SimCity Will Finally Get an Offline Mode in Next Update

Posted by Alex (1973 posts) -
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?

Staff Online
#1 Posted by SeanFoster (856 posts) -

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

#2 Posted by Swick (222 posts) -

Is it still Sim City? No thanks then.

#3 Edited by Linken (9 posts) -

2late

#4 Edited by ripelivejam (3541 posts) -
#5 Posted by CircleNine (381 posts) -

B-but the necessary cloud computing support!

#6 Edited by Besetment (473 posts) -

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.

#7 Edited by joshwent (2113 posts) -

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?

#8 Posted by Ozzie (168 posts) -

yep

#9 Posted by Atwa (615 posts) -

How about the real problem? embarrassingly tiny cities?

#10 Posted by spraynardtatum (2606 posts) -

impossibru!

#11 Posted by Winsord (1165 posts) -

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.

#12 Posted by Scotto (1171 posts) -

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.

#14 Posted by thebunnyhunter (1354 posts) -

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.

#15 Posted by isomeri (1225 posts) -

@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.

#16 Posted by Jayxeno (41 posts) -

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


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

#17 Posted by lclay (383 posts) -

Too little too late

#18 Posted by Aviar (411 posts) -

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.

#19 Posted by alwaysbebombing (1539 posts) -

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

#20 Posted by spookytapes (261 posts) -

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.

#21 Posted by HammondofTexas (546 posts) -

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

#22 Posted by OleMarthin (315 posts) -

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

#23 Posted by Quarters (1631 posts) -

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

#24 Edited by Gildermershina (261 posts) -

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."

#25 Edited by Ghostiet (5225 posts) -

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.

Online
#26 Posted by Harabec (77 posts) -

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.

#27 Posted by General_Boredom (24 posts) -

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

#28 Posted by qualus (66 posts) -

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.

#29 Posted by SomeJerk (3143 posts) -

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

#30 Edited by Cretaceous_Bob (503 posts) -

YOU GUYS. THEY DID THE IMPOSSIBLE.

#31 Edited by Acornactivist (106 posts) -

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.

#32 Edited by FinlayHeslop (7 posts) -

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?

#33 Posted by shinjin977 (748 posts) -

@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.

#34 Posted by Reisz (1461 posts) -

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

#35 Posted by Elyhaym (192 posts) -

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

#36 Posted by fazzle (300 posts) -

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

#37 Posted by Benmo316 (407 posts) -

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.

#38 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4330 posts) -

Too late and that city size is a joke

#39 Posted by smcn (878 posts) -

@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.

#40 Edited by Trilogy (2645 posts) -

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.

#41 Posted by OldManLight (828 posts) -

@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.

#42 Posted by Deathpooky (1376 posts) -

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.

#43 Edited by CircleNine (381 posts) -

@somejerk said:

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

This is only because gamers are literally babies.

#44 Edited by GunsAreDrawn (309 posts) -

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

#45 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4330 posts) -

@smcn said:

@somejerk said:

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

EA is literally worse than Hitler.

Nope

#46 Posted by Foggen (836 posts) -

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

#47 Posted by spraynardtatum (2606 posts) -

@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.

#48 Posted by billyok (193 posts) -

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.

#49 Posted by Dooley (182 posts) -

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.

#50 Edited by HatKing (5821 posts) -

@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.

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