SimCity multiplayer fail
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 16 March 2013, 6:02 am
Assume for a moment that somebody believes in the marketing of EA Maxis, that the always online DRM is necessary because SimCity is at its heart a multiplayer game. In that case that person could reasonably expect to be able to play SimCity as a multiplayer game with strangers. Thus it is somewhat surprising (and surprisingly under-reported) that the "looking for group" functionality of SimCity isn't working. You *can* play with invited friends. But both finding an empty spot in a public region of other players and getting other players to join the empty spots in the public region you created is next to impossible.

This is not by design, but by sheer incompetence: The "join game" interface has no capability to sort regions, to show only those with cities available. You only see a handful of regions, usually old and full ones, and the display of how many players are in that region isn't working correctly. So even if you click on a region which is shown as not full, it might well be full, or have abandoned cities instead of empty spots. Of the hundreds or thousands of regions in the game, only a handful is shown, and the "load more results" button only shows a few more.

As reported elsewhere, the longer you play SimCity, the more gamebreaking flaws and bugs you find. That is also very much reflected in the Metacritic score, which was 91 on release due to some so-called "journalists" producing rave reviews based on short gameplay sessions at EA before release. Now that some real game reviewers had time to actually play the game in depth, the Metacritic score is down to 64, a truly bad score for such a high-profile game. But a fitting one. All there is left to do is waiting for what free game EA is offering on Monday as compensation.
Tobold's Blog



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