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    SimCity Update from Senior Producer Kip Katsarelis

    Hi everyone I wanted to give you a quick update about the state of SimCity and what the development team here at Maxis has been focused on in the last week. The good news is that we are seeing so many of you playing the game. Mayors have spent more than 33 centuries worth of time playing the game and enough road has been laid to circumnavigate the earth over 5000 times. Each day, we have more than three quarters of a million active cities being played.

    We've been heads down addressing the key issues we’re seeing reported from our community. This includes city rollbacks, lost progress, and the return of features like Cheetah Speed and Leaderboards. Like you, we want all of these resolved ASAP, which is why they are the top priorities in our studio. Matter of fact, we have all of these in a QA environment, giving them a thorough test before we release them back to you, the fans.

    On top of this, we’re also working on a number of bug fixes and other overall improvements that we’re planning to include in future Updates. Just last week we released two Updates 1.7 and 1.8, which included traffic fixes and other general improvements. For the future, in Update 2.0, we’ll be addressing the Recycling Center bug, fixing the fire engine clumping, improving the efficiency of Street Cars, and increasing the radius of river water. We’re also fixing the tuning on Casinos and are making them more profitable. These are just a handful of the substantial changes coming in Update 2.0.

    Keep in mind, if you don’t see a particular fix present in an Update, this doesn't mean we’re not working on it, or we’re not aware of it. Our team is constantly getting reports about the top issues being raised and this is helping us prioritize what we need to address. There are some issues that are more challenging and will take more time. If you have feedback, please visit our forums. In the meantime, we’ll continue to address the top issues in our updates. We’ll keep working while you’re playing.

    Thanks for sticking with us. We hope this gives you a better idea of what we've been working on. Now back to work!

    Source: http://www.simcity.com/en_US/blog/article/simcity-update-from-kip


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    Frankly .... where is the cutoff? How many more thousands of sales to admit that there are serious design flaws?

    Disclose such data is an insult to the collective intelligence. Hours played consider the total time logged and not active or is not representative of the playing time.( Without considering the time to understand and work around the bugs )

    Millions of miles of roads built because the players could not make them work properly and rebuild them for numerous times.

    Humm! .. Three quarters of a million or 750,000 right?

    If the game has sold over 1.1 million copies that means at least 350,000 (33%) are not playing or quit, is it true?

    (That if each were playing with only one city.)

    It's time for someone throw in the towel, man...

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    "We've been heads down addressing the key issues we’re seeing reported from our community. This includes city rollbacks, lost progress," This is exactly the reason I object so much against the online saving of cities. Yes, there is a risk I cannot play cities in ten years time, but to build a city, carefully designing neighbourhoods and spend hours on that only to find out all work was for nothing!! This is so insulting to players, I simply don't understand how people at maxis can still look at themselves with dignity. Bunch of frauds.

     

    NCGAIO, on 28 Mar 2013 - 21:08, said:

    Frankly .... where is the cutoff? How many more thousands of sales to admit that there are serious design flaws?

    Disclose such data is an insult to the collective intelligence. Hours played consider the total time logged and not active or is not representative of the playing time.( Without considering the time to understand and work around the bugs )

    Millions of miles of roads built because the players could not make them work properly and rebuild them for numerous times.

    Humm! .. Three quarters of a million or 750,000 right?

    If the game has sold over 1.1 million copies that means at least 350,000 (33%) are not playing or quit, is it true?

    (That if each were playing with only one city.)

    It's time for someone throw in the towel, man...

     

    You bring up some very interesting points. They bring this as a positive statistic, yet it's clearly a sign that people are quickly starting to lose interest in this terrible piece of crap.

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    While I agree, the metrics about how many centuries of combined gameplay and the combined lengths of road laid to date is completely meaningless, I think Kip's intent was just to set a fun tone. This is in line with Maxis's "personality", so I'm OK with it.

     

    After the preamble, it's more or less news we already know: fixes are still in the works, the return of cheetah mode is in the works, simulation behavior is being tweaked, there are major updates for update 2.0, they are in QA, and so on.

     

    There really is nothing to hate on here; it's communication, it's keeping us in the loop, even though the news isn't necessarily new. The fact could be there may very well not be anything new to report, but I appreciate this more than radio silence any day.

     

    Remember, there are real humans working on this game who are equally subject to the physical limitations of time and energy as we all are.

     

    Are we entitled to be pissed if we believe these kinds of issues should never have made it to a shipped product? Of course. But that ship has sailed.

     

    While I realize it may not be a popular opinion, I'm giving Kip (and Scott, and Guillaume and Lucy) and all of Maxis points for staying in touch with these updates. Just because they are not saying exactly what you may want them to say, doesn't mean they aren't being open and communicative with us.

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    While I appreciate communication, I really appreciate timelines.  It's been over 3 weeks and cheetah speed still isn't back in this game.  And I'm honestly ok if it won't be back until next Friday, but I just want to know a ballpark of when these things will happen.

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    While I realize it may not be a popular opinion, I'm giving Kip (and Scott, and Guillaume and Lucy) and all of Maxis points for staying in touch with these updates. Just because they are not saying exactly what you may want them to say, doesn't mean they aren't being open and communicative with us.

     

    I apreciate what you are trying to do Dirk, but I - and I know many others - feel that maxis is not comunicating. They are telling PR lies and are not listening to their customers. What good is comuicating if all you are doing is sending your message into the world with out actually (and more importantly) honestly responding to what people are saying. The statistic that there are only 750.000 active cities is actually a darn important wakeup call that should make them realise that people are fedd up with their lies.

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    Although fully understand the point of view of  " that ship has sailed " ie  whoever bought now have to wait for a solution also know that those who have some experience of IT know that the problems are not a simple "bugs" but true bottlenecks imposed by cloud_save that will not be solved so easily.

     

    The same discourse is being repeated by every executive who has absolutely no technical knowledge about that occurring and  so it is impossible not to see it as just PR on the facts to continue " navigating the boat ". (Something that all market has realized!)

     

    This is a question I'd like to see answered ...

      

    SIM CITY: Why are the patches focusing on trivial balancing issues rather than the complete SHOWSTOP...

     

     

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    While I realize it may not be a popular opinion, I'm giving Kip (and Scott, and Guillaume and Lucy) and all of Maxis points for staying in touch with these updates. Just because they are not saying exactly what you may want them to say, doesn't mean they aren't being open and communicative with us.

     

    I apreciate what you are trying to do Dirk, but I - and I know many others - feel that maxis is not comunicating. They are telling PR lies and are not listening to their customers. What good is comuicating if all you are doing is sending your message into the world with out actually (and more importantly) honestly responding to what people are saying. The statistic that there are only 750.000 active cities is actually a darn important wakeup call that should make them realise that people are fedd up with their lies.

     

    I understand what you're saying, and my point was not in any way to defend or excuse actions you refer to as "PR lies". 

     

    I would also caution mistaking the term "PR lies" with "stuff I don't like to hear". I'm not referring to you, personally, but in the general posts here.

     

    The other point of nuance worth mentioning is that it would be responsible to take each press release or announcement from Maxis on its own merits.

     

    If we attach every announcement Maxis makes with every announcement prior that has made where we perceived "PR lies" -- then we are constantly associating the past with the present, and we make no progress as the voice of the community since all we're doing is creating our own echo chamber and eventually we are tuned out -- deservedly so.

     

    I don't disagree that some of the things said in interviews or posts in the past have been shown or argued to be at best misstated, and at worst deceptive.

     

    So if anyone genuinely believes that Kip has said anything in this particular post as a "PR lie" then by all means, call him out and make your case.

     

    However, to bundle this announcement as just another "PR lie" without a credible argument just because in the past there have been other statements that were misleading, then we are being just as disingenuous as those we're condemning.

     

    I am not here to defend Kip or Maxis or any corporate entity. I am, however, encouraging the community to respond with the same integrity that we are demanding from these companies.

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    I find it funny to read this on simtropolis, a site thats been around forever, dedicated to deliver a unique, creative experience to a tried and true game (SC4).   At the same time Simcity (2013) works very hard to keep those things out of their new game in hopes of DLC (probably already finished) revenue. 

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    33 centuries of play =

    3300 years =

    1204500 days =

    28,908,000 hours.

    Divide hours played by 1.1million copies and that gives you

    26.28 hours played per customer.

    Factor in the amount of days the game has been released (23) and you get roughly 1.14 hours played per day per customer.

    Obviously that's divided equally and obviously not everyone plays the same amount of time. But it reflects poorly upon how many are playing the game.

    Please check the math if you would like. Typing this out on my phone so sorry for the block of text.

    And I did the math because I was curious, thought others might find it interesting as well.

    Edit: circumnavigating the earth 5000 times.

    40075 km around the equator * 5000 = 200,375,000km.

    200,375,000km / 1,100,00 copies sold = 182.16km per copy sold which is several cities

    Edited for wrong math

    Edit 2 (even mathier)

    On the note 750,000 active cities.

    I think someone could efficiently fit 40 km of road in each tile (10 x 10 roads (correct me on this if I'm wrong). ) 40km/ city x 750000 cities = 30,000,000 km. where's the other 170 million Km of roads?

    And I suppose the number could be lowered if they are calculating all roads laid and deleted.

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    1.1 million copies sold would include stock purchased by retailers just sitting on store shelves and in warehouses. What I would be more interested in is the number of games activated. Given Simcity needs Origin this should be an easy number for EA to get and given the figures in the article my guess that it is significantly smaller than 1.1 million.

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    until they acknowledge their LIES about the game design and stop talking down to players they don't deserve to be taken at face value.

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    I am not here to defend Kip or Maxis or any corporate entity. I am, however, encouraging the community to respond with the same integrity that we are demanding from these companies.

     

    Indeed, information should be judged at its own merrit. So Doing the math on the information given in this post a clear immage should appear tho the people at Maxis, that whatever they were thinking in the past, they thought wrong. They should really start to give in to the customerd and make this a game that people want. Kip's own userdata proves this point. If theydon't starte to give in soon, I am afraid that MAxis will sufer the same fate as Monte Christo. That would be a real shame, scince I still believe that if there will ever be a true Sim City 5, it will come from Maxis.

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    For me, they absolutely don't deserve any attention at all (in the matter of PR and their abilities stay in touch with customers), and that is same for their product. It completely doesn't deserve any attention...

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    Seems they expect PRAISE for doing what should have been done BEFORE release. Inept is the first of many words that come to mind.

     

    @Michal27278 Their product DOES deserve attention IMO. It should have so much attention that it is a constant source of embarrassment for everyone at EA and Maxis. It should generate so much attention that others fear to tread down the same path.

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    Seems they expect PRAISE for doing what should have been done BEFORE release. Inept is the first of many words that come to mind.

     

    @Michal27278 Their product DOES deserve attention IMO. It should have so much attention that it is a constant source of embarrassment for everyone at EA and Maxis. It should generate so much attention that others fear to tread down the same path.

     

    The best feedback for them is complete fail of selling their products. Stop playing it, stop buying it. They don't have understanding for words from public.

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    While I realize...

     

    I apreciate ...

     

    I understand what you're saying, and my point was not in any way to defend or excuse actions you refer to as "PR lies". 

     

    I would also caution mistaking the term "PR lies" with "stuff I don't like to hear". I'm not referring to you, personally, but in the general posts here.

     

    The other point of nuance worth mentioning is that it would be responsible to take each press release or announcement from Maxis on its own merits.

     

    If we attach every announcement Maxis makes with every announcement prior that has made where we perceived "PR lies" -- then we are constantly associating the past with the present, and we make no progress as the voice of the community since all we're doing is creating our own echo chamber and eventually we are tuned out -- deservedly so.

     

    I don't disagree that some of the things said in interviews or posts in the past have been shown or argued to be at best misstated, and at worst deceptive.

     

    So if anyone genuinely believes that Kip has said anything in this particular post as a "PR lie" then by all means, call him out and make your case.

     

    However, to bundle this announcement as just another "PR lie" without a credible argument just because in the past there have been other statements that were misleading, then we are being just as disingenuous as those we're condemning.

     

    I am not here to defend Kip or Maxis or any corporate entity. I am, however, encouraging the community to respond with the same integrity that we are demanding from these companies.

     

    I think an important point is being missed here:  EA/Maxis have a huge trust gap to make up.  This post, taken in context of the other posts, articles, etc. that has been released, has at best a tone of a child with their fingers in their ears humming to themselves.  Mr. Katsarelis is putting forth a message of 'we are listening to you, and are working to solve the issues you are bringing to the table".  The problem is that while the issues he identifies in the article do need to be addressed, there are larger, more fundamental issues that aren't even aknowledged:

     

    1. The game was rushed, and released too early.

    2.  Misstatements/spin/lies have been told by official channels

    3.  The design philosophy for this game was flawed due to the fact that it was based on a few insular viewpoints, and we as a larger community feel ignored.

     

    Your point is valid: Many in the community are acting like a spoiled child who didn't get their way when they wanted it.  (Some may fit that description better than others). 

     

    My point is that EA/Maxis pissed those people off, as well as the more...patient...in the community, and if this is the best they have in the way of communicating that they hear us, then they are either self deluded, don't care, or have incompetent PR, or perhaps some combination. 

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    I agree that we have been beating a dead horse here... The product is not what most of us waited 10 years for. What we got was some Executive's wet dream of reproducing WOW's huge success. I strongly agree that city building games need to be allowed to stand on their own merits and not be shoe-horned into an Orwellian type of interconnected play. I get the feeling, with such an arrogant and insulting you-like-what-we-tell-you-to-like you little s**t attitude that none of our suggestions to make a better more profitable product will ever be considered. I truly hope that nature be allowed to take its course and the company suffers financial consequences as a result of bad business and bad decisions. /rant off.

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