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steamboat2302

NAM/Traffic mod and gameplay.

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By expanding the usability of roads with NAM does it have any negative effects? It seems to me that it is effecting commercial building and rail usage. Am I just seeing something that isn't there or has anyone seen this type of effect with NAM?

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How is it effecting commercial and rail usage? In positive or negative ways? I have had NAM installed for so long I don't remember if it affected anything else other than the traffic. Even with NAM installed, I still have to install an extraordinary amount of mass transit (especially bus stations). I still get the 'Abandoned Due to Commute Time'. I can't imagine how many mass transit stations I would have to put in if NAM wasn't installed.

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NAM affects roads, rail, subway, and all transit networks. It's not supposed to be road-biased. You can specifically adjust how much sims use roads versus mass transit to get your preferred balance. What you're seeing might be the work of the improved pathfinding (sims are better at finding the fastest way to work), which could mean that more are using mass transit since it's faster, which means less rail and road usage. And since there's less road traffic, it's decreasing commercial desirability. Like I said, you can adjust the settings to increase road usage if you want.


  Edited by Indiana Joe  

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  • Original Poster
  • NAM affects roads, rail, subway, and all transit networks. It's not supposed to be road-biased. You can specifically adjust how much sims use roads versus mass transit to get your preferred balance. What you're seeing might be the work of the improved pathfinding (sims are better at finding the fastest way to work), which could mean that more are using mass transit since it's faster, which means less rail and road usage. And since there's less road traffic, it's decreasing commercial desirability. Like I said, you can adjust the settings to increase road usage if you want.

    Maybe I could explain it a bit more. I'm going to have to adjust the NAM because I believe I've given each road/street/avenue too much capacity. What would normally be full capacity is now only about 4%. I believe the fact that mass transit is not being used is due to the fact that there is no slowdown in traffic in my city due to my settings. Guess what I am asking is the commercial demand on the street relative to the raw number (volume per hour) or does it take capacity into account when adjusting these settings. When I played vanilla SC4 I was never able to build any type of transportation system and rail usage would never even exist at all. I think I adjusted the settings too much, I'm just checking if manipulating the capacity of the roads, does this directly effect these things.

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    The NAM traffic simulator comes in five capacities. The lowest - Classic - has capacities essentially equivalent to the original Maxis traffic simulator. You might possibly want to try a lower capacity traffic simulator. Having said that...

    Maybe I could explain it a bit more. I'm going to have to adjust the NAM because I believe I've given each road/street/avenue too much capacity.

    The excess capacity is not the source of the phenomena you're reporting.

    I believe the fact that mass transit is not being used is due to the fact that there is no slowdown in traffic in my city due to my settings.

    This is generally unlikely, and if you have your mass transit system built properly (i.e., easily accessible to the Sims and going where they want to go), it shouldn't happen.

    Guess what I am asking is the commercial demand on the street relative to the raw number (volume per hour) or does it take capacity into account when adjusting these settings.

    It's strictly raw numbers. Note that the strength of the effect of these numbers can be adjusted in the Traffic Simulator Configuration Tool, which is available in the

    I'm just checking if manipulating the capacity of the roads, does this directly effect these things.

    Generally not. And as has been pointed out, the capacity of all transportation systems is adjusted roughly proportionately.


      Edited by z1  

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    The basic difference brought on by the NAM is that pathfinding is done in such a way that Sims now take the shortest time to get to work instead of the shortest apparent distance.

    Commerce is indeed controlled by the raw numbers of Sims going by.

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    I have NAM installed and I was wondering if it effected highways ability to connect to other cities. Good old Neil keeps telling me I need to hook up to other cities using roads or rails but I have a highway connections to all the cities around mine. They have cities as well and I'm being told i need to link up with those cities. Plus I can't get my garbage deal going.

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    The basic difference brought on by the NAM is that pathfinding is done in such a way that Sims now take the shortest time to get to work instead of the shortest apparent distance.

    Although that does describe the difference in pathfinding, this in itself does not have a significant effect on the game (although it certainly makes the Sims look smarter). The biggest difference between the NAM traffic simulator and its predecessors (including the original Maxis traffic simulator) is that it dramatically reduces abandonment due to commute time and building downgrading where good transportation policies are followed, especially in larger cities. (In smaller cities and towns, abandonment and downgrading are typically less of a problem, so the difference is less apparent.) It was this reduction in abandonment and downgrading that was the primary motivation for creating the current NAM traffic simulator. Fortunately, the fix for this problem also makes the Sims take the fastest route as well, which finally gets them to use things like highways. And as a side effect, Sims can travel much farther for a given value of the maximum commute time. This constant was also raised in the NAM traffic simulator so that the Sims can successfully commute to anywhere on a large tile (with certain pathological exceptions that are extraordinarily difficult to construct and which, AFAIK, have never been seen). Since they can commute to anywhere on a large tile, and since commute time is reset when crossing city boundaries, they can theoretically commute to anywhere in a region.

    I have NAM installed and I was wondering if it effected highways ability to connect to other cities. Good old Neil keeps telling me I need to hook up to other cities using roads or rails but I have a highway connections to all the cities around mine. They have cities as well and I'm being told i need to link up with those cities.

    The ability of various networks to connect to other cities is unaffected by the NAM. The likelihood that the Sims will use these connections where it makes sense to do so is higher with the NAM traffic simulator than with the Maxis traffic simulator. All other things being equal, given a highway connection and a road connection to another city, the Sims will choose the highway connection, due to its speed. It is definitely not necessary to connect other cities using roads or rails if you have highway connections, although these other networks may be more efficient depending on where they're placed.


      Edited by z1  

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    Quite so. Notice that the positioning of the various activity pods on the network is the defining item. With NAM, Sims will take the fastest route "as the crow flies". Don't expect them to go out of their way to use highways just because they are faster. The route has to be direct.

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    With NAM, Sims will take the fastest route "as the crow flies".

    Actually, the pathfinder uses the Manhattan distance (x + y), not the direct distance ("as the crow flies").

    Don't expect them to go out of their way to use highways just because they are faster. The route has to be direct.

    With the NAM traffic simulator, the Sims will go out of their way as much as necessary to use the fastest route. The route doesn't have to be direct; sometimes it can be quite convoluted. I've also seen them switch transportation types multiple types on certain routes.

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    Funny, I've tried that and they always choose an alternate unless one does not exist.

    Sometimes it looks that way. But if you go through the calculations of trip time, tile by tile, you'll find that if going out of their way saves them time, the Sims will gladly do so. Making these calculations is complicated significantly by the fact that a network's nominal speed applies only when the network is at exactly 100% of capacity; otherwise you need to use the Congestion vs. Speed curve found in the traffic simulator exemplar to determine the speed on each tile. The speed on each tile may vary from 30% of the nominal speed when there is maximum congestion to 130% of the nominal speed when there is no traffic, so these variations are quite significant.

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    ^ I suppose I could do these calculations if I cared about this level of detail. What I get usually pleases me.

    "Perhaps it would be wise

    "Not to carp nor critisize

    "For it's very evident

    "These attentions are well meant."

    Sir. William S. Gilbert - in the libretto for Pirates of Penzance.

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    Um...carp tastes good...?

    In gefulte fish with lots of horseradish. What's the matter, don't you like them? They are immortal you know. They only die by accident or being caught.

    "I've got a little list

    "Of society offenders

    "Who'd be better underground

    "I've got a little list

    "And they ... never ... will ... be ... missed"

    Sir William S. Gilbert - in Mikado.

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