SimCity to get first major update, brings changes and bug fixes

SimCity is set to get its first major update tomorrow. Maxis will be fixing a number of issues that gamers have complained about. The game's servers will be down while the company applies the patch, which will bring the game up to version 2.0. SimCity's servers will be going offline on the 22nd of April at 4 pm eastern time, which approximately translates to the 23rd of  April, 2:30 am in India.

The downtime was chosen according to player timings noticed by the company. "Choosing a time to issue a major update is never easy," said Maxis. "As you can see from the list ... the wait will be worth it."

The major changes in the game include changes to the HUD to make it colour-correct when in a colourblind mode. There are also changes to the Data maps to show filtered colour when colour filters are enabled. Other changes are fixes and updates, including tuning to residential mechanics, transit mechanics and disasters, among other things.

Roads transport anything, from vehicles to electricity to sewage

Issues with the game's transit system are also getting fixed


Back in March, Maxis had released a new patch for SimCity that mostly eradicated the connection problems and added a new, rather strange, server: “Antarctica 1”. According to Maxis boss Lucy Bradshaw, this is "getting virtually everyone into the game and, once in, having a great time building cities and sharing regions."

She has pointed out, however, that not all of the problems have been solved yet. The company needs a few days of data before it can claim that the problem has been solved completely and the game is running at "100 percent".

Many gamers have been facing issues with SimCity since its North American launch earlier last week. EA blamed "server instability" caused by too many players. The company has since been in damage-control mode and is scrambling to bring additional servers online.

SimCity is the latest game in the popular city-building franchise and is meant to be a reboot of the series. The game goes back to its roots, streamlining the gameplay while leaving behind some of the arbitrary complexities that the previous games had, like the difficulty in laying down underground things like subway systems and water systems.

A major new feature in SimCity is the game’s unique take on multiplayer. Multiplayer in itself is a new feature to the franchise. When you play a game, you have to first pick a region to build a city. Other players can join your region and take to building cities on the empty city slots. The game is balanced around co-operation between the different cities in a region.

The multiplayer component also ended up causing quite a stir as the game requires you to be online all the time—even if you’re playing alone in a private region. While this originally resulted in angry retorts from gamers, the problem revealed its true form during the US launch of the game, when a staggering number of gamers were unable to even start the game. This is presumably because EA failed to predict the number of day-one players.

Check out our review for SimCity.


Published Date: Apr 22, 2013 09:29 am | Updated Date: Apr 22, 2013 09:29 am