Geoff the Medio wrote:
I would like to see categories that are a little less about the imaginary branch of science in which an advance was discovered and more about the practical application of the tech.
Practical applications-related categories is how they are / were supposed to be set up. Growth is about growing planets, Production is about increasing production output, Ships is about making new / better ships, Learning is about increasing research output (sort of), and Construction is about infrastructure (or stuff you need to be able to do other stuff faster / better). There used to be an Economics category that was about increasing trade, though Bigjoe5 removed it some time ago, perhaps because it was useless in the current game.
I don't like the Ships category because everyone has to research it, since building ships is a major part of the game.
We should split it up a bit. As an example we could have a Robotics Category.
We currently have Robotic Production -> Military Robotic Control -> Spacial Flux Drive -> Contra gravitational maintenance -> Nano Robotic Maintenance -> Nano Robotic Hull. (With various other Applications and theories leading off this.)
Also we have Alogrithmic Elegance -> Artificial Minds -> Sentient Automation -> Basic Autofactories, with Sentient Automation needing Robotic Production -> Nano Tech Production -> Sentient Automation
So both Autofactories (Production Category) and Nano Robotic Hull (Ships Category) need Robotic Production
Also Robotic Production -> Nano Tech Production -> Nanotech Medicine -> Nanotech Cybernetics -> Cyborgs (Growth Category)
There is nanotech in the growth category and in the ships category, but it could all be one category, which seems to have a good theme and would allow some ships, some growth and some production. An empire could concentrate on Robots and be playable through the game. This is the kind of category we should have. The prerequisities from other categorgies should be relaxed a bit, so that the theories can be reseached without cross linking. The nanotech in growth and ships could be brought together, so the theories from the current categories could go;
Robotic Production -> (Military Robotic Control ->) Nano Tech Production -> Nano Robotic Maintence -> Nanotech Medicine -> Nanotech Cybernetics
This way a single path along the techtree gives a variety of different potential applications, a bit more playable while just following one thematic thread. The Spacial Flux and gravitation bits before Nano Robotic Hull can be moved into some other gravity themed category.
I hope this all makes sense, I know the presentation is pretty rubbish.