eleazar wrote:Well that's sorta true, but in practice it doesn't work.
First of all, the amount of our plain tree that would be unused by a tech-focused player is undefined, but i really doubt it is 2/3rds.
Lets assume the average tech-focused player will be able to research 50 techs before somebody wins. No matter if it is a tree or a column system (or both) we need more than those 50 (or for a 3-choice column 150) because we don't want the above average tech-focused players to research everything possible, and then research will be useless, which would be a let-down. It also helps keep the game more continually engaging if the "ultimate" or "ultimates" are usually out of reach.
So while MCCs could replace the need for alternate choice branches in a tree, it doesn't replace the need for an extra buffer of techs beyond what players will normally reach. To keep exceptional players equally busy, and MCC needs 3x as many techs in that buffer.
I've addressed that issue to a certain extent in my tech tree. The ultimate Biology tech, Evolutionary Mutation, requires RP for its use. Likewise, I mentioned that the ultimate Construction tech, Stargate, might also require RP with each use, to act as a late-game RP sink. In general, I would say that it should not be terribly common for players to research as many techs as they can, but if they do - and some players certainly will regardless - I don't think it makes sense for research to become obsolete at that point.
Basically, the problem you're describing is a wider one, and the solution isn't to make more techs researchable, but to give the player something else to do with his RP once he's done researching all the techs he can.
Bigjoe5 wrote:Not at all similar.
True you can narrow the displayed techs to only those that are immediately researchable, but it's a lousy UI, since it just shows a single column of techs in a large field of black, unorganized in any discern-able way.
As much as i find it disconcerting to praise any aspect of MoO3 GUI, they got these essential concept right. This is how a MCC should be displayed: it's easy to see where you are in the tree, which techs are mutually exclusive, and what comes next. A very much superior way to display a multiple-choice tech system.
If you want to see one category at a time like that, then the tree UI is probably just as good if not better. First of all, the screenshot you posted did not
make it all that clear which techs are mutually exclusive (even if techs in MoO3 were mutually exclusive, which they're not) because there are two rows of level 10. In tree view, all applications of a theory would be clearly shown branching off from it, so there would be no doubt about which techs are mutually exclusive (provided the player knows techs are mutually exclusive). Furthermore, in the tree UI, you can turn on both the category you're looking at, and the Cross-Category techs, which shows those techs branching off at the appropriate point on the tree - a feature which MoO3, with its complex category dependencies (though one couldn't tell such dependencies exist from the screenshot you posted), lacks.
Or, if you wanted to see all the categories at once, but not be confused about exactly where you are in the tree, it might be a good idea to turn on only Researched and Researchable techs, which shows clearly in each category where you are, and what your options are for researching next (better code for drawing the tech tree so that it actually looks logical would help with this too... Ideally if there's a string of theories leading one by one to to the most advanced theory in the category, they should be placed in a straight line).
Anyhow, it would probably be possible to implement the sort of tech tree I'm talking about without a lot of changes to the code, and while leaving the remaining functionality intact. What we could do is:
1: Add an optional field in the tech descriptions - "max_dependants" or some such - that defines how many of the immediately dependant techs can be researched by the player, before the tech is considered "exhausted" and no more immediately dependent techs can be researched. If the field is left out, the tech would act normally as it would now, with an arbitrary number of dependent techs being allowed.
2: Modify the researchcost and researchturns fields to accept some value that will make the tech permanently unresearchable.
With these modifications, we could make all theories unresearchable and have any application in the previous tech level unlock the next theory. (Cross-Category techs would be more complicated, but still doable with the current effects system). Then, each theory could be given max_dependants of 1, to make all its applications mutually exclusive.
Basically, it would be a way to let anyone create a tree with mutually exclusive applications, while still retaining all the current functionality if we eventually don't want to use mutual exclusivity (in which case modders can make their own MoO2-style or hybrid trees). And as someone said recently, being able to have it in the game would provide much stronger grounds to critique/praise/insult the system than just seeing a sample.