news\ Dec 14, 2012 at 3:03 pm

SimCity will require a constant internet connection, outage might lose game progress


The guys over at Maxis are doing an AMA on Reddit right now. One of the first questions I've noticed is regarding the game being playable while offline. User human_error asked this:

What will happen to the game if I am playing and lose my internet connection - will the game still be playable and update the servers when my internet connection resumes or will it pause and wait for the connection?

As I have unreliable internet at times if I were to lose a connection and play for a while longer (assuming I would be able to continue to play) would my changes be saved locally in case my internet connection does not come back up before I need to stop playing (and then be uploaded when I next start the game).

I love what the game is looking like and look forward to the multi-player region games, but as you can tell I am concerned about what happens if my internet connection decides to drop for a few hours.

He poses a great question. While it's absolutely true that nowadays, being connected to the internet is about as standard as having running water, the fact remains that sometimes these connections can be unstable. For me, having Xfinity, sometimes losing internet means I don't get it back for days, since a technician can't ever come the same day.

The answer we got was this:

Hey, not avoiding this one. I actually just ran over to our online engineering team to get the latest info. We do handle "short" internet outages gracefully. Meaning, if your internet goes out while you're logged in and playing the game, we can can recover gracefully. You shouldn't notice a thing. "Short" is still being defined.

In short, if you're internet craps out for a longer period of time, you won't be able to play the new SimCity until it comes back on. Why isn't there a dedicated offline mode? The Multi-city play is enticing, but sometimes I just want to play on my own. Looks like another terrible DRM issue.

The biggest issue, and that fans are most worried about, are whether their progress will be lost once the internet goes out, since there is no way to save your city to the server. If it's a short outage, Maxis says they can "recover gracefully," however for those whose internet might go out for longer periods of time, might be out of luck, since it doesn't look like cities are saved locally on your computer.

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