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Author Topic: Finding the Workforce Drives  (Read 5497 times)

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Offline Alavaria

Finding the Workforce Drives
« on: July 06, 2018, 09:54:18 AM »
I've noticed the CAM2 manual states something interesting, if all your residents are above 150 Education, they will not want to work at any Industrial-Dirty/Manufacturing.

Now I've been sitting on a small town (easier to control) and seems like my people should all be above that, however, Manufacturing seems to be rather alive and well. I don't particularly mind though I wonder where it might be possible to check the workforce/census drive. I found the place where it has the Stage %s for each capacity threshold, neat stuff.

=====

Details:

Going off the manual numbers, it seems like with max EDI, you can keep stable a population of only R$ and R$$ with only commercial and High-tech industrial**, something like
N R$
1.5N R$$
(and extra) 0.6N R$$$.

**As manufacturing is still kicking, keeping some around helps, because otherwise I have to spam a lot of commercial (have too many R$$ compared to the above ratios)... Manufacturing can really soak up mid wealth educated workers.

And I was sort of sitting around semi-stably while watching EDI, slowly adding population and watching the aggregate EDI still creeping upwards. Some of my older citizens have passed 180 in the later age groupings.

Just realized that shifting workers across borders is a really neat way to handle the traffic issue, because if there's only a limited number of border crossings, you can force them to all take your elevated rail/monorail etc in order to get to work. Similarly on the other side, they are already on the rails as they enter the other city, so again, no cars.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2018, 12:17:05 PM by Alavaria »

Offline twalsh102

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Re: Finding the Workforce Drives
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2018, 11:04:27 PM »
One "issue" that has always existed with the game is that as Sims' education levels rise, they want higher paying jobs, and their wealth level rises.  If not taken into account, there occurs a point in any city (large or small) where there aren't enough low-wealth, low-EQ Sims to take available ID and IM jobs. 

As you seem to already know, there are two drives that affect the game. 

The Census drives (which drive Residential demand)) are found in a series of Exemplars for each developer type and wealth level.   So CS$ Census (IID 0x00003311), CS$$ Census (IID 0x00003121), CS$$$ Census (IID 0x00003131), CO$$ Census (IID 0x00003321), CO$$$ Census (IID 0x00003331),  IR Census (IID 0x00004101), ID Census (0x00004201), IM Census (IID 0x00004301), and IH Census (IID 0x00004401).

The Workforce drives (which drive C and I demand) are a series of twelve Total WF exemplars equating to one for each of the four EQ levels at each of the three wealth levels.  Low-wealth Exemplars have IIDs 0x0002111 - 0x00022114; Mid-wealth Exemplars have IIDs 0x0022121 - 0x00022124; High-wealth exemplars have IIDs 0x00022131 - 0x00022134.

It's much easier to just look at the tables in the manual, as these reflect what's in all of the various exemplars

Offline Alavaria

Re: Finding the Workforce Drives
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2018, 11:27:10 PM »
It's much easier to just look at the tables in the manual, as these reflect what's in all of the various exemplars
Yes, but while I was looking up the stage% distribution (manual lists thresholds, but that doesn't tell much, when you cross one and then 2% of people use the next stage).

One "issue" that has always existed with the game is that as Sims' education levels rise, they want higher paying jobs, and their wealth level rises.  If not taken into account, there occurs a point in any city (large or small) where there aren't enough low-wealth, low-EQ Sims to take available ID and IM jobs.
But the industry doesn't necessarily seem to mind? I mean the commercial types and High tech want to hire some R$$$, but they're all really fine with having exactly 0 of those in the workpool, it's like the R$ and R$$ cause there to be commercial demand, which will hire as many people as it can and then is fine with having vacancies (I've checked a bunch of offices etc, they all do since no high-wealth)

**AH, I see, that manufacturing that's empty keeps on giving me R$ and R$$ demand, but when those people move in they won't actually want to work there once they get educated. That's how come I have the residential demand, but not enough jobs for them....



For example, my new HighTech town disn't complaining, and pays enough tax to support their power/water needs. But they only get 456 workers coming in, despite having 2500+ jobs total. And my main town has had nearly totally empty buildings sit around forever (and 25% of the HT jobs are for high-wealth, of which there are none).

That's why it's odd that you can run an economy with only low- and medium-wealth citizens, and only commercial and hightech industry.

===============

Looking at the buildings around, I wonder if perhaps I've been overthinking the whole commercial-customers thing, because the ones with "low" customers seem to do ok. They don't max out their capacity (even some with "high" don't, probably crime etc) but unless I miss my guess it just means you need more tiles, if you can't find any more traffic to feed them... which will be a potential issue as all industrial workers will be getting on the nearest rail station and leaving the map directly.

Essentially, since people travel to work and back, if you have commercial scattered around, and your high-density (not there yet, but still) hellscape, then people will be taking cars there etc, but if you have pure residential and pretty much all commercial/industrial jobs are outside and only reachable by rail links, then everyone immediately instead changes to "get to the nearest rail station to commute out)

You then get this amusing this where your employers get "demand" based on the super high education guys in City1, but over in City2, they are only hiring based on wealth level, not education, so as long as your residents generate enough interest, the fact they can create more jobs than they can fill isn't a problem.

And thresholds/stages depend on capacity, not actual people living in the region or working in a commercial/industry building.

=====================

As an example, if the numbers are right, you can use the following:
10000 R$ (max education)
15000 R$$ (max education)

Which gives you a mix of commercial and high-tech industry providing jobs for the following:
~10000 R$
~15000 R$$
~  6000 R$$$ (unfilled)
There should naturally be 0 interest for any manufacturing or dirty industry.

On the other hand, they will generate interest for 18500 agricultural capacity, which is pretty great if you are high enough to get a lot of high-density CAMelots for them (I haven't downloaded any so far).


What the game says is that while people may abandon manufacturing and dirty indistries, they will continue to love "farming" to the tune of 0.6 capacity for max educated medium wealth and 0.95 agricultural capacity for a max educated low wealth, while the two in-between industrial types have exactly 0 interest.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2018, 01:57:06 AM by Alavaria »

Offline twalsh102

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Re: Finding the Workforce Drives
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2018, 09:24:58 AM »
It's much easier to just look at the tables in the manual, as these reflect what's in all of the various exemplars
Yes, but while I was looking up the stage% distribution (manual lists thresholds, but that doesn't tell much, when you cross one and then 2% of people use the next stage).

Just to make sure we aren't talking apples and oranges, you are referring to the Growth Stage Threshold charts on pages 7 and 8 of the CAM 2.1.0 manual?

If so, you are correct in that the charts don't show much.  In fact the charts are much more complicated than what is shown, in that half of the true charts are missing.

From your comment quoted above, it appears you have a mistaken impression of what the charts truly represent.  The charts in the manual only show threshold levels, but have nothing to do directly with Sims, and nothing to do with jobs or demand.  The missing part of the charts show the ratio of buildings that are allowed to grow at each threshold.  As the manual states, the charts shown only represent the Extended Play-style (installation option).  There are separate sets of charts for each of the other Play-styles (installation options, other than IR Fix Only), and they are different than the ones for Extended Play-style.  Attached is a spreadsheet that shows the complete charts for the Extended Play-style.

So, how to read the charts (we'll use the Residential chart as an example):

1.  You read across each line.  Each line represents either a threshold between Growth Stages, or an intermediate threshold in between Growth Stage thresholds.

2.  The numbers under each of the RES wealth levels represent the thresholds for those populations.  So when your R$ population reaches 2000, the Growth Stage for R$ buildings advances from Stage 1 to Stage 2.  But R$$$ buildings won't make the jump to Stage 2 until your R$$$ population reaches 4000.

3.  The numbers under each of the Growth Stages (1 - 15) represent the percentages of Buildings that are allowed to grow at from each of the Growth Stages.  So when your R$ population reaches 2000, and advances to Stage 2, 95% of the R$ buildins allowed to grow will be Stage 1, and only 5% of the buildings will be stage 2.

4.  When a threshold is reached and the ratios change, then R$ buildings (for example) that currently exist no longer meet the new ratios.  The game then only grows new buildings of the Growth Stage(s) that under represent the current ratios until the ratios are correct again (hope that makes sense).

5.  For each of the other charts the population threshold numbers represent the number of Sims who hold those jobs at those wealth levels (for example, CS$ workers, CO$$$ workers, IR workers, IHT workers).

Offline Alavaria

Re: Finding the Workforce Drives
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2018, 10:17:58 AM »
Wait, each wealth type of resident tracks their numbers separately? Makes sense then, I was around 4k low-wealth and 8k medium-wealth and not seeing any apartments show up. Of course, since that is not enough for stage 4s in either category. Perfect!

Except for that it was what I was thinking. I earlier went and read the stage% information and spreadsheeted some of it, but your attached spreadsheet has it all, I only did a bit. Thanks for doing that bit of work :)

(I was doing it to group by the three density zone types, so 1-3, 4-6 and simply 7+, since you sort of can't precisely control what shows up in a given zone, except for of course the max stage and I guess land value/caps maybe)
============

Because of the changing job-taking that occurs at high EDI, my city had no Dirty and only some vestigial Agri and Manufacturing. As a result, the distribution is very lopsided, with 2 medium wealth: 1 low wealth resident.

And the medium wealths have a higher required number to "stage up", and they have lower densities at every stage too. A bit annoying, but oh well.


Oddly, my city tried to send 3600 commuters to a place that only ended up taking 2600 workers. That's interesting behavior.

3.  The numbers under each of the Growth Stages (1 - 15) represent the percentages of Buildings that are allowed to grow at from each of the Growth Stages.  So when your R$ population reaches 2000, and advances to Stage 2, 95% of the R$ buildins allowed to grow will be Stage 1, and only 5% of the buildings will be stage 2.
Ah, so it is buildings and not population, that's excellent to know.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2018, 12:54:00 PM by Alavaria »

Offline twalsh102

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Re: Finding the Workforce Drives
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2018, 11:14:18 PM »
You are correct that there are separate thresholds based on wealth level.  This holds true for CO and CS as well.  IR/ID, IM, and IHT represent the three wealth levels for Industrial growth.  This is a major change from the default Maxis, where the threshold numbers were the same for everything.  There were only 3 charts in the original game:  one for Res and CS, one for CO, and one for Industrial.  Further the original Maxis thresholds only extended to a maximum population of approximately 125,000 for all developer types, while the thresholds in CAM have been greatly extended, in the case of R$$$ up to a bit over 18 million.

I also have spreadsheets for all the other Play-styles (installation options).  I did these several years ago at a point when I was really bored, but just never got around to posting them anyplace.

You are correct that zoning density is one of the few ways to possibly control what might grow in particular areas of your city.  However, I'm don't think the split you came up with will hold up.  If you look at the number of Building and Lot exemplars that InvisiChem included with CAM, these are all buildings/lots that changed growth stages and/or density zones.  They are not necessarily all Stage 8 buildings that had to be redistributed through the additional seven Growth Stages CAM 2 provides.  Also lots may be configured to grow in multiple densities. 

I just did a quick look at Growth Stage vs. zoning density on the Lot Exemplars included with CAM 2.1.0.  The only consistency appears to be that there isn't any consistency.  One can split most lots into three groups.  But a split that holds up for R$ lots will not hold up for any other wealth level or developer type.  The first group (usually Stage 3 and below, but can be as high as Stage 5 and below) is almost always configured to grow in any density.  The last Group (usually Stage 8 and above, but can dip as low as Stage 6) are usually configured to grow only in high density.  The middle group (whatever that ends up being) are usually configured to grow in medium and high density.  However, whatever split may come close to holding true across the default Maxis buildings changed by CAM 2, may or may not hold true with custom CAM lots or even those Maxis lots that were not changed by CAM.  Curiously, apparently no CS lots had anything changed from the default Maxis settings.

Information from other cities in your region are not constantly updated (which makes sense).  Information is only updated from a city when it is actually played.  For cities that are not played very often, the game interpolates available job numbers based on rate of growth when the city was last played (this also makes sense or one would not be able play regionally at all).  So it's very possible that if you hadn't played the other city in some time, the game interpolated that growth would allow for 3600 new jobs.  However, when you actually played that other city, the previous growth rate couldn't be sustained for whatever reason and only 2600 jobs could be provided.  I've always wondered how the game addresses such mismatches, but I don't think I've ever seen a reasonable answer.  Unless you see a lot of houses abandoning due to lack of jobs in city one, that would tend to imply that this "overage" of workers does not return from whence they came.  However, they may have been sent on to some additional connected city if it exists.  Or maybe they just disappear.

Unfortunately, even after 15 years, there is still much about the inner workings of the game we can't figure out or verify.

I tend to use the word building and lot interchangeably in situations like this.  It is actually the lot configuration that determines such things as Growth Stage, whether a lot grows or is plopped, the density of the zone (or zones) the lot will grow in, and the type of zones the lot will grow in.  So even though it looks like a building growing in-game, technically it is a lot (with its assigned building) that is growing.

Offline Alavaria

Re: Finding the Workforce Drives
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2018, 02:24:56 AM »
Information from other cities in your region are not constantly updated (which makes sense).  Information is only updated from a city when it is actually played.  For cities that are not played very often, the game interpolates available job numbers based on rate of growth when the city was last played (this also makes sense or one would not be able play regionally at all).  So it's very possible that if you hadn't played the other city in some time, the game interpolated that growth would allow for 3600 new jobs.  However, when you actually played that other city, the previous growth rate couldn't be sustained for whatever reason and only 2600 jobs could be provided.  I've always wondered how the game addresses such mismatches, but I don't think I've ever seen a reasonable answer.  Unless you see a lot of houses abandoning due to lack of jobs in city one, that would tend to imply that this "overage" of workers does not return from whence they came.  However, they may have been sent on to some additional connected city if it exists.  Or maybe they just disappear.
It's probably not growth extrapolation, as the industrial city had no growth for some time before this "experiment" since I built it up to the high-tech cap. Probably some sort of fudge factor to lessen the whole flipping between cities. I only noticed because I build in cycles, adding houses, then waiting to see if they have jobs, then waiting more for them to get educated.... so I noticed more people commuting out than the other city had total jobs (and some of those vacancies were for high-wealth, of which I have 0, too)

Hovering over the entry station (only one) in the industry town was interesting, it would give the high number of commuters, then change to the lower (actual) one, and go back to reading the high number. Probably because the jobfinding half is sure there are jobs for them all (just assumed since they're all commuting in, right?) , while the later pathfinding one realizes it can't actually get to any unfilled jobs at some point.


After realizing too many people were coming into industry town, I saved, returned to region and went to the core city. The game still happily kept sending all those commuters there, even though the industry town should have already "noticed" it can't handle them. And these are the only two places in existance, so the game just doesn't "notice". May be a fudge factor, if so it either becomes unimportant later on (fixed amount, 2000 extra is nothing if you are at millions) or is rediculous (scaling amount, so like 10% of 10million means 1million). Which will be interesting to see...

You are correct that zoning density is one of the few ways to possibly control what might grow in particular areas of your city.  However, I'm don't think the split you came up with will hold up.  If you look at the number of Building and Lot exemplars that InvisiChem included with CAM, these are all buildings/lots that changed growth stages and/or density zones.  They are not necessarily all Stage 8 buildings that had to be redistributed through the additional seven Growth Stages CAM 2 provides.  Also lots may be configured to grow in multiple densities. 

I just did a quick look at Growth Stage vs. zoning density on the Lot Exemplars included with CAM 2.1.0.  The only consistency appears to be that there isn't any consistency.  One can split most lots into three groups.  But a split that holds up for R$ lots will not hold up for any other wealth level or developer type.  The first group (usually Stage 3 and below, but can be as high as Stage 5 and below) is almost always configured to grow in any density.  The last Group (usually Stage 8 and above, but can dip as low as Stage 6) are usually configured to grow only in high density.  The middle group (whatever that ends up being) are usually configured to grow in medium and high density.  However, whatever split may come close to holding true across the default Maxis buildings changed by CAM 2, may or may not hold true with custom CAM lots or even those Maxis lots that were not changed by CAM.  Curiously, apparently no CS lots had anything changed from the default Maxis settings.
Yes, but how does the game handle wanting to have say 5% people in very high stage (say 12+) if you've greatly restricted the amount of high density zoning? If you have large reservoirs of "buildings" of low/medium density elsewhere and only a little high in your one skyscraper core, then that's the only way the system can have it's 5% stage 12 guys. Having some moderate towers sitting in medium zones isn't a problem, the "goal" is I guess to have a lot of the biggest ones all crammed together on purpose, so that means filling up all the lower-stages by having sections of low/medium elsewhere in the region that cannot possibly hold the very highest stages.


All this requires is:
1. The very highest stages are also the highest skyscrapers, and high-density only
2. The game will try to fill the stages according to the thresholds if it can (ie: by upgrading from lower stages to higher if allows by the zoning type)
3. You have a large amount of "buildings" in low/medium density zoning, such that the game cannot find place to stick the stage 14s it wants.

Imagine having a large population of all wealth types (say 10mil of medium wealth), but only in medium density zones. The game wants to have 14% of buildings at stage 15, and 12 in stage 14, etc.  You then zone a small area of high-density. The game should start pushing and pushing the stages of anything growing there. The fact that stage 1s can grow in high-density doesn't mean the game will leave it there, provided it has not fully satisfied its quota for higher stage buildings.

I suppose the real question is: are there non-dense stage 15 buildings, OR are there stage 15s that can grow in medium density? If both are no, then you can gain useful control in that aspect by zoning. Then the same for stage 14, etc. What exactly happens around stage 8-10 isn't quite as important as say 12-15 (47% of all buildings at the last residential threshold, for example)

I tend to use the word building and lot interchangeably in situations like this.  It is actually the lot configuration that determines such things as Growth Stage, whether a lot grows or is plopped, the density of the zone (or zones) the lot will grow in, and the type of zones the lot will grow in.  So even though it looks like a building growing in-game, technically it is a lot (with its assigned building) that is growing.
Wait wait, so suppose I have a 2x2 Stage3 building. If it was from 2 lots of 2x1, that counts as 2 for the thresholds, and if it was from joining 4 1x1 lots, it counts as 4?

That means you can get twice as many 4x4 skyscrapers if they're made from 4x1 lots (ie 4 lots per building) than from combining back to back 2x1 lots (ie: 8 lots per building).

Also, if the stage quotas are by lot or building rather than population, you could, for a given value (say 1million R$$) use a small bit of population and spam a ton of small lots in some other (connected) city to make your real zones suddenly able to hold much higher stage stuff....

EG: at 1 million total mid-wealth sims, you get 15% stage 9 and 1% stage 10, so if you were looking at 1000 lots, high density, in your core. That's 150 lots of stage 9, and another 10 lots of stage 10.
But supposing there's a rural city tile that "happens" to have 9,000 lots in low density, now suddenly your regional total is 10000 lots, allowing you to have 1500 stage 9 and 100 stage 10s, which means your core of 1000 will now be 90% stage 9 (600 of the allowed 1500 lots wasted due to no space) and 10% stage 10 (fully using the quota). Not necessarily perfectly, unless you're set your 1000 high density zones for the right building footprint...
« Last Edit: July 08, 2018, 12:29:47 PM by Alavaria »

Offline twalsh102

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Re: Finding the Workforce Drives
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2018, 04:02:37 PM »
Quick question (with a long explanation) before I write another book:  Have you had a chance to read the Prima Strategy Guide for SimCity 4 Deluxe?  If you don't have it, its available online here:  https://archive.org/details/SimCity_4_Rush_Hour_Prima_Official_eGuide.  If you haven't looked at it yet, this guide is pretty much a must read for anyone who wants to learn more about the inner workings of the game.  Because the guide was developed with the help of some of the game developers, there are many tidbits about the mechanics of the game in there that we wouldn't otherwise know about from deciphering the game exemplars (where the majority of our verifiable knowledge of the game comes from).

The reason I ask is that it tends to be very difficult in SC4 forums (or for that matter, any type of forum where technical things are discussed) to determine the level of knowledge of others you are conversing with.  The date that one registered for the forum is never a good indicator of level of knowledge.  The fact that you just registered in the past week could mean that you just started playing the game.  But it doesn't alleviate the possibility that you've been playing the game for the past ten years, and just never registered before now because you had nothing to post.  On the one hand, I don't want to appear to be talking down to others (i.e. treating them as noobs), when in fact those others might have a level of knowledge superior to mine (not necessarily difficult to have happen).  On the other hand, I don't want to talk over another's head because a level of knowledge was assumed that doesn't really exist.  In both cases, I'm just wasting both our time

I'm in that boat right now where I just can't nail down anything close to an accurate judgement of your overall knowledge.  It's much easier if one is talking face-to-face, and you can watch the others eyes.  If you start to see menace creeps into the other's eyes, you can guess that you're probable talking down to them.  And if you see their eyes starting to glaze over, you can be pretty sure you're talking over their head.  Please don't misunderstand that I'm saying that unless your level of knowledge is equal to mine (or vice-versa), we can't continue.  Rather if something allows to make a better judgement (like maybe being told that you really did just start playing the game, or that you have been playing consistently since 2004, but just recently started getting into the inner workings of the game), I'll know there probably will be some areas I need to go into in some detail, while other areas I can just skim over.

Beyond the information that is available in the Prima Guide,  I think we're about to get into some areas that aren't covered in the guide, specifically the areas of what is required to create working custom content, how custom content may differ from Maxis content, and some of the tools available to help one discover more about some of the inner workings of the game (specifically iReader, PIM-X and SC4DataNode).  So some idea of your level of knowledge in these other areas would greatly enhance our continuing conversation.

Thanks for understanding.

Offline Alavaria

Re: Finding the Workforce Drives
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2018, 02:34:33 AM »
I've already poked with the Reader application, but trying to read the hex numbers (can convert them, but it's annoying) is just a chore.

That guide is excellent stuff. A few things I hadn't noticed/known before (details mostly, but useful), like most importantly:

The game won't add buildings of a given stage # if it's already at or above the threshold. This one fact means you can't stack buildings at medium-density zones to "push" high-density zones to high stages, you can at most fill up the stage#s that have medium-density capable buildings. That still helps a lot though.

What this means is if you pre-place a ton of medium-density, it can fill up to a point, so when you see totally undeveloped medium density, you can be confident that adding a bit of high density will assure you a high stage building (ie: at least stage N, where N has no medium-density buildings and N-1 does)

---------

Ranger stations are apparently amazingly long range in their effect on residential desirability. I should abuse that a lot. It helps they look like some sort of watchtower, matches perfectly with some sort of dystopia (but all clean, hightech and highly educated one)

**Also, for High-tech industry, it seems they are like houses, they benefit from residential YIMBY, and not commercial. Good to know!

---------

The guide is wrong (I think) about the game extrapolating growth (it says loading the other city and then returning can remove this phantom extrapolation) which I've seen referenced elsewhere. Flipping back and forth does not undo the extra commuters, it's just a bonus rather than some sort of growth (that starts at the newest value and increases).

If the 10% number the guide states correct though, I think you get *1.1 demand for employers, which when you flip back to your residential city will demand *1.1 (*1.1), meaning by having employers and employees separated by a border, even the "stable" 3 medium wealth: 2 low wealth (max educated) population can continually grow by up to 21% each cycle of building houses until no jobs, then flipping and building employers until no demand, etc etc. Which isn't possible if they are all on the same map.

CAM's greater effect of education on resident job-seeking (both tighter, slowing down growth and also not neatly matching the employer's hiring capacity which ignores education level) this is probably more useful in 2.1.0 than it would have been in version 1, where you wouldn't have gotten into stagnation with pure 150+ educated populations. This is nice.

Guide also says that the game remembers commute time from home to the border, and from border to the job, which I think I saw explicitly mentioned as not the case in NAM documentation. In any case, if the game just checks job availability (even if only in aggregate) when sending commuters it doesn't matter even if they literally can't get to or find any job, as seen empirically.

---------

Max (200) education to results in exactly 0 base criminal rate? Great to know... the only issue being that populations grow exponentially, unless you specifically hold yourself back, so a cycle adding 21% new citizens to a 10mil city will result in massive crime, compared to adding them to only a 10k city. And since people die and their replacements need education, constantly, I can see even maxed out education having a steady-state, and annoyingly high level of crime.

=======

Apparently pedestrians do count for customers (Commercial**) and traffic noise (residential-will check at some point). At least they never slow down or cause pollution. On the other hand I can probably use the commuters going to industry to feed the commercial in the "Employer city" since I want to make all areas nearly car-free if possible. The noise caps out, so a skyscraper hell with only walkers will have crazy noise but only pollution from the buildings themselves (using subways, anyway - all above ground rails also pollute when travelled on).

**Just experimented and having 4000 pedestrians walk past you does not count as high customers. HOWEVER, having a train rail with  4000 commuters behind you (and buses) apparently does!

Given how far sims will talk though, and the fact that even if you use subways, you'll still get caught having to go through the switch to monorail, I'm considering just having blocks with monorail stations at the end, forcing you to walk the maximum distance. Since my residential blocks are restricted in total size by the area of a 0-bus-funding large elementary school, maximum distance = sims to walk from one end to the other to get to a station (elevated rail). Thus, even with the possibility of heavy congestion on a monorail there should be no issue if the circular blocks sit in a grid of monorails touching them at cardinal direction tangents.

---------------

I hear you about all the interesting engine stuff though, honestly getting into those fine details of the simulator can be even more fun than playing (or even do both if you're experimenting!). It's always troublesome when you try to do weird stuff that hinges on really small specifics of the system you're attempting to manipulate though. The whole building growth thing, for example, or inter-city commuter mechanics. NAM and CAM have excellent documentation though which helps a lot.

I wonder how tax rates affect the demand when you transfer it over, it seems that high tax rates at the receiving end will reduce the amount you can build (lowers demand), wonder what happens if the sending end has 0% taxes... time for an experiment.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2018, 12:05:07 PM by Alavaria »

Offline twalsh102

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Re: Finding the Workforce Drives
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2018, 05:57:47 PM »
I'm glad the advice on reading the guide was useful.  As you've discovered, it contains tons of useful stuff reference game mechanics that you can't really intuit through observation of the game alone.  It really should have been the "manual" for the game rather than the dinky thing Maxis came up with that really explains nothing about how the game works.  I think it's probably universally recognized by everyone who uses the guide that it is not 100% correct.  Some of the explanations of mechanics, and a lot of the stats have proven to be incorrect.

I've already poked with the Reader application, but trying to read the hex numbers (can convert them, but it's annoying) is just a chore.

Hopefully you know that the Windows Calculator, when used in Programmer mode, allows you to convert back and forth between Decimal and hex.  There are also numerous hex converters available on the Internet.

Although Reader is probably the go-to tool for modifying exemplars, as you've no doubt discovered, if you want to look at a lot of exemplars (to say compare them), there is no easy way to do that with Reader.  I would recommend you take a take a look at SC4DataNode by rivit.  This audit (only) tool provides a ton of useful functions.  Just one is that it will allow you look at any exemplar and have all the stat numbers appear in decimal rather than hex.

What this means is if you pre-place a ton of medium-density, it can fill up to a point, so when you see totally undeveloped medium density, you can be confident that adding a bit of high density will assure you a high stage building (ie: at least stage N, where N has no medium-density buildings and N-1 does)

Not necessarily (see 2. below!).  This would only hold true if the ratios for higher stage lots has not been met, and there are higher stage lots available (see 3. below).   Taking a look at the exemplars that are included with CAM (which are only overrides of the default Maxis buildings), the following is revealed:
1.  Invisichem did not change any of the building stats (as specified in the Building Exemplars) from the default Maxis buildings.  This is important when it comes to maximum capacity of a building.
2.  All residential lots regardless of wealth-level or Growth Stage will grow in high-density zones.
3.  There are no residential lots regardless of wealth-level above Growth Stage 10.
4.  Looking at the example of R$$ Sims from your previous post (and taking into account 1. above), all the buildings used on Stage 10 R$$ lots are also used for Stage 8 and 9 R$$ lots.  Of the 4 potential buildings that can be used on Stage 10 R$$ lots, only one has a maximum capacity >3000.  Of the fourteen potential buildings that can be used on Stage 9 R$$ lots (that aren't also used on Stage 10 lots), four have a maximum capacity >3000, two of which have higher capacities than the highest capacity building used for Stage 10 lots.  Of the eighteen potential buildings that can be used on Stage 9 R$$ lots, fourteen can also be used on Stage 8 lots.

That pretty much leaves custom content to fill in the voids.  However, there are potential issues of consistency and balance when using original Maxis content, custom content created by the Maxis LE and Plugin Manager, and custom content created by PIM-X.  These issues may or may not affect your game-play experience.  These issues get into the mechanics of creating custom content.  So we can talk about them at this point - or later - or not at all, your choice. 

One suggestion, if one of your goals is to get skyscrapers growing as soon as possible, and you haven't done so already, reinstall CAM 2.1.0 using the Skyscraper install option.  This was designed to allow higher Growth Stage lots/buildings to grow at much lower population levels.  For example, R$$ Stage 10 is reached at an R$$ population level of 127,568 (806,564 using extended); Stage 15 is achieved at an R$$ population level of 1,511,183 (6,354,140 using Extended).

I wonder how tax rates affect the demand when you transfer it over, it seems that high tax rates at the receiving end will reduce the amount you can build (lowers demand), wonder what happens if the sending end has 0% taxes... time for an experiment.

Although I don't think it is discussed in the guide (except maybe tangentially), taxes (and thus the effects of taxes) are strictly a local phenomena.  This is implied in the guide where it talks about effectively zeroing out demand for any particular developer type/wealth-level by raising the taxes to maximum.  You can also observe this by changing any tax level in one city, and not seeing it change in any other city. 

As I'm sure you read in the Guide, demand is shared regionally by all connected cities.  However because of the above, it can be affected locally.  If the tax rate for CO$$ (for example) is high in city two, while it is 0% in city one, then the demand will be effectively lower in city 2.  However, if you don't zone any Commercial in city one, then demand  (and thus those seeking CO$$ jobs) will continue to be exported to city two up to the point where the available demand in city two is met, or up to the point where potential growth has been extrapolated by the game.  Although the Guide explains that extrapolation takes into account what you have zoned in other cities (i.e. potential for growth), I wonder if it takes into account any differences (caused by tax rates) in local demand vs. regional demand.  As far as I know, tax rates are the only thing that can cause a differential between local demand and regional demand.

Offline Alavaria

Re: Finding the Workforce Drives
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2018, 01:03:13 AM »
Check bottom for a speadsheet of what  I can find on CAM buildings. Oddly I can't find the R$$$ 4x3 and 4x4 stage 1 buildings I'm sure exist... well the SC4 wiki has a list of vanilla Maxis lots, and someone has even added in information for where these were changed in CAM ! :)

Or the fact that R$$ stage 2 apparently only has 1x1s.. it's probably original Maxis buildings that fit in where they were (just a few perhaps)

Well it's easy enough to check particular strategies by trying it out and seeing at what threshold growth seems to choke for lack of particular lots.... I'm thinking of an opening using 1x2 lots that at most combine into 2x2s (using medium and low density) and seeing how far that can grow...


Stage 8 and above (certainly 9+) are all in CAM or downloaded separately, only grow in high density and thus are rather prime for controlling by zone sizes... perhaps. Vanilla just goes to 4x4s for the stage 10s, except for R$$ (single stage 10 is a 3x3, which can be sort of controlled for I guess)
What this means is if you pre-place a ton of medium-density, it can fill up to a point, so when you see totally undeveloped medium density, you can be confident that adding a bit of high density will assure you a high stage building (ie: at least stage N, where N has no medium-density buildings and N-1 does)
Not necessarily (see 2. below!).  This would only hold true if the ratios for higher stage lots has not been met, and there are higher stage lots available (see 3. below).   Taking a look at the exemplars that are included with CAM (which are only overrides of the default Maxis buildings), the following is revealed:
1.  Invisichem did not change any of the building stats (as specified in the Building Exemplars) from the default Maxis buildings.  This is important when it comes to maximum capacity of a building.
2.  All residential lots regardless of wealth-level or Growth Stage will grow in high-density zones.
3.  There are no residential lots regardless of wealth-level above Growth Stage 10.
This is exactly right, as the method I laid out would imply if a building could grow in a stage in medium density, it would have (thus the important "signal" is seeing undeveloped medium density areas) and since that is the case, there must be unfilled quotas for stages that have no ability to grow in medium, only high.

The fact that stage 1s can grow in high density is not the issue, the point is you've already filled up the stage 1, stage 2 etc etc quota in your very large reservoir of medium zoning, so that the game has build everything it can within the medium density "restriction". What is critical is what can only grow in high density (and similarly, what can only grow in medium&high, but not low density, though even those wouldn't be part of my central core)

The bit where you overzone medium/low first is a critical step in squeezing the stage growth.

In fact, a similar, more obvious effect occurs if there's a lot of 1x1 residential (such that they can't join up into 2x1s etc), at some point you can see they don't develop, and when you go and zone some larger lots they do... it should mean the game cannot build any more stage 1 or 2 buildings (and there's no 1x1s for the stages it wants to build) etc

Actually, lot sizes (after controlling for joining of lots, of course) might be even more powerful in allowing control over what grows, particularly in sparse collections of growables.
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Abusing a combination of overzoning, carefully selecting lot sizes, and densities should allow a decent amount of control, but it really depends on having a solid list of what exactly can grow. I'm assuming that the CAM core controller lists all types for the maxis content, and then you need to check and add the info for each additional bit downloaded (as I have not extensively begun downloading CAMeLOTs, this is a gradual process).

This is less valuable, or even possible in vanilla. But being able to separate out the last few stages, (at least if they conform to the density graph, which they don't but that's another issue) as seen in CAM, especially if there's only one or two candidate buildings, can allow building that totally pure super high nightmare core. Which will have hardly any cars or traffic because civic buildings only hire so many, and this 99% will be forced onto subway-monorail and probably commute.

Since transferring demand and commuters allows for "extra" jobs than employers, and "extra" employers than demand, this also means greater growth (but the limit here is more on slowly adding so you can educate) and thus "extra" taxes to torture everyone. I think 1.5x of the neutral tax rate can be kept with stage growth, so at the max that would be 4.5% instead of the neutral 3%

Granted, adding farms would help a LOT. And your tax revenue increases as you go up to even 2x the neutral tax rate. I mean, that's a -30% reduction in demand, but... depending on how it goes across borders...

Say your employers in city E1 create 1000 R$$$ jobs. Residents in city R1 have a 2x tax rate, so they only have 700 people There's 300 left.

What if city R2 sees this 300 left, if they also have 2x taxes, then they can have an extra 210 people, leaving 90 left? And so on...

Obviously it's also possible the game just has some way around this, so as long as it prevents job from disappearing you could just have R1 with 2x tax rate, and then R2 simply does with neutral tax and soaks up the other 300 jobs. But it depends on the specifics of how it divides up the demand.

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More importantly for high-tech industry (the only industry that max educated sims will generate demand for, except for farming anyway) is the fact that freight, which generates industry demand cap relief, raises caps for all types, but if you're only using high-tech, you will be stuck. And if most of your population is max educated, then you'll never be able to get more than a small amount of manufacturing/dirty.

Who knew that education hell was a thing, BUT we have farms, only... if equivalent super high density farming existed that would help but otherwise the only workaround I can see is spamming something with cap relief... the university and advanced research help but are limited in number, but I think the handy Census building can be repeatedly placed and, for upkeep, gives 10,000 cap each time... And I guess looks cool, though it goes over roads (tolls) and I can't make it go over monorail/elrail instead.

Seriously, the game doesn't notice/care if commuters into a city can't get to  jobs (the employers similarly don't care)? That just feels careless though I can understand why.

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Now if higher stages are anyway smaller than lower stages, that's another issue. Or if there's literally no higher stage buildings, then does the game just refuse to grow since it cannot ever fill its quota? Hmm.

Oh yeah, good point about switching to the skyscraper progression. I want to try the transit systems to breaking point, and endlessly making block after block of the same medium density is just an exercise in repetition.

« Last Edit: July 13, 2018, 09:48:24 AM by Alavaria »

Offline Alavaria

Re: Finding the Workforce Drives
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2018, 02:14:22 AM »
I encountered an interesting case where high-wealth sims started putting up condos and such without any of their usual 3x4 or 4x4 mansions!

After choking them on 20% tax, I reduced their rates to 13% as preparation to begin zoning for high-wealth. The largest lots the game could make were 3x2s. But suddenly condors (3x2) and some of the smaller houses (eg: 2x2 or 3x2) started showing up. Not sure what that means, as you should require quite a lot of mansions to even get past that threshold?

See the image below, (there's no other residential anywhere else at all) those guys suddenly went from 0 to 3000+ without a single one of their really large lawn mansions.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2018, 02:16:30 AM by Alavaria »