Tech Specialization Mechanic

Mechanics proposed hereafter pertain to future, more wide-reaching tech trees.

Research should face layers of mitigation such that the player shapes his own balance.

· Diminishing returns on research point accrual
· Research within a tree slightly decreases the cost of research within that tree.
· Research within a tree slightly increases the cost of research outside that tree.

Without diminished returns, early success grows in exponential increments as tech advantages compound.

No player should complete the entire map of technology. Our current tech trees lack the depth and width to accomodate this, but as content expands to encompass and support more playstyles, tech tree specializations should be the goal of development.

This proposal intends relatively easy access to two trees (bonuses canceling penalties) or strategic coordination of the lower ends of most trees. Thereafter progress becomes increasingly difficult.

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I think the current tech tree should be researchable within a couple of weeks (Awaken server) so that people can quickly become competitive. Because, lets face it, without DNs and high level weaponry you simply cannot compete.

However they should expand the tech tree and introduce new levels of the existing tech (DN level 2, Missile Launcher level 6), starting from the current highest level. And from there on it should be steeply exponential with diminishing returns.

E.g. researching DN level 2 should give maybe 10% bonus but cost twice as much (100k) than the current DN. The next level should give another 10% but at triple the cost at the previous one, so 300k. Then 900k at next level and so on. That way it will become prohibitively more expensive but should theoretically never finish, just like it should be in an MMO.

I’ve thought about this, but how do you resolve the issue that only the t3 mine has deep mining? Also, how do you resolve the issue where players can build and gift solid resource planets? Trade fleets they cannot build themselves? Do you suggest a penalty or feel that your proposed changes would be fair?

You need to think bigger.

Picture a tech tree where mining and trade ships are just the basic, or core technologies.

Take the current one and triple the width and height.

And go from there.

Ditto as Teeo noted and more.

With more content to feed tech specializations, we should find players taking differing angles of the same trees. Specifically I’ll play off your examples (they’re good ^_^).

Trading Fleets:
Within the same tree, one player might develop techs for constructing the most heavily modified battleship hulls. He can trade those away and they’ll retain the extra armor, slots, etc (each modification has its own tech with multiple levels and appropriate construction costs and upkeeps for the owner). Another player might delve into producing them cheaply and quickly without the modification, instead he stacks techs that reduce costs, increase construction speed and possibly even remove slots or armor to deepen the discounts. With the tech to reach these tiers the prices of research within the tree have dropped a significantly.

A player might go for the best modification techs and the efficiency techs. If he does, the investments into the tree have by then heaped ugly boosts to the cost of tech advances related to mining, governance, weaponry, engines, planetary construction, troop and crew training, etc. The player fully immersed in a fleet building tree to perfect his speciality must rely on trading his works away for the support of others. He likely has first-hand access to only the lowest tiers of tech outside that tree but can make steady progress up another as it accumulates its own tech discounts and further boosts tech costs outside these two trees.

If he can’t mine fast enough for production, that’s fair and good. He’s forced to trade or raid for resources.

Gifting Planets:
Mining, as I hope to see it, should have four direct influencers and many indirect. Density foremost decides the rate. Structures, the mines themselves being modified by tech in a tree of planetary construction, then determine what is pulled from that density. These two are tradable. What are not (yet) tradable are tech advancements that further modify mining both by researching boosted mining methods and by modifying the workforce morale. A player could plausibly pursue depths of tech in two of the three (planetary construction, mining, governance), but if he fully immerses his empire toward this, he will likely need to trade for support from others. Planet building and gifting can be an avenue all its own, leaving the builder defenseless unless he has local friends, has traded for defenses, or has coupled the tree with another cleverly.

The penalties for specializations and their tradings are inherent in their choices of tech and the compounding difficulty of reaching outside their specialization. This of course depends on the rates set by IDA and I would also note that if development does not leash meta-alliances into localities these specializations could be excessively difficult to enjoy for solo players.

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The last time I made a similarly fair assumption, fleets in the proposed idea enaged other fleets, but did not move.

@SlayMoreDragons my own idea is very similar to yours, they even share most of their cons. For each player participating in the specialization that can and is able to spawn near their friends, their collective speed up the tree increases significantly this is compounded by the acceleration you suggested. Yes, the player supplying his entire alliance with transport ships will take some time to do so, but the only thing stopping him from sharing the best transports would be the rule that races can’t trade with each other which immediately becomes sort of strange considering what this does (it would at that point make more sense that each race cannot trade its special ship, I.E. mankind and syntis transports and ripchee and PR corvettes).

So the big question is, how would development leash meta-alliances into localities and then restrict them to not dominate? I presume you meant tech localities as actual locations would turn the game into a giant game of who can turtle better. Would it not be easier to simply remove the research tree focus which would allow a single player greater ease at acquiring all the tech they require without being penalized while also granting players the ability to become highly focused?

I intend soon to address racial balancing as a topic of its own.

Alliances can and should often wield the sharpest coordination of this mechanic, but not everywhere. As @Slamz and I have illustrated in posts elsewhere, it’s not the power of alliances that’s breaking Outscape. The issue is a boundless reach of that power. The ‘leash’ with few exceptions must be incrementally more difficult, expensive and impotent activity when players travel far from home.

The open trade of planets, resources, hulls, modules and crews does provide meta-alliances a means of somewhat undermining the leashes we’ve prescribed, but it also exposes opportunity for players outside their network to share in their gains. Tech specialization in conjunction with open trade creates incentives for interacting with alliances whether through trading, raiding or smuggling.

This topic does build upon trusting a balance is established between solo, networked and allied playstyles. Those balances should be discussed to great depths elsewhere :slight_smile:

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