It has certainly improved compared to SimCity 4 which bored me personally, placing zones/buildings is more fun now. You are not stuck to square zones that you place and then build a straight road through. You first build a road and then areas along the road are placed where you can build the zones on, depending on curved/straight road and length you get different sizes of zones.
The grey outlined rectangles are the zones that are automatically made when you place the road.
The green rectangles are those zones turned into residential zones (blue is business and yellow industry of course).
With the zone tool you have less control over the zone size, this is now in the road tool. Another thing that the road does is give snap poits where you place buildings, but the great thing is that the snap point next to your building can also be used by that building! Say you build a firestation, the point next to it can be used for a garage to add an extra fire truck, or a decoration sign. On the buildings themselves are also snap points where you can for example place a flag.
What is also new in Simcity is that a town can specialize into an industrial coal city or a tourist city. In a region you can, currently, have 3 cities that each specialize in different things and help eachother to become a great region. For instance the coal city can produce a lot of power and help power the other two cities. You can also disrupt the other cities, get a high crime rate or a lot of pollution and it will leak to your friends' cities. Fun times.
The game is multiplayer, you can happily live/play in your own little game, own entire regions by yourself, but if you are interested in it you can also trade resources on the global market, something I am going to really like! There are also leader boards to see how well your cities are doing
Many things are not ready yet, or as it was mentioned during the presentation "currently focusing on finishing the game" or "we are still finetuning that".
-They are finetuning how many cities there will be in a region, I am hoping for (much) more than 3… I want a PlatinumSimmers region.
– How many ways to specialize a city also does not have a final number yet I believe
– Same with amount of resources you can acquire, at least we were not told a number.
– Higher density zones depend on the types of roads you used and the desirability of that area.
– Can draw grids of roads easily.
– Where the regions are in the SimCity world are pre-determined.
– No ties with Sims 3 (or Sims 4) like there was before with Sims 2.
– If your city sucks, your Sims will move away.
– There are taxes in this game.
– Instead of demolishing buildings when you do not need then any more and/or they cost too much, you can turn them off.
– Will most likely not have a City that has all the resources the game has available, shame because I would have liked to make a perfect-mega-huge city that has everything, which I can then show off (brag about) to friends…
– A city equals in size as a medium city in SimCity 4
– As the producer literally said 'we have all played Diablo 3' they are still working out how to make sure that gameplay is not affected when your internet goes down. Personally I hated it in Settlers 7 when you almost won your level and then you are not allowed to do anything any more because your internet burped.
– They are also looking into how much internet speed will be needed for those people who live in the Middle of Nowhere.
My personal opinion the beta cannot start soon enough, I want to play this game!