EA, you have some ‘splainin to do. Despite claims that SimCity’s crippling always-on DRM is something that can’t easily be changed (or that it’s somehow a “feature” we should be happy about), a modder by the name of UKAzzer has just broken the always-on rule indefinitely, and not only does the game still work—it works better.
The video above shows SimCity being played totally offline. The only real problem now is that players can’t save the game unless they’re online, since it relies on cloud saves.
Aside from that, the offline mode actually makes the game run better (not to mention that it actually runs, to begin with). It allows players to edit outside their city boundaries, and it tracks city populations.
According to UKAzzer’s YouTube post:
So with a little bit of package editing within SimCity, and a little playing about in the code, it’s possible to enable debug mode. I linked the activation to the “Help Center” button in the main menu for ease. Most debug features are disabled without having an actual developer’s build (they have terraforming tools etc. available in the full developer build!), but a few things do still work – including editing the main highways.
Not only that – but you can edit the highways ANYWHERE – even outside of your city boundary… and even if you quit the game and log back in later, it’s all saved safely on the server.
This shows that highway editing will be easily possible, AND that editing outside of the artificially small city boundaries should be very viable too.
Other things I have modded out with a quick change: Unlimited time to remain disconnected (won’t get booted at 20 minutes, can now be disconnected “forever”). Population count now shows REAL figure, not the “artificially inflated” figure. My large cities have a population of about 15k now, not 100k 😛