I did read it and as far as your links go they only say that the multiplayer portion of the game would not work in an offline mode which isn't the same as saying that the servers do some of the work. In fact the small modification of the code allowed players to build in a larger area than when they were connected to the servers.
We all understand that online multiplayer features require an internet connection. Maybe I am stupid here and I am missing something crucial so can you please quote to me the party that says Sim City could only work properly if a server lent its processing power to make it run? This is what you're claiming, quote me an unbiased source that says this because none of your sources actually confirm the claim you're making.
The fact that it took them 6 months. That's not evidence of anything. You are just coughing up excuses for DRM the same way companies who push it do. You claim to be a cynic, yet you believe Maxis/EA's claim that the always on DRM was beneficial for the people playing with only weak ambiguous evidence to support it.
Provide a proper source or simply admit that you might be wrong here.
I never claimed DRM was beneficial. Quick smoking that stuff and listen. Don't blame me for DRM, I hate it and EA.
What I stated was from their quotes, which you obviously didn't either read or are unable to comprehend. The engineering blog explained they had to change the code (yes, actual programming) to work on the player's system. Which was a big concern because, in their glorious concept, SimCity would run fine on any system, even lowly little laptops. Why? Because some of the heavy lifting was done on the server. I realize you don't understand what the engineer's blog means, but I spent decades in software engineering and that is what he was talking about. The player provided mod only removed the forced connection to the server. Which was a big problem because it made many think that EA had this complete game that did everything they wanted only they refused to let them play it. Many did play it, although the game was a shell of its planned glory (snort). It did allow several things that poisoned the view of the players, larger cities and off line play being but two.
The engineering blog stated quite clearly that it was a half of year's work, with the programming team - not just him, to modify the product. Many of the UI elements had to be modified because the information was no longer provided by the server but generated (simulated) on the player's computer. Their stupid idea for the game was to have their servers provide the simulation work for the effort outside of the player's single city.
From my view as a retired software engineer they could not have done a worse job. My review of their software/server project follows, feel free to ignore it like you have the rest of the information. You obviously don't understand anything about programming or systems engineering. You have your precious misperceptions and you won't give them up. Fine.
First, if they had to have their idiotic DRM those servers should have been cloud provisioned to allow for the massive registration that a quarter million players logging in at the same time should be able to at least register their copy. Someone had to know the first days numbers, at least within 25K, so even if they only needed the cloud expansion for a day or a week it would have easily adjusted to the extra load. Not that adjusting to such a load meant everyone would get registered in under a minute, but it wouldn't have been the complete disaster it was.
Second, if the plan was to have the servers provide the inter-city simulation then a backup solution that ran on the player's machine was needed. If only because what happens when the internet is down, housemates are streaming Netflix, etc. so it is definitely something I would have insisted on. Or what happens when one is playing on a laptop and closes the lid, only to open it again down at Starbucks, or the airport? Network speed drops from their cable modem wireless down to maybe old school DSL speeds. The game goes from playing as planned to a crawl, much like moving from a modern laptop to one from five years ago.
Third, regardless if the idiotic plan was forced on them by JR (EA ex CEO) and upper level management they never should have bought in so completely to it. It was doomed to failure. Provide the basic simulation on the player's machine. And not just the simple crap they did, the inter-city bit was the most important because with out that nothing really happens in the city anyway. All the supply and demand from other cities was required for their vision to work.
Finally, if you are going to provide such crap to their players they why didn't somebody figure out that a simple edit to the .ini file could get around the all so important restrictions? Beyond stupid, that is EA and now Maxim is no more. Nobody from EA or Maxim ever posted regarding the weird city size limitation. I suspect it was to restrict the size of the cities to fit next to each other. Another dumb limitation. A reasonable one would have been tied to the available memory and disk space on the client machine. Shrug, who knows?
I have linked these before but WTH, why not try it again? Maybe you can get someone else to read them to you: http://www.ea.com/news/simcity-update-straight-answers-from-lucy
So, could we have built a subset offline mode? Yes. But we rejected that idea because it didn't fit with our vision. We did not focus on the "single city in isolation" that we have delivered in past SimCities. We recognize that there are fans - people who love the original SimCity - who want that. But we're also hearing from thousands of people who are playing across regions, trading, communicating and loving the Always-Connected functionality. The SimCity we delivered captures the magic of its heritage but catches up with ever-improving technology.
They could have. They didn't. The real SimCity was only completed after the fact. And only because they had a revolt in their harmonious simulation. How much ran exactly where? Nobody outside of Maxim knows and they are gone. However, I believe the engineer that solved the problem and how the team solved it. Not some journalist or gamer looking for some vast conspiracy that isn't there. Bad decisions made one right after the other. Typical EA.
From the engineering blog, which you either didn't read or cannot comprehend: http://www.simcity.com/en_US/blog/article/engineering-offline-play-for-simcity
I wish it were as simple as flipping a switch and telling the game to communicate with a dummy client rather than our server, but it's more than that. Entire calculations had to be rewritten in order to make the game function correctly.
SimCity was written to rely on the servers. The game routinely pings the servers for critical pieces of data (region status, workers, trading etc.) and it relies on that information to keep the simulation moving. This meant rewriting the entire system, which previously existed in Java, and putting it into C++. We've had to knock out the internet pipe stuff. There's lots of code that hits the servers looking for information. We've had to write a lot of code to produce that data locally, specifically for region information.
And there is the quote that directly states what I stated and you groused about previously (which is why I believe you didn't read it or you are unable to comprehend engineering speak). The server code was written in Java (typical of today's server side solutions) and had to be moved to C++ because the client itself is in C++. Both are programming languages, neither are .ini files. And Java on the client sucks from a performance standpoint.
Yes, I am a programmer, aka software engineer and have even managed ... software engineers. I get this stuff. I lived it. I still do.
It is beyond tragic that you don't even understand the conversation that you drag on while merely shining your ignorance with that same old cloth.