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  1. Anyone else lost interest?

    I think I really expected that the glassbox engine would be more fun to watch than it really is. I thought that I wouldn't care so much that the maps are smaller because so much more would be going on in the city that would make it seem more fun. But the small maps are really limiting my enjoyment (and I'm not even one to build up a city quickly). Honestly, I was bored during the betas I played in (I knew instinctively that something was missing, but didn't have enough time to discern just what the missing "it" factor was) . I thought that maybe it was the time limit that made me feel rushed and not enjoy the game. But now that I can play for as long as I want, I find that I still don't want to. And surprisingly, it's some of the smallest differences that are making me not like this new game as much as SC4. Things that I didn't think would matter, but somehow make the new simcity feel less alive and dynamic to me. For example: I really like how in SC4 you have the query tool and can hover it over random things in the city. "Oh look, that house has a modest swimming pool, but it's neighbor has a grand swimming pool." This probably is hardly even a feature, but I find that I really miss having it. I'd spend lots of time scrolling over my cities in SC4 and having fun just querying what was on the lots. It made me care more what kind of buildings were getting placed. In that same vein, I don't like the building query tool in the new simcity. It feels like it gives me way less information. A big challenge that I found fun in SC4 was putting down commercial zones and trying to get it from low customers to medium or high levels of customers. But the generic info. that I get when I query buildings in the new game makes me not care about the buildings. I don't even query them much anymore. In SC4 I would work hard to build up a certain section of my city and when that finally happened I'd feel so accomplished. I'd make certain buildings historical because I wanted to memorialize that victory. But in the new game, I can't imagine caring about any building that gets created enough to want to make sure I can keep it around (and I don't think that's an option even if I wanted to). I don't like the way that the game tracks time. Somehow, it feels like I'm playing the same day over and over again, even though I'm building my city and changing it. In SC4 (and past simcity games) there were actual days, months and years. I like how with data maps in SC4 you can trace back how the city was doing in certain aspects a year ago or five hundred years ago. And I feel so proud of cities that I've put in enough time in to have data going back five hundred years. In the new game, I can look at a myriad of maps to tell me how the city is doing at that exact moment, but there's no sense of progression with the game. Of creating a city with a history and wondering about its future. In SC4, I would use the photo capture feature to take pictures of my city at different stages of its development. And I love to go back through the photo albums and see how my cities as a whole (or even just certain sections of a city) have changed over time. Like, "wow, look how much things have changed in the last 75 years." There's no way to do this in the current game. I'm not as entertained by the new "in construction" animation for when buildings are created. I'm not sure I can explain it, but the new animation bores me. In SC4, I loved coming across a building that was being upgraded and watching as the building took shape and wondering how tall the final structure would be. B/c building density was not tied to the road type, seeing a skyscraper develop felt like a sign of what I was doing things right. B/c I could zone high density all I wanted to, but if I didn't have the population demand to support it I'd only get small buildings. But now, zone density is tied to the street type. So, in conjunction with the smaller map size, it's easier to build up a section of the city that generates enough demand to get taller buildings. I really like that you can add modules to buildings in the new simcity. But one thing I don't like is that there's no way to go backward. For example, in my current city I was looking at one of the data maps and saw that a bunch of kids in my city weren't going to school (despite having plenty of bus stops). So I added modules for more classrooms. But the number of students in school didn't go up. In SC4 I could use a slider to determine how many students the school could support. So if I made changes in my city that caused the population to go down in a certain area, I could go to that school and reduce the number of students it supported to save money. But in the new simcity, once the module is there, it's there. And since there are no more controlled saves, I can't see that adding more expensive modules was a waste of money and go back to a previous save and spend my money on something else. On the other hand, it's really necessary in the new game to have modules (instead of it just being a nice feature). B/c the maps are so small, you can't afford to waste space on building multiples of the same structure, like high schools. But this limits my play style. In SC4 I have a city on the largest map size and it really feels like a city, with different neighborhoods in it. For example, I have a section of the city where there are a lot of low wealth highrises and a school that's failing to keep up with demand and as a result has a low rating. But in another wealthier part of the city, there are private schools and the public schools have plenty of room for the student demand and are rated very highly. With the new simcity there would be no way to duplicate this scenario. I even miss the little soundbites that played in SC4 when you clicked on a building (for example, clicking on the private school versus clicking on a library). I'm sure there are more things I could point out. But it's not so much that the new simcity doesn't have all of these things (even though I do miss a lot of these features), b/c I expected the game to be very different from SC4. It's the fact that I don't feel like I've found an equivalent amount of fun details like those above in the new game. I thought that glassbox would make my cities feel more alive but it doesn't. Or maybe it would if glassbox wasn't the only thing the game had going for it to give it detail and realism.
  2. I pre-ordered from Amazon but am not sure if I'm going to cancel it. Unlike some others, my issue with the game is that I have a low-end laptop (I don't play a lot of computer games, just SC4 and The Sims 3 occasionally). So my laptop isn't powerful enough to run the game smoothly (as I found out during both beta tests). So I would have to upgrade my desktop or build a new one. And I'm not sure I want to make all of that investment just to play this game.
  3. Beta

    I pre-ordered a few weeks back through Amazon and participated in the first beta. However, I didn't get a new email with a key for the 2nd beta. But I contacted Amazon's customer service (using chat) and was able to get my beta key from them instantly. I love their customer service department (they've never failed me yet).
  4. SimCity Beta.

    Same here. I'm excited to play the game, watch the simulation and review the UI. But most importantly, I want to see how the game runs on my PC. Also, is everyone who signed up guaranteed a spot in the beta?
  5. New Screenshots

    It's nice to see some pics of what abandoned buildings look like (it's very post-apocalyptic). I'd also be interested in seeing some pics of how high wealth buildings change when a lower wealth class moves in.
  6. New Screenshots

    I love these filter options! I'm excited about playing around with those and changing the look of my cities depending on my mood.
  7. New Screenshots

    These are my favorite screenshots so far. Love the curvy roads and color palette. Every time I chose a favorite picture, something else new comes along. Can't wait to design my own cities.
  8. New Screenshots

    I love the sparse look of the grass around the factories. It seems appropriate (versus a neatly trimmed, perfectly green manicured lawn).
  9. Discussion about City Tile Size

    I get the impression that many here who play simcity do not also play The Sims. I've always liked both, so I think my perspective is a bit different. This new simcity seems like a blend between previous simcity titles and The Sims, and I'm excited about that aspect. It's like the best of both worlds. All of the sims will be actual simulation units, but I'll still be able to enjoy the macro city play (rather than zooming in to the household level). It's what I've always wished simcity was (I can understand why this is a reboot). So if smaller tiles are necessary to achieve this effect, I'm fine w/ that. Also, I never knew that other simcity players spent so much time in region view. For those who do, I can understand why not having cities touching could bother them. Personally, region view was just a means to get into each city, and I spent only seconds in this view before each game session. So I may be the only one who doesn't care that cities won't be physically connected. At least that's my position before getting a chance to play. But hopefully an expansion can bump up the tile size & allow for regions w/ physically connected cities. That way, more people can be happy.
  10. New Screenshots

    I actually like that aspect. I'd prefer a soft hillside landscape on the horizon to a city square floating in a blue grid/void. It's similar to what they do in The Sims 3.
  11. New Screenshots

    The change in sky color, depending on the time of day, looks really nice in these shots (esp. the sunrise/sunset). And the night scene looks better than in SC4, where I'd turned off the switching between day/night (b/c viewing the city at night limited my visibility so much).
  12. Snow/weather are services?

    It's good to know that the water system is theoretically, indefinitely sustainable. But I wonder how long it would take to use through an area's non-renewable resources like coal and oil. I'll definitely be relying on wind power for as long as I can.
  13. New Screenshots

    I find it fascinating that the population map can show which sims are at home, working, shopping, tourists and even homeless. I'm sure this can be attributed to Glassbox. The more details like this that come out, the more excited I am to play the game.
  14. New Screenshots

    I'm loving these new screenshots. To me, things look much more interesting in the new simcity at this close, zoomed in level. In SC4, I mostly play the game zoomed almost all the way out (unless the game auto zooms me in to deal w/ a fire or crowded street) b/c, though the buildings look fine, there doesn't seem to be any reason to get closer (since cars appear and disappear randomly and I know what I'm seeing is just a statistical representation). I might be the only one, but I feel like I'd spend much more time zoomed in close on the new simcity, just watching the city move around (ex. following sims, follwing garbage trucks, monitoring usage of bus stops, traffic jams at different times of day, etc.). B/c what I'd see zoomed in would have actual meaning and would merit paying attention to. And the buildings look fine to me. I don't think they look cartoony or bad. Many seem to think these buildings look worse than the ones in SC4. I disagree. But like I said, I've never, in all the years I've been playing the game, spent that much time studying the building details. On another note, I did enjoy running the query over building grounds and getting little pieces of info. about what was on the property (ex. grand swimming pool, modest swimming pool, signs, clotheslines, etc.). I hope the new game has fun details like this.
  15. New Screenshots

    I'd love to see some shots of the UI. For example, changing tax rates (once all of the proper city infrastructure buildings are in place).