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  1. Biggest Failure of CXL?

    Just that they were listening to the community in general. I was excited about this from the start, because I thought they would write the game spec directly from the suggestions they got from the players. They always say "we listened, we listened," but I don't see the evidence. They demonstrated the curved roads, and everyone oohed and aahed. There was some business about changing the width of the sidewalks. Big deal. Ever have that person who asks for your advice, then does the opposite? He looks like a jerk and you feel like a jerk. I feel that's kind of what happened. MC had no obligation to use our ideas. But then why ask? Why stir everyone? And then a few months ago, they spring the news that, guess what, it's an MMO! A feature that probably four people asked for. Everyone feared that was basically dooming the single player game, but we were assured that the single player game was solid. There was some kind of flashy graphic to illustrate it, too. Now it turns out, the MMO is the main focus, and the single player is tacked on and not even complete. Which brings us back to the question, why ask our opinion? Well, someone on a forum hocking their game is a spammer. Someone looking for suggestions is a savior. They knew they didn't have what it takes to keep up with SC4's modders, so they needed the modders on board. The modders are actually competition to MC. They provide tons of content for free, content that MC could otherwise charge for. They sure got the buzz they were looking for. I don't think they anticipated the backlash, though. Or did they... Jerome Gastaldi: If we were leaving out content from a soloable game, we could have a back lash. But we’re not going to do that. source: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2009/09/02/the-talk-of-the-town-cities-xls-jerome-gastaldi/ Was that a promise? Was anything they said on the old forums a promise? I don't know. A product in development can always change before completion. I do know this: I don't see any reason to believe anything this company says anymore.
  2. A challenge to the SC4 fanatics!

    Exactly, jsieczka. When I decide where to eat tonight, I think I'll compare the Whopper I can get at the Burger King down the street with a Quarter Pounder I got from McDonalds in 1987.
  3. The CitiesXL Plan - why not to dis Monte Cristo

    I like to pose solutions for problems, so how about this: MC will provide the game to me for free, along with all of the updates, for free. This will continue until I have what I feel is a full game. I promise to be reasonable. At that point, I will pay them. Something tells me MC won't go for this. It sounds reasonable to me, but then again MC probably thinks the planet offer is reasonable. Okay, here's another then. I will agree to pay the monthly fee provided I am informed what portion of my fees go to server upkeep and what portion goes into developing new features. The portion that goes toward new features will be considered an investment in the company and the game, and I will receive returns from MC on any profits that result from future game expansions. No? Alright... Okay, how about, you make a game that has a reasonable amount of features for a reasonable price, with no subscription needed. If features are missing like mass transit, that's fine. I understand deadlines. Reduce the price due to missing features. Then put together an impressive expansion pack, and charge me for it later. Still no? Well, don't say I didn't try.
  4. crime and disasters

    Originally posted by: USA_Pride I didn't think crime was well implemented in SC4. It never really seemed to make much of a difference whether or not I had police. This would be a great opportunity for CXL to improve on it. If I remember right, in the demo I don't think you had police, it was something different like "security" which seemed really odd.quote> Sure. I do feel it is fair to compare the games but I also do not feel that CXL should have been a clone. There was so much potential to add more depth, but they went more shallow instead. How much will you fund your police? Do you fund patrols or do they only respond to calls? Do you spend money to allow police officers to take their cop cars home and park them in front of their homes when off-duty (to promote a presence of police in that neighborhood and deter crime there)? How much corruption is in your police system? Perhaps they are not corrupt but undertrained? Will high crime in your city cause more security firms to go into business, thereby helping the commercial sector and creating jobs? Will that in turn reduce some of the crime? Eh, heck with it. Plop a police station. Game done.
  5. Why Not Delay the Release of CXL?

    There are most likely contracts involved with the publisher. You can push the date so many times as specified by the contract, but at a certain point either you go or they cancel it.
  6. Planet offer: Manipulating the trading market.

    Eliminating trade with your own cities would not solve the problem. If I have a friend who is going on vacation and will not be playing the game for a week, we can make a trade where he gives me all of his cash tokens for something insignificant, like 1 agriculture token. For every "tick" that I play the game, my city will get richer and richer as all of that money comes rolling in each "tick." But won't that bankrupt my friend? No. If he never plays during that week, no money will be deducted from his city. CXL boasts "persistent planets" but it does not have persistent cities, not really. You can make any sort of insane deals and it won't harm you at all while you are not playing.
  7. Simulation? Plop? Game? Where is the line drawn???

    I respectfully disagree with your assessment, specifically: Fourth are the “simulators”. These players are hardcore simulation fans and want to play the game as a simulation. They look at the cause and effects of all decisions and make them. Their cities are typically very realistic because they learn how the simulation works and try to emulate real world effects. Now there may be crossover into all these areas but I really believe MC is targeting the fourth group on this list. I feel you have it exactly backwards. I feel this game has little to no simulation at all. All you need to do is figure out which building the game wants you to plop, then plop it. Some red circles turn green, and then you do it again. The things you do in your city have no effect beyond, yes, they liked that--no, they didn't like that. I mean, CXL uses game-board tokens for goodness sake. The rules of the "simulation" and the economic model are arbitrary, similar to the rules of a board game, rather than based on anything you would see in the real world. The program of the game contains functions which are named in ways that suggest they were considered by the programmers to basically be a magic formula or a fake. Come on. There is no crime, health, or education. Why even have police, fire, or hospitals? Why not just a "happy building" that makes people stop complaining? (Oh wait, that's really in the game...). The citizens do not age, their needs do not change over time, they change based on what buildings you have unlocked. Neglected neighborhoods won't turn into slums. You will never be faced with the challege of revitalizing a slum. Citizens stay in their caste and never do anything else. Power plants have the helpful description of providing "some" power. Traffic capacities are listed for roads, but there is no way to check current traffic flow (except for the ubiquitous colored circles). Costs are listed for roads--- Okay, cost per what? In SC4, the cost was per tile... in CXL the cost is per... what exactly? Inch? Block? Mile? One of your first tasks in the game is to plop an "All-in-One" that magically provides all the needs for a growing city: electricity, fuel, water--even on maps that have no fuel or water. What a neat trick! Where can I find this building in real life? Never mind, look over here! The city is going to provide a bowling alley at government expense! So, these people that are playing the game "as a simulation"... I would like to know how. That's like playing Monopoly or Sorry as a simulation. Not everyone who is "bashing" the game is angry. Calling them angry is a way to try to dismiss what they are saying. Opinions about whether you like the game or not are just that, opinions. Stating the facts of the game as they are is not bashing. Facts cannot be angry and facts do not bash.
  8. A challenge to the SC4 fanatics!

    I don't agree with your premise. First of all, it is based on faulty logic: SC4 before Rush Hour was pretty terrible, so that makes CXL really awesome because right now it is at least as terrible! Let's bust up some of the other faulty premises while we're at it: CXL will be better with time: SC4 was a solid base to build upon. The reason so many people continue to play and mod the game is because at its core, it has a solid simulation. Buildings, transports, and face-lifts are built upon this foundation, but without the core simulation the interest would not have been there to put in the time and effort to mod the game. CXL lacks depth and there is very little in the way of simulation going on at its core. These are changes that cannot be made after the game goes live, as any changes to the core sim would cause paying players' cities to become unstable and go bankrupt. So yes, years of added buildings and transports, assuming they ever come, will add to CXL, but will not fix its fatal flaw, which is the lack of a decent core sim. CXL can't compete with 6 years of custom content!: I can't really find anyone who is expecting CXL to contain the equivalent of 6 years of custom content, so this is a straw man argument. The complaints I see are about the core simulation, the MMO, and other things that have little to do with custom content and much to do with the overall concept of the game itself. CXL now is like SC4 when it first came out SC4 had buses, trains, subways--- even before rush hour. It has its flaws but it was engaging at its core. Comparing the game to SC4 is unfair and should not be done: SC4 is pretty much the standard for any city builder game right now. Any game entering the market will be compared to it, period. That doesn't mean that CXL should have been made exactly like SC4. It should have been better! Take the things that worked in SC4 and expand on them, take the things that didn't work and make them better! Instead, CXL breaks everything that did work in other city building games and then finds more things to break. Still don't think CXL was intended to be compared to SC4? More can be said, but I will let MC's CEO speak for me: Jerome Gastaldi: "The corner-stone is a solid city building game. We’re going for the Sim City 4 spot" source: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2009/09/02/the-talk-of-the-town-cities-xls-jerome-gastaldi/
  9. Are you going to buy Cities XL?

    Here is MC's dilemma, as I see it. Ask yourself the following questions. Only you can answer for yourself. 1. Do I like the core features of the game (such as the simulation which is unlikely to be changed)? 2. Am I OK with paying a monthly fee to access additional features like new transports? 3. Is the fee reasonable for what I will be getting? 4. Will I play the game often enough to justify the fee? 5. Am I sufficiently confident that MC will deliver the promised improvements once I pay? 6. Do I have the money to spare for the Planet Offer? Now, strictly speaking in logical terms, and ignoring impulse buys or emotional purchases, one MUST answer YES to all six questions in order to justify the planet offer to oneself. Some of you might be answering YES to all the questions, or perhaps all but one or two, and plan on getting the game/planet offer, and that is fine. MC's problem is, they lose many people right at #1. #2 is a huge dealbreaker for a lot of people, and #5 is a biggie, too. Actually just about any of those questions are hot-button issues on the forum. It's quite an obstacle to overcome. Can they do it?
  10. Planet offer: Manipulating the trading market.

    You can cancel contracts at any time, and there is no penalty. It is this way by design. The CEO of MC stated in an interview that they are not interested in placing penalties on canceled contracts. He imagines that this will encourage players to interact outside the game and you would send "an angry email" to the person who canceled the contract. Yes, this is their actual game plan. Jerome Gastaldi: "We want a guy to fail to make the contracted resources, and then receiving an angry e-mail from someone else. We want that kind of thing we want to happen." RPS: So what happens if they default on a deal? That will lead to problems for the person who doesn’t get their supplies. Jerome Gastaldi: "We think we have enough tools in terms of the comments they can leave to effectively do that, rather than a flag. We don’t want to punish people because… some people will do it on person. Say I’m competing with you. You’re number 2 and I’m number 3 in the resources. I get someone else to not send you the guys you needed to keep a project going, just so I can go one up… it’s the game. If it points out every time, it’s just like a schoolmaster. I think it’ll be like natural selection." So, what you see as a flaw, MC sees as a "feature." Source: www.rockpapershotgun.com/2009/09/02/the-talk-of-the-town-cities-xls-jerome-gastaldi/
  11. Biggest Failure of CXL?

    Yes Rallo00, good job identifying "retaing walls" [sic] in SC4. This is about CXL. Reducing or removing retaining walls was, as I remember, one of the popular suggestions offered to MC back at the beginning.
  12. Biggest Failure of CXL?

    WIth some effort and in certain situations you can eventually line up a new curved road with an old one, no one is disputing that. After a little while playing the game, this gets tiresome. Dragging a new road over an old one should be an option to avoid all of this. As for square lots... the fact that other games have this limitation does not excuse it. You can make curved roads or roads at any angle, yet each lot is a huge square? Back to the drawing board. Retaining walls are not a fact of life, it's lazy design. If you don't mind them, that's fine, but lets not blame the player for the recycling of poor design concepts. Deleting road segments. I shouldn't have to lay down roads in order to delete roads. I shouldn't have to lay down guide roads and then delete them. This is a work-around, not a solution. That's the difference between a great game and something that seems thrown together and incomplete. If the lot sizes were flexible, the fact that an area was slightly out-of-square wouldn't be an issue. There should be a variety of intersections that can be customized by clicking on them. The intersections would affect traffic flow. Right now, there is only one intersection type so they don't even figure into the traffic calculation. Why should traffic on a large avenue or a highway have to stop at a traffic light for every tiny road that crosses? Terraforming just doesn't work right. It doesn't have to be like SC4 where you can level the whole map. The type of neighborhood should be decided by property value, safety, education, etc, not by fiat. Neighborhoods should change over time. Whether those changes happen too quickly/easily in SC4 could be debated, but they don't happen at all in CXL. There are certain things that should happen as part of the simulation, and those are the things that you as a player do not have direct control over. The simulation should deal with shortages and surpluses in a way that simulates individual business owners making decisions. I'm just not interested in a socialist simulation where the city owns all of the resources Of course workers can come from different cities to work in yours. This happens in reality, too. But no one orders them where to go. They should do this by choice (as part of the simulation), not because they are ordered to do so.
  13. Yes, absolutely. The filler is just a band-aid to cover the larger issue, which is all the wasted space created by the huge, square lots. Oh, and the high density plots are a different size... so even if you demolish your old plots, you can't replace them with high density without moving roads all around because they don't fit.
  14. Biggest Failure of CXL?

    When they got to the point in development where they put the curved roads together with the square lots, that should have sent up a big red flag that they needed to go back to the drawing board. You can't claim to be revolutionary for offering curved roads and then have no solution to properly place buildings along them. So, here it is. Square lots Buildings on slopes use retaining walls When deleting a road, must delete entire road segment When upgrading a curved road, cannot exactly match new road to same curve When demolishing to make a road wider, the leftover space is wasted because all lots are same size Cannot place a lot if the space is even 1 pixel too small All intersections are the same, for example, a farm road crossing a highway results in stoplight every time Zerba crossings everywhere, streetlights and sidewalks everywhere, even out in the countryside No real terraforming Zoning by class (caste system) Unqualified workers will always be unqualified, no matter what education you provide. And so on. Mayors shouldn't trade with other cities for business needs, the free market should do that What is the thought process behind trading workers to another city? Where does this occur? Location of resources on the map restricts where you can build (i.e. forces farms in the middle of the map, etc) This is just off the top of my head.
  15. NDA is stille there!

    It only covers confidential information. Beta testers can't talk about confidential information. The demo is out, so anything that you could plainly see in the demo isn't confidential anymore.