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ckotchey

Newbie - A question of playing style

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  • Hopefully this isnt' too odd a question. Back in ancient days, I played the original SimCity to some extent, and SimCity 2000 to a lesser extent. Soon after came a marriage and kids, so I haven't played any flavor in ages. I just started playing SC4, and I have a very general question about playing style. I know it's an open-ended game to play, but I think i find myself becoming too impatient about things. I don't know if I'm really a bad player, or if I'm simply not taking the time it really takes to allow things to move, grow, and progress. So my simple question is - how long does this game usually take for people to play? Would you say you put in a few hours, dozen hours, or hundreds of hours to grow your little hamlet into a big 1,000,000 population city? As an example, I just started playing by using the "Big City Tutorial" city as my starting point. I think the starting population of this town is around 22,000, and after maybe 3 hours of playing, learning, and tinkering, I'm grown the city now to about 38,000 people. Is this a typicaly growth speed? (Or do I just suck at this stuff?) :-) Hopefully now that I'm older (and hopefully wiser), I can calm myself into taking my time about things. I think I'm also starting to get over my massive fear of demolishing any existing structures to make way for the new - I'm guessing this is also a key to progressing. Somehow, I have a hard time convincing myself it's OK to demolish a line of buildings through the heart of my town to make way for that big ol' avenue or highway that is needed!

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    That's an interesting question. I play even slower than you - three hours of work might get me about 2,000 population increase, maybe even less if I'm involved in some intricate tunneling project instead of zoning. Others play a lot faster. Some put the whole thing on pause, lay out the zones, and then run the city on cheetah speed until it's all built up. Not my style, but that's all it is - personal preference and style. 2.gif

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    The thing with SC4 is that it is really sloooooow getting the first city going.

    However, once you start building neighboring cities the demand in other cities increases.

    A few tips:

  • When you first start your city build a few elementary schools and a big hospital. I know you dont need a big hospital but it has many doctors which are $$$ residents.
  • Start in the far corner of the map. Get the city started with a few RCI lots and maybe let time go for a year. Then save/exit out the the region view. Build another city adjacent to the city you first started in the nearest far corner. Repeat this same process until you have 4 cities connected in the far corners. This will bump up the demand in each city tremendously and your RCI meter will be in high demand.
  • Try to keep pollution down or in another city completely. Try to set up your transit systems like roads so that Sims have to pass by Commercial areas on their way to and from work.
  • -trigger

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    Well compared to all the previous incarnations of Simcity, SC4/RH is the hardest one. Many first-time players of SC4 tend to get frustrated because old playing styles no longer work. This is very natural but once you get the feel of the game, you should improve. Of course it wouldn't hurt to read around and accelerate your learning curve. 2.gif

    The problem with quantifying growth based on actual playing time is that it would vary hugely depending on game speed. Three hours on Cheetah is an enormous amount of simcity time compared to Turtle speed. 16,000 in 3 hours isn't bad at all but city growth is based on a very large number of factors. For example if you're using suppressive taxation, once demand rises and you drop taxes, you can get very large bursts of growth, like 10-15k in several months of simcity time. That's only a couple of minutes in Rhino speed.

    Regarding demolishing, a good way to avoid it is through advanced planning. But if it's absolutely necessary, go ahead. Just do it in moderation if you're bulldozing structures that hold large numbers of sims or jobs.

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    My style consists of laying zones, a few at a time, and play at flying speed until they are developed. Then I pause and add more, then rinse and repeat. Occassionally, I will pause for an extended time to develop my transportation network or to beautify the landscape. I have no problem using eminent domain (the bulldozer) to my advantage, though I do try to avoid it (thanks to my previous experiences with gridlock). I abhor destroying a beautiful skyscraper just to widen a road, but that little mansion can rise again *CLICK* *BOOM*

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    interesting question, ckotchey!

    I think I currently invested about 700 to 1000 hours in SimCity 4. Many people probably invested even more hours in the game. In all these hours, I developed about 7 or 8 succesfull regions (I put lots of effort in many regions, but they mostly failed). These regions have no more than 1.5 million inhabitants at most, although I like to play aggresively. I lay down a road network, like the one in Manhatten. Simple, though effective. I fill it with zones, build highways, schools, and other stuff, while the first buildings already start appearing. This all I do at cheetah speed.
    My main tactic is region play. When starting a new region, I first start some small residential/commercial cities, and some industrial cities, connected with each other. I develop them, they evolve, and eventually I start creating new cities. The overal demand rises signficantly doing so. In my current region, I managed to get my newest city to 30.000 population within two simyears. This is all because there is a ridiculous high demand in every city, no matter how poor it is. And no, I don't use any mods that positively effect demand.

    So my suggestion to you is: It takes a lot of time to get the hang of the game. If  you put lots of effort in it, you will notice at some point that developing a city gets easier and easier. Ingame time is of no importance: It can take you like 30 years to get 10k population in your city, but also 5 simmonths. It's just your playing style, it doesn't depend on how good you are.
    Also, try to practise a lot with region play. Your cities will grow way faster if you link them with eachother, than if you develop each city individually.

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    I play cooperative cities, moving back and forth from one to another, and development is fairly rapid after the first 5 or 6 game years have elapsed. I also put in as many parks and civic buildings as I can afford, which helps growth. I get impatient and bored with most of my regions after a while, and I don't think I've ever actually developed all of the cities in any of them. My largest city ever was about 5 million, and it was overwhelming to manage. My transit network was extensive, but I still had a lot of traffic congestion. I run my game on cheetah speed, by the way.

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