Contributor/author(s): Wren Weburg
They're big, they're bad, and they can be kinda ugly. But they do one thing quite well -- they boost a city's population. However, there's a few tricks to using them that you may not have known...
In DOS version 1.1 (both from the updater and the CD versions), Windows versions, and Mac 1.1 or later versions, the launch arcologies will launch, giving you that pleasant message, "The exodus has begun." But exactly when will this happen?
In order for your Launch Arcologies to blast off into space,
In addition, you must have one of the versions specified above. The event really isn't as cool as it sounds. The arcologies don't really launch. They blow up, as if you would have bulldozed them. And it takes a long time, as each blows up in the sequence you built it. If you've never seen an arcology launch in SimCity 2000, don't worry. You're not missing anything too cool. As a matter of fact, it's a royal pain. The good thing, though, is that you get compensated when they've finished launching.
For DOS users, only the first 140 arcologies built will count towards your city's population. This is due to resource and memory limitations. Your city will only keep track of 150 microsimulators -- arcologies, police stations, hospitals, and others may have a microsimulator that reports its local statistics. After you've built 150 of these in SimCity 2000, regardless of what version you have, you will stop receiving local data for nearly every building with a microsimulator (except any of the first 140 arcologies built). Each structure still does its job (police stations still reduce crime, fire stations still prevent fire), but any arcology after the 140th is merely dead weight. That's why DOS SimCity 2000 cities top out at around 9.4 million sims (9.6 - 11.3 million if SCURK is used). The math is simple. With 140 Launch Arcologies, each with about 65,000 people, you get a combined internal population of ~9.1 million plus whatever else is built in the city (the external population).
When the Windows versions of SimCity 2000 came out, along with the Macintosh 1.1 (and 1.2) updaters, it was possible for any arcology built after the 140th to count towards the population. Maxis states that every arcology built after the 140th will be given the average population of the first 140. Not true. In actual testing, each additional arcology adds only about 20,000 people to the population, regardless of which arcology you place. If what Maxis said was true, you could place 961 launch arcologies in the city and end up with about 62.5 million people (at least until the launch arcologies blasted off in 2050). That's not nearly the case.
Working around limitations, it's quite easy to build virtually the largest possible population. Just place 140 Launch arcologies, and then fill in the remaining space with any other arcology (preferably the Forest Arco since it's cheapest). The result is Millenium 25, with a population of 25,493,121 when ran under Windows 3.1 or 95.
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