Blueprints are plans for very big buildings called MegaStructures, and most of them are famous real-world buildings. Unlike other buildings in the game, the Megastructures don't appear instantly, but have a built-over-time mechanics related to their construction.
First, you 'acquire' the Blueprint for the relevant building, placing down the construction site in the location of your choosing. Then, you need to start the construction itself - to build even one Megastructure, you need many resources and quite some cash-flow for the maintenance fee. Once finished, though, the Megastructure is well worth the investment: some MegaStructures will boost various satisfaction levels, others will increase production of a resource, and most will also boost your city tourism, creating a huge buble of Quality of life around.
Megastructures were intended to be one of the uber features of the Planet Offer, and their building was even more elaborate in its days. The first stage was for you to acquire the Blueprint in the first place. There was a weekly lottery that offered Blueprints to each player, and each offer was only valid for a limited time. If you decided to 'take' the Blueprint, it was placed in your account and made available in all your cities. You then had a limited amount of time to start building it somewhere (the actual construction process was the same as it is today), and if you missed the deadline you simply lost the blueprint, and with it the opportunity to build this Megastructure. It was also possible to 'trade' or 'exchange' Blueprints with other players on the same Planet. a part of the online community effort Monte Cristo was promoting. Some Blueprints were much more rare than others (meaning there was less chance of them appearing in the weekly lottery), which encouraged players to 'collect' the most interesting or rare buildings.
After the end of the Planet Offer the Blueprint mechanics were implemented into the Single mode and made available in Cities XL 2011. You now have all available Blueprints for building with no strings attached.
The purpose of Megastructures, besides the addition of cool real-life buildings in your cities, is to introduce an additional feeling of challenge, where you not only plop down a building when you have the money, but you need to actually do stuff and spend some time erecting it. The construction process is divided in several Stages (or Phases), and for each one you'll need to concentrate a certain amount of your city's resources to push forward the process. There is a different set for each Stage, and the closer to the maximum amount of tokens you allocate, the faster the construction will go. But even in the best of conditions, it will take at least 5 – 6 hours of real time to complete even a 'small' Megastructure. Some of the more elaborate ones take as much as a day, and if you don't have many resources to spend, the process could go for several days. Here are the steps you need to take in order to build a Megastructure:
- Select the necessary blueprint from the menu Packs>Blueprint. There are different buildings in all three packs - European, American and Asian (no Blueprints so far in the Mountain and Beach packs). As soon as you do that, not only will the Blueprint of the building appear, ready for placement, but also a panel will appear with detailed information about the resources necessary for each phase and the minimum construction time.
- Place it carefully - once you do that you can't change the location. Keep in mind that the maintenance fee (or at least a part of it) starts running as soon as you place the foundation, so you'll be paying for the building already, even before getting the benefits. So, make sure you have the resources to start construction immediately, otherwise you're simply wasting your money.
- The project is now in Phase 1, but construction hasn't started yet! Open the Blueprint management Panel (either from the building Infobox, or from Main menu>Blueprints), and take a look at it to see what kind and how many tokens you need to allocate for the construction to start. The necessary information appears in the upper section, under Phases, along with the Progress bars for each Resource. Note that you don't need the whole amount that appears there, so don't get scared! In fact, you can allocate a maximum amount of tokens which is 50% of the total amount you currently need (this max amount is shown in the lower right section of the panel). To start, you just need 1 token of each kind, but the process will go much faster if you put more tokens. Only surplus tokens that aren't used by your city in any way can be allocated to a Megastructure. The tokens currently available will appear in the lower left section of the Panel, under Available tokens. You need to grab them and drag them into the middle section - 'Allocation'. Then press the blue button Assign Tokens to start the construction.
- After you place all necessary tokens in the 'Allocate' graph and click on the button, the Status of the project will change from Stopped to Under Construction. You should see the progress bars in the upper section of the Panel filling, but it will happen very slowly, so don't panic that you don't see any visible progress. Note that the tokens that you're using don't disappear - they are just unavailable for other purposes until the project is done with them. You'll also note that with the progress the amount of total tokens required will keep diminishing - until it reaches zero, at which point the resource in question is no longer needed for this Phase.
- When all the necessary tokens for the current Phase have been 'incorporated' in the structure, the process will enter the next Phase, where you'll need a different set of tokens. Select and allocated them in the same way to continue building. At times during the construction you'll see a message The project has entered the next stage and you'll notice a change in the construction site, and sometimes an increase in the maintenance fee. Don't worry about that.
- When you've finished all Phases the Megastructure is ready and will start hiring workers. After it's done with that, the building will activate all its bonuses. Congratulations!
Blueprint Tier Categories
Blueprints are divided into 4 categories, called Tiers.
- Tier 1 Blueprints are fairly easy to build. They only go through 2 stages of building, and cost 10,000 credits monthly to maintain. Their bonuses are fairly weak, and the bonus to the Quality of Life in the area is weak, as even a few noisy roads can remove the Holiday bonus from the area.
- Tier 2 Blueprints cost quite a bit more to build. They go through 3 stages of building, and cost 25,000 credits monthly to maintain. Their bonuses range from mediocre to fairly good, and the bonus to the Quality of Life in the area is medium, as it'll take quite a bit of pollution to remove the Holiday bonus from the area.
- Tier 3 Blueprints cost a whole lot of resources to build. They go through 3 stages of building, and cost 50,000 credits monthly to maintain. They often give massive bonuses to your city, and the bonus to the Quality of Life in the area is high, as it'll take a high amount of pollution to remove the Holiday bonus from the area.
- Tier 4 Blueprints are not like regular Blueprints. While they are just as expensive as Tier 3 Blueprints, they do not boost the Quality of Life in the area. They do however produce a massive amount of a certain utility. There are currently two Tier 4 Blueprints in the game, the American Nuclear Power Plant, and the Asian Offshore Oil Platform. The American Nuclear Plant produces 10 Electricity Tokens, while the Asian Offshore Oil Platform produces 10 Oil Tokens.
CXL2012 Screenshot - Blueprint Menu, Americas Example
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- Football Stadium (2011)
- Nuclear Power Plant (2011)
- Olympic Stadium (2011)
- Statue of Liberty (2009)
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- Arc de Triomphe (2011)
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