Author Topic: SimCity (5) HLP Region?  (Read 5273 times)

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Offline General Battuta

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Re: SimCity (5) HLP Region?
Tell you what Sandwich, give it a couple of months and then re-boot this thread and I may well be interested.

I don't own the game at the moment, mostly because of concerns about the launch-day readiness (and because I always felt a bit burned by the atrocious 'Societies'), but I actually quite like the look of it. Hopefully in a few months the worst problems will be ironed out and I will definitely take a look at picking it up :)

Please, please do not buy this game. SimCity is one of the most egregious examples of both corporate ill intent (through the incredibly deceptive marketing and the out-and-out lies they told during after release) and poor game design (the game literally lies to you about your city, never mind the fundamentally broken GlassBox engine). Not giving EA your money for SimCity is certainly a good decision, but it also verges on morally imperative if you care about the way companies relate to consumers.

Eurogamer's 4/10 review covers the design problems, in a broad sense, and while some of these will likely be addressed in patches, others won't. More importantly, at least in my eyes, is the cycle of lies that EA corporate tried to feed us, lies that were systematically struck down by people actually looking at the game's code. They claimed that the GlassBox engine relied on cloud calculations on EA servers; basic activity monitors proved that this wasn't the case, that it was an out and out lie. They claimed that SimCity could not run in offline mode because it wouldn't be able to conduct the computations necessary for agent-driven behaviors; within days people had the game running perfectly fine in offline mode...at least until the built-in timer killed their games. Never mind the deception inherent in advertising SimCity as a functional game, when those same agent-driven behaviors turn out to be rotten from the ground up.

As matters stand, paying for SimCity is feeding a sickness.
e: quoteses

Things EA said before launch:

Quote
“GlassBox is the engine that drives the entire game — the buildings, the economics, trading, and also the overall simulation that can track data for up to 100,000 individual Sims inside each city. There is a massive amount of computing that goes into all of this, and GlassBox works by attributing portions of the computing to EA servers (the cloud) and some on the player’s local computer.”
9th of March - Polygon(MICHAEL MCWHERTOR) interview with Bradshaw, the beginning of the un-challenging of our games media:

“With the way that the game works, we offload a significant amount of the calculations to our servers so that the computations are off the local PCs and are moved into the cloud. It wouldn’t be possible to make the game offline without a significant amount of engineering work by our team.”

12th of March - Kotaku(Stephen Totilo) interview with Bradshaw - Finally more pointed questions from the games media:
Quote:
“Online connectivity as a creative game design decision was infused into the game’s DNA since its inception and so we’re fully committed to delivering against that experience first. A significant portion of the GlassBox Engine’s calculations are performed on our servers and off of the player’s PCs. It would take a significant amount of engineering work from our team to rewrite the game so that all of those functions are calculated locally without a significant performance hit to the player.”

15th of March -
Quote:
“From the ground up, we designed this game with multiplayer in mind – using new technology to realize a vision of players connected in regions to create a SimCity that captured the dynamism of the world we live in; a global, ever-changing, social world… We also made innovative use of servers to move aspects of the simulation into the cloud to support region play and social features.”

Within days of the game's launch it had been demonstrated, inarguably, that this was a systematic deception, that there were no 'aspects of the simulation' in the 'cloud', that EA had consciously and deliberately decided to lie to consumers in order to cover up a high-level corporate decision motivated only by the desire for control. Apparently on EA's orders, we heard Maxis say "it wouldn’t be possible to make the game offline without a significant amount of engineering work by our team." Yet within days of release one modder had, by altering something like a single line of code, made the game work offline.

RPS summarized:

Quote
Repeated emails to EA have resulted in no response since, and the whole situation has become more muddy with each day. It’s since been revealed that population numbers are nonsense, even down to leaked Javascript code featuring “simcity.GetFudgedPopulation” as a function. We’ve learned that city size limits are arbitrary, pathfinding is rudimentary at best, and Eurogamer’s absolutely superb review lists many more bugs, broken features, disappearing pretend-money and never-arriving resources.

So it’s all the more odd to see Maxis head Lucy Bradshaw acting as if none of this is happening, and instead just carefully rewording her mantra of how SimCity is only supposed to be played online, but this time leaving out the bit about server-side computations for local play.

Bradshaw’s post, which appears to be some sort of attempt at damage limitation – without actually ever addressing the issues raised – re-emphasises the point that they wanted it to be always online because of how they designed the game. She then lists the functions those server sums supply. And they’re what we already knew – they let the social game be social. This list that is basically just “the game has co-operative multiplayer” eight times seems to be an attempt to reveal just how grand this aspect is, how intrinsic it is to… something. It doesn’t manage this. What we’re learning from the many players posting videos, and the reviewers who actually played the game properly before smothering it with rosettes, is that those regional functions don’t work very well either.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2013, 03:34:50 pm by General Battuta »

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: SimCity (5) HLP Region?
l o l holy ****, EA's forums censored their own customer support hotline number so people couldn't post it

 

Offline Flipside

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Re: SimCity (5) HLP Region?
This is part of my concern, I bought Cities XL a few years ago, one that was 'always online' to play, and then Monte Christo folded a day or two later. The problem was, the password creation screen allowed capitals in the password, however, the password input screen did not, leaving me with a game I could not even log into. I was left with a game I could not even start for nearly a year, until the license was picked up and I was able to reset that password.

Whilst it doesn't seem likely that this would happen to EA, it left me in a situation where I really don't trust that kind of system any more.

It's a massive pity, I love city-builders, and Sim-City always used to be the benchmark by which other games were judged.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: SimCity (5) HLP Region?
You can always get one of the older SimCities! In fact, part of EA's apology package for SimCity being bungled so massively was the option to get a free game, including (I believe) SimCity 4 Deluxe.

 

Offline Spoon

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Re: SimCity (5) HLP Region?
Please, please do not buy this game.
*words*
As matters stand, paying for SimCity is feeding a sickness.
A thousand times this.

l o l holy ****, EA's forums censored their own customer support hotline number so people couldn't post it
haha
oh
wow
Urutorahappī!!

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[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 

Offline The E

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Re: SimCity (5) HLP Region?
EA really needs to hire people with brains.

I mean, DLC exclusive to a certain brand of toothpaste sold in the US? What are they thinking?
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Offline Sandwich

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Re: SimCity (5) HLP Region?
To be fair, how is that different from the cereal box goodies from the 80s?
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"...The quintessential quality of our age is that of dreams coming true. Just think of it. For centuries we have dreamt of flying; recently we made that come true: we have always hankered for speed; now we have speeds greater than we can stand: we wanted to speak to far parts of the Earth; we can: we wanted to explore the sea bottom; we have: and so  on, and so on: and, too, we wanted the power to smash our enemies utterly; we have it. If we had truly wanted peace, we should have had that as well. But true peace has never been one of the genuine dreams - we have got little further than preaching against war in order to appease our consciences. The truly wishful dreams, the many-minded dreams are now irresistible - they become facts." - 'The Outward Urge' by John Wyndham

"The very essence of tolerance rests on the fact that we have to be intolerant of intolerance. Stretching right back to Kant, through the Frankfurt School and up to today, liberalism means that we can do anything we like as long as we don't hurt others. This means that if we are tolerant of others' intolerance - especially when that intolerance is a call for genocide - then all we are doing is allowing that intolerance to flourish, and allowing the violence that will spring from that intolerance to continue unabated." - Bren Carlill

 

Offline BloodEagle

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Re: SimCity (5) HLP Region?
They just region-locked a clear advantage in the game mechanics.   :wtf:

 

Offline Sandwich

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Re: SimCity (5) HLP Region?
So what? At least they're selling the game worldwide, unlike some companies that don't even sell their games outside the US or Canada...
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"...The quintessential quality of our age is that of dreams coming true. Just think of it. For centuries we have dreamt of flying; recently we made that come true: we have always hankered for speed; now we have speeds greater than we can stand: we wanted to speak to far parts of the Earth; we can: we wanted to explore the sea bottom; we have: and so  on, and so on: and, too, we wanted the power to smash our enemies utterly; we have it. If we had truly wanted peace, we should have had that as well. But true peace has never been one of the genuine dreams - we have got little further than preaching against war in order to appease our consciences. The truly wishful dreams, the many-minded dreams are now irresistible - they become facts." - 'The Outward Urge' by John Wyndham

"The very essence of tolerance rests on the fact that we have to be intolerant of intolerance. Stretching right back to Kant, through the Frankfurt School and up to today, liberalism means that we can do anything we like as long as we don't hurt others. This means that if we are tolerant of others' intolerance - especially when that intolerance is a call for genocide - then all we are doing is allowing that intolerance to flourish, and allowing the violence that will spring from that intolerance to continue unabated." - Bren Carlill

 

Offline BloodEagle

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Re: SimCity (5) HLP Region?
They just region-locked a clear advantage in the game mechanics.   :wtf:
So what?
So what?
So what?

Well, from a general perspective it's pretty damned unethical to show favoritism to any specific group beyond 'has-thumbs'.

And from a game design perspective (while admittedly this is less of a problem in a game like this), it's an inherently bad design choice (not to mention a PR and marketing nightmare) to give a clear advantage to specific nations / whatevers.  NEW BATTLEFIELD 4076!  U.S. players get better gear than Australians!  Also ten-inch pianists!  And choppers!  GET TO THE CHOPPERS!

 

Offline Sandwich

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Re: SimCity (5) HLP Region?
I don't disagree with you that it's not "fair" to do so; my point is more along the lines of "why complain about it this time and not all the other times its been done?" Perhaps Americans aren't aware of just how frequently they are shown favoritism? Just look at the eligibility clause for most online contests/sweepstakes: the overwhelming majority of them are for "legal residents of the USA or Canada only".
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"...The quintessential quality of our age is that of dreams coming true. Just think of it. For centuries we have dreamt of flying; recently we made that come true: we have always hankered for speed; now we have speeds greater than we can stand: we wanted to speak to far parts of the Earth; we can: we wanted to explore the sea bottom; we have: and so  on, and so on: and, too, we wanted the power to smash our enemies utterly; we have it. If we had truly wanted peace, we should have had that as well. But true peace has never been one of the genuine dreams - we have got little further than preaching against war in order to appease our consciences. The truly wishful dreams, the many-minded dreams are now irresistible - they become facts." - 'The Outward Urge' by John Wyndham

"The very essence of tolerance rests on the fact that we have to be intolerant of intolerance. Stretching right back to Kant, through the Frankfurt School and up to today, liberalism means that we can do anything we like as long as we don't hurt others. This means that if we are tolerant of others' intolerance - especially when that intolerance is a call for genocide - then all we are doing is allowing that intolerance to flourish, and allowing the violence that will spring from that intolerance to continue unabated." - Bren Carlill

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: SimCity (5) HLP Region?
The setup here is slightly more cynical than cereal box goodies. A cereal box company pays money to put trinkets into cereal in order to boost sales on their cereal (hopefully leading to a net gain). Here, I'd wager, EA sells their DLC as advertising space to Crest/Oral B for a profit.

 

Offline Aardwolf

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Re: SimCity (5) HLP Region?
Also cereal box giveaways don't have leaderboards!

 

Offline Sandwich

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Re: SimCity (5) HLP Region?
Depends which is the target item being purchased, and which is the tag-along bonus - which, I might add, completely depends on your POV as well.

For example, in the case of cereal boxes, the cereal was the target item moms went to buy, and the trinket was the bonus. The opposite was true for the moms' kids - they wanted that Voltron left foot, damnit, and they didn't give a hoot about which cereal it came with.

With the SimCity DLC, it again depends on your POV. Are you a regular FPS-crazed gamer who happens to need some toothpaste (the target)? Well, along with your toothpaste, here's a bonus, which happens to be an incentive to go buy a sim game! Sim fans, on the other hand, are going to go buy an extra tube of toothpaste that they don't want or need (the bonus) just to get the DLC code (the target).

In both cases, it's a matter of cross-marketing (not sure if that's the official term or whatever). You know what I mean: "Group A wants what you got. Group B wants what I got. Let's combine our shiznit and get both groups to buy the whole package." It's a perfectly legitimate form of marketing... just that usually, there's a bit more categorical overlap between the target and bonus items. Cereal is for kids, trinkets are for kids... toothpaste is for everyone, sim games aren't for everyone... it's weird.

Now here's a conundrum: Would it have been more palatable had EA said, "Buy this DLC and get a free tube of toothpaste!"? :p
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"...The quintessential quality of our age is that of dreams coming true. Just think of it. For centuries we have dreamt of flying; recently we made that come true: we have always hankered for speed; now we have speeds greater than we can stand: we wanted to speak to far parts of the Earth; we can: we wanted to explore the sea bottom; we have: and so  on, and so on: and, too, we wanted the power to smash our enemies utterly; we have it. If we had truly wanted peace, we should have had that as well. But true peace has never been one of the genuine dreams - we have got little further than preaching against war in order to appease our consciences. The truly wishful dreams, the many-minded dreams are now irresistible - they become facts." - 'The Outward Urge' by John Wyndham

"The very essence of tolerance rests on the fact that we have to be intolerant of intolerance. Stretching right back to Kant, through the Frankfurt School and up to today, liberalism means that we can do anything we like as long as we don't hurt others. This means that if we are tolerant of others' intolerance - especially when that intolerance is a call for genocide - then all we are doing is allowing that intolerance to flourish, and allowing the violence that will spring from that intolerance to continue unabated." - Bren Carlill

 

Offline Rodo

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Re: SimCity (5) HLP Region?
With the SimCity DLC, it again depends on your POV. Are you a regular FPS-crazed gamer who happens to need some toothpaste (the target)?

This is just hilarious. You can't be trying to make a point with this sort of argument, right?

Just for the record, I'm completely uninformed about the issue at hand, but when I read your post right there the first thing I thought was: "he must be joking, but he's not?.. how can that be!"
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Offline Sandwich

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Re: SimCity (5) HLP Region?
The point was that the SimCity DLC is considered either target or bonus, depending on who you are... hence the cross-marketing.
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"...The quintessential quality of our age is that of dreams coming true. Just think of it. For centuries we have dreamt of flying; recently we made that come true: we have always hankered for speed; now we have speeds greater than we can stand: we wanted to speak to far parts of the Earth; we can: we wanted to explore the sea bottom; we have: and so  on, and so on: and, too, we wanted the power to smash our enemies utterly; we have it. If we had truly wanted peace, we should have had that as well. But true peace has never been one of the genuine dreams - we have got little further than preaching against war in order to appease our consciences. The truly wishful dreams, the many-minded dreams are now irresistible - they become facts." - 'The Outward Urge' by John Wyndham

"The very essence of tolerance rests on the fact that we have to be intolerant of intolerance. Stretching right back to Kant, through the Frankfurt School and up to today, liberalism means that we can do anything we like as long as we don't hurt others. This means that if we are tolerant of others' intolerance - especially when that intolerance is a call for genocide - then all we are doing is allowing that intolerance to flourish, and allowing the violence that will spring from that intolerance to continue unabated." - Bren Carlill

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: SimCity (5) HLP Region?
This isn't actually cross-marketing, and it's not analogous to cereal box trinkets. It's something a little more modern and a little more revealing re: EA's current priorities. It speaks to how much they're paying attention to the current crop of web monetization strategies - they want to use their games as a platform to sell advertising.

 

Offline Mongoose

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Re: SimCity (5) HLP Region?
Damn, and I thought EA had safely ceded the evil empire crown to Activision.  Evidently they felt the need to step up their game again.

 

Offline Sandwich

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Re: SimCity (5) HLP Region?
This isn't actually cross-marketing, and it's not analogous to cereal box trinkets. It's something a little more modern and a little more revealing re: EA's current priorities. It speaks to how much they're paying attention to the current crop of web monetization strategies - they want to use their games as a platform to sell advertising.

Wait, what? Marketing computer game add-on content with toothpaste is a thing now? Like, it's representative of modern web monetization strategies (MWMS)? Or did you mean that selling in-game advertising is MWMS?
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"...The quintessential quality of our age is that of dreams coming true. Just think of it. For centuries we have dreamt of flying; recently we made that come true: we have always hankered for speed; now we have speeds greater than we can stand: we wanted to speak to far parts of the Earth; we can: we wanted to explore the sea bottom; we have: and so  on, and so on: and, too, we wanted the power to smash our enemies utterly; we have it. If we had truly wanted peace, we should have had that as well. But true peace has never been one of the genuine dreams - we have got little further than preaching against war in order to appease our consciences. The truly wishful dreams, the many-minded dreams are now irresistible - they become facts." - 'The Outward Urge' by John Wyndham

"The very essence of tolerance rests on the fact that we have to be intolerant of intolerance. Stretching right back to Kant, through the Frankfurt School and up to today, liberalism means that we can do anything we like as long as we don't hurt others. This means that if we are tolerant of others' intolerance - especially when that intolerance is a call for genocide - then all we are doing is allowing that intolerance to flourish, and allowing the violence that will spring from that intolerance to continue unabated." - Bren Carlill

 
Re: SimCity (5) HLP Region?
Other than the toothpaste part specifically? Yeah, it is.
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.