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?