SimCity 5 Catch-All - Offline mode coming in next update

MoonDragon wrote:
Demyx wrote:

You can just click on Maxis's name to get a list of dev responses.

While this is somewhat useful, the context is lost. :(

There is a little link called "context" which shows you that comment, plus 2 or 3 parent comments, plus the child comments

Oh nice. I was actually sorting by individual developer comments and that didn't have context link that I could see. I stand corrected.

Maxis has responded to the "always online" issue with the following blog post by Lucy Bradshaw, the head of the Maxis Label.

Basically, the game has always been designed to require an online connection, she says, not for DRM purposes but for EA servers to share the processing load required to crunch all the data that needs to be crunched by the GlassBox sim engine.

B Dog wrote:

Basically, the game has always been designed to require an online connection, she says, not for DRM purposes but for EA servers to share the processing load required to crunch all the data that needs to be crunched by the GlassBox sim engine.

Oh come on now, what a load of crap from EA. I could at least respect them for honesty if they'd be up-front about the DRM and the motivation behind it.

Farscry wrote:
B Dog wrote:

Basically, the game has always been designed to require an online connection, she says, not for DRM purposes but for EA servers to share the processing load required to crunch all the data that needs to be crunched by the GlassBox sim engine.

Oh come on now, what a load of crap from EA. I could at least respect them for honesty if they'd be up-front about the DRM and the motivation behind it.

On the other hand, it does explain why their minimum system requirements are relatively low based on the amount of stuff they claim to be simulating:

Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core 4000+ or better or Intel Core 2 Duo Processor 2.0GHz or better
OS:Windows XP/Vista/7
Memory: 2GB RAM
Hard Drive: 10GB HD Space
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon HD 2x00 or better*, NVIDIA 7800 or better*, Intel Series 4 integrated graphics or better*

That said "MMO-lite" pretty much nails it. This is basically an MMO if they're doing that much processing on the backend, same as with Diablo III's loot rolls.

Farscry wrote:
B Dog wrote:

Basically, the game has always been designed to require an online connection, she says, not for DRM purposes but for EA servers to share the processing load required to crunch all the data that needs to be crunched by the GlassBox sim engine.

Oh come on now, what a load of crap from EA. I could at least respect them for honesty if they'd be up-front about the DRM and the motivation behind it.

Indeed. I'm willing to bet that my system is capable of crunching anything their server is going to do for me.

shoptroll wrote:

That said "MMO-lite" pretty much nails it. This is basically an MMO if they're doing that much processing on the backend, same as with Diablo III's loot rolls.

My objection is that it's unnecessary to restrict it this way.

Yes, I'm still almost certainly going to get the game, because I like most of what they're doing and I think I will have a lot of fun with it. I'm just frustrated by how coy they play about a decision that -- given the parent company's current practices -- is blatantly driven by DRM security rather than end-user experience.

Ocean Quigley has been tweeting and blogging screenshots of his city:

IMAGE(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ms2Gd8k1GKI/UO4cK7O4hgI/AAAAAAAAJoY/D3MeHjtu9ho/s1600/Done+Load+Materials+%5BDebugRelease%5D+192013+32346+PM.jpg)

IMAGE(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-scXyHo8qNj0/UO4cK0VOI4I/AAAAAAAAJoc/JRbB9oSMm8A/s1600/Done+Load+Materials+%5BDebugRelease%5D+192013+33036+PM.jpg)

Oh em gee. Gosh I want to play that game.

Wow, that almost looks like a model train set or something.

Polliwog wrote:

Oh em gee. Gosh I want to play that game.

I don't want DLC's and the high price.. But I want this game as well, maybe if they do a GOTY.. (It's publish by EA, did EA ever done a GOTY? or was it always the publisher that did them?)

Manach wrote:

(It's publish by EA, did EA ever done a GOTY? or was it always the publisher that did them?)

I think it depends on how successful the title is, or how much they feel they can milk it. The Sims 1 got a "Complete Collection" which bundled the base game with all the EPs. However, The Sims 2 never did although that might require a number of DVDs. Dragon Age: Origins had the "Ultimate Edition", but they have yet to do something like that for DA2 or ME2.

Gremlin wrote:

Ocean Quigley has been tweeting and blogging screenshots of his city:

images snipped

The graphics looks good and like what I have always wanted.

However it also makes it very clear that you will be building SimTown not SimCity.

No more large metropolises unless I am making an ass of myself with my assumptions.

jeffsceu wrote:

No more large metropolises unless I am making an ass of myself with my assumptions.

m(| --> ((

I'm still very much on the fence about this one. At least I'm no longer religiously opposed to Origin since they changed their terms of service. I'm going to wait and see what the reception is like for SimCity.

jeffsceu wrote:

No more large metropolises unless I am making an ass of myself with my assumptions.

If you're just going by these screen shots, it's because he hasn't grown the city very much yet. He just posted his first large building being constructed:

IMAGE(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1KQ5ZWwoJY8/UO4oNhKWxoI/AAAAAAAAJo4/BO9zQI_7Yy8/s1600/Done+Load+Materials+%5BDebugRelease%5D+192013+60450+PM.jpg)

Also, I keep hearing the road construction sounds in my head.

Farscry wrote:
B Dog wrote:

Basically, the game has always been designed to require an online connection, she says, not for DRM purposes but for EA servers to share the processing load required to crunch all the data that needs to be crunched by the GlassBox sim engine.

Oh come on now, what a load of crap from EA. I could at least respect them for honesty if they'd be up-front about the DRM and the motivation behind it.

Yeah, that's total, utter garbage. The fastest PCs in the world, no matter how much money you throw at them, are only a little faster than the machines we have sitting under our desks, at least if they've been built in the last few years. There are no economies of scale to be had here.

And, if you're an overclocker, chances are quite good that your machine is faster on a per-thread basis than anything they can field, and you can devote four full cores and typically 8 or 16 gigs of RAM locally.

Saying that this is needed for anything but DRM is a lie. It probably is architected so that it won't work offline, but that's absolutely going to be less efficient than using the hardware that customers can provide for themselves.

It's not like they can devote a $5000 server-class PC to run your $50 game. You can easily (and probably do) devote a $1K PC to doing the same thing, and your $1K PC is probably faster. Less reliable, but faster.

While I look back with fondness to my old megacity in SimCity 2000, I simply don't have time to dedicate dozens of hours to one city anymore. Or maybe more accurately: I like to play more than one game a year

So I'm not too sad to play smaller maps with smaller cities. I'll get that sense of satisfaction from 'completing' a city, and if I feel like playing more after that I'll just build another one.

I've changed, man

shoptroll wrote:
Farscry wrote:
B Dog wrote:

Basically, the game has always been designed to require an online connection, she says, not for DRM purposes but for EA servers to share the processing load required to crunch all the data that needs to be crunched by the GlassBox sim engine.

Oh come on now, what a load of crap from EA. I could at least respect them for honesty if they'd be up-front about the DRM and the motivation behind it.

On the other hand, it does explain why their minimum system requirements are relatively low based on the amount of stuff they claim to be simulating:

Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core 4000+ or better or Intel Core 2 Duo Processor 2.0GHz or better
OS:Windows XP/Vista/7
Memory: 2GB RAM
Hard Drive: 10GB HD Space
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon HD 2x00 or better*, NVIDIA 7800 or better*, Intel Series 4 integrated graphics or better*

That said "MMO-lite" pretty much nails it. This is basically an MMO if they're doing that much processing on the backend, same as with Diablo III's loot rolls.

In reading her blog post it makes it seem that their servers are handling processing around the entire region..not just your own city.. so clearly thats not going to be something that is an "offline" game. Call it what you want the game is an online MMO type game.. if you want a Single Player offline Sim City then this isnt the game for you.. sometimes it's just that easy. Like any online game you are taking a risk by paying the box fee if the game shuts down.. clearly that is hardly unique to EA

TheGameguru wrote:

Like any online game you are taking a risk by paying the box fee if the game shuts down.. clearly that is hardly unique to EA

Indeed. That is an important point to consider for those planning to buy this game. This is EA, so don't assume you'll still be able to play SC5 a few years from now, unless it somehow becomes and stays popular for "the masses" to whom the game seems to be aimed.

In related news, I'm calling it now: The Sims 4 will also be online-only. Let's see how well that goes over.

dejanzie wrote:

While I look back with fondness to my old megacity in SimCity 2000, I simply don't have time to dedicate dozens of hours to one city anymore.

Just in case you haven't played since SC2000, you can choose the smallest city size in SC4 and have a "complete" (depending on how you define that) city without having to spend dozens of hours.

Judging by the tiny size of SC5's "cities," I would expect that you could "complete" one in a short time, probably just a few hours (single digits).

MeatMan wrote:

Let's see how well that goes over.

Depends on whether or not there's a subscription fee. This won't be their first time trying a Sims MMO.

shoptroll wrote:

This won't be their first time trying a Sims MMO.

Right, and look how well that did.

meatman wrote:
dejanzie wrote:

While I look back with fondness to my old megacity in SimCity 2000, I simply don't have time to dedicate dozens of hours to one city anymore.

Just in case you haven't played since SC2000, you can choose the smallest city size in SC4 and have a "complete" (depending on how you define that) city without having to spend dozens of hours.

Judging by the tiny size of SC5's "cities," I would expect that you could "complete" one in a short time, probably just a few hours (single digits).

SC2000 is the last one I played more than a couple of hours. 8 to 9 hours to 'complete' a map sounds perfect for the gamer I am today.

MeatMan wrote:

Judging by the tiny size of SC5's "cities," I would expect that you could "complete" one in a short time, probably just a few hours (single digits).

There is no way this can happen. Don't forget that they'll have "competitions" for who can make a "university" city, or "gambling" city. And these are supposed to be achievements that only you and none of your friends can achieve. So you'll be cool. Because you can pour more hours a day into it then them.

dejanzie wrote:
meatman wrote:
dejanzie wrote:

While I look back with fondness to my old megacity in SimCity 2000, I simply don't have time to dedicate dozens of hours to one city anymore.

Just in case you haven't played since SC2000, you can choose the smallest city size in SC4 and have a "complete" (depending on how you define that) city without having to spend dozens of hours.

Judging by the tiny size of SC5's "cities," I would expect that you could "complete" one in a short time, probably just a few hours (single digits).

SC2000 is the last one I played more than a couple of hours. 8 to 9 hours to 'complete' a map sounds perfect for the gamer I am today.

I always thought of simcity games as the one of the games, where you can pour 1 or 2 hours a day into the game and see results.

Needing to "complete" the map, just doesn't compute to me especially when it comes to simcity games.

In fact I still play Simcity 4 Rush Hour for 2 hours every week now.

It's not like there's a competition to have the biggest cities.

YMMV if you have a very large pile or are in a rush to "finish" the game.

Gremlin wrote:
jeffsceu wrote:

No more large metropolises unless I am making an ass of myself with my assumptions.

If you're just going by these screen shots, it's because he hasn't grown the city very much yet. He just posted his first large building being constructed:

snipped image

Also, I keep hearing the road construction sounds in my head.

Have you seen the latest trailer?

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/01/10/dont-blink-the-shortest-simcity-trailer/

Whether large buildings are present doesn't make the game small, it's the option to expand. As far as I can see (I might be wrong here), he has used up all the available real estate and the only option is to expand upwards.

That to me is an artificial constraint, as I like building large sprawling cities with only the CBD filled with large tall buildings.

If you look at the latest trailer, most of the cities are small with no option to expand to metropolises with sprawling inner neighbourhoods.

The only city that looks remotely like a large city is the city starting at 0:27 of the trailer, the one that is bisected by the river, that looks like a large city to me, but it was only a short glimpse, so basically I am still skeptical.

To summarize, I like what I see, but I really don't like what I am not seeing, if you catch my drift.

Actually, based on his latest screenshots, he's expanded his city across the river:
IMAGE(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BAWYiTsCEAAD74O.jpg:large)
Which doesn't answer your larger question about the ultimate sizes of the cities, but at least this one seems to have plenty of room to expand, minus any speculative invisible borders.

I have huge concerns about this game: the DRM, the online only, and, yes, the city sizes. But I am hesitant to put too much weight on what isn't shown in the screenshots right now, since the game is very clearly still in development.

I'll eat my hat if there aren't invisible borders somewhere in that shot.

Gremlin wrote:

Actually, based on his latest screenshots, he's expanded his city across the river

It's still tiny, though, based on the number of buildings.

Anyway, I didn't see it mentioned here yet, so I will. In this official blog post, you'll find the following statement regarding how much total area each player will be able to use:

You’ll have several Region Map options to choose from. Some that may only have 2 city slots available to them and some that can have as many as 16
Quintin_Stone wrote:

I'll eat my hat if there aren't invisible borders somewhere in that shot.

You may be right. The latest tweet seems to imply that:

Ocean Quigley wrote:

Here's another view of this high-population city. You can see a neighboring city in the background. pic.twitter.com/jDyN0p9E

IMAGE(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BAXgVaVCEAA038X.jpg:large)

Good, because I don't want to eat my hat. One is leather, the other is made of felt.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

Good, because I don't want to eat my hat. One is leather, the other is made of felt.

LMAO, there's still plenty of time for you to marinate them first, as I am hoping that things will change although the hope is small.