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Simcity servers down for update 5, stops your neighbour lying about fire trucks


Earlier today Maxis announced they’d be rolling out update 5 for the woe-begotten always-online city intercourse simulator Simcity. It includes an update to stop your neighbours from kidding on about sending some fire trucks over to your city, and a Regional Mission called Wheels On The Bus, which I assume is about buses, and not about super cool school trips where you get to go to the Jorvik Viking Centre in York for the day.

Maxis say that while Update 5 is being deployed, they will also be performing scheduled database upgrades onEurope West 2,Europe West 3,Europe East 2,Europe East 1,Europe East 3, which means the servers will be down, though they reassure everyone in the vicinity that servers will be back up later today.

Most of the updates are for the multi-city and multiplayer updates, making them more ‘efficient’ and refining the messaging systems so that they give the player clearer signposting. The Region Wall has been completely revamped.

This all seems great – but if this game was made with always-online multiplayer function in mind, why weren’t the interfaces entirely streamlined before launch? Even the multiplayer part of this game seems to be buggy and unclear.

Update notes here:

• New: Historic Price charts for Global Market resources are available from the SimCity World button on the main menu.

• New: The Region Wall chat has been completely updated with a new look and new functionality! Chat functions more efficiently and it’s much easier to communicate with other players. Time stamps show on chat messages on rollover. Regional events are easier to read and can be toggled on and off.

• New: Added a filter for friends’ regions in the join region section.

• New: Trading control. Added feature to give players more control over their utilities. Players can now choose whether or not to keep their power, water, or sewage local. This setting can be found on the information panel accessible by clicking on the power plant, water tower, or sewage pipe or plant. Sharing with the region is on by default.

• New: Regional Missions: Added seven new regional missions: Drink It Up!, Plug In, So Stoked, The Wheels on the Bus, Ferry Dust, Station to Station, and Riding Coach.

• New: Regional Achievement: Added a new regional achievement, Field Trip!

• Gifting Improvements: Cash gifts are now delivered electronically, not by truck. This should improve the efficiency of gifting.

• Resource gifts: Resource gifts will happen more reliably. Multiple trucks can make deliveries at once if they are available in the sending city and the truck capacities have been increased.

• Great Works Improvements: Delivery trucks will mark their resources as dropped off as soon as they reach the Great Works, instead of when they arrive back in the city. This will make tracking time more reliable.

• Great Works Improvements: Update to have all resources at Great Works handled at the regional level. This will address players in different cities seeing different resources once the server has processed the region and cities.

• Great Works Improvements: Fixed an issue where an Arcology would maintain power from the region and fixed an issue where shoppers would not increase at the Arcology as it was leveled up. This will update in both existing and new Arcologies.

• Great Works Improvements: Tuned the Solar Farm.

• Regional Unlocks: The advanced coal mine unlocks regionally. Fixed issue where the Trade HQ sometimes did not unlock.

• Fire Advisor Trading clarity: Tuned the Fire advisor so they do not tell you that neighbors are sending fire trucks when your neighbor has no fire stations.

• Trading: School buses that travel from a neighbor’s city will show that city’s avatar.

• Regional Commuting: Fixed an issue where Sims would not be able to take transit out of cities with lots of streetcars or shuttle buses. This could cause some cases where commuting Sims could not return home and their homes would go abandoned.

• Garbage Trucks and Recycling Trucks: Fixed an issue that some cities experienced where garbage and recycling trucks do not leave their buildings or disappeared when trading service with neighbors. Existing cities who have trucks that have disappeared will have to demolish their missing trucks’ garages and plop new garages.

• Text Clarification: The “Out of Money” message now says “Can’t find work” when appropriate in rollover feedback and the approval rating UI. This is to clarify your Sims’ actual need.