I AM HAVING NO JOB ZOT PROBLEMS, WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?
It’s all connected to the amount of jobs commercial and industrial buildings create for each wealth level. For example dirty industry will not create one single job for wealthy sims, and not even the biggest, shiniest skyscraper provides more than 15% high-wealth jobs.
I CAN’T GET SKYSCRAPERS! WHY?
First, they require you to reach a certain level of population before they will appear. Second, you need to have enough demand for skyscrapers to appear. If you only have 500 units of demand shown on the demand graph, then you should not be expecting a skyscraper with a capacity of 3000 to appear. And third, you need good desirability for most skyscrapers to appear. Developers probably aren’t going to build a skyscraper in your commercial zone if it’s right next to a landfill or messy power plant. Finally, skyscrapers require water service – they will not appear without it.
I CAN’T MAKE MONEY, AND MY CITIES KEEP FAILING BECAUSE OF IT! WHY?
You’re probably spending way too much money on city services. Lower your funding for basic services. This is the easiest place to reduce expenses. Each individual health and education building has its own funding slider if you click the query tool on it. As long as you keep the maximum capacity higher than the number of people using that building, there is no reduction in its effects. Don’t waste money on police and fire coverage in a small town. Small cities don’t need police coverage at all, and one small fire station in the industrial area should prevent most fires from starting. Finally, don’t spend unnecessary cash on schools. If money’s tight, use only libraries, museums, and colleges. Cover all residential zones with library coverage, and build a musuem and college. Lower the funding for all of these so the capacity is only what you need. Education rises more slowly this way, but it can save you a LOT of money in the long run.
WHY CAN’T I GET HIGH TECH INDUSTRY?
If your city’s average education quotient (EQ) is low, you won’t see any significant demand for High Tech Industries. Demand for high tech industry increases significantly when the average EQ climbs past 150, and the higher you can get it, the better demand will be. A water supply is the other critical requirement. High Tech industry simply refuses to grow unless it is supplied with water. It hates pollution of all kinds, air, water and garbage, so always check your graphs where you want it to develop.
MY R$$$ BUILDINGS ARE SHOWING NO JOB ZOTS AND ABANDONING OR DILAPIDATING? HELP!
The reason R$$$ are so prone to abandonment is because out of all the residential wealth levels, they have the hardest time finding jobs. Co$$$ is the single-best employer for R$$$ sims in the entire game, and in Co$$$, a mere 15% of the jobs provided are for R$$$ sims. So that means even in the huge Co$$$ skyscrapers, there are not many R$$$ jobs. If a Co$$$ building has 5,000 total jobs, only 750 of those are for R$$$ sims. The other 4,250 go to R$$ and R$ sims. For Co$$ and IHT, the figure drops even further. These types of employer only provide 10% of their total jobs to R$$$. The only other significant R$$$ employer is Cs$$$, which provides a mere 8% of its jobs to R$$$ sims. the only real way out of the cycle is to use taxes to keep R$$$ sims from overbuilding. The first guideline is that R$$$ taxes should NEVER be set below the taxes for R$$ and R$ sims. That’s just asking for trouble. The tax rate to use for R$$$ is hard to specify exactly, because it will vary depending on conditions in your city, as well as the size of the city. Generally, early on you should use a higher rate, like 11 or 12%. Later on, the rate will drop to 10% or lower.
HOW COME MY SIMS AREN’T USING THE MASS TRANSIT I’VE BUILT?
Your public transportation likely doesn’t get your sims from their homes to their jobs faster than their cars can. To get sims to use mass transit systems in the first place, Maxis programmed the traffic speeds for all forms of public transportation to be faster than those of cars on the road. The intended result was that sims would take the quickest route (in terms of time) to work. If mass transit options are nearby, sims are more likely to take those instead of driving. Unfortunately, due to errors in the pathfinding engine of the unmodified game, sims tend to take the shortest route (in terms of distance) to work, whether it is the quickest or not. This, of course, causes your commute times to be higher than they should be. Pathfinding mods, like those found in the Network Addon Mod, are capable of more or less correcting this problem.