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Damn, I have been drooling over this game for a year and until now never read about the required internet connection. While I understand their rationale, it is a HUGE disappointment to hear that I won't be able to play in my own sandbox like I had with every version of this game that came before.
Yes, EA has a history of fucking customers, especially Mac users, and messing up potentially good games. Fortunately it seems like the Maxis team is keeping it to a minimum here, from what I've read.
That being said, I am fucking GLAD I have an internet connection and that I will be able to play this game and relive my childhood fascination with city simulation. No, I won't buy any DLC, I don't see any need for a graphics pack or whatever, and if I ever wanted to build in the style of ancient rome or whatever, I can probably pony up a few bucks, but I just don't see it happening.
Also, the multiplayer aspect seems fun. Build a city in a region, invite your friends to build cities in it too and have the cities interact. With all the downsides, I still think the game looks crazy good.