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neil5280

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  1. This is a known issue: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?842734-Cargo-Train-Terminal-causes-graphics-freeze-when-rotate-tilt-zoom-tools-are-used Forcing the game to run in DX9 (instructions in linked thread) allowed me to continue playing. I'm not sure if the patch out today addressed this issue. Good luck.
  2. Just read this interesting tid-bit from the EA Q3 Earnings Call, which happened on around Jan 30, 2012. I didn't find anything about this when I searched for Earnings Call on the forum, so I thought I'd post it. Gives some insight into how they perceived the beta went, or at least how they want investors to perceive the beta went. Source: http://seekingalpha.com/article/1145271-electronic-arts-management-discusses-q3-2013-results-earnings-call-transcript?page=6
  3. How much less could you care?
  4. Maybe it was tongue-in-cheek, but the description for this post says you need to have a Steam login when it should say an Origin login.
  5. This is all speculation. Maxis is certainly aware of concerns and is undoubtedly working to make these types of things possible.
  6. When I played at PAX, they only had one available, but the description was something like this: Shuttle Bus - Will only carry low income sims to their destinations. Not sure if that helps or adds to the confusion, but that's from someone who actually played the demo and got to plop a bus stop.
  7. Definitely not enough time to be able to answer this kind of question. It seems pretty subtle. I think people are going to spend just as much time in the layer overlay modes as they did in SC4. In SC4 you could watch people perform crimes, you could see areas get run down, you could tell where factories needed workers, you could tell where traffic was a problem. It was all sprite animations based on statistical data, but you could see it happening. Now it's the actual agents of those issues that you can watch, be that criminals, low foot traffic, or congested streets. I don't think it changes that aspect of the game play at all. No problem.
  8. I'm not sure it's fair to comment on this with pre-alpha software. As a software developer myself, I understand that in a pre-alpha state, you're just trying to get things up and running. I'm sure the guys at Maxis will make the final city size as big as is reasonable with the GlassBox engine, which they are still tweaking and optimizing. As the Beta nears close, if the city sizes are a concern, that will be the time to really raise the criticism. Hey Pat, I got your direct message as well. I'm not sure what you mean by tile sizes. If you mean lot sizes, there aren't tiles in the way there were in SC4. When you zone, it attempts to fill the space near the road, but it's variable based on the shape of the area.
  9. I was able to play SimCity and speak with Community Manager Michael quite a bit, at PAX. Here are some impressions of the game and some information I received from Michael. I played the Pre-Alpha software version of the game twice at PAX. Once on Friday and once on Sunday. On the Friday play, I just followed along with the tutorial and found the game to be pretty enjoyable. For pre-alpha software, the game looks pretty good. A lot of features are ocked down, but you can see some of what they are planning. For instance, when trying to put down a school, I soon found that the schools were locked. There's a check list of things you need to do before a school can be placed, including reaching a population threshold and upgrading the town-hall to a city-hall (or something like that). When I clicked on the town-hall to look for an upgrade button, it wasn't available. When I went back to the schools screen, I noticed (and I think they should make this more obvious) that there were different categories you could select (standard and higher education). When I clicked on higher education, the community college was available, so I went ahead and placed that. Playing with roads was pretty enjoyable. The game lays out snappable line guides to aid in creating straight and curved streets. The roads issue became frustrating when you play near the freeway that goes between cities. In the pre-alpha software your connection point to the highway is pre-determined, which means if you are planning a city, you can't just put your main arterial anywhere. Additionally, it's quite annoying to be able to build so close to the freeway without being able to make arbitrary connections to it, or run roads under it to develop on the other side. In fact, the edge of the city really kept pulling me out of the immersive experience. Unlike in SC 4, where the boundary is clearly defined and your brain doesn't try to do things outside of the zone, in the new SC the boundary is non-obvious (slight coloration change), and you find yourself running into the glass walls. I really found the road system to be simultaneously the most interesting and most frustrating part of the game. I'm sure they'll keep working on it, and I hope they take these notes into consideration. I also noticed, and it was with some releif to see, that the tilt-shift is less pronounced (almost unnoticable) when you zoom all the way out. When you zoom in, it can be quite annoying, and I still hope there's an option to turn that off. Largely, though, I think it won't affect the way I play the game. The game feels very much like playing a SimCity, and while they have UI issues and features that need to be completed, it's definitely SimCity when you're laying out zones and plopping city services. On the Sunday play, I skipped right over the tutorial and started looking around at different options. I asked where the RCI indicator was, and apparently it didn't make it into the Alpha build, but it will be available. I played with the data layers available with a variety of buildings, like water towers, sewage plants, fire departments, police, power, etc. The layers are very satisfying and really just felt like an update of the SC4 data layers. I liked the look and feel of them considerably. I put down a shuttle bus depot, which didn't really seem to do much. I think it was still under development. I tried to grow the city as well, but without an RCI indicator, it was hard to feel very driven to do that, or know what was needed. My main queues were from businesses complaining about a lack of citizens, and citizens complaining their relatives couldn't move in. None of my play time involved resource gathering or sharing on the open market, and so it felt very much like a SimCity game. The Sunday play just confirmed that it can be fun to play and feel like a SimCity game, but it has a long ways to go before it's done. I talked at length with Michael about my concerns; probably monopolizing 45 or more minutes of his time. Michael's a genuine and authentic person who really cares about SimCity and is truly excited about it. He has a lot of energy and will talk your ear off, which helps when your waiting for someone to finish the 20 minute demo so you can have a turn. My main concern was about SimCity being online, and not being able to ever play a single player game the way I want to. The fact that this new release turns the game into SimCity + ResourceTycoon instead of just SimCity, and that I find that unpallatable. My basic scenario is playing a region solo and exhausting the coal supply. At that moment in thier current vision of the game, I'm forced to do one of two things: a) buy from the market, which means my game is no longer uninfluenced by others, or b) switch to another power source. Option a is just attrocious to me, and option b is really a departure for the series. SimCity has never been about limiting your play choices, and here, because of the market, people dedicated to playing on their own will be locked out of a game option once their coal is depleted. Michael didn't really have a solution to this scenario that I found acceptable. It was either maybe you'll enjoy trading with people once you try it, or that running out of coal is a realistic situation. I also brought up my concerns about being reliant on EA servers, especially with their stated policy of shutting down servers when they are at 1% of peak usage. Michaels answer to this was that they are committed to the game and will be around for a long while. That SimCity is the groundwork like the first release of SC4 was groundwork, and they will be adding more and adding mods down the line. The game is going to have support for the forseable future. That's nice to hear, but it's basically just promises, and while I trust and believe in everyone at Maxis, EA is their keeper and if EA decides to shut down the servers, there won't be much Maxis can do about it. My other concern was that I had yet to see a city with a river running through it. Michael confirmed that they were already in the game, as are bridges, and all the things you'd expect with rivers. This led to a conversation about terrain. The guys at Maxis are working really hard to make sure that there will be a ton of variety of terrain available at launch. This is quite satisfactory to me, as I never really used terraforming in SC4. If there's sufficient variability in what's offered out of the gate, it's unlikely I'll miss terraforming at all. At this point my recommendation is, if you don't have concerns about online play or don't feel that resource management is going to detract from your enjoyment of a city builder, then you should get the game. It is SimCity, and it is fun, and I think it will only get better by release. For my part, I just cannot see myself paying full price for the game with the online issues I stated above. I look forward to the Beta, staying open minded, and hoping they can change my mind, but as it stands now, I'll get it on sale at around the 10 dollar price point, whether that's in 6 months or 3 years is of little consequence. I've waited 10 years for the sequel of my dreams, and I may have to wait another 10. Edit: Removed USGS thing entirely. It kept confusing people. There is no terraforming, period.
  10. Here here! SimCity 4 with the Glassbox Engine! I was just thinking that.
  11. CitiesXL 2012 in selling for 10 bucks on Steam for the next ... 21 hours. I only ever played the online beta of CitiesXL, so needless to say, I'm a little gun shy. Three questions: Is CitiesXL 2012 a good single player city builder? Is it worth 10 bucks? Anyone know if it's been offered cheaper than this on Steam before? I'll plus up any responses that actually answer all three questions. Thanks for the input.
  12. Someone on the SimCity forum (iEatRazorz) posted a link to rockpapershotgun about EA forum bans leading to the inability to play Origin games. http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/12/05/ea-origin-bans-update-edition/ Pretty startling. This should be reason enough for everyone to demand a fully offline mode for the new SimCity.
  13. That's good input. I install SC4 Deluxe the hard way right now. SC4 Install w/ CD Key SC4 Rushhour Install w/ CD Key I also have a CD with all the released patches and the mods I like to use. I keep the "fixed" exe on there too that lets me start the game without a CD. That's a huge hassle to get setup on a new computer though. I've often considered buying a digital version to avoid all this hassle. Having paid premium for both SC4 and Rushhour, though, I'm waiting until SC4 Deluxe is on a Super Steam Sale before picking it up. I had not considered, although it's obvious now, that the digital version would not be need a no CD fix. This information makes owning the digital version even more enticing. Am I understanding correctly though? If you burn the installed digital version to a CD you can then copy it to any computer, even one not running the digital distribution software, and it will still work? That doesn't seem right, or at least, it doesn't seem like it should be allowed or work. I guess I'll also echo brynhyfryd's question: Which digital version are you referring to?
  14. Just to be clear, my issue with online also has nothing to do with the distribution, and everything to do with the online marketplace. I don't want my single player games affected in anyway by anyone else, as that kind of activity is antithetical to single player.