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#1 Mar 06 2013 at 11:05 AM Rating: Excellent
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The new Sim City has issues. I'm not calling them problems because to some people they are not problems at all. To some they are.

I have not purchased the game, nor have I played it in beta. I've read a good deal about it. I don't like the fact that I will not be able to save my game, or that I will have to be connected to EA's server to play.

I want to be able to play on a laptop when I don't have a connection, and I want to be able to save and then throw disaster after disaster at my city to see how it copes, and then have the option to return to my save. I also don't want to be limited by size or pop, but that can be an option for a challenge mode.

I came across this kickstarter city sim - Civitas. It looks promising, but so far it's nothing but talk. The devs are supposed to be putting up some videos of the features. Read the comments.

I gave them $10 and told them I would give them more if they show something concrete. I'd love a deep city sim that has the features they are talking about.

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#2 Mar 06 2013 at 11:33 AM Rating: Excellent
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Supposedly bigger maps, the addition of subways, and some other missing features may come through DLC later on.

I love their score on Metacritic

Maybe someone who owns the game can say more about it, but from reading the reviews, it only sounds like they only focus on how great the SimCity franchise is and not how SimCity 2013 has improved over previous versions. A few did mention curvy roads and the ability to see each named sim... but I really don't care what Jane does and with a very limited city size, curvy roads just seem inefficient, but I'm sure these factors appeal to someone.


I also saw Civitas, but came to the same conclusion- it's just talk and far too early to give too much support.
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#3 Mar 06 2013 at 11:36 AM Rating: Excellent
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Wait. It's actually missing features you'd expect in a SimCity game, completely limits your fun by basically removing the Save feature (or, as most would consider it the "Undo" button), can't play it on the go and it got near perfect scores? I will never touch this game. Smiley: laugh
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#4 Mar 06 2013 at 11:41 AM Rating: Good
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It's sitting in its delivery box on my coffee table right now (I bought the physical copy). I'll let y'all know what I think once I can get some time with it.
#5 Mar 06 2013 at 12:07 PM Rating: Good
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All this game has done is make me run around the house looking for my copy of Sim City 4.

never found it though, only my rush hour disc :_(

Edited, Mar 6th 2013 10:07am by KTurner
#6 Mar 06 2013 at 12:58 PM Rating: Excellent
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TL;DR - It is a really good sim city game with some major glaring flaws. Nothing like getting Diablo's "Error 34" for a game that has even less of a reason to require an online connection. As much as I would love to play this game (it does look polished) I despise DRM like this, especially after Diablo. Should be interesting on how EA handles the fallout on this one.
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#7 Mar 06 2013 at 1:27 PM Rating: Excellent
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SimCity 2013 is currently plauged mostly by the cheapskate effect. That is to say, EA grossly underestimated the server power necessary to handle the launch traffic generated, and almost certainly wont' be able to cope for a week or two during peak times.

As far as actual game play goes, it's more polished than I thought it would be. Haven't had any major lag or graphics glitches, which is typically the first defect I notice in a game. The requirement to login to a server is annoying, especially so when you realize that the sole purpose of doing so is EA's own brand of DRM, and not really any other lie they throw at the media to try to explain it away.

Having said that, you don't have to play with others. You can create a new region, label it private, and then nobody can build in your region. By doing so, you negate the possbility of anyone else impacting your cities negatively or otherwise. The map sizes are limited, and there is zero customizability (client server games necessitate the absence of user mods), but the game play itself is very much worthwhile. Some die hard fans of the older games loved the requirement to lay individual power lines and water pipes in SC4, but I very much prefer the 2013 game play, where in these utility connections are integrated with roads, as are the density constraints (build near a dirt road, you get single family homes, build near a 6 lane avenue, you get sky scrapers).

I've played the game for about 6 hours now, not counting the futile 3 hours spent last night trying to get logged in to a city, and I'm satisifed with it, knowing that there will be many adjustments and fixes to come in the next few months.

One thing I won't do, however, is partake in EA's time honored tradition of enhancing the game via purchasable DLC. If they refuse to fix the games shortcomings via patches and updates, and instead force the consumer to buy what amounts to bug fixes, I can safely say it's not that thrilling of a game, and I'll simply bow out and find another game to occupy my time.
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#8 Mar 06 2013 at 9:41 PM Rating: Good
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Anno 2070
Tropico 4
Cities XL

Are any of these alternatives worth picking up? I heard Cities XL is only mediocre, but the other two are quite enjoyable.
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#9 Mar 06 2013 at 9:43 PM Rating: Good
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I'll say that the game looks pretty, but it isn't enough to make me want to shell out $60 for it. Maybe in a month when they drop the price to $5.
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#10 Mar 06 2013 at 11:31 PM Rating: Excellent
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Anno 2070 - City constructor + economic simulators with a side of combat. Pretty solid game.
Tropico 4 - A slightly shinier Tropico 3. AI is a bit annoying. Still a good city builder if you can get over that annoyance.
Cities XL - Rather mediocre city builder with a bad habit of getting sluggish once your city starts to get large.

Honestly as long as you avoid Cities XL you should be solid. That said, it seems as though Anno would be your best bet for an overall better sim game.
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#11 Mar 07 2013 at 2:47 AM Rating: Good
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I haven't really gotten into a Sim City game since SimCity 2000. I really enjoyed that game though. Since then I feel like they have went down hill.
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#12 Mar 07 2013 at 4:50 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
the density constraints (build near a dirt road, you get single family homes, build near a 6 lane avenue, you get sky scrapers)..


Ugh, always hated how simcity never seemed to gove meaningful transp options besides hurrr durrr build moar roads since even with transit built up people wouldn't move into hoods not covered in roads... But this is just so unrealistic.... Maybe I am just coming from a weird place but round these parts a single detached home is much more likely to be built near a major highway than a skyscraper... Most big residential buildings are in downtown cores around here, with, at best/worst 2 lanes in either direction.

As for the game I was interested then i hear about always on multiplayer... Meh no thanks

Edited, Mar 7th 2013 2:51am by Olorinus
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#13 Mar 07 2013 at 7:01 AM Rating: Good
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Well, servers were still down for me last night.
#14 Mar 07 2013 at 9:04 AM Rating: Good
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I think I'm finally standing my ground on the DRM crap. I want to play the game, but refuse to accept the always on ********* Of the few times I wanted to give D3 another go, almost every one of them was when I was traveling and using hotel Wi-Fi. Not being able to play a game I've rightfully paid for because of a publisher's blatant ignorance to the problem is not something I'm willing to put up with anymore.
#15 Mar 07 2013 at 9:30 AM Rating: Good
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Iron Chef Olorinus wrote:
Quote:
the density constraints (build near a dirt road, you get single family homes, build near a 6 lane avenue, you get sky scrapers)..
Ugh, always hated how simcity never seemed to gove meaningful transp options besides hurrr durrr build moar roads since even with transit built up people wouldn't move into hoods not covered in roads...
...and instead of roads, you expected people to jetpack to and from their houses? Previously, SimCity offered lots of choices from roads, highway, rail, subway, bus stops, and probably more.

Those density constraints are new to SimCity 2013, I believe.


Raolan wrote:
I think I'm finally standing my ground on the DRM crap. I want to play the game, but refuse to accept the always on bullsh*t. Of the few times I wanted to give D3 another go, almost every one of them was when I was traveling and using hotel Wi-Fi. Not being able to play a game I've rightfully paid for because of a publisher's blatant ignorance to the problem is not something I'm willing to put up with anymore.
Even though Diablo 3 had problems at first, given the auction houses, the always-on DRM was almost needed. Blizzard probably could have created an offline game mode that denied a character access to the auction house, but then you have other issues such as separating the shared storage from online characters.

I do agree that always-on DRM is a bad thing and is one of the reasons I'll never touch SimCity 2013, but you also need to think about why it is in place. Requiring a connection for D3 made some sense in order to limit cheating. It doesn't make sense in the cases of SimCity 2013 or the supposed xbox rumors.

Just as publishers need to decide if always-on DRM is necessary or not, the players need to decide if it is something that will affect them. In the case of Diablo 3, requiring a connection wasn't exactly hidden, so you should have made the judgement call that if you're traveling a lot and want to be able to play on the road, an always-on game might not be the best option.

Edited, Mar 7th 2013 9:47am by xypin
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#16 Mar 07 2013 at 9:39 AM Rating: Good
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xypin wrote:
Anno 2070
Tropico 4
Cities XL

Are any of these alternatives worth picking up? I heard Cities XL is only mediocre, but the other two are quite enjoyable.


http://www.amazon.com/Tropico-3-Pc/dp/B002MCG8MI try that.

I thought Tropico was a good game and a funny game.

Edited, Mar 7th 2013 7:40am by KTurner
#17 Mar 07 2013 at 10:31 AM Rating: Excellent
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For those that are interested Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgensen stated last week that they wanted to put microtransactions into all their games. This, of course, was done at a shareholder meeting so when gamers found out about it the obvious happened.

Quote:
The next and much bigger piece is microtransactions within games. We're building into all of our games the ability to pay for things along the way, either to get to a higher level, to buy a new character, to buy a truck, a gun, whatever it might be, and consumers are enjoying and embracing that way of the business.


He has recently come out and stated that we misinterpreted what he said.

Quote:
I made a statement in the conference along the lines of 'We'll have micro-transactions in our games' and the community read that to mean all our games, and that's really not true.


Smiley: laugh Oh EA, you so silly!
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#18 Mar 07 2013 at 11:41 AM Rating: Good
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xypin wrote:


xypin wrote:
Iron Chef Olorinus wrote:
[quote]the density constraints (build near a dirt road, you get single family homes, build near a 6 lane avenue, you get sky scrapers)..
Ugh, always hated how simcity never seemed to gove meaningful transp options besides hurrr durrr build moar roads since even with transit built up people wouldn't move into hoods not covered in roads...
...and instead of roads, you expected people to jetpack to and from their houses? Previously, SimCity offered lots of choices from roads, highway, rail, subway, bus stops, and probably more.

Those density constraints are new to SimCity 2013, I believe.


I would put in tons of railways etc but no one would move in and people would complain that there was no transportation even though there was a railway station at like every block.

anyway I loved sim city as a kid but now I want something that more closely mimics real world mechanics. I don't really care that much about graphics, I'd rather have an engine that was more of a city simulator rather than pretty graphics with stuff dumbed down and not offering meaningful choices about the kind of city you can build.

like... where is my ability to put in a park and ride? Or bike lanes?

Edited, Mar 7th 2013 9:45am by Olorinus
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#19 Mar 07 2013 at 1:49 PM Rating: Excellent
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I got it last night. If I had known it was having so many issues, I would have waited. But I love Sim City and I did the short beta test for this one and really liked it, so here I am. I wasn't able to get on at all last night though. And today I did the tutorial before the servers went back down. Going to try it again here in a second and if it's still down, I'll go play Rift or something, hehe. But I really think that if I can ever get on for more than 30 minutes, I'll really like it.
#20 Mar 07 2013 at 2:29 PM Rating: Decent
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xypin wrote:

Raolan wrote:
I think I'm finally standing my ground on the DRM crap. I want to play the game, but refuse to accept the always on bullsh*t. Of the few times I wanted to give D3 another go, almost every one of them was when I was traveling and using hotel Wi-Fi. Not being able to play a game I've rightfully paid for because of a publisher's blatant ignorance to the problem is not something I'm willing to put up with anymore.
Even though Diablo 3 had problems at first, given the auction houses, the always-on DRM was almost needed. Blizzard probably could have created an offline game mode that denied a character access to the auction house, but then you have other issues such as separating the shared storage from online characters.

I do agree that always-on DRM is a bad thing and is one of the reasons I'll never touch SimCity 2013, but you also need to think about why it is in place. Requiring a connection for D3 made some sense in order to limit cheating. It doesn't make sense in the cases of SimCity 2013 or the supposed xbox rumors.

Just as publishers need to decide if always-on DRM is necessary or not, the players need to decide if it is something that will affect them. In the case of Diablo 3, requiring a connection wasn't exactly hidden, so you should have made the judgement call that if you're traveling a lot and want to be able to play on the road, an always-on game might not be the best option.

Edited, Mar 7th 2013 9:47am by xypin


The always on DRM wasn't necessary for D3 as there's no reason they couldn't separate the single player and multi-player. The RMAH was a cash grab that really shouldn't have existed in the first place, so that excuse was garbage. And preventing cheating is as easy is implementing a client validation check prior to letting an existing character into multi-player. If a player wants to cheat in the single player game, there's no reason they shouldn't be allowed to do so, just prevent that character from competing online.

I was aware of the DRM implementations going in, but that doesn't change the fact that requiring a maintained connection for the single player portion of the game is ridiculous.
#21 Mar 07 2013 at 2:42 PM Rating: Excellent
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I got it last night. If I had known it was having so many issues, I would have waited. But I love Sim City and I did the short beta test for this one and really liked it, so here I am. I wasn't able to get on at all last night though. And today I did the tutorial before the servers went back down. Going to try it again here in a second and if it's still down, I'll go play Rift or something, hehe. But I really think that if I can ever get on for more than 30 minutes, I'll really like it.


The way that they're talking about it, I'd be surprised if the servers are up for any significant time before Sunday/Monday. They really screwed the pooch on this launch.
#22 Mar 07 2013 at 2:44 PM Rating: Excellent
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Yeah, it was 100% a money-grubbing scenario for Blizzard. There's no reason they couldn't have separated offline and online characters, like they did in the first two games. Their incentive not to do so was twofold. For one, there was the RMT Auction House, which gave them potential profit through microtransactions. The other was DRM, which is so @#$%ing stupid to begin with, because always-on DRM does literally nothing but **** off the people who purchased your game. You can absolutely pirate D3 right now, just like you could mere weeks after launch.

What it DOES do, however, is ***** anyone with a vested interest in not having to rely on an internet connection to play a ******* single player game. My internet has been absolute crap since Sandy--it'll just go out for short periods, speeds will drop for periods, etc. It makes playing MMOs in groups ridiculously annoying during any period of time where the system will be stressed, and there aren't really other internet options available in the area.

I also primarily play games on a laptop, which often gets taken places where I don't have internet access. For my new job I'll be traveling a fair amount, and hotels won't always have internet service (at least not good service), and I'll have free time to kill.

Always-On DRM games absolutely suck for me. I can tolerate these issues for a multiplayer game, because that's part of the package. I've decided to play with other people and need to accept the limits of technology.

But for a single player game? Oh @#$% no. I refuse to buy any game with it.

If connectivity is central to the games fundamental design, then fine. Even if its a single player game, the always-on feature actually is important, because the game doesn't exist without it. But the only single player game I can even justify this idea for is Journey, and online was optional there. The next thing that even comes close (and it's a very, very loose definition of "close") is Demons/Dark Souls--playing without the messages players can leave is definitely a more empty experience. But even then, it's not fundamental.

If your game supports quality solo game play that doesn't rely on being connected to be valuable, you better not require a constant connection.
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#23 Mar 07 2013 at 2:58 PM Rating: Good
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God yes, exactly what idiggory said. I personally just don't want to give companies who do this sort of thing money anymore.
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#24 Mar 07 2013 at 4:16 PM Rating: Good
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I recently had a twitter go around with TotalBiscuit about D3 and always on DRM. While I don't agree with it. Its not there for my sake or yours, its there for those people still playing Diablo 2 10 years later. Its in there for the RMAH and to stop hackers from just making a program to drop the rarest items in the game then selling them for money via duping etc.

Yes they could have made a singleplayer only mode but honestly I HATED that in Diablo 2 when I played. What do you mean the character I worked so hard to finish the game with cant be used online and I have to start at 1. ***** this. I played D2 online 1 time and that was it, only because I didnt want to start a new character all the time. (Times have changed with me but this was back then).

Quite Honestly I know Bliz could care less if some people won't buy it because of DRM issues, I mean why else would they give out tons of copies for "free", they will get some people at 60 dollars brand new, but they are banking on the long game, 5-6 years from now when only the Hardcore of the Hardcore play and still use the RMAH for those super rare drops, guess what Blizz is still making money off it.

I mean in todays Gaming lifecycle its hard to stick with a game for more then 40ish hours, theres tons of Free or sub MMOs, FPS, Closed Betas. I mean thanks to WoW alone I have a HUGE backlog of PC and PS3 games, If no new games came out for the next 2 years I would have plenty to play, and I'm not the only one.

As for my view, Yes I dislike Always online DRM, in D3 I will excuse it not because of Blizzard love, but because I can see the application of it. I can see the thought process of how it came to be in the game.

Here is a question: If you were developing D3 you want to look back at D2 and fix some of the problems. In D2 your players are; casual people reinstalling every once in a while but usually for a week or so before uninstalling then you have your always online constantly farming Hardcore types. The Hardcore being the most played and most vocal. There biggest complaints being shady "item" auction sites, duping glitches, etc.

Who do you cater to? The casual pay for it once play for a short time and maybe come back randomly or the play all the time people? Then how do you fix it, or give it a level of security to your long term players?

Always online DRM is a very easy solution to this problem. Yeah the casuals will complain, but your not worried about them you got everything they are willing to give to you and besides they will move on soon enough to another game.


As for Simcity and the discussion at hand, I bought it for my wife because she loves all things Sim and regretted it because shes had nothing but issues with server etc. She works in a VERY High stress job and it just added to her stress, so I called Amazon and they refunded me no problem, the rep said I wasnt the first to call, and they have been giving out a lot of these today. Shes had Ques, Been kicked off the servers, rollbacks and overall a pain just trying to play.

I honestly think if anyone finally had a chance to stand up and get backing to get something into congress to start taking a look of shady business practices of games, right now would be the time. You have a TON of non gamers being burned and gamers alike. I mean how many other mediums cannibalize themselves to ***** over the consumer, If you went to a movie and they had 2 different versions, One was 2 hours long everything intact, the other was 1:45 but had scenes deleted but the longer version costed 5 dollars more. Or would you buy a book with chapters cut out and sold at a premium?

I don't know these are the ramblings of a jaded person or actual concerns anymore.
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#25 Mar 07 2013 at 4:20 PM Rating: Excellent
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Not to mention with SimCity'13, she was complaining about how lacking it seemed, I mean Simcity 4 couple have a super metropolis, this game forces you into small cities that work together but can never expand, until the release a paid DLC to add more sections or teraforming into the game, which I can't wait to see that explosion.

I fully expect EA to win Worst Company of the year award again.
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#26 Mar 07 2013 at 4:54 PM Rating: Good
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Point 1: Putting in an always on DRM which turns off potential players, makes the game impossible for many to access, and difficult for many others, not to mention the fact that it renders the entire game unplayable when your servers are down, just to ensure that multiplayer remains hack free is actually the stupidest thing I've heard in a long time.

Because I have one response to Blizzard then: Go @#$% yourself. If you're implementing a ridiculously annoying security feature solely for the benefit of people who will be playing it in a decade, then I, as part of the masses you apparently don't give a crap about, don't think you deserve to be making games in the first place, and you DEFINITELY don't deserve the legacy you're building on, Activision Blizzard.

Yeah, I might just give you $60. I may never make a microtransaction. But I just gave you @#$%ing $60. For a single player game. One that, had you not made a ridiculously stupid move, would have required precisely $0 on your part to maintain.

Point 2: Your argument is that they couldn't implement single player because single player somehow introduces dupers and hackers? What? The whole point is for single player to be an entirely separate experience from multiplayer. Why would that be an issue? Most people didn't play D2 online. I am one of the people who did. That doesn't mean I think everyone who wants to go solo should get screwed.

Point 3: You could take your single player character into Open Realms. That was the POINT of open realms--they were uncontrolled. If you wanted a regulated experience, that's what the Closed Realms are for. You're angry that your single player character couldn't be brought onto the closed realms, when the entire point of why it couldn't is because your single player experience: A. was potentially easier, because enemies scale up in MP, B. was potentially easier, because you couldn't get murdered by players, C. was potentially easier, because you had access to cheats if you wanted them. D. was potentially easier, because you got all loot that dropped. ETC.

It doesn't make any sense. You don't get to complain about MP not being regulated AND complain that you can't take your solo character online. Because that was the whole point--you opt for a regulated experience, and play solo or in MP online, or you opt for an UNregulated experience and play solo on or offline, or in MP online.

Always online DRM did nothing but restrict access for players. Closed worlds were 100% possible to play solo in, if you created your own game. So your entire argument makes literally no sense.

All Blizzard did is remove options from the player. The player gets literally nothing in return.
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