Inanity. Abbreviated.

2012-08-20T05:52: Municipal Planning

So word eventually reached me, as it was bound to, that Maxis saw the light and is working on a real successor to SimCity 4. This may be called SimCity 5 or they may try the modern marketing theory of just calling it "SimCity", because confusing and frustrating your customers is the hot new thing this year. It looks interesting: everything is individually simulated and moves on-screen. This might address the lingering issues from SC4 relating to incorrect scale.

I started planning my next computer purchase, because I buy games so infrequently that I have to buy a whole new computer every time. (As a bonus a new gaming computer would let me get beyond merely installing The Sims 3.) It's supposed to come out in February, leading to contemplation of whether I should take a week off at the beginning of March or plan it for later, in case the schedule slips.

Then I read that along with everything else, they turned it into a multi-player online game that has no standalone mode, and I lost interest.

More recently I've been rethinking that. My problem with it being online only is that I have to get whatever value I want out of it in the 12 months or so after release, after which the servers will surely be shut down. I would be more on-board with the concept if they priced it as a service, like an MMORPG, so that the servers would have ongoing revenue to support them. Everquest is still running, right? But pick a random EA game with an online component and unless it's no more than two years old, often closer to one, the servers are gone.

Then I started to ask myself why $60 for a year or two is worse than $10/mo. ongoing. It sounds like less. But that requires that I do all the playing I want — forever — in 2013-14. My usual mode for a game like this is to be deeply into it for a week or two, accomplish whatever it is that interests me, then ignore it for six months, then come back to it. Look at what I still play: Civ3 and SC4, both of which run great on a computer from 2005 with some new RAM and GPU.

So I don't know now. Might leave it until release and read the reviews. Maybe they'll listen to all the feedback and hack in a standalone mode? There's time, and I'm not asking for the full regional play experience if I'm not online, but so far they think it's a core feature and do not understand the objection. Multiplayer is an exciting new direction for SimCity that I would look forward to trying out, just as long as it isn't the only thing there is.

In other news:

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  1. SimCity Fan
    SimCity Fan on 08/20/2012 6:41 a.m.
    It's a reboot. It's not a sequel. Why would you assume that 12 months is the lifespan of the game? Spore is still running, and it's on the same business model. Again, don't assume that this is a sequel. Cause it surely is not. I suggest you read reviews from the seasoned game critics, not from some random forum of ragers who only got their facts from a 2 minute trailer.
  2. SimCity Fan
    SimCity Fan on 08/20/2012 6:45 a.m.
    The game didn't get dozens of awards and nominations for nothing.

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