You know you’re in trouble when you’re applying basic RTS principles to your game’s launch. Maxis countered an early customer rush by diverting all power to their burning servers, and have been battling to match the SimCity players saw in their mind’s eye and in the pre-release trailers ever since. In today’s update, however, they’ve deemed it safe to turn the lights back on in a few of the game’s deserted features: leaderboards, region filters and dynamic global market prices.
Leaderboards will be active on EU West 3, Pacific 1 and Pacific 2 once the patch goes live, with other servers to follow over the course of the day. What’s more, Global Market prices will now change during play, and players can search for open regions by Map Name, Sandbox Mode, and Abandoned Cities thanks to the re-enabled filters.
SimCity’s fast-forward mechanic, Cheetah Speed, had also been disabled shortly after the game’s launch in early March. Thankfully, Maxis restored that particular setting to the game in an April update.
Elsewhere in today’s patch, Maxis have introduced a new region, Edgewater Bay, and a park exclusively for members of the SimCity Launch Support Group. See the full changelog below.
- New: SimCity Launch Park, an exclusive new park just for our dedicated fans who were early adopters.
- New: Region: Edgewater Bay. Seven city sites in one cluster around a beautiful bay with one great work site.
- New: Your current server will now be shown in the options menu.
- New: More detailed rollover information on buildings telling player’s if their Sims received happiness from a park or from shopping. Previous to this fix, this information was generic.
- Re-Enabled Feature: Global Market prices now dynamically change during gameplay.
- Re-Enabled Feature: Leaderboards will be active on EU West 3, Pacific 1 and Pacific 2 at the release. We will enable them on additional servers throughout the day.
- Re-Enabled Feature: Region filters are now enabled on all SimCity servers. Players will be able to search for open games by Map Name, Sandbox Mode, and Abandoned Cities.
- Rain Clouds: Fixed an issue where some cities would not have rain clouds to replenish their water table. If you had a city with this issue, you will start seeing clouds again within a game day.
- Fire: Improved response time of fire trucks to fires. Improved the time it takes for a fire signal to reach a fire station.
- Mission updates: Tuned Metals HQ and Community College missions. These were appearing too early, making them difficult to complete. They now appear later in a city’s development.
- Solar Farm Great Work: Reduced fire risk at the Solar Farm Great work. Local fire engines were spending too much time at the Solar Farm.
- Messaging: Improved pre-requisite messaging for Trade Port, Casinos, Smelting Factory and Oil Refinery. It should be clearer on how to unlock these buildings.
- Graphics: Fix for flickering low wealth buildings on NVIDIA graphics cards.
- Education: Fix for an issue some cities experienced where commuting students did not return from a neighbor’s city. This was causing a problem where students would disappear from a city in some cases.
- Tuning: Sims will lose a small amount of happiness if they don’t have a place to shop. Cities without places to shop will see complaints and feel the effect of unhappy Sims. This will emphasize the importance of commercial zones.
Have you stuck with SimCity til now? If so, are you learning to deal with its areas of, ah, dysfunctionality?