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  1. I have an 306k pop city without buying any diamonds. I ended up wasting the 35 free lv 1-10 diamonds early on, which I regret because there's that 10 diamond stadium offer at lv 28 that I could have got for free. So basically I have almost no items that cost diamonds in my city, just a cupcake factory and ferris wheel. Anyway, I'm going to share some layout and gaming tips and tricks.
  2.  
  3. This guide can always be found at [url]http://forum.playfish.com/showthread.php?t=2864315[/url] It has been reposted elsewhere on the net without my permission, but this is the original source, on the Playfish forums.
  4.  
  5. Please read the rest of this thread for more, I can't fit everything into this post. Or check this URL for most of the stuff I've written in this thread:
  6.  
  7. [url]http://pastebin.com/GT6ed6G1[/url]
  8.  
  9.  
  10.  
  11. You get one free diamond per level up. Save them, do not spend them. As you level up, you'll get discounted offers. You get an 80% discount if you haven't paid for diamonds, and a 30% discount if you have. The two level up discounts that are worth getting are the Stadium at 26 and Monster Truck Rally at 34. If you're going to buy and spend diamonds, I suggest only buying the discounted level up deals, and only the businesses, factories, and attractions. don't buy the simoleon or material bundles or the decorations.
  12.  
  13. Make lots of friends on facebook. Visit them for the first visit bonus and 5 bonus energy. You're limited to 20 daily friends to visit for the 5 bonus energy (past the first visit bonus), so choose some dedicated friends to work on relationship levels with. This isn't as important as finding a reliable and dedicated twin cities partner.
  14.  
  15. Finding a twin cities partner is very important, as it's one of the only ways to get the Unity ingredient. Find someone very reliable and dedicated to quickly raise your twin cities level. The higher your neighbor's relationship level (friend, enemy, or partner), the higher the drop rate of rare items such as Bliss, Wrath, and Unity, which are needed for the Arcology and 2500 Fame buildings. At max relationship level, the drop rate of Bliss, Wrath, and Unity is 10%.
  16.  
  17. Fame is the best way to get around spending tons of simoleons and resources. Make lots of friends, get their first visit bonuses, and send lots of gifts to everyone to earn +2 fame per gift accepted.
  18.  
  19. GIFT YOUR NEIGHBORS ENERGY! There's nothing better to gift them. If you need land permits you can request them.
  20.  
  21. Starting out, it's best to make horizontal rows of roads from the main vertical road, spaced 6-7 apart. Line the top and bottom of the row with cities, and place decorations and attractions in between them. This is useful early on because decorations and attractions aren't much different in value and radius just starting out. See attached screenshot for a good early layout. Despite being small and undeveloped, this layout is worth 6600 pop, and it should be good enough until you get the Arcology and 2500 fame landmarks. Don't bother with 1x1 or 2x1 sized residential zones early on, it's a waste of time and space. Later on when you get landmarks and high value attractions, your layout priorities will change.
  22.  
  23. [url]http://i50.tinypic.com/2mrcswy.jpg[/url]
  24.  
  25. Roads are your enemy. They take up valuable space and don't offer any benefits. Try to use as few roads as possible. The one exception to this - roads on the railroad tracks. You can build roads on the railroad tracks one at a time (click twice on a single railroad track tile), then the game will treat the railroad tracks as a congruent "road" which allows building placement. Since you can't get rid of the railroad tracks, you might as well make them useful.
  26.  
  27. Place residential buildings by the waterfront for the 90-110% waterfront bonus. This effectively doubles the value of those residences, assuming they don't max out at 660.
  28.  
  29. Your first and most important land expansions should be to the alien wreckage parts around the map. Any other expansion is secondary. You'll want to build the Arcology asap. You can then use those expanded areas to place factories for waterfront bonuses.
  30.  
  31. Always keep some room open for a swap space, since you can't place buildings into your inventory yet. If you pack your city too tightly it will be too difficult to make adjustments later, and you might get frustrated. Don't forget you can put most/all decorations into your inventory.
  32.  
  33. You'll want to purchase Factories and Businesses with Fame, namely the Chemical Plant, Computer Factory, and Convenience Store (after obtaining 1-2 2500 fame buildings). If you spend simoleons or resources to purchase a business or factory, you will spend several days at least paying it off before it generates any profit at all for you, while Fame purchases begin rewarding you immediately.
  34.  
  35. Quests are a tricky situation in SimCity Social. They often cost a lot of resources, yet the rewards are paltry. I recommend avoiding most quests until you've got a good footing, as they will usually slow you down once they start demanding that you purchase 30,000+ simoleon buildings.
  36.  
  37. Farms are mostly a waste of space. They're only useful for quests or clicking on wild animals (such as horses) on the map. Have as few as possible. Not even Don has a Farm, that's how much they suck.
  38.  
  39. When visiting your neighbors, do actions on their factories and businesses. If your neighbor's factory/business is ready at the time they click your visit, your visit will cause the factory/business to pay out without your neighbor having to spend energy to do it. You can usually tell if a neighbor has visited your factory/business because there won't be a "payout" popup when hovering your mouse over it.
  40.  
  41.  
  42.  
  43. After the Arcology..
  44.  
  45. Once you have the Arcology and Fortress of Woe or Gaia's Garden, your layout plans will change to surrounding them with as many buildings as possible. It's preferable to place them within waterfront range to maximize the waterfront residential bonus. The Arc and 2500 Fame buildings are self operating - they don't need to be next to a road to operate.
  46.  
  47. I suggest building the Gaia's Garden unless you really like the Fortress of Woe's looks, because it's much easier to be nice to people (and your partner) and earn Bliss than it is to be mean and earn Wrath.
  48.  
  49. After some experimenting, I came upon an interesting technique to further maximize residential layouts, which I call the "scaffolding trick". A residential building that requires roads will operate perfectly fine as long as the building is underneath at least one "green tile". However, you can't easily move residential buildings into that position, so you need to first give it a valid placement with all green tiles covered, then bulldoze the nearby road and replace it with a more distant road that still grants the building at least one green placement tile.
  50.  
  51. In other words, an overextended road is built as a "scaffold" so the residential building can be put into place, then the unnecessary parts of the road are bulldozed to free up space, leaving the residential building still operational. Using this scaffolding trick, you can place a huge number of buildings around a landmark with minimal road coverage. This doesn't work with businesses, factories, etc. so don't bother with those.
  52.  
  53. Here are two screenshots showing the scaffold trick. In this first shot you can see the road (scaffold) extending to the highlighted residential building. In the second shot, the road has been bulldozed, but the building continues to operate, because it has at least 1 underlying 'green' tile when you select it to move. You can use that free space to place any other kind of building that fits.
  54.  
  55.  
  56. [url]http://i45.tinypic.com/95wsw1.jpg[/url]
  57. [url]http://i47.tinypic.com/308icjp.jpg[/url]
  58.  
  59. You'll want your Arcology and other landmarks to cover a building spread similar to this screenshot:
  60.  
  61. [url]http://i47.tinypic.com/2reocq1.jpg[/url]
  62.  
  63. Overhead view of the city:
  64.  
  65. Once you've got the Arcology and 2-3 2500 Fame items, you'll notice expansions and buildings getting very expensive. 160-250k+ land expansions, 120-160k+ buildings, and very expensive landmarks for purchase. Attractions like Zoos, Stadiums, etc. cost a fortune to build and upgrade as well. At this point I suggest dropping some of your population to place businesses in residential areas for simoleon bonuses. You'll have to balance short term population with long term payout bonuses and simoleon income.
  66.  
  67. Each residence near a business grants a payout bonus, depending on the level of the residence. You can sacrifice some pop to set up a high payout bonus spot, then swap businesses in and out of that spot. This method is only worth it for high cooldown buildings that only need to be clicked once or twice a day. As your city increases in size and density, you'll naturally have more high % payout spots, so this becomes less necessary.
  68.  
  69. Landmarks on their own probably won't max your residential buildings, aside from waterfront properties. You'll want some nearby attractions to help max each building out. As cool as landmarks like the Oasis Tower look, you actually get more population density by stacking Observatories close to eachother.
  70.  
  71. It's cheapest in the long run to buy the more expensive pieces of land first, although you might be able to make up for that by filling the cheaper land area with businesses to make up for the extra later expense. Land prices increase the more land you buy, not based on population.
  72.  
  73. Don't upgrade businesses or factories until you start running out of energy during your payout collection.
  74.  
  75. If you want to friend me on FB, the name is Matt Sims. [url]https://www.facebook.com/mattdnr[/url]
  76.  
  77. All tips and layouts here have been formulated by myself, so if you have more tips, advice, etc. they are welcome to be posted in this thread.
  78.  
  79.  
  80. Here's a look at the city at 306k pop.
  81.  
  82. [url]http://i48.tinypic.com/2agrtbr.jpg[/url]
  83.  
  84. Here's my entire road layout.
  85.  
  86. [url]http://i48.tinypic.com/2mowi2g.jpg[/url]
  87.  
  88.  
  89.  
  90.  
  91.  
  92. I've been spending my fame on convenience stores, chem plants, and comp factories instead of saving up for another Gaia. I'm focusing on pop as a long term goal because progress will grind to a halt without enough factory and business investment. Still at 91k, but keep in mind I swapped about 25 houses with businesses to get high payout bonuses (100%+), so I'm short quite a bit. I'm also buying the cheap expansions onto river/island territory and placing factories there for waterfront bonuses, instead of buying expansions that are better suited for pop growth.
  93.  
  94. As an aside, one of the ways you can tell high pop simcash players from non-simcash players is that the non-simcash players will have a huge business/factory investment out of necessity to deal with the extremely high expansion/landmark prices, while the simcash spenders will have far less investment. Now there's nothing wrong with spending simcash, but some ppl will deny it when it's rather obvious. If you have a 100k+ pop city with a lot of land expansions and only a few poor paying businesses/factories, it's pretty obvious what's going on, because those 300k-500k+ land expansions and landmarks don't pay for themselves.
  95.  
  96. Population is more of a long term goal once you're past 50k or so. At that point, you'll want heavy business/factory investment to make progress in land expansion and the best landmarks, rather than trying to build a zillion Gaia's Gardens or whatever.
  97.  
  98. Here's a screenshot of my current progress. I'm probably due for a big remodeling.
  99.  
  100. http://i48.tinypic.com/14scktz.jpg
  101.  
  102.  
  103. Also, I'm going to explain a bit why the quests suck. Let's look at the total cost of the 4 quests I have right now.
  104.  
  105. 3x Tennis Court 72000
  106. Department Store 60000
  107. Supermarket 38000
  108. A Farm, which is a 5x5 waste of space.
  109. High Tech Lab 40000
  110.  
  111. Total cost? 210000 simoleons. And the reward? About 33 exp, 14250 simoleons, and 500 materials. The tennis courts are nearly worthless, and the buildings will take a long time to pay themselves off. Talk about a huge rip off. Quests only seem to slow you down and waste your time/energy for poor rewards.
  112.  
  113.  
  114.  
  115. Now let's look at why farms are such a bad deal, starting with a lv 2 animal farm:
  116.  
  117. 550-132 / 4 = 104.5 per hour
  118. 1760-396 / 8 = 170.5 per hour
  119. 2750-528 / 12 = 185 per hour
  120. 4400-792 / 18 = 200 per hour
  121. 5940-704 / 24 = 218 per hour
  122. 11220-1320 / 36 = 275 per hour
  123.  
  124. Even the highest paying option only gives 275 simoleons per hour, while a non-upgraded Convenience store gives 300 simoleons per hour and is only 2x2 size. It doesn't get much better with a 20% boost at lv 3. You might say that this 275+ per hour is nearly energy free, but is that worth the 5x5 size of the farm? I don't think so. Maybe it would be worth it if you can only log in once per day and don't have more than an hour or two a day to play, but if you're that kind of player you're probably not interested in min/maxing in the first place.
  125.  
  126.  
  127. Time to look at more numbers.
  128.  
  129. Train lv 1
  130.  
  131. 4h 62.5mat/h
  132. 8h 100mat/h
  133. 12h 104.1mat/h
  134. 18h 111.1mat/h
  135. 24h 112.5mat/h
  136. 36h 141.6mat/h
  137.  
  138. Train lv 3
  139.  
  140. 4h 81.25mat/h
  141. 8h 130mat/h
  142. 12h 135.4mat/h
  143. 18h 144.4mat/h
  144. 24h 146.2mat/h
  145. 36h 184.16mat/h
  146.  
  147. 325/4
  148. 1040/8
  149. 1625/12
  150. 2600/18
  151. 3510/24
  152. 6630/36
  153.  
  154.  
  155. Factories
  156. Mats/Hour En Cost/Hr Efficiency
  157. Ice Cream Factory 600mat/h 30e/h 20mat/te
  158. Toy Factory 360mat/h 12e/h 30mat/te
  159. Mercedes Benz Factory 360mat/h 7.5e/h 48mat/te
  160. Origin Factory 360mat/h 7.5e/h 48mat/te
  161. Workshop 300mat/h 7.5e/h 40mat/te
  162. Furniture Factory 250mat/h 5e/h 50mat/te
  163. Computer Factory 156mat/h 2e/h 78mat/te
  164. Cupcake Factory 158mat/h 1e/h
  165. Car Factory 120mat/h 1.33e/h 90.22mat/te
  166. Soda Bottling Plant 90mat/h 0.2e/h 450mat/te
  167. Lingerie Factory 76.8mat/h 0.63e/h 121.90mat/te
  168. Chemical Plant 75mat/h 0.5e/h 150mat/te
  169. Fireworks Factory 72mat/h 0.4e/h 180mat/te
  170. Honey Factory 66.66mat/h 0.33e/h 202mat/te
  171. Handbag Factory 38.4mat/h 0.13e/h 295mat/te
  172. Giant Robot* 765/20h
  173. Mannequin 388/11h
  174. Cryogenic Labs 450/15h
  175. Dream Factory 825/24h
  176. Doll Factory 310/6h
  177. Candy Factory 500/18h
  178. Pharm Factory 340/8h
  179. Awesome Factory 788/24h
  180. Medical 400/12h
  181. Cotton Candy Spinnery 375/4h
  182. Honey Factory 300/3h
  183. Solar Panel Factory 225/3h 30m
  184. Water Gun Factory 563/10h
  185. Popcorn Factory 124/40m
  186. Textile Mill 63/20m
  187.  
  188. Train Station Lv 3 36h 184.1mat/h 0.027e/h 6820.74mat/te
  189. Train Station Lv 1 36h 141.6mat/h 0.027e/h 5244.44mat/te
  190.  
  191. Car Factories are less polluting than Computer Factories, but cost simos. Only 30% production bonus.
  192. Lingerie Factories are better than Chem Plants as they get both zero pollution bonus and 50% production.
  193. High Tech Labs - can go no pollution, 30% prod
  194.  
  195.  
  196.  
  197. Businesses
  198. Simos/Hour En Cost/Hr Efficiency
  199. Diner 2400s/h 30e/h 80s/te
  200. Bakery 1440s/h 12e/h 120s/te
  201. Car Dealership 1200s/h 7.5e/h 160s/te
  202. Comic Book Shop 1000s/h 5e/h 200s/te
  203. Mexican Restaurant 876s/h 4e/h 219s/te
  204. Bowling Alley 750s/h 3e/h 250s/te
  205. Pet Salon* 630s/h 1e/h 630s/te
  206. Gas Station 640s/h 2e/h 320s/te
  207. Coffee Shop* 480s/h 0.75e/h 640s/te
  208. Burger Joint 495s/h 1.5e/h 330s/te
  209. Farmer's Market 341s/h 0.63e/h 214s/te
  210. Supermarket* 333s/h 0.66e/h 504s/te
  211. Convenience Store 300s/h 0.5e/h 600s/te
  212. Mocktail Bar* 288s/h 0.4e/h 720s/te
  213. Cinema 266s/h 0.33e/h 806s/te
  214. Office Building* 250s/h 0.25e/h
  215. Department Store* 257s/h 0.28e/h
  216. Hotel 240s/h 0.2e/h 1200s/te
  217. Chinese Restaurant 235s/h 0.2e/h 1175s/te
  218. Nightclub* 225s/h 0.1e/h
  219. Pizzeria 217s/h 0.1e/h 2170s/te
  220. Showroom* 206e/h 0.16e/h
  221. Bank Tower* 170s/h 0.12e/h
  222. Office Tower* 155s/h 0.11e/h
  223. Luxury Hotel* 153s/h 0.05e/h
  224. Private Space Center* 143s/h 0.04e/h
  225. Corporate Plaza* 139s/h 0.04e/h
  226. Boutiques* 133s/h 0.08e/h 1662.5s/te
  227. Revolving Restaurant* 131s/h 0.04e/h
  228. Spa* 111s/h 0.05e/h 2220s/te
  229.  
  230. Mayor's House Lv 11
  231. Mayor's House Lv 10 2083s/h 0.027e/h 77148s/te
  232. Mayor's House Lv 9 1500s/h 0.027e/h 55555s/te
  233. Farm lv 2 36h 275s/h 0.027e/h 10185s/te
  234.  
  235.  
  236. Every hour you get 20 free energy.
  237.  
  238.  
  239. m/h and s/h are materials and simoleons per hour, while e/h is energy per hour. s/te is m/h divided by e/h, giving a resource rating per time energy. If you only log on once or twice per day, you'll want buildings high in efficiency rating so you can get the most out of each click when you log on. On the other hand if you play more and have the energy to spare, you can choose from a less efficient but higher resource per hour building.
  240.  
  241.  
  242. Each house near a business grants a payout bonus. A lv 1 house grants a 2% bonus, scaling up to a lv 9 house granting an 18% bonus. So a business surrounded by lv 9 buildings would give max payout bonus.
  243.  
  244. Any decoration larger than 1x1 or 1x2 is not worth it (at least if you have to pay for it). If it's a 2x2 decoration, you should probably put a house or business there instead.
  245.  
  246. I've been getting a lot of requests to show a road layout for the arcology. Here's a sample for you guys to check out. This layout includes 46 residences, so it's not exactly optimal, but it's quick and easy and doesn't require messing around with scaffolding. It's placed in the perfect spot to hit a lot of waterfront residences. This setup alone is worth 18k pop, even with no other residences on the map.
  247.  
  248. I'm making 40k simoleons every 2 hours when my convenience stores are ready. Since I play about 12 hours a day that's 240k a day plus the animal farm payout and 36k mayor bonus. And with that I can afford one of the cheaper expansions or another Oasis Tower.
  249.  
  250.  
  251. 0.1.18:
  252. New collectible icons.
  253. Buildings now animate in shop menu.
  254. New road icon on sub bar when you click redecorate.
  255. Buildings now appear in your inventory after completing new quests, but you still can't put your own buildings in storage yet.
  256. Plane messages are now naughty or nice colored (red/yellow).
  257. Attraction radius indicator fixed.
  258. Emergency vehicles seem to respond better.
  259. List of friends names to send/request gifts is laggier.
  260. Game hangs at 70% instead of 80% for some people.
  261. You're now rewarded diamonds past lv 10.
  262. You'll now see an energy icon in the portrait bar to indicate that you have bonus energy to spend at a neighbors.
  263. Lv 3 train times/rewards changed.
  264. You now get a diamond from level 11 onward. That means 35 diamonds from 1-10 and 39 more diamonds from 11-50 (assuming level cap is 50), plus 6 diamonds for 50k simos at 40, lv 41 200k mats for 10 diamonds.
  265. Some buildings have changed collecible requirements. Convenience Store costs more collectibles to build.
  266.  
  267.  
  268.  
  269. So let's say you've saved up your pennies and you can afford a Gaia's Garden. Here's a road layout showing a perfect spot to place it, just south of the arcology. You'll get closer to maxing out the buildings south of the arcology while affecting a whole new area of residential houses. Also note the convenience stores on the side. You can move these into the residential areas to sacrifice pop for more payout. The only thing this city is lacking is more factories and more land expansions. Despite having very little expansion room to work with, this city has a pop of 35k.
  270.  
  271. [IMG]http://i47.tinypic.com/2w7mg4l.jpg[/IMG]
  272.  
  273.  
  274.  
  275. The chance of getting a Wrath, Unity, or Bliss drop is 10% if your neighbor is at max level.
  276.  
  277.  
  278.  
  279. So you're late in the game (like me). You have more fame than you know what to do with. What do you do with it? Build Chem Plants then bulldoze them for simoleons. 2000 fame converts into 73846 simoleons.
  280.  
  281.  
  282.  
  283.  
  284. Continuing with the road layout city, we've got expansions to the south rather than the west. Why? The land to the south is the cheapest in the game, so you can expand there the fastest. We've opened up the southern shoreline and placed attractions there to max out the buildings there.
  285.  
  286.  
  287.  
  288.  
  289.  
  290.  
  291.  
  292.  
  293.  
  294. Here's another simpler way of determining your efficiency w/ energy limits:
  295.  
  296. Divide 20 by the energy/hour of the building to determine how many of the building you can have within default energy limits. 20 is the amount of energy you regen per hour.
  297. Multiply that number by the building's payout/hour rate.
  298. You now know both how many buildings your energy regeneration can sustain (and subsequently how many buildings you might need to make), and how much payout you'll get from it per hour.
  299.  
  300. For example:
  301.  
  302. Diner
  303. 20/30 = 0.66
  304. 0.66*2400 = 1584
  305.  
  306. Convenience Store
  307. 20/0.5 = 40
  308. 40*300 = 12000
  309.  
  310. Boutiques
  311. 20/0.08 = 250
  312. 250*133 = 33250
  313.  
  314. Spa
  315. 20/0.05 = 400
  316. 400*111 = 44400
  317.  
  318.  
  319. Similarly, to determine if your current set of buildings is overcapacity or not:
  320. Add up the energy/hour cost of all of your businesses/factories.
  321. Is it over 20? You're overcapacity.
  322.  
  323. In any case, it's a moot point. Convenience Stores are still typically superior because they take no time to pay themselves off, while most other stores take 50-100 clicks just to pay themselves off (assuming 0% payout bonus).
  324.  
  325. Land Contracts are capped at 40 per expansion. Simoleon costs are capped at ??? per expansion.
  326.  
  327.  
  328.  
  329. Don't upgrade your businesses until you hit your energy limits. If you collect on your convenience stores and run out of energy every 2 hours, you're pretty close to your limits, so it makes sense to upgrade at that point (or obtain more energy efficient buildings like the Spa).
  330.  
  331. For a similar reason, I'm not big on buying businesses for simoleons as they take 50-100 clicks to pay themselves off, which might take you weeks depending on how much you play.
  332.  
  333. On a similar note, materials are not nearly as important as simoleons. You mainly need materials to buy more Oasis Towers and upgrade your attractions and a few businesses, while you need a huge supply of simoleons to keep buying increasingly expensive land. So tossing a few thousand mats into upgrading your convenience stores isn't a huge deal.
  334.  
  335. It seems that land expansions are capped at 40 land contracts. No idea if there's a simoleon cap per expansion (I hope so).
  336.  
  337. Observatories and Zoos are a later addition to your city, mainly used to max out your existing buildings to 660 and fit in tight waterfront areas that landmarks are too large for. And yes, Gaia's Garden gives 1800 base pop, which somewhat makes up for its large size.
  338.  
  339.  
  340.  
  341. So now that I've expanded across the river to the south expanse of the map, I've been poking around with roads again, seeing what's possible and how far you can stretch things. First, a piece of road has an invisible radius of 2, in the same square shape as every other decoration, attraction, and business. So on to the next road trick.
  342.  
  343. Here we have a poor residence that has no road access.
  344.  
  345. [IMG]http://i48.tinypic.com/c5l6e.jpg[/IMG]
  346.  
  347. Keeping the radius of the road in mind, we'll now build a "bridge to nowhere" across the water. This road is close enough to the residence that it's now considered connected, even though it's literally across the water.
  348.  
  349. [IMG]http://i46.tinypic.com/jjw84i.jpg[/IMG]
  350.  
  351. Expanding on that theme, we can build a 2nd bridge from across the river and provide even more road coverage while using a minimum amount of valuable ground terrain. I call this the "bridge to nowhere" trick.
  352.  
  353. [IMG]http://i48.tinypic.com/5bqp0p.jpg[/IMG]
  354.  
  355.  
  356.  
  357.  
  358.  
  359.  
  360.  
  361. Long term, the businesses and factories you buy with quests can be profitable, but it will take a long time to pay off. Level ups past 40 are pretty much meaningless except to give you an energy refill, since your energy bar caps at 35 afaik.
  362.  
  363. City at 200k pop.. still haven't bought diamonds.
  364.  
  365. [url]http://i.imgur.com/IgcVW.jpg[/url]
  366.  
  367. Some further stuff:
  368.  
  369. Buy the most expensive expansions first - it will be cheaper in the long run. I'm not sure if there's a cap on expansion prices but I hope so, or we'll be paying over a million per expansion later.
  370.  
  371. Observatories are best for population density if you can afford a lot of them. Before then, I suggest finishing the arcology and building some Gaia's Gardens to get a nice population base for business payoffs.
  372.  
  373. I still don't think the 'placement trick' to get high business payoffs is worth it unless you're using a lot of high cooldown buildings like the Luxury Hotel. I have about 30 convenience stores and it would be hell swapping them out every 2 hours.
  374.  
  375.  
  376.  
  377. Gaias are useful early on because they don't cost simos/mats and provide a good pop boost when you're just getting started and can't afford anything else. Oasis towers are also pretty good but I would buy 2 observatories instead of 1 oasis tower if I could afford it. A fully upgraded observatory costs 138720 simos and 34680 mats. Look at the south area of my city to see what a densely populated attraction layout looks like. It costs more overall but you can cram in more residences thanks to the smaller 3x3 size.
  378.  
  379. If you're going to swap you should make a 200%+ spot. Almost all of my conv stores are in 120-150+% spots without needing to swap.
  380.  
  381.  
  382. Progress update: I got my 200k earlier by throwing a lot of businesses in a corner and replacing them with residences to boost the pop. Now I'm up to 205k "legit" with those businesses still integrated into the city with their 130-160% payout boosts. I've been focused on buying out the most expensive expansions right now, which I calculate will save me a couple million simoleons in the long run. They've already sprung up to 720k per expo, so it's going to take me at least a week to earn enough to grab all 6 of the most expensive expos I can currently purchase. I've bought 48/100 expos so far. It would be great if there was a price cap on expansions.
  383.  
  384. Other than that, I built and upgraded two more observatories. I'm planning on demolishing one of my gaia's gardens soon as they're outliving their early game purpose and taking up a lot of space for decreasing benefits.
  385.  
  386. Current screenshot at 205k: [url]http://i48.tinypic.com/15yj8rd.jpg[/url]
  387.  
  388.  
  389.  
  390.  
  391. Say you have two expansions that follow the 1x-2x rule - the cheapest will increase by 10k, while the most expensive will increase by 20k. The cheapest expansion costs 100k while the most expensive costs 200k. Buying the 100k expansion first increases the 200k expansion to 220k, while buying the 200k expansion first increases the 100k expansion to 110k.
  392.  
  393. 100k+220k = 320k
  394. 200k+110k = 310k
  395.  
  396. That's a 10k savings by buying the most expensive expansion first. Now multiply that 10k by the number of less expensive expansions you need to buy total. Every time you don't buy the most expensive expansion, its price will increase by 20k (or more if you're very early in the game, where the increase is even higher). That ~10k increase for every time you don't buy the most expensive expansion(s) adds up quickly and multiplies for every "most expensive expansion" that you don't buy. If you buy from the cheapest to the most expensive expansion, you'll end up paying millions more simoleons (assuming there's no cap on expansion prices).
  397.  
  398.  
  399.  
  400.  
  401.  
  402.  
  403.  
  404.  
  405.  
  406.  
  407.  
  408.  
  409.  
  410.  
  411. Thanks. You're right Chinaman that in the long run it's more important to focus on simoleon income than short term pop growth. That means setting up a 230%+ business swap spot and only keeping enough residences around to satisfy your business needs. I'd only swap businesses for 10+ hr cooldown buildings that require little effort. A layout entirely optimized for simoleon income would have one 230%+ payoff swap spot, as many convenience stores as you can handle with your energy limits, a lot of farms or high energy efficiency businesses like Spas, and maybe a few factories for upgrading the businesses.
  412.  
  413. On the other hand, I still don't think businesses or factories that cost simoleons are worth the investment as convenience stores are already a pretty good balance of income and energy costs. If I was going to invest in any business that costs simoleons, I'd get a few Coffee Shop - yeah it's slightly bigger, but it's also more efficient than the convenience store with a higher payout/hour. If you have fame to burn, Spas are a good way to increase simoleon production for almost no energy cost.
  414.  
  415. Coffee Shop 480s/h 0.75e/h 640s/te
  416. Convenience Store 300s/h 0.5e/h 600s/te
  417. Spa 111s/h 0.05e/h 2220s/te
  418.  
  419. Personally I like being on top of my neighbor list at 205k (although I think that will be short lived as there's a diamond spender at 196k quickly catching up to me), so I'm not as interested in making a 230%+ swap spot at the moment. Not to mention that I don't have many high cooldown/high payoff buildings to take advantage of it right now. Everyone will have a mix of simoleon income and pop growth depending on what their goals are.
  420.  
  421. The mayor's house bonuses are worth temporarily boosting your pop to obtain. Once you upgrade the mayor's house, it doesn't go back to a lower level even if you drop your pop back down.
  422.  
  423. Since I just posted these in the gallery, I figure I'll post them here too. Here are some more high pop (150k+) cities to take a look at besides mine.
  424.  
  425. http://i45.tinypic.com/5d9p9c.jpg
  426. http://i46.tinypic.com/2gx32xg.jpg
  427. http://i49.tinypic.com/2rrqu4g.jpg
  428. http://i45.tinypic.com/250nifn.jpg
  429.  
  430. 3 of these cities are diamond spenders, so they're not directly comparable to mine, but they still have some interesting layout ideas.
  431.  
  432.  
  433.  
  434.  
  435.  
  436. More "stupid bridge tricks" ahead. Have you ever tried turning a corner on a bridge and finding that you couldn't? Well turns out you can connect horizontal and vertical bridges with a bit of careful road laying. This trick was already shown earlier, but I'm going to expand on it so it's easier to understand how to do it.
  437.  
  438. Here we've got a bunch of residences lacking road access (don't ask how they got there). Instead of building a road across land, we're going to give them road access by water.
  439.  
  440. [IMG]http://i47.tinypic.com/5mmmvn.jpg[/IMG]
  441.  
  442. If you start by building the horizontal bridge first, you won't be able to connect the vertical bridge(s) to the horizontal one.
  443.  
  444. [IMG]http://i49.tinypic.com/2vknj2g.jpg[/IMG]
  445.  
  446. So let's bulldoze that horizontal bridge and start over, building the vertical bridges first.
  447.  
  448. [IMG]http://i48.tinypic.com/2h4icld.jpg[/IMG]
  449.  
  450. Now build the horizontal bridge. This is permitted because the vertical bridges don't directly intersect the path of the horizontal bridge being built.
  451.  
  452. [IMG]http://i46.tinypic.com/wmjt6h.jpg[/IMG]
  453.  
  454. We've now got road access without wasting nearly as much valuable land. That means more room to place anything you like.
  455.  
  456. [IMG]http://i49.tinypic.com/6sw4d2.jpg[/IMG]
  457.  
  458. You can use this trick with just about any bridge structure except the railroad track bridges to the southeast.
  459.  
  460. Progress update: Up to 213k now. Finally bought those 700-740k expansions to the west. I am probably going to buy more pricey expansions to save on long term costs. I could still be gobbling up the cheaper ones but I'd end up regretting it later.
  461.  
  462. City at 213k: [url]http://i47.tinypic.com/301lz5x.jpg[/url]
  463.  
  464. I just noticed in my latest layout I have a 209% payout spot naturally without having to jerry rig a bunch of landmarks together. Sweet.
  465.  
  466.  
  467.  
  468. More misc stuff..
  469.  
  470. If you really need extra simoleons, you can sell fame items for simoleons. The Chem Plant seems like the best deal at 65 fame per 2400 simoleons.
  471.  
  472. The diamond mine doesn't give diamonds.
  473.  
  474. Any natural decoration on the map costs diamonds to move it. Or you can sell it to clear it out of the way. Any 3x3 or 4x4 natural decoration isn't worth it populationwise. The 2x2 and 1x1s are usually ok, though.
  475.  
  476. Any item on the map that says "Zoo:2" or "History Museum:2" means you need 2 of those buildings, not a level 2 version of the building.
  477.  
  478. I inadvertently created a 209% payoff spot while laying out my city. I figure making a swap spot will become less important once you have heavy pop density. For example, in the southern part of my city, just about any spot you can place a business gives a 150%+ bonus.
  479.  
  480. [IMG]http://i48.tinypic.com/msdms7.jpg[/IMG]
  481.  
  482. Zoo Upgrade:
  483. zoo build price - 80000/20000
  484. zoo 0-1 45000/10000
  485. zoo 1-2 ?
  486. zoo 2-3 80000/20000
  487.  
  488. Observatory Upgrade:
  489. 0-1 32000/8000
  490. 1-2 42720/10680
  491. 2-3 64000/16000
  492. Observatory Total: 138720 simoleons, 34680 mats, 43 energy
  493.  
  494. Stadium Upgrade:
  495. 0-1 ?
  496. 1-2 66750/16800
  497. 2-3 100000/25000
  498.  
  499. Monster Truck Arena Upgrade:
  500. 0-1 7500/1880/10
  501. 1-2 6670/1670/15
  502. 2-3 7500/1880/20
  503.  
  504. Max upgrade pop numbers:
  505.  
  506. Botany - 162
  507. Water Park - 223
  508. Gaia - 235
  509. Oasis - 375
  510. Arc - 280
  511. Observatory - 325
  512. Coliseum - 332
  513. Zoo - 334
  514. Stadium - 365
  515. Truck Arena - 380
  516.  
  517.  
  518.  
  519. Places to look for friends/neighbors:
  520.  
  521. https://www.facebook.com/simcitysocial
  522. https://www.facebook.com/SimCityFreebies
  523. https://www.facebook.com/realsimcitysocialfansite
  524. https://www.facebook.com/groups/480778821948185
  525. https://www.facebook.com/groups/SimCityFriends
  526. https://www.facebook.com/groups/453793867977841
  527. https://www.facebook.com/groups/simcity.social.friends
  528. https://www.facebook.com/groups/simcitysocialgroup
  529.  
  530.  
  531.  
  532.  
  533.  
  534.  
  535. 0.1.26
  536. Buildings fade under mouse cursor much faster.
  537.  
  538. Some buildings animate under low HQ setting, like the Hospital.
  539.  
  540. Different bldg graphics again, like the Giant Screen.
  541.  
  542. Pre-Olympics quests added. Olympics blimps randomly fly overhead.
  543.  
  544. Certain sports themed buildings (Stadium and Sports Coliseum) and decorations can be clicked w/ cooldowns to collect olympic collectibles used for later quests. Public Pools seem to be the cheapest option for a short cooldown, while Volleyball Courts are the best option for size and price with a longer cooldown.
  545.  
  546. Wall posts now say "Posted" when you click on them, regardless of whether the wall post actually worked or not. Now anyone suffering from wall posts bugs will be unable to repeatedly try to post to wall. They only get one chance, then they have to reload the game to try again. The bug itself is not fixed even if you do the usual "remove its permission to post for you". Basically this new patch made wall posting worse without fixing anything.
  547.  
  548. You can now send gifts, messages, etc. to SimCity Social friends or all friends.
  549.  
  550. You now have a limit on the amount of materials, simoleons, and fame you can hold, based on your level. However, the messages seem to be bugged. In particular, the limit message for materials will appear at random regardless of your current resources. It also seems to pop up whenever you obtain a collectible item that you're currently full on, like 20/20 Hard Hats when clicking a factory.
  551.  
  552. Mailbox seems to be fixed somewhat. However, if you accept too many messages then close the window, the game will still crash/freeze on the spinning blue clock. Try to accept no more than 100-200 messages then close the inbox each time to clear things out. Also, help requests for +1 Energy are still slow.
  553.  
  554. You now log in with yourself visible on the population bar, rather than the rightmost (highest pop) neighbors.
  555.  
  556. New level up screen with new deals for both diamond and non-diamond spenders. Lv 38 non diamond offer - Dream Factory at 62% off.
  557.  
  558. Added diamond confirmation screen for spending diamonds.
  559.  
  560. The simoleon and material bags for purchase with diamonds now give less (applies retroactively).
  561.  
  562. When you run out of energy, the button under +1 energy will let you use any +1 energies in your inventory before requesting more. This means you can't request more +1 energy unless you've used up all the +1s you currently have.
  563.  
  564. Collectibles will always appear at neighbor cities even if your inventory is full. Display rate of collectible drop chance at neighbor cities is now changed to low/medium/high.
  565.  
  566. The energy icon next to the neighbor portrait now remains even after you've visited your 20 daily bonus neighbors.
  567.  
  568. New buildings:
  569.  
  570. Sports Coliseum, 4x4 attraction, 52 pop, 2 range at lv 0. 332 pop at lv 3. Lv 3 pop seems rather weak for a 4x4 attraction.
  571.  
  572. Sports Coliseum training cooldown is bugged. It says it has a cooldown of 3 mins, but the training icon appears after 1 minute, and you can click on it to train.
  573.  
  574. The weekly reward is a Giant Trampoline, which seems pretty strange since it can be bought for only 5000 simoleons.
  575.  
  576. Olympic themed decorations that can be trained at.
  577.  
  578. The Stadium (50 diamonds) can also be used to train at w/ a 2 min cooldown at lv 3.
  579.  
  580. New Collectibles:
  581. Strength (180 max)
  582. Speed (140 max)
  583. Skill (120 max)
  584. Spirit (80 max)
  585. Stamina (240 max)
  586.  
  587.  
  588.  
  589.  
  590. Here's the SimCity Olympic training strategy yet again. First, you should do 2/3 compete for most of the categories that take Spirit, as it's very rare and it will slow you down a lot if you wait to get it. So basically skip Spirit as an ingredient if you don't have enough of it at the moment. Do 100% gold for the other non-Spirit categories.
  591.  
  592. When to switch to 1/3 compete depends on your end goal. If you only want 2500 points, you can switch when your heats are mostly 20. if you want 5000 points (which is nearly impossible at your current rate of progression) you should switch when your heats are about 30-36. Note that you'll need about 15000-17000 energy/tokens to earn 5000 points, so be prepared to do some serious token farming if you want it. If you're not at 2500 by now, you're probably not going to make it to 5000, so just focus on those 100 diamonds instead.
  593.  
  594. Once you've switched to 1/3, these are my recommended training categories to focus on to get a higher gold medal % drop rate. When doing 1/3, the left token category in an event gives 15% chance of a gold, middle gives 20%, and rightmost gives 30%.
  595.  
  596. Cake/Bomb - Speed
  597. Freestyle Ninjitsu - Speed
  598. Breakdancing - Strength
  599. Offroad Unicycling - Skill
  600. Full-Contact Golf - Skill
  601. Chainsaw Juggling - Spirit
  602. Sack Racing - Spirit
  603. Synchronized Loitering - Stamina
  604. Marathon Toilet Queueing - Stamina
  605.  
  606.  
  607.  
  608.  
  609.  
  610.  
  611. One more energy tip: The "Send" Button in the gift window underneath the glowing yellow energy bolt is not tied to the same gift limit as the two Dunkin' Donut "Send" buttons or the +1 Energy "Send" button. That means you can send the maximum amount of 4 different kinds of energy (yellow bolt, +1 energy, donus, and coffee) to your friends in the same 24 hour period.
  612.  
  613.  
  614.  
  615.  
  616.  
  617.  
  618.  
  619. Land acquisition strategy: Basically buy the most expensive expansions first. xpansions with decorations or wonders are more expensive.
  620.  
  621. Main Area - The main area is the largest area of solid land in the game. The west properties are very expensive, so buy them first.
  622.  
  623. NW Corner - Comprises the 6 plots surrounding the Small Lagoon. The plots with the Lagoon and Burial Mound are pricey.
  624.  
  625. SW corner - Comprises the 3 plots with the Fossil Dig, Yggdrasil, and the shore east of Yggdrasil. The Fossil Dig is pricey.
  626.  
  627. SW island - You can get a lot of waterfront pop out of it, or cover it with high payout factories. The decoration plot is pricey, so grab it early.
  628.  
  629. Southern expanse - Large area of land with cheap expansion price. Great for a large population centre and more businesses. Expand here after you've bought most of the pricey expansions first.
  630.  
  631. NE forest/swamp - Another large area with cheap land to grab.
  632.  
  633. SE corner - Comprises the chokepoint south of the Sphinx and all other land up to the Magma Veins. Grab the pyramid plot quickly as it's expensive.
  634.  
  635. Northern expanse - A wide but narrow strip of land along the north part of the map, stopping at the Crater. Cheap, but not easy to develop.
  636.  
  637. NW Corner - A small corner from the Crater lake west to the edge of the map. Difficult to develop.
  638.  
  639. NE island - A small island that can hold a few factories or residences.
  640.  
  641. Somewhat efficient expansion step by step:
  642. 1. Expand west first to the west edge of the map.
  643. 2. Claim the two pricey plots in the NW corner with the Burial Mound and Small Lagoon.
  644. 4. Expand SW to claim the Fossil Dig. You can also grab most of the waterfront south of the main area.
  645. 5. Expand onto the SW island and claim the Standing Stones. You don't need to grab all of the island plots right now, just the Stones.
  646. 6. Expand east to claim the Sphinx and Pyramid.
  647. 7. Finish expanding the northeast area, then try the southern expanse. Grab the 100k wonder spots before they get insanely pricey. After you've got most or all of the expensive plots, you're free to expand where ever you like.
  648.  
  649. Random tip - Build handbag factories and bulldoze them for 28k simoleons. You don't have to complete them or hire staff, just bulldoze immediately after placing.
  650.  
  651.  
  652. Diamond purchase availability:
  653. lv 28 - stadium
  654. lv 32 - giant robot factory
  655. lv 34 - monster truck 12 rally
  656.  
  657.  
  658. Server reset times:
  659. Gift Request/Send reset 2 am EST
  660. Server/Daily Visit reset 8 pm EST
  661.  
  662.  
  663.  
  664.  
  665. I just recently found out from another player that the Handbag Factory is the best deal - 600 fame for 28k simoleons. If you have 5000 fame you can make 224k simoleons by selling 8 handbag factories.
  666.  
  667. It's usually best to stack landmarks/attractions so that each 2x2 residence maxes out at 660 population. If you only have buildings affected by one landmark/attraction, they probably won't be maxed unless they've got a waterfront bonus.
  668.  
  669. Here's a good shot of another player's city showing what population density looks like:
  670.  
  671. [IMG]http://i50.tinypic.com/ruxpgi.jpg[/IMG]
  672.  
  673.  
  674.  
  675.  
  676.  
  677. ChinaManFTW
  678. Newbie
  679.  
  680.  
  681. Join Date: Jun 2012
  682. Posts: 19
  683.  
  684. For anyone interested in a Business Efficiency Guide, I took the Master Compilation Template and touched it up a bit. Link for guide here:
  685.  
  686. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Aihznt5njs5edGVTakM0aDNqV2ZXanhRMm1kLVp1M3c
  687.  
  688. If you have the space, farms are by far the most efficient "businesses", especially with considering how useful energy will be for the next two weeks. They're also dirt cheap. Personally, I'd max out with Lvl. 3 Convenience Stores (prolly 25 or so) and then go to Farms.
  689.  
  690.  
  691.  
  692.  
  693.  
  694. ChinaManFTW
  695. Larva
  696.  
  697.  
  698. Join Date: Jun 2012
  699. Posts: 40
  700.  
  701. I started this spreadsheet a little while ago but haven't gotten around to posting this. It's still a major work in progress.
  702.  
  703. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Aihznt5njs5edFZkM0xGQnZ1Q0hEQ3pmVTBGb0NGclE
  704.  
  705. Very crude representations, but aesthetics can come later when the grids are complete. :P
  706.  
  707. The two grids represent the 10x10 grid that our cities are composed of. The first grid represents how much other expansions will increase by with each purchase. The second grid represents the starting grid at the very beginning of the game. It's possible using the information in the first grid, we could backtrack the costs of each land slot at the very beginning of the game since the increases of each expansion are linear. I also attempted to mark down the Wonders and Decorations, cause some of them will be needed for Quests, while others are extraneous. Further details of Wonders (how much energy needed to finish, what decoration is given at the end, etc) need to be expanded upon.
  708.  
  709. Cityplanner gave a pretty good rundown of how to expand, but for hard numbers, this spreadsheet could be useful. I left the spreadsheet open to edit if anyone is interested in undertaking this task with me.
  710.  
  711.  
  712.  
  713.  
  714.  
  715. I'm pretty sure the olympics has galvanized the simcity community, or at least my neighbors, to be lean mean energy sending machines. Now that I'm finished with the olympics (for now), I have more energy gifts coming into my inbox than I know what to do with. Most players won't have my sort of consistent energy income, but I'm sure almost everyone's getting a few more +1 energy gifted to them and a few less fountains, land permits, and other pieces of junk.
  716.  
  717. With the increased energy input for most active players, let's let's take a look at some of the cheap, high simoleon output businesses. These buildings have several advantages over the pricier, slower buildings:
  718.  
  719. 1. High output per size on the map.
  720. 2. Cheap to build and upgrade.
  721. 3. Useful as an energy sink.
  722. 4. Pay themselves off very quickly.
  723. 5. If you don't need them anymore, you can bulldoze them without much lost investment.
  724.  
  725. Here are our energy sink businesses:
  726.  
  727. Simos/Hour En Cost/Hr Efficiency
  728. Diner 2400s/h 30e/h 80s/te
  729. Bakery 1440s/h 12e/h 120s/te
  730. Car Dealership 1200s/h 7.5e/h 160s/te
  731. Mexican Restaurant 876s/h 4e/h 219s/te
  732.  
  733. The diner has the best output rate, but obviously it drains energy like crazy. To get the most out of a diner you'll want it in a 200% payout bonus spot or higher. A lv 3 diner in a 200% payout spot will give you 7200 simoleons per hour if you can click it 30 times, which is the highest output of any single business. Honestly, I don't know many people who want to stay glued to their browser window to click diners every 2 minutes, so I would avoid them for that reason alone. I like being able to alt tab and do other things.
  734.  
  735. Two lower output businesses are more energy efficient than one higher output business while sometimes giving the same or better payout rate, but they'll also take up twice as much space. With low cooldown buildings such as these it doesn't make much sense to use a swap spot, so you'll have to consider how many high payout bonus spots you have available.
  736.  
  737. Bakeries and Car Dealerships are the next step up. Unless you're really tight on space, two of these are a better deal than a single diner. They're both similar in energy and output. Two Car Dealerships can give the same simoleon output as a single diner at half the energy cost.
  738.  
  739. The Mexican Restaurant arrived during the food frenzy update. Like the other 3 buildings it's very cheap to build and upgrade and pays itself off quickly. It's a bit low on the output but relatively efficient, making it a good choice for those of you who aren't swimming in energy, but have some extra that could be put into simoleon income, thanks to your neighbors sending more energy and less fountains and permits. It would take about 3 Mexican Restaurants to equal the output of 1 diner at less than half of the energy cost, but you'll need 3x more room to place them.
  740.  
  741. How about factories? The situation here is a little more complicated. Factories are very big and take up valuable shoreline space that could be used for residences. With space at a premium, the lower efficiency buildings are a lot more appealing if you have the energy.
  742.  
  743. Mats/Hour En Cost/Hr Efficiency
  744. Ice Cream Factory 600mat/h 30e/h 20mat/te
  745. Toy Factory 360mat/h 12e/h 30mat/te
  746. Mercedes Benz Factory 360mat/h 7.5e/h 48mat/te
  747. Origin Factory 360mat/h 7.5e/h 48mat/te
  748. Workshop 300mat/h 7.5e/h 40mat/te
  749. Furniture Factory 250mat/h 5e/h 50mat/te
  750. Textile Mill 189mat/h 3e/h 63mat/te
  751. Popcorn Factory 186mat/h 1.5e/h 124mat/te
  752. Cupcake Factory 158mat/h 1e/h 158mat/te
  753. Computer Factory 156mat/h 2e/h 78mat/te
  754.  
  755. Ice Cream Factories are the "Diners" of factories. Same downsides, not particularly appealing.
  756.  
  757. The Toy Factory and Workshop are similar to the Bakery and Car Dealership. Furniture Factories are very similar to Workshops. The Workshop is your best bet if you have tons of energy to burn. If you're lucky enough to have an Origin Factory or Mercedes Benz Factory, those two are slightly better buildings than the Toy Factory, Workshop, and Furniture Factory.
  758.  
  759. Textile Mills aren't exactly high output, but they're a good alternative to the Cupcake or Popcorn Factory if you don't want to spend diamonds. Despite costing diamonds, Cupcake Factories and Popcorn Factories are very good high output factories. Low/no pollution, cheap to upgrade, and far more efficient than other factories at the same output level. That's to be expected from premium items.
  760.  
  761. Computer Factories look like a decent deal, especially since they only cost fame, but they're high pollution and they can't be upgraded to not pollute. For that reason their en/hour cost is more like 3e/h, making them a worse deal than the Textile Mill.
  762.  
  763.  
  764.  
  765.  
  766. After hitting 305k, I demolished some waterfront to make room for factories, and demolished some residences for better business placement. I've now got the long goal of upgrading my businesses and factories to max while expanding to the rest of the map. Since my expansions now cost 540-1080k, it's going to take at least a few weeks to claim the rest of the map.
  767.  
  768.  
  769. City progress update: When I hit 100k, I dropped pop for businesses and factories. Same for 180k. And same for 300k. I've dropped back down to 285k for better payout placement and more waterfront factories. With expansion prices over a million, I need income far more than I need pop. Once you hit 300k pop, there is no higher pop goal in the game to reach. So I've just started demolishing some residences to fit in businesses and factories to get me the rest of the land plots more quickly. Always remember that balance between pop and income. Definitely lean more towards income than pop, otherwise you'll pay for it later.
  770.  
  771.  
  772.  
  773. So once you hit level 100, some big changes happen:
  774.  
  775. You stop getting diamonds past lv 100.
  776. Your energy cap increases to 36.
  777. Cost to level goes up to 766 (?) forgot exact number
  778. Each level grants 50k simoleons.
  779. Players hit 35 energy at lv 50, then 36 energy at lv 100. Assuming the energy cap is 40, and assuming you gain +1 energy cap every 50 levels, the level cap may be 300.
  780.  
  781.  
  782. I have 34 expos to go, and still have 5 2x price expansions to buy (fossil dig and the 4 100k wonders).. so that's going to be at least 5 mil. I'm making about 1 mil a day depending on energy intake so hopefully in 10 days or so I'll have those taken care of. I would have bought them sooner but I really wanted to hit 300k so I went for the cheapies first.
  783.  
  784. I built a bunch of workshops and bulldozed houses to put them on good waterfront payout spots. I'm down to 285k but hopefully that will rise back up as I gain more expansions. Here are a couple good factory spots to check out:
  785.  
  786. http://i50.tinypic.com/291cdu8.jpg
  787. http://i47.tinypic.com/vnjhtt.jpg
  788. http://i49.tinypic.com/md2vqb.jpg
  789. http://i45.tinypic.com/2ry3gpd.jpg
  790. http://i48.tinypic.com/nn48x3.jpg
  791. http://i49.tinypic.com/hry0k7.jpg
  792.  
  793. Anyway, I'm pretty sure I've figured out everything there is to figure out about this game as far as mechanics, strats, layouts, etc. So I'm reaching a boredom point where it's taking a day per 1 mil expansion and there's not much else to do or look forward to. Hitting 300k and posting my road layout to help others was the last big goal I had. I could do the quests but my wall posts are still broken despite trying everything in the book to get them working again. 1 month of entertainment for a free game isn't bad I suppose.
  794.  
  795. I'm thinking about 500-600k will be the max pop you can reach with as much focus on pop as possible.
  796.  
  797.  
  798.  
  799.  
  800. Reticulated Spline
  801.  
  802. Hey there Layout Guide fans, here's a fun tip for you. Hard up for Simoleons? Try setting up a Payout District.
  803.  
  804. Check out this post (and this thread in general) for details! Cheers!
  805.  
  806. http://forum.playfish.com/showpost.php?p=1020385757&postcount=37
  807.  
  808. http://forum.playfish.com/showthread.php?t=2872199
  809.  
  810.  
  811.  
  812.  
  813.  
  814. The Mayor's House takes up quite a lot of real estate. Despite paying out every 24h, it's rather bulky and I've wished I could get rid of it more than a few times. However, it does pay out more the higher level it is, so at what point is it worth its size in simoleons? For comparison, we'll be using a level 3 convenience store, a staple of any pop growth oriented city. We'll also throw in a lv 2 vegetable(?) farm, another good example of a very large simoleon generating building. Finally, two other high efficiency businesses, the Pizzeria and Spa. The Mayor's House is 20 tiles, the Farm is 25 tiles, Spa is 6 tiles, and the Convenience Store and Pizzeria are 4 tiles.
  815.  
  816. Simos/Hour En Cost/Hr Efficiency Size/Simos/Hr
  817. Mayor's House Lv 11 2500s/h 0.027e/h 92592s/te 125
  818. Mayor's House Lv 10 2083s/h 0.027e/h 77148s/te 104.15
  819. Mayor's House Lv 9 1500s/h 0.027e/h 55555s/te 75
  820. Farm Lv 2 36h 275s/h 0.027e/h 10185s/te 11
  821. Conv Store Lv 3 450s/h 0.5e/h s/te 112.5
  822. Pizzeria Lv 3 325.5s/h 0.1e/h s/te 81.375
  823. Spa Lv 3 166.5s/h 0.05e/h s/te 27.75
  824.  
  825.  
  826. So the lv 3 Convenience Store has a 112.5 value of its size to simoleons per hour. The level 9 Mayor's House, which you get at 100k pop, has a value of 75. In other words, if you made 20 tiles worth of convenience stores (5 of them), they'd be quite a bit more efficient in terms of size per simoleon hours. It's not until you hit the Level 11 Mayor's House at 300k pop that it becomes better. Of course, even the best Mayor's House falls behind if the Convenience Store has even a slight payout bonus. The Mayor's House also loses to the Pizzeria, but fares favorably to the Spa. Even if the Spa has a 250% payout bonus, it can't match the higher Mayor's House levels. The story is similar with other high cooldown, high payout, 3x3 sized businesses.
  827.  
  828. The farm size value shows how bad of a deal farms are in general. You're far better off filling that space with high cooldown/high payout businesses if you only play 1-2 hrs a day.
  829.  
  830. The farm size value shows how bad of a deal farms are in general. You're far better off filling that space with high cooldown/high payout businesses if you only play 1-2 hrs a day. If you can spend 1-2 hours playing, you can spam gifts to your friends and get lots of fame to spend on Spas or Boutiques, both of which have a better size/payout value than the farm.
  831.  
  832.  
  833.  
  834.  
  835.  
  836. ChinaManFTW
  837.  
  838. Very detailed analysis on size to simoleon output on the Mayor's house. However, there is one glaring omission in your analysis. The transition from Mayor levels becomes a lot higher as you progress. At level 8, it's 50k. At level 9, 100k, and level 10, 180k.
  839.  
  840. In order to transition from level 9 to level 10, the 80k increase in population would require 122 maxed houses. I'm going to lowball and say the amount of attractions required to max those houses would be, 4 observatories. Total, you would require an area of 524, or roughly 23x23 plot of land. This doesn't even include the roads needed to house everything properly. The transition from level 9 to level 10 is not worth the 14k increase in simoleons at the Mayor's House. It only gets worse from Level 10 to 11. Additionally, the cost of upgrading Observatories is not at all cheap.
  841.  
  842. As long as the swap trick exists, population size is not at all imperative to simoleon output, and simoleon output is irrefutably the most important part of the game. In that same space you used to get from 100k to 180k population, I could populate it with businesses and factories.
  843.  
  844. Quote:
  845. Originally Posted by cityplanner
  846. The farm size value shows how bad of a deal farms are in general. You're far better off filling that space with high cooldown/high payout businesses if you only play 1-2 hrs a day. If you can spend 1-2 hours playing, you can spam gifts to your friends and get lots of fame to spend on Spas or Boutiques, both of which have a better size/payout value than the farm.
  847. Farms are indeed clunky and obstructive, but they do have their purposes. Overlooking the fact that they can be used on quests, farms represent the mid-game for any city focused on simoleon-growth .
  848.  
  849. I don't think there's any argument that level-3 convenience stores are what everyone should aim for in the beginning. Get to 20-25, whatever you feel comfortable with, and then what? You're almost at the point where the energy required to maintain businesses exceed energy output per hour, which means transitioning to higher cooldown/high output businesses.
  850.  
  851. By choosing to forgo that population increase from 100k to 180k, you are left with a lot of land, and this is where farms shine. I'm not saying you should go crazy with them and start getting 10 of them, but they are very inexpensive to build & upgrade, and pay themselves off in one output.
  852.  
  853. Ideally, you'd like to have a 3x3 square to swap businesses from because Spas are your late game solution. I experimented with Boutiques, but found that I'd rather just pay the extra 220 fame to get a Spa since this is late game, and you want to save space.
  854.  
  855. Cityplanner, I'm not sure how much fame you're generating with 2k friends, but a lot of people don't have that to start with (or even get to). When starting out, fame income is slow, but builds up as more friends are added. Getting to 20-25 convenience stores does take some time. Whether or not you go swap trick, you also do need to spend fame on Observatories, because they are the easiest to acquire endgame attraction. Between those two, you'll have fame tied up until you reach 100k population. At least I did. And farms can certainly helped there, because fame was tied up elsewhere.
  856.  
  857. Again, I'm not sure how much fame you're generating per 24 hours. I have roughly 600 friends and I only generate around 1k fame per 24 hours. The ideal endgame is to mass Spas, but even at my level, I'd only get roughly one a day. I can only imagine it'd be a lot less for someone with less friends.
  858.  
  859. tldr; Mayor's House and population size is overrated. Farms do have their use, particularly in mid-game, but endgame, is like you said, just massing Spas.
  860.  
  861.  
  862.  
  863.  
  864.  
  865. cityplanner
  866.  
  867. Will reply in detail later. Just wanted to note I hit lv 104 and energy cap increased to 37. It's getting interesting..
  868.  
  869. Edit: hit 105 and cap is still 37, but XP to level went up to about 1600.. ouch. No more cheap energy refills every 545 XP like in 50-100.
  870.  
  871. City Update: At 300k again. 32 expansions left to buy. Got the Crevasse and Magma Veins, still need the Fossil Dig, Crater, and Skull Cave. It'll cost ~6200k to expand to those last 3 because I need to buy some land leading up to the Crater and Fossil Dig. That will be at least a week of simoleons. Yeah it was dumb of me to wait to buy the pricey expansions, but I really wanted to hit 300k.
  872.  
  873. Still think that Olympic Pool will be available this week.
  874.  
  875. The swap trick is ok early on if you have the patience for it, but it's not for everyone. Almost all of my businesses are in 150-170% payout spots so I don't feel the extra % of using a swap spot is worth it.
  876.  
  877. In any case, even if you don't feel like pop is a good goal when you have swap spots, you can still temporarily hit a pop goal then scale back.
  878.  
  879. Most people are going to have more energy income after they finish token farming, especially now that inboxes are fixed. The community in general is sending more energy and less land permits, fountains, and other junk. So I don't think the energy limits are as tight as they were.
  880.  
  881. There's already a daily fame accumulation cap on top of a hard fame cap of 5000. I'm pretty sure it's around 1k-1.5k so you're probably hitting the limit already. There are a LOT of caps in this game, both at launch and post-launch patching and I don't see why they wouldn't add more in the future.
  882.  
  883. A player's strategy depends a lot on how many friends they have and how many hours a day they can play. 500 friends seems like the minimum for an effective city, seeing as most of the caps in the game are centered around that number of requests, gifts, etc. Going above that number is only useful if those friends are willing to gift you energy, or if you want to farm new visit energy. Although I think both of those things will be capped eventually.
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