Development Diary #9: Economy & Production Hi and welcome back to another development diary for Cities: Skylines II! This time we’ll take …
Greetings mayors, or should I say, investors? Today we’re taking a look at Financial Districts, a mini-expansion for Cities: Skylines arriving on the 13th of December. It brings new financial opportunities to your city such as investing in city services, providing banks for your citizens, and building up your central business district with the new Financial Offices specialization.
The Stock Exchange is central to Financial Districts, it functions as the city’s financial hub unlocking both investments and banks and can be found in the new Financial Buildings tab under Unique Buildings after reaching Milestone 6: Big Town. But the Stock Exchange is more than just a unique building to increase your city’s attractiveness, it provides a tax bonus to any surrounding buildings of the new Financial Offices specialization, and it can be upgraded to increase the bonus and unlock more buildings.
As you earn money from buying and selling investments, you are able to upgrade the Stock Exchange to the next level. Each level unlocks more buildings, like new plazas and bank buildings, and it increases both the tax bonus from Financial Offices and the radius of the effect. While you can also lose money due to bad investments this does not subtract from the progress toward the next level – we felt the money lost was punishing enough
When your Stock Exchange reaches level 5 you are able to construct the International Trade Building which provides a similar tax bonus to the Stock Exchange allowing you to collect an increased tax from even more Financial Offices. However, the International Trade Building cannot level up, and as only the highest bonus is applied, there is no benefit to overlapping the area effects, so placing it strategically can maximize the number of offices paying an increased tax.
Investments offer a new opportunity to earn money for your city, but they carry a certain amount of risk too. You may be able to grow the city’s funds for a new district or interchange, but while the money is tied up in investments, you are unable to spend them if your city experiences an emergency – and that emergency may very well cause stock prices to drop! Whether you invest in your city’s healthcare or Greasy Gasoline Inc., the stock market is tied to the simulation and what happens in your city – for better or worse.
With a Stock Exchange in your city, you gain access to a new panel in the Economy interface listing all possible investments and what is required to unlock them. This is also where you invest in stocks, follow their progress, and hopefully, sell them for a profit. On your left, you have available investments, and on the right, you have any stocks you own and how much you stand to gain or lose by selling them. You can hover over an investment to see the recent developments in price to decide if now is a good time to buy or sell, and you select how many stocks you want to buy or sell using the slider.
Each investment carries a different risk and different potential for success, so choose wisely. If your production chain runs smoothly industries are fairly predictable, but factories shutting down due to a lack of raw materials or flooding will hurt the stock prices. Similarly, when you invest in city services their productivity affects the stock price, so make sure they aren’t having issues and are servicing your citizens.
Banks are a new service that can be found in the updated Police category, called Police & Banks for everyone who owns Financial Districts (without the DLC it’s still the good old Police category). They provide a cash transport service for commercial buildings sending out Cash Transfer Vans to collect money, which is stored for safekeeping at the bank. As a result, commercial buildings services by banks have a reduced risk of crime happening.
Banks come in 3 different sizes, the first one unlocking when the Stock Exchange reaches level 2, with larger options unlocking as the Stock Exchange reaches even higher levels. Larger banks have more Cash Transfer Vans available and can service more commercial buildings keeping your city safer.
Now, let’s have a look at the new district specialization which lends its name to the expansion itself: Financial Offices. Like existing specializations, it’s applied to a district and changes not only the look of the office buildings but also how they work. Financial offices pay a higher tax than regular offices, but at the cost of lower happiness. And let us not forget that they benefit from proximity to both the Stock Exchange and the International Trade Building, increasing your tax income further.
The financial office specialization also has a unique way of upgrading. Instead of upgrading to any bigger and better versions, the office buildings retain their original structure and expand upwards with modern glass extensions – similar to how the Stock Exchange changes appearance as it is upgraded, except this process happens automatically as your office buildings reach new levels.
Financial Districts also comes with 5 new maps featuring a variety of new landscapes ready for your dream city. We hope you enjoy them and we look forward to seeing the amazing new cities you will build on these maps!
We start with a familiar – to us – looking boreal map named Gray Waters, which is inspired by the Finnish lakeland region. The map features many islands of varying sizes and vast forests surrounded by lots of water. Whether your city will take advantage of the natural resources, use the waters for fishing or travel, or simply enjoy the higher land value that comes with waterfront property, Gray Waters is the perfect place for a new city.
Narrow Passage is a temperate map with a natural land bridge linking two large land masses together offering plenty of room for a new metropolis. The lowlands provide lots of fertile land, while the mountains are rich in ore deposits, however, the narrow passage lending its name to the map may prove a challenge when managing traffic in the region.
We head to colder climates again with our second boreal map, River Terrace, which is situated on a large river with great shipping connections. Whether you build your city on the islands or expand towards the mainland, River Terrace lives up to its name with large hills and natural terraces lifting any skyline.
Next up is the beautiful Windblown Coast, where the desert meets the ocean. This tropical map is dotted with oases, is rich in oil, and offers great expanses to build a thriving metropolis along the coast or between the mountains. Off the coast, you will find several artificial islands, which can be turned into tourist destinations or unique neighborhoods. Either way, Windblown Coast offers a unique landscape for your new city.
And last we have the second tropical map of Wyvern Pass, featuring meandering rivers flowing through deep canyons above which you will find rich tropical forests. Will your city cross the dive or leave one side of the canyon untamed? Will you take advantage of the lowlands along the river or the precious ore in the ground? Only time will tell what kind of cities will develop here!
With that, we have reached the end of this dev diary. We hope you enjoyed this look at the new features coming in Financial Districts, which releases on the 13th of December. We’re excited to see how it will be incorporated into your cities and hear about your adventures in investments. As always, we have a free update coming alongside the expansion, which contains a few new goodies and bug fixes – more on that Monday the 12th!