Monday, January 28, 2013

I’m Sorry SimCity, But I Can’t

I want to like this. But I'm a solo gamer in my city.
It’s a beautiful game and something the developers should be proud of. Reading through the hands-on experience from reviewers and reporters, it seems like a lot of upgrades to a great franchise. Even the idea of a multi-player city, where multiple people can converge to create a conglomerate super-city, or royally f- it up, it’s too good to pass up.

But I have to. I’m sorry SimCity. I have nothing but respect and admiration for you. But always online? No thanks. While I think it’s great that SimCity is getting the online and multi-player feature, I still view it and would want to play it as a solo experience. I don’t want people to randomly jump into my city and either “break” or “fix” it. I don’t want my work to always be published to the greater world if it’s not ready to be seen (or ever seen in some cases).

Not to mention, the headaches. Diablo 3 anyone? Kotaku got to experience this with Adam Sessler. Even with just a handful of people, the server kept crashing and needed to be reset several times. Oh and no saved games. So it’s a lot like an MMO where you don’t have a physical “saved game file” on your computer. If you mess up your city you can’t go back to your last save. It’s set in stone. Some may see that as progressive. You can’t ever un-do your actions, just like in reality. It’s also a game. I want to make my city this way and if I mess up the tax rate, I want to be able to go back to my saved file, restart, and set it right.

EA says it’s to help prevent hackers, mods, and boost DRM. But always online serves no purpose to the customers other than to annoy them. Someone will always see my city and I’m not comfortable with that. Does it mean I’m doing something illegal? Of course not. But I’m playing this game my way. I don’t want someone to come in and tell me that I’m “doing it wrong” and attempt to change things. It’s My Game.

I wish they would allow for an opt-out for online mode. I want a SimCity that I can play on my desktop at my home without interference from the outside world. I don’t think that’s too much to ask for.

Even with my ban on all things EA, I want to love SimCity. But alas, I will pass. Maybe one day they will see the folly of their error. A lot of us just want to play in our cities by ourselves.

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