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A Case Study and Summary of Findings Concerning Broken Worker/Freight Model  XML
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Joined: 07/28/2011 02:20:31
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A number of people have complained in other threads about the broken worker model, so I proceeded to make a test city to try and determine the extent to which it may be broken. This topic summarizes these preliminary findings. There is most definitely something broken right now, either with the model or the way the model is being reported in the population tab.

Here is my current city data (Population 109,000):

$: 6,536 possible workers/6,536 working/0 commuting out/0 unemployed/0 commuting in/14,037 Total Jobs/8,401 Unfulfilled jobs

$$: 2,823 possible workers/2,823 working/0 commuting out/0 unemployed/0 commuting in/9,368 Total jobs/6,545 Unfilled jobs

$$$: 967 possible workers/967 working/0 commuting out/0 unemployed/0 commuting in/Total jobs 3,217/2,250 Unfilled jobs

Freight: 360 freight produced/360 orders satisfied/32,340 Freight orders/31,980 Unfilled freight orders

So, about 1/3 of my jobs in my city are actually staffed with people, and 2/3rds are empty offices with no one around. Also, none of my commercial buildings are receiving any freight, yet they still have tons of merchandise to sell according to my commercial population tab.

Every single commercial, industrial and specialization building is functioning at 100%, and no building, ever, has complained about not having workers. Those must be some pretty efficient people who are actually working! Furthermore, not one of my commercial buildings are stocked with any goods whatsoever, yet they're all exclaiming how they're making "huge profits!" and proceeding to upgrade in density.

Here is where I suspect the problem lies: As people have mentioned, the game seems to scale the jobs model (and likely the traffic model) non-linearly as a function of total population. However, specialization buildings (and likely other commercial and industrial buildings) do not scale with the jobs they create relative to city population. Thus, when you plop a mining building at low population levels, the number of jobs it provides relative to the number workers makes sense: let's say it provides 500 $ jobs, you increase your worker population by increasing your $ pop from 2,000 people to 2,500-3,000 people and fill those jobs. However, when you place the same building when you have 100,000 initial population in your city, you may have to raise your $ population by 10,000 just to fill the same number of worker slots because the model has scaled down the importance of each individual at higher populations. So, what 1 or 2 apartment buildings would have staffed in the original mine model now takes 10-20.

Obviously this creates major space issues later in the game, as well as a mindtrip trying to figure out how the same exact mine can somehow provide 10-20x the number of jobs it did an hour ago. The reason most people haven't realized how big of a problem this would become is because the model is actually quite broke in how it represents unfilled jobs and freight. Look at my stats above: Given those deficits, my town should have ground to a complete standstill ages ago. My city should never have been allowed to grow if none of the existing job positions were filled, and certainly not if there was absolutely no freight being provided to the commercial district. What the heck are they selling to make their profit?

And yet it's running perfectly at 109,000 population. I'm running at a -50,000/hr deficit yet still making millions every day because I pooped out processor and TV factories that, apparently aren't being staffed with anyone but still operating at 100% efficiency. Right now, because the unfilled jobs model is so broke, it is way, way too easy to simply plop specialized buildings and never have to worry about what the game should be about: population balance.

So, to summarize my theories:

1) Number of workers produced per unit of population is non-linearly scaled, whereas jobs provided by specialized and plop-able service buildings (and possibly other C/I buildings) are not scaled at all. This is especially apparent and problematic at higher total pops;

2) Unfilled jobs seem to make no difference whatsoever on whether your commercial/industry/specialized buildings can function;

3) Freight is completely irrelevant to everything in the game. Commercial districts do not need freight to continue to provide merchandise to shoppers.

Things to test next: Confirm that specialized and pop-able service buildings do indeed provide the exact same number of jobs regardless of overall population.

This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 03/09/2013 03:26:44





Joined: 03/05/2013 01:06:41
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I posted this in the other thread (where you posted this originally).

After thinking about it, I think this model is completely based on trying to make the traffic model work in such a small plot of land, which it doesn't. A lot of people have trouble with 100k poplulation and 10k people attempting to drive/mass transit to work and shop. Imagine if they doubled that or even tripled it. They need to do a complete rework of traffic in my opinion. I should not always have my industry bar at full demand when there is absolutely no way that I could get population numbers to fit that demand, even across multiple regions.




Joined: 03/09/2012 19:58:21
Messages: 59
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So in short, as population rises, it effectively reduces your work force and increases vacant jobs at the same time.

Ultimately, a city winds up being 75% residential, with no required level of industry and enough commercial to meet shopper demand.

Industrial zoning only exists to employ 'leftovers' from commercial tuning, and even that can be transferred to Specialization buildings for employment, assuming addons increase the needed workforce at all.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 03/09/2013 03:35:51





Joined: 07/28/2011 02:20:31
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Here is some additional data confirming plopables that provide jobs do not scale with population. (All jobs are $ jobs).

Coal Plant/Big City

Total jobs: 15,367 before coal plant/15,387 after coal plant = 20 jobs

Coal Plant/Small City

Total jobs: 0 before coal plant/20 after coal plant = 20 jobs

Mine/Big city

Total jobs: 15,367 before mine/15,507 after mine = 140 jobs

Mine/Small City

Total jobs: 260 before mine/400 after mine = 140 jobs

Big City: 10,326 total workers and 5,162 shoppers = 15,488 total out of 103,039 total citizens ---> 87,551 MIA citizens

Initial population breakdown of small town: 78 (52 workers/26 shoppers), all citizens accounted for

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 03/09/2013 04:27:18





Joined: 07/28/2011 02:20:31
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[quote=sharkh20]I posted this in the other thread (where you posted this originally).

After thinking about it, I think this model is completely based on trying to make the traffic model work in such a small plot of land, which it doesn't. A lot of people have trouble with 100k poplulation and 10k people attempting to drive/mass transit to work and shop. Imagine if they doubled that or even tripled it. They need to do a complete rework of traffic in my opinion. I should not always have my industry bar at full demand when there is absolutely no way that I could get population numbers to fit that demand, even across multiple regions.[/quote]

Yes, I think that's exactly why they did it this way, but in the end it broke more things than it solved. Having a scaling traffic model is fine, and I'm not sure why they just didn't make every "car" on the road actually represent increasing numbers of sims that live in the city (i.e. 1 car = 1 sim at low pops, 1 car = 10 sims at higher pops). Playing around with scaling the actual sims in the workforce too, when jobs created isn't scaled, makes for an enormous problem later.

But my bigger point above was the unfilled jobs/freight doesn't even matter. It has literally no bearing at higher pops on whether your city functions. 1/3rd of my jobs in my test city were being filled, but it was still functioning just fine.

Furthermore, freight was not being delivered at all, yet C was still making huge profits.

I'm starting to think maybe these two aspects of the model were intentionally broken to try and salvage the workability of the scaling differences between workers available and jobs provided at high populations.

Of course, all of this theorycrafting might be irrelevant if the bug is simply a reporting issue between what the game model is actually doing and what it is displaying in the population statistics tab. We need confirmation on whether the population statistics are reporting correctly before we try and theorize a fix on the much more complicated workers/jobs/traffic model.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 03/09/2013 04:08:18





Joined: 03/05/2013 01:06:41
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It really does just look like they had to break a whole bunch of things in the sake of getting the glassbox engine to run. Really annoying to have a simulation game that doesn't simulate anything. This is the type of thing that needs a really long beta to actually get working.




Joined: 02/18/2013 18:41:53
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Wow, that was surprisingly well written, and interesting. It seems odd that they'd go to such lengths with this simulation, and then make parts of it completely irrelevant though.




Joined: 01/26/2013 04:24:57
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Man, I think there is something wrong with your "case study"...

1. You take your date and analyse it, that's ok.

2. You start making assumptions on why the game does not behave as we would expect, that's also ok

3. You discuss only one possible problem and say it potentially breaks the game. You assume it must be true and the game is indeed broken without thinking about other theories or having evidence to prove us your are right. Just showing the consequence and explaining what you think is the cause is not enough.

I guess you should at first consider more simple alternatives other than that complicated idea because of 2 simple reasons: you didn't have any evidence that could be true (or you did but didn't show it to us here, and then I take this back) and there is a much more simple idea that could explain your problem, and it is that the notification system of the game broken. Although this might as well not be true, it is worth considering (just as every other idea) and testing. The difference is there is some evidence it does not work, as you have already shown.





Joined: 02/18/2013 18:41:53
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One thing to point out is that in you city of over 100,000 people you have less than 10,000 workers. That seems more than a little odd to me.




Joined: 03/03/2013 06:04:54
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[quote=mono_NAJAS]Man, I think there is something wrong with your "case study"...

1. You take your date and analyse it, that's ok.

2. You start making assumptions on why the game does not behave as we would expect, that's also ok

3. You discuss only one possible problem and say it potentially breaks the game. You assume it must be true and the game is indeed broken without thinking about other theories or having evidence to prove us your are right. Just showing the consequence and explaining what you think is the cause is not enough.

I guess you should at first consider more simple alternatives other than that complicated idea because of 2 simple reasons: you didn't have any evidence that could be true (or you did but didn't show it to us here, and then I take this back) and there is a much more simple idea that could explain your problem, and it is that the notification system of the game broken. Although this might as well not be true, it is worth considering (just as every other idea) and testing. The difference is there is some evidence it does not work, as you have already shown.




Game, set, match.
[/quote]




Joined: 07/28/2011 02:20:31
Messages: 19
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[quote=mono_NAJAS]Man, I think there is something wrong with your "case study"...

1. You take your date and analyse it, that's ok.

2. You start making assumptions on why the game does not behave as we would expect, that's also ok

3. You discuss only one possible problem and say it potentially breaks the game. You assume it must be true and the game is indeed broken without thinking about other theories or having evidence to prove us your are right. Just showing the consequence and explaining what you think is the cause is not enough.

I guess you should at first consider more simple alternatives other than that complicated idea because of 2 simple reasons: you didn't have any evidence that could be true (or you did but didn't show it to us here, and then I take this back) and there is a much more simple idea that could explain your problem, and it is that the notification system of the game broken. Although this might as well not be true, it is worth considering (just as every other idea) and testing. The difference is there is some evidence it does not work, as you have already shown.

[/quote]

In my very first paragraph of my post, I say "there is most definitely something broken right now, either with the model [b]or the way the model is being reported in the population tab[/b]".

I then, in a follow-up post, re-iterate:

"Of course, all of this theorycrafting might be irrelevant if the bug is simply a reporting issue between what the game model is actually doing and what it is displaying in the population statistics tab. We need confirmation on whether the population statistics are reporting correctly before we try and theorize a fix on the much more complicated workers/jobs/traffic model."

Did you even read these posts?

Also, a statistical display error may explain the unfulfilled jobs issue but would not explain why I have absolutely no freight being produced anywhere (because I have no industrial zoned at all in the region) and yet commercial is still running fine.

This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 03/09/2013 04:36:19





Joined: 01/26/2013 04:24:57
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I had to edit my post:

Yeah, I didn't see your posts. The quotes are not displaying correctly for me and it mixes old text with new text and makes it a pain to read.

The problem of the freight could be explained by not all commerce needing freight to work...

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 03/09/2013 04:44:11





Joined: 07/28/2011 02:20:31
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Well, the main issue for this jobs discussion is how nearly 90,000 sims in a city of 103,000 (90%) are not being reported as working, shopping or commuting, whereas in low pops 100% of sims are being reported as working, shopping or commuting).

To me, this means:

1) Either the statistics are not being reported correctly at high pops;

2) The total number of workers/shoppers is being non-linearly scaled as a function of population;

3) Sims are disappearing somewhere as population increases (i.e. broken code somewhere).

1 and 3 are bugs that can be fixed by modifying the code, 2 is a bigger issue that involves possibly re-working the entire model and likely won't be easily solved.

This is all I can think of that would affect the data we're all seeing.

Then there's the issue of that irrelevant freight (I'm pretty sure that wasn't intentional)...which makes me think these issues might be linked to coding bugs.




Joined: 07/28/2011 02:20:31
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[quote=mono_NAJAS]I had to edit my post:

Yeah, I didn't see your posts. The quotes are not displaying correctly for me and it mixes old text with new text and makes it a pain to read.

The problem of the freight could be explained by not all commerce needing freight to work...
[/quote]

But who is putting in the huge number of freight orders then (remember I have 30,000 unfulfilled freight orders)? The test city I have has pretty much every type of commercial in the game ($, $$, $$$/low,med,high densities/shops,hotels). If none of these C buildings order freight, then who does?

Here's another little tidbit: I is dependent on C to buy their freight, otherwise I goes out of business. But C is not dependent on I to produce the freight, as C does not go out of business if they don't get freight shipments.

This allows you to basically run an entire region without ever really having any I at all, and supplying all jobs via C and specialized buildings. Obviously this isn't functioning correctly.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 03/09/2013 04:55:31





Joined: 01/26/2013 04:24:57
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[quote=deathTouch2k][quote=mono_NAJAS]I had to edit my post:

Yeah, I didn't see your posts. The quotes are not displaying correctly for me and it mixes old text with new text and makes it a pain to read.

The problem of the freight could be explained by not all commerce needing freight to work...
[/quote]

But who is putting in the huge number of freight orders then (remember I have 30,000 unfulfilled freight orders)? The test city I have has pretty much every type of commercial in the game ($, $$, $$$/low,med,high densities/shops,hotels). If none of these C buildings order freight, then who does?[/quote]


I can think of 2 answers depending on the industry behavior, try adding some and see what happens:

1. Commercial says they are running fine (and you see that in your city)
2. Commercial places many freight orders that go unfulfilled
3. At the same time, industry says freight makes tons of profit

likely result = notification problem with commercial (they get freight but say they don't)

or:


1. Commercial says they are running fine (and you see that in your city)
2. Commercial places many freight orders that go unfulfilled
3. At the same time, industry says there is no places to ship to

Result = much serious problem, as many things could be wrong. Maybe the trucks don't get to the place, maybe they are not even dispatched at all, maybe the industry does not recognize the orders, etc. this could go on for some time.

What do you think?


EDIT: something may be also wrong with the commercial getting to run with no freights. They may be getting it from neighbors or they may just be malfunctioning and working without the need of freights (while the game says they need them).

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 03/09/2013 04:56:23

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