Have all the issues!
We have seen lots of issues with the release of the newly released SimCity 5, server queue problems and download issues being the largest of them. But now what are EA, Origin and the SimCity team doing about these issues?
Gameplay features shut down
SimCity developer Maxis applied an update today to remove some “non-essential” gameplay features including leaderboards and achievements from SimCity in an attempt to get the online-only game back on its feet.
“We are in the process of deploying a hotfix to all servers,” said a Maxis community manager in a post on the EA Forums. “This includes various improvements and also disables a few non-critical gameplay features leaderboards, achievements and region filters. Disabling these features will in no way affect your core gameplay experience,” the community manager added. “Getting you playing is our absolute highest priority.”
Maxis has not provided any timetable for restoring the disabled features.
Some hours later Electronic Arts announced it would be turning off one of the more basic functions of the game: cheetah speed.
Since the original SimCity released in 1989 players have been able to slow the speed of time passing in the game down, or speed it up to adjust the pace of play. Sim City 5 launched with three speeds: turtle, llama and cheetah.
The latest patch, released shortly before 2 p.m. eastern, disabled Cheetah speed, making it match the regular, llama speed, according to an EA community lead posting on the official forums.
Fix for crash caused most commonly occurring on servers experiencing lag. This crash would happen most often when claiming a new city when playing in a region.
- Fix for server select dialog not appearing on start-up if the server the player was last on is not available.
- Disabled Cheetah speed. Cheetah speed is is now the same as llama speed.
- Crash fix for finding closest points.
- Crash fixes in transport and pedestrian code.
- A fix cities having processing problems associated with helicopters.
Additional server capacity and maintenance
In a statement on the SimCity Facebook page, EA say they hope to reduce server traffic by “aggressively undergoing maintenance on the servers and adding capacity to meet demand.”
A more detailed statement, from SimCity senior producer Kip Katsarelis, appeared on the SimCity forums this morning:
“This has been an exciting and challenging week for the team here at Maxis, the culmination years of planning and development. We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and enthusiasm from our fans which has made it even more upsetting for us that technical issues have become more prominent in the last 24 hours. We are hitting a number of problems with our server architecture which has seen players encountering bugs and long wait times to enter servers. This is, obviously, not the situation we wanted for our launch week and we want you to know that we are putting everything we have at resolving these issues.
“What we are doing is deploying more servers over the coming two days which will alleviate many of the ongoing issues. We are also paying close attention to all the bug reports we are receiving from our fans. We’ve already pushed several updates in the last few days. Our live ops team is working 24/7 to resolve issues and ensure that bug fixes roll into the game as quickly as possible.
“While the ongoing issues are troubling, we can also see that players are really enjoying the game. In a single 24 hour period, there were more than 38 million buildings plopped down, nearly 7 and a half million kilometers of roads laid down, 18+ million fires started and (my favorite fact) over 40 million pipes filled up with poop.
“This team has put everything into this game and won’t stop until things are smooth. We ask our fans to be patient as our team works diligently to fix the issues. We share your passion for SimCity and thank you for your support and understanding.”
Amazon isn’t happy
At the very least Amazon.com is peeved abut the issues, as it looks like they have removed the Sim City 5 Digital Download from their virtual shelves.
Here is Amazon’s statement from their store page:
“Many customers are having issues connecting to the ‘SimCity’ servers. EA is actively working to resolve these issues, but at this time we do not know when the issue will be fixed. Please visit https://help.ea.com/en/simcity/simcity for more information.”
The hard copy however is still available for purchase on Amazon (we checked) so those looking to play it on Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 can still buy it there.
Overall the game looks awesome, as expected from Sim City. I know that as soon as the issues are smoothed out I will be giving it a try as soon as I can!