Game Update #5 Now Available

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SteveQ
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Game Update #5 Now Available

Postby SteveQ » Fri May 23, 2008 12:59 pm

Notes for Game Update #5 (releasedMay2008)

EA and Tilted Mill are excited to announce the most significant update to SimCity
Societies yet, with six scenarios, city-wide policies, budgetary controls, and more.
In this update, we introduce powerful new ways of playing SimCity Societies, as well as
further refinements to both Creative and Strategic modes of play.
This update wouldn’t have been possible without feedback from our users on Tilted
Mill’s, EA’s and other gaming forums, and we are grateful for everyone’s input.

New Features:

• Scenarios - Six scenarios have been added. In a scenario, you’re asked to meet
the needs of a particular city. There, buildings might work slightly differently than
you’re used to, certain events might be more or less rare, and it’s possible for
you to lose your job as mayor. Scenarios range from relaxing, like A Land Apart
(build a cosmopolitan, refined city where artists rub elbows with wealthy patrons)
and Simplify, Simplify (with modest resources, create a refuge from hurry and
waste) to very challenging, like Futurology (build a massive city to serve as the
nerve center of a globe-spanning corporation).
You can find them from the “Play SimCity Societies” screen by clicking the
button with the red, orange, and blue arrows. The data files for these scenarios
(in the Data/XMLDb/Scenarios folder) are highly commented to encourage
modification, and we can’t wait to see what you come up with.
• Policies (Creative & Strategic modes) – At any one time, you can enact up to
three special rules for your city, such as World Market Investment (your treasury
fluctuates with the stock market), Universal Healthcare (your healthcare buildings
are open to more visitors), or Indoctrination (your educational facilities keep
Sims’ moods in line). The full list of Policies, and the requirements to enact
them, are on the City Management Screen (press ‘I’, or click the little city to the
left of the mini-map). Policies often work best with certain buildings or in certain
societies.
• New Maintenance system (Strategic modes) – Buildings have a wider variety of
maintenance costs. The new costs are more appropriate to the type of society
you’re building, and present more strategic options. We’ve also grouped
buildings into four maintenance categories (Government, Infrastructure, Social
Services, and General), and you can control the budget for each category
individually, weighing the risk of those buildings falling into disrepair against the
cost of maintaining them. The sliders to control maintenance are on the City
Management Screen.
• New Budget Graph (Creative & Strategic modes) - To help track your Simoleons,
a larger and more detailed budget screen is available.
• New City Management Screen to help you organize all of the above in one
location.
• Terrain leveling tool - you can now flatten terrain when a slope prevents you from
building. Hover over the Bulldozer tool to reveal it.
• There’s a special reward for you if you can earn the Jack of all Trades trophy in
Nightmare mode (check for ‘Monument of Mastery’ in your Decorations menu if
you’ve already earned the trophy).

Gameplay Changes:

• Income has been rebalanced for both modes of play, further emphasizing the
different ways in which different types of societies generate income. Buildings
costs have been rebalanced as well.
• The effects of strategic game modes have been re-balanced to provide a better
overall progression from one mode to the next.
• The Eyesore effect now exists on small buildings in a small radius for buildings
like the Dive Bar, or Slum Apartments.
• Improved feedback for the Eyesore system.
• Increased diversity of UI changes based on city profile.
• Power plants can function when damaged (at reduced efficiency). This should
prevent your city from shutting down due to a single maintenance failure.

Plus Improved Stability and Performance, and Other Fixes,
Including:

• A limit of 1500 buildings per city, added to help prevent out-of-memory errors.
This is enough to earn all the trophies and win all the scenarios, and most
players never build a city that large. We don’t recommend doing so, but if you’d
like to experiment with larger cities than that, and you don’t mind living on the
edge, you can adjust this limit in Data\XMLDb\Constants\Constants.xml; search
for ‘MaxLimit’ under the Building Constants heading.
• Fixed an infinite loop of social energy adjustments that could occur with certain
uses of the Free Press ability.
• Added workarounds for some stability issues with newer ATI drivers.
• The follow cam now will track the correct Sim after a fight.
• Performance improvements to texture streaming.
• Additional help and tooltips added throughout the game.
• Fix for buildings under the influence of multiple effects not always updating
properly when a building causing one of the effects is demolished.
• Fix for a crash if you have settings that are invalid for your current video card
(because you had played the game with a different card and have swapped them
without changing your settings).
• In that long fraction of a second between the intro movies and the main menu
where there was nothing to do before, you can now admire a pretty loading
screen.
• The building variant hotkey wasn't playing nice with the Housing Project. Now it
does.
• Fix for a circumstance in which deleting a save game would delete two instead.
• Fix for some stability issues with repeated settings changes.
• Fix for some situations where icons could hang out above deleted buildings
indefinitely.
Known Issues:

• Game Crash: if user changes Graphics Quality from high to low during a Killer
Storm on a vista machine with a Radeon HD3870 video card.
• Previously modded buildings lack the new maintenance functionality. These
mods will need to be updated in order for the building maintenance to function
properly. Two new files need to modified for proper maintenance: Maintenance
Categories and Maintenance Groups.
• Please be sure you have all the latest Windows Updates and Service Packs,
particularly if you’re running Vista. Microsoft has issued several fixes for bugs in
Vista that can lead to excessive memory use or instability when running SimCity
Societies.
• Some players with Radeon Crossfire video cards may experience flickering in the
animations. Disabling “crossfire” when possible or running a single card corrects the issue.

http://simcitysocieties.ea.com/updates/scs_updates.php

CatMajik
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Postby CatMajik » Fri May 23, 2008 1:22 pm

Thank You SteveQ!!!!

SteveQ
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Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 8:42 am

Postby SteveQ » Fri May 23, 2008 1:31 pm

No probs, I dont know when it was released. I came across it today as I have had to reinstall my SCS. So I downloaded the PDF and converted it to paste it here :D

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Jeff Fiske
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Update is extensive

Postby Jeff Fiske » Fri May 23, 2008 5:53 pm

In case you were wondering, there is a massive amount of gameplay changes here. I think many of us have paid for expansion packs in the past with far less impact on the base game.

Although it is touched on in the Update notes I will add that we tried to keep all of these changes and new additions as easy possible for modification.

Going to the GameModes.xml file, for example, gives you a single location to change a tremendous number of factors about what each game mode means.

In the strategic modes of play, you will find yourself paying much more attention to individual attributes and the unique traits of buildings and how to combine them- or you will be restarting.

The City Management Screen. Now that there is a reason (or a real need) to have one, we gave you one! Don't forget about Policies, they can have a tremendous impact on whether you win or are forced to quit and restart!

Oh, last but not least. The economic rebalancing was extensive. Different societies will not only play very differently from each other, but most of them play differently from before update 5. One example- The Manufacturing facilities used to pay 75 per worker per shift. Now they pay 10. Why? Because the building ability is much more lucrative and frequent. Now you really only care about workers showing up. Combine that with an overseer policy, and you really will feel like you are cracking the whip.

From all of us at TM-
Enjoy!
Last edited by Jeff Fiske on Fri May 23, 2008 6:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

JuliaSet
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Postby JuliaSet » Fri May 23, 2008 7:39 pm

ImageWoot! that sounds like we have more "meat" for SCS contests in the future! Image

ImageThankyou thankyou thankyou all!Image

JuliaSet
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Postby JuliaSet » Fri May 23, 2008 7:42 pm

erm... a question guys,

we have an SCS contest up right now. Will we have any issues with a contest/save made with patch#4???

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Jeff Fiske
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Julia Set

Postby Jeff Fiske » Fri May 23, 2008 8:47 pm

There are new values for most workplaces- so while you can load a saved game, the cost and money earned from a Bank or police station has been drastically altered.

So, you might want to have people stay at update 4 who are participating in the contest.

tickleonthetum
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Postby tickleonthetum » Fri May 23, 2008 9:00 pm

If you are installing the game afresh, do you need to install each update (1-5) in order or just this new patch 5?

JuliaSet
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Postby JuliaSet » Fri May 23, 2008 9:41 pm

Thanks Jeff,

For now we probably will keep the game at patch 4, till Stringbags has time to check if the contest is altered enough.

Tic, most of the patches had been cumulative, so let's see what TM says about it.

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Jeff Fiske
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Postby Jeff Fiske » Sat May 24, 2008 12:15 am

"tickleonthetum" wrote:If you are installing the game afresh, do you need to install each update (1-5) in order or just this new patch 5?


Just the latest

tickleonthetum
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Postby tickleonthetum » Sat May 24, 2008 7:29 pm

Thanks Jeff, I was dreading it!!!

Javokis
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Postby Javokis » Sat May 24, 2008 9:57 pm

Quick question:

Is there going to be dual-core and quad-core support(optimization) considered for any future patches?

Azeem
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Postby Azeem » Sun May 25, 2008 12:07 am

The new strategic options are great. Now there's even more depth to the game. :D The new economics are also interesting; I keep finding myself cash-strapped now. :o

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Jeff Fiske
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Postby Jeff Fiske » Sun May 25, 2008 4:41 am

"Azeem" wrote:The new strategic options are great. Now there's even more depth to the game. :D The new economics are also interesting; I keep finding myself cash-strapped now. :o


Thanks for the comment.
You are just scratching the surface.
It is really a new game now. (Don't forget to try the policies and leverage them in clever ways- you have to in order to win in Hardcore & Nightmare.)

ronnyay
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Great update!

Postby ronnyay » Sun May 25, 2008 7:35 am

The update is so great that i reinstall my game!

After patch 5, the strategic mode is at a right difficulty level to me without modding the xml! Yay! :D

The scenario mode and policy is really a nice touch! I really like it. I would like to know where the policies xml are located.

I've decided to buy SCS: Destination. Keep on the good work!! :)

Thank you. :D
Last edited by ronnyay on Sun May 25, 2008 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

3vol
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Postby 3vol » Sun May 25, 2008 8:38 am

I haven't tried it yet but am very excited about this. It sounds like exactly what the game needed. Pretty much every time I played nightmare difficulty I was building nothing but funeral homes, beauty shops, tombstone factories, shrowd factories, and monastaries for the homes. Any attempt to venture outside of that seemed impossible and I constantly thought that the maintenance levels just needed to be balanced. Sounds like exactly what you did, along with a bunch of other great features. One of my favorite things about SCS are these MASSIVE updates. I will continue to play and buy expansion packs so long as the game keeps getting better like this.

Edit: Wow just checked it out. The implementation of Policies and Upkeep Costs is a UNREAL improvement to the game. There are very few games out there that provide this level of updates. It is a whole new game now and soooooooooo much more interesting.

Edit 2: After playing for a couple hours it's obvious that it's extremely improved. I was able to use a variety of buildings which was nice, and playing with maintenance costs was great. The behavior of special sims has been improved, as a building would go out of order and before I could even begin to send repairmen that way a special sim was already on the job. The sims seem to be able to get their venues much easier now as well which is great. Awesome update!
Last edited by 3vol on Sun May 25, 2008 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

Juhhmi
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Postby Juhhmi » Sun May 25, 2008 5:09 pm

I'm downloading the patch now! 85 % ready! I just haven't played recently (building in Sims 2).
Thanks!

Juhhmi
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Postby Juhhmi » Sun May 25, 2008 5:21 pm

By the way, can I delete these packages after I've updated the game? They are quite large.

JuliaSet
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Postby JuliaSet » Sun May 25, 2008 7:00 pm

http://www.tiltedmill.com/forums/showthread.php?p=188992#post188992

The patch is quite large. (nearly 180m) Is there any plan to address download issues with our dialup fans?

I have posted some screenshots of the new features and scenarios.

tobing
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Postby tobing » Sun May 25, 2008 7:43 pm

The new patch seems to be really good, adding all the new features. I have immediately liked the Mod Manager, so it's much easier now to enable and disable the installed mods. :) I also have to get used to the new element of desirability (or so) that makes my often used butcher's shop much less usable now. ;) Hmm.

There's a downside, however: For some people it seems that the game does not work any more, with patch 5, when it has worked fine with patch 4. Any ideas why this is the case? :(


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