Sim City: Is it better yet? / Good Management Games?

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Sim City: Is it better yet? / Good Management Games?

Postposted on Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:51 pm

I heard all about the server issues during the launch. I assume this is no longer an issue.

I heard the game mechanics were pretty screwed up in numerous ways. Has this been fixed?

I heard the map sizes are just tiny. Is there a way around this?

I know this is an EA game, and I don't like to support them. But I've got the itch for a good management game. Now that Sim City is cheaper and time has passed to potentially allow them to fix bugs, is it worth it?

Amazon has it available for download for $30. Anybody know any cheaper vendors?
Last edited by LukeCWM on Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sim City: Is it better yet?

Postposted on Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:21 pm

I am thinking about getting one for my wife.

Generally, what I've found is that people hate it because either 1) they were burned by the launch, 2) they don't want to be online to play, or 3) because of personal beliefs/choice to boycott EA.
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Re: Sim City: Is it better yet?

Postposted on Sat Jul 27, 2013 12:28 pm

EA is the devil, grab an old copy of SC4 if you've not got it already. I've heard some fairly good things about the Anno and CitiesXL series too but I think they have intenret DRM too.
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Re: Sim City: Is it better yet?

Postposted on Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:15 pm

Seriously, SC4 is still ten times better than the current game; best advice here by a country mile.

Some bugs have been fixed but the game is a shadow of it's prequels. It's not even funny to think how limiting and pointless some of the decisions made have been.
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Re: Sim City: Is it better yet?

Postposted on Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:26 am

I have SC4 and have played it. It's getting old, though. I make jumbo high tech cities surrounded by agricultural and industrial cities. I have the super-blocks technique down pat, which eliminates traffic until the late-game. Then the only challenges becomes how to plant hundreds of thousands of trees one by one to reduce pollution, and how to frequently-enough cycle through inefficient power plants and whatever those water-generating facilities are called. Then the only thing left is to build more mega-blocks. I don't know. It's starting to feel empty to me.

You know, as much as I don't like a micro-managing, micro-transaction company, I do have very stable, very fast internet, and truthfully, I'm not bothered that much by the inability to play games without an internet connection. I haven't run into an issue with Steam in that regard once yet in the year I've been using it.

My favorite MMO went from a technically-challenging game for pro players to a kiddie game full of color-challenges and other ridiculous appeals to 12-14 year olds. I stopped playing. Is the new Sim City the same way?

I heard there were a lot of game-breaking bugs, but I don't remember what they are: was it inability for firetrucks to get around? Or waste management? Or inability to handle traffic? I'm not sure. Have these been resolved?

And does anyone know of a way to get larger map sizes in Sim City? To have a true metropolis? Or has anyone grown to appreciate the mini-city deal and all the required infrastructure?
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Re: Sim City: Is it better yet?

Postposted on Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:47 am

The wife got the game at launch. I don't think she's had an interest in playing it again after trying for a few weeks and she's a SimCity and time management game nut.
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Re: Sim City: Is it better yet?

Postposted on Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:51 am

LukeCWM wrote:You know, as much as I don't like a micro-managing, micro-transaction company, I do have very stable, very fast internet, and truthfully, I'm not bothered that much by the inability to play games without an internet connection. I haven't run into an issue with Steam in that regard once yet in the year I've been using it.


Yeah, but the issue at launch was the EA servers couldn't handle the load, not that people had slow internet. I suppose with such bad PR and many people no longer playing, it's not a problem anymore.

LukeCWM wrote:My favorite MMO went from a technically-challenging game for pro players to a kiddie game full of color-challenges and other ridiculous appeals to 12-14 year olds. I stopped playing. Is the new Sim City the same way?


Sounds like why I stopped playing as much EverQuest 2.
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Re: Sim City: Is it better yet?

Postposted on Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:10 am

Scrotos wrote:The wife got the game at launch ... and she's a SimCity and time management game nut.


Haha, what other games does she play? I need recommendations! (I like to search for game recommendations by rating on GameSpot.com, but they don't seem to have a search function for management or tycoon games, even though they have tags for them elsewhere.)

I've seriously got an itch for a good management game. I remember Airport Tycoon was so clunky and poorly orchestrated. And by now I'm sure terribly outdated. I remember Restaurant Empire was also only half-baked, with super linear restaurant upgrades. Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 was simply great, but it's also dated and I put in so many hours ten years ago that it just isn't as fascinating anymore. What else is there? Zoo Tycoon, which got old super fast (the only fun was tracking down escaping dinosaurs!). And the whole string of obviously carbon-copy tycoon games by sleazy, budget developers with titles like Mall Tycoon, Prison Tycoon, Ski Lift Tycoon, Cruise Ship Tycoon, Vegas Tycoon ... need I go on?

What good ones are out there? Are there any new ones that aren't clunky and have gameplay that actually works? Are there any oldy-but-goody's that I missed and still have play-value?

*Note, I don't want a game where you play God and nothing actually happens. I don't want to just construct. I want to manage. I want it to be a game, not just a level-editor.

Thanks, Scrotos! And hopefully others!
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Re: Sim City: Is it better yet?

Postposted on Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:38 pm

I'll ask her. She mainly games on her iPhone now for that kinda stuff. On the PC it's mostly FPS stuff.
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Re: Sim City: Is it better yet?

Postposted on Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:46 pm

LukeCWM wrote:What good ones are out there? Are there any new ones that aren't clunky and have gameplay that actually works? Are there any oldy-but-goody's that I missed and still have play-value?


Railroad Tycoon 3
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Re: Sim City: Is it better yet?

Postposted on Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:43 pm

Have you tried out the Tropico or Anno series of games?
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Re: Sim City: Is it better yet?

Postposted on Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:55 pm

I tried one of the Railroad Tycoon games some years ago. I remember it felt dated, and also obscure, in that it didn't feel very game-like to me. In the same way that flight simulators feel less than games: perhaps powerful, but not really engaging. Also, I don't think I grasped the economic strategies, and I don't like an expiration date for my games (play for X many days or years, etc., until your game is over). However, maybe I played the wrong one, or maybe I should give it a proper try.

Is Tropico the one where you play as a dictator for a banana republic? What is Anno about?
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Re: Sim City: Is it better yet? / Good Management Games?

Postposted on Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:17 pm

Had the launch been managed better and the game called "SimTown" or "Societies 2" or basically anything other than SimCity, the reception would have been an order of magnitude better. But you'd still have the Nissan Leaf and $10 Ferris Wheel to explain.
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Re: Sim City: Is it better yet?

Postposted on Mon Jul 29, 2013 5:29 pm

LukeCWM wrote:Is Tropico the one where you play as a dictator for a banana republic? What is Anno about?


Yes, that's Tropico. I haven't played Anno in years (mainly because the latest one, Anno 2070, has the typical horrible Ubisoft DRM restrictions) but from what I recall it's a bit like Civilization with a much larger focus on building your cities in great detail. There is a combat element in the later stages of the game.
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Re: Sim City: Is it better yet? / Good Management Games?

Postposted on Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:30 pm

I tried citiesXL but the game just didn't seem to work for me. I got the game on sale looking forward to building a 100% green city(no cars, but awesome transit system type stuff) but the game refused to be played that way. Roads are required to make the game run the simulation. I tried it for a while after that disappointment but then I encountered a few bugs in the game that just made me quit and I haven't looked at it since.

Anyways the game series I love, more than simcity which seems shallow now, is the caesar series. You can build a basic city without much knowledge of game mechanics, but getting a high end one and meeting the different objectives end game requires that you figure out how to manage and balance a bunch of different things.
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Re: Sim City: Is it better yet? / Good Management Games?

Postposted on Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:35 pm

My vote goes to ANNO 2070, as mentioned above. Absolutely amazing gameplay, with lots of micro-management as opposed to macro-management of SimCity. Be prepared to waste a lot of hours.

Also, if you have to have SC, I'll echo the recommendation for SC4 Deluxe. Still the best in the series. Better yet, go to GOG and grab SC2K ;)
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Re: Sim City: Is it better yet? / Good Management Games?

Postposted on Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:56 pm

I have to second Tropico 3/4. The game reminded me a lot of Roller Coaster Tycoon 2, both in gameplay and sense of humor.
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Re: Sim City: Is it better yet? / Good Management Games?

Postposted on Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:47 pm

Putting aside the bugs and what not, the game is still pretty broken from a late game perspective. Traffic becomes unbearably ridiculous to the point where your city always ends up in gridlock. It's even worse if you have tourism of any kind. Only one road into your city compounds the problem exponentially and you just end up with gridlock at the mouth at all times. Adding more public transportation most of the time doesn't relieve this and you can actually cause more problems by putting it in then it helps. Sims are stupid and they don't take the train even if it's really good.

That's really what kills it for me. Nothing like building a mega city for four hours only to have it done in by traffic. This is especially prevelant in gambling cities where your income highly depends on tourism. People don't make it to your casinos, they don't gamble, you eventually go bankrupt from upkeep costs.

That's like the one big downside to this game. That and some other parts of the simulation are still broken. Like adding more sewage treatment plants doesn't always fix your sewage problems as it gets 'clogged' for lack of a better way to describe it when it's being pulled to both plants. There are a lot of things like that.


I'm not a big fan of Anno. It's fun to play through, but it's really one big tech tree. There are almost exact ratios to climb the tech tree of buildings you need per new building to achieve a higher level. Late game it becomes almost unbearable as you need to constantly tend to your super citizens to make sure they have the proper commodities and what not. It's way too structured for a sandbox game (even though the game makes it out that it's not structured).
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Re: Sim City: Is it better yet?

Postposted on Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:33 pm

tfp wrote:Railroad Tycoon 3


I whipped this game out again during the Christmas Holidays and had probably the best gaming experience I've had since the early days of DayZ. Crazy that a game this old can hold it's own against modern titles. Crazy too that such a brilliant game series ended with Railroads! Strategically challenging games from big publishers are so hard to come by these days.
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Re: Sim City: Is it better yet? / Good Management Games?

Postposted on Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:44 pm

Unfortunately, if you want SimCity-style management, SC4 is really your best best, Anno 2070 and Tropico are both loads of fun, but really rather different games. SC4 mostly looks fine as well, vs let's say CS1.6 where it doesn't matter how awesome the gameplay is, it looks SO bad compared to any new game, you just have to like to peel scabs to play it.
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Re: Sim City: Is it better yet? / Good Management Games?

Postposted on Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:27 pm

If you're bored by SC4's mechanics that's probably even more reason to avoid SC2013, again I haven't played it myself but just about everyone I've heard from that has has complained that once you get through the initial setup of your town/village/whatever (maps are too small to really be cities) there isn't much in the way of more sophisticated long-term management and all there's really left to do is move on to the next town/village/whatever in pursuit of some rather nebulous 'collect 8000 lumber' style regional objectives. AFAIK Maxis has no plans to deal with the current map size limitation beyond possibly making it a future DLC.

Tropico is hilarious, but I agree that the time limit really sucks. I wonder if anyone has done a mod to get rid of that so guys like us can just chill in paradise forever. Caesar was great, too bad they don't make them like that anymore.

It's in a slightly different vein but one game you could consider that doesn't get much mainstream love is X3. It's a space fighting and trading sim, not terribly immersive due to game mechanics that constantly remind you that it's a game but holy lord is the economic backend a sight to behold. Dwarf Fortress is notoriously difficult and complicated but all the configuration and data files are plaintext so it's easy to mod it into whatever sort of game you want, albeit one with 80s graphics.
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Re: Sim City: Is it better yet? / Good Management Games?

Postposted on Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:41 pm

Must say, pretty rare to come across someone else who's into X3. Reunion, or the newer ones? :)
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Re: Sim City: Is it better yet?

Postposted on Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:16 am

NovusBogus wrote:EA is the devil, grab an old copy of SC4 if you've not got it already.

I see this a lot and it absolutely confounds me. "EA SUCKS SO GIVE EA MORE MONEY!" wut? Not that I'm complaining, but the juxtaposition of the two opposing ideas in a totally serious statement is just jarring. I always wonder if there's any cognitive dissonance at all.

Anyway, I vote you give it a shot, but I'm biased :P . You should see what the response is to the new update that's supposed to go live tomorrow if you're still on the fence.
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Re: Sim City: Is it better yet? / Good Management Games?

Postposted on Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:46 am

From what I'm gathering, Caesar is great for its age, Railroad Tycoon 3 is great for its age (even older, I think?), and I should wait to hear how the Sim City update is perceived by the masses.

Maybe Tropico could be worth a shot. The descriptions you guys are giving don't make Anno sound quite as appealing to me.

What about a management game that isn't necessarily a city? Like a hopefully-modern, well-done version of a game like Airport Tycoon or Restaurant Empire?
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Re: Sim City: Is it better yet? / Good Management Games?

Postposted on Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:42 pm

juzz86 wrote:Must say, pretty rare to come across someone else who's into X3. Reunion, or the newer ones? :)

TC mostly...actually playing it right now because I recently lost internet for a while and like a good lover it's always there for me even if the series of tubes is being moody. Reunion was good for its time, certainly more trade-focused than its successors, and while I bought AP direct from the developer when they offered a nosteam patch I never got around to actually playing it. The trouble with Egosoft games is they're so utterly freeform you just get lost in it until some other non space sim comes along and the whole bunch gets shelved again.
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Re: Sim City: Is it better yet? / Good Management Games?

Postposted on Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:01 am

EA still doesn't listen to its customers. They don't want always online for this type of game. And then EA people lie about how good it is and how it will get you girls. I didn't fall for it. This time. :P

Edit:

And another thing! EA does not allow user or community modding of the new Sim City. EA will even delete forum posts if you so much as mention the subject or ask for it as a feature! This right here is a reason to take a pass on the latest version (or any other four-letter word that starts with "p" and ends with "ss").

If you think Sim City 4 is looking "dated", then there's no good reason for that. Get on Simtropolis and start looking at some of the great user community work that's been done. If you're hard to please, then get the BAT tool and editors and start designing your own new buildings and objects. You can't do any of that with the new SC and to me it's not looking like you will be able to for the foreseeable future.

Despite the lack of usable, depletable underground resources and built-in surface water, the older Sim City 4 has a fundamentally sound game engine and big cities run better on modern processors. The new SC 2013 Glassbox engine can't hold a candle to Sim City 4.
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Re: Sim City: Is it better yet? / Good Management Games?

Postposted on Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:22 am

This thread has won me over. Sim City 4 Deluxe is 10.69 on Amazon. I need a new (old) game fix.

http://www.amazon.com/SimCity-4-Deluxe- ... B0000C0YW2
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Re: Sim City: Is it better yet? / Good Management Games?

Postposted on Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:38 am

BIF wrote:And another thing! EA does not allow user or community modding of the new Sim City. EA will even delete forum posts if you so much as mention the subject or ask for it as a feature!

You're conflating two separate issues together. We aren't allowing discussion of mods on the official SimCity forums due to legal issues and the fact that we don't have a formalized modding policy in place yet. However, we haven't worked to actively block any user created mods. Just look at the mods available on Simtropolis for SC2013.
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Re: Sim City: Is it better yet?

Postposted on Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:45 pm

Zoomastigophora wrote:"EA SUCKS SO GIVE EA MORE MONEY!" wut? Not that I'm complaining, but the juxtaposition of the two opposing ideas in a totally serious statement is just jarring.


When I hear that a game was developed by an EA studio I automatically assume it's mediocre, anti-consumer crap but I'll happily get it if the game stands up to scrutiny. In fact I *want* to be proven wrong because I do care about games and I'm very frustrated by the direction the AAAs have gone. But I rarely am. My two most recent EA games are ME2 and DA:O since they were disk-check only.

I do such research on all games, not just EA, and the list of interesting titles I've said no to is depressingly long. One of the reasons I'm an X fanboi is Egosoft is one of the few non-indie developers left that respects its customers. I miss the 90s where I could just go to a game shop and buy something without having to worry about internet issues and political baggage. :(
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Re: Sim City: Is it better yet? / Good Management Games?

Postposted on Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:13 pm

Zoomastigophora wrote:
BIF wrote:And another thing! EA does not allow user or community modding of the new Sim City. EA will even delete forum posts if you so much as mention the subject or ask for it as a feature!

You're conflating two separate issues together. We aren't allowing discussion of mods on the official SimCity forums due to legal issues and the fact that we don't have a formalized modding policy in place yet. However, we haven't worked to actively block any user created mods. Just look at the mods available on Simtropolis for SC2013.


Nothing you have said would change my mind or my advice to anybody not to purchase SC 2013. SC4 is STILL the better game, and you can play the apologist/excuse maker for EA all you want, it does not change my opinion.

EA hasn't listened. I won't put up with always-online. And I want mods for this genre. Vendor-supported mods, and a vendor-supported community. I don't care how long it takes (I actually understand long development timelines). EA needs to get with it, fix the broken game, fix the broken design, start REALLY listening to customers' wishes and establish a damned modding policy before sending minions to post on external forums. :roll:
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