Late Night Gaming Update

Sorry for the lack of content these past few days.  I just finished my last midterm of my college career, and now I have a month before final exams when I have to start panicking again.  Despite being busy, I have been able to get in some quality gaming.

SimCity is going well.  I started a new region with my friends.  We decided to divvy up the responsibilities and have each city specialize in a way that will benefit everyone.  My job is to create lots of industry and provide power to the region.  It’s really quite a fun way to play SimCity when you add in other real players relying on you in real-time.  While playing tonight I received a notification that I could choose up my ‘free game’ for buying SimCity and putting up with issues I never experienced — what a deal!  I owned or didn’t want all of them, but I picked up Mass Effect 3 to have a PC version.

UO is still going fairly well.  UO Forever had 600 clients logged in yesterday, but I feel a change in the winds.  Most of the vendors I compete with are empty every day.  I stock mine up once or twice a day then harvest resources because my normal suppliers have stopped playing (Where are you guys at?!).  I’m hoping the friends I play with and the UO Forever community in general keep playing; I’ve had a lot of fun these past two months.

That’s all for tonight, but I’ll be back with something profound tomorrow.

  • I’m never going to buy SimCity, EA have handled it all so bad, I cant believe it, wierd to dont mention all the problems the game have had.

    Allso the map seems really small, whats up with that?

    I like a good City builder, but I think i’ll just keep playing Tropico 4

  • @Cthreepo: I mentioned in my SimCity review that the connections issues must have been fixed within a few days because I never experienced them.

    To be honest, I think EA has done fine handling the situation. Note the difference between handling the situation, and creating the situation to begin with. SimCity should have had a built-in offline mode — I think we can all agree with that.

    The game sold double what they expected and continued to sell well despite the media-inflated negativity.

  • A fine job handling it? There’s multiple places where a spokesperson from the game has lied through their teeth about the ability for Offline play and has been proven wrong by insiders speaking out and modders who were easily able to put the game into offline mode. Lies about the simulation of individuals. (Instead of living out individual lives as promised, they’re moreso path of least resistance AI ex: goto first empty house. Goto first empty job.) The whole situation has been a clusterfuggle that was the last jenga piece toppling Riccitiello’s tower.

    When I think of SimCity, I think of a single player game where I’m spending my time building up my own city. The multiplayer aspects with the regions and all sound cool. However, taking away my ability to effectively build and manage a city without help is blasphemy. Every review I’ve read has stated this is the case. Add on top of that the arbitrarily small cities. I’ll be sticking with Tropico 4 and Anno 2070 for my city sim fix.

  • To me its clear, that they are aiming for the “The sims” ppl, not the city builder player. Now they are gonna release a ton of DLC’s, just like the Sims.

  • I loved when an EA dude said “The game we launched is only the beginning for us – it’s not final and it never will be. In many ways, we built an MMO.”

    Lol what? In no ways have you build an MMO. But maybe its a way to justify the crap load of DLC and/or cash shop to buy crap in

  • I agree with Zach on this one. They continued the EA tradition of bald-face lying to maximize initial sales and then do damage control to continue sales coming in.

    It is a good thing that they gave people a free game, but of course it doesn’t make their shady sales tactics more palatable.

    I have finally transitioned from a position where I would just say that I am not going to buy a game from non-reputable producers at launch such as EA to actually living it in reality.

  • Gank: I agree with waiting a bit before buying a game until you’re sure it’s going to be what you want. John Walker on Rock Paper Shotgun goes to on at length in an article about how Pre-orders are a con designed by publishers that in no way benefits the consumer. I’m happy I already believed this, as I’d be up in arms right now if I had preordered sim city 5.

  • *shrug*

    I’m having fun. The game works and has always worked for me. I have an internet connection and plan to always have one. Some people lied about the game, but their lies don’t change my reality.

    Many games require an always-on connection these days. I think people are picking the wrong battles. Look at the game itself and shred it for having a lack of depth, small maps, and bugs.

    I wouldn’t devote so much attention to the publisher/developer in this situation. Is there some connection people have to some SimCity community where how the developers act matters? If this were an MMO and I had to worry about how the developers are going to continue to work with customers then I would be more worried. This is a one time buy, play for 50 hours and have fun game for me. I got out of the deal what I wanted, and I don’t care about what they say in any press release.

    Maybe I’m not a devoted enough fan of the SimCity franchise or something. I don’t see this battle worth fighting, and I believe media have already blown this waaaay out of proportion giving people a dog in a fight they really don’t care about and in many cases didn’t even know existed.

  • Sure, but these are two different arguments.

    Yours is more focused on how the perceived issues of this specific game affects you.

    Ours is how an acceptance of culture of deceptive marketing tactics affects the industry.

    Both are valid points of view. 😉

  • Absolutely. My response though is whether or not SimCity is the game to take that stance. It certainly hasn’t hurt SimCity, and most people complaining never bought the game.

  • I’m afraid the battle against always-on was lost with the release of Steam and Half-Life 2, so refocus on windmills everyone! They’re more fun to fight with anyway.

  • I’m just really tired of some publishers in the gaming industry, and EA is really shady about some things. In a lot of interviews they just flat out lie. All they think about is earning a buck, and they dont care how.

  • I don’t often post but I read faithfully and I’m surprised at how little you care about how badly EA has handled SimCity. They completely botched the launch. Oh, you didn’t have problems? Well, then, I guess EA is doing great! Who gives a crap about anyone else, right? I suppose fighting for integrity in the gaming industry only matters if you personally are the one getting screwed over.

    They clearly rushed the game to release before it was ready to get it out before the end of EA’s fiscal year. The dozens of still-unfixed game-breaking or game-altering bugs are a testament to that. They released a FUNDAMENTALLY BROKEN GAME in both form and function and LIED about it. There was not a single shred of truth given about the online-only requirement along with many deceptions about the “depth” of their GlassBox simulation engine (which has turned out to be shockingly shallow). Now they’re trying to buy back your favor with a “free game” and everything is fine?

    I’m honestly embarrassed for you that the best you can muster about this story is “putting up with issues I never experienced — what a deal!”

    Oy vey. No wonder EA thinks it can keep abusing customers.

  • @Adam: Read faithfully through all of my SimCity commentary. I have clearly stated that I do not doubt these server problems existed. Heck, even last night I was having some city synching issues with my region and was rolled backed 15 minutes.

    The game is not fundamentally broken. That’s an over-exaggeration. The game works just fine, and the 6 people I play with regularly all seem to enjoy themselves. The game has bugs, glitches, and an unfortunate approach to DRM, that will hopefully be fixed. Traffic, for example, is really hurting my regions because of how glitchy citizens travel.

    Lying is bad. Things people have said are unfortunate. How they’ve handled the game itself, however, is on the right track.

    Time to start thinking with a level head and stop exaggerating.

  • Keen,

    The game is fundamentally broken. To suggest that a basically non-functioning traffic AI in a game that relies on roads and traffic to model virtually EVERYTHING is not “broken” is ridiculous.

    Is that exaggerating?

    If you truly do not notice the broken nature of the game then I would guess you aren’t paying attention, which would suggest you are exactly the type of gamer EA banked on existing when they released SimCity in its current state, a gamer that would forgive obvious game-breaking bugs in the face of strong marketing and presentation.

    And given the sales figures, they probably weren’t wrong. It’s just too bad we live in a world of such transparent dissemination of information and we’re still perfectly willing to buy/preorder games for $60 from a game publisher that has proven it will release broken, buggy games before they’re ready in order to meet stockholder expectations, strip features to sell them back as DLC and subject players to useless DRM (breaking the game for days after release) and lie about it in order to combat the ghost of piracy and then deny refunds and threaten account bans for players who take getting a refund into their own hands.

    *shrug* To each his own.

  • I just found UO forever through your blog a week ago. The dungeons seem pretty packed, and its refreshing to play a classic UO server with a bit extra.