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This is the future of video games? No wonder I've been buying so many board games lately.


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#41 Bubsy   Members   -  Reputation: 407

Posted 07 March 2013 - 07:14 AM

And I still can't play the frickin' game. Unfortunatelly is all about risk management and cost, perhaps it's cheaper to risk having those kind of problems and have your image damaged than spend money on testing and buying extra hardware upfront. 



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#42 wintertime   Members   -  Reputation: 1601

Posted 07 March 2013 - 07:20 AM

Somehow I think focusing just on short term sales will get back to all those who damage their image in the long term.



#43 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 07 March 2013 - 07:26 AM


Because Steam(mostly) does it right. I don't really mind DRM per se, I just hate crappy, bugged out DRM. Which is to say of DRM. I don't consider Steam to be more inconvenient than "please insert disc to play". If most DRM looked like Steam, I don't think there would be a lot of hate for it.

 
I think steam is more convenient than "please insert disc to play", or even DRM free games from for example gog.com simply because steam makes accessing my games from any computer, anywhere, easy and the DRM doesn't get in my way. (I've never even noticed it).
 
It is 2013 now so i don't have a huge problem with the always online requirement itself (I am always online anyway), but if i pay for a product and/or service i do expect it to be delivered at the date and time promised to me, there are no excuses, there is no such thing as an unexpected initial rush, with digital distribution you know exactly how many copies you've sold and you can stop sales in any region at any time. Blizzard failed with D3, EA failed with SimCity and i don't even care if Ubisoft fails or not anymore (I don't buy their games because of their past DRM fuckups and both EA and Blizzard has to be careful or i'll stop buying their games aswell).
 
If EA wishes to go down the always online route they need to commit to it, servers need to be up and running and can't be taken down just because a game is getting old, To get my money they will have to prove that they can deliver, not just on launchday but also 10+ years after launch.


Just out of curiousity, what does steam do that's functionally different from Origin? I mean, I've had no problems with Origin. I've had problems with SimCity, but Origin performs almost identically to Steam. Origin/Steam are just delivery mechanisms. I don't see why they are relevant to a game's servers being down. There are plenty of games on steam that have bad launch days. We are starting to conflate issues, and the general negative EA bias is starting to show.

#44 Luckless   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1624

Posted 07 March 2013 - 08:27 AM

My problem with this issue is Not one of infrastructure and the server problems, but rather one of game design.

 

What does the server get me?

 

Cloud storage of my cities.

Interaction with friends.

A community feedback system where my game play is theoritcally enhanced as aspects are now drive by other players, and not merely the same computer generated data as it has always been.

 

And I really can't think of anything else for the time being, as I haven't gotten to play the game enough yet.

 

So, why on earth did someone think it was a remotely good idea to block me completely from the rest of the game, that could very easily be played in an offline state with minimal fuss?

 

 

Current Flow of events:

Server is down: HAHAHA! You're [Censored]! Please sit there with your thumb stuck somewhere warm and uncomfortable while we do whatever it is we're doing.

 

What the flow of events Should have been:

Server is down: Ah, sorry, you will have to manage your city with whatever external data you had at the last server sync. Your local save will be synced up with the server as soon as we are back online. It won't be as fun, or cool, but you will still be able to get some enjoyment from the game.


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#45 mdwh   Members   -  Reputation: 817

Posted 07 March 2013 - 09:22 AM

I agree it's good to complain - I'm glad to be aware, so I don't buy the game. Even though most of the time I'm online, I might want to play if my Internet's down, I might want to play away from home without sucking up my mobile usage, I might want to play on a plane or in another country.

Any relevant laws for your country to get a refund?
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#46 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 07 March 2013 - 09:34 AM

What the flow of events Should have been:
Server is down: Ah, sorry, you will have to manage your city with whatever external data you had at the last server sync. Your local save will be synced up with the server as soon as we are back online. It won't be as fun, or cool, but you will still be able to get some enjoyment from the game.

I'd agree with that, but that's the way it always works as new technology becomes pervasive. I mean, 25 years ago it would have sucked if a game you really wanted to play required a GPU. Today it's standard. If we run into people with a shitty/no GPU we just laugh them off and say, "well you're SOL". We're nearing the point where the internet can be thought of similarly. As there are fewer and fewer places where one can be expected not to have internet connections there are fewer and fewer reasons not to require them. Not saying it's ideal, but it's not any different than what's happenened with other technology.

#47 Milcho   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1171

Posted 07 March 2013 - 09:51 AM

As there are fewer and fewer places where one can be expected not to have internet connections there are fewer and fewer reasons not to require them.

I know my last comment got lost inbetween a hailstorm of other comments, so I'll just comment on this point again:

Yes, most people have constant internet access. Some of us do a fair bit of travelling however, and constant internet access, let alone fast internet access is not guaranteed, and I would personally find it very annoying to be unable to play a single player part of a game due to lack of internet. And to be fair, I've yet to purchase any game that required this - for that very reason. I've gone on without reliable internet for up to a week at a time, and while annoying, I'd be even more annoyed if I couldn't play me some games.

 

There's also the principle of the thing - you're talking about making content dependent on an internet connection, even though it does NOT have to be. It's not the same with GPUs, since modern games actually CANNOT run without them.

See, one is a technological limitation, imposed by the very nature of a game, while the other is an unnecessary limitation forced on for reasons completely unrelated to the game itself.

And the way you're reasoning is, I'm sure, what EA would want people to reason like, so that they can continue imposing whatever restrictions they want.


Edited by Milcho, 07 March 2013 - 09:52 AM.


#48 wintertime   Members   -  Reputation: 1601

Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:16 AM

Also if you once bought a GPU for your computer its always there and even if it fails you can replace it. If that game is only playable with the server connection and the servers get offline, cause the company goes under or decides the game is 3 years old and only 10 people per day playing is not worth it keeping it online you can do nothing but curse them.



#49 Karsten_   Members   -  Reputation: 1449

Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:17 AM

Exactly, my issue isnt with requiring a connection now... it is what happens once EA turns off the server once the product reaches end of life.
Sure the gamer zombie masses will slowly march to the next games in the meantime, but what about those who liked playing this game? Will they have to go back to SimCity 2000?
If you work at EA currently and have any say in the matter, your due diligence should really be in warning about this.

There is currently no system in place protecting gamers against *idiots* in the gaming industry and it is getting quite worrying. Though I am quite sure that SimCity is going to do very well... *sigh*

Edited by Karsten_, 07 March 2013 - 10:34 AM.

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#50 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:56 AM

Exactly, my issue isnt with requiring a connection now... it is what happens once EA turns off the server once the product reaches end of life.

I'm probably going to get tired of SimCity well short of it's servers being shut off. What happens when your favorite arcade decides to unplug your favorite cabinet?

If you work at EA currently and have any say in the matter, your due diligence should really be in warning about this.

I have contracted with EA in the past, not on this, but my support of models with online features as a core component has to do with me believing it can actually give better/more meaningful/more valuable experiences for players.

There is currently no system in place protecting gamers against *idiots* in the gaming industry and it is getting quite worrying.

Was there ever such a system?
 

Yes, most people have constant internet access. Some of us do a fair bit of travelling however, and constant internet access, let alone fast internet access is not guaranteed, and I would personally find it very annoying to be unable to play a single player part of a game due to lack of internet.

Even traveling isn't that unusual anymore. A lot of planes have internet access. Almost every hotel I've been in has internet access. A lot of airports are getting free internet access. Cities are starting to seriously consider free open wifi coverage. Like I said we're reaching a point where there are fewer and fewer situations in which you will find yourself without internet access.

#51 Luckless   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1624

Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:57 AM

Yes, my compaint is the NEEDLESS requirement to be in constant connection with their servers.

 

There was NO reason that I should not have been able to play that game by myself, enjoying 90% of it, while I waited for them to bring the servers back online so I could do even more.

 

 

I now have hard limits on how many cities I can have? (Didn't see a way to import/export, regardless of how much memory I have on MY computer, I'm limited on their end?)

 

 

The industry is working hard to create a sense of mistrust against itself, and encouraging people to explore other hobbies. My generation grew up with video games, and now I'm many of us losing interest. A group of guys I played countless hours of games at LAN parities with now get together to play boardgames.


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#52 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 18845

Posted 07 March 2013 - 11:02 AM

Exactly, my issue isnt with requiring a connection now... it is what happens once EA turns off the server once the product reaches end of life.

I have heard exactly that same sentiment expressed about thousands of products since the mid 1990s.

When I was in school, I hear my professors talk about the same thing. They weren't complaining about SaaS. They were complaining about service bureaus, such as IBM, that had exclusivity requirements. They also complained about vendor lock-in, code escrow, and what happens when a product reaches its end of life.




Your argument is certainly valid, just understand that it is not new, nor is it exclusive to this one product.

That argument has been around since the beginning. As far as I can tell, that same argument will continue to be valid until the very end.


This argument is also one of the key features behind the F/OSS movement --- If you do not have the source code and the source data, you ultimately have nothing.

Edited by frob, 07 March 2013 - 11:05 AM.

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#53 Karsten_   Members   -  Reputation: 1449

Posted 07 March 2013 - 11:56 AM

Yes, it certainly is not a new issue overall but because people did not complain about closed-source software, it has now progressed to the online activation of closed source software. Soon the users will have even less freedom (They might only be able to play on a certain day of the week for example lol).

Personally I boycott anything with DRM (Steam, Windows, iOS Development tools, Builder Xcessory PRO, etc...), but this is not enough because others simply are not doing the same. This means that not only does nothing change (and things get progressively worse) but it prevents correct (perhaps open-source) software from being developed because of the intense competition within the industry.

Luckily I never really liked SimCity, and I now prefer developing games to playing them... but I would be pretty upset if my favorite software stopped working.

Though as an aside and to show that I also have reservations with FOSS... Since Gnome for Linux is so badly written, unportable and impossible to maintain yourself... it might as well have online activation because it will be broken loong before the servers are taken down.

But there is no money in games anymore... The money is in *preventing* players from playing games.

Edited by Karsten_, 07 March 2013 - 11:58 AM.

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#54 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 07 March 2013 - 12:02 PM

Yes, my compaint is the NEEDLESS requirement to be in constant connection with their servers.

I think it could have been handled better. I'm just saying I don't think it's an unreasonable requirement going forward given the world we live in. Really the largest reason it's a problem is because they fucked it up, not because it exists.

The industry is working hard to create a sense of mistrust against itself, and encouraging people to explore other hobbies. My generation grew up with video games, and now I'm many of us losing interest.

Eh. The world changes. This feels vaguely like a golden age fallacy. I mean lans are/were fun, but now I can have 3/4s of a lan experience every night without having to ever move my computer.

A group of guys I played countless hours of games at LAN parities with now get together to play boardgames.

That's good because it's a great time to be in board games. Between a general increase in quality and kickstarter making a crap load of board games viable it's quite honestly one of the best times to be in board games since I've been playing them.

For anyone interested in getting into them, Tabletop is a great web series that will give you good overviews of board games that might interest you.



#55 coderx75   Members   -  Reputation: 406

Posted 07 March 2013 - 12:04 PM

The OP brings up a great point about modern gaming that I think the video game industry is deaf to.  It seems that there are many more people giving up on video games for board games than is noticed simply because those people are NOT playing video games and, obviously, NOT complaining.  Granted, there are a lot of new video gamers coming up in this new era that see the current state of things as "normal".  Much money is being made off of them and they are not yet jaded.  However, the rise in popularity of board games has been huge in recent years.  Many of these people were video gamers to begin with but prefer to be face-to-face rather than deal with the endless stream of obscenities from the prepubescent masses.

 

I don't like playing online.  I never have.  Lately, however, it seems that major titles must have a strong multi-player element.  As a result, I don't buy video games anymore aside from the occasional mobile game.  My gaming budget isn't small either.  My expenditures in video games for the past year have been almost zip.  On the other hand, my wife and I have spent about $3000 in that same time frame on board games and expansions.  This isn't an unusual amount for a board game hobbyist either.  There's more money being lost here than AAA publishers realize.

 

As for "online single-player", I'm not going to "whine".  Much like "video game violence" and "games as art", I'm ignoring it completely. ;-)


Edited by coderx75, 07 March 2013 - 12:06 PM.


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#56 Karsten_   Members   -  Reputation: 1449

Posted 07 March 2013 - 12:15 PM

Would be very amusing if video games turned out to be a single generation fad... kinda like shoulder pads in the 80's.

But more and more I am going back to the old DOS games (via vbox or dosbox). I dont class this as being nostalgic either because some of these games I had never played but am still really enjoying.

Edited by Karsten_, 07 March 2013 - 12:15 PM.

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#57 szecs   Members   -  Reputation: 2094

Posted 07 March 2013 - 12:15 PM

My problem with this issue is Not one of infrastructure and the server problems, but rather one of game design.

 

What does the server get me?

 

Cloud storage of my cities.

Interaction with friends.

A community feedback system where my game play is theoritcally enhanced as aspects are now drive by other players, and not merely the same computer generated data as it has always been.

I won't buy the game, the last new game I got was Armed Assault II demo, if I recall correctly.

 

But this whole thing looks hell annoying. I mean, this is not America. Even with UPC, which is a pretty cool provider in Hungary, the net is down sometimes. I'm very happy that I have stable net for almost a year now. Even in Finland, paradise of internet it was down sometimes.

The idea of constant internet connection for a SINGLE PLAYER GAME is a total outrage.

 

I have a computer. Net is up: I lurk on forums, watch youtube, I can do other educational activities etc. Net is down: oh, I can play something. Wait. No.

 

 

Anyway, back on the quote:

Cloud storage of my cities. - WTF is that for? I can build fucking Coruscant or what?

Interaction with friends. - WTF is that for? Aren't we already have all sorts of fucking possibilities to do that?

A community feedback system... - well maybe I get that. (well, not really. Does it mean some extra widgets in the game?)


Edited by szecs, 07 March 2013 - 01:45 PM.


#58 szecs   Members   -  Reputation: 2094

Posted 07 March 2013 - 12:19 PM

Like I said we're reaching a point where there are fewer and fewer situations in which you will find yourself without internet access.

 

Until then, all of us losers with no stable internet should shut the fuck up.

Your whole post was a total bullfuck.



#59 Karsten_   Members   -  Reputation: 1449

Posted 07 March 2013 - 12:56 PM

I don't want to sound offensive but it is the slightly naive statements like those from way2lazy2care that do allow publishers to get away with this kind of crap. Especially when these sorts of gamers will be the ones sitting around complaining when they can no longer play their games.

But this has all been discussed before, it wont change. I think this is killing the "AAA" industry but this could be good for the indies.

After all, no-one will have internet after the apocalypse... the next one ;)

Edited by Karsten_, 07 March 2013 - 12:59 PM.

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#60 SimonForsman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 5770

Posted 07 March 2013 - 01:16 PM



Because Steam(mostly) does it right. I don't really mind DRM per se, I just hate crappy, bugged out DRM. Which is to say of DRM. I don't consider Steam to be more inconvenient than "please insert disc to play". If most DRM looked like Steam, I don't think there would be a lot of hate for it.

 
I think steam is more convenient than "please insert disc to play", or even DRM free games from for example gog.com simply because steam makes accessing my games from any computer, anywhere, easy and the DRM doesn't get in my way. (I've never even noticed it).
 
It is 2013 now so i don't have a huge problem with the always online requirement itself (I am always online anyway), but if i pay for a product and/or service i do expect it to be delivered at the date and time promised to me, there are no excuses, there is no such thing as an unexpected initial rush, with digital distribution you know exactly how many copies you've sold and you can stop sales in any region at any time. Blizzard failed with D3, EA failed with SimCity and i don't even care if Ubisoft fails or not anymore (I don't buy their games because of their past DRM fuckups and both EA and Blizzard has to be careful or i'll stop buying their games aswell).
 
If EA wishes to go down the always online route they need to commit to it, servers need to be up and running and can't be taken down just because a game is getting old, To get my money they will have to prove that they can deliver, not just on launchday but also 10+ years after launch.


Just out of curiousity, what does steam do that's functionally different from Origin? I mean, I've had no problems with Origin. I've had problems with SimCity, but Origin performs almost identically to Steam. Origin/Steam are just delivery mechanisms. I don't see why they are relevant to a game's servers being down. There are plenty of games on steam that have bad launch days. We are starting to conflate issues, and the general negative EA bias is starting to show.


I don't know if anything is different really, the DRM part of steam is not used by all games on steam, (But it is used by Valves games and a few others), games that use the steamworks DRM cannot be launched unless steam is running and unless steam is in offline mode they will require an internet connection to start. (You can disconnect while playing though unless the game has additional DRM aswell (Ubisoft likes to pull shit like that and add further restrictions on games bought through steam)

DRM free games on steam can be launched without launching steam (by going into the game directory and launching it from there).

Sim City is an EA game, it is EA that fucked up and you were the one who brought up origin, i never mentioned it, Steam was brought up because it got critizised for requiring a connection to start games in the past not as a comparison to origin.

Edited by SimonForsman, 07 March 2013 - 01:29 PM.

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