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Cities XL website - first impressions

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#1 Ephemeron

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 01:37 PM

I'm not one for long introductions, so I'll just say I used to be a member of www.citiesxl.com, (though not sure if I stll am) and I'd like to share my thoughts on the new site.

My first thoughts: The homepage has a big button saying "What is CitiesXL? Click here", as if people are too dumb to click the link on the toolbar above. News headlines are displayed on the home page, and twice on the community page. There are two big buttons on the community page linking you to other pages; these are pointless in my opinion. Aside from that, the videos are quite nice.

The whole site screams redundant linking. It looks like a flashy website with very little actual content. But where are the forums? The login page is only for the beta. The site is designed to make people want to buy the game, and the forums were full of people complaining, and that might tarnish the game's image. Does that mean the forums are gone? In that case I've lost everything I spent time posting. If any other CXL forum members are reading this, you know who you are, I had a good time complaining with you.

If anyone from Monte Cristo is reading this, I'd like to know if my speculations are true. There's nowhere in that site where you can ask questions.



#2 JakeMD

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 05:42 PM

You will find out soon enough, my friend

ahhhh i'm busy. Also swat-medic.

#3 KeanoManu

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 05:23 AM

Most information on the site are about the stupid and totally unnecessary Planet Offer too. There's more information about that than there is about the actual game.

I also found it odd that the forum was gone and my login didn't work. Never cared about trying to re-register and it seems from what you said that i saved 10 minutes or so then if it's beta-only.
Your theory about why the forums are gone seems like a very good one. If Average Joe would find out the truth about the stupid and totally unnecessary Planet Offer they will struggle to get more than 10 persons to subscribe to the crap. But if they hide the truth and try to screw a couple of guys of their money they may be able to get maybe 100 subscriptions (if they're lucky).
Way too much though, such a greedy company doesn't deserve that many. Hopefully the financial crisis can give us something good and take down a greedy and very unprofessional company.

#4 soldyne

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 05:32 AM

I too noticed that the forums are missing. I posted the same kind of topic on MMORPG.com and Gamefaqs.com but it seems like there are very few people who actually care...

I only got 1 response from a person who noticed too. perhaps everyone else is just too angry with MC for deleting their accounts and trashing their discussions they want nothing more to do with MC. I had high hopes for this game, but when they blatantly delete all the users accounts with no warning or message to the public they are basically saying "we no longer care what you think, go away". and that is exactly what people will do...

very sad really...

#5 JakeMD

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 05:38 AM

Remember, that as beta testers you had beta accounts. The forums were put in so you could communicate about the beta and help MC work out the bugs, as well as test their online play.

In no way was it to provide a community for you to talk about the game casually like you will be doing here. They took the forums offline, because they don't need the forums.


ahhhh i'm busy. Also swat-medic.

#6 KeanoManu

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 07:51 AM

swat: No. we're not talking about the beta-forum. We talk about our accounts at the general forum they had. That forum seems to be gone.

#7 soldyne

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 08:22 AM

thank you for unlocking the thread SWAT, it is appreciated.

now what we need is a way to air our concerns to Monte Cristo. without an official forum or any official way to contact MC how are they going to know what we think. this implies that they don't want to know what we think.

also, an official forum gives people a place to discuss strategies, post FAQs and do research for technical issues they are experiencing with the game.

now that I think about it, perhaps MC is still in the process of converting the old site to the new site. perhaps migrating all the user accounts and old forums is time consuming. I will give MC the benefit of the doubt and hope that eventually the old forums and accounts will be restored. maybe they are working on them right now...

#8 Dirktator

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 09:53 AM

Hey guys, let's wait for an official statement from Monte Cristo. These must be pretty busy and hectic days for them, so let's cut them a little slack. They have always been attentive to the community, and I don't see any reason why that would change. Again, let's just chill for a bit and wait... Thanks all!

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#9 YannickSHE

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 05:27 PM

I love the website so far. It's everything I have ever dreamed of. I have purchased my digital download, limited edition, I will definitely pay the $18USD for the first 3 months, and I wil definitely become active on that website for about 1 year. I won't sleep for the first week, and never have I been that excited for a release of game/movie/trailer/music etc etc ... I just cannot wait, all I'm waiting for now is the digital file download, the opening of the planet offer payments, and I just bought a brand new comp with latest latest powerful requirements.

I am ready, bring it on.

#10 Mr_Maison

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 05:46 PM

Originally posted by: YannickMtl
I love the website so far. It's everything I have ever dreamed of. I have purchased my digital download, limited edition, I will definitely pay the $18USD for the first 3 months, and I wil definitely become active on that website for about 1 year. I won't sleep for the first week, and never have I been that excited for a release of game/movie/trailer/music etc etc ... I just cannot wait, all I'm waiting for now is the digital file download, the opening of the planet offer payments, and I just bought a brand new comp with latest latest powerful requirements.

I am ready, bring it on.


I hope you keep posting. It will be interesting to hear your impressions.



#11 Mathew_MC

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 01:05 AM


Hi everyone,

Thank you for the feedback on the website.

True, the official www.citiesxl.com website does not have forums, as its community focus will be on the web community pages (profile page, city journals...). But that certainly doesn't mean we are moving away from the community, far from it. We'll be more than ever present on the different fan sites and forums, especially Simtropolis for the English speaking community.

The Simtropolis team is doing a great job and I'm really looking forward for the collaboration we can have with the community here on different aspects of the game, including custom content and such.

#12 gabry85

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 04:27 AM

As someone said in the beta forum:

How can you have a community based MMO game without a forum?!


Whoops.


#13 JakeMD

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 05:09 AM

The forums will be here, for the most part.

True, the official www.citiesxl.com website does not have forums, as its community focus will be on the web community pages (profile page, city journals...). But that certainly doesn't mean we are moving away from the community, far from it. We'll be more than ever present on the different fan sites and forums, especially Simtropolis for the English speaking community.


ahhhh i'm busy. Also swat-medic.

#14 doodlea21

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 05:28 AM

*sigh* Time to move on, I guess. And whilst we still have forums on Simtropolis and other fan-sites, the official forum on citiesxl.com was where people did most of their complaining - er, I mean contributing. Yes, I am willing to accept the future of CXL without a public forum. But it would be nice to have all the old threads archived and able to view as a sort of historical reference.


#15 soldyne

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 05:45 AM

I am just a little concerned that it sounds as if MC is making Simtropolis do all the work as far as maintaining an official forum. it sounds like MC is saying we can make this third party free site do all the work for us and we don't have to spend the time or money to maintain our own forum. from an economic perspective it sounds like a good deal, but, really, it just seems like MC is taking advantage of Simtropolis.

however, for all we know, MC and Dirk made a deal of some kind. perhaps MC is donating some amount of money to simtrop in order to main a Cities XL forum. I would be OK with that I guess. MC can concentrate on other things and save a little money and Simtrop can do what it does best; maintain one of the best communities on the net. as long as MC has a presence here (as we have seen in this thread already) then I guess it is just as good as an official forum.

as far as the rest of cities xl page is concerned I guess it looks OK. I don't own the game nor have a beta account so I can't sign in and access the community pages, or maybe there is just nothing there yet to see. only time will tell how the main site will grow. I am still going to purchase the game when it is released in North America. Probably after October when I have a new comp build.

#16 crazychickensc12

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 08:05 AM

That's just better for us actually, because ST like it did with SC4 will become HUGE again with CXL and it will bring a lot of new members into the ST community. I'm sure along with those new members will be loads of Custom content creations and tons of new ideas..Im excited!

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#17 Dirktator

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 10:22 AM

Originally posted by: soldyne
I am just a little concerned that it sounds as if MC is making Simtropolis do all the work as far as maintaining an official forum. it sounds like MC is saying we can make this third party free site do all the work for us and we don't have to spend the time or money to maintain our own forum. from an economic perspective it sounds like a good deal, but, really, it just seems like MC is taking advantage of Simtropolis.

however, for all we know, MC and Dirk made a deal of some kind. perhaps MC is donating some amount of money to simtrop in order to main a Cities XL forum. I would be OK with that I guess. MC can concentrate on other things and save a little money and Simtrop can do what it does best; maintain one of the best communities on the net. as long as MC has a presence here (as we have seen in this thread already) then I guess it is just as good as an official forum.


Well, Simtropolis would be providing a Cities XL forum in any event, just like we did for previous city building games, after all, we are a community for city building gamers (a rather modest niche in the grand scheme of gaming, to be sure).

So, let's be clear, there is no binding business agreement between Monte Cristo and Simtropolis.

Yes, we are presently involved with an affiliate program for selling pre-orders of Cities XL through Metaboli on gamesplanet.com, whereby we receive a small referral commission for any sales that we might generate.  The affiliate program is not exclusive to us.

We have always accommodated the developers here on our forum, and we'll continue to do so.  I'm pleased to see a trend with game developers reaching out more to their fan communities these days, I think it benefits everyone in the end.

We'll continue to do what we've always done; cover city building games!


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#18 JakeMD

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 10:35 AM

The duckymaster has spoken!

Perhaps CXL will open a forum once again. For now, this should do just fine

ahhhh i'm busy. Also swat-medic.

#19 Mr_Maison

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 06:03 PM

Dirk I love this site and this community. I have for years.

For the love of city builder fans (particularly SC4) and especially this site, I don't know if using your name, and this site in the same sentence with MC is a good idea. I would shy away. Not telling you what to do though. Just my opinion.


#20 kiwispanker

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 06:11 PM

just a little rant: i was seeing if i could pre-order the game internationally, but being an American expat in S. Korea, the site does not accept my US visa or mastercard.

anyways, after playing the demo, i'm sure that i WON'T be playing this game.

#21 edcase2k4-thugangel1983

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Posted 05 September 2009 - 11:23 AM

the website wasn't just filled with complaining. okay, so perhaps the last six months have seen a true downfall of the community that once peaked there, but before that it was great participating there. it was filled with so many good discussions full of concepts being developed through collaboration of our ideas, and other discussions about many other aspects of game development and developers. manu of us had not only contributed to discussions, but like myself, had written some quite comprehensive articles on the website forums.

it was quite rude and disrespectful to simple delete our accounts and the forums without any prior warning. well, i'm not bitter... but it does kind of feel like it was all for nothing. MC no longer care about all that we contributed through the good times.

it is also annoying and sad that nothing can be retrived or preserved from the forums on the website.


#22 Cleaner475

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Posted 05 September 2009 - 01:14 PM

Originally posted by: edcase2k4-thugangel1983
the website wasn't just filled with complaining. okay, so perhaps the last six months have seen a true downfall of the community that once peaked there, but before that it was great participating there. it was filled with so many good discussions full of concepts being developed through collaboration of our ideas, and other discussions about many other aspects of game development and developers. manu of us had not only contributed to discussions, but like myself, had written some quite comprehensive articles on the website forums.

it was quite rude and disrespectful to simple delete our accounts and the forums without any prior warning. well, i'm not bitter... but it does kind of feel like it was all for nothing. MC no longer care about all that we contributed through the good times.

it is also annoying and sad that nothing can be retrived or preserved from the forums on the website.


I agree - To be honest I don't see how it could have gone so wrong with all the support and feedback the SC4 and CityLife community have given MC
If the game does turn out to be really good then I'll eat my words

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#23 Ephemeron

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 01:50 AM

Originally posted by: edcase2k4-thugangel1983
the website wasn't just filled with complaining. okay, so perhaps the last six months have seen a true downfall of the community that once peaked there, but before that it was great participating there. it was filled with so many good discussions full of concepts being developed through collaboration of our ideas, and other discussions about many other aspects of game development and developers. many of us had not only contributed to discussions, but like myself, had written some quite comprehensive articles on the website forums.

it was quite rude and disrespectful to simple delete our accounts and the forums without any prior warning. well, i'm not bitter... but it does kind of feel like it was all for nothing. MC no longer care about all that we contributed through the good times.

it is also annoying and sad that nothing can be retrived or preserved from the forums on the website.


I felt just the same way when the forums disappeared. I don't want to feel like everything I posted is a waste of time. So don't worry, you will see those threads again. Luckily, I have found out about Google's cached pages, and I have made an archive of some of our best threads. Besides the major complainng threads, I included a lot of the great ideas threads, including the ol' concepts articles. Like you said, the Cities XL forums were not simply about complaining (though I couldn't live without the complaints threads - some of them had some great posts). I also included blog comments - interesting to see how people's opinions of Cities Unlimited/XL changed over time. In the end it will be accessible from this site as a historical reference. It will be part of city-builder history, and never forgottern.


#24 Craig-Abcvs

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 02:41 PM

Would you rather Monte Cristo spent their time and resources developing the game or having to deal with a forum full of complaints, negativity and rudeness?

#25 Loney

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 03:55 PM

Originally posted by: abcvs
Would you rather Monte Cristo spent their time and resources developing the game or having to deal with a forum full of complaints, negativity and rudeness?

Both. If they had not try to release a game with a useless MMO function and cram most of the mass transit options into their expensive planet offer, then they wouldn't have to deal with as much complaints.


#26 Craig-Abcvs

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 04:13 PM

Both.


Unfortunately that was not one of the choices available.   I am making an assumption, but I suspect that they chose to focus their attention on developing the game.

The reality is that for whatever reason, MC decided to remove their fourms... it does not take rocket science to work out why.

Simtropolis is happy to provide an alternative, and we welcome anyone here that understands that there are certain standards of behaviour that are expected of members on this site.

If the trolls and bashers think they can simply carpet bag their way over here to Simtropolis, set up their seige works, and carry on as they did on the CXL forums then they can seriously think again.

#27 buddybud

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 05:04 PM

Originally posted by: abcvs
Both.

If the trolls and bashers think they can simply carpet bag their way over here to Simtropolis, set up their seige works, and carry on as they did on the CXL forums then they can seriously think again.


Well we all know that their forums where trashed but in all honesty they hardly tried to deal with it. Then they closed the forums and the only link provided leads here.  What in Dog's name did you think would transpire with such an arrangement???? Seems to me if you blow off a couple thousand people and provide one sole link which just happens to lead exactly here......guess where they are going to show up. I didn't invite theses guys to the party.....it's obvious that the responsiblilty lies with mc, their direction, and the willingness of this fantastic website to take on the trouble. I love simtropolis but ya gotta ask who opened the door and invited the trolls in........thats what i think of their new site
I sincerely feel sorry for all the mods that are going to have to moderate this if things don't change pronto....hats off to ya all and thank you.


Buddybud



#28 LivingInThePast

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 05:43 PM

Still though, a lot of those complaints were legitimate,


Edited for derogatory bashing.
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#29 Craig-Abcvs

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 06:15 PM

Whatever happened on the CXL forums is Monte Cristo's business.

What happens on these forums is our business.   

I think the staff have made it very clear and explained enough times as to the behaviour that we expect.

If people continue to choose to post in an unacceptable manner they will simply find that their membership privledges may be limited or removed.     It is their choice.



#30 Attila464

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 06:34 PM

The way I see it the purpose of a forum before a games release is for feed back. If they didn't want to manage it that was fine, but there were thousands of pages of useful suggestion, and hundreds of good, productive members that put time and effort into their suggestions.

And if things got out of hand get a couple devoted members ask them to be mods and let the deleting begin. But the problem is MC ignored suggestions, they even ignored their own polls, in a poll asking whether peole supported the planet offer around 60% saind no they were not interested, and MC goes ahead and does planet offer. Now I'm not sure what MC was thinking when they did that, maybe there was some other poll or insight that led to this, but no indication of this was given, and almost all other suggestion was ignored. And if all they ever meant to do was give people the illusion of having a part in the development process then that's just another error by MC.

Once again the MC rep avoided the question of why they closed the forum. MC is having major problems with honesty; all their answers are always vague, when asked about singleplayer and mass transit they always say something slong the lines of "yes we appreciate yor concern and there will be a form of mass transit in the game" Its really agravting when you have to search for hours just to get an answer to a simple question, even if the answer won't please everyone be honest; the consquences for lying are greater then making a mistake.

MC can still turn this around but they seem to be ignoring their only way of gauging success, the customer. And every day the avoid a question, or ignore suggestions is another group of customers lost.