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[font=georgia,serif][size=5][b]Cloud Computing is Why the New SimCity Needs an Always-On Connection, Studio Says[/b][/size]

A couple weeks ago, the SimCity gang at Maxis held an AMA at Reddit. That may not have been such a smart idea. They don't like DRM over there, for any reason, and SimCity's gonna require an always-on Internet connection to play it, in any mode. It's no surprise that [url="http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/14umm1/we_are_the_simcity_dev_team_from_maxis_amaa/c7gnxdy"]this comment[/url], a compendium of anti-DRM remarks, was the most upvoted question of the entire AMA. Or that it went completely unaddressed.

Well, Maxis' Lucy Bradshaw has responded to this DRM food fight, sort of. Earlier comments on the always-on connection attributed it to the fact Maxis [url="http://kotaku.com/5915377/like-diablo-iii-sim-city-will-require-an-online-connection"]is building what it considers to be a multiplayer game[/url]. To this, Bradshaw adds the always-on connection is necessary because there's an enormous amount of cloud computing required to power this game, billed as the most advanced in SimCity's history. It's not something your individual PC will be able to handle on its own, not when the cloud servers are handling up to 100,000 Sims inside each city.

Right. Gotcha. That's great. It's still an always-on connection, which exposes the game to a range of apocalyptic scenarios, such as ones faced by an MMO that no longer is profitable, and scheduled for termination. And it still makes Reddit throw a fit.

It may be that this is a city-building MMO

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Posted

EA has a horrible track record when it comes to shutting down servers of previous versions. I can totally see why people would bemoan an always-on connection.
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Posted

They really want me to cancel my pre-order and skip the new Sim City. Why can't publishers stop ruining good game franchises?
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Posted

dumb dumb dumb dumb

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Posted

This is idiotic... I live in the boonies, with USBstick modem internet connection on a limited cap... Then they wonder why piracy keeps going up...
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Posted

[quote]It's not something your individual PC will be able to handle on its own, not when the cloud servers are handling up to 100,000 Sims inside each city.[/quote]

So EA is devoting server processing time greater than my Core i7 just to run **my** individual game?

Bull.

The game would never be profitable. It'd cost them more than what they're making per copy if I played the game for 100 hours.

This is an explanation designed to appeal to people who don't understand how these things work. They're throwing out "cloud computing" as a magical term to make it sound good.
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Posted

Indeed - how did this horseshyte even get through?
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Posted

while i can understand why they would want to go this route my opinion is that it is not a good solution being that a lot of people that will play this game are children or even people that just simply do not have internet access, as brought up in the article it is the same story that people brought up with Diablo 3. However, as I said back then, if you do not agree, just do not buy the game.

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[quote name='littleneutrino' timestamp='1356550894' post='595416518']
However, as I said back then, if you do not agree, just do not buy the game.
[/quote]

I don't agree, yet I want to play the game :( Yet I don't have a always up internet connection, so according to your logic, what would be my solution? ( Not trying to sound aggressive, just figure out where i'm going).

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Posted

[quote name='Draconian Guppy' timestamp='1356553074' post='595416582']
I don't agree, yet I want to play the game :( Yet I don't have a always up internet connection, so according to your logic, what would be my solution? ( Not trying to sound aggressive, just figure out where i'm going).
[/quote]
To not buy it, obviously.

Until you get a decent net connection there's not a hell of a lot you can do.

I'll be preordering it closer to launch, personally.

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Posted

[quote name='Deranged' timestamp='1356553332' post='595416596'] To not buy it, obviously. Until you get a decent net connection there's not a hell of a lot you can do. I'll be preordering it closer to launch, personally. [/quote]

Ok, let's get "not buying it" out of the equation :shifty:.

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Posted

Yeah I find that excuse quite bull... Lost my sale.. ESP with the horrendous launch Diablo 3 had..

Don't have any faith EA can do it right..

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Posted

Vote with your wallet, I would absolutely kill for a new Sim City. I LOVE the previous games. I'm not buying it though.
I flat out will not buy a game with always on DRM.

Complaining and still buying is irrelevant. EA does not care what anyone thinks about the DRM. They care how much money you give them.
The entire world could yell and scream in outrage and neither EA nor any other company would do anything aside from giving half hearted excuses and telling you how wonderful it'll be if only you buy it ASAP.
Don't spend your money and EA will change it, whether in a patch or in a sequel.

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Posted

Any unauthorized changes to the software might remove a significant amount of functionality, and then you'll cry about how much the game sucks.

I don't know, since I don't have it.

[quote name='RandPC' timestamp='1356554215' post='595416630']
Don't spend your money and EA will change it, whether in a patch or in a sequel.
[/quote]
No, they really won't. They just won't fund another SimCity, if nobody is buying it.

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Posted

Sounds more like they're trying to convince themselves.
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Posted

So what EA is really saying is buy a game for up to $80 now... and in 2 years when its not being played as much shut down the servers and tell everyone too bad?..... EA has a horrible track record with online games doing this.... i want SC5 but the must have a server connection thing is BS... I want to be able to play this game 10yrs from now like I can still play SC2000

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[quote name='Davo' timestamp='1356542791' post='595416274']
EA has a horrible track record when it comes to shutting down servers of [b]previous versions[/b]. I can totally see why people would bemoan an always-on connection.
[/quote]
Not just that, [url="http://www.gamespot.com/news/ea-shutting-down-over-a-dozen-game-servers-6366856"]EA will absolutely shut down[/url] the servers if the number of active users drop below a certain threshold.

"EA's policy states that the company shuts down servers for games that represent fewer than 1 percent of peak online activity across all EA games."
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Posted

[quote name='littleneutrino' timestamp='1356550894' post='595416518']
while i can understand why they would want to go this route my opinion is that it is not a good solution being that a lot of people that will play this game are children or even people that just simply do not have internet access, as brought up in the article it is the same story that people brought up with Diablo 3. However, as I said back then, if you do not agree, just do not buy the game.
[/quote]

You (and half of this thread) miss the point by 180 degrees. The always-on DRM train departed *that* way.

Although cloud computing explanation does not hold water anyway. While the new SimCity does have the most sophisticated simulation engine thus far, working at the level of individual units instead of generic statistics, and as such large cities will require accordingly powerful computers, putting even a part of that processing on some distant servers is unfeasible at best.

* requires real time connection - otherwise as soon as the server doesn't reply in a timely manner (and certainly not the three minute window currently being allowed), your city basically either halts as a whole (which is still good) or self-destructs, because units fall out of sync unpredictably

* require superfast connection - let's assume the state of a single unit is being updated once per second (and that's generous). Update package is, say, 32 bytes, holding at least its ID, its position and work it performs (that's also generous). For 100000 units that's about 3 MB raw data each second. All essential, given the nature of simulation and the very idea of the engine. Compresses quite badly, being mostly integers and floats.

Running certain rules for each such unit and updating the numbers accordingly is well inside the capabilities of a modern computer.

And then the last thing - cloud computing costs a lot as it is. Without, say, monthly subscription it is absolute horseshyte to even consider.

One and only way it might work is if clients only receive a video stream of their actions. It also requires a stable and reasonably fast connection, but with far less tragic consequences if it fails. But it isn't video streaming, too, because of three minute window and costs, again.

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Posted

Wouldn't companies release a patch or something to disable the always on requirement if they take the servers down? Has there ever been a game the requires this and no longer works (MMOs do not count)?

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Posted

Man, this has just ruined my day. I couldn't wait for the next Sim City, but yeah, after the bullsh*t Diablo 3 fiasco, I am going to pass.

One of my favorite parts about Sim City was the modding that could be done to it. I am definitely voting with my wallet here. I am surprised EA, after watching Activision pull this crap, would do it too... Though I don't know why that surprises me anymore. Well, so much for Sim City for me. I may wait until an offline crack is made available just like D3. (Though by time it came out, it was too late for me, and I could not give a damn about the game anymore.)

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[quote name='RandPC' timestamp='1356554215' post='595416630']
Vote with your wallet, I would absolutely kill for a new Sim City. I LOVE the previous games. I'm not buying it though.
I flat out will not buy a game with always on DRM.
[/quote]

The issue is EA will unflinchingly kill the Sim City series if it doesn't sell well. They'll move onto the next franchise and adhere themselves to it.

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This is going to end in tears. EA never get a launch right. So i'm guessing the servers will just crash and burn on launch.
Then us the users will get the generic response, "We didn't anticipate such demand for the game. We're working round the clock to fix this problem."

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[quote name='Deranged' timestamp='1356554282' post='595416632']
No, they really won't. They just won't fund another SimCity, if nobody is buying it.
[/quote]

And then find some way to blame the consumer.

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Posted

Bye Bye, I'm not getting scammed by EA, such a load of pure BS. Just die already please

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[quote name='compl3x' timestamp='1356557810' post='595416746']
And then find some way to blame the consumer.
[/quote]
This is all a huge assumption.

I'm assuming the game will sell millions and EA will continue doing what they do and people will continue hating them with barely any reason.

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