Anyone figure out how to maintain population yet?

#1 Posted by zFUBARz (637 posts) -

I've currently got a flat tax at 16%, which is causing me to have about 50 buildings abandoned at all times (i bulldoze pretty liberally to try and keep it down) despite the the high tax and very few services I'm losing about 7k per hour though and my population is going up and down between about 80k and 190k with no real rhyme or reason that I can discern.

#2 Edited by Subjugation (4740 posts) -

@zfubarz:16% ??? I've never ventured above 10-11 % because it causes everyone to move out. I'm pretty sure the safe tax is between 9% and 11%. At 8% buildings increase in density rapidly. I could be completely wrong because the game is so new and everyone is still trying to figure it out, but I think your tax is probably too high.

Another factor is services. People will move out if there are a lot of deaths/sickness, if the crime rate is too high, if too many buildings are catching on fire around them, etc. You can get a good idea of what the causes are by looking at the individual buildings and seeing what the inhabitants dislike. Also, don't forget to look at the happiness data menu which is the smiley icon on the bottom bar of your UI toward the left. From there you can check each individual wealth level of each of the RCI types and see what they love, are neutral about, and are angry about.

Those are the tools that I use. Hopefully that will help you.

#3 Edited by zFUBARz (637 posts) -

@subjugation Oh yeah I know the tax rate is a major problem I put it up to keep people out but it doesn't work well, today at 18% the population shot up 240 000. I don't think my city is that appealing really, when it skyrockets like that the health and rime get terrible. and entire blocks burn down before fire trucks get there. That's why i try and keep it low for now till I can fix the traffic and public service issues. but when people move in like that I really have no control, it's nuts. at the same time half my buildings are abandoned because of the high tax rate too, so people are leaving, they're just coming faster.

I've been considering dezoning a few areas and seeing what happens.

#4 Edited by Subjugation (4740 posts) -

@zfubarz: That's a crazy situation. If I taxed that high the people would definitely leave and not come back. I tried going up to 13% and my population dropped so hard I just about went into a death spiral. I don't know how to explain your population influx at that tax rate.

#5 Posted by Gonmog (602 posts) -

Control your streets, and dezoning thats about it. I am sitting at around 30k for my tourist town with a income that goes between 20 and 30k. The empty spots will almost always fill back up. As that is what the sims are programed to do, they will leave if the situation sucks after a few but will clog up your streets in the mean time.

Just get rid of places for them to build houses. Invest in streetcars to get rid of traffic, regional buses and trains to help cut down on the traffic coming in,

#6 Edited by JacDG (2130 posts) -

@gonmog said:

Control your streets, and dezoning thats about it. I am sitting at around 30k for my tourist town with a income that goes between 20 and 30k. The empty spots will almost always fill back up. As that is what the sims are programed to do, they will leave if the situation sucks after a few but will clog up your streets in the mean time.

Just get rid of places for them to build houses. Invest in streetcars to get rid of traffic, regional buses and trains to help cut down on the traffic coming in,

So when your city begins to expand and high rises, skyscrapers and so on start to appear, you don't need as many housing/green zones?

#7 Posted by Gonmog (602 posts) -

@jacdg: Nope. As the buildings get higher they hold more people, dont think we know the number, but they hold more. you can also control what kind of skyscrapers go up buy usig parks to set the land value.

#8 Edited by zFUBARz (637 posts) -

with this flat tax I've also noticed that different income classes accept taxation differently, probably much like real life, the wealthy do not accept tax well, before everything exploded i had a shiny city on the seaside, now it's all tenements and brown brick with all the high taxes.

A couple questions for fixing transportation, 1 how do you increase trains to your stations? As far as I can tell you can't modify it except for adding a sign. second, can cars turn on roads? I think one of the problems is that with my pretty good street car system I've used a lot of avenues, and cars have to go to an intersection and pull a U turn all the time. I'd say nearly half of them lined up are just making U turns all the time.

Do regular roads not have that problem?

#9 Posted by JackG100 (407 posts) -

My duders abandon my town as soon as I hit 12%. I tend to stick around 10% and make alot of trade to get around. I lose about 20k an hour... its just crazy.

#10 Posted by johnLongview (133 posts) -

My city is focusing on TV production, and is sitting at around 213K population. Doesn't fluctuate much at all, mostly because (I think) all my residential-zoned areas are at their maximum density (except the space-constrained ones).

...and I'm making enough money from TVs and processors that my tax rate is 1%, whilst making ~$1million per game day in profit. I've been gradually dropping it to see how quickly my approval goes up, and (surprise) people like having high-end services (streetcars, police precinct, 4k student university) with no taxes! Current hourly budget deficit? ~$50k. Lord help me if my production pipeline fails.

#11 Edited by Cameron (607 posts) -

I dislike how crazy the sims are about taxes. No one would abandon their house and leave the city because the tax rate went up 2%. They also want all of these services, but don't want to pay for them... well, ok, that sounds pretty realistic.

#12 Edited by ChewEqfp (25 posts) -

@zfubarz: you said you have a lot of avenues. That could be a reason for your high expenses. Except in your main highway connection i would stick with streets. Avenues makes the road take up more electricity sewage water etc. With that said i've found that it's almost inevitable that the sims are gonna one more of some service or zone than you can supply. Get the tax rate down though. anything about 11% is gonna get complaints (more complaining in the high wealth). So you could raise high taxes on the low wealth, but keep it down for middle wealth, and high wealth. Check your finances and see what it is you're spending so much money on. You're only gonna get /hr income from taxes. And then other money will show up on your reports from exports, service deals, events and tourism. Medical usually ends up being my number one expense (about 1/3 of my expenses) you might have to decrease some of your services. Or maybe throw in a landmark from the tourist specialization They bring in lots of money. I'm not an expert by any means, some of the posters here have number i cant touch population wise. That stuff should help though. Good Luck. ChewEqfp is my origin name feel free to add me.

#13 Edited by gkhan (488 posts) -

@cameron said:

I dislike how crazy the sims are about taxes. No one would abandon their house and leave the city because the tax rate went up 2%. They also want all of these services, but don't want to pay for them... well, ok, that sounds pretty realistic.

People are always using this as an argument for saying that mechanics in SimCity are reflecting some sort of crazy libertarian dogma, but I never bought that. It's true that the Sims overreact crazily and unrealistically to very small changes in tax rates, but I don't think that's because of any political views of Will Wright, I just think that's a very obvious and easily implemented risk/reward mechanic. Instead of trying to more realistically simulate the extremely complicated behavioral response people have to taxes, services and municipal budgets, it's instead a very easy to understand balancing act: "lower the tax rate and population will rise but money go down, raise it and population will decrease but you'll have more money". Makes it a lot clearer to both the developer and the player.

#14 Edited by Dredlockz (347 posts) -

@gkhan said:

@cameron said:

I dislike how crazy the sims are about taxes. No one would abandon their house and leave the city because the tax rate went up 2%. They also want all of these services, but don't want to pay for them... well, ok, that sounds pretty realistic.

People are always using this as an argument for saying that mechanics in SimCity are reflecting some sort of crazy libertarian dogma, but I never bought that. It's true that the Sims overreact crazily and unrealistically to very small changes in tax rates, but I don't think that's because of any political views of Will Wright, I just think that's a very obvious and easily implemented risk/reward mechanic. Instead of trying to more realistically simulate the extremely complicated behavioral response people have to taxes, services and municipal budgets, it's instead a very easy to understand balancing act: "lower the tax rate and population will rise but money go down, raise it and population will decrease but you'll have more money". Makes it a lot clearer to both the developer and the player.

I pay around 30% taxes where I live IRL, and seeing all that money be put into great use (having great services, healthcare, public transportation and education, etc) is incredibly satisfying. The fact that SimCity just has some contrived threshold at 10% in the game is so ridiculous to me.

I think it is rather easy to model this "complicated response to taxes" into a game too, high taxes should just influence how "finicky" sims are with the other happiness modifiers. So if you have high taxes and are slacking on education, parks, pollution etc, then they would get more pissed about it than if you had low taxes. It's not too complicated, there's way more complicated shit going on in that game, I definitely think it's a design choice because of the designers narrow views on how societies can operate.

#15 Edited by Cameron (607 posts) -

@gkhan:

I didn't mean to imply that the dev team has some hidden agenda. I just think that tax thing is weird, given how complicated some other aspects of the simulation are. Presumably if they were pushing some libertarian agenda then everyone would leave as soon as there was any tax (since there is no military). Everyone would coordinate their own services, and then there would be no need for the player.

#16 Edited by mtcantor (951 posts) -

Remember, this is CITY taxes. Plenty of Americans pay 30+% in taxes total, but the vast majority goes to the federal government, with the state further back, and the city at the very end. Cities and related municipal districts rarely go over 10% for income taxes, and if they did, lots of folks would leave.

#17 Edited by twigger89 (283 posts) -

@cameron said:

@gkhan:

I didn't mean to imply that the dev team has some hidden agenda. I just think that tax thing is weird, given how complicated some other aspects of the simulation are. Presumably if they were pushing some libertarian agenda then everyone would leave as soon as there was any tax (since there is no military). Everyone would coordinate their own services, and then there would be no need for the player.

I would love to see my sims leave and form their own fucking city. That way when that is riddled with crime and health problems with crazy traffic I can just laugh and laugh and laugh.

Then again, maybe I'm just bitter about how little and how poorly this game explains mechanics to you. I shouldn't have to play detective to understand what buildings can ship freight vs which buildings just store it.

#18 Posted by djou (878 posts) -

@zfubarz: Just saw this thread for the first time, did you ever get this figured out? 18% sounds astronomical. My city was at +300k and I raised the taxes to 13% for high income folks and the was an exodus that dropped the pop by 150k in a few days. If you invest in a dept. of finance you can control the rates with a bit finer detail.

I find maintaining a high population is pretty difficult because of sickness, germs, and ground population caused by packing people in. I had to start a whole another city with four garbage dumps and two recycling centers just to maintain the waste. I was able to bring it back to 280k by there are definitely waves of sickness/pollution that cause fluctuation.

#19 Edited by zFUBARz (637 posts) -

@djou I've somewhat stabilized it now by dezoning by nearly half, and taking out some loans to get a stadium so I can hold events, which tend to pay off nicely to supplement the income. It's still constantly moving though, the swings are just much less severe, like 10-20k people as opposed to 100K + moving in and out.

My fiend in the city next door had a department of finance but it got destroyed by an earthquake or something and even though he demolished it and rebuilt it, the effects never came back to my city, so I had to start a subburb a little ways down the road just to get a department of finance and utilities (also got destroyed in friends city)

The major problem right now is that with region/global play working so poorly i can't get rid of my alloys and plastics fast enough so my recycling just backs up like crazy. and also costs me like 200k per month in profit.

@cheweqfp: Roads don't actually have an upkeep cost that I can see although power and water may be an issue as you say (I have plenty of those though) I need the avenues for streetcars though, I'd say about a third of my roads are avenues, and it creates a good grid. my biggest expenses are schools and health.

#20 Posted by djou (878 posts) -

@zfubarz: Ugh, why is this game so fucking broken. Now that I get onto the servers without a problem there are dozens of game crippling bugs. What you describe is exactly what I've been experiencing. I'm stuck with thousands of processors in my tech/tourist city. The city next to me had a dept of tourism which was destroyed by meteors and doesn't register even though it was rebuilt. I have a stadium which brings in money but I can't feed it to my surrounding city which house my garbage dumps and airport. If they don't address these issues by this weekend, I'm done with this game...

#21 Edited by zFUBARz (637 posts) -

@djou: Yeah, I've got some mid terms and a paper due, I think I'm gonna take a break for a week or two and see what gets settled, maybe it'll work a bit by then.

#22 Posted by DonPixel (2627 posts) -

Having low/medium/high relationship between population and stores/industry seems key. Its kinda lame because then you are forced to have either a medium, low or high city all around.

The more I play this game the most frustrating I find its limitations.

#23 Posted by zFUBARz (637 posts) -

@donpixel: I think Ideally you should be able to have it balance with tourism and commuters but since that's still not in great shape it's a bit rough.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.