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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Gaming > SimCity – The Consumer's Dilemma

SimCity – The Consumer's Dilemma
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Games Meister
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Mar 8, 2013, 03:25 PM
 
As you might have heard, SimCity is suffering from one the worst post launches in history, in large part due to its always online requirement. Seeing as many predicted this would happen to some degree, the view of boycotting the game is understandable. However, there's some valid reasons to buy this game, and in fact, not buying it a SimCity fan could actually do themselves a disservice later down the line. Let me explain.

Here's the argument against buying SimCity: It has terribad DRM, the social features aren't compelling enough to require a constant connection, the cities are smaller than previous installments, you can't play without disasters, features from previous games are missing, and the simulation doesn't appear as deep/complex.

Now for SimCity: New features, the simulation now runs to street level and you can watch the actions of your cities inhabitants, but most importantly – it's the first release in a decade.

That last point is what brings up an uncomfortable debate; EA has put gamers in an awkward position. Buy the game and you endorse always-on DRM and predictably poor launch support, and reliance on their server structure (meaning once they decide to stop supporting the game, you will likely be out of luck for playing it). On the other hand, if SimCity was a flop, EA would likely discount the thought of ever releasing another iteration again (we know its unlikely these companies can be reasoned with).

Assuming you believe in the principles of boycotting shoddy products, is there a clear right or wrong here?
     
Clinically Insane
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Mar 9, 2013, 01:05 PM
 
I'm anti DRM in general, but is there really any complaint about the DRM except for people without an Internet connection?

I'm assuming a period after they've fixed their launch issues.
     
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Mar 9, 2013, 03:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Assuming you believe in the principles of boycotting shoddy products, is there a clear right or wrong here?
I used to have a Sim City need. I can understand those that want to play an updated version, especially a version that lets you really get to 'ground level' with your creations. You either put up with this shit, in the hope that your need will be satisfied or you don't buy it in the hope that somebody, somewhere will make a Sim City clone that might fill that need.

While it seems that we hear of dev studios closing every other week, the overall games dev environment does seem to be active, especially for iOS and Android. There has to be someone, somewhere working on something that will appeal to Sim City fans.
Yes, clearly a light hearted joke is the entire problem here. Not the narcissistic ego bukake that is the lounge.
Salty (http://tinyurl.com/k7vr3we)
     
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Mar 9, 2013, 06:16 PM
 
SimCity 2000 is sold on gog.com for $6. It's just like you remember it from back in the day (The PC version, running in DOSBox in OS X). Do you really need anything else?

I have a hard time paying through the nose for new games with crappy DRM when there are so many good older games out there.
     
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Mar 11, 2013, 12:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I'm anti DRM in general, but is there really any complaint about the DRM except for people without an Internet connection?
Lack of flexibility? Can't play it anywhere, can't play it if EAs servers are down, may not be able to play it once EA discontinues the servers. As it is the features they used to promote always online don't work.


Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
I used to have a Sim City need. I can understand those that want to play an updated version, especially a version that lets you really get to 'ground level' with your creations. You either put up with this shit, in the hope that your need will be satisfied or you don't buy it in the hope that somebody, somewhere will make a Sim City clone that might fill that need.

While it seems that we hear of dev studios closing every other week, the overall games dev environment does seem to be active, especially for iOS and Android. There has to be someone, somewhere working on something that will appeal to Sim City fans.
They had 10 years to do it. They didn't.


Originally Posted by Dork. View Post
SimCity 2000 is sold on gog.com for $6. It's just like you remember it from back in the day (The PC version, running in DOSBox in OS X). Do you really need anything else?
What if you've already played 2000? Is it wrong to want to play a game made in the past 10 years?
     
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Mar 11, 2013, 01:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
They had 10 years to do it. They didn't.
Good point.
Yes, clearly a light hearted joke is the entire problem here. Not the narcissistic ego bukake that is the lounge.
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Clinically Insane
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Mar 11, 2013, 05:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Lack of flexibility? Can't play it anywhere, can't play it if EAs servers are down, may not be able to play it once EA discontinues the servers. As it is the features they used to promote always online don't work.
Sounds like Blizzard. People stopped caring about that once it worked.
     
Games Meister
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Mar 11, 2013, 05:56 PM
 
I still hear people bitching about Diablo 3.
     
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Mar 11, 2013, 07:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Is it wrong to want to play a game made in the past 10 years?
Yes. Now excuse me for a moment, I'm in the middle of an awesome game of NetHack....
     
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Mar 12, 2013, 09:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
On the other hand, if SimCity was a flop, EA would likely discount the thought of ever releasing another iteration again (we know its unlikely these companies can be reasoned with).
You're right that EA might use this to kill any future SimCity (just look at the lack of a Master of Orion 4 - MoO3 failed because Atari wouldn't pay for the patches required, not because there was no interest), but we have an antidote for that malady: Kickstarter. There are some great games being made there these days, and the strategy genre is experiencing a rebirth. I refuse to support garbage like this, and quite frankly I'm not sure when I will buy an EA game at launch again. If Bioware puts out something amazing, then maybe, but they used up a lot of goodwill with DA2.
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 12, 2013, 09:50 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Is it wrong to want to play a game made in the past 10 years?
There is a SimCity for iOS, though I'm not sure if it supports iPads well or not.
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.
     
Games Meister
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Mar 12, 2013, 10:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
There is a SimCity for iOS, though I'm not sure if it supports iPads well or not.
C'mon, this is not remotely the same thing.
     
Clinically Insane
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Mar 12, 2013, 12:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I still hear people bitching about Diablo 3.
Really? After the launch issues, I saw the typical gamer response.

Splooge all over it.
Wake up in the morning.
See the flaws.
This game sucks!
     
Games Meister
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Mar 12, 2013, 01:06 PM
 
Longterm players are still bitching.
     
Clinically Insane
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Mar 12, 2013, 01:15 PM
 
I admit, I don't have Diablo, so I can't judge for myself. What exactly is the problem. Is blizzard.net still shaky, or is it they want to click offline?
     
Games Meister
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Mar 12, 2013, 01:18 PM
 
Everything is online because of Auction House support. Auction House has ruined weapon balance. Can't beat the hardest difficulty and get best stuff without equipping yourself by buying stuff in the Auction House.
     
Clinically Insane
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Mar 12, 2013, 01:31 PM
 
That sounds like game balance issues and/or an unpopular business model, not a problem with always-on.
     
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Mar 12, 2013, 02:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
That sounds like game balance issues and/or an unpopular business model, not a problem with always-on.
The game balance is affected by the Auction House. The Auction House necessitates always on. Always on prevents item duping, etc.

These new business models and always on are intrinsically linked (See: SimCity).
     
Clinically Insane
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Mar 12, 2013, 02:25 PM
 
I thought it was pure DRM.

If Sim City has an in-game purchase system which genuinely affects play balance, that's a different thing entirely.
     
Games Meister
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Mar 12, 2013, 02:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I thought it was pure DRM.

If Sim City has an in-game purchase system which genuinely affects play balance, that's a different thing entirely.
In SimCity's case, the 'social' features are a facade to justify the always-on DRM. Here, the end-game is selling add-ons, as the game released with Day 1 DLC.
     
Clinically Insane
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Mar 12, 2013, 02:40 PM
 
Here, the end game?

They'd sell DLC regardless of whether it was always on.
     
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Mar 12, 2013, 02:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Here, the end game?

They'd sell DLC regardless of whether it was always on.
Not if more copies were pirated. Or people never take it online.

We also don't know what features they may add – a lot of it seems crippled (City size most prominently). Hell, what if they make Simoleans purchasable?
     
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Mar 12, 2013, 07:23 PM
 
Watching a few "let's play" videos the game does look absolutely gorgeous, and a number of reviews I've read have been saying that past the retarded always online DRM EA crammed down our throats there really is a wonderful game waiting to be played.

To bad my iMac can't run it, because I'd honestly look into getting this game down the line. The serene nature of Sim City is like Minecraft on Valium.
     
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Mar 12, 2013, 09:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
To bad my iMac can't run it, because I'd honestly look into getting this game down the line. The serene nature of Sim City is like Minecraft on Valium.
Are you sure? I ask because supposedly some of the work was offloaded to the servers so this would be playable on more machines (And theoretically why city sizes are so small). I've also heard it runs on a single thread, FWIW.

(Mac release is scheduled for April)
     
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Mar 12, 2013, 10:32 PM
 
I meet the CPU requirements, but the listed GPU req. are 256MB of VRAM. I only have a lowly 128 card.

Edit:

Q: What system specs are you targeting with the Mac version?
A: Like the PC version, we are aiming to make the game as accessible as possible. Any user with Snow Leopard and a Core 2 processor will be able to enjoy SimCity for Mac.
I stand corrected apparently.
     
Clinically Insane
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Mar 13, 2013, 04:39 PM
 
Is anyone finding this back-end processing a little suspect?

Why didn't they put forward the perfect excuse for always on before everyone started screaming about always on?
     
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Mar 13, 2013, 04:42 PM
 
What do you mean? They gave this excuse months ago.
     
Clinically Insane
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Mar 14, 2013, 11:43 AM
 
I'm comparing it to the amount of traction the supposed "social functions" are getting.

The ratio of people claiming its "supposedly for social" is an order of magnitude higher than the people saying "it's for back-end processing".

At the least, I'd say EA did some piss-poor marketing.
     
Games Meister
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Mar 14, 2013, 04:33 PM
 
Alright, here's a legit question: How far off is SimCity from Minecraft? Could it survive on a Minecraft model? Or would it get pirated much more just because its a big name?

Edit: To clarify, let people host their own servers, make single player into that LAN mode, people log in every time on start-up but playing offline is possible. Sound fair?
     
Clinically Insane
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Mar 14, 2013, 04:37 PM
 
Give me a Minecraft model, umm... refresher. That's it. I totally know what I'm talking about, I just need a refresher.
     
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Mar 14, 2013, 04:46 PM
 
I edited in before you posted. But to add, mod friendly API (They're working on it!), and consider not charging $60.

Biggest flaw in my reasoning – I'm sure SimCity's budget was monstrous compared to Minecraft's.
     
Clinically Insane
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Mar 14, 2013, 06:45 PM
 
The $60 is probably the least offensive part of EA's whole setup.
     
   
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