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The Tech Tree
05-18-2012, 08:21 AM
Post: #1
The Tech Tree
With the adition of the new tech and with possible tech to come, I wanted to discuss the tech tree a bit.

Right now, one has to make some real hard desissions. Often times indispensable tech goes up against other indispensable tech and not getting both can be crippling. A lot of games don't last until the tech tree cycles around the second time.

I was thinking about other ways one could get tech besides stealing it. Like what about occasionally being contacted by a "black market" where one could buy tech at over inflated prices?

Just a thought.

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05-18-2012, 08:32 AM
Post: #2
RE: The Tech Tree
(05-18-2012 08:21 AM)elph Wrote:  With the adition of the new tech and with possible tech to come, I wanted to discuss the tech tree a bit.

Right now, one has to make some real hard desissions. Often times indispensable tech goes up against other indispensable tech and not getting both can be crippling. A lot of games don't last until the tech tree cycles around the second time.

I was thinking about other ways one could get tech besides stealing it. Like what about occasionally being contacted by a "black market" where one could buy tech at over inflated prices?

Just a thought.

I think the other possibility would be to split some of the tech out into a fourth tech tree. I'm not sure what exactly it would be without putting more thought into it, but...

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05-18-2012, 10:32 AM
Post: #3
RE: The Tech Tree
+1 to both ideas.

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05-18-2012, 11:43 AM
Post: #4
RE: The Tech Tree
It certainly is reasonable to offer the option to fund research economically. Of course, that might just bring us back to a place where research is diminished. We could try it. And also, research should roll over like industry.
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05-18-2012, 11:48 AM
Post: #5
RE: The Tech Tree
Research rollover has been talked about - with rollover only applying to other tech in the same tech tree. Don't remember what the status of that was.

I do like the idea of being able to buy research similar to buying production. You might even be able to do the same idea for cost, 2 credits per RP. If you figure the starting techs are 300+ research, that's a good chuck of change early game, requiring you to either find treasure or have a funding race to be able to get enough to afford much, so you won't be able to just buy your way up the tech tree. I can say that there's been quite a few times I've wished I could just purchase the last little bit I needed to finish a tech a turn or two earlier.

Also, you figure with leaders in the game, people aren't likely to spend a lot of cash buying tech outright for it to be unbalanced, most likely it'd be like i said above, just spend a bit to finish a little earlier.

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05-18-2012, 11:52 AM
Post: #6
RE: The Tech Tree
(05-18-2012 11:48 AM)VanderLegion Wrote:  Research rollover has been talked about - with rollover only applying to other tech in the same tech tree. Don't remember what the status of that was.

I liked the idea as you proposed it in the original thread, but it won't make it in for v1.1.4.
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05-18-2012, 11:53 AM
Post: #7
RE: The Tech Tree
(05-18-2012 11:52 AM)rocco Wrote:  
(05-18-2012 11:48 AM)VanderLegion Wrote:  Research rollover has been talked about - with rollover only applying to other tech in the same tech tree. Don't remember what the status of that was.

I liked the idea as you proposed it in the original thread, but it won't make it in for v1.1.4.

That's kinda what I figured since I didn't recall it ever having been mentioned for 1.1.4

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05-18-2012, 12:00 PM
Post: #8
RE: The Tech Tree
(05-18-2012 11:53 AM)VanderLegion Wrote:  That's kinda what I figured since I didn't recall it ever having been mentioned for 1.1.4

It's a good topic for discussion for v1.1.5; if I'm adding research rollover, then I can also look at adding a fourth tech category.

Whatever its called, it would need to take tech from military and civil branches; they both have more tech in them than astrophysics.
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05-18-2012, 01:27 PM (This post was last modified: 05-18-2012 01:54 PM by VanderLegion.)
Post: #9
RE: The Tech Tree
(05-18-2012 12:00 PM)rocco Wrote:  
(05-18-2012 11:53 AM)VanderLegion Wrote:  That's kinda what I figured since I didn't recall it ever having been mentioned for 1.1.4

It's a good topic for discussion for v1.1.5; if I'm adding research rollover, then I can also look at adding a fourth tech category.

Whatever its called, it would need to take tech from military and civil branches; they both have more tech in them than astrophysics.

I almost think it should actually pull more from the astrophysics and civil trees, with a couple from military as well (might as well take some from all). While astrophysics has the least tech to actually research, it's the most painful tree for me.

Military, while it has a lot of tech, doesn't cause much of a problem for me because its easy to skip a lot of it. I've never had a game where I've wanted to research up to level 3 of every weapon on the way up. I'll research one or two weapons, plus a little defense, etc. While I might miss a little, its never been anything that's bothered me (I'll frequently miss Improved Energy Controllers and/or the last coupla ranks of energy shields, but don't usually mind waiting to come back the second time around for those).

Civil is a little more painful, as I'd love to get every rank of the first 5 techs, I don't mind missing out on ACP the first time around since you don't really need it generally until later in the game anyway since you need time to get your population up to make use of it. Hydro 2 I generally skip so I can research RC2 before EF1. ICI I have no problem skipping as again, its not needed until later in the game, especially if you can get planets that aren't small so you have more room for buildings. After that it's fairly easy as I don't need AFT, Aux Thrusters, Combat Engines and security training every game, I can pick and choose based on my race, what my opponents doing, what weapons I'm using, etc.

Astrophysics on the other hand I ALWAYS have to miss things I want. I hate getting to where I have 2 reds and 2 yellows and I want all 4 of them - typically starbase, trade ports, exopolitics and either star drives or fuel cells. part of the problem is that star drives and fuel cells are 2 of the first tech you get available, but have 4 ranks each, which means that if you want both of them past rank 1 or 2, you have to miss a lot of other tech on the way. Trade ports became far more important than they used to be with the advent of leaders, I've typically been getting rank 1 and having to skip rank 2 to get other tech I wanted later.

Exopolitics again is a great one if you want to be able to have more leaders, and given that there's a lot more than 3 leaders I really like, I generally want Exopol. If it gets modified to start with only 1 leader available and add a second rank of Exopol, that'll just make things even worse, as that's another thing added to the already hard to choose category.

Planetary grav generators I'll typically skip (unless I'm on a galaxy where I just really need it - HGA with no high grav planets, or no HGA with a buncha good high grav planets and no good normal ones), Orbital labs is another one that I really don't want to skip.

If you look at each of the three trees, for astrophysics if I had my way I wouldn't want to skip any of the first 5 tech (exopol come before or after PGG? Maybe it'd be 5 of the first 6). There's only 2 of the first 8 tech that I don't mind skipping (PGG, and cloaking if I'm not using spies. If I'm using spies, it just gets even worse). Given that all of the ones I want except Exopol are multiple rank techs, that's 17 ranks of tech that I would like to get. You can't get anywhere near that number of tech researched in the time you have before they've all disappeared, and there's only 25 total research items in the astro tree (including all ranks). And this is with Small Minded that I'm having so many problems.

Overall for astro, the only things I dont' really care about in the long run are PGG (depending on the game), cloaking (if I'm not doing spies) and nebula. Thats 3 (possibly) tech out of 25.

Military on the other hand, there's only 2 of the first 6 tech that I really feel I have to have. I pretty much always research HAP 1 and 2. That's only 5 ranks out of 14 in the first 6 options. Other than that, out of the first six the only thing I feel necessary is one of the weapons, lasers, nukes, or gauss. If I get nukes, I don't usually bother researching lasers or gauss. If I do gauss I might research lasers as well on the way up. Most games I just research lasers and ignore nukes and gauss both. Most games I don't bother researching marine barracks 2, pacifist overhaul I'll pick up sometimes, but frequently skip as well. After that, PDS I only research if my opponent is doing missiles, warlord overhaul I'll typically grab.

Plasma I'll grab depending on the game, bulkheads I usually want. Ordinance and FML you only need for missile based games, and typically if I go that route I'll skip some of the HAP or bulkhead research. Shields are always nice, as is the IEC, but I don't mind skipping some of that if needed to get other stuff. Security facility you again only need if your opponent is spying, ECM only if they're using missiles. IPC and Torpedoes generally are a one or the other (Unless it gets really late game of course).

Overall, in a typical game in the military tree, theres 22 out of the 39 techs that I really want to research over the course of the game (laser 3, pacifist 2, HAP2, warlord 2, plasma 3 - typically on the second pass, but not always, RB2, ES4, IPC3, IEC). Given the higher number of overall tech and the fact that its easier to skip a lot more, its FAR easier to get all this tech than it is to get everything I might want from the astro tree, and of that set, there's plenty I don't mind waiting for the second pass to get if needed (max shields, IEC, plasma 3, second rank of HAP or RB if needed, pacifist overhaul).

In the civil tree, I have no problem skipping on ACP early on, same with Hydro 2 (though that one is nice to have). I always skip ICI first, frequently skip cloning facilities and security training. My usual early research path for the civil tree is RC1, RC2, EF1, tax 1, RC3, EF2 if I recall correctly, so 3 of the first 6 tech, or 6 out of the first 15 total ranks in the tree after grabbing tax 2. After that, the only things I really consider necessary are AFT (depending on the game), sports, space elevator, and PCM. Ill grab terraforming usually as a bridge to get to later stuff, pick up robo factories if I have the room in my research to get em. Gaia device I'll grab if the game goes long enough - rarely get to that point.

To get everything I typically do in a game for civil would be 15-16 tech out of 31 total ranks. If the game goes long enough, it'll add in another 4-7 for hydro 2, acp 3, and possibly ICI 3.

TL;DR
I actually think that the fact that Astrophysics has the least options of all the tech trees makes it the HARDEST one to pick from, since basically all of it is desirable, while the other 2 trees have a lot of things that can be skipped with little consequence. Maybe some less awesome options just need to be added to that tree...
What about moving warp gates to be obtained early (possibly in the astro tree also) instead of late game like they are now? Then you could have a choice between grabbing warp gates so you can travel between any of your own planets instantly, or star drives to be able to travel outside of your own empire faster. By the time you have star drive 4, you basically get the same effect inside your own empire of being able to travel in a single turn unless you have a large empire (in which case it might be 2 instead).

I don't think it would break anything as warp gates wouldn't help for attacking your opponent or exploring, only getting around your own planets, which actually makes it LESS powerful than star drives IMO, and yet you obtain it far later in the game. I've actually never researched WG in a multiplayer game simply because 1) I rarely actually get to that point in the civil tree, and 2) by the time it matters I already have high star drives where I don't really need the WGs anyway.

Moving WG to be another option in the early astro tree would get 1 more tech to choose from that wouldn't be a necessity so you have another option early game you can skip out on to spread out the other tech you want to research (either WG or SD), as well as getting 1 less thing in civil overall and 1 more in astrophysics. It would also make the WG more useful. The way I imagine it, people would basically pick to research either WG or SD most of the time, depending on their play style and what they wanted to do, as opposed to trying to get both.

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05-18-2012, 02:17 PM
Post: #10
RE: The Tech Tree
Move the starbases from the astro tree to a new tree. I've always wondered why they were in there. While we're at it, we could move titans and mammoths in there too.

Ok, back to the Wii. Great post Vander. I'll comment more later.

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