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Technology Discovery - 1/25/2021 1:42:05 PM   
Dukie

 

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Get rid of it! Allow the player to select what he wants to research, limited of course to where they are in the tech tree. Make technologies more expensive to compensate for this change if necessary. Far too many of my games end up very stilted, technologically speaking, because of the requirement to "discover" a tech before researching it. A number of posters here talk of roleplaying in this game. I look at this from a roleplaying perspective. I'm the supreme leader. I gather my chief scientists and tell them we need to build up our industrial capacity. To do so requires a means to power these facilities. Go find a way to generate that power! A couple years go by, I gather my scientists back together and ask them what they have for me. Did you find a way to power our factories? No, but we figured out that paved roads might be a good thing. What? The autocrat would have them shot. The democrat would fire them. The meritocrat would have them cleaning latrines the rest of their lives. Is this feature a way to help the AI compete?
Post #: 1
RE: Technology Discovery - 1/25/2021 4:20:03 PM   
zgrssd

 

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The main request is usually involving the power techs.
I started starting on TL4, as that means I start with knowledge of the Solar Panel.

And I implore Vic to make Solar Panels start tech, but cut their production by a factor of 10 in return.

(in reply to Dukie)
Post #: 2
RE: Technology Discovery - 1/25/2021 4:52:17 PM   
Clux


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From: Mexico
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quote:

ORIGINAL: zgrssd

The main request is usually involving the power techs.
I started starting on TL4, as that means I start with knowledge of the Solar Panel.

And I implore Vic to make Solar Panels start tech, but cut their production by a factor of 10 in return.


Solar panels produce just enough energy for early game, nerfing them by cutting their production in 10 would render them useless

_____________________________

Amateurs talk about strategy. Professionals talk about logistics!

(in reply to zgrssd)
Post #: 3
RE: Technology Discovery - 1/25/2021 5:52:53 PM   
Nsf665

 

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But isn't Tech discovery something new in the usual 4x?
I mean, it can be frustrating, but I think it adds more realism to the game.
Also you speak about roleplay as supreme leader, but in the start of the game you are usually supreme leader of a bigger "village",
so it makes sense that nobody knows how to discover something fast.

Anyway, as an toggle-able option it would be fine, I just wouldn't like to get rid of this mechanic :)

(in reply to Clux)
Post #: 4
RE: Technology Discovery - 1/25/2021 7:28:12 PM   
redrum68

 

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quote:

Solar panels produce just enough energy for early game, nerfing them by cutting their production in 10 would render them useless


Rather than cutting their production by a factor of 10, I think significantly increasing their needed workers would be better so they are less population efficient than later power options but still cheap and effective early game.

(in reply to Nsf665)
Post #: 5
RE: Technology Discovery - 1/25/2021 8:09:27 PM   
Soar_Slitherine

 

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The tech discovery system is a positive for the game overall in my opinion. Without it, it would be optimal to decide on a specific order to research techs in near the beginning of the game and just rush directly for key techs like polymers, lasers, nukes, etc. While systems like that are common in 4X games, it's not really a good model of how scientific progress works, and it's more interesting to have variety. Fixing the issue with the energy production techs hardly requires throwing out the whole system.

(in reply to redrum68)
Post #: 6
RE: Technology Discovery - 1/25/2021 8:10:18 PM   
AKicebear

 

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I'm a big fan of the discovery process in that it defeats perfect build orders.

But the problem of missing energy techs early on is a real one - you either have to 99% discovery until you get find an energy tech to research when needed, or take a big risk by skipping it.

It would be nice if you could pay a fee in credits, PP, etc to your economic leader to focus research on a specific undiscovered tech. Maybe also make its discovery cost in BP 2-4x higher as a result, but you know you'll obtain it at the end of that process.

(in reply to redrum68)
Post #: 7
RE: Technology Discovery - 1/26/2021 2:11:53 AM   
beyondwudge

 

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Or you could... put more budget in BPs to discovering technology? You know, you could learn how to play the game.

(in reply to AKicebear)
Post #: 8
RE: Technology Discovery - 1/26/2021 5:11:43 AM   
Luckspeare

 

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Wow, that's a really passive-aggressive way to say that.

I have to agree that the tech discovery requirement is a really cool mechanic -- I'd personally prefer the rough edges of it be smoothed rather than the system be fundamentally changed.

(in reply to beyondwudge)
Post #: 9
RE: Technology Discovery - 1/26/2021 1:01:54 PM   
LarryBurstyn

 

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Having been involved in real government research...I can say that a government often researches many different things at the same time. They spend most research in known avenues of research where there is a large positive chance to discover or develop a technology...and some research on "fringe" ideas...things that would be nice if possible but you don't know if it is possible...example you don't know if it is possible to develop a fusion reactor that generates more power than it uses but it sure would be nice...nice clean energy with maybe less radioactivity than fission plants. Or in the 1950's a missile that can be launched from beneath the surface of the ocean from anywhere and still hit a target thousands of miles away--unknowns at the time--can you develop a missile that will actually fly after being launched from a submerged ships, how do you guide the missile when you don't know exactly where you are located when you launch the missile. So the Navy worked on both problems at the same time...how to know where you are when you launch the missile after being submerged with practically no reference points (much of the underwater ocean was unknown at the time) and actually launching the missile.

(in reply to Luckspeare)
Post #: 10
RE: Technology Discovery - 1/26/2021 1:12:47 PM   
LarryBurstyn

 

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And more importantly you make known technology cheaper, smaller, and efficient. Example the first nuclear weapons were BIG and HEAVY -- the ones we dropped on Japan weighed 10,000 pounds and produced about 17 KT (Kilotons of TNT). By 1970 a weapon that produced 17 KT weighed much less than a 1000 pounds and would fit on a missile and produced less fallout.

(in reply to LarryBurstyn)
Post #: 11
RE: Technology Discovery - 1/26/2021 1:47:27 PM   
beyondwudge

 

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I think the game distinguishes between the civilian government and the empire you are building. I think that is why the SHQ forms a public economy from what it collects from the private economy, you are primarily relying upon a military-style infrastructure. Sure, even the military isn't single-minded about research but I think this is the idea:

You used to be part of a galactic republic. You have access to some writings and notions of how it used to be. However, it takes time to not just read and understand what you have left to you from before, there is also a great many gaps that have to be filled to make the knowledge useful at your reduced technology level.

What the economic and research councils represent is like a Manhattan project where all the best minds are focusing on a single major breakthrough at a time. The reason this happens year after year (each game round is two months) is that each new breakthrough fills in another gap that makes a new set of writings relevant and another project possible, allowing for them to chain the discoveries together in what is a very short period of time.

The reason that the private economy isn't involved is that civilisation has broken down on your planet and the brutal requirements of Empire mean that sharing your discoveries with other factions, let alone with the private economy or freefolk, is something that should be avoided at all costs. Therefore, you get a very controlled but inflexible approach to research as you are playing a game to conquer the entire planet -- within the space of a hundred years (600 turns sound a good upper limit?, I don't know how long people's games are going for).

(in reply to LarryBurstyn)
Post #: 12
RE: Technology Discovery - 1/26/2021 3:27:04 PM   
zgrssd

 

Posts: 2843
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Clux


quote:

ORIGINAL: zgrssd

The main request is usually involving the power techs.
I started starting on TL4, as that means I start with knowledge of the Solar Panel.

And I implore Vic to make Solar Panels start tech, but cut their production by a factor of 10 in return.


Solar panels produce just enough energy for early game, nerfing them by cutting their production in 10 would render them useless


quote:

ORIGINAL: redrum68

quote:

Solar panels produce just enough energy for early game, nerfing them by cutting their production in 10 would render them useless


Rather than cutting their production by a factor of 10, I think significantly increasing their needed workers would be better so they are less population efficient than later power options but still cheap and effective early game.

T3 Solar Panels produce more energy then a T1 Fuel Burner plant, at same worker upkeep and 0 Fuel upkeep.
They are too good to bother with any other plant.

Increasing their worker needs would make them less of a early game option as that is when workers are the most limited resource.
Meanwhile cutting their output means they stay as buildable as they are earlygame, but are not suiteable for lategame consumption with their low output.

quote:

ORIGINAL: beyondwudge

Or you could... put more budget in BPs to discovering technology? You know, you could learn how to play the game.

There might have been a more offensive way to say that, but I can not imagine it.

Everyone agrees that the difficulty of finding any power production at gamestart under TL3 is excessive.
Especially since all BP producers cost energy to run, so how the heck should you increase assinged BP, other then setting the Councils to 100%/100%?
And while T4 fix it, it really should not be that kind of issue to begin with.

quote:

ORIGINAL: LarryBurstyn

Having been involved in real government research...I can say that a government often researches many different things at the same time. They spend most research in known avenues of research where there is a large positive chance to discover or develop a technology...and some research on "fringe" ideas...things that would be nice if possible but you don't know if it is possible...example you don't know if it is possible to develop a fusion reactor that generates more power than it uses but it sure would be nice...nice clean energy with maybe less radioactivity than fission plants. Or in the 1950's a missile that can be launched from beneath the surface of the ocean from anywhere and still hit a target thousands of miles away--unknowns at the time--can you develop a missile that will actually fly after being launched from a submerged ships, how do you guide the missile when you don't know exactly where you are located when you launch the missile. So the Navy worked on both problems at the same time...how to know where you are when you launch the missile after being submerged with practically no reference points (much of the underwater ocean was unknown at the time) and actually launching the missile.

And who would have thought that our knowledge in Quantum Tunneling would allow rewriteable, non-volatile Flash Media. Also know as the shock-resistant, persistent memory in USB sticks, Smartphones and SSD's!

I do think that maybe adding some tech to starting tech or even having some discovery/progress based on exposure to the need makes sense:
https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4847761

(in reply to LarryBurstyn)
Post #: 13
RE: Technology Discovery - 1/26/2021 4:49:20 PM   
beyondwudge

 

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It isn't called passive aggression. It isn't called being offensive. It's called honesty.

If honesty offends you then we best not discuss then.

(in reply to zgrssd)
Post #: 14
RE: Technology Discovery - 1/26/2021 7:15:17 PM   
LarryBurstyn

 

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quote:

And who would have thought that our knowledge in Quantum Tunneling would allow rewriteable, non-volatile Flash Media. Also know as the shock-resistant, persistent memory in USB sticks, Smartphones and SSD's!


Not sure of that. My old Smartphone did not prove to be all that shock resistant.

My actual point is that as technology of any given item increases it makes that technology MORE efficient not LESS. An item that produces twice as much energy at 3 times the cost is NOT more efficient. My solar panels are several years old IF I replaced them with newer models I would get more energy out of the same number of square feet (more efficient). And my solar panels require very LITTLE maintenance. In four years the maintenance company has only had to come out ONCE...for a failed part in the conversion module (direct to AC).

(in reply to zgrssd)
Post #: 15
RE: Technology Discovery - 1/26/2021 7:16:33 PM   
LarryBurstyn

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: beyondwudge

It isn't called passive aggression. It isn't called being offensive. It's called honesty.

If honesty offends you then we best not discuss then.


Honesty does not have to be offensive but yours was.

(in reply to beyondwudge)
Post #: 16
RE: Technology Discovery - 1/26/2021 10:35:18 PM   
Dukie

 

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So for me this was a very enlightening thread.

Soar/zgrssd, you are right, I think this is a balance issue. You start with the ability to get metal, food, water and if they aren't available you can trade for them. I didn't think of if that way before.

AKicebear, I had also not considered how tech discovery defeats the perfect build order chain, or certainly slows it down. In the last couple games I had put 40% into the Economic council 100% of which went into discovery (I like to play at the "slow" tech discovery rate). Unfortunately my Military council kept discovering things which in turn opened up more EC tech options. It seemed to put me into a power death spiral.

And zgrssd, I started my first "zgrssd start" at TL4. It's ok, but it just doesn't give the same "Road Warrior" vibe I get when I start at TL3, but I could learn to like it.

(in reply to LarryBurstyn)
Post #: 17
RE: Technology Discovery - 1/26/2021 10:45:57 PM   
newageofpower


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An solution would be a "guaranteed" event like the Militia Parade on turn 2; a trader pops by selling ancient datadisks and you get to choose if you want to pay Fate Points (1? 2? Maybe scale for Discovery Speed?) to discover Solar Power or not.

So players worried they'll get ****ed by RNG can pay a sizable sum of FPs (which are rare enough it's not a free tradeoff, esp early game) to avoid getting destroyed by RNG.

(in reply to Dukie)
Post #: 18
RE: Technology Discovery - 1/26/2021 11:56:17 PM   
zgrssd

 

Posts: 2843
Joined: 6/9/2020
Status: online
quote:

ORIGINAL: LarryBurstyn

quote:

And who would have thought that our knowledge in Quantum Tunneling would allow rewriteable, non-volatile Flash Media. Also know as the shock-resistant, persistent memory in USB sticks, Smartphones and SSD's!


Not sure of that. My old Smartphone did not prove to be all that shock resistant.


A HHD doing read/write in a Smartphone would headcrash the second you do a 90° tilt. Or wave it too energetically. Headcrash is complete memory failure.
You can not install a HDD in a smartphone, let alone a car or public transportation - the you are lucky if it survives 1 week with all that jostling.
And that is before you consdier weight and size constraints - they make it way worse.
The iPod Classic and Mini were the only devices that actually used mini HDDs. With the Nano they switched to flash and never looked back.

It is no exagaration to say that without Modern Flash Media (like you also find it in USB sticks and SSD) modern Smartphones would be entirely impossible. Nevermind IPads and the like.
And without Quantum tunneling, we never would have figured out how to make non-volatile % rewriteable Flash storage (Quantum Tunneling fixed the deletion, wich was a requirement for rewriting).

We had no idea what our research into Quantum Tunneling could possibly bring when doing it.
We propably had no idea that particular reasearch was nessesary to make "PADDs like in Star Trek TNG" possible.
Yet you propably can not see a person on the street wich does not own a device based on that little piece of knowledge.
That is just how technology works.

< Message edited by zgrssd -- 1/27/2021 1:26:52 AM >

(in reply to LarryBurstyn)
Post #: 19
RE: Technology Discovery - 1/26/2021 11:59:00 PM   
zgrssd

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: newageofpower

An solution would be a "guaranteed" event like the Militia Parade on turn 2; a trader pops by selling ancient datadisks and you get to choose if you want to pay Fate Points (1? 2? Maybe scale for Discovery Speed?) to discover Solar Power or not.

So players worried they'll get ****ed by RNG can pay a sizable sum of FPs (which are rare enough it's not a free tradeoff, esp early game) to avoid getting destroyed by RNG.

That is a actually a pretty good idea. It would be simple to implement and could be regulary repreated.
Kinda like the Traders in Dawn of Man.

(in reply to newageofpower)
Post #: 20
RE: Technology Discovery - 1/27/2021 3:46:40 AM   
beyondwudge

 

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Then if you're offended, it's best if we don't talk.

(in reply to zgrssd)
Post #: 21
RE: Technology Discovery - 1/27/2021 6:46:42 AM   
Luckspeare

 

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Ah, the old "I'm just being honest" defense of being callously disrespectful. Agreed. I'll keep this in mind and avoid further discussion with you.

(in reply to beyondwudge)
Post #: 22
RE: Technology Discovery - 1/27/2021 11:59:53 AM   
BlueTemplar


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Joined: 4/29/2010
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dukie

So for me this was a very enlightening thread.

Soar/zgrssd, you are right, I think this is a balance issue. You start with the ability to get metal, food, water and if they aren't available you can trade for them. I didn't think of if that way before.

AKicebear, I had also not considered how tech discovery defeats the perfect build order chain, or certainly slows it down. In the last couple games I had put 40% into the Economic council 100% of which went into discovery (I like to play at the "slow" tech discovery rate). Unfortunately my Military council kept discovering things which in turn opened up more EC tech options. It seemed to put me into a power death spiral.

And zgrssd, I started my first "zgrssd start" at TL4. It's ok, but it just doesn't give the same "Road Warrior" vibe I get when I start at TL3, but I could learn to like it.


I don't see how this is possible, as discovering techs does NOT open up new tech groups - RESEARCHING them does !

While related, energy generation / antitank balance should probably be in different threads.

This discovery mechanic is actually a classic 4X trope : the first game to be given an XXXX rating (p92-93), Master of Orion 1 has this mechanic. Even worse, while some ("core") techs will always be available to research, half of the non-core techs will NOT ! At ALL ! (However the game does feature several ways to acquire the techs that you didn't roll from other empires.)

Then you have Sword of the Stars 1, which goes further, where (except for core techs) you roll links between techs rather than techs themselves, rolls which depend on your race. It did an IMHO admirable thing by not even allowing to get the techs themselves from other empires, but just their links : this does wonders for non-duel balance, where in other games it's generally very easy to run away with the game by becoming a tech broker. (Also, each tech might complete any time between 50% and 150%, and your chances grow the more time you take, which is another side to approach the efficiency issue compared to Shadow Empires BP inefficiencies per task and per empire.) You also don't see the full tech tree, only the techs for which you've rolled links.

SotS1 does see similar player complaints, the most common ones being not rolling (anti-missile) Point Defense (though experienced players know that many other alternatives to deal with missiles are possible) or Suspended Animation / Biomes (very important colonization techs, this is way worse, if you don't manage to beg for / salvage at least one of them fast enough, you're in deep trouble in non-duels), or your close opponent rolling light emitters (VERY good against masses of small ships, decent anti-missile, dedicated anti-emitter tech much more expensive and non-core either, though here too you have counters like snipers or just rushing a higher ship size).

Finally, there's the infamous SotS2 tech tree, where there's a "feasibility study" mechanic ON TOP of the tech links : you now see ALL of the potential tech links, but have no idea (for the non-core techs) whether you've rolled them or not : doing a feasibility study (~10% tech cost) will give you an idea about how likely that is in this specific game. Then you have to plow up to 150-200% in tech costs into that tech before you can know for sure - all those tech points might have been wasted ! (Oh, also, you can only research one tech at once, and accumulated techs points quickly disappear if you switch techs.)

(in reply to Dukie)
Post #: 23
RE: Technology Discovery - 1/27/2021 7:08:43 PM   
Dukie

 

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BlueTemplar, my apologies. I should have said my military council kept completing their research. Once all the MI techs from the Basic techs were researched, it opened up several more EC tech options. My assumption is that means it is statistically less likely then that I will discover the power techs given there are more EC tech options to discover.

(in reply to BlueTemplar)
Post #: 24
RE: Technology Discovery - 1/27/2021 7:47:29 PM   
BlueTemplar


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Yeah, I guessed it might be so : my point is that you should consider carefully what do you research compared to what do you discover. IMHO this (has at least the potential to) make the game better (because those choices are then more important and so is the required skill to manage the councils), rather than worse. (Though another question is how well is the AI able to deal with this ?)

(in reply to Dukie)
Post #: 25
RE: Technology Discovery - 1/28/2021 1:21:27 PM   
LarryBurstyn

 

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An example of what I am getting at.

The Trident Submerged ICBM cost less in constant dollars to research/develop than the Polaris submerged IRBM. But it cost a lot more to build and convert. Was more efficient in that it requires fewer men and materials to maintain. Constant dollars=converting original cost in dollars to today's dollars actual value.

(in reply to BlueTemplar)
Post #: 26
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