Ever since the initial launch disaster, Maxis has been trying to show that it cares about players. At first, they offered free games to those who were affected by the server shutdown, but have recently taken to the SimCity forums to talk with the community.
This week, Patrick Buechner, General Manager of the Maxis Emeryville studio, posted an article on the forum talking about their internal commitment to feedback.
We continuously review this feedback alongside in-game telemetry to help us decide where to focus our game tuning and development efforts. We've formed dedicated teams to explore specific features. Some player requests, such as a tool to raise and lower roads, were straightforward challenges. Some of the larger asks, such as bigger city maps and an offline mode, have required more thought and exploratory work.
There are two very important issues raised here: offline mode and larger maps, both of which are topics which have been a primary point of contention for most players.
Buechner claims that it is being considered.
In the past, Maxis has confirmed that offline was an option, but they decided not to pursue it. Instead, they implemented a required "always on" system because of global economy and other major calculations that just could not run locally.
The only problem with that theory is that offline mode is an option right now with a "very minor and easy" tweak. So, what could possibly be taking so long? EA's concern over piracy is my guess. So, while it is "being considered" publicly, my guess is we won't be seeing it any time soon.
Every person I know that did purchase the game outgrew their city plots within days. This left them wondering what to do? Maxis' official position is to play multiple cities side-by-side and explore the interconnection between communities. The problem with that, of course, is that once you leave one city and enter another, time stops for the first. That means no material collection, making it damn near impossible to explore those capabilities.
Buechner has news for those of you wanting to expand your maps, though.
I know, that was misleading, but I just couldn't resist. Maxis claims that it is physically impossible to expand the cities. If they were to do it, your computer would explode. I have no idea if that reasoning is some sort of a prank being played by the development team or if they actually believe that expanding the cities would truly over run your computer's processing capabilities; either way, wow.
Good news, though: their experiments have led to a slight performance improvement in the game core. Now you can outgrow your cities slightly faster than before!
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