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12thDoctor

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  1. Building stats

    Hey Felgard: I believe Update 6 changed some of the numbers for industrial (and possibly others)... I was wondering if you could update this to reflect the changes to Update 6? Pretty please?
  2. It's a bit hard to give you an answer without more information or screenshots, but I can try... The first two obvious things that, after 2500+ hours, I'm quite sure you'd already be aware of, but just in case, I'll still mention them: Is there enough room? A High Density residential is the same size as a "Large Field with Parking" (I believe it's a $-wealth park) or a high school... so if you can't fit one of those in the location, it isn't going to be able to expand. They'll also have a little complaint in orange stating "Not enough room to increase density." High Density requires being built on either a high density road or avenue. If those aren't the issue, then it's going to boil down to happiness. Buildings upgrade when they reach a specified amount of happiness. Medium-density low-wealth will upgrade to high-density once they reach 540 happiness tokens. Happiness for low-wealth residential is received from three things: Shoppers returning to the building after successfully purchasing something. Residents visitings parks and returning with happiness. Low taxes (7% or lower). So you'll want to watch you happiness overlay. My guess is that they aren't gaining enough net happiness very quickly... and this will make it seem like it takes forever for them to upgrade. It may simply be an issue of waiting and patience. Low wealth residential doesn't gain happiness from too many things, so if anything is causing them to lose happiness, it can make a big impact on the time it takes to upgrade. So to get them to upgrade faster, you can lower taxes, add more commercial buildings nearby (and make sure that you have a good % of shoppers fulfilled via the Details tab on the Population window), adding a few low-wealth parks nearby, and even temporarily lowering taxes. You can also check and make sure there aren't anything causing them to lose happiness... which can be a large number of things, like crime, sickness, etc... Clicking on the building details or even the approval rating window and checking to see what sort of things they are complaining about. Most things in orange will cause them to lose some happiness. If none of this works, then you're going to have to give us more information to work with, here. Hope this helps.
  3. Yeah... that's exactly what happens. I recall seeing this discussed a few times before but my memory of exact details about what is happening and why it happens is a bit vague. I don't expect it will be ever "fixed" or changed, mainly due to technical restraints or complications, from my understanding. I think a large part of it had to with the memory and system resources. But the Sims in SC2013 are persistent... until they get on mass transit. I guess a certain amount of the sims' data isn't stored when sims get on mass transit and the stuff like their name and where they came from is lost... but I don't know if all of it is lost or if just some of it is. The part I am unsure about is if worker sim boards a mass transit vehicle with a specific destination/job/position in mind--the way that dev blog explained--then once they exit the mass transit, will there be a worker sim which still has the same job destination (but just a different name)? (Now, I'm assuming that it remembers how many of the sims on board are workers/shoppers/tourists and then when it drops them off, recreates the same number of workers/shoppers/tourists, but I'm not even entirely sure about that either.) But say three workers get on a bus, Sim A going to Job 1, Sim B going to Job 2, Sim C going to Job 3.... when the bus drops them off, does it drop off three sims with the same destinations? One for Job 1, one for Job 2, one for Job 3? It's hard to know whether this part is still persistent because sims don't say "Going to work at so-and-so-specific-building-name," so you can't really be entirely sure. Maybe Guillaume or someone else from Maxis can chime in, here, and let us know how that works.
  4. I'm going to go out onto a limb here and guess that the cause here is that you have mass transit. In my experience, that has always been the biggest culprit in random and unexplained abandonment. I've added mass transit to an otherwise flawless working city (no abandonment issues) and within a game-day or two (with no other changes) suddenly start having buildings going abandoned with no workers or no jobs. Remove the mass transit, and everything goes back to normal. Mass transit is the real flaw here, and from what I've experienced, it isn't even necessary. I've had cities 300k-600k population with no mass transit and no issues. But the problem stems from how worker agents get jobs and how mass transit works. There was a dev blog explaining how worker sims.. erm... work, awhile back. Finding a job for a sim is different than finding a home, where sims take the first home that has an open spot. Basically, workplaces send out a "ping" that looks for available workers. When it finds some, the workers take that "job" and it does actually hold that position for that sim. The worker then leaves to go to that job. If they don't arrive before the cut-off time, they get "fired" and head back home for the rest of the day and that job opening remains unfilled for the rest of that shift. (So sims actually won't ever drive to a job only to discover it's been filled.) If there is mass transit near, they'll get on the mass transit. But mass transit essentially works a bit randomly... as far as I can tell, it doesn't take sims where they want to go, per se. So they'll ride around somewhat randomly and hopefully the bus takes them close to where they need to go and they get off. More likely, though, is that they won't get to a stop they wanted to get to quickly enough and a good number of sims will end up fired each day. Those jobs won't get filled and you'll end up with sims out of work (while there remains unfilled jobs) and you'll have buildings without workers (despite being excess jobs). The other problem that I've seen happening is that sims will take mass transit to get to work---even if the job is within normal walk-to-work distance---if the mass transit is closer than job. I've seen this happen, first hand, and I was baffled. I suddenly had single HD commercial buildings surrounded by HD residential going abandoned from lack of workers and residential directly adjacent to HD commercial buildings unable to find work when there was a plethora of open jobs within walking distance. I removed the mass transit and it suddenly stopped happening. Street cars seem to be more effective, simply because you have much more limited routes and it increases the likelihood of the streetcar stopping at a stop they want to get to sooner, but the problem essentially remains. With either street cars or buses, the fewer the stops is more often than not better... but that just may be fewer problems arising from fewer sims using the mass transit. With a good traffic/road layout and well placed R/C/I layouts, you can get huge populations without any need for mass transit. If you aren't using mass transit, though... I'm not sure.
  5. Anyone w/ 500k+ Population Cities?

    I've been doing this too, and it seems to work really well... giving shopping and jobs to nearby residential without adding much traffic. The only issue I've been having with this method if figuring out placement, horizontally, along the road. I know that Tree Rows or Large Park w/ Parking are the size a HD residential building, but I always seem to have trouble finding the right width to leave for commercial that won't cause wasted space in the residential parts. I normally try to lay out my roads first so this can be annoying to deal with later. Do you have any sort of method for dealing with this or on how much area to leave for commercial? A good way to get around this issue when you're going for only low-wealth residential, like this, is setting the taxes for $$ and $$$ wealths to 20%. At 20% tax rate, those wealth levels won't even move in. The only problem(s) that can come from this is that you'll constantly get the annoying "Taxes are too high!" warning from the zoning advisor (more of a minor annoyance) and that if the land-value is too high, sims will complain about high rent.
  6. Anyone w/ 500k+ Population Cities?

    Well I did manage to end up reaching 600k with the all avenue layout. It wasn't pretty, though... especially towards the end. At about 580k, had an earthquake hit the very center of the city and the resulting damage and fires set me all the way back to 530k. I had to rely entirely on the fire helicopters because traffic was so bad that firetrucks would never reach the fire in time. But I was close enough to 600k, I figured I'd just go for it instead of starting all over. Here's the imgur album with various screenshots showing the end results, some nice shots of the city hit by the early morning light and some other shots. Definitely not the ideal road layout for this size city... it really needed a lot of attention and tending for the last 50k or so. Still, it was a pretty rewarding experience and gained a lot of good insight. (Mostly, it was insight into what not to do next time!) Thanks, all, for your input and ideas!
  7. Anyone w/ 500k+ Population Cities?

    I didn't notice this at first, but I was just taking a closer look and I realized what you were doing with the streetcars and it's really sort of brilliant... with the avenues going across only connected to the side roads at one end but connected by the streetcar on the other end, and the streetcar track going vertically connecting the horizontal streets. it's a lot like the "segregated city" method but more of a hybrid. I haven't ever really seen anything like that before.
  8. Anyone w/ 500k+ Population Cities?

    Yeah, I also gave mass-transit a try with streetcars in that first attempt when I reached about 350k population. I wanted to try to get ahead of the traffic because it was just starting to become noticeable... though it wasn't causing any problems, yet, though. So I tried a few different layouts/options but never broke 14k riders (which was about 4% of the population) and, in fact, started having other problems that I had never seen previous to the streetcars: Buildings complaining about No Workers and Couldn't Find Work, even though the ratio of workers to job was actually 500 excess workers. It was pretty ridiculous because nothing changed but the addition of street cars. Workers were walking to the streetcar stations and getting on instead of walking just a few buildings further to reach their job! (This is a little off the original subject and a bit long of a tangent so I'm going to hide it as a "spoiler" so people can read it if they want to and aren't put off by the wall of text... but it's related to mass-transit, how it seems to work based on observations, and why I think it's generally ineffective.) And seriously, a huge thank you to all of you (and especially JamieRamsey2005, Ladyvampiress, CarloTheCurious, & Noobi-Wan) for the screenshots, links, and input. This has all been a big help in getting some ideas and for getting a general sense of what direction to go. You guys rock!
  9. Discussion about City Tile Size

    It's likely a bit of both. With pathfinding over long distances, it becomes an issue of combinatorial optimization: the difficulty and complexity of these computations increase exponentially as the number of choices, possibilities, and variables branch out further and further... essentially the classic "traveling salesman problem." These problems are what are known as NP-Hard problems and is a type of computation that traditional computing hardware struggles with. It essentially needs to brute-force and calculate every possibility in order to compare them and find the most optimal solution. For an example of how this exponential increase in difficulty would translate into the game, for graph of x2, where x is the area of the city lot and y is number of calculable possibilities: Where x = 5, y = 25. Doubling the map area, x, making x = 10 returns y = 100... a 4x increase in complexity. Tripling the map area, making x = 14, returns y = 225... a 45x increase in complexity. So just by doubling the map size, it would increase computational complexity by up to four times... just for pathfinding alone. The most effective means of solving these sort of NP-hard, combinatorial optimization computations is currently a quantum computer taking advantage of Grover's algorithm, which can give a quadratic speedup over typical computational brute-force search calculation methods. (But that won't help you very much unless you're Google, NASA, or Lockheed Martin and have access to a D-Wave 2 computer.) Most likely, Maxis isn't using typical brute-force means to solve the NP-Hard pathfinding solutions simply due to the computational load it requirement. Instead, they've probably developed a much more rudimentary pathfinding system with more simple rules and calculations, resulting in far lower CPU usage... but at the same time also being far less efficient in its pathfinding decisions (as you've undoubtedly seen firsthand). But doubling the map size will still create exponentially greater pathing variations and would certainly make the Glassbox pathfinding systems, as it stands, even less effective... not to mention that doubling the map size would also lead to nearly doubling the number of agents requiring pathfinding. Most pathfinding we see in games is only being used for a handful of NPCs at a time. The more effective pathfinding system, the higher the CPU demands. So in order to run this pathfinding for several hundred of game agents, simultaneously, it requires "dumbing down," of sorts, in order to make the load manageable. TL;DR: My point is that effective pathfinding is not that simple to implement, especially on the scale that is required within SimCity due to the sheer number of agents. Doubling the map size will have a much bigger impact on the game's computational requirements than one might suspect. The issue is of limitations both with the GlassBox engine and with CPU load. The GlassBox engine likely would struggle with larger maps; Improving the GlassBox engine to work more efficiently on larger maps would require more clock cycles. Note: So as not to misinterpret my intent, I am not defending EA/Maxis here, and I'm all for larger map sizes... I merely just want to make it clear that the issue is more complex than it may appear. Personally, I'm not going to get my hopes up.
  10. Anyone w/ 500k+ Population Cities?

    Awesome... that is great! One question I have, though, is that I noticed it appears you adjusted/modified your road layout from what you had initially plotted out... was that a change you had anticipated having to make or did you have to do it on the fly in order to deal with traffic? It's a little more difficult to gauge from those later pictures because of the buildings, but from what I can tell, it looks like you were minimizing the number of four-way intersections. If you were to do this all over again, would you go with this layout again? Yeah... that's sort of a given. But the aim is for the population... so it doesn't really matter in this instance. One of the game achievements is having a fully upgraded City Hall... which means getting a population of 600k, I believe. I haven't really set out to get any other specific achievements before, but this one sort of appeals to me... and it certainly doesn't seem to be an easy one to get (especially with all of the flaws and bugs in the game). So I figured I'd give this a shot... partly just to see if it's possible. I mean, I know it is possible, but I want to see it and do it myself and see how it's possible. In almost all of my other cities, I've filled the maps but barely broken 120k... although I hadn't actually been trying for population, either... so I think it will be a pretty good test of skill.
  11. Is there anyone with 500k-600k population cities which they still have access to and could take some screenshots of? (Preferably from some zoomed out and top-down views..) Mostly what I'm curious about and would like to see is the city layout in regards to roads and zoning... but the more information and layers you feel like including, the better. I'm looking at making a go for a non-sandbox 500k+ city, so I'm looking for a little inspiration. I had already started one attempt at this and had gotten it up to 360k but suddenly the game started freezing within a minute or two every time I try to play that city... not sure why. I feel like my last city/layout strategy could have probably worked but I'd also like to compare/contrast with some layouts that have been shown to work. I'm not intending to steal or copy any layouts... just looking for some points of comparison and to see if there are any commonalities or aspects I should modify or incorporate into my own layout. Descriptions of layouts, advice, recommendations are all well and good, of course--and I've read a good deal about this sort of thing--but there's always a difference between "on paper" and "in practice," so I'm really looking for examples of what has worked. If anyone would be willing to share pictures their 500k+ cities, it'd be greatly appreciated.
  12. So ever since 5.0 I've been experiencing intermittent freezing/crashes, requiring me to end SimCity via task manager. Normally this hasn't caused any real problems, aside from being exceedingly annoying. However today I had this happen and when I tried to return to the city, the game would freeze during the loading screen. Whatever little witty loading message was up at the time would stay there... so it'd be "Herding Llamas" for 15+ minutes. Other cities would load except for the one that I had been playing. I was about to give up hope but in a last attempt to fix it, ended up being able to get it to work again... so I just wanted to share what I did in case this happens to anybody else. (Follow at your own risk of course... just back up anything before you delete it!) I went into the Origin Games\SimCity\SimCityUserData\EcoGames folder and sorted everything by "Date Modified," with the newest at the top. There were two files (starting with "GD," followed by a string of numbers, with file extension ".egb") and a folder (starting with "s" and followed by a string of numbers) that had "Last Modified" timestamps which matched the last time I had launched the game. I backed both of these up, made copies to a different folder, and then deleted them. After relaunching the game, everything loaded correctly. The number of files may differ from person to person, though. When I originally did this, I had two GD*.egb files in the EcoGames root folder and 34 ".mfs" files in the "s###########" folder. (Not all of the .mfs files had the most recent modified timestamp but I just backed up and deleted the whole folder.) However, now when I look in this folder, I see 22 GD*.egb files in the root EcoGame folder and only 1 .mfs file in the s########## folder. ...So basically just back up, copy, and delete anything in the EcoGames folder that have timestamps from the most recent launch of SimCity. I didn't see any different messages from the SimCity launcher about downloading anything, so I assume these to be local cached city save files, of some sort, and deleting them simply forces the game to re-download them from the game server. Just wanted to share this in case anybody else experiences it.
  13. Since freight in a city isn't currently necessary, I imagine this is an area and mechanic that hasn't been greatly explored. One thing you can try is making sure that both cities have a trade depot/port and storage for freight. You might need this in order to establish a "connection" for freight between the two cities. You might need the freight truck in the receiving city in order to have a place for them to deliver to and/or in order to have a source of trucks to come pick up the freight from your city. I haven't confirmed this myself, but one thing I just recently noticed is that commuters and shoppers don't seem to really prefer traveling to another city by car... but give them a mass transport option and they'll flock right in. So maybe freight is similar in that industries don't want to have their trucks driving over to the next city and dropping freight off themselves, but building the trade depots/ports in each city will create a link for them to move freight across. Should be worth a shot, at least.
  14. Not sure if you've seen this yet or not, but there is a Maxis dev blog explaining how the market prices are calculated. In a nutshell, prices are calculated based on how much was sold/bought each hour or so... which also suggests prices will be most stable on lesser played servers and during times that are "off-peak" for the server (i.e., probably 3am-7am in North America). Might be useful in your strategizing. Considering how price is calculated, you should be able to influence prices in a similar way. Since prices aren't adjusted in real-time, you could buy a good deal, wait a bit for the server to recalculate the price (which will factor in the demand of your purchases), and sell for profit once the market price changes. Not sure if this is plausible, in practice, but seems like it should work in theory. Also, the global price history has been re-enabled (or added) to the game... but you can only access it via the main menu screen (it's under the "Sim World" option). Not sure if you were aware of this, since it's a bit out of the way to discover.
  15. Education/Unskilled workers question

    Yeah, you still only really need one type of education building. While this is unrealistic, in a way, I think it seems to make more sense in the context of the game... otherwise it'd be insanely expensive in order to provide all levels of education prior to college/university and seeing as the game doesn't distinguish between the different types of education. There is still an advantage to having both a lowel level and upper level education: grade schools & high schools can pick students up at bus stops while colleges and universities require students to travel there on their own... something that can significantly add to traffic problems. You can offset this, a bit, with school bus stops to pick up sims that are further away and thus require less traffic. On a related note, does anybody know if the thought-bubble "I never thought it'd be this hard to find good managers" is related to education or to wealth level? I have been assuming wealth level but just not 100% sure, since it doesn't seem totally clear.
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