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[Project Journal] The United Cities of Talaran

Pierre, thanks very much for your post !!

I have a lot of experience with Abandonment  , ( even in my current city)..
Although I agree this is a  very large area to have to happen. And so of course it would be rare when this many buildings go empty..

One thing I am quite sure about in my situations, .. is the larger the city gets, the more this becomes an issue for me . This is also why I commonly have big swings in population values in a cyclical type fashion. It is not that unusual at all for me to have this.

I used to think it had something to do with the traffic sim struggling to handle so many residences in a larger city. ( and maybe this would also dependent on other factors like your pc specs for example.) But I could never get Steve (z) to agree with this theory Smile

I can post more about this issue, but i think its better to wait for questions or your next reply here..
Sports fanatic
Thanks for your comments, Brian. Let's continue this interesting discussion.

Unlike you, I have little experience with abandonment. In fact, the second to last time this happened on me was several years ago, when I did sever the inter-city links in a city in order to deal with the 'eternal commuter syndrom': the residents close to where I severed the links all went away and the buildings got abandoned, but there the reason was quite obvious.

This is not happening in the current case. The 'culprit' is quite probably the traffic simulator. I remember the discussions you had with Steve about the simulator being unable to cope with large volumes of "things" to handle (Sims, means of transportation, bus stops, subway stations, railway lines, etc etc), and therefore 'dropping the ball', as it were. I tended to side with Steve on that.

In fact, nobody, even Steve at the time, knows how the simulator works, because it is part of the game's code which was never released. All we can do is conjecture how it works, based on observations of how it handles the various traffics in the cities we play. Steve and others went very far on those observations and deductions, so that we can say today that we know rather well how the simulator works - but exactly how, we'll never really know.

When a computer has a lot to do, it doesn't 'drop' arbitrarily some instructions, it simply slows down, so that the work to do takes a longer time, but eventually all instructions in the code that have to be processed get processed. On the other hand, it is possible that the simulator's code contains a kind of 'threshold' where, when it is reached, the simulator 'gives up' on the work it is doing, and leaves things in an unstable, incomplete state, that causes various malfunctions including abandonment 'because of excessive commuting time'.

For example, a 'time limit' could have been coded in the simulator; when that time limit (either in actual seconds, based on the computer's clock, or in game time) is reached, the simulator drops its work and doesn't 'clean up'.

In the current case, the abandonment occured in the largest city in the cluster, that had just reached a population of 1.3 Mio Sims. That city has an extensive subway/GLR network with many stations, plus bus stops, railway lines and stations, highways and a good road network, as well a links to another city in the cluster. Clearly, when the simulator runs, it has a lot to do. I'll keep watching the development of the city, and generally monitor closely the simulator's works in other cities.

Btw, I have another nasty syndrom in a few cities: I think that it could be a case of prop pox. I'll document it later.
The population of the Talaran cluster reached 10 Mio Sims.

That milestone should be a cause for celebration, but I am a bit worried about what could be a case of "prop pox" in some of the cities. I'll show an instance where props have vanished. I am not familiar enough with the prop pox syndrom, therefore I cannot say with certainty whether this is a case. If this can be confirmed I'll do some digging in the SC4D forums to see what doc exists about prop pox and possible ways to cure it

Here is an example of what I am seeing:

[Image: 8YOMIy.jpg]

The props of the medium parc, as well as those of the embankments (I circled 2 areas but actually an entire section of embankments has disappeared), are no longer present. Is this how prop pox manifests itself?
Congrats on the 10 mil! Though, that does seem to be an annoying bug...

first congrats, on reaching 10 million in your region..

I asked Tibi about the prop pox.., and he does think its possible it is.
But we are both puzzled that you could have this if you have installed Sim masters fix to prevent this ?
Sports fanatic
Ahh.... There is nothing to be surprised about, because I never installed the fix of Simmaster. I suppose that I should do this asap. And after that, use the instructions given in the thread (on Simtropolis) to cure the syndrom in the existing cities where it is occuring.
yes exactly..

But keep us updated of course on your progress..

we can get plenty of help for this in discord still Smile
Sports fanatic
Well, there is nothing that I like better than a fix that does what it claims, and is easy to implement. The SC4Fix.dll file contains the fix to the dreaded Prop Pox issue, and there is an easy procedure to apply to existing cities that have been affected. I did as much, and I am very pleased with the result. Here is a picture of the same area of one of my cluster cities, with the restored props:

[Image: ZcGISn.jpg]

Did all props come back? Well, not quite: a very small amount of embankment puzzle pieces were still 'naked'. It took me about two minutes to fix them manually. This is a small price to pay - I was afraid that I would have to bulldoze and replop all infected puzzle pieces. The game is nice and does most of it during the procedure mentioned above.
Looking much better! Glad you got it worked out. That would have been frustrating to continue with after so much work.
Now that the dreaded prop pox bug has been fixed, i can return to the normal development of the cities in both the Talaran and the Sambey clusters - in a round-robin fashion, so that each city in turn sees some development.

I mentioned that I passed the 10 Mio Sims mark in the Talaran cluster. Here are the statistics of the cities in both clusters:

[Image: TcWwLr.jpg]

The largest city is Prandergal with over 1.304 Mio Sims, closely followed by Salveille.

My next goals, population-wise, are:
- total region population reaching 15 Mio Sims
- the largest city in Talaran reaching 1.5 Mio Sims
There is still a lot of potential in the Sambey cluster, now that the cities there are been gradually 'normalized'
...              first that is very good news now the Prop Pox seems an issue (of the past ) for you..

But also a very big congrats on passing 10 million ( n your Talaran cluster).. in your region !

That is a very significant goal ( obviously)..

Also another amazing feat and certainly something to be proud of, is having 7 different cities that surpass a population of  1 million.

I would think very few players have achieved this goal to be sure, my friend...

You are getting quite close now to 15 million in your region also as you noted,
Sports fanatic
This is about another discrepancy in statistics.

I query a commercial building in the commercial zone of my Deramey city:

[Image: WXHm42.jpg]

It is a stage 15 building, and the stats show 1899 workers, out of a possible total of 2032 workplaces in the building.

Now I want to see how these workers commute to work, so I use the Route Query:

[Image: zKZrM8.jpg]

Surprise! Only 152 Sims come to work using GLR (here shown as 'train aerien' = elevated rail) and subway. What about the others? Why is there such a discrepancy between the number of workers shown by the building query, and the number of commuters shown by the route query? The building exists in the city since a long time, so it is not a matter of not properly adjusted stats shortly after the building is erected.
That's a MAJOR statistical discrepancy. For a stats-nerd that has to be frustrating. Even if they took the easy way out and did a little formula and set the rest as pedestrians. Something. That's crazy.
there are 2 additional ideas to consider here-

1) i think the 1899 number just tells you what the maximum occupants you can have at any given time as a function of the current desirability factors..

2) I think the number of occupants in a given building can vary as a function of time and other factors

For example similar to how you sometimes have a motel partially occupied during its off season perhaps , and so you still have some empty rooms that can be filled.
But at other times you may have a full motel which is filled to its maximum , when things are going well.. or just when the motel is "in season" ..
Sports fanatic
I have noticed this as well, it's particularly extreme when you zone an area of farms without also zoning any residential at the same time, there will be zero commuters at all to any of the farms, even after going through a cycle of loading all the neighboring tiles to see if commuters will change to commute to the new farms. I don't think I have seen the reverse situation where there are more commuters to a building than there are jobs available in the building, except in industrial where a bunch of buildings are merged and act as one entity in the game's routing anyways.

I have no idea why they have the number of jobs that it says are filled be absolutely unrelated to the number of commuters that reach the building, but it can be frustrating.
I consulted the Prima Guide. It contains the following information about Occupancy,

"Occupancy dictates that any given RCI building contains a fixed capacity of Sims, a maximum number that can live/work/shop inside. The physical size of the building dictates the number of Sims assigned to a building. (...) In regard to Residential buildings, this capacity can change based on the developer type currently residing in the building. (...) In Residential buildings, the less well-off occupying Sims are, the less space they require and the more Sims can occupy a lot."

The change in maximal occupancy doesn't apply to Commercial buildings, that maximal occupancy always stays the same.

The maximal occupancy is shown by the second, rightmost, number in the line showing the occupancy in the building query.

The actual occupancy is shown by the first, leftmost, number in that line.

(I can't quote the Prima Guide verbatim, because the information is a bit scattered there).

From which follows that the 1899 number in my last example shows the actual occupancy, the number of Sims currently working in the building. This confirms that there is a vast discrepancy between that number of workers, and the 152 number shown by the route query for the same building.

Now, for good measure, here is a more extreme example. I regrouped the 2 queries in a single picture:

[Image: 74IWDI.jpg]

The building query shows 1568 workers in the building; the route query shows zero commuters to the building - nada, zilch. I have actually scores of buildings in the same case, in various cities.

Because the buildings stay healthy, don't degrade and show no abandonment, my view is that the building query is accurate, and that somehow the traffic simulator is not behaving properly. Traffic queries would show very little or no traffic on the roads and streets around such buildings, nearly empty bus stops and subway stations, etc. I used to worry about this, but I no longer bother about it. It is a quirk, or/and a bug in the game.

I'll return next to some challenging commuting and mass transit-related issues.
Interesting. How often does this issue show up? Would, say, rebuilding the affected building cause a significant change (read: fix the glitch) in the number of actual citizens simulated by the route simulator?

About the frequency of occurence of the issue: it is difficult to assess. From my observations I can determine two facts:
1. The issue seems to appear only in large cities, population-wise.
2. The buildings where this is noted are all Commercial - then, the destination of morning commutes, and they are not scattered here and there in the CBD, they tend to be regrouped in one or more areas.
I'll try to show this 'regrouping' in a later post.

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