This week’s info drop for upcoming urban city-builder Cities: Skylines II is on how the progression works. This time around, the game has you accumulating what’s more or less XP, and unlocks are presented in a skill tree of sorts.
The original Cities: Skylines has milestones that must be reached to unlock more things to plop in your city. These milestones are reached by simply having enough citizens in the city, which means you must grow the population from a tiny village into a megalopolis.
Milestones still exist in Cities: Skylines II, but you don’t reach a tier by pop numbers alone this time around. Instead, reaching milestones requiring you to gain Expansion Points, XP.
This is not to be confused with Expansion Permits, which is used to unlock more tiles of buildable areas.
XP is gained passively 16 times in an in-game day based on population and happiness (so having a city with many citizens is still a way to reach those milestones). XP can be accrued actively by placing or upgrading a service building, plopping a signature building, or putting in more roads.
Unlocking a new milestone doesn’t just give you a set of unlocks. Instead, you gain Development Points (alongside Expansion Permits and money). Development Points are used to spend on the Development Tree to unlock specific services. The transportation tree allows starts with basic transportation services which unlocks bus stops and taxis. From there you can decide to invest more to unlock trains, which then leads to trams and subways. Or wait a bit to use points to unlock water and air transportation first instead. Or don’t spend on public transport at all and invest Development Points in other skill trees.
Development Points can be saved up to be spent on more expensive unlocks, or if you just can’t decide how to spend them on yet. There are enough Development Points to unlock everything on the multiple skill trees. It’s just that with this progression system, you are allowed to specialise and unlock the services you want first in your city.
The question is how balanced the XP accruement is. The worst case is having players creating roads to nowhere just so they can farm XP, but we’ll see if the new progression is perfectly balanced with no bugs whatsoever, or not.
Cities: Skylines II will be available on October 24 for the PS5, PC (Steam, Microsoft Store) and Xbox Series X|S. The game will also be available on Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass at launch.
Source: Paradox Interactive