Dev Diary #5 - Science and Trees



Not read it all yet but ‘wide’ for sure… + thanks @mel and have a great weekend



I honestly dont know which one. A wide tree will be good for having choice, like you say. But a tiered tree will be good for lets say a pvp gating feature, where you can only fight players of the same tier of tech tree. It also lets players have some sort of excitement for whats to come once theyre done with the current tree.

But as always thanks for the weekly posts.



I like the Dev’s choice to make a wide specialized tree keeping in mind that we can make good or bad choices for our empires.

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I think the techs should vary based on the race. Humans are “fairly” creative and should be given a wide tree, but synth are computers and probably aren’t. If given a tree to follow, the synth should have a narrow tree, imo, however the wider the tree, the more soft restrictions should be added. Maybe every tech requires a certain amount of research already done or research progress in general (meaning research is “produced” by the labs and “spent” on tech. When enough research has been spent, other techs/areas can open up). Simple gates could be used so that a player cant just research a single tree to get exclusively the equipment they want but can still go around the bulk of the noise.

Addition for clarity:
The idea for this would be to prevent a player from only researching the Ripchee lasers exclusively and mass producing t1 ships with nothing more than high tiered lasers capable of cutting down a heavily shielded t3 ship before the enemy can do anything about it.

I am not asking that a player be forced to research something in every tree, or even particular techs, but some limitation to prevent a player from achieving high powered tech very early in the game.



A tiered tree makes everyone the same. If it take for example 2 years at reasonable pace to research everything on the starting tree with 10 tiers then everyone is forced to be the same at any point in time over the 2 years or there abouts. With wide tree I could decide I want to farm resources hard and get all that done and supply my alliance with resources. But my weapons and ships are poor… But that’s what I wanted to do and to the best I could. I prefer people to be individuals and bare the crosses of their choices… That’s where this game will shine… With variety… A wide structure also allows your race choice in what really matters to them. Each race could have bonus on one branch and a penalty on another or humans where they are even across the board. Or when you choose your race you get to choose what you are good at and bad at… Great weapons poor propulsion. Then even each race has some variation from player to player



Some tech are likely to have some dependencies so weapon tech on laser branch might have a dependency on energy containment level 1 and higher up has dependency on energy con lev 2 so you need to follow both to get that… Whereas ballistics don’t need energy containment… They need something else… So for max on all weapons you need maybe 6 full branches complete… Long to do. But just laser is 2… And in the same time as the full weps guy. You got propulsion and shields all done… No gating just choices



At that rate, why do I need better containment when I could just mount more lasers onto the same turret? I do not suggest that weapon research should require deep mining, but weapons with high rates of fire may require systems that deliver ammo from the internal storages to the weapon. Maybe we dont even really need that to be a gate? I do not want to see a lot of gating and certainly nothing complicated, but I certainly wouldnt want my neighbor researching cloaking while I’m still playing around with the basic research and am nowhere near the ability to find them.



Thats a spawning issue really…



I’m just thinking what would be wrong with trying to integrate both variants into the tech tree?



Because I spawned next to the wrong player? O.o



Well if players spawn near to each other week’s apart then of course the latter spawned would struggle and you would need gating to have a chance. I’m basically saying if the spawning algo is doing that then it’s bugged/badly designed

If players spawn within a few days then no gating needed if you’re wiped then you likely chose a path that didn’t allow you to compete. That’s the players fault/bad luck not the game.



Finally home! Good post as ever mel & gang! Interesting dilemma so I am going to do what I do best and muddy the waters with a Hybrid option.

As others pointed out above a Tiered approach can make things a bit samey samey but surely that’s the best way to get a new player up to speed withe game? It can be pretty frustrating to start a new game then get a ways in to it and discover you did something “Inefficiently” early on that now holds you back?

Maybe a tiers Tech development then would be a way to ease players past the “tutorial stage” but the full make your own way tree would then become available when the player graduates to “Trained” status.

Such a compromise might prevent new players making critical errors in research early on that would cripple them. Then again the full tree with NPC Advisers making non mandatory suggestions to try and avoid any serious errors is better? I dunno.

Personally I agree with the current thought of the full tree from the start, but I consider myself experienced and so for the greater good an early stage tier or training system would be advisable? Opinions?



the path directly to getting a ship cloaked is much shorter than a more wide spectrum path to getting cloaking sensors. you can spawn within minutes of each other and still be trolled out of the game.




I think your idea has a hell of a lot of merit about choosing research lengths based on Race.

Syntis could have a general -10% to all research as per their ability to process information as a race.
Humans “Steal” ability could be as simple as they pick a person’s race and choose 1 tree they can get a bonus to that is equal to that race’s bonus.
Ripchee could choose 2 trees that give them a 20% reduction on research time.
PR could choose 3 trees that give them a 20% reduction on research time.

So a human would have to go out and track down someone and “steal” their bonus, they wouldn’t actually be stealing the bonus but more like tapping into that bonus. They could finish their techs a lot faster than others, but they would constantly have to find the correct race to “steal” from.

Ripchee get the overall least bonus because they can actually steal others ships and tech to reproduce at 1.5x the cost, which gives them long term versatility.

I believe overall that giving us access to everything from the get go is the way to do this, that way we can make our own decisions. Of course there will be some gates in place, like having to research multiple levels of shipyards, or potentially like gates @DeicidE suggested.

As far as racial techs, I could see them being integrated with other techs where appropriate, as well as having their own tree for very unique abilities.

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I like the idea of having a wider tech tree to research so that you can choose your own area of expertise and to have differing level of research for each race along with being able to speed up some research (as per Cheatle) is also good



I agree -wide is best. There should be some interdependencies across areas of the tree but with the need for the player to figure it out.

A very simple example: Ripcheap beams and shields would be in a different section of the tree from bigger engines and generators - it would then be for the player to deduce that they need those engines and generators to power their great new weapons and shields. On the other hand their could be other uses for the generators too (e.g. powering faster asteroid mining ships).

That spurs people to examine the requirements of the thing they are researching.