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#27 Mar 07 2013 at 5:43 PM Rating: Good
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EA is now disabling "minor" features in SimCity 2013 in order to improve server performance.
Amazon has put selling the SimCity 2013 download on hold claiming connectivity problems within the game.

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2013/03/ea-disables-non-critical-gameplay-features-to-relieve-simcity-servers/

Edited, Mar 7th 2013 5:44pm by xypin
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#28 Mar 07 2013 at 6:37 PM Rating: Good
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Dig, I respect your opinion but yours isnt the only one out there. I could go back and forth for many long *** posts. I'm not the company nor am I a programer or designer, I dont understand the ins and outs of what info is being sent or received from the server .

My opinion from an outside perspective the gains outweight the losses from the system (ONLY In D3). I bought a CE copy and I have 3-4 lvl 60 characters, never completed Inferno. I feel I got my moneys worth.

As for singleplayer and duping and hacking, IM GUESSING, but I know most hacks use ram sniffers to modify the information stored in ram to do what they want, if the system is in place to get the item ID from the server, this is a VERY effective way of stopping a dupe or a hack. Yes a hacker could modify the incoming packets but, while I dont know, I could see this being much harder, and even if they did there's probably a check on the character save to filter out items that seem sketchy or tampered with IDK. Even putting the info on the disk is asking for somene to reverse engineer it and modify it, while keeping it serverside keeps it much harder and rarer to access.

In closed systems all the info is done ON the PC, therefor a program can MODIFY it ON the PC, In a online system if done right, The client would get key info such as drop algorithms and Item IDs, that cant be tampered with and send that info to the client and then verified later to make sure nothing changed.

As for you paying X amount for the game therefore you deserve the same respect as a player that Spends 500 dollars over the course of years of play, while its democratic and justified in a sense doesnt work in so well in real life. My uncle used to have the saying "The golden rule: He who has the gold makes the rules" and its true in both a companies sense and in political sense.

Example:
If player A is willing to give you 60 dollars one time and Player B is willing to give you 600 dollars over the course of 5 years for the same game, you would be dumb to cater ONLY to player A, while ignoring Player Bs needs.

Also any game you think requires 0 dollars to maintain is nuts, MP, Even if you dont use it requires balancing, you need to add new stuff in sometimes to keep the hardcore players playing, provide updates for system stability etc. Time and work goes into patches, you need a form of income for that.

As for some people never buying the game due to bad internet, or distaste of DRM. Well player B microed enough to pay for 10 people not playing.

As for your restricted access, I played for a good 2-3 weeks everyday, never felt restricted cept first night from Error 37. I made a few dollars on the RMAH, so I benefited from that security of POS wise (Not being charged back for supposed failed to deliver good which is so rampant on any kind of digital good on ebay)

As for the stuff about D2, well I havent played since Lords of Shadows, and I could be wrong about the online. I was under the impression when I created a character It didnt import Any of my singleplayer toons. /shrug

So lets break it down:
-Pros
Safer Online player2 player transactions (If they choose)
Hack resistant design (maybe)
Income from the game years after launch

Cons:
Online DRM, affects a small portion of players, and bothers certain players. But the vast majority has no issues with it.
Its unplayable with bad connections, again small portions of players.
has downtime from servers: Again only affects a small percentage ( How many ppl ***** about WoW downtime and get told to STFU)

I mean I understand the concerns Digg, I do, but 90% of players had NO issues with online DRM, **** it says on the box, "Requires internet connection to play"

Simcity is a different beast from D3, Simcity offers nothing to me as a consumer except hoops. I mean D3 at least has justified MP, Simcity has NEVER had emphasis multiplayer. I mean in SC4 i never saw sights trading simoleons or specialty buildings.

Simcity were one of those games that people just booted up when they were bored like Solitaire.

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#29 Mar 07 2013 at 6:42 PM Rating: Excellent
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I played the **** out of SimCity on the SNES when I was a kid. My great victory was untangling the streets of Berlin. My great tragedy was when the City of Catherine burned to the ground while I was outside mowing the lawn, and I had forgotten to save since the day before. Smiley: lol
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#30 Mar 07 2013 at 8:49 PM Rating: Excellent
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Yes, if information is being hosted on the PC, it can certainly be modified.

The point is that D2 offered both systems. You could elect for single player + open realm mutliplayer, which presented ample opportunity for people to cheat.

Or you could elect for the closed realm system, in which all information was stored on battle.net, not the PC, and was far more resilient to cheating. Not impenetrable--even MMOs see their fair share of hacking--but leagues beyond what protection is available on the open system.

And that's the point. ALL the D3 system does is remove one massive option from the player. It doesn't give anything, because all it has done is force people to take one path instead of providing them with multiples. And the reality is that no competitive player ever used the open realms unless they were perfectly fine with cheating. You'd be a fool to.

To put it in terms of your pros and cons:
Quote:
-Pros
Safer Online player2 player transactions (If they choose)
Hack resistant design (maybe)
Income from the game years after launch

Cons:
Online DRM, affects a small portion of players, and bothers certain players. But the vast majority has no issues with it.
Its unplayable with bad connections, again small portions of players.
has downtime from servers: Again only affects a small percentage ( How many ppl ***** about WoW downtime and get told to STFU)


Pros:
Safer Online play for all players, versus safer online play only for players who choose safer online play.
Hack resistant design, versus hack resistant design for players who desire hack resistant design.
*Income from the game years after launch vs. income for the game years after launch.

*If you are going to argue that D3 players desire a safer gaming experience, than you have to grant that, when given the option, D3 players will choose the safer gaming experience. Therefore, the RMT auction house would have been nearly as profitable regardless, as any player seeking protected play would choose a closed realm, and no player seeking an open system is going to stay with Diablo in its new incarnation anyway.

Cons:
-Always ON DRM ****** off a significant population of players, some of which get over it and manage to continue to enjoy the game anyway. It completely alienates any player without reliable internet access, and plenty of players who do have it. It completely alienates the group of players who would have restricted their use to an Open Realm, which was still potential money on Blizz's side. It doesn't increase security at all, because the closed realm system always existed in addition to the Open Realm system for anyone who wanted an experience without dupers.
-The population of people with unreliable internet connections is far higher than you imagine, particularly because really solid connections (particularly if we're going to talk about something like fiber optics) are only available in urban areas. Granted, this was 2 years ago, but 10% of the US' population couldn't gain access to internet fast enough to view photos. To be fair, I think this is down to 7% or something. That's still a LOT of people. And consider that single player games only become MORE important for any gamers in those areas. And remember that a internet connection sufficient to view photos is far lower than what would be considered playable for D3. My connection is fast enough for streaming. But it isn't reliable. So the reality is that Always On DRM is a potential serious issue for a FAR larger percentage of the population than you are pretending. The reality is that you aren't engaging with those people because they can't play the game.

I mean, you DO understand how fundamentally absurd it is to argue that 90% of players have no problems with Always On DRM, right? That's like me saying that 90% of posters on the TOR forums have no problem with the Free to Play restrictions for the game. That's probably true.

It's also true that Free to Play accounts can't post on the forums.
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#31 Mar 07 2013 at 9:36 PM Rating: Good
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Digg your forgetting, Bliz knew about the PS3/4 versions of the game, These werent an afterthought, you could see the workings in Beta builds. So for those that want to play the game but dont want always online (Possibly No RMAH). They still have an option to play.

Don't have a stable connection, get the console version. More then likely it will have M/K support, like Dust 514 does.

Yes I understand then its alienating the users who don't own a PS3/4 or a Computer with a stable connection.

In the end it was their decision for right or wrong to do Always online DRM, they are offering those without a stable connection another path if they choose (console). If neither path works for you then just move on, you can't please everyone.

Edited, Mar 7th 2013 9:37pm by BeanX
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#32 Mar 07 2013 at 9:56 PM Rating: Excellent
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I got in for a little while tonight and built a halfway decent city. It really is a lot of fun. I think I managed to stay online for about 2 hours. But I've not been able to get back on since. Hopefully they'll come through with some kind of fix soon. I'm keeping my fingers crossed because it really is a fun game and looks great.
#33 Mar 07 2013 at 10:52 PM Rating: Good
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Nadenu wrote:
I got in for a little while tonight and built a halfway decent city. It really is a lot of fun. I think I managed to stay online for about 2 hours. But I've not been able to get back on since. Hopefully they'll come through with some kind of fix soon. I'm keeping my fingers crossed because it really is a fun game and looks great.


Yeah, after some finagling, I was able to play just fine. Just logged off a second ago. Built one disaster of a city, then one that's a bit better off.

I haven't put enough time in to fully gauge it, but I'm liking what I'm seeing thus far. Curved roads are surprisingly easy to set up, the zoning is nice and streamlined, and the infographics that pop up are helpful and totally unobtrusive. You don't even really need to bother with the tutorial - the game explains itself quite well when you just play naturally.

I really wish I could modify terrain, though.


Maybe we can set up a ZAM region?

Edited, Mar 7th 2013 11:52pm by Eske
#34 Mar 08 2013 at 7:34 AM Rating: Excellent
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I used to love Sim City; I played the original once at a relative's house when I was pretty young (12, maybe?) and absolutely enjoyed it. Sim City 2000... I must have put hundreds of hours into that game. As a kid/teen I didn't really understand business concepts, taxes, zoning, etc; I'd turn off disasters, get a good enough city going that I could make a profit each year, and then turn the speed up to the max for about 2000 years. Come back after, have a ton of money, build whatever I wanted. As I got older (and more experienced with the game concepts) I started to see how well I could expand going month by month instead of watching years fly by. I credit Sim City 2000 as what stirred my interest in business, which I eventually went to University for. And to a lesser extent, RTS games (the progression was Sim City --> Civilization --> Age of Empires --> Star Craft).

Then I bought the Sims, played it for 15 minutes, swore it was the worst thing ever, and never bought another Sims game Smiley: lol Sounds like I'm not missing much with this newest one either.
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#35 Mar 08 2013 at 2:52 PM Rating: Excellent
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BeanX wrote:
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.

No. DRM and required online connectivity aren't benefiting anyone outside the company. It's specifically at the expense of the players. Some might consider it a trivial cost, but it's never there to benefit anyone playing the game. It doesn't protect the long time fans playing the game years later.
#36 Mar 08 2013 at 3:54 PM Rating: Good
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BeanX wrote:
Digg your forgetting, Bliz knew about the PS3/4 versions of the game, These werent an afterthought, you could see the workings in Beta builds. So for those that want to play the game but dont want always online (Possibly No RMAH). They still have an option to play.

Don't have a stable connection, get the console version. More then likely it will have M/K support, like Dust 514 does.

Yes I understand then its alienating the users who don't own a PS3/4 or a Computer with a stable connection.

In the end it was their decision for right or wrong to do Always online DRM, they are offering those without a stable connection another path if they choose (console). If neither path works for you then just move on, you can't please everyone.

Edited, Mar 7th 2013 9:37pm by BeanX


The fact that the PS version doesn't have to always be online is proof that always online isn't central to the design of the game or its philosophy.

Which seems to have been your entire argument.
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#37 Mar 08 2013 at 4:01 PM Rating: Excellent
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Here are the highestFundamentally, SimCity has always been a 'software toy'. That means that there's no real end state, no way to win. It's just a thing that you play and experiment with. You build, and tinker, and mess around. It's a toy, not a game; it's a sandbox, not baseball.

So, in this iteration of the game, you don't even get to buy your toy. Rather, you rent a toy from EA, who lets you play with it only in very limited, circumscribed ways, only on their servers. So you have to have a live Internet connection at all times, and their servers have to be up, and have to have space for you. And the rules for play are draconian. If you want to, say, build a city, save it, blow it up with something terrible, and then restore from save, you can't do that anymore. That's an unauthorized usage of their toy. And if you figure out ways of using their toy that they don't like, they'll ban you forever.

All third-party modding is shut out. One of the best parts of SimCity 4 and The Sims is that users can create and share content among themselves for free. You will no longer be able to do this. You will be required to run only Official Authorized Content.

Further, you're not getting the whole game for your $60 or $80, depending on what version you're buying. EA's plan is to sell you Simcity 5 over and over and over. They've directly admitted that they already have it running with larger cities, but they're not releasing that now. They claim it's because it "won't run on Dad's PC", but the real reason is so they can sell it to you again later. Want subways? That's gonna be $20. Want railroads? Another $20. Bigger cities? Oh, that's in the $30 expansion.

Right now, if you look at The Sims 3, the game costs $30. But if also you buy all the DLC for it, it's *four hundred and seventy dollars*. This is what they are doing with SimCity 5; locking you into their server infrastructure, and then exploiting the heck out of your wallet.

This is a lousy deal, and you would be stupid to take it. Always-on DRM, and a deliberately crippled game, so that they can slowly uncripple it, charging you for every restored feature from prior versions.

Simcity 4 still works pretty well. It's not quite as nice as most current games, and can require you to 'pin' the process to just one processor on a multi-core system (ie, most current machines), but if you want a city builder where you won't have to pay extra to breathe both in AND out, that would be a better option.

But buying this game? In my opinion, you would be wiser to take three twenties out of your wallet, and light them on fire.
and lowestI was looking for something new for my computer, when I stumbled upon this game on Amazon and decided, what the heck, lets give it a shot!

I have to say it far exceeds my expectations.

Thankfully, the game never actually loads. I was looking for a program where I could zone out, and stare at my computer screen in a meditative state for hours on end with no interuptions.

There's no actual gameplay, sound effects, or graphics to distract you from your meditation.

You may be forced to run the same "Tutorial" over and over again, but don't worry about that minor problem, because as soon as you exit the tutorial you'll be returned to a program that blissfully crashes or just, never logs onto any server succesfully, once again giving you peace and quiet.

Incredible job EA, will there be a sequel?
rated reviews on Amazon for Sim City. I find both to be funny.
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#38 Mar 08 2013 at 4:02 PM Rating: Good
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.... The Online DRM is to Support the RMAH..... The PS3/4 will not run unsigned code, therefor a closed system compared to PC. The Entire Online DRM for PC D3, IMHO, was to support the RMAH, which is a feature the Hardcore D2 players wanted instead of shady auction sites. And the RMAH wont be part of Console release more then likely.

Edited, Mar 8th 2013 4:04pm by BeanX
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#39 Mar 08 2013 at 7:21 PM Rating: Good
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And yet you have continually failed to explain, at all, why removing the option of playing on an open realm from the PC version in any way affects their ability to provide a quality, controlled closed realm experience.

Which is the entire point.

No one is arguing that there aren't pros associated with a controlled system. What we're saying is that removing the choice from the player to play on the closed realm or the open realm, according to their own needs and desires, fundamentally reduces the quality of the game and limits the scope of players it can reach.

There's NOTHING about having an open realm that damages the quality of the closed realm. That's the point, they're separate.

You can continue to willfully ignore the point, or you can continue to try and sing the merits of closed realm systems. At the end of the day, no one cares. Because we agree with you--the closed realm system DO provide a more structured, controlled environment, and there is definitely a place for that.

What you are failing to address is why removing the ability of a player to choose to access the open realm system instead is apparently a good thing overall.
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#40 Mar 08 2013 at 7:52 PM Rating: Excellent
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#41 Mar 08 2013 at 8:22 PM Rating: Good
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**** always on DRM!

I wonder if there's a sale on steam.
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#42 Mar 08 2013 at 8:30 PM Rating: Good
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Tropico 4 Collector's Edition, $10 for $80 of DLC....
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#43 Mar 08 2013 at 9:40 PM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
And yet you have continually failed to explain, at all, why removing the option of playing on an open realm from the PC version in any way affects their ability to provide a quality, controlled closed realm experience.

Which is the entire point.

No one is arguing that there aren't pros associated with a controlled system. What we're saying is that removing the choice from the player to play on the closed realm or the open realm, according to their own needs and desires, fundamentally reduces the quality of the game and limits the scope of players it can reach.

There's NOTHING about having an open realm that damages the quality of the closed realm. That's the point, they're separate.

You can continue to willfully ignore the point, or you can continue to try and sing the merits of closed realm systems. At the end of the day, no one cares. Because we agree with you--the closed realm system DO provide a more structured, controlled environment, and there is definitely a place for that.

What you are failing to address is why removing the ability of a player to choose to access the open realm system instead is apparently a good thing overall.


If you place drop algorithms on clients side they can be easily manipulated, if you have the said information for clientside to ensure both Multiplayer and Singleplayer you would be using the SAME SYSTEM. By removing the information from the clientside you keep the Online side safer because they no longer have access to it to mess around.

By putting all the info on the CLIENTSIDE in an OPEN SYSTEM gives them all the information they need to hack the CLOSED system. If you put all the information on the PC, Hackers can break down the code, know when and where ELITES will spawn, how often loot drops what determines what loot drops and what to modify to benefit them. You keep saying well "Make and open and closed" So what they have to make 2 different versions of the game, with 2 completely separate drop rates and spawn patterns, otherwise the hackers on the OPEN system could easily MAKE a program knowing where and when something is going to spawn with very good accuracy.

As it sits ATM You install all the art basic systems and the program to interpret the information sent from the system, essentially half the who program, The Online part sends the system what loots drops, what to spawn, where to spawn it, and then verifies afterwards everything that the data it sent hasnt been manipulated clientside via a hack.

You keep saying well Let me have an open system, to have an open system Both sides of the program The GUI clientside and the Loot algorithms MUST BE on the clientside, therefore open to be messed with and unless you have completely change the way MP works. I remember back when D3 came out someone was hacking the game, the most they could do at the time was spawn the NPCs in town, they were having issues spawning any sort of mob, having anything drop, and that was by making a fake server for the game to interact with.

Please tell me how you can have an Open system without installing the Server side on the PC it needs to run on, while keeping the Closed system completely safe. I mean the information your trying to keep safe in the closed system is essentially already installed on the pc if you allow a Open system.

Now this is all guessing , and I honestly dont care (I said that a few posts ago) I bought the game had almost no issues, I played it for a few weeks and now I probably wont play again for a long time if ever because newer and better stuff is out. Yes I agree with you that Having a Closed/Open system would have been better, but like I was posting here you then give hackers the exact information they want installed right to there system, or write 2 completely separate drop/spawn rates etc.





Edited, Mar 8th 2013 9:41pm by BeanX
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#44 Mar 08 2013 at 9:49 PM Rating: Good
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Think about this, Lets say D3 uses a algorithm to give every piece of armor in the game a special ID, it sends this information when something drops, you dont see the process behind it becuase you cant access the program on the server, the only thing your computer sees is the ID it got sent.

To have an open system, which allows you to play offline, that unique Id generation program must be installed on your PC. A hacker goes in and sees how that program works, using that information he uses a packet sniffer to find a pattern of the information Blizz servers are sending to the game, Suddenly he can Create fake IDs that the Online system sees as real.

Its Exactly the same process they used to hack the PS3, the moment hackers figured out how to sign programs to run on the PS3, Sony was done, because their system couldn't see the difference from the fake signed programs or the Real signed programs.

Edited, Mar 8th 2013 9:49pm by BeanX
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#45 Mar 08 2013 at 10:49 PM Rating: Good
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Do you actually not see how much your argument flies all over the place?

You criticize the idea that they'd need to create a second system for single player, yet that's what they would have done for the PS version in the first place. And you're arguing that they planned this from the start, so there's clearly no reason they couldn't share similar systems to minimize the work.

But maybe they're relying on the security of the PS3 to protect the data! Yeah, I seriously doubt that. Even if it wasn't easy enough to read the data on the BluRay, as you pointed out the PS3 has already been hacked. So one would imagine the multiplayer and single player campaigns for the PS3 are using different systems, if they are that concerned.

And let's go ahead and be blunt--single player doesn't require a complex system. Everything about MP changes with how many people are playing with you, and the same dungeons can be revisited just by entering a new game (assuming this has remained the same since D2). These are factors that complicate the systems.

But single player doesn't need anything remotely that complex. Blizz could have just created 10-20 distinct map/spawn/drop sets which could be loaded randomly for each act. That would have been fully sufficient for single player. It wouldn't work in multiplayer, because people end up replaying the same dungeons 50 times and the RMT AH requires far more randomness than that, but would have been completely fine in single player content. What is it, 5 acts? With just 5 map sets per act, that means thousands of unique combinations.

There's no reason they needed to transcribe the multiplayer systems into single player, because single player doesn't require any of the particular features of multiplayer. And with the majority of the game world no longer being randomly generated, there's no good reason for why a map set system wouldn't work. Maybe you have a certain number per act, or maybe each act draws 2 or 3 cards from sub groups of maps.

Either way, it's a system that would be relatively easy to implement and removes the need for the system to choose drops or anything as MP would.
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#46 Mar 08 2013 at 11:45 PM Rating: Good
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I don't know, I understand where your coming from, and I agree with you on most fronts, I dont like Always online DRM in games, but In D3 with the RMAH I can understand the thought it. I dont know if because Blizzard is cheap and didnt want to make 2 systems, or if its just like SimCitys system.

We could go around and around about how The new firmwares and hardware of the newer ps3s cant be hacked like the older first gen and even then they cant access PSNetwork. Or how a PS3 game would not be coded in x86 therefore a pain in the *** to to de-encode and match up to the PC version. But I dont know honestly how hard that is.

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#47 Mar 09 2013 at 12:05 AM Rating: Good
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Reports suggest the game has no reasonable AI.

Any one care to comment? or is this not a common experience?
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#48 Mar 09 2013 at 12:41 AM Rating: Good
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Anyway on the topic of SimCity
Quote:
Something Special for Your Trouble

The good news is that SimCity is a solid hit in all major markets. The consensus among critics and players is that this is fundamentally a great game. But this SimCity is made to be played online, and if you can’t get a stable connection, you’re NOT having a good experience. So we’re not going to rest until we’ve fixed the remaining server issues.

And to get us back in your good graces, we’re going to offer you a free PC download game from the EA portfolio. On March 18, SimCity players who have activated their game will receive an email telling them how to redeem their free game.

I know that’s a little contrived – kind of like buying a present for a friend after you did something crummy. But we feel bad about what happened. We’re hoping you won’t stay mad and that we’ll be friends again when SimCity is running at 100 percent.

SimCity is a GREAT game and the people who made it are incredibly proud. Hang in there – we’ll be providing more updates throughout the weekend.


Source


So you're getting a free game, heres hoping its not something terrible also.
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#49 Mar 09 2013 at 9:43 AM Rating: Good
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Reports suggest the game has no reasonable AI.

Any one care to comment? or is this not a common experience?


It certainly isn't the brightest. I suppose I'd have to set up a simpler experiment to see if they only take the shortest path. In my city they definitely trend towards the shortest distance, but it seems like some of them will pop over to alternate routes periodically. I will say that they don't seem to place proper importance on larger roads - in my one moderately successful city, they largely ignored a "highway" (that was slightly indirect but wide open), in favor of a straight-shooting smaller road that got fairly congested.

On one occasion I watched a responding duo of fire trucks drive back and forth on the same road multiple times, before finally "figuring out" how to make a turn to start heading towards a fire on the other side of town. So there's definitely some pathing issues.
#50 Mar 09 2013 at 9:12 PM Rating: Excellent
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Alright you two, enough about the GD DRM.

They seem to have fixed the connectivity issue, at least for now. I was able to play for about 4 hours tonight. Built another city on a different server. Got it destroyed twice by Godzilla. Smiley: frown But overall I'm having a good time. I had a hard time turning it off. My silly husband wants to play. Smiley: bah

ETA: I'm up for a Zam region if you guys want to. And IF you guys can stop arguing. Smiley: motz

Edited, Mar 9th 2013 10:13pm by Nadenu
#51 Mar 09 2013 at 9:34 PM Rating: Good
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Nadenu wrote:
Built another city on a different server. Got it destroyed twice by Godzilla. Smiley: frown




It seems to be attracted to garbage, fast forward to 5:35.
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