labgnome wrote: ↑
Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:30 pm
I think the general consensus is that a one theme strategy should be the easiest, a two themed strategy should be possible but harder and a three or more themed strategy should be next-to-impossible.
I would say there is no such consensus. IIRC, Vezzra thought 2-themes should be the easiest (because only one should be a bit crippled or because getting next tier should be much difficult than getting many techs in different themes, or something like that), some think that plenty of options should be equally possible, and some think that single theme should be the easiest.
So I'm not taking any of those for sure, and I'm focusing on getting the general idea of all themes with no strong assumptions regarding how will be that kind of balance.
But my impression is that even 1-3 themes should be similarly possible, so that we get 32 possible combinations (more than double than allowing only 1 and 2 themes)
As part of what I understand is the idea is to move away from a strategy of everyone researches everything.
That particular issue can be seen from different perspectives.
If 32 different strategies (with different gameplay, strengths and weaknesses) get you to the same point, "I've survived long enough to research the whole tree", that's not necessarily bad. In fact, I think it is impossible to avoid.
What is bad for certain is that once you get all the tech tree, there is only one or two best strategies. That's what we have now: spam titanic hulls with 1 shield, 1 engine and rest fighter hangars for internal slots, and launch bays, death rays and armour in the external slots, optionally seasoned with a few swarm asteroid and logistic facilitators. And forget about the rest of the tech tree, obsolete everything on the design window as soon as you get the next-tier version.
So my main objective or design principle is to allow for different strategies from early to eng game even if you have them all, rather than forbidding having many techs.
This is also provided that boosts will stack across themes. I am thinking that maybe they shouldn't. Which if that is the case, would definitely make your choices more strategic.
Indeed. I will make them so that stackable boosts are moderate enough, and that good boosts should require policies in place that will prevent the benefits from other boosts.
Regarding your suggestions in the OP, they are inline with my own. The only difference is that I have envisioned Cybernetics and Biotec more or less interchanged, and that I see Mech as able to do both wide and tall (they're like cancer, they do both metastasis and unsustainable growth).
Like you (I think), I see the population boosts as belonging to three broad categories: space enlargement (that should not change the colonisable status of a planet), environment improvement (terraforming), and environment resistance (improve the species instead of the place).
I give Cybernetics the environment resistance techs. They are the only theme to get a colony on a hostile planet (certain species, like self-sustaining, could bypass that outside of Cybertec theme). Then, only Biotec and Crystal are able to colonise poor planets (mid-late game), and Mech and Energy can only colonise good and adequate.
Mech and Biotec gets two different terraforming techs. Mech's is player-driven, high-cost, fast terraforming tech, to terraform hostile or poor planets before
colonisation (will require backend changes to be able to terraform a planet without species, probably by introducing one building per each target environment), while Biotec's is automatic, low-cost and slow, and only happens on already colonised planets (so no way to terraform a hostile planet i the Biotec way unless getting some Cybertec support).
All themes get space enlargement techs. Energy is relatively bad on that until late game (N-Dimensional habitation), Cybernetic is relatively bad (period), Crystal is average, and Biotec and Mech have the maximum population values for good and adequate planets but they get them in different ways (Mech's will require certain megastructures and policies in place to get the tallest systems, Biotecs is more automatic, but also the maximum values will require certain policies in place).
Nothing is set in stone, anyway.