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Author Topic: [PC] SimCity impressions  (Read 7688 times)
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Clanwolfer
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« Reply #200 on: March 11, 2013, 01:25:21 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on March 11, 2013, 04:28:14 AM

Dammit. Devs have admitted that casinos are broken and they're working on a fix.  Recycling plants are broken. Pathfinding is broken. I've been pretty forgiving about the server woes but I'm getting really disappointed that the game itself is turning out to be half baked.

If I had to guess - probably a lot of this stuff was working great on dev servers, but they've had to tune down/turn off anything remotely computationally intensive under a full server load in production. I know if I were building a game like this with cloud processing, pathfinding would be something I'd write a super-easy algorithm for just as a failsafe, assuming it would be used little enough that nobody would notice. They might just be waiting for enough people to move on to other games that they can turn it back on.

Or it might just be half-baked.
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« Reply #201 on: March 11, 2013, 01:45:14 PM »

Quote from: USMC Kato on March 11, 2013, 08:34:33 AM

Quote from: wonderpug on March 11, 2013, 04:28:14 AM

Dammit. Devs have admitted that casinos are broken and they're working on a fix.  Recycling plants are broken. Pathfinding is broken. I've been pretty forgiving about the server woes but I'm getting really disappointed that the game itself is turning out to be half baked.


frown

Oh yeah, forgot to mention that Vu's tower can lead to hundreds of invisible criminals permeating every city in your region, ones that you can't do anything about but that still upset your population.

One of the main devs, Guillaume Pierre, is being pretty active giving info on the game.  This is nice.  Unfortunately, he gives a lot of bad news.  He wrote the traffic code.  Here's his reddit profile: http://www.reddit.com/user/MaxisGuillaume

  • They realized casinos were too profitable just before release and overdid a last minute nerf.
  • Be sure to mix commercial and residential together some
  • "Keep buses on avenues and off smaller streets. Place bus stops on both sides of the road (so they're paired) to limit how many U-turns buses have to make."
  • "Don't place your streetcar depot so close to an intersection. Seriously, don't."
  • "The problem here is that we send all the neighbor's buses into your city, when really we should send a fraction of them at any given time."
  • "Sometimes it helps to be zoomed in when you draw your roads, as the guides tend to be followed more precisely than if you were zoomed out."
And there's this gem.  A user was having some weird traffic issues so Guillaume went into his city to find what was wrong:
Quote
Bulldoze the high tech factories that are near your nuclear power plant. One of them is causing all those cars on the road to not go back home or leave the city (it's a high-density one, "Picton Polygons & Pixels").

I have magical debugging powers. You have 1,500 cars that are trying to reach it, and they won't all fit in it.
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Arnir
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« Reply #202 on: March 11, 2013, 04:23:35 PM »

NA West server is available.  But Login is closed at this time.

Sigh
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wonderpug
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« Reply #203 on: March 11, 2013, 04:26:49 PM »

Twitter says they took West 1 & 2 down a half hour ago for an upgrade.
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« Reply #204 on: March 11, 2013, 04:37:09 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on March 11, 2013, 04:26:49 PM

Twitter says they took West 1 & 2 down a half hour ago for an upgrade.

I can believe that.  I just wish the server map would not tell me they are available.  Thanks for the info.
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« Reply #205 on: March 11, 2013, 05:24:19 PM »

Traffic is so screwed up...I have a single city in a region...no other cities in the region.  I have 14,000 residents, all but one of my roads are parallel medium density avenues, with one medium density road that shoots off perpendicular to the main avenue.  That one single intersection can cause a backup of traffic for hours after work lets out, causing my rescue vehicles to not make it on time.
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« Reply #206 on: March 11, 2013, 05:31:13 PM »

Apparently the Z road style is looking like the most successful. Somethign I might have to look at.
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« Reply #207 on: March 11, 2013, 05:33:16 PM »

The traffic code programmer said he's changing medium density non-avenue streets to have stoplights instead of stop signs.  Should help a bit.
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« Reply #208 on: March 11, 2013, 06:02:29 PM »

Any my official review is up:  http://www.gamingtrend.com/game_reviews/we-review-the-stalled-llama-that-is-simcity/

It's a long read, but so was the wait to get in to play it.   I'd be interested in all of your feedback.  Folks who have gotten to play, did you have the same experience I did?  Did I miss anything?

I intend to re-review it once things are stable....

Thanks.

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« Reply #209 on: March 11, 2013, 06:07:47 PM »

I also tend to think something is broken with resources.  I have a city around 200k, nothing too huge, and at the selection of the city it had the highest water rating you can have.  Now almost after just 20 hours or so of play, the water is becoming exhausted? I have had to tear down neighborhood after neighbor hood chasing the ground supply of water,  how can this be? I think they said something along the lines that resources such as water are replenishable with a rainy season, etc, I have a feeling they have had this feature turned off.

What a mess. and to be honest, the map size is making me claustrophobic.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2013, 06:15:38 PM by tcweidner » Logged

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« Reply #210 on: March 11, 2013, 06:12:34 PM »

KD, I think your review is fair and accurate.  my quick take-The first 10 hours of playing are a blast, but as you run out of space, and the poor AI kick in, its all diminishing returns after that. The game is not worth the price of admission in my humble opinion, (and this is from a guy who loves these types of games.  I must of spent 200+ hours easily on the last rollercoaster tycoon , man I wish they would update that one)
« Last Edit: March 11, 2013, 06:14:38 PM by tcweidner » Logged

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« Reply #211 on: March 11, 2013, 06:15:32 PM »

Quote from: tcweidner on March 11, 2013, 06:07:47 PM

I also tend to think something is broken with resources.  I have a city around 200k, nothing too huge, and at the selection of the city it had the highest water rating you can have.  Now almost after just 20 hours or so of play, the water is becoming exhausted? I have had to tear down neighborhood after neighbor hood chasing the ground supply of water,  how can this be? I think they said something along the lines that resources such as water are replenishable with a rainy season, etc, I have a feeling they have had this feature turned off.

Are you putting fresh water pumps next to sewage treatment plants?  From what I'm reading, creating a drinkable sewage circle of life is the only way to keep your water supply sustainable.
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« Reply #212 on: March 11, 2013, 06:16:52 PM »

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on March 11, 2013, 06:02:29 PM

Any my official review is up:  http://www.gamingtrend.com/game_reviews/we-review-the-stalled-llama-that-is-simcity/

It's a long read, but so was the wait to get in to play it.   I'd be interested in all of your feedback.  Folks who have gotten to play, did you have the same experience I did?  Did I miss anything?

I intend to re-review it once things are stable....

Thanks.

Great review Ron, thanks for scoring the game on the whole entire experience of the game. I feel that some mainstream sites reviewed this game like a food critic would review a dinner from a restaurant that was prepared and knew in advance that the critic would be there.
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« Reply #213 on: March 11, 2013, 06:22:10 PM »

Thanks wonder that may solve it, I guess..   It would of been nice for the advisor or someone to clue you in on the solution.   Its another frustrating feature of this game.  Some features such as this are I guess realistic, and then there are some very unrealistic features, like how can beach front property not automatically be mid to high wealth land value? 
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« Reply #214 on: March 11, 2013, 06:25:03 PM »

Quote from: tcweidner on March 11, 2013, 06:22:10 PM

Thanks wonder that may solve it, I guess..   It would of been nice for the advisor or someone to clue you in on the solution.   Its another frustrating feature of this game.  Some features such as this are I guess realistic, and then there are some very unrealistic features, like how can beach front property not automatically be mid to high wealth land value? 

Mountaintop and beachside property supposedly does have some innate boost to land value.  How much?  No idea.
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« Reply #215 on: March 11, 2013, 06:31:45 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on March 11, 2013, 04:26:49 PM

Twitter says they took West 1 & 2 down a half hour ago for an upgrade.

Just now: "Server Update: We will soon be temporarily taking down NA East 2 for a hardware upgrade. NA West 1 & 2 are still being upgraded."

From what I've been reading elsewhere, I'd bet that these different regional servers are regional in name only.  East, West, Euro, Asia, Antarctica?  All in the same server farm.
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« Reply #216 on: March 11, 2013, 06:47:24 PM »

Quote from: USMC Kato on March 11, 2013, 06:16:52 PM

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on March 11, 2013, 06:02:29 PM

Any my official review is up:  http://www.gamingtrend.com/game_reviews/we-review-the-stalled-llama-that-is-simcity/

It's a long read, but so was the wait to get in to play it.   I'd be interested in all of your feedback.  Folks who have gotten to play, did you have the same experience I did?  Did I miss anything?

I intend to re-review it once things are stable....

Thanks.

Great review Ron, thanks for scoring the game on the whole entire experience of the game. I feel that some mainstream sites reviewed this game like a food critic would review a dinner from a restaurant that was prepared and knew in advance that the critic would be there.

I too agree that it's a great review and spot-on on everything currently lacking in the game. I sincerely hope Maxis and EA keep working on get those servers straightened and all the other bugs smoothed out. The core gameplay of the 'SimCity' is still there and it's still addicting; they just need to clear out the crap to get to it.
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« Reply #217 on: March 11, 2013, 10:40:50 PM »

I thought the review was good, if a bit kind.  Even with server issues fixed, the pathfinding bugs, etc. are still deadly.

IIRC, I read on another board that players were recommended that streets be laid out in a Z configuration to make the pathfinding routines work better.  Is there something wrong when we are supposed to lay out cities to work for their algorithms.  I'm thinking of booting up Cities XL and, what is it, Cities in Motion?
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« Reply #218 on: March 11, 2013, 10:51:25 PM »

Quote from: Arnir on March 11, 2013, 10:40:50 PM

IIRC, I read on another board that players were recommended that streets be laid out in a Z configuration to make the pathfinding routines work better.  Is there something wrong when we are supposed to lay out cities to work for their algorithms.

Someone elsewhere summed it up very nicely: "The issue is that the current mechanisms make dealing with this less like actually solving traffic issues and more like solving a puzzle with unclear, arbitrary rules."
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« Reply #219 on: March 11, 2013, 10:53:42 PM »

Quote from: Arnir on March 11, 2013, 10:40:50 PM

I thought the review was good, if a bit kind.  Even with server issues fixed, the pathfinding bugs, etc. are still deadly.

IIRC, I read on another board that players were recommended that streets be laid out in a Z configuration to make the pathfinding routines work better.  Is there something wrong when we are supposed to lay out cities to work for their algorithms.  I'm thinking of booting up Cities XL and, what is it, Cities in Motion?

Yea, I probably was a bit more kind than I needed to be.  I wanted to be very careful not to fall into the trap that some of my fellow press have and simply make a scathing bloodbath of a review.  I think a lot of the stuff I pointed out is fixable.....
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« Reply #220 on: March 11, 2013, 11:06:12 PM »

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on March 11, 2013, 10:53:42 PM

Quote from: Arnir on March 11, 2013, 10:40:50 PM

I thought the review was good, if a bit kind.  Even with server issues fixed, the pathfinding bugs, etc. are still deadly.

IIRC, I read on another board that players were recommended that streets be laid out in a Z configuration to make the pathfinding routines work better.  Is there something wrong when we are supposed to lay out cities to work for their algorithms.  I'm thinking of booting up Cities XL and, what is it, Cities in Motion?

Yea, I probably was a bit more kind than I needed to be.  I wanted to be very careful not to fall into the trap that some of my fellow press have and simply make a scathing bloodbath of a review.  I think a lot of the stuff I pointed out is fixable.....

I agree.  Going into harpy mode reduces credibility.
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« Reply #221 on: March 11, 2013, 11:25:28 PM »

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on March 11, 2013, 10:53:42 PM

Quote from: Arnir on March 11, 2013, 10:40:50 PM

I thought the review was good, if a bit kind.  Even with server issues fixed, the pathfinding bugs, etc. are still deadly.

IIRC, I read on another board that players were recommended that streets be laid out in a Z configuration to make the pathfinding routines work better.  Is there something wrong when we are supposed to lay out cities to work for their algorithms.  I'm thinking of booting up Cities XL and, what is it, Cities in Motion?

Yea, I probably was a bit more kind than I needed to be.  I wanted to be very careful not to fall into the trap that some of my fellow press have and simply make a scathing bloodbath of a review.  I think a lot of the stuff I pointed out is fixable.....

You review was fair, as it should be.
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« Reply #222 on: March 12, 2013, 04:33:55 AM »

I don't understand the average score here of 60 giving by GT. I get Overall 82 from what you have rated in each category.
Was there a 22 point deduction for DRM?
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« Reply #223 on: March 12, 2013, 04:48:44 AM »

Quote from: JuniorDan on March 12, 2013, 04:33:55 AM

I don't understand the average score here of 60 giving by GT. I get Overall 82 from what you have rated in each category.
Was there a 22 point deduction for DRM?


At the bottom:

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NOTE:  I am continuing to play this title and will revisit this review with supplemental updates as things progress over the coming weeks.  Until that time, I’m overriding the score manually.
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« Reply #224 on: March 12, 2013, 04:59:28 AM »

Quote from: wonderpug on March 12, 2013, 04:48:44 AM

Quote from: JuniorDan on March 12, 2013, 04:33:55 AM

I don't understand the average score here of 60 giving by GT. I get Overall 82 from what you have rated in each category.
Was there a 22 point deduction for DRM?


At the bottom:

Quote
NOTE:  I am continuing to play this title and will revisit this review with supplemental updates as things progress over the coming weeks.  Until that time, I’m overriding the score manually.
I did see that.  I figured it also pertained to the overall score that was displayed..
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« Reply #225 on: March 12, 2013, 02:48:09 PM »

Quote from: JuniorDan on March 12, 2013, 04:59:28 AM

Quote from: wonderpug on March 12, 2013, 04:48:44 AM

Quote from: JuniorDan on March 12, 2013, 04:33:55 AM

I don't understand the average score here of 60 giving by GT. I get Overall 82 from what you have rated in each category.
Was there a 22 point deduction for DRM?


At the bottom:

Quote
NOTE:  I am continuing to play this title and will revisit this review with supplemental updates as things progress over the coming weeks.  Until that time, I’m overriding the score manually.
I did see that.  I figured it also pertained to the overall score that was displayed..


This.  I'm holding the score at 60 as the game was barely playable at the time of review.  Thus, a barely passing score.  I'm sure that number will rise once they get this all ironed out.
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« Reply #226 on: March 13, 2013, 12:53:25 AM »

So from the other forums I've gathered that the game actually doesn't really need to connect to EA servers to play as they don't handle any of the computations and the reason for the traffic screw ups is the way that the sims are individually simulated when it comes to travelling between their jobs and their homes (spoiler:they're not!)
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« Reply #227 on: March 13, 2013, 01:01:39 AM »

I think the server serves two functions, for the city saves and the region saves (or snapshots). No complex computation on the server side.

To play, you need to be able to load your saves then you can lose connection to the server and you can continue play as long as you don't quit. And to be able to save your progress, you need to have access to the server when you quit the game.

So there is no real  gameplay reason why there is no offline mode.
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« Reply #228 on: March 13, 2013, 04:13:11 AM »

A Maxis employee told RPS that the connection is not needed. This is all EA folks.
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« Reply #229 on: March 13, 2013, 05:22:04 AM »

Quote from: Lee on March 13, 2013, 04:13:11 AM

A Maxis employee told RPS that the connection is not needed. This is all EA folks.

To expand on that a little, saw this on Blues News today, check there for links in the quoted text:

A few details have come to light in the question of how difficult it would be to make the new SimCity playable offline, a conundrum that confuses even EA, as they have indicated this would both possible and impossible. Kotaku writes of pulling the plug on the game and having it play on for about 19 minutes before crapping out, seeming to contradict the notion that a significant portion of the game's calculations are taking place on the server side. Likewise, Notch tweets: "I like how you can keep playing Sim City even when it notifies you that the servers are down. (But I thought it REALLY needed them?)." This plays into a report on Rock, Paper, Shotgun talking with an anonymous engineer the site says they've confirmed worked on the game. He discusses the most difficult part of playing the game offline would be how gameplay is based on interactions between regions, but the source says: "It wouldn’t take very much engineering to give you a limited single-player game without all the nifty region stuff." As for the server being required to play the game, he tells them SimCity does no significant game simulation on the server side:

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.
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« Reply #230 on: March 13, 2013, 08:43:00 AM »

Wow, just wow.
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« Reply #231 on: March 13, 2013, 12:32:30 PM »

Makes you wonder why everything is so buggy then, even beyond the regional features.  Also, knowing what sort of bugs they have fixed so far without touching the client would give clues as to whether this is true.
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« Reply #232 on: March 14, 2013, 04:20:30 AM »

Foxnews on Simcity disaster.  Base functionality flawed
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« Reply #233 on: March 14, 2013, 05:20:51 AM »

Francis for SimCity Mayor of the yeah.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_cCL0T2pVP8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=H9VClRhU404
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=qCAz8hfTX-s
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« Reply #234 on: March 14, 2013, 06:37:55 AM »

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/03/13/simcitys-sims-dont-seem-that-smart-after-all/
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/03/12/simcity-server-not-necessary/

To be very brutally honest...the complete and total fuckup that is SimCity makes me not want to buy -any- game from -any- developer now at launch.

If EA/Maxis can outright lie as insanely much as they have, absolutely, utterly, and totally bringing down such a vast and well-known game that has been around for TWO DECADES, who else can and will do it just for their bottom line? Just praying that the stupid and uninformed go out and buy such a piece of complete shit based on name alone?

It makes me pissed off at my favorite hobby to be frank, that's what it does.

Sorry, sorry. I've been quiet in this thread as all of this mess has piled up, and I shouldn't be in here posting stuff like this either as it seems that a lot of you want to enjoy this game, and with good reason.
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« Reply #235 on: March 14, 2013, 10:33:47 AM »

let loose the modders!
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« Reply #236 on: March 14, 2013, 01:39:45 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on March 14, 2013, 10:33:47 AM

let loose the modders!

Quote
Other things I have modded out with a quick change: Unlimited time to remain disconnected (won't get booted at 20 minutes, can now be disconnected "forever"). Population count now shows REAL figure, not the "artificially inflated" figure. My large cities have a population of about 15k now, not 100k Tongue

Gee, even MORE lying shown on the part of the devs thanks to the modders.

Even more signs of extremely poor code design:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACdu1ho2Ic4
SimCity 100% Residential 200k City
Quote
There are no other adjacent cities, this is the only one in the region! I am guessing this is possible due to the parks and low taxes. The sims get happiness from the parks, and the low taxes. Despite not having jobs and nowhere to shop, it seems to encourage them to grow and expand regardless so long as basic services are met.

The final population count is just over 196,000, (just shy of the 200k mark), which can be seen the last time I pull up the population panel. About 170,000 of this is what Maxis calls "phantom population", or population that is not tracked in terms of job or needs.

So apparently the 'Artificial Intelligence/Stupidity' is perfectly happy with zero commercial and industrial zones because.....it has parks? The code is seriously that poorly designed?

You know, back in the days of Rollercoaster Tycoon, you could have hundreds if not thousands of little people all with their likes and dislikes, needs and, uhem, puke values, all being tracked in a park as they wandered around and did their thing. And you could track each and every single one of them individually if you wanted, and watch their values change in real time.

That came out in what, 1999? And it didn't need a '''server''' to offload the work to do it?

And it's 2013 now and we can't put in a basic pathfinding logarithms, among many other things?
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 01:43:33 PM by Destructor » Logged

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Jimmy the Fish
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« Reply #237 on: March 14, 2013, 04:31:24 PM »

Knowing EA's track record, they will eventually declare that sales did not meet expectations and then promptly disband Maxis.
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Arnir
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« Reply #238 on: March 14, 2013, 04:48:09 PM »

and then dump the servers and shut the game down.

I was willing to wait for the servers to get fixed, but the game just seems broken.  It doesn't live up to the hype and seems to be as simplistic in its pathfinding, etc. as the original game.  Maybe even more so.  I don't feel like I'm making a city/town any more, I feel like I'm just fighting a poorly designed search engine.  (Find house distance N.  If full, n+1, etc.)
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Roguetad
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« Reply #239 on: March 14, 2013, 05:34:35 PM »

Rollercoaster Tycoon is a good example of something they're trying to do that was already done better...10+ years ago (minus the multiplayer requirements/features). 

It's funny that the mod community quickly removed the online timer when EA/Maxis said it just wasn't possible.
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