With a single word, Zynga has stricken me with fear: fuel. While we're used to (reluctantly) relying on fuel in FarmVille to plow land, harvest and plant crops, with today's release of "City Automation," CityVille has been gassed up as well. To be specific, this City Automation will apparently be the first of many tools that will allow you to reduce the number of times you'll need to click (therefore saving time) when collecting or supplying the buildings in your town. The first tool released in this feature is the Rent Collector Car, which (as you might have guessed) deals with your residences.
You'll be able to unlock the Rent Collector Car feature once you've reached level 35, and from then on, must keep a supply of both gas and energy on hand to be able to use it. The car itself comes in a parking lot the same size as a piece of road. It needs to be connected to a road or a sidewalk to activate, just as other buildings in the game need to be. You'll need to staff your Rent Collector Car with two friends (a Landlord and Door Knocker) and can then finally begin to use it.
Once placed, the Tools menu will have a new option for "Auto" or automation. Basically, this tool allows you to complete more than one task with the same click, across residences that are nearby one another, as seen below. The buildings that will be collected from highlight in orange, and with a single click, you'll spend one energy and one unit of gas for each building collected. For instance, in the picture below, you can see four highlighted buildings. Clicking once would spend four energy and four gas, and would give you the rent from all four of those buildings at once.
To earn more gas, you have a couple of options, including simply asking your friends to send you some. You'll earn bonus gas for helping friends earn gas of their own, and you can also purchase gas for City Cash. For some overall rules, the Rent Collector Car can't be stored, and your current limit on collected gas is 50 units (unless you purchase the fuel with City Cash, in which case you can hold more).
While not available yet, we've been able to learn that both Business Collection and Business Supply automation tools will be available in the future, but an exact release date hasn't been announced as of this writing. For those that are concerned about collecting another one-time-use commodity in CityVille, know that using the Rent Collector is entirely voluntary, and you can save yourself the trouble of collecting gas if you simply don't care to use the feature. I have a feeling we might care once businesses come into play, but for now, feel free to skip this one if you'd like.
[Image Credit: Zynga]
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Will you use the Rent Collector in CityVille, or are you simply stocking up on gas for when the Business Collection and Supply tools release? What do you think of the concept of another form of "energy" being released in CityVille? Is it too much to handle? Let us know in the comments.