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CO Word of the Week #10

Hi Everyone! Let’s talk about the patching process and upcoming patch landing soon for Cities: Skylines II.

Generally speaking, patching the game is something we usually try to combine with upcoming releases, and only work on solely bug fixing patches if we don’t have a suitable release we can wait for. Or the fix is critical to release as fast as possible - a so-called hotfix patch. You may remember the free updates associated with the DLC releases in Cities: Skylines and in the long term that is the goal with the sequel as well. It’s a good way to sneak in some cool features and improvements to all the players, beefing up the base game, and making certain features part of it while the paid content expands on those new features allowing us to continue developing the game forward. One of the first examples of this approach was After Dark where the free update added the day and night cycle to all players and the DLC itself had specific content and features for the nightlife.

So we are working to improve the quality of Cities: Skylines II, just like we did with the first game, and this includes both improvements to the base as well as creating new content as paid DLC. We worked at a fast pace after the release last October to get as many fixes in as we could. Patching the game so often does take resources in itself so we opted out for a less frequent pace to focus on bigger additions and more impactful updates in the future. Therefore the upcoming patch 1.0.19 is the last “stand-alone” bug fixing patch for now. Next time the bug fixes will be joined by the first of the modding support for the game, albeit it will not be the final version but a public beta one as mentioned last week.

We’re working on a wide variety of fixes and improvements on top of the missing modding support and platforms. We have a list of reported issues from both you, QA, and the team here at Colossal Order. These issues are sorted based on the level of their severity and the time it takes to implement them so that we can churn out as many improvements to the game as possible with the time and resources we have available.

In practice, the patching process starts with the build version being locked so that no more changes are committed to it by the devs. The build goes through at least one QA round, where the listed issues are verified as either fixed or still occurring. Any new issues with the build are reported as well. Any outstanding issues are fixed and the new locked build version goes to QA. This step usually takes less than a week but can take longer depending on issues found and how quickly those are fixed. After the devs are happy with the build version it's sent to the publisher for their checks, including submissions to each platform and setting the patch ready to go live for the public. This can take a couple of days to a few weeks depending on the size and content of the patch. The release is always aimed so that it wouldn’t be right before the weekend, just to make sure that if any issues occur on the public release there is a team available to check it out. In the meantime, the devs are working on the game toward the next release whether it be fixes, improvements, or new content.

Patch 1.0.19 will include a collection of fixes for issues we’ve discovered internally or have been reported to us by you. Thank you again for all the reports, it’s much appreciated! Full patch notes will be available when the patch is released, but here’s a little summary of the things we’ve been working on.

Improvements to the gameplay are mainly focusing on the land value:
- Land value will be affected by ground pollution. The ground pollution will first slowly reduce the land value increasing, and when the pollution gets worse it will start to decrease the land value
- Land value won't decrease to 0 even with heavily polluted land
- Land value will increase according to industrial company's profitability value
Land value is likely to receive more love in future updates, but more on that in the future.
On top of these, we’ve also improved the search for parking spaces. Anyone who is driving a car in a bigger city knows how tricky it can be!

Some balancing work went into the Incinerator Plant as building the Extra Incinerator Furnace upgrade would cause it to produce less electricity, the opposite of what the effect should be, and little tweaks were introduced to the resources to avoid traffic jams at the cargo stations. Then there was the appropriate care put into the youth as the teens and children required balancing for their spawn rates and now more teens are entering the High School to get educated. Think about the children, they say!

No patch without some focus on the performance. This time we’ve optimized shadow culling, pathfind scheduling (especially visible as faster and more stable simulation speed in very large cities), added cooldown to avoid too many queries on citizens seeking education when the city doesn’t have enough schools, and reordered some rendering related systems to reduce waiting in the main thread.

Last but not least, the patch fixes issues in the statistics panel, multiple cases of random crashes (crash to desktop when selecting "moving in" household, after modifying roads with citizen group at specific state, and when modifying road with pedestrian path connected in a specific way, to name a few) as well as added some missing text and translations.

The devs at Colossal Order are fully focusing on improving Cities: Skylines II further after patch 1.0.19 is out. Actions speak louder than words so we’ll pause these weekly posts and be back when we cover the content of the next patch/release for the game. Keep following our social channels for the latest updates and have a lovely week!

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Thank you!

Still no word about either but I hope the next patch addresses the cars being stuck in roundabouts and the pedestrian path-finding issues introduced in recent patches causing them to not cross the road
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Nothing is mentioned but I hope that the public transport problem will be fixed once and for all. Trams, buses, subways, stand at stops without picking up passengers.
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creating new content as paid DLC

Please focus on the main game before focusing on DLC. We are waiting for the core game to be fixed and I cannot even think of buying a DLC for this game at this time when the simulation is bugged to the point of unplayable on my maps.
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Thanks for the update.

I hope the next big patch that has mod support beta finally includes those 2500 creator asset packs (mods) that were promised end of October as 'coming very soon' in the trailers and marketing posts. Because now with the limited assets every city from everyone almost looks the same. And if that is not possible, I hope you just included them in the base game like u did with Skylines 1 DLC and CP's
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Ok, there were actually some details this time and I'm looking forward to seeing the land value fix.

Hmm, a pause until seeing a patch just means more waiting though...
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Thank you Mariina for the Update! :)
I just enjoyed some hours back in the game last weekend and performance got way better already.

Looking forward to upcoming patches and new content but fully understand that with that big range of different pcs out there, it's no wonder it isn't always working 100% out of the box.

What I always wanted to address about the a few people posting here and what I don't understand - yes CO didn't meet the goals they set and everybody paid for a game, but you got something for lifetime at it's being worked on, so what's the difference to pay XX euros or dollars and see how the game develops, as we're receiving so many free updates also for the base game in the future without charging any additional fees.
I somehow don't get the point, it's not like in year 2000 when you bought a game for 30 € on a CD and then nothing happened afterwards.
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Really....? Pedestrians don't jaywalk to the same extent as in the beginning, but they do cross the road, don't they?
in UK zebra crossing only gives pedestrians the right of way and not explicitly say where to cross.
since I'm trying to build a UK city I don't want to put zebra crossings everywhere for them to be able to cross the road

I am aware jaywalking is a crime in US and most of EU but it's not a universal rule so it's extremely frustrating knowing it was working fine before and got broken without an option to adjust the setting or revert back to previous behaviour patterns
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The land value problem is the highest priority, I agree -- because it just ends up killing your city later... but, it's not the only major problem. Your patching process sounds pretty standard, as in, they take awhile in the pipeline. I guess I'm trying to remain optimistic here. Wish you'd address infinite boarding / accidents.

This is the Last WOW too?.. I feel pretty disenfranchised here, honestly.
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Well with this being the last WOTW I guess the questions and concerns raised in the previous threads about communication, accountability, and refunds will never get an answer. Unfortunate but not unexpected.

Hopefully the next patch is substantial enough to hold over until mods, especially if there is going to be a substantial gap between patches.
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(...) we opted out for a less frequent pace to focus on bigger additions and more impactful updates in the future. Therefore the upcoming patch 1.19.0 is the last “stand-alone” bug fixing patch for now. Next time the bug fixes will be joined by the first of the modding support for the game, albeit it will not be the final version but a public beta one as mentioned last week.

(...) Actions speak louder than words so we’ll pause these weekly posts and be back when we cover the content of the next patch/release for the game.

I am sorry, but I think you are making a mistake - or maybe I should say, in my opinion you are continuing to make mistakes.

Have you had a look at the number of players recently? Well, I did.
According to SteamCharts.com at the moment of writing this, there are 6,500 people playing CS 2 and 11,000 (so almost double the number) are playing CS 1.
And this is not a one time event, it has consistently been this way since end of December. Player numbers for CS 1 are at least 1.5 times as high as for CS 2 if you are looking at the whole day with a clear tendency of that ratio getting worse for CS 2.

When you are looking at the peaks in numbers for both games, you can see that the peak for CS 2 is wider, indicating that the individual session is taking longer. In turn that means that most probably more people are having at least a short session of CS 1 than people are having with CS 2.

In case you haven't noticed yet, you are factually in damage control mode.

And your answer to this is to literally abandon the fanbase, stop the communication and let them wait (according to last week's timelines) for another two months until a new patch will be released?
You aren't doing anything to keep the diminishing player interest alive?
You aren't even talking to people anymore?

Well, good luck with that. I hope you are making the right decision, but I severely doubt that.

(edit: typo corrected)
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Really think you shouldn't be pausing the weekly WOTWs. With all the problems CS2 is having, it's good to know every week we get at least some communication on timelines, community feedback etc.

However, please do stop all communication that includes the words "Paid DLC"....
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And what about the tax/subsidy bug mentioned in the previous WoW and not in this one? This seems to be the major bug (introduced in the last patch) affecting economics simulation...
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Actions speak louder than words so we’ll pause these weekly posts and be back when we cover the content of the next patch/release for the game.
I'm reading nothing about the economy simulation or traffic AI or the other unfinished/ unpolished features. Just so you know, I won't be buying any DLC before that stuff isn't fixed. (Btw. also not playing.)

Seeing how these WOWs do more harm than good it's a wise decision to not do them unless you have something substantial to say.
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