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  1. #1
    Mayor of SimCity Forum Ken's Avatar
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    Simtropolis Network Addon Mod (NAM) - Keeping it realistic

    Thanks to awesomeadvisor787, I learned about the Simtropolis Network Addon Mod (NAM) for SimCity 4 Deluxe or SimCity 4 with the Rush Hour expansion pack. While I haven't tried everything in it yet, I have tried the some of the features and while it fixes some things, some options also take some of the realism out of the game.

    When I first installed NAM I choose the "Radical Custom Special" option for my "traffic plugin." This traffic plugin both greatly improves SimCity's pathfinding heuristics and increases the load capacity of the different network options (e.g. subway lines). I played one of my cities for several hours using this plugin and found that it greatly diminished game play because it took away all of the challenge of managing traffic thus removing some of the realism.

    I uninstalled NAM and then reinstalled it choosing the "Perfect Pathfinding" option for the traffic plugin. Anyone who has looked at the routes Sims take using a unmodified version of SimCity knows that the commuting routes taken can sometimes be really stupid. Perfect Pathfinding resolves this issue by helping to ensure Sims actually take the most efficent routes from point A to point B. I really like the Perfect Pathfinding option because a real person would tend to try and take the shortest/fastest route for their daily commute, thus it improves the realism of the game. Also because Sims are taking smarter routes overall traffic loads are significantly decreased as is average commute times. When using Perfect Pathfinding be fore warned, it does greatly increase the processing and calculations SimCity has to do for a city, which can have a detrimental impact on game performance causing freezes and game studder. To avoid this problem on slower systems, I might recommend choosing the "Better Pathfinding" option instead.

    Another plugin that is part of NAM that I really like are the turning lanes for roads and Avenues. Like in the real world, adding turning lanes greatly helps improve traffic flow at intersections. Once this plugin is installed all one needs to do to retrofit in the turn lanes is to select the appropriate road/avenue type and set a road/avenue tile in the center of each intersection.

    I do have two gripes with the turning lane plugins. The first complaint is that it does not work on intersections with mixed road types (e.g. a road intersecting an avenue) and with U-Drive missions the player driven vehicle has a quirk that causes it to always go into the left hand turn lane at intersections regardless of whether the vehicle is going straight or turning (either to left or right). This bug frequently causes unnecessary crashes during driving missions. Computer driven vehicles don't seem to have this problem. I really wish these two quirks could be fixed.
    Ken Barbalace - Mayor of SimCity Forum
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  2. #2
    I believe with the new NAM they are currenlty working on they are planning to fix both the problems you listed above.

    I love the NAM, mainly for all of the interesting intersections and networks it allows me to create in the game, but like you said there are some factors that can diminish the game's realism.
    Sim City 4 rox my sox!

  3. #3
    Mayor of SimCity Forum Ken's Avatar
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    I've been installing some other mods from Simtropolis and will be reviewing them shortly. My goal with the mods I choose is to make the game a little more realistic and/or resolve what I've always considered to be bugs in SimCity. For instance one mod I'll be reviewing allows one to build subway tunnels and pipes over steeper slopes. Since we can't see the terrain under the water while using terrain modification tools, I've always felt that how picky SimCity was about building subways over steeper cliffs was absurd. In real life this wouldn't be a problem.

    One thing I won't be looking at are the mods that produce money for nothing (e.g. the money tree). Dr. Vu and the other U-Drive missions can certainly produce sufficient money and why play the game if you are going to take all of the challenge out of it?
    Ken Barbalace - Mayor of SimCity Forum
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  4. #4
    Thats what I do, but please for the love of God don't download parking fines or simmiars beta, they are imbalancing and don't work properly!

    Try to download ones that seem to make the most sense or you'll be regretting it!

    I downloaded simmars and it removed all the water and turned the ground into an ugly orange color (no surprise there) and it also gave me ugly buildings that don't work themselves, and an unremovable tool bar that made it almost impossible to see anything!!!!! Sure its a beta, but why put something there that totally ruins the game?? It took me atleast 1year 1 YEAR to remover simmars from my computer forever!!!!(and ever!!!)

  5. #5
    Resident FrankU's Avatar
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    I do love the NAM very much. Ken talks about realism. This is of course a topic you could bother about. I don't anymore. The game itself is not realistic in some ways that consider traffic: the commute times are very long. How could you, in a city that is 2,5 miles or 4 kilometers wide, end up with commute times longer than 1,5 hours? Considering you are not walking....
    But, indeed, the people form Maxis/EA gave the game some balance and I can understand that Ken does not want to affect this balance too much.
    On the other hand: traffic in SC4 takes always the shortest route; even if the street or road is completely congested, nobody will try the slightly longer but much faster route over a highway just nextdoor. On Simtropolis you can find some experiments considering this topic. Also you can find Greyveils Transportation Tutorial. Everyone can learn a lot form this tutorial about how to lay down a good working traffic system.
    The NAM, that's what I was talking about. Gives you the better and the perfect pathfinding options. They can help with better traffic routing, like Ken said already. This is essential, I think.
    Another important thing is the lots of new connection pieces and puzzle pieces. With these puzzle pieces you can run every kind of traffic over every other kind. Rail over ground highway, street over rail, street over rail and ground highway next to each other.... In most cases also in diagonal directions. Also there are more highway onramps and offramps. You have much more possibilities. I am a great fan of these features. I already siad it on another place: I consider the NAM as a kind of SC4-and-a-half

  6. #6
    Has anyone noticed with the NAM that sections with the over the road subway and bus stations show no traffic? Im wondering if the NAM causes issues with trafic in these spot... although I may be mixing up my mods, but the mod that allows over the road subway and bus stations shows no traffic in those areas. I think it may be affecting the customer count on businesses on those sections of road... anyone experience this?

  7. #7
    Also.... how do I increase customer count on business. I have business growing in areas that I want, and increasing in size, but there customer count is always low... why is this ?

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