King’s Personal Musing 3/6/13: SimCity’s Launch Woes and Discussion, Twitter Kills Tweetdeck and more…

Ahh SimCity...I muse about you, Twitter killing off Tweetdeck and more...

Ahh SimCity…I muse about you, Twitter killing off Tweetdeck and more…


My Life Musings…

It has been a good couple of days since last I did a Personal Musing. I’ve been busy. School is basically a lot of studying right now as I get ready to take on Finals in a couple of weeks. It just figures that I have a number of blog posts I really, REALLY want to do right now. I seem to recall this happening a couple terms back. The only reason I can’t is due to lack of time obviously. But I’m going to try and do them when I can. But yeah, I’m hanging in there and doing the best that I can. Nothing new to report otherwise.

Speaking of the blog, I launched a new page of my computer specs as you can see up above. I also published the final blog post for my “Rebuilding a Gaming PC” series I had going on the TeknoCratik blog. It won’t be the last post as I’m already thinking up a few new series to do once finals are over.

Tech and Gaming News To Talk About…

From @totalbiscuit’s Twitter feed.

I really shouldn’t be talking about another EA game. I really shouldn’t but I just can’t help it. And its about SimCity. Thus, I can’t stop myself. So, you like playing SimCity? Well, good because you must be talking about the original SimCity and not SimCity 5. The image to the right explains it all. In the most unsurprising news of the year, EA’s Origin servers couldn’t handle the absolute onslaught of SimCity players on launch day. We warned them. We were really skeptical that EA’s always-online DRM could handle the load. Now, here we are with this launch day mess and a lot of unhappy/angry customers. Whoops. There have been a variety of different issues ranging from: server disconnects, entire buildings and/or cities disappearing, server queues now lasting three hours long, pre-order versions of the games not unlocking and so many other problems I won’t bother to list them all. Suffice it to say that a lot of this is reminiscent of the Diablo 3 launch. You would think that EA would have had an idea of how many servers to prepare for this storm. This is, after all, Electronic Arts. One of the biggest publishers in the PC/Console/Mobile gaming scenes. They should know better by now. But if this launch day is anything to go by, they didn’t. The scary part is that they haven’t even added on all the International players yet. I can’t imagine how the servers will be able to handle all of that…

For me, SimCity shows a lot of interesting new features and holds promise. The game looks like fun from everything I have seen about it. From how it directly simulates everything going on in the city, to the curving road systems and to how the multiplayer part works. (Granted, the multiplayer part still seems a bit limited but if they expanded upon it, I think it would be good). I also have concerns about not just the always-online DRM system but also about the small size of the city landscapes as well. They’re just way too small to really do anything with and while I understand they want to do this whole “region” mechanic, I’m just not a fan of it. A friend of mine, Jonathan M, believes it might have been a move to keep SimCity running smoothly for a variety of computer setups and once some time had passed, they would update the game to allow bigger city land areas. (And if your more cynical, that update could possibly break things and it would be far too late to get a refund by then). Maybe that’s why. It’s hard to say without being able to read EA’s minds. What Maxis and EA does from here on out in the coming weeks, months and years will say a lot. Everything seems to suggest that they are treating SimCity as a service platform to sell lots of DLC on. Which is….ok….I guess. But if that is true, why launch the game and be completely unable to handle the server load? Surely the pre-order numbers (and the whole business with Diablo 3) could have warned you about how many people would be signing in. I find it really hard to believe that they couldn’t have handled this launch better.

But if they did handle this launch to the best of their abilities…then this game needs to be a warning against having always-online DRM being put into future games. From a bigger picture view, we shouldn’t even be adding to the Internet infrastructure load as it is right now. With services like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu and many other streaming services getting more and more popular each year, adding this additional strain to the Internet will not help matters at all. Not to mention the fact that many people do not live in an area with a good/stable Internet connection. I am living in a place that has constant issues with the Internet crashing and the previous place I lived had a terrible Internet connection. So this move to make all these games always-online DRM all of the time just doesn’t seem like a good idea right now. It unnecessarily restricts a bunch of people from playing it simply because their Internet isn’t good enough. I’m willing to bet that is a far larger population than anyone thinks it is. Finally, this game has a limited life-span. Unless SimCity gets patched sometime down the road to allow offline playing, which I am very skeptical about that happening, this game will no longer be playable once it is no longer profitable to EA. That is how EA works. Considering that people are still playing SimCity 2000 to this very day…well…its not a good omen for the future of games.

Week CalMy Calendar app of choice on my iOS devices is “Week Calendar”. Its basically a full upgrade to the base calendar in every single way. It adds a proper week-view for the iPhone along with a lot of drag and drop features, customization options, batch editing and much more. But its been iPhone only for quite a long time due to a spat with Apple a long time back. It was never really clear why Apple apparently didn’t like Week Calendar HD and the HD version was taken off the store for several years. I guess they finally changed their minds recently and allowed Week cal HD back on the app store. The company also announced that they’ll be releasing an Android version of the app soon. Which is great news as I’ll probably be switching to Android soon and would like to see the app over there. Its filled with plenty of great calendar features and has gotten plenty of updates to its feature list. I can’t possibly list them all so you should go check out the website. I’m just glad to see the calendar back on my iPad after this long wait. I’ve searched for alternatives many times but never found anything that worked for me. So, I’ve been stuck with using the terrible base app on the iPad. Until now. So you should check it out.

Twitter’s crusade to gimp or kill off third party applications continues with them killing off Tweetdeck this week. The last hope anyone had of Twitter being more friendly to 3rd party developers dies with Tweetdeck being put down. The Tweetdeck AIR (desktop), Tweetdeck for Android and iOS apps are being discontinued. They will be removed from their app stores in Early May and stop functioning soon after the removal as they still rely on an older version of Twitter’s API that is also no longer being supported. The web and Chrome app will still be supported but Facebook support will also be going away. I think Twitter is making the wrong choice by bending people’s arms to move to their Twitter apps and shoving developers out. I think one of Twitter’s greatest strengths was having the variety of apps using their service. This power move of theirs was poorly thought out I think. In the long run it may kill them. Time will tell.

I do have to call them out on this line though from the blog post. “In many ways, doubling down on the TweetDeck web experience and discontinuing our app support is a reflection of where our TweetDeck power-users are going. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a steady trend towards people using TweetDeck on their computers and Twitter on their mobile devices.” That’s because you quit updating Tweetdeck on the mobile devices years ago! Of course people are going to quit using apps that no longer receive updates! That isn’t a hard trend to figure out. Had you actually kept updating those apps I have little doubt people would have kept using them. But I guess they had to give some legit excuse other than “Twitter no longer wants those apps to work”. Its a sad tale of Tweetdeck really. It used to be a really nice app to use. To see it basically getting killed off is disappointing. But this is the path that Twitter wishes to take. How this will work out in the long run I can’t say. I actually have a lot more thoughts on this so who knows. You might see a post about Twitter here soon.

Photos To See…

Spring is coming!

A post shared by Rick Moyer (@moyer777) on

Spring seems to be finally coming upon us…

Penny's box crisis.

A post shared by Ivy Moyer (@ivymoyer) on

Cute cat in a box? Yes, that is a cute cat in the box. Enjoy.

A post shared by Mary (@mekster) on

But if one cat isn’t good enough, here are two. Its Wednesday, you need it, so shush.

Audio of Note…

Feeling the need of some disco beats? I’ve got you covered with this reshare in my SoundCloud feed. I liked the beats.

Peter Hollens has a very amusing cover on the song “Young Girls”. Man, those little girls are mean…

Skyrim, Pirates of the Caribbean and Game of Thrones in an epic metal mashup. You need to listen to this.

Cool Videos To Watch…

Should you eat yourself if your stranded in some place and need food? (No) I think the more important question is why you would ask that in the first place. But hey, Vsauce is here to answer the question. I kind of figured it was a bad idea. The trauma of eating yourself would likely kill you.

Speaking of SimCity, here’s a 1:28:45 look at the game. Its quite lengthy but I think it does a good job tackling the game. Enjoy.

And if you don’t have an hour and 28 minutes to watch it…watch this One Minute Review of SimCity:

Until next time…

-KingIsaacLinksr

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