I went back and played SimCity 2000... (A letter sent to EA)

#1OmfgitsBlahPosted 3/17/2013 1:29:40 PM
And realized that SimCity 2000 is more deep, engaging and free than SimCity Online.

The city plots are massive enough to warrant in-city highway systems,. You can build fully customized railway, subway and road systems (And to talk about just the road systems - you can easily and effectively build bridges, tunnels, curved intersections and roundabouts without having to deal with the wonky and finnicky auto-road-placement crap). SimCity Online has Arcologies? Finally. SimCity 2000 had four of them, each with different attributes, and an awesome secret if you built 340 of the most expensive one.

The disasters are more varied and interesting in SimCity 2000, the power plants have real, highly unique tradeoffs (fun fact: If a nuclear plant melted down, and radiation was spread everywhere, the radiation *would* fade after about 4000 years! What kind of Easter eggs like that are in SCO?). I mean, Microwave plants beamed power from space, which was interesting, but it could miss and cause fires. Solar plants gave great happiness and no pollution, but little power. Coal was cheap and gave tons of power, but unhappiness and pollution abounded. Fusion was ultra-expensive, but was the end-game solution to a utopia. SimCity Online has some different power plants, with some customizability, but the differences aren't nearly stark or interesting enough to result in significant strategic decisions.

Oh, and don't get me started on fires and crimes (and riots, we're talking real riots that were a unique challenge to deal with): Firemen actually did things, policemen could get to crimes and stop/prevent them, jail systems worked, power transported nearly instantaneously like real power systems, and so on. Also, you could manually work on fires. If you feared a fire was uncontainable, you could destroy everything around the fire in order to let it burn itself out. Of course, SCO has no spreading fires or forest fires, and meteors destroy a single building with no lasting effects, and earthquakes are akin to random bulldozing, so there's no real "crisis handling" - all cities are perpetually hunky-dory.

Know what else was amazing? You could tell your officers/firefighters where to go, and what areas to patrol and handle. See a fire? You could ring the bell yourself, and the firefighters would actually go do their jobs. Directed them towards multiple fires? They would SPLIT THEIR FORCE between the areas. Of course, they worked automatically as well - being able to take the reins just helped.


Sims are so perpetually happy that you can do anything and get away with it. I've raised taxes to 20%, and watched as maybe 3 people left my city. Do that in SC2000, your city will turn into Flint, Michigan. Place industry and nearby residences cared and would flee - nobody likes living next to a smog-belching factory. In SimCity Online, they'll take it like troopers - I've seen high-rises develop in between two coal plants. Utter. Lunacy.

Airports were real and functioned like real airports - if they were in a city with tall buildings, planes would crash and fires would start. No more Puff the Magic Noclip Airplane. Seaports were meaningful and necessary for trading, imports and exports, and a functioning industry and commercial district.

Speaking of meaningful and necessary, all three aspects of RCI were meaningful and necessary. I was needed to give C something to sell, C was needed to give R something to buy and be happier, and R was needed to work in both C and I. Without any one of them, the others would collapse. Not in SCO, no balance needed.
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If inflaton turns $3 into $0, then $6 turns into $3. -Orca
#2OmfgitsBlah(Topic Creator)Posted 3/17/2013 1:29:58 PM
There were some things that were a bit tedious, but allowed great customizability that's gone in the modern version. Water pumps weren't "plop-and-forget" - you created plumbing pipes for your entire city quickly and easily by hand, which allowed you to have fun punishing certain districts into leaving easily. And water actually got to places decently fast, instead of going in circles. Water flowed correctly, traffic flowed correctly, electricity flowed correctly - no "failures to flow", circular paths or delayed reactions.

And you could TERRAFORM. Dear lord could you terraform. Make awesome mountains with tunnels through and roads over, or flatten it out so that your city could actually function, and it was very, very simple and effective to use, and didn't leave you sitting there for half an hour trying to connect a road to another road, only for "grade too steep!" to block you forever. And new buildings didn't artificially raise the terrain for no real reason - they're placed where you place them.

And that's one more huge thing - pathfinding and traffic handling. SimCity 2000, a game created nearly 20 years ago, had better pathfinding and traffic handling than SimCity Online. Are "agent sims" worth sacrificing the integrity, interactivity and accuracy of a representative simulated population? Fake people that don't work but need jobs ruins the RCI balance (not that it's needed anyway)

And what does SimCity Online give us that 2000 didn't have? Well, you can customize buildings - often unnecessary or pointless, but yay? Sewage, Garbage - sewage magically flows to the outlets, making it "plop and forget", and garbage is only peripherally interesting, requiring traffic issues to not exist in order to collect garbage. They're both waste-management, but they're "place-and-forget" solutions, essentially. There's no planning roads to try to make collection easy - it just works like magic. Need more? Place them anywhere, it's fine. Just have enough, and enough is enough - no thought required. Events? Start-and-forget, as long as it's near an intercity connection. Everything is set-and-forget.


And finally, longevity. In SC2000, you could spend days, weeks working on a single city, turning it into an ultimate masterpiece. SC Online's plots are so small, it takes merely hours in order to fill your city completely, and it's tiny and, while pretty, ultimately shallow, just like the game. SC2000 had tech levels that spanned 1900 to 2050, and had a huge variance of different styles and buildings. SCO has much less of that.


A game created in 1993 managed to have a more interactive, fun and long-lasting city building simulator than a game produced in 2012 and released in 2013.

This is the future of EA, and if this is EA's vision, then EA needs to get some glasses and look into the past. There were small issues with SC2000, but ultimately, this is one step forward, several steps back.

And I'll be damned if you nickel-and-dime me into buying features that were standard 20 years ago.

No more, EA. Between this and C&C4 you've destroyed the franchises that made up my childhood. And the sad part is, you made a lot of money doing it. Congratulations.
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If inflaton turns $3 into $0, then $6 turns into $3. -Orca
#3roos1046 RebornPosted 3/17/2013 1:31:53 PM
nice wall of text
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#4OmfgitsBlah(Topic Creator)Posted 3/17/2013 1:32:32 PM
roos1046 Reborn posted...
I'm lazy and think anything over 100 words is a wall of text, no matter the formatting

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If inflaton turns $3 into $0, then $6 turns into $3. -Orca
#5MegabreathPosted 3/17/2013 1:46:16 PM
All true. EA/Maxis do not have it in them to make another 2000/3000/4 so I will take the new Simcity. Its still a fun game, but it would be so much better with larger cities and offline gameplay.
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Beanz on toast
#6MysticB121Posted 3/17/2013 2:22:39 PM(edited)
I see 2000 is only $5.99 on GOG. Really tempted by it.
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#7Lord_VaderPosted 3/17/2013 2:17:24 PM
True. This game is much more simplified than it's predecessors. It might be a good game on its own (once all the bugs are fixed) but it really isn't the SimCity we all knew and grew up with. This is pretty much SimTown.
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#8MyNamesNotHerePosted 3/17/2013 2:19:19 PM(edited)
Unfortunately I've never played 2000, out of interest how does 2000 compare with 3000? 3000 currently being my favourite.
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#9GlennFroggPosted 3/17/2013 2:20:58 PM
OmfgitsBlah posted...
roos1046 Reborn posted...
I'm lazy and think anything over 100 words is a wall of text, no matter the formatting

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#10lv54spacemonkeyPosted 3/17/2013 2:22:06 PM
SimCity 2000 was always my favourite but it has been a long time since I played it. Was a game I'd play on my Amiga for years. 3000, if I remember correctly, was just a basic progression on 2000 in most ways.
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