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SimCity: Working Up SimCity Wealth

Hello again everyone! Previously, I talked to you about how roads affect density and how you get a city started in SimCity, so today I want to talk about how to make your city grow in Wealth. Wealthy Sims bring with them high rises and skyscrapers, as well as needs that others Sims will hardly complain about. Despite having a lower population density, these Sims are more demanding, and much harder to keep around. In the end, wealthy Sims can be a boon to your city, providing significantly more income than other Sims if managed well, or a burden if you aren’t up to the task.

In SimCity, you’ll find attracting high wealth Sims to your town and growing in wealth is fairly easy, however as I mentioned, the challenge comes in keeping wealthy Sims and businesses in your city. While all RCI buildings have basic needs, like water, power, sewage, and garbage, higher wealth Sims are more sensitive when their needs aren’t met and will become more vocal and less happy the more you ignore their needs. Education, pollution reduction, better crime suppression, and consistency in all your services will become a priority as your Sims go up in wealth. Additionally each RCI category has a service that becomes more important the more of them you have. Industrial buildings are more prone to fires, commercial buildings are more sensitive to crimes, and residents will go home and stay there is they get sick, demanding more health services.

Based on what your focus is, you’ll want to make sure you have enough buildings to respond to their needs. Industrial cities will want to focus on fire and garbage services, commercial cities on police and transportation. Individual services can cover a fair amount of your City, but unlike the suppression radius of previous SimCity games, these units have to actually travel to the problem areas, so you need to keep your streets clear with public transportation (covered in detail in Lead Gameplay Scripter Guillaume’s past blog post) and make sure to expand your services to cover multiple fires, crimes, or injuries, particularly as these buildings grow in density.

As you place service and infrastructure buildings to meet your city’s needs, you will see the land value of your city begin to change for better or worse, and in turn you will see some of your residential and commercial buildings upgrade to reflect these changes. Industrial buildings are less particular about where they like to be, and instead grow in tech level by having college or University education in the city. High tech buildings provide less air pollution, higher profit margins, and less of a negative impact on the land value of the neighbourhoods that are nearby (though don’t expect anyone to build mansions nearby).

Controlling your land value to attract specific wealth classes is an important part of managing your city, and while getting mid wealth residential and commercial buildings is a natural part of improving conditions in your city, getting more than a handful takes some sprucing up. Players who decide they want to take on the challenges of higher wealth will mostly impact the wealth of their neighborhoods by improving them with parks. Parks come in a wide variety of flavors in SimCity, but can be generally broken into three categories: Low Wealth, Mid Wealth, and High Wealth. Low Wealth parks provide some happiness to the local Sims, and a place for Sims and their kids to hang out and keep out of trouble. Mid Wealth parks attract mid wealth buildings, and are generally nature or sports themed. High Wealth parks tend to revolve around sculptures and fountains and other expensive but nice to look at elements, and will attract high wealth buildings. Building parks in a neighbourhood will spur the development of buildings of that wealth class in a radius around them, and building them in areas with a high natural land value, or overlapping the influence of another park will widen this effect. On the other hand buildings that are noisy, dangerous, or heavy polluters will decrease the land value around them, so be careful where you place them.

I hope this gives you a better sense of how you can attract and keep wealthy Sims and businesses in SimCity. The diversity and challenge of playing the wealth game means spinning a lot of plates, but I think you’ll be happy with the results if you take on the challenge!

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