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SimCity Will Finally Get an Offline Mode in Next Update

Yep.

SimCity's getting an offline mode, which is great but also probably would have meant a lot more several months ago.

SimCity had a lot of problems, with the most bristling among them likely being the game's requirement of an Internet connection for any manner of play. Apart from the servers just not working very well for long stretches of the game's post-launch period, the online structure of the game itself just didn't seem all that necessary. That last point was initially refuted by Maxis, who said that the online infrastructure of the game was key to its design. Then a modder found a way to turn off the game's online checks and the company mostly stopped saying things like that. In fact, as recently as last October, Maxis appeared to have reversed course, expressing that investigations into a full-fledged offline play option were taking place.

Now those investigations appear to have resulted in tangible dividends, as SimCity will be getting a full-on offline single-player mode as of the game's next update. This will give SimCity players the ability to store saves and access downloadable content without ever having to sign into EA's servers. Obviously the online multiplayer modes will still be around doing their thing, but anyone who just wants to play a solo region by themselves will now be able to do so.

This announcement comes on the heels of EA and Maxis' announcement of official, albeit somewhat restrictive, mod support for the game, which sounds like it will primarily function for people's offline games. It all certainly sounds well and good, though one has to wonder if those who found themselves burned by EA's server woes and previously staunch stance that the game was designed only for multiplayer will be willing to come back. I certainly am, at best, cautiously interested in what these updates may bring, but find myself still feeling a bit salty about things like the unfortunately small city spaces the game affords, and the continued reliance on multiple city regions. At no point does EA's post on the subject of offline play say anything about tweaking those issues, so it doesn't sound like we'll be seeing any improvements there for the foreseeable future.

Still, it's something, I suppose. What say you? Is this enough to forgive the wretched launch and problematic handling of the game's issues? Or are you still a ways away from ever wanting to jump back into SimCity again?

Alex Navarro on Google+
221 Comments
Posted by SeanFoster

I am glad technology has progressed enough in the last year to allow for this!!

Posted by Swick

Is it still Sim City? No thanks then.

Edited by Linken

2late

Edited by ripelivejam
Posted by CircleNine

B-but the necessary cloud computing support!

Edited by Besetment

I certainly am, at best, cautiously interested in what these updates may bring, but find myself still feeling a bit salty about things like the unfortunately small city spaces the game affords, and the continued reliance on multiple city regions. At no point does EA's post on the subject of offline play say anything about tweaking those issues, so it doesn't sound like we'll be seeing any improvements there for the foreseeable future.

Wellp, this isn't really the change I was waiting for. Sorry, I'll pass.

Edited by joshwent

Or are you still a ways away from ever wanting to jump back into SimCity again?

Not at all! I'll still play SimCity 4 whenever I want.

Wait, that's what you meant, right?

Posted by Ozzie

yep

Posted by Atwa

How about the real problem? embarrassingly tiny cities?

Posted by spraynardtatum

impossibru!

Posted by Winsord

Having to be connected for the internet was never the problem for me, it was all of the design choices based around that necessity. Now that there will be an offline mode it's possible modders could fix many of the issues, but it's kind of too little too late; it'd be easier just to play SimCity 4.

Posted by Scotto

I put a lot of hours into this game despite it's problems. I wonder if the addition of this mode will come with a complimentary apology for lying to people about how it was impossible last year.

It's a shame, because aside from the brutal city size restriction, and the subsequent reliance on other cities in your region, the game is actually in a decent place now, post-updates. If the next SimCity is essentially the same, but with the kinds of city sizes people actually want, I think that will be a good game.

The tiny cities are the reason relying on other players is a "thing" to begin with - because you can't just build everything you need. You have to "specialize" in one or two things. Bigger plots to build in, would solve this completely.

Hopefully they find a way to make it work without crippling the framerate, for the next one.

Posted by thebunnyhunter

After all the tweaks and updates im interested to see how the game plays now, i liked it well enough when i was able to play it that first day the servers were up.

Posted by isomeri

@atwa said:

How about the real problem? embarrassingly tiny cities?

Exactly. I never had that many issues with the online stuff, but those tiny cities were a real letdown.

Posted by Jayxeno

Put in a single player mode. Quadruple the city size. Fix the AI.


Then we'll talk. Fool me once EA...

Posted by lclay

Too little too late

Posted by Aviar

I have so many other games I'm playing right now, I'm not sure I want to even try to get back into Sim City. The always online wasn't my biggest problem with the game, it was pretty much everything else about the game that just didn't work for me.

Posted by alwaysbebombing

I'd love to see a chart of bandwidth usage before and after the Single Player update.

Posted by spookytapes

I would have loved this game if the city sizes were a lot bigger and the simulation actually worked properly. I still logged a LOT of hours into it but it left me frustrated.

Posted by HammondofTexas

I will never buy this game. GG NO RE EA and Maxis.

Posted by OleMarthin

the size of the cites are still to small, that the biggest problem from what i have heard.

Posted by Quarters

You know, I thought that maybe the whole SimCity saga was almost done being entertaining. Guess I was totally wrong.

Edited by Gildermershina

If the game is still a broken horrible mess in every other way, then I'm not sure this will help. But I'll give it a go. Maybe all of my successful cities suddenly inevitably catastrophically failing is a cloud syncing issue, I don't know.

I know they're really proud of their engine, and how it simulates things the way it does, but I don't really know how any of that bullshit actually makes the game better in any conceivable way. It's as if they designed an incredibly smart and mobile humanoid robot, and then you tipped it over and it just couldn't stand up on its own and instead wriggled around saying "please help me, I have fallen down. please help me, I have fallen down."

Edited by Ghostiet

This makes last year's explanations even more pathetic. This shit should have been followed by an actual apology letter. Not for the broken-ass state of the game - for assuming that the public is dumb enough to believe that bullshit lie about online being a core functionality.

It would be cool if Arthur Gies would post an apology for being a tool, also.

Posted by Harabec

Will still have the same bad simulation and the small maps. Always online was just one of the problems with that game, and nothing will change that. Maxis made a deeply flawed game and they need to seriously rethink their design before making a new simcity.

Posted by General_Boredom

Awesome, so now I can make my own region of tiny cities while offline. Thanks, but no thanks Maxis.

Posted by qualus

Way too little, WAY too late. After struggling with what the studios called a "finished product", I was indeed very finished with it. No desire to go back to it, the taste that it left behind was way too bad.

Posted by SomeJerk

Worst Company of The Year for three years straight, everybody.

Online
Edited by Cretaceous_Bob

YOU GUYS. THEY DID THE IMPOSSIBLE.

Edited by Acornactivist

If EA and Maxis had released the game under the title "Sim Cities", stressed the multiplayer ideology honestly and from the start, and maybe lowered the price a little (and production values to match of course), this game would have probably been received just fine, conceptually.

But until Sim City let's us each build a ONE giant metropolis (you know, like the singular phrase "sim city" implies), this is not the game I'm looking for.

Edited by FinlayHeslop

I personally haven't played this game. Due to all the hate. But, maybe i'll give it a try now? Am I just setting myself up for a fall?

Posted by shinjin977

@finlayheslop: The game have many major issues beside the online drm. You would do better going back to play the older sim cities. Trust me, I just saved you however much it cost now.

Posted by Reisz

That city size man. . . Just not even appealing.

Posted by Elyhaym

City sizes are the same. I'm sorry, but I want SimCITY, not SimNeighborhood.

Posted by fazzle

10 months after release, and it's ALMOST at the point where it's playable! I'm so happy for them!

Posted by Benmo316

I seem to recall a statement made that SimCity could never work offline. Last week I decided to go back and try SimCity again (after months of not playing) and I was immediately greeted with a "cannot connect to servers" message. Maybe, MAYBE, when this offline patch comes out I'll try it again.

Posted by Colourful_Hippie

Too late and that city size is a joke

Online
Posted by smcn

@somejerk said:

Worst Company of The Year for three years straight, everybody.

EA is literally worse than Hitler.

I'm glad I was poor when the game came out. I still remember how hyped the crew was after E3 2012. I never could have imagined such a turn.

Edited by Trilogy

The biggest problem with the always online restriction was the fact that the servers were broken when the game released. People couldn't even play the game they purchased. It was a defunct product. The more stable servers are, however, the less of an issue always online is. Yea, you'll always have a group of people that will philosophically detest the idea of always online, but Sim Cities' problems reach further than an offline mode.

Unless the offline mode will allow for heavy modding, in which case, why are you even bothering to play the game? It's not the only city builder on the market.

Posted by OldManLight

@joshwent said:

Or are you still a ways away from ever wanting to jump back into SimCity again?

Not at all! I'll still play SimCity 4 whenever I want.

Wait, that's what you meant, right?

This, plus an update like this reeks of "end of life" for this title.

Posted by Deathpooky

Interesting and hilarious considering their previous statements, but given that their last update on city size said it was impossible for the engine to handle expanded cities without running like garbage on most machines, I'll still never be getting this game.

Edited by CircleNine

@somejerk said:

Worst Company of The Year for three years straight, everybody.

This is only because gamers are literally babies.

Edited by GunsAreDrawn

Unfortunately I don't think we can expect a better netcode for BF4 even a year later.

Posted by Colourful_Hippie

@smcn said:

@somejerk said:

Worst Company of The Year for three years straight, everybody.

EA is literally worse than Hitler.

Nope

Online
Posted by Foggen

I hope they can recover to the damage this inflicts upon their "vision".

Posted by spraynardtatum

@somejerk said:

Worst Company of The Year for three years straight, everybody.

This is only because gamers are literally babies.

You are using the word literally incorrectly.

Posted by billyok

The problem, of course, is that the cities are still too small. I'll wait for SimCity 2(000) (2), which I can only presume will better reflect the lessons Maxis learned from this debacle.

Posted by Dooley

Having never played the older SimCity games I actually really enjoyed this one. Spent a few hundred hours in it and had a blast. It's really not that bad you guys.

Edited by HatKing

@somejerk said:

Worst Company of The Year for three years straight, everybody.

This is only because gamers are literally babies.

My nubby baby fingers are barely capable of typing.