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Quick question about the Eternal Commuter Loop

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In an effort to ensure my region is operating as efficiently as I can accomplish, I've been trying to read up as much as I can on the Eternal Commuter Loop. While some of my questions have been answered, there are a couple of details I was hoping someone could help me answer.

 

How do I know if I have the loop? Nonny has mentioned that if route links show traffic greater than your population (or working population?), then you probably have the loop. What about smaller numbers? If I have a city population of 800k, and my route query is showing 35k moving in a loop, can I assume those are the same people? Or can I take solace in the fact that those numbers don't tell me that some sims are getting on and off the network?

 

More importantly

 

Related to that, if I DO have a loop, will the resulting issue become no-job zots on my residential, or, what is the fundamental impact on the city/region? Will the game treat these eternal commuters as if they are employed, even though they never ACTUALLY reach a destination for employment? So long as I have 0 no-job zots, am I probably safe? 

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How do I know if I have the loop?

 

Very simply, see where everybody's going.  If they're going around in large circles, you've got the loop.  Otherwise, you don't.

 

If I have a city population of 800k, and my route query is showing 35k moving in a loop, can I assume those are the same people? Or can I take solace in the fact that those numbers don't tell me that some sims are getting on and off the network?

You just have to see where they're going.

 

More importantly

 

Related to that, if I DO have a loop, will the resulting issue become no-job zots on my residential, or, what is the fundamental impact on the city/region?

It all depends on how many Sims are in your loop.  If there aren't many, there will be little or no impact on your region.  If there are tens of thousands or more, you've got a problem.

 

 

Will the game treat these eternal commuters as if they are employed, even though they never ACTUALLY reach a destination for employment?

 

No; these Sims aren't working, and the game knows it.  They'd just rather drive around all day than work. Wouldn't you?

 

So long as I have 0 no-job zots, am I probably safe?

 

Not necessarily.  There are plenty of other more subtle side effects, such as lowered desirability, lowered growth, lowered demand, etc.

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...

 

 

Thank you for your reply.

 

Similarly to another issue I was having, it appeared as if my commuters WERE heading in a loop, from city A to B to C to D to A again, but when I would query the incoming route from D to A, it appeared as if those commuters had disappeared from the grid. Would this be because the loop had finished, and thus the commuters had reached their "final destination?"

 

In any case, to avoid future hassles, I believe I've removed all possible loops from my region connections, and it hasn't appeared to have any great affect on my cities. I'll just be sure to continue to expand in a way that avoids loops I suppose.

 

Thanks again!

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If the D to A loop is empty, then you don't have the problem.  Remember it takes three cities minimum to participate.  There are two possible actions if you detect a loop:

  1. Place toll booths an the whole thing on both sides of all borders.  You might as well make some money.
  2. Find a likely spot, and break the connection, then see what happens.  These things have a way of reconnecting if possible.  The usual culprit is ferries if you have a coast line.

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Very simply, see where everybody's going.  If they're going around in large circles, you've got the loop.  Otherwise, you don't.

 

 

How do you follow Sims across the boarders to see where they are going? Better yet, how to follow the same Sim across cities A-B-C, possibly D? I've heard this suggestion a few times now and can't seem to wrap my head around it. 

 

Because I use multiple ferry, road, and rail connections (both near the center and corners), I'm in constant fear of the loop.  Though I've yet to feel anything out of place so far about the regions commuting.

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How do you follow Sims across the boarders to see where they are going?

 

Simply load the city across the board and see where the stream of traffic goes.

 

 

Better yet, how to follow the same Sim across cities A-B-C, possibly D?

 

You can't follow individual Sims across borders.  But you don't need to.  You just need to make sure that there isn't a large stream of traffic going around in a circle.  If there are just a few Sims doing this, it won't impact anything.

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If the D to A loop is empty, then you don't have the problem.  Remember it takes three cities minimum to participate.  There are two possible actions if you detect a loop:

  1. Place toll booths an the whole thing on both sides of all borders.  You might as well make some money.
  2. Find a likely spot, and break the connection, then see what happens.  These things have a way of reconnecting if possible.  The usual culprit is ferries if you have a coast line.

 

 

I realize that it takes a minimum of 3 cities to create a loop, my question involves 4 cities.

 

From City A to City B, 60,000 sims cross the border.

 

The same route in city B shows 35,000 of those sims crossing from City B to City C.

 

Ditto from City C to City D.

 

In city D, the D-A Query shows 35,000 people crossing into city A. So far as I can tell, it's the same 35k sims that enter into City B from City A originally.

 

In city A, the D-A Query on the SAME ROUTE shows 0 people crossing into city A from city D. What causes this?

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How do you follow Sims across the boarders to see where they are going?

 

Simply load the city across the board and see where the stream of traffic goes.

 

 

Ok, got it now. So as long as the bulk of boarder 'crossers' are not just single filling to the next boarder crossing, so forth and so on, I should be all right for now.

 

 

Think I might have caught my first culprit/s last night, though didn't load the adjacent city to test, but it did look like a few Sims were coming in on bus straight to the ferry and back out again. Now, are they using this technique to get them to their job and not the loop still needs to be tested.

 

Pretty sure at some point in time I'll end up with the loop based on my connections. I do try and keep more jobs than Sims in most cases to try an avoid them having a hard time finding any jobs. 

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Just remember that if you are not running CAM, the ratio of Sims to jobs needs to be around 2:1.  In the regular game, momma stays home.  The CAM changes it to all DINKs.

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No CAM for me.  If ever a day comes I get curious is unforeseen but I like the game mostly as is.   I do have SPAM however.

 

Other than that "radical" SPAM mod, my plugins consist of mostly growable lots (along with deps), 1x1 fillers, and mostly just the buggy fixer type mods that help SC4 run a bit smoother. Nothing too radical.

 

Guess I haven't been playing SC4 long enough to be over having to actually manage the city as apposed to just building pretty looking scenes.

 

I have cut back on using MMPs like crazy now that I know they can have a diverse effect on the laggyness.

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I have SPAM mostly because I got sick of patting Paul Pedriana on the back all the time.

 

Would you care to elaborate?

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I have SPAM mostly because I got sick of patting Paul Pedriana on the back all the time.

 

Would you care to elaborate?

 

The only default level 3 farm seems to be Pedriana Plants.  This lot, when allowed, is very persistent when you are trying to build a farming community.  Not Paul's fault, but that of the people who limited the development.

 

However, its nuisance value sent me looking for alternatives and I arrived at SPAM.

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