The following is a guide for players of the hit text RPG game Torn City. One of the aspects new players are often overwhelmed by is Education, which allows players to unlock new perks while bettering their working stats. This guide hopes to clear that confusion. The forum thread this guide was originally posted on (and the best place to post feedback in-game) can be found here.
Education is a thing I have spent way too much time thinking about and discussing with other players in this game. There are choices I’ve made that in hindsight I wish I hadn’t, and choices I’ve made others question that I’m personally glad of and willing to stick to.
The short answer to “which educational degree should I pursue” is “until you’re certain what your in-game goals are, you can’t go wrong with options from Sports Science or Biology.” For some niche players, however, there are situations where these aren’t the best return for their time.
Also, something a lot of new players seem to miss – you don’t have to dedicate yourself to one degree. While most degrees have an intro level class, once those have taken usually the rest of the classes (baring the final) are open to you, with rare exception (like how Biology has a chain of courses to make medicines work better.)
Most players are capable of reading the Education page on the wiki ( https://wiki.torn.com/wiki/Education ) so this will be a solid gloss-over of what they might be missing, and not an in-depth discussion of theory crafting. We’re also going to gloss over the work stat gains, outside of General Studies for a very obvious reason.
Players who stick around with Torn will, eventually, do all of these courses. A strong start makes all the difference though, and that’s what we’re going to focus on here.
Why you want it: Four weeks from starting these courses, you can learn to draw your own blood to save it later, which is a reasonable way to not only make a little cash (especially if you get lucky with having a rare blood type) but to save yourself money on meds. There’s also a merit once you withdraw 1000 bags of blood, and another when you use a bag of the wrong blood type. 8 weeks later you will find medical items are 20% more effective, and there’s a few damage bonus classes in here as well.
Why you DON’T want it: This education ends with the ability to equip boosters, which are prohibitive for most newer players to use (300k a use for 2 minutes on the lower end). For that reason, I would advise new players to grab what they absolutely need from this course and then circle back to finish the degree around mid-game.
Degree: Business Management
Why you want it: You want to run a business or create one from scratch, and you have the benefit blocks from stock trading to make this viable.
Why you don’t want it: Running a business in this game isn’t a thing you do because you want to make money. Running a business in this game is a thing you do because you’re interested in that style of play, and as a result of that interest you eventually earn money (sometimes a fair amount.) New players rushing to open up a company or buy a failing one are going to be really disappointed at how quickly things fall apart. Running a business is not only a competition against every other business of that type, but also requires the recruitment of other players. Most players will be quick to abandon your company if you fail to be competitive and offer them a real reason to stay.
Degree: Combat Training
Why you want it: You want to attack things and make them hurt. So much of this course is bonus to weapon damage types. The final course in this class unlocks the ability to gain weapon experience. From that point onward, each named weapon starts gaining experience points. When you get the weapon to 100%, you get a 25% bonus to damage and accuracy with that weapon. In my tests, this will take roughly 2000 to 2100 unmitigated hits with that weapon.
What is meant by “named weapon here” is, as an example, all “Baseball Bat” weapons are treated as one weapon you’re gaining experience in, so if you want to upgrade to one with a better quality rating or if you’re borrowing one from a faction and then later buy your own, that experience carries over. However, that experience is separate from the experience you’d acquire on Penelope, which is a blunt weapon in the style of a baseball bat, but not a “Baseball Bat.”
Why you don’t want it: Every time you’re throwing energy away on an attack, you’re not throwing energy at the gym, which is a lost opportunity. That said, this course is still very helpful for those who find themselves in a faction that chains a lot. Some players will tell you to grab this after Sports Science, and I think for many that’s going to be a fair assessment. If you find you are doing a lot of attacking, the experience gains are invaluable – who doesn’t want a chance to make a preferred weapon 25% better?
Degree: Computer Science
Why you want it: Code virus, do hacking crimes, some noticeably quick boosts to Intelligence. At the end of the line, you can send mail and cash anonymously, which is a great tool for harassing other players.
Why you don’t want it: As a new player, who the hell are you talking to that you don’t want to know are being talked to by you? Programming viruses is attached to a couple of merits, as are computer crimes, but for most these courses are easily forsaken until later in their game-life.
Degree: General Studies
Why you want it: Lots of neat stuff in here, like a driver license for driving crimes (like drug delivery, which dear God do not do these, as I write this guide I’m on 6500/10k and I hate myself so much), bonus to the damage of thrown weapons like grenades, and if you find yourself in South Africa you’ll get more out of hunting out there. The final course gives you a 10% bonus to all working stat increases you’ll gain from all your other classes…
Why you don’t want it: and those gains are, at the end of the day, kind of terrible for the amount of time you waste getting them.
If you were to grab General Studies for the first day you started playing, not stopping for any other class? The combined bonus to your stats from this degree (as gained from all your other classes) would be a meager 271 Manual, 734 Intelligence, and 290 Endurance. By comparison, when trained in a company, you’ll get +50 to a preferred primary and +25 to a secondary, meaning if your boss trained you once a day and your preferred job stat was intelligence you could reach those kinds of gains in just 2 weeks.
Degree: Health and Fitness
Why you want it: Reasonable stat passives. At the end of the degree, make it harder for someone who attacks you to flee.
Why you don’t want it: Those passives are kind of average, and aren’t as great when your stats are low. You may actually want characters to escape you as well, since there are merits attached to them. Save this for later in your game life.
Why you want it: Damage bonus to specific weapon types, chance for neat collectibles to appear on the map. Class ends in you getting access to the Museum, which unlocks additional ways to make money.
Why you don’t want it: The Museum is probably the end goal here, but it’s not a be-all, end-all of extra money making. You’ll want to weigh in how you’re making your money and if the museum will be good enough to assist with that. The extra items that can spawn from these courses are rare, and as such not worth studying for on their own.
Why you want it: Makes it easier to bust people out of jail and pay to get them out of jail, with one course even while you yourself are incarcerated. You can also buy some properties cheaper too. The end of this degree adds the biggest boost to buying or bailing people out.
Why you don’t want it: These are hobbies for end-game players chasing merits, or mid-game players who are in the right companies to really make these benefits sing.
Why you want it: small speed and defense passive boosts; manage your ammo better, making for more consistent damage output.
Why you don’t want it: For newer players, you’re probably not at all worried about how sometimes you fire 6 shots in an attack round and other times you’re only firing 2. For those players who want to up their weapon damage, there’s usually much more feasible education options to pursue. Newer players likely aren’t using specialty ammo, which is where this degree shines.
Why you want it: Significant Dexterity passive, boost to awareness (greater chance to find things on the city map). Education ends with a 10% increase to crime success chance.
Why you don’t want it: Most players are doing what are considered “safe” crimes, which is to say crimes that aren’t going to send them to jail. They mitigate their chances of failure by ensuring their Natural Nerve Bar is high enough to do the crimes, and choose crimes that will send them to the hospital if failed, or will simply have a “blue” response (crime not successful, but no punishment). To these players, a bonus to crime success isn’t that useful. Frustrating things further, the crime success chance does not help with faction organized crime, and crimes that are not “safe” also have a cap on how “safe” they can be which can be reached through other means such as spending merits or faction perks.
That said, if you’re dumb enough to go after the drug crime merits, this degree will make them 10% less painful.
Degree: Self Defense
Why you want it: Defense and Speed passives, unlock the kick command, bonus to damage when using your fists
Why you don’t want it: For a new player, this degree just isn’t useful at all. The passive boosts are minimal. There’s a few missions where you’ll need to defeat someone unarmed, and this degree can help, but that use is going to be incredibly niche.
Degree: Sports Science
Why you want it: Physical stat gain bonus (there is one class for +1% per each stat, and then the Bachelor adds an additional +1% for all four, for a combined total of +2% to all stat gains) and some minor passives increases to those stats.
Ask yourself: are you training any physical stats? For the majority of players, the answer is “yes, and how.” With this course, anywhere from 19 to 29 weeks (education benefit blocks and merits spent depending) from when you start playing you could have a permanent +2% boost to all of your gym gains. This might not seem like a large number, until you realize that this not only makes every train better, but it sets you up with higher stats… which are an element of how good your training is, which means the payout in the end is far more than just that 2%. For the majority of players, they are going to at the very least grab the classes for whichever stat they intend to be training.
Why you don’t want it: The Nikey Sports shop is definitely a thing for players at their end-game. Each item costs over 400 million Torn dollars.