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SimCity: Now With 92% Less Crashing; Maxis Walks Back from Offline Comment

SimCity Update #4 is penned by EA Maxis SVP Lucy Bradshaw, who is "happy to report that the core problem with getting in and having a great SimCity experience is almost behind us," saying they have "reduced game crashes by 92% from day one." She admits she's not able to offer the "all clear" for the game she'd hoped to, but seems optimistic that they've turned the corner from the game's rocky launch. There's also a new tweet on the SimCity account quickly walking back from this tweet they posted over the weekend which said: "We have no intention of offlining SimCity any time soon but we'll look into that as part of our earning back your trust efforts." It seems there is a disagreement among the operators of their twitter account, because the new update states this isn't actually possible: "The game was designed for MP, we sim the entire region on the server so this is just not possible."

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18. Re: SimCity: Now With 92% Less Crashing; Maxis Walks Back from Offline Comment Mar 11, 2013, 10:08 Creston
 
EA, where the idiots on the left hand don't know what the idiots on the right hand are saying.


Btw, in other fantastic EA news, did you guys know that even though they shut down servers for games less than two years old, that EA happily keeps on SELLING those games? FIFA 10 is on sale today for the amazing price of $10. The server was shut down last year.

EA!

Creston
 
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17. Re: SimCity: Now With 92% Less Crashing; Maxis Walks Back from Offline Comment Mar 11, 2013, 10:03 zombiefan
 
Geez, that can't even get their PR straight.

I'd love to walk into their corporate offices ask to speak to someone in charge and then hand them $50. Then the conversation would proceed like this:

"Here you go."
"What's this for?"
"You wanted my money."
"Oh! Well....can't we get you game or something?"
"No."
"I don't understand."
"You want my money, right? So here it is"
"Sir, we'll be happy to sell you a game..."
"No, I don't want your game. You don't give a fuck about me, the features I want, or improving your gameplay. You just want my money. So here it is."


And I bet you they'd take it too.
 
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16. Re: SimCity: Now With 92% Less Crashing; Maxis Walks Back from Offline Comment Mar 11, 2013, 09:51 Verno
 
finga wrote on Mar 11, 2013, 09:41:
Maybe it'd work some kind of dedicated server model... oh wait, that's what EA actually built. Just run entirely on their own, is all.

We can insist on a single player/offline-only game, but it won't have all the features that Maxis built. Whether you need them or not is one thing, but let's not pretend that everything would still be there without Maxis' servers.

That really depends though, we don't know the level of resources required and just how complex the regional aspects really are. I'm sure EA would like us to believe it can't be done but I'm more inclined to think that it's just control shenanigans on their part.
 
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15. Re: SimCity: Now With 92% Less Crashing; Maxis Walks Back from Offline Comment Mar 11, 2013, 09:46 Omni
 
I like how they don't give a crap about anything related to the problems and how the back down from comments they made, it really lets you know where they stand.

This comment was edited on Mar 11, 2013, 10:01.
 
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14. Re: SimCity: Now With 92% Less Crashing; Maxis Walks Back from Offline Comment Mar 11, 2013, 09:41 wtf_man
 
Verno wrote on Mar 11, 2013, 09:27:
Assuming it's feasible to reverse engineer in the first place, I'm not sure there is the interest level to bother unfortunately. I haven't heard of any efforts to do so yet.

I was going by the crack / emulation from one of the first "always on-line DRM" games that Ubi had... Driver San Francisco? Or maybe it was one of the Silent Hunters. I forgot which game it was... anyway... they came out with a crack / server emulator about 6 months after the game launched.

Granted.. that was probably a little easier, since it was more like "downloading small parts of the game as you go", and once you finished the game... you had a full copy locally, or something like that.

The tough part is breaking the encryption. Once they're over that hump, they can figure out what the server sends.
 
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13. Re: SimCity: Now With 92% Less Crashing; Maxis Walks Back from Offline Comment Mar 11, 2013, 09:41 finga
 
Verno wrote on Mar 11, 2013, 09:10:
That was really the lamest excuse, as if they're bankrupting themselves on crazy server setups to "save" you the minor computational resources that you could easily do for your own regions.
I'm a little doubtful that a gaming PC setup as a server could simulate and manage the whole region (and not just one city) at once, or at least, not without the player having to make difficult tradeoffs regarding region size and CPU/RAM. What if you're playing on a laptop? What if your computer is barely capable of playing The Sims 3, something I'm sure EA insisted on?

Maybe it'd work some kind of dedicated server model... oh wait, that's what EA actually built. Just run entirely on their own, is all.

We can insist on a single player/offline-only game, but it won't have all the features that Maxis built. Whether you need them or not is one thing, but let's not pretend that everything would still be there without Maxis' servers.
 
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12. Re: SimCity: Now With 92% Less Crashing; Maxis Walks Back from Offline Comment Mar 11, 2013, 09:37 Kajetan
 
Verno wrote on Mar 11, 2013, 09:10:
I don't see people getting a lot of mileage out of this, we were bored after a few hours and loaded up Company of Heroes to do some LAN. Cities XL seems more ambitious which is kinda sad.
Remember The Sims? The first one? Where, after a few hours of feverish playing you just stopped, because you realized that you had done everything this game had to offer? And when the addons were released, you thought "Oh, boy (or girl)! Finally some new furnitures and things to do around the house!".

Well, my sister thought that. Nearly three years. Bought an addon, played a week, got bored because she had seen everything, stopped playing, bought the next addon, repeat. And when The Sims 2 was released, she just shrugged and said: "Meh, the same only with nicer graphics, i'll pass. Lets play some WoW!"

They are trying the Sims approach. Offer the player little, so that DLC and addons seem to be much more attractive.

And complete OT: Where can i change the board settings, so that new comments are marked with red dot? The last Firefox update deleted all settings and cookies.

This comment was edited on Mar 11, 2013, 09:42.
 
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11. Re: SimCity: Now With 92% Less Crashing; Maxis Walks Back from Offline Comment Mar 11, 2013, 09:27 Verno
 
Capitan wrote on Mar 11, 2013, 09:18:
This is what happens when already large companies try to come up with new ways to make money. The company makes excuses about what is done is for the customer / users best, when in actual is about the come up with ways to "force of money" by the customer / user.

The extension of this will be that the diversity of game ideas will suffer and the games will probably be increasingly unimaginative and mainstream to guarantee an income.

I'm afraid that companies like EA isn't good for the gaming industry at all.

It's an interesting problem, the cost of development has made companies like EA the only resource available if you want to make a traditional AAA quality title. On the other hand there's a legitimate argument to be made about marketing and other support costs helping driving the cost of bringing a title to market too high.

EA has brought some quality titles to the market in the past, Mass Effect, Dragon Age Origins, Dead Space, Mirror's Edge, etc. Unfortunately like Hollywood, they've devolved into playing it safe, even worse they keep seeking new revenue sources and their tactics keep becoming more and more invasive while they justify it as good for the consumer.

As a consumer I don't see anything good for me here. The game isn't cheaper to offset any potential inconveniences, they retain control and can shut down the servers at any time under the guise of "no one plays it anymore". I see some pro-EA posters say that people need to get with the times, everyone has internet blah etc blah. What do I get from this change? Why should anyone accept something that is only good for EA?

I'm sure that hackers will come out with a server emulator... probably one that can be run in the background of the same machine as the game client... and one that will be better since you won't be running against EA's artificial size limitations that they intend to sell "unlocking larger zones" to people.

Assuming it's feasible to reverse engineer in the first place, I'm not sure there is the interest level to bother unfortunately. I haven't heard of any efforts to do so yet.

This comment was edited on Mar 11, 2013, 09:33.
 
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10. Re: SimCity: Now With 92% Less Crashing; Maxis Walks Back from Offline Comment Mar 11, 2013, 09:25 Dev
 
The only thing I'm surprised about... is that they only waited what, a day to back down from that? I mean this is EA, I would have expected 6 months (after the problems are solved) for them to say there was no hope of offline, unless you buy simcity 2 which would have a $15 DLC pack that adds offline mode.  
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9. Re: SimCity: Now With 92% Less Crashing; Maxis Walks Back from Offline Comment Mar 11, 2013, 09:24 wtf_man
 
"The game was designed for MP, we sim the entire region on the server so this is just not possible"

I'm sure that hackers will come out with a server emulator... probably one that can be run in the background of the same machine as the game client... and one that will be better since you won't be running against EA's artificial size limitations that they intend to sell "unlocking larger zones" to people.

This is nowhere near as complicated as a server emulator for an MMO. It's more like one that gets around the older Ubisoft "always on-line DRM".... which means it will be out in a few months.
 
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8. Re: SimCity: Now With 92% Less Crashing; Maxis Walks Back from Offline Comment Mar 11, 2013, 09:20 ASeven
 
Techdirt has a nice article over this debacle.  
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7. Re: SimCity: Now With 92% Less Crashing; Maxis Walks Back from Offline Comment Mar 11, 2013, 09:18 Capitan
 
This is what happens when already large companies try to come up with new ways to make money. The company makes excuses about what is done is for the customer / users best, when in actual is about the come up with ways to "force of money" by the customer / user.

The extension of this will be that the diversity of game ideas will suffer and the games will probably be increasingly unimaginative and mainstream to guarantee an income.

I'm afraid that companies like EA isn't good for the gaming industry at all.
 
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6. Re: SimCity: Now With 92% Less Crashing; Maxis Walks Back from Offline Comment Mar 11, 2013, 09:16 Optional nickname
 
SpectralMeat wrote on Mar 11, 2013, 08:53:
Another day 15 minutes, another SimCity news.

 
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5. Re: SimCity: Now With 92% Less Crashing; Maxis Walks Back from Offline Comment Mar 11, 2013, 09:10 Verno
 
A friend of mine got it from Origin India for $28, I was watching him play it a bit on the weekend in between server maintenance messages. It's really ok, even good at times but you quickly bump up against the size limitations and are constantly shuffling around in the region which seems kinda pointless. From what I could see it's basically a neutered version of the old games with a smaller scope. If you're a nut for anything SimCity then I guess that's fine but even calling it SimCity seems disingenuous. I don't see people getting a lot of mileage out of this, we were bored after a few hours and loaded up Company of Heroes to do some LAN. Cities XL seems more ambitious which is kinda sad.

No more "Your computer is too weak, so we had to use a cloud based server to handle all these computations" crap? And then Will Wright with "Building cities was a fad. Managing a small village, to keep it financially afloat, THATS the new shit"

That was really the lamest excuse, as if they're bankrupting themselves on crazy server setups to "save" you the minor computational resources that you could easily do for your own regions.
 
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4. Re: SimCity: Now With 92% Less Crashing; Maxis Walks Back from Offline Comment Mar 11, 2013, 09:01 Kajetan
 
The game was designed for MP

No more "Your computer is too weak, so we had to use a cloud based server to handle all these computations" crap? And then Will Wright with "Building cities was a fad. Managing a small village, to keep it financially afloat, THATS the new shit"

This debacle is so funny, i havent got the time to be angry anymore
 
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3. Re: SimCity: Now With 92% Less Crashing; Maxis Walks Back from Offline Comment Mar 11, 2013, 08:58 Verno
 
They should just buy advertising here, geez that's like 8 stories in a week. Let's say all the things we said in the previous topic, LOL.

It is pretty hilarious that they can't even get their own goals and messages straight internally, no wonder the game is a mess.
 
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2. Re: SimCity: Now With 92% Less Crashing; Maxis Walks Back from Offline Comment Mar 11, 2013, 08:53 SpectralMeat
 
Another day another SimCity news.  
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1. Re: SimCity: Now With 92% Less Crashing; Maxis Walks Back from Offline Comment Mar 11, 2013, 08:49 xXBatmanXx
 
Maxis Walks Back from Offline Comment

BOOM! Called it.
 
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