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

LarryC wrote:

The unfortunate thing here is that managers and CEOs are seeing product control and focusing on that, when they ought to be focusing on customer satisfaction, especially if they're transitioning to services-not-goods games model.

The opening speech of the EA conference talked about how the game used to just be the game, but now they continue adding value to it, and don't stop working when the game is released.

It's interesting to try to promote nickel-and-diming your customers with DLC as a feature.

And certainly so far, EA only does it to a point, especially in the sports division. Lots of day 1 DLC. A couple of patches to fix bugs. And then boom, gotta churn out the next yearly title, so to hell with this old one.

Oh and of course, shut down the servers for any game more than 2 years old so customers can't play online any more. Yeah that's a great service model they have going.

And, since you don't have an option to play offline, when they turn off the servers, you can never play again.

Stele:

It's exactly those incidents that make me think that EA isn't really thinking of this as a service! It's like they're going out of their way to put flies in their soup.

DLC is a great feature, but the way most Western companies are doing it makes me face palm so hard. Microtransactions - so misunderstood right now...

That said, I liked how they did the DLC for ME3. None of it was essential - the game in the disk is totally worth full price. I think the Catwoman DLC for Batman was well done, too.

Malor:

That's implicit. The deal has to be worth the current experience alone, without considering future access/non-access. This admittedly makes gaming a lot harder to document and record for posterity.

And since I typically keep my games a very long time, an online-only game has very little value to me.

I'm still playing games from the DOS era, fer chrissake.

Pass pass pass pass pass.

As excited as I was for this, I'm really not any more.

SimCity 5, you broke my heart.

The only silver lining is that they are being upfront very early on about the multiplayer/always-on component. The downside is that I have no interest in what is essentially a SimCity MMO. If all the multiplayer stuff was an opt-in component existing alongside the traditional single-player model I'd be very pleased with what they've shown so far.

The only feature I really want from SimCity is the ability to build cities with no restrictions (aka the Urban Renewal Kit).

It looks like this is not something they have any intention of supporting so I'm probably going to have to pass as well.

I really like a lot of what they're doing with the simulation design side of things, so I'm still keeping a cautiously interested eye on this. Would prefer a classic offline single player version myself, but LarryC's point list of things that could be benefits of the online connection look intriguing.

You know that if this is a disaster, than EA is going to blame the market for city-building games, and not their busted-ass business plan. I am the guy who doesn't give a sh*t about DRM, and this is probably going to cause me to avoid this one.

kazooka wrote:

You know that if this is a disaster, than EA is going to blame the market for city-building games, and not their busted-ass business plan. I am the guy who doesn't give a sh*t about DRM, and this is probably going to cause me to avoid this one.

This is more than just DRM. I don't really give a sh*t about always online being required for DRM. I do give a sh*t about EA restricting what I can do with a game in order to make SimCity an MMO.

Sounds to me like this is an inevitable consequence of the online component. If other cities depend on your city in some way, then if you just let Godzilla romp and stomp through it, that will affect other players negatively. The griefing aspect is probably why this is not allowed, but I think it's a result of the design, rather than executive meddling or marketing decisions. Unless you consider anti-griefing as marketing...

They've made their bed; years ago, in my opinion. We'll see how this game does.

Robear:

It's an inevitable consequence of what they decided the online side was going to look like. It's not inevitable just because it's online. It's possible to generate a large persistent cityscape region but also support private games with only one or a couple of players.

Demyx wrote:

This is more than just DRM. I don't really give a sh*t about always online being required for DRM. I do give a sh*t about EA restricting what I can do with a game in order to make SimCity an MMO.

I think that's an important point.

My intent is not to offend but I'm curious. Maybe my assumptions are off base too. But why is there outrage for Sim City but not for Diablo 3? IMO that has a way worse DRM. Just wondering.

Crockpot wrote:

My intent is not to offend but I'm curious. Maybe my assumptions are off base too. But why is there outrage for Sim City but not for Diablo 3? IMO that has a way worse DRM. Just wondering.

Um, did you miss all the intense outrage over Diablo III?

I'm turned off to this game now, I think. Pass.

Demyx wrote:

Um, did you miss all the intense outrage over Diablo III?

Ya, right up until the game came out. It seemed like it didn't stop anybody from buying the game. How much has it sold at launch? 3.5 million? Is this going to be the same with Sim City?

Crockpot wrote:

Ya, right up until the game came out. It seemed like it didn't stop anybody from buying the game. How much has it sold at launch? 3.5 million? Is this going to be the same with Sim City?

Probably!

But the outrage over D3 didn't end when the game came out. In fact, it intensified due to Blizzard's server problems.

Crockpot wrote:
Demyx wrote:

Um, did you miss all the intense outrage over Diablo III?

Ya, right up until the game came out. It seemed like it didn't stop anybody from buying the game. How much has it sold at launch? 3.5 million? Is this going to be the same with Sim City?

It stopped me from buying the game. Everyone I know who asked me didn't buy it either. They were depending on me for my recommendations. Its online requirement scared off my part of the gamersphere pretty much wholesale.

Even with the need to validate via the internet at each launch, this was a guaranteed sale in my household. My wife loves the SimCity series.

When I told her about the cloud-save only with no ability to revert to older saves etc, her response was "f#@k that!"

She has zero interest in any multiplayer functionality, and by forcing restrictions on gameplay in order to standardize the online environment they've lost a customer.

This is just incomprehensibly stupid to me. The Sim games have always been more "toy" than game, and now EA wants to tell you how you're allowed to play with your toys.

Demyx wrote:
Crockpot wrote:

Ya, right up until the game came out. It seemed like it didn't stop anybody from buying the game. How much has it sold at launch? 3.5 million? Is this going to be the same with Sim City?

Probably!

But the outrage over D3 didn't end when the game came out. In fact, it intensified due to Blizzard's server problems.

I must hanging out with the wrong people.

They should of made Diablo 3 F2P and get their money through the soon to be real money auction house. But we all know that they don't need to do that to get people paying for Blizzard games.

To bring it back Sim City seems a miss opportunity to benefit from the F2P model and they could of got away with the whole online saves, online drm, etc. But I guess that's being saved for the Sim City on Facebook...

Carry on folks.

For those that have played it, what's the main differences between SC and something like CitiesXL that would stop the latter from being an alternative? Is it more than just "It's not called SimCity or made by EA/Maxis"?

Crockpot wrote:
Demyx wrote:

Um, did you miss all the intense outrage over Diablo III?

Ya, right up until the game came out. It seemed like it didn't stop anybody from buying the game. How much has it sold at launch? 3.5 million? Is this going to be the same with Sim City?

I was going to ask pretty much the same question, and take a stab at the answer.

The main difference I see, is that Diablo 3 is still fundamentally Diablo. Streamlined, changed, sure but still recognizable, and most of the changes that were made are largely tangential to the online only requirement. Despite many people playing solo (myself included) Diablo has always been primarily an online multiplayer game.

SimCity has always been a single player affair. SC4 had some community features and that's it. Now, this new game doesn't just add MP, it removes SP. In doing so, they remove a feature that a lot of people like, and add a bunch of restrictions. Personally, destroying my city was never something I found fun, but I can see why people are irritated.

The D3 always-on thing didn't bother me that much aside from Day 1-3 connection troubles. I was already planning on playing online like I did in D2 so that's not a huge deal. SimCity has always been a strictly single-player game and that's no longer a real option. They are taking away a lot more here than D3 did.

As for F2P SimCity, it's called SimCity Social and coming out later this year on Facebook. It's probably going to trash your wallet just like they did with The Sims Social and will be incredibly soul-less.

EDIT: Tannhauser'd by Garden Ninja.

Elycion wrote:

The Sim games have always been more "toy" than game, and now EA wants to tell you how you're allowed to play with your toys.

The Gamespy article was updated to clarify that you have to turn on "cheat mode" to revert to previous versions. I still have an issue with this because like you say, these were always a toy and you were free to do what you want. Having to jump through a hoop because I want to muck with disasters for 10 minutes and suffer no consequences is dumb.

I can't wait to see them do this with The Sims 4.

shoptroll wrote:

The D3 always-on thing didn't bother me that much aside from Day 1-3 connection troubles. I was already planning on playing online like I did in D2 so that's not a huge deal. SimCity has always been a strictly single-player game and that's no longer a real option. They are taking away a lot more here than D3 did.

As someone for whom the Diablo games and the SimCity games have been single player offline affairs, I wholeheartedly disagree with you. Blizzard and EA both took away the same things. I have been pleasantly surprised to find that I'm enjoying Diablo 3 online, and I suspect the same will wind up true about SimCity for me.

I grudgingly accepted last year that this online-DRM thing simply isn't going away, and I don't care that much about it in the end. If a company's connectivity is reliable enough, I'll grab their product. And EA's connectivity (Origin games, namely Mass Effect 3 and Battlefield 3) has had a better track record than Blizzard did with Diablo 3, so SimCity 5 will be fine with me.

Scratched wrote:

For those that have played it, what's the main differences between SC and something like CitiesXL that would stop the latter from being an alternative? Is it more than just "It's not called SimCity or made by EA/Maxis"?

Funny you should mention Cities XL, since it originally had a $15/month online component... >_>

Scratched wrote:

For those that have played it, what's the main differences between SC and something like CitiesXL that would stop the latter from being an alternative? Is it more than just "It's not called SimCity or made by EA/Maxis"?

For one thing, Cities XL was awful. For another, it was very similar to what EA is proposing--an online game where your city was dependent on your global neighbors. That kind of sounds cool, until you get into the game and realize that:

a.) you're not really trading stuff like wheat and widgets so much as "food" and "commerical office space." (How the f*ck do you export commercial office space)
b.) you have to micromanage every single export and import instead of, you know, an economy that reacts to supply and demand. Basically you needed an international trade agreement every time you zoned an area for farming.
c.) you were limited to a few pre-made maps.

And besides that, the city itself was pretty soulless. Unlike Sim City, nothing special ever really happened, no political scandals, no cries from the public about llamas, no parades, nothing. It just wasn't a very good game.

Farscry wrote:

EA's connectivity (Origin games, namely Mass Effect 3 and Battlefield 3) has had a better track record than Blizzard did with Diablo 3, so SimCity 5 will be fine with me.

Except for the fact I can still play Diablo 1 onliine but I can't say the same about Need For Speed Underground. Or how there's no official exchange available for The Sims, SimCity 3000, SimCity 4 right now. Yeah D3 day 1 stability was horrid, but at least I know that Blizzard will keep the severs up as long as they exist.