Friday, September 18, 2009

Was I Right? Monopoly City Streets Takes a Do-Over

I was doing okay with Monopoly City Streets, building up my kingdom by slowly buying up my hometown. While following "the rules," I was taking in about $7 million in rent. Or at least I was set up for that, and then Friday morning, I couldn't log in.

Eventually I noticed and clicked the Blog link in the bottom right corner and found out why. After about a week of gameplay — and bugs and cheaters and slow servers — the Monopoly folks decided they would RESTART THE GAME. Essentially they're giving themselves a do-over. Check out the Monopoly blog posts starting at September 15 for the details.

But they didn't just start over, they changed some of the rules. A few of them worth noting:

  • They removed the bidding cap for streets for players over Level 3. I don't know about this one. The cap is what made it harder to cheat. Without a cap, it's possible to buy cheap property and then sell it at a super-high price to a shell user account. Which is probably why they instituted the next rule change.
  • Property can be exchanged only once per day. I assume this also includes changing hands from the bank to a user, so you can't buy an unused problem and immediately resell it at a higher price.
  • Taxes?! That's right, taxes find their way into this game, and they're a little odd. Here's what they say about it on the blog:

    There is only one certainty in MONOPOLY City Streets. Tax. Just like in real life, tax now plays an integral part of the game. Tax works as follows: The first 5 streets owned are not taxed. Thereafter, the current tax rate is 3% PER STREET you own.

    For example, if you own 15 streets your tax will be 30% of your total rent collected every day. If you own 25 streets your tax will be 60%. Remember, at 38 streets you will effectively be taxed 100% and so won't be making any profit and your bank balance won't increase.

This changes the strategy of the game a bit. Now, as you build an empire, it behooves you to sell your smaller properties — your shorter streets — when the tax you pay exceeds the amount of rent you earn from those streets. I suppose it's good for people who discover and join the game later in the game, too.

I'm really glad that they have been listening to their users. I'm not thrilled that I lost all my streets, though. I'll get over it. I wish they had made a more obvious statement of the game restart on the game page instead of just on the blog, though. I would have re-created my profile (Andyman) this morning had I been told.

At any rate, I think this version could actually last until the January 31 end date, unlike my previous predictions. See my earlier posts here:

Worldwide Monopoly Goes Online

Monopoly City Streets: The Letdown

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