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A note from SimCity Creative Director Ocean Quigley regarding online play  XML
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Joined: 04/01/2012 02:16:02
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Location: Bellingham, WA
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http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-03-23-ubisoft-wants-to-offer-pc-gamers-so-much-value-the-need-for-drm-goes-away

This is a discussion fans are having with Ubisoft.

I think that this is a very useful dialog we could have with EA/ Maxis about SimCity5.

Unfortunately it appears this 'dialog' is amongst ourselves rather than engaging EA/ Maxis as part of the dialog. We understand the publisher wants money for the investment. We, the real fans of the franchise *WANT* EA to make things like SimCity for us to play and entertain us.

I *WANT* this game. I *WANT* to pre-order at $160. I also want to enjoy the game without other people I do not know and have no control over dictating what regions I have access to and how I may choose to go about that enjoyment. I don't want to play, "UO House Placement Wars." I've been there, I've done that. I don't care to repeat it in region choice. I don't care to have everyone ELSE'S smog choke my city, or have to make toilet cities to produce what everyone ELSE isn't making because they don't want 'toilet cities' either. I wan't choice, I don't want to be forced to comply. Who would? Why would anyone purchase that sort of game?

"We're not stupid" as, I believe it was Ocean who said that, concerning the issue of Mods and how the community views mods. Perhaps not. But saying that you're not stupid isn't the same as understanding the point-of-view of the people who paid for a game, such as Settlers 7 AND ARE NOT ALLOWED TO PLAY IT... because of server issues. The very same sort of issues EA/ Maxis is expecting to just 'trust' them to not cork it up.

So yeah, I'm interested in SC5, I'm engaged concerning the game. But about the online game server requirement, I'm still very skeptical. I'm not going to quietly hope and wait and see. I'm going to continue to ask about it and hope for dialog about it and see that the very specific concerns I have about this topic, concerns MANY SimCity Franchise seems to share, that this gets properly addressed. I don't plan to go away on it. I very much want to know how EA/ Maxis plans to avoid the screw-age UbiSoft has committed upon the fans of their games using what appears to be the same model and for the same reasons.

I'm willing to show you the money if you are willing to show me the goods are worth the purchase.
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Joined: 03/20/2012 05:27:30
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I understand that the multiplayer will help expand game opportunities, but the main issue is; "What happens when I don't have any internet connection?" or "What happens when EA shuts down the game servers?" If SimCity 4 ran on servers, it would've been abandoned by EA over 3 years ago. A single-player offline version would prevent that issue. You could probably even allow mods only on offline single-player to prevent cheating.

I hope you guys are ready for SimCity Societies 2: MMO Edition!!

If only a good company like Valve owned the Maxis franchise, I doubt anyone would be complaining then.
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Joined: 03/24/2012 17:20:55
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To Skuhc:

Damn, you are SO RIGHT.

Look people, EA basically abandoned us after Rush Hour and a handful of goody buildings came out. The old forum became a morgue, and we were on our own but for the efforts of Simtropolis and a few other online communities.

If Sim City 4 were running on servers, EA/Maxis would have shut them down years ago when the revenues from game sales leveled off and would no longer be enough to support the servers and admins.

Take this to heart! The new Sim City should NOT be required to depend on a Maxis, EA, or Origin service or an external service provider beyond installation of the software!

If M/EA/O insists on this, then please give us the tools to host our own servers. Best if it can have an option for "server-for-one-player" running as a background process on my gaming rig. That way I don't have to worry about whether or not Quigley has properly staffed the data center, or if they're all on holiday (and holidays would be the days when I would most likely be able to play).




Joined: 03/08/2012 13:10:04
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[quote=Skuhc]I understand that the multiplayer will help expand game opportunities, but the main issue is; "What happens when I don't have any internet connection?" or "What happens when EA shuts down the game servers?" If SimCity 4 ran on servers, it would've been abandoned by EA over 3 years ago. A single-player offline version would prevent that issue. You could probably even allow mods only on offline single-player to prevent cheating.[/quote]

This post drips of pure common sense, and I shall endorse this post.



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Joined: 03/07/2012 01:35:26
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Location: Puget Sound Area
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Like I have said elsewhere, I hope for the best but fear for the worst.

I heard that you can turn Origin to Offline mode and play the game single player offline so I assume that your cities would be backed up on the cloud but when you hit 'save' your cities would be saved locally on your computer.

Always try your best.




Joined: 04/26/2012 15:00:58
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[quote=Omnilash]I have played Sim City since the begining. I love online games, and Sim City, and will be watching this closely. My message to those who don't want Online play, play Sim City 4. It's awesomely fun. Let the rest of us who want online play have some fun too. It's time to move on. Sim City online is the next step in it's progression. Sim City [b]MUST[/b] be an online game, or else it can fade into the nostalgic past. Sim City Online was going to happen no matter what. If you didn't see this coming, then you are either very short sighted or live in a vacuum.

Online economies are organic and natural. I look forward to wheeling and dealing with my neighboring cities.
[/quote]

I read this comment this morning, and just had to register and respond. That's probably more than the comment and its author deserve, but never mind.

What a ridiculous suggestion. Not only it is ridiculous, it's narrow-minded and rather simplistic. I don't like a part of the game (the on-line bit), so I should voluntarily choose not to play any of it? I've waited the best part of a decade for a successor to SC4, and you're telling me I shouldn't play it? Have you any idea how offensive that is, not to mention arrogant (and patronizing)? What right do you have to dictate to other people what they do or do not do? Do you honestly expect me to stick with a game that's a decade old, which crashes every now and then, doesn't take advantage of my monitor and is slightly showing its age in respect of graphics and the like, when there's an even better one coming out?

I have no interest in playing any on-line games. I have never even tried playing an on-line game. It does not appeal in the slightest. I much prefer to do my own thing. Why should I be penalized because I have a different opinion to the likes of you?

Like I said, ridiculous.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 04/26/2012 13:25:48




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Joined: 04/01/2012 02:16:02
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Yeah, I've come across lots of, "Well it's online and don't complain about it. Wait and see. Just shut up until it comes out."

I don't think so. We are invited to be involved. We are involved. We can agree to disagree, respectfully so. I will use this time to make my opinion known and to back up my opinion with references to where EA/ Maxis totally dropped SC4 (except for pushing boxes to the shelf TO THIS DAY). I will cheerfully quote where EA kills game servers it considers unprofitable as well as negative experiences I have had with games like Ultima Online. I have no problem pointing out how Monte Cristo ignored the concerns of the SC4 community in the development of CitiesXL, and that Monte Cristo went bankrupt. I don't know to what extent CXL was a failure and how much CXL brought about the business failure of Monte Cristo.

What I do know is the alarm and concern I have for SC5 requiring an MMO-like back-end server that will kill the game if SC5 does not have access to it. I also view with alarm and concern over the potential impact of people I do not know upon my gameplay. I'm not going to shut up about it and I'm not going to go away.

Everyone has the right to disagree with my opinion, respectfully. I have a responsibility to myself, if no other person to voice my opinion in a manner consistent with tos.ea.com.

So I have your back, CarbonUnit27. Everyone who can't handle that can either refer to tos.ea.com or go blow. It doesn't matter to me which.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 04/26/2012 16:46:59


"I'm sure EA is very successful at monetizing games, but the more we don't do what they would do, the happier I am" --Notch

"Free men choose. Unfree men comply." John T. Reed

File this one under, "If the shoe fits..."
http://youtu.be/e-LE0ycgkBQ
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Joined: 04/23/2012 16:10:08
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I'm somewhat disgruntled by the lack of choice between online and offline compatibility. I'm not sure on this but wouldn't the fact that it remains online and fully interactive with other regions blow the possibility of mods right out of the water? Or will they allow texture based ones?

SC4 MP in a few easy steps -

1. Get Dropbox, or filesharing equivalent.
2. Add "-UserDir:"<Dropbox Folder location>" To the target like in the shortcut properties.
3. Play the game, all new region files will be linked to that folder.



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Nobody outside of an NDA knows yet, though we were told, "We're not stupid we know how important mods are. Just don't expect mods at release."

How mods work in a multi-player context is beyond me. But hey, maybe E3?

"I'm sure EA is very successful at monetizing games, but the more we don't do what they would do, the happier I am" --Notch

"Free men choose. Unfree men comply." John T. Reed

File this one under, "If the shoe fits..."
http://youtu.be/e-LE0ycgkBQ
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Joined: 04/23/2012 16:10:08
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Yeah, hopefully they aren't too restrictive. I'm happy with simply using texture mods. But the possibilities and great things added to SC4 due to mods was awesome.

SC4 MP in a few easy steps -

1. Get Dropbox, or filesharing equivalent.
2. Add "-UserDir:"<Dropbox Folder location>" To the target like in the shortcut properties.
3. Play the game, all new region files will be linked to that folder.




Joined: 05/02/2012 00:59:54
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I was quite excited when I heard that SimCity was releasing again having played various versions for years and I'm here tonight to explore the costs and ready to pre-order.
It has been one of my all time favorite games and yet here I read about online connection being required and out the door goes my readiness to pre-order as well as my excitement.

Simply put...I won't under [b]any[/b] circumstances keep an always on connection [u]nor will I or do I [/u]play games I install on my computer or on my game console online. So not only would I not have an internet connection always on, I simply don't buy games that require me to play online.

Such a disappoint having been a fan of SimCity for such a long time.

I guess one less sale won't matter to EA or Maxis..but it certainly matters to me...again...such a disappointment.




Joined: 04/02/2011 20:56:39
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Here some ideas and what many fear about it being online game because of...

1. You have to be online to play the game. Because your city has to effects and communicate with other cities.
- I think there should be a offline mode that maybe not the same city as online with small region map like SimCity 4. One other idea is players with local servers could have their own private online game that has to be registered with Maxis or EA.

2. I worry about my neighbor because he/she hasn't played for a while.
- If a player's neighbor been gone for 2 weeks or something? A AI will limit control the city and do some trading and build some transports to bypass this city. If the player hasn't return in a 2 month or more? Then other players could take control of that city. If neighbor player happens to come back and they been gone for a long time. His\Her last city save will still be available but your city would been moved to a new map with new neighbors.

3. My neighbor is a jerk! He\she won't trade with me and will not read my messages. My city poor because of my neighbor does help the city at all.
- If your neighbor bypass your city to buy goods else where. If they use your roads to get their goods to the city. You can see the trade path of their trucks in your city. Where you can build a "express toll route" to the other cities. If it is networked with his city then you get income. Or other means to earn income from trading is to build Airport or Seaport. So any of their goods by sea or air has to arrive to your city. If they can't have a Airport or Seaport?
You can offer local prices of goods, where only neighbors can by at and global at a different price.
Then that jerk player will have to work with your city for the good they need.

4. My city had disaster and I don't know how to recover from it!?
- Let's say your city is on fire after the disaster and something wrong with you emergency units that can't stop the fire and riot breaks out. The neighbor city will get a message of your disaster. They could send their emergency units to you. They also could give you a "recovery loan". Its a promise that they give you money and you must give them free goods for some time. If no neighbor could help you? Then the SimNation's Military could come to the rescue. SimNation will give you money and they do want a returns after the recovery time. SimNation will also send government "watchdogs" personnel who partly take control of the city. This could effect your neighbor city badly as well.

5. I hate the theme designs in online mode and I can't Mod new objects to the game.
- If the game has a offline mode? Then maybe mods and new themes could be added to that?

6. I can't use the online markets to get goods to my city. The prices are too high.
- I feel like this is always a problem with online markets. Limiting local prices will solve the problem of your neighbors make a huge profits. Global goods could be set at any price and the SimNation Bank controls the extreme pricing. The Bank could request players to lower your price because no can buy it or too many cities can't buy your goods. Global good also have a high transport that may keep prices down. Cities who want to make profit from trade could do a player to player trade agreements. Where you are free to set any price with the other player and what goods to send directly.

7. My city so big and I have no more room to build. But I want to expand more!
- I think the player should be able to offer nearby neighbors to buyout their cities. Some neighbors would take the money to start city. This will give those players and chance in making a better city elsewhere. After that city is bought by the player. It becomes a ward of the city and the player can build in that area. No neighbor can be force to sell their city unless they are not a active for a month or so on.

8. I want my city become a Metropolis (Megacity) with other players.
- This is like a team of players who are running one huge city. To make this happen; one of the cities must be able to build a "Metropolitan Assembly". This is a center of government for a Metropolis. Each Mayor becomes a Ward Mayor of their city and one ward mayor is elected to Governor of the city. Each Ward Mayor control their own cities as before. But, they can invite the other Ward Mayors to help build in their Ward. They all can visit Metropolitan Assembly where they can see a map of the whole Metropolis. It also have graphic info status of Traffic, Water, Trade, Crime, etc. They also have a drawable planning map where they could design thing like a new highway system. Issues like tax rate, ordinances, and trade agreement has to be voted by all members. Governor could have veto power or have a voting power of 2? Members who don't vote are counted out of total.


I think Maxis won't make the game where a player will be screwed by other players or makes it too hard to play online. If you can play online only? That will stop illegal downloads of the game. Real fans of the Simcity series should buy the game any way.



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Don't forget reason #9: EA for whatever reason is no longer supporting the server, so they close the required server and kill the game that requires it.

"I'm sure EA is very successful at monetizing games, but the more we don't do what they would do, the happier I am" --Notch

"Free men choose. Unfree men comply." John T. Reed

File this one under, "If the shoe fits..."
http://youtu.be/e-LE0ycgkBQ
[Email] [WWW]




Joined: 04/02/2011 20:56:39
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Romaq wrote:Don't forget reason #9: EA for whatever reason is no longer supporting the server, so they close the required server and kill the game that requires it.


So is Maxis hosting a server for SimCity 5? How you can have a online city without a server matching up players?



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Joined: 03/20/2012 05:27:30
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[quote=Rasseru][quote=Romaq]Don't forget reason #9: EA for whatever reason is no longer supporting the server, so they close the required server [b]and kill the game that requires it[/b].[/quote]

So is Maxis hosting a server for SimCity 5? How you can have a online city without a server matching up players?[/quote]

Simple. You don't. That's the main issue with multiplayer. It'll only be $60 for nothing.

I hope you guys are ready for SimCity Societies 2: MMO Edition!!

If only a good company like Valve owned the Maxis franchise, I doubt anyone would be complaining then.
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