Here’s a positive story for today. UKAzzer from United Kingdom successfully hacked the game so you don’t really need to be online after all. Check out the story on Gamespot.
Bullet points with recent modding discoveries:
The game can be played without an internet connection indefinitely after modding. Can only stay in one city.
SimCity has behavior for offline save handling. When offline, your city is saved and is uploaded to Origin the next time you go online. Offline mode seemed to be cut hastily.
Debug tools were left open, allowing ‘griefing’ other people’s cities by setting DEBUG=1.
“Big maps” are referenced multiple times in the game’s code. Possible DLC regions with big city plots? It’s the only way they can increase the city size without breaking existing maps.
Internal terraforming tools were discovered, but requires a special build of the game.
Population numbers are faked / inflated – GetFudgedPopulation. chart – thanks fat_ugly_midget.
After modding, you can play around outside 2km2 plot, and it saves syncs to the server.
Latest patch has made package files read only, and disabled debug tools / the cheat console. (Confirm please, I do not own / will not support the game)