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Post by Eorl @ 04:57pm 13/03/13 | 9 Comments
Since the launch early last week of EA and Maxis' latest simulation title SimCity, the game has been marred not just by tedious game bugs and server issues, but also by the consistent online-only connection that many believed was a necessary part of the game. Previously head of Maxis, Lucy Bradshaw, has told both Kotaku and Polygon that the requirements for the online-only connection was due to the use of their cloud system, stating that "we offload a significant amount of the calculations to our servers", but also adding that single player would not be possible without "a significant amount of engineering work by our team."

According to a report from PC-gaming enthusiast site RPS however, an unnamed (and apparently verified) member of the Maxis development team has come out and supposedly clarified that this isn't actually the case, and that "engineering a single-player mode would require minimal effort." RPS's source also states that the cloud-based servers are not actually handling calculations for non-social aspects.
The servers are not handling any of the computation done to simulate the city you are playing. They are still acting as servers, doing some amount of computation to route messages of various types between both players and cities. As well, they’re doing cloud storage of save games, interfacing with Origin, and all of that. But for the game itself? No, they’re not doing anything. I have no idea why they’re claiming otherwise. It’s possible that Bradshaw misunderstood or was misinformed, but otherwise I’m clueless.”
Recent tests by both Kotaku and Minecraft creator Marcus "Notch" Persson have also confirmed that players can continue up to roughly 19 minutes in-game without the need for an Internet connection, something I personally verified by simply pulling the connection plug. The only real issue that was found was when trying to interact outside of your city, which would cause the client to drop you citing server errors.

RPS report that while the servers are involved in allowing players to share the same maps and process imports and exports, they are also there for checking whether players are cheating or hacking. According to the rumoured Maxis employee however, this isn't actually done in real-time.
“Because of the way Glassbox was designed, simulation data had to go through a different pathway. The game would regularly pass updates to the server, and then the server would stick those messages in a huge queue along with the messages from everyone else playing. The server pulls messages off the queue, farms them out to other servers to be processed and then those servers send you a package of updates back. The amount of time it could take for you to get a server update responding to something you’ve just done in the game could be as long as a few minutes. This is why they disabled Cheetah mode, by the way, to reduce by half the number of updates coming into the queue.”
Hopefully an official statement will be revealed soon to clear up the confusion, but until then all we can do is simply wait.

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Latest Comments
Posted 05:41pm 13/3/13
"Hopefully an official statement will be revealed soon to clear up the confusion"

You mean we're actually going to believe what EA or Maxis are going to say about this? It's funny that one of their excuses for having this always online state is to check for cheaters and hackers. Why would that matter in an offline mode? Simcity 4 had cheats and the user-generated mods let you own your cities in a way that official DLC never will.

I bought the game on release day (on disc), I gave it a try and only had problems, but I'm happy to play other games while I wait for the server issues to be sorted so I didn't lose any sleep over this.
Posted 06:13pm 13/3/13
hasn't sim city been pirated and people are actually playing it offline anyway? so....? (I don't know for sure, saw it in the other thread I think)
Posted 06:35pm 13/3/13
not surprising at all.

I would have bought two copies of this, now I'll buy none.
Posted 06:52pm 13/3/13
Posted 07:11pm 13/3/13
I don't think it has been cracked. You can download it but it doesn't work without logging in to an origin account with the game linked to it - well that was the status around midday today
Posted 02:27am 14/3/13
This is the reason I keep telling people not to buy the new Simcity, EA lies to the customers' very face. So to people who bought the game you still want to keep supporting such a company? Make no mistake, don't buy their games. Get your heads straight people
Posted 08:14am 14/3/13
No s***.
Posted 08:51am 14/3/13
no crack yet.
no, i was wrong, pirates be playing this.
Posted 11:24am 15/3/13
Huh, apparently a modder put a vid out showing you can play the game offline in debug mode, along with altering outside of the plots and a few other things.

GG, EA. Caught lying red handed. I'd honestly hope this would be the thing to destroy you, but people are stupid and forget quickly.
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