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SimCity Update 2.0 to kill residential-only cities and fix numerous bugs on Monday

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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 (opens in new tab) 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. (opens in new tab) The servers will be taken down for "a few hours" while the patch is issued.

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley alongside Apple and Microsoft, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on the early personal computers his parents brought home. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, Bushido Blade (yeah, he had Bleem!), and all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now. In 2006, Tyler wrote his first professional review of a videogame: Super Dragon Ball Z for the PS2. He thought it was OK. In 2011, he joined PC Gamer, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. After work, he practices boxing and adds to his 1,200 hours in Rocket League.