SimCity's Offline Mode Launches Today

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Posted by Alex (2380 posts) -
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.

#2 Posted by Syndrom (363 posts) -

meh still don't want to play it

#3 Edited by snetErz (121 posts) -

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

#4 Posted by JustKamToo (724 posts) -

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

#5 Edited by thefriend (165 posts) -

Bad Maxis for taking so long!

#6 Posted by HammondofTexas (904 posts) -

Must be said, too little too late.

#7 Posted by Hawkerace (285 posts) -

Still a very flawed video game.

#8 Posted by KirkDouglas (98 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.

#9 Posted by Depth (357 posts) -

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

lol

#10 Posted by Tabain (9 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.

#11 Posted by SomeJerk (3389 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..

#12 Posted by Rirse (275 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.

#13 Edited by Xavus (1 posts) -

Too little too late in my opinion :|

#14 Posted by Phreaker (28 posts) -

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

#15 Posted by Hailinel (25205 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.

#16 Posted by Lanechanger (556 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)

#17 Posted by Yesiamaduck (1223 posts) -

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

#18 Edited by Sil3n7 (1199 posts) -

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

Bullshit.

#19 Posted by desoda (120 posts) -

Wasn't this impossible?

#21 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (5980 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.

#22 Posted by TimesHero (730 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.

#23 Edited by BigD145 (221 posts) -

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

#24 Posted by Ben_H (3428 posts) -

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

#25 Posted by spraynardtatum (3656 posts) -

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

#26 Edited by cloudymusic (1230 posts) -

You're an offline mode.

#27 Posted by Kidavenger (3626 posts) -

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

#28 Edited by Chaser324 (6741 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
#29 Edited by Milkman (17311 posts) -

Congrats to EA for doing the impossible!

#30 Posted by Besetment (489 posts) -

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

#31 Posted by ripelivejam (4837 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...

#32 Edited by ripelivejam (4837 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).

#33 Edited by Christoffer (1917 posts) -

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

#34 Posted by amwbox (7 posts) -

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

#35 Edited by Brake (1126 posts) -

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

#36 Posted by RVonE (4699 posts) -

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

#37 Edited by Jack_Lafayette (3459 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?

#38 Edited by Gamer_152 (14109 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
#39 Posted by Jimbo (9983 posts) -

Timely.

#40 Posted by EXTomar (4940 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.

#41 Posted by WindFall259 (369 posts) -

Nope.

#42 Posted by metalsnakezero (2342 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.

#43 Posted by AlisterCat (5714 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.

#44 Posted by Viking_Funeral (1890 posts) -

But the core game still sucks, right?

Over it.

#45 Posted by Hagane (56 posts) -

lol

#46 Edited by fisk0 (4464 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.

#47 Posted by Gruebacca (570 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.

#48 Edited by SingingMenstrual (327 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.

#49 Posted by Pr1mus (3946 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.

#50 Posted by Evilsbane (4736 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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