New SimCity promises owners a slew of problems

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If you’re like me and pre-ordered your copy of the new SimCity, be prepared for a slew of problems. Due to its apparent need for constant connectivity, players around the world have been facing massive connection issues, not to mention other game breaking bugs.

While many have lots to say about EA and Maxis’ constant online approach, their support forums and Origin help lines have been bombarded with refund requests, with some users reporting massive wait times as well. The constant connectivity requirement isn’t very flexible either. If you have an unstable internet connection, be prepared to have your cities lost, regions go missing and game stop functioning as they’ll kick you out of the game. Prepare for unannounced server outages and server disconnections as well. Your regional servers not up? Changing servers will require you to start over, not only your cities but also restart the tutorial, which is a total chore.

When you do get to play the game, you’ll find creating games problematic as you will encounter claiming zone bugs – errors such as “SimCity servers are not available”, “your city cannot load at this time” or even “you cannot claim this land as you do not have permission/someone has already claimed it” despite you being the only player. Yesterday, players were faced with constant crashes after a few minutes of play, losing their new cities and starting over every single time they re-entered the game.

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Disconnect during a game? Prepare for a rollback of your city. Hit Alt-F4 while loading a city? Prepare for a rollback of your city. Their support forums are full of customers demanding fixes, offline modes and bug reports, aside from your usual trolls and upset gamers. Being one of the many who bought this game, it’s truly appalling to see such service, considering that the game has tremendous potential, albeit a little misguided in execution. I foresee a little Diablo 3 problem brewing, with the exception that South Korea doesn’t actually worship EA.

This doesn’t even begin to touch the surface of the problems you face playing the game itself. Build a fire station and you’ll get what I mean. Fire trucks go round and round ignoring fires, wealthy citizens move in even without jobs. The game’s economy is pretty broken, you can have a city completely filled with rich people, despite having no jobs, no lower class and no income. How did they get rich? EA would know.

But to give Maxis credit, it is a beautifully made game with new levels of complexity and Caesar-ish gameplay, but as I previously mentioned, it’s implementation is totally misguided, causing constant frustration and grief to customers. By the way, that 18 minute queue you saw was originally 3 hours and 40 minutes, and as the EU launch is today, expect servers to go down again.

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Here’s to hoping this will deter them from using such methods in the future, particularly as a facade to online DRMs. But, who am I kidding. It’s EA.

  • Show Comments

  • Bryan Mason

    This article brought a tear of joy to my eye. I’ve been quite vocal on the forums over the last 48 hours or so. I, for one, have not even seen the game’s launcher yet, let alone experience issues with connectivity or what have you. For some reason, the game just will not install beyond the initial 268mb download. Brilliant work, EA, thank you for absolutely destroying yet another beloved & iconic PC franchise. It’s a damn shame that all the great minds at Maxis have worked so hard on this title to receive such a terrible reception. For me, the game is not experiencing issues, it is completely broken as far as I’m concerned. Out of my disdain for EA I want a refund, but out of my love for Maxis as a developer, I am going to bite the bullet on this one. EA’s response to all this? Virtually nothing. But I’m assuming internally they’re singing a tune along the lines of… “Doesn’t matter, got paid.”

    • Brian Chan

      Indeed. Perhaps we should spread the word to as many forms of media out there. Make them pay like how Mass Effect did with their sod of an ending.

      • Bryan Mason

        You just had to remind me of Mass Effect’s failure, didn’t you? Got any more of that bourbon left?

      • Bryan Mason

        You just had to remind me of Mass Effect, didn’t you? Sigh…

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