A couple of years into playing MMOs, my love of The Sims slowly waned. The attraction of micromanaging a bunch of Sims in a solo play environment was less than appealing, with each new MMO adventure. Gradually, no one in our household or any of our immediate friends played The Sims anymore, having opted for massive online experiences instead. Most of my gal pals ended up in Second Life - *hurl*. While my immediate and extended family fell head over heels for fantasy MMOs and co-op console titles.
On a break from Guild Wars 2 and not wanting to burn out on Tera Online, I was in the market for a casual friendly game when I saw Gary Gannon’s play through of SimCity 5 on GBTV. I just noticed a second play through that I'll watch tonight.
SimCity 5 appeared to have many of the visual aspects and high level behaviors from The Sims 3 but on a grander management scale. In The Sims, I would sometimes use hack programs to create large homes like compounds, and let the inhabitants act out using “free will” to see what would happen. So the idea of managing things at a city level and letting the system randomly generate populace behavior and events was very intriguing.
Once I branched out into creating a more elaborate I started taking breaks after important milestones. I exit out of the city to the main menu in hopes of allowing enough time for the city to get properly synchronized to the server before continuing on. I’m not buying the need for the game to be 100% online without any way for the user to force a local save. Such a poor decision, leaving EA/Maxis open to poor customer satisfaction due to lost progress in a game that is 100% about MANAGING PROGRESS. Like DUH!!
Using my “go do something else for a while and hope the damn thing saves” approach I haven’t lost any more progress. The game is quite addictive. I’m now playing what I consider my alpha city, learning more advanced features and having a good time. I’m less concerned about designing a perfect city grid, visually attractive layouts or the constant protesters outside Town Hall that I’d like to kick in the teeth, as I am understanding logical growth planning. So far so good, SimCity 5 is proving to be a fun diversion and break from Tera Online.