GS News - Maxis: SimCity's always-on DRM for gamers' benefit
VP Lucy Bradshaw acknowledges fan concerns, says creating a connected experience has been a day-one goal for the game.
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I, for one, very rarely play multi-player games. If Simcity 5 had the option of online or not, that would be fine, but to "force" it on others, is NEVER okay!
Oh Yeah! Everyone plays SimCity the same way, NOT! EA has just lost many potential sales.
Gee Thanks for ruining a great game franchise. :(
"Always-on DRM" as in "...and the servers hosting cracks and warez are down due to massive demand on the 5th of March"
Wonder when they'll realize...
Wow, just damn! Another DEPENDENT game. I used to think EA/Maxis had their shit together, but I now see they have sucked-up to "Big-Brother" and "Big-Sister" to keep an eye on folks who simply want to ESCAPE REALITY by playing SINGLE PLAYER GAMES! DRM as everyone knows, BLOWS! I refuse to pay for this trEAtment, err...punishment. If game designers were smart, they might consider asking the player community what they want (through a simple on-line poll) before dumping thousands into a project that might(and will) fail their audience. Dumb move! If you want my money, this is certainly not the way to get it.
For the player's benefit my ass.
Between always requiring a connection and the piece of crap that's "Origin", they're losing a lot of potential customers. I've played SimCity since the original (and minus "Societies") and have been waiting for this, but no. Hell no. They just had to do stupid things to screw this up, so they won't get my money.
I guess they weren't paying attention to Ubisoft's whimpers when they finally admitted defeat, with their tail between their legs, against Always On DRM.
All Maxis are going to do is annoy customers being forced to stop playing because they have intermittent connectivity issues with their ISP. Or worse, the servers get swamped/crash/et al, and no-one can play for days/weeks. Just like Ubisoft had happen.
Mess with your gaming demographic and you'll only have to suffer the indignities later on, EA... This has been proven by the strength of the customers resolve against such things. I suspect a significant drop in sales because of your decision.
Server-side city statistic rendering? I call foul on this as an essential reason! It sounds more like a forced design element that is only there to prevent players from playing offline and not because our PC's need help to render the final product.
And, personally, I couldn't give a crap about player statistics and leader-boards in a game like this. Who would?
Shame on you Maxis/EA!
"always-on DRM for gamers' benefit" -- Yeah, right. I call total BS on that. I have loved the SimCity franchise for years and have always bought legal copies. Guess EA is determined to alienate me with the always-on DRM, though, so I won't be buying it. Besides not always being near a dependable connection, I prefer to play games like this solo, without other people bothering me and potentially screwing up what I've spend hours building.
i'm connected to the fastest isp in australia and guess what lag i got in diablo 3, well over 600ms. I've moved homes 5 times and this doesnt get any better. Connections here are too congested and pretty much make playing online always games a pain to play most times unplayable making the game purchase a waste of money. Not to mention like many others stated, when u fly, or sail or other away from home activities, especially here in australia, forget even having a chance to play unless your willing to pay telstra hundreds of dollars for low amount of gb data a month. This senario is similar for many around the world not just here. Not to mention if servers have break downs or maintenance or servers shut down after a few years prevents play time at the moment you, the paying customer wants to play. This is why always online connection games have a distaste for many. And its why as much as i really want this game (simcity 2013), i can not bring myself to purchase it while it has this requirement. It would be amazing if they would reconsider this move. Diablo 3 was for a lot of people the first foray into always online gaming, a fail providing a huge lesson for many and i dont thing myself and others are so blind to this new phenomonon of always online connection gaming anymore. NO!!! TO ONLINE ONLY GAMES.
Don't believe a word EA is saying! They will tell you anything to get to your wallets. Here is a user report from someone who dared to point out some actual issues with the always on DRM:
Yeah, fuck you EA. Whenever I have someone else telling me what I need in my games - there is no other answer than 'fuck you.'
I only wish money didn't justify utter idiocy in this world, but it does.
1. EA forces DRM on SimCity and justifies it as necessary for the game.
2. EA alienates SimCity's core audience by removing single player option to justify DRM.
3. SimCity's core audience doesn't buy SimCity to protest DRM.
4. EA uses weak sales to justify putting SimCity on the shelf for another five to ten years.
For me, it's about the longevity of the game. I pulled out my copy of Simcity 4, TEN years later, and it works perfectly. I pulled out my copy of Simcity 3000, FOURTEEN years later, and it works perfectly. Pull out your copy of Simcity (2013) and what happens when the EA servers get turned off, permanently? You get a non-functional, crippled game.
Adding features the gamers don't need or don't want need to justify their bullshit corporate shills, instead of focusing on what's actually important.
Hmm, ...reminds me of one of EA's other games, Mace 'Feck 3 something or other.
hmmm.. dumbed down easier gameplay takes more computing? too bad, used to be a huge SimCity and Maxis fan......
I don't hate DRM too much, but I agree it's definitely annoying and I don't see it to be beneficial. The worst part of this news is, she is trying to turn 'what she thinks is the truth' into 'the truth'. No need to be a rocket scientist or a marketing guru to see that the majority of the gamers is still against DRM.
Day one goal for game and day one game let down for most players. This title didnt need always on DRM. They are just doing like Diablo did. ANother cram it down your throat under the gise of oh its better for the user yeah RIGHT.....Tell me another one.
Too bad, I probably would have liked to play the game. I haven't bought an always on DRM game yet, and never will.
99.9% of the time, we're connected to the internet when we're on our PCs, so I don't buy the outrage that some gamers have over this. I imagine the game will continue to run if your connection goes down, but with limited features. More and more, these complaints about games requiring an internet connection have become more transparently about piracy and less about inconvenience. EA has explained why they've done things this way. Either you're okay with it or not. They're clearly not worried about losing sales over it, and so this whining and stomping of feet isn't going to move them.
I'm just looking for a game to play whenever the internet is down or I'm on a research trip.
To all the people complaining about DRM, don't buy the game. Pretty simple. It seems that Maxis wasn't planning on you buying it anyway based on the level of security that they are including in the experience. I, for one, will buy it. Because having an internet connection doesn't subtract from my experience. Nor does having to sync up with a server. Nor does someone trying to protect their IP.
"some of Sim Citys simulation aspects must be rendered online" This is genius and what I thought they might do... best way to make the game even harder to pirate! And who cares about needing a constant connection anyway? its exactly the same when playing an MMORPG. Get with the times already.
Post launch; and we now see the effects that were inevitable. I hope EA and Maxis are taking notes of their experience with this and not, defiantly, sticking their collective heads in the sand.
So completely predictable....
@Reddywicks Diablo 3 didn't fail cuz of the only online, but cuz of teh huge deference on gameplay between Diablo 2 and Diablo 3, + every patch was a huge Nerf for some classes, + the real money AH etc. Non player stoped playing it cuz of the only online, and if someone did, those are only the 0,5%% of diablo 3 players. With the rest you say i totaly agree!
Probably the whole reason of DRM is fight against illigal downloading the game. Such as sony and microsoft don't allow to play used games on ps4 and xbox720. It seems like everything is justified in businessworld, as long as it means, profits are maintained.
@tsopauly At which point you will torrent a cracked version (or better, grab it from usenet) and there you go --> problem solved
Just like politics!
the whole world isnt connected like you describe, there are people out there with low speeds or connections that pop in and out, i understand your point, and agree with it for the most part, 95%, but not everybody can afford it, or doesnt live in a high connectability zone.... and its a scorched earth approach, im sure theyre making money still because those of us who do play games usually have net connections part and parcel.... but there are people a minority fer sure that get left out in the cold by this policy.... but theres really no way around it, always online has arguably revived and saved the pc gaming community.
And now, Farming Simulator 2013!
You should get this, it's exploding and a lot of fun! It's only 30 bucks at Amazon! They include an editor with the game which allows you to make your own farms! LARGE community of enthusiasts. Highly recommend.
Age of Empires III
Command and Conquer - Generals
Company of Heroes
Railroad Tycoon III
Rollercoaster Tycoon Platinum
Tycoon City - New York
Vega$ - Make it Big
-----------------------Hope that helps! BTW - I paid full price for all of these...
@pitt109 I honestly don't have a problem with EA wanting to protect their IP. I will buy the game legitimately and jump through whatever hoops to prove I did.
What I do have a problem with is being dependant on EA's servers just to play the game. What happens if I'm somewhere without an internet connection, or a poor wireless signal? What happens if EA's servers are down? What happens when in a few years EA decides to pull the plug on SimCity because of poor sales? These are all open questions that have yet to be addressed by the developers so far.
SimCity as an MMO sounds like a fun concept and I'd definitely give it a try, but why completely gut the single player experience? Maybe I don't want to have to deal with anonymous trolls and griefers screwing with my cities.
Justifying DRM by making SimCity an MMO in a way that severely limits the game isn't the answer to "protecting your IP" and SimCity's core audience has every right to complain.
@Xenuri"its exactly the same when playing an MMORPG" - Genius argument! Everybody in this forum just loves that! Did you ever stop to consider that there are people who have a certain disdain for all the things related to MMOs - in general? It's a simple fact that the end-user is dependent on the host server to function correctly at the time of gameplay. Recent history shows this timing and functionality to be problematic (i.e. data loss through broken protocol, account highjacking, server reboots and credits lost). The real issue here is not about game genre, but more towards the eradication of the offline game. When choices(freedoms) are taken away people rebel. Since the opportunity to vote for what gamers want in this particular game were not even considered, their only means of rebellion is to not purchase the game. Although I do not support Pirating software, it will happen anyway. If it's coded, it can be cracked, I don't care who you are... EA/Maxis know this already and they also know that they've made millions from legitimate sales of the SimCity, Sims series. This DRM step/change has only shut-out those who know better.
@Xenuri You do understand that MMORPG is a multiplayer game right? Of course it requires a connection. But why should a single player game like SimCity need a multiplayer connection? Answer: It shouldn't.
They just don't understand how the world works. If someone is willing to pay for a game they'll pay for the game. If they aren't willing to pay they'll either pirate or play something else--either way there's no loss there to the publisher.
In the meantime people who were willing to pay might not because of all the BS DRM, Origin's TOS, and other bullshit moves they make.
The only games I'll ever buy that requires a constant connection to developer/publisher-run servers are MMOs. Otherwise you're not buying a game. You're renting it for however long it takes for them to shut their servers down, then you have nothing.
@SauhlGood The number of people without a constant connection is tiny compared to the number of people who have computers that don't meet the minimum system requirements. They're being left out in the cold too, but no one seems to care about them--because it's expected that you own a certain video card or processor to run a game. Requiring a connection is no different than any other system requirement--some are going to have it, others aren't. People know if they have a good connection or not, just like they know if their video card is maybe not quite up to snuff for a game. Upgrade, or move on to some other game. Gamers make this choice all the time with system requirements, and this choice is no different. But we don't see extensive whining when a game requires a mid-range video card, leaving older computers unable to play it. There's just one reason why we see it with online connection requirements: piracy. Gamers (even those that don't pirate) still have this soft spot for piracy, even though it very nearly sank the PC gaming industry. It blows my mind.
@ernelson1976 @Patchezs @SauhlGood Yes, exactly. You got me. The only reason I engaged this debate with you is because I'm a pirate. Not all those other reasons you conveniently ignored to accuse me of being one. Not because I resent people who resort to ad hominem attacks to support their position.
It's hard to produce hard evidence of anything about the off-site data rendering when all we can do before the game actually is released is speculate. I raised some legitimate questions and concerns with what we've seen and heard about it so far because that's all we can do at this stage. "Show me evidence" is kind of a weak response.
And apparently we agree - the "off site data rendering" you cite as motivation for being always online is only necessary because the game is going multiplayer-exclusive. So no, it wouldn't be necessary if you were playing alone. And yet it's being forced into the single player experience where it doesn't need to be. And my theory is (and continues to be) that that is motivated by DRM and DRM alone, plain and simple.
Yet, what happens when the EA servers go offline in two or three years? We don't get to play the game at all?
Your answer so far is to personally attack me.
Obfuscation seems to be your speciality. But yeah, fun talking with you.
@Patchezs @ernelson1976 @SauhlGoodSo, you're not offering an argument, just an assertion that it's slower, without any evidence. Gotcha. The amount of data that needs to be shared isn't necessarily large, nor is it substantial in terms of processing power. The reason it needs to be done off-site is because the cities are interacting with each other across different players. I suppose you have a solution to that problem if players are not on all the time? How would you handle synchronizing data if other players aren't online, hmmm?
You went from saying that it's "all about DRM" to "well, it's not, but I don't like their reasons!" Nice try. It's about DRM, alright--for you and nearly all the other complainers here. You want to be able to pirate the game, and this makes it more difficult. And you're pissed. But all the obfuscation is fun to watch.
@ernelson1976 @Patchezs @SauhlGood So you haven't been listening to me yet eh? Well that explains a lot. ;-)
Actually I have read about the proposed "off-site data rendering", and it would be a little hard not to know about it at all since it was mentioned in the very video we're commenting on. But since we're dolling out advice to each other, you should read some of the criticism of this excuse EA is peddling to defend this decision. There's a lot of legitimate questions and gaps in logic in regards to what exactly they're talking about when they refer to "off-site data rendering" that are worth considering.
For example, wouldn't it take a lot longer to send all (or even some) of your city data to be remotely processed somewhere else? Well, maybe if they had a really fast processor available for your specific game it wouldn't be. So does that mean their servers are going to have more processing power available for every single concurrent player than what each player does locally? Doubtful. Also, if it's so necessary to render all this data off-site, how are they going to be able to get away with delivering all of it in only 3 minute intervals? What happens in the interim? And what happens when that data gets delivered?
"Off-site data rendering" makes sense, though, if there's "off-site" data, e.g. the rest of your region. However that "off-site" data is only "off-site" because regions are dependant on EA's servers, rather than being run locally.
Hey, I could be wrong. But these are all still open questions that make me legitimately concerned for the ability to play this game solo. And frankly, I don't buy that this isn't largely motivated by DRM.
But if I'm wrong and you don't mind not being able to play the game in two or three years when EA decides it's no longer profitable to keep "rendering" this data off-site, feel free to shell out $60-$80 for it. ;-)
@ernelson1976 @Patchezs @SauhlGood WOW is an MMO. SimCity has always been a single player experience. So yes, I would expect to be able to play SimCity offline, unlike WOW.
No, this isn't about being "soft" on piracy. This is about taking the game in a direction that is completely wrong for the series to justify DRM. Saying that complaining about that puts you in league with pirates is ridiculous.
I don't mind the option to play online, but I don't want to be forced to. There's absolutely no reason this game couldn't have an "offline" mode in addition to online components that are being added.
@Patchezs @ernelson1976 @SauhlGood Neither can people control if WoW servers are up or not, or any other online game. You may not *like* the fact that they've turned SimCity into an online game (I have mixed feelings about it myself), but they're being up front about it. No one buys WoW and expects to be able to play it without an internet connection. This isn't just about DRM--it's about actual game features, including off-site rendering of game data. If you don't like it, don't buy it. But these complaints about being able to "control" the game are just silly. They're building online content into the game, just like other games do. The only thing that's new here is that SimCity isn't traditionally an MMORPG.
Again, the only reason to complain about this is piracy, nothing more.