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 Post subject: Re: Energy Frigate
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 9:17 am 
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Sloth wrote:
The task to redo the tech tree becomes more and more challenging the more clutter piles up.
I think we already are past the point where we need to completely redesign the tech tree from scratch. Especially with ideas like this floating around - once we implement something like that (and I think we should, it looks like a big improvement), the tech tree has to be redone completely anyways.

So, I'm with Mat here. With fundamental changes like the above coming, it doesn't make any sense to put too much effort in redesigning the tech tree now, only trying to keep things we need to add in the meantime from getting too unbalanced/messed up. Anything else is just a huge waste of time and effort IMO. Once we have agreed on how the fundamental mechanics of the tech tree should work and implemented that, we can take on redesigning the thing.


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 Post subject: Re: Energy Frigate
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:24 pm 
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I suspect that this
Vezzra wrote:
Once we have agreed on how the fundamental mechanics of the tech tree should work
is part one and these two:
Quote:
and implemented that, we can take on redesigning the thing.
have to go together, redesigning the backend and implementing it within the scripts is almost certainly going to need a fork so that everything can be worked on in succession, backend, scripts, AI, as each follows on from the previous but none can be done peacemeal.

Sloth, I think my biggest problem with the discussion is I genuinely don't understand what you mean by 'clutter' nor why you think it's a problem, I strongly suspect we're talking at cross purposed and misunderstanding each other which is bad as we all want the best results.

To me, this
Sloth wrote:
So here is a suggestion with less clutter:
A. Energy Boundary Manipulation is no longer dependend on Energy Frigade.
B. Quantum Energy gets the preq Energy Boundary Manipulation and doesn't need Gravitonics.
C. Solar Containment doesn't directly depend on Energy Boundary Manipulation.

Suggestion:
Force Field Harmonics - Gravitonics - Energy Boundary Manipulation
\:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::\
:\:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Quantum Energy - Solar Containment
::\::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: /
::: Force-Energy Compression - Energy Frigade
Is a clear alternative, but to me it's more cluttered, not less, you end up with more crossovers and I have real balance concerns for it, I have long thought that fractals are overpowered for the time of game you can field them (actually, they're overpowered in total but that'll lessen as we get more internals). Removing gravitonics from the flow, letting fractals be researchable without the frigate (and without compressed energy? when does the building unlock?) looks off to me, and I don't understand your logic of this being less 'cluttered', as I said, I don't think we're understanding the words the same way.

If we were to make quantum and fractal follow on, then quantum would have to be the first one, for balance reasons, it's a good solid hull but it's not overpowered the way fractals can be.

Perhaps a screenshot of how you use the tech tree/look at it with an example of 'clutter' so I can see what you mean and why it bothers you? Because it does render weirdly, viewing just the ship parts in completion currently and you get big balloons surrounding completely independent things for no apparent reason.

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 Post subject: Re: Energy Frigate
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:22 am 
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MatGB wrote:
Sloth, I think my biggest problem with the discussion is I genuinely don't understand what you mean by 'clutter' nor why you think it's a problem, I strongly suspect we're talking at cross purposed and misunderstanding each other which is bad as we all want the best results.
Well my approach is simple: I like to look at the whole tech tree - everything visible and plan my research.

Here is a screenshot of the tech tree after your changes. The red lines are the connections involved with the energy frigade:
Attachment:
Energy Frigade.png
Energy Frigade.png [ 130.71 KiB | Viewed 2719 times ]
See what i mean with clutter?

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 Post subject: Re: Energy Frigate
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:29 am 
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I think the issues is that there are far too many techs, many of which just unlock one thing.

A nice approach, I suspect, is something like GalCiv3, where early-game techs tend do unlock multiple related things. Later techs progressively unlock less stuff per tech. This vastly reduces the total number of techs, particularly at the start of the tree, which avoids overwhelming players with so many choices initially. Later on, each tech can unlock fewer things, which may require there to be more techs available, but the number grows slowly, giving the player a chance to learn what's there over time, which should be less overwhelming. Also, if I recall correctly, there are no inter-category dependencies, so the sub-trees are relatively simple and self-contained, without generating such a complex web of dependencies, even at later stages when there are more techs available.


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 Post subject: Re: Energy Frigate
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 6:22 pm 
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Sloth wrote:
Well my approach is simple: I like to look at the whole tech tree - everything visible and plan my research.

Here is a screenshot of the tech tree after your changes. The red lines are the connections ... See what i mean with clutter?

I do, and I now understand more, I rarely if ever look at the whole tree and it's always been cluttered to me, this doesn't, to me, increase the level much as it was already too much for my tastes, I know the tree well enough and select by category view virtually always.

I think Geoff's partially right (I like complex, but from a new player perspective it'd definitely be daunting), but another part of the problem is the way the tree auto sorts everything into location. Putting the compressed hull and the energy frigate below that massive block of unrelated techs is a really poor way of displaying it, it makes far more line crossings than are needed, it would fit far better if it came through and put the compressed energy tech where Exobots is in your picture.

I do, now, understand why you don't like it, but the problem here isn't that this is a bad choice for the techs, it's that the way techs are displayed is sub optimal, for balance it's the better choice but it does add a tiny bit of extra clutter to an unnecessarily complex display (that some of the 'loop' techs, like this, the organic hulls, the gravtic/nanorobotic split leading to logistics go out in a weird fashion makes the current complexity appear far word, but for the current way we're doing tech it's always going to happen, perhaps the algorithm that creates the display could have some work? Beyond me, obviously).

OK, so we're pretty much agreed that too much crossover, and too much complexity in the early game, is a problem. I completely disagree with dumping cross path dependencis completely, I deliberately introduced some into damage control recently and that works (so much so I'd be more tempted to remove the line dependency of those techs and simply have each be dependent on a construction tech, with perhaps a discount if you've got what's currently a precursor tech). I'm also hoping, soon, to add some dependencies into Intelligence, when I split up planetary and ship stealth techs, mostly for balance purposes, I dislike that you can simply rush down a tree in a way that can create some balance issues.

We basically either need some sort of across line dependencies or introduce some sort of 'age' system so you can't start certain techs until you cross a certain boundary point (like Civ does with Bronze/Iron/'modern', etc). I dislike the latter approach but it would make things simpler, you can't research Omni Scanner until you're in the Transcendence Age, or Fractal Hulls until you're in the Gravitonics Age. It would work, and would simplify things, but is completely against the current approach—it might also make our discussions simpler, when I talk about an 'early game tech' do others think of the early game the way I do (mostly up to Orbital Habitation and Quantum Networking) or do they think even earlier, or much later? But if we want to reduce clutter we need to agree an approach and a vision for it.

Currently we have several 'gatekeeping' techs, Galactic Infrastructure being an obvious one, Gravitonics and Theory of Everything being another, that basically mark transition points in relative power levels of an empire. I, personally, quite like this but it does lead to lines coming in together from various places then branching out again.

So 1) can the algoorithm be improved so techs are placed closer to dependencies when possible and b) what sort of approach do we want to redo the tech line while keeping some sort of gatekeeping system?

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 Post subject: Re: Energy Frigate
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:51 pm 
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MatGB wrote:
I do, and I now understand more, I rarely if ever look at the whole tree and it's always been cluttered to me, this doesn't, to me, increase the level much as it was already too much for my tastes, I know the tree well enough and select by category view virtually always.
If you look at the screenshot (or the whole tech tree ingame) there actually aren't that many lines that are hard to follow. But i can understand that keeping it clean is currently a huge pain when adding or nerfing stuff.

MatGB wrote:
I completely disagree with dumping cross path dependencis completely, I deliberately introduced some into damage control recently and that works (so much so I'd be more tempted to remove the line dependency of those techs and simply have each be dependent on a construction tech, with perhaps a discount if you've got what's currently a precursor tech). I'm also hoping, soon, to add some dependencies into Intelligence, when I split up planetary and ship stealth techs, mostly for balance purposes, I dislike that you can simply rush down a tree in a way that can create some balance issues.
I very much agree with you here Mat.

I'm currently swamped with work, kids and studies, so i can just complain, but not really produce any solutions atm. Sorry about that. :oops:

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