SimCity's Offline Mode Launches Today

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Avatar image for alex
Posted by alex (3459 posts) -
Offline play is about to become available in SimCity. Get hype?
Offline play is about to become available in SimCity. Get hype?

We learned back in January that Maxis was working on an offline patch for its heretofore online only city building game, SimCity. At the time, we didn't know when that patch would become available, only that it was being worked on. Now, just a bit over a year past the game's launch, that patch is about to go live.

A representative from Maxis posted a note in the official SimCity forums today announcing that Update 10 (which comes with the aforementioned offline play) would be migrating out as of 6 AM Pacific time, which would result in a few hours of server downtime. An update to that post at 7:20 AM Pacific noted that the team's QA department had begun checks to make sure everything was working correctly. It's apparently expected that the update and servers should all be live sometime in the next few hours.

Assuming the offline mode works as intended and everything goes smoothly, this update will allow players to create cities and regions free from a connection to the game's online servers, which initially buckled following the game's launch. Initially, Maxis had previously claimed moving the game offline was "not possible" due to its infrastructural design. Still, fan outcry was strong, especially in the early months of the game's launch, when server reliability was at its worst. Eventually the developer acquiesced to the idea of reworking the game to not require online checks any longer, and the Update 10 patch was made public earlier this year.

Releasing this patch a full year after launch might end up being too little too late for players who ditched the game due to online frustrations, but there's something to be said for a developer actually making good on fixing a problematic design. As Maxis outlined in a blog post on their official site, reworking the game this way was apparently no small effort. Still, is that effort enough to bring back players who have had their fill? I suppose we'll see soon enough.

Staff
Avatar image for syndrom
#2 Posted by Syndrom (441 posts) -

meh still don't want to play it

Avatar image for sneterz
#3 Edited by snetErz (132 posts) -

NO thyped, would rather play Roller Coaster Tycoon. Extreme rollercoasters, woohoo!

Avatar image for justkamtoo
#4 Posted by JustKamToo (1012 posts) -

Now just need to log back in to Origin which is constantly forgetting my username and password...joy.

Avatar image for thefriend
#5 Edited by thefriend (212 posts) -

Bad Maxis for taking so long!

Avatar image for hammondoftexas
#6 Posted by hammondoftexas (1198 posts) -

Must be said, too little too late.

Avatar image for hawkerace
#7 Posted by Hawkerace (301 posts) -

Still a very flawed video game.

Avatar image for kirkdouglas
#8 Posted by kirkdouglas (116 posts) -

I still occasionally play this game while I listen to the podcast on chewsdays. I wonder if Cities of Tomorrow added anything worthwhile. There was a callback of the game at work last week, but I'm not sure why they bothered because it's just a cd key in a DVD case, there's no media. It would have been more cost effective to have them destroyed, like Microsoft does with copies of Office.

Avatar image for depth
#9 Posted by Depth (361 posts) -

But.. offline mode is IMPOSSIBLE TO DO??!!

lol

Avatar image for tabain
#10 Posted by Tabain (11 posts) -

Online only was a temporary problem when people wanted to play the game. Now the online stability is solid, but putting it offline isn't going to fix the fundamental flaws in the game's design relating to size of the city and transportation management.

I do suppose there is now a possibility that modders will be able to completely rework the game to actually be interesting though.

Avatar image for somejerk
#11 Posted by SomeJerk (4077 posts) -

Is the game still going to circulate around having to have neighbouring cities networked with yours specializing on what you're unable to do in yours because of the tiny lot-size?

I know the answer, let's just pretend it was better..

Avatar image for rirse
#12 Posted by Rirse (321 posts) -

While I would say this is too late to save, at the same time I been playing Diablo 3 which recently got a big patch that overhaul the game to be great now. At least this leaves room for modders to really let this game possibly get better.

Avatar image for xavus
#13 Edited by Xavus (2 posts) -

Too little too late in my opinion :|

Avatar image for phreaker
#14 Posted by Phreaker (31 posts) -

Really, I can't see going back. I don't care anymore, but thanks for still trying?

Avatar image for hailinel
#15 Posted by Hailinel (25787 posts) -

@xavus: In mine, as well. They should have allowed for offline play to begin with. The still cramped city sizes don't help, either.

Avatar image for lanechanger
#16 Posted by Lanechanger (1216 posts) -

@tabain said:

Online only was a temporary problem when people wanted to play the game. Now the online stability is solid, but putting it offline isn't going to fix the fundamental flaws in the game's design relating to size of the city and transportation management.

I do suppose there is now a possibility that modders will be able to completely rework the game to actually be interesting though.

Where's the patch for that?! If they can miraculously move all the cloud calculations or whatever mumbo jumbo they were claiming the game needed to be online to do with a patch, they can certainly increase the size of the cities! (although admittedly they would have to rip out a lot of stuff, I... they just designed the wwwwrong game)

Avatar image for yesiamaduck
#17 Posted by Yesiamaduck (2102 posts) -

I hope the modders show Maxis how to make this game great

Avatar image for sil3n7
#18 Edited by Sil3n7 (1433 posts) -

Yeah I just tried the update. It's offline but you still have small cities.

Bullshit.

Avatar image for desoda
#19 Posted by desoda (165 posts) -

Wasn't this impossible?

Avatar image for themanwithnoplan
#21 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (6962 posts) -

Even with the offline mode It'll still have those fundamental problems of city management. Regardless, I still had some fun with it back when it came out. Call me crazy, but I might go back and play some more now.

Avatar image for timeshero
#22 Posted by TimesHero (921 posts) -

@tabain said:

Online only was a temporary problem when people wanted to play the game. Now the online stability is solid, but putting it offline isn't going to fix the fundamental flaws in the game's design relating to size of the city and transportation management.

I do suppose there is now a possibility that modders will be able to completely rework the game to actually be interesting though.

Where's the patch for that?! If they can miraculously move all the cloud calculations or whatever mumbo jumbo they were claiming the game needed to be online to do with a patch, they can certainly increase the size of the cities! (although admittedly they would have to rip out a lot of stuff, I... they just designed the wwwwrong game)

I'm still waiting for them to mod that into the game.

Avatar image for bigd145
#23 Edited by BigD145 (297 posts) -

But it's still SimCity. All of my nope.

Avatar image for ben_h
#24 Posted by Ben_H (3920 posts) -

If they sold it for like $5 I would probably buy it now.

Avatar image for spraynardtatum
#25 Posted by spraynardtatum (4363 posts) -

I hope they're not expecting a pat on the back.

Avatar image for cloudymusic
#26 Edited by cloudymusic (1860 posts) -

You're an offline mode.

Avatar image for werupenstein
#27 Posted by Kidavenger (4152 posts) -

I guess this puts the heat on Dice to see which EA studio can take the longest to fix their busted release.

Avatar image for chaser324
#28 Edited by Chaser324 (8069 posts) -

@tabain said:

Now the online stability is solid, but putting it offline isn't going to fix the fundamental flaws in the game's design relating to size of the city and transportation management.

Yeah, at this point, I don't see much value in adding this offline mode beyond just being some sort of concession to appease a small few that might still care. The damage has already been done. There are a lot of people that are going to continue to hold a grudge over that rough launch, and the trials and tribulations of games like Battlefield 4 and NBA Live have only further cemented their negative opinion and mistrust.

As you also point out, being offline also does nothing to address the game's focus on the interplay between smaller cities which has remained a far bigger issue to a lot of people long after the servers were stable.

Moderator
Avatar image for milkman
#29 Edited by Milkman (18908 posts) -

Congrats to EA for doing the impossible!

Avatar image for besetment
#30 Posted by Besetment (524 posts) -

In other news, the price of tea in China has gone up.

Avatar image for ripelivejam
#31 Posted by ripelivejam (10674 posts) -

@rirse said:

While I would say this is too late to save, at the same time I been playing Diablo 3 which recently got a big patch that overhaul the game to be great now. At least this leaves room for modders to really let this game possibly get better.

i personally enjoyed D3 from the get-go and it never seemed quite the level of clusterfuckery that Simcity was. oh how i was hyped for this game when it was first revealed; thankfully i showed restraint for once...

Avatar image for ripelivejam
#32 Edited by ripelivejam (10674 posts) -

i'm just curious if there's anyone here who would give Simcity 6 ("The Sim City") a chance if they came out completely up front and said "We dun goofd, we promise to have full size cities, offline play, map editing, mod support, etc." i'd admit i would if they properly demonstrated in gameplay videos the changes and just weren't playing lip service (and maybe if it were at a sizable discount).

Avatar image for christoffer
#33 Edited by Christoffer (2325 posts) -

That's one down. Next up, bigger cities and smarter AI. After that we might have a video game.

Avatar image for amwbox
#34 Posted by amwbox (21 posts) -

I'll play it someone comes up with a mod allowing cities about 6 times larger.

Avatar image for brake
#35 Edited by Brake (1284 posts) -

And in a year from now they'll release the big cities mode?

Avatar image for rvone
#36 Posted by RVonE (4982 posts) -

But I thought that was impossible and that people who claimed otherwise had 'no idea what they're talking about' etcetera etcetera...

Avatar image for jazz_lafayette
#37 Edited by Jazz_Lafayette (3897 posts) -
@justkamtoo said:

Now just need to log back in to Origin which is constantly forgetting my username and password...joy.

Right?! Why does it even have an option to remember them?

Avatar image for gamer_152
#38 Edited by Gamer_152 (14478 posts) -

That game still has huge problems and this should have really happened from the start, not a year+ after release, but I respect Maxis for supporting the game and still trying to make things right all this time later, even when SimCity hasn't been the most popular thing in the world.

Moderator
Avatar image for jimbo
#39 Posted by Jimbo (10472 posts) -

Timely.

Avatar image for extomar
#40 Posted by EXTomar (5047 posts) -

i'm just curious if there's anyone here who would give Simcity 6 ("The Sim City") a chance if they came out completely up front and said "We dun goofd, we promise to have full size cities, offline play, map editing, mod support, etc." i'd admit i would if they properly demonstrated in gameplay videos the changes and just weren't playing lip service (and maybe if it were at a sizable discount).

I would but they would have to say things like "...nothing like the previous game" for starters.

Avatar image for windfall259
#41 Posted by WindFall259 (398 posts) -

Nope.

Avatar image for metalsnakezero
#42 Posted by metalsnakezero (2820 posts) -

Even with the fix the game isn't good with how limited you can build your city and other issues. I commend them for doing this but I think they should have moved on to doing new projects.

Avatar image for alistercat
#43 Posted by AlisterCat (7294 posts) -

Having this option in the game from the beginning would have solved all their problems. Less backlash, less server collapse. The problems with the actual simulation would just be heard by those really invested in it. People would have had fun with the game and moved on.

Still, I had about 30 hours of fun with the game at least. That's my monies worth.

Avatar image for viking_funeral
#44 Posted by viking_funeral (2566 posts) -

But the core game still sucks, right?

Over it.

Online
Avatar image for hagane
#45 Posted by Hagane (59 posts) -

lol

Avatar image for fisk0
#46 Edited by fisk0 (6340 posts) -

@justkamtoo said:

Now just need to log back in to Origin which is constantly forgetting my username and password...joy.

Right?! Why does it even have an option to remember them?

Yeah, that's kinda funny, I don't think it's ever remembered the password.

Moderator
Avatar image for gruebacca
#47 Posted by Gruebacca (813 posts) -

@ripelivejam: I'm still excited for the possibility of SimCity 6. There's no way they could fuck everything up so hard a second time unless they learned absolutely nothing from this whole charade, and then on top of that knowingly and willingly put in several game-breaking bugs. They hit rock bottom, and I'm convinced that they at least learned something from all of this.

That said, if they are making a sequel, it shouldn't come out in a year or two. There needs to be much more time before people can get back behind the idea of another SimCity. We just need video games to evolve a bit more.

Avatar image for singingmenstrual
#48 Edited by SingingMenstrual (335 posts) -

@alex said:

Releasing this patch a full year after launch might end up being too little too late for players who ditched the game due to online frustrations, but there's something to be said for a developer actually making good on fixing a problematic design.

As much as there is something to say about someone who assaults you and breaks your jaw for no reason then "apologizes" later on.

Avatar image for pr1mus
#49 Posted by pr1mus (4158 posts) -

I really want to play a SimCity at the moment but i don't want to play this one but i don't want to play SimCity 4 either so i guess i want to try this one then but then it's 40$ or 60$ with the expansion and the expansion looks really cool but fuck 60$ or even 30$ on sale for that matter...

So i guess i can plug back by snes and play the original.

Avatar image for evilsbane
#50 Posted by Evilsbane (5555 posts) -

I played a couple of matches in the beta, the city size is the problem not the online, I would have dealt with the online BS to play what I thought the game was going to be, I Easily hit the city build size limit with the hour they gave me that is why I didn't buy the game.

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