CityVille: Sweeping inventory changes have users ready to quit

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Zynga has made some... questionable changes to CityVille this week, that has many users virtually screaming at the developer, and quitting the game altogether. In addition to the new Energy cap that allows users to only hold 15 of each variety of Battery in their inventory, Zynga has also capped a number of other items to, as Zynga says, help the game's balance and introduce another element of strategy to the game.

The new caps concern items that are used most frequently in the game, so I suppose I can understand why users are crying foul.
Zoning Permits are now capped at 60, while Marble, City Seals, Building Grants, Gold Plating, and Ribbons are capped at 25. If you have more than this number of items in your inventory, you won't lose the extras, but you also won't be able to add anymore to your account until the number drops back below 25, or 60, depending on the item.

Another change worth noting is that you are now unable to user batteries from your inventory if your energy is at its maximum - it looks like energy stockpiling has been squashed in all forms, I'm afraid. If you try to accept a free gift from your friends, offering you one of these items, you will simply be told that you have too many, and that the item has not been added to your inventory.

This was enough to have users swamping the Feedback thread for this release over on the game's official forums, which has reached a whopping 173 pages in less than 24 hours.

Most users' posts are those like this of claymore1977's, who says:
Yep, that's the last nail in the coffin. ....or the straw that will break the back of the players. I was actually enjoying Cityville 10x better than all your other games and *almost* got myself to the point where I was going to start putting money into it. I'm a believer in free software, but I also believe in paying for a good game. Good thing you all made this change *before* i started shelling out my hard earned money.
Another player, bashlee, sums up the fear that even I have due to this change. That the game's userbase is going to drop... and fast.
This is the most horrible thing you have done with the game yet. Wth can i do with 15 +3 energies?? That doesn't even cover everything in my city. This was a stupid decision on your part zynga. And your popular game is going to lose a ton of players because of this nonsense.
It will be interesting to see how Zynga responds to this overwhelming cry from users. Ultimately, it's unlikely that the almost 93 million current players will all stop and leave the game at once, but I can definitely see many of these upset users keeping true to their word of not playing, or at least not putting anymore money into the game until Zynga can "see the light."

While having a large player base is one thing, Zynga needs to make sure that those users are happy enough to spend money on the product (it is a business after all), and it looks like they might have just really hurt themselves, and the game's money-making potential, with this one.

We'll make sure to let you know if Zynga goes back on any of these changes, or at least alters the caps to something more "reasonable." Keep checking back with us for more.

What do you think of these game-changing updates? Do you stockpile energy, or will these changes not affect the way you play the game? Let us know in the comments.
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