DCity now has well over 600 registered player accounts that are active and earning. Just recently, the daily HIVE earnings have been expanded from the top 200 to the top 300 players.
The challenge I have set myself is to create a brand new dCity with just 100 HIVE that will be among those top 300!
A look at the Ranking page shows that the player in 300th place received 0.237 HIVE yesterday, with a population of just 154. If we can create such a city with 100 HIVE that would be an income of 0.237% per day - that's equivalent to 86.5% APR!
Worth a try?!
OK, I'm assuming you know the basics of how to create a dCity - if not, then please read these tutorials written by experienced players. You can also view more recent posts and ask for advice at the dCity Discord channel.
Also, for those of you who walk around with an open wallet, there are no guarantees that future returns will be similar to the past, so treat this all as a game. Also, all values are taken as of writing so will most likely have changed by the time you read this. The thought processes, however, remain the same.
A reminder that your city has potentially two income streams: daily payouts in SIM tokens and HIVE coins. Here, we are going to concentrate on the HIVE income only. Partly because it is easier to see your ranking and projected income, but also because recent tax changes have made the SIM income far more complex to predict.
So our mission is to create a new dCity with just 100 HIVE so that it has a population of about 200 and hence comfortably above the 300th rank.
One key insight to bear in mind right at the start is that your city's "population" is calculated as the sum of your population cards values plus an uplift based on your popularity values. Thus your population is composed of a "Base value" plus a "popularity bonus"; you can see these values by hovering over your city's population value on your city Map.
Now, we could just buy 25 random cards at 4 HIVE each and let providence decide our fate! But that's way too easy, and will most likely be disappointing.
On average, purchasing a large batch of random cards is moderately profitable in cash terms - and we can try that experiment in the future - but here I want to construct a city that is the smallest possible and yet able to yield some 80% APR.
So instead of gambling away my 100 HIVE, I'm going to dive into the Market and see what goodies I can pick up. I shall quote everything in HIVE (even if bought with SIM) to avoid flipping currencies in mid-sentence.
The first thing to notice is that a Basic Home is still rather cheap at about 1.6-1.8 HIVE. Each Basic Home gives us 4 people and an income of 1 SIM. Compare this to an Apartment, which gives us 20 people and 5 SIM of income, and you can judge whether one Apartment is cheaper than 5 Basics, or not.
Having bought a dozen Basic Homes, it becomes obvious that if I just stack up on these then I could buy about 50 of them and have a population of 200. Job done, plus a bit to spare!
That is possible as I write this, but be aware that prices can change, and if a Basic Home rises to, say, 3 HIVE each, then we're going to be pushed to reach our target. Also, as more players join, our city may start to slip down the rankings and be in danger of dropping below the 300th spot.
To avoid both of these problems and to build a better foundation for the future, I would then look at those cards with a decent popularity rating as those will further boost our population. If, for example, we can accumulate enough popularity to get a +20% population boost, then we'd only need a Base population of 160 to see it uplifted to just under 200. As this boost is a percentage of the Base value, future cards may well be worth more in people than their face value.
Most exceptional cards have exceptional prices, but there are often cards that are undervalued as larger cities rationalise and prioritise different parameters.
Parks seem to be unloved. Sure, we like them in real life but I think they are very much under-priced at 1.8-2.0 HIVE. Art Galleries also give a decent popularity boost and are available at a whisker under their par 4 HIVE price.
If you can't do the mental mathematical gymnastics then let the market do it for you.
For example, the cheapest Art Gallery available is at either 3.75 SWAP.HIVE or 700 SIM; the market price for SIM is currently 0.00512 HIVE. Which Art Gallery to buy? Well just go to Hive-Engine, pretend to buy 700 SIM at 0.00512 and you'll see that costs 3.584 HIVE. This is cheaper than 3.75 HIVE, hence buy the Gallery at 700 SIM!
So, let's take stock for a moment.
We have bought:
27 Basic Homes (44.50 HIVE) [for population]
4 Immigrants (2.0 HIVE) [for population]
1 Apartment (9.0 HIVE) [for population]
1 Hotel (5.1 HIVE) [for income and popularity]
3 Art Galleries (11.25 HIVE) [for popularity = population boost]
1 Restaurant (5.25 HIVE) [for income and popularity]
2 Parks (3.60 HIVE) [for popularity = population boost]
Total cost so far is about 80 HIVE.
Population is at 167 and well within the top 300! That 167 is actually 144 of population from the cards plus 14% increase based on a popularity score of 51. That's not insignificant; we have gained 23 people that would otherwise cost us six Basic Homes.
There is a loss of income as we do not have enough work environments for our population. That is not so bad, recall we are aiming for the HIVE income rather than the SIM income.
What to buy next?
Without going into further deep details, I ended up buying some Farms and another Park. I've also left myself a little bit extra in the SIM income; this wasn't our primary aim but may come in handy when taxes change.
One last thought before I give the final statistics for my new city, and that is on serendipity. Sometimes, you will see a new card listed on the market at a tempting price! It isn't what you were looking for, but if the price is right snap it up and even put it back on the market at a higher price. I managed to do that and made a small profit, enough to squeeze in one last card.
You can view the city here or by just typing "accelerator" into the City Name field (not the login field!) I shall leave it alone for 7 days so as not to confuse readers, but it will obviously change after that - is just an experiment!
So, for 100 HIVE (plus a 2 HIVE profit from flipping one card), I have ended up with a city with a population of 195 (with a base of 161 and a popularity bonus of +21%). Assuming those cities that lie between 200th and 300th places do not change much, this new city should be at about the 275th place. Not super-comfortable, but pretty good for just a modest outlay. I have also ended up with 44 cards, so an average price of under 2.3 HIVE.
Sure, the SIM income sucks, but that wasn't our aim. It is, however, good to have it above zero for the future and, without even trying, that small income comes mainly from the "popularity cards".
One very last thought: the dCity game is fluid and has different strategies for different levels of player. You may not be able to fully reproduce my city - you may even be able to do a better job. Just remember that our aim is to maximise the population, and that means both population and popularity cards.
Now it's your turn...
OK, contest time!
What is the best city you can make with 100 HIVE?
Best is defined as the highest population, and hence highest ranking on the dCity leader board.
I am perfectly aware that this is easy to game by trading with yourself under-priced cards, so I will check for genuine cities that are brand new and with cards bought either from the market or directly from the dCity collection. This is supposed to be about learning something new, having some fun and making a bit of money.
To make this more interesting I have 2000 SIM tokens to give away. Depending on the interest generated, there will probably be 10 prizes of 100 SIMs each and 2 prizes of 500 SIMs each for the best little cities.
To enter, just post a link to your city as it appears on dcity.io or the username of the city. The city must be new, hence you may need to use another username to your usual posting account.
If any other rules are needed, I shall make them up as we go along.