At 1 p.m. PST on Monday, Maxis will be rolling out the first major SimCity patch. SimCity Update 2.0 doesn't make any especially notable additions—mayors will now drive fancy cars or travel by helicopter if available, for instance—but it does implement a long list of bug fixes and improvements.
The biggest change prevents the infamous residential-only cities from surviving:
Residential Tuning: Residential-only cities have failure state.
- Buildings are prevented from going up in density when they don't have power or water.
- The amount of happiness gained from low taxes, police, fire, and health outreach has been lowered.
- Fixed some cases where buildings would not go abandoned when they should have.
- Higher density residential buildings are no longer blocked from going abandoned due to not having enough money.
- Happiness from low taxes does not double up every time it is given.
- Losing happiness due to not having a job is more impactful.
Other fixes involve the accuracy of population counting and unexplained fluctuations, fixing issues with students and tourists. The tourism and casino specializations should especially benefit:
Tourism: Fixes for unexplained fluctuation of tourists. Tourists more smartly counted on transit.
- Cruise ships are now more effective at bringing medium and high wealth tourists in coastal cities.
- New tourists will now decide to come into a city once leaving tourists reach train stations, bus depots, or cruise ship docs instead of waiting for those tourists to go out to the region first.
- This change will reduce the downtime of tourist buildings.
Casinos: Casinos tuned so that Gambling will be a more profitable specialty. Players can bulldoze and replace existing casinos to see effects of tuning.
- The larger casinos now invite more tourists into the city which helps keep them full.
- Note that existing casinos will need to be replaced to take advantage of this change.
The full patch notes are available on the official SimCity blog. The servers will be taken down for "a few hours" while the patch is issued.