Science & Tech a review


Greetings! Time for your monthly wall of text courtesy of unca’ Zath! Thought I’d time this for near the down time @mel mentioned a little while back :slight_smile:

SO as all the regular forum barfly’s will know in a mad rush of blood to my head I decided to ride herd over the Wiki of late (Well it was Dead so who better to attempt a resurrection eh!) and the number one thing that keeps cropping up is folks want to have more details on Technologies early so they can pick their research paths out as efficiently as possible.

So that got me looking at Tech in general and while more detail early is certainly worthy and right that will definitely come as details are released. What began to niggle me was the mechanics of Tech Research. SO here is some wittering on that for you to review :slight_smile:

1.0 Tech research speed

Well while the speed of research possible here in Alpha 3 I feel is about right for now. I reckon, and a few folks I believe agree its too fast for Beta or later game releases. So first up some thoughts on how to reduce research speed without making us all fall asleep awaiting the paint to dry…

Most obvious thing that A3 has shown is that in some cases folks have been able to spam Labs especially T1 labs as the T2 & 3 versions are waay too expensive to be efficient in many cases.

So an easy way to slow down research speed for the main game (I stress NOT here in Alpha Test 3.0) would be to designate labs as a one per planet item like sensors or fleet control towers. But…

That will force players up against the expansion limits introduced by the Corruption and other equally disquieting new game mechanics. So simple isn’t gonna cut it here I think.

So how about some alternate ways to gain Science points that are dependant on things other than labs…?

2.0 Science points as a commodity.

Can we trade Science? Well sure you could but as we are looking at gaining more science we are talking an exchange rather than a way to reduce the amount we are generating from labs or other sources! Well we could I mentioned that in another [post] last month (Outscape Social Features - An opening suggestion - Or OMG Zaths doing a Wall of text post AGAIN!) but rather than rehash that I was thinking of something else here.

In theory its fine that two players ought to be able to swap research to some degree especially if they have something researched that the other hasn’t. Problem is that leads to a massive extra calculation of who has what and have they traded that knowledge to whom. My instinct says that could be a can of worms code wise, certainly not worth the effort to micro manage it in terms of game processing resources either server or client side. Not sure maybe a real programmer can comment on that!

So an abstract exchange of ideas might be easier. One thats come up before and bears a remention was the comment that in Civ 5 and similar games we’d get “Research agreements” we could cut as treaties. They last for a set time and yield a one off boost. That might work indeed here. Say two players would jointly research something combining their sci output and both getting the Tech at the end of the deal. At the cost of having to say pay some credits to cement the deal or some other limitation like having a Liaison ship in orbit around each other world?

Not looking for details of how it would here thats for the readers to comment if they like idea. Just like to know how the idea is received? I think it has legs.

3.0 Science points as a Prize

This has been raised very well before. Kill a players ship loot some Tech from it. I agree but don’t want to skew the balance toward more warmongering, or re raise the posts on that.

So as an alternate how about granting a few Science points as a one off boost when an explorer ship finds a new system or planet? That adds a bit of practical incentive to explore and provides even more targets for the Tech scavengers.

I was thinking if you explore (defined as being actually be in orbit around) for the first time a:-

  • Normal Star system +10 Science points (One time not a +10 forever!)
  • Binary System +30 pts
  • Uninhabited Cold (Snowball) Planet +2 pts
  • Uninhabited Hot (Lava) planet +3 pts
  • Uninhabited Ambient (Survivable range) planet +5 pts
  • Planet inhabited by a Player race +3
  • Planet inhabited by a Non Player Race +5
  • Planet of Arrokken +10 (Plus if colonised has normal effect)
  • Per Asteroid field in System +1 (Might be nice to get a few points if you mine an Asteroid field right out as a final bonus perhaps?)

Hopefully this will give a science boost early game while we are expanding and building up what worlds we have.

Of course if you kill my explorers on sight then I am not likely to accept a research agreement as detailed above. So there is some advantages to either approach.

4.0 Improving the Laboratory

If my premise that they drop Labs to a single one per planet in a reaction to Alpha 3 “Labspamming” holds any merit. Then the actual benefits of having a Lab on a planet needs a make over.

Right now only the T1 Lab is really cost effective. I have a few T2’s myself on planets where Res is plentiful and or the population really isn’t worth tapping out on a time limited use building (By that I mean sooner or later ALL labs will be rendered useless as we will have researched everything)

T1 Labs in my scenario here ought to produce 2 Science each. But certain secondary buildings of T2 and above like the City Center or Planet sensors should also add to the science generated by that planet I feel.

Just a point or two per building at most. But its easy to justify that “City” building presumably has schools universities Hospitals in etc where a “discovery” might be made now and again justifying a science point if at T3. Just one for the highest rated city under this system Btw: I didn’t want to simply change the name of the building that could be spammed for Mega research!

Planet sensors must be able to gather Astronomical data that could also help etc Transporters are kinda cool and could have research uses maybe, bedsides as they are they need a bit of love as well! SO I don’t feel its too further a stretch and will make for a more rounded out development of a planet rather than just Labspaaaam!

Labs of T2 & T3 do need a bit of love to win upgrades even if you could only have one per Planet, they are so expensive! Right now under my scenario here a T2 would produce 3 science T3 perhaps 5 feels about right.

So the maximum any planet could generate under this bit of blue sky thinking is

+5 from a T3 Lab complex
+1 From a T3 sensor
+1 From a Megopolis T3 City
+1 From a having a Transporter
+1 if your Homeworld (Just because!)

So 20 planets all developed as above. Would generate 160 odd Science! More than enough surely and about what the top Science producers in Alpha 3 are reporting. But it would take a lot longer to achieve and have much more evenly developed Planets rather than the piles of Labs Piles of EC’s & Piles of power stations, we have now.

I think Shipyards & Control towers have a specific purpose and I find it harder to “explain” how they could generate Science rather than being prime beneficiaries from it.

Ugh just looked at the word count! Shutting up now. Any comments?