Geoff the Medio wrote:utilae was saying that having power requirements that change after refinement gives rise to the same sort of problem as having space requirements that change after refinement. In either case, you would be able to add more of the weapon after refinement, if the number you had prior to refinement was limited by the reduced requirement. So if you need 5 units of power per gun before refining the gun, and had 20 units of power to spend, but 4 units of power after refining the gun, but still 20 units of power to spend, you'd be able to add an extra gun after refining (assuming no other limitations)
No. Read it again. I was talking about two weapons that do basically the same thing. One is much more advanced then the other. If there are two weapons that are researched independantly of eachother, then one can take less space than the other. If it is a single weapon that is being refined, then it should take less space because that would require designing a new ship just to upgrade your existing weapons.
How about you read it again? I, and utilae, understand why reduced size for refined weapons is bad. utilae's point was that reducing the power requirement for refined weapons has the same problem as reducing the space requirement (size): you have to redesign the ship to get the max # of weapons possible. In this context "space" and "power" are indistinguishable. They are both just a number that limits how many of a certain type of weapons you can put into a ship.
What happens with two independently researched weapons is irrelivant to this point. The point is about refinements.
Do you think that the US government, or any governments for that matter, funded the research to upgrade the bow and arrow? Did the goverment fund research on how to make a better catapult? No to both of those. Private industry funded the research on refining the bow. Advanced technology and better knowledge of physics is what would allow us to build a better catapult today.
Unless you want refining in the game to work in this same manner, then there should only be limited refining.
Perhaps we should make certain refinements have additional prerequisites than the previous refinement? So you can research lasers, and refine up to level 8, but to refine to level 9, you need quantum lensing theory first.
Alternatively, rather than having "mods" to apply to weapons, the refinements could themselves be the mods, and be arranged in a branching tree structure. So you can research the "continuous fire" laser refinement, or the "extra damage" refinement, and upgrade your lasers to one or the other. (But in order to research "continuous fire", you need the "plasma ducts" technology first, but for "extra damage", you need "low carb taco-making".)
To clarify, weapon A is available at level 1. Weapon B is available at level 5. To make refining existing techs and new techs equally viable, weapon A must be equally as strong as weapon B at level 5. This also requires some kind of control on refinements to make sure that somebody can't refine weapon A past level 5 until after weapon B has been researched.
Diminishing returns are fine with me as long as those returns have diminished beyond usefullness by, at most, Mk15.
Lasers Mk. I do 20 damage, and costs 100 to research
Lasers Mk. II do 30 damage, costs 10 more to refine, 110 total cost
Lasers Mk. III do 38 damage, costs 20 more to refine, 130 total cost
Lasers Mk. IV do 44 damage, costs 30 more to refine, 160 total cost
Lasers Mk. V do 48 damage, costs 40 more, 200 total cost
Lasers Mk. VI do 51 damage, costs 50 more, 250 total cost
Lasers Mk. VII do 53 damage, costs 70 more, 320 total cost
Taco Cannons Mk. I do 40 damage, costs 200 to research
Taco Cannons Mk. II do 50 damage, costs 20 more to refine, 220 total cost
Taco Cannons Mk. III do 58 damage, costs 30 more, 250 total cost
Taco Cannons Mk. IV do 64 damage, costs 40 more, 290 total cost
So at first, it's cheaper to get moderately refined lasers that do more damage than unrefined taco cannons that cost more. As you refine lasers more though, you get less and less benefit, and refined taco cannons start to be more cost-effective compared to refined lasers. Eventually refined taco cannons are much cheaper do more damage than refined lasers.
how many niches is one person going to fill? If they can refine a weapon forever, then they will only research one or two weapons maybe three and refine those until the end of the game. If at some point refining a weapon becomes useless, pointless or impossible, then that would solve some of htat problem.
Refining always gives you better weapons, but it eventually becomes more cost-effective to research a whole new type of weapon, and start refining that, as refining the old weapon gives very little benefit for the cost of the refinement. (This works within a countering system... the new weapons might perfectly replace the old ones in the countering web, might have slightly different strengths / weaknesses, or there might not be a comparable replacement for a weapon in a particular niche in the web)
If weapons could be refined forever, then a weapon that is available at level 1 and gets refined to level 25, must be equal in size and damage to a new weapon that gets researched at level 25. Maybe the weapon that has been refined takes 5 space and 5 power and does 25 damage but the new weapon takes 25 space 25 power and does 125 damage.
With refinements going on forever, that is how everything would need to work. There must be some way that all weapons at some point are equal in every way.
I'm not assuming that new weapons will occur as part of the refining process... It seems that you are though...? For me, the taco cannon would be researched separately from refinements of the laser. There is no reason / need for the damage per unit size of both to ever be equal.
If that's not what you mean, then why would you need the damage / size values to be the same at some point?
It may not be strategically best to use that same weapon throughout the game but allowing it to be used takes away from the strategy but not forcing you to change weapons.
There's a difference between "not forcing" something, and making something a much better choice. At some point, you're much better off changing weapons. You don't *have* to though... the choice of when to change actually adds another level of strategy.
Because one of the people, utilae, seems to want all weapons to be refined forever. If this is the case, then weapons would need to be equal to make them all viable in the game. If weapons can be refined forever but they aren't equal, then it is either pointless to research the new weapon or it is pointless to refine the old one.
It's never "pointless" to refine the old one or research a new one... but there's always a cost vs. benefit and now vs. later tradeoffs. At certain times, it's much better to reserach a whole new weapon, and others times it's better to refine, but in the middle, there's a grey area where it's hard to decide what's best, and where what's best probably depends on your in-game strategic situation (do you need good weapons right now, or can you afford to research a new one, meaning you'll have less-refined weapons for a while, but be better off in the long run...?)