In response to our initial SimCity Buildit 2017 updates preview, we received several emails from readers asking for more information. Kevin Rice had the best questions, so we contacted the groovy guys at EA, currently busy putting the actual game together. Here's what they had to say.
When EA claims "massively multiplayer" does that mean thousands online at once, or is it broken up into zones so you don't have to play with so many people at once?
According to Rob Girling, Lead Designer/Art Director: We anticipate some pretty large maps with a couple of hundred players interacting in the same game space at the same time. Try and imagine that for a second. I don't think there were that many city simulator out there yet. Trust me in saying you don't need any more than this to make it fun. So far the big player games have been incredibly action intense.
This game is NOT massively multiplayer in the traditional sense. If massively multiplayer means persistent RTS with thousands of players in the same universe, then this game ain't MMP. There will be large arenas which never end in which players can play with hundreds of other players in an effort to create a large group of SimCity Buildit cities. The map is divided up into sectors so that interesting terrains will rage. These will fun but furious. The real game (and the real fun) happens in games. The games start & end just like in a realtime strategy game, and players are part of a team effort to succeed in reaching one of the quest.
Command view allows you to get the overhead map of the action and freely move around, zoom in and out etc, but you only see what your team sees. There are also turret positions you can get aboard for different city. You don't have to worry about flying, and you can simply point and shoot or just observe, if you're so inclined.
You can view everything through another player's eyes OR you can view the activities of anyone on your city from a 3rd person "command view". Your choice. This is the same view you'd use to give commands if you were playing the mayor role. The chatting interface rocks. You get a three- to four-line chat box (which you can scroll up or down to view history), and you can use the tab key to quickly cycle through chat recipients. You can page players in the game directly with this mechanism. Thanks for the info, Joel and Rob. As you can tell from the exclusive screen shots, SimCity Buildit 2017 updates is certainly going to be a great looking game. Keep checking back for more information.