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Maxis: SimCity Issues "Almost Behind Us"

Jonathan Lester
Maxis, PC games, SimCity

Maxis: SimCity Issues "Almost Behind Us"

Crashes Decreased By 92%

EA Maxis believes that the worst has finally passed for SimCity. Though not quite ready to declare 'all-clear,' Maxis boss Lucy Bradshaw can see the sunshine after the rain - while thanking fans for their patience during what has been the most torrid of launches.

“I’m happy to report that the core problem with getting in and having a great SimCity experience is almost behind us,” Bradshaw blogged. “Our players have been able to connect to their cities in the game for nearly 8 million hours of gameplay time and we’ve reduced game crashes by 92% from day one.”

“I had hoped to issue an All-Clear tonight, but there are still some elements coming together.“Tonight and tomorrow we’ll be monitoring each server and gameplay metrics to ensure that the service remains strong and game is playing great. We need a few more days of data before we can assure you that the problem is completely solved and the game is running at 100%."

“You put your faith in us. You bought the game with the understanding that we’d quickly fix the server issues. For that support – that incredible commitment from our fans – we are deeply grateful. As the general manager of Maxis, I want you to know that we cherish your faith in us, and the love you’ve shown for this franchise."

Our SimCity review will be live just as soon as Carl's developed Mongoosehampton into a thriving conurbation. He'll have some initial impressions for you soon, while early adopters might want to mug up on the promise of a free game.

The backlash against SimCity's always-on infrastructure has been loud and long, but us gamers often have short memories when it comes to things like this (see also: Diablo 3, PSNgate). Has SimCity's launch soured your relationship with the franchise, or can we move on from here?

Add a comment5 comments
targetbsp  Mar. 11, 2013 at 10:28

They pretty much fixed it by late Saturday morning - although the server I was on was down for a few hours yesterday fot upgrades.
I've played it for 15 hours this weekend, including failing to notice the time pass until it was 3am this morning!

It's crazy addictive. I think it unlikely there'll be anything released this year to top it as game of the year for me!

I think we actually got off fairly lightly here in the UK. I know America was without it for a good while and they are suitably unimpressed. But our release was so late (even a day after the continent) that we were only really without it for a day before they'd mostly sorted the server capacity. And for that day - we get a free game. Suits me.

DrTrouserPlank  Mar. 11, 2013 at 10:38

Whilst getting online was never a big problem for me (as evidenced by my playtime over the last 3 days) Bradshaw is spinning so much that she must be getting dizzy.

The game is nowhere near to being in an end-product state, with inter-city interactions still buggy, terrible pathfinding behaviour for the AI, wonky RCI, there's a massive list of things that should have been sorted out before the game was released, and have nothing to do with their decision to skimp on the servers and add the minimum number based on the figures they are seeing.

They've recently put up a test server to trial new updates before rolling them out to all other servers. This in itself is admission enough that things aren't right with the game proper.

The game needs a massive amount of updates; first to fix what is outright broken, and then to increase the plot size which stifles creativity and coupled with the infinite RCI demand for residential means that building a city that is anything more than housing is unfeasible.

The game could be good, but it is literally months away from where it should have been at launch; working properly and playable.

At the moment it is a 6 or 7 out of ten game, working properly with better pathfinding and bug-fixes and with plots at least twice the size it is a 9 or 10 out of ten.

Tsung  Mar. 11, 2013 at 11:02

After speaking to several friends at the weekend I bought it to play. The game is addictive but there are still many issues regarding servers that need addressing. My biggest gripe has to be (regarding servers)..

I bought the Game Saturday and my friends were playing on Europe West 3 server. I would have wanted to join them on their region however I couldn't because that server (not region) was FULL. In the end we started a new region in European West 6. However, on Sunday another friend bought it, wanted to join our new region on Europe West 6, but couldn't because the server was full.

Maxis/EA... I understand that you want this to be a "social" game, but what is the point if I cannot play the game socially with my friends?. When a server is full why not allow people who have a region on the server already the ability to invite only people into that region regardless?. Friends can then play together, failing that, give us an option to move a region to a less occupied server so friends can join. This is a major misunderstand on how people play the game or want to play the game.(I never want to play with total strangers ever).

In game the biggest bug/mistake I've found is this. I built a region and got it terribly wrong (first game people will make mistakes). I couldn't restart that region at all, there is no "I made a terrible mistake I would like to restart afresh". I could abandon it, leaving a terrible blot on the region landscape. So I done what any other player would do, I bulldozed the lot. This would of been fine but I was out of money (and had loans) so after bulldozing the game paused whilst it helpfully gave me options that were not valid (raise tax wouldn't do anything there were no building to tax, I couldn't switch off services that didn't exist). I could abandon the land (blot on region) and start afresh elsewhere but it wasn't a good (or acceptable) option.
My friend said "No worries I'll send you some money", so he sent 50k to clear the debits of the region and I could start again. Except I couldn't because whilst in the region the game was paused (in debt) so the money NEVER CAME. I figured out in the end how to get around this issue.. (I'll share)

Natural disasters un-pause the game regardless!. So if you ever end up in the same situation, drop a meteor shower in the region. This will un-pause the game allowing the money to be delivered to you.

Last edited by Tsung, Mar. 11, 2013 at 11:04
JonLester  Mar. 11, 2013 at 11:08

@Tsung: Wow, that's one of the most ingenious uses of terrifying natural disasters I've ever seen!

Tsung  Mar. 11, 2013 at 11:27

Indeed it is, and it works. It also seems to sync up the cities in the region (aka make things work again). The game itself seems to have a split personality where it's not one thing or another.

I have two cities, one is full of housing only no industry no commercial. People in this city complain about lack of jobs, lack of places to shop; zone commercial/industrial it tells me.
The second city has plenty of shops and industry they constantly complain about lack of workers; zone more residential it tells me. Both these complaints would be valid if the other city didn't exist.
It's the same with services, people complain there is no trash collection because there is no garbage dump in the city. You could have plenty of garbage trucks in another city servicing the people but for some reason it doesn't realise this.
I think the region/multiplayer aspect was added late to the game and has been implemented poorly; It's neither a single "city" game nor a multi-"city" game.

Last edited by Tsung, Mar. 11, 2013 at 11:28

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