was THEIR point anyway with the dad's PC comment.

But then why wouldn't you just lower the graphical fidelity? Like every other game has been capable of doing since really the beginning of time. Why limit it on the one thing that every player and every single preview has been hammering them about?

It seems to me like they were hoping to squeeze by with just a few servers.

Creston

the games a utter mess, but you are way off line man. Its nothing to do with graphics, why to people always assume horsepower is about polygons? its about the simulation its doing; and its not cheating like it used to. simple.
 
Avatar 23977
 
Everyone on Bluesnews is synical, get over it.
edit: i cant spell, this is my disclaimer.
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
79. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 8, 2013, 15:20 Creston
 
AngelicPenguin wrote on Mar 8, 2013, 14:52:
Don't get me wrong this is obviously a mess and a serious embarrassment, but I thought maybe that was THEIR point anyway with the dad's PC comment.

But then why wouldn't you just lower the graphical fidelity? Like every other game has been capable of doing since really the beginning of time. Why limit it on the one thing that every player and every single preview has been hammering them about?

It seems to me like they were hoping to squeeze by with just a few servers.

Creston
 
Avatar 15604
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
78. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 8, 2013, 14:52 AngelicPenguin
 
Creston wrote on Mar 8, 2013, 12:12:
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. 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?

Well, if you didn't put up enough servers to handle the calculations, sure.

But here's the funny thing: EA claims that the small city sizes are necessary because OUR computers aren't powerful enough to handle the intricate detail of the game.

But then on the flipside, they say (and it seems) that a lot of these calculations are done on their server side, which is supposed to be eminently scalable. So really what they are saying is "We stuck with small city sizes because we don't want to pay for the infrastructure to allow bigger ones."

BUY NOW! SUPPORT EA!

Creston

I thought the difference was they wanted to be able to render ok on a low end computer. I dunno, looking at the videos the game looks pretty nice. I could see a huge city chugging on a slower PC.

So I guess what I'm saying is, isn't there a difference in what they are offloading to the server simulation-wise, and what they are trying to achieve performance-wise when it comes to graphics.

Don't get me wrong this is obviously a mess and a serious embarrassment, but I thought maybe that was THEIR point anyway with the dad's PC comment.
 
Avatar 55985
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
77. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 8, 2013, 12:28 Verno
 
Creston wrote on Mar 8, 2013, 12:14:

The funny thing is, I didn't realize you were joking until I came to the skyscrapers line...

Haha yeah I had to do a doubletake too. With EA you never know, no depths too low for them to plumb
 
Avatar 51617
 
Playing: Shadow of Mordor, Peggle 2, TIE Fighter
Watching: Capturing the Friedmans, The Jungle, Person of Interest
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
76. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 8, 2013, 12:27 RollinThundr
 
Creston wrote on Mar 8, 2013, 12:14:
Redmask wrote on Mar 7, 2013, 22:54:
SimCity 1.3 Patchnotes:

- Added "Skip Tutorial" button.
- Removed Llama Speed. Llama Speed and Cheetah Speed now move at Turtle Speed.
- Disabled High Density Streets/High Density Streetcar Avenues.
- Large regions (>12 city zones) reduced to 4 city zones.
- Removed skyscrapers. Height is too taxing on servers.
- Removed positive Simoleon gain. Earning money is too taxing on servers.




Obviously not real. They could be real tomorrow at this rate.

The funny thing is, I didn't realize you were joking until I came to the skyscrapers line...

Creston
Where's that broken record gif Verno?
It's pretty pathetic how emotionally involved you are with trolling a publisher who doesn't even know you exist. I'm sure you never intended to buy SimCity, yet I think there's more posts in every SimCity thread from you than people who actually bought the game.
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
75. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 8, 2013, 12:14 Creston
 
Redmask wrote on Mar 7, 2013, 22:54:
SimCity 1.3 Patchnotes:

- Added "Skip Tutorial" button.
- Removed Llama Speed. Llama Speed and Cheetah Speed now move at Turtle Speed.
- Disabled High Density Streets/High Density Streetcar Avenues.
- Large regions (>12 city zones) reduced to 4 city zones.
- Removed skyscrapers. Height is too taxing on servers.
- Removed positive Simoleon gain. Earning money is too taxing on servers.




Obviously not real. They could be real tomorrow at this rate.

The funny thing is, I didn't realize you were joking until I came to the skyscrapers line...

Creston
 
Avatar 15604
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
74. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 8, 2013, 12:12 Creston
 
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. 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?

Well, if you didn't put up enough servers to handle the calculations, sure.

But here's the funny thing: EA claims that the small city sizes are necessary because OUR computers aren't powerful enough to handle the intricate detail of the game.

But then on the flipside, they say (and it seems) that a lot of these calculations are done on their server side, which is supposed to be eminently scalable. So really what they are saying is "We stuck with small city sizes because we don't want to pay for the infrastructure to allow bigger ones."

BUY NOW! SUPPORT EA!

Creston
 
Avatar 15604
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
73. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 8, 2013, 12:08 Creston
 
Panickd wrote on Mar 7, 2013, 22:05:
Why does a SimCity game need leaderboards in the first damn place?

Well obviously it doesn't, that's why they turned them off.

Creston
 
Avatar 15604
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
72. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 8, 2013, 11:35 Creston
 
What we saw was that players were having such a good time they didn't want to leave the game,

OMG, REALLY KIP? Players want to keep playing their new game? WHAT IS THE FUCKING WORLD COMING TO?!

Don't all you filthy players realize that this means EA has to put up more servers! DAMMIT! They had so carefully calculated everything too! We put up enough servers for 10% of the population, if that 10% only logs on for 30 minutes at at time. Then they log out, and can go back in the 30 minutes queues.

Who ARE all you fuckers who just keep playing and playing and playing, denying everyone else a highly limited server slot? Don't you CARE?!

Filthy PC gamers. If you aren't pirating, you're PLAYING the game you bought! It's never good enough for you guys!

EA. It's in the game. Now stop playing it so others can play it too.

Creston

This comment was edited on Mar 8, 2013, 13:00.
 
Avatar 15604
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
71. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 8, 2013, 09:59 Dev
 
WaltC wrote on Mar 8, 2013, 08:41:
Hopefully, EA will then sell the IP to someone who can use it to make the kind of game people want to buy.
HAHHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAA
Man thats funny. EA selling IP.
Since when?
InBlack wrote on Mar 8, 2013, 08:34:
Depending on how well this game does, and I suspect it will do pretty well regardless of launch and its myrad of other problems I predict that this game will have at least 10 expansions/DLC content, maybe more.

How many expansions/sequels did the Sims get? Lets list them:

The Sims
The Sims 2
The Sims 3
The Sims Online
The Sims Stories
MySims
The Sims Carnival
The Sims Medieval
The Sims Social
That's like 1/10th of the list.
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
70. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 8, 2013, 09:48 Omni
 
I will keep laugh at those cunts who keeps buying products like this. I think we've been here before with the always online for single player games but people keeps supporting it for some odd reason.  
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
69. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 8, 2013, 09:42 Redmask
 
Quboid wrote on Mar 8, 2013, 09:31:
The language they used, or rather the language you used. This all stinks to high heaven, don't get me wrong, but they did not admit that they're holding it back to sell it to us later. They probably will do this, but there's been no such admission.

Yes they did, they admitted they were holding back the feature and there is no way they will give it away for free later on so what does that leave as an option? I'm sorry if that's not tacit enough for you but it certainly is for me.

Sims 3 + all DLC works out to like $300-400. There are going to do the same thing with this game, 2+2=4. There is no other reason to force this level of invasive DRM unless you're trying to protect an ongoing revenue stream, see D3 + RMAH.
 
Avatar 57682
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
88 Replies. 5 pages. Viewing page 1.
< Newer [ 1 2 3 4 5 ] Older >


footer

Blue's News logo