Sorry for another thread about techs, but I think this is a very important and potentially game-harming issue that needs to be addressed ASAP.
We all remember GalCiv 2, where every new weapon/engine tech researched called for a manual upgrade of each custom ship the player designed. Whle Gal Civ 2 is a great 4X game, this was a serious blight upon its awesomeness (even with automatic upgrading).
What I'm asking for in Elemental is this: no upgraded versions of weapons derived from the same natural resources with drawbacks when compared with older versions of said weapons. Verbose, but bear with me for a moment.
So, let's say there's a tech for creating bronze swords. Using the Gal Civ system, and upgraded version of bronze swords (let's call it triple-folded bronze swords) would be more powerful but cost more money and time. Nine out of ten times, you will simply pay the extra money and take the added power, but that one time out of ten that you don't requires that each unit be situationally redesigned to either use the triple-folded bronze swords or stay with the old version of bronze swords. This is cumbersome. What I am proposing is that in the case that there really have to be upgraded versions of the same type of sword that there are no drawbacks to the new version. All future versions of a unit using that type of sword will carry the upgraded version of that sword. So all new bronze swordsmen, after the triple-folding upgrade, will have triple-folded bronze swords at no additional training-time cost.
Before you cry foul, however, hear me out. Equiping your swordsmen with steel swords, for example, could carry drawbacks as well as added power. So a "steel swordsman" could be a fundamentally different character than a "bronze swordsman," with drawbacks such as higher training time to use the advanced weapon or whatever, or the designers could decide that steel is better in every way than bronze and if you have the resources you will always want to equip your swordsmen with steel.
To reiterate, what I am trying to avoid is: a weapon that uses the same natural resources costing a different amount based on tech level.
I doubt many people here want to redesign their basic guard every time a new type of iron sword is researched, and have to adjust back in case of pressing circumstances. Managing your different resources is fun, but trying to weigh whether an extra turn of training time is worth the +1 attack is bean counting; it is 4X at its worst.
Of course, if the "sophisticated" economic model (camp #1 I believe) were used, and bronze swords themselves were resources, then there would be no need for this rant, because each type of bronze sword would be separately created from the unit.
Please feel free to post your suggestions and I will try to edit this post with some of them.