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Author Topic: [PC] SimCity impressions  (Read 8062 times)
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Jimmy the Fish
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« Reply #240 on: March 14, 2013, 05:52:10 PM »

Just noticed this update from the Sim City blog:

Server Upgrades: We’ve completed the migration of all our original servers to the new, faster/higher capacity server architecture. We’ll continue to provide ongoing optimizations for our servers.

They hit reset and completely changed their server infrastructure, post-launch. More power to crunch numbers of population that doesn't exist!  icon_razz

http://www.simcity.com/en_US/blog/article/simcity-update-7
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« Reply #241 on: March 14, 2013, 10:40:13 PM »

And yet....a full hour wait to attempt to log in. 
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Jimmy the Fish
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« Reply #242 on: March 14, 2013, 11:26:38 PM »

Seriously?? Wow. FAIL.
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« Reply #243 on: March 14, 2013, 11:42:55 PM »

10 out ot 10 from Eurogamer Sweden?  I think they're review is a bit... borked.
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« Reply #244 on: March 15, 2013, 12:44:29 AM »

what bothers me now is that I sort of assumed there was some basic AI and logic behind the scenes, I mean this isnt rocket science game design.  You simply give players enough room and toys to build and create the cities of their dreams, behind the seems you basically have a spreadsheet that enforces some 'reality".  If population is this, you need a minimum of x clean water, y education, z cops, etc etc..  I mean its simple numbers just to have some structure and realism, and instead they didnt even do that as the 100% residential cities have shown.  Parks as long as you have parks everything else is OK? really?    Its sad all the way around. 
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« Reply #245 on: March 15, 2013, 01:12:09 AM »

Random: http://kotaku.com/5990673/simcity-creators-say-theyre-fixing-the-games-road-traffic-weirdness

Quote
He also confirms that, yes, Sims in the game don't have persistent homes and jobs. They're simulated to an extent, but he says that that simplifying them—freeing them from keeping the same jobs and living in the same homes—enabled better performance with bigger city populations.

So, wait. Sims get up in the morning, go drive to the nearest not-full place of employment, work there some imaginary number of hours, and then go find the nearest not-full house and call it a night? And don't do basic pathfinding like 'if road is full, find another route'?

...I really don't know what to say.
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« Reply #246 on: March 15, 2013, 02:38:30 AM »

Quote from: Destructor on March 15, 2013, 01:12:09 AM

Random: http://kotaku.com/5990673/simcity-creators-say-theyre-fixing-the-games-road-traffic-weirdness

Quote
He also confirms that, yes, Sims in the game don't have persistent homes and jobs. They're simulated to an extent, but he says that that simplifying them—freeing them from keeping the same jobs and living in the same homes—enabled better performance with bigger city populations.

So, wait. Sims get up in the morning, go drive to the nearest not-full place of employment, work there some imaginary number of hours, and then go find the nearest not-full house and call it a night? And don't do basic pathfinding like 'if road is full, find another route'?

...I really don't know what to say.


Think about that when you see "Smith residence" on the names of the houses.  It actually is worse than you describe - all fire departments all respond to every fire, all police vehicles try to get to every crime, etc.   This means that putting them in any particular place (i.e. centralized location) is fairly fruitless.   The logic shown at E3 where fire trucks coverage is based on the time it takes to respond to a fire are completely bogus.  Put simplest - there is no pathing in this game.  It's not unlike the 60 freeway here in Phoenix - stupid people get on the road and wander until they cut across four lanes of highway to their random destinatoin. 
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« Reply #247 on: March 15, 2013, 02:39:07 AM »

Quote from: Jimmy the Fish 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.
Probably the pirates fault...
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« Reply #248 on: March 15, 2013, 02:54:20 AM »

Quote from: Destructor on March 15, 2013, 01:12:09 AM

Random: http://kotaku.com/5990673/simcity-creators-say-theyre-fixing-the-games-road-traffic-weirdness

Quote
He also confirms that, yes, Sims in the game don't have persistent homes and jobs. They're simulated to an extent, but he says that that simplifying them—freeing them from keeping the same jobs and living in the same homes—enabled better performance with bigger city populations.

So, wait. Sims get up in the morning, go drive to the nearest not-full place of employment, work there some imaginary number of hours, and then go find the nearest not-full house and call it a night? And don't do basic pathfinding like 'if road is full, find another route'?

...I really don't know what to say.
I say we should all do that! That seems like a good system..
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« Reply #249 on: March 15, 2013, 03:48:59 AM »



What a complete nuclear disaster of a game.   One of the FOUNDATIONS of the game that they promised was that every sim would have a particular job, home, etc just like a real person.

So you can't log into the game, you can't play it offline, the city sizes are tiny for ZERO reason, and the sims having identities were absolute lies.

Ron, I'd strongly consider changing your review to like 20% on this one.    This game is NOTHING that was promised.
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« Reply #250 on: March 15, 2013, 05:16:56 AM »

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on March 15, 2013, 02:38:30 AM

It's not unlike the 60 freeway here in Phoenix - stupid people get on the road and wander until they cut across four lanes of highway to their random destination.  

LOL

I also read (and can't find a link now to show) that the absolute 'best' street design for SimCity is one very long road that happens to snake through your entire city. Absolutely no side streets. The pathfinding is that broken that this is the only way to solve it. Basically remove choice of where to go from the Sims themselves.

Also, based on what I'm reading here and on other sites, I'm kinda agreeing with msduncan here. This 'game' is so broken compared to every single one of its predecessors.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 05:20:10 AM by Destructor » Logged

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« Reply #251 on: March 15, 2013, 05:54:23 AM »

I found this in my G+ Stream and am not surprised.

http://www.geek.com/articles/games/modder-proves-simcity-can-run-offline-indefinitely-20130314/
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« Reply #252 on: March 15, 2013, 11:28:07 AM »

Quote from: msduncan on March 15, 2013, 03:48:59 AM

...the city sizes are tiny for ZERO reason, and the sims having identities were absolute lies.


Actually, I feel like we finally know exactly why the city sizes are so small.  Pathing problems and identity-free sims are strangling even minimally complex neighborhoods now.  Can you imagine what would happen on a map five or six times as large?  Every single fire engine in New York City simultaneously converging on the same unruly barbecue?

Some guy on YouTube named HalbyStarcraft (link) has been putting up a series of videos demonstrating various experiments, like getting a city up to about 500,000 residents without building any parks or mass transit options at all.  I watched a couple last night.  A few takeaways:


1) Sims reach maximum happiness, and therefore expand their homes to maximum density, by completing the following routine every day: get hired at the closest job, return to the closest home, shop at the closest store, and return to the closest home by nightfall.  As long as those steps can be completed in each day, none of the other amenities matter.

2) If your city offers more jobs than their are sims to take them, commuters will be spawned from off the map to fill them.  If traffic congestion keeps those commuters on your roads through the start of the next day when the job sites try to hire again, the region will automatically replicate a massive wave of new commuters to fill theoretically available jobs and choke the roads even further.  *Never* have more jobs available than your local population can fill.

3) Avoid 4-way intersections at all costs.  Traffic seems capable of routing through T-intersections, but a single 4-way stop along a heavily trafficked route can bring the entire transportation network down.

4) Streetcar stops can service a maximum of 300 sims.  Streetcars themselves, however, have an infinite capacity, allowing you to place five or six streetcar stops right next to each other so that 1,800 people can ride to work in the same trolley.

-Autistic Angel
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« Reply #253 on: March 15, 2013, 01:09:49 PM »

The latest update has some promising... promises.

Excerpts:
Quote
...
Our main focus right now is updating the pathing system that the Agents use to get to their Sinks. Running a successful city means keeping the traffic flowing and we are actively working to make this system better.

We understand that when cars always take the shortest route between point A and point B there will be unavoidable (and illogical) traffic jams, so we are retuning these values to make the traffic flow more realistically. Guillaume Pierre (our lead scripter) talked a bit about the improvements that we are making to the traffic system in the game here. To dig a little deeper our roads will have a weighting system based on 25%, 50% and 75% capacity. As a road hits those marks it will become less and less appealing for other cars, increasing the likelihood of them taking an alternate path if one exists.

We are working on additional fixes with the pathing of our Agents and these changes will streamline the way that the simulation unfolds in your city. For instance, emergency vehicles will not get blocked in their garages and will move into empty lanes to get around traffic jams. We’re also working on preventing service vehicles from clumping up (for instance, only one fire truck will respond to a fire instead of two) and improving the way that Public Transportation operates in the city. We are currently testing a patch internally and hope to have it out to you soon.
...
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« Reply #254 on: March 15, 2013, 01:49:24 PM »

So their main focus is now on developing the game they promised?  How considerate of them. Sooo glad I held off on this title, and I really hope they are punished for this debacle of a release. If everyone forgets about all this in a few months (with the release of some shiny new DLC!!!), they will have learned nothing.
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« Reply #255 on: March 15, 2013, 01:49:31 PM »

Sadly, I have shelved this for the time being, what an absolute train wreck.  Really regretting the purchase at this point.
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« Reply #256 on: March 15, 2013, 02:55:44 PM »

I hope their post launch sales take a hit.  I understand all of the early adopters taking the risk, but not now that we know what a disaster this game is.  I'm embarrassed for Maxis.  How humiliating it must be to have all of your game's key features proven false, or to have all of your PR quotes completely debunked with hard evidence.  The fact that modders proved offline works in less than a week, after the GM for Maxis said it would take her best people a long time to do it, is just so embarrassing.  How do you recover from that?
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« Reply #257 on: March 15, 2013, 03:26:34 PM »

Glad I avoided this train wreck.  even when it was found you could get a copy for $28 off the India EA store.

say what you will about ACM, but at it's core, at least it worked as a shooter.  SCV doesn't even manage to accomplish what other games have done for years, let alone the last game in the series.  and they added in a huge layer of BS PR to cover their asses while forcing a restrictive DRM for no legitimate reason.

Amazon was right to pull sales.  they should do that again. 
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« Reply #258 on: March 15, 2013, 03:35:28 PM »

I feel bad for the product team, and worse every time more of this nonsense comes out. EA as a corporate entity obviously are at fault here - but this is -such- a train wreck that we know that the project team has to have been handcuffed by release date and PR from implementing well or talking honestly.

This is clearly a project driven by the checkboxes EA wanted on a feature list, not by what a designer thought would be fun. I bet the original intent was to have cloud computing driving things like Sims, traffic, etc - but when the implementation was broken, or just not practical, the product team didn't have the weight to throw around to make the PR spin change. This just had to be an always-online, cloud-driven project, because the cloud is hot this year, don't'cha know? The folks saying it has to be aren't the ones figuring out how that will make it more fun.

Having been on doomed projects before (albeit not in this industry) - even the hopeless optimists on their side have probably known for a long time that this thing wasn't going to come together. That is the worst kind of work, and I hope the folks who are (justifiably) mad pile on where it's justified, instead of saying the product team is awful.
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« Reply #259 on: March 15, 2013, 04:09:27 PM »

This review from the Guardian pretty neatly sums up my experience so far.  http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/gamesblog/2013/mar/15/simcity-video-game-review  (No, I don't remember how to embed a link)
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« Reply #260 on: March 15, 2013, 10:33:48 PM »

Seen on BrokenForum: one of the developers at Maxis posted this YouTube video of the new congestion avoidance pathing.

It starts with a fully congested dirt road leading straight to a convention center, and when the player adds a multi-lane avenue curving around to the same destination, the cars begin to realize the less direct route is faster and favor it instead.

-Autistic Angel
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Jimmy the Fish
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« Reply #261 on: March 15, 2013, 11:09:06 PM »

But shouldn't there be at least some percentage of traffic that still takes the straight dirt road since it is the most direct patch? All traffic ends up completely ignoring the original path entirely which seems weird.

Of course, I bet the moment you start adding cross streets and increasing the possible routes, the traffic algorithm completely breaks again.
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« Reply #262 on: March 15, 2013, 11:16:10 PM »

I would think that any given traveller should have a random chance of taking a less than optimal route (whatever that might be).  Some folks like big streets, some hate intersections without lights, etc.  People don't just all do the same thing.  Some randomness is necessary.  (In addition to a pathfinding routine that actually makes sense in the real world).
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« Reply #263 on: March 16, 2013, 02:01:26 AM »

I dont understand why they make this pathfinding so difficult. Simpy use some random logic.  When given a choice/intersection, the car will while attempting to get to its destination will take left x%, right x%, continue straight x%.Factoring in distance to the destination in the algo. ( so that the closer you get to a destination the less likely they would be to turn)  This will give you the illusion of real traffic, and while some may take very round about ways to their destination, they will still work their way there since streets in this game are in a closed loop, and this is just off the top of my head, this shouldnt be that hard.
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« Reply #264 on: March 16, 2013, 10:58:07 AM »

Quote from: Jimmy the Fish on March 15, 2013, 11:09:06 PM

But shouldn't there be at least some percentage of traffic that still takes the straight dirt road since it is the most direct patch? All traffic ends up completely ignoring the original path entirely which seems weird.


It's easy to miss due to the game's Depth of Field blurring, but if you look carefully down the dirt road you'll see that it's still bumper-to-bumper farther down.  It's possible that new cars will take that route once it's been cleared.  There's something to be said for the idea that drivers shouldn't be able to see that congestion and would choose the dirt road out of ignorance, but at this point I think excessively intelligent traffic would be a nice change of pace. smile

-Autistic Angel
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« Reply #265 on: March 16, 2013, 02:49:44 PM »

I think everyone is complaining too much about the traffic and missing the point...
This is obviously an in depth simulation of what happens when everyone uses the same GPS....
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« Reply #266 on: March 17, 2013, 05:22:47 AM »

...and even more signs of that nothing was tested at all:

http://www.cinemablend.com/games/SimCity-Hack-Lets-Users-Destroy-Anyone-Online-City-Thanks-Always-DRM-53685.html

Quote
Since the top brass at EA were dumb enough to go through with the hated and repined always-on DRM, there were consequences to be had. SimCity has been a disaster in the media circles since launch all because of the DRM, and now things have gone to the next level as a hack has been discovered that lets anyone invade any of the online cities and lay waste to them...permanently.

And it continues:

Quote
As a quick recap: Modders found out that you can play SimCity in offline mode as a single-player game. In addition to playing the game offline, the modders have also opened up additional things like larger cities, expanded highways and better population management. In other words, they fixed the broken game that EA shoved down your throats.

However, with all this good news also comes some bad news. Modders have also discovered that it's possible to mess with files client-side to affect server-side activity. I think you all know where this is going.

Basically, as the video shows below, you can enter into another person's online town and wreak havoc, however the modder notes that he turned off synching to the server so as not to actually cause permanent harm to his friend's city.

/headdesk

ADDITIONAL: Apparently according to the Youtube video linked, as of the video's upload, you CAN NOT CAUSE ANY ACTUAL DAMAGE TO ANY CITIES. This can NOT be saved to EA's servers. But no doubt it's a matter of time before it happens (assuming said holes aren't patched out).
« Last Edit: March 17, 2013, 05:25:36 AM by Destructor » Logged

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« Reply #267 on: March 17, 2013, 10:30:02 AM »

I fired up Simcity 4 yesterday, didn't play a lot, but it showed what a huge step back 5 is. 5 is prettier and looks to require less micromanaging, but 4 was pretty in depth. Now I wish they would just update/streamline 4.

I haven't been this disgusted with a game in a long time. I will think twice about any EA game now, no matter how good it looks.
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« Reply #268 on: March 18, 2013, 01:57:22 AM »

So, do you know why Simcity 5 auto-punts you after about 20 minutes once you disconnect from the 'net? It's not because the game is looking for something. Or because it needs to do 'some kind of magical processing' on EA's side.

It's because the game is PROGRAMMED to do so. At 20 minutes.

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=525129

Quote
So if the game detects you are offline it starts a 20 minute countdown, if you are not online before then it will force you to quit.

Removing this line allows indefinite offline play.

..............
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« Reply #269 on: March 18, 2013, 05:53:12 PM »

Did someone already post the choices of free games for the EA apology?

Quote
Battlefield 3 (Standard Edition)
Bejeweled 3
Dead Space 3 (Standard Edition)
Mass Effect 3 (Standard Edition)
MOHW (Standard Edition)
NFS Most Wanted (Standard Edition)
Plants vs. Zombies
SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition
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« Reply #270 on: March 18, 2013, 07:23:12 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on March 18, 2013, 05:53:12 PM

Did someone already post the choices of free games for the EA apology?

Quote
Battlefield 3 (Standard Edition)
Bejeweled 3
Dead Space 3 (Standard Edition)
Mass Effect 3 (Standard Edition)
MOHW (Standard Edition)
NFS Most Wanted (Standard Edition)
Plants vs. Zombies
SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition

I think the inclusion of SimCity 4 is an interesting thing.  Bejeweled 3 and PvZ though? 
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« Reply #271 on: March 18, 2013, 07:37:51 PM »

I guess I'll grab Dead Space 3 since I already own or have played all the other titles.
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« Reply #272 on: March 18, 2013, 08:27:57 PM »

For me, I'll grab 'Mass Effect 3'... so I can play the trilogy.. someday.  icon_razz
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« Reply #273 on: March 18, 2013, 09:41:47 PM »

I also love that they're giving away the Standard Edition of all those games so people have to buy DLC to even be up to speed with new purchases.
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« Reply #274 on: March 19, 2013, 12:00:40 AM »

Sir, we are being asked to make a "nice gesture" to the--

WHAT?!  What is that?!

Well, I think they just want us to do something nice.

WHAT?  Is that profitable?  How do we make it profitable?
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« Reply #275 on: March 19, 2013, 12:25:20 AM »

I'm surprised that in the fine print (at least I didn't see it) there isn't a clause saying that accepting the game offer holds EA harmless in any future actions, etc., regarding SimCity and its alleged broken state etc.
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« Reply #276 on: March 19, 2013, 12:33:24 AM »

Ugh...I just read that SimCity has sold over 1.1 million copies in the first 2 weeks.  I wonder how many of the 1.1 million were charged back?  Either way, they made a lot of money.   
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« Reply #277 on: March 19, 2013, 12:57:22 AM »

I'm not into shooters, so the majority of the list of free offerings don't do anything for me.

Have they made any progress fixing the horrific pathfinding and silly grab first sink issues?
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« Reply #278 on: April 02, 2013, 10:46:04 PM »

Ok, so there were launch issues, and there's a bunch of problems with the simulation, and a bunch of huge bugs in the game, but you know what I really want them to focus on?  Promotional buildings for the Nissan Leaf® that give me an edge in my game at no cost*!

Quote
Need an extra incentive to go green in SimCity? Maybe you need a little boost in the form of the new Nissan Leaf Charging Station that is available today. This free in-game item is the perfect way to kick start your desire to create a city that will make you (and your Sims) happy. In the case of your Sims, In the case of your Sims, the Charging Station provides happiness to the Sims that use it and a onetime wave of happiness to the nearby businesses. Need another bonus? It produces no sewage or garbage. That’s right! Green indeed.

To redeem the Charging Station, just visit this Origin page (http://tinyurl.com/cculs88) and then restart your game in order for it to appear. You will need to use the same Origin ID that you use to play SimCity.

If you have additional questions, check out our FAQ below.

FAQ

1. What is the Nissan Leaf item?
The Nissan Leaf item is the Nissan Leaf Charging Station. The Charging Station will be a new destination in player’s cities where their Sims will drive their Nissan Leaf cars in order to re-charge them. Once they leave the Sims will find themselves happier.

2. How do I get the Nissan Leaf content?
There are three ways to get the Nissan Leaf content into a player’s game:
• SimCity Launcher: Players can click the advertisement and it will take them to the SimCity Origin DLC page.
• SimCity In-Game Billboard: Players can click the billboard on the Menu screen and it will take them to the SimCity Origin DLC page using the in-game online browser.
• Origin Online Store Page: Players can find the Nissan Leaf item by clicking this link: http://tinyurl.com/cculs88
Once redeemed, you will need to restart the game in order for the Charging Station to appear in your game. This includes closing down the SimCity launcher if it is still open.

3. Is there additional gameplay added?
Plopping down the Nissan Leaf Charging Station will add happiness to nearby buildings. Adding the Charging Station will not take power, water or workers away from your city. Zoom in to the streets of cities and players will start seeing a percentage of their Sims from all wealth classes driving the electric vehicles. The Charging Station produces no garbage or sewage as well making it pollution free.

4. Once I download it, where do I find it?
You will find the Nissan Charging Station in the Power palette.

5. Is this available worldwide?
Yes.

6. How much does it cost?
This pack is free.

7. How long is the content available?
The Nissan pack will be available for download for six months starting on April 2nd Once it’s been downloaded into your Origin account, you will be able to access it any time.

*Except your soul
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naednek
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« Reply #279 on: April 03, 2013, 04:06:12 AM »

I was happy to get that since I own a Nissan Leaf smile
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