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[Various] Conglomerate of Sim City news (AI issues / Simcity modder removes client side online-only drm, sorta)

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
So... there has been quite a bit of activity in the past couple days:

First:
http://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/1a9t0e/simcity_modder_removes_always_online_forced/
Quote:
Bullet points with recent modding discoveries:
Players have reverse engineered modding. Significant parts of the game's code is in Javascript.
The game can be played without an internet connection indefinitely after modding. Can only stay in one city.
SimCity has behavior for offline save handling. When offline, your city is saved and is uploaded to Origin the next time you go online. Offline mode seemed to be cut hastily.
Debug tools were left open, allowing 'griefing' other people's cities by setting DEBUG=1.
"Big maps" are referenced multiple times in the game's code. Possible DLC regions with big city plots? It's the only way they can increase the city size without breaking existing maps.
Internal terraforming tools were discovered, but requires a special build of the game.
Population numbers are faked / inflated - GetFudgedPopulation. chart - thanks fat_ugly_midget.
After modding, you can play around outside 2km2 plot, and it saves syncs to the server.
Latest patch has made package files read only, and disabled debug tools / the cheat console. (Confirm please, I do not own / will not support the game)
A reverse-engineered modding guide was posted on /r/simcity earlier today by /u/Plornt. Locked terraforming tools1 were discovered too.
Thanks to the power of the internet, another user on reddit has being able to build highways outside the 2km2 plot, removing the fake population inflation2, and even being able to play the game without a connection to EA's servers. In the unmodded game, you will get kicked out after 20 minutes, but now it can be trivially patched to indefinitely. Server features like region play, and save/load handling are obviously not available.
Link: http://www.reddit.com/r/SimCity/comments/1a9n5j/you_can_edit_highways_outside_of_city_boundaries/c8vbw6k
Looking at the JS code posted on GitHub, it certainly looks like confirmed the forced disconnect is totally implemented in Javascript and is client sided. This is a really sloppy implementation of always online "DRM".
This is indicative that offline support was hastily removed late during the development cycle. Possible EA/Maxis debate/internal conflicts?
1: Only developer builds could actually make use of terraforming, but the UI is there. It may be for internal use only (to sell new regions as DLC?), or just buggy / clunky.
2: The population displayed on the user interface becomes inflated after the first 500 sims. This is intentional and not a bug, as the function name is "GetFudgedPopulation". A 'million' population city only has 100,000 real agents.
More at the reddit link above


AI Issues:
http://news.yahoo.com/simcity-pr-nightmare-escalates-150021213.html
Quote:
"Over the past couple of days, “SimCity” has eclipsed “Pope” in global search volume. Electronic Arts has finally created something that has captivated the world with an intoxicating melange of drama, tragedy and sick humor. Too bad all of these elements emerge from EA’s project management, not the game itself."
Quote:
Several players have noted that the characters in the game don’t actually have any permanent jobs or homes. They simply walk to the nearest available open job or a suitable home at certain times, a simplification that creates major headaches in city planning. Sims that start walking don’t switch to mass transit if they don’t find a job nearby; kids don’t get to schools easily; all cops go to a single crime scene even if police stations are carefully spread in different parts of the city

I personally do not own this game, and will not be unless I am either gifted it or find a free copy on line on some deal page.

I really think EA has sunk the boat on ANYTHING they could possbily do at this point to fix their image with gamers on this one. Unfortunately, their stock hasn't dropped by much (if at all) since the last time I checked so their probably won't be any resolve to this.
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post #2 of 5

Crazy i still enjoy the game oh well i guess the game would be even better when all is fix, great game though. 

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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
This is sorta a dupe/repost of this:
http://www.overclock.net/t/1371008/eurogamer-simcity-modded-so-it-can-be-played-offline-indefinitely/0_50

However, the above topic wasn't posted in Video Game News where I did search. Not sure how you (the mods) want to handle this as it also includes the AI problem, not just the off-line drm ability.
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post #4 of 5
I vote for same as Apple Lawsuits threads (Simcity thread conglomeration) thumb.gif

What a disaster for a launch
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post #5 of 5
I was very interested in purchasing this game but the online DRM, no offline mode, limited city size is a deal breaker for me. Unless they do some major revisions to this game and give it an offline mode, il take my money somewhere else.
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Overclock.net › Forums › Industry News › Video Game News › [Various] Conglomerate of Sim City news (AI issues / Simcity modder removes client side online-only drm, sorta)