Massive SimCity 5 Fail

First, I have always enjoyed the SimCity games.  Sure, I know that these games take a planning and technocratic control approach that I find distasteful in real life, but I enjoy playing first-person shooters as well despite being a pacifist.

So I have been extremely disappointed in their implementation of their new version.  In this sort of mad rush to be like all the other games out there, SimCity built in a multi-player mode where you play online interacting with neighboring cities run by other players.   This is all fine as far as it goes, thought the appeal escapes me so far.

But the true fail is that they require players to log in and play online on their servers, even when playing solo.  What was an irritant yesterday became an enormous mess today, as every North American server for the game is full.  Run the game, and you immediately get hit with a pop-up window with a counter forcing you to wait in what is at least a 20-minute queue before you can play.  There is no offline mode - even if your intent is to play solo, you have to wait for a spot to open up on their multi-player servers.

At this point I would seriously recommend that you wait before buying this game.  Combined with other irritants (the game is not available on Steam, you have to use Origins far inferior proprietary clone), and the game's high price, I am sorry I pre-ordered and did not wait for reviews to come in.  It may eventually be a good game, but I am not going to pay $70 to stare at a 20-minute count down clock every time I want to play.

Update:  Most online games allow players to pre-load the game several days prior to when the servers are turned on.  This smooths out the load on the download servers.  Apparently Origin did not do this, and the servers for downloads crashed yesterday (these are different from the play servers which are full today).  Apparently Origin was still "polishing" the code right up to the hour of launch, which is code for, "this is likely still a bug-filled mess."

  • LarryGross

    is there such a thing as Simm City for Libertarians ?

  • Jim Hodge

    With all the blogs I have visited online, this is the only post I have ever conclude its excellent writing. The clarity of the article explains well the discussion.

    http://www.Jimhodgeblog.com

  • Fred P

    Forcing all gamers, even solo players, to connect to the game servers is the latest approach to copy protection. Blizzard pioneered this with Diablo 3 last year, and now others are following.

  • http://twitter.com/tjic tjic
  • http://twitter.com/tjic tjic

    Yes. It's called starting a real company.

    ;-)

  • drew

    Did you see the ArsTechnica review/talk about it? That was enough to dissuade me from purchasing.

    http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2013/03/simcity-impressions-we-waited-ten-years-for-this/

  • John O.

    I was able to experience the beta version of the game and didn't think the game was too bad if you ignored its more important faults, it ruins the region play that was established in SimCity 4. You're forced to use illogically connected cities which made absolutely no sense to me. The part that just put me off was the game only had a 1 hour time limit in beta and I was typing up my feedback when the game and the feedback window were abruptly and unceremoniously closed by Origin. I took that as a terrible insult.

  • Michael Stack

    Yes!

  • Michael Stack

    Yeah the copy protection really turned me off of PC gaming. There is plenty of it in the consoles as well but it is largely hidden from the end user. I definitely prefer console gaming these days, and I was a PC snob for a long time.

  • agassiz830

    Another advantage of waiting is the price comes down and the perks go up, especially if sales aren't doing as well as they needed.

  • http://twitter.com/axiomthree axiomthree

    Am I the only one that finds it a little ironic that Coyote doesn't understand the appeal of the game's interconnected system of players trading excess resources on an open market to each other? :)

  • ErikTheRed

    Same for me - it was getting to the point where the various copy-protection systems loaded onto my PC were getting into battles to the death with each other, with me caught in the crossfire. No more of it. I've switched to Mac and I use Steam every once in a blue moon, but mostly I use stuff from GOG - older games, but no copy protection (and generally dirt cheap). I used to care about having awesome new shiny graphics, but it seems like many modern games look beautiful and play like crap. Perhaps that makes me curmudgeonly :-) . I still have a PS3 that I occasionally play something on, but that's becoming pretty rare.

  • ErikTheRed

    Well, if you buy an "online-only" game, then you play it according to their desire and ability to keep their servers up. Historically, this is hit and mis. Personally, if a game is online-only then I won't buy it, regardless of how shiny it is or the nostalgia / genre appeal. If enough people do this (and seriously, after Diablo III, how is anyone still falling for this?!??), then they'll stop.

  • Jim Hodge

    "Jim Hodge - Allied Home Mortgage have been attacked by lawyers and the liberal press. A self made man of humble means is working hard to restore the jobs lost by these baseless attacks"

  • jim hodge

    "Jim Hodge - Allied Home Mortgage have been attacked by lawyers and the liberal press. A self made man of humble means is working hard to restore the jobs lost by these baseless attacks"

  • john axinte

    it is explain verry simple how to free download and crack Simcity 5 http://youtu.be/FwTgflpiaOI

  • Guessagain

    I was going to get this game until I learned you are forced to be online. I know the reason why and it's all spelled out in layman's terms here and it's not just Microsoft that's doing the backdoor spying using PRISM. It's all the companies that have shook hands with big brother and soon you won't even HAVE a PC to store data in. It will be stored in *the cloud* where each time you boot up you're computer you will be connecting to a remote server.

    Here is one of many *backdoor spying* articles I am ranting about spelled out in layman's terms from another person frustrated with trying to find an old PC that ISN'T Windows 8 Microsoft Forcing People To Accept Windows 8 and NSA’s Prism Technology |

  • Guessagain

    Ehhhh the link didn't seem to show up. I'll try again. Nope. http://www.fromthetrenchesworldreport.com/microsoft-forcing-people-to-accept-windows-8-and-nsas-prism-technology/58696#comment-463127

    There we go! This is why major companies like you're Sim City are forcing everybody to be online. It's quite amazing actually.

  • Guessagain

    That is also true as they will release *goodies* to sucker people in thru some form of expansion pack which you will be kicking yourself in the pants for not waiting for.

  • Wastingyou'retaxdollars

    Welcome to Progressives! If you follow the money trail you will find they have large shares in big corporations more so then the *other side* they claim to resent and some of the Progressives have funds in very wicked companies that want to see America ruined and won't rest until done.

    This is a battle since the 1900s when we first switched over to Centralized banking that lets money go into the hands of a few unchecked.

  • Wastingyou'retaxdollars

    And banks being forced to give loans to people who have bad credit in their name.

  • Heatblizzard

    Yes and it's called Progressives which you are living in the simulation! America can't be ruined anymore then it is s go make yourself filthy rich and join the global bankers selling out America and Britain to China so we will be poor and you become rich.

  • Wastingyou'retaxdollars

    And starting it overseas with slave labor in dangerous conditions. Don't forget the put those suicide nets around you're windows.

  • ErikTheRed

    And now, 10 months later, they release a patch to make the game playable offline. Guess it wasn't so "critical" after all.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/01/13/simcity_offline_turnaround/