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CityVille: Tips for Levels 10-50+

by John Brown - Dec 27, 2010 Star_s21,384 views

I know, I know.  It's not FarmVille, but that's okay.  
CityVille, Zynga's newest foray into the Social Games Market, has taken Facebook by storm - it was even recently reported that it knocked FarmVille out of the number one spot
Granted, a sack of flaming dog poo (don't they have that on FrontierVille?!?) could've knocked FarmVille out of first place given ALL the bugs, issues and tomfoolery in FarmVille these days, but still it's an achievement for which Zynga should get credit.
If you're going to play this game, there are some things you should know which will help ALL of us level up more quickly and be a little more efficient in our game play. 
This isn't a complete list, just a few of the lesser-discussed things that will not only help you but help your fellow players in CityVille. These tips assume you've completed at least 10 levels of the game, and are familiar with the concept of goods, crops, businesses, trains and boats. To get those first 10 levels, just follow the in-game tips, complete the quests/missions they direct for you, and pay attention to what you're doing.  Don't be afraid to try different things - I'm pretty sure you can't break anything that can't be fixed later.

It's very important that when you perform crops or boats work (harvesting, unwithering lost crops/boats, etc.) that you do so in a random pattern
If you click on the first 5 things you see upon entering the City, you'll have done what every other person has done - and when your neighbor goes to accept your actions, they'll see the same 50 people tending to the same 5 things - not very helpful to your neighbor at all.
You can also cut down trees for your neighbors, but since I don't know which trees you want and which you do not, I generally leave them alone. 
You're allowed 5 actions per day per City, up to a published maximum of 50 City visits per day.
The Pier, Boats and Shipping

You can build a pier in CityVille, which holds boats you can send to various locations to buy goods you need.  The time it takes to obtain these goods depends on where you send the boats - the longer the boats are gone, the more goods you can receive and the more expensive the trip.
Once you've sent your boats on their trip, your neighbors can speed up the time required by clicking on the empty space on your pier for that boat - it allows them to 'guide' the boat for you.  Enough 'guide' clicks (1 per boat per neighbor) and your goods will be back at the dock in no time.
Be careful when planning your boat voyages.  Similar to the way crops wither in CityVille and FarmVille, if you aren't back to unload your boats in time, they will sink to the bottom of the harbor.  Unless a kind neighbor will come and salvage your boats for you, you'll have to do it yourself - it costs you energy and of course you don't get any goods from them. 
The time it takes for boats to sink seems to be similar to the way withering is calculated on crops - if a given boat takes 8 hours to return, you have 8 hours from the time it gets back until it sinks.  Likewise, a one-day voyage would start sinking 23 hours after it returns to your pier.
Does that 'grace period' start sooner if your neighbors guide your boats for you?  Dunno.  Since you have to approve all neighbor actions, I would assume that it does...since the goods arrive sooner than you expected.
For example, if you send an 8 hour boat out for goods, and your neighbors guide it a few times (which you approve) and it arrives back in 4 hours, you'd have 8 hours after that 4 hour voyage to unload the boat before it sinks.  Total of 12 hours (4+8) from start to sinking.  If the boat had not been guided, you'd have 16 hours (8+8) start to sinking.
If anyone has hard data that contradicts this formula, please let me know, but I believe it's correct.
The GOOD NEWS is that the 5 minute items (the strawberry crop and the San Francisco Supply boats) seem to be immune to withering/sinking.  This means that you can have strawberries growing all the time in your city for people to harvest for you without having to worry about them withering.  Same goes for boats bound for San Francisco.  It's a nice thing to keep some of these on hand so that your neighbors can get goods - there's really not a good reason NOT to.
You can hover your mouse cursor over the boats and 'vacant' boat spots to see where these boats came from  (or where they're coming from) - as a good neighbor, I always try to harvest or guide those boats which WILL sink/wither first (shortest time from start to finish) before I harvest those which will never sink/wither.  Since we don't know when these boats were sent, this isn't an iron-clad formula, but what we do know is that shorter-term boats (and crops) have a shorter-term grace period in which to harvest them.
Connecting to the Grid

By now you've noticed that your businesses and housing must be connected to a road ("the grid") in order for it to be valid and accrue rental payments and otherwise use it in the game.
Community buildings do NOT have to attach to the grid at this time.  They are valid wherever you choose to place them.  Franchise HQ buildings and Piers also do not have to be attached to the grid.
Tip:  Instead of taking up massive amounts of space by laying so many roads so that you can attach your businesses, try using sidewalk.  A sidewalk attached to the road at any point can be used to link your businesses to the grid the same way roads do...and it takes up far less valuable real estate space in the process.
Franchise HQ Buildings and 'Accessory Points'
You've no doubt noticed that your businesses receive a bonus percentage when you place 'accessories' or decorations in proximity to the business.  Trees, flowers, animals and other decorations, placed strategically next to your homes and businesses, all add up and compound the amount you can collect from these properties.  What you may NOT know is that you get huge bonus numbers by placing businesses next to your various Franchise Headquarters buildings. 

Small HQ Bonus Placement
Medium HQ Bonus Placement
Large HQ Bonus Placement
The larger (taller) the Franchise HQ, the higher the percentage bonus.

The Message Center and your Inventory
Your Inventory (same concept as FarmVille's 'Gift Box') currently has a limit of 200 items.  If you accept things beyond these numbers, you're going to lose stuff. 
There are several ways to keep your totals down so that you don't risk losing your gifts:
Place decorations and objects in your city as soon as possible.  Your inventory is no place to keep these things - you're not earning a DIME by keeping them in Inventory.
Click your energy from Inventory immediately.  It goes into your total and frees up an inventory slot for something you MUST keep on hand for awhile before using it (like building materials, etc.).

If you can't click your energy right away because you're pressed for time, consider not accepting energy until you need it.  It will stay in your Message Center for a couple days before expiring.  Just be aware that the Message Center also has a limit of 200 items, so you may lose things after that number if you don't keep it cleared out well.
No, I haven't mentioned 'Facebook requests', and I won't.  My experience has been that things collected in the Message Center become void Facebook requests and vice versa.  Since the message center is easier to use, I never bother with the Facebook requests that show up.
What about the Gamers Unite 'accept all' feature?  My experience has been it doesn't work so well for CityVille.  For me, it's horribly slow and often times just takes me into the game itself.  It does work well to 'ignore all', which is how I clear my Facebook requests after using the Message Center to manage them.
(Please, before the wingnuts start in about seeing 'Gamers Unite' mentioned, educate yourselves, especially with regard to the One-Click Gifting.  It's quite handy and does not give anyone any kind of extra advantage in the game whatsoever.  I swear, when some of you hear 'Gamers Unite' you'd think I said 'Voldemort'.)
Remember when gifting, gift what you want to send, and request what you want to receive.  Not many folks are going to click to return the same thing back to you - it's easier on everyone to click a help request than it is to try and use ESP to decide if you really want this Moose sent back to you...and in the Message Center, those cute little notes you put in requests are never, ever seen.
Not Happy in the City?
CityVille is not for everyone.  Like most Zynga games, it can be difficult at times unless you have hundreds of daily players on your Facebook friends list.  If you tried it and decided you didn't like it, go to your application settings by clicking here, and click on the little X next to CityVille.  This is also the place to remove any applications which you may not recognize (scam stuff is listed here as well!) and other things you no longer use on a regular basis.

While you're at it, PLEASE take this opportunity to remove EVERY game you really don't play any longer. 
Did you play Cafe World to get the Kitchen Knife in Mafia Wars, and then stop?  REMOVE IT
Did you play FrontierVille just to get a mule in FarmVille, but no longer play it?  REMOVE IT
Did you play Treasure Island for 8 hours just to get a reward in Cafe World?  REMOVE IT.
It should be pretty clear where I'm going with this. You can always go back to it later if need be. Zynga will keep your game 'live' for about 6 months in case you change your mind, and this simple step helps ALL of us by removing your name from the application.  You'll be helped by not receiving requests for it anymore as well.
Farmer John Brown
Admin, Sharing Foals and Calves

Replies (17)

Harleyz Myn - Jan 19, 2011

How do you get neighbors businesses out of your city?

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