Vezzra wrote: ↑
Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:44 pm
Regarding how many theory techs to provide: This is a bit of a dilemma. Having only one (with potentially a couple
of refinements) saves screen space and spares us the necessity to come up with a lot of fluff, but it also takes away flexibility.
I think we've come out with a way to avoid that lack of flexibility and still get all the space and content saving (belowe). But about "couple of refinements": the idea is to give so many levels (refinements) to the theory as apps required for next tier.
we might want the possibility to not provide enough theory techs so you can forego researching any of the application techs, but have to research at least one/two/whatever of them.
If, say, you require 4 apps for next tier, and you want to force to get at least one, you make the theory only have 3 levels.
we want to provide theory techs that have an external dependency (like a certain species), while still providing alternative techs for empires which don't have these external dependency, but still should be able to go the all-theory way.
In this case, if we want to allow two theory-only ways to unlock next tier, one unrestricted and one species-bound, I assume one of the ways (species-bound) will be cheaper in some sense than the other. Then, one single theory with refinements can represent this, applying a cost reduction to empires with the required species (same as with Psionics and telepathic species).
Maybe there is some other case where two theories would be necessary, but I can't think of any. Nevertheless, the mechanics should be able to represent both cases, so the decision could be postponed.
Only applications should count toward unlocking the next tier, not refinements.
Except for the "refinements" (levels) of theories that we want to introduce for the unlocking mechanics, right?
So there still can be several refinement items under one application.
these "bonus techs" should always have to be researched, so the player always needs to spend RP and time - even if only a little
I think that is the less confusing way, so they are just techs with (more) restrictions to be unlocked. But I wonder anyways... A bonus that automatically unlocks when the prerequisites are met would be a tech with 0 cost / 0 turns, right? And I wonder what would happen if we place such a theory in FO, would current mechanics grant it as researched once the prerequisites are met?
The advantage of those techs would be that they are much cheaper than "normal" techs.
If they unlock cheaper versions of buildings/parts, having them as a different tech makes sense. Example, the asteroid armour parts.
Just in case: Whenever the tech just gets you the same effect than other tech but with cheaper research cost/time, then this is better expressed with a conditioned cost reduction in a single tech.
That said, I'd differentiate between two kinds of these "bonus techs": those which can only be researched when the prereq is met, and those whose costs/min research time are reduced if the prereq is present. Which also means that there needs to be a clear visual distinction so the player can see at a glance which is which.
I think that is easy to represent: former show it as a restriction icon (for now the circle), and latter show it as a cost-reduction icon (hexagon? square?).
Another thing I'd like to see is the possibility of "tier branches". [...] Of course, those branches shouldn't happen too often to avoid a convoluted tech tree, but I'm not sure a strictly linear layout for each "trunk" will work well enough. I suspect it might be too restricting.
I completely agree. I've reviewed production, learning and growth tech tress regardind its rearrangement into tier system, and I think we could be fine with just two tier-branches for growth and learning, and maybe a single one for production. But allowing two branches seems appropriate.