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Inquisitor Freeman

Essential Plug-Ins for the Newcomer

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Well, this question comes up a lot. Here are two links to threads from the recent past where you will find many answers:

Link 1

Link 2

I hope this will be helpful. One short remark right here: The most useful hints are often those that don't come with a download link.

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a Newcomer needs NAM, the newest NAM31 you can download it on the STEX.


with NAM you can build a bunch of new transport systems.. The Real Highway, High Speed Rail, Trams, Viaduct Rail, Canal Boat, Wider roads etc!

a New NAM includes the previously spitted packs like the RAM, RHW, HSRP, and NWM

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A highly subjective question here. As with all others, the NAM is essential. The extra cheats dll from buggi, the SC4 Fix Dll just released to fix the crash issues. All can be searched through simtropolis or google. 

Everything else is up to personal choice at this point. I push CAM because I am a developer and it has a lot of fixes in it, plus personalizes the gameplay. If not using the new CAM, you will need fixes like the opera house fix, IHT job fix, Medical Clinic, Nuclear Power Plant and Solar Power Plant fixes, Grand Railroad Station fix.

Now comes the actual hard part. Search the directories. Here at simtropolis, Both the STEX and PLEX and SC4Devotion. Through the forums you will find links to the other language exchanges. Decide on your building style. Do you like farming mostly? Skyscraper regions, Asian regions, blends or fantasy full blended setups? Each building you download will be a personal choice. Do you like to use a lot of cheats or are you more of a realism player? 

Take your time to slowly build your plugin folder. It should take time and be careful with it. Not all mods play nice together. If you see a building you like and it says CAMeLot, you will need the new CAM. If not, you do not need it (again, I still suggest it). 

Have a look at the mayor diaries and city journals to see similar builders using a style you like. Then you can start to match some of their plugins to get the feel you want. Although I have a huge plugin folder that changes a lot, here is a list of my essentials.

NAM Windows Version Here

CAM Windows Version Here

Ennedi Slope Mod (Choose your own slope mod(s))

Extra Cheats Plugin Here - This is actually needed for NAM questions on pathing

SC4 Fix DLL Here - Fixes Crashing from hovering puzzle pieces over transit enable lots, a very annoying bug.

I tend to download buildings and packs from SC4Devotion more, because I use CAM. Other than that, these are the essentials. Everything else is quite literally personal taste.

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Yes, somehow the links must have been broken by a site update or whatever - that post is over 3 years old, after all. Still, if you browse the forums a bit, you will find many similar topics.

In short, I'd say that all bugfixes (such as the Opera House Fix, the I-HT bug fix and a few others) are essential.

People always say NAM is essential, but I don't think so. Look at this post to see why. If you share similar goals and a similar playing style, the NAM is not only not necessary, it might even be detrimental to your playing experience. Most players just don't share this playing style, and for their preferred playing styles, the NAM is pretty much God's gift*. That's why they call it "essential", but it depends on what you are going for.

Since we don't know who the person asking the question is or what their preferences and playing style are like, my opinion remains like this: All official game patches and strict bug fixes are necessary - all the rest, explicitly including the NAM, is not generally essential for everyone.

I suggest playing the game without mods first. You will see what you like and where you feel limited.

Then, you can search (or ask) for mods that may help you overcome these limitations. Those mods that do the trick for you will then be essential for you personally (and maybe for others who share similar preferences), but that doesn't mean that a different person has to regard them as essential or even useful.

________
*Just to avoid any potential misunderstanding: The NAM is an awesome feat and THE single most impressive mod out there IMO. I love to use it and I enjoy the creative freedom and the possibilities it gives me. I wouldn't want to miss it, but that's what any person could say about any mod that they love, and doesn't have to mean anything to a different person.
 

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At the risk of disagreeing with the above, I personally think the NAM is an essential mod. The main reason being that it fixes a number of issues with the traffic simulator in SC4. Agreed, this is vastly more useful when not playing in a gridded setup, which is optimised to use every tile possible for high-density zoning. But in some ways, this was an issue with previous SimCity games for me. Having mastered how to work with the simulation, then built a city to a point with a vast, teaming metropolis with alchologies. Where do you go from there? Whilst I suppose some enjoy repeating that over an over, perhaps laying things out differently, that doesn't appeal hugely to me.

One of the great differentiators between the original SC games and SC4 is region play. With it, finally the chance to build something more varied was possible. Now you can devote one tile to that seaport, to really give it a sense of gravitas and scale. You can have many inter-connected cities, all with their own little specialisations and character. When you go down this path, the game morphs from something with a very narrow focus, into something which is truly open ended. Mix in a whole bunch of other custom content options, you've got the most widely played game of it's genre.

That's the thing, the NAM can be as simple as the traffic simulator and other various bugfixes. That's the essential part for me. If you also want the additional networks and other fantastic options too, well that part is optional, although I couldn't go back personally.

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