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Gaming News & Discussion (Page 47)
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Games Meister
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Mar 7, 2013, 03:41 PM
 
Don't forget the slow graphics card causing lag.
     
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Mar 7, 2013, 04:34 PM
 
     
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Mar 8, 2013, 10:12 AM
 
EA haven't got the memo to stop digging yet... EA Hires Hundreds of Chinese Spammers to Post Positively About SimCity’s Always Online Requirement | Play4Real

They've apparently hired Chinese spammers to say good things online about Sim City, EA deny everything.

We spoke to one of these spammers in an exclusive interview:

Play4Real: Rumor has it that you are being paid by EA, is this true?

citybuilder229: No, this is not true.

Play4Real: Then why are you posting only good things about SimCity’s always online requirement?

citybuilder229: Because I was told by EA representative to post them.

Play4Real: But you said you weren’t being paid by EA.

citybuilder229: I have not been paid yet.

Play4Real: Oh, okay. Is there anything else you can tell us about this deal you made?

citybuilder229: I am to be paid one RMB (approximately .16 USD) per good post I make.

Play4Real: How many posts have you made?

citybuilder229: 780.

It'll be much easier if you just comply.
     
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Mar 8, 2013, 10:37 AM
 
Its apparently satire. It keeps getting posted because its utterly believable EA might do something like that.
     
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Mar 8, 2013, 10:41 AM
 
I did think it might be taking the mickey, a quick google and I took the many hits for the same story as it being the truth. Its also utterly believable EA might do something like that .

It'll be much easier if you just comply.
     
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Mar 8, 2013, 01:05 PM
 
I can't verify this, but word is they've disabled almost all the social features to help reduce their server load. As such you're basically now stuck playing a true single-player game online. Oh, and of course its worth noting that all those features EA disabled as a fix were what they pointed to as necessitating the always on DRM. Amazing.
     
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Mar 8, 2013, 01:42 PM
 
EA not altering return policy for furious SimCity buyers | Ars Technica

Electronic Arts has indicated that it will not be altering its usual digital refund policy in the wake of SimCity server issues that have led to access problems and scaled-back features for players that are able to log in, days after the game's North American release.

"In general we do not offer refunds on digital download games," EA tweeted through its official Origin account yesterday, directing people to the company's online policy on returns and cancellations. While downloadable games purchased in North America are not be refunded "as a general policy," EA does offer a "14-day unconditional guarantee" on any physical product sold through the Origin store. European customers, however, may be able to withdraw their downloadable purchase during a 14-day "Cooling Off period" as outlined on EA's European return policy page.

The recent tweet comes after a message posted to EA's forums by Community Manager Raven on Tuesday, stating that "[i]f you regrettably feel that we let you down, you can of course request a refund for your order... though we're currently still in the process of resolving this issue." That message has now been revised to simply say "please review our refund policy here."
...and there's wonder why some of us still aren't keen on this DD business.


Meanwhile, EA continues to apologize for the ongoing server problems. The company is spinning the issues as a result of the unexpected, overwhelming popularity of the game. After servers filled up within hours of Tuesday's launch, "what we saw was that players were having such a good time they didn't want to leave the game, which kept our servers packed and made it difficult for new players to join," Senior Producer Kip Katsarelis said in a forum message.
Hahahaha, you guys are amazing ****ing idiots. I wonder if the servers could have handled the onslaught of just the pre-orders, let alone day one purchasers.


Amazon appears to be offering both retail and downloadable versions of the Standard and Limited Edition SimCity on their online store again, after they were briefly unavailable yesterday. The online retailer is still warning potential buyers up front that "[m]any customers are having issues connecting to the 'SimCity' servers. EA is actively working to resolve these issues, but at this time we do not know when the issue will be fixed."
Yet another reason why amazon is great.
     
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Mar 8, 2013, 03:26 PM
 
It would be refreshing once if they truly admitted what they did wrong. They cheaped out on the number of servers. They didn't buy/lease enough servers because they are greedy idiots.
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Mar 8, 2013, 03:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by Leonard View Post
It would be refreshing once if they truly admitted what they did wrong. They cheaped out on the number of servers. They didn't buy/lease enough servers because they are greedy idiots.
The bottom line is their predictions based pre-orders and interest are always wrong. I question what their infrastructure was capable of supporting simultaneous, and how it compares to pre-orders.
     
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Mar 8, 2013, 03:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
The bottom line is their predictions based pre-orders and interest are always wrong. I question what their infrastructure was capable of supporting simultaneous, and how it compares to pre-orders.
Yeah I'd like to see their math too.

The thing is they screw up EVERY TIME, and if I knew I screwed up every time, I would either change my mathematical algorithm or add a contigency. Ie. I'd rather have several more servers than I need.
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Mar 8, 2013, 03:39 PM
 
All I can think of, there is no incentive to preorder here. I'd be twice as pissed if I told EA three months ago I wanted to play this and they weren't ready.
     
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Mar 8, 2013, 03:58 PM
 
     
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Mar 8, 2013, 04:17 PM
 
SimCity Marketing Pulled by EA - IGN
In a memo sent to affiliates (and obtained by IGN), EA asks for active promotion for SimCity to cease. The company has deactivated all links in Origin’s LinkShare program, which a lot of companies use to promote EA games.
EA must be way, way over its head on this one. Continuing to amaze...

This makes me think they'll be lucky to have things reasonably stable by the end of next week.
     
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Mar 9, 2013, 02:06 AM
 
Wow. Glad I cancelled my preorder more and more.
     
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Mar 9, 2013, 02:19 AM
 
As someone who got burned with Diablo 3, I feel these people pain. All I can say is never again.
     
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Mar 9, 2013, 09:26 AM
 

It'll be much easier if you just comply.
     
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Mar 9, 2013, 10:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Funny. I saw an ad for the game on tv last night.

EA is now offering a free game download as an apology to disgruntled buyers of SimCity.
     
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Mar 9, 2013, 10:28 AM
 
Is that the ad with the guy in the suit trying to be Jack Black?

It'll be much easier if you just comply.
     
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Mar 9, 2013, 11:50 AM
 
To be honest, I tried to tune it out, but it does sound familiar. I will say that the cities they show in the ad appear strikingly larger than anything I've seen in actual screenshots that show the postage-stamp-sized borders.
     
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Mar 9, 2013, 11:17 PM
 
This whole Sim City thing reminds me when Homefront came out.
     
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Mar 9, 2013, 11:52 PM
 
You must have missed the Diablo 3 launch.
     
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Mar 11, 2013, 07:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by Leonard View Post
The thing is they screw up EVERY TIME, and if I knew I screwed up every time, I would either change my mathematical algorithm or add a contigency. Ie. I'd rather have several more servers than I need.
++ on this. EA messes up every launch in some way, it seems. This is not hard - everyone knows that the load will be highest the first weeks, so you overprovision for that period and remove servers as they're no longer needed. It's not like you can't repurpose the servers for some other online game later.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Mar 11, 2013, 11:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
++ on this. EA messes up every launch in some way, it seems. This is not hard - everyone knows that the load will be highest the first weeks, so you overprovision for that period and remove servers as they're no longer needed. It's not like you can't repurpose the servers for some other online game later.
No need to re-purpose these days, just rent servers from someone.
     
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Mar 11, 2013, 12:41 PM
 
So they added 12 servers since Thursday. I'm pretty sure they debuted with 3-5 and added about that many by Thursday. I guess I'm wrong – no one can be that willfully stupid.
     
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Mar 11, 2013, 01:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
So they added 12 servers since Thursday. I'm pretty sure they debuted with 3-5 and added about that many by Thursday. I guess I'm wrong – no one can be that willfully stupid.
O ye, of little faith.
     
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Mar 11, 2013, 02:14 PM
 
Yup, they're THAT stupid

The company said the way it had set up the launch had been "dumb" and that it "really feels bad" about the way gamers had suffered.
     
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Mar 11, 2013, 02:23 PM
 
The key word was willfully.
     
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Mar 11, 2013, 02:25 PM
 
Oh anecdotal posts on NeoGAFs SimCity thread point to very little data usage by SimCity, implying they online features are as overhyped as everyone assumed.

Edit: Assuming that's true, the good news is an offline SimCity hack wouldn't surprise me as coming fairly soon(ish).
     
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Mar 11, 2013, 02:44 PM
 
Ars takes a shit on Sim City.
     
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Mar 11, 2013, 06:38 PM
 
I like how Jim Sterling at The Escapist puts it: if game companies demand gamers be online to play their games, games companies must always be online when gamers want to play them.

I've never bought an always-on game, and I never will.
     
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Mar 12, 2013, 01:19 PM
 
Guy on NeoGAF posted some gorgeous city shots. Looks the most city of any pics I've seen so far:





     
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Mar 12, 2013, 01:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by lpkmckenna View Post
I like how Jim Sterling at The Escapist puts it: if game companies demand gamers be online to play their games, games companies must always be online when gamers want to play them.
Well duh, that's the inherent contract between us. I'd also posit they owe people who pre-order a working game on day one.
     
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Mar 12, 2013, 07:52 PM
 
Heart of the Swarm is out, and Blizzard doesn't want to be left out of all the "underdimensioned servers" news - some server tracking achievements is going up and down, which means that no achievements seem to work. Ah, I guess it could be worse - the game works. Too bad I still suck at playing the Zerg.
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Mar 13, 2013, 08:38 AM
 
Wonder if MS or Sony give a shit about the bad performance of a certain game (for XBL and PSN). Do they have agreements with game dev companies to ensure that (for example) there are enough servers for game X or Y?
     
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Mar 13, 2013, 11:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
Wonder if MS or Sony give a shit about the bad performance of a certain game (for XBL and PSN). Do they have agreements with game dev companies to ensure that (for example) there are enough servers for game X or Y?
Interesting question, but I'm sure the answer is no. MW2 didn't have nay problems, but Black Ops was unreliable for a week or two. Homefront was a disaster, though I think they genuinely didn't expect the support they got (plus it was rushed out the door). I know EA has some special relationship where they control their own online differently from everyone else, and BF3 was also rough seas for the first week until the server load was evened out.

I'm excited for BF4, but I feel like these first week problems have become an inevitability. It's a sad lowering of the bar when you consider just a few years ago we were coming to grips with all games needing to be patched after release.
     
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Mar 13, 2013, 11:39 AM
 
Traffic "AI"... This is why services and traffic are broken! - Answer HQ
The problem is that, just as power can sometimes take a ridiculously long time to fill the entire map (because the "power agents" just randomly move about with no sense) traffic and workers can do the same thing. Workers leave their homes as "people agents." These agents go to the nearest open job, not caring at all where they worked yesterday. They fill the job, and the next worker goes to the next building and fills that job, and so it goes until all the jobs are "filled." So, when you have all your "worker" sims leaving their houses for work in the morning, they all cluster together like some kind of "tourist pack" until they have all been sucked into "jobs." They don't seem to care if the job is Commercial or Industrial, only that it's a job.

"Scholars" are handled exactly the same way. As are school busses and mass-transit agents. This is why you see the "trains" of busses roaming through your city, and why entire sections of town may never see a school bus, despite having plenty of stops... Once all the busses are full, they return to school and stay there until school is done for the day.

Now, here is where it gets really good... In the evening, when work and school lets out, they all leave and proceed to the absolute closest "open" house. They don't "own" their houses. The "people" you see are actually just mindless agents (much like the utilities agents, as I said earlier) making the whole idea of "being able to follow a 'Sim' through their entire day" utterly POINTLESS!!
Fire services also send every unit to the first available fire. It's utterly pointless to try and "decentralize," because every truck from the city will still converge on one fire, ignoring the other three until it's out. Once the first fire is out, they all rush to the next fire. The only thing you get for having multiple fire-trucks is that they put the fires out slightly quicker. Really, you can have the exact same fire coverage quality with only one of each type of fire-unit. "Fire Marshalls" are COMPLETELY random, and just seem to roam around picking whichever building is "most at risk," ignoring the fact that an entire neighborhood is high risk, and the next "most at risk" is on the other side of the city... Which gets them stuck in traffic.


Did EA lie about theoretical population sizes? : SimCity
So this is the second thing that has been puzzling the hell out of me today. Did EA lie about how much population a city could support in this game in order to reassure the potential player-base that small tile sizes would be okay?

Check out this thread from the Sim City forums. In particular this post:

A Low Income - Low Density House has 6 adults, 4 are workers and 2 are shoppers. If you destroy this home, your total population at the bottom center of your screen goes down by 6. Makes sense.

A Low Income - Med Density House has 60 adults, 40 are workers, 20 are shoppers. If you destroy this home, your total population at the bottom center of your screen goes down by 60. Makes sense.

A Low Income - High Density House is where things go all whacky... By the pattern above you would assume that a high density home would be 600 adults where 400 are workers and 200 are shoppers, and this is true. If you look at the data layers (at the right times) you will see that there are indeed 600 residents and 400 are workers and 200 are shoppers....

BUT... If you destroy this High Density house, your population goes down by 5200!!!!! (As well as increasing by 5200 when it gets rebuilt)

So either the worker/shopper count is bugged for high population buildings, OR they are purposefully "padding" the bottom center population numbers to make the city look bigger than it actually is.

So what the hell? This basically confirms a lot of suspicions of mine and others that we aren't actually seeing that many sims in our cities and it also explains why only 1/10 of the population is working. We don't actually have as many people in our cities as we think! EA has stated numerous times that their internal testers were able to get cities of 500k and even 1 million sims, but in reality they may have been blowing smoke up our asses! What the ****, if I'm having traffic problems at ~100k sims (which is actually more on the order of 10k sims) imagine what would happen if I had 10 times more sims on the streets.


Maxis Insider Tells RPS: SimCity Servers Not Necessary | Rock, Paper, Shotgun
“The servers are not handling any of the computation done to simulate the city you are playing. They are still acting as servers, doing some amount of computation to route messages of various types between both players and cities. As well, they’re doing cloud storage of save games, interfacing with Origin, and all of that. But for the game itself? No, they’re not doing anything. I have no idea why they’re claiming otherwise. It’s possible that Bradshaw misunderstood or was misinformed, but otherwise I’m clueless.”
“Because of the way Glassbox was designed, simulation data had to go through a different pathway. The game would regularly pass updates to the server, and then the server would stick those messages in a huge queue along with the messages from everyone else playing. The server pulls messages off the queue, farms them out to other servers to be processed and then those servers send you a package of updates back. The amount of time it could take for you to get a server update responding to something you’ve just done in the game could be as long as a few minutes. This is why they disabled Cheetah mode, by the way, to reduce by half the number of updates coming into the queue.”
“It wouldn’t take very much engineering to give you a limited single-player game without all the nifty region stuff.”
     
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Mar 13, 2013, 12:07 PM
 
One of the more galling things about all this is it seems impossible that game reviewers didn't run into these problems during their game time. Unless the awful traffic is a result of the endless server issues, but EA hasn't made claim to that if its the case.
     
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Mar 13, 2013, 01:42 PM
 
Apparently, Commercial and Industrial zones are entirely optional.. Here is a time lapse of my 100% Residential, zero traffic, basic services, high rise 200k population city. The only city in the region.. : SimCity
First, plop down any road layout you want, because traffic will never be an issue. Traffic will never be an issue because your sims will have no jobs, and there will be no shops. They stay at home 24/7. Layout your roads to fit maximum density buildings. You can start out with low density roads if you want, but you'll be upgrading to high density the moment all your residential zones are occupied. When there are no longer any free Residential zones, zones start upgrading to higher densities so long as the land value is high enough (more on that later).

As far as services go, you'll want to plop down Power, Water, and Sewage. I didn't do this until sims started to move out of town. Eventually you'll need to plop a Fire Station, Police Station, and Medical, but only when the lack of such causes your sims to die, be killed, or move out (not merely threaten to move out). Sooner is fine too I suppose, if your nice.

Happiness will be an issue with the lack of jobs or shops. But that is okay. Because who needs a job or shops when you're surrounded by Amphitheaters? Place them so that the land value for all Residential zones are maxed out, and your sims will be happy for life as long as the above mentioned services are operational. I should note that the first medium density condos you see prop up will actually hold fewer sims than the single trailers or houses. This will make your population and income decrease at first. Don't be alarmed, just wait it out.

Finally, as your population goes up and your income increases, start lowering the tax rate for low, medium, and high wealth sims. This will also keep them happy, and keep them from moving away. I got my tax rate as low as 2% at one point. By the end of the video, my approval rating was at 89% and I had hit 196k population, and I barely even had to play the game!

EDIT: I should point out that this was done in Sandbox mode! But I do believe it demonstrates a simulation-level issue which does not differ between sandbox and normal modes.
EDIT2: TheIJ and several others say this can be reproduced in non-sandbox mode.
Final Edit: Thanks to unindel and InfiniteBoat for explaining the mechanics for why this apparently works!
Maybe I'm delusional, but it feels like people are 'mastering' this game after a week. Maybe it's a symptom of the effed servers, but I feel like this isn't normal for a simulation game.
     
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Mar 13, 2013, 02:37 PM
 
As an aside, someone in my clan (UK based) has had ZERO problems playing Sim City, from day one. He hasn't posted any pictures or talked about his population but he's usually the first to moan when things are bad.
     
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Mar 13, 2013, 02:40 PM
 
I've seen a few people on NeoGAF say the same. I don't think they're lying, but it is the exception, and I imagine there's probably a technical reason (Good ISP? Time of day?)
     
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Mar 13, 2013, 02:52 PM
 
     
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Mar 13, 2013, 02:56 PM
 
That'll teach them to build there.
     
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Mar 13, 2013, 04:09 PM
 
NeoGAF keeps delivering.

"What is SimCity?"
"A miserable pile of [broken] simulations."
     
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Mar 13, 2013, 05:32 PM
 
More conspiracy theories. One NeoGAF user posits this might be an embellished cancelled Facebook game:

That would explain a lot:

* Worse AI = different team. Not really Maxis best crew, since it's just Facebook. Just get it working
* Javascript-based UI, meant for a webbrowser engine
* Online requirement
* Resource sharing
* Lots of DLC and extras planned
* Scaling issues. Especially as they probably designed it to be played a little bit each day, not hours on end
* Why it doesn't feel like a $60 title
     
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Mar 14, 2013, 09:45 AM
 
Modder Runs SimCity Offline, Maxis Remains Silent | Rock, Paper, Shotgun

So that guy from Maxis said the game can play offline, EA insist it is a big job to alter the game for offline mode. The game has been hacked to run offline, the parts needed to make it play offline are...
  • A local save file

Thats it.

It'll be much easier if you just comply.
     
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Mar 14, 2013, 10:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by ajprice View Post
Modder Runs SimCity Offline, Maxis Remains Silent | Rock, Paper, Shotgun

So that guy from Maxis said the game can play offline, EA insist it is a big job to alter the game for offline mode. The game has been hacked to run offline, the parts needed to make it play offline are...
  • A local save file

Thats it.
Strange, you need a local save file (presumably foe the regional changes) yet you can't save your city without reconnecting to the servers. Still, very interesting progress. He apparently removed the inflated population numbers too. Thinking it'd be interesting to see what type of power would be required to run a fully simulated and developed region with Sims.

Anyway, everyone is now holding their collective breath because it seems inevitable that EA will respond to this finding.

Edit: And a reminder – "It wouldn't be possible to make the game offline without a significant amount of engineering work by our team."
Or one guy a couple days. And he's not even familiar with the code. Cock suckers.
     
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Mar 14, 2013, 12:16 PM
 
Rule number one, NEVER believe what any big publisher (EA, Activision, Ubisoft) says about a game until it can be verified by a third party with no ties to the company. These guys will look you dead in the eyes and lie to your face as easily as they breathe air.
     
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Mar 14, 2013, 12:19 PM
 
No one did. But the hard part is proving it.
     
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Mar 14, 2013, 12:23 PM
 
     
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Mar 14, 2013, 12:49 PM
 
We do simulate the whole region on the server. There's a mirror of everything your city does, along with the cross-city region simulation.
From a reddit thread. Well, I suppose that explains all the server issues. Geez.
     
 
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