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SimCity Modder Tells Us Offline Regional Play Easily Done

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final nails on the coffin fo online lies

 

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/03/16/simcity-modder-tells-us-offline-regional-play-easily-done/

 

it should be very easy for anyone to do full offline mode with multiregion support and saves!

 

the online is not salvageable! there is no there there. its all fake and extremely badly done!

 

servers not doing any calculations, our computers are, they just passing data around and handling saves and doing things like leaderboard and checking for cheats which are disabled right now. there is no real reason for them to be clogged as they are except for extremely bad design and implementation!

 

so bad design, bad implementation, bad use of sql db and saves from too many clients is what bogging them down

 

here think about it so the client says im city y sending city n 2 fire trucks, up to 20 minutes later when it syncs with the server that information is written to some sql db database ok along with a snapshot of your city lets call it, then the other client city n when it syncs with the server gets that information. by now up to 40 minutes have passed, up to 20 for u and up to 20 for them. the stuff is not passed realtime. the server is bogged down doing the saves, the database recording of all the stuff being passed around and the replies which is what everyone else is passing your city. from what has been posted because of delays hours could pass before a request / response reaches the destination because they are being saturated due to saves, most likely they are not compressing all the json they are passing around. anyways city n is finally told when it syncs up next that city y sent u 2 fire trucks. that  is why things not working, cause of the delay, cause all the stuff being sent to server needlessly. in most games none of this stuff put to database. the information is sent to the server using udp, not tcp like they are doing and the server passes along to all the live clients real time just doing inmemory no file system database. you drop connection it aint sent to u when u later join. so those fire trucks when it arrives there is no longer a fire, but its not just firetruck it also explains why other stuff passed around is not getting in time, sure it may get there, but perhaps hours later, by then the other parties are most like long gone. anyways most of this stuff presently disabled anyways.

 

so its a mess, that they cant fix, well unless they redesign and rewrite the client / server, ect.

 

i guess they are good at art, sound, models, 3d, telling lies, ect but not at client server and creating game client/server for multiplayer.

 

anyways i encourage people to read, people within maxis are leaking bigtime and the source is partially out, so we cant see the implementation of lots of stuff but we can see the javascript that coordinates its!

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final nails on the coffin

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/03/16/simcity-modder-tells-us-offline-regional-play-easily-done/

 

servers not doing any calculations, our computers are, they just passing data around. no reason for them to be clogged!

 

bad mysql and saves from too many clients is what bogging them down

 

so the client says im sending city n 2 fire trucks the server gets that information (not even realtime, could be up to hours later) and tells city n city y sent u 2 fire trucks. that  is why things not working, cause of the delay, u send firetruck but they dont see it, they would perhaps even hours later, it they were still online, but by then the fire is out in the other city. its a mess of mysql config being used for saves ouch!

 

Rock,paper,shotgun is taking it hard to EA.  The EA/Maxis/SC2013 DRM onion has so many layers.  And there are really smart people out there NOT working for corporate.

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  • Original Poster
  • they've taken it hard to fans

     

    im almost $85  in hole

     

    $80 for game and the bastards charged me almost $5 for tax

     

    worse you do not know how may times people have not been able to connect, and have had to wait long hours or go to another server and restart, abandoning their earlier cities. then iven if you can reconnect at a later time many people have complained about constantly not being able to access their city or their city rollback. even when they have done upgrade number people have complained theyve lost either access to their city, it was no longer there, or it was rollbed back. and worse is coming years down the road when servers are turned off and everyone loses everything

     

    so full offline mode with local saves is so very important so we can have our cities and continues to play like in past simcities

     

    anyways im hopefully that ea/maxis will see writing on wall. they will soon react. and its either let an offline mode mode exist or sadly they will try to stamp it out and call out the laywers on the poor people that are trying to save them from the self inflicted wounds. so far glassbox as described in all those videos and posts is not to be found, its not in client and its not in servers. what is there is very simple. like it was cooked together at the last minute. sure the support behind it is sort of there, but the logic the workflow that controls the supporting apis is so lame. we can see it as the sims run around so dumbly. and its not because it would require lots of processing by client or by server, its that they didnt write the code

     

    sure they did amazing sounds, video, 3d engine, but the client/server business logic as it were, they should have hired people with business application experience. or at least people who create game servers, which i think would have been better. since none of this stuff has to be put to database. it can be done like most first shooter games all in memory, using even udp and realtime. i mean most fts pass much more stuff and have lots more players. this is what up to 16 player per region and they may not be all online. so at worse 16 at best 1 and again its all done by your client all you get is something that is passed long ago and they get something others pass to them long ago.

     

    and as you see the servers really are not creating persistent world anyways since they keep losing stuff since they are saturated, i guess they flush older stuff from databases before they eat up all the storage with stale messages because people abandoned city, or too many players per server, ect. most likely abandoned city since they counldnt connect because not enough database connections!

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    final nails on the coffin fo online lies

     

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/03/16/simcity-modder-tells-us-offline-regional-play-easily-done/

     

    it should be very easy for anyone to do full offline mode with multiregion support and saves!

     

    the online is not salvageable! there is no there there. its all fake and extremely badly done!

     

    servers not doing any calculations, our computers are, they just passing data around and handling saves and doing things like leaderboard and checking for cheats which are disabled right now. there is no real reason for them to be clogged as they are except for extremely bad design and implementation!

     

    so bad design, bad implementation, bad use of sql db and saves from too many clients is what bogging them down

     

    here think about it so the client says im city y sending city n 2 fire trucks, up to 20 minutes later when it syncs with the server that information is written to some sql db database ok along with a snapshot of your city lets call it, then the other client city n when it syncs with the server gets that information. by now up to 40 minutes have passed, up to 20 for u and up to 20 for them. the stuff is not passed realtime. the server is bogged down doing the saves, the database recording of all the stuff being passed around and the replies which is what everyone else is passing your city. from what has been posted because of delays hours could pass before a request / response reaches the destination because they are being saturated due to saves, most likely they are not compressing all the json they are passing around. anyways city n is finally told when it syncs up next that city y sent u 2 fire trucks. that  is why things not working, cause of the delay, cause all the stuff being sent to server needlessly. in most games none of this stuff put to database. the information is sent to the server using udp, not tcp like they are doing and the server passes along to all the live clients real time just doing inmemory no file system database. you drop connection it aint sent to u when u later join. so those fire trucks when it arrives there is no longer a fire, but its not just firetruck it also explains why other stuff passed around is not getting in time, sure it may get there, but perhaps hours later, by then the other parties are most like long gone. anyways most of this stuff presently disabled anyways.

     

    so its a mess, that they cant fix, well unless they redesign and rewrite the client / server, ect.

     

    i guess they are good at art, sound, models, 3d, telling lies, ect but not at client server and creating game client/server for multiplayer.

     

    anyways i encourage people to read, people within maxis are leaking bigtime and the source is partially out, so we cant see the implementation of lots of stuff but we can see the javascript that coordinates its!

     

     

    All this is making me wonder why they can't just maintain a simple database, of all the information passing back and forth between cities.  Going back to my idea, of perspectives, they could store all that data between perspectives their.  IE, the district perspective would have all the information about cities and so forth being passed around now, except it would all be local.  You would have one more perspective which would be the region perspective, which would kind of be the ultimate traffic cop between perspectives, and then they could put that mode online.  Sigh, if only they had thought this through from the beginning.

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  • Original Poster
  • read the article the maxis insider (mole) says exactly what the problem is.

     

    in short because of the number of people they are forcing on to a single!

     

    they are saturating the servers. all those database writes are expensive and really not needed.

     

    its mostly there for their cheat / data mining / leaderboards / achievement engines which are off right now anyways

     

    still they recording all the stuff u will be sending up and then your city state and then they have to query the database for all the stuff being passed to u from the last time others where synced

     

    also they poorly designed and implement server side stuff and the sql db not optimized for how its being used.

     

    think about it how many people hitting one of those clouds. how many people having connection problems. ect those connection problems have more to do with not being able to get database connection. and those servers from what people are saying is running java and if u know anything about java and sql is that it can eat a lot of memory to bring in the result sets into memory to then process them. the database engine poorly utilized. anyways there is really no easy fix. and offline mode is just around the corner ;)

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    Alright, RPS seems to have found the use of journalism, as opposed to reporting. Interesting. And ofcourse EA follows the Big Lie doctrine

     

    If there ever was any doubt on EA's desdain on customers, it should be clear now. It is almost Orwellian at this point. 

     

     

    Back to the practical realities though, there is a very interesting issue coming up soon, the issue of who decides what modding is and what sort of modding is allowed versus what is capable by strict design and allowed by means of developer studio messaging. 

     

    EA has a new sticky, obfuscing hacking and modding in an attempt towards maintaining control over what customers are allowed to do and what they are not allowed to do, with clear disregard for a) design principles of the product and b) existing statements by Maxis staff on the topic, and above all that they are taking - once again - an undefined completely arbitrary angle.

     

    Maxis:

    we have designed SC2013 to make full use of the power of moddability.

    we encourage modding without limits.

    nobody is going to get banned for modding the product.

    we are fully aware of the initiatives popping up in regards to modding, and have no issues with it.

     

    EA:

    hacking is disallowed, modding is allowed, but we decide on a case by case basis whether we like it or not so if we do not like what you do and you live in the US you are going to face severe issues. 

    furthermore any talking about it is going to get you banned arbitrarily.

    you have no rights, so stfu and buy everything you make and be enthusiastic about us letting you buy in the first place.

     

    Ofcourse I am describing it with a bit of a pun, but in essence this is what it boils down to. 

     

     

    It is indeed stupendously easy to mod the game to enable local saving and caching, to introduce offline play with full regional support, to seperate the game from Origin authentication for offline play, to enable already existing support for larger maps and regions, to enable custom content exchanges and custom content as well as user created feature sets. Even more interestingly, it seems even possible already to replace algorithems for a wide variety of connected feature elements, to completely rewrite coding dependancies and so forth. 

     

    And Maxis states explicitly that it is allowed. But EA now states that only they decide, without rules or even regulations, entirely arbitrarily and conditionally (so much for the freedom then of modders to talk about the game according to their own opinions or even engage in such conversations). 

     

    Considering EA's history in terms of pursuing arbitrary methods well beyond the scope of EA's forums and platforms, personally I would advise modders to be extremely careful. It is dancing on the edge of a knife really. 

     

    Either way, EA persists in the Big Lie methodologies. I find it utterly remarkable that people still buy from them. More importantly, I find it rather intruiging to still see investor relations get suckered in to a business format which really does not generate wealth, but only redistributes and concentrates (anyone familiar with EA's quarterlies and a bit of related skills will be able to deduce the trends quite quickly, suffice to say that increasingly EA's financial functioning is becoming that of a pyramid scheme). It is a business and investment format which has severe historic issues with maintaining even short cycle management, and which is well proven to be incompatible with sustainable growth and gain. In simple terms, it is a format which is incredibly vulnerable to what elsewhere is known as the hit & run bonus & pyramid culture. 

     

    I can't say I blame educational institutes increasingly taking EA has a research point for various sciences, none sofar though with any positive connotation. At this rate the company is going to have to invest in partner relations for commissioned research as well, as an extension of influencing strategies. 

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    Either way, EA persists in the Big Lie methodologies. I find it utterly remarkable that people still buy from them. More importantly, I find it rather intruiging to still see investor relations get suckered in to a business format which really does not generate wealth, but only redistributes and concentrates (anyone familiar with EA's quarterlies and a bit of related skills will be able to deduce the trends quite quickly, suffice to say that increasingly EA's financial functioning is becoming that of a pyramid scheme). It is a business and investment format which has severe historic issues with maintaining even short cycle management, and which is well proven to be incompatible with sustainable growth and gain. In simple terms, it is a format which is incredibly vulnerable to what elsewhere is known as the hit & run bonus & pyramid culture. 

     

    No worries when EA goes bankrupt (if it is in some kind of unstable pyramid scheme), the US government will bail them out because we. can't. have. major. corporate. bankruptcies.

     

    It's utterly depressing that bad capitalism is rewarded...

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    But ofcourse bad capitalism is rewarded. That is how our system functions, because we are indoctrinated to believe in the need to believe, without even validating the requirements for the functioning of our systems. Look at our ideologies. I'm a Republican, I am a strong advocate of principles of liberalism. But I recognise that what was theory has become dogma and in many ways even religion. We refuse to guard ourselves against the vulnerabilities of human behaviour, not because we find out that it is not necessary, but because it is evil to even consider talking about historically proven necessities of buffering against excesses in behaviour. 

     

    Our society rewards excessive behaviour that thrives on throwing the very principle of "first do no harm" out of the window. We do not look for consequences, we do not look for dependancies, we do not look beyond the current road (not to mention a horizon). It is about money, here and now, regardless of the cost for ourselves even in the long run. 

     

    As long as that form of societal organisation persists, EA will not go bankrupt. It will continue to milk short cycle management at the expense of that which really keeps it alive. Customers, employees, citizens, people. This is our reality. 

     

    We as humans always want to believe, simple as that. 

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    More on topic though, I realise it was a bit of a joke, but I would not count on such a scenario actually being unrealistic. In our country it is incredibly easy to either lure or force governance in to using the work of citizens to pay for the mistakes or abuse by a select few. Even on a state or city level, it is so easy to force councils or a state government in to shelling out money, giving easy tax deals and so forth with the magic of completely intangible and unrealistic promises of employing people and generating income, promises which are never kept. 

     

    Personally I find the entire situation concerning SC2013 still extremely interesting. A game well made for the given directives and targets (yes, that is different from a good and fully functioning game - definitions are always relative to interests), well tailored to current market trends, very much in supporting service of actively engaged upon strategic goals. Something which really should function as a textbook case of how to work towards strategic goals on an industry level. Yet EA manages to completely bork it, step by step. And really the only instrument they maintain is that of the beforementioned Big Lie doctrine. The way things continue to unfold is almost hilarious, yet it is also painful.

     

    I would not wish to be a maxis non-management and non-marketing staff member contemplating his or her future career prospects, or even dreams of how amazing it is to design games and be (part of something) awesome. I honestly feel dire sympathy for them. 

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    Either way, EA persists in the Big Lie methodologies. I find it utterly remarkable that people still buy from them. More importantly, I find it rather intruiging to still see investor relations get suckered in to a business format which really does not generate wealth, but only redistributes and concentrates (anyone familiar with EA's quarterlies and a bit of related skills will be able to deduce the trends quite quickly, suffice to say that increasingly EA's financial functioning is becoming that of a pyramid scheme). It is a business and investment format which has severe historic issues with maintaining even short cycle management, and which is well proven to be incompatible with sustainable growth and gain. In simple terms, it is a format which is incredibly vulnerable to what elsewhere is known as the hit & run bonus & pyramid culture. 

     

    No worries when EA goes bankrupt (if it is in some kind of unstable pyramid scheme), the US government will bail them out because we. can't. have. major. corporate. bankruptcies.

     

    It's utterly depressing that bad capitalism is rewarded...

    Would they really bail them out? They're not nearly as big as some of the more supposedly important companies like banks and car manufacturers. Hell, THQ filed for bankruptcy late last year.

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    From my experience programming client server applications. It is absolutely unnecessary for an application to be required to run only via internet connection. Surely unless you programmed that application in that manner. These days for online play you can usually just send thin messages to all the nodes in a session. Since the application is hosted on the end user machine the only processing necessary on the server side is collecting and producing statistical reports(leader boards). If the applications attempts to reach the server and fails due to internet connectivity then offline saving to the local device(computer) is an option until there is connectivity. Upon connectivity offline data can be sent not as a whole but in parts dependent on how offline storage was structured back to the server for later update.

     

    In the case of trading same applies, if connectivity fails:

     

    • Region 1
      • Player[1]
      • Player[2]
      • Player[3]
        • Upon completed trade, store both server side and client side trade details (maybe workers from another city)
        • keep steady stream of import/export
        • Loses internet
        • locally keep steady stream of import/export
        • Store data offline
        • Restored internet
        • notify player "your city needs to provide updates to the other cities in your region"
        • asynchronos update the important stuff
        • As we wind down return play to normal
        • For the other cities who did not lose internet... maintain steady stream of import/export and repeat the same
      • ......
      • Player[x]

     

    I am 100% with the developers/programmers/designers because when management tell you this is how it is going to be, to keep your job you have to shutup, bite you tongue and lip and hack away at code.  :no:


      Edited by LeakyLoop  

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    How is this not a bigger topic on this forum?  Have the users here gone into full on ostrich mode (head in the sand) and just don't want to admit EA lied to everyone about the server needing to handle X amount of calculations?  How about that GlassBox runs the agent simulation on a single thread?  Yeah I am sure that was built "from the ground up" right?

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    This is both exciting and rather frustrating; bigger cities, highways and terraforming are merely a few moved files and pieces of changed code away. I am truly lost why EA/Maxis have issued such a stripped down game.

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    This is both exciting and rather frustrating; bigger cities, highways and terraforming are merely a few moved files and pieces of changed code away. I am truly lost why EA/Maxis have issued such a stripped down game.

     

    Because it pays more to release a shell game and sell split off elements down the road again and again and again to large volumes to users seeking to expand the shell game in to the full game the company designed and specified before cutting it up. There's a few variations on the theme, but this is how our industry has dealt with the introduction of the microtransactions concept. 

     

    Think about, look at it from an angle of psychology but also of business development. It is cheaper, simpler, presents much more room for tailoring to the largest possible markets and constantly uses the human desires to believe and to complete. 

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