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    Lucy Bradshaw responds to Reddit controversy

    Lucy Bradshaw has written a blog on the EA site to respond to the controversy over the Reddit AMAA.

    There are some interesting bits of information in here.



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    Personally I think it's a lot of marketing doublespeak non-answers but I'm curious about whether there is actually a technical NEED for the server to handle some of the simulation. If this is the case, then I think that it was a huge design mistake.

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    I agree. This further confirms that Maxis got over-ambitious when making the simulation engine. I mean, do we really need to know about every drop of water moving throughout the city? The whole "cities don't live in bubbles" spiel is relevant, but does that mean they had to make this game completely online, on the cloud, on EA's notorious servers?

    I suppose now we can add the online and cloud aspects of this game to the ever-growing list of consequences of this over-ambition, including the constricting map sizes and no-man's land.

    Makes you rethink that whole "cities don't live in bubbles" thing, doesn't it?

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    What if the city was on the moon or Mars? I pretty much guarantee it would live in a bubble, no?

    I find the point of splitting code between the client PC and the server quite normal for a transaction processing point of view. In TP, most of the work is done on the server while the client station presents output and collects input. The client station does little or no processing beyond local validation of the input.

    Once you get a server in the act running part of the application, you can put anything you want in there, and change it at will. If you look at some of my earlier posts on this, you will see that this is what I initially expected. It is starting to sound like you will be SOL if the server goes down or you lose your connection for very long.

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    What if the city was on the moon or Mars? I pretty much guarantee it would live in a bubble, no?

    I find the point of splitting code between the client PC and the server quite normal for a transaction processing point of view. In TP, most of the work is done on the server while the client station presents output and collects input. The client station does little or no processing beyond local validation of the input.

    Once you get a server in the act running part of the application, you can put anything you want in there, and change it at will. If you look at some of my earlier posts on this, you will see that this is what I initially expected. It is starting to sound like you will be SOL if the server goes down or you lose your connection for very long.

    All the more reason to stay away from this game in my opinion. I can't see how there's any way we will ever be able to have the creative freedom we've enjoyed with past versions in this upcoming game. Yeah, it might actually be sort of fun but buying (or should I say renting?) a game using this gameplay model is giving MAXIS/EA and the gaming industry the green light to make it all this way.

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    Sigh...

    Sure going online is a goal for the SimCity franchise, but not like this. Things like trade agreements and sharing cities would be nice, but if you overdo it the online portion becomes a negative.

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    1. The game is not just highly-detailed, it has become too detailed until the game itself only capable to track 100,000 inhabitants, not more. I think details should be considered, but there also some other things that should be considered as well. Focusing too much on details is not a good idea, I thought.

    2. I think we're not only can create specialized city, but we're forced to create specialized cities, not so exciting. It's not my style of playing, I prefer more to make a city that contain everything than specialized for one thing.

    3. Best ever ? Really ?

    I will say, yes, because it's not the successor of previous Simcity games, but a misnamed new kind of hi-tech, online, competitive strategy game with the game lobby named 'region' and the tool to compete with other players called 'city'. But still, it doesn't mean Simcity. Of course, this one is the best, because this game is the only one of it's kind.

    4. The solo mode is also exist, a bit happy to know about that, but very disappointed knowing that internet is still forced.

    5. I will not become the mayor of one of your cloud cities at 5th March, sorry about that, but I think it just different with the meaning of Simcity that I know. Thanks anyway for responding to the Reddit controversy.

    I just do not quite understand why they do not simply add the option to play offline, and let us all play the classic way.

    Because of Frank Gibeau, the EA boss, already said if he won't allow any game without online feature (or in another word, must online)

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    Unfortunally that only confirms that mods as we know for SC4 won´t be possible in this kind of shared simulation.

    Another nail to the coffin, i hope i can still breath.

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    Put on the tape recorder as there is nothing new in this article, just the same marketing response they have given over the past months: The same Glassbox is amazing speech and city's aren't in a bubble talk as an excuse for forcing peeps into online only mode...

    I will probably never 'Rent' this game as I foresee data limits being used up in data exchange between my PC/EA Servers, insufficient bandwidth and unreliable internet connection for game data exchange thus ruining game play experience, and finally unreliable EA servers: How often will they be down? an unknown length of rent time when will EA close down support?

    Sorry Maxis/EA but you have lost this customer, I see no benefits for me to buy this game. I'm not investing in renting a game I can't play, if there is ever an 'offline mode' as there should be I will buy but not before.

    Long live SC4 lol

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    Put on the tape recorder as there is nothing new in this article, just the same marketing response they have given over the past months: The same Glassbox is amazing speech and city's aren't in a bubble talk as an excuse for forcing peeps into online only mode...

    I will probably never 'Rent' this game as I foresee data limits being used up in data exchange between my PC/EA Servers, insufficient bandwidth and unreliable internet connection for game data exchange thus ruining game play experience, and finally unreliable EA servers: How often will they be down? an unknown length of rent time when will EA close down support?

    Sorry Maxis/EA but you have lost this customer, I see no benefits for me to buy this game. I'm not investing in renting a game I can't play, if there is ever an 'offline mode' as there should be I will buy but not before.

    Long live SC4 lol

    You bring up some really good points! I didn't even think about data.

    Anyways, I am disappointed. I would happily return to the limited veiws of simcity4 and similar visuals to lower some of the requirements to run this game and ditch the server. 180 degree camera at a gizillion levels is not something I care much about. But it the new game must be shiny for the general public I guess.

    In my opinion if the game needs server support they have overextended themselves and need to reevaluate what the sacrifices are for the gain. They keep trying to hype up leaderboards and stuff and I just don't buy it for what they have removed. The essence of the game doesn't seem present anymore. If I can build so much more and bigger without a server with sc4 I just don't see what I can gain from the new simcity.

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    Maxis said:

    GlassBox is the engine that drives the entire game ... the overall simulation that can track data for up to 100,000 individual Sims inside each city.

    Tsk, tsk. That is the size of one of my medium towns in SC4. It seems that glassbox has just too much going on with all that detail and those fancy graphics to avoid bogging down. Well, we know about the knee of the simulation curve, don't we?

    Something that doesn't currently affect me but does for some Internet subscribers is the idea of data limits. I have unlimited data on my broadband account at the moment, but I guess this could be a real problem for some subscribers. Does any texting count as part of your data limit? If so, some teeners with cell gear must run up one heck of an overflow bill.

    With every step they take, EA is turning off the present user base.

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    Put on the tape recorder as there is nothing new in this article...

    Yes there is something new ... EA putting all this effort (high staf Maxis) to minimize the impact of the negative effects scattered to the four corners on the forums Simcity.

    Mainly about the pre-sale estimates.

    When does the Beta? Maybe come in late February to force few time for analysis before release.

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    I don't think their marketing people really give a hoot about earlier versions and their players. They are going out for a new set of players.

    But really who else is talking about it? The only comments, good or bad, I see anywhere (and trust me I scour EVERYTHING) are from people who claim to be SimCity fans and who've played this version or that version. Add to that, even on Facebook (which seems to be the most mindlessly pro-new version of anywhere) SimCity 4 won their poll of which was the favorite of all versions by a landslide. Where is this new market? They've divided the old market, made enemies of many of them and I'm not seeing the new one.

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    @ferryv: I know cirugo is very negative about the upcoming game, and I know he's very vocal about that. I can totally understand if he gets on some peoples' nerves with that attitude.

    And yet, at least he posts an opinion instead of attacking others personally by telling them to shut up.

    I don't know about you, but for my part, I much prefer a person who doesn't like or share my opinion (and whose opinion I don't like or share), but who treats me on equal terms over a person who just wants to shut me up.

    Back to topic, others already said it. I read the text because of the "interesting bits of information", but I'm afraid I couldn't find them. In addition to that, once again I can't quite shake off that feeling... "Ooooh, so the new engine will require a permanent online connection? How... unforeseeable and unfortunate convenient."

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    Agents != citizens in your city. An agent is anything moving around that carries resources. A car agent holds people resources. This means your cities can, in theory, be much larger in population.

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    Lol croxis what youre saying makes no sense. If she meant agents in general thats so much worse since people would only be a fraction of the agents of 100,000. We know water, electricity ect. are all agents.But I do feel she means 100,000. I wonder if it is impossible to reach that amount in a single tile... if it is possible i can imagine maxis just letting the game crash. ha

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    I believe what croxis is getting at is the notion of a car agent acting as a container for other agents. Let's say there's 3 people agents in a car. There's no need to simulate the individual people in the car while it's on the road, so the car agent, as part of its properties, notes that it contains those 3 people agents, but only needs to count as one agent until those people get out of the car.

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    Frankly, people, I fail to see why some of the comments around here even hint at surprise. There have been many confirmations (especially in the latest articles) that a permanent on-line connection would be a requirement and that the game would be mainly run on The Cloud (stored on EA Servers).

    Personally I welcome the honesty on the article that, even though still tries to promote the new engine (which has a lot of potential, everyone recognises it) is not a compensation for some of the decisions EA and Maxis took.

    I have for about a decade and a half followed Maxis development as a company and as a developer and I can understand most of the decisions the company took. I would say it is the best one can do if your company is pursuing the market trend. Enough said.

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