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So, You're a Newb....So, you're a newb. We've all been there before. Now you're probably wondering how you can go from noob to warlord like Whiteboy or econmeister like Green Starfish in 6 easy steps! Well, you can't. This game isn't about speed for new players. There is a lot to learn and you have a ways to go before you will be taking down the mighty C3s (Computer Controlled Countries) that stand between you and SC greatness. This guide will acclimate you to the game and give you advice on how best to procede. It is not the be-all end-all. There are many more things you will learn as you spend your time playing. The tips here will lead you to a good start and will answer most of the questions you may have. Should you have further questions after reading this guide, visit the chatroom or forums. There are several helpful players you will find who are glad to have new players to interact with. (There are also grumpy old sods that you should avoid, but you'll figure that out on your own.)
As mentioned earlier, this is not an action game. This is a simulation game. If you want to go from noob to attacking JoJotheHuns entire empire in a week, this game may not be right for you. This game is for the more dedicated type of player that enjoys developing a large empire over quite a few months of time. You will spend several weeks or months developing your country to sustain an economy and, maybe someday, an army worth using in a fight. So, this guide will take you through the steps of setting up your country, improving its economy, and getting ready for your first fight.
The absolute first thing you should understand is this: SimCountry is not a free game. You will have a 2 week trial period, after which you have to spend $4 per month to continue (paying at least 3 months at a time). Don't bother complaining. It doesn't help. Either cough up the cash or go find another game.
SC Community (Because the rest of the interwebs suck)
Another thing you should be aware of is that this is an online game and you will be playing with (or against) other real live people. This means, that in order to do well, you will probably need to get involved in the community, meat some of the players, join an alliance, etc. To do this, you can send messages from your country, post them on the forums, or log into the chat room. Getting involved in the community is the best way for you to get the most out of this game. Most players are willing to help you as long as you don't act like a fool.
The forums and chat room are moderated by Laguna and sometimes Tommi. This is where many noobs go to tick-off veterans. Don't be that noob! Those noobs don't last long in this game. Players like CraftyCockney are constantly on asshat patrol and will gladly take out noobs that are disrespectful or completely obnoxious in the chat/forums.
STEP 1: SETTINGS
So, you've made it past the log in screen! Congratulations! Having an email address (real or bogus) and making up a password has earned you control of a small country! You're excited, your subjects are ready for CHANGE, and your parents must be ever so proud. Well, you're still a newb, so don't get all hoity toity just yet. First, you will need to settle down and get "thine house in order". Meaning, you need to apply the recommended settings. So Noobert, make your screen look just like this pretty picture:
STEP 2: Educate Them Fools
Now you're probably starting to feel pretty darn good about yourself. After all, you've come all the way to Step 2 while diligently copying other peoples hard work. Well, SNAP OUT OF IT NOOB! You have much more work to do if you plan to take on WildEyes or the 3M federation any time soon! How are you going to do that? By improving your economy so you can afford a war. How will you do that when your people are dumb as rocks and all your workers know how to do is plant soybeans and mine wood? You can't. You will need to educate those fools so that they go off to those fancy type university and get those big boy degrees. You need engineers, doctors, and other high skilled professionals to work in the more profitable corporations and make you some cheese (in Cheese factories, of course). To do that, you need to improve your Education Index. You want the education score of your citizens between 160 - 200. Right now you're probably somewhere between LH - 75. To improve your index, you need to build Elementary Schools, High Schools, and Universities. To do that, you need more Teachers and University Teachers. So, scroll all the way to the top and find "Departments" link in the header. Click and hover over "Education" and select "education priorities".
The below setup will have your country concentrate on pumping out educators so that you can build the educational facilities so that your sims can be educated and educate educated educators to educate others.
Having set your education priorities, you will want to start building your schools and universities. You can do this buy going to that same "Departments" link up top, hovering over the same "Education" drop down item and selecting "build .....". Again, your goal is to get your Education Index betweem 160 and 200. You will notice that when you go to build, the page offers you the amount of schools needed and the amount operational. To get an Eduation Index of 100, the amount of schools needed needs to be equal to the amount of schools operational. To get an Eduation Index of 200, the amount of schools needed needs to be twice that of schools operational.So, build more schools until your operational schools match your target. The Education Index (EI) will equal the lowest index of each type of school (elementary, high, and university), so you should build all of them to the exact same index. If you build 10,000 elementary schools to get an index of 600 but you only have 10 Universities for an index of 50, then your total EI will be around 50 and you will be wasting a lot of money building and on upkeep of those extra elementary schools.
You will be limited in the amount you can build by your workforce, mostly teachers. That is why you changed your educational priorities earlier. The faster you pump out teachers, the more schools you'll be able to build. Once you've reached an Education Index of 120, you should change the educational priorities to match your needs. (Patience, noob, this will be explained later in the guide.) Afterwards, you will start to gain teachers at a more natural rate and continue building without hampering your other worker needs.
One last point to ponder: why a score 160 - 180? Well, 160 will give you a score high enough to reach level 12, and will keep your citizens well educated to supply most of your professional workforce needs while not depleting you of your lower educated workforce (which is still needed). A score of 200 will ensure that you can rapidly produce the professionals you may need but may start to deplete you of your lower skilled workers. It's a trade-off and different scores will be necessary at different points in the game. For example, BlueSerpent may want to save the educational costs by reducing his EI to 160 and make more money in his country and have more High Level Workers for his corporations, whereas Laguna may be preparing for a large war by increasing his EI to 200 to produce more Medium Level Managers that can fill the officer ranks of his army.