SimCity offline play just a line edit away.

Discussion in 'User Submitted News' started by Ron, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. Ron
    OP

    Ron somehow a weeb now.

    Member
    2,840
    388
    Dec 10, 2009
    Canada
    here
    A few days ago, Gahars reported that modders got SimCity to run offline. Turns out that it didn't take much effort at all. See, it seems that all it takes for someone to make offline play work indefinitely, is commenting out a single line in one of the game's package files. That's it.

    Source (Kotaku)
    NeoGAF Post

    That's some complex engineering there EA.

    Obviously, saves won't work, but that's only a matter of time.
    -insert mandatory pun here-
     
    ferofax likes this.


  2. Jamstruth

    Jamstruth Secondary Feline Anthropomorph

    Member
    3,456
    184
    Apr 23, 2009
    North East Scotland
    *sigh*
    THat doesn't stop it needing online. Everything is saved to the cloud. In order to make SimCity offline without official support you probably need to make a small server to run on the computer behind SimCity that catches all the calls meant for the server and saves the files locally.
     
  3. Ron
    OP

    Ron somehow a weeb now.

    Member
    2,840
    388
    Dec 10, 2009
    Canada
    here

    Well no shit. Though, if you keep the computer running, you could theoretically play offline "forever", but the point is that you can "play" offline, saves not included.
     
  4. Rydian

    Rydian Resident Furvert™

    Member
    27,883
    8,106
    Feb 4, 2010
    United States
    Cave Entrance, Watching Cyan Write Letters
    Removing a variable assignment. Hah.

    Doesn't make saving local, but still.
     
  5. Zetta_x

    Zetta_x The Insane Statistician

    Member
    1,844
    257
    Mar 4, 2010
    United States
    Is it possible to edit the host file to redirect the cloud server to a local server?
    Edit: Use Wireshark to see where saving data goes to?
     
  6. Rydian

    Rydian Resident Furvert™

    Member
    27,883
    8,106
    Feb 4, 2010
    United States
    Cave Entrance, Watching Cyan Write Letters
    Without the actual program running locally to format the save data, a redirect isn't much use.

    In the case of earlier online-only DRM things like Assassin's Creed 2 or whatever, that was just HTTP streaming assets on request, which is why they could just stick apache in the crack.
     
    Zetta_x likes this.
  7. Zetta_x

    Zetta_x The Insane Statistician

    Member
    1,844
    257
    Mar 4, 2010
    United States
    I wonder if it's possible to create a modified way of saving like save states. A way to take a current snapshot of memory and load it later?
     
  8. Rydian

    Rydian Resident Furvert™

    Member
    27,883
    8,106
    Feb 4, 2010
    United States
    Cave Entrance, Watching Cyan Write Letters
    Hourglass is a program made to allow TASing Windows games via something akin to save state, but it currently only works with a very limited set of software.
     
    Zetta_x likes this.
  9. Zetta_x

    Zetta_x The Insane Statistician

    Member
    1,844
    257
    Mar 4, 2010
    United States
    Not even sure how much memory would need to be captured to do this either. Well I'm out of ideas lols
     
  10. Rydian

    Rydian Resident Furvert™

    Member
    27,883
    8,106
    Feb 4, 2010
    United States
    Cave Entrance, Watching Cyan Write Letters
    I've done some experiments with dumping RAM and uploading it again (to get past a certain level in Mega Man X8), but it was very messy and rarely worked due to Windows programs relying on the OS for a lot of things, which is why wrappers are often needed to fake/interpolate the info so programs don't realize something's wrong, etc.

    It shouldn't be too hard for saving to come about. After all the save is sent to the user's PC and back, it could be logged and stored/retrieved as-is with a little server thing I assume.
     
    Zetta_x likes this.
  11. KingVamp

    KingVamp Great... AETHER!

    Member
    10,033
    1,802
    Sep 13, 2009
    United States
    Why is EA still around now? :glare:
     
    kehkou likes this.
  12. Ron
    OP

    Ron somehow a weeb now.

    Member
    2,840
    388
    Dec 10, 2009
    Canada
    here
    Money? Fans? Stockholders?
     
  13. Blaze163

    Blaze163 The White Phoenix's purifying flame.

    Member
    3,769
    789
    Nov 19, 2008
    Coventry, UK
    This story just gets better and better. It's seriously just one line of code needing alteration? Sweet jesus, EA. What little remained of your reputation just got slammed in the ring like a prison bitch.

    I'm guessing the hacker's next priority is to create some sort of save system akin to the Real Time Save system my old CycloDS Evolution used, only more advanced? Sounds like give it a few more days and they'll have screwed EA over completely.
     
  14. DSGamer64

    DSGamer64 Canadian, Eh?

    Member
    2,932
    171
    Nov 9, 2007
    Canada
    A cold cold place
    It still baffles me as to why they can't just accept that the game should be playable offline but all content has to be uploaded to the server in order to keep on playing, and the data has to go through authentication when you save. EA is constantly trying to cover up the fact that the always online functionality is for the core of the game, when clearly that isn't the case. So it's high time they stop treating players like they are stupid and just accept that they were forcing DRM down our throats. They aren't doing themselves any favors by just trying to pretend that always online isn't a DRM requirement, better to save face and admit that they lied.



    Not for much longer. The way they have been continually pissing on the fans of franchises that they own, or fans of franchises that they are publishing like they have been the last few years, it's only a matter of time before they start losing money by the truck load. Companies can only go on for so long pissing people off before they just get fed up and stop caring, hopefully gamer's start adopting this policy and stop trying to give EA the benefit of the doubt when it comes to this kind of bullshit.
     
  15. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter

    Member
    5,440
    1,491
    Dec 23, 2009
    Belgium
    Belgium
    Ahem, ahem...

    That's the end of the line for Sim City. :creep:



    On a more serious note: this really starts to show a massive lack of internal communications or even disagreements on EA's departments. I really think the one who publicly stated that the game requires to do calculations on the servers believed it to be so (if for nothing else, it's because the only alternative is that EA is evil. And not in a cartoonish sense of the word: literally evil). But that shows a terrible gap of the ones actually making the game and the ones calling the shots.
     
    pokefloote likes this.
  16. Qtis

    Qtis Grey Knight Inquisitor

    Member
    3,792
    1,292
    Feb 28, 2010
    The Forge
    Interesting read on what is actually being done in the EA servers. It's not like those things are mandatory, but I do see the uses of online servers. On the other hand, online only is not really needed for playing..
     
  17. McHaggis

    McHaggis Fackin' Troller

    Member
    1,706
    938
    Oct 24, 2008
    If it's in the JavaScript somewhere, then it should be really easy. I'm still in shock from knowing they chose JS to handle so much of the game's responsibilities, especially in an unobfuscated form. I'm even surprised it took this long for someone to figure it out. Unless it is obfuscated and the code dumped online has just been run through a beautifier. The presence of a call to setTimeout indicates the code is running in either a browser-based host environment or a small node.js server. If it's the former, then saving might be manageable using localStorage, whereas the latter could dump to and read from files.
     
    Rydian likes this.
  18. Bladexdsl

    Bladexdsl ZOMG my posts...it's over 9000!!!

    Member
    15,897
    3,596
    Nov 17, 2008
    Australia
    Queensland
    EA crossed the line this time with forced online play
     
  19. Gahars

    Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

    Member
    10,254
    17,403
    Aug 5, 2011
    United States
    New Jersey
    I'd make a pithy little joke or pun, but honestly, this is funny enough on its own. What else could I possibly add?
     
    Ron likes this.
  20. shakirmoledina

    shakirmoledina Legend

    Member
    6,611
    218
    Oct 23, 2004
    Tanzania
    Dar es Salaam
    they should have made it offline and like oregon tail, visit other cities and cooperate/collaborate with them

    forced online has never worked well IMO for a game that was originally offline eg. ff11 was the start of the downfall