Too much research? What to research?

By on June 11, 2010 10:57:34 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

aLap

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My main concern: there's a ton of research to be made, right from the beginning. I'm fine with having different layers of complexity getting branched out as I continue to play and understand a game. But I find it a bit overwhelming having to decide on a bunch of research items (being some of them very similar to each other), right when I'm starting to build my civilization.

For example, why separate Farming, Orchards and Beekeping? These are all food bonuses for my cities. If I have one city with an apiary, another with orchards and another with fertile land, I need to do every bit of research for these food bonuses, while research requirements increase every time. In the meantime, there's military to consider, and education, administration, taxing, housing, mining, advanced mining, etc, as well as magic and adventuring research, etc, etc... This is more of a hassle and less of a fun factor in my opinion.

Better, intuitive research is needed. New players who are oblivious to the game mechanics will find this a frustrating learning experience, with the AI most likely beating them to a pulp... for the wrong reasons...

Suggestion 1: add a recommended research feature.

Suggestion 2: add a 'food production' research to encompass all the different food bonuses. A city with a certain food resource will be able to harvest it immediately. However, only the pioneer unit can upgrade that food resource to its fullest potential (as in the civilization adapting to that resource and learning how to increase its output) taking a greater amount of turns for the first upgraded resource, but less for the subsequent ones of the same kind (message on first upgraded resource: 'Your civilization learned how to fully develop Apiaries! Next upgrades of the same resource will be much faster now!').

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June 12, 2010 2:17:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

There definitely ought to be more information available. Showing the entire tech tree might not be necessary, but at the very least you should be able to get detailed descriptions of the buildings/items/abilities that a tech unlocks when you pick a breakthrough. You can’t really make informed decisions right now.

Let’s say for instance that the “Higher Education” breakthrough shows up for you as an option. The description tells you that it allows you to build Universities (and something else, I forget). So, what is a university in Elemental, exactly? It probably helps with research, but does it generate points like a Study, or does it enhance the existing production like an Elder Council? Is it an upgrade to something, or will you need some free tiles to make use of it? You won’t find out until you’ve committed to it. Nor will the game tell you that it requires a city of a certain level, which means that this breakthrough might be useless to you, should you not have such a city.

For that matter, I think it’s a problem in general that if you don’t have a high enough level city and you unlock an improvement that requires it, you won’t be able to find out why you can’t use your new improvement. It just won’t show up.

 

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June 12, 2010 2:20:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Many have proposed a tech tree but I don't want to know what's coming far in the future.  Part of the fun is discovering all the techs, having them all laid out takes away from that.  I would rather just have the research description tell me what it opens in the immediate future (i.e. iron daggers has a section that says "Leads to iron shortswords").

Also like some others have mentioned I would like to lessen the dependancies to a degree.  Maybe instead of iron daggers being required for iron shortswords it should just give a bonus to finding that tech and you can't find a tech 2 above it in the tree (iron longswords or whatever).  You already have the idea of an iron dagger in your head, it is possible to leap ahead a little and discover shortswords instead.  Shortswords would be rare but possible.

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June 12, 2010 2:34:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Many have proposed a tech tree but I don't want to know what's coming far in the future. Part of the fun is discovering all the techs, having them all laid out takes away from that. I would rather just have the research description tell me what it opens in the immediate future (i.e. iron daggers has a section that says "Leads to iron shortswords").

 

you can have both: a generic tech tree (different for every faction) and whenever you research a tech there is chance you will discover a unique hidden tech instead (give the player the choice to choose between the two though)

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June 12, 2010 3:31:53 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Adam_H,
There definitely ought to be more information available. Showing the entire tech tree might not be necessary, but at the very least you should be able to get detailed descriptions of the buildings/items/abilities that a tech unlocks when you pick a breakthrough. You can’t really make informed decisions right now.

Let’s say for instance that the “Higher Education” breakthrough shows up for you as an option. The description tells you that it allows you to build Universities (and something else, I forget). So, what is a university in Elemental, exactly? It probably helps with research, but does it generate points like a Study, or does it enhance the existing production like an Elder Council? Is it an upgrade to something, or will you need some free tiles to make use of it? You won’t find out until you’ve committed to it. Nor will the game tell you that it requires a city of a certain level, which means that this breakthrough might be useless to you, should you not have such a city.

For that matter, I think it’s a problem in general that if you don’t have a high enough level city and you unlock an improvement that requires it, you won’t be able to find out why you can’t use your new improvement. It just won’t show up.

 

 

ya there is a middle ground for the tech tree. People assume that a tech tree will show EVERYTHING and ruin the experience.

but with the system going on right now i dont like it. I dont know whats what or what direction im heading.

Like asking if you are invading a town do you go left or right?...... well whats to my left and whats to my right? I dont know the outcome, but at least give me some general info.

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June 12, 2010 3:34:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The scrollbar needs to be made larger or more obvious or something as well when choosing tech. I'm on 1920x1200 and it took me hours until I found out sometimes I can choose between up to 9 different thingies.

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June 12, 2010 3:39:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Zubaz,
For me, an in-game research tree cheats the civ building lie we are willingly telling ourselves. But I like the sim/world building part of games like this.  I shouldn't be able to know that atomic weapons are in the future somewhere and if I follow X path I get them.  It's more real to me to research "warfare" and see a progressive  evolution of weaponry.

In fact, I'd dig it if, while researching magic (or some such thing), something goes terribly wrong (as research does) and I hit a dead end and lose the points I spent or I get the tech but the inventor dies in a related explosion.

 

Good times indeed!

 

I really like the idea that, as a Sovereign, you are telling your little bookworks what areas of your society need to be improved on a macro level (your five tech categories) and then they come back with the micro results of their work (the actual techs). 

It feels more realistic (not in a "zomg! real world sense, but in an I'm a magical king with two hundred and seven different things on my plate so I give them direction and then let them get to it sense).  In fact, I'd take it a step further.


Instead of selecting your research category, waiting X amount of time, and then being presented with an array of psuedo randomly chosen technology choices I'd have the Sov. select from subcategories and then have the researchers just discover something in that category.  All of prereqs and technology relations would still exist, they'd just be invisible to the player. You'd still be choosing how to specialize your society. 

For example, under Civilization you may have the subcategories of farming, production, economics, and housing.  You, as the Sovereign, decide that your people need to strengthen their ability to feed themselves.  You tell your minions to go focus their research efforts on "Civilization-> Farming".  They come back with one of the green, yellow, or red techs that would have been available for you to choose, but you never see the options.  They just come back with their discovery.  "Sire, we've figured out how to produce food from bees!"  You just got beekeeping. You want more, you keep your focus on Civ -> Farming and they go back at it and come back with another tech under that category. 

I really enjoy the idea that you can't map out your tech path to exactly what you want, but I feel like the immersion of the system is broken when, upon reaching your next research goal, you're presented with a list of choices. 

"Sire, we have finished our efforts!  We can have discovered Beekeeping if you like.  Or Farming II.  Or Economics.  But only one, even though whichever you pick we'll have discovered right this second no matter which you pick. And the next time we make a discovery, you may not have Farming II again and if you do, it'll have been harder to get!" 

No matter what the system ends up being though, the tech screen certainly needs more information.  I don't know if there aren't tooltips yet for the little icons each tech gives you (granary, armory, etc), but I don't get anything when I mouseover.  The first few times through the game, that will be frustrating for players.  "Great, I can select this tech that gives me an Armory... What the hell does an Armory do for me.  Hmm... can't mouseover it to get an idea." 

I really like the system as is, I just think it needs to be presented to the player in a better, less "what the hell is going on here?" fashion.

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June 12, 2010 4:05:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

For example, under Civilization you may have the subcategories of farming, production, economics, and housing. You, as the Sovereign, decide that your people need to strengthen their ability to feed themselves. You tell your minions to go focus their research efforts on "Civilization-> Farming". They come back with one of the green, yellow, or red techs that would have been available for you to choose, but you never see the options. They just come back with their discovery. "Sire, we've figured out how to produce food from bees!" You just got beekeeping. You want more, you keep your focus on Civ -> Farming and they go back at it and come back with another tech under that category.
I like this for the immersion factor. 

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June 12, 2010 4:22:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Zubaz,

For example, under Civilization you may have the subcategories of farming, production, economics, and housing. You, as the Sovereign, decide that your people need to strengthen their ability to feed themselves. You tell your minions to go focus their research efforts on "Civilization-> Farming". They come back with one of the green, yellow, or red techs that would have been available for you to choose, but you never see the options. They just come back with their discovery. "Sire, we've figured out how to produce food from bees!" You just got beekeeping. You want more, you keep your focus on Civ -> Farming and they go back at it and come back with another tech under that category. I like this for the immersion factor. 

I like it, its different. 

I agree that there needs to be more information.... I still have no idea what armories or granaries do. (even after I have the choice to build them, it still doesn't tell me.)

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June 12, 2010 4:54:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think the problem we're seeing is that technology works for immersion but fails as a gameplay mechanic.  We've already seen plenty of people say that they're keeping track of what technology leads to what outside of the game.  That, to me, says that there's a need the game isn't providing. 

Like how MMOs without an economy have a barter economy that eventually show up, I get the feeling if the game leaves technology progression undefined, players are just going to find some other way to show it.  Likely on the web.  Heck, even before reading this I was considering writing a parser that would visually show what techs lead to what.

Later,
LAR

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June 12, 2010 5:16:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting larrypeters,
I think the problem we're seeing is that technology works for immersion but fails as a gameplay mechanic.  We've already seen plenty of people say that they're keeping track of what technology leads to what outside of the game.  That, to me, says that there's a need the game isn't providing. 

Like how MMOs without an economy have a barter economy that eventually show up, I get the feeling if the game leaves technology progression undefined, players are just going to find some other way to show it.  Likely on the web.  Heck, even before reading this I was considering writing a parser that would visually show what techs lead to what.

Later,
LAR

I disagree.  I think you have it exactly backwards.  I think it fails immersion but works as a gameplay mechanic.  I think the reason it fails immersion is entirely due to presentation. 

I think the gameplay mechanic fits the gameworld perfectly.  The people, Sovereigns for sure, would have some memory (lore, history, myth) of what the world was like before the Cataclysm.  They know what the possibilities, if not the specifics of the individual technologies.  IE, they know there were many ways that pre-Cataclysm society produced food, even if they don't remember how they did it.  So you tell your research minions go find other ways to produce food (or go find new weapons, new construction ideas, etc) and they come back with something. 

That's why I think immersion fails.  You're essentially telling your workers to "Find a way to improve our ability in <Macro Research Category>" where the macro category is civilization, warfare, magic, adventure, or diplomacy.  They come back, not with some way they've improved your society, but a list of things that you get to pick from.  The result of reaching a research goal doesn't jive with idea of selecting a category to research. 

That's why I think they need to give you sub-categories to choose from, and then have the game reward you with one of the techs from that sub-category using the green, yellow, red chosen at random with prereqs system they already have.  The mechanic for choosing a technology (green, yellow, red) should just be hidden from the player.  This lets you focus your civ how you want, maintain requirements/prereqs and some randomness, and jives with the idea that you are directing your people towards rediscovering lost technology. 

 

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June 12, 2010 5:25:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting larrypeters,
I think the problem we're seeing is that technology works for immersion but fails as a gameplay mechanic.  We've already seen plenty of people say that they're keeping track of what technology leads to what outside of the game.  That, to me, says that there's a need the game isn't providing. 


Later,
LAR

 

just about to post the same thing. As im all about having some sort of vague tech tree, not a full blown one showing everything.

Some people like the idea of discovering, not knowing what will lead to what. But in gaming world you can only take it so far. Wish i was familiar with the Civ or Sims tech tree so i can discuss if thats a good idea or bad.

Im not even sure if im asking for a tech tree. Just a  more organized way to see what i researched and the benefits i get from it.

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June 12, 2010 5:42:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Zubaz,

For example, under Civilization you may have the subcategories of farming, production, economics, and housing. You, as the Sovereign, decide that your people need to strengthen their ability to feed themselves. You tell your minions to go focus their research efforts on "Civilization-> Farming". They come back with one of the green, yellow, or red techs that would have been available for you to choose, but you never see the options. They just come back with their discovery. "Sire, we've figured out how to produce food from bees!" You just got beekeeping. You want more, you keep your focus on Civ -> Farming and they go back at it and come back with another tech under that category. I like this for the immersion factor. 

I like this concept!  I'd like to tack on an idea or two of my own if you don't mind

Just to expand on the above, when one of the five is selected, there should be maybe one or two "core techs" per tier of research.  When other resources become available to be built on, the next time research can be chosen some kind of message saying "sire, we've found this new resource, should we explore it's uses?" which would open up a third tree of research.  For example, let's saaaaay the military tree.  Your kingdom just reccently gained the ability to harvest lumber.  The next time you go to research, a corresponding message could be something like "we've got all of these woodworkers now, maybe we should research this as a source of weaponry" unlocking the ability to make bows and arrows.  Or when your first mine is built and ore is being brought into the city.  That could be what unlocks research into metal weapons and armour.  This could work as well if you trade other nations for the resources instead of harvesting them.

 

Don't have ore in your borders?  Maybe an equivalent armour / weapon tech could be eventually researched down the road.  Say you reach the tier of military research that would originally grant you plate armour, but you have no ore so have never started the research.  But if you have access to lumber and life magic or something like that, your nation could create something like "barkskin armour" which gives the same benefits as plate.

 

Something I was thinking that's a little more "mine", maybe change how the research points are working.  Rather than decrease the time it takes to research a tech, research buildings could produce a pool of "scholar points" that could be invested into the different techs.  As a very basic example, maybe a nation with 15 scholar points could put 10 into Civ and 5 into Military.  With that layout, a new Military tech would be researched every time two Civ techs are.

 

I dunno, some ideas in there I suppose.  The only reason why I posted all this is to lend support for the "something should change with how research is working" crowd.  As it works right now isn't fun at all.  I get what the devs are trying to do, but experienced players are either going to just end up finding the tech trees outside of the game, or new players are going to probably become frustrated with not knowing what to research.

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June 12, 2010 5:57:25 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Ron Lugge,
  I'm still using houses... but I've researched villas, estates, and mansions!  How do I upgrade?!  (Probably a city size thing, of course )
Yep, it's city size.  When the city levels up the houses automatically upgrade to the next size (tho there's the villa-estate difference where one has prestige, but that'll be clear after a game or 2).


Regarding the folks who want a more specific tech tree mapped out...

I've been in the beta since the beginning and after playing for a bit I don't agree, I like it as it is.  I didn't at first but got used to it.  Some reasons:

-it's a new game, and having a different way of doing things is nice.  Instead of expecting the game to be a certain way then trying to fit the game to my expectations, I'm trying to adjust my expectations to what the game is, enjoying it being different from Civ or game X.  Adjust expectations and enjoy being given something different, and give it a chance.

-the techs will change from game to game, and change from faction to faction (or race to race, or something like that), so the tech trees will be different.  Seeing the techs mapped out ruins the 'surprise' effect of techs appearing/disappearing.

-the tech paths are pretty obvious -- if you want long pointy weapons you grab whatever pointy weapons tech that appears and eventually you'll get to where you want to be.  Civ taught us to expect to be able to zero in on what we want, but that's not how a game has to be.  That you can't beeline straight to it, that there's some mystery and chance -- why's that a bad thing?

-Some mention a more specific but still general path laid out, like 'food' under Civics.  Well, is it really necessary?  You see a food tech and grab it, knowing that it'll help find more food techs.

-Remember we're just playing the game for the first few times.  Elemental will have legs, and after a week or so we'll all have learned the tech trees pretty well.  In Civ, how many times do you bring up the tech tree after playing it a few times?

-in Civ you know what tech comes when, etc. and you try to choose techs to best fit your current needs/strategy.  Elemental adds a layer to that -- you know your needs/strategies, but not exactly how/when/what you'll get techwise.  Makes planning a bit more challenging.  Sometimes things will fall into place quickly, sometimes not.

I guess how much it boils down to control -- folks that want more control won't like it, folks that are more willing to adjust and go with the flow will.

And I'm not saying don't give opinions -- that's what beta is for and they want our opinions.  I am saying give it a chance before saying you don't like it (then say you don't like it )

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June 12, 2010 6:23:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Nick-Danger,

And I'm not saying don't give opinions -- that's what beta is for and they want our opinions.  I am saying give it a chance before saying you don't like it (then say you don't like it )

I've prolly been in the beta just as long as you, so I guess I qualify as one of those people who can say "I don't like it!"

 

The base idea of what the devs are doing right now is a good idea.  The way it's presented in game right now might not be so much though.  It essentially is a tech tree without seeing the tech tree.  I kind of feel like it needs to be refined to feel more like something different (like in the many examples by different users listed above) or it should just move to a traditional tech tree. 

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June 12, 2010 6:41:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Nick-Danger,

 

...

-Some mention a more specific but still general path laid out, like 'food' under Civics.  Well, is it really necessary?  You see a food tech and grab it, knowing that it'll help find more food techs.

-Remember we're just playing the game for the first few times.  Elemental will have legs, and after a week or so we'll all have learned the tech trees pretty well.  In Civ, how many times do you bring up the tech tree after playing it a few times?

-in Civ you know what tech comes when, etc. and you try to choose techs to best fit your current needs/strategy.  Elemental adds a layer to that -- you know your needs/strategies, but not exactly how/when/what you'll get techwise.  Makes planning a bit more challenging.  Sometimes things will fall into place quickly, sometimes not.

I guess how much it boils down to control -- folks that want more control won't like it, folks that are more willing to adjust and go with the flow will.

I'm not sure particularly who this is in reply to, but I'll say that I really like the tech system.  I like ability to research towards a given strategy but still have uncertainty as to what you'll get each step along the way. 

I don't want more control, I just want the system more refined.  I think that as is it's not very coherent.  Part of that is a lack of information (tooltips on the bonuses/buildings that each tech makes available).  I think the bigger part of it is that, from an immersion standpoint, the technical details of what's going on don't jive with what is supposed to be going on (from an abstraction/immersion standpoint). 

You're selecting a macro category (and not a specific thing to research) because the idea of "research" is that you're not sure what will come from your efforts.  You tell your researchers what areas to focus on and then their work leads to something new.  Unlike Civilization, where you just mapped out your strategy and took whatever you needed to in order to get to your goal (which never made much sense, because you could plan for a tech that was 500 or 1000 years in your future). 

But rather than your researchers coming back to you with the fruits of their labor, you're presented with a choice of X technologies, some rarer than others.  The idea that kicks the system off (focus your researchers and see what they come up with) doesn't jive with the end result (you selecting from a list of techs).  I just want that selection mechanism at the end to be handled by the game using the existing rarity/random system out of the player's view.  In order to balance the lack of being able to select a specific tech, you let the person pick a sub-focus within each macro category so that they're still able to focus their research beyond "some random Warfare tech". 

Again, I really, really like the system.  I just think it needs to be presented a little better to be 1) more accessible to new people (you say play through a few times and you'll get it.  You shouldn't have to play through a few times to understand what's going on) and 2) more in line with the lore/story of what's going on (the story reason for why the gameplay mechanic exists). 

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June 12, 2010 6:43:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

We appreciate the feedback here..  We have some of the UI controls disabled. But we agree, there's more work to be done on that screen.

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June 12, 2010 6:58:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Istari,
We appreciate the feedback here..  We have some of the UI controls disabled. But we agree, there's more work to be done on that screen.
What more can we ask for? 

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June 12, 2010 7:01:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Kantok,
<snip>

Again, I really, really like the system.  I just think it needs to be presented a little better to be 1) more accessible to new people (you say play through a few times and you'll get it.  You shouldn't have to play through a few times to understand what's going on) and 2) more in line with the lore/story of what's going on (the story reason for why the gameplay mechanic exists). 
I respect your opinion, but want to play devil's advocate for your "You shouldn't have to play through a few times to understand what's going on..." statement.

Why?

I'll take the contrary point-of-view...  Since we'll understand what's going on after playing through a few times, that means that from then on we'll have it sufficiently figured out.  For the first few games, instead of considering it a negative, consider it a bit of a mystery.  Why not enjoy the 'mystery' for that few games, while it lasts?  Consider it a voyage of discovery, that will soon end and not return.

It's not that it's confusing -- you don't discover warfare techs while researching civics, so it's not completely random.  It's logical, but it's not precisely laid out -- B will follow A but you may have to go thru C, but you won't have to go thru Z.

How often does a whole new strategy game come out?  And since it won't take more than a few games for us to figure out what's going on tech-wise, what's wrong with it not being precisely spoon-fed to us the first time thru?  What's wrong with a short-lived discovery phase?

Analogy -- with most movies we can figure out the plot within minutes if not seconds.  First time I watched Fight Club I had no idea what was going on, and after a bit I stopped trying to figure it out and just sat back and went along for the ride.  It was a nice experience, and it's pretty rare.  I kinda view Elemental that way.  Sometime more is less, if that makes sense...

Anyhoo, interesting discussion, and rest assured it will probably be changed to what you're asking for (but by then you'll probably have it figured out so won't really need it...)

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June 12, 2010 7:32:53 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Nick-Danger,


I'll take the contrary point-of-view...  Since we'll understand what's going on after playing through a few times, that means that from then on we'll have it sufficiently figured out.  For the first few games, instead of considering it a negative, consider it a bit of a mystery.  Why not enjoy the 'mystery' for that few games, while it lasts?  Consider it a voyage of discovery, that will soon end and not return.

...
Anyhoo, interesting discussion, and rest assured it will probably be changed to what you're asking for (but by then you'll probably have it figured out so won't really need it...)

Awesome.  I love devil's advocate.

I don't want the system to be simple or transparent.  Not at all.  I'm the one that wants people NOT to be able to pick specific techs.  I just want what's going on (technically.. ie why is a green tech there sometimes, but not others, etc) to be more obvious.  I've been playing since.. Beta1G I think.  I get what's going on.  But it's not clear right away (or within the first little while). 

I don't want the tech tree mapped out and obvious.  I want the research screen to be clearer with more info.  If the tech systems stays exactly as it is now, I just want to be able to make a more informed choice.  Hmm.  I'm choosing between a tech that gives me a granary vs. a tech that gives me townhalls... what does each one of those give me?  I don't know on my first time through, because there's no information about either available when I choose techs. That's my complaint about the system as it's presented now.

As for my suggested change (selecting a focus and the game returning a tech) that would make the mystery greater I would think, because what green/yellow/red techs were coming up would be hidden.  You would, quite literally, be telling your researchers a macro area to focus on and seeing what they came up with/learned/discovered/remembered from before the Cataclysm.  I don't expect this will be implemented at all (as it brings up other issues), but I think my idea presents a good example of what is wrong with the current system. 

"Focus on Warfare" says the Sovereign. X turns later, the head researcher returns and says "We did it sire, and we came up with _____" fill in the blank with whichever choice works best for you...?  I just don't think the system works from an immersion standpoint. I think it rocks from a gameplay standpoint though and would like to find a way to keep the gameplay it introduces while fixing the immersion.

Believe me, I don't want it simple or obvious from a strategic/gameplay standpoint.  The tech tree is one of the areas that has always driven me nuts about 4X games, especially as implemented in the Civ games.  Even the dependencies that should be a bit obscure are presented clearly as day, as if your researchers know them all ahead of time.  In Civ, you could always tell "In 17 turns I'll have the ability to upgrade all of my macemen with rifles.  Better save money and make sure I can afford it.  And while I'm at it, let me maneuver my maceman into position for the blitzkrieg once they have their rifles on turn 18!" 

The uncertainty and luck are an awesome part of this system.  I'm just trying to point out the one flaw I've found in it, not to get rid of the system, but to fix the flaw.

 

And I agree. This is great discussion. 

I apologize for my long winded response.  They always start as one simple point and balloon into minor essays. 

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June 12, 2010 7:47:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Personally I don't like making decisions in strategy games with not enough information provided. I'd much prefer clarity and transparent game system over immersion or mystery in strategy games. For me strategies are about making decisions and I cannot do that with the current info on research. I didn't test before beta2 so I'm pretty new to the game and it feels like its quite punishing for new players. After several games I figured out what are the prerequisites for certain techs which makes it much easier. In most other (strategy) games my quality as a player increases mostly due to testing out the units, buildings, strategies and some meta info about the game mechanics and AI, but its mostly because I can see how the units/buildings/techs/whatever perform in game compared to other units/buildings/techs/whatever, not because I just figured out what they actually do.

Also I love the idea of random techs, makes the games feel different, but the random part can also be frustrating (not sure how the RNG will affect pvp matches).

Quoting Nick-Danger,

I'll take the contrary point-of-view... Since we'll understand what's going on after playing through a few times, that means that from then on we'll have it sufficiently figured out. For the first few games, instead of being 'frustrated' or however you want to call it, consider it a bit of a mystery. Why not enjoy the 'mystery' for that few games, while it lasts? Consider it a voyage of discovery, that will soon end and not return.


I prefer discovering and testing new strategies and approaches in a game rather than discovering what techs or units or buildings actually do. When I played Civ4 for the first time (several years after playing my last Civ game which was Civ1) just looking at the tech tree was enough to decide what to research, in EoW I need to play several games to make informed decisions. Without the meta info its just guessing. So I believe that the prerequisites or the following techs shouldn't be meta info, but instead it should be accessible to all players.

I'm not really asking for a tech tree, but at least info in research what tech we'll be able to research next after the current tech. Also tooltips when hovering over buildings in techs please, its quite hard to tell what they do until you have the chance to build them in a city. I think it'd make life easier for new players.

Sorry for the long post and thanks Stardock for making this game. It's looking great so far, only needs tweaking of some features and mechanics + some polish.

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June 12, 2010 8:08:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Kantok,
For example, under Civilization you may have the subcategories of farming, production, economics, and housing.  You, as the Sovereign, decide that your people need to strengthen their ability to feed themselves.  You tell your minions to go focus their research efforts on "Civilization-> Farming".  They come back with one of the green, yellow, or red techs that would have been available for you to choose, but you never see the options.  They just come back with their discovery.  "Sire, we've figured out how to produce food from bees!"  You just got beekeeping. You want more, you keep your focus on Civ -> Farming and they go back at it and come back with another tech under that category.

 

This idea sounds strangely attractive. Not sure I'd prefer it, but it certainly sounds all right.

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June 12, 2010 8:20:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Kantok,
I apologize for my long winded response.  They always start as one simple point and balloon into minor essays. 
No need to apologize, as it is a good post.  I also suffer/benefit from the expanding response syndrome.

You make good points, and I think we have pretty much the same goal, just different ways to get there.  What you describe as a 'flaw' I think of as a 'feature' and that's something we'll have to agree to disagree on    (Viva la difference and all that...)

Anyhoo, thanks for your polite and well-reasoned reply!

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June 12, 2010 8:25:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Juggzor,
I'm not really asking for a tech tree, but at least info in research what tech we'll be able to research next after the current tech. Also tooltips when hovering over buildings in techs please, its quite hard to tell what they do until you have the chance to build them in a city. I think it'd make life easier for new players.
That sort of info will be added in and I agree it's a good thing.  It's not there now because this is more an alpha than the usual beta that we're used to, so there's a lot missing than we'd usually see.

And to you also, thanks for the polite and well-reasoned reply!

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June 12, 2010 8:25:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The more that I think about it, I really like Kantok's idea about choosing an area to research, and getting a random tech in that area. Kantok, want to start a thread on it, and we can start working on some ideas for refinements?

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June 12, 2010 8:39:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Juggzor,
I prefer discovering and testing new strategies and approaches in a game rather than discovering what techs or units or buildings actually do. When I played Civ4 for the first time (several years after playing my last Civ game which was Civ1) just looking at the tech tree was enough to decide what to research, in EoW I need to play several games to make informed decisions. Without the meta info its just guessing. So I believe that the prerequisites or the following techs shouldn't be meta info, but instead it should be accessible to all players.

This is a general response since there's some good discussion going on here, but this quote sums up my thoughts pretty well.  I don't want to know exactly what techs are in any specific play session, I just want to know what can lead to what.  Right now if I want to make mounted units, or better yet a stable, I don't know what to research to get to that or if it's even possible.  It doesn't even have to be in the Research report, it can be put into the Elementalopedia.  I guess the way I'm thinking about it is, as I've said before, if I really want to know it I'll be able to find it and I'm going to have it memorized after a few games anyway so why not have it right there for me to look at for those first few games to avoid confusion.  The current system may have the effect of turning more casual players off from the game by making them feel like they don't know what the heck they're doing.

What was the other thing... oh ya.  I reserve the right to change my mind later, but I also don't care for this all or nothing way of handling research points and I expect it'll just get worse once there are five tech trees to research from.  I know its the way every game from GC2 to Civ4 handles it, but I dunno.  I just get this feeling that I'm cripping myself if I choose the wrong tech to research.  Maybe the feeling will go away as more tech is added and it's balanced.

Later,
LAR

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