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Harmanoff

Not sure what to do really

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I got the new SimCity and played it and not impressed I didn't play sc4 ALOT but did play it some over the years...and never could and still can't make cities in sc4 that make money...but in SC13 its not problem for me at all. So im in need of some good starting tips to get a starting city in SC4 that its making money and can grow with out much issue when adding mass transit..i believe I got the NAM traffic mod installed as well as I play SC4 in lead up to the new one releasing (which is proly why im still not impressed at all with SC13). Thanks in advance!

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SC4 is a different ball of wax if you have not played any of the predecessors.  To get going and make money you need a few accessories as I minimum I recommend both NAM and SPAM (basic download only).  You can extend the SPAM with tons of add-ons later.  You should also have the Extra Cheats DLL, which is not really a cheat but a set of developer debug commands.

 

I am assuming, of course, that your game has a developer level of at least 1,1,638.

 

So, start a new region and open a city in hard difficulty.  Terraform to your delight, and add a sensible amount of trees remembering that trees need water courses.

 

Stay in Turtle mode.

 

Switch to Mayor mode and name the city.

 

Pick a likely spot and draw two crossed streets as your mid-village.  At the junction add a wind power station and about 20 low density C lots (A-key), preferably 2 x 1.  Let this run for a while until they've started building.

 

Now, put about twice that number of low density R lots in behind them but connected to the main streets.  Again, use 2 x 1.  This requires hand zoning,  and it is work but we want a profitable city in the end.

 

Now, look at your budget panel, and look at the difference between income and expenses.  This difference is your nut and you must change it so that income is more than expense.  The best way to do this is to allow the present lots to build, then add some more.

 

As soon as you can afford it, add a water tower.  Water will get you better buildings.  Keep adding residential until you get profitable, then add a fire station.  Work on recovering to profit.

 

And so on.  Police next, then a school, then a health facility, then a sensible set of City Ordinances, parks, plazas.  Slowly, staying profitable the whole time.  There is no rush.

 

If you happen to run out of money, look at your current balance, say 123.45 and type

CTRL+xmoolah 100123.45CTRL+m. 

This will add 100,000 to your treasury.

 

When you need a little more income or start getting no-job zots, add four farms on the outskirts.  Make sure they are separated by streets, and since you have NAM, if you wish you can use the SAM component to make the streets into dirt roads.  You can stop the spread of the SAM textures by placing a single road tile where you want them to stop.  To extend a SAM texture, simply drag a street from it.

 

The farm production will jack up your income but you must get it to the edge of the city tile for export where it conveniently disappears.  Just run a street over there with a small segment of road to make the connection to the next tile.

 

One of the things I have found useful at this point is to add farm workers.  If you hold down the shift key and drag low density R along the farm streets you can create as much 1 x 1  residential as you think it needs.

 

Don't forget to make sure everything is watered and powered.

 

So that's it.  You just go slowly forward building towards the city of your dreams.  The initial pair of crossed streets can eventually be upgraded to roads or avenue with some urban renewal, and the low density commercial can become higher density as needed.

 

The trick is to take your time and enjoy the animation.  This is a leisure time pursuit, and you should approach it in a leisurely fashion.  There's no rush, and when you tire of playing, just do a save and quit.

 

One more thing:  use the internal save (CTRL+s) at least every 15 minutes or any time you've done something you'd rather not repeat after a crash.  The game has a few bugs that cause crashes after running a long time.  The internal save seems to garbage collect this and prevent the crash.

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For a start, you could try Easy difficulty - higher overall demand and income increased by 20% - just to get grip of game.

Most important rule is to not rush with building civics and utilities of any kind, until they are really needed, and then carefully adjusting their sliders.

Also most of income will come from R$$ and R$$$ residents and CS (all kind) so don't neglect education much (at beginning libraries will be your great ally, not as effective as normal schools, but very cheap to build and maintain and affect all age groups of citizens).

Start zoning from Low density, they can be later upgraded to Med or High density without bulldozing, but you will need water support.

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And don't forget to check off the "Allow Gambling" ordinance for an extra $100mth to start off.

 

And starting on easy might help you stay in the black a bit easier till you get the hang of how to start a new city.

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I hardly ever use the gambling ordinance because it increases crime.  This means early introduction of costly police stations as the Neighbourhood Watch ordinance is ineffective against gambling dens.

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Also don't go into it trying to build highrises immidiately.  It takes time, trust me I know, it took me six months of game play to build my first real skyscrapper.  Once you  get skyscrappers the money really starts rolling in.  Till then, build small areas at a time an have them grow.  If you start out on hard, you will almost always go into the red, at least a little, so expect to take a loan out, but if you take too big of one then your playing catch up to get it paid off.  Also try to play almost always on turtle speed, makes to gameplay much more enjoyable. 

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My best SC4 tips:

 

  • don't ever build services unless absolutely necessary for further growth (demand caps) or annoying problems (having to put out fires when you're busy with something else).
  • play regions wisely. Especially industrial regions should be mostly isolated. They won't need education or health themselves, you isolate polution and exporting cheap coal power is way more efficient than having wind turbines in Smalltown nearby.
  • after developing expansions, save and try-run your city a few years without saving when you add costly services or beautification. This way you can predict whether growth and budget are on the right future course and fix matters before it's too late.
  • the radius doubler mod offers you bigger coverage for services. This allows you to use the larger service items which are more efficient, as opposed to micromanaging all the smaller ones which still will never be as efficient.
  • get experienced. Your first region might fail in one way or the other. Accept this, learn from your mistakes and do not be afraid to start over until you have confidence you can build that Utopian world without running into trouble.

 

Some of these tips might qualify as cheating, but in Sim City cheating is allowed. Only you get to pick the balance between designing landscape and playing the actual engine. I try to accomplish building regions with a majority of actually grown items and some of the mentioned boosts, others use money trees and plop everything into perfect detail, some might want to actually play and accept game limitations because their goal is actual gameplay over design. There is no one right way to play it, as long as you enjoy what you're doing.

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I hardly ever use the gambling ordinance because it increases crime.  This means early introduction of costly police stations as the Neighbourhood Watch ordinance is ineffective against gambling dens.

 

In my experience, the extra gain out weighs any increase in crime at early stages of a city's beginnings. Plus, if you start with education early on (but not too early), you really don't experience much crime in that particular area, at least till the pop is greater than 5k. By that time, you should definitely have your city running in the black.

 

Other than the gambling ordinance, the rest I don't use unless it's a last resort to tone down the specific issue. 

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