Guide for Cities: Skylines – How the Industries DLC actually works (rather than how you might expect it to work)
Quite a few people have asserted that the Industries DLC is ‘buggy’, and for quite a while I was inclined to agree. However, after spending a day experimenting with lots of set-ups, I figured out how it actually works as opposed to how I expected it to work, and it doesn’t appear to be bug-ridden after all … this Guide summarises my findings.
Using Forestry as an example …
Even the basic functions of the Forestry Industry aren’t exactly intuitive. For example, basic logic suggested to me that …
Forests produce logs for the Saw Mill
The Saw Mill produces sawdust, that’s pelletised by the Pellet Plant
Then the Pellet Plant produces Paper
But nope, that’s not how things work at all. What actually happens is …
Forests produce both logs and sawdust, both of which are used by the Saw Mill and Pellet Plant. Who would’ve guessed that sawdust could be so easily gathered from the forest floor, or just as easily converted to Planed Timber, or that logs could be readily pelletised …?
Anyway – the game’s bizarre logic aside – the goal is to ensure that all your Resource requirements (logs / sawdust / chips) are met by local industry, so that no Imports are required …
It’s essential to use the Outside Connections button to monitor Import / Export figures. The button will highlight in dark green which Buildings and Vehicles are Importing / Exporting
The ideal balance is that your Processors and Vehicles are Exporting processed materials (Planed Timber / Paper), and your Resources are grey (in other words, not Exporting, because all their materials are going to your Processors)
Obviously, it’s OK if some of your Resources are Exporting (dark green) … that just indicates you’re over-producing raw materials
This is the single most important factor to bear in mind when setting up an Industry …
The effects of changes to an Industry Area – such as adding new Resources (plantations) or Processors (Saw Mill / Pellet Plant) – take a LOT longer to manifest in terms of ingame time than you might expect …
The best way to see if a change has the desired effect is to implement it, then run the game on Fast-Forward for quite a while – all the while monitoring the status of Imports and Exports via the Outside Connections button. The intended effect may take some time to fully manifest, let alone settle down and stabilise.
You can run the game at a six-fold increase in speed by setting the Game Speed to ‘3’, then using the SpeedSlider mod set at 200%.
If the intended effect indeed emerges in the fullness of time, then go ahead – reload your Savegame – and implement the change … but (of course), when playing at Normal speed, expect to wait quite a while before the intended effect kicks in.
Note: This section’s information has not been confirmed, it’s just based on my recall …
Beyond Level 1 Industry, Resources (Plantations) won’t deliver directly to your Processors (Saw Mill / Pellet Plant) .. they will only deliver to a Storage Facility (Log Yard / Sawdust Storage).
If no Storage Facilities are built, then all your resources will be Exported, and your Processors will rely on Imports.
Build Storage Facilities and set them to BALANCED
That will result in a brief burst of Importing until your Storage Facilities reach the 65-75% range, after which your local Resources will take over and keep them topped up.
If your Processor (Saw Mill / Pellet Plant) is begging for Resources, and importing them – even though it’s surrounded with them (Plantations) – then the most likely cause is that all the trucks in your Storage facility are tied up with exporting.
Two options to fix:
… set some of your Resources to OFF, to lower production, then once BALANCE has been achieved, trucks will return and start delivering to your Processors – this will involve waiting!
… build another BALANCED Storage Facility to provide more trucks (though that may trigger another round of Importing – until BALANCE has been achieved).
If your Resources (Plantations) aren’t Exporting, then most of their trucks will be idle, with only one truck being used from time-to-time to deliver to your Storage Facilities. Lots of idle trucks is normal in that situation, and not a cause for concern.
Add as many Barracks as you can afford, as they improve the efficiency of your Industry by 5% increments, up to a maximum of 200%
It’s very easy to misjudge how many Resources you need – you could have too many, or not enough – and that’s where the Imports / Exports colour-coding in Outside Connections is very handy. The sweet spot is when all your Resources are grey (that’s just my opinion though).
Once everything has stabilised, your Processors and Vehicles will be dark green on Exports, and grey on Imports; and your Resources will all be grey (no Exports).
Even so, you will still see evidence in Outside Connections of ‘Imported Forestry Products’ …
… they are for Generic Industries (those from prior to the Industries DLC). Because they aren’t coded to accept goods from the Industry DLC, they will continue to Import all their requirements.
… to see what their actual figures are, use the mod Enhanced Outside Connections View – it adds a more detailed summary of Import / Export activity to the Outside Connections button than the vanilla game alone.
… so then, the residual Imports figure relates to trucks from outside the map delivering to Generic Industries, PLUS ‘dummy’ trucks traversing the map from one side to the other carrying goods.
… you can get rid of the dummy trucks with the mod Advanced Outside Connections – that will reduce your ‘Imported Forestry Products’ figure somewhat.
… you can’t get the figure to ‘0’ though, the lowest it will go is ‘1’ (that will be due to the rounding up of decimal values, and – even then – to get it down to ‘1’, you’d have to remove all your Generic Industries).
So bear in mind that – if you have Generic Industries on the map – there’ll always be a bit of Importing going on, even though your local Industry could (theoretically) meet their needs.
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