Since Cities: Skylines 2’s shaky launch, Colossal Order has been releasing regular patches to improve performance and squash bugs, but the studio’s attention is now turning to the issues that “require a bit more work”. This means an end to the weekly patches, as well as postponed DLC. The changes have been detailed today in the studio’s blog, Word of the Week.
While less frequent updates and delayed DLC isn’t going to elicit much cheering from players, it sounds sensible regardless. The weekly patches tackled bugs and performance quirks that could be handled swiftly, but Cities: Skylines 2’s other problems require the team to dig into what’s causing them a bit more, necessitating a changed cadence of updates.
The game’s mail service, citizen pathfinding (specifically when it comes to their ability to reserve housing when they have no connection to the city) and issues with exports and distribution of goods are on the docket at the moment. Colossal Order also notes its current broader priorities, which are, in order: performance improvements, bug fixes and modding support.
To improve performance, the team is working on the level of detail in its assets by adding missing LODs and improving the existing ones with an aim to improve GPU performance. Colossal Order warns that this might take multiple patches. Then the focus will switch to CPU performance, tackling stutters and improving simulation speed to provide a “smooth experience while scaling up the size of your cities”. That last part is especially worth noting, as even players with beefy rigs, myself included, who may not have had issues early on while developing their cities, started to notice hiccups once they started expanding.
In regards to bug fixes, the team is going through bug reports and has logged 100 reproducible bugs that are now being dealt with. Another 100 reports are currently being investigated. “Fixing gameplay bugs and issues is a high priority for us,” says Colossal Order, “and these can be anything from bigger overhauls of systems that are not functioning as intended to the smallest of annoyances.”
Cities: Skylines 2’s editor still doesn’t have a release date, though it’s expected to take at least a couple of months to get it ready, according to earlier statements from the studio. At the moment, there’s a beta group testing the map editor and providing feedback. Water placement is apparently too complicated right now, and the UI still needs “a bit more love”.
“Once the PC version is where we want it to be, we will be focusing on the console release and DLC content,” says Colossal Order. The first asset pack, Beach Properties, is currently being worked on by Colossal Order’s artists and outsourcing partner, but there’s no hard release date for it yet. We have been given a broad window, however.
- Asset pack: Q1 2024 (initially planned for Q4 2023)
- Creator packs: Q2 2024 (initially planned for Q1 2024)
- Medium expansion: Q2 2024 (no change)
Hopefully 2024 will be a better year for Cities: Skylines 2. This was easily one of the games of 2023 I was most excited about, but in the state it’s in I’ve lost a lot of my enthusiasm. It’s undeniably still an ambitious simulation, but it keeps tripping over itself. Earlier this month, Chris followed one Cities: Skylines 2 citizen for his entire life to explore the detailed simulation of the game’s denizens, discovering that nothing about their lives makes any sense. It is, at least, a hilarious chronicle of one very lazy man whose life seems to be entirely random.