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Andruski #1 Posted 13 April 2016 - 02:43 PM

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With Espionage around the corner, I personally don't believe there's much point to it with tech in its current state; since you are going to get it nearly all of it on your own anyway. True, there can be other applications of spies, but I always felt that their primary role was stealing tech. 

 

I think it's generally agreed on that the tech tree needs some work, the good news is it's also apparent that the devs are indeed working on it.

 

To me, here's some points i'd like addressed about the tech tree (I think all these points have been mentioned elsewhere):

  • Tech is acquired too quickly - redesigning a ship 4 times before its ever built feels silly, but also there's no sense of accomplishment when we finish a tech.
  • (some people feel) There are too few techs - Self explanatory, though it seems to me that they wouldn't both expand the number AND slow down research, since we'll never see the end of the tree.
  • Tech is pretty linear - I'm not making any large decisions across the tree as a whole, no need to commit to one path at the cost to another (also because we get it too quickly)
  • There are too few split decisions (e.g. deep core mine vs core waste dump) - what is it? 12 choices? Most of them are not really choices at all.
  • You get every tech that isn't a split decision - The equivalent of the 'creative' trait in Moo2, where you get all the applications listed in a tech, instead of only picking one. (I believe this also marginalizes espionage since you already have all the techs, you can only steal something you were probably about to research anyway; as opposed to getting the 'one you had to leave behind' in a decision)

 

So, since I do not expect the game to totally redesign its approach to tech (to be like the moo1 or 2 systems), my thoughts here are how do we improve the current system, with possibly the added bonus of regaining the feel of either the moo1/2 systems? 

 

1. My first thought was to just make every application in a tech to be a tech in itself, But this would more than double the number of techs and maybe make research feel a little too tedious. Plus it would lose that little feeling of researching a field of science, to just researching that better gun.  

 

2. My second thought was to just make every tech be a decision between its applications, like the dozen either/or decisions we have now, just make all of them that way. The nice thing is that the game already has the system for it, so it should be relatively easy. The bad thing would be that some techs that may be mandatory would now be missed (though I suspect with diplomacy, espionage and even tech from conquest it may be perfectly manageable) 

 

3. Then I got thinking what if the tree was categorized into different areas (This is a very MoO thing after all: Moo1 techs divided into Computers, Construction, Force Fields, Planetology, Propulsion, and Weapons; Moo2 used Construction, Chemistry, Computers, Physics, Power, Sociology, Biology, Force Fields). So what if the current tree simply had rows for different fields and techs could fall into different fields, and perhaps different races could gain bonus % when researching something in their field of expertise (Sakkra with biology for example, Meklars with industry or computers, while psilons get all of them). I am not proposing an entirely different system, just a deeper layer to the current system.  It would obviously take some rearranging. Here's a sketch of what I mean (the random colors being the different science fields, though obviously no correlation to the actual techs from the screenshot): 

 

This could have the extra benefit of a totally optional game type where players choose to research a field of science rather than a specific tech, and regain the feel of that Moo1 research (Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri did this. instead of the tree, you could research using the various fields and randomly getting what would've been available within that field at your current point in the tree). alternatively an 'uncreative' race could have to decide via science field and hope for the best, while other races can pick techs

 

I really do like this idea, but understand that its a bit more extreme than the previous two, so i'll dial it back a little (though I do think this could work along with my next idea) :

 


 

4. My current hybrid idea is a little of 1 & 2 from the above (though I hope #3 fits too): What if every tech was a decision for its applications (like the current system for the dozen split-choices) - but, you could then re-research the field (possibly at a reduced cost) to gain the other tech(s) you missed? So re-researching is like further developing a scientific field after the initial discovery was made. 

 

Now, I am able to get every tech I feel is mandatory, but in the process, will have numerous techs I skipped over. Some of them might not matter to me, but others would've been a real cost to leave behind. I am able to get them, but the cost is time. If I take that time, another race might not, and could be rushing for a better weapon to crush me while I am still in the sci-fi stone age. If I am unwilling to spend that time, I can engage in diplomacy or steal it with spies. No matter which method I use to get it though, gaining that tech was a lot more interesting thanks to the decisions I needed to make.

 

Interesting side effects:

  • a 'creative' race (e.g. psilons) could still get all of the applications in one go (depending on the cost of re-researching tech, that may be rather OP. if so, then perhaps they get an appropriate % of the science needed for the other applications to speed up their research)
  • an 'uncreative' race (e.g. klackons) might not be able to choose which application at all, and gets a random one. (or alternatively, can choose, but cannot go back to re-research)
  • If balanced right, every race will hopefully make entirely different decisions, making them very different from each other, yet still viable in their own way.
  • things like finding a tech from an artifacts planet (which I hope gets added), or gaining a tech from an event would be more manageable since it would be just one of the applications instead of a whole tech 

 

So basically,

  • many important decisions would need to be made in the tree
  • more time would need to be spent if you cant live without something
  • There will be holes in your techs that you can fill via diplomacy/spies/conquest
  • other races will have entirely different tech combinations than you (making them feel more unique; some races may have entirely different playstyles and approaches to victory as a result)
  • tech will come slower than it does currently, since you will occasionally stop to further develop something 
  • if we wanted to, we could also include #3 and have races with a bonus in various categories

Edited by Andruski, 16 April 2016 - 02:06 PM.


NeoKabookie #2 Posted 13 April 2016 - 05:43 PM

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Love the ideas Andruski. I have proposed similar ones in the Technology feedback thread as I too believe this is one of the weakest features of MOO4. One suggestion to your current model; creative races are able to research all tech in a field however at an increased cost. For example, lets say there were 3 technology possibilities in Tier 2 of the weapons category and the cost was 2000 RP. A race with no traits would be able to select one of those available technologies for 2000RP. A race with the un-creative trait would be able to research a random tech of those 3 for 2000RP. Finally, a creative race would be able to research all 3 for 2666 (this can be increased or decreased based on the number of tech and how important they are). This adds an advantage for being creative but it forces creative races to put more of their infrastructure into research so they don't fall behind.

Andruski #3 Posted 13 April 2016 - 05:45 PM

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View PostNeoKabookie, on 13 April 2016 - 05:43 PM, said:

Love the ideas Andruski. I have proposed similar ones in the Technology feedback thread as I too believe this is one of the weakest features of MOO4. One suggestion to your current model; creative races are able to research all tech in a field however at an increased cost. For example, lets say there were 3 technology possibilities in Tier 2 of the weapons category and the cost was 2000 RP. A race with no traits would be able to select one of those available technologies for 2000RP. A race with the un-creative trait would be able to research a random tech of those 3 for 2000RP. Finally, a creative race would be able to research all 3 for 2666 (this can be increased or decreased based on the number of tech and how important they are). This adds an advantage for being creative but it forces creative races to put more of their infrastructure into research so they don't fall behind.

 

love it. 

Mikko_M #4 Posted 13 April 2016 - 06:21 PM

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View PostAndruski, on 13 April 2016 - 02:43 PM, said:

And perhaps different races could gain bonus % when researching something in their field of expertise (Sakkra with biology for example, Meklars with industry or computers, while psilons get all of them). I am not proposing an entirely different system, just a deeper layer to the current system.  It would obviously take some rearranging. Here's a sketch of what I mean (the random colors being the different science fields, though obviously no correlation to the actual techs from the screenshot): 

 

 

 


 

My current hybrid idea is a little of 1 & 2 from the above (though I hope #3 fits too): What if every tech was a decision for its applications (like the current system for the dozen split-choices) - but, you could then re-research the field (possibly at a reduced cost) to gain the other tech(s) you missed? So re-researching is like further developing a scientific field after the initial discovery was made. 

 

Now, I am able to get every tech I feel is mandatory, but in the process, will have numerous techs I skipped over. Some of them might not matter to me, but others would've been a real cost to leave behind. I am able to get them, but the cost is time. If I take that time, another race might not, and could be rushing for a better weapon to crush me while I am still in the sci-fi stone age. If I am unwilling to spend that time, I can engage in diplomacy or steal it with spies. No matter which method I use to get it though, gaining that tech was a lot more interesting thanks to the decisions I needed to make.

 

And there you have it my friends. What I would consider a perfect solution. :)​ Give each race a small research bonus to one of their pet categories to make them all feel a bit different in this regard as well (except perhaps the Psilons who would probably get bonuses on every category). And make it so that the player (at least when playing as a non uncreative race) gets to choose that one application when initially researching, but has the option to come back to the other applications if they so choose. This way we have important decisions, a good reason to trade and steal technology and maximum player freedom as well. :) And that is just awesome!

 

you Andruski should really post this idea to the community tech feedback thread as well:

 

http://forum.masteroforion.com/index.php?/topic/1066-community-feedback-thread-technology-ea2/page__st__20 

 

Since if you aren`t gonna do it I will do it, and probably in the process steal your awesome idea. :D Heck, you might as well mail this idea straight to NGD studios as well.  ​

 

As in my opinion it would really take a Klackon scientist to not to see the obvious merits of this proposal.

 

 


Edited by Mikko_M, 13 April 2016 - 06:33 PM.

Moreover, I advise that the tactical combat must be made more player controllable and informative for this to become a proper MOO game.

 

​The long lost formula for space 4X game success = Good tactical combat + good empire management > than just good tactical combat or good empire management alone.


Andruski #5 Posted 13 April 2016 - 06:32 PM

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View PostMikko_M, on 13 April 2016 - 06:21 PM, said:

 

you Andruski should really post this idea to the community tech feedback thread as well:

 

Done



Mikko_M #6 Posted 13 April 2016 - 07:35 PM

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Took the liberty of sharing your idea also on the European forums:

 

http://forum.masteroforion.eu/index.php?/topic/634-how-to-significantly-improve-tech-research-by-andruski/


Moreover, I advise that the tactical combat must be made more player controllable and informative for this to become a proper MOO game.

 

​The long lost formula for space 4X game success = Good tactical combat + good empire management > than just good tactical combat or good empire management alone.


LeadfootSlim #7 Posted 13 April 2016 - 07:47 PM

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I love the ideas here, but I don't believe that an Uncreative race would be very fun.

 

Instead, I'd like to see Klackons have a -25% research penalty, but a racial bonus to a given category to help offset it. Maybe for Engineering, perhaps.

 

The biggest issue is that breaking up what constitutes a racial bonus category is harder for some races than others. Government, as defined for Humans, is pretty straightforward, and Biology works for Sakkra.... but what about Darloks and Espionage tech? Silicoids and mining-related stuff? Bulrathi and infantry tech? Meklar and computers? Those categories are peppered all throughout the tech tree, but giving every military/industrial race Engineering or Physics seems a bit flat.



Andruski #8 Posted 13 April 2016 - 09:24 PM

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Well, uncreative was actually my most beloved part about moo2. Taking that was not just about getting points in custom race, it meant playing the cards you're dealt. Any other game type you'll find out what the optimal tech is and get it every time. why would you not? With uncreative, I was always needing to find new, creative (see what I did there?) solutions to not having the tech I need...solutions like espionage and diplomacy. 

 

As to the races getting tech bonuses in each category, you're right that some would be difficult to fit in, but i'd go one step further. I wouldn't want each race getting a nice, even, uniform bonus, covering each area. that sort of 'balance' got us into this bland mess. I would hope races get something that makes sense for the race and making them feel unique, while other races get entirely different (non-tech) bonuses making them feel unique. By all means though, have every category available to a custom race



MasterOfOrionConquerTheS #9 Posted 13 April 2016 - 09:43 PM

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View PostAndruski, on 13 April 2016 - 02:43 PM, said:

 


 

My current hybrid idea is a little of 1 & 2 from the above (though I hope #3 fits too): What if every tech was a decision for its applications (like the current system for the dozen split-choices) - but, you could then re-research the field (possibly at a reduced cost) to gain the other tech(s) you missed? So re-researching is like further developing a scientific field after the initial discovery was made. 

 

Now, I am able to get every tech I feel is mandatory, but in the process, will have numerous techs I skipped over. Some of them might not matter to me, but others would've been a real cost to leave behind. I am able to get them, but the cost is time. If I take that time, another race might not, and could be rushing for a better weapon to crush me while I am still in the sci-fi stone age. If I am unwilling to spend that time, I can engage in diplomacy or steal it with spies. No matter which method I use to get it though, gaining that tech was a lot more interesting thanks to the decisions I needed to make.

 

Interesting side effects:

  • a 'creative' race (e.g. psilons) could still get all of the applications in one go (depending on the cost of re-researching tech, that may be rather OP. if so, then perhaps they get an appropriate % of the science needed for the other applications to speed up their research)
  • an 'uncreative' race (e.g. klackons) might not be able to choose which application at all, and gets a random one. (or alternatively, can choose, but cannot go back to re-research)
  • If balanced right, every race will hopefully make entirely different decisions, making them very different from each other, yet still viable in their own way.
  • things like finding a tech from an artifacts planet (which I hope gets added), or gaining a tech from an event would be more manageable since it would be just one of the applications instead of a whole tech 

 

So basically,

  • many important decisions would need to be made in the tree
  • more time would need to be spent if you cant live without something
  • There will be holes in your techs that you can fill via diplomacy/spies/conquest
  • other races will have entirely different tech combinations than you (making them feel more unique; some races may have entirely different playstyles and approaches to victory as a result)
  • tech will come slower than it does currently, since you will occasionally stop to further develop something 
  • if we wanted to, we could also include #3 and have races with a bonus in various categories

 

 

This. I think it's an excellent solution, and best of all, you are utilizing resources already developed by WG labs and NGD studios so it's not only a good idea it's a doable idea. I would LOVE the research system if this was in the game. 

 

First, i'd say creative might be TOO MUCH OF an advantage tough if it got all in one go. Why does a race get 3 whole applications for a single tech and another one gets only one ? It's like triple the research points. I'd say creative races get a discount on subsequent application techs instead. If they are creative let them create, but that doesn't mean they don't have to invest in it. MAkes it all the more fair. Uncreative, on the other hand, should BE able to research other applications, albeit at a penalty. Researching one application kicks in the uncreative trait, making them set in their ways and causing alternate branchs of research on the same principles be more expensive. -Im also in favor of uncreative not being able to decide which the initial application is tough-     

 

 If you are an uncreative race, then you have your work cut out for you: Get used to trading, stealing or buying tech. Also, if the option to re-research is expensive You won't be so tempted to stop and begin developing extra applications, but you WILL get many super-advanced techs faster since you'll likely end up  beelining to the end of the tree. Uncreative doesn't mean low-tech. Also, uncreative is a disadvantage, and is compensated by giving your race extra points to invest in attributes. 

 

This would make a system we can now call "Boring" into a superb and innovative approach.

 

I would also add in a bonus torwards researching the next field in the tree if you own all of the previous field's applications. So if you do a TOTAL specialization in one field, you get to advance even faster. Suddenly there is an incentive to trading for a tech you overlooked if it will help you advance faster onto the next set of engines. 

Maybe simply have each field contribute a number of research points to the following field when all it's apps are effectively unlocked. Sort of unlocking achievments style.


Edited by MasterOfOrionConquerTheS, 13 April 2016 - 09:51 PM.


Andruski #10 Posted 14 April 2016 - 02:25 PM

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I agree that getting all the tech applications for creative may be too much - for the very same reason I felt that creative was OP in Moo2 (Even after they bumped up the cost for picking it in custom race). You still got every application in the tech (instead of picking one) and it was insanely powerful. 

 

That said, the feeling of getting all the techs certainly made a race with creative feel different and powerful, almost looking down on anyone who wasn't creative. I think It's the sort of feeling that the Psilons are already trying to embody in this new Moo. 

 

I feel that NeoKabookie's solution: creative still granting all the techs in a field - but making the entire thing cost more science - Is the best. It would retain the feeling of creative but also give the necessary tools to balance it. 



Provinfistoris #11 Posted 14 April 2016 - 02:39 PM

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View PostAndruski, on 14 April 2016 - 02:25 PM, said:

I agree that getting all the tech applications for creative may be too much - for the very same reason I felt that creative was OP in Moo2 (Even after they bumped up the cost for picking it in custom race). You still got every application in the tech (instead of picking one) and it was insanely powerful. 

 

That said, the feeling of getting all the techs certainly made a race with creative feel different and powerful, almost looking down on anyone who wasn't creative. I think It's the sort of feeling that the Psilons are already trying to embody in this new Moo. 

 

I feel that NeoKabookie's solution: creative still granting all the techs in a field - but making the entire thing cost more science - Is the best. It would retain the feeling of creative but also give the necessary tools to balance it. 

 

I really like this solution, the only thing I would insist on is creative costing less points since it comes with a penalty, as opposed to how it used to be.

diehardtwinsfan #12 Posted 14 April 2016 - 11:38 PM

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I would probably randomize a good portion of the lesser creative species tech choices.  The idea that you can choose the tech implies that the race understands both.  I'd also add that I think there could be an option to spend some additional resources researching the same field to get the tech(s).  I.E.  that non creative race that wanted battle pods and got fighter bays could re-research that tech for say half the cost to get both.  I also think that the cost increase for the creative species should be somewhat minimal,  but I do agree that it should exist.

Andruski #13 Posted 15 April 2016 - 01:36 AM

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Just to clarify, in Moo2 there was basically 3 tiers of 'creativity' 

 

Creative races got all the 'applications' of a given tech, for the same cost (it was crazy overpowered)

normal races picked an 'application' of a tech

uncreative races randomly had all their applications picked for them. (they could see what they would get when researching, but it was still random)

 

So when I mention uncreative, i dont mean the normal races, i mean a race with a distinct disadvantage (though getting points with which to pick positive racial attributes to compensate)

 

The idea of creative races is not original to me, just showing that all of this could work within the confines of the current game..with maybe an added cost (since it was so powerful)



Ceadeed #14 Posted 16 April 2016 - 03:50 AM

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Forcing tech "decisions" is bad, for the exact reason you said.  They're almost never choices.  You have a clear best in choice tech for nearly every decision, and the ones where there isn't a clearly better choice (whether it's due to bad weapon weapon balance or a simple lack of utility) tend to be fairly minor techs unless you're in the sort of extremely fringe situation you almost never encounter with good play.  It also just doesn't make sense.   The general 4X model of researching is pretty unrealistic, but immersion is completely broken by the idea that an entire intelligent species hasn't got a single individual capable of thinking "oh hey, this thing we made a bomb out of can make a sick beam weapon too."

 

But it's pretty clear tech in this game advances too quickly.  That does help avoid single tech tiers being the deciding factor in an otherwise poorly fought battle, but it leads to research decisions not feeling like proper commitments, as the complaint frequently goes.  I would throw your option 2, and ideas like it, immediately out.  The 4th wall is already stretched pretty thin and applying a little common sense makes treating the "best and brightest" of your race as dullards pretty jarring to the suspension of disbelief.  1 and 3 are some fairly workable paradigms.

 

Coincidentally, option 3 was how MoO3 (alongside SMAC) did it.  It was... alright.  You devoted resources to every branch of science, and your scientists would then over the course of the game unlock the technologies in each branch at a speed dependent on the budget for each branch, with a fair amount of luck involved and not much transparency.  The techs available were not fixed and varied every game, with the creative/uncreative traits affecting how many total were available.  You did not always have access to every technology.  This has some pretty obvious problems, namely player skill being subverted somewhat by RNG, if you did not get good techs at good times, or at all, then you were somewhat boned.  There's something to be said for an adaptable playstyle, but this is a game and it is frustrating for a player to be foiled by factors outside their control.

 

Option 1, like you said, fails in that there is too much tech at hand.  It is tedious to have 20 (hyperbole) techs to unlock, with each one taking a turn and none feeling like a big breakthrough.  But I think there's something of a balance without nonsense restriction on available techs, reliance on RNG, or tech "choice" tedium as you walk through a tree.  There's still a little nonsense, but packing techs into bigger packages, with corresponding higher research costs, achieves most of these things.

 

Basically, instead of individually picking 10-20 techs that take hardly any commitment, you pick a big package of techs that, without crippling specialization, takes many turns to unlock.  For an example, a package might be Ion technology.  This pack might take a dozen turns to unlock, but with it you get better engines, new beams, new bombs, maybe new computers or something not directly related to military, like a research boost.  Your sacrifice here is that you significantly delay researching automation technology, which gives you some much needed early game bonuses to production, but again takes many turns to unlock, or researching advanced farming, which helps grow population.

 

Espionage, then, gives you the opportunity to snipe individual techs from a package you have yet to research.  Say you decided to rush automation bonuses but suspect another empire is rushing better engines, so you stick a spy on one of their research hubs and set them to steal a technology, and get something related, or instead find out you pulled something from the farming branch and now you've learned that they actually focused on something else.  There's a bit of RNG to it but maybe it lets you pull techs from what they are currently researching, so you don't just get the options available to you through diplomacy.  Like your spy steals the notes, sends them to your empire and one of your scientists has a breakthrough and figures one of the sub-techs out.  Diplomacy then allows you to trade individual sub-techs without the entire package, so bargaining power can be preserved.

 

It's pretty schematic and I haven't spent any time working out any details, so the idea needs some work, but I think it's a workable way to make techs feel more significant and require greater commitment while including a minimum amount of stuff that doesn't make much sense and leaving important game evolution to player choice and not RNG.


Edited by Ceadeed, 16 April 2016 - 03:52 AM.


Andruski #15 Posted 16 April 2016 - 02:22 PM

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So you agree with the premise of the hybrid idea? (I just added a #4 to make it easier to talk about)

 

Sorry, Just couldn't tell where you were going with it. I don't doubt that it could use some refinement to how it plays, how it feels, and once the limitations of the game's systems are taken into account. But the general idea is if a tech is a 'package' as you say, then the player can research the minimum and move on, or spend more time to further develop it for more techs (i've been using the term 'applications' within each tech). Most techs have 2 applications already, some have 3 some have 1. There may need to be a bit of rebalancing but even with the average of 2 techs, that still means stopping to get the 2nd one while another race skips it for a more advanced tech (or you skip it, leaving a hole in your research to fill via diplomacy/espionage - holes that currently we don't have, making espionage -at least my view of what it will be: stealing techs- somewhat useless) .

 

Regarding #3, the basic idea wasn't to make each category of tech its own tree (though presumably it would be possible to make it such), but really as an overlay to the single tree. Not because thats necessarily the best way to do it (i do like separate trees) but because it would use the already-developed in game system. So each tech would fall into a category (above image) and though generally there are rows that follow the category, at times the branches would have you research something outside the category in order to get further in it. This is already somewhat the case with just the general themes of the technologies. This way they have an added tag about which category they are in (visualized in some way like the mock-up I did) so when you research biology as Sakkra, you get it a bit faster, or perhaps if #4 is involved, you get 2 applications instead of 1 because its your category type. 

 

I think 3 and 4 can work together. I think 3 is really interesting, but it wouldn't be the total shakeup of how we conduct research like 4 would be. So personally I think 4 is the better solution with 3 being the icing on the cake. 



Ceadeed #16 Posted 16 April 2016 - 08:36 PM

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Since I'm going to end up rambling about the hybrid idea, I'll just briefly say that I think I don't see what option 3 accomplishes as far as an overhaul to the tech tree.  It lets us give each race bonuses to research in certain fields, but it also seems compatible with the old idea and, maybe with a little abstraction, could work with just about any new idea.  An interesting/good change that would add a bit of depth and flavor to each race, but won't on its own fix most of the complaints I've heard about the current tech tree.  Skip to the end to avoid some rambling.

 

I like the hybrid idea because it avoids reliance on RNG and it doesn't lock techs from people.  I think if the goal is for people to use diverse techs and strategies we need to avoid high opportunity costs for not min-maxing, and locking techs away from people for a full game makes the opportunity cost for not choosing the "best" tech much larger.  Not a problem if you're playing opponents vastly underneath your level and can improvise your way out of a few experiments, but in a close game being punished too hard for trying something new discourages people from trying new things.  Then people continue to complain that there's no room for diverse strategies.

 

However, I've seen a lot of complaints about tech progressing too quickly, and people needing to redesign ships every few turns and their offensive fleets being nearly impossible to keep within 1 tech level of the available tech.  Splitting techs up and researching each application, in effect giving us many, many more techs, makes this problem even worse.  I'm running with a bit of an assumption that the end of the tech tree is meant to be in sight, if not achievable, for a strong empire by the end of the game, and that the default settings have a turn limit of about 300 turns for us to do that.  So we have a bit of a hard cap on how many techs we can have.  If we allow a minimum of 1 turn per tech, we're at a cap of about 300 techs in the tree.  From the impression I get, people think spending a mere 3-4 turns researching their next higher tech tier is too fast, so we're down to about 100 techs.  If we want to spend about 6 turns per research, it's 50 techs, etc.  This is all very approximate, but we're extremely limited in how much we can split up the tech tree if we want to slow it down.  If I say the only tech areas in the game are 1) production 2) pollution 3) food 4) research and 5) morale, I've got about 10 tiers to work with at 6 turns/research, so about 10 total specific applications for each general area.  There's easily twice that in the actual game and probably more still, so we're looking at less than about 5 applications relevant to each mechanic we might research improvements for.  So if we want a realistic chance to get near the end of the tech tree, then individually researching each application means we need extremely short turn counts for each research.  Maybe the answer is that we don't want the end of the tech tree accessible to races other than Psilons or empires with extreme research specialization.  That's not something for me alone to decide though.

 

Basically I think the hybrid idea is incompatible with slowing down research, with some caveats/assumptions that might not hold.  My suggestion is similar, though pretty much the exact opposite.  Pile a bunch of applications with a similar theme together,  and make that "packaged" tech take a long time to research.  In the end you get multiple related applications all at once, but you need a bigger commitment of, say, 10-15+ turns to get them.  That leaves you with a more significant choice to make (because you're stuck researching the package for a long time), and a bit of room to gamble.  You know you need a big commitment to get, say, automated factories and techs related to automation that may not all be straight production boosts (maybe better aiming computers and some morale boost like personal robot servant tech, much room for improvement here).  You can either make that commitment and guarantee you'll get the application(s) you want and thematically related applications, or you can research another tech package and attempt to steal or trade for just the applications you really want if another empire has them.  The problem is the early game might be a bit... empty, without much to build initially on your capital and research taking longer to provide you with new things to build.



diehardtwinsfan #17 Posted 17 April 2016 - 09:25 PM

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speaking of redesign, why does it need to be a complete refit?  I don't necessarily want to spend 1000 BC to upgrade my 10 destroyers, but I might be more interested in just putting new armor on them...

Mikko_M #18 Posted 17 April 2016 - 11:54 PM

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View PostCeadeed, on 16 April 2016 - 08:36 PM, said:

However, I've seen a lot of complaints about tech progressing too quickly, and people needing to redesign ships every few turns and their offensive fleets being nearly impossible to keep within 1 tech level of the available tech.  Splitting techs up and researching each application, in effect giving us many, many more techs, makes this problem even worse.  I'm running with a bit of an assumption that the end of the tech tree is meant to be in sight, if not achievable, for a strong empire by the end of the game, and that the default settings have a turn limit of about 300 turns for us to do that.  So we have a bit of a hard cap on how many techs we can have.  If we allow a minimum of 1 turn per tech, we're at a cap of about 300 techs in the tree.  From the impression I get, people think spending a mere 3-4 turns researching their next higher tech tier is too fast, so we're down to about 100 techs.  If we want to spend about 6 turns per research, it's 50 techs, etc.  This is all very approximate, but we're extremely limited in how much we can split up the tech tree if we want to slow it down.  If I say the only tech areas in the game are 1) production 2) pollution 3) food 4) research and 5) morale, I've got about 10 tiers to work with at 6 turns/research, so about 10 total specific applications for each general area.  There's easily twice that in the actual game and probably more still, so we're looking at less than about 5 applications relevant to each mechanic we might research improvements for.  So if we want a realistic chance to get near the end of the tech tree, then individually researching each application means we need extremely short turn counts for each research.  Maybe the answer is that we don't want the end of the tech tree accessible to races other than Psilons or empires with extreme research specialization.  That's not something for me alone to decide though.

 

Basically I think the hybrid idea is incompatible with slowing down research, with some caveats/assumptions that might not hold.  My suggestion is similar, though pretty much the exact opposite.  Pile a bunch of applications with a similar theme together,  and make that "packaged" tech take a long time to research.  In the end you get multiple related applications all at once, but you need a bigger commitment of, say, 10-15+ turns to get them.  That leaves you with a more significant choice to make (because you're stuck researching the package for a long time), and a bit of room to gamble.  You know you need a big commitment to get, say, automated factories and techs related to automation that may not all be straight production boosts (maybe better aiming computers and some morale boost like personal robot servant tech, much room for improvement here).  You can either make that commitment and guarantee you'll get the application(s) you want and thematically related applications, or you can research another tech package and attempt to steal or trade for just the applications you really want if another empire has them.  The problem is the early game might be a bit... empty, without much to build initially on your capital and research taking longer to provide you with new things to build.

 

A few points:

 

1. The so called default turn cap for some victory conditions can probably still be adjusted. (And if you ask my opinion hard turn caps totally suck anyway. The default setting for a turn cap should always be changeable by the player when starting his/her game.)

 

2. One possibility is to do what MOO 2 did and allow the player to adjust the tech level from which he/she wishes to start the game, and make the default turn cap adjust accordingly. (This way the scientific victory condition could allow for games of different default lengths.)

 

3. In my opinion Andruski`s idea gives the players more interesting tech decisions than just selecting a big preset block of techs that are then researched for a long period of time. The question of how meaningful/hard these decisions really are at the end of the day will naturally be determined by how the tech tree is organized and balanced.


Edited by Mikko_M, 17 April 2016 - 11:56 PM.

Moreover, I advise that the tactical combat must be made more player controllable and informative for this to become a proper MOO game.

 

​The long lost formula for space 4X game success = Good tactical combat + good empire management > than just good tactical combat or good empire management alone.


Ceadeed #19 Posted 18 April 2016 - 02:55 AM

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Yea, I'm pretty sure default turn limit can be changed.  I'm just using default turn limit and default starting tech level for a standard scale.  It's hard to say anything concrete without something to compare changes to.  I can't really see myself playing with the turn limit being a limiting factor but a default game has its uses.

His idea gives players lots of freedom, and that's a good thing.  It's just not compatible with slowing down tech advancement, unless you start customising the game parameters.  Obviously that's cool too, but you have so many choices to make when setting them up that it's impossible to compare two reasonably different custom game modes.  I don't think a system that relies on you carefully picking the game options to have a good/fun game is what the devs are going for, the goal is probably for the default game to be a high standard that players are generally satisfied with.

As for what's interesting... I don't think that's well defined yet, and I doubt that  different players even have similar opinions about what makes a tech choice interesting.  At the very least it seems that "requires commitment to research" and "many available techs to research and choices to make" are competing standards, if not mutually exclusive.

Andruski #20 Posted 18 April 2016 - 02:47 PM

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I don't believe its incompatible with slowing techs. Slow them down and what would happen? Because of the longer time it would take to stay in a particular field (to pick up the other applications in it) rather than moving forward, the more it will cost you strategically in time. Therefore the more weighty the decisions will be. You have to leave more of it behind, and have to rely even more on Diplomacy/Espionage/conquest in order to fill the holes. Sounds good to me. 

 

Bring on the slower research pace!






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