48 Hours Playing Sim City

Sim City was released last week and there was a lot of attention given to some launch issues. I've been itching to play, so Carolyn and I picked up copies on Friday after work. 48 hours later, here I am.

Server Issues

NONE. Really, none.

I was expecting some delays or queues given that there no offline gameplay, but there wasn't any. When I first installed it, it did automatically select an eastern eurpean game server, but I went back and selected on of the north American ones (NA East 3, I believe).

Carolyn had one hiccup on Saturday where she couldn't create a game instance (from) the launcher, but after restartnig the launcher we saw that there was a patch, so I suspect it was a version issue.

Altogether, game play has been pretty flawless. We've been playing together, as in within a single contenent that I created, and we've been able to have our cities interact and see the great works that the other started.

All-in-all, there haven't been any issues.

Different Game, Same Name

I've been playing Sim City for a while now. Granted, I'm not as hardcore as some people, but I've broken out spreadsheets and number crunch RCI placement. This game, is really unlike all of the Sim City games that have come before. In some ways, I wish they gave it a new name.

The big difference is that although you can solo an entire region, the game is meant to be played with someone else. When you've got a few people independently creating and managing cities, it adds some variety to the game that feels unnatural when it is inject by AI.

What is a lot of fun is working on great works together. Carolyn started an archology which benefits everyone in a region. Although she fronted the money for it, I started sending alloys and metals which helped progress it along.

What I've Learned (The Hard Way)

Here are some of the things that I wish that I knew and learned along the way:

  • Density is a combination of road density and happiness. To build up high density low-income residence, you'll need to make the upgrade the streets to the highest density possible and ensure that you don't accidentally raise the land value.
  • Land value is impacted primarily by parks and sights but is also influenced by services and public works.
  • When starting off, spend the $33k to build a solar plant. It'll get you a lot further than creating a wind farm in and is a way better alternative than fossil fuels.
  • When you first build your city, use dirt roads to cheaply spread RCI around. As you zone industrial, this is especially useful to keep pollution down by plopping it downwind and far away from RC.
  • Education plays a really large part of crime prevention. Once you hit 1k population (or sooner if you can), spend the $16k to create a school. Also make sure you keep up with school bus stops as you zone RCI.
  • When you create a new region, create a first city that is well connected with roads that has some positive cash flow as well as extra utilities and services to provide to other cities. Even if that city isn't big, when you get it stable with extra utility and service output, any new cities you build can avoid the early cost of some utilities and services by buying them from the region starter city.
  • When you plop your town hall, make sure that you are leaving enough room to departments.
  • When building your 4th or so later city in a region, you may want to consider not adding city hall departments or industry headquarters if you already have them.
  • Get a recycling center as soon as possible. Not only do they reduce garbage, but they create plastic that can be sold through a trade depot giving you an extra double-digit payout every few days.