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Simplified tech tree

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Simplified tech tree

Postby monamipierrot » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:41 pm

After long thinking I reached a radical conclusion: to play fun Greatturn we should introduce a MUCH more semplified tech tree.

Look at the tech tree: 1st of all "tree" is a wrong word. Tree means that someone (the main body) come from differentiated roots and goes to differentiate branches.

Freeciv (or Civilization) tech tree is a blend of roots and branches with no central main body. We should call it a "oriented net" or "oriented maze": the more the connexion, the more complex the net. The average tech has 2 roots and 2 branches. Some have only 1 but some have 3 or even 4. Beginning tech are 7, while "ending" tech are somewhat more.
The idea of a close interdipendency of knowledge is, of course, a correct idea, at least historically speaking. Also, the mazy appearance of the "tree" is appealing to an inquisitive and exploring eye, the eye of a Greatturn player.
However, there is a big disadvantage on current tech tree: techs are TOO MUCH dependent from each other, i.e. it is almost impossible to concentrate exclusively on a mid-game tech without having to develop lots of base techs.
Say you want to be a seafarer naval military power. You certainly need Magnetism. Well, you HAVE to develop 6 out of 7 bottom-level techs (you can spare horseback riding!), 6 out of 9 of the 2nd level tech, and half of the 3rd-level ones. Now you can start seafaing but then you realize that you can build a powerful land army with catapults and legions. You want to continue your project? You may want also Steam Engine to protect your galleons in a increasingly crowded ocean.
Well, you'll have to get back and learn to ride horses, along with ALL other techs till the 2nd level, with the exception of Politheism.

What I'm trying to explain is that no matter how far you want to "be special": you'll end knowing, more or less, the same techs other players know.
This leave less space to develop new strategies as long as tactics.
Providing that we DO want to give more chances of specialization to individual players, IMHO we should some of these features:
1. Completely abolish tech exchange, stealing or conquering. Want a tech? Develop it! This solution is perfectly matchable with liberalization of all other kind of exchange, stealing/bribing and conquering (expecially for cities) and allow back alliances as a non-spoiling solution.
2. OR - introduce tech upkeep. Each tech COSTS bulbs to upkeep it. Don't want to pay all those bulbs? Don't develop / steal / exchange that tech.
3. Bound tech cost (number of bulbs needed to develop a tech) to the number of ALREADY discovered techs (as in Civ1). So, no matter which, the 10th tech you develop will be as expensive as any other developed in the 10th place. So you will not juggle with low level techs, as they will not be that cheap.
4. and most important: SIMPLIFY TECH TREE. This would be achieved by eliminating existing "redundant" connections between techs so they will tend to have as few roots or branches as possible (1 each in most cases, hopefully).

Introducing (1.) and (4.) altogether is very easy, and we could do some experimenting. However, the simplified tree should be wisely reviewed in order not to leave key techs too close.
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Re: Simplified tech tree

Postby Corbeau » Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:44 pm

Good point, actually.

Hm, some possible areas of research:

- productivity
- population
- happiness
- science
- trade
- government
- military (land)
- military (sea)
later: - military (air)

However, Civ tech-tree is highly adapted to Civ play, meaning you have to research everything; changing this may need some more changes in other areas of the game. For example, add city improvements: Blacksmith (adds X shields per turn), Smelting Plant (adds Y shields per turn), farms (adds X food per turn)... Because, as it is now, there is no way to increase food and shield production. You're stuck with what you have in the fields around the city and I think we've gone past this. Civilization was the first game of its kind and newer ones that emerged improved the system a lot, while Civ stayed as it was. So, why not steal some stuff back?
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Re: Simplified tech tree

Postby morphles » Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:49 pm

Short post, cause I'm at work, will elaborate a bit when I have time.

Yeah tech tree is major annoyance of mine. Though I would get rid of it totally:) Search my previous posts, advacement should be done using improvements and small wonders imo.
Disabling tech trade seems unacceptable. I would even want to see city and unit trading, but currently there are issues with first, and second is not possible.

@Corbeau:
what? what about marketpalices, banks, factories, supermarkets? You are not making much sense.
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Re: Simplified tech tree

Postby Corbeau » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:03 pm

Look up the meaning of the word "add" :P

As for disabling tech trade, I was strongly opposed to it, but now that I think of it a bit more, it makes more and more sense. As I mentioned in some earlier discussion, we can give "Nuclear Technology" to today's Mongolia, but they wouldn't be able to utilise it if their horses' lives depended on it. Indiscriminate sharing of blueprints that go to production immediatelly is (realism) senseless and (gameplayism) is completely removing the point of independant research; why the hell should I have any research if I knew that I'd get everything from my allies? Civilizations should be able to trade cities, units, money, but technology is a whole different matter.
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Re: Simplified tech tree

Postby monamipierrot » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:27 pm

morphles wrote:Short post, cause I'm at work, will elaborate a bit when I have time.

Yeah tech tree is major annoyance of mine. Though I would get rid of it totally:) Search my previous posts, advacement should be done using improvements and small wonders imo.
Disabling tech trade seems unacceptable. I would even want to see city and unit trading, but currently there are issues with first, and second is not possible.

I read your post about improvements. I have to admit that it is a interesting idea, because it would have many strategical effects. HOwever, it is VERY radical and Civ would look much more like some of those RTS game which were popular back when Civilization was born.
Disabling tech trade is evil, I know, but a necessary one. After all you can trade almost everything else. Ok, not units. But what about city trading issues? If tech trading/conquering/stealing is OFF, and according modifications to Wonders are conducted, then there's NO ISSUE in allow full cities trading. (only issue is that an Alliance could assign ALL borders cities to a player in Democracy, so he is shielded against bribery, while actual war is conducted by other guys. This is still acceptable.
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Re: Simplified tech tree

Postby Corbeau » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:42 pm

Actually, I'd throw bribing units out altogether. It allows weird solutions and a strong disbalance of power. The only problemis that everybody got used to it and are hard to let go.

About improvements, they have nothing to do with RTSs. For example, MoO2 is based on exactly that; there are improvements that allow production boosts, food boosts... Also, Alpha Centauri, anyone? Recycling tanks are exactly what I suggested above, an early food&production bonus for a city.

This kind of Civ is slightly outdated. I wouldn't mind boosing it up a little bit. Not to much, only to get out of the 30-year-old paradigms.
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Re: Simplified tech tree

Postby morphles » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:44 pm

Still short post:)

Corbeau I see what you meant, but that does not make much sense in my eyes, free stuff not grounded in, well, ground. Seems fishy from many perspectives, thats why most improvements give bonus depending on tiles.

monami:
I'm very interested in rts games that even were then civilization was born ;)

Tech trading discussion suffers shitload from difference beteen trading current tech and historic. You can contemplate about nukes all you want. But if I see my enemy using bow in battle, I can bet my ass that it will not be hard for me to reproduce (at least basic principle) it if make out of battle alive. So trading historic techs is... Basically given.

Techs suck in many ways I also explained it in some post. Anything tech related is too coarse as I said, you should give bonus reaserch for tech being traded or found in conquered city and thats it. That way there are realistic coloborative/conquest bonuses, while there is also no free shit - ganing techs with 0 research output (be it trade or conquest). Thats not possible currently however.
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Re: Simplified tech tree

Postby morphles » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:49 pm

Corbeau wrote:Actually, I'd throw bribing units out altogether. It allows weird solutions and a strong disbalance of power. The only problemis that everybody got used to it and are hard to let go.

About improvements, they have nothing to do with RTSs. For example, MoO2 is based on exactly that; there are improvements that allow production boosts, food boosts... Also, Alpha Centauri, anyone? Recycling tanks are exactly what I suggested above, an early food&production bonus for a city.

This kind of Civ is slightly outdated. I wouldn't mind boosing it up a little bit. Not to much, only to get out of the 30-year-old paradigms.

I'm very strongly in favor keeping bribing, will explain that in some later post.

And as previosly said iprovements that boost stuf are already there.

How you get food from tank is a bit of a mistery ;) And prod bonus(well reclaim) you already get from any disband in city, used it many times for great advantages.
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Re: Simplified tech tree

Postby Corbeau » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:51 pm

morphles wrote:Corbeau I see what you meant, but that does not make much sense in my eyes, free stuff not grounded in, well, ground. Seems fishy from many perspectives, thats why most improvements give bonus depending on tiles.

Now I'm not sure what you mean. Same fields can give various food yield depending on who is working them, how and what kind of support they have in their home city. Food yield can be increased while not increasing the surface area of land. This should reflect in the rules and is also useful gameplay-wise.


Tech trading discussion suffers shitload from difference beteen trading current tech and historic. You can contemplate about nukes all you want. But if I see my enemy using bow in battle, I can bet my ass that it will not be hard for me to reproduce (at least basic principle) it if make out of battle alive. So trading historic techs is... Basically given.

That I could agree with, keeping in mind that bow is a historic tech while many, many others aren't. For example, can you reproduce powder if some people shot at you and you managed to escape? Or even if you killed them and managed to acquire their powder sacks?

Techs suck in many ways I also explained it in some post. Anything tech related is too coarse as I said, you should give bonus reaserch for tech being traded or found in conquered city and thats it. That way there are realistic coloborative/conquest bonuses, while there is also no free shit - ganing techs with 0 research output (be it trade or conquest). Thats not possible currently however.


Like I said, many things need to be rethought.
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Re: Simplified tech tree

Postby Corbeau » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:53 pm

morphles wrote:And as previosly said iprovements that boost stuf are already there.

Not regarding food and production.

How you get food from tank is a bit of a mistery ;)

Really? In how much detail do you want me to explain it to you ;)

And prod bonus(well reclaim) you already get from any disband in city, used it many times for great advantages.

That's neither a bonus nor a reclaim.
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