EA sabotages SimCity even further with modding policies.

#1 Posted by Hailinel (25179 posts) -

Just when you thought that EA couldn't fuck up SimCity any more than they already have, they find new ways to hamper the community. In their continuing insistence that the game is always online and was designed that way and under no circumstances can it not be played online (which was already proven to be horseshit), the extent that they're allowing the game to be modded by the community is limited to strictly aesthetics.

In other words, mods are not allowed to contain any sort of gameplay changes. Which is sort of the point of most mods. So, uh, maybe you want a pink police station? I don't know. The point is, EA is so set on people playing SimCity by the hyper-restrictive, painfully flawed online requirements and small city sizes (among everything else wrong with the game) that they won't let those still willing to stick around produce mods that could change the game in any meaningful way.

Anyone know the latest on the game's Polygon score?

#2 Posted by TruthTellah (9307 posts) -

This is definitely a bad move. I understand that they wouldn't want mods to compete with their DLC, but come on. They've sold enough games. Those people deserve the chance to mod the game to be fun.

#3 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (1803 posts) -

What are they going to do to stop people? Ban their accounts?

#4 Posted by Hailinel (25179 posts) -

What are they going to do to stop people? Ban their accounts?

No idea. And I have no idea if what EA intends is truly enforceable. But the fact that this is their stated official policy speaks well enough on its own.

#5 Edited by TheHT (11507 posts) -

At this point, it's like knocking over a fence when the house is already in ruins.

#6 Posted by JCGamer (666 posts) -

Is anyone even playing this game now?

#7 Posted by Pr1mus (3950 posts) -

At this point all i care about regarding SimCity is the Polygon review score. That was the most entertaining part of this game's launch. Is it still 6.5?

#8 Edited by Slag (4606 posts) -

unbelievable, the lengths to which EA is going to destroy this franchise is nothing short of astounding.

#9 Posted by TruthTellah (9307 posts) -

@pr1mus: It is indeed still 6.5, because they apparently haven't addressed how boring the game is. ha.

#10 Edited by Morningstar (2185 posts) -

I've already given up on this game. Now I've given up some more.

#11 Posted by familyphotoshoot (654 posts) -

lol

#12 Posted by mrfluke (5266 posts) -

lol

#13 Posted by TheMasterDS (2082 posts) -

This is like an moribund Theme Park making a point of disallowing alcohol.

#14 Posted by TruthTellah (9307 posts) -

The worst part of this is that with a little modding, I think the game would actually be quite good. Their insistence on tying it down to the multi-city and multiplayer system is robbing it from actually embracing its potential.

#15 Posted by Encephalon (1282 posts) -

I just want to make one megacity that does everything! Is that so wrong?!

#16 Posted by afabs515 (1175 posts) -

I forgot this game exists! Are people still playing this?

#17 Posted by TruthTellah (9307 posts) -

I just want to make one megacity that does everything! Is that so wrong?!

That is not wrong, and it's even possible in the game! But their new ban on modding things impacting gameplay should be a good halt on any efforts to allow you to do that.

#18 Posted by Dalai (7040 posts) -

Well that's a big middle finger to one of the most dedicated modding communities around. The stuff they've done over the years is insane.

#19 Posted by crusader8463 (14423 posts) -

Doesn't surprise me. They locked down the modding community for Sims 3 pretty hard as well to force people to try their shitty ingame store with over priced DLC. As long as their game plan is to nickle and dime people with DLC and cutting content from games for it they will never offer any real mod support. I just wish someone could make a good Sims style game so they didn't have a monopoly on that stuff.

#20 Posted by joshwent (2289 posts) -

This is definitely a bad move. I understand that they wouldn't want mods to compete with their DLC, but come on. They've sold enough games. Those people deserve the chance to mod the game to be fun.

Although, there's not even really good data to suggest that making a game open to modding has a negative impact on "official" DLC. Skyrim still has a vibrant modding community, and they sold 3 pretty successful expansions. The Witcher sold very well, and they even absorbed some mods users made for their Extended Edition. If anything, it seems like modding extends a game's life longer to keep interest up so people still give a shit when "official" DLC is released. (or, say, the exact opposite of what just happened with the out-of-nowhere SimCity DLC pack)

It baffles me that EA, despite the internet screaming at them for a little slack, continues to screw themselves is brand new ways. Their creativity for fucking up is almost admirable.

#21 Posted by TruthTellah (9307 posts) -

@joshwent said:

@truthtellah said:

This is definitely a bad move. I understand that they wouldn't want mods to compete with their DLC, but come on. They've sold enough games. Those people deserve the chance to mod the game to be fun.

Although, there's not even really good data to suggest that making a game open to modding has a negative impact on "official" DLC. Skyrim still has a vibrant modding community, and they sold 3 pretty successful expansions. The Witcher sold very well, and they even absorbed some mods users made for their Extended Edition. If anything, it seems like modding extends a game's life longer to keep interest up so people still give a shit when "official" DLC is released. (or, say, the exact opposite of what just happened with the out-of-nowhere SimCity DLC pack)

It baffles me that EA, despite the internet screaming at them for a little slack, continues to screw themselves is brand new ways. Their creativity for fucking up is almost admirable.

I'm 100% with you; I'm only really speaking to how they've responded. I can understand why they may feel like modding could be a threat to their DLC even if I disagree and think modding would actually help them significantly.

#22 Edited by itspizza (439 posts) -

It's very sad what has happened to Sim City. I used to be a big fan of the series, playing Sim City 4 on and off during the past decade. After getting super hyped after E3 2012, I canceled my pre-order after hearing about the city size, and now it seems EA has fucked it up so badly that there will probably never be another Sim City again. Very disheartening.

#23 Posted by joshwent (2289 posts) -

Oh yeah, wasn't trying to argue, I agree with you!

You'd also imagine that a company that size, with their money, could maybe do some research and poll fans for their reactions or something before they make these weird decisions. At this point I'm beyond angry at them fucking games up, and honestly just fascinated with how it keeps on happening.

In the 90s, EA attached to a game was a mark of the highest quality. Now it's a mark of sort-of broken games, sports stagnation, and the highest quality shady micro-tranactions in the industry. Hopefully someday an exec will release a tell-all book so I can wrap my head around it.

#24 Edited by Grixxel (768 posts) -

Last time I gave EA any money was with ME2. At least I ended our relation on good terms.

#25 Edited by SpudBug (632 posts) -

i hate that i bought this game.

#26 Posted by TruthTellah (9307 posts) -

@joshwent: I'm guessing all they see are "Well, it has sold this many units, and that's potential for each unit to buy DLC." I don't know how well their other DLC has sold, but maybe it has sold well enough to convince them to ignore the argument that modding actually helps a game's popularity.

Some folks at Maxis probably understand but are powerless to do anything about it.

#27 Posted by Andorski (5341 posts) -

I'm surprised that they are allowing any modding at all. Why let the community mod the way the game looks when you can sell some DLC skins?

#28 Posted by JaceTwice (12 posts) -

This is actually pretty wrong, in the first post of the thread where they announced this, it's stated that the current guidelines are just a "first draft". Maxis devs are currently discussing potential strategies for supporting major mods on their forums.

Acceptable UGC and mods do not jeopardize the integrity of the gameplay or harm the experience of others.

UGC that effects the simulation for multiplay games and features are not allowed.

Examples of acceptable UGC include swapping art assets, like buildings and vehicles.

Maxis reserves the right to take disciplinary action against players who break the rules.

Nowhere does it say that cosmetic mods are the only thing they will allow for modding.

Regarding mods that effect simulation. Yes they've said they don't want mod like that to interfere with people's multiplayer games. (they used the example of someone joining a game and plopping down a factory that would spew endless pollution throughout the entire region) At the same time that thread has all kinds of discussions with devs about how to get around that, including tagging regions with mods in them, and special solo regions that allow for simulation mods.

All of it's in the thread on their forums and it's super disappointing that this article is spreading a message about modding in SimCity that simply isn't true.

#29 Edited by EXTomar (4837 posts) -

No, it is extra disappointing that "modding" doesn't make sense in a SimCity game that doesn't make sense. They can claim it is "to preserve the online system" but it belies the fact the online system was the thing that kind of warped and busted the core game elements anyway.

#30 Posted by JaceTwice (12 posts) -

Except that's exactly why there are discussions happening right now about how to open the game for modding. The concept of regions that don't tap into the multiplaye portions of the game are specifically so that modding can make sense. And yes they are working on making an offline mode.

#31 Edited by EXTomar (4837 posts) -

Do you know what would be best? Forget about fixing up SimCity 2013 or adding mod support. Trying to "fix" anything about it to or trying to resolve online support and mods and borked behavior there in is like trying to retrofit (garbage) barge into a fun cruise ship. Instead they should take what they learned and put their efforts into a SimCity 2014 that supports modding out of the box and addresses a bunch of the core issues. Hell take to 2015 to do it right and I won't complain.

#32 Posted by Dragon_Fire (368 posts) -

I thought they said this way back before the game was even relesased, so nothing has changed since they said that.

#33 Posted by Briggs713 (222 posts) -

I've tried to revisit the game after its terrible launch. Even with the patches, the game still feels like its doing everything possible to frustrate you. The irony is, the whole interface was designed to be intuitive. I've found out for instance that I have been completely misinterpreting education and tech levels. The game is so unclear on many of its systems (especially working with neighboring cities). I run out of room after a few hours, get pissed off and quit. I know they aren't the developer, but everything EA touches is tainted.

#34 Posted by JaceTwice (12 posts) -

@extomar said:

Do you know what would be best? Forget about fixing up SimCity 2013 or adding mod support. Trying to "fix" anything about it to or trying to resolve online support and mods and borked behavior there in is like trying to retrofit (garbage) barge into a fun cruise ship. Instead they should take what they learned and put their efforts into a SimCity 2014 instead that supports modding out of the box and addresses a bunch of the core issues. Hell take to 2015 to do it right and I won't complain.

I'll agree with you there. At this point there's so much bad press surrounding SC2013 that I can't see it ever really recovering, even if they did somehow address everyone's complaints and issue a non-shitty apology about it. Releasing the fixed game with everything they promised under a new name would probably be a good start to get people trusting the brand again.

(Also: the modding tools taking this long is hardly surprising. Not even SimCity 4 had modding support until a full year after it's release.)

#35 Posted by Stonyman65 (2756 posts) -

What. The fuck. Are they. DOING?

#36 Edited by Levius (1169 posts) -

To be fair, it has been EA policy this year to take fun games and smother them with unnecessary, online bullshit. They're not going to stop now.

#37 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (2891 posts) -

I just want to make one megacity that does everything! Is that so wrong?!

That is what a lot of people want. I want one huge city too, but I also want the scale of teh sim to ver variable. If I want 10 blocks of skyscrapers, 20 blocks of houses, and 12 blocks of light industry, and 7 blocks of shopping that should be possible....it is not possible now for sure.

#38 Posted by StarvingGamer (8370 posts) -

C'mon guys, there's enough justified vitriol surrounding SimCity. We don't need to spread lies to vilify the game any further.

#39 Posted by chiablo (951 posts) -

I think they should just release the source code with a text file that says "you think you can do better? Fine, you try fixing this broken mess."

#40 Edited by Dalai (7040 posts) -
#41 Edited by McShank (1629 posts) -

@chiablo said:

I think they should just release the source code with a text file that says "you think you can do better? Fine, you try fixing this broken mess."

OR, they can fix it as it was their Broken mess to begin with that they SOLD to people who thought it wouldn't be broken. Its like going out and buying a car and finding it has nothing extra on it and that it has brakes that are already going out. No powered windows, no autolocks, no ac and then saying "you can repaint the car, but you cant buy anything extra because we hardwired your car to break down if you do and the brakes, well we are still looking into it."

#42 Posted by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -

The only thing(well ok, two things I guess)I don't get is, well first off all, disgusting hyperbole for one thing.
The other thing is, why does EA find modding their games to all hell so bad?

If someone say created something amazing for their game they could see other people enjoying that mod a lot and then, I don't know, work with the modder or even hire him to do even more creative stuff that they could then charge for. Sure that would probably piss people off again because, I don't know, they want everything for free because that's how their were raised I guess?

"Honey, our son/daughter is cryin again"
"Hmm, give him/her a new toy and some money!"
"Okay!"

Silverspoon motherf*mumbles to self*

#43 Posted by RE_Player1 (7563 posts) -

So this is guaranteed to be Giant Bomb's most disappointing game of 2013 right?

#44 Posted by Jimbo (9863 posts) -

Well that shims shitty.

#45 Edited by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -

@msavo said:

So this is guaranteed to be Giant Bomb's most disappointing game of 2013 right?

It fits the criteria sure.
Dead Space 3 could probably as well take that spot(especially since everyone still seems to think those games were more than just action shooter-bangbang-killkill games)

#46 Posted by RE_Player1 (7563 posts) -

@msavo said:

So this is guaranteed to be Giant Bomb's most disappointing game of 2013 right?

It fits the criteria sure.

Dead Space 3 could probably as well take that spot(especially since everyone still seems to think those games were more than just action shooter-bangbang-killkill games)

If I recall from bombcast discussion Brad and Patrick were real positive on that game until it hit a certain point, specifically when you went on the planet. With Sim City they pretty much complained from the get go.

#47 Posted by Hailinel (25179 posts) -
#48 Posted by Dalai (7040 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@dalai said:

I guess they're looking into the possibility of bigger cities and the offline mode that supposedly was not possible. And the expansion that doesn't really do anything for me.

http://www.simcity.com/en_US/blog/article/state-of-simcity

That article specifically states that larger cities are off the table.

Eh, I guess I was referring to this inaccurate Joystiq article saying they were discussing bigger cities, but neglected to read the actual blog entry in its entirety. So SimCity (and by assocation Origin) will continue to collect dust in my hard drive.

#49 Posted by Evilsbane (4645 posts) -

@slag said:

unbelievable, the lengths to which EA is going to destroy this franchise is nothing short of astounding.

#50 Edited by pyrodactyl (2177 posts) -

@msavo said:

@zeforgotten said:

@msavo said:

So this is guaranteed to be Giant Bomb's most disappointing game of 2013 right?

It fits the criteria sure.

Dead Space 3 could probably as well take that spot(especially since everyone still seems to think those games were more than just action shooter-bangbang-killkill games)

If I recall from bombcast discussion Brad and Patrick were real positive on that game until it hit a certain point, specifically when you went on the planet. With Sim City they pretty much complained from the get go.

Yeah, SimCity will win easily. Remember, they were all stocked about SimCity until launch and then, everything went to shit. They were at best pessimistic about Deadspace 3 with all the third person shooter demos agains humans and the coop at E3.

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