View Full Version : In-Depth Guide to Hood Economics

11-11-2011, 10:24 AM
The economics of Crime City is pretty much my favorite part of the game. I've posted a few times in a couple of threads, but my passion leads... no DEMANDS... that I pull this information into a single thread (that will probably disappear down the list, though I'll feel satisfied having posted this).

I've been playing for the better part of a month and a half, and I really haven't felt much motivation to level past level 8 (ok, ok, I just want to see if I can get to have the highest income at my level...). Right now my stats come in at just about 21K per hour and I gross around 300K per day. I did lose one fight and one robbery each in my first week, but I've won every other encounter. This guide is a summarization of my economic approach. I hope it helps folks trying to figure out how to increase their hood value, and I welcome any feedback, insights, or questions into hood development.

Start out by upgrading/building/expanding based on expected return on investment (ROI):
Expected collections per day * increase in income per collection / Cost ( Upgrade or building cost + Lost Income from Upgrade (for upgrades) )

Once cash is not a problem anymore switch to upgrading/building based on increase in revenue (IR):
Expected collections per day * increase in income per collection / Upgrade time (in days)

Take roads into account when expanding

Don’t shy away from high level buildings

A strong economy can help any Crime City player. As pretty much everyone knows, in game cash is necessary to complete missions, to arm up for pvp escapades, and to make your hood look cool. While waiting for buildings to generate income isn’t the flashiest or funnest way to play, it is probably the most consistent over time. Robbing from folks who either haven’t figured out how to use the vault or who have more confidence in their defensive arsenal than they should is probably the quickest way to generate income, and those higher level missions certainly can return a lot of the needful.

This guide is meant to be a resource for folks trying to figure out ways to generate cash directly from their hood more quickly. It will look at growing an economy beginning at the start of the game and carry through some of the later factors that should be considered. It will cover some of the decision points around what and when to upgrade. While players who are lower lever and starting out will probably get the most value out of this guide, the concepts and approach should be applicable to any player at any point in their growth.

Getting Ready
I may be a huge nerd, but I’ve found that having some kind of a resource from which to make decisions makes it easier to evaluate what to do. Between this and an unhealthy obsession with Excel, I encourage anyone playing to build up a spreadsheet that tracks information about your current hood. The stuff you’ll want to know is:
a) What buildings do you have out there?
b) How frequent do those buildings return cash?
c) What is the current income per collection for each building?
d) What is the current upgrade cost on each building?
e) What is the upgraded income?
f) How long does it take to complete that upgrade?
A great place to look for most of this information (if you wanted to look into the future) is TLoord’s guide (link (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AkPDmk8Lr8yadEZoX1RGd19pajJncVVzR282SEN3N Xc&hl=en#gid=0)). TLoord took the time and energy to start an awesome google spreadsheet which tracks information about Crime City. I give many thanks to him for starting his guide as it has been an invaluable resource. Thanks also to the players who continue to go in and add new information. Having this information evaluated at this level of detail will allow you to make some good comparisons between different decisions.

Keep Poking the Hood!
Some additional information that will help you to grow your hood is to have some kind of understanding about how often you are going to check your buildings. I’m going to assume that folks who have taken the time to find this post are aware of the mechanics of collecting cash (poke that building more!). How often you check your buildings will shift which buildings should be upgraded and also effect the likelihood your buildings get robbed. If you think you’ll check in 100 times a day, buildings with more frequent pay outs will generally have better yields for you. If you’re only going to check once a week, those buildings with a smaller frequency that hold onto more cash can be awesome.

Ok, so, now that you know what you have and how you play, we can begin to look at the different decision processes.

Early Development & ROI (where did all my cash go?)
So, you’re starting out in Crime City and trying to figure out how to grow your economy (or have been playing a while and never have enough cash). Well, my friend you have come to the right place. Starting out is great! You start with some income, buildings are cheap, upgrades are quick, and you have open space to build into. This will last, I don’t know, an hour or two? Don’t fear, we can get you back to building whenever you have the opportunity!

Starting your economy is all about making decisions based on the expected Return on Investment (ROI). Basically, with development times being relatively short, the biggest limiting factor on your ability to build quickly will be having enough cash on hand. You’ll quickly be evaluating whether you want to build new buildings, upgrade existing buildings, or expand your hood.

For upgrades and new buildings the math is pretty easy, with one quick caveat. A simple equation to use is this:

(expected collections per day * increase in income per collection) / Upgrade or building cost

Basically, this equation will give you an index which allows you to calculate the percentage return per day of your building investment. The key here is to make certain you evaluate based on your expected collections per day rather than the ideal number of collections per day. While it is possible to collect on a Laundromat 288 times every day, it is unlikely that you will do so. By estimating how often you expect to collect on a building each day, this will allow you to compare this index across buildings with different collection frequencies. For buildings which take longer than a day to present income, you can estimate by calculating a number of collections divided by the number of days in which you will collect. This would also work if you know that over the week you will collect more on weekends than on the work days.

One quick side note on this equation: it is slightly off for upgrades. A stronger model for upgrades would be to roll the opportunity cost of not being able to collect while waiting for the upgrade into the total upgrade cost in the denominator. To calculate the opportunity cost, multiply the upgrade duration (in days) by your expected daily income from the building:

Opportunity Cost = expected collections per day * income per collection * upgrade duration (in days)

If you decided to go the spreadsheet way, play around with the expected number of collections per day as you try to figure out what to build. This can have a big impact on your higher frequency collection buildings. As I said above, Laundromats can have an absolutely absurd ROI. The ideal collection on a Laundromat is 288 collections in a day. If you make that many collections in a day, you will collect 14 times your investment the first day and this will be far and away your best ROI. However, if you only make 10 collections a day on a Laundromat, your ROI is only 50% per day and it will take you 2 days to cover the building cost. This is the difference in your second building being a Laundromat and your second building being a Pizza Parlor.

Early Expansions
Expansions are a little harder for quantifying a decision process. Since expansions are relatively expensive and take a relatively long time to complete when compared to building new buildings, they can be rough to plan for. Ideally you will want to start expansions when you still have enough space to build one or two buildings.

A slightly more rigorous approach to take at this point would be to build the expansion cost directly into the ROI for the second to last new building you would build in your current space. The reason for working the timing this way is to ensure a smoother building process. If you wait until your hood is too full to start new expansions, you will be waiting for expansions to finish in order to start that next building. At the point where the ROI on a new building with the expansion built into the cost is the most cost effective, you are not going to want to wait for the expansion to complete. By starting the expansion before that second to last building, you will be able to build while waiting for the expansion to complete.

This doesn’t address one behavior which is out there which is to upgrade in strange directions. If you’re trying to figure out in which direction to upgrade, check the section “Which Expansion Should I Take?” below.

Continuing to Build/Upgrade/Expand (Finally, I’m Holding Onto Some Cash)
The next phase of hood management occurs once you realize that your economy is making more cash than you immediately need. How quickly you get to this point depends heavily on two things:
1) How quickly are you leveling
2) How much are you spending on equipment
Leveling affects you by increasing the number of buildings that you can build and thereby increasing the number of expansions you will want to invest in. Spending on equipment slows down how quickly you can amass wealth. However, you will eventually reach a point where building, expansion, and upgrade times are long enough that you cannot invest back into your economy fast enough. This is a great time!

Once you get to this point there are a couple of keys:
1) Always have an upgrade in process
2) Build everything you can
3) Expand early
You will quickly realize that only being able to upgrade one building at a time is an enormous limitation on the growth of your hood. If you find your reserve cash drifting downwards and you need to choose between upgrading, expanding, or building, choose upgrade!

Since time instead of cash is your biggest limiting factor there is a new decision process around upgrades - increase in income per upgrade duration. At this phase in the game it is important to know which upgrades will have the largest impact on your income in the quickest time. The increase in revenue index (IR) that I use at this point is actually a little simpler than the equation I use for ROI:

Expected collections per day * Increase in income per collection / upgrade time

As long as you have enough cash on hand to build your new buildings and to expand your hood, selecting the upgrade with the highest value IR will increase your overall income the most quickly.

New buildings should continue to follow an ROI based decision process. While expansions should be started as soon as you recognize that you will use the available space and (assuming an upgrade is in process) you have enough cash on hand.

More Upgrades (Why do all the buildings cost so much??? / growing and saving and growing)
Depending on how much you are willing to devote to your income (and to defer leveling), you may end up in a situation where you’ve built all the buildings at your level, you’ve unlocked the higher mafia requirement buildings, and there is a huge divide between those buildings and the buildings at your level. This can lead to interesting decisions.

I highly encourage building the higher level buildings. Again, at this point in your economy, your biggest limiting factor is time. A great place to see the value of these buildings is by comparing the upgrade of a Movie Theater from level 1 to level 2 against a Tattoo Parlor from level 6 to level 7. The ideal ROIs are:

ROI (Tattoo Parlor) = Increase (3,255-2,310) * Collections (2) / Cost ( 9,761 + Current Income (2,310) * Upgrade time (1.25 days) * Collections per Day (2) ) = 12.1% per day
ROI (Movie Theater) = Increase (9,300-3,100) * Collections (2) / Cost (233,800 + Current Income (3,100) * Upgrade time (0.167 days) * Collections per Day (2) ) = 5.3% per day

The Tattoo Parlor has a bit over 2 times higher ROI. However, the Tattoo Parlor upgrade will take 30 hours compared to the 4 hour upgrade on the Movie Theater. Since you have to wait for the Tattoo Parlor to finish, the Movie Theater upgrade should allow you to increase your economy much faster. Take a quick look at the IRs:

IR (Tattoo Parlor) = Collections (2) * Increase (3,255-2,310) / Upgrade time (1.25 days) = 1,188 more income per day per day of upgrade
IR (Movie Theater) = Collections (2) * Increase (9,300-3,100) / Upgrade time (0.167 days) = 74,400 more income per day per day of upgrade

The Movie Theater upgrade increases your income roughly 70 times faster than the Tattoo Parlor.

The decision process around which upgrades to make when saving up for a relatively high cost item blends the ROI and IR approaches. There are three things to consider:

1) At your current income, how many days will it be before you can afford the building
2) What is the ROI index for an upgrade which takes the same number of days from (1)
3) What upgrade has the highest IR while still having an ROI lower than (2)

Assuming you’ve set up a spreadsheet which has your current incomes per collection and expected number of collections per day, we can calculate (1). Basically multiply all your current incomes by your collections per day and sum the results to get an expected income per day. Divide the building cost by your expected income per day, and that is the number of days before you can afford the building. To calculate (2) calculate the inverse of (1) (divide 1 by the number of days before you can afford the building). If you rank your upgrade IRs, you can find the best rank upgrade that is below the ROI cut off. This will ensure your economy grows as quickly as possible without delaying when you can build. This approach works for any high value investment.

Make this decision based on ROI. This should mean that you start saving for the Loft once your Theaters are level 3 or 4. While ROI is an index which easily translates between upgrades and build times, IR does not. The cornerstone of the IR’s usefulness is the fact that you can not make another upgrade while an upgrade is in process. Since the Loft decision is a build decision and not an upgrade decision, it is not really applicable here.

Which Expansion Should I Take?
Here is the deal with expansions. Your hood will start with four 10x10 building spaces. Expansions will increase your buildable space by 4 squares either towards the south-east (SE) or towards the south-west (SW). Every 16 building squares in the SE direction, there will be a road that can’t be built on and the expansion will complete on the other side of the road. This means that the second expansion in the SE direction will have a road through the middle of it. In the SW direction, the road comes in at 40 building squares (thanks 617Pats). This means, from the point of view of buildable space and buildings that are larger than 2 squares in both directions (which may cover all cash buildings), those expansions with a road through the middle only yield half the buildable spaces while the next expansion yields 1.5 times as many buildable spaces. Keeping this in mind, it is possible to determine the number of buildable squares you will gain from an expansion. For expansions that don’t have a road running through the middle:

# of buildable squares in the static direction * 4

So, that’s kind of a weird expression. Applying this formula to your first expansion, the number of new buildable squares is:

# of buildable squares in SW direction (10) * 4 = 40

For expansions that have a road running through the middle:

# of buildable squares in the static direction * 2

What Else?
There are a few other things which, while not strictly related to building your hood, can be useful information for folks starting.

1) Selling buildings
2) Generate income from mafia
3) Skipping the vault
4) Knowing your opponents’ stats
5) Knowing your play style

Selling buildings may present itself as an attractive option when you see a building which can more quickly improve your economy that you don’t have space to build. I haven’t done the math, but unless the building you are selling is level 1, I can’t see this as a good thing. You will probably reach a point where you have space and you don’t have any buildings to put into it. However, it is unlikely you will reach a point where you have no more upgrades to complete on your buildings. By selling a level 2+ building, you are chucking the time you’ve invested in upgrading that building instead of another building. While it will defer the expansion cost, chances are you will still need to make that expansion later.

Early on, you can get an extra 100 in cash from visiting your mafia members. You can get this revenue from visiting up to 25 of your real live mafia members every day. You can visit the same members over and over and farm this income. Having 25 folks in your mafia as quickly as possible can give you a great early bump in your income. I still make it a point to visit at least 25 folks in my mafia every day to get that small percent increase in my overall income. One thing to note: it’s possible there is a level cap on when you can do this.

Every time you use the vault you sacrifice 10% of your deposit. The tradeoff is when folks attack you, those deposits do not get touched. If you can find a way to have such a strong defense that folks who are strong will decide not to attack you and folks who don’t pay attention to stats when attacking will always lose to you, you can skip the vault altogether and feed that 10% back into your economy. This strategy is the most alluring at low levels when the equipment has similar attack and defense values and defensive buildings can, with a relatively small time investment, heavily outweigh those attack values. A good rule of thumb is to maintain a defense building total which equals roughly half your attack. At that point, you can probably fend yourself off – if you were to try to attack yourself.

One big economic sink can be opponents robbing you and your buildings. Trust me when I say you do not want to lose 50% of the income from any of your buildings and if you’re skipping the vault, you really don’t want to lose up to 40% of what you’re holding onto. By browsing the rivals list (going into the list and clicking rob on the opponents) you can develop a good understanding of what is normal for folks at your level and mafia size in terms of attack and defense. This, in turn, can allow you to map out what you need to have defensively to ensure you have a good chance at winning those skirmishes. If you really don’t want to get attacked by stronger opponents, check their comments. A good percentage of folks out there will post their invite code on their comments wall. Fold your stronger opponents into your mafia through inviting them or dropping your invite code off. While this won’t mean that you can completely skip on developing your defensive arsenal, it will lower the odds that someone much stronger than you will take a look and decide it’s worth figuring out if they can take your candy.

Know yourself. For these strategies to pay out best, it is important to have some general understanding of your play behavior. If you’re the type of player who loves to watch things count down in Crime City all day long, you should make different decisions than the type of player who checks their hood a couple times a week. This probably comes as no surprise, but players who check their hood more often have the potential to grow faster than other players. However, making intelligent decisions can even the playing field a whole lot. The key here is to be patient and believe in your decisions. Sure, it is tempting to start upgrading your warehouse like a fiend to get the tons of storage goal completed. However, completing quests at the wrong time will slow down your overall growth and generally make you a less efficient Crime City player. If you are already struggling to fill your bank account and you decide to push towards the tons of storage goal instead of upgrading your pizza parlors and gas stations, it will probably take you longer to pull together the funds to start the upgrades on the warehouse.

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11-11-2011, 11:01 AM
duder... very thorough description of CC economics!

i must admit i've been waiting for a post from you. since you are on my friend list, i tend to go to your hood frequently to see what you are up to. i am intrigued by your unique play style. you must have quite the PATIENCE!!!

well, congrats on the wonderful thread! i'll post my comments later.

11-11-2011, 11:27 AM
Cool Guide :)
I invited you to my mafia too duder.

I am going to use some of your tips in the guide as soon as i can!
Such as the tip about defense should be double your attack if you don't want to bank money.
I got to work on my defense next.

Great guide:)

11-11-2011, 03:24 PM
Duder, brilliant post thats going to change my game completely!

Ive sent a request, id love to see your hood.

Also sent to you duke.

11-11-2011, 10:20 PM
Duder, I still don't understand how higher level buildings like lofts and Internet companies make economic sense. The $$ value break-even on capex could be as long as 2 months if you even upgrade these (and assuming perfect collection and no rob). Clearly if you extend your play time assumption to perpetuity you will get some present value IR %, but realistically, I have been playing for 2 months, and in my many years of computer gaming going back to the Apple IIe days, no games have lasted beyond 6 mths! (even Age of Empires!). Assuming I have max 3 mths left in this game, how do I justify investing in these advance buildings?

11-11-2011, 11:17 PM
thumbs up... awesome guide

11-12-2011, 07:05 AM
Absolutely awesome thread, very insightful. Thanks much!

11-12-2011, 08:34 AM
Duder, I still don't understand how higher level buildings like lofts and Internet companies make economic sense. The $$ value break-even on capex could be as long as 2 months if you even upgrade these (and assuming perfect collection and no rob). Clearly if you extend your play time assumption to perpetuity you will get some present value IR %, but realistically, I have been playing for 2 months, and in my many years of computer gaming going back to the Apple IIe days, no games have lasted beyond 6 mths! (even Age of Empires!). Assuming I have max 3 mths left in this game, how do I justify investing in these advance buildings?

Er, yes, well, 3 months... that should have an impact on your overall strategy. It might not be possible to justify the investment on that type of time scale.

I guess for me, there are two things I'm working with:

First, my overarching goal encourages investment into higher level buildings. Even with a break even time north of 60 days, these upgrades will pay out before I can get the scratch together to buy what I want. At this point (and yes I acknowledge that this is pretty silly) I want to get 2 high cost things that are going to take a while to save up for: 1) two Nightclubs, 2) the second tier mafia requirement equips. At my current income level, the first night club is going to take me around 3-4 months to save up for (down from 9 months just two weeks ago!), so all these upgrade choices should break even. Even worse, at level 8, the second tier mafia requirements will take ~60m to completely equip the 40 mafia I'm bringing.

I guess to turn this around on you, do you have any thoughts on your purchase goals for the next couple of months? If it's all equips for missions, then go for those higher ROI lower cost upgrades. If you have goals which include amassing a completely unreasonable amount of cash, then those higher IR upgrades are going to do more with your cash. If you don't have any concrete goals, you could always just invest in the highest IR upgrade you can do with your current cash on hand.

Second, I kind of think it would be cool to get to a point where I have all the buildings available to me maxxed out. I believe this strategy will maximize my returns at the point where everything is at level 10. But again, this is also a pretty unreasonable goal.

11-14-2011, 08:22 PM
OK. Here is the response I promised.

I took TLoord's original spreadsheet and made some changes. I have modified ROI to incorporate opportunity cost.

Revised ROI = (upgrade cost + opportunity cost )/incremental income

Revised ROI gives a more realistic estimate of time needed to recoup my investment. This is especially true for higher upgrades where I don't get to collect income on my buildings since upgrades take longer time.

The most important metric by far which I use primarily to determine which building to upgrade next is calculated by:
= (Upgrade Cost)/ Revised ROI

I have found that using only ROI can lead to less efficient outcomes. Cheap buildings have better ROIs. But given that investment cost is low to begin with, the money recouped will also be low. To make matters worse, upgrade duration becomes progressively longer with increasing building level. High end buildings may have poor ROIs, but considering the large amount of upgrade investment, you get a lot more cash back quickly than cheap (low-end) buildings.

Let me illustrate my point using examples from my next upgrades:
Movie theater (lvl 4 to 5) takes 21.5 hrs to complete, costs 1.09 million, and ROI is 36.9 days.
Barbershop (lvl 5 to 6) takes 23.5 hrs to complete, costs 19 thousand, and ROI is 8.7 days.

At first glance, you would think investing on barbershop would be the better choice (better ROI). Let's look closer: it would take us 8.7 days to recoup the investment (19 thousand). Compare that to the movie theater where it takes longer time to return the investment (36.9 days), but we get a whooping 1+ million. That's where my formula (upgrade cost/ revised ROI) comes in:
For move theater, the number is 29,564 while for barbershop, it is 2,259. Obviously, the higher the better. Interpretation is for MT, investing in upgrade returns 29.5K/day (compare that to barbershop, 2K).

A caveat here. The higher end buildings are usually the best investments according to my metric. Bus since I am always cash strapped (who isn't?), I am forced to use a hybrid system where I utilize ROIs (which usually selects cheaper buildings to upgrade) as I save up money for the big items. I'm sure some of you already deploy this strategy (of upgrading low-end buildings while saving cash for high-end ones). I just use a mathematical equation, which is more objective.

Comments, Questions?

11-15-2011, 01:02 AM
Any chance you share your excel document?
I'm about to add you on cc, it'll come up as Firefly. Would the upgrade costs etc for buildings up to level 92 be helpful or has that data already been supplied?

In an different post we were debating the Flower Shop vs. Loft decision.
My conclusion was that a lot of it depended on one's $/per square income which I imagine has an ideal rate at which it increases as both one's income grows and the price of hood expansions increases.
What's your take it?

11-15-2011, 09:47 PM
I think your equation ultimately simplifies to something very close to increase in incremental income. The equation you outlined above can be rewritten:

(upgrade cost * increase in incremental income) / (upgrade cost + lost income during upgrade)

I still think this equation generally gets you pretty close. If you compare this index for a level 1 to level 2 upgrade for a loft versus a theater, which comes out as the better upgrade? Whatever index you're using, you should get the answer to upgrade the level 1 theater.

This does make me think a little more about the indexes outlined above - I think I need to restate the guide a little; I think there is a more basic way to break down the upgrade and building decisions (while expansion decisions still need to be held separate).

Basically every new building and upgrade uses 3 commodities: cash (or gold), time, and space. So, you should be able to calculate a return on each of these commodities. The return on cash and the return on time for the theater are both better than the loft which really should mean the theater gets upgraded first.

Hm, I'm not super familiar with good ways to share spreadsheets, but I can walk you through setting something similar up using the data from Tloord's sheet.

Thanks for the offer on the info - Tloord's sheet is pretty thin past the level 40ish buildings. It would be awesome to get some of the information plowed back into there!

I'm still trying to figure out a good way to incorporate the value of space when making building decisions. I have been approaching my hood decisions with an underlying assumption that I would eventually build all of the non-gold money-buildings. Of course, judging by posts on the forum, there will also be a need for an absolutely unreasonable number of defense buildings. I haven't thought through what this means for long term planning. This is going to come out sounding a little funny, but I think I'm too lazy to figure out the right way to evaluate space in the long term.

I guess if we use the ROI index to compare the value of cash vis-a-vis different building and upgrade decisions and the IR index to compare the value of time vis-a-vis different building and upgrade decisions, then we could evaluate a ROS (return on space) index to compare the value of space vis-a-vis different building and upgrade decisions. Off-hand, I'd say you need to evaluate this two different ways - a short term and a long term value (since these could be very different). The short (immediate) term you would take the level one income of the building and divide it by the total number building squares the building requires - voila, an index you can compare against all buildings. But, the real return on space is the eventual level 10 ROS. Since level 10 income can only be determined through upgrading (not necessarily all the way - there seem to be a finite number of income upgrade progressions) or getting the information elsewhere this is a little harder. However, if you happen to have the ultimate level 10 income of the buildings you are comparing, then it should be possible.

In the specific instance you are talking about, it looks like the flower shop initially has a better ROS. If the flower shop has 1/6th or more of the income per collection at level 10 when compared to the income per collection of the loft at level 10 (6 because the the shop collects 1.5 times as often and uses a quarter of the squares when compared to the loft) then the flower shop is a better return on space.

I'm not certain that hood expansion costs really enter this evaluation. My take is the cost of a hood expansion should really be distributed evenly across all your viable money-building squares. As a result, if you are trying to evaluate the relative costs of two buildings, it doesn't matter if you're still on your first 400 squares and they were free or if you've made 10 upgrades and are up to 1600 squares - the comparison boils down to the relative number of squares, not what those squares have cost you to obtain thus far.

I think the real question when evaluating the total value of buildings boils down to the relative values of cash, time, and space with relation to each other. This to me is a supply and demand problem that is probably somewhat unique to each player.

For example, right now when compared to cash and time, space is inordinately cheap. The only thing I can actively do with my available space right now is build more defensive buildings, therefore my demand for space is nil. Assuming I stick to my guns in terms of strategy, this shouldn't change until much later.

Upgrade time and cash, on the other hand, are constantly at a premium. At all times I am saving up for my next upgrade and either waiting for that upgrade to complete or working on an upgrade to pass the time. I suppose, cash is at a slightly higher premium than time (it takes longer to amass the cash I want than to complete the upgrades I want). This game would be addictive like there was not tomorrow if folks could trade these commodities...

Looking at your hood, however (thanks for the invite!), you have a relatively small amount of space for the number of building options currently available to you. I would imagine, therefore, that space would enter more prominently into your decision process than mine.

Anyway, I know this is long and rambling - I hope it helps (I'm still trying to recover from the why build money buildings thread so I'm struggling a little)...

11-15-2011, 10:49 PM
If you compare this index for a level 1 to level 2 upgrade for a loft versus a theater, which comes out as the better upgrade? Whatever index you're using, you should get the answer to upgrade the level 1 theater.

Actually, upgrade cost:ROI ratio gives loft as the more efficient investment (43K/day vs 12K/day). Obviously, this is contingent on having sufficient money for upgrades. If you only have 250K, it would make sense to upgrade MT (requires 233K) vs loft (requires 1.2M). But if money is not an issue, I would go with loft upgrade.

Regarding space management, you are right... it's very difficult to incorporate that into a succinct equation. What I have been doing to compare efficiency of buildings space-wise is dividing income to area. I have found that warehouse, gas station, diners and gun shop have the worst income-to-area-ratios. Since space becomes a limiting factor at midlevel (my next expansion is 500K, after that my expansion is street on both sides, so I would have to fork 5M before I get some space for buildings). Thus, I decided is to sell low space-efficient buildings. I use the space to build mid to high end buildings which have decent income:area ratios.

11-19-2011, 07:45 AM

do you have a plan to level up at some point? are you considering maxing all your existing buildings to lvl 10 before proceeding to higher levels? even though i see the benefit of camping at lvl 8 (no real competition, so save 10% of bank expense), you must admit you are losing money by not constructing mid to high-end buildings that are only available at higher levels. in addition, the money obtained from PvE and PvP, while not comparable to the steady income of money buildings, is not insignificant.

11-19-2011, 08:24 AM
Sheesh, really trying to draw back the curtain on my strategy, aren't you! Well, it should come as no surprise that I will not shy away from sharing everything about how I'm playing!

The biggest reason I'm not actively pursuing a strategy which involves leveling up is so that I can invest a larger percentage of my overall income directly into my economy. I believe (based on sheer guesswork) that competition at the higher levels would probably require a noticeable investment in defensive buildings and arsenal. By deferring those costs until later, I can invest a larger percentage of my income back into my economy. At this point, I feel pretty confident that the 10% loss to the bank can be more than offset by doing missions; however, to be competitive at the higher levels, don't you need to invest more in your defense, upgrading buildings or spending cash on buildings which have a decent level 1 defense?

My own goal is to get to the top mafia requirement equips for my level (grenade launcher, steel garrote, blast guard helmet, audi). To fully equip my mafia with these will cost ~1.5m per set or ~60m for my full mafia. What I am trying to get to in my economy is the ability to generate enough income to get the full set for whatever level I am currently in when I get there (level 9? level 10?), then to also be able to get an additional 5 sets in a reasonable timeframe (1-2 days) as I start "aggresively" leveling up (i.e. start using my stamina and energy points). This means I need to get to the point where I'm generating ~2-3m per day. Right now I can pretty consistently clear 400+ k, so I've got a ways to go.

I know these are no where near the best equips; however, they are pretty good - with just those equips, my atk/def per mafia member will be 39/37. I figure if I can square these away, that will free me up to hoard my respect points for the 3rd tier respect items (is there a tier past those, for example, another respect weapon after the rocket launcher?)without having to spend any respect on the first two tiers (tommy guy, sawn off shotgun). For leveling up, my plan was to use the xp from robbing for respect - that way I should be able to obtain a decent number of the respect items once I get to high enough levels to unlock them (chain whip here I come!). I figure that's the only way a slow starter like me would ever be able to compete with folks who have had months to farm m1a4s...

The other side of what I'm trying to achieve is to obtain a truly enviable win/loss percentage without spending too much more rl cash. I feel pretty confident that I can get to level 30 without losing any fights or robberies the way I'm going. Past that, well, we'll see.

I think the strategy is holding up so far. I'm 61 days in and have an almost 25k per hour income without level 10 laundromats (mine are only lvl 6). After tonight (I have a level 2 loft upgrade that will come to bloom) I'll be up over 26k per hour. The thing that's so exciting about the economic growth in this game is the fact that the major limiting factor (time) doesn't actually mean diminishing returns at my low low level! Having access to the loft pretty much means that I can compete with much higher level folks in terms of economic growth. Additionally, I am within 3 months of getting to the nightclub (maybe even more like 2). Once I break ground on those, that will add an additional tier of economic growth available to me.

Believe me, I've thought a lot about leveling up over the past month, but at this point, the only true advantage I see is being able to loot items from missions. I think the strategy I am currently following has the potential to balance the scales on that score. At this point, the only thing I'm really nervous about is hitting the level at which folks who are much much higher level (and therefore have higher stats and better equips) are suddenly able to pound on your hood. A faster leveling up strategy would mean that you could pass into the upper tier of those folks faster I suppose... I'm just hoping to get to a point that once I hit that cusp, folks will take one look at my hood and my profile and move along to an easier mark.

Jerome Lachaud
11-22-2011, 09:44 AM
Awesome guide Dude! I would be very curious to see your hood, I've just sent you a friend request.

02-17-2012, 05:08 PM
First Forum posting by Plux
We exchange messages Duder in-game and is always good to share hoodonomics with you. I'm going to share some insight into my alternative income generation strategies and want to touch on this point for the first time.
Mafia adding vs Henchman adding. Which is more useful!
I'll add more later. I'm sure Funzio will be rubbing their hands at the 17g price of each Henchman.

03-24-2013, 06:59 AM
thnx for the guide.
i was leveling up way to fast without considering my economics.
will pay attention to it now!